When you are pregnant they don’t tell you a lot of things. Doctors and nurses are wonderful people but they don’t really help prepare you for what it will be like, they are too busy trying to get you through the experience of pregnancy. I spent countless hours in the doctors office while I was pregnant and while he did tell me it would be amazing and unique that didn’t really prepare me for the sad feeling I get every time he grows out of a size of clothes or goes up a diaper size (like he is right now). Family and friends try to tell you but their own memories are usually so glossed with the veil of the past that they don’t remember what makes those first few months so special and wonderful.
When you bring that baby home its sweet and beautiful and he smells like all the best things in the world. He might be quiet or he might be loud but the one universal truth is that he needs you. Dads are wonderful, don’t get me wrong, but brand new babies seem to instinctively know who mom is and what they need from her. They need nourishment and even though the first hundred times they latch on will hurt like a son of a bitch you gladly endure it because it is what sustains this wonderful bundle of soft, doe eyed, sweetness someone somehow let you leave the hospital with. They need comfort and they just need you. They seem so fragile for the first few days and weeks. The chord is still hanging on and you are afraid to bump or move or even brush by it for fear of hurting them. You have to clean them, feed them, check to make sure they are breathing when they finally fall asleep, watch over them like a hawk as your family gets acquainted with them and if you are lucky you get to see them get to know their dad.
I don’t think it is a mistake they we feel so protective of them when they meet someone new. I know when Carl was very little every time someone other than myself, Steven or Faith would hold him I would hold my breath. You worked to nurture that life and then helped it into this world, now it feels like you have to control everything in his environment to keep him safe. The first moment I really realized how fleeting and incredible this experience was going to be was when he lost his umbilical chord. That was the last thing that connected him to me and it came off before I knew it. The next time was when I had to go back to work. It felt like those seven weeks literally came and went in the blink of an eye. This weekend has been another one of those moments. He will be 20 weeks old this week and I remember being 20 weeks pregnant not all that long ago. This time is fleeting and what makes it so precious is that everything changes at a more rapid pace than at any other time in life. Right now he is still making sweet baby noises but before I know it he will be talking. Right now he wants to cuddle and play and he wants my attention but before I know it he will be independent and off doing his own thing.
I am striving to enjoy these moments as much as possible because I know they wont last. Some people in his life are going to miss out on all the precious moments and look back with regrets but I am determined to be there and live it with him while I can before I blink and he is wanting a tattoo and for me to meet his new girlfriend.
Have a wonderful Tuesday.
I admit it. I spend a lot of time pursuing Pinterest for ideas for various things. One of the things I found recently was this neat trend of preserving babies things in shadow boxes like this one:
This one is from Taking Care of Monkey Business
I decided I wanted to do one for Carl. The only problem is that I am horribly thrifty. Some of these shadow boxes run up to $20 which is way more than I intend to pay. I kept looking for one at garage sales and thrift stores to no end and finally I came across this at a garage sale a few weeks ago.
I’ve always thought these things were rather terrible. As you can see it was a clock so I took the perfectly working clock mechanism out to be used for later. After some thorough cleaning because this had developed a little dirt and the glass was cloudy I got to work. I wrapped the footprints background in some cute baby friendly fabric. Then I proceeded to pick out the cute things I wanted to preserve. It turned out like this.
Sorry for the blur.
Lesson: Don’t waste your money, be creative!
What have you thrifted this week?
So baby sleep part 2!
Baby Carl has been sleeping through the night going on three weeks now. There have been a few hitches, like when we visited my mom for a few nights. He didn’t like sleeping in the elevated pack n play so I lowered it to the lowest level the next night and he slept pretty well. I spent a lot of time reading about baby sleep on blogs and trying out books about baby sleeping and happy babies and let me just say that most of it, especially Happiest baby on the block, is just not as awesome as the authors would like you to believe. Having said all that I will let you all in on my nightly routine.
He used a pacifier for exactly five minutes and now refuses to use one.
We have a very lose daytime schedule. I say lose because he just really wants to eat a ridiculous amount during the day and his naps are not very predictable. However his night time schedule is fixed and unmovable.
- Before everything else, and because he is missing those night time feedings now I let him nurse as much as he wants between 7:00pm and 9:00pm.
- Starting between 8:00-8:30pm~ if it is bath night he gets a bath. I bathe him every other day. After the bath he gets a lotion baby massage If there is no bath I put him in his footsie pajamas or a sleeper around 9pm.
- Around 9:00-9:15pm I read some books to him.
- Between 9:15pm and 9:30pm, after I make sure he has a clean diaper, I settle him down on my chest in the glider and throw a blanket over him. While I am checking his diaper I turn on his noise machine and projector.
