Oh What a Lucky Girl She Was

Pinch me.

Seriously, pinch me.

I have got to be dreaming, because Nellie is the World’s Easiest Baby. I don’t know if it’s because she’s still newborn, or if she just has an exceptionally sweet temperament… But my baby is easy, ya’ll. She and I had a rough first few nights as we were getting to know one another and as I was struggling to find a sleeping solution that I felt comfortable and safe with. But we’ve gotten into a nice little routine and I feel as though I’ve won the Baby Lottery.

I breastfeed her every 2 to 2 1/2 hours. I’m not as crazy-vigilant about feedings as I was late last week/early this week. Let me backtrack a little. We took her to the doctor Sunday (yes, our pediatrician’s office takes Sunday visits. It’s cool to be jealous, I understand.) and her birth weight had dropped from 7lbs 2oz to 6lbs 5oz. She also hadn’t had a dirty diaper since Friday and wasn’t wetting regularly. We were wrought with worry, of course and told the doctor so. I had been having a really huge issue getting Nellie to latch on to my right breast. It was extremely engorged and swollen and painful; hard, and she just could not latch. She was screaming, I was crying.. It was ugly. The doctor suggested we supplement with one ounce of soy formula after each feeding to get her birth weight up, and to get her pottying like she should. He made us an appointment with a lactation consultant at the hospital we delivered at….

And she worked her magic. She showed me how to actually express “backward” to soften up an engorged breast long enough to get baby to latch. Nellie has a very good latch, and she nursed on that side in the LC’s office for almost 30 minutes which relieved mama very much. Ever since then, she’s been nursing like a pro and I rarely supplement anymore.

So anyway, I wake Nellie up to feed every 2-3 hours. In the evenings I usually end up feeding her somewhere in the area of 8 and 10 PM. After this feeding, I change her diaper if it’s needed, I dress her for bed (usually in a long-sleeved footed onesie, or a long-sleeved gown, and her Halo Sleep Sack) and put her in her crib. I will turn on her Sleep Sheep (which is a little sheep you attach to the crib and it makes a bunch of different soothing noises) heartbeat sound, kiss her goodnight and tiptoe out. More often than not if she is well-fed, dry, and cozy… She will drift off to sleep. I will get into bed and sleep. She will sleep the entire 2-3 hours in between feedings, and honestly if I didn’t wake her up to eat she’d probably sleep longer. Seriously, is this normal? Or am I just really lucky and in for a rude wake up call when she gets a little older?

I don’t mean to brag, or sound like I’m rubbing in the fact that I have an easy baby so far. I’m honestly wondering if all newborns are like this or if Nellie just has a sweet disposition. I always imagined she’d be a sweet, easygoing baby because she was very laid back in the womb. She never, ever kept me awake with kicks or woke me up.

We had a rough couple of first nights, but we have a wonderful routine now. I will admit, sometimes when I’m feeling tired and in need of sleep I have the tendency to feel frustrated and weepy with her if she’s taking a long time to nurse, or if her latch is taking a few tries. That’s my signal that I’m in need of sleep.. When I get some rest and wake, I feel like a different person.

Motherhood is amazing. I’ve never been around babies in my entire life.. Nellie’s dirty diapers are the first I’ve ever changed and yet, I find myself in this natural rhythm with her. It’s like breathing in and breathing out to me now. Taking care of my daughter is the most natural thing in the world to me. I love her so much. More than I ever fathomed ws possible.

Happy One Week!

I’ve decided to chronicle our daughter’s journey by taking videos on our camera. Today is Nellie’s one week birthday. It’s hard to believe that this amazing little girl has been in our lives for 7 whole days already. Anyway, without further ado, here’s my first video of Nellie on her one week birthday!

Happy One Week!

I’ve decided to chronicle our daughter’s journey by taking videos on our camera. Today is Nellie’s one week birthday. It’s hard to believe that this amazing little girl has been in our lives for 7 whole days already. Anyway, without further ado, here’s my first video of Nellie on her one week birthday!

