Tag Archives: first baby

My first Mother’s Day!

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It was not until the end of April that I realized I will be celebrating my first Mother’s Day EVER as a mom! I suddenly felt moved and excited. This day was a day I always spent thinking of my mom but not of being a mother myself. Now that I am a mom I have a whole new perspective on this day and on moms. Moms really are heroes. They truly are undervalued and underappreciated in our society-and raising a child really is hard work-and the most important work! I feel so blessed to be a mom and have this experience (never guessed I would be saying such a thing if this was 5 years ago!).

For mother’s day weekend, we decided to get in the car and do a roadtrip to the Oregon coast. The weather was supposed to be great. I will get into the roadtrip details in another post but we ended up having an adventure at the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. I think I will make it a tradition to do something adventurous each Mother’s Day from now on!

I did get to spend some quality time with family on this trip and during Mother’s day. I often have to tell my husband that life is not all about work and when we look back on things we will not value all the time we spent working but the time we spent together having fun. I wish everyone the chance to spend some good quality time with their families or loved ones. Happy Mother’s Day to all!

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First time mom-reflections on the experience so far…

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Many of my blog posts include my new baby. He has become a part of my life. However, I have not yet taken time to write about what life is like with him! Before I forget, I want to document what is going on and what it is like to be a new mom as we are about to hit the 6 month mark!

The first 3 months with baby were pretty simple but strange. He was a tiny, thinly haired being. Generally he was asleep most of the time-and looked like my brother from certain angles which weirded me out. He did not have that new baby smell as we used scent-free products so that new baby smell is really all just marketing. Haha.

Being a new mom was not really THAT rewarding as there were no smiles and just basic interactions (him just opening his eyes each day was a much anticipated event) but I knew I was meeting his basic needs and still felt a bit in awe that he was mine! It felt amazing that I had created this person. I also felt extremely protective. He seemed so fragile. It may have been hormones, and it has passed now, but I found it very hard to share him (even with close family members). I would have loved to live alone and isolated just then. Hahaha. I also felt amazing love towards my husband who really had to step in and take care of us both the first month as I still had chronic pain from the nerve pain. All the c-sections issues were nothing and recovery was a breeze in that sense!

I did not breastfeed right away as it took 4-6 days for my milk to come in. By then the baby really liked the bottle and was too lazy to do the work to breastfeed. No matter how hard we tried he was not going to do the work. We knew we had a lazy one on our hands. I did buy a pump and gave him some milk via bottle but after awhile with the little amount I was producing, I threw in the towel. Breastfeeding seemed like total hell anyway so I cannot say I am unhappy with how it all played out.

I also had a period where I got a bit panicked just after 3 months! All the apps and sites were saying the baby should be doing certain things by now-and he was not. I worried about problems he may have. He was not smiling or making much eye contact. I worried he did not feel bonded to me. But, there was a distinct moment around Christmas in which baby looked up at the decorations hanging from the ceiling (thanks to my husband) and had a distinct smile and chuckle and I felt relief. My brother also talked some sense into me once which helped.

Around 5 weeks the vomiting began! This lasted about two months. He spit up after every feeding…a lot! After a lot of experimenting and going to the doctor we realized the medications were not helping but bought a thickened milk formula and a larger nipple size for his bottles. Then he was only spitting up once a day or so. The whole house was covered in towels during this time and laundry was a nightmare. Going out was hard as I was always worried about him spitting up. As he grew, things got better. However, he did have to go to the hospital for a week while they investigated why he was so skinny. Turned out to be a combo of all the vomiting and a fast metabolism. I already wrote a post about all that so will not get into it. But, he is all good now.

Around 4 months things began to change. He became suddenly alert. He noticed us and things and began to smile. It was adorable and everyone was working hard to get some smiles. We realized quickly he is demanding! He wanted milk when he wanted it and would cry furiously until he got it. He hated diaper changes and would shriek every single time. It seemed he hated being cold. We joked we need to move to the tropics. Other than those two things, he was a good baby and did not really cry. He was also a great sleeper and we actually had to wake him to feed for quite some time.

4-6 months has been awesome so far. He has stopped crying during diaper changes, finally! He laughs, plays, tries to touch things, knows people, and just recently has started to roll from his back to his stomach. On his stomach he is currently getting stuck and gets mad after some time and cries. It is so cute. He smiles all the time and once in awhile will laugh in a cute way. All these small things do not sound like a big deal but we are just living for them! He started to become vocal very slowly. He made coos, then blew a lot of raspberries, and now can scream in delight if he wants to. Helium balloons clipped to his legs really got him kicking and, though he hated tummy time at first, he finally got used to it.

