Thursday, January 31, 2013

Three Things Thursday

Two about returning to work.  One that's just interesting.

1. Yesterday was my first day back at work and it went really well.  I shed some tears Tuesday night, but it was go-go-go getting ready in the morning, and by the time I stopped to think about being at work and away from Scott, I realized that, actually, everything was fine.  It also helped that I was working on a presentation for next week, which is something I enjoy doing.  He had a good day with his Nana (Daniel's mom), and I had a good day being out of the house and interacting with other adults.

The tough part actually came at the end of the day when it felt like we barely had any time together before it was time to go to bed - and that was with help with cooking and laundry.  I don't necessarily feel guilty about spending time away from him - he doesn't have a clue who I am - but I feel sad because I miss him and miss spending time with him.  I carried him around with my constantly for 8 months and then spend most of my maternity leave either rocking him or carrying him (I know, I know... just add it to the list of things I shouldn't have done) and, even though our interactions were pretty limited, I do miss that presence.

Which leads me to...

2. I should have a chaperon when I go to Target - especially when I'm feeling emotional distress*. I stopped by for "just a few essentials" right after we had our daycare orientation came home with this

and this.

I have no excuses.  None.

3. The UW news had an interesting blurb about blood donation for pets and other large animals.  Did you know that dogs have 8 different blood types?

*There was nothing wrong with the daycare or the orientation, I was just in selfish, "My baby is all mine and I don't want to share him" mode.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Thoughts on being a SAHM/ returning to work

I'm not going to be a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) - I knew that way back when conceiving Scott was still on the "to-do" list - but I've had the past 6 weeks to get a little taste of what that would be like.

First, being a SAHM mom is hard!  Scott is by far the most demanding boss I've ever had to answer to.  You want to go to the bathroom before you feed me for 1/2 hour?  "WAAAAHHHHHHH!"  You want to eat the last 2 bites of your dinner before you feed me?  "WAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!"  Tiny babies don't understand "just a second," and it was a real change to go from basically being able to do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted to having to make every decision based on what he needed or what I perceived he would need in the future.

It's also been hard because - due to the cold weather, my initial driving and carrying restrictions, fear of the flu, etc. - we haven't gotten out much.  I really wish I'd been able to take him out for more walks, but so far the weather has only been nice enough 3 or 4 days.  And by nice I mean "high 30s".  He's not getting much sunlight.  I also don't get much human interaction.

It can also be hard to figure out the best way to manage my time.  I'm fine with being a mom when he needs something (food, a diaper change) and when he's sleeping (frantically do some laundry and maybe check e-mail and write a blog post), but I have a really hard time figuring out what to do when he's awake and alert (but not crying to be changed or fed).  I've been putting him on his tummy and have been reading to him from books and magazines I'm reading (right now it's Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy) but honestly I'm at a loss for what else to do, and it concerns me that he's not getting appropriate stimulation.  We've also been listening to music and dancing around in the afternoons when he's more awake (and fussy).  Is it easier when they are older and more interactive?

But on the other hand, I love never having to worry about missing a moment with him.  It's a strange, selfish urge.  I love holding him and carrying him around and experiencing all the funny faces and noises and smiles and cuddles.  He's MY baby, and I don't want to share him with anyone*.  I'm also worried that he's going to get sick once he starts spending time around other kids (can I please listen to the news just one time without having to hear about flu deaths?) and that he's just on the brink of "waking up" and being super cute and interactive and I'm going to miss out on all of that because I'm at work all day.

Now that I've read back through this post, it's a lot whinier than I intended it to be, but it's my honest feelings and observations.  I do want to say that I'm so so so so so thankful that I was able to take all this time off to be with him, and I'm even more thankful that I'll be able to work part-time through February so I can ease into our new routine.  I'm also thankful that I have a job that I'm actually looking forward to returning to.  Having to leave him to do something I hated would absolutely break my heart.  And I'm thankful we have arranged for him to be cared for by people who I trust also have his best interests at heart.

I guess, when it comes down to it, I wish I could both stay home and work full-time.  Unfortunately those things are mutually exclusive.  For now, we've made the choice that we think is best for our family.  Any words of wisdom from moms who have been there and done that - either working moms or SAHM moms?

