Saturday, April 28, 2012

Packing for baby

We are getting ready for an upcoming trip and packing for baby has been... interesting. First of all, I started picking out outfits over a month ago in my excitement and now four of them don't fit. We also have to pack all of her diapers as we have opted not to leave the resort we are staying at. Which means lugging 70 diapers and 120 wipes with us. Awesome.

I used to be an over-packer, but have since learned to go with less. However the first trip with baby has me reverting back to my old ways when it comes to the Babe's stuff. I also want to be sure that I have all the supplies I would need in case of: fever, allergic reaction, sun coverage, rain coverage, hats if it's hot, a sleep sack if it's cold, and everything in between. Because heaven forbid I do laundry for the week - I will be on vacation!

We're taking the stroller, the Ergo and a pop-up tent for the Babe's lounging and sleeping pleasure, opting to leave the carseat in the car. We bought the bulkhead seats for the plane and have requested a pack 'n play in our hotel room.

My A-type personality has come shining through and I have embraced my hyper-organized ways.

~ H

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What happened to my sleeping child

And who is this night beast that replaced her? A week or so ago, we had our nighttime routine down pat. Bath, feed, sometimes story and then bed. Usually met with little to no fuss. One dream feed at 10:30ish and a wake up feed between 1-4 and up at 7:30am. Yes, I could handle that.

Now we have bath, feed, sometimes story and the first putdown. Forty-five minutes later comes the first scream. Pick up, comfort, put down. Nope, that didn't soothe her. Let's try more food. Okay, bedtime for real this time. Forty-five minutes later we repeat the process. Then two hours later. Then forty-five minutes after that. Again and again until 5am when resistance is futile and I pull the Babe into bed with me, more for my sake than hers.

Growth spurt? Probably. Teething? Most likely. Five-month sleep regression? I really hope not. But how do tell which one it is, if any? Wait it out? Beg her to sleep? Go back three steps and set the bassinet up in our room again? No! Not the last one. I am determined to keep our room an adult-only zone between the hours of 10pm-7am from now on. Should the actions from me be different if it's a growth spurt as opposed to regression? Egads, why don't they come with manuals?

Wish me luck on the sleep front...

~ H

Monday, April 23, 2012

How I manage

Or don't for that matter. Today was a day that started off with so much... potential. I had two batches of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies made by 10am. We were on time for yoga, and even had time to stop for coffee on the way. We arrived at yoga feeling ready to face the day. And then, explosion! Of the diaper variety. Okay, no problem, just reach into the diaper bag to grab a fresh diaper and the backup sleeper. And reach, keeping reaching, pull everything out and yep, no diapers in said diaper bag and the backup outfit was used as a backup on Saturday. Now I have a soiled child, a red face and nothing to put her in. Luckily we are at Mom & Baby yoga, so there are diaper and outfit offers aplenty.

Fast forward 30 minutes and the Babe has soiled her second diaper, leading me to ask for yet another one from understanding moms. Okay, still not a completely terrible day. Fast forward two hours and I find out the daycare I enjoyed visiting may or may not be breaking the rules by having too many kids, the Babe has decided the Ergo is not for her and wants to be carried, and I am running very late for an already-postponed party planning meeting.

How do I manage? I sit in rush hour traffic, silently wondering why I didn't know more rules about daycare and if I'm doing damage to the Babe by the way I'm carrying her in the Ergo while
counting how many I have now kept someone waiting. Add gridlock and a tub of leftover cookies to the equation and I find myself not managing anymore. By the time I get home I can feel the tears welling up.

And then, while changing her out of a disposable diaper and into a cloth one, the Babe starts laughing. Full belly laughs for three whole minutes. This has never happened before. She tends to be more of a grinning child. And the bad day just melts away. I can do research into daycares and carriers but at the end of the day the Babe laughing means she's happy so I've done my job today.

I think I'll have a cookie to celebrate :)

~ H

Photo credit: Nancy Read

Thursday, April 19, 2012

First 811 call

Fellow moms and dads, you know the feeling. Your baby just did something that felt... not right. Maybe it was a strange cough, an appearance of what might be a rash, or in my case, an unusual shaking. It's something that you think could be worth going to the doctor for, but you're not quite sure if you're just overreacting. So, in B.C., you can call 811 and reach the Healthline where you can talk to a nurse directly. Many of my mom friends have done this, with mixed results.

