I made the commitment and purchased my own domain! So this blog is now moving. See you there!
Motherhood is so unpredictable, and rewarding, and frustrating. If I could go back to my pregnant self and tell her one thing, it’d be to talk to my husband more about our parenting style. Oh, we talked about it vaguely: “”You’ll help me out, right?” “Of course! I want to be involved in our daughter’s life.” But that doesn’t even brush the surface of the number of parenting decisions we have to make each day.
The biggest one we should have talked about: “cry it out” or not? I say not. I say that an infant has no concept of how to manipulate people; if she’s crying and we pick her up and soothe her, we’re fulfilling her basic, primal need for love and social interaction. Sure, this results in me carrying her around the house a lot, but to me, it’s a hell of a lot better than listening to her cry. I can’t even fathom how I could decide “I’m tired of taking care of my baby” and go put the baby in another room, close the door, and go about my daily life without her. It’s just not who I am. Yes, there have been times when she’s been crying so long and loud that all I want is for her to shut the hell up and go to sleep, but I also feel like, as her mother, it’s my responsibility to at least let her know that she’s being heard, and I’m not going to abandon her just because she’s upset. I know it works for some people, and that’s fine, that’s their thing. I know not everyone can handle listening to a baby cry. I know it can pierce your brain and make you think of doing things that you’d never actually do. And I know that in an apartment, where there’s not a lot of space and you can’t really have a quiet area to “escape” to for a break from the crying, it can be even worse. But this is something we should have talked about and hashed out a lot more, because it’s lead to some resentment on both of our parts.
Another big thing to talk about: co-sleeping. I’m okay with Maia not being in bed with us all night; it wasn’t something that I’d planned on doing anyhow, and when Chris and I discussed how having her in the bed was impacting our sleep (which was already impacted enough with the sheer fact that we have a newborn), I was alright with compromising and putting her in the bassinet for most of the night. I still am. And I still pull her into bed whenever she wakes up for the first time after 5am, so when I wake up for the day, she’s right there. I like to sleep with a comforter on no matter what the temperature is, and I like my comforter all the way up around my neck, so it can be a little scary for me because I worry about accidentally covering her with it. But honestly, waking up and having her right there is so, so perfect. I wonder what we’re going to do when she outgrows the bassinet (and at the rate she’s growing, it’s going to be sooner than expected). I hate the idea of her sleeping in another room. Maybe I’ll live in the nursery until she is sleeping through the night or only waking for one nighttime feeding.
Which leads me to a third thing: nighttime feedings. On weeks when Chris is off work, since we’re all in the same room together, I just feed her while sitting up next to him, but I feel kind of funny if she goes into loud suck mode because it could be disturbing his sleep. There’s been at least one time where he’s gotten up out of bed and went into the nursery to sleep because she was just too damned slurpy. Now, I’ve also pumped a few times and stored some milk in the freezer, but how on earth anyone feeds their baby that way is beyond me. By the time the milk has warmed to the proper temperature (even if it’s just been in the fridge), Maia’s so wound up about the fact that she isn’t being fed that there is no way she’ll take the bottle. I have to put her on my breast, let her calm down, then de-latch her and give her the bottle. And frankly, if she’s already nursing, I don’t really see a reason to de-latch, but then the milk in the bottle is being wasted (everything I’ve read suggests NOT reheating milk more than twice). But when I leave her with family to be watched, I have to leave a bottle; are they supposed to randomly heat it and try to feed her? She feeds on-demand.
Then there are the little decisions: how often to bathe her? who bathes her? how often to change her onesie? should she be wearing long sleeves or short? what about pants? socks? how full do we let the baby laundry get before we do it? do you powder her rump every time you change her or just randomly? should we hold her over our shoulder or in front of our chests? when she falls asleep being carried, do we set her in the swing, on the couch, in the crib, in the bassinet, or just continue to hold her? do we swaddle her? do we put a blanket over her? do we turn on the music on the swing? will she stay calm enough for me to do some dishes if I put her in her bouncy chair? should I turn on the music and lights display on the bouncy chair right away, or save it for when she gets a little fussy in the hopes that it’ll calm her down?
Gahhh. Ten thousand questions, and you can never have one set answer to them, you have to adapt on the spot. It’s exhausting!
When we go to Connecticut in May, I’ll be having a baby shower with that side of the family. So last night I headed up to the Hallmark store and picked up these super cute invitations!
The scalloping along the bottom is where you open the card, so the blue with polka dots is actually the inside of the card, and the rest of it is the same blue colour. Love them!