*That's not really true.  I'm very happy that there are so many people in his life that love him and want to hold and cuddle him.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Working out at home 1.0

If I had my way, I'd be able to run outside all year long and hit the gym when I wanted to lift weights, take a class or cross-train.  Running outside is way more interesting than running on a treadmill, even with the finest of Netflix shows at the ready for my watching pleasure, and I feel like I get a better workout when I'm cross-training at the gym because I'm in the right mindset. To me, gym = working out; living room = couch.  I can't escape it.  However, after having a baby, working out at home makes so much more sense for so many reasons.

While we don't have TONS of equipment, we do have a decent set-up.  Here's what I'm using to work out right now with some commentary about what I like and dislike about the current situation.  At the end I'll tell you the plans that I have for the (less frigid) future.  

The most important piece of fitness equipment we have is the treadmill.  I seriously don't know what I'd do without it.  I definitely wouldn't have been able to run as much as I have if I had to try to go to the gym or *shiver* outside.  I love not having feel pressure to work out outside when its this cold or play chicken with undergrads who have the audacity to try to take *my* machine at the gym.  And now that we have our own garage, I don't have to worry about it bothering the neighbors if I use it early in the morning. 

This is where the magic happens
If I had an awesome blog patron (any takers?), I'd buy another piece of cardio equipment - probably a rowing machine because Daniel would like that - that uses totally different muscles than running to use for cross training or if I were injured. 

The only *bad* thing is that the garage is cold.  It stays maybe 10 or 20 degrees warmer than it is outside.  So when the temperature dips to the single digits (or colder), it gets pretty chilly in the garage.  To combat the cold (or at least try), I have a space heater that sits right in front of the 'mill.  It doesn't heat the whole garage, but it does thaw out the air right in front of it.  The only exciting thing we found out is that if we plug both the treadmill and the space heater into the same power strip, it overloads the strip and knocks out power to both machines and to the only light in the garage, plunging it into complete darkness.  The magic plug-in formula we discovered was treadmill = power strip, space heater = wall.  

ow for the most important thing: the entertainments.  I put the iPad on the console of the treadmill and attach it with bungee cords so it won't fall off.  It's small enough that I can still see the timer/pace on the sides, but it's close enough that I can watch the show.  When I'm running, I can't really hear dialogue very well, so I've been sticking with shows like How I Met Your Mother and, currently, Scrubs, which are entertaining but not very difficult to follow.

 I actually have a lot of plans for the garage once it gets warmer.  For one, we have a fan for running during thunderstorms once it gets hot (hard for me to even imagine that at this point).  We also have various bands, a small adjustable hand weight set, a kettle bell, and a sledgehammer (ask Daniel about that one) that can be used for weight lifting-type exercises.  We also bought a cheap rug that we plan to lay down in front of the treadmill for stretching and doing ab work, but I haven't put it out yet because it's too cold to stay down there any longer than you have to and the snow and salt make the floor of the garage nasty.

I also hung my race medals and bibs and a white board (to write out workouts?) for motivation.

Back inside, we have a small collection of workout DVDs that I've been using for strength training and stretching.  We have a few yoga DVDs, Jillian's 30-day Shred, and I'm currently borrowing P90X from a friend.  In general, I don't think I get as good of a workout doing DVDs as I do with a more conventional weight lifting routine, but both Shred and P90X can be just as hard as you want them to be.  

Because I'm working out in the living room, it's easier to keep my supplies up there, too.  However, I don't want them taking over, so I've hidden them under and behind the Pack N Play.  Can you spot the baby plates?

And because stretching and self-massage are so important, here is my yoga mat and foam roller tucked behind the P&P.

And if all else fails, cleaning the house with the baby in the Ergo is a great workout for your core.

Even with this set up, I decided to go ahead and keep my campus gym membership (which is very inexpensive) with the idea that I'd like to have the option of using the elliptical or bike if I'm injured or squeeze in workout out at lunch if it just doesn't happen in the morning (or if I'm feeling like being an overachiever :) ).

Do you workout at home?  Have any favorite equipment/DVDs/exercises?  

