Thursday, January 27, 2011

Musings on Motherhood

Being a mom has actually taught me a lot about myself and life.. and I’ve only been one for 3 months now. I want to share some of my insights over the next few posts..

Ok, I’ll admit it. I hate breastfeeding. I was prepared for how long it would take. I was prepared that it would be hard. I was prepared that it may hurt. I thought I was prepared for all of it, but I wasn’t... not even close. It was exhausting!

When Carter got hungry, I had to get all prepared..
1) Grab the Boppy
2) Get the nipple shield
3) Apply the nipple shield (which would take at least 30 seconds to a couple minutes to put the nipple shield on because it would pop off)
4) Soothe crying baby--by that time, Carter would be crying hungrily, so I had to deal with red-faced baby who was so mad he didn’t want to latch on… Then, he’d latch on, but he’d start whining/crying within a minute because the milk wouldn’t let down fast enough;
5) Sit on the couch while he’d eat for 45 minutes to an hour while I sit and watch TV;
6) Wait 1-2 hours and repeat.

It was just too frustrating! I felt like I never got a break. I was a milk machine.. and I guess I still am. I would actually dread feeding time because it was such a battle. Plus, and this may be TMI, my nipples were so sore I wanted to scream even if my shirt or bra rubbed against them. The actual act of breastfeeding doesn't hurt, but it does do a number on your boobs. I thought I would enjoy breastfeeding for the cuddle time and the closeness with my baby, but I didn’t. Not at all.

We got off to a bad start with me being on magnesium sulfate during my labor, which causes babies to be lazy eaters.. and then with my milk coming in late.. and then with Carter getting jaundice and having to supplement with formula until my milk came in… Ugh. Also, I’m a very private person, so I am not comfortable with breastfeeding in public. I should’ve known or expected that!

Right now, I am strictly pumping, and actually enjoy that much better. I think I might do that next time around too. Then, we both can enjoy feeding time together. My baby can get the nutrients from breastmilk, and I can have a less stressful feeding method with bottles. Plus, I still reap the benefits of breastfeeding (i.e. burning 500-700 calories in a day).

I am jealous of those women to whom breastfeeding came so easily, but then again I’m not. I’m not tied down to the couch anymore, and it doesn’t take an hour to feed my baby. However, I do feel like I am constantly hooked up to the pump, but that is an acceptable price to pay for my sanity.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Reflections on 2010

Ok, so a lot of these thoughts will be about pregnancy and stuff, so just bear with me here..
--During pregnancy, I learned that my feet are very important tools and should not be taken for granted.
--The most perfect thing you can say to a pregnant woman is “You look great!”, no matter how far along she is. It neither implies she is big or small. I will always use this saying from now on.
--Graham is an awesome husband. No, he’s not perfect, but he treats me so well. Case in point: the night I went into labor, my feeling was that this was my last night before we had a baby, so we may as well enjoy it. He took me to Taco Bell on the way home from the doctor’s office and even left for Dairy Queen around 9 PM to pick me up a Blizzard. Was it good for my gestational diabetes? No.. But I had Carter the next day anyways, so it didn’t even matter!
--Stretch marks suck. That is all.
--I really like keeping a family journal. I started one a couple months after we got married, and I record all of the significant events in our marriage. It helps me remember some of the funny things that have happened, as well as the sentimental things. I had Graham record his experience with Carter’s baby blessing, so it was neat to have him relate his story.
--I wish I could do more geneology. We attended a random family reunion in September in Washington for our Icelandic branch of the family.. I am really interested in this side of the family, and so it was neat to meet all of these random people that I am distantly related to. I mean really, who has relatives from Iceland?
--Camping in the rain BLOWS. We planned a camping trip early in the summer, like mid-June, because our summer was packed with plans for baby showers and stuff. We chose the camping location.. a big lake and a nice campgrounds… but one of our friends chose the date… and they didn’t even end up going! So anyways, I was like 20-something weeks pregnant, and I was starting to get a belly… I made a deal with Graham that I would only camp while pregnant if it were nice outside. The whole trip was a bust. It started raining heavily that night, we used our AeroBed in our tiny tent and it got a small hole in it, we had drunk neighbors who stayed up past 3:30 AM (imagine me yelling in the middle of the night “would you shut up already?!”), and we left out all of our chairs in the rain.. so we couldn’t even sit by the meager fire our husbands spent hours trying to make. I BEGGED Graham to just let me go home.. I’d take the car and he could stay with our friends in the rain if he wanted. But apparently, the wives weren’t having it either, so we all left early afternoon. Talk about lame. Camping in the Northwest is never a sure deal though, so I guess I learned my lesson… No camping whatsoever!
--Thank goodness we have good health insurance. We racked up some big bills this year! I was shocked after seeing the anesthesiologist’s bill for my epidural--$2500—but I would’ve paid for that baby straight cash if I could.
--I will never take Priesthood blessings for granted ever again. I’ve seen and experienced miracles through blessings that I cannot deny.
--Again, my testimony of tithing was confirmed. When I calculated how much paid leave I had, it would only cover 7.5 weeks of my maternity leave. Magically, I received a full pay check for all 10 weeks. It’s like the story of the loaves and fishes… or maybe I just calculated something wrong. Either way.. we had enough money!

