Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!!!

Although I typically do not celebrate Halloween- I did want to participate in the festivities for my baby's first Halloween and document it for him -of course. Hopefully I'll get to post about this experience. Until then...

Sunday, October 30, 2011

HHJ: Sept/Oct/Nov

I know this is a way over due but October came so fast...

Before I review my September goals let's just say I don't know how successful I thought I was going to be with a newborn ::FACEPALM::

Continue my weekly regime (the little regime that I have). It's been working so far but we will see how this continues with a newborn. Well, nope... not at all- I  failed miserably. Between diaper changes, feedings, and exhaustion this just did not happen. I am hoping next month will be better.

Add a few more products to my regime plus some basics. I got most of the basics that I needed. I even got a few Bee Mine products! I signed up for Sally's Beauty club and got a $5 off coupon and 15% off one of my purchases in October... I love saving money!

I really, really, really want to add half wigs into my regime. Nope. I didn't get a chance to go wig shopping at all. But the half wigs I thought about retiring I didn't because well... life with a newborn.

NOVEMBER- I'm scaling back my goals list for this month because... well there is no use setting myself up for failure...
○  Daily (or every other day) moisturizing. I found that this has help my hair tremendously. I did not know the importance of moisturized hair.
○  Protective styling. I'd like to maintain what I've done so far. I've even noticed some growth where I had the breakage.
○  Get back to taking my prenatal vitamins. This definitely helped with my growth- plus I love all the other perks it gives me (beautiful nails, dietary supplement because the new mommy diet sucks).

Hopefully November will prove to be much better in my journey.

Last relaxer: 7/28/11            Last trim: 8/19/11
Next relaxer: 10/07/11
Current stretch: 10 weeks

Friday, October 28, 2011

Baby, You've got what I need!

Inspired by another mommy blogger- I decided to post my top five necessities during his first month.

1. Moby. I never thought I would be a baby wearer. In fact I never even researched the topic until I discovered that my little boy needed to be held I came across this wrap on another blog and I had been obsessed with getting it. My lactation consultant had one for my to try in her office and I loved it and so did he! Now I can actually use the bathroom when I need to.

2. My camera. This kid is so darn cute! And I want to be able to relieve every moment of this cuteness. I can't believe the difference in him in just 6 weeks... crazy!

I'll give this tummy time thing a try

 3. Car Seat/Stroller. There were quite a few times where I desperately needed to get out of the house. Perfect for long walks in the park.

4. Bottles. My intention was always to be able to pump breast milk so that other people can assist with feedings, however the bottles were needed way faster than I imagined.

5. Bassinet. There is no way as a first time mom that I could sleep very far from my baby. This is very convenient for middle-of-the-night feeding, naps, and everything in between. It's a safe way for co-sleeping although I will admit to bed-sharing a time or two.

Shut it mom! I'm trying to sleep here!
and there you have it. My list of must haves for this month {and a half}.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hit the road, Jack!

I like documenting my newborn struggles. I think it will help me grow as a mom and hopefully help me later on if we are blessed to be able to travel this road again. Although my intention was not to make it about the struggles of breastfeeding- I found my that post to be very cathartic. So I'm at it again. But trust me it was intended to go a completely different direction.

So- next up: public outings.

I am deathly afraid of going out in public by myself with my baby. Here's why:

1. Something could go wrong. And by that I mean disastrous. I hate being flustered and I don't particularly care for crying babies so I am afraid of standing in the middle of the store with a screaming baby and everyone staring at me in disgust.

2. I don't like being flustered. And there is something about feeding and changing my flailing, wiggling son in public that flusters me. Sure it's no big deal to walk into a bathroom and change your baby but you already know how I feel about public restrooms. Plus, I use powdered formula so I can just see my baby screaming at me in the middle of the store with tears rolling down his little chubby cheeks and then boom! formula powder everywhere- left for some store employee to clean up and my baby even more upset because "mom! I'm hungry here!"

3. Ignoring mommy needs. Typically, I can ignore my needs to care for my baby when I'm at home. well to a certain extent. Instead of eating lunch at 1- I normally have it at 4 but that's no big deal.  Minimally I can let him whine while I use the bathroom. However, I can't ignore my needs in public. It's a weird thing to describe. Sometimes if I have to go to the bathroom while I'm home but baby requires my attention, I can hold my urine a lot longer than if I were walking around the grocery store. Although I have left a store without getting what I actually went there for. I just don't like feeling like trips were a waste.

