Archives

All posts for the month December, 2012

My baby was just a little spoiled this Christmas…

Published December 28, 2012 by jessicalynndunning

David and I purchased two little books for Briana for Christmas. One for “her” to unwrap at David’s parents house, and one for “her” to unwrap at my dad and grandma’s place. We kind of figured that since she is so young, she doesn’t know the difference, and we couldn’t afford much else right now, what with me being on maternity leave and everything.

David’s parents had given us a swing for Briana a couple of weeks ago and told us that was her Christmas present, so we weren’t really expecting anything else from them, and when my dad and grandma asked what to get for her, we shrugged and suggested one of those “activity gym” things. The play mat with the little arch over it with toys and mirrors and everything for her to look at. So we figured those two books, a play mat, and the swing were going to be Briana’s Christmas this year, and that next year we would buy more for her and she could rip up all the paper…maybe. She’ll still only be just over a year old next year…but I’m getting ahead of myself.

David and I obviously weren’t thinking. David’s parents are first time grandparents, and my parents aren’t any less excited just because it isn’t their first. Then of course there is my awesome relatives, Aunt Julie and Uncle Tom. Three presents? Um, not quite.

Christmas 1

Briana scored this Christmas…she didn’t know it at the time though. These are two pictures I took of her during present opening – the first one at David’s parents, the second at my dad’s place.

Christmas 3

Christmas 4

I don’t think she was very impressed. 🙂

Oh, well. Next year.

I have been feeling a lot better the last couple of days. Still a little down, but less noticeably so. I’ve been laughing more and eating more and just been feeling generally better. Of course, I have been back in therapy, lol. But whatever works! At least I didn’t have to go back on antidepressants. I hate taking those things, they make me feel like a robot. No bueno.

I am still very back and forth about going back to work. One day, I’m like, “Yes, I’m going back to work, but only for 25 hours a week, and that will let me keep my insurance for Briana and still be able to easily pump and keep up my milk supply.” The next day I’m going, “I don’t know…maybe we can figure something else out for her insurance and I can stay home for her.” Two minutes later I’m flip-flopping again. *insert eye roll here* We’ll see what happens. I think I’m hoping for some awesome turn of events that will put David in a better job with awesome insurance before I have to make that decision. *keeps fingers crossed*

Of course, I’m still flip-flopping about pumping. It’s time-consuming and (at times) painful. Plus, when I have caffeine, I end up with a jittery and fussy baby. All inconveniences…but breast milk is what’s best for Briana, so I feel guilty considering formula because pumping is “inconvenient.” Those “what kind of mother would I be” thoughts come to mind then. I know there is nothing wrong with formula, and I don’t fault anyone else for using it. But my milk supply is great and I am perfectly able to provide her with breast milk, and I know it is best for her…so I feel guilty…even though I wouldn’t think there was anything wrong with someone else making the same decision. Silly, yes, but true.

Breast milk is also free. David’s parents have offered to pay for formula if we decide to make the switch, but David doesn’t feel comfortable with that, I think. He likes to do everything on his own (or, on our own). Paying for formula would be pretty tough on us, especially if I don’t go back to work. Of course, if I don’t go back to work, I really don’t have an excuse to quit pumping. Good grief. Why do I always complicate and over think everything?

Happier (But Still Feeling Guilty) New Mommy

Merry Christmas!

Published December 25, 2012 by jessicalynndunning

I haven’t blogged in a while, mostly because I have been busy, but there was an element of laziness as well. This won’t be a long blog either. I am mainly just checking in.

Briana is growing and changing in leaps and bounds. She smiles and coos constantly now, and she is right on the brink of laughing out loud, I swear! Every time my little girl smiles at me it just melts my heart. She is also sleeping more at night – most of the time anyway.

On Thursday, I went with my mother-in-law down to Ione, Oregon to surprise Briana’s great-grandparents with a visit. Grandma Rosie’s reaction was absolutely precious…I will never forget the look on her face when she saw Briana in the car. David couldn’t come, but I recorded it with my phone’s camera, and he loved it!

