Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Perhaps there is no winning

I'm on a leave of absence for the rest of the school year but I still check my work email. Well, I get it on my phone and usually read it after L goes to bed. 

Today I got an email that put me on cloud 9 temporarily and now I feel really sad. I'm a resource teacher for gifted and talented - today the list came out of my kids eligible for services next year. I was so excited as I looked at the list of names, knowing all the work that had happened leading to this moment. For some kids I started laying the foundation last year - a gamble since I work with such a transient population. It was a lot of extra work on my part - collecting evidence for their portfolios but I knew if the time came they would be ready. 

So I floated around, excited for my kids, for a while. But as I settled in for sleep, the sound of my daughter's soft snores close by, I was plagued by a wave of deep sadness. I haven't shared this yet because I was still processing all of it, but R has accepted a job that would allow
me to stay home until L starts kindergarten. This is what I had always wanted, right? Before infertility made me thankful just to have a child my dream had been to stay at home, giving my child(ren) the foundation to be happy, successful people. But here I am, 11 years into my career and I am kind of terrified to quit my job. I'm only 11 weeks into my SAHM gig and it is tough. Teaching is tough, but this is a different tough. I know I am a good teacher. I don't have the same confidence that I am doing well with L. Although to be fair it took time to feel confident about teaching - I certainly wouldn't have said that I was great 11 weeks into my first year! 

I think part of my fear too is that while teaching is the kind of job you can have anywhere what I do specifically is not a job that exists in every school. 

One of my friends assured me that I am thinking about my job the way many women look back at an ex - you remember only the good times, not the bad. And sometimes you worry you won't find someone else, someone better. 

Perhaps all moms are destined to think about whether the grass is greener - if you work, you wish you could stay home. If you stay home you wish for a break from the never ending mom duties. You wish for adult interaction (and the paycheck doesn't hurt). 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Ladybug at 10 weeks

I have decided that 12 weeks will be our last weekly update and from there it will be monthly for a while. I always thought it sounded kind of silly when people refer to age in large numbers - as in, 22 weeks. It makes sense for pregnancy but not with babies in my opinion. Just say four months and move on. Anyway...

Not much to report with breast feeding. Went to two La Leche League meetings recently - that warrants its own post! L is very efficient with nighttime nursing but still nurses for comfort during the day unless we are out and about, which we are often. It drives R nuts that I let her fall asleep on my breast but that brings me to the next topic: 

Sleep: L is officially sleeping through the night according to our pediatrician. She said when they sleep for more than 5 or 6 hours in a row that's STTN. Shrug. She had two nights in a row where she did an 8 hour stretch and let me tell you it was glorious. BUT she struggles with napping. Hence my reluctance to mess with her sleep crutch of nursing herself to sleep. She is a bear in the early evening if she doesn't get good naps during the day. I went back to my trusty baby app that I used in the early days to keep some tabs on her habits and learned she has some nap windows: between 9-10, around 1, around 4. Now that I have figured that out I can work on how she falls asleep. 

Play: L has become more aware of texture over the last week. We have some touch and feel stuff for her to play with and she loves it. She's also noticed that when she kicks her feet on her play mat that they hit an elephant rattle so she loves to do that. I put together her jumperoo this weekend because she loves when I hold her up and she can kind of jump on my lap - yeah, she's way too short! Haha! She seems so big to me now that I sometimes forget how little she is in the scheme of things. 

Activities: We had our last library story time on Friday and she was actually awake for a little bit. I'm not going to sign her up for the next session because we have a lot going on and we have plenty of books at home. She still loves swimming! Today we had a substitute swimming coach who kept pointing out how well L was doing. She loves floating on her back! We went to the Cherry Blossom Festival on Friday and took lots of pictures!

As for me...I was down half a pound when I weighed in on Sunday. Woo hoo! I'm enjoying my almost daily gym time - not only is it a way to get back into shape but it gives me a small break from my ladybug. As the weather gets better I hope to incorporate more walking - I had been walking the mall but frankly that got boring and L doesn't really like being in the stroller indoors. Outside she's fine but she usually cries in the mall. I wear her so frequently that I would prefer to use the stroller for long walks. Don't get me wrong, I love my Ergo but it's nice to have a break, especially as the weather gets hotter. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

It's not in my head

Before I was pregnant I used to feel like being a mommy was akin to being in a special club that I didn't understand. And while I could go on about things that are different now that L is here, this is one I didn't expect: you are more visible.

