Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sugar Momma

Oh, how I miss thee, sweet sweet sugar.

How cruel to give a yeast infection to a sugar addict.  Who thinks of these things?

For those of you that do not know what the heck I am talking about, I've been ordered to avoid foods with white flour & sugar, as it turns out, these foods will promote growth of yeast, the very thing I am trying to get rid in my precious milk producing body.  At first I was not aware of this (in retrospect, common sense would have been a useful thing to practice, but you know, baby-brain prevails) & there I was indulging in all the many many goodies - cakes & cookies - that Granny Kay baked up for us to keep in our stock.  Then the breast-feeding consultant broke the news to me & this whole battle just got tougher.

At first I was very diligent about this, I was determined to beat this thing with the help of a healthy sugar-free, white-free boring diet.  This, I found, became a huge challenge for me, knowing that all that stuff was in our freezer, probably the hardest next to breastfeeding.  It has been about 6 weeks since, & perhaps a bit discouraged, as my boobs still hurt, so I have started to cheat. At first, I allowed myself one treat a day (why not?), but lately the junk food has started to show up more frequently in our house & I can't help my hands.  I have one person to blame (not myself of course).

Ok, so I don't blame him, why should he have to suffer just because I do.  But I'm starting to think he is flaunting it.  The junk food is appearing more & more.  Yesterday he bought a bag full of goodies (cookies & gummies included) to take hunting with him today.  We finished the gummies off last night.  I also may have had a couple cookies.  He should have left all that stuff in the truck so I would never know.  If its not in the house I can't eat it (& I am too lazy to go get it). Oh, the risks of letting your husband do the grocery shopping.

So its not all bad, this eating healthy part, just hard.  When I stopped with the sugar (the white flour wasn't as difficult as I usually go with the whole wheat/grain products when I can) I noticed a huge difference in the way I felt & actually learned something about my body.  More energy, no more sugar hang-overs.  Over the last few years I knew something I was eating was making me feel toxic, but couldn't quite place it (...or possibly was in denial).  When I cut out the high sugar foods, I started to wake up feeling pretty good & not waking up with that "I feel like I got hit by a bus today" feeling.  Actually, this self-actualization did not come at first, but after those days when I started to cheat (Thanksgiving, for example), indulging in all of Granny's goodies, & then some, realizing how much worse it made me feel than on a healthy day.

Even when (if) this yeast infection is gone, I suppose it would be wise to continue a sugar restricted diet.  It's just too bad it has to be my cryptonite, the thing that I very much enjoy.  But I suppose it is better for the baby & everyone involved.  Now to get my hubby on board...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Milk This!

Shortly after giving Scarlett a soother she started to bite me when I nursed her.  I attributed this to the habit she has formed chomping on her soother (& hopefully not teething...).  

So I am not sure what possessed me to introduce her to the bottle the same week, but I did.  Scarlett had a fit, as rookie mom made the mistake of trying to get the bottle ready only after she woke up very hungry.  So busy crying, she would not even acknowledge that I was trying to shove some foreign (but tasty) rubbery thing in her face.  Once she realized what was happening, the milk was gone before you could say "bubbles."  It was a strange feeling when I finished, I felt that I shouldn't be finished, that I forgot something & should wip out my breast at once.  I also made the mistake of not pumping the surplus, & paid for it for about 2 days.  

This creates a whole new level of freedom for me, the mom.  Although I have not used this opportunity yet, knowing that it is there makes me feel good.  I am allowing myself to plan things without worrying "what if my baby gets hungry right in the middle." A new purpose for dad while on his parental leave.  I have since tried to convince him to take over a middle-of-the-night feeding while I get my precious sleep, but have been unsuccessful in my attempts so far.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The little girl laughed to see such fun...

...and the dish ran away with the spoon.

We can only hope that such simple things will continue to entertain our little girl as she grows.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Happy Halloween?

This was our first attempt at taking pictures of our little pumpkin for halloween.  Obviously it didn't exactly go as planned (welcome to the life of a baby photographer).

But with patience & some creative thinking, we persevered & a couple days later came up with a keeper...

...and another.  Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

To Suck, or Not To Suck

My baby likes to suck.  The damage she has done to 'the girls' is evidence.  Right from the beginning she would elicit reactions from the nurses, other moms & lactation consultants whenever I nursed her, they would say "she's a little piggy," or "wow listen to her suck."  Yup I am one of the lucky ones.

Up until now I have hesitated to give her a soother, I'm not totally sure why, perhaps in fear that she might change her approach to my breast (?) or that we become totally dependant on this little device & will never ever be able to wean her off of it...imagine what the other kids will say, oh the teasing she'll take...or that her teeth will grow in all crooked...OK so maybe I am being a little overprotective, is that the word?  Paranoid?  I've adapted to this mother role quite nicely haven't I?

We recently discovered the power of the suck, how it will help put the baby to sleep in 5 minutes & all this time we have been holding, swinging, bouncing her for 10, 15, 20 minutes at a time only to put her down, have her wake up again & start over again.  But we were faced with another dilemna with the sucking strategy (pre-soother): aside from being attached to the kid, you can only let the baby suck on your finger for so long before you loose all circulation.  If baby is not asleep by the time you have to pull your wrinkly finger out of her mouth you must pick her up & hold, swing, bounce her for another 20 minutes & the finger sucking efforts were a waste of time & now you have a sore finger (it is true that Rodd feels much sympathy for my nipples after letting her suck on his finger.  

