Wednesday, June 30, 2010

By the Book

I've always been a rule follower. I'm one of those people who like to read the instructions, and following them word for word. I MIGHT cut a corner now and then, but for the most part if the instructions say to do something, I do it. This often works out well, but I'm fiding it proving to be problematic at times. Mainly with child rearing.

The problem is my child did not come with a tailor made set of instructions. I keep "What to Expect the First Year" on my coffee table, and refer to it about 100 times a day. Brynlee seems to be truly unique, and she doesn't quite fit the mold. I guess who does?

I think I've figured out what was making her so fussy. She was hungry. Yep, hungry. I was feeding her as much as she "should" want. "Should" being the main word there. I guess she wants more than she should, because she is just scarfing down food. Once she gets as much as she wants, she is a happy baby again. Go figure. So, my baby is a little tank. I guess until the Dr tells me she is too fat I'll just keep feeding her as much has her little body desires.

So that's the problem with by the book people. Sometimes life throws us a curve ball, and by the book doesn't fit or make sense. Then I find myself lost and confused, with no instructions to call my own.

I'm thinking this raising a child thing will be good for me. As someone who lives life so consertively 98% of the time, I'll have to learn to trust my gut and take some risks with things.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Lessons Learned

Last week continued to be a fun one for me. Brynlee started to spit up a ton. She has always spit up, but it seemed to be more and more. It got to the point that I couldn't imagine her actually keeping anything down. She is bottle fed, so I know exactly how much I'm trying to feed her and when I was seeing a large portion of that come right back I was concerned.

Her breathing seemed a bit labored, and she just was cranky. Being the paranoid mother that I am, I decided it was time to make a trip to the Dr. I figured it might be nothing, but thought better safe than sorry!

At her last Dr.'s appointment 2 weeks ago she weighed about 7lbs. When I brought her in the other day they put her on the scale and my eyes just about popped. 8lbs, 3oz! Ok so she apparently isn't having any trouble keeping some food down!

The Dr. did a complete check and confirmed that she was just fine. She's just a spitter. I was a spitter when I was a baby too, so there you go. Now when I go to feed her I make sure I have 3 burp clothes on hand...

I find myself trying to reason with the baby. Which is funny in itself because she is not the most reasonable of babies. Are any though? I think, "Baby, just let me finish my make up and I'll hold you. Let me do my hair real quick and then I'll feed you." She unfortunately is not compromising. Ah motherhood. What a learning experience these past 5 weeks have been. And it's only the beginning!

I've never been much of a midnight snacker ( probably because I never used to be awake at midnight) but I find myself grazing my cupboards as I'm awake in the wee morn to feed Brynlee. I usually refrain from eating during these crazy hours, but sometimes I'm so tired I need something to wake me up. Which leads to my next topic.

Jimmy got a new job as a personal trainer. He is super excited, and so am I. He's working at the new 24 Hour Fitness in Northridge. I see a couple of advantages to this:

-We (meaning me and him) get free gym memberships. Now I can stop donating to the gym and just not use my free membership instead! Or ideally use my free membership. Either way I won't be paying for it anymore, and that is nice!

-He has been a certified personal trainer for a while, but now is the perfect time to take advantage of his occupation. Safe to say my postpartum figure could use some work. I can put on my pre baby jeans, but they don't quite fit the way the used to. Mainly due to the dough like gut that hangs over the waist now. :) I'm sure my occasional midnight snack slip is not helping matters.
Anyhow, I'm afraid Jimmy will make me cry/puke/beg for mercy, but as long as he makes this gut of goo go away as well I'll be happy.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I'm Going to Take a Second...

To just complain. Yep, that's what I'm going to do. I'm not the most prideful of people, so I have no shame in admitting that having a 1 month old sucks sometimes.

Like right now, for example.

Brynlee is crying uncontrollably for no reason at all. I'm thinking colic has arrived? How else do you explain this complete melt down she has been having for the past 2 hours? I just KNEW that she would be colicky, I could feel it coming on. And here we are.

Maybe it's good that I'm the only one home right now to hear this. Although I'm sure our neighbors are well aware. Probably most of Wood Ranch too.

There have been numerous occasions where Jimmy and I look at each other and think, "after doing this once, why does anyone decide to have more than 1 kid?". Now is one of those times where it's looking like Brynlee will be an only child.