Monday, January 28, 2013

Mr. Scott

7 whole weeks old!

Fortunately, fears about 6-week sleep regression proved to be unfounded, and Scott's even starting to stretch the time until his first wake up.  On Saturday night, he even made it from 9 pm to 4 am.  I think he was overly tired, and I don't expect it to happen again until he's older,  However, on a typical night, he'll go to sleep around 9:00/10:00 pm and then wake around 1:30/2:30 am to be changed and fed.  After that, he's been going back to sleep until 6:30, which is great, but it actually makes exercise timing slightly harder than when he was waking at 5 am.  Right now I'm loving the later wake-ups, but on Wednesday and Friday, when I go back to work, I'm planning to get up at 5am, pump, and leave the bottle for Daniel in case Scott needs to eat before I get done.

Despite the cold weather, we had a few major outings this week.  Last Thursday, Scott went with me to the dentist (slept the whole time) and then joined me for lunch with a friend and then went in to the office to meet my coworkers.  He was awake for part of lunch and the whole time we were visiting at work, and he was a champ.  He seemed to be enjoying seeing all the new lights and hearing new sounds and had no problem being held and carried by strangers.  The same was true when we went to a dinner party on Saturday evening.  Hopefully the lack of fear of strangers (does he really even know who I am?) will make the transition to daycare easier next week.  I know I'll cry, but it'll be a lot easier on me if he doesn't.

This is another week of firsts for us.  We have our daycare orientation later this afternoon (BTW - thanks for all your advice on pumping/ questions to ask/ etc.) and then Nana (Daniel's mom) is coming to visit for the rest of the week to stay with Scott while I go back to work on Wednesday and Friday.  I'm hoping that the "trial" separations before he goes to daycare will help ease the transition for me.  We'll also get some data points about how much he eats and when and how much I'll be able to pump.

Well, it's my last Monday off... gotta live it up (by vacuuming).  Happy Monday, everyone!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Here it goes again

You forgot how much you liked that video, didn't you?

Here's the rundown:
Sa - 4 mi at 10:30/mile
Su - P90X back and biceps DVD
M - 3 mi at 10:30/mile
T -  3 mi walk + Shred level 2
W - 3 mi at 9:30/mile (this was my "speed" day, although it was actually pretty easy)
R - 3 mi walk
F - Not sure exactly... Yoga?  Shred?  Just cleaning up the house with Scott in the carrier?  Not feeling super pumped to work out this morning.

Now that I'm feeling comfortable stringing together a few miles at a time, I'm trying to get the pace back up to what is normal for me (somewhere in the 9:00-9:20 min/mile range for an easy run).  It's tempting to go crazy adding in a bunch of miles, but I'm trying to keep things sane and NOT GET INJURED.

Since I'm already up to 4 mi and have about 8 weeks to go, I'm considering running the Shamrock Shuffle 10k again this year.  I've run this race every year we've lived in Madison except last year when I volunteered instead.  It's a tough course - there's a monster hill in the middle that you run over twice (out at back) - and I don't have any expectation of running even close to my normal pace, but I still think it would be a fun way to say, "Welcome back" to running.

In other news, while I was not junk food-free, I limited my consumption to a few treats and didn't spend the evenings mindlessly noshing on Hershey Kisses.  In what will be a surprise to no one who has ever heard a lecture on thermodynamics or watched an episode of The Biggest Loser, my weight dropped back down to 132 lbs this week and my pants are fitting better.  Woot.    

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Three Things Thursday

1. Thank you to everyone who joined our Meal Train and brought us dinners over the last few weeks (and a special thanks to Jenny for organizing it).  It was wonderful to just have one less thing to think about while we were getting used to being new parents.  Although I've learned to do a lot of things while holding a baby and nursing a baby, cooking over a hot stove while jiggling Scott is not a skill I plan on trying to master.  The other bonus is that we have a stockpile of leftovers in the freezer that will be perfect for quick dinners once I go back to work.  And there was only one dinner that someone made that we thought was totally disgusting.  Just kidding... it was all very good.  Thanks again!

