Friday, March 30, 2012

Things I said I would never do as a parent

When I was pregnant and even before I was pregnant, I had a list of things I told myself I would never do as a parent. Well easier said that done. Now that I am actually a parent, I've realized that your ideals of parenting and actual parenting are completely two different things. Having a child is very unpredictable, things go wrong, things you wouldn't expect to happen, happen. So I can say I would never ever do a certain thing as a parent, but that would be a lie. Because I may end up doing the thing I said I never would do. I won't know until that moment happens, when I make the decision what is right for my child. So here is list of things that I told myself I would never do as a parent and have ended up doing. And I'm sure this list will only grow over the years.

1) Give my child formula.
I would get formula samples in the mail, and just carelessly toss them in my closet, and told myself I would never need to use them. But decided to keep them just in case. But I knew or at least thought I knew that I wouldn't need to use them, and probably end up throwing them out. Well lies. Grant's first week of life he ended up losing 12 oz. For most babies that might not be a big deal, but Grant was only 5 pound 13 oz when he was born. So losing 12 oz was a big deal. He was skin and bones and down to 5 pounds and 1 ounces. The pediatrician at his appointment wasn't concerned, but then when we had to go to the hospital because Grant had jaundice, suddenly his weight loss was a concern. So the nurse weighed Grant before I fed him, and then weighed him after I fed him. When this happen, he didn't gain any weight, which meant he really didn't get any breastmilk from me. This was highly discouraging to me considering I really thought I was feeding my child. I'm not sure why this was happening, I think because Grant was so small and still didn't have a very strong suck, so he wasn't getting very much. So the nurse came back in after consulting with the doctor on call to tell me he wanted me to supplement. The concept sounded completely foreign to me. Basically they wanted me to breastfeed Grant as much as I possibly could and then when he was done give him formula. It was very hard giving him formula, mainly because I thought I would never have to give him formula. And I wanted to fight for exclusive breastfeeding. It made me sick every time he took formula. I was relieved when he would only take a very small amount of formula. It made me happy. Which is terrible, I should be happy my child is getting fed. But I guess I figured if he was taking less formula that meant he was getting more from me. And the times he would drink 2 oz of formula, would deflate me. Luckily I only had to supplement for a week. But the entire time was terrible, I hated every minute of it. I was so afraid that giving Grant formula would cause him not to want my breast milk anymore. Well thank God that after supplementing for a week, I went back to breastfeeding, and Grant is thriving. He is almost 7 weeks and is about 9 pounds. He has gained 4 pounds since I've been breastfeeding him. I hope I can continue breastfeeding Grant and will not have to ever give him formula. Though I'm open to the idea if I do have to give it to him. I decided when Grant gets watched by his Great Aunt, that I'm going to bring formula as a secondary backup, if Grant ate all the breast milk that I brought for the day, and he is still hungry. I don't want my child to starve. So I'll use formula as a last resort.

2) Letting my child sleep in other places other than his own bed
I always thought having Grant sleep in other places like his car-seat (when he isn't in the car) or his bouncy seat, was a bad thing. I'm not even sure why, I guess before I was a mom, the only place I thought babies should sleep is in their bed. Now that I have Grant, I know this thought is not practical. We had Grant sleep in his bed at first, but when he started getting really nasally, he started getting really fussy when we laid him on his back. So we started putting him in his bouncy rocker seat to sleep in. He sleeps very soundly in there, and can breath better being more elevated. So anytime Grant sleeps he sleeps in his bouncy seat. He probably hasn't slept in his baby bed since he was two weeks old. He also sleeps in his car-seat on occasion, when we get home from somewhere and he fell asleep in the car. I don't want to disturb his sleep, so I just let him sleep in the car-seat.

3)Letting my child sleep in my bed
Before I had Grant I was completely against the baby sleeping on the bed. I personally do not think it's safe for the baby to be in the bed when Matt and I are sleep. I know many parents do co-sleeping/bedsharing. But it is not for us. I told myself that I would never ever let Grant sleep in the bed, even if it's just to sleep in the bed for a couple of hours in the morning. I'm just too scared that I may smash my child or roll on them when sleeping. Well now that I've had Grant it's changed. I'm still not going to practice bed-sharing, for many reasons. But I realize that there are going to be moments when Grant will sleep in my bed. For example, in the morning usually he is really fussy, and the only way to get him to sleep is him laying on my chest. Me being half asleep he usually sleeps on my chest, and I sleep for a couple of hours, or he sleeps right next to me. I did it a couple of times accidentally, because I was trying to get him to sleep, and ended up falling asleep myself. I felt so guilty at first. But realize that I never went into a deep sleep when he does that, and on a conscious mom level knows he's sleeping on my chest. So judge me all you like, it happens.

4) Giving my child a shower
I've heard of people taking a shower with their babies, and always thought it sounded strange. And also dangerous, I mean what if the baby slips out of your hands? I told myself I would never do such a thing. Well Grant hates baths, he screams blood murder. He absolutely hates it. It made me dread giving him baths. So we decided one day to try putting him in the shower. We have a system, I hand baby to Matt while he is in the shower. Grant cuddles in Matt's arms. Matt doesn't put Grant directly in the water. Grant loves it, he gets so content. He's fell asleep a couple times in Matt's arms while in the shower. He has smiled a couple times too while in the shower. So Matt will be in the water with Grant for a couple minutes, then turn the water off, sit down in the tub clean off Grant, and then stand back in the shower and rinse him off. It works great. And makes cleaning Grant so much easier.