I was very surprised that David said I could take Bri and head down there without him. He really missed her, but he also really wanted to make sure that Bri met her great-grandparents before they passed away. Their health has been failing over the past couple of years. Now we have pictures of them holding her, and that was really important to David.

That may seem morbid, but it’s true…David only has one picture of his great-grandfather holding him when he was a little baby. Hopefully Rosie and Richard will live for a long time yet. 🙂 I was lucky enough to have a lot of time with my great-grandparents.

Anyway, I feel like I am not making much sense. I promise I am not giving up on my blog. I am going to try to write more often…if I can find the time.

Just a New Mommy

20121225-014520.jpg

20121225-014538.jpg

20121225-014551.jpg

I must need to work out or something.

Published December 13, 2012 by jessicalynndunning

Briana is growing so much every day! Late last night, as I was walking around the apartment with her (because she decided to revert to not sleeping at night last night for some reason, and was awake from 1:30 to 4:30), my arms were getting awfully tired, and my back started to hurt, and I actually had to put her down because I was getting sore. So either she has gained a lot of weight in a short period of time, or I need to start working out and stop being such a weakling. 🙂

There are things no one thinks to warn you about before you bring your baby home from the hospital with you…like how heavy everything is that you are suddenly required to be carrying with you everywhere you go. Between the car seat/infant carrier, diaper bag, and baby, I feel like I suddenly need a lot more muscle than I used to. Carrying a purse with a wallet, cell phone, and a paperback book inside doesn’t exactly require you to be Wonder Woman.

It’s not really so bad when David comes along with me, because he usually carries the baby carrier and, a lot of times, the diaper bag as well. Being by myself presents challenges though. I usually have to use both hands to carry Briana in her car seat, and carrying her upstairs to our apartment on the second floor leaves me breathless. Forget bringing up groceries and the baby. I don’t go shopping unless I have help anymore. I don’t know how single moms juggle everything on their own, because some days I feel like I can barely cope, and I have a husband! 🙂

I realize part of the problem (well, okay, all of it) is me. I haven’t worked out since…well, a long time. I quit the gym in the middle of my pregnancy because I was wasting my money – I never had the energy to go. There is a workout center at my apartment complex, but I haven’t made my way over there yet. I have my six week postpartum checkup on Monday, so after that I will have no excuses for not whipping my sorry butt back into shape. I have eleven pounds to lose before I am at my pre-pregnancy weight, but I would like to lose those eleven pounds plus…twenty more. That would be good. That would be amazing!

Anyway. This coming Tuesday I will be forced to finally be brave enough to leave my girl with her grandparents. David got me tickets to see the Nutcracker by the Pacific Northwest Ballet at McCaw Hall! I have been wanting to see it for years – ever since I missed my 4th grade class field trip to go see it. He asked me what I wanted for Christmas, and I said to go see the Nutcracker. I thought he would say we couldn’t afford it, but he bought me tickets! Woo hoo! So exciting.

I’m nervous about leaving her, but I know that she’ll be okay, and I also know that I’ll really enjoy seeing the ballet. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for 15 years. So there’s some incentive for me to get out of the house and leave Briana for a couple of hours. 🙂 We’ll see how this goes.

Excited New Mommy

 

 

Figuring out Christmas with baby…

Published December 12, 2012 by jessicalynndunning

How big of a deal should one make of Christmas when baby is too young to understand? Briana isn’t into toys yet, and although I’ve read her a couple of stories, she’s obviously too young to really pay attention to anything but my voice. She doesn’t need clothes or blankets or anything like that…she’s pretty well set. My in-laws purchased a baby swing for her and gave it to us early, and she seems to really like it – it puts her straight to sleep, anyway. We’re really greatful…except now I have no idea what to get her from us, or if we should get anything at all.

