Saturday, November 29, 2008

Things I wish I had known, but never could have known, because, honestly, you never know (notes to me for next time before I forget)

For pregnancy:
  • Get a massage often. It's worth it.
  • Do your pre-natal yoga. It's more than worth it.
  • Swim, a lot. Your joints will thank you.
  • Have shoes that will fit you when your feet look like the pillsbury dough boy. Not just flip flops!
  • Sodium is never your friend. (unless you dig looking like a toad)
  • Set a reminder on your phone to take your vitamins. Baby brain is a real thing!
In the hospital:
  • Bring more than one robe. If by some random chance you end up having to stay longer than 3 days, that one robe is gonna be funky. Cotton, not flannel or fleece so you can sleep in it and not sweat your face off. And it could be pretty and not that raggedy old man robe you've had for years. Very un-sexy. (not that being sexy post partum is remotely on or near my mind)
  • Waddle on over (or send hubby) to the Lactation boutique (while in the hospital) and BUY a second set of pump flanges and valves. It's only 10 bucks. Really. After 4 weeks of washing out the same set every 3 hours (to skip the washing is to risk thrush), I finally did this. Now I can go 6 hours! Weeeee! (Better yet, ask the lactation nurses for another set. It's covered by your insurance and they are happy to help.)
  • They may give you an Ameda pump in the hospital but good luck finding parts for it at Target (see previous note about pump flanges)! Go with the Medela if you can, but know that the bottles for Medela fit the Ameda flanges. (discovered this yesterday)
  • Bring slippers. The kind that slip on. Scuffs, I believe they are called. Better than compression socks and flip flops. It was a very Geisha look, let me tell ya.
  • Shave your legs when contractions start (or your water breaks!). It's gonna be a long time before you can do it again.
  • Bring something to put on the door to help visitors find you and to help people whom you don't know from wandering into the wrong room while your hubby very nearly stands naked in the hospital room fresh from a shower. (yes, this happened. He had just gotten pants on!)
  • That sign that says 'no visitors right now' is a beautiful thing. Use it and sleep.
  • Take (and wear) a pair of earrings. It helps to see something pretty in the mirror to go with all of that swelling.
  • Modesty with L&D or Recovery nurses is wasted. They've seen it all! If they want to help you get dried off from your first shower post partum, it's actually nice and in a way feels like being a kid again.
  • Ask for what you need and don't worry about what people think. If it is time for meds and they aren't there yet, buzz the nurses. If you are hungry, ask for a snack.
  • Buy a meal ticket for hubby. Sending him off to forage every 4-5 hrs can be stressful. At least breakfast!
Post partum:
  • Give yourself 6 weeks to start feeling normal. Your body is not 18 any more!
  • A tiny fridge upstairs is your best friend!
  • Buy some bottles. You may think you'll be a champion nurser, but your body may have different ideas.
  • Maternity underwear. Buy them, wear them, both before and after delivery (after you are no longer wearing the hospital issue mesh undies and mattress sized pads!). Ignore comments from hubby about 'granny panties'. You try wearing underwear that hit you where your stomach was recently cut open!
  • When people ask what you need, be honest... Tell them to bring food!
  • Trips to the pediatrician are hard those first coupla weeks. Take a friend or family member to help you carry things like, say, the car seat and diaper bag.
  • You can never have enough burp cloths!
  • Formula will mold on baby clothes if allowed to stay damp and those stains will never come out.
  • When they say rest when the baby rests, find a way to do it. Laundry, dishes and dinner be damned! No one will die or starve if you don't do those things, but you will feel like crap if you do them.
  • Hubbies are great for ordering take out or rummaging through the fridge to find a feast of leftovers.
In general:
  • Buy a car seat at the end of the second trimester, because anything beyond 30 (28 really) weeks is fair game. Just leave it in the box if you think you might get one at at a baby shower. It's very returnable!
  • Likewise, pick a 'going home outfit' for the wee smidge and wash it. Doing a load of laundry while sitting on a towel after your water breaks sucks.
  • Read up about possible delivery scenarios, instead of thinking 'this will never happen to me' and winding up relying on a vague memory of the video from birthing class when a C-Section comes your way.
  • Your feet WILL eventually go back to NOT looking like refrigerator biscuits. Even though it seems impossible. You do, in fact, have ankle bones.
I'm sure all this will go right out the window when it's baby number 2 and I have to take care of them AND take care of me when the Geek goes back to work!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Beginning to see the light

