Archive | June 2012

Who Would’ve Thought?

Diapers and covers

Diapers and covers – not mine! (Photo credit: Chris and Jenni)

Prior to our move from Florida to Louisiana in April of this year, I worked in the insurance industry.  I loved the insurance industry and enjoyed my 20+ years learning and teaching.

Nowadays I’m a stay-at-home-almost-mom and freelance writer. It’s a very different life than I led in the past!For instance, I’m no longer chained to a desk and clocked in for someone else’s profit.  I make my own hours, and I love what I do (and who I work for – me!).

Today I did a few freelance items, and then I did some mommy stuff.  I got fluffmail!  My order of all-in-two (AI2) pocket diapers came in the mail, so I’ve spent the afternoon unpacking them and prepping them.  I love the colors of the diapers, and the few patterns that I picked out are even cuter in person than they were on the website.

I’ll be stuffing pockets for a bit (I got 24 of them) and then I’ll be pre-folding more of my flats using the origami (or bat-wing) fold.  I love the idea of having stacks and stacks of clean, fluffy diapers ready for my little muffin when she is ready to come out.

It’s a very different life from the highly competitive world of commercial insurance. I didn’t expect to love it this much.  I would imagine it will be even better once the baby is here.

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Mommy Guilt: I Has It

I know there are older moms in this world who go out there and get pregnant and have picture-perfect pregnancies that would make a twenty-something feel like an old-timer.  I am NOT one of these women.

Around 12 weeks gestation I began to have blood pressure issues and was put on medication to control it.  Then at 25 weeks I failed the 1-hour glucose test so badly that my doctor just skipped right over the 3 hour glucose tolerance test and diagnosed me with gestational diabetes.  That was not controlled with diet alone so I’m taking medication for that, as well.

Despite these things, my pregnancy has been fairly easy.  I’ve had no cramping, no spotting and, as of today, no contractions.  Baby is very active and seems happy to stay put for the duration.

Because of the gestational diabetes I am seen every two weeks by Maternal Fetal Medicine so they can monitor the size of the baby.  This week I began to have biweekly biophysical profiles (BPPs) to monitor the baby for signs of stress. (Where you are these might also be called non-stress tests or NSTs.)

BLOOD PRESSURE CHECK

BLOOD PRESSURE CHECK (Photo credit: Morning Calm News)

Yesterday was our first BPP.  It is an ultrasound where the technician checks to see that the baby has a proper heartrate and movement of arms, legs and spine, as well as “practice breathing” – movement of the diaphragm mimicking breathing.

Baby girl does indeed practice breathing because she gets the hiccups Every. Single. Day.  Sometimes twice a day.  Yesterday she got them first thing in the morning.  But at the ultrasound office?  She didn’t want to practice breathing, she wanted to sleep.

The technician said she had 30 minutes to show us diaphragm movement, but we’d breezed through all of the other parts of the test, so she pulled out a small buzzer, placed it against my belly and shot a short burst to “wake the baby up.”

Watching this little person curl up in protest… it made my heart clench up.  This is not some small animal we were trying to rouse, this is my daughter!  I fought back tears, calming only when the tech said “there we go!” and focused on her diaphragm as it began to move.

I spent the rest of yesterday replaying those events in my mind.   Was there something I could have done to spare baby girl some discomfort?  Should I have poked her a bit instead?  Will she remember this moment, will it traumatize her?

Is this what mommy guilt feels like?

 

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Diaper Prep

While we’re still lacking quite a few items for baby, we have the basics to get through the first few weeks:

1.  Bassinet

2.  Boobs

3.  Basic clothing.

Diaper Central

Diaper Central (Photo credit: girlonthewire)

The only thing truly missing is diapers.  I say that, but it’s not 100% true.

I did pick up a package of newborn disposable diapers from Whole Foods the other day to minimize exposure to chemicals.  I’m not interested in trying to clean meconium poo out of cloth diapers the first few days so I’m hoping that will hold us over.  After that I think I will switch to flats until baby gets big enough to put in some other cloth diapers.

I have about 2 dozen flats that my grandmother gave me that I’m prepping today.  She had these diapers in a big bag that had been opened, and to help out she washed them before she gave them to me, but she also used fabric softener on them so I’m currently boiling that out on the stove.  I’ve got two large pots bubbling away as I type this.

I bought three diaper covers (rubber pants) at the local cloth diaper store, as well as an Econobum trial pack (one pink-edged cover and one prefold), some super soft cloth wipes and some Snappis diaper fasteners.  A girlfriend gave me a bunch of baby stuff that included some flats and prefolds she used as burp cloths, so I am prepping those to use for diapers, too.

Yesterday I bought a bunch of all-in-ones (AIOs) and all-in-twos (AI2s) as a package from a website and those should be here in a week or two.  I also purchased some bamboo soaker inserts and wet bags  from a Facebook coop that should take a few weeks to get here as well.

All in all I think I’ve spent about $200 or so on a stash that should hopefully last me until she’s potty trained.  That’s the plan, anyway.

I’ll probably buy a few more items, like some additional cloth wipes and a few Flips diaper covers to go over the flats.  Then we should be all set!

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Doctor Visit

I had another mostly sleepless night last night.  I usually have these types of nights whenever I have a doctor visit the next day, and we had one this morning.

This morning we met with a potential pediatrician for our unborn daughter.  I’m not sure why I was nervous about that, but I was.

The woman who recommended this doctor also recommended the OB that we are using so I was pretty sure the pediatrician would be a slam dunk, and she is.  We are planning on a few things that we would consider “alternative” parenting methods, and she was on board with what we were planning.