Incoming!! AKA: Dodging Projectile Poop

Early this morning after a feeding, my daughter needed a diaper change.

It wasn’t a wet diaper, but a poopy diaper. You know, one of those where they squish up for a second, take a deep breath and then you feel a small explosion on your hand where you are supporting their butt? Then it’s followed by a foul odor and your little one looks very relieved.

Honestly, there is very little that’s more exciting to a new parent than their child pooping and peeing regularly. It means they’re getting enough nutrition and are healthy! Yes, dirty diapers are awful (especially breastmilk diapers… UGH) but they are also very exciting and NOT as gross as I’d anticipated. Maybe it’s because it’s my kid.

I digress. I took Nellie into her room to change her, cooing at her all the while and praising her for being such a good pooper. I lay her down, slipped off the diaper and got down to business. I given her the first once-over with the wipes when a small amount of poop trickled out of her butt.
“Oh no!” I thought. “She’s not done!” I then realized that I was standing DIRECTLY in the line of fire. Right at that moment, I heard an odd noise and I literally jumped out of the way. I managed to very, VERY narrowly dodge a projectile, liquidy stream of baby poop. It got on the changing table pads and hit the box of baby wipes I had sitting on the table. I yelled, “OH MY GOD!” and Nellie just lay there, looking up at me with an unimpressed and unaffected gaze. I immediately bursted out laughing and got to work cleaning her up.

Mommy Lessons #4 and #5: Do not stand at the foot of the changing table where baby’s rectum is facing you. Also, keep baby wipes at the head of the table so she can’t poop on them and ruin the box.This was totally me, except instead of a bullet it was baby shit.

Sleep: The Most Terrifying Thing of All

I am terrified of sleeping.

We didn’t get a bassinette, or pack n play, or anything like that for Nellie to sleep in our room with us. We had planned on putting her in her crib to sleep from the start. There are many factors as to why it’s not practical for her to sleep in the room with us; we have two cats and their litter box is in our room. There’s no other place in the apartment for the litter box. If Nellie is sleeping in the room with us, we don’t want the cats in the room with us, too because we’re afraid they’ll try and climb on her in the middle of the night, knock over what she’s sleeping in, etc. Plus they need to get to their litter box.

We are not co-sleepers. I think it can be dangerous, and can also establish bad sleeping habits later down the road. Even if we were, there is the cat factor again.
So, crib sleeping it is for Nellie. Logically, I know that if I swaddle her and place her on her back in her sleep positioner, she’ll be fine. I have done this, flipped on her baby monitor and attempted to sleep. I find myself hyper-vigilant and having problems sleeping with all the little gurgles and sighs she makes over the monitor. If I do manage to drift off, I end up waking with a nasty jolt after about 45 minutes to an hour when I realize that I’ve been asleep.

I thought I’d found a good solution yesterday. I put Nellie in her Moby for the first time.. In the wee hours of the morning after a feeding, I put her in her crib and snuck off to rest on the couch… No dice. The little lady screamed and would not go to sleep. I was desperate for some shut-eye, so I put her snugly in the Moby (Newborn Cradle Hold), went to the couch, sat up and put my feet on the ottoman, lay my head back and rested. I felt very, very secure with her snug against my chest. I could feel her breathing and look down to check on her every so often. There was no possibility of me dropping her, and since I was resting in a sitting-up semi-reclining position I wasn’t worried about rolling over and smothering her. I thought I’d found the perfect solution for us.

Now I’m starting to second-guess myself. Sometimes she wriggles around in the Moby little by little and her little face is toward my chest. I am worried that she will manage to smother herself against me, or inhale too much of her exhaled air and suffocate. I am simply terrified of sleeping now. I can’t tell if this Moby solution is OK, or if I’m doing something very very stupid and putting my daughter at risk of suffocating. I just don’t know what to do. I can’t get good sleep if she’s in her crib because I’m listening to her on the monitor. I have to sleep or I’ll go insane. Now I’m afraid that she’ll suffocate and die on my chest. The thought of something happening to her is enough to send me into a crying fit, thanks to these lovely post-partum hormones.