SO I'm now 3 plus weeks post partum and I'm realizing that a good chunk of the the 'hard' part of the last few weeks was really the recovering from the surgery. I am so impatient with myself to heal that I didn't know how to relax and rest. I'm learning. Bedtime is currently nine pm most nights. I used to think my sister was CRAZY for going to bed that early. Life just was just getting started at that time. No more!

I'm entering a different phase now and it's amazing how much I weigh out the pros and cons of everything right now. Take purchasing things for example. I can see how attractive online shopping is as compared to driving around looking for the best deal. That takes a lot of energy! I mean really.

The Geek and I finally bit the bullet and collected all of our gift cards and baby gift money and bought a stroller and car seat. We have been using a loaner since we left the hospital. The Geek planned the entire day so we could work in the Baby Bear's feedings plus eat at our favorite breakfast eatery (Noshville), make a Target run and be home in time to avoid fussy babies and fussy mamas. I still get so tired I can feel it in my teeth! Weird huh?

OK, now for the fun part. It's weird to think I used to have time to do this every day! Not just when I had a spare second. How do you mommy bloggers do it?! If you feel like slogging through all of the recent photos they are all over at my flickr page (see sidebar badge) It's been awhile since I uploaded so there are over 100 photos between me and my mama (who was here last week and now I'm on my own! Mmgggiih!)

Cora and her bear. She stuck out her tongue at it.

That seems to be a theme here!

Yes, I admit it, I take photos of us on the timer setting when the Geek isn't around. And yes, we are in the bathroom.

My little froggie baby!

So sweet. I am blessed to have such a good baby.

She looks like a little flower here.

Gramma came to visit. Cora was having a 'mo' (short for moment)

This is post-bath hair. It's like a fuzzy peach!

And last but not least, the little smile she gave to her Gramma right before she headed back to Texas.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thoughts on transitioning from pregnancy to motherhood

I may have my body back but I've traded it for my mind.

Who knew this kid could get so much bigger in 3 weeks?!

I have never loved this deeply. Not even my husband who I love with all my heart. It feels like I need to explode, implode, get quiet and still, shout with joy from the highest of places, laugh and cry...all at once. It's too big to take in some days.

A small baby asleep on my chest is reason enough to pause life for an hour (or 3).


When the Geek and I did this for marriage counseling I was an ENFJ and he was and IFNJ. I wonder if I've changed? Plus, I don't think I'm a flirt (although before I got married others would have said I was).

You Are An ENFP

The Inspirer

You love being around people, and you are deeply committed to your friends.
You are also unconventional, irreverent, and unimpressed by authority.
Incredibly perceptive, you can usually sense if someone has hidden motives.
You use lots of colorful language and expressions. You're quite the storyteller!

In love, you are quite the charmer. And you are definitely willing to risk your heart.
You often don't follow through with your flirting or professed feelings. You break a lot of hearts.

At work, you are driven but not a workaholic. You just always seem to enjoy what you do.

You would make an excellent entrepreneur, politician, or journalist.

How you see yourself: compassionate, unselfish, and understanding

When other people don't get you, they see you as: gushy, emotional, and unfocused

In case I forget

At 2 weeks Cora was 4lb 12 oz and 18 inches
At 2 weeks and 6 days she was 5lb 5.5oz and they didn't measure her.

But her long skinny feet are now chubby. Which I think is amazing and oh so cute. It's hard to keep a kid warm and take pictures of their naked (and not crying and squirmy) self so I'm still working on it.

