Monday, January 23, 2012

The good stuff.

Time. What a powerful word. When you experience a huge life change like a new baby, you all but lose any free time or down time. Pre baby days I could lounge on the couch and actually watch a show in it entirety or shower long enough to have the hot water run out. Now, the tv always has subtitles on, and I'm lucky if I get in a good face wash in the shower. With all of the shifting it is inevitable that peoples roles in your life will change. Some will become stronger, while others fade out. Friends that I once were really close to now are more of acquaintances and I find myself really narrowing in on the ones that are growing and changing with me. That is the key word. That is what I want to focus on- the people that allowed me to enter the role of mom while keeping my role as friend. I have some spectacular friends. Some have walked this walk with me for a long time. Beautiful Brittney, 23 years of friendship. Seriously. We met in Kindergarten. Some years not so close, but never far away. She welcomed her second baby into the world a few days ago and I went to visit them in the hospital today. As I was driving home I reflected on the friendship her and I have shared. She isn't a best friend simply because I have known her the longest ( or because we have silly matching tattoos we got when we turned 18), it's because when I am around her there isn't one single layer blocking us from being who are. She is comfort. Just straight up goodness. There are not enough poems or phrases to explain a friend like her. Everyone needs a Brittney in their life..just not mine.
My point is that you have to really make time for friends when you are a mom. That is why it is important to nurture the ones that you have and let them know that they are important to you. Becoming a mom doesn't make my need for friends any less. They are a vital role that made me who I am today and who I will become. Betsey, Paige, Jackie, my "family friends- Amanda, Chrystal and Laura. You all are a amazing woman and, if I haven't had the time to tell you how much you mean to me, then I hope this helps. Thank you for your kind words, your bright personalities, and your never ending support. You all have showed me what unconditional love is, and  I am a better person because of each of you. And I know you will be there for me, time after time. Love to all of you.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

There she is. My new "job"

Sara on the backburner. Mama on the front.

There are so many things about being a mom that I LOVE! A lot of comments I get about my blog are along the lines of asking me "isn't it worth it?" Well, yeah. Without a doubt it is the best thing in the world. Baby smiles and snuggles trumps all. However, there are a few things I wish I would have taken more seriously in my pre-Penelolope days. for example, being able to just get up and go. There used to be morning when I felt like treating myself to a coffee from Starbucks. So, I would throw on hoodie and go. Now it would be a fifteen minute production just to get to the car. I love me some Starbucks, but damn, not gonna happen. Laying on the couch, showering, sleeping deeply, taking a relaxing bath, talking on the phone, surfin' the web for no reason, and getting through a day without feeling like a big gross ball are all things of the past and the very far future. I know they are not gone forever, but I am in the very beginning and the light is extremely dim at the end of the tunnel. I just never really knew how awesome it was just to be able to "run to the store".  It is all part of the transitions into parenthood and like other things, change can be hard. I struggle with feeling productive, active and relevant in the world. My old life was 7 days a week of going, going going. Busy from the time I woke up until my head hit the pillow late at night.Work all day, school at night, homework, friends and family in any free time I had. Now, I wake up and do what feels like a whole lotta nothing. Sure, changing diapers, feedings, cleaning, laundry, entertaining Penelope are all important things, but I don't feel "busy". Every stay at home mom I have talked to have all said the same thing. Some days can feel like a battle to not go crazy while other days you feel like the most blessed, lucky mom on the planet to get to spend every minute with your baby. I have no idea what it would be like to be at work all day every day then come home to a baby. I'm sure working moms have their own set of struggles and rewards. But, what I do know is a good mom will be convinced that no one loves their baby as much as they love theirs. Which of course makes any situation worth it. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Fires and earthquakes and zombies. OH MY!

