Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Failure to Thrive: Mommy Edition

I've been holding onto this post for quite a while.
However, this post pushed me into pushing the publish button.
I swear...this lady reads my mind.
And makes my crochet-deprived fingers itch.

Now, to the meat of things...

I have been infatuated with all things babies for as long as I can remember.
Growing up I would always say that I wanted nothing more than to be a wife and mother.
I went into motherhood thinking that I was pretty prepared.

And then, the baby came.
And my world crumbled around me.

I couldn't control what was going on.
I couldn't fathom not knowing what to do.
I couldn't even plan a basic schedule for my day.
And,'re telling me that babies don't know how to nap straight out the womb?!

I kept asking people on Facebook what they did for their children, worried that I would make the wrong decision for Charlie.
I read book after book and googled my fingers off.
I still couldn't figure out why my child cried for hours some nights but not others.
Why she seemed to only like me for my boobs.
Why she cried her head off for me all day, but settled down for my husband.
I wanted to make sure that she was "normal" and did things that other peoples' "normal" children did.
I didn't use the swing to get her to sleep at night because I thought that was cheating.
I didn't use the swing to get her to nap so I could take a quick shower.
I would wait until my husband got home to take showers every day because she wouldn't nap long enough for me to get undressed.

I spent a week crying my eyes out because I thought I wasn't a good enough mother for my child.
I wasn't following the books.
I was too worried about others.
I asked my mom when the happy, smiling baby on the covers of magazines would arrive in my household.

Then, my mom figuratively smacked a little sense into me.
She reminded me that parenting isn't about perfection.
It's about survival.
Put down the books.
Stop googling every little thing.
Listen to your gut.
Pay attention to Charlie's cues.
She'll let you know what she needs.

The swing got a lot more use after that!

I had to remember that I WAS and AM good enough.
Will I ever be a perfect parent?
Hell to the no.
Is my child a happy, healthy baby?
You bet.
That's what matters.


Mrs. B

Monday, July 14, 2014

Mommy Wars

Ho.  Ly.  Crap.
Ok.  People judge.  I know this.  I've lived it.

...or so I thought.
Then, I became a pregnant and started reading up on things and discovered the comments sections on blogs and forums.

Breastfeeding vs. formula
Cloth diapers vs. disposable
Attachment parenting vs. whatever you call it
Baby led weaning vs. purees
Store bought baby food vs. homemade
Organic vs. not organic
Natural childbirth vs. pain management
Stay at home mom vs. working mom

I could go on and on and on...

I'm going to say this as nicely as I can...
Cut the shit.

It is so disheartening to see people who could be lifting each other up and encouraging one another tear each other to shreds. 

Due to personal and physical reasons Charliebabe is going to need to be introduced to formula to supplement her nutrition once I go back to school in a few weeks.
I couldn't believe the downright NASTY look I got from a mother while plucking that container from the shelf in Target.
I just smiled broadly at her, commented on her adorable children and sauntered down the aisle...all while withering a little bit on the inside.
I am a confident person, however, I was embarrassed even though I know that this is the very best decision for both Charliebabe and myself.

If I've said it once, I've said it a hundred times...
women can be vicious.

This is NOT a "Why can't we all get along?" post.
It's a reminder that we can do so much good.
It just takes effort and an open mind.

Have you been a victim of the mommy wars?

Mrs. B

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Baby's Asleep! So...

mommy's back to blogging!

I can't lie.
I enjoy hanging with my Charliebabe waaaayyyy more than anything else.
However, I constantly find myself composing blog posts in my head!

They range from mommy ramblings to teacher musings to random things that pop into my head when nobody's looking.

Here's a little of what I've been up to for the last 6-ish months...(note: these are apparently out of order and I'm too lazy busy to fix them.)
Watching Handsome Husband fall in love with another woman.

Falling in love with baby yawns.

Celebrating my first Mother's Day.

Loving this killer smile.

Laughing at how much Charliebabe resembled my father-in-law in the beginning.

Loving those first "smiles".

Celebrating her first (of many) visit to Target!


Cuddling after her first real bath.

Becoming a family.

Watching the Super Bowl.

Introducing Charlotte to her great grandfather.
(We aren't allowed to call her Charlie around him.  Haha!)

Four generations!

Pumping and pumping and pumping...don't get me started on the panic attack I had during the power outage last week.

Realizing that babies weren't always pooping and sleeping.
They spend a lot of time crying for NO REASON.

Getting her hips checked by her great grandfather.
It's a tradition!
He's an orthopedic surgeon (retired, obviously) and founded this place.