And because my baby likes to suck I have come to the conclusion that she will inevitably end up with a soother (I am sure there are ways around this, but then I suspect everything else will be in her mouth instead).  So at her sixth week, during a very fussy episode, we introduced the soother, & vowed it would be only used as a last resort so my baby does not become addicted to this thing.  At first she stuck her toungue our & made a sour face, as to say "what the heck is this & why are you putting it in my mouth," followed by a repeated act, but charmingly, she took it on the third attempt.  After discovering that this rubbery thing is not so bad, Scarlett took to sucking, even chomping on her beloved soother.  The last couple days have been a learning process, not to suck too hard so that the soother goes shooting out of her mouth.  She has since has learned to keep it in her mouth for periods of time, that is of course after many efforts by mom & dad to pick it up, wash it off & put it back in her mouth (& again, we become parents, as this is the beginning of picking up after our baby girl).  Today she fell asleep with it & when I tried to take it out, she resisted with all her sleepy might, revealing a big ring around her mouth.  

Now my sucking fears have subsided & I have decided that perhaps this soother thing isn't so bad.  She seems to like it. & until she figures out how to wail that ear piercing wail with a soother in her mouth, I guess I like it too.  

I've been told some babies like to suck.  Mine is one of them.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

On Becoming a Mom, AKA "Momming"

As someone who often has difficulty adapting to life changes, I was surprised how easy it was to switch to mother mode with no previous experience.  The transition to was not an effortful adjustment, as I had anticipated, but an automatic shift in thinking.  

The moment Scarlett entered this world my whole perspective on my life changed & it was no longer all about me.  Suddenly many of my wants & what I thought were needs, disappeared & my child's needs prevailed.  My pre-baby personal wish list was quite lengthy I am pretty sure, but recently when my husband tried to send me on a shopping trip one day as a little break, I didn't go because I could not think of anything I wanted to buy for myself.

Rodd & I have become less sensitive & more tolerable to each other's moods (OK, so mostly my moods), I supposed because we are tuned into our child's moods instead.  This becomes a new sport that neither of us have tried before & we make quite the team.  Learning new coping skills from one another & catering to  one another's needs (in relation to baby of course). When one of us has had enough we don't even have to look at each other, the other just knows its time to take over.  We've worked together to find out what baby is asking for & look for each other's approval when it comes to even the simplest decisions, like what should Scarlett wear today?

Things that were optional before no longer become optional.  For example, I don't crank the music up (& sing along at the top of my lungs) when we drive places anymore, with respect to the kid of course.  In fact I don't even have the desire to do that anymore.  Also, had it not been in the best interest of the baby, no way would I still be breastfeeding.  Putting up with the cringing pain during late night feedings seemed my only option, a non-negotiable sacrifice for my baby.  Before I would have hesitated to go to Shoppers to pick up whatever it was we were out of, & put it off.  But now its obvious, if baby needs it we will go get it, & will get it now before baby gets hungry again.

I can no longer think of myself without thinking of myself in relation to my daughter.  Now this little portable child of mine goes wherever I go & vice versa.  At this point I cannot be (& have not been) away from her for longer than a couple hours. The realization that she is here for good sunk in pretty quickly & I have had no reservations about it. Although it was not very long ago, I have a hard time picturing what it was like prior to baby, & find it hard to believe that at one time this little human being was no more that a question mark.

Life has changed, a new life has changed us, and although it has been an adjustment, I am proud to say I have found it so much more natural & instinctive than initially anticipated.  I love the new us & wouldn't change a thing.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

My First Baby's First First

I have a little athlete in the making.  I know what you are thinking: "Isn't that a little presumptuous at this stage?  Such high expectations for your one month old!" Well before you make any judgements, hear me out.

I don't mean to brag - actually, yes I do...isn't that what moms are supposed to do?

Picture this: half a dozen grown women (many of them mothers themselves) gawking over coos & smiles & kicks (after all its not every day that you get to be around a one month old).  Little Scarlett performing, looking back at all the nice ladies & soaking up all the attention.  One of the ladies, obviously impressed by Scarlett's athlete-like movements, decides to see what this young baby will do if they put her on her belly.  Scarlett grunts & kicks & the next thing we know, she is on her back!  The room goes into an uproar, one of the ladies hugs me & everyone celebrates this incredible first.  

I must admit I am a bit skeptical at first, thinking this is coincidence & am more entertained by everyone's reaction than my own child (after all I get to be around her every day).  So they pick her up & put her on her belly again.  Scarlett kicks & grunts & rolls over again!  And again!  My friends are so excited to have witnessed this baby book moment, & so early.  They keep telling me that babies this young don't do that.  And I now realize that I really do have a Wonder Baby.  She has done this impossible feat 4 times since.

I can look back at the series of events that have led to this historical baby moment & it sort of makes sense.  Hours of kicking & punching in the womb to leg presses with dad on the couch (baby belly down on Dad's chest, her feet pushing against Dad's hands,  army crawling up Dad's chest) while watching Sports Center.  & thus Wonder Baby is created.

So what does this mean for the future?  We risk the likelihood of a child that crawls & walks early, getting into all sorts of trouble before we are ready.  I've seen an 8 month old that could run, getting into everything in sight & not quite grasping the concept of "No."  Perhaps this is the sacrifice we must make & I realize that raising a Wonder Baby may not be so easy after all.

