Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thinking on a Thursday

Play along if you'd like!
  • Sofia has a strong case of don'tputmedown disease.  I have done nothing but mother my child today which totally counts.
  • I happily put away all my maternity clothes!  I haven't given them away or sold them yet, even though I laughed at my doctor when she asked what I was doing for birth control.  I told her I was never having sex again, that's what I was doing.
  • Yet, the clothes are just going in a clear plastic tote and they're going to live in the garage. For now.
  • Putting my clothes away gave me the 'purge my closet' itch.  I had a hard look at my wardrobe and realized that I'm overdue for a good downsizing.
  • I am the master of the four-minute shower.  
  • I am not the master of going without lotion.  My clothes have more lotion on them than my body because I don't have time to rub it in.
  • I'm counting down the days to my last shot!!!  Sunday night!!!
  • I need a water bottle in every room.  I drink over a gallon of water a day.  I'm still thirsty.
  • My dog is still being an asshole.  She spends the majority of the day in her crate because she won't stop taking things.  This morning it was one of my socks and a dishtowel.
  • I'm taking a yoga class on Saturday, courtesy of my husband and my breast pump.  I'm so excited!!
  • I sent off my membership for the mom's network in my neighborhood.  If nothing else, it should make for some good blog content.
  • I wish we had cable.  I need the background noise because it's too quiet in the house and I don't want the baby to get used to silence.
  • I just bought some nursing tanks from Target and now I need to buy some cute shoes so I don't feel like a total frump-face.  
  • I still can't believe I had a baby.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Happy Birthday Gem!

This is for my girl Gem.  I don't normally do these things but words, accents and dialects fascinate me and plus, it's her birthday.
Meme from Desiree on Vimeo.

Play along if you'd like and let me know in the comments!

Say These Words: Aunt, Route, Wash, Oil, Theater, Iron, Salmon, Caramel, Fire, Water, Sure, Data, Ruin, Crayon, Toilet, New Orleans, Pecan, Both, Again, Probably, Spitting Image, Alabama, Lawyer, Coupon, Mayonnaise, Syrup, Pajamas, Caught

What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?

What is a bubbly carbonated drink called?

What do you call gym shoes?

What do you call your grandparents?

What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?

What is the thing you change the TV channel with?

Choose a book and read a passage from it.

Do you think you have an accent?

Be a wizard or a vampire?

Do you know anyone on Tumblr in real life?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Woman of the cloth

When I started researching natural childbirth, I started hearing about cloth diapering and how they're cuter and easier than they used to be.  I'm a stiletto-wearing hippie so I was intrigued.  I didn't know much about it, but a Google search fixed that with a quickness!  There are a kabillion websites out there devoted to all things cloth diapering, or 'fluff' as those in know like to call it.  You are now in the know.  You're welcome.

Along with the 50 billion websites, there are just as many blogs and moms who write about it.  This is my drop into that giant-ass bucket.

So, here's the thing.  Cloth diapering is not that serious.  I've been doing it for about a week now and having done both, I can say that it's really not that big a deal.  Yeah, there are extra steps but if you're looking to have a kid without doing any extra work, you're in the wrong game.  However, that's my gripe with the cloth diaper enthusiasts - they do too much!  I got my first clue when I ordered my diapers.  The tag said to wash them 6 times before using them!  'Scuse me?  Wash clean clothes more than once?  Something about reaching their maximum absorbency?  WTF-ever.  I washed them once and my diapers are just fine, thank you very much.

I went with the BumGenius 4.0 pocket diapers because I'd heard that all-in-one diapers take forever to dry and with the pockets you can adjust the absorbency level as well as not spending hours drying them.  
This is where her newborn disposables lived.

I have 18 diapers.  I got them from Cotton Babies because I got tired of researching and wanted to go with a reputable company with a customer service department and a solid return policy just in case I changed my mind.  However, there are just as many options for purchase as there are cloth diapers themselves.  If you're feeling really frisky you can make them yourself.  I am not that frisky.  

