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Archive for March, 2012

It amazes me how fast these little ones grow. We had our girl’s 2 month check up today. She’s 11/11. She likes double digits apparently. At birth she was 6/6. She also had her first round of shots. I took it like a champ! Oh, Esther’s fine too (: She’s currently sleeping soundly. If you know me, you know I had a list of questions for the doctor which he so patiently answered. I must say I’ve been so happy with my  (and Esther’s) care throughout this pregnancy and after. I’ve already shared how much I love(d) my OB, but I like our pediatrician just as much. He’s our accidental pediatrician. When we were in the hospital we kinda felt like the slacker parents because we didn’t have a pediatrician picked out. FYI- when you don’t have one picked out they just give you the one on call. Well, we ended up loving him! He has the perfect attitude to deal with mom’s neurosis and dad’s jokes. More importantly the experience to provide good care for our daughter (don’t let his theater mug shot fool you– we clowned him about that photo today. FYI- he doesn’t like it). He is perfect for us AND Esther. I liked that he’s a dad and gives Jim tips on how to protect Esther once she’s a teen and brings home boyfriends. Today he joked, “I wish I could record you guys! I can’t figure out if one of you is a lawyer or if it’s just a power struggle.”  See, he “gets” us (: Of course it was because I’d say one thing regarding Esther and Jim would follow up with something that was the exact opposite. Of course I’M ALWAYS RIGHT!! Ha! That will teach Jim to start writing on this blog so he can defend, I mean add his point of view (:

Oh hey, also- we found daycare. hallelujah! We found a lady who is just perfect. Her name in Julie and we met her and her husband, also a Jim, earlier this week. Of course no one will love her or provide the level of care for her that we do, but Julie will give her loving care while we have to be away from her. Oh man does that ease my mind. I wish I could create a kangaroo pouch and keep her in it, but I can’t. I spoke with a parent who takes her son to Julie and she (also a first time mom) sealed the deal for us. She said that she can leave her son with Julie all day and focus on work because she knows he’ll get great loving care. DING DING! That’s exactly what we wanted. Also, this mom, when she was looking for care made 50 phone calls and did 10 interviews before choosing Julie. Again, that made me/us feel great about our choice. So, before “day 1” Esther and I are going to go hang out with Miss Julie for a morning or afternoon to meet the other children and observe how a typical day looks like around the place. In addition you know momma will also provide Miss Julie with a “cheat sheet” regarding Esther’s care and routine (: It’s a good thing Julie seems so flexible (:  Dropping her off that first day is going to be like taking a bullet, but I think Esther will love getting to watch other children and meeting new people. She’s so observant already and I think she gets bored with us (:

Esther at her 2 mo check up

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From Feb 24th

I’m a month old today! I’m getting bigger and starting to become more aware of my surroundings. I like to grab at things now, especially my bottle or mommy and daddy’s hands as I’m eating. I also like to curl my toes and make “umm yumm umm” sounds when I eat. Basically I really like to eat now. I only cry if I’ve messed my pants, I’m hungry or I’m uncomfortable. I’m sleeping for longer stretches at night and I’ve learned to really love bath time.

March 23

I’m 2 months today. I love to smile at mommy and daddy when I wake up in the morning. I am becoming more aware of my surrounding so I really don’t like taking naps. I fear I may miss a party. I LOVE my mobile and eating. My hair is getting so curly and I’m happy it hasn’t fallen out. I have my 2 month appointment next week and I’ll be getting some shots. I’m not worried. I’ll take em like a champ.

You can always get updated Esther here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150367698961195.397315.715686194&type=3&l=79ce358d70

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Every time I fly I always listen carefully to the emergency instructions, especially after 9/11. In the event that the oxygen masks are deployed, they always point out that if you are travelling with small children that you should put your mask on first before assisting them. I always thought that was odd, but now I see why they make a special mention of it. As a parent your natural reaction is to protect the safety of your children at all costs, even if it’s to your detriment at times. What’s so screwed up about that is that if you don’t take care of yourself first (put your mask on) you won’t be able to help your child and you both could end up paying the price.

