Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Good, The Bad, and The Epidural

For those of you ready to grab a garbage can and lose your lunch, this is not my birth story - per say.  It is sort of a run down of what has worked (for me...everyone is different, no advice, blah, blah, blah) thus far and what has not, even with the best of intentions and worst of my stubborn attitude on my side. Also, I'm not beating myself up for anything that didn't work out how I expected it to...

What Did NOT Work:

Natural Child Birth
I started studying Hypnobabies birthing method very early in my pregnancy.  It was honestly, the best thing I did even if I didn't use it so much in the delivery room.  Practicing was some forced relaxation on a daily basis, and there were a lot of positive affirmations that I really needed.  I planned to use it to control pain through labor that I hoped to do a lot of at home, then go in to the hospital towards the end...yadda, yadda.  Instead I was induced to avoid preclampsia.  By the time I went in to Labor and Delivery to have the baby I had been there 6 times before- using my Hypnobabies every time to relax, bring my blood pressure back down, and stay positive while waiting for something, ANYTHING, to happen.  I used it during my Braxton Hicks and I used it for all the contractions that I had (or as I like to call it, the imaginary baseball bat being rammed up my hiney - sorry, maybe you do need that garbage can).  I actually ended up getting the epidural, not for contractions, but for this evil procedure called a "Foley Bulb."  And then I ended up with a c-section- lots more medication, very un-natural, but resulted in a healthy baby and healthy mama. Although this story isn't over...I can still try next time.

Sleep Training
Cute Can't be Learned
That's not completely true, but the crying it out that I had always told people was so important to do...couldn't and still can't.  Every once in a while I do let her fuss to go back to sleep, but I have never let her wail for a couple hours to get her to sooth herself.  She goes to bed at the same time daily, gets up once to eat (although she probably COULD sleep through the night), and probably gets up a little early...but I'm just not ready to introduce her to more disappointment than the shots, and not being allowed to Gnaw on my Gnipples.

Baby Led Weaning
Happy with mush
This is a method where you basically just hand your baby what you're eating (within reason) and let them feed themselves whole food with very little interference, maintaining breastfeeding or formula as the main source of nutrition from 6-12 months.  This is great in theory.  However, 1) The doctor suggested (strongly, amid suggestions of possible malabsorption issues) that I start feeding before 6 months with the intent of getting as much as possible INTO her, 2) we still deal with the possibilities of allergies, and 3) I am a control freak.  I feed C food that doesn't leak from me twice a day during the week (SuperSitter feeds her lunch).  Once I am getting ready to leave for work with a bit of a time crunch, once I am tired and have roughly 2 hours with the baby before she goes to bed.  Neither time do I have it in me to put all my energy toward relaxing about choking and moving at her pace instead of mine.  C has proven herself in the "taking bites" with bread, a roll, a gardening book, and a birthday card for Auntie G but I can't bring myself to let her try to navigate it all in the self destruct button chasm that is the back of her mouth.

What Did Work:

'Cause that's how big they felt
My boobs, in their sad shape, might disagree.  The future income of a local plastic surgeon might emphatically agree.  This was my one brag-worthy moment from C's birthday...she latched on within 1/2 an hour. She briefly gave up the next day when her efforts were still fruitless, but picked it back up with no trouble.  I've had to drink teas, and pump, and fully eliminate everything that I couldn't pick out of the ground myself...after about 2 months essentially everyone around me encouraged me to quit to maintain my own sanity. 7 months later, some days I want to punch my pump in the face for making that noise that can only be translated to "Wack-o, Wack-o."  Some days I want to eat whatever processed, dairy filled, cheesy shit mess that I please.  But I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I am getting a little sad about getting there.  At 3 am, or during shots, or during the stranded-on-a-desert-island catastrophes that my mind can create...I am easily able console AND nourish my sweet little bugger.  And it's cheaper.