I also got a couple of wet bags from them and I ordered a diaper sprayer, a necessity in my world.  I've heard of people who 'dunk and swish?'  I don't even know how that works and it sounds disgusting.  I know that as a parent, you have to deal with poop but dunk and swish?  No thank you.
It took about ten minutes for Drew to install 
and it saves my life.
Wet bag - waterproof, zips closed, *and* stylish!

I still had some 7th Generation disposable wipes so I was using those but very quickly got annoyed with the extra step of separating the wipes and diapers.  Luckily, I had 12,000 washcloths from my baby shower because we made washcloth lollipops with them.  I would never in my life need that many for washing the baby - hello, cloth wipes!
Approx. 60 washcloths - no lie.

I took the stickers off a tub of disposables and did another Google search for 'pop-up cloth wipes.'  Found it!
I was so excited about my cloth wipes folding technique
I took a picture.  Yes, I'm a dork.
I was so excited it worked I took another picture.
Yes, I'm a super dork.

But then I had to find a cloth wipe diaper solution.  Oh Google.  How I love you so.  I found a website with a ton of solutions and when I found a recipe that called for stuff I already had?!  I didn't even have to go to the store or order anything?!  Holla! (It's the fruit 'n' veggie solution, if you care about that sort of thing.)
Assembling the ingredients.  I have two bottles of olive oil
because I didn't know how much I'd need.
The aloe vera gel is not sparkly, that's just the sticker on the bottle.

I mixed it up and I didn't even have to buy a squeezy bottle to put it in!  I just used the bottle I got from the hospital when I had the baby.  Free ninety-nine y'all!
I am inordinately proud of my cloth diaper set-up.

So, when the baby needs changing I take her to the nursery, pull out my handy-dandy portable changing pad and lay the baby on the bed.  I take off the old diaper and set it aside.  I pull out a handy-dandy cloth wipe and squeeze some of my solution on the wipe.  Some people make the solution and dump it right in the container so you pull out a wet wipe every time but there are about 25 wipes in there.  The ones on the bottom would get mildew-y and gross by the time I could use them.  Plus I only use about 6-8 before I wash them so in theory I might never get to the bottom of the tub.  That's why I just wet each one as I use it.

Before I read up, I just laid the microfiber insert directly on the diaper and put that on the baby.  That way if she only got the insert dirty, I could switch it out without having to change the whole diaper.  I've since learned that you're not supposed to put microfiber directly against the baby's skin since it could cause irritation.  Something about the microfiber being so absorbent that it could wick away the very moisture from the baby's skin?  I don't know about all that - I put the inserts directly against her skin for about three days and she had zero rash or irritation, but I go ahead and put the inserts inside the pocket now just to be safe.

Once she's clean, I put her in her crib while I take care of the diaper.  Wet ones go straight in the bag, dirties get a shot with the sprayer.  They say breastfed poop is water soluble and doesn't need a spray but I like to minimize how much poop I put in my washing machine.

Each night, I empty everything into a pail with water and Borax.  I don't measure because that's too much effort.  The next morning, they go into the wash with more Borax and the cloth diaper detergent, which I do measure.
Ultra-fancy washing system

I have a front-loading washer with a 'sanitary' setting.  This also saves my life because washing instructions can get really complicated.  I'm talking, cold pre-rinse, extra hot wash, stop the washer halfway through to add more water, hot rinse, cold rinse, do the hokey-pokey, turn yourself around.  I don't do any of that because I don't have the patience.  The inserts get extra water from soaking in the pail - that's plenty.  I throw them in, put it on 'sanitary' and get on with my life. 

I air dry the covers and the inserts and wipes go in the dryer for about 20 minutes on medium with no dryer sheets.  Dryer sheet stuff coats your clothes - that's what makes them soft but if you coat something absorbent, it can't absorb very well - duh.  That's why you're not supposed to use fabric softener or dryer sheets on your towels.
Drying covers in Drew's office, the sunniest
room in the house.  

Oh, and between the sun and my awesome washing machine, neither my diapers nor inserts have any stains.  Zero.  Nada.  Stain-free.  And they don't stink - I think it's because I soak them but a little vinegar added to the wash would fix any potential stink issues.  It works and I'm happy.