For the past 2 weeks or so I’ve been waking up mentally telling myself to “put my mask on first”. Every morning I immediately wake up and think of Esther’s needs. Usually that involves changing her, making her a bottle  and feeding her right away. This process usually takes about an hour. Before I know it, it’s noon and I haven’t used the bathroom, gotten dressed or eaten. My needs have taken a back seat lately. While some of this is expected as a mom (esp a first time one) a lot of what I’ve been experiencing lately boarders on unhealthy and unnatural.

I have a history of depression. I’ve struggled with it since college (although I’m sure I was depressed before then it just wasn’t diagnosed). Sometimes this depression presented itself as an eating disorder, mania, or a deep dark “retreat from the world” feeling.  In the past I’ve managed this demon with psychotherapy alone, medication alone or a combo of both.

Before getting pregnant I was in a good spot. I was managing my depression on my own, meaning I found a great balance between exercise, getting enough sleep and making sure I reached out when I needed to.  I had slowly weaned myself off of my meds and at the time, I felt it was the right thing to do. Then I got pregnant. Immediately my depression was a concern. At my first prenatal appointment I disscussed this with my OB and she said that if I wanted to we could set up a course of action to make sure I was taken care of right after the baby was born. This is where I made my first mistake, I said, “Well, let’s just wait and see.” I refused the help because I thought that my new momma love for my baby would be enough. I thought that I’d meet him or her and that my love for them would superceed any feelings of darkness, sadness, anxiety. I mean who would have time for all of that moping when you’ve received this increadible gift from God? I’ve always belived (and still do) that  there isn’t a way to “wish away” true depression. It’s a medical disease that needs just as much treatment as diabetes or cancer. For some reason, though, I momentarily thought that my baby would somehow “save” me from ever feeling depressed again. Unfortunately, that’s not true.

I’m struggling. It’s hard to admit that. Having a new baby is magical. I love my daughter so much it’s sickening. Really, I’m obsessed with her. Probably to a fault. Being a new mom (first time?) is hard as sh*t!! I wish more moms would share that. Sure- it’s the best thing you’ll ever do, but it’s terrifying at times, frustrating, and like I said…hard as f*ck!! And I have HELP! My husband is here and willing to help-  I just struggle with letting him. This is where my depression and anxiety is creeping in. I feel this need to be around her 24 hrs a day or else something bad could happen to her.

I’m exactly the kind of mother I didn’t want to be. My fear of having a child was that I’d pass on my “crazy” to him or her. I feared that he or she would observe some of my unusual behaviors and someone discern that the world was a bad place. I want Esther to be confident in herself, trusting of others and overall a well  rounded person! I felt I used to be that person and someone lost my way a bit. Anyway, for the past few weeks I’ve slowly watched some glimpses of my previous (depression and anxious ) self return. For example:

1) I really didn’t leave the house with my baby for the entire 1st month of her life. Except to see the doctor

2) I didn’t want anyone around her (some of this is warrented b/c I was advised to keep her away from germs and people in general because of RSV, cold and flu season).

3) I’d have an overwhelming feeling that she would get sick and have to be hospitalized

4) She would somehow get RSV or something else, be hospitalized and die

5) Then if she died, there’d be no way I could live without her

6) I’m obsessed with knowing she’s ok 24 hrs a day. So much so that 90 percent of the time I take her in the bathroom with me, in her bassinet, when I bathe or shower. Oh, and this is when Jim is HOME and could easily watch her

7) I only feel comfortable leaving her with Jim, and I barely do that for fear he’s going to break her

I’m not proud of any of the above behaviors. Rationally, I know it is “nuts”. I still can’t help myself.

Today on a walk I finally said something to Jim about it. He said that I was acting like a single parent when I’m not. Something about that shook me. I realized that I needed help NOW before things get worse. I know that in a few short weeks I’ll be returning to work and Esther will have to go to day care. All of this has been coming to a head because we have to find someone to help raise our daughter (that’s how I look at finding a day care provider because really, that’s what they’ll be doing). I thought to myself, “How am I going to leave her with someone when I barely trust my husband to take care of her.”

Today I put my g*ddamn mask on already!! I called my internet to re-fill my meds (as a back up). I called a psychologist who was listed on a postpartum website as a coordinator for my area and she was able to talk to me on the phone today. Coincidently I was a patient of her’s in the past when I was 25 and feeling like I was having a quarter life crisis. It was actually nice to chat with her and she remembered me- which put me at ease a little bit and made me feel like I’m headed in the right direction. I have an appointment with her right away Monday morning to talk about course of treatment/action.