These are the only ones I can think of right now. I'm sure the older Grant gets, the more I'll add to this list. Bottom line it's easy to judge others and say you'll never do that with your kids, but until you have them, that completely changes. The rules aren't set in stone, taking care of Grant everyday changes those rules. In the end I'll do what's best for Grant. So all things I said I would never do with my kid, I might as well throw out the window and have an open mind.

I mean how can you say no to this face?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Baby Products I love!

Now that I've been a mom for almost 6 weeks now, I'm starting discover some baby products I absolutely love. Some of them being things I originally thought I didn't need, and ended up getting after Grant was born. Some of them being things that others recommended. And then there are things I thought I needed and ended up getting but not really utilizing very much. Now some of these things vary from baby to baby. One thing that may work for one baby may not work for another. So here are the baby products that I absolutely love so far as a new mommy!

1)Avert Soothie Pacifiers:

This is a product that may vary from baby to baby. Grant is a paci snob! He got a soothie pacifier from the hospital, and this is the only kind of pacifier he will take. I didn't even know they had these kind of pacifiers until Grant got one. We have all these Nuk pacifiers and Grant doesn't like them. He spits them out! It's tough only having one pacifier, so I went out and bought the Gumdrop pacifiers. They look almost exactly like the soothies the only difference if the plastic is a different material. Well Grant doesn't like those either! Luckily the Avert Soothie Pacifiers, are a little different looking than the soothie in the hospital, but it does the trick because Grant loves it!

2) Microwavable Sterilize bags

What is nice about these, is instead of having to boil bottles, and breast pump parts, or waiting for them to get clean in a load of dishes in the dishwasher, you can easily sterilize them in the microwave! I love these bags, they are amazing! You can use one bag up to 20 times.A pack has six of them, and I'm only on my third bag, so they definitely last a long time!

3) Boppy Pillow

The boppy pillow is amazing for various reasons! It's great to breast feed with! Set the baby on there and it makes a nice pillow and placeholder for the baby. You don't have to worry about killing you arms holding the baby while trying to breastfeeding. Also the boppy pillow makes a great place to prop the baby up, if you need to set them down really quick. Or a great place for a quick (supervised) nap. I also like using the boppy pillow for myself on occasions, like using it a pillow to prop my own head up on, or to sit on. It makes my back not hurt a much. Boppy Pillow is definitely worth every penny! And you can buy different slipcovers for it too!

4) Spinning Bottle Rack:

I ended up buying this, about a week ago. I thought I didn't need one of these so didn't get one before the baby. But when I sterilized the bottle and breast pump parts, I realize I didn't have a place for them to dry first. I would just get a piece of paper towel for them to lay on. And that's just a waste of paper towels. So I finally realized I need a drying rack of some kind. I'm glad I got this one. It's really nice and it looks less cluttery. Instead of having all these random parts on laying on my counter.

5) Car mirror

This mirror isn't the exact one I got. But it's similar. This was another item I told myself I didn't need. I thought having this would cause more of a distraction driving, and it would be pointless. But anyways a couple of week ago, I drove an hour to my mom's house. The entire time I was freaking out because I couldn't see Grant. I ended up going to Target and buying a mirror. It's nice to be able to see Grant in the mirror. I'm glad I have that mirror, because one day, his little head was leaning forward when he was sleeping, and he couldn't lift it back up. If I didn't have that mirror, I would have had no idea. So I definitely suggest getting one of these mirrors. It's great!

6) Fisher Price kick and play gym

I'm really glad I got this. Grant recently just started getting interested in playing. He loves this thing. He likes kicking, and he'll hit the keys on the keyboard, and he'll try to grab the toys hanging. It's a good way to keep him entertain. This mat is also great for tummy time, and when he gets older you can change the piano upright, so he can sit up and play the piano.

7) Fisher Price Infant to Toddler rocker

Grant looks so tiny in this thing! But he's gotten a lot bigger in the last five weeks. I love this rocker! Grant has been so stuffed up and hasn't been sleeping in his pack and play very well. He gets fussy. So he's been using this as his bed for now. What is great about this, is it has vibrations on it and you can rock it. Also you can change the setting on to make it not rock and be more elevated. When Grant gets bigger it can be a toddler rocking chair! I'm so glad I found this product! Way better than just a regular bouncer.

8) Cozy Cover

In the last week it has been summer like weather, so we aren't using it right now, but who's to say it will get cold again. Got this as a shower present, and love it! It's a great way to keep the cold air out when taking Grant from one place to another.

9) 3 in 1 Tropical Rainforest bathtub!

Grant in the picture doesn't like this tub too much, but I do. What is nice about it, is I can set Grant in the nice netting, so he doesn't slip away. And then when he gets bigger I can change the settings. And it comes with fun bath toys for Grant to play with when he gets bigger!

