Life as a New Mom

A first-time mom adjusting to her new everything


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Things I’m currently semi-obsessed with

Because I have nothing else to do (that I want to do…)!

  • Nautical nursery.  This will likely become its own post sometime, but I decided I wasn’t digging the nursery I’d originally done.  So when the wall decals (the only decor, so not expensive at all) started peeling off because of the heat and crappy glue, I took it as a sign.  God wants me to redecorate this nursery.  I decided on a nautical theme, but not the cutesy baby nautical, and not coastal.  Just nautical, and someday I can transition it to a guest room decor if Widget decides he wants something different and I choose to allow it.
  • Making plans to go back and visit family.  Last time we were up was when Daddy died, so I’d like to go up for a happier occasion.  Plus my almost sister-in-law is awesome and I don’t see her enough!
  • The Real Housewives of Anywhere-Except-New-York-Because-I-Don’t-Like-New-York.  Currently airing is Beverly Hills.  No idea why I love these series so much, but I do.  I really, really do.  They make me laugh, shake my head, and feel good about my life choices, all at once.
  • My husband.  This one’s on the list to stay, but it bears saying, because I love him.

What are your current obsessions, if you have any?

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The Early Bird gets the….hot coffee!

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This seems like a fitting topic for Fat Tuesday.

All my life, even the teen years, I have been a morning lark.  Mornings make me happy.  I remember being 5 years old, getting up with my daddy (who worked retail, and those shifts are crazy!) and doing Mousercise (mouse-er-size…Mickey Mouse exercise on the Disney channel) while he had breakfast.  It came on at 5am.

So why did my schedule change?  Stupid question.  It was changed by the tiny Mussolini I birthed.

More importantly, why did I allow it to take something I love?  Partly, I was sleep-deprived and I love sleep.  But once Widget evened out a bit there was no excuse.  I’d get up, feed him, change him if needed, feed the dog, make my husband’s lunch, and go back to bed.  I’d get maybe one hour extra of sleep, and not want to wake up.  When I finally got my feet to hit the floor again, I was in a terrible mood and it hung around for a few hours.

There was no reason for that.  I protest.

So I decided on an experiment, which I’ve decided this morning to make a permanent change.  I’ll still get up, feed Widget, etc.  But I’m not going back to bed.  I’m just going to stay up.  I can get my Internet fix in, hopefully write more consistently now, and have a HOT BEVERAGE.

Seriously.  Hot coffee or tea, with a 2 month old.  WINNING.

As an aside, this change has done wonders for my morale.  It’s given me something back.  Time just for me, and that’s so incredibly important.  Yet it’s the easiest thing in the world to miss noticing you miss until you have it back again.  Having the hour, or hour and half, for being alone and doing whatever I like…how freeing.  Mornings are a gift.  What’s yours?


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Karma said hello to my husband

Normally, Adam doesn’t do a lot in terms of routine baby care.  I change 90% of diapers, and do all feedings except the 11:00pm one, which he does, and the 11:00pm diaper change, which he does.  Everything else is me, or a combination of me and Adam.

Last night, karma decided it was time Adam did some real baby-caring work.  So when he woke Widget up to feed him at 11, Widget did not go back to sleep.  Instead, Widget cried for 2 hours straight.  When I finally came down at 1am (I’m a heavy HEAVY sleeper without a baby monitor), the lights were out, Adam was wearing his gun earmuffs to block noise, and Widget was swaddled next to him, crying.  Adam had tried everything, and Widget wouldn’t relax.  I offered to take him, and Adam let me.  Normally, he’ll complain that I never let him do anything to comfort Widget, but this time he’d been worn down to a shred of his normal self.

As soon as I pick Widget up, he stops crying.  Before my feet hit the stairs to take him up to bed, he’s asleep.  The stairs are 5 feet away.  Adam’s response?  “Really?  What the hell.  REALLY?”

Oh yes, karma came to visit last night, and I think I might like her more than Santa.


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Things I never expected

  • Changing my shirt in the middle of night because Widget vomited down the inside of my bra
  • Doing everything one-handed because Widget does not like being alone
  • Having massive (for me) boobs that aren’t as much fun as I’d hoped.  I blame thrush.
  • Having moments when I can’t console him, his face is the color of steak, and I wonder what I’m doing wrong as a mother
  • The hilarious cranky faces Widget makes
  • Drool all over me, ALL the time.  Seriously.  All the time.
  • How difficult baby nails are to cut and how desperate I’d be for the Claws of Pain to let go of my neck skin
  • How much Widget’s smile looks like my Daddy’s


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Wow… 7 weeks

I cannot believe it is 7 weeks since I had the widget. Let’s see…

Well, my house is dirtier than I’d like it to be. My dog must think that nobody loves her in this house anymore, even though I do my best to play with her and talk to her everyday.