- It usually takes between 15 and 30 minutes to get him settled and in his crib asleep. Sometimes it only takes a minute especially if he is tired and has had a long day.
I always use his noise machine. That’s something I did from the beginning. I wanted him to be able to sleep through anything and he can. He can sleep in a crowded stadium with a marching band playing. I know this because he did it just last week. I also don’t talk to him after I get him settled on my chest. I read somewhere that if you want babies to know that it is time for sleep you shouldn’t stimulate them and talking to them is just that. Carl definitely seems to know when it is time to be quiet and sleep. He wont chatter and I don’t chatter to him. I will sing to him if he isn’t settling well but I don’t talk to him like I do during the day.
Life is hard when you are the baby!
I think a bed time routine is really a great thing for mom and baby. Even if your child isn’t sleeping through the night or in his crib having a bedtime routine will signal that it is time for bed, not play. I also try not to nurse him to sleep anymore. I will let him nurse as much as he wants right before bed time, but after we start our bed routine I usually don’t. I don’t want him to rely on that to go to sleep. I do rock him which I know some people disagree with but fooey on them. If he is being especially inconsolable and wont even nurse I will set him in the crib and let him cry for a few minutes before getting him out and trying again. This usually settles him down out of that initial fit.
Please don’t expect my night time routine to be the magic things that gets your baby to sleep but I hope it might help in some way. Find a routine that works for you!
Have a great Tuesday!
It is Tuesday. Tuesday is the day I talk about motherhood and babies and such because frankly I need an outlet and I’m trying not to talk about it all of the time. I’m in a weird sort of limbo. I only know one other person in this weird limbo and her life is a little more defined than mine is at the moment. Four months ago I had a baby. He is adorable. See…
I never really expected motherhood. There was a time I really, really wanted it. Years ago, right after I got married I thought a lot about what it might be like. I didn’t think I could have children, at least not without a lot of bother or adoption so I never really considered the nitty gritty aspects of it. After a few years of being with someone who really seemed to not want children I stopped thinking or planning for it at all. When we separated last August I was at that point where I had actually started rationalizing why it was way better that we never had kids and every time I made a decision then it was with the thought “I’m so glad it is just me I have to worry about”. No kids stuff to move, no child to worry about. I was starting over and it is much easier to do that when you are only responsible for yourself. I gave up my dog, got a tiny apartment, and went on a self imposed low cost diet to fit my new responsibilities and general sense of aloneness.
When I moved out I didn’t have much of anything. I had some dishes, a few personal things, and a little bit of money. Almost no furniture to speak of. I slept on an air mattress for six weeks. I slept on a bed on the floor for another few months. I didn’t have a dresser, or even enough hangers. I didn’t have a tv or a couch or much of anything. I acquired a couch eventually. I borrowed a tv. Life went on. I spent the entire month of August in a weird haze of just trying to get by and mourning what I had lost.
A year ago today, on Labor day, after a long day of being out in the heat at the labor fest selling my crafty wares and making balloons to a much smaller crowd than originally anticipated, something weird happened. I can remember the moment like it was just minutes ago. I was standing with Faith and a friend and a gaggle of teenage girls were standing just a few feet from us and all of the sudden their smell hit me. It was awful and strong and reeked of perfume and sweat. I wanted to gag and hurl. Nothing like that had ever happened to me before. It was weird. My friend made a joke. A harmless innocent joke about me being pregnant. That was the moment my mind was opened up to the possibility and it was terrifying.
How could I possibly be pregnant (hahahahaha)? This was the exact wrong moment in my life. I was alone. My husband and I were getting along like oil and water. I was not in any way, shape, form or fashion ready for that thought. I shrugged it off and decided it couldn’t possibly be. I think even then I knew. A couple of days later I took a pregnancy test. Then I took six more because I didn’t believe the first one. How could this be? I mean I knew the logistics, but I just couldn’t believe it. A part of my mind decided it had to be cancer. My hormones were messing with the test and I had cancer. So I booked an appointment with a doctor and two weeks after my appointment I told the world there was to be a mini me because turns out it wasn’t cancer, just a fast swimming little bean of a Carl who grew and grew.
A lot has changed since then. I am much more acquainted with babies now. I’m also much more forgiving of the transgressions and annoyances of others. My relationship with my own mother improved while my relationship with my inlaws pretty much went down the tubes (except Inez of course). I’m still at a relationship impasse in the marriage department but I see a light at the end of the tunnel. I’m in a house not a tiny apartment. Same job. Entirely different clothes size. I still like getting up early and I still read every chance I get but now I do it with a mini me running around. I turn 26 this month and I am really excited to be celebrating it with Carl and all those other important people. This isn’t the life I planned for or expected but I am enjoying it, moment by moment, bit by bit.