It’s her first Christmas, and I don’t want to ignore it completely. But I don’t know what to do for her either. I guess I could buy her some toys that are for babies a bit older, and wrap them up for her and put them under the tree. But I still feel like I should give her something that she can use now…as ridiculous and silly as that is. She won’t know the difference, but I will.

Anyway. David and I bought her a stocking yesterday, and it’s hanging up on the mantle above the fireplace with our stockings. The little artificial tree we bought is up and decorated. Aside from the fact that my apartment looks like a tornado ripped through it, we’re ready for Christmas to arrive. Maybe I’ll actually have time to clean tomorrow. I hate it when the apartment is a mess, but Briana takes up a lot of time and energy, and I’ve been feeling too depressed to worry about the mess anyway.

I’ve been trying to be more cheerful the past couple of days, but I feel like I’m mostly pretending. The only time I’m not really pretending is when I’m smiling at my baby girl and making faces at her and talking to her. She makes me happy. I just wish I could shake the gloomy feelings the rest of the time.

David keeps pushing me to leave Briana with his parents for a couple of hours so that we can go out on a date. Dinner and a movie or something. We were actually going to go on Sunday, but David got sick, so we didn’t. I haven’t been able to make myself leave her even for a few minutes to run out to the store. It’s kind of silly I guess – she’s more than a month old. I keep finding excuses not to leave the apartment without her, or just not to go myself. But she’s so little and helpless. I keep thinking “What if  she needs me while I’m gone?”

I have to do it eventually…and I better do it soon, because I have to go back to work on January 28th, and I really don’t want the first time I leave her to be the day I go back to work. I don’t think I’d function very well at work if that was the case. 🙂

Maybe tomorrow I’ll make myself run up to the store for just a couple minutes. We’ll see if I actually do. 🙂

Silly New Mommy

 

I am such a slacker…

Published December 9, 2012 by jessicalynndunning

It’s been a couple of days since I posted…again. I’m trying not to make a habit of that, but life does get in the way of me blogging sometimes. Can’t imagine why, what with a newborn at home and all. Anyway.

Briana had her one month check up on Thursday. She is 9 pounds 7 ounces now, and is 22 inches long. She is getting so big, so fast. She has grown out of some of her newborn clothes already! Yesterday, I was looking at the picture I took of her when we were getting ready to come home from the hospital, when we had just put on her cute little outfit (and she thought she was absolutely traumatized by the experience). I couldn’t believe how much she has grown and changed in such a short amount of time.

We asked the doctor about her rash. He said it looks to him like she just has really sensitive skin, and suggested 1% hydrocortisone cream to help with the irritation. We haven’t actually tried it yet because she seems to be doing okay, and her rash is fading. But we bought some. And we did put some more calamine lotion on her the other night…it seems to help her a lot.

The last couple of nights, Briana has slept between 6 and 7 hours. This is great. The only problem is, we’re pretty sure that the only reason she slept that long is that she fell asleep on David’s chest and he ended up sleeping on the couch with her like that all night. Before you blast me and tell me how unsafe that is – I know. Except David wakes up every time she so much as twitches when she is sleeping on him. And I checked on them a couple times both nights. Neither one of them shifted, even by an inch.

So…great! She does know how to sleep. The only problem now is getting her to sleep in her own space! *sigh* Went from one problem right to another.

I have been having a lot of trouble sleeping lately – even aside from Briana I mean. She could be sound asleep and I won’t be able to sleep. I don’t sleep during the day anymore either, so I’m really not getting much sleep at all. I’m having trouble remembering to eat as well. I had to set an alarm on my phone to remind myself! When I do eat, nothing really tastes good to me, so I don’t eat much. One good thing resulting from this is that I have lost all but 11 pounds of my baby weight, and I gained a good 40 pounds while I was pregnant. (I’m pretty sure almost all of it was water weight, but anyway.) The bad part is that, well, I’m not eating.