Today the Babe was nursing and her whole body began to lightly shake, more of a vibration than a jerking motion. This has happened once or twice before and I just chalked it up to eagerness to eat. But today it was more pronounced and she continued to shake for a couple more seconds once I unlatched her to see if it would stop. It did and she fed some more and then was back to normal. I checked her eyes to see if she could track me and she could and she was all smiles. But I felt uneasy, so I called 811 and asked to speak with a nurse. The nurse I spike to was quite nice and obviously didn't want to scare me by her initial avoidance of the word "seizure". I assured her that had already crossed my mind, so her saying it wouldn't scare me. After a brief chat, she suggested getting in to see our family doctor as soon as possible, just to be safe.

I was able to get in to see our doctor within an hour (thank you considerate receptionist!) However as I expected, the doctor said the Babe seemed fine and that all of her motor skills are good. The doctor is now going to consult with a pediatrician just to be sure. But I don't completely feel out of the woods yet, because the doctor wasn't really able to diagnose the Babe, given she was not displaying the earlier actions.

So we wait, and hope that, as one mom posted on my baby forum post, that it may have just been a muscle spasm similar to doing V-sits at the gym. In the meantime, as a reward, tonight's bathtime was extra long to make up for the rough day.

~ H

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The second swim

In the hopes of having a slightly less scream-filled swimming lesson on Friday, my husband and I took the Babe to the pool solo tonight. We thought having both of us in the pool might make it easier for her. The first sign of trouble was when she started screaming en route to the pool and then fell asleep five minutes before arrival at the pool. Once she was changed and in the pool, the crying commenced immediately.

However, we staying the pool, vowing not to give up. And after a pass off to me and the introduction of a rubber duck, the crying stopped. And then started. And then stopped, but for longer this time. Finally, after some more passes between Mom and Dad and an enthusiastic aquafit instructor in the other pool to provide distraction, the Babe calmed down. She calmed down enough that my husband felt comfortable floating her through the lazy river portion of the pool. Three times! We were in the pool for over half an hour and by the end the Babe even managed... a smile?

No, at least not in the pool. But she didn't scream again and she even managed a smile in the shower afterwards. Perhaps on Friday we can hope for a repeat performance, or even fingers crossed, a smile in the pool for Dad.

~ H

Monday, April 16, 2012

Bonding through feeding

Now that the Babe and I have gotten over our latching issues, are not cluster feeding and have settled into a bit more of a routine, I'm enjoying breastfeeding immensely. There are no words to describe the feeling when that tiny hand rests on your chest while your baby is feeding. It is calming; it feels like home to me, to quote a song from Dawson's Creek.

Though sometimes, as noted in a previous post, the feedings can happen in less than appealing locations, I'm sure breastfeeding in the back of the car is easier than finding somewhere to pull over and mix up a bottle of formula. And when we're at home, feedings give me a chance to silence my mind for a few minutes. To concentrate completely on my child and the nourishment I am providing for her is a blessing and I am happy to do it. I can understand why many moms are sad when it's time to wean their babies. I also love the connection I feel with the Babe when she's feeding - that mental and physical closeness we share at those moments.

However, it will be nice to have a few glasses of wine in succession again ;)

~ H

Friday, April 13, 2012

The first swim

Or should I say, the first swim from hell. Today was the Babe's first session of Starfish swimming lessons. In an attempt to enhance father-daughter bonding time, I asked my husband if he would do the class with her. He agreed, and after some more conversation, the entire mom group I am part of all enrolled their husbands as well. Friday nights between 6:15-6:45 is now Daddy & Daughter Swim Time (we all have girls coincidentally).
At 3:30pm this afternoon I knew we were in for trouble. The Babe was fussing something fierce, was sleeping sporadically and wouldn't take her bottle. Fast forward to 6:20pm and she is the only baby in the pool having a full-on meltdown. We took her out, she calmed down. He went back in with her and she freaked out. I ran her to the women's change room, breastfed her and took her back out, only to have her scream the majority of the rest of the lesson.

We took our screaming demon to the change room, only to find there were no family change rooms free. When one became available, her screams became hysterical and I'm sure one woman thought we were harming her. We pretty much ran out of the building, not even saying goodbye to anyone.

After a silent car ride home, we agreed that next week will be different. A good nap, a good feed and perhaps maybe, in turn, a good second lesson.

~ H

Photo credit: Juli Kolby

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Cold season

The Babe has her first cold, along with myself and my husband. It's dreadful. She wakes up in the middle of the night screaming, presumably because she's congested and can't breath well. And now when she sneezes, well, stuff comes out. I feel terrible, because we exposed her to this and now she has it. We can't give her anything except saline drops to clear out her congestion, and while my husband can load up on Neocitran and cold medicine, I have to stay clean because I'm breastfeeding.

The only side benefit is that the Babe and I are hanging out spending lots of time in bed trying to rest and get healthy. Which means lots of cuddles and tickles and general silliness.

~ H