Credit: Funny pictures of food
2. Here's hoping we've come through the coldest days of the year.  Yesterday the high was 8 and the low was -8.  And that's without taking into account the windchill, which was dipping into the negative double digits.  I know it's cold all over the country so stay warm out there, people!  Don't forget your gloves and hat.

3. Confessional time: I've started doing things that I know would horrify Scott if he knew about them (or if I told him when I was older).  First (and this started awhile ago), I started picking his nose when he gets a monster booger.  Second, I've gone to the bathroom while wearing him in the Ergo.  It's way more disruptive to him if I take him out, and I figure it's not that much different than when I was still carting him around inside me.  Third, yesterday morning I ended up changing his diaper while completely naked.  I was just about to get in the shower when he started crying, and, because I'd just fed him, I thought the problem was most likely diaper related.  I didn't want to deal with getting dressed again (I'd been wearing sweaty workout clothes) so I just ran downstairs, did the diaper change, put him in the swing to keep him happy for a few minutes, and got in the shower.  Fourth, now that he's chunked up quite a bit, I have a new nickname for Scott: Potato.

Mommy's favorite potato.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Daycare/ returning to work brain dump

We're attending our daycare orientation next Monday, and I'll be headed back to work next Wednesday, so I'm trying to figure out what I need to do to prepare and what questions I should ask at the orientation.  Comments and suggestions are very much welcome!


Here's a list of things we are told the little ones need:

  • Blanket
  • Diapers, wipes, diaper cream
  • Clean bottles for each feeding
  • Two changes of clothes
  • Pacifier
  • Milk
Here are thing things I'm thinking about or think I need to ask the daycare provider:
  • At night Scott sleeps in a fleece sack thing, should we bring that rather than a blanket?  He doesn't nap in one (just regular clothes downstairs where it's warmer), but that's his usual "sleep" outfit.  If we do bring a blanket, should we do something to make it smell like home?  If so, what?  Let him sleep on top of it for a few nights?  Have Daniel and I sleep with it so it smells like us?
  • The center is fine with cloth diapers.  Should we bring our own trash can/ wet bag to transport the diapers back and forth?
  • Bottles/milk.  This is one I'm having a hard time with.  Right now when Scott takes a bottle, he's been eating about 3 - 4oz.  I've pumped several 2.5oz bottles and several 5oz bottles that are hanging out in the freezer.  I can divide some into 4oz bottles, but I'm concerned about waste.  I hate to think about 1oz getting chucked if he only wants 3oz at a feeding or - even worse - 3.5 oz getting chucked if he wants just slightly more than one bottle.  I'm going to ask at the orientation, but does anyone have any suggestions for dealing with this?
  • The center gives out sheets to parents so parents can let the daycare provider know how sleep/eating was over night - should we take home a bunch of those so we can fill them out in the am before we leave?
  • What's the best way to minimize the trauma (to me more than him, I'm guessing) of leaving him for the day?  I'm sure just getting away quickly, especially if he's crying, but does anyone have any suggestions for ways to make it easier/better at first?
Can you think of other things I should think about or ask?????


Really the only thing I'm concerned about with work is pumping.  Fortunately I have my own office where I can close the door to have privacy, and I'm borrowing a mini-fridge so I can store the milk without worrying about anyone trying to use the "plastic baggy of funny-tasting coffee creamer".  I'm planning to bring those little plastic storage bags for pumping rather than transporting bottles and bringing some sterilizing wipes/bags to make clean up easier.  I've seen it suggested that it's a good idea to buy extra pump parts to leave at work so there's one less thing to remember.  It looks like it's about $30 to buy the two suction parts and another $10 to buy the tubing (I probably don't need to bring tubing because I don't clean it like I do the other parts that actually come into contact with the milk) so that is probably a good investment...

Anything else that I should think about with pumping/ other work related issues???  Thanks in advance!        

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Scott's memory box

As a first-time mom, it was only fitting that I kept approximately 1 million things to commemorate Scott's birth, and I would need something to collect them in.

I looked around for memory boxes at Target and on Amazon, but I didn't see anything I liked so I decided to order one from Etsy.  The box is larger than a legal-sized piece of paper and is wood with decoupage decoration.  Here's the outside.  The text on the bottom says, "baby boy".