Those are some of my favorite things so far! I'm sure I'll like more products as Grant gets bigger. I must say I have all these ideas in my head for baby products that should be invented. I think some of my ideas would make life easier. Maybe I should go on the show Shark Tank and submit my ideas. lol.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Intro to Playgroups

I was working on a blog entry a few days ago, that I still need to finish up, but in light of me inadvertently participating in a playgroup today, I thought I would share. Today I had to run some errands, and one of them being I need to stop by the church we go to. Matt is going to be a godfather for one of his cousins, (well 2nd cousin once remove) and their church requires that the priest of our parish signs off on it saying Matt is in fact a practicing Catholic with good intentions. So me being the good wife that I am, I stopped by the parish office to have the secretary sign off on it. I also took Grant with me, because taking him places I figured gives me good practice to learn the art of running errands with a baby. And Grant seems to sleep like a peaceful angel in the car. With the exception of today on the way home, poor little guy was hungry, and cried the entire car ride home. I felt really bad. But anyways I went to the Parrish office, and had the secretary sign off on the paper. She was telling me about how there was a playgroup going on right then and there in the basement of the church. She asked me if I wanted to check it out, and me being polite, I said yes. I figured it couldn't hurt. After all this is what moms do, right? Hang out with other moms and let their little children play. Though I had a feeling I was going to feel out of place considering my child is not at the age of playing with other kids. He's more like at the age of sleeping all day.

So the secretary takes me downstairs to this creepy basement, I discover that the parish office and church connects to each other underground. We went through a bunch of hallways, and there we were in the "undercroth" as my church calls it. As I get there, there are about 7-8 moms, and one dad. And a bunch of small children running around chasing each other. Most of the kids there were at the ages of 3 to 4 years old. Once I saw the general age groups of kids, I knew I was going to feel out of place with my 5 week old baby. So I sat down made some smalltalk with the moms at the table I was sitting at. Conversation was short, and I felt really out of place, considering the moms seemed older, maybe in their early to mid thirties. And their kids were one year old and two years old. So I really couldn't relate with them, because I only have a wee little baby. I did give one of the moms my email, because she was going to let me know when upcoming playgroups were. Apparently they meet every Friday either at the church or at someone's house. My favorite part, was I asked for a pen to write my email address on, since I didn't have one on me, and she gave me a permanent marker and a piece of clear plastic that Hallmark gift wrap once was in. I thought it was a creative way to record my email. I got to say she was at least resourceful.

The best part of the playgroup was that they had food. They had pizza! So I ate a slice of pizza, in awkward silence as the other two moms chat with each other. Than I started at the icing cookie cake they had sitting with the food. It wasn't cut, and there were no knives to cut it. And I didn't want to be the first to slice into. There were spoons, and I was tempted to just take a big chunk out of it with a spoon, but I figured the moms would not appreciate it. So I let the sad cookie cake taunt me. Ha, though now that I think about it, I wouldn't have been able to have it anyways since I gave up chocolate for lent. And I think it had chocolate chips in it. So there you go, it doesn't make me feel as sad.

There was only one mom who had a baby near Grant's age. And of course she had two other kids beside him. He is six weeks, and weighs 13 pounds. Grant is 5 weeks and weighs 8 pounds. Grant looked so much smaller compared to him. And it made me sick that the mom didn't look like she just had a baby six weeks ago, considering it was her third pregnancy. She and other ladies awe and cooed at Grant for a few minutes and then after that walked away. I felt really out of place and awkward. I just didn't have much to say to these ladies. Maybe its because of my age. Though I didn't think I was that young. (Though I look way younger than I really am) I will be 28 in two weeks. Maybe a couple of them were my age. But with their 2-3 kids over the age of 3, it makes them see way older than me. I just don't have the life experience yet to relate to any of them. Maybe in another 3 or 4 years from now, I'll feel right in place with that group. But for now I don't think Playgroups is my scene. And it's not like taking a small infant to a playgroup will be that exciting anyways. I might as well wait when Grant is like 2 years old and old enough to run around and play with others. So maybe one day I'll love playgroups, but for now I just enjoy being antisocial and hanging out with my little snugglely bug Grant. :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The reality of parenting

Towards the end of my pregnancy, when I realized that having my baby was going to be happening within a couple of weeks, I began to put myself in panic mode. I started to realize that carrying the baby for nine months was the easy part. I became absolutely petrified of the birthing process,and how I would be, once the baby came. Every night I would tell Matt how I was starting to freak out, and how this was way more nerve racking than getting married and walking down the aisle. So many questions and thoughts ran through my head. The entire thought of giving birth scared the crap out of me, because I had no idea what the pain was going to feel like, and what was going to happen. And if things could go wrong during the delivery. Luckily everything went fine with giving birth. I'm not going to lie, at some points I was scared of the uncertainty of what was going to happen next during delivery, scared of the painful contractions and the actual c-section. But now that I have the baby, all that stuff seems trivial and water under the bridge.