I live very close to a mall and find it nice sometimes to go walk around there, as long as it isn't the holiday season. I started doing this much more frequently once L arrived because the weather has just been so gross. Normally on these trips the only people who would talk to me are sales people. But now with L (who I normally wear because she doesn't like being in the stroller if she's indoors) people will strike up conversations with me. While at Starbucks I got sucked into one of those "it goes so quickly" conversations with a fellow mom, who shared that her oldest had graduated college and her youngest was 13. Sometimes questions get the conversation rolling. I had someone ask me this week about wearing L in the Ergo, if it was comfortable, etc. She didn't have any kids with her, and I couldn't help but wonder if I was talking to a fellow infertile. I have only anecdotals to back up my opinion here, but I feel like infertiles are much more into planning and researching than fertiles are. Case in point: my cousin had trouble with breastfeeding, so she quit whereas a high school friend who tried for years (with a loss along the way) spent hours on kellymom when she had breastfeeding troubles and now is an active part of Facebook groups that provide support to breastfeeding moms.

So...yeah...becoming a mom has changed my life without question but it's also in ways I had not imagined. I was always on the go, a master multi-tasker. While I still multi-task, I've learned to let go of some tasks that just aren't as important as they used to be. I watch less TV and spend a lot less time surfing around the internet. While L seems to age at a lightning speed, otherwise life has taken a much slower pace. I enjoy sitting in the car, letting L finish up a nap. I still heed the "sleep when the baby sleeps" advice and take a nap in the afternoon.

Anyway, I need to go investigate where Ladybug's 10 week update went!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Ladybug 9 weeks

Aw, the last of her single-digit weeks! I feel like her time is just flying by! :( This week will be our last week of story time over at the library. I am not going to sign L up for the next session because she slept through it every week and it will actually be nice to swap that out for some time at the gym. After weeks of chomping at the bit to get out and meet other mommies and babies I am finally feeling a little more at ease. It's very hard for me to make friends and so I wouldn't say that I've been all that successful with all these groups and classes. However I have a few moms from our Thursday new moms group as friends on my Facebook so I feel like that's a step in the right direction. I even went to a "cry baby matinee" with one whose daughter was born the day before L. Baby steps, right?

It looks like R's travel time is finally over, aside from his once a month weekend trips up to Maryland. This is great not only to have him more involved with L, but he shared that he feels like he's not bonded with her yet. I know I am biased as her mommy, but L really is a sweet babe - she just gets fussy when she's overtired. So I am back to charting her naps on an app, looking for patterns as well as just trying to read her for signs that she's ready for a snooze.

Breastfeeding: L has become super efficient at nursing during the night. I would be surprised if it was more than 10 minutes before she is done and ready to go back to sleep. Unfortunately during the day she often likes to use me as a pacifier, or as the leader at La Leche League called it at Friday's meeting "non-nutritive sucking." Since her daytime napping can be so hit or miss I am letting her do it for a little bit and when I feel like she's in a deeper sleep I gently unlatch her.

Sleep: Speaking of naps, so daytime sucks to be honest. But to be fair, we are out and about every weekday between the gym and her little activities. So she catches little naps in the car sometimes or off on our adventures. Swimming is the only place she won't nap, for obvious reasons. :) This past week I worked really hard to start a bedtime routine. At 7:10 we start with tummy time, then it's bath time, I give her the Vitamin D in the bath, then lotion and pajamas, with the last thing being nursing and story. At this point I feel like I benefit more from the routine than she does, but that's okay.

Play: L is still pretty oblivious to toys. Not that we have a ton of them, but the few things we have she ignores. She has recently discovered her reflection in a mirror and enjoys looking at that. Even better, she seems more aware of other babies and enjoys doing tummy time with her friends on Thursdays. As soon as she is big enough I want to get her into her jumperoo because she loves when I hold her and she can practice standing and light jumps. Mostly though our awake time is spent with me either reading or telling stories, singing, or doing tummy time.

As for me...Weight was the same this week, which was frustrating because I feel like I have been working hard at the gym and being sensible about what I eat (without dieting or whatever). As I have said before, the only reason why I am stressing the weight is because my PCOS is flaring up big time. My face is completely broken out and body hair is growing faster than it was during pregnancy. I have nine pounds to go until I am at my pre-pregnancy weight and about 16 from my pre-IUIs weight.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Two months!