I’m doing this because I don’t have a choice. I cannot let myself fall into a dark place. It’s not fair to me, but more so to my sweet little girl and husband. I’m getting a mammogram soon because there is a family history  I don’t want to get breast cancer and leave them alone. To me, my mental health is just as serious as that.

I’m sharing this, this very personal thing, because I hope it helps someone- specifically a new mom.I think sometimes we don’t want to talk about the struggles that come along with being a new mom because it’s supposed to be this happy time- and it IS, but it’s also challenging and it’s ok if you’re struggling.  Just don’t struggle in silence and by all means put your mask on ! You need to be  your best self for this new little person in your life.

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11 Things

Ok, I’ve been tagged by the lovely Ms. (MRS, really) Lauren at Laurenchelcie. So here goes.

Here I will be sharing 11 things about myself – answering 11 questions as posed to me by Lauren. I am then supposed to create 11 questions and tagged 11 other bloggers to answer them. I’m a slacker (not really, just uber busy) so, I’m skipping that part.

11 Random Things about myself:

1) My dream job would be owning and managing a tattoo shop. If I had any artistic ability I’d love to me a tatoo artist. I can barely draw a decent stick figure so this is out of the question.

2) I love love love lattes. I wish I could drink them all day without getting a headache or overly jittery.

3) No matter how old I get, I still feel like a teenager in my head. I feel like at any moment someone is going to show up at my door and say, “Ok, playing house time is over!”

4) Most days I’m winging it. I feel like I haven’t a clue as to what the hell I’m doing.

5) I LOVE being a mom, but it’s the hardest job in the world. Some days I look up and think, “Oh sh*t, what the hell have I done!!!”

6) I wouldn’t change a thing though (see number 5). She is my joy.

7) Dexter is my favorite TV show. Never thought I’d love a show about a seriel killer.

8) I’m glad my husband married me. We aren’t perfect, but we’re perfect for each other.

9) I wish I would have traveled abroad as an undergrad. Now that my life is what it is right now, I’m not sure when I’ll get the chance to.

10) Hopefully one day I’ll own my own business and maybe it will take me abroad- who knows.

11) I wish Oprah was my aunt. Who doesn’t?? Auntie O!! (:

The 11 Questions Lauren Asked:
  1. What is your favorite genre for reading?
    Do magazines count? I love Real Simple and Parents
  2. What do you miss most about your high school career?
    I miss being care free. I miss my little circle of HS friends. I miss being more outgoing and gregarious. I feel I’ve become less social and trusting of people in my old age.
  3. Are you a Mac person or PC?
    PC, but I wanna be a Mac
  4. What is your biggest fear?
    The people I love leaving my alone. So, death I guess
  5. If you had to live on one meal for the rest of your life – what would it be?
    Garlic mashed potatoes, Steak and Brocolli
  6. If your life was a movie, which actress would play you?
    Jada Pinkett Smith (:
  7. What quote do you feel best describes your personality?
    Wow. I don’t know. “Life is short, eat dessert first.”
  8. When you were in elementary school, what did you think you would be when you grew up?
    A lawyer
  9. If you could tell your 16 year old self one thing, what would it be?
    It gets better. So much better.
  10. If you had a full 12 hour day to yourself – what would you fill it with?
    This is easy- sleep!
  11. Why do you blog?
    So there’s a record of my  life. I hope to print it and have a hard copy of it to look back on someday.

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Dear Esther:
Thank you for choosing us to be your parents. I’m honored to be one of your guides to take care of and nourish your little spirit. Sometimes my love for you overwhelms me and I can’t imagine what I was doing before you came to us. I miss you even when just leaving you for moments to go to the bathroom or run to Target. I never thought I’d get excited over poops or willingly give up precious sleep to hang out with someone who screams at me to feed them, but here we are little girl. I couldn’t love you more. I hope you’ll grow to feel the same way about me. I’ll give you a pass from ages 12-18 because I promise you you’ll hate me those years because trust that I’ll lay down the law. Then one day we’ll be friends again and I hope you’ll call me up to meet for brunch or to get mani pedis.
I love you my little hungry bear cub!!!
Momma
 
 

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Early Friday Morning: January 27