I realize everyone has struggles in life. We were fortunate not to struggle to get pregnant, but between the pregnancy from hell, and the baby devil screaming at the top of her lungs I'm thinking this is what I get. Easy to conceive, the rest of it not so easy.

I'm lucky enough to have a lot of people in my life willing to help me through the time of the newborn. However honestly I'm not sure how much of a help it is. Someone comes over and takes care of Brynlee when I'm at my whits end and instead of feeling better, I feel worse.

I feel like a failure as a mother, because I've lost my patience and because I needed help from someone else when plenty of other people take care of their newborns and other kids as well just fine.

I realize this post is quite a change from my last one. Maybe it's the hormones (there are still hormones running wild right? Because that's what I'm blaming my mood on), maybe it's the fact that I'm tired and have been dealing with a fussy child most of the day. Maybe it's the fact that I miss my job and how much easier life was pre baby. Who knows?

I've learned a ton of stuff with this whole baby experience. And the one thing I keep thinking over and over again is how much I admire other mothers. Especially single ones. I have a co worker whose husband is deployed and she is taking care of a newborn, a 5 year old and a 10 year old all by herself. And working full time. I've decided she is superwoman. When I start to feel sorry for myself ( like right now) I think about her and realize how much harder it could be. So maybe a little crying isn't that bad...I just hope I have ear drums left when it's all over!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Baby Updates

I can't believe Brynlee is 4 weeks old! And how bad I am at blogging now. It seems whenever I think I have a free second to blog, something happens and it doesn't get done. Needless to say my little peanut keeps me busy.

We had her second Dr. Appt last week. I had to go to this one without Jimmy because he was working. Unfortunately that was no easy task. Brynlee was not to pleased at having to constantly be undressed in the ice cold Dr's office. She was even less pleased at being poked at while undressed. Sure enough she let the whole office know it, loud and clear. Good thing she is still so small people think it's cute when she cries (I'm not one of them, it breaks my heart. But everyone else at the office seemed to think so).

Brynlee was 7lbs, so that means she put on 13oz from the last appointment. She has grown an inch, and her head has a "wonderful" shape to it (direct quote from the Dr). Her jaundice is all cleared up as well. Whew! I'm not sure what I was expecting, but being a first time Mom who knows if I'm doing things correctly?

We've started venturing out into the world more and more. We went to the mall the other day. It took me about 25 min to get everything I needed packed into the car. So much for traveling light, I guess those days are over!

I'm getting into the swing of staying at home. I'm sure once I get used to it, it will be time to work again. Isn't that always the way things work out. I do miss interacting with people who talk back to me though. Brynlee and Mitzie don't offer too much as far as conversation goes.

My days are now filled with bottles and onsies and diapers. However thanks to my wonderful husband I still have time to sneak out for a manicure, or to go to dinner with friends.

Being apart from Brynlee is really a strange experience. On one hand I feel free. I don't have to tote extremely heavy baby carriers, worry about spit up on my clothes or watch the clock to see when the next feeding time should be. But on the other hand I miss her like crazy and can't stop thinking about her until I get back to her again.

I've never been great with kids. I've never been the one kids ask for, or reach out for (maybe because they sense that I don't know what to do with them). But that has all changed with Brynlee. Because I can calm her down the way that no one can. And I understand her better than anyone. I'm sure like Mitzie she will probably become a Daddy's girl eventually ( really who can resist Jimmy? :) ), but as of right now we have lots of Mommy and Me time, and I'm really cherishing it!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Mitzie!

Today, my cat is 1 year old!

Yes, I keep track of my cat's birthday. I have to admit since we brought Brynlee home, poor Mitzie has been a bit neglected.

But I don't love her any less. It's actually the opposite, Mitzie appears to be pretty self sufficient and low maintenance compared to a new baby, which I appreciate! Mitzie has been pretty good around Brynlee. I was afraid Mitzie would try to climb in the crib with Brynlee, but a few shakes of a water bottle have taught her that the crib is not hers.

If anything Mitzie's behavior has gotten better with a new baby home. I think it's because Mitzie's was already phased out by the dog, so she is used to being old news. Either way I'm grateful for it!

I'm slowly but surely adjusting to my new role of Mom, for right now stay at home Mom. For a while I would get frustrated at the fact that I had to just sit and hold the baby instead of doing more productive things ( ie cleaning, laundry, eating, peeing, etc...). I felt like I wasn't getting anything done, but now I'm just taking it for what it's worth.