Not only was I afraid of delivering, but I was afraid how to take care of the baby. I really don't know much about babies. I love babies, they are so cute. I love to hold babies, and change the occasional diaper. But one great thing about other people's babies, is when they start crying I can hand them off to their mother. I just don't know much about infants, like understanding their cries, knowing what to do when they are sick, how to take care of them everyday. Ok, maybe I'm not giving myself enough credit, maybe I do know how to take care of babies, but I just feel like I don't know much about babies. I just know how to make them smile, and coo. I feel like caring for infants is out of my element. I have a degree in early childhood education. So when my kid is 4 and up, I feel like I know exactly what to do. But babies? Not so much. So I started to freak myself out and think oh my gosh, I'm having a baby! There is no turning back, I have this little baby for the next 18 years! (Well really for life.) What if I do a terrible job taking care of a baby? These are probably common worries that most new parents have.

Once the baby came, I didn't realize how natural taking care of a baby came for me. Maybe it's just a mother's instinct to know how to take care of their baby. As soon as I held Grant in my arms, all the freakouts I had the previous weeks, melted away. And I knew I could do this. What I didn't know though is taking care of a baby is not as easy as I thought it would be. I'm not sure what I thought taking care of a baby would be like, maybe I naively thought that babies sleep most of the time and I would still have time to do my everyday things. Yes babies do sleep 16-20 hours, but it sure doesn't feel that way when it's more like 2-3 hours of sleep here and there. Maybe I thought it wasn't that hard. After all, movies make it look like it's not that hard to take care of a baby. Hell, even 16 and pregnant makes it look easy to take care of a baby. They only show the teenage girl take care of a baby for like 10 minutes of the show, and with all the editing they do, of course that is why teenagers want to get pregnant and be on that show, because it looks easy and glamorous to be pregnant. Really, 16 and pregnant or teen mom doesn't convey what it is really like to be a parent. It just conveys more of their life drama, but not the actual hardships and patience it takes to take care of a baby. And it's nice when they can dump their baby on to their parents. Even what other people have told me about taking care of babies, it seemed like it was downplayed, because even family members and friends make it sound easy to take care of babies. Though maybe they just forgot how hard it was, because it just keeps getting harder as a parent the older they get. My mom even told me when I was a reign of terror of a teenager;that she would take care of an infant any day then have to take care of a raging hormonal teenager again. She would tell me that taking care of a baby is so much easier than dealing with a mouthy teen. So even my mom made me think it was easy to take care of a baby. Well I could only imagine what it will be like to take care of Grant when he is a teenager if this is what is like to take care of an infant.

I'm probably making it sound like it's absolutely terrible to take care of a baby, but it's not. And I know things will get easier. It's one of these "this too shall pass" kind of things. Maybe years from now I'll look back and laugh at all of this. But right now I just feel drained. I didn't realize how time consuming it is to take care of a baby. My days pretty much consist of this: wake up usually about 9-10 o'clock, Feed Grant, Change his diaper, cuddle with him, put him down,then 15 minutes later he starts crying again, so then I have to cuddle him, usually feed him again. By the time I have an opportunity to even get dressed it is noon.Sometimes I don't even get a chance to eat breakfast until noon. The rest of the day is pretty much like that as well. Anytime I put Grant down he starts crying. Sometimes swaddling him works and he sleeps for a couple of hours, but sometimes it doesn't work. At night from seven to usually 1-2 o'clock Grant is wide awake. I should have known that time was going to be his peak time, considering when I was pregnant with him he moved around the most during those times. The time I usually get to go to bed is usually around one o'clock, the time I get Grant asleep. The nice part is he usually only wakes up twice during the night. But getting eight hours uninterrupted sleep will not happen anytime soon. So then the process starts all over again.

A lot of people have given me the advice "You should sleep when the baby sleeps". This advice in reality is impossible to achieve. When the baby sleeps is the only chance I have to clean the house, to get dress, to take a shower, to have moments of some "me" time. If I sleep I won't be able to get those things done. It's really sad that it took me a week to finally find time to mop the kitchen floor. It was so disgusting, and I kept wanting to do it, but never had the time. I finally got the chance when Grant was sound asleep for 2 hours striaght. It amazing how priorities change when you have an infant. I use to have a list of things I want to get done within a week, like do a fun craft, have the entire house cleaned, update my blog, etc. Now my list composes of what I need to do to complete small everyday tasks. Like when I'm feeding Grant, I'm thinking of what I'm going to do next when Grant is asleep. Like take a shower, get dressed etc. It's amazing how priorities change with a baby. It's very time consuming to take care of a baby. Finding time to do anything is very stressful. I feel like all I do is feed Grant.

I will say I've had a few "Megan spaz out meltdowns" in the duration of being a mom. I've freaked out on Matt a few times, when the stress levels have reached an all time high. Poor Matt has gotten the grunt of my anger. My favorite meltdown was the other day, when I was making dinner. I ended up burning the pork chops I was making of the stove. Grant started crying, the whole kitchen was filled with smoke. I was trying to air out the house to get the smoke out. I moved Grant so he wouldn't get exposed to all the smokiness. Finally I got Matt who was in the workshop working on Grant's baby bed. And all I said was, "I need you to go upstairs to take care of the crying baby, while I make dinner." When Matt came upstairs, it was a hot mess. Grease splattered all over the stove, smoke everywhere, screaming baby, and burnt pork chops. Sigh. I know it will get easier over time. I will say this past week hasn't been as bad, it is getting easier. Grant has actually be sleep 5-6 hours through the night before needing to get fed, and he has been going to bed earlier, which is nice.