4. I'm afraid of being unprepared. I took the baby for a walk with my brother and fed him during our walk. He spit out a little of his milk and when I went to reach for the burp cloth I realized I left it in the car. It completely freaked me out. Once I regained my composure I realized I could just use any cloth- including my sleeve but for those briefs moments I was thrown for a loop and I don't like being flustered.

There are going to be times where I have to be alone with him in public so I better get over this....quick!

Monday, October 24, 2011

One month old!

Okay. He's actually 6 weeks old but seriously whose counting?

So let's see. He has had 3 well visits so far. His pediatrician does well visits at one week, two weeks, one month, two months, etc. My baby boy is now 9 pounds 3 ounces! That's almost two pounds up from his birth weight. I can't believe how fast he's growing- we've already retired all of his newborn sized clothes. I am sure my little baby boy is even 10 pounds now. Honestly I miss the way he curled up when he was first born- now his arms are completely stretched and he only curls them when he's eating or sleeping.

His likes:

Bathtime. He sits so contently while mommy or daddy washes his bum and take pictures. The baby bathtub has a built in thermometer so we know the water temperature is always perfect for him. I look forward to when he's able to enjoy it by splashing the water around :)

Being held. Sometimes to my detriment. There are times where I can't get anything done because he wants to be held. While I love this (because when he's a teenager he'll probably despise when I touch him) I fear that I am spoiling him a little too much. When he has another caregiver that's not me- he won't always get his way. I'm trying to get him use to being soothed other ways by placing him in the swing, but this doesn't always work. Also, when we have visitors they like to hold him (who doesn't love holding babies) and he's usually napping which is not helping the situation.

Eating. Did I mention he's almost 10 pounds!

Being talked to. He loves when anybody talks to him. He stares at anyone who speaks to him.

His Dislikes:

Bedtime. My little guys fights his sleep like it stole something from him. We are beginning to establish a bedtime routine. At 8 pm he gets a bath, then a bottle, and then he is rocked to sleep. Sometimes it works like a charm and other times- not so much. One night I resorted to putting him in his car seat and putting it on top of the dryer. That worked until I took him off the dryer. Then my husband took him for a car ride... a very long car ride. Now granted I am the same way. It takes me an insanely long time to fall asleep but come on! He's only 6 weeks old... I guess he got it honestly.

Being alone. Cuddling is his absolutely favorite past time... second to eating.

Not being able to see. It's crazy how nosy this little guy is. he wants to be a part of the action and see everything.

And here's the cutest little baby ever....

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hey guys- It's us!!!