The Geek and I referred to her as a 'single scoop' (like ice cream or raisin bran which has 2 scoops! hee hee!) when we brought her home since we both could handle her with one hand when we scooped her up from her bassinet or when we passed her back and forth. Especially when she was swaddled. I think we are up to a scoop and a half now. I swear I'm working on uploading more photos. Gramma was recently here so there are mine and hers to share.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

When you can't do anything else, laugh.

Sigh. I'm making it. Thanks for all the comforting words. Glad menfolk don't have to do this. Here's what happens when they just get the sniffles!

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Help! I'm going under! The last of my family help left this morning. The Geek is back at work as of last week. The meals have stopped (except for 2 days/week which frankly isn't enough, but what can a gal do. I'm grateful for it!). My milk still isn't in and if I have to look at that pump again I will cry (more that I have been already). If the Geek didn't make me eat I wouldn't remember to. Low sodium diet restrictions rule out a lot of processed food so I have to make food, wash out bottles and breast pump bottles and the somewhere in that haul my recently cut open self up and down stairs (WHY DID WE BUY A 2 STORY HOUSE?!) and try to get some rest. (HA!) I can't do this!

Friday, November 07, 2008

How much she is loved

I have been getting these emails from about where my baby is and what is going on with her, gestation-wise and as I was trying to find a way to change her due date I stumbled across her calendar, which notes activities that could be happening during pregnancy. This struck me.

"Wednesday November 5th: Your baby will soon start to drop down lower in your pelvis, a process called lightening or engagement. You should get relief from heartburn and find it easier to breathe when this happens."

This is one week exactly after she was born and from all we know about her state inside my uterus, the lightening would have very probably put her in distress and there was a chance she could have been stillborn. It is just another reminder for me how much her being here is a miracle. I take it for granted at 4 am.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Bounty of Friends

We had had such an inundation of love, help and, nearly best of all, food from friends. Tracy made me pumpkin bread AND pumpkin cookies. How did she know I love and crave pumpkin? Soups and pot pie carefully stashed in the freezer (cause tired Papa Bears (the Geek) and Mama Bears (me) need lunch too). Carol coming over with tiny preemie onsies to borrow, and proof that they do indeed grow bigger with her small daughter in tow (being around 3 lbs when she was born!) and comforting conversation about the woes of breast pumps!

Even the trees put on their Sunday best to welcome my small girl to the world. The street is ablaze with reds, oranges, and golds as the Geek and I sit in the afternoon sunshine on the porch of our home. Yummy Lentil and Venison Sausage soup for lunch from Jan, cooked in my own pot and waiting for us when we got home Sunday (although I was a bit confused and could not remember making a soup so why was there a pot in the fridge?)!

And now, for your daily dose of our Baby Bear:

My and the baby bears hands

Papa Bear holds the baby bears tiny feet

I can hardly resist these Papa Bear and Baby Bear moments in the mornings.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

First 'Playdate' and other things

Cora (whom we have dubbed Baby Bear) and Elijah (AKA Eichelbaby) had a 'playdate' while the mamas talked. I can't get over it! He's only 6 weeks old, but look a the size difference!! WOW. I guess techically he is 10 weeks older since she was 5 weeks early and he was a week early.

IN other news, we spent the day at the ER for me with shortness of breath and wheezing. Oodles of tests later, my breastmilk (which still has not really come in yet) is radioactive for 24 hrs and must be 'pumped and dumped' as the tech put it so nicely. I tried the dark beer method of helping my milk supply last night and about a third of a way through it I remembered that alcohol and pain meds are a bad combo. Panicked, I called Poison Control and they said not to take any more for 6 hrs, and that I would feel very sleepy. But I started feeling short of breath last night and wheezy this morning so we went to the ER. After all that, I came home and there on the side of the bottle was a warning that taking too much of this med could result in breathing problems and in fact, the night before I had taken a dose too close to the other one. Hmmm... We laughed at the irony of it all. Sigh.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

A wink and a spook

Jan brought by a little costume for Cora to wear for Halloween since we didn't expect to have a baby by Halloween! So here's a wink for ya and her 'I love my Mummy' outfit.
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