When did the world get so scary? It feels like one big horror/natural disaster waiting to happen. It hasn't been this way for me until about seven and half months ago, which oddly enough is the same age as Penelope. Strange. I wouldn't say I lived 'fearlessly", but it was a lot less worrisome. My new found worries all started with that first drive home from the hospital. Holy scary drivers on the freeway! I was in the back with baby and Mako was driving us home via 405, a route we have taken daily for years without incident. Now that my sweet baby was in the back I was convinced someone was going to swerve into our lane and send us flying and rolling. Then I would be forced to crawl out of my overturn car and lift it up so we could get Penelope out. Yes, I would have the strength to lift a car 24 hours after giving birth ( or anytime, really). I remember feeling like Mako was driving 90 mph, and I snapped at him to slow down. He was barely going 60mph. This coming from a girl who would drive at least 70 everywhere. I was a changed woman at that point. When we got home new things came up. I'm not even lying when I say that I suddenly feared our apartment would collapse. Buildings in general now are at risk to me for falling. If I never have to drive in  parking lot I would be okay with that. I try to only walk Penelope on side streets to avoid a car running off the road and hitting us. I have looked into getting a taser in case someone breaks in, not sure I would be able to use the metal bat I have next to my bed. That would take too much coordination in a moment of panic. Am I sounding crazy yet? It get's worse. I use to love windstorms. Now, I lay there and think about what I would have to do is a tree fell over onto our bedroom. Choking on Cheerios, drowning at swimming lessons, falling off the bed, ugh. These make me want to never feed her anything but liquid and to only bathe her in the sink.
Everyone that knows me, knows that I have a genuine irrational fear of zombies. So, I am sure you can imagine how I feel now that I would have to protect Penelope in a attack as well. I have a plan, so don't worry. Oh, and kidnappers better back off too, cause I will make you wish you never stepped foot near us.

It's funny sometimes when I out of no where when I ask Mako if the heater can cause a fire as we sleep, but other times my thoughts can get out of hand and I start living in fear, and I know that was not what was intended for me as a mom. I know there is a new sense of protection and responsibility I have, but I have to check myself a lot. Mama bear is a real thing, and if channeled correctly will only help me in our journey. God gave me her to raise her in love not fear. I"m going to say that again, I will raise her in LOVE, not FEAR. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Got milk?