I learned a lot in 2010 about myself and the world around me. Being a mother has definitely taught me the most.. but I’ll save that for another blog entry.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Twenty-Eleven

So it's been a while since I posted.. Yikes.

Anyways, let's see what's been going on at our house..
--We had a wonderful Thanksgiving in Washington. My WHOLE family came up to celebrate and be together, so it was really nice. Carter was spoiled and was held all week long. He got to meet all of the cousins on my side, and was repeatedly called Peanut by my brother and his kids. Now, apparently, my niece who's almost 3, calls him "Sandwich", as in PB&J.
--My 28th birthday was uneventful. Graham let me sleep in, he cleaned the house, and we had some friends over for cake and ice cream.
--We went down to visit Graham's family in Portland before driving to his grandparents' house in Idaho. Unfortunately, the night we went down, Carter spiked a fever a 102.5, and our pediatrician said we should take him to the ER, so that's where we spent 4 hours in the middle of the night. We then had to hang out at Graham's parents house for 3 days so Carter could stay and visit a pediatrician in town to get antibiotics. It messed up our plans to hang out with friends, but Graham's mom loved holding him as much as she could.. so it worked out.
--We drove to Idaho amid a snowstorm, but we didn't have much trouble getting there, except for the 20 miles of pure ice between La Grande and Baker City in Oregon. Fun.
--Idaho was relaxing because we didn't do ANYTHING. I enjoyed sitting on the massage chair every day, even though it bruised my back a bit. Carter was pretty much held by people 24/7, so we're going through detox right now.
--Christmas was nice with Graham's family. We'll post pictures later, but we wanted to surprise everyone with ugly Christmas sweaters. We went to a thrift store in the small town of 800 people because there were ugly Christmas sweaters showcased in the window. I almost bought one that had cats on it and said "Meow-y Christmas", but I found a better one. It was a good thing I did because Graham's sweet grandma came out of her room the next day wearing the cat Christmas sweater.. Meowy Christmas indeed..
--The last week of maternity leave was supposed to be for us to get Carter on a schedule, like us waking up at 6:30 to be ready for work and daycare. That lasted one day.. we really wanted to sleep in the other days! We went up to the coast of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and went on a mini-hike with Carter in a Moby wrap. It was really pretty, but freezing outside.
--Our New Years Eve ended with me falling asleep on the couch at 9:30.. but it was really nice that Carter slept from 10-6. Man, we have the best baby!

So, here are Carter's stats:
Birth weight: 6 lbs, 13 oz, 19 inches long. All 10-25th percentile..
2 months: 10 lbs, 10 oz, 22 inches long. All 10-25th percentile.
Right now he weighs 11 lbs.. He's just a little guy, but Graham is in denial. He got his 2 month vaccinations, and he tolerated them well. He's talking to us a lot, and it is the cutest thing. He's getting good control of his neck, but he still makes a lot of side-to-side motions with his head. He plays with his tongue a lot, and likes to lick everything close to his mouth. He is still a very stinky baby as we found out the first week of his life.

I am going back to work on Monday, so it's really sad. I've cried about it already, but it has to be this way.. But I will be posting a little more, so you should all be excited..

The good, the bad, and the ugly..

One thing Graham and I always ask each other on our conversations.. what do you want to hear first: the good news or the bad news? We almo...