Loving the stuff that Handsome Husband's students would send home.

Realizing that a swing is THE BEST THING you could ever buy.
She spent more nights than I care to admit in this thing.

Taking walks in the cold because mommy desperately needed it.
(We only went a block to Nonna and Rock's.)

Buying and returning 4 different tubs until we found the right one.

Dealing with poop.
Lots of poop.

Leaving her for our first night out.

Snow, snow and more snow.
However, I couldn't have picked a better winter to take maternity leave!

Going back to school.
(I miss having hair at my temples!  No one tells you that your hair might thin in spots and not just all over!  Baby hairs for life!  Just kidding...they're coming back.)

Loving this grump.

Laughing when she's attacked by Jaja.

Begging my dad to assist when our babysitter's daughter was super sick.
They both survived and are better for it!

Taking Charliebabe in the pool for the first time.

Finishing up the school year with a bang!

Trying cheesesteaks in Philly with this dude.

Being naughty with my brother.

Taking Charliebabe to her first wedding.
She stayed up until 11 and was amazing!

Taking her to her first baseball game.

Crocheting again.

Taking Charliebabe on her first road trip.
(Spoiler alert!!  She wasn't a fan.)

Dying over those crossed ankles.
All.  The.  Time.

Forgetting to put shoes on to run errands.

Loving her even when she wakes up from a nap needing a nap.

What have you been up to?

Mrs. B

Monday, February 10, 2014

Scariest Weekend Yet

Now, I must let it be known that I am not a worrywart parent.  I understand that babies cry, sometimes for no reason, just when you think they are starting to show signs of a pattern they throw it out the window, and that things don't go as planned.

However, what I didn't expect to do was practically fall asleep on the edge of her pack'n'play listening to the sound of her breathing and purposely stimulating her reflex to make sure she's still ok.

I'm already learning what her different cries mean and about the time when things will happen (like a steamy diaper an hour after eating), which is why when she let out a blood-curdling scream Friday around 12:30 pm I knew that something was wrong.

She was running a slight fever, wasn't going down for her usual naps, and seemed to be in pain when any kind of pressure was placed on her tummy.  My mom and I had even mentioned that her belly seemed really big lately and I had noticed that she seemed extra gassy.  She's a pretty easy baby usually so this type of behavior was not normal.

We called the doctor and he fit us in within an hour.  After examining her he suggested that we head to the ER since she is so young.  That is when I started to get more and more nervous.  We headed straight there with me crying the whole way there while sitting in the backseat with her.  I ran through a whole range of emotions most of which revolved around the fear that I had done something wrong that resulted in her getting sick.

While in the ER she continued to cry inconsolably.  We were seen by an intern first who didn't seem too worried.  Then, the doctor on duty (whom we had actually met before, thank goodness) came in and just observed her while asking us a few questions.  Right away he told us that he was going to admit her for testing because she was not acting like a healthy baby.

Doesn't that little gown just rip your heart out?

The doctor ordered blood work and a spinal tap.  The spinal tap sent me over the edge.  I called my mom, who was in the waiting room, and asked for my dad to come in.  They weren't going to let him come back at first but I pushed her to have him tell them he was my pastor (which is the truth).  That worked.  

 I was so scared for our girl.  They tested for bacteria in the blood and meningitis.  Both cultures had to sit for 48 hours before anything could be determined.  X-rays of her chest came back normal, but her belly was VERY distended and full of gas.  She was started on antibiotics immediately.

So, in the hospital we stayed.  It felt kind of like we had never left in the first place since we were back 3 weeks after we left the first time.  She was so exhausted that I had to wake her (rather meanly) for a few feedings.  However, she roused on her own for her 7 am feeding which was a sign that she was starting to feel like herself again.  

Saturday and Sunday brought about the return of our Charliebabe.  She was acting like herself again and not showing any signs of the distress she was displaying on Friday.  All of her tests came back negative.  They discontinued her antibiotics Sunday afternoon so they could observe her for any signs of her fever returning.  

We are in the clear!  Her IV line is going to be removed any time now and we are going to head home.  I am so excited to get my Charliebabe home but still very nervous and even more cautious than I was before.

No parent should have to see their baby (of any age) hooked up to monitors and machines, but I'm so grateful for the amazing care and attention we have received from the nurses, doctors and other staff.

Life as a parent is never dull, huh?


**Coincidentally enough, the intern who saw Charliebabe first at the doctor's office was the same intern who did the ultrasound that determined she was breech and then sat in on her delivery.  Small world!  