Here's the inside of the lid.  The text says "Baby mine" and some other baby-related words and phrases.

And here's the inside of the box.

The contents of the box includes the front page of the newspaper that lists his birth announcement.  It just occurred to me that we didn't get a copy of the paper from the day he was actually born.  Ooops.

His birth announcement is the second item in the center column:

Then we have his footprints taken when he was born and the little card that was in his crib at the hospital plus the booklet where we had to record all his feedings and diaper changes (yeah, I know...).

I also have all his "before birth" photos.  Here's the ultrasound from when I was 8-weeks pregnant with him.  I remember being so so so so happy to see that little flickering heart!

And the 20-week ultrasound.

See any resemblance to the real deal?

Honestly, I don't.  I still think the ultrasound looks like "generic face", but again, I remember how excited I was to see that little generic face (and find out he was a boy).

I also kept his and our hospital bands:

I have all the cards we were given from friends and relatives.

And the book of advice from co-workers.

I also have a baby book for him, which we need to fill out (!!!) but that will be another post.  Everything fits in there neatly with the newspaper on top.

I know I'll go back through everything a million times as he grows up, but I hope that as he gets older, he'll be a little bit interested in it, too.  I mean, little kids love hearing stories about themselves, right?  

Anyway, I love the box idea because it doesn't take much effort (just throw things in there) and allows me to hold onto all his baby stuff indiscriminately without having it be all over or risk it getting ruined.  We'll save that for when he gets a hold of it and decides to go through it all by himself when he's 2. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Mr. Scott

This has been a much better week as far as sleeping and general fussy/grumpiness.  HOWEVER, Scott hit 6 weeks old today, which seems like it's a notoriously difficult time for both moms and babies (baby is hungry allthetime), so I'm bracing myself for my angel to turn into a gremlin for awhile.

6-weeks old (as of 3:39 this afternoon)!

It's been a big week for us with several new developments:

  • His newborn clothes no longer fit.
  • I had to buy size 1 disposable diapers because the newborn size we brought home from the hospital no longer fit (Jessica - you are welcome to have our extra diapers for Peyton), and I had to let out his diaper covers so they would be larger
  • Scott did his first (and only - so far) baby push-up

  • He took his first pumped bottle (bringing the total to 3 now - one each day Friday - Sunday) given by Daddy.  Since he's not been a fan of pacifiers, we weren't sure how it would go, but it turns out that food is always welcome.  Note - Daniel was about to workout when I took this picture, which explains the wardrobe choice.

  • I was not there to witness it, but Daniel said that, for the first time, when he had his bath on Saturday he didn't scream bloody murder. 
Sooo... wish us luck as we enter this week - especially because it's super cold and Daniel has the car so we are home-bound.  It's my last full week home with Scott, and I hope I'm able to appreciate our remaining time together as much as it deserves.  I can't believe my tiny baby is not so tiny anymore!

Friday, January 18, 2013

I work out

The rundown:

Sa - 4mi!!!!!! I meant to do 2 x 1.5 mi, but I was feeling great, so I just kept going.
Su - Rest
M - 3mi walk (trying to not let myself get injured by doing too much too soon) + Shred level 1
T - 2mi run
W - Rest from running/walking but I did an upper body P90X workout (thx, Kerri)
R - 4 x 1 mi intervals
F - 3mi walk + upper body P90X workout (???)

All runs/walks were done on the treadmill.  It's not so bad when you have the appropriate entertainment.

I started watching How I Met Your Mother about a year ago (maybe more???) while I was using the treadmill and I'm about the finish the 7th season (the last season on Netflix).  It'll be the end of an era.  Any suggestions for another show with a lot of episodes that's fairly entertaining and easy to follow (sometimes it's hard to actually hear the dialogue)?

What else???

We've been doing pretty good about getting up in the morning.  Scott has been pretty reliable about getting up once after 3.5 - 4 hours so it's been working out to go to bed about 8 - 9 hours before we want to get up and working out after I give him his first morning feeding.