Please sit back & enjoy Scarlett's bigscreen debut:

Monday, October 4, 2010


Scarlett & I were blessed with a surprise baby shower put on by my very awesome splurge club on Saturday.  Books & good food & games, we had a great time.  Scarlett was an absolute angel, loving the attention & not one fussy moment.  I think maybe I should record this in her baby book as her first act of rebellion in an attempt to prove her mom wrong (see previous post on crying).  

Thanks Ladies, we are so lucky to have you in our lives!  Check out the sweet diaper cake!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

My Baby Doesn't Cry...She Screams

I swear its getting louder. We now enter a new stage of parenthood, the honeymoon phase is over & we are starting to realize what we are in for.  Little Miss Scarlett is living up to her name, well her temperament is anyway.  I guess we should have known better when we chose her name.

Some days she doesn't even warn us, just wakes up screaming.  Bad dream?  Maybe.  Gas pain?  Perhaps.  Hunger?  Likely, but not always.

Don't get me wrong, she can still be a sweet little angel, she will look up at you with her big eyes & make cute cooing & sighing sounds, & sometimes will even give you a genuine ear to ear smile (accompanied by a 'haha' sigh if you are lucky), this all just makes your day.  I have also become particularly fond of her moments of independence, when she will lay in her crib, kick, grunt & let out the occasional 'happy squeal' (I have no way to explain this, but I am sure existing parents must know what I am talking about).  Or she will just lay in your arms or her swing & baring an intense look of concentration, silently taking in the world around her.  Unfortunately, as of this past week (which felt like eternity), these moments have been further & fewer between.  

By no means do I claim that my baby is colicky - what I believe is an over-used & abused term that is too often taken out of context - out of respect to all those poor parents who actually have or have had colicky babies.  But she has been fussy when awake & I hope this is just a phase & not an increasing state that my poor child becoming.

We used to want to wake her up when she slept.  Now don't dare to wake her & hope that she stays sleeping for a while.

As new parents, we are learning how to understand & cope with the fussy moments.  We understand this is her only way of communicating with us the discomfort she is in, but that's about as far as our understanding goes (this lack of understanding become particularly prominent after a 2:00am feeding when our baby just won't go back to sleep).  These moments are made a little more copeable (I know that's not a real word, but just pretend it is) with both parents, as we can usually hand her off to the other half when we have had enough.  Yesterday, however, Dad decided to go out for a few hours (& I do not blame him, he - and the dog - need to get out once in a while). While they were gone, the baby had one of her 'moments', & although she had just been fed & changed, she was not letting up.  Dad had been gone for a few hours & I had enough.  I tried to hold her in all different positions, rock her, bounce her, (I dare not to sing to her when she is upset, it just makes it worse) nothing worked.  So I plopped her (gently of course) into her crib & left to let her cry.  After a couple ear piercing wails, she suddenly stopped & that was it.  I listened from the other side of the house as she grunted & squealed (but didn't scream), just to let me know that she was still there.  At one point she started up again, so I went in there & turned her head the other way & what do you know, she stopped again.  As soon a Dad walked through the door, she once again started up, & this time was very very mad.  I still don't know what the problem was.  Babies are so confusing.  Or maybe we parents are just confused.

So you read this & you think, "yup, I've been there," or even "had it worse," "its nothing new".  Maybe you think I don't even have a right to complain (too bad this is my blog).  But to us this is completely all new & all we know.  Perhaps we've been spoiled in our first couple weeks with a pretty relaxed baby & only now are we getting a taste of what new parents actually go through.  Regardless, I imagine there will be tougher times ahead (accompanying all those new & exciting milestones to come, of course) as little Scarlett continues to develop, rather express, her personality (aka temperament).  In the meantime I hope my little girl gets happier, as we are all happier when she is (even the dog).

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fashion Statement?

I think not.  Its that annoying purple stuff - gentian violet - that our parents used on us when we were infants to beat thrush.  Its purple & its messy & its dry.  Unfortunately its is supposed to be the best treatment for this nasty case of thrush/yeast infection we are battling.  This stuff stains everything, so you can imagine my reaction at 12:30am when I managed to spill half the bottle across the bathroom counter & everything on it, during my first attempt to use the stuff. It's been making both of us uncomfortable & cranky, but we're tough & we are getting through it :)

It's been quite the adjustment for the 2 of us.  Complimentary to this silly purple medicine (which goes on the baby's mouth & the mom's nipples), we are on a restricted diet, flucanzole (pills for mom), niastatin (for baby - at least it tastes like bananas), nipple ointment cream, grapefruit seed extract & pro biotic supplements.  That's no all...there are the bra-boiling & vinegar rinse routines to go along with the whole regime.  Needless to say our day is pretty jam packed with beating this 'systemic yeast infection'.  I don't think it is even bothering her, but my poor baby has to go through all of this just to help her mom feel better, so we don't keep infecting one another.  All I have to say is thank goodness I am on my hubby's health plan.

Could this have been avoided...probably not, but had I known what I know now perhaps could have been dealt with more effectively.  Which brings me to the observation that mothers do not talk about these types of problems to 'non-mothers' until they become mothers & go through it themselves, only after we started having the problems, did I come to know what can happen & how common these problems are (& I do appreciate all the advice given).  I've been told that this is a protective maternal strategy, where existing mothers who have gone through it all don't want to scare other childless women into not having children...however I must say I am the kind of person that would like to know what can potentially go wrong so I can better deal with it.  So here is my honest rendition of my experience & for those of you who have not yet experienced the pain & joy of becoming a mother (listen to me all experienced now, ha!) proceed with caution as I blog about my sore boobs, but please read on if you would like to learn more about what you may be able to prevent or prepare yourself for.   