So what is a new mommy to do? Screw Freddy Kreuger. Make a horror movie about the nightmares and scenerios a mother has about the things that could happen to her baby in the night while she’s sleeping.. That’s enough to make anyone brew a 10-cup pot of coffee and stay awake all night.

Seriously, though. What do you think? Does the Moby solution sound dangerous to you, or do you think she’ll be okay? I keep thinking that since I’m not really relaxed and am just dozing, I’ll notice a change in her breathing/noises/etc. but… What if?

Singing Praises

Items that I’ve found to be worth their weight in gold thus far:

  • Lansinoh nipple cream. HOLY EFF, BREASTFEEDING HURTS. Lansinoh helps.
  • Halo Sleep Sack Swaddle. Wearable blanket, cozy baby, unworried mama.
  • Kiddopotamus Swaddler. Makes swaddling SO EASY.
  • MOBY WRAP. This, by far, is the best baby product we have used in the (almost) week we’ve been together.
Nellie in her Moby

Nellie wouldn’t sleep in her crib for more than one 2 hour stretch last night. I used that 2 hour stretch to eat instead of nap. I was desperate for sleep, and also desperate for a way to use the bathroom without having to stick her in her car seat and listen to her scream until I picked her up again (daddy was working a 12 hour shift and mommy was alone) so I decided to give the Moby a whirl. I put it on, and slipped her into the Newborn Cradle Hold. She was fussy at first, but gave into the comfort. I was so desperate for sleep at this point, I decided to retreat to my Fortress of Breastfeeding (more on that later) and sit in a semi-reclining position with my feet up on an ottoman and see how I felt about trying to nap while wearing her. I’m not big on co-sleeping; I’m afraid something will happen and I think it can lead to bad habits later, but I was seriously desperate for sleep. So I lay my hands across her so I could feel her breathing, rested my head back…….. And we both slept for almost the entire two hour in-between feeding time. It was amazing. Nellie’s cozy and secure (I can’t drop her), her breathing is unobstructed and I can get some shut-eye when she refuses to be put down in her crib. Amazing.

We have gotten this breastfeeding pretty much down. We had some issues at first and I’ll blog about that later. For now, I’m going to get some things done before it’s time for another feeding. That’s another beauty part of the Moby; I can actually do things without worrying about finding a spot to put her! Score.

Lessons from New Mommyhood

Things I’ve Learned in 5 Days of Motherhood

  1. Breastfeeding is really difficult, but when your baby latches and your milk starts coming in, you feel like a superhero. Also, it’s really weird when your breasts leak.
  2. Sitting comfortably with stitches from a perineal tear is impossible.
  3. Eating is a luxury unless you have guests over to hold the baby. You will find yourself hunkered over a plate, shoveling leftover lasagna in your mouth at 4:00 in the morning in a hurry before the baby needs to eat again.
  4. Engorged breasts hurt like a MOTHER.
  5. When your child pees or poops in their diaper, you feel like throwing a parade.
  6. Speaking of poop, the term “holy crap” takes on a whole new meaning.
  7. Baby monitors are simultaneously the most wonderful, and nerve-wracking inventions ever made.
  8. Kidoppotamous Swaddlers, and the Halo Sleep Sack deserve the Nobel Prize for peace.. And I need about 5 more of each.
  9. I am fairly certain that I will never catch up on all the blog posts I’ve missed, and I apologize.
  10. This is the most amazing this that’s ever happened to me.

Welcome to the World, Baby Girl


Nellie Rose

Born January 20th, 2010
4:15 P.M.
7lbs 2oz
21 inches long

My heart skips a beat when I look into her eyes.
My eyes fill with tears as she sleeps against my chest.
A love I never knew possible fills my soul as I kiss her cheeks.