My weight was up slightly this week (133 lbs) but I actually blame it on starting to workout again.  I've noticed I usually lose a pound or so of water weight when I take a break from exercising so I'm not surprised it went the other way.  In a victory for self-control, I didn't eat any junk food yesterday.  YAY!

Well, the babe is stirring.  Gotta run!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Three things Thursday

1. I'm planning to drop in on the Titus mom's group at church today.  Because it's been so cold and Daniel has been taking the car to work most days, we haven't been getting out much (at least compared to my old BS - before Scott- life).  It will be nice to get out of the house for awhile, do some socializing, and have a "pretending I'm a stay-at-home-mom" experience.  

2. Last night I put Scott down to sleep and he was soooooo quiet.  I went back to my own room and then had to get up and check to make sure he was still breathing... twice.  And then I had Daniel check on him a third time when he got home.

Except for Saturday night/Sunday morning he's been going to sleep fairly easily and sleeping really well through the night with one wake-up (knock on wood).  Unfortunately we've had a couple big spit ups on my side of the bed, and we've realized that the white box on the changing table would be more functional if it were baby poop yellow. - May the gooey substances on your clothes almost always be food.

3. I'm officially on junk food detox.  Seriously.  For real this time.  I keep making excuses like, "After all the Christmas candy is gone, etc." but I need to stop the madness.  Last night I had too much sugar/caffeine (I was eating Hershey Kisses), and I had a hard time sleeping.  Not being able to sleep while the baby is sleeping is unacceptable.  Plus, I just started wearing my regular pants again this week and going crazy on the candy isn't doing me any favors.  If I want something sweet, I still have plenty of the world's most delicious oranges (thanks again, Mom and Dad) to snack on.  I know, moderation, blah blah blah, but I think I need to just shut it down for a little while.  No more junk food until... I decide otherwise.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Going under the knife

Cloth diapers; baby wearing; breastfeeding; skin to skin contact; laboring in water.  "Back to nature" is very "in" right now when it comes to childbirth and baby care.  But nothing beats holy grail of good motherhood: natural birth*.  While no one doubts the necessity of medical intervention in some pregnancies - childbearing used to be a risky business - there's still a stigma attached to having a C-section - especially a planned one.  If you're not already familiar, a simple Google search will bring up all the issues behind the high C-section rate in the US and the various people and things that are blamed (lazy women, lazy doctors, evil insurance companies, etc.).  I'm not going to get into the various merits and demerits of these arguments, but all of these thing weighed on my mind when, in the later weeks of pregnancy, because Scott was breech and because of IUGR concerns, it became clear that the most likely scenario was that I would not go into labor at all but have a C-section to deliver him.

It wasn't what I wanted, and I was afraid of having the surgery (because who wants to have abdominal surgery?), but that was the way it was going to be.  Part of my fear stemmed from the fact that all of my girlfriends delivered their babies the old fashioned way, and I didn't know anyone (well) who had delivered via C-section since we partied like it was 1999.  Despite having one lucid dream about the operation, I really didn't know what it would be like.  Now, looking back on the event several weeks later, here are 5 things that surprised me about having a C-section.

1. It was worse than I thought it would be.  For the first 36 hours especially and then for about a week after that.  I thought the pain would be like a sports injury - that the affected part would hurt, but the rest of my body would feel totally fine.  Not so.  I was completely exhausted after the procedure and had no energy or appetite for about a week.  There were a few moments that were very painful (although the nurses did their best to prevent that from happening), and I felt completely helpless for the first 36 hours.  The second night I walked down part of the hospital corridor, and it was one of the most physically difficult things I'd ever done.

2. It was not as bad as I thought it would be.  I felt better pretty fast.  After about 10 days I was ready to start walking (like on the treadmill for exercise) again.  Even the night of the operation I was able to get up and go to the bathroom to wash my face and brush my teeth (actually going to the bathroom would have to wait another day).  Two days later I was ready to get OUT of the hospital.  Now at 5-weeks later, I don't think I'm in any worse shape than I'd have been if I'd had a normal delivery.