Being a mom isn't easy at all. Taking care of a baby is no walk in the park. No taking care of egg babies in home-economics class, or a baby on the game of Sims, or taking care of a pet compares to taking care of a real live baby. Even reality TV doesn't portray the reality of what it takes to care for a baby. I will say so far in my parenting adventure, I am starting to master the art of patience, understanding, and running on small amounts of sleep.

Even though taking care of a baby is rough I must say my favorite moments with Grant is when he snuggles and curls himself on my chest, sleeping like a cute snugly bunny, and I fall asleep with his head resting underneath my chin. I love watching him sleep, it reminds me how precious he is, and how Matt and I made such an amazing drop of life. All the frustrating moments of not getting the baby to stop crying, or waking up in the middle of the night half asleep, or trying to juggle making dinner with a screaming baby- All those stressful moments melt away, when I hold Grant. Because before I know it he'll be all grown up. So while it is hard at times to take care of him, I just remind myself to treasure it, because he'll only a sweet little baby once.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Reflections of my c-section

I can't believe it has already been a month since I've had Grant. How time has flown! Little Grant is growing so quickly, I definitely can tell he is fattening up, which he needs to because he's so skinny. But anyways lately I've been thinking a lot about my birthing experience. I know before and during my labor, people told me after I had Grant that I would forget about all of the trouble I went through to have him. Which is somewhat true. Now that I have Grant, most of the crap I went through my pregnancy and birthing experience is pretty much bridge under the water. But I can't help to feel sad that I didn't have the same experience as most women get to have when giving birth. And I feel sad that most likely when I have my second child that I'm going to have the same kind of experience that I had with Grant.

When I was pregnant with Grant the thought of a c-section never really crossed my mind. I'm not sure why I thought a c-section wouldn't happen to me. But anytime I would read about c-sections in the pregnancy books, I just would quickly skim over it and tell myself, the baby is not breech so I won't need a c-section. I didn't really mentally prepare myself as to what would happen if I did actually need a c-section. So my advice to all expected mothers, be prepare for anything to happen during labor, don't always expect that things will go perfectly to your birthing plan, or go the way you want. Be open to the idea that a c-section is always possible.

It is sad how often cesarean sections are done anymore these days. It seems like a lot of doctors are quick to use cesareans as a means to deliver a baby, instead of letting nature takes its course. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the cesarean rate is 32.9 percent. This rate has increased by 20 percent just in the last 20 years. Lucky me I got to be part of this 32.9 percent. I've mentioned this before in my previous blog entries, but if you haven't seen the documentary "The Business of Being Born" you really need to watch it. It was a really eye opener of how too many medical interventions are use anymore when women give birth. Why is it that with technology getting better, that cesareans are being performed more often? If women were able to give birth just fine 20 years ago without an cesarean, why the sudden increase? It is sad that cesareans happen so often anymore, and it blows my mind when people elect to have an cesarean. Why in the hell would you what to voluntarily have a c-section? I wouldn't wish it on anyone. Unfortunately for my case, I really had no choice in the matter. Nor can I blame my doctor for quickly jumping to means to do a c-section. He waited as long as he could for my induce labor to take its course, but unfortunately having a baby naturally was just not in the cards for me. Because of my high blood pressure, and the stress it was causing the baby, waiting any longer for me to dilate and have the baby naturally was dangerous for me and for the baby. So I really can't blame the doctors and say they were quick to use unnecessary medical interventions on me. All I can do is blame is my genetics, for being predisposed to preeclamsia. Even when was having high blood pressure, for some reason the thought of having a c-section didn't even cross my mind. I knew the possibility of induction was there, but I guess foolishly thought I would be able to have my baby vaginally. Maybe I thought this because the doctor told me that he would let me labor last for 3-4 days if necessary to avoid a c-section. But that was if there were no complications. I didn't realize how serious my high blood pressure was until towards the end of my two day labor ( in which I only dilated 3 cm) the nurse came in and told me I had to move on my left side, because being on my right side was causing my blood pressure to go up and the baby's heart rate to go down. I was so uncomfortable, I was experiencing painful contractions, and I couldn't get out of bed or even lay on my back or right side. I was pretty pathetic at that point, and was actually relieved when the doctor told me I needed a c-section. Which looking back I don't even know why I was relieved, probably because I was so miserable. I was hooked up to all these ivs and I was barely progressing in my labor. I think at that point I just wanted the baby out of me. I was already at the hospital for four days. It just saddens me that I had to go through over two days of labor to not even be able to deliver the baby vaginally. Like I did all that for nothing.