In his stage right now he still gets very upset when hungry and is a pain when he gets tired. He gets upset and cranky and does not like to take his naps so we are working on that now! Recently we also started giving him some pureed food. It was messy. Just milk is sooo much easier and that stage should be enjoyed by new moms BUT eating is so cute. He did not know how and would move his tongue in the wrong spot and the food would come out. Now, just a few days ago he seemed to figure it out and sometimes even opens his mouth on his own to take in the food. Seeing such small progress is exciting.

As for me, I just love being a mom and realize it is not as hard as I expected (but I think this baby stage is fairly easy compared to when they get mobile…haha my husband will be the stay at home parent then). I am enjoying him a lot but it is also nice to get small breaks. My mom helps in the mornings if I want so I can take care of anything I need to do which is great. I do wish he would sleep in a bit later though!

I still find it strange to think I am a mom and am so grateful to have a long parental leave available to me but, for me, I have realized I do not need the full length of it. However, because my work is overseas, they cannot take me back quite yet so I will be enjoying time off until at least late August. It is amazing how my emotions, thoughts, beliefs, plans, and feelings have been changing since our little guy was born. They say it takes a year to get back to normal-whatever that means. For me, I know my life has changed forever and for the better.

I was never really a marriage and family person I thought. When I met my husband I jumped in, though, and, later, knew I wanted one child with him. Now that our little buddy is here I just want 100 more….something I never imagined I would say. Kids are so precious and lovely. I know I looked at my family in a different way after he was born. Although I will not have 100…another one may be on the horizon one day! Wow….who am I? 🙂

The apathy is real…

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I have seen many bloggers disappear from their sites when they have a baby. I have not disappeared but have been writing WAY less. The truth is that you get kind of apathetic. This is, in part, because you are busy in some ways (and in some ways have a heap of extra time), you have nothing to say that is interesting to the general public (although the baby is very interesting to you), and all your plans seem uncertain…even your plan for the day can be up in the air as the baby can change everything…so you do not bother writing about things coming up since they may or may not happen.

For me, I had some goals and plans I wrote about in the recent past and now…only weeks later…have no idea if I will be following through on any of them! So…no more writing about that. Instead I will write about what already happened I have decided.

So, this last while not much has been going on other than spending time with my baby and family. I love my little guy but have also been going a bit stir crazy. I considered going back to work early and letting my husband take over my parental leave BUT my position has been back-filled and the new person has a contract so I cannot take up my job until at least September. Now that this is firm, I REALLY need to find some things to do or I think I will go crazy!

Other than that I have been cooking a bit, taking care of myself as I outlined, and watching a lot of Netflix. I am looking forward to more sunny spring days so I can be outdoors more. Ahh…definitely know for sure now that I do not do well being idle!

The mysterious case of the skinny baby…

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It is February! I have been missing since mid-January due to the mystery of my skinny baby. So it all started with my baby having severe reflux which I posted about in the past. We tried all kinds of things and eventually had to go on medication. The first one, Zantac, did not work but the second, Nexium, along with thickened milk formula brought down the spit up to about once a day from 8 times a day. However, the baby seemed a bit skinny still!

The doctor assured me he would catch up as he was 3 weeks early but made a referral to a pediatrician just in case. A few weeks later we were able to see the pediatrician. He let us know our baby was VERY skinny-in the 3rd percentile! He send us off to the hospital for some testing. A few tests turned into us ending up there for a week while the doctors did all they could to understand what the issue was. All the tests came back as normal which was baffling.

So, they put us on a strict every 3 hour feeding schedule with less milk per feeding but with formula that was fortified with more calories. We did this for a few days while other tests were done and the baby was gradually, though slowly, gaining weight. They guessed he may have a high metabolism. Then we were released but the next day, at a follow up appointment, he went down! I could swear the doctor looked at me as if I had been lazy and skipping feedings at home. I was a bit offended but realize he must see all kinds of people and I may suspect the same in his shoes. So, he and the dietitian have fortified the formula with more calories and we were told to come back in a week. Since then I obtained an at home scale and have been monitoring my little guy closely. It looked like he was gaining all week but I wanted to see the number on the hospital scale just to be sure!

The week later check in came up…and he had gained 300 grams. I was relieved! Since no other issues can be found they think the little guy has a fast metabolism and needs to be woken up regularly to drink milk. Strange. I sure did have a scare, though, with that 3 percentile thing! Being a new mom can be full of stress and worry that you never would have guessed. However, all seems well now…though I plan to watch my guy on the scale closely for the next while. Hopefully the case of the skinny baby will soon be closed!