We still do disposables at night just because I have them but when we run out, we'll do cloth.  Sofia is not a heavy wetter so I don't think it'll be an issue.  Plus, since I have pocket diapers I can stuff them with a ton of inserts to make it through the night.

Now, they are big.  Drew calls Sofia BoBo Big Bottom now, but I think it's cute.  My solution to a fat bootie?  Dresses!
Matched to her outfit of course!
I didn't get as good a shot here
She's starting to make eye contact with me!
When I'm not boring her

Even though dresses are cuter and easier, she can still wear onesies and pants - it just looks like she's got a little extra padding.  Besides, I love my fat-bootie baby!
BoBo likes them too, she was just mad that I put her down.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

My werewolf baby

Auntie Heather for the win!  

(Incidentally, I always thought FTW meant 'fuck the world.'  I only recently learned what it *really* meant.  Don't know where that came from or why I'm sharing but there you have it.)

Anyway, heat rash it is!  And only because Drew will never shut up unless I say it, he said it was heat rash a week ago.  Gah.  However, not listening to my husband is nothing new and it's not like he listens to me when *I* say stuff so I really don't know why he's surprised.

But who said what a week ago is not important.  What's most important is that my baby is better!  When I read Heather's comment a lightbulb went off and taking off some layers of clothes seemed way easier than any elimination diet - although I will do that if things don't get all the way better.

Of course, it makes sense that I married a werewolf that I might have a werewolf baby.  Remember when we went to San Francisco and I froze my ass off and Drew was in shorts?  Now, that is my house.
This is how I went to bed.
Tank top for easy boob access, cardigan because my arms freeze,
pants because my legs freeze and socks because
my feet freeze.

This is how the baby went to bed.
She *was* swaddled but she kicked it off.
Baby cleavage!!
But more importantly, no redness!

Both Drew and the baby slept nearly naked and I slept fully clothed because the air was turned down to negative Arctic freeze your ass off, but it worked!  All the redness was gone by the next morning!  She's still got the bumps but even those appear to be getting a little better.  I'm going to try what you've said and look into that Aveeno, bathing her in cool water, and breathing deeply and trying not to worry.

Plus, we've graduated!
She's big enough for her cloth diapers!
Sharing the chupie with Daddy

After a particularly fantastic explosion out of her newborn diapers, Drew was like "I think it's time for the cloth."  We put her in them, and Drew spent time with her while I took a nice long shower - I was even able to do my hair!  And I don't know what he did, but she took a nap for over two hours!  Some of it even in her crib!
In her straitjacket, I mean Miracle Blanket
with her legs out so she doesn't get too hot.
Gotta love the front-butt!
Cloth diapers are new to me too, give me a break!

Thank you all so much for your advice and encouragement!  It helped to keep me from worrying and that's exactly what I needed.  You guys are the greatest! 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Why yes, I *will* let the internet raise my child

In the old days, new mothers had a village, a tribe to show them the ropes.  New mothers could turn to the varsity moms of the tribe (did they use the term 'varsity mom' in the old days?) to show them how things were done, what to look out for, and to hand down all those old wives tales and hippie voodoo remedies for all that ailed your new baby.  

Won't you be my village, my tribe, my elder and lay your wisdom on me?

My precious baby has a rash over her whole body and I don't know if I should be worried.  I took her to the pediatrician last Friday because even though Sofia was being polite and zen, I couldn't help but think she had some rare disease and I would be the World's Worst Mother for not catching it and doing something sooner.

She said it was eczema and told me to slather her in Aquaphor but I'm not convinced.  I mean, I did it but all it seemed to do was make her skin redder and more angry-looking.  Plus, she cried when I put it on her which means no more Aquaphor.

Your advice regarding the feeding on demand and sleeping were so helpful so I turn to you again, my tribe, my community, my friends.  Tell me everything is okay, not to be worried and my baby will be fine.
Taken last Friday
her poor little baby leg
The next day, oiled up looking like she's ready for a fight
Still so freakin cute though!
This is the first picture when I can kinda see myself in her.
Oh, those cheeks!  nomnomnom

I used the Aquaphor for a couple of days but stopped when I noticed that she didn't seem to like it.  I switched to California Baby Calendula Cream and while I can't tell if it's helping, at least it's not making her skin red and greasy.
Taken today
her poor little neck
You can really see the bumps when I turn off the flash.
It doesn't seem to bother her - she's still quite zen about it all.