Having to get a c-section done I believe was the best choice my doctor made. I don't second guess his judgement, because I know it had to be done, my baby's health was in jeopardy. One thing I am a little mad about was that the doctor never informed me the possible side effects of what magnesium sulfate could have on my baby. Magnesium sulfate is used for women who have preelecampisa. It is given to help prevent seizures and strokes. The problem with magnesium sulfate is it is also used for women who go into preterm labor, it slows down labor. So it was working against my labor progression. Which is why I only progressed 3 cm. Reading about magnesium sulfate is the benifits out-weighs all the risks. But there are risks. Which the doctor or nurses never told me. I really wish they would have informed me that my baby could have problems as a result of me being on magesium sulfate. Looking at Web Me right now here is one of the side effects: Affects the fetus's central nervous system. If this medicine has been given to the mother in large doses and the baby is born before the drug has had time to clear the mother's body, the baby may have temporary problems with breathing right after birth. These problems are quickly reversed with medicine. When Grant was born his cry was extremly weak. I was really worried, and even asked the nurses if that was normal for him to be crying like that. And downplayed it and told me everything was fine. They showed Grant to us for 10 seconds and wisked him away. They never told me what was wrong, I just assumed that it was normal for them to take the baby away, because they needed to clean him up. Maybe they left me in the dark because I was all opened up on the operating table, and they didn't want to induce panic. But I really wish I was more informed about what was happening. After I went back in the room, I was sad to find out that Grant's breathing was faster than his heart-rate, and he had to have oxygen and a feeding tube. Luckily his breathing got back to normal, but as a result he had to spend the night in the special care unit. My mom was also there when this all happened, she wasn't in the operating room, but she was in the waiting room. And she even told me how upset she was at the way it was handled by the nurses. And how stupid they were acting about it. At the time I didn't understand why my mom was upset, and thought the nurses didn't do anything wrong. But looking back, I'm with my mom on this upset. They should have told me maganusim sulfate can have bad side-effects on the baby. And they shouldn't have acted so stupid about the situation. I wasn't in the outside of the operating room, but my mom said they weren't very helpful and saying much to Matt and her, when they took the baby away. And I had no idea this was going on until after the fact. I was under the assumption that everything was ok with my baby. Luckily everything was ok. But because of all this drama is missed out on a lot of things that most moms get to experience when the baby is born.

Because I had a c-section, I didn't get to instantly hold the baby. And because Grant had to stay the night in the special care unit, I actually didn't get to see him until the next morning! So it was over 12 hours until I got to see Grant. It makes me sad when I see pictures of my friends or other people who've had babies recently. There are pictures of them holding the baby as soon as they gave birth. I didn't get any pictures like. So much was going on, that we even barely took pictures. Most moms get to feed their babies within an hour after they are born. I didn't get to feed Grant until the next day. They ended up giving him formula, just to make sure he got some food right away. I didn't even get to see Grant until 8 hours after I gave birth. My mom, and everyone else got to see him before I did. I had to wait until my legs were not numb anymore before going to see Grant. It just makes me really sad that I didn't get to enjoy those first moments like most mothers get to experience after giving birth. I guess I got to eventually experience those things, but it seemed like an eternity. I only got a few hours of sleep that night, because I was so sad that I couldn't be with my baby. I didn't get to see those first moments, like the nurse cleaning Grant off and giving him a bath.

I must say I'm envious of both of my sister in laws who've both have had two pregnancies with no complications and giving birth vaginally (with no drugs) or complications. Which reminds me of my friend who recently gave birth, and she was telling me the nurses told her that she was made to give birth. Unfortunately I feel like I wasn't made to give birth, it seems like I had so many problems just for one pregnancy. Don't get me wrong, it was worth it all in the end. But it saddens me that I had such a rough experience. I guess what upsets me is I know when I have my second child, I'll probably have just as rough of a time. Pre-eclampisa is more likely to happen with the second child. When I do get pregnant again, I will try everything in my power to eat healthy and reduce my chances of getting high blood pressure. But I'm worried that genetics will have other plans. Also the hospital I gave birth at, will not do VBACs (vaginal birth after c-section) because they are high risk. So if I wanted to give birth vaginally, I would have to go to another hospital. I would love to be able to do a VBAC, to avoid a c-section but if I get preeclampisa again, I would probably be too high risk to be able to do a VBAC. So I have a feeling a c-section would be 85% possible with my second pregnancy. It is funny because I always wanted 4-5 kids. But when I met Matt, he wanted only 2-3 kids. Which is ironic now because I feel like my body is only made to have two kids. :(

It's sad my birthing experience didn't go the way I wanted it to. Though I've learned things never go as planned. But hopefully when I'm pregnant with my second child, things will go better because I know what to expect. Even though things were crazy, I got a wonderful baby boy out of it. Grant is so handsome, and amazing, that all the crap I went through was worth it!

Me right after my c-section

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Things that instantly change when you become a parent

It's amazing as soon as little Grant came into my world, I instantly changed some of my bad habits, and everyday way I live my life. Things I use to do with just Matt and I, I feel I can't do anymore, because I have a child to take care of. I got to make sure he is safe. Not that I was a crazy partier or had a wild lifesytle before Grant came along. But there were certain things I did that we ok to do before a child was in my life. But now that he is in my life, I have to set the example.