I think it’s depression related, honestly. I’m not sure if it’s the *insert voice of doom here* POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION or if it’s just “regular” depression, which I’ve suffered from in the past. I don’t think it’s really important what kind it is. The important part is that I keep taking care of Briana, and I’m doing that, and loving almost every minute of it. I can’t pretend that being sleep deprived and feeding her at two in the morning is fun, but I can tell you that even in my foggy, sleep-deprived state, when she looks up at me with her great big blue eyes, I fall in love all over again with her. So at least my depression, whether postpartum or “regular” isn’t affecting my ability to care for my precious baby girl.

Today I went and hung out at my in-laws house while David went off to work on his hobby at the hobby shop. I didn’t feel like hanging around the apartment and feeling frustrated all day because I didn’t have help, so I decided their house was the better way to go. They decided to give Briana her Christmas present early, so now we have one of those cool baby swings that swings automatically when you turn it on and plays music and such. Awesome! Except that’s what I told my dad and grandma we needed for her, so now I have to warn them not to get one. 🙂 Oh, well. We built it at their house and put her in it for a few minutes. She seemed to really enjoy it.

I feel like this blog is going nowhere today, and it’s already pretty long. I’ll try to write a more interesting blog tomorrow for you all.

(Kind of Depressed) New Mommy

Lavender Girl

 

 

If only every day could be like today…

Published December 5, 2012 by jessicalynndunning

Briana and I had a great day today. I didn’t think it would end up that way. I couldn’t sleep again last night, so I did not fall asleep until about five o’clock this morning. (She slept from ten to one in the morning, then from about two-thirty until six. Briana is getting much better at the whole night versus day thing!) David changed her diaper for me before he got in the shower, but I had to get up to feed her. Normally I would try to go back to bed, but since she is sleeping well at night, I decided it was my schedule that needed some adjusting now – and I got up with her.

We saw Daddy off to work, and then we hung out on the couch. I sang to her and she made faces at me and added to my song with random noises and spit bubbles. I wasn’t feeling sleepy – quite the opposite in fact. I think it was a mix of that exhaustion-induced adrenaline rush and the fact that I knew David and I were going to settle on our final dates for our annual Disney World trip when he came home on his lunch today. I was so excited that I didn’t feel tired. Either way, since my ultimate goal was not “Get the baby to sleep” we enjoyed each others company for quite a while.

Briana was awake until about nine, then decided it was time for a nap. I should have taken one as well, but again, wide awake. So I watched the Disney Channel in a fit of enthusiasm, and shook my head at the plot on Wizards of Waverly Place. The logic of turning your parents into guinea pigs to avoid showing them a “Wizard Report Card” escapes me. Perhaps my imagination isn’t keen enough to understand the complexity of television meant for younger viewers.

Briana snoozed through me channel surfing, and my obsessive checking and re-checking of the price of different dates for our Disney World trip, and me watching “Baby Story” on TLC and being very judgmental of the all the newborn babies. (“My baby was much more beautiful when she was born.” *snicker* I’m not biased at all…)

David came home for his lunch around noon, and she woke up at 12:30, acting like we never feed her. Silly baby! While she attacked her bottle like a starving child, David and I decided on the dates for our September trip, and chatted about how his day was going.

After he left, I was burping Briana, and she threw up down my shirt again. Not nearly as bad as the last time, when the spit up went down into my bra, but it was still gross. The annoying part was, she was up on my shoulder two seconds before she spit-up, with her face on the burp cloth. Just before she got sick, she threw her weight towards the center of my body and grabbed onto the neck of my shirt…then she spit up. If I didn’t know better, I’d say she was aiming! (“Target acquired! Launching lunch now.”)

Oh, well. No one was home except the two of us, so I just stripped off my shirt and threw it in the washer, and stole one of David’s t-shirts from the dryer. Problem solved, at least until I could grab a shower once David was home from work. I’m probably ridiculous, but I’ve been taking my showers in the evening once David gets home, so that he can watch her and she isn’t on her own. Of course, the upside of my paranoia is that I can take a half hour-long shower if I want, or even just stay in there until the hot water runs out. Luxury!