I’m slowly settling into life as a mom. It’s been 5 weeks and so much has happened!
I think I got off to kind of a rough start. Which is why I think it should be illegal for first time moms to be released into the wild with their newborns. However every day things get a smidgen better.
First up- Breastfeeding. As you all know I intended to breastfeed. All evidence sums it up as ‘breast is best’. So what happens when it’s just not working out? The first time I fed him was quite a few hours after he was born. The smoke still hadn’t cleared from the excitement of having a new baby but the nurses reminded me that I needed to feed him. His first nursing session must have lasted about 10 minutes. I remember being so emotional while feeding him because a) I used to have nightmares about not being able to breast feed and b) It was one of my first tasks as a mommy with him being outside the womb. I remember looking down at his little cheeks moving and thinking ‘I’m sustaining him- he’s being satisfied because of me’ I was moved to tears.
He would nurse for about 5 to 10 minutes every 5 hours or so while I was in the hospital. The nurses started getting concerned that these sessions weren’t long enough and he may not be getting enough to eat. The nurses there are also trained lactation consultants (LC’s) and I met with a new one every shift trying to get him to nurse for longer. They would help me get him to latch and give me pointers about what I could and/or should be doing to help me. I had about 4 baby nurses and each of them had a different opinion about the situation. This is very confusing for a post partum mommy. I do know that it my job to take all the information that I’ve been given and use what I think is the best/most important for our family. However, sometimes all of this information is too much especially when they start talking about problems that could arise. At one point they were going to test his blood sugar to make sure he was actually eating enough.
Looking back on the situation- I think he was fine. My baby was affected by birth medications and I think he just sleepy. I didn’t let them test his blood sugar however I find it weird that they still discharges us if they were concerned enough to want to test his blood sugar. It is a rule of thumb that breastfeeding mothers can determine how much their babies are getting based on their diapers. He had the “right” amount of poopy and wet diapers so why did they need to get me all worked up?! At one point I sat in my husband’s arms and cried because I thought I had made the wrong decision using birth medication.
Once we were home things didn’t get that much better. After I would begin a feeding he would move his head about and that would cause him to ‘slip off’. This would in turn either cause him to not be able to suck or cause me pain. Either way I would then unlatch him and start again. Then he would pull his head back again. Then rinse and repeat. After doing this several times he would get frustrated and just scream! I would be horrified. I wanted my child to eat but I wanted this to be a good experience for both of us.
Our first full day home I called 3 different LC’s and got three different opinions on what I should do. One lady told me to nurse him every 2 hours no matter what. Is she insane?? First off my problem isn’t the frequency in which we nurse- it’s getting him to stay on. Secondly how am I supposed to function in 2 hour increments and why would I wake my child to do something he may not want to. While I understand that there are numerous breastfeeding moms who nurse every two hours, I just didn’t think that was us. I felt like she wasn’t listening to me and my concerns at all. One of the LC’s I talked to what highly recommended by my cousin and I heard he mentioned by several others. So we paid her a visit when my little guy was just 4 days old.
I felt very comfortable during this consult. She listened to what my concerns were. Went over a plethora of information and assisted me with my breastfeeding technique. First she stripped my little guy down to his diaper then weighed him. Then we nursed and afterward she weighed him again. This let us know how much he ate. She also put me on an elimination diet and gave me a supplement to help start bringing in my milk as I was still producing colostrums (which was totally fine). We learned a lot of useful tips and information. We went home confident that we could proceed. Our first nursing session went okay but I felt like things started going downhill after. We were back in her office less than a week later. She gave us more tips and tools to help us be successful. This time it was different though. I was more sleep deprived than ever and using the breast pump was a daunting task. While my milk had come in- it was very shy about coming out. After about 30 minutes of pumping I was get about 1 ml of milk. WTF?? I could not believe this! The LC suggested I get bigger breast shields. This made the pumping a little more comfortable but did not help me get more milk out.
I was getting extremely discouraged and was beginning to feel like a failure. I know these aren’t good thoughts to have so my husband suggested that we stop. Of course I didn’t want to give up but instead revamp. A friend of ours shared that her daughter wasn’t able to latch and she had to pump for the first month and supplement with formula. She would pump about 3 ounces a day and give that to her in conjunction with the formula. This made me feel only a little bit better because while she had to revamp her plan as well she was still able to pump way more than me. I decided that I would still try and wait til he was four weeks before making any final decisions. Perhaps our situation would be similar. So I hung in there. Although I was extremely sad that we had to give him formula, I tried to look at the bright side- my son was getting fed right? I started to hate every single pumping session; I despised formula, and hated everything that I felt deceived me about nursing being a natural thing.
What did moms do before formula was invented? Did their kids starve to death or did no one have any nursing problems prior to the invention of formula? What’s wrong with me that I can get it right? I had done everything I thought I could to prepare! I went to classes, bought and read books, did my research, talked to other moms who nursed/currently nurse- No one or nothing ever said that this could happen and what to do about it. Even all of my research talked about problems like over supply and mastitis. Nothing says what to do if your baby doesn’t like your breast. After many nights of going back and forth I knew my thoughts and feelings weren’t healthy and I could not harp on why things weren’t working out. My husband even started to get concerned about post partum depression. I had to snap out of it and give my baby the best that I could. So I packed up all of my breast feeding supplies and got out my formula coupons.
While this isn’t how imagined it- it’s what’s best for us right now. I still have hopes that I’ll be able to nurse him one day- even if it’s just once a day. It’s not likely that it will happen because I haven’t expressed milk in over a week so I’m sure it’s beginning to dry up. However I do know that I will have the opportunity to try again if we should ever have any additional children.
I know this post was extremely long but I hope my story could one day help another mom know that if she isn’t successful breastfeeding that she isn’t alone and there are much worse things that could happen in life.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Happy Anniversary!!!

3 years ago today I married the most wonderful man ever :) I wish I had a really wonderful well thought out post but my husband has the baby so I'm going to sleep.

I have so much to update you all on but essentially no time to do it. I swear I don't know how these other moms are doing it.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Seven Things!

Wow, my very first blog tag!!!! I am so excited!!!! This is crazy because I never thought I would make friends over the blogosphere! I'm kind of shy when it comes to meeting new people- even over the Internet, so I feel very lucky to have made a few new friends along this journey to motherhood. This is clearly another story for another day because I have a tendency to go off on a tangent sometimes.

I was tagged by Toi over at Life of Toi and I am honored that she chose to tag me! So here's how it goes:

1. Write 7 things about yourself
2. Give the award to other blogs
3. Inform them about it!

Before I start (remember that aforementioned tangent I was telling you about!) I must warn you that I a) I'm not that interesting. I would love to be way more interesting but I'm just not. Secondly I attempted this on the about me page of my blog. Now to come up with 7 more things is going to be quite the challenge!