As far as my diet goes, I'm back to being lactose intolerant so dairy isn't the issue.  I've cut out nuts and fish too, hoping that might help.  The next step is to cut out soy but there's soy in everything so that should be fun.  

Now, please don't make me regret coming to you for advice by scaring the shit out of me by saying my daughter has some incurable Bumpy Face disease.  I already had a breakdown a couple of nights ago because I was convinced this would never go away and she was going to get picked on in school for her bumps and it would be my fault because I couldn't fix it.  I was snotting and crying all over her. 

Don't do that to me again.  Please.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Thank you Doctors! And boobies!

Last week I had my post-partum follow-up with my OB and I made the rounds with the baby to take her to see all the doctors that helped get her to my arms! 

First was the OB.  While I was super excited to introduce Sofia to them, let's be honest.  I wanted to see how much I weighed.  For the most part, I'm back in my regular clothes but it's hard to determine because the regular clothes I'm wearing these days are stretchy yoga pants, loose sweats and my loosest pair of jeans.  My stomach is pretty much flat again but my hips are just a little too big for my skinny jeans.  I thought I would be more upset about this, but you know what?  I'm 35 years old and I just gave birth.  It's right that I have hips - I'm a woman now!  I've earned this body and I love it!

Plus, I'm only six pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight.  *At the time of this posting, I'm calling it five pounds because it feels like I'm nursing 24-7 and I have to have lost another pound since last week.*  That was fun news!  I've done absolutely nothing so that's very encouraging.  I wonder how much more weight I can lose by doing nothing.

Of course, those six pounds have made a home on my belly and walking around the block gets me winded so I know I still have a ways to go.  But I have a cute baby so let's focus on that!
This is Marcel, my super fabulous Blood Dude.
And yes, the baby's dress is way too big but she's so tiny
nothing fits her!
Katie, my OB's medical assistant.
She's one of those sweet bubbly people that you just want to hug all the time.
The one, the only Dr. Michelle Heintges

When she walked in the room, I gave her the biggest bear hug and thanked her over and over again.  Yes, I did the work, I had the baby, but we were a team.  We worked together and it was with her help that I had a wonderful birth experience and for that I'm eternally grateful.  Dr. Heintges is the real deal - she genuinely cares about her patients.  You can't fake her enthusiasm and her sincerity.  And she's not just about the medicine.  She listened to my concerns, laughed with me about all the crazy things that happen with pregnancy and really made me feel like I was a person, not just another chart on the door.  I feel incredibly lucky to have such a great doctor!

Next, we went to see my RE, Dr. Noel Peng.  Dr. Peng was the one who diagnosed my low ovarian reserve, and ultimately my clotting disorder.  He took lots of blood which didn't make him one of my favorite people and we were not friends at all the day he did my endometrial biopsy. However, he found the problem that was standing in the way of me becoming a mother so I completely forgive him.
He said the baby was too tiny to hold.
I guess he's only comfortable with making babies, not holding them!
That's cool, I'll hold her.
I'll hold her every day for the rest of my life.

We went over to Labor and Delivery so I could visit Angie, my amazing and awesome nurse who was with me the day I gave birth but she wan't there.  I was so disappointed but I left her a note thanking her for being so wonderful.