So how this all started is not for us to know, but I suspect, due to my history of chronic systemic yeast infections, I started it.  A friend warned me to get checked out for a yeast infection & treated if necessary before my baby is born to avoid thrush.  I mentioned this to my doctor, but he sort of brushed it off as a common thing (thrush) & not a big deal if it happens.  As much as I like our doctor, he obviously has never attempted to latch a newborn to his bleeding nipple.   I'll only make a mere mention of the irritation below the waist (again from the yeast infection) - which is there, but second to the drama that is going on between baby & nipple.

The first challenge of becoming a mother: learning to all newbies, this is something that mom & baby need to figure out between to two of them (a little guidance is helpful - nurses shoving their hands between baby & boobs & squishing baby's face into your nipple is not helpful) .  I think had I gone to the breastfeeding clinic on my due date (which I have no excuse, other than I wasn't feeling up to it) I may have been a little more prepared. I am still a little confused as to where we went wrong int he beginning (or if the yeast infection, which will cause cracks, started from the beginning) as every time I would try to get help the nurse would say "it looks like she has a good latch."  But it still hurt.  Once in a while one of them would make a comment on how strong of a sucker she is, or how much of a piggy she is (whether latched on properly or not, she was getting her milk).  In fact in our first attempt to feed, the kid gave me a hickey just below the nipple.  It didn't take long for the nipples to start cracking, bleeding & scabbing, but I was too stubborn & naive to try anything else.  Then came the puffy, red & sensitive rash-like sensation on the nipples.  And I became what my husband would call "much more hormonal."

So here we are 3 weeks later, & finally I can bear the feeding on one side (with little or no pain in fact) & the cracks are healing up, I can see the light.  Stabbing pains in my ducts after feeding, before feeding & every time I think about feeding (or even when I yawn) has started to limit to the left side.  The only way to minimize the pain on the right is to shove my poor kid's face into my breast as squished as I can, to the point where I feel I am suffocating her & must make an airway with my finger to allow her to breath.  This makes it difficult to relax & as a result am in dire need of a massage & some Ibuprofen.  

We do most of our arguing back & forth when it comes time to feed.  I haven't yet grasped the idea of bonding with your child while breastfeeding, as many moms claim to experience.  I will be happy the day I don't cringe at the thought of feeding my child.  

But in the big picture, Baby Scarlett is healthy & plump, & despite all the hardships (with more to come I am sure) she's so totally worth it.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Meet Scarlett

Full Name: Scarlett Nicole Zoerb - it was only after she was born did I realize the word scarlet is a color.  A funny coincidence considering I've always wanted to name my kids after colors & stones.  Nicole is my only sister's name, with whom I have a very unique sisterly relationship.
AKA: Mouse (squeaks in her sleep), Baby Girl (pretty self-explanatory), Scowlet (cousin Layla wanted to take her 'sister' Scowlet home), & Charlotte (much easier to remember for our 5 year old neighbor, Cali).
Weight & Height at Birth: 7lbs 2 oz & 20" long (I forgot to ask how big her head was, which is more definitive when considering the path she took to enter this world). People say "that's a nice size" - sure didn't feel nice!  

Weight & Height at 2 Weeks: Scarlett now weighs a whopping 7lbs 10.5oz & is 20 & 1/4".  It's nice to know that we are doing something right.
Labour & Birthing Experience: When people ask me how the birthing experience went, I am not really sure how to answer it & find myself giving different answers depending on who I have talked to.  It's not really something you can describe to someone who has never experienced giving birth before.  I have definitely developed a new appreciation for my mother, who delivered 6 kids by the time she was my age, & all the other childbearing women in the world...especially those who don't have access to laughing gas, jacuzzi tubs & epidurals.  But here are the facts:
Total hours of labour = 14.  About 4 of those were quite bearable, 6 becoming more intense but bearable still, & 2 what felt extremely unbearable (but obviously bearable as I got through it) 1 hour of bliss (thanks to the epidural) with a twinge of pain here & there (left side was partially unfrozen) & the last hour consisted of pushing this child out, epidural turned down (someone once told me that the pushing wasn't the hard part...I would like to contend to that statement).  At 2:00 pm we went to the hospital at which point I was 3 centimeters dilated &  Scarlett was born at 6:37 (according to the 'medical experts' it all went pretty quickly...sure didn't feel like it!).  She was crying before she was completely delivered & scored a perfect 10 on the Agar.
Coming Home: After 2 nights in the hospital we were given an instruction manual to take home with the kid.  I have to say it didn't quite cover it.  This whole time I thought the hard part would be over with the pregnancy.  Oh how naive I was.  Since coming home we have had the luxury of dealing with stitches down under...bleeding cracked nipples (despite all efforts of help from many nurses)...yeast infection & a case of thrush (entering round 2 of meds)...blocked tear ducts....blocked milk ducts...& a few sleepless nights (though Scarlett has been pretty good to us in the sleep department for the most part).  On the bright side we have a new source of entertainment, as mom & dad we just sit & stare at her tiny little expressions & listen to her funny little sounds for hours on end.  In fact, dad is already grieving over the fact that she won't be like this forever.
In just 2 weeks this kid has changed already so much.  I finally understand what new mothers mean when they say it goes by so fast.  Scarlett's nose will never again be all squished & turned up like it was 10 days ago (well, let's hope).