3. It was not as scary as I thought it would be.  Or maybe it was more scary.  I thought the idea of knowing I was being sliced open would make me freak out or pass out, but I was actually very calm during the procedure.  For one, the operating room is really cold so it's hard to faint.  Two, everything happens so fast that you don't have much time to think about what's going on.  Three, there are so many people in the room who are doing things to you in a business-like way, the natural inclination is to lay back and let it all just happen.  I was able to feel a little tugging at the top of my rib cage, but I don't remember feeling uncomfortable pressure or nausea.  Nothing that made me think, "OMG - my abdomen is sliced open right now."

4. Having the staples removed was not painful.  Seriously.  I was terrified that I was going to be able to feel them being yanked out one by one.  The staple remover was not like one of those mean things with fangs they sell at Office Depot.  It looked more like the thing they use to trim hang nails at the salon.  I barely felt a thing.  And my scar is small and not scary looking at all. It wouldn't even be visible in a bathing suit.

5. I didn't get to be the first person to hold my baby.  And it was okay.  In our modern times, at an uncomplicated natural birth, the baby is immediately placed on mom's chest while the doctors attend to the baby so the maximum amount of bonding can take place.  In my case, I had a glimpse of a very blue Scott being whisked away to be examined but then had to wait until he was all cleaned up and checked out before I got to hold him, and even then he was all wrapped up so I could only see his little eyes.

Does it freak you out to know that, at the moment this
picture was taken, my abdomen was being sown shut?
But the thing is, that's the only way I've ever given birth, so I don't know if I'm missing something by not having that initial time together.  I'm inclined to say no.  There's never been a moment in our relationship thus far when I said, "If only he hadn't spend the first 20 minutes of his life with the medical staff..."

Did anything surprise you about the childbirth process?  Or if you've never had a baby, is there something that you fear or wonder about giving birth?

*I'm not going to write about the whole "epidural vs. no epidural" debate because I don't have any actual experience with labor or labor pain.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Nursery 2.0

It's been awhile since I posted any nursery pictures!  Last week I did some more sorting and archiving with some new storage bins from Ikea and here's the result:

Here's the view when you walk into the room.  We've still got him in a swing we borrowed from friends for sleeping.

Under the crib are two boxes - one with extra blankets and one with clothes that are currently too big or out of season.

Here's the view rotating counterclockwise.  The shelf with the sock monkey (made by Scott's great great grandma) is still the only wall decoration we have right now.

On the wall near the door is the changing table/dresser plus the diaper and regular trash cans and the laundry basket.

The box on top contains all the diaper essentials.  Although last weekend - after a particularly massive 2 am poop explosion - we decided it might not be a good idea to have a white box on the business end of a changing table.

Right by the door we have a basket with his stuffed toys and his activity mat (folded up behind).

And all the updating in the room didn't even come at too great an expense to the "closet of no return" in the back.

All this organizing is hard work!

Edited to add: We had a much better night last night.

Plus a couple more random pictures I couldn't resist adding.

5-weeks old and all bundled up to go outside on a cold day:

Baby feet:

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Baby Scott Review

It's been an exciting week.

Scott turned 1 month old: 

He did some scholarly reading (I was amazed, but he really did seem to be looking at the pictures in the book):

He got his first piece of mail:

We took advantage of the warm weather to bundle up and take a walk:

And he discovered that the pacifier *might* be his friend (jury is still out).

He's been cluster feeding in the evening, which worried me for a little while (I was concerned my milk supply was too low) until I read that it was normal at his age, and I'll tentatively say he's going for longer periods of time between meals at night.  He's also mastered latching on quickly when he wakes up at night so we've been experimenting with nursing laying on our sides.  I don't actually mind feeding him at night that much, but having to sit up to do it feels like torture.  I mean, if you described nursing at night - someone comes into your room in the middle of the night and screams for you to wake up, then makes you sit in a crouched over position while they suction your chest for a 1/2 hour - it sounds like a violation of the Geneva Convention.

Edited to add: I spoke too soon.  Last night was one of his worst on record.  No amount of feeding, diaper changing, soothing, or pacifier insertion on the part of either one of us could calm him down last night.  As far as I could tell the thing he really wanted was to come sleep in our bed with us.  And I let him.  Please don't report me to the authorities.

On the agenda for this coming week is to experiment with taking a bottle!