After that, we visited Dr. Weiss, my Maternal Fetal-Medicine specialist.  I saw him once a month for ultrasounds to determine that my clotting factors weren't causing growth restriction.  Thankfully, the Heparin kept that at bay and she grew perfectly.  I was so thankful to have been able to carry her to term and super grateful to Dr. Weiss for keeping a close eye on her.  One of these days, I'm going to put all of her ultrasound pictures in a baby book.  A few days before she was born, we got a final ultrasound of her little face and it's precious!  You could see her fat little cheeks clear as day!  Looking back, I'm glad we didn't do the 3D ultrasound - we knew her gender, her weight and in the end the day she'd be born.  Not seeing her features clearly allowed us to 'meet' her right after she was born instead of 'matching' her to pictures we'd already seen.
Dr. Weiss and my Itty-Bitty

I'm so grateful to all of my doctors for all that they did to get my daughter to my arms.  I know that like any profession, there are good ones and bad ones and I feel incredibly fortunate to not only have good doctors, but great ones!  I'm not quite ready to do this again, but if/when I do I know that I'll have the best medical team in the city!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Baby trumps blog

Sofia has been needing me the past couple of days.  I don't like it when people say babies are bad, regardless of whether or not they're joking.  Babies are babies and when they need you, everything else takes a backseat.  So while I intended to blog Tuesday and Wednesday, my baby needed me.

Not that she doesn't need me now.  She's cozied up on my chest in the Moby fast asleep and I couldn't be more in love.  She's the best baby in the world, I love her more every day and I'm so very very blessed.

But this post is a day late.  

Sofia was one month old yesterday.  Remember when I said that I sucked as a parent?  Well, yesterday I rocked as a parent because I kept her alive for one month.  Way to go, ME!  

She's already changed so much in a month.
About twenty minutes old
One day old
Washing her hair - three days old
Taking pictures in the bluebonnets - six days old
Her first bath - 12 days
Taken last night - one month old
Her newborn clothes are still big on her.
I need to learn how to take non-blurry pictures of her
but this the best I've got.

I don't have the white onesie with the Photoshopped 'one month' photo.  I was brainstorming creative ideas but she decided she needed me for two days straight so all we ended up with were cell phone pictures right before bed and that's all right with me.  Now that things have calmed down around the house and we're finally able to figure out what our routine is going to be, perhaps I'll have more time to have fun photoshoots with her.  But we've had family in the house for practically a month straight!  Family or not, if you don't live there, you're a guest and everyone knows how guests throw things off, no matter how well-intentioned they are.  While I've been more than grateful to have the extra hands, Sofia and I are ready to fly solo.  This weekend will be our first weekend of just us - Drew, me and the baby and I'm really looking forward to it.  I feel like we're finally going to get to be a family all our own.

So, this far I can say Sofia is a really chill baby.  A yoga zen baby if you will.  She only cries when she's hungry or wants to be held and calms down as soon as those situations are remedied.  She doesn't even get too upset at being in a dirty diaper, which amazes me.  If I were sitting in poop, the world would know about it.

Now, if you take too long to change her, she'll let you know about it.  She's very tolerant - to a point.  Kinda like her mom.  After that, she's like all right, you've had more than enough time to change me and get me dressed again, that'll be all, now I will cry.  But stick a boob in her mouth and she's instantly calm!  If she's not hungry, she'll even take the pacifier.  She's quite agreeable.

She's started making noises too.  She grunts, squeals, chirps and sighs.  They're all beyond adorable but the grunts are my favorite.  They're so earnest, like she's really working at something - usually it's getting her arms out of her swaddle.  We have a couple of Miracle Blankets that she can't get out of, but if it's a regular blanket, she'll go Houdini on it and have her arms out within seconds.
Even on the ultrasounds, she always had her hands and arms 
up by her face.

Right now, I'm trying to figure out her skin.  She's got  a mysterious rash on her body that breaks my heart.  Drew says it's heat rash but I'm not so sure.  The shampoo/body wash I use has absolutely nothing in it and I use Dreft for her clothes so I can't figure it out.  We're going to the doctor next week so I hope she can shed some light.  My only consolation is that it doesn't seem to bother her but I don't know if she's just being polite and zen.  

I'm not going to comment on her sleep because I don't want to jinx myself.  10pm last night to 5am this morning.  20 minutes in the pack n play this morning.  Asleep in the Moby right now.  But that's all I'm going to say.  I know we have a ways to go but so far so good!

Each day, it gets more and more real and I'm less wary that someone is going to come and take her away and say this was all a joke.  Each day I get more and more attached to her and we bond more and more strongly.  

She's the best thing I ever did.


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