Monday, September 6, 2010

Introducing Scarlett Nicole Zoerb

The wait is over & with that much of the Wonder Baby mystery is gone as we welcome our wonderful new baby girl.  She is perfect in every way that a new parent can imagine, & worth every sacrifice & moment leading up to her.  We are now confronted with a whole new package of wonders about the years ahead.  Here are some pictures to enjoy of our precious little girl in her first few days.

Scarlett Nicole Zoerb
7 lbs 2 oz
20 inches
Born September 3, 2010, 6:30pm

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Mother Nature's Ways

Sometimes Mother Nature has a funny way of doing things. You don't have to agree with these ways (whether you want to call it God's will or whatever) but you must accept them as they are as you cannot change them (anyone who has learned to defy the rules of such a force I'd be interested to hear you out).

It is 4:00am on a Tuesday morning.  I am 3 days overdue & have given up the battle with sleep for what seems like the ump-teenth night in a row.  As I sip on my lemon honey tea I reflect on the last few sleepless (not by choice) months.  They say it is Mother Nature's way of training me for the many sleepless nights to come with baby.  But how much training does one need, really?

It started with heartburn, which has been an ongoing battle for most of the pregnancy, but started waking me up every few hours as there became less room in my midsection for Wonder Baby & all my organs.  OK so I get it, the science behind it along with the Great Mother's ways & came to accept it as it is.  I became accustomed to the ways of fragmented sleep & daily afternoon naps & decided it wasn't so bad.  Combine that with increasing frequented need to pee (which usually waited until I was up to take a tums anyway), but I quickly learned to fall back asleep in no time. 

Then a few weeks ago I started experiencing aggravating pain in my left jaw due to a hypersensitive tooth. Convinced I would need a root canal but refusing to go to the dentist at this point in my pregnancy I decided to tough it out, frustrated.  I was up every night for an hour or two walking around trying to settle it down (does this sound like something I might be repeating soon, as a new mother?) using heat or tea or TV to help calm the storm within.  After a week or so, to my delight, the pain eventually stopped its nightly check ins & I was sleeping a bit more regularly again (note that the heartburn has not gone away but has become less frequent as the baby has moved down - the need to pee on the other hand has only become more frequent, of course).  

Then my due date came.  And it passed.  The minute I was overdue (let's say that was 12:00 midnight for convenience sake) I rapidly developed the worst cold of the year.  It hurt to breath, cough & talk.  Mucus took over my airways making it impossible to lay down.  Hello Mother.  I was doomed yet for another night's sleep.  That was 3 nights ago.  I have been doing everything (safe) I can think of to fight off this cold so we can get on with this baby business.  The next night I thought I did pretty good as I could breath through my nose & got a better sleep than I had in weeks & decided the worst was over.  My body must have really needed a break so Mother Nature cut me some slack - for one night.  Now here I am, the rest of the world fast asleep (if you are lucky) a snot machine, a snot factory, unable to find a vapor trail through my nasal passage.  My lips are swollen & jaw is sore from breathing through my mouth.  I am sure I am not the first in the history of conception to feel this way at this point, & I am usually not much to complain (well my husband could probably counter that argument - but that's a whole other point).  However at 9+ months, basketball belly & lacking sleep, I have given myself full permission to complain.  I suspect I will look back at this after all is said & done & wonder what the heck I had to complain about.  But in the meantime thank you for listening...

On a more positive note, feeling this sick sure takes my mind off any desire to deliver a child right now. Could this be Nature's way of distracting me until Wonder Baby is ready to join the world?  I suppose I should entrust & accept this fate, as the Great Mother herself probably knows a thing or 2 about the process of becoming a mother.  

Friday, August 27, 2010

Baby Poll

At my baby shower than my friend Kris so generously hosted in July, we had a baby poll.  Being that tomorrow is my official "due date" I thought I would post the anticipated guestimates.  Whoever gets the right date wins a prize.  At this point as much as I like prizes (& bragging rights) I hope that my mom (Kelly) who's guess is next on the calendar wins.  At this point I also hope I am the wrongest, eager to get this baby born!

Kristen - boy, 7-5, Aug 24
Helen - girl, 6-8, Aug 25
Sandra - boy, 7-4, Aug 26
Kelly - girl, 7-3, Aug 29
Sarah - girl, 6-4, Aug 30
Kit - boy, 8, Aug 31
Trudy - girl, 7 lbs 2 oz, Sept 3
Jess - girl, 7-11, Sept 4

Thanks again Kris for putting this on & to my family for all the awesome gifts.  Wonder Baby is one lucky duck!