So here are the 10 things that instantly changed when I became a mom:
1)I no longer have a led foot, I drive like an old grandma.
For those who know me and have rode in a car with me, can say I'm not the world's best driver. I have many co-workers who avoid riding in a car with me. And I know I'm not the world's best driver, but in my defense, (I better knock on wood) I've only gotten one speeding ticket, which was 5 years ago. And I've only gotten into three car wrecks. Ok that makes me sound like a terrible driver. But in my defense, the first one I just got my license, and I was lost and confused. The other two were black ice related accidents. Which I could have not avoided. Though my Dad and Matt can both argue otherwise. But that is another story. This is why I hate driving in icy and snowy weather! And when I have to drive Grant in that kind of weather I'm going to be a nervous wreck! I was a nervous wreck when I was pregnant with Grant and had to drive in a little snow on the road. I'm super glad it has been a mild winter. But point being even though I'm a not the greatest driver with a lead foot (I usually drive 75-80 miles an hour on the highway when the speed limit it 65, I know I'm bad) as soon as I had Grant, I feel like my driving has instantly changed. I'm now driving 60-65 miles an hour on the highway, and going exactly the speed limit on other roads. And carefully making safe driving decisions. I'm carrying precious cargo. And I couldn't live with myself if my wreckless driving was the reason my little guy gets hurt. So now I drive like an old grandma. People pass me on the highway. And I don't care. I have a baby in the car, so they can get over it.

2) Lack a social life
Hanging out with friends going to trivia night or karaoke, other social gatherings. Those kind of things instantly go out the window. Those kind of things aren't important anymore, I'm not saying I can't have a social life anymore. But certain activities aren't going to happen anymore, at least for awhile. Like going to Wild About Wine at the Cincinnati Zoo. (Which was one of my favorite experiences ever a couple years ago!) Coming home drunk when you have a baby at home, is definitely not a good idea. So social gatherings involves things like seeing my parents, or meeting a friend for lunch. That is as wild as my social gatherings are going to get for awhile.

3) The use of foul language is no longer allowed. Ok well this one hasn't completely gone away. Yesterday Grant peed on me in the middle of the night when changing his diaper, and I yelled out "Son of a Bitch". Nothing like getting peed on when you are half asleep. I have a potty mouth. And I know this is something I need to work on. Right now I feel like it is ok to cuss in front of Grant because he is baby and doesn't really understand the English language quite yet. But he is soaking up every word. So I need to change this bad habit asap. I really don't want Grant's first word to be the f-word. That would not be good at all. So even though I haven't completely stop cussing. I'm trying to make an effort to stop. Because cussing is not setting a good example for my child, even if he is only 3 weeks old.

4)A full 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep won't be happening anytime soon
Like I've said in a previous blog entry, I've learned that getting 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep is going to be a pipe dream in the next couple of years. My sister-in-law who has a 2 and half year old and a 10 month old, told me she still hasn't gotten a full night of sleep yet. The thought didn't even occur to me that I would be getting sleep in 3 to 4 hour intervals. If I would have know this I think I would have treasured my last night of 8 hour sleep. Though that was the Sunday night which was 4 days before I had Grant. I didn't realize that was going to be my last night of 8 hour sleep. And the other days before I had Grant I was in the hospital, so my sleep was pretty much minimal. Sigh. Oh sleep how I miss you.

5)The small things in life that you use to take for granted become moments you value and treasure.
During the Christmas party at Matt's side of the family. One of his cousins was telling me how once you have kids you enjoy any ounce of alone time you can get. And the only alone time you'll ever get is when you're in the bathroom. She was telling me how her husband would spend 30 minutes in the bathroom. Lock the door, and take a magazine with him. Because that was the only time of peace and quiet he was able to get during the day with a child bothering him. When I heard this I thought this sounded strange. I couldn't understand how going to the bathroom would be a thing to treasure. I thought really, there is no other time you have to yourself? Well now that Grant has entered the world. I know exactly what they are talking about. When I hand the baby to Matt and take a shower, my shower times have doubled in length. What use to be ten minute shower is now a 20 to 30 minute long shower. I don't even want to get out of the shower. I just want to spend as much time as possible in the shower. Because it's my time to enjoy and relax without a screaming fussy baby. I never use to value my showers so much until I had Grant. Now I look forward to them.

6) Baby talk suddenly become part of your everyday language
It's amazing as soon as Grant was born, how my whole sense of language has changed. No longer talking like an adult is important. My new daily language is composed of in a high pitched baby voice "Ah you're so cute, mommy loves you, yes she does!" And when changing his diaper, I always say, "It's ok honeybuns, mommy is just so rude, now isn't she? I know you're mad." I even have a ridiculous cheer I made up that I chant to Grant, "Mommy love Grant, yes I do. Mommy loves Grant, how about you?" Lets just hope I don't start talking to adults that way. It's weird how Matt and I even talk to each other anymore. It's really strange how instantly our entire language has changed, just because of a baby.

7) When you say you'll be somewhere at a certain time, you might as well add an extra hour to that, because having a baby, just takes double the time it use to, to get ready
The other day I was going crazy, because I was trying to get ready to meet my friend, and Grant was fussy and crying. I told her I would see her around one o'clock. Well I didn't even leave the door until one o'clock. And Matt was at work, so I couldn't hand the baby off to him. The time I get him to calm down, I would get ready for like a split second, and he would start to cry again. And getting a baby ready takes forever. I can't wait when I go back to work, because I know it will be extremely frustrating learning a good routine, to get ready, and go to work on time. It's going to be an art to master that.