She is my world.

Discrimination

So this post has absolutely nothing to do with pregnancy, babies, or anything that I normally post about here on this blog.

This post has to do with ignorance, discrimination, and hate.

I’m on maternity leave (I lied, there’s a mention of something baby-related) which means I have to surf through hours of bad daytime television to find something to watch now that Ellen has moved to the afternoons here. So in my desperation, I landed on The Tyra Show. I have watched Tyra before, and instantly felt dumber for it. I vowed I wouldn’t watch it again, but the subject matter today caught my attention.

Recently, The Advocate put out an issue that claimed that “Gay was the new black” in the ways of civil rights and discrimination.
Before I begin this part of my post, I do have to say that I’m not ever sure which term to use when talking about race. I know that some people prefer “black”, while others prefer “African-American”. I usually use the term “black”, just because I know a lot of black people who have a problem with “African-American”.. Because they’re not from Africa, nor are their parents, grandparents or even great-grandparents. I’m also loathe to use the term “people of color”, because that too is just odd to me. Caucasian is technically a color, too, so why use the term “people of color” when we ALL have a color to our skin? I apologize in advance if the term offends anyone.
With the inauguration of our first black President, people have considered that to be a gigantic milestone in American history – something that many blacks never, ever thought they’d see in their lifetime. And they’re right. It was monumental, world-changing.. It was huge. Obviously discrimination against blacks is not “over” – it will never be over, unfortunately. Discrimination runs rampant in our world and I fear a degree of it always will.
Obviously, the civil rights movements in the 60s changed a lot of things. Interracial marriages are allowed where they were not in years past, same with voting.. Blacks are no longer sent to separate bathrooms and water fountains in public. So, I suppose what the Advocate means is that now that the civil rights movements for blacks have come so very far, they are now focusing on the rights of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender communities.

So the argument on Tyra’s show was if “gay was the new black”. They had three gay rights advocates, and three anti-gay advocates as sort of a “panel” on the show. The GLBT advocates were saying how unconstitutional it was to deny gays the right to marry, which I agree with. Completely. They brought up the legalization of gay marriage in California, and then the over-turning of that right known as Proposition 8. Think about it. The government gave gays and lesbians the right to legally sanction their unions with their partners; to join in marriage not only in the eyes of themselves and their friends and family but finally in a legally binding sense. I remember when I heard California passed that law, I was floored. I honestly never truly thought I’d see gay marriage legalized in my lifetime. Can you imagine what it’s like so be so in love with someone and have the desire to join with that person, share a last name with them and declare your love publicly and have that love recognized as something valid and legal….. Only to have that right ripped away from you? It’s not fair.

On the opposite side, the anti-gay rights advocates were hollering how “marriage is a holy union between a man and a woman” and talking about how the bible condemned gays, and all about God’s word says this, and God’s word says that. Two of the women on the panel actually said that gay cannot be “the new black”, because “gay people make a choice to be gay. Black people do not make a choice to be black.”

And here is where my big, fat problem comes in. When people say this… It enrages me. GLBT rights are something very near to my heart and they have been since I was young. I cannot fathom why people think being gay is a choice. Why in the hell would someone wake up one morning and think, “Boy, I think I’m going to live my life so that people see me walking down the street and want to beat me, hate me, and call me “faggot” or “dyke.” THAT sure does sound like fun!” Why would anyone in their right minds choose to live a life where they could be beat to death JUST because they happen to love someone of the same gender? It makes me sick. One of the GLBT advocates asked one of the other women, “So you made the choice to be straight if I made the choice to be gay, right?” and the woman said, “I didn’t have to make a choice, I’m a woman, I’m SUPPOSED to be straight.”