Mom hell: reflux!

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Not my baby but wish he would only spit up this much instead of the crazy amount that seems to come out.

I am in mommy hell due to reflux. My baby has milk 8 times a day and was spitting up (what seemed like ALL the milk he consumed) 8 times a day!! It was gross, it produced a lot of laundry, and it freaked me out. What was wrong with my baby?! I did some research online and suspected reflux. I tried to give smaller portions and feed more often and hold him up for up to an hour after each feeding and nothing was working. I worried about his weight and health.

This is what he looks like when screaming during burping….makes for some hellish 3 and 6 am feedings.

I then went to the doctor as the next step as the internet said reflux is not serious as long as the baby does not seem to be in pain.

They prescribed Zantac. It worked the first day. The second day the baby threw up twice so I decreased the amount of milk a bit and it helped. The next two days all seemed well again until the baby seemed hungry so I increased the milk amount. Now the last two days the baby seems to throw up the first feeding after taking the medicine but not at other feedings. I guess this is still good BUT the baby seems to now hate burping and seems fussy at various points in the day. I tried to reduce the amount of milk per feeding again and feed more often but he then seems like he is starving all the time although the milk per day is the same. So, now I am a bit at a loss!

My next step is to increase the dosage a little bit as we are currently at the lowest amount of the range for his weight…but not sure if this will work as he only throws up during the feedings immediately after the medication. Hmmm. Will give it a try for a day or two and then back to the doctor. Man, reflux is hellish!!

My baby shower!

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As much as I hate baby showers, I had a great time at my own! My two sisters were the hostesses and, I admit, had me a bit worried when they had to run around the morning of the event shopping for appetizers but all went well in the end. I had about 25-30 guests and felt a lot of positive vibes, got a lot of well wishes, tips, and advice. Best of all was connecting with all the wonderful ladies in my life (those that could attend, that is).

The theme of the day was a jungle animals theme. My sisters did a great job decorating and ordered cupcakes that had animal faces on them. They were so cute no one wanted to eat them. The most important thing, though, was that they tasted great. Ha ha ha. I was a bit worried the appies would not be enough but they were fine. My famous punch was a bit hit as always.

We did not play games (as I find them to be torturous and lame) but spent the first hour socializing as many knew each other already but there is not always time to connect. Then we had a fortune teller arrive. Ladies got to step into a private room with her and get a free reading (the older ladies loved it). Afterwards we would ask each other what she said and many ladies opened up about the issues they are dealing with so it was a great way to bond and connect over common themes. Some found her great and some said she was rubbish.

The last hour or so was spent opening gifts. I got spoiled with all kinds of cute things though almost no one purchased anything off my registry. It was fun to see all the baby stuff (and made it seem real) but I don’t like that much attention on me so it was a bit awkward. My husband had to work but he chimed in on Skype and the phone a few times.

Afterwards, the guests left and we did a quick clean up. That night my mom and sisters and I stayed up til 4 am chatting which we have not done in a long time. I must say these things definitely bring families closer together! As much as I hate baby showers, I am glad I had one as it has filled me with more love for all the fab ladies in my life.

OB GYN follow up appointments…

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This week I had another follow up appointment with the doctor. My doctor is always late so this time I took a book. Also, I was again amazed at how many pregnant women there are when I go to this office. Of course, this is just one office in one town. I cannot imagine how many more in the country or world there are. It seems like everyone is pregnant. Crazy.

Anyway, as usual, they did a urine test, checked my weight, checked my blood pressure, used a heart rate monitor or whatever it is on my stomach, and then asked if I had any questions. I wanted to ask HOW MUCH LONGER!? but already know they cannot answer. My “homework” is to do the 3 hour glucose test (yuck..been avoiding this one) and register at the hospital.

I asked the doctor if I should bother taking the child birth and other classes and he said some people found it helpful but did not seem very convincing so thus far am probably not going to take them. He did confirm the baby is head down right now but may flip around a few more times. I have to go back in two weeks and then probably once a week after that until the little one arrives. Right now I am about 33 weeks according to one of the ultrasounds but believe I am further along…at 35.5 weeks as per my last period. We will just have to see but I am convinced this baby will probably come “early” in October rather than November. I know I am soooo ready for this pregnancy to wrap up. I am terribly uncomfortable and bored. Getting impatient and totally ready to meet our little guy. Third trimester is for sure the worst.