Cloth Diapering
that's some crunchy shiz
On this one, I must respectfully say suck it biotch to all the haterators that laughed at me for this one.  Comments (to my face, so who knows what was said otherwise) like, "oh, can't wait to see what you do the first time you see a huge poop" (like I hadn't considered that my baby would produce a deuce) or making bets about how long it would last.  It works great for us...doesn't work well for everyone, but we like it.  Even Mr. P is a fan.  My washing machine is NOT covered in shit, C's room doesn't NOT stink to holy hell, and my baby's booty is NOT a mess.  In fact, since we started at 7 weeks, we have had one mild diaper rash.

And ultimately what has worked is taking things as they come and being flexible...not easy for an anal-retentive, closet routine-freak.  Who me? What?! No! Ok. Yes.  But add good mom to that. Great some days, fair on others...not too shabby on most.  Mr. P is pretty awesome too.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Working (Out) Mother's Guilt

Ok, so I'm now the working mother that doesn't see her baby 8 hours out of 4 days every week - like the normal kind of working mother (but still a little privileged in my opinion).  And I have to say - I've adjusted almost too well.  As Mr. P said,  I was working 80 hours in 40 hours time and it was wearing me (and in return him) ragged.  I was a mess and full of tension all the time. Yes, I was incredibly lucky to have the opportunity and I will always treasure it.  And yes, I loved seeing her face all the time - but DAYAM it was hard. I ALMOST feel guilty feeling so relaxed, except I know she is getting the utmost spoiling and naps in her own bed and she doesn't bat a long, beautiful eyelash (they used to be mine - she stole them when I was pregnant and they never grew back on me) when I leave.
So I can feel as guilty as I want, but I don't really have a choice...at this point, without some major lifestyle changes, we wouldn't be able to do it any other way.  However, here is where a real balancing act comes in...
The time that I am not at work...I want to be with her every second.  I have already decided to forego my desire to play with her until I'M tired so that she could have a nice early bedtime. I try to get as ready in the evening and wee hours of the morning so that I can sit and enjoy her before I head off to work.
First pic texted from the sitter
Sooo....I've recently signed back up for my secret healthy indulgence...Jazzercise.  I know I will not be back at 6 days a week anytime in the near decades...but even just going back for a couple of sessions of shaking my completely reshaped-by-baby-growing ass a week is worth it to me.  I get a workout that clears my mind, works my heart, builds some bone density, strengthens my muscles, and gets some silly suburban lady chat in before and after.  Going on the weekends is a no-brainer as the grandmas are chomping at the bit to spend an hour or so changing poopy diapers and wiping up drool for the chance at an eight second smile or the hint of a giggle.  But I would like to go one day during the week to make 3 workouts a week...and it's so hard to decide to do it.  The self-help book reading, Womyn's Studies major in me tells me that I need to put on my own oxygen mask first...to take care of myself so that I can best take care of my family.  The guilty working mother tells me to get my ass home as fast I can before my daughter forgets who I am, feels completely abandoned and finds her way 3 blocks down at the strip club bearing her low self-esteem for any man who chooses to bring her dollar bills instead of going to Jazzercise.   June Cleaver would say I was selfish...so I stay up late peeling the smallest EVER organic apples to make her fresh food as penance.  Oh god, am I going to teach my baby to eat her emotions?! Mr. P wants the time alone with her - and that's good for her.  So ultimately, as it stands the Pros outweigh the Cons.   I'll be shaking my money maker and hoping that this is the good example that I hope it is - and that ultimately I will be a better mom as a healthy mom.  SHIT, why didn't someone mention that getting up at night would by far be the LEAST of my worries....

Separation Anxiety

...mine, not hers - to be specific.  I went back to work at 8 weeks...and from day 1, I had the nugget in tow.  It has been wonderful...and hard as shit.  I love my little girl, but doing a job and taking care of her at the same time has left me feeling like I'm constantly falling short at both.  From what I hear, that won't go away anytime soon.  At this point, C is a real human who wants interaction and attention...and I want her to have it.
It would be selfish for me to keep her here, just to get to see her smiles and hear her babbles when I had the time for it...
Luckily she will be watched by someone I trust a lot...but it's still hard.  Like - burst into tears when I talk about it hard.  So here are some pictures and a video of our little office baby....
Very important business meeting

Regularly brings Gpa to his knees

Joining Gpa for volunteer award