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Charliebabe's Grand Entrance

Oh, my sweet Charliebabe.  You have definitely entered our hearts and lives with a bang.  Here's the story of her entrance.

To begin, I had dreams she was a girl during my pregnancy and I could not, for the life of me, picture a boy!  I was also fascinated with reading c-section delivery stories and had a nagging feeling at the back of my mind that I would end up having one.  I had dream Tuesday, January 7th she was breech, asked doctor the next day at an appointment, but she said the baby was head down because of heartbeat location.

I started maternity leave a week early even though I had only returned to work on Thursday due to snow/cold days.  I realized just how tired I was while working on Thursday and luckily had a meeting with my long-term sub that afternoon.  I woke up on Friday feeling like I was getting a cold and decided to pull the trigger and declare myself dunzo.  Thank heavens I have an awesome principal who trusted my judgement and allowed me to make said decisions on my own.  My mom and I went to get pedicures on Saturday so that I could have pretty feet and also to rub my ridiculously swollen feet and ankles.  On Monday I upgraded Matt and my phones (Is that correct grammar??  That sounds funky...), bought a new freezer, cleaned the garage, organized my laundry, and helped Matt cook dinner.  I even told Matt that I thought I might be nesting.

My water broke at 7:15 pm Monday, January 13, 2014.  It wasn't quite like the movies, but it was definitely a surprise!  It felt a bit like I had peed my pants.  I was more concerned with whether I got any in the bed because I REALLY didn't feel like changing the sheets for the second day in a row...oh the things that pass through your head. 

I took a shower to ease the "gross factor" and to be clean for the day or two ahead since I didn't know how long everything would take.  Once I had done that I called the doctor who told me to come in right away since I had tested positive for Group B Strep.  I was admitted to the hospital at 8:45 and in triage until 11:00 pm.  I was dilated to 2 cm when they checked me in triage.

They had me labor through the night to see if I would start contracting regularly on own.  Nope.  So, I tried to get some sleep.  I noticed that the baby passed meconium sometime during the night.  I was hopeful that it wouldn't be a problem since my water had broken so long before.

They started me on pitocin at 8:00 am and I was still 2 cm.  I climbed into the tub and spent the next few hours in the dark bathroom trying to take my mind off of the time and the pain.  I kept draining some of the water and filling the tub back up with fresh hot water.  The nurse joked that I was going to be completely pruned by the time I delivered since I stayed in for so long.  

I thought I was dying around 10/10:15.  I knew in the back of my mind that I was in transition and most likely very close to delivery.  The nurse told me that I would have to get out of the tub for her to check me which prompted me to tell her that if she didn't want to carry me she would have to get me something to take the edge off the pain.  My contractions were so close together that I barely had time to get from the tub to the bed without being in the throes of one. 

I changed my mind and begged for an epidural at 10:15/10:30.  Sitting still while dealing with contractions was HORRIFIC.  It's a good thing that Matt was right there with me or I probably would have screamed my head off at the effort.  I may or may not have told the anesthesiologist that I loved him...a few times.

Once I was comfortable (which was pretty dang quickly...epidurals are awesome) I got checked and was dilated to 10 cm.  No wonder I thought I was dying.  Then, the nurse checked me for the first time since being in triage.  (They don't check continually if you water has already broken to keep from introducing bacteria.)  While getting checked nurse exclaimed in a very surprised tone, "Oh!"  I grimly said, "The baby's breech, isn't it?"  To which she replied that she thought she stuck her finger in an ear, a mouth, or a rectum.  My dream from the week before was confirmed when an intern did an ultrasound.  (Funny enough, he plays a role in a couple of weeks as well...small world.)

I was able to say goodbye to mom, dad, MIL, and FIL and got a chance to pray with my dad before they took me in.  They brought into OR at 1:00.  I was shaking so badly and crying so hard they warned me they could slip and give me a bad incision if I didn't calm down.  They began and Matt wasn't there yet which really freaked me out.  Matt arrived and began talking to me about school to keep me calm.  HE WAS AMAZING.  He watched the whole surgery, even the part where the doctor showed him my insides.  I kind of forced him into that since I wanted him to be the one to tell me what gender the baby was.  

Charliebabe (Charlotte Josephine) arrived at 1:12 pm crying like a banshee.  We all realized after the fact that it would have been cool if the doctor had waited two more minutes and delivered her at 1:14 on 1-14-14.  The doctor said my uterus is heart-shaped which might have affected her ability to turn.  From the shape of her head we can determine that she was NEVER head down. 

She looks just like the baby I saw in my head, hair and all.  It's amazing how that works.   

We adore our girl.