One of the biggest surprises for me personally, was the decision to breastfeed. Most women know without a doubt that they want to. I was extremely hesitant. I was always really open about my concerns and to be honest, I sometimes felt like I was being judged by people or even woman who were baby-less. The biggest concern was the transition from the ta-tas being a just a womanly feature to having a baby latched on there with milk coming out of them. It may not seem like that big of a deal, but to me the thought alone made me cringe. My very dear friend, Brittney kept telling me that I would feel different when Penelope arrived and I was like "do you know who you're talking to?!". Well, after twenty two years of friendship she did know who she was talking to.. she was right. Talk about motherly instinct kicking in! It felt so natural to provide that for your baby. Let me be clear, some woman can't, have difficulty, or simply make the choice not to breastfeed, and in no way makes them less of a "good mom" or any other negative thing some critics say about bottle fed babies. Again, this is just my personal experience with it and I hope some moms can relate to these stories. But, like all other things, there were so many surprises that came from nursing that little bundle of joy.
My favorite thing to share with non-moms is that your nipple doesn't have just one hole that milk comes out of. I learned this in my anatomy class and it was quite shocking that there is a large number of holes covering that small area. More holes, more milk, more mess. While my body was adjusting to making the right amount milk, it's motto was "better to have too much, than not enough". This left my me with two things- full, painful boobies and a newborn being hosed down like a fire in a bush with milk! I'm not even joking when I say that her face was literally being covered in milk, and it was coming out in every direction! Releasing the girls from the bra was like a super soaker on a hot day. Luckily, this is one thing that has mellowed out for me and the down pour of milk on Penelope face is a thing of the past.
In order for your baby to get full of of milk, the boobs need to fill up. You would assume they would just look big and voluptuous, but no. That would be too easy, almost even a perk to this whole thing. In reality they HURT! When they are full and no feedings in sight, it can be pure torture. It feels like rocks covered with tacks are taking over the inside of your boobs. Fun times. Now lets talk about leaking.
Nothing will make you feel sexier than a huge circular wet spot on your chest. Side story- There was a short time I went back to work and had to pump while I was there. One word- awkward. I worked with teens and there were only two bathrooms, and I had to pack my pump in there and hope that no one came knocking on the door. My first concern was they would think I was going in there to do some other "business", if you know what I mean. Since I didn't want the teens to think that I was always pooing at work, I had to turn it into a lesson. Like, don't have a baby if you don't want to sit in a hot bathroom on a summer day having milk pumped out of your boobs like a cow on a diary farm! Next concern was that someone would mistakenly do something with the pumped milk sitting in the fridge. Ugh. While at work or just out and about there is only one brand of nursing pads I will trust, Laniosh. They are fantastic! At home and at night to combat leaking I use cloth diapers. I found some great tank tops with a built in sports bra ( very loose fit) and just stuff the cloth diaper in it. This works great for soaking up the milk and it's kinda handy to have something to clean up a spit-up if your in a pinch. ( I use cloth diapers as burp rags as well! They are awesome!) Sleeping in these types of tank tops also make the middle of the night feeding much easier, you can just slide one strap down and not have to lift your entire shirt up.Cause lets be honest, my stomach isn't really looking beach ready! Liz Claiborne has a great line of these at Target. My favorite discovery was the side nursing technique. Laying on our sides on the bed became my go to style. She could eat, and I could sleep. She would just do her thing and fall asleep when she was done. It's strange how a mom brain will never let you roll over or even move a muscle when your baby is laying next to you. I have awaken with many sore necks because of this, but at least I got some sleep!
Another thing I said was that I was only going to nurse for the first six months. Penelope is now almost seven months and we are still nursing. Granted, it isn't as much as we have entered the world of baby food, but still. I can't say I will be sad when it comes to an end, my cute bras are collecting dust and after experiencing a pretty brutal infection in one of my boobs, I would say it's been a good run. Being scratched, hair pulled, sneezed on, and puked on all while nursing are not things I will miss. What I will miss is my sweet little baby falling asleep with a full belly of milk.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Ch Ch Ch Changes. are home from the hospital. Sleep deprived, overjoyed and in love. So, what now? SHOWER!! Then, a few things that you can expect if you are a first time mom. Lots and lots of crying. And I don't mean by baby. I literally would cry at the drop of a hat. I would cry because I love her so much or I am so tired, too many visitors, or just because. I felt like I was always crying. I can say that six and half months later, I still cry, but not as much. Light at end of the tunnel! Also, there is nothing that can prepare you for how tired you will be. But, those crazy hormones will make you enjoy every sleep deprived moment with your new little bundle of joy. Another great thing about having a baby is that everyone and their mom wants to come meet them. Don't be afraid to say no, but remember that they want a quick snuggle with a newborn, too. I would tell some people that they can stop by for a couple of minutes, but nothing longer than half an hour. Some days there would be people coming back to back to see her, it can become overwhelming in the moment, but looking back I am glad I have those memories. People with common sense will completely understand if they have to wait to come over. Decide if you want flowers. Seriously. I was not prepared for the amount of bouquets I received,  but I LOVE flowers so I didn't mind one bit. Now let's get to the gross stuff, cause that's what I'm all about!