8) Adult interaction become non-existent.
Not only do you start talking like a baby when you have a baby, but the only adult interaction I ever have anymore is with my husband and Grant. So I savor every moment when I can talk to adults, and have adult conversations. Because it rarely happens anymore. I went to work today to visit my co-workers, and enjoyed it so much just to be able to have conversations with them. I've been so cooped up in the house, that I forgot what its like to have actually adult conversations.

9)You spend more money on your child than you do on yourself. Buying things for myself is no longer a priority. Now it's all about spending a crapload of money on diapers, baby clothes, and other baby accessories. Buying myself pretty things is no longer important. It's sad that when I go to department stores, that I'm no longer excited to look at clothes from myself, but I'm excited to look at clothes for Grant.

10)Lack of sex life.
Need I say more about that one? What even is that, I forget. lol.

So there are my 10 things that have instantly changed since being a parent. Though it's wonderful being a parent, and worth making those changes. I love being a mom!

I miss my sleep the most that's for sure! I take naps whenever the baby sleeps. Best thing ever to do!

Friday, March 2, 2012

The aftereffects of pregnancy

It's been three weeks now since I've had little Grant, and I've been feeling a little down about how I look right now. I know it took nine months for my body to get the way it got, so it would only be natural for it to take awhile to get back to normal. But me be an instant gratification person and being very impatient, I just wish this body transformation would speed up the process and I would be back to normal right now. It makes me sick when I see people who have babies and like a month later look amazing, and you would have never known they had a baby.

Like Beyonce for example, she looked like this a month later after having a baby:

Though some argue she never had the baby, that a surrogate had the baby. I'm beginning to hope this is the case, considering she barely showed when she was pregnant, and looks so amazing after having a baby. It would make me feel better to know that she didn't actually carry her baby. But it seems strange to me that she would pretend to be pregnant. When plenty of stars have done surrogacy, so why be embarrassed by it or feel the need to cover it up? Oh well whatever..

Though Jenna Fischer is inspiring and makes me feel better about myself. I think she looks great for having a baby four months ago, but of course she has probably gotten some scrutiny from Hollywood for her body. But I love that she is embracing it, and she states in an article "that losing baby weight right away just hasn't been a priority." I wish I had that attitude, where I could just embrace it. But I've felt like a cow for so long, that I just want to feel like Megan again.
Here is a picture of Jenna, the one of the left is her four months after pregnancy, and the picture on the right is her before pregnancy.

I feel like I started showing really early on in my pregnancy, and gain weight very quickly, which was one of the reasons I thought I was going to have a huge baby. I was extremely surprised when Grant turned out to be only a 5 pound and 13 oz baby. When I ended up gaining a total of 47 pounds. I think I ended up gaining so much was because of me having preeclampsia. A lot of the weight gain was water weight. A week after having Grant I already lost 21 pounds. Since then I've only lost another 6 pounds. I've been stuck at this 6 pounds for almost two weeks now. I know I will lose weight all in good timing. But I'm so impatient, that I just wish it would happen like magic. Though it's pretty good that I've already lost 27 pounds since having Grant. I have 20 more pounds to go. And I would like to lose an additional 10-15 pounds past my pre-pregnancy weight. One can hope and dream.

Right now I'm in the awkward stage where wearing my maternity clothes are huge on me, and practically falling off of me, but my pre-pregnancy clothes still do not fit. Even my shirts are still really tight on me. My pre-pregnancy pants fit me good in the legs, but I still need to have a smaller belly, in order to get my buttons snapped in. It's depressing when I look in the mirror, because I have this big saggy belly drooping really low. And it is covered with ugly stretch marks. I can't wait for them to fade away. One thing I like about being pregnant was I could show off having a big belly, because I was pregnant, and it's cute to have a pregnant belly. Wearing shirts that make the belly pop out more is a plus. But when you are no longer pregnant, having a belly is no longer cute. You want to do everything you can to conceal it. This is why I am glad I have some baggier maternity tops, that don't look like maternity tops and can hide the saggy belly. It's hard to get my belly flatten and back in shape when I had a c-section and I feel like all my stomach muscles have just fell apart. It is going to take awhile for my stomach muscles to get back to normal. If nothing else I must just embrace the changes so far. Like I've notice my legs are starting to look skinny again. My legs are my best feature, and being pregnant made my entire thigh, ankles, and calves swell up like a balloon.

Here is a picture of me yesterday wearing my pre-pregnancy pants. They don't quite fit yet, but this is why its great to use the belly-belt I bought when I was pregnant. Not only is it great to use when pregnant, but even after pregnancy!

When I was pregnant, my entire face was really swelled up. I had some double chin action going on. But now that I'm no longer pregnant, I think my face is going back to normal!

Here is a picture of my face, right before I went to the hospital, and 3 days before I had Grant:

Here is a picture of me exactly three weeks after having Grant! And having a nice new haircut. I needed a haircut! Those prenatal vitamins make my hair grow like a weed. I'm finally starting to look like Megan again!

My finger is still fat, and my wedding ring doesn't fit yet. :( I'm hoping it will fit me again soon. I miss it. It's been since September since I've worn it.

Even though I'm disgusted with my body right now, it was definitely worth it having Grant. He is so adorable and I still can't get over that I had him! I just hope my pants will start fitting me again soon. I guess I can't complain of the progress I've made in 3 weeks. Hopefully in another 3 weeks, I'll look amazing!