My family eagerly awaiting Wonder Baby's grand debut

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Baby Budget

Today we were in the grocery store buying some last minute newborn necessities & the hubby was taken back by the price of diapers...I guess this is just another reality to hit us as we anticipate the arrival of our little package (which I suspect will come with a many many accessories).
A number of friends & family have asked what we need for our new baby.  Being this is our first, I have had difficulty really knowing what we will need, but now that Wonder Baby could drop any time now we have managed to accumulate what we think are all the basics needed to take care of a newborn.  However, I thought I would make a list of things we may need or want for the future, near & far, for anyone who wants to know.  I hope this isn't too forward (by no means should you feel obligated to go out & purchase something for us after reading this).
Wonder Baby's Wish List (only for those who really want to know):
  • Newborn clothes (I guess this depends on how ginormous our child is)
  • Sleepers
  • Baby Clothes Hangers
  • Diapers (of course)
  • nail clippers & other grooming accessories
  • high chair (thinking ahead)
  • Tupperware (thinking aheader)
  • play pen
  • jumper
  • baby blocks
  • discovery toys
  • Baby Einstein music
  • breast pump
  • change table sheets
  • baby meds & vitamins (maybe you already moms out there can help me out on what I may need in this area?)
In an attempt to not get caught up in the consumerism agenda, we have tried to keep our supply list down to the basics.  We have been extremely fortunate to have a number of generous friends & family members lend & hand down many of our baby necessities & as a result, so far this baby hasn't broke the budget.  I'm sure we will have our turn as our child grows into a teeny bopper demanding the latest brain draining technological trends in an attempt to fit in (lets face it, we've all been there)...if not before.  In the meantime, we have managed to put a bit of cash aside in case of any unanticipated surprises.  However as a result, my hubby has set his eye on a 40" Plasma TV, perhaps in the realization that soon he may not be able to afford one & does not want to miss out on this window of opportunity.  I have managed to convince him to hold off until winter....its a start.  I'll let you know how that goes.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Wonder Owl Waits

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I love my baby's new mural, thanks to my mom who came to paint it while I 'supervised.' Wonder Owl is awaiting the arrival of the new baby. It will be nice to know that there will be someone to watch over our baby when we are all asleep at night. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Top Tens

Top Ten Perks of Being the Baby Incubator:
10: An excuse to write a blog that people actually want to read.
9:  Relating to other women in a way that I have not done before (after the whole experience I am sure I will have an even bigger appreciation for other moms, especially my own).
8:  Lots of hardly-used-hand-me-down maternity clothes.
7:  An excuse to nap every day.
6:  An excuse to redecorate (apparently I like excuses).
5:  People will go out of their way to accomodate you (although I am typically a do-it-yourself kind of    person, I must admit there comes a time when you really appreciate this).
4:  Foot rubs.
3:  Emotional stability - believe it or not, my hormones seem to have done the opposite of what they say when it comes to mood swings, etc.
2:  Sharing this time with a loving husband - we've never been happier!
1:  Watching & feeling the baby move around inside.
Top Ten Things I am Most Looking Forward To (after the baby comes):
10: A break from the workload.
9:  Taking & sharing pictures of my new baby (does that contradict the previous item?).
8:  Getting back in shape - I miss exercise.
7:  Ibuprofen (Tylenol never worked for me).
6:  Visiting & sharing with friends & family.
5:  Putting my ribs back where they belong, ow.
4:  No more heartburn, no more heartburn!
3:  Spending time with my wonderful hubby - as much as I can complain, he's been extra nice lately :)
2:  Showing off Wonder Baby (it's true, I am a show off).
1:  Meeting Wonder Baby in person.
Top Ten Complaints (I had to add this):
10: The challenge of tieing my own shoes.
9:  Clumsiness. 
8:  Baby Brain.
7:  Digestive system (I'll spare the details).
6:  Nausea (thank goodness it only lasted 3-4 months).
5: Utter exhaustion.
4:  Food sensitivities.
3:  Sore Ribs.
2:  Less sleep.
1:  Heartburn.
Top Ten Wonders:
10: How will Willow (Wonder Dog) react to dropping in the ranks to a new family member?
9:  Do we have everything we need for the first week or so?
8:  How long before I send Rodd back to work?
7:  How big will Wonder Baby be (more concerning, how big will his/her head be?)
6:  Will Wonder Baby be an easy baby?
5:  How labour will go for me?
4:  Who/what Wonder Baby will look like?
3:  Wonder Baby's gender.
2:  Will Wonder Baby be healthy?
1:  When will Wonder Baby decide to join the rest of us?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Almost an Outie

See my outie?  Well its sort of part innie, part outie.  Perhaps that is why I am putting things off.  Because if I get everything ready for Wonder Baby, then that will give the little tyke permission to come out.  
The hubby had been practically begging me to get some studio pictures taken, only I had a slight problem...if I was the subject in the picture, how could I take them.  He enthusiastically volunteered to take some & I reluctantly gave up what shutter control I could & let him.  We spent a good hour downstairs, Rodd discovering how much fun it can be to be the one behind the camera & myself feeling quite self conscious on the other end.  I struggled with setting the lights correctly (something to do with Baby Brain, they tell me) In the end we came up with some pretty decent shots.  He insisted we get some, lets say risque photos & I hesitantly gave in, deciding if I am going do this to my clients (the willing ones of course), I must put myself in their position....those images show a little more skin than I am comfortable sharing, so they will remain for our eyes only.
So here you see Wonder Baby as is today.  At 37 weeks I could give birth any day now, which is scary & exciting all the same.  I have the usual complaints of the 9 month woman, but not so sure I wish for this baby to come out just yet....& as a matter of fact, Wonder Baby seems quite comfortable where he/she is, other than the odd dance routine that takes place when I am ready to settle down.  In a number of ways I have bonded with this little creature squirming around inside my lovely lady bump & imagine in all the excitement it will be an adjustment when Wonder Baby is no longer dependant on my inner workings to work his/her own.
I think it is time to pack my hospital bag as the reality of this long anticipated responsibility is creeping up on us.  Perhaps the next time you hear from me I will be in a completely different state of mind, whether it is typing between efforts to coax Wonder Baby out of its comfy little womb, painful contractions, or attempting to feed, catching sleep & trying to control diaper changing induced gag reflexes.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Interview with the Wonder Belly

I've decided to frame an interview with myself, purely for entertainment sake.  Enjoy!
Due Date: August 28th, 2010.