Breastfeeding symbol

Breastfeeding symbol (Photo credit: Topinambour)

Some major points of our plan:

1.  Babywearing.  I actually forgot to mention this to her this morning.  Oops.  I’m sure it’s not a huge deal to her.

2.  Cloth diapering.  She smiled when I mentioned this.  Also? When I got home I ordered a big batch of diapers.  Excited!

3.  Breastfeeding.  She is a huge proponent of this and is happy that we are going to give it a try.  I come from a long line of breastfeeders so I am hoping that this won’t be an issue for me.

4.  Homeschooling.  I have wanted to homeschool since I figured out I wanted to have kids, and she just nodded and smiled when I mentioned it.

5.  Vaccinating.  We very much believe in vaccinating.  I know that there is a movement out there (especially in homeschooling and “crunchy” communities) to be against vaccines, but that just makes me more interested in vaccinating so that my child isn’t exposed to those illnesses.  Personal preference. She was happy to hear that we wanted to vaccinate.

6. Proper nutrition.  I have been overweight most of  my adult life and it has been such a struggle for me.  Being diagnosed with gestational diabetes has actually been a Godsend for me because it has taught me the role carbs and sugar should play in my life and has allowed me to eat healthy during this pregnancy and control my weight.  This doctor’s “niche” is preventing childhood obesity and I’m really happy I will have someone in my corner who can help me raise my daughter in a healthy way.

7.  Attachment parenting.  Aside from babywearing and the more hippie-ish aspects of this list, we are not so much attachment parents.  There will be no co-sleeping or extended breastfeeding.  Not that there is anything wrong with either of these, they just aren’t for us.

I always feel like there is such a fine line between what we want to do as parents and seeming like we are being critical of the choices of others.  I don’t feel like I am in competition with anyone out there for Mother of the Year, and if I am, well, I concede, because I know I’d never make the cut.  I would assume I will make some mistakes, and I guarantee that I will be the most unpolished mom on the sidelines at the soccer field.

As long as my daughter is happy, healthy and confident that her parents love her, then I’ll consider myself to be doing a good job.

 

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New Mom Help

This might seem like a trivial question, but being a first time mom it feels like every decision from here on out is monumental.  Here goes.

As I said before I set up baby girl’s bassinet a few weeks ago.  Since it has been sitting there empty, I’ve decorated it a bit.  First I put in the baby doll that my dad (her granddad) got her (top center in the picture).  This dolly has eyes that close, and when you squeeze her blankie she coos and then it plays “Rockabye Baby”.

Later I added the two side stuffed animals, a super soft frog and bunny that came from her paternal grandmother.  When I was cleaning her clothes and blankets I added the owl lovey I got at my shower, as well as the blanket hanging off the end of the bed.  Then her auntie (my BFF) came to visit and brought me the two stuffed bears near the front, one from the University of Oklahoma and the other from Oklahoma State University.

Now obviously all of these stuffed animals can’t be in the bassinet with her.  The two bears still have tags on them and I’m sure they say something on them about ages 3 and up.  I think the other stuff is probably safe, but this menagerie is definitely overkill for a newborn.

So what I’m wondering is, how soon after birth is too soon to provide a stuffed animal to the child?  Is a lovey more appropriate?

I’m worried that she’s going to smother if I put something too big in there, but I’d also like for her to have something to cuddle up to since we aren’t planning to co-sleep.  Any advice from you been-there-done-that mamas?

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Nesting

I belong to a message board of expectant mothers, and a sub-board of that is the group that is due the same month that I am.

It has been an interesting experience to follow along with other women who are going through things very similar to what I am experiencing.  Most of my friends’ children are dating, or graduating, or (OMG) having babies of their own, so they can’t really relate anymore, except by memory.

Most of the women on my board are in their 20s, with a few in their 30s and even fewer my age or older.  They’ve started to report that they are in the “nesting” phase now, and I wondered when it would hit me.

Common Blackbird (Turdus merula), Austin's Fer...

Common Blackbird (Turdus merula), Austin’s Ferry, Tasmania, Australia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Oh, it finally has.

Week before last I washed all the blankets and baby clothes, put up the bassinet and arranged her stuffed animals.  I hung up her pretty dresses, mated her socks and started thinking logistics of where to put things.

This morning I finally tackled the mountain of pink onesies that has been sitting in a basket in the livingroom, then I cleaned out a couple of my dresser drawers and started filling them up with her things.  As I slid stacks of onesies and bonnets and teensy socks into the drawers I was thinking “Is this really happening?”

I had given up on having a baby so long ago, it almost seems like another lifetime.  I was going to the woman who should have had children but never did.  Then when we lost our first baby I thought I would be the childless mother, the one who  would mourn always the loss of my only pregnancy.

And then came this pregnancy, this funny, active little girl with her bigger than life fetal attitude, and her sweet morning stretches.  So I’m feathering the nest with butt-ruffled cotton pants, baby dolls that coo when you squeeze them and every ounce of love I can muster because this girl?  She is COMING.   She’ll be here in a few short weeks.

I want to be ready.

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Pre-Beginning

That's My Mommy

That’s My Mommy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have always wanted to be a mommy blogger, but there was one thing standing in my way: I wasn’t a mommy.  I won’t bore you with the endless details of my infertility (at least not yet anyway) but I will tell you that I’m going to be a mommy in about 62 days, finally, at the age of 40.

Yes, I said 40.  Forty.  Four- zero.  I’m probably not the oldest first time mom in the world, but I bet I’m on the short list!

My first child, a daughter, is due in mid-August.  That means as of right now I’m big, I’m tired and I’m wondering what the heck I was thinking.  This baby is very much planned and wanted after a surprise pregnancy and early second trimester loss last year.

Let the adventure begin.

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