I bet some men choose to become anesthesiologist who specialize in giving epidurals because they want to know what it feels like to be worshipped. To show up in a laboring woman’s room and feel like he’s prince charming. When my prince charming showed up it was like he floated in pushing his white cart of magic juice and everything one else disappeared. At that moment he was the most important person in the room. At one point in my pregnancy I actually thought I would skip the epidural because I was so scared of having something injected/placed in my spine. I feared the pain and what would happen if say I moved or the doctor missed and I ended up losing feeling in my legs. Ya know, totally practical things since I never over worry about anything (: Anyway- I was no longer afraid of any of that. He could have placed the catheter in my iris and I would have been okay with that. Any pain would be better than the pain from the contractions I had been having without any medication. My sweet nurse offered up her hands for me to squeeze as the epi was placed. The entire procedure took about maybe 20 minutes. After the epi kicked in (which took all of 2 minutes or so) labor was a piece of cake. Almost immediately I was a different woman. I could actually think and breathe. It was amazing. I couldn’t feel my legs at all. Well, I could feel  them, but they felt like they each weighed 400 lbs.

After the medical staff left us to labor on our own, Jim and I napped/slept. It was great. We drifted in and out of sleep as nurses came in to turn me, check a monitor or move my blood pressure cuff that kept moving around the entire time. At around 8 or so my doctor came in the room to check my progress. She checked me and said, “Wow, you wanna know how far you are?” To be honest I really didn’t care. I was in EPI LAND and the world was grand. She could have said 4 or 8 and I would have felt the same. Well, she said the latter. I was at 8! My water had also broken without my having known it. They (my nurse and doc) decided to just let me hang out for awhile so baby could continue to put pressure on my cervix. The reasoning behind that was she would slowly and steadily make her way into the birth canal and it would lessen the time I’d have to push. Sounded like the best  idea in the world to me, so that’s what we did. We spent about two hours or so just hanging out. The nurse would come in to turn me it seemed every 30/45 minutes or so. Soon it was time to push.

It was just the nurse, Dr. Roberts, myself (of course) and my husband in the room. We were the dream team. The nurse on one side and my husband on the other. They were my coaches. During each contraction they’d tell me to “PUSH” and that I was doing a great job. Dr. Roberts was awesome too. She would say, “You can see her, she’s right there. Poop your baby out!” Yes, POOP your baby out. Isn’t that crazy! I suppose you’re using those same muscles. To be honest, I felt nothing. I tried to poop my baby out, but I was more so acting. I’d try to look like I was really trying while pushing. I didn’t want to let anyone down, but I hadn’t a clue if my pushes were really effective or not. Apparently they were because I only pushed for just under 20 minuets and then my sweet little angel was out. I remember looking at her and thinking she looked so small. She came out kicking and screaming and I was so relieved. It was as if I had been holding my breath for 38 plus weeks and I could finally exhale. I remember the doctor placed her on my chest for a moment and I just rubbed her little head and said “Hi, Hi…” over and over again. I did shed a tear or two. The whole experience was so overwhelming I cannot describe it. I immediately loved her and was consumed with a feeling I’ve never experienced before – momma bear. I instantly felt a need to protect and care for her at all costs. I feel like I met two  people in that moment my sweet little girl and the woman I now was- a mom. Jim did cut the cord. He’d planned not too and Dr. Roberts insisted that he do it. It had been a running joke (kinda) between those two for weeks. I’m glad in the end he did it. That’s something you don’t want to look back on and wish you’d done it.

This story was going to have a part 3 about our hospital stay and the following days with little E. I’ve decided not to write it because the majority of it would be negative and I don’t want to taint these moments with that. We were so dissatisfied with our postpartum experience at Fairview Southdale. I plan to never set foot in that hospital again. I didn’t feel valued as a patient and I question the medical care my daughter was given.  I LOVED my labor and delivery nurses, however, and I had a wonderful night nurse.

How do I end on a good note? Well, it’s been 6 weeks since this day and I couldn’t be happier. Motherhood has been so very hard, but so very rewarding. I love Esther so much and I can’t imagine my life without her in it. I’m forever changed and my heart is forever broken apart. I’m raw to all experiences that involve her. It makes me vulnerable in a way I never imagined. I suppose  this is what most mothers feel. I get it now. I GET it now. I’m so happy I’ve been given such a blessing.

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