When did you find out? December 30th, 2009.

Was it a surprise? Yes & No.  I had a feeling because mt head had been feeling a bit funny for a few weeks. I took the test because I was going out for New Years wanted to know if I should avoid the drink. 

What was your husband's reaction?  He played it all calm & cool at first, but I could tell he was happy (& maybe a bit shocked) -  he had to check the test for himself.  After he let his guard down I've never seen him so excited about anything in his life (not even hunting.  He likes to show my belly off & said he is most looking forward to showing off his baby when its born.

Were you nauseous?  Yes for the first 3-4 months, it came in waves throughout the day, it was sort of annoying, but never bad enough to upchuck.

Food cravings: Mmmmmm, peanut butter.  Can't get enough.  And sweets but that's not really new.  When I crave something specific I won't get it out of my head until I get some.  Yesterday I made lemon pie.

Food disagreements: Milk products & sugar are my worst enemies - unfortunately I want them all the time.   Who would have thought being pregnant can bring on lactose intolerance, the body does funny things.  Unfortunately sugar (as noted in previous question) is also a weakness of mine, so it is the battle of the wills.  I had ice cream for lunch yesterday...tasted great, but I soon found out it was a big mistake, I felt terrible afterwards.

Gender prediction:  My intuition was telling me it was a boy for the first 6 months, but then I became unsure & now I am leaning towards a girl.  Obviously I am confused.

Weight gained at this point: 27ish lbs.  Seems like a lot but people always seem surprised when I tell them my due date.  I must hide it well in my luscious curves.

Best part of being pregnant: Watching & feeling Wonder Baby poke around in my protruding belly.  I often wonder how many limbs this baby has, sometimes I can feel movement 5 different places at once.

Worst part of being pregnant:  Heartburn every time I eat & every night, so very annoying...& leads to a lack of sleep, making it hard to function some days.

What do you miss about not being pregnant? Jogging...although I wonder if I really actually would be doing it if I wasn't pregnant.

Most surprising symptom: Clumsiness, I drop things on a regular basis.  My poor floor.

Did you have an ultrasound?  Yes 2, one at 13 weeks, one at 20 weeks.  I almost cried during the first one when the baby waved at us.  You could see all its little fingers & joints, that's when it first seemed real.  The other pics just seemed alien-like.


Do you have names picked out yet? Yes, but I'm not telling!

Any pregnancy dreams? Only 2 that I can remember, although all my dreams are very vivid since the Wonder Belly.  Both dreams were about pain free labours - wishful thinking I suppose?

Are you moody?  No more than usual, I don't think, just ask my hubby. Well OK maybe a little.

Are you taking prenatal classes?  Yup, currently in progress & to my surprise, Rodd is quite enthused about them.  We recently watched birthing videos.  I thought I would handle anything, but quite appalled.  Oh well, no turning back now.

Favorite pregnancy books: You: Having a Baby, The Canadian Mother's Guide to Pregnancy, & Chicken Soup for the Expectant Mother's Soul.

Favorite pregnancy shows: I didn't know I was Pregnant & Make Room for Multiples. These shows tend to put things into perspective for me. 

Home or Hospital birth?  Hospital (hopefully!).  Luckily it only takes 7 minutes to get anywhere in Moose Jaw, so there will be no babies delivered in a police car for me!

Epidural?  Probably, but want to do a bit more research.

Are you planning to breastfeed? Yes, if all goes as planned.

Nursery Theme: Owl theme. Dark brown, deep sunny yellow & fire red.  Gender neutral & somewhat unconventional, just the way I like it.  I want to paint a mural...better get on it.

What is one thing you would change about being pregnant? If only my clothes would grow with me, so I wouldn't have to find a new wardrobe every 3 weeks.  I think my bedroom floor would be a lot cleaner too.

Any words of wisdom for new Wonder Bellies? Surround yourself with lots of support.  I've been so lucky & have received so many maternity clothes, baby furniture & clothes, but more importantly positive support from friends & family (it makes the whole experience more fun).  I am so grateful for the generous people we have in our lives.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Soon to be Three

I observe as my belly button slowly disappears, & it becomes more of a reality that life, as we know it - just the 2 of us (& Willow of course) - is about to change in ways that we've never experienced before (thank you to the many child bearers in our lives that constantly remind us of this).  With less than 2 months to go I am really starting to feel the pressure of making sure we are prepared (a feeling that is becoming more frequent & pressing, very much in sync to the physical pressure on my achy ribs). Friends have generously given me more books than I can read - I may be a fast typer but I'm a slow reader - & we have been regularly attending our prenatal classes, but I know deep down that there is only so much we can do to prepare ourselves for the life changes to come.  Its kind of like how people can tell you what it is like to grow a baby inside of you (even if they skip out on all the gooey taboo stuff that people do not want to talk about), but you never really know until you experience it for yourself.  The unknowing of what is to come & how it will affect our lives is kind of exciting - & maybe a bit scary...  When people say "your life is going to change forever" I think to myself that this is the kind of change that I have been craving for the past few years, since the 'ticker' started.  Saying that, am I ready???  Or should I say are we ready???  Well maybe only as prepared as we need to at this point.  But being a girl who thrives under pressure & deadlines - (assuming Wonderbaby doesn't decide to make his/her escape early), along with the challenge of living with a husband that sometimes needs a little extra push to get his butt in gear, all in all I think we will be as ready as we need to be when we need to be. So as long as my innie is still an innie, I guess I can sleep at night (as much as Wonderbaby lets me) knowing that I have a little more time to do whatever it is I need to do to prepare for our birth into parenthood.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Again thank you Kristen for being brave enough to host a shower for me & inviting my many many relatives. Here is a little reminder. I hope you can make it!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Picture Time!