I mean sitting and holding a cute baby for a while isn't such a bad thing right? I don't necessarily have a long list of accomplishments at the end of the day to show for it, but right now being a Mom is my job and that is what I need to focus on.

Brynlee has her 2nd Dr's appointment and I'm crossing my fingers that she has put on enough weight. Her cheeks look fuller and she has a little double chin now ( it's funny how that type of stuff is only cute on babies!) but she still has little chicken legs and arms. She should be at least back up to 6lbs 13 oz so we'll see!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Welcome, Welcome!

It's been a while! And with good reason, I've got my hands quite full these days. Every time I think I will have time to post my little peanut baby seems to think otherwise...

She seems to run the roost around here recently. Anyhow, here is what is going on with us so far.

On May 21st I had a routine Dr. Appt. I was 1 week from my due date and resigned myself to the fact that this baby was in no hurry to get here. I figured they would just look at me and tell me "everything looks good, see you next week" like they had before (that is a direct quote from my Dr).

Like I need a Dr to tell me there is a baby in there and she is moving around? I could figure that one out myself. Those appointments at the end there seem so useless sometimes.

So on May 21st they did an ultrasound and took some measurements of the baby. It was a Friday and I was off work early so I was quite excited. I had a fun night of game playing and Tivo'd show watching planned. However my Dr had other plans. She said that the baby was not growing well anymore, and at that point it would be safest to get her out of there. So she wrote the order for them to induce me.

Ok I thought, great I'll come back tomorrow and we'll get this whole thing going? Nope, she told me to head on over to labor and delivery.

My thinking was, now? As in right now? I can't have a baby right now I have a birthday party to go to...

Of course this was an appointment that Jimmy was not able to go with me to, so I called him up, hands shaking and told him, "Honey, it's time" (ok maybe I didn't use those exact words). His reaction was much like mine. Shock and panic.

I mean we had everything ready at home. Hospital bags were packed, diapers were purchased, crib assembled etc. But as I walked down the hall to the labor and delivery unit by myself reality really set in. I would not be watching the season finally of 90210 tonight. In fact, the next time I left the hospital I would be plus 1.

I settle into my room, got strapped up to like 50 uncomfortable beeping machines and waited. And waited. Jimmy got there with bags and goodies in tow, and I felt much better. My parents and mother in law came as well, so it was nice to have some company while we played the waiting game.

And wait we did. Unfortunately the labor and delivery unit was a bit nuts that evening, so with other women actually needing urgent attention I was not high on the priority list. So I sat in my room for 5 hours before they actually examined me and came up with a plan ( so I could have gone home and watched 90210 after all. And gone to my birthday party.

They decided to give me Cervadil, to thin out my cervix. I was 80% effaced, but they wanted more. Cervadil is a 12 hour process though, and at this point it was 11pm so it looked like there would be no baby for me on May 21st. They let Jimmy stay with me overnight, which I was extremely grateful for.

12 hours later, after my round of Cervadil is when the real fun started. They gave me Pitocin next, and that kick started things alright. The contractions started rolling in, and they were not pleasant. After a while of that, I decided it was epidural time. Those of you who do this all the natural way, more power to you! But I am not one of them. Thank goodness for epidurals!

At around 6pm ish that night, they came to check my progress. I was fully dilated, fully effaced and the baby ( still name TBD at that point was ready to come). They wheeled me over to the actual delivery area, and at 7:13pm on May 22nd Brynlee Rose Cuillard was born, 6lb 13oz and 19 inches long. She was actually 10 oz bigger then they thought she would be, which is crazy considering she was so tiny as it was!

I still keep thinking about seeing that little face for the first time. It truly is an amazing feeling, there is absolutely nothing like it. To see those little eyes actually look at me and to realize this little peanut of a baby is mine and I grew her for 9 months was a memory I'll cherish forever. To see that little body and realize that all the sickness, heart burn, aches and pains, mood swings etc where actually for a purpose!

I'd being lying if I said that first week wasn't a tough one. People tell you about the lack of sleep, the crying and emotional whirlwind that is becoming a new Mom. But it's one of those things you have to experience I think. Brynlee is going on 3 weeks old now, and I think we are starting to get the hang of it. At least a little bit.

If there is one thing this whole experience has really taught me it's how truly amazing my husband is. There is no doubt in my mind that I would not have been able to do any of this without him. I knew he would make a wonderful dad, but I love being able to see it in action now! I'm so grateful I married the man I did and that we have a healthy new addition to our family.