Saturday, April 28, 2007

Shower the people you love with love

I've been forced out of laziness (aka non-stop feeding of The Hungry Child) to write a post, but it's a great idea and I'm honored to have been invited. (Yes, of course I'll be writing a "Keira is Three Months Old!" entry in a few days, but this one needed more immediate attention as BABIES ARE BEING BORN AS WE SPEAK!)

TB at Soul Gardening, Liz at Mom-101 and Christina at A Mommy Story are the lucky honorees of an on-line baby shower. Not only can you go over there to play games and send the love (and see pics of both Keira and ME as a youngster...but I can't tell you which we are), but there are some extremely cool prizes to be won! The women that put this together are some very organized mamas. I feel so inadequate.

But my job, as I've chosen to accept it, is to let the mamas-to-be know about the best and worst advice I received regarding motherhood. Seeing as how I'm just so experienced in all my 90 days at the job, and how two of the ladies are going to be second time arounders...I feel a little silly imparting anything to anyone. But I'll give it a go.


1. Get your sleep now 'cause you'll never sleep again once the baby's born!
I know this one is said in jest half the time, so I'll allow for at least a bit of a sense of humor, but I just think it's pretty stupid. First of all, I don't think there's some kind of sleep bank you can invest in prior to the birth. And secondly, it seems as though it's always other mothers who say this with some kind of glee at the loss of your previously sleep-filled life (!)'s as though they're rubbing their hands together in anticipation of your misery. Ha ha, welcome to the club, and all that.

Yes, you're going to be a zombie. Accept it. There's no need for me to rub it in.

2. Let the baby cry it out...if you respond every time she cries, she'll just learn to manipulate you.
Um, excuse me? A newborn hasn't exactly developed that level of manipulation. She'll be bargaining the whole new-bike-for-straight-A's in no time I'm sure...but at a week old? To be fair, this advice was really only ever given to me by VERY old ladies and complete strangers.

I never knew how much my own baby's cries would affect me until I saw her face. How could I ever think it would be ok for her to look so miserable? BELIEVE ME, just today she cried THE ENTIRE DAY. I have definitely been worn down on occasion, but I would never just put her in another room and walk off to the sound of her shrieking. I would sooner stab myself in the heart.

3. Listen to all my's very important.
Ridiculous, isn't it? Which brings me to my point. You're going to do what's best for you. Anything I say is really a moot point because I don't live your life, have your baby or share your existence in any way. IT'S NOT UP TO ME TO SAY WHAT'S RIGHT FOR YOU. I have really learned that we all need to be supportive of one another's choices regarding this whole motherhood thing.

But having said that...


1. Talk to them all the time. Read to them all the time. Just generally keep jabbering away.
My (over thirty-some years in teaching elementary school) Mom is a huge proponent of this and consequently I was reading by age one and a 1/2 (she swears!). But she made it FUN. I can't remember a time when I couldn't read, nor can I recall a time I was ever "shushed". Overly talkative women are the norm in my family.

So to my friends and family: feel free to blame her.

2. Whatever it takes to get them to eat and grow properly, do it.
Trust me; I had planned to be the Breastfeeding Queen prior to Keira's birth. My body, on the other hand, had other ideas. When my poor little baby reached an alarming weight loss in her first week, we had to supplement with formula.

I felt like the worst mother in the world. But why? For cripes sake, I was hardly neglecting her. Frankly, it would have been neglect to let things continue the way they were.

You do what you have to do. And now she's healthy and happy and still gets both breast and bottle, which has allowed Mommy to have small breaks and Daddy to take over on occasion.

No one has to tell you breast is best. We all know that. Get help, but don't kill yourself to make it happen.

3. But if you're nursing, buy Lily Padz.
Seriously. You have to. They rock.

Congrats to the three lovely ladies and welcome to the babies-to-be!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Two months old

Well, Mommy is a bad mommy and didn't blog when Keira hit the one month mark, but in my defense, there's no such thing as February 30th so she didn't have one. Yup. I use any and all excuses for my negligent behavior already.

I realized that I never really wrote anything resembling a "birth story", but I have to say that after all the ups and downs of a highly "eventful" pregnancy, the birth itself was a breeze. Hey, I had to catch a break somewhere.

My doctors had basically realized that I had HAD IT (no, really...every single day towards the end there I was threatening to cut the kid out myself) and I got a huge surprise phone call from the hospital saying that I was scheduled for a c-section on January 30. I hobbled on over to the guest room (wish I could say I ran, but that was not possible) to tell my Mom the good news and then of course panic set in.

Mom had been here since January 11th and it was now the 24th, and in that time, she was shocked to be there in person to witness just how bad off I was. I couldn't eat, walk, know, little things like that. I think Mr. Blogger was just relieved to have some help in retrieving things for me. God help that man.

The next day MB's parents arrived from London and it was Operation Get Ready For Baby full speed ahead. There was still so much to do, buy, prepare, arrange...I was freaking out over not even owning a robe, for criminy's sake.

By the time the 30th arrived, I actually felt ok. I wasn't panicked about the surgery at all, I was more thrilled to finally be starting this new life. OK, and to NOT BE PREGNANT ANY MORE. I felt very calm and in good hands. The only hitch really was that the spinal took about thirty attempts and the anesthesiologist was starting to panic, but I just kept breathing. Pain was nothing at this point.

I did almost pass out from my blood pressure plummeting apparently, but hey, what can you do?

MB was finally allowed into the OR once the spinal took effect and had the camera at the ready. It went so fast and I'm so thankful for the anesthesiologist telling us what was happening so that I knew when she was out. Then, of course, you find yourself counting the seconds until she cries. Come on little baby. Make a sound.

Didn't take long. No...not any child of mine.

I couldn't see anything, but I kept hearing everyone saying, "She's beautiful!". Then I got to see for myself...

I agreed. And I was immediately in love and ridiculously protective.

I could bore you with the pain in the ass that healing from the c-section plus trying to breastfeed turned out to be (I think I may FINALLY have the hang of it and it's only been two months), but does it really matter? She's doing fine, finally growing well and is the absolute center of our lives.

Now, when I go back to work in a month, I may lose my mind. I seriously burst into tears every time I think about it. I mean, how can you leave this?

I don't even want to think about it.