Thanks to friends Kristen & Brandi of Bella Carta Studios we had the opportunity to document this exciting time in our lives. Thanks girls for putting up with Rodd (well both of us)'ve opened my eyes to realize that he is 'one of those guys' & reminded me of why I don't try to take pictures of him for practice.

You can check out more pics of us parents-to-be (where my hubby is not making funny faces - well maybe he is but you can't see his face so I guess it doesn't matter) on their blog here.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Definitely Pregnant

So its been a while...I've been so busy that I sometimes forget to remember that I am pregnant.  However these moments are becoming less & less frequent as I become more & more pregnant.  More often now than ever, I get daily reminders that make it impossible to forget.  As I sneak into the 3rd trimester I look back & say I can definitely mark in my mind the transition from going from 'a little pregnant' to 'definitely pregnant' (I remember the day my good & honest friend told me I didn't just look chubby anymore) & the little (yet progressively increasing) milestones that take place in between.  I remember the moment I stepped on the scale to discover that I weighed more than I ever have before....and I decided it was an odd thing to watch your body grow like so & even more so to accept it.  Little did I know that was nothing compared to what I was in for.

It sneaks up on you.  Just when you are used to being pregnant a certain way, you wake up wearing a whole new body!  You would think the previous days aches & pains of stomach muscles stretching (which I would usually blame on too much dairy) would be a clue to what lies ahead, but you are never prepared for when your belly takes on a whole new form & shape, one it has never taken on before.  There have been mornings (often after what feels like a late night dance party going on inside the womb) that I have woken up in a panic as my baby bump looks like none I have ever seen before.  I gasp "What's happening to my belly?" My husband's attempts to reassure me, "Babe, that's 'cause your pregnant" doesn't always cut it.  And its not just the belly, its the thighs, hips & even all 20 toes, I swear.  Suddenly the pants that you were wearing 2 days earlier won't go past your hips & you have to dive into the hand-me-down pile to dig out the clothes that your friend gave to you, reluctantly resorting to the ones that you never thought you would fit into but were too polite to tell your friend when she lent them to you...back in the 'hardly pregnant' days.

Don't get me wrong, watching Wonderbaby change your body can be kind of entertaining as well.  He/she sends little messages to the outside world, whatever they mean, they can be fun to feel & watch while laying on the couch.  I study my belly button stretch from one side to another as I track the baby's tour around the womb.  My hubby watches from the other side of the room (during the commercials of course) & gives the odd giggle.  I try to make it move but before any reaction I hear my husband scold me "Don't poke the baby!"

So for now being 'definitely pregnant' isn't so bad, atleast people can look at me & know why my body has taken on this somewhat bizarre form, but I feel pretty good & can still move around & be relatively limber (I try my very best consciously not to look more pregnant than I am, by doing things like refusing to waddle).  Perhaps I will change my mind the day that I have to turn sideways to pull my chair in to let someone by, the day I will know I am 'very pregnant.'

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Willow's World

Dear Willow,

Due to a series of recent past events (which you are too young to understand) the world as you know it now is about to change in many ways. You are soon to become a big brother & with that title will come many responsibilities. It is time for you to take that step from
puppy-hood to dog-hood & will have to let go of the many habits of the past. Mom & Dad will do our very best to help prepare you for this adjustment.

You will have to learn to be more gentle. It will no longer be acceptable for you to go around stepping on people's feet. Us grownups can handle it, but the baby will be very delicate & you will have to refrain from rough-housing in his or her presence. At the same time you will need to pay more attention to where your back end is relative to your surroundings.

You already know that humans make all sorts of funny smells. The baby will make smells that you will have never witnessed before. You may have to ignore these smells from time to time so to not get in Mom & Dad's way. As well, you may come across areas in the house that smell like someone
else's territory, but it is very important that you do not attempt to reclaim those spots & know that it was most likely an accident.

When a baby is so small & unable to care for itself, it will require much attention from Mom & Dad. Remember when you were young & got very sick & Dad stayed with you in your bed? You had very similar needs. There will be days when you will have to accept it is too cold to go out for a run, or that Mom & Dad are just too busy. We will do our best to get you out as much as possible, & we ask that you do your best to accept that part of growing up is understanding that other's needs sometimes come before yours. Hard for any kid to accept, I know.

You are big enough to hold the responsibility of teaching your little brother or sister many life lessons. For example, as we taught you, to stay on the sidewalk, stop, sit & look both ways before crossing, & to stay within site so you don't get lost. To let him or her know when he or she is being to rough & that biting is unacceptable. To clean up after himself or herself (you may help) & to ask politely when he or she wants something, & which tricks to perform for company. Later on to catch a
frisbee, go down the slide on his or her own, & to retrieve the birds for Dad on hunting trips (we will continue to work on this one with you). These are skills you have mastered mostly very well & we know that you will do an excellent job of teaching them to your future sibling(s).

This may seem like a lot to ask of you, but you are a good dog & we believe that you are very capable of
achieving these expectations. Please remember that although we may not always be able to show it, we will not love you any less than we always have, even with another baby to love. You will always be our Willie & with your help we will work our hardest to make life the best it can be for the all of us.

We love you!
Mom & Dad