I had a dream last night that I met a plastic surgeon. He offered me one free cosmetic surgery. I asked if he could restore my coochie to its pre-pregnancy glory.
He laughed in my face and exclaimed, “No one can fix that mess!”
Geez. And here I thought I wasn’t having any self-esteem issues with my post-pregnancy body.
Have you seen one of these? Our hostess at Friday night’s Easter dinner was showing hers off, and it took all of my willpower not to crack up…
I’ve written about my father before, but here we go again.
A few days after Maia’s birth, a bouquet of flowers arrived at the door. Chris accepted them and read the card — we had no idea who they could be from, since we had seen everyone already, and so I thought maybe they were from him and he was trying to play dumb like “Oh, no, I dunno who sent those.”
His face went blank, and he handed the card to my mother. I was practically bouncing out of my seat: “Who’s it from?” Her lips pursed. She glanced at Chris, then at me, then back at Chris… and handed me the card:
“Congratulations on the delivery of your new baby girl. We’re very proud of you, your Dad loves and misses you very much. Love, Dad & Stepmom”
What the fuck?
I don’t know how to respond. My initial thought was just to send him a thank you card with a picture of Maia. And since then I’ve gone back and forth on whether I should even do that. There are a lot of reasons why I don’t want him in my life, not the least of which is that I don’t want him to feel he has any right to contact my siblings, but then I think… this is my baby’s grandpa. And I remember that he has had two kids with his new wife — they’re my blood, regardless of how I feel about her. Shouldn’t I know them?
I don’t feel like I can ever forgive him. So is it even worth my time to try? Sigh. Two months later and I’m still confused.
Girl Talk Thursday is Mommy Melee‘s weekly event, and I really love the thought, so here it comes: my thoughts on the topic of “Your Favourite Sexy Movie”!
I don’t have one. I watch like… “Finding Nemo” and “The Princess Bride”, when I watch movies; I’m not really big on sitting around for hours in front of a movie. I’ll watch TV because I can get up during commercials and do other things, and I’ll go to the movie theatre because it’s an experience, but watching a movie at home that I’ve already seen before usually just doesn’t sound appealing.
But I’m posting this in case anyone else wants to participate in this week’s theme!
The other day, I grabbed the breast pump my MIL bought me and decided to disassemble and wash it. I pulled out the directions as to how to clean it, and broke it down into pieces — or at least, I tried to. The handle part is attached to some blue cup thingie, and to get the blue cup thingie detached, you have to turn it counter-clockwise and match up the dot on the blue cup with the centre of the handle.
So I’m trying to do this. And I can’t get the damned thing to turn far enough to get the dot anywhere near the handle, nevermind the centre of the handle. I started cursing at it (Maia was asleep!) and finally just threw it aside to let Chris handle later, before my brain exploded.
When Chris got home, he read the instructions and tried to follow them. He couldn’t get the blue cup thingie to come off, either.
So he paused. He looked at it. He looked at me. He looked at it again. And then he turned it once more, smoothly, and the blue cap came off. “Oh,” he said.
“How did you do that?” I asked.
“I turned it counter-clockwise.”
We had both been turning it clockwise.
We’re fucking GENIUSES in this house.
Over the last few days, my boobs have started to feel different. Ever since Maia’s birth, they’ve been… round and firm. And I felt like I’d be either engorged or empty, depending on whether she’d fed.
Now they just feel mushy and heavy. Not very round, more like a teardrop shape. Definitely not very firm. They’re like water balloons that aren’t quite full enough to burst when you throw them at someone.
Oh, and you know how some people have lazy eyes? Well, I have lazy nipples. They like to point in any direction other than straight forward. Unlike any eyeballs I’ve ever met, they also like to squirt milk (my record is four fountains at once!).
Good thing I’m not trying to look pretty for anyone (my poor husband…), or else I might be tempted to go for a push-up underwire bra!
Two months or so ago, I stumbled across The Belly Project. I visit it weekly (along with PostSecret!), and it’s such a beautiful, reaffirming, and positive website. Women often have self-esteem issues, and particularly after a pregnancy, we can end up with funky bellies that make us feel negatively. The Belly Project is trying to fix that — and show that many women don’t have “perfect” stomaches; some have stretch marks, extra chub, scars, or have lost tone in other ways. I always feel more positive about myself after going there, even though I don’t comment on the pictures; it’s comforting to know that we are all unique and none of us are perfect.