I consider myself a tolerant person, and I truly believe that everyone has the right to their own beliefs and morals. However, when your beliefs and morals cause someone else to lose their civil rights AS A HUMAN BEING, there is something WRONG with that. If you choose to believe that homosexuality is a sin.. I don’t understand it nor do I believe in that, but if you live your life in a way that is kind and courteous to all human beings I can’t truly begrudge you of your beliefs. But when you see a gay person and tell them they’re going to burn in hell, or that they shouldn’t have the right to live the same life as you, there’s something wrong with that.

Another thing that the “I’m supposed to be straight” woman said was in response to one of the GLBT advocates saying that “gay was the new black” and was comparing the fact that gay marriage is illegal in the constitution to the days when interracial marriage and owning slaves were also in the constitution. The “I’m supposed to be straight” woman (who was black) balked at that, declaring, “You can’t compare gay rights to slavery. Gays aren’t hung from trees just because they’re gay!”

I was sitting alone on my couch, and I actually yelled at the television. I’m sorry, gays aren’t what? They’re not beaten, raped, and tortured just because they’re gay? This woman has obviously never heard of Matthew Shepard, who was beaten, tormented, tied to a fence and left to die just because he was gay.
She obviously has never heard of Barry Winchell, who was beaten in the head with a baseball bat
while he was sleeping (and later died due to massive head injuries) just because he entered a relationship with a transgendered person.
Then, of course, there is Angie Zapata who was beaten to death – first with fists, and then with a fire extinguisher – by a man whom had just found out that she was transgendered. Her murderer said things like he had made sure he had “killed it” before leaving in her car and that “gay things must die”.

How can a person hear these stories and not feel sorrow? These people, and countless others have lost their lives just because they are different than “the norm”. It makes me angry. It makes me so angry that there are people out there that think that just because a person is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender that they don’t have the same rights as heterosexual people. I have a family member who is a part of the GLBT community. Stories like this turn my blood cold in the realization that people hate this member of my family so much, they would like to kill him.

Why can we not live in a world without hate? Without discrimination? Why can’t we just give everyone the same rights and have that be the end of it? I know that sounds idealistic and naive.. But seriously, why? Who am I, who are you, who is anyone to judge how someone lives their life? Love is love, people. Gay, straight, in-between, love is just that: love. How can the love that someone feels for another human being be wrong? Love is the one thing that exists in this world that is pure and good; you cannot spin love into an evil or ugly thing.

This post turned out to be longer than I thought. I just really cannot express strongly enough how disgusting I find it to be that in the year 2010, people are still discriminated against because of who they are. I hope one day to live in a world where discrimination against people of the GLBT community is a thing of the past. I want my daughter to be amazed that I lived in a world where gay people were denied the right to marry – just as I cannot fathom living in a world where blacks and whites were segregated and not allowed to marry one another.

One day, hopefully, love will overcome hate.

To Nellie Rose: On Her Due Date

Dear Nellie,

Hey there baby girl. It’s your mommy. I am just writing to let you know that you are officially due today! I know I’ve been saying that you can come out for about 2 weeks, but now I mean it. Really. Come out! Your daddy and I are so anxious and eager to meet you. To hold you.. To give you so much love! I can’t wait to see what your little face looks like.. The color of your hair and eyes.. To smell your sweet baby smell. I am so excited that the each day that passes brings us a little closer to the day we get to hold you. I know that patience isn’t the best of my virtues. I’m just so ready to have you in my arms, little girl.

It’s a long road we’ve been down together, baby. I’m going to miss feeling you in my belly (right this very second, you have the hiccups!) but the moments that are yet to be make me feel so excited and full of anticipation. I promise you will like it on the outside. Your parents are pretty awesome, and we love you so much. There are a LOT of other people who want to meet you, too! Everyone is just waiting, Nellie…. Waiting for you. You’re so special.

Okay, sweetie. I’ve said my peace. If I have to be a little more patient, I guess that’s okay… Just know that if you don’t come out on your own soon, we’re going to have to come and get you! So.. Come out! Your day is here!

All my love,
Mommy