Every day is more structured than when I was at home on bed rest for the end of my pregnancy.  If babies love schedules, then widget must be the happiest baby in the universe. I decided to take a cooperative approach to our days, so the schedule was shaped by his needs and tweaked to work with what I could actually accomplish. So far, it seems to be working decently enough and there’s room for flexibility and it doesn’t completely ruin his day.

But by far, the best thing to happen to me in these last 7 weeks happened last Friday night. Widget slept 5 hours straight! Before widget I needed at least 9 hours to be a decent human being so dealing with waking up every 3 hours did not result in a friendlier happy-mom version of myself. But for some reason, even though we had started to teach him to put himself to sleep and he already knew his days and nights, he just all of a sudden took to it this past weekend. I waited to get excited until I felt more confident that this change in his behavior would stick and I am happy to report that ever since Friday night he has slept at least 5 hours straight.

Sleep is a mother’s hug from God.


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522,720

That’s how many minutes are in 363 days.  It’s how many minutes it took for my mother to die, me to have a baby, and my father to die.  In a way, I really appreciate that my parents were apart less than a year.  But in others, the entire situation feels incredibly unfair.

The reason I haven’t posted in a while is because I had the baby Dec. 4, after jackrabbiting through labor in just under 8 hours, including a 2.5 hour nap and 2.5 hours of pushing, and a near miss on getting an epidural.  Overall, I guess I was pretty lucky to have such a short labor.

They kept me 3 days in the hospital, where I learned that feeding the Bobblehead needs to happen without a blanket or he’ll just sleep, and showed my dad his grandson via video conference since he wasn’t coming down until January 10th.  I was discharged the 6th, went to our first pediatrician appointment the morning of the 7th, and at 3:30 in the afternoon I got the phone call telling me the police found my daddy dead in his home, of sudden but natural causes.  He was 61, and died 3 days before the first anniversary of my mama’s death.

So, at 4 days postpartum and being home just over 24 hours, we loaded the car with clothes, gear, baby, and dog, and drove 9 hours from the Carolinas to Ohio.  As executor, I had to be the one to do everything.  In the past week, I’ve cleared out his apartment, started insurance claims, begun probate, and had his funeral.  We’re going to try to go home Tuesday or Wednesday next week.  Today my son is 11 days old, and lived at home about 28 hours.

I don’t know what life will hold after we get back; there has been no chance to just bond as a family or establish a regular schedule.  I hope it’s easier once all the estate business ends and I have nothing I must do except care for Bobblehead.  Maybe it won’t be.  All I know is it’s amazing what you can do physically, mentally, and emotionally when you have no choice.


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Doctors now think I’m crazy. Or going to kill my child, maybe.

I really hope most people don’t have pregnancies like I have.  Because this whole thing has sucked, pretty much start to finish.  I’m over 38 weeks and still have to take Zofran for nausea, which has been constant since about 7 weeks.  I had placenta previa (that resolved), then they found the fetal cyst (that is shrinking), they wrote me out on short-term disability because I can barely walk thanks to a low fetus that they have to reach around to do my (now weekly) cervix checks, and now, most recently, I had ANOTHER ultrasound because I’m shrinking.  YES, SHRINKING.  I now measure a full 4 cm behind where my fundal height is supposed to be, down from my all-time high at 36 weeks where I was on track and had been until then.  So they wanted to check growth, and fluid levels, to hopefully “avoid a negative fetal outcome.”  Don’t you love that turn of phrase, “negative fetal outcome”?

The results of this ultrasound, true to everything else they’ve found wrong with me, were fine.  Baby is still growing, and my fluid levels are at the high-end of normal.  What they said that means is that I’m just a “compact carrier”.  I prefer to think of it as a concealed carry, but maybe that’s the hormones…

And, by the way, I’m still not dilated at all, nor am I fully effaced, so there is no end in sight.

But I did learn something.  A valuable something.  When you tell your doctor that things need to start moving along because you are sick and tired of being sick and in pain, and you are about ready to get a coat hanger, they immediately start to act nonchalantly concerned because they are afraid you are crazy.  They start asking you questions about if you’re excited (yes, TO BE ALONE IN MY OWN BODY AGAIN), do you have help, is your husband excited (no, he’s done nothing but write checks to you people for procedures that turn out to be unnecessary), and to please remember they’re there for you.  I just bet they are, because that’s a billable visit.

So now I’m on the loony radar because they think I’m going to harm myself or be one of the women that drowns their child in a bathtub.  What they don’t get is that I will be so happy to just have the whole pregnancy part over and done, that I will be the happiest clam in the sea when it happens.