It is hard to believe it has been two months since L was born. I don't know if this is normal but I still think about her birth day often and kind of miss that day, if that makes sense. Her birth was not bad, compared to some of the horror stories I have heard and read and then that rush of emotion when she was finally here. Sigh. 
This week I finally finished up my pregnancy book (the belly book). I hadn't printed any of my third trimester bump pics until snapfish had a good sale about a week or so ago. Plus L doesn't really nap well during the day so there just hasn't been time. 
It's sad to think that on Sunday she will be 9 weeks and R has been gone for 5 of them. He came home today for a few hours before heading up to MD for drill and he was really upset that he feels like he has not bonded with her. He said that because I breastfeed he feels like he can't comfort her the way I can. He also feels like she cries a lot. I understand his perspective but the reality is he hasn't been around. And when he is around he messes with her schedule and so then she is overtired and a MESS. For the most part L really is a pretty relaxed girl. Mess around with her sleep and she morphs into this angry, purple faced screaming machine.
In the meantime I am trying to keep MY cool and not be resentful that not only was he gone all this time but that when he is home he is not always as helpful as I had anticipated. One morning I woke up to go to the gym - time was short. He asked me to watch her so he could go to the bathroom and I couldn't help but think that I didn't have anyone to watch her so I could go to the bathroom. Or the times she was nursing or napping on me and I had to debate holding it or disrupting her to go.
Back to L - she was 11.75 pounds on Thursday when I weighed her. I am so thankful that she is not yet at 12 pounds because we haven't even worn all her 3 month outfits yet! She's pretty much done with the 0-3 but her Carter's stuff marked 3 months still fit pretty well. I think I may stick with their stuff from now on because the other brands have run small. Maybe her growth will slow down soon but since Carter's has cute stuff at great prices I really can't go wrong with their clothes. 
She still loves tummy time and her baths but she does get very distraught when I get her out of the tub. I've learned to rub her lotion between my palms to warm it a bit because putting cold lotion on her after her bath makes her so mad! 
Her nighttime sleep is getting better - she now sleeps over 5 hours after her last feeding and when she wakes up after that she nurses very quickly (10 minutes or less, compared to 30 plus other times) and goes right back to sleep. We usually wake up around 8 these days - she would likely sleep a bit longer but I go to the gym in the morning or she has something like storytime or swimming. She's really cute on mornings where I don't wake her up - she doesn't cry, she just lays there cooing softly and after listening to her for a few minutes with my heart totally melting I shower her with lots of good morning kisses. 
I miss her tiny newborn days but I am really enjoying where she is right now too!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Ladybug: 8 weeks

Feeding: I'm not going to sugarcoat it, I am not a fan of pumping. I pump first thing in the morning while Ladybug feeds on the other side. Most days I get about 2 ounces, once or twice I have been fortunate and pumped three or more ounces. My hope is that by adding in the pumping my supply will increase a little bit. I've been thinking about adding other pumping sessions during the day since I need to start freezing milk for when the new school year starts.

Sleeping: According to my weekly development emails, now we can start working on a nap schedule. But the first step is to look at her pattern of napping. I have to admit, I haven't been paying any attention at all. Now that I am paying a little more attention to when she's sleeping I am beginning to think that her fussiness we experienced this past week was due to her being overtired. It was great having R home last week (he's gone this week) but he's used to eating late and as a result L would go to sleep later than she probably should have.

Play: L gives me big smiles when I pretend to eat her toes or give big noisy kisses to her tummy. During tummy time she's moving her legs like crazy but isn't going anywhere so she gets so tired afterwards.

Misc: L weighed 11.4 pounds on Thursday, which means her days of 0-3 month clothes are limited and soon she will be big enough to wear size 2 diapers. She seems to be gaining half a pound a week - when will she slow down?!

As for me...Slowly incorporating more gym classes into my schedule. I can do one every other day nut gosh, I need that recovery day in between! I'm down a pound from last week, and I have pretty much given up on my Belly Bandit. It's hard to say whether or not it really helped since I have no idea how things would look had I not used it.

Lets talk about...

R's been home a week now and after the gym this morning (and a shower) I decided it was time to rip off the bandaid so to speak and have some couple time. Thanks to my PCOS I've actually been in the mood for at least a week before he came home. Obviously I was apprehensive about the first time post-baby but it had to happen at some point so nearly 8 weeks seemed like the right time. It's been 8 weeks since our last time, since we tried doing the deed as a way to spur on labor the day before she arrived.

I won't get into all the details but I will share the highlights: I tried so hard to not be nervous and tense up but I did anyway. Once I could relax it wasn't so bad. I've been sore off and on but it's not anything unbearable.

R goes off for another course tomorrow, but just for a week so at least we have a little bit of time before we try again.

On an unrelated note, getting ready to sell my Hypnobabies materials but was wondering if any of you knew anyone who would be interested. I feel like it would be great karma for my stuff to go into the hands of another infertile. It definitely made a positive impact on my pregnancy and labor.