I felt ambushed by the amount of poop that a seven pound baby could produce! I mean, really! What goes in must come out, I guess. But this was at a rate that I barely could keep up with. Sometimes it would be in the middle of a diaper change, and I would find myself face to face with a double "situation". Not only am I trying to get her cleaned up, but now I have the carpet cleaner and bleach out to combat the spray poo that just hit the door and carpet next to the changing table.  Why didn't anyone tell me this? I would have taken more precautions while changing her diaper, like I would have done it quicker or in the bathtub. (Not really, but much easier to clean!) The best is when it would happen at 3:12 am. Awesome. That quick diaper change turned into a full blown crime scene clean up. Good thing I know who the culprit is, so no investigation needed. Best thing to do is laugh, because it truly was hilarious. The best was when I had her tush aimed towards her crib when she was locked and loaded..AIMED and FIRED! Target was hit. Guess it was time to change her sheets anyway. Moral of the story, have back up sheets, lots of diapers and even more patience.
Spit-up, pee and tears will quickly become part of your wardrobe. Being sneezed on will actually become cute and farts have never sounded so adorable. The truth is, it all is so gross but these things make you love your baby even more.(There go those crazy hormones again!) I love that God built us like this- to love, and love with every ounce of our being even after a day from h e double hockey sticks.  Cause, believe me, there will be plenty of those in the land of mommy.
Next up...nursing! Wait until you hear what it's REALLY like :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Birth...

I have been trying for awhile to figure out how to tell you how gross birthing a child is, without being so graphic. So, how about a few cliff notes. Just prepare yourself- it aint pretty. My friend Jackie said it best, "it was like a horror show". Here we go.

Labor just sucks. You feel gross, people are coming in all of the time to "check you".  Which means jamming their fingers way up your lady parts. That's real fun. If your lucky you will go almost an entire day with out a shower or sleep topped off with the beautiful birth of your baby. I have concluded that it's more the concept that is beautiful not the actual birth and pushing. That, my friend is straight nasty. Blood, goop, and some other unidentified matter is now all over your bed, your baby and possibly you. Some doctors will just plop your baby right on your chest. Don't get me wrong, I would not trade that moment for anything, but wow- I'm kissing the head of my baby that just came out of an area I haven't seen in months! So, great, baby is here, back to normal, right? Bwahahaha. So wrong. At some point my doctor pulled, yes pulled, the placenta out and even commented on how nice it looked! Sick. Better than having to push it out like so many have to, I guess. After that, they will half clean you and your baby and try to get you on the toilet. This is where reality hit. The nurse whips out a spray bottle of sorts and a adult diaper. I'm not joking, this diaper went from right under my belly button all the way to the bottom of my back! She informs me that I am not allowed to use toilet paper for a few weeks, only the spray bottle. (Funny side story, I would pack mine around in the diaper bag and I left in a bathroom somewhere and had to find one that was similar from Rite-Aid! So make you sure you don't forget it anywhere!)  She then will stick a huge ice pack into your diaper. You'll get to sit on an ice pack for a few hours, feels pretty good to be honest. Makes sense now, but so gross. And, the adult diapers would become the greatest thing since sliced bread. Not even kidding, because there was  something lurking around the corner that you will be very thankful for adult diapers for.While I had some family visiting in the hospital, my uncle made me laugh and I had ZERO control over my bladder. I peed myself. And that wouldn't be the last time.  ( side note, if you are planning a having a baby, stock up on the thickest pads you can find prior to coming home from the hospital) Now, I really lucked out and didn't suffer from any tears or the dreaded hemorrhoid. Nor did I pass some poo with the all of the pushing. But, trust me, that isn't normal. Most women will need stitches and some Preparation H. My nurse was nice enough to check my butt a few more times before I left just to make sure there was no damage. Thanks? The next few times you use the restroom the nurse will want to measure how much your peeing, so they will put a little measuring cup under you. Drink as much water as you can after you give birth because they require a certain amount before you can be cleared.  If you know me then you know how modest I am and let me tell you, I had to get over that real quick. Also, it is so amazing that not long after you give birth you start to forget how crappy it really was, I suppose it's because if you remembered it clearly, you would never do it again.

I wish I would have had a blog like this to read prior to having a baby. Would have saved me a few stunned moments in the hospital.