1. I love to travel. Any where any time. So far I have been out of the country 4 times- Paris (<3), Antigua, Bahamas, Canada. I can't wait to put more stamps in my passport :) I don't know if I love Caribbean Islands or classic cities more.

2. I am 33% of the way done with my Master's Degree. Actually no one in the world besides my parents, brother, and husband know that I am even pursuing my Master's Degree (until now). I didn't share this with anyone in case it didn't pan out. I of course took this semester off to be with my child (and because I probably wouldn't get my classes paid for because I am on maternity leave). The driving force behind enrolling in the Master's Degree program is because I work at a University and they are paying for it 100%! I might as well take of advantage of that right??

3. {Still not done..oh my!} Many of the people in my 'real life' had no idea that I blogged until my baby shower. I just didn't think that people would care- until they found out. Now I have way more page views per day and I can't believe the response that I get from the people in my real life.

4. The reason I started this blog was two fold: to improve my writing skills for school and to document this time in my life. I have no idea how long I am going to continue to blog, but for now I enjoy it. It forces me to be creative which I sadly think most people suppress due to their everyday responsibilities and it allows me to have an outlet.

5. I am a really bad friend... so to speak. I am horrible at keeping in touch with other people and HATE going "out". It's very weird. I hope all of my friends know that I love them, think about them, and care for them- but I am just not going to pick up the phone to tell them that. This maybe why I felt so horrible when one of my high school classmates was murdered over the summer (I can't find my post on this). I rarely speak to anyone I went to high school with and I have essentially lost touch with some of my 'bestest' friends from college but I know what's going on with them thanks to lots of facebook stalking. I don't mean to isolate myself- but it just happens.

6. I think my biggest character flaw is my lack of confidence. I'm pretty sure that  I could accomplish great feats if only I didn't talk myself out of doing it first. This is partly why I think that I a) am not interesting and b) didn't tell anyone about my blog. It's crazy because I sometimes have such big dreams in my head and I usually have a pretty good plan to carry it out- then I think of all the things that could go wrong and talk myself out of doing something. One of my childhood dreams is to own my own business. I would come up with these ideas and business plans and run it by my dad to see if it made sense. I should share some of these business ideas with you one day. My most fondest business plan was a club that I was going to open with my cousins. The name of it was supposed to be M-80... because we about to blow up!!!! LOL! I know this is absolutely not funny to you but I remember this plan so vividly- yes I am definitely going to have to share these business ideas with you someday. FYI a M-80 is an explosive o_o and I must have been 18 when we came up with it.

7. I am worried about being a good mom and raising good children. While you can find a number of Parenting books- your child still doesn't come with a manual. Parenting books are written from the opinion of the author and there is no hard and fast rule to raising children (except loving them unconditionally of course). I think parenting is partly trail and error and I worry about having too many errors before getting it right. If you are a parent I'm sure you can look back on at least one thing and say "I wish I had done this differently". Everything we say, do, and think effects our children in some way. Growing up I was teased mercilessly for being too skinny, while my husband was teased for being too fat. While we both survived and only have mild issues because of it- we are now in a day and age of cyber- bullying and that's not something I had to deal with growing up so how can I parent towards that?? I could go on and on and being raising a child now versus when we or our parents grew up but I am just happy I was able to come up with 7 things.

Okay now to pass it on. I chose these blogs because they are blogs I enjoy reading and would love to know more about these bloggers. Caution- most of them are mommy bloggers who had babies in September because I 'cyber-met' them all in the same place. But if you don't already follow their blogs- I hope you will go on over and have a look- see. You might actually stay!

1. EbonyCPrincess from Longing4Length (okay I cheated on this one because she's like my bestie but I'd love to see what 7 seven things she comes up with!)

2. Double R from Terzo Photography (okay this is another cheat but he did put up the cutest pic of the baby! Go see and I can't wait to do the baby's one month pictures with him)

3. Lacey from Life of Lacey. Love this chick- she is hilarious and has a beautiful baby girl just 5 days older than my bundle of joy!

4. Shannon from Crazy Beautiful. Another September mommy blogger with an adorable little boy.

5. Shika from Hair.I.Am world. A blogger I met since starting my HHJ.

6. Heather from Woah, Baby! She's got a cutie patooti over there and they get themselves into the funniest situations!

7. Jenni from Jenni from the Blog. You would recognize her from the Y3W blog hop.

Okay, my baby woke up... gotta go!
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