Briana stayed awake until four-thirty! WOO HOO! *happy dance* I think we have successfully turned her sleep schedule around….*knock on wood* We’ll see how tonight goes! I’m hoping it goes well, since I’m running on about an hour of sleep, and I could really use three or four hours at a time. 🙂

Briana is one month old today, and I am having the hardest time wrapping my head around the fact that she’s that old already! She has grown and changed so much in the last month, and is growing and changing more and more every day, it’s just astonishing. I love her. She’s…amazing.

Amazed and Happy New Mommy

Pink Elephants

She is almost too big for the newborn sizes already!

 

 

 

A good couple of nights, followed by the roughest day.

Published December 4, 2012 by jessicalynndunning

Briana has started sleeping for larger chunks of time at night. This is good. The bad part is that she refuses to go to sleep in her bassinet. I discovered quite by accident that she will sleep at night in her Fisher Price Rock and Play Sleeper. The other night I completely gave up on going to bed in my bedroom, and just stayed with her out in the living room.

I had given up on trying to sleep at all, and was sitting on the couch just waiting for her to wake up. I had to wait for quite a long time, because she actually slept really well. I thought it must be a fluke, so I did the same thing the next night, with the same results. I think she likes the sleeper because it cradles her (unlike the bassinet), and it has her laying at a slight incline instead of flat on her back. She startles awake less when she sleeps in it.

The only problem is that I don’t think the Sleep and Play is technically meant for overnight sleeping…I don’t think it is “SIDS prevention” friendly. *sigh* I am a pretty reasonable new mom, but the one thing I can’t help but be obsessively terrified about is SIDS. Last night I brought the Sleep and Play into the bedroom with us to see if she would sleep well in it again, and she did. But I hardly slept any more than I do when she is wide awake, because every time she so much as twitched I was waking up to make sure that she was okay. At least I know she doesn’t like her bassinet.

Maybe I can find something else for her to sleep in…Or maybe I’ll just bring her crib into the bedroom from the nursery and set it up by the bed. Of course, there’s no guarantee that she’ll like sleeping in her crib anymore than she likes sleeping in her bassinet. The crib won’t cradle her or keep her from startling herself awake. Good grief. I’ll just ask her pediatrician on Thursday if she can sleep in the Sleep and Play. If he says no, I’ll have to figure something else out. If he says yes, I can stop worrying and get some more sleep.

Speaking of pediatricians, David and I almost took Briana in to the walk-in clinic this evening. I had noticed that she had a little bit of a rash this morning, but it didn’t seem to be bothering her, and she didn’t have a fever, so I wasn’t too worried about it. I figured I would keep an eye on it and call the doctor if it got worse.

She slept for quite a while today, but she woke up around 3:00 this afternoon needing a diaper change and a bottle. While I was changing her diaper, I changed her outfit, because she’d had a bit of a diaper blow-out. Her rash didn’t seem to be any worse. I put her in this really cute outfit that her Aunt Sarah had gotten her. It’s a pink and white striped onesie that says “We are the future” on the front in blue lettering on the front.

She ate about half her bottle, and then I stopped to burp her, and after she burped she started to scream bloody murder. I got up and rocked her and sang to her, still trying to burp her, figuring that was what was wrong. She burped (and spit up) again, so I sat down to try to give her the rest of her bottle. She refused to take it. She wasn’t still screaming, but she was really fussy.

I tried to burp her again, but that wasn’t it. I checked her diaper, but that wasn’t it either. Hmmm…I was having a mommy spaz moment, and didn’t think to check her rash, so I just sang to her and rocked her and walked the apartment with her. I offered her a pacifier, and tried her bottle again. I tried everything I could think of. She would just not settle down.

Eventually I checked her diaper again, and then I noticed her rash was a lot worse. By then David was home, so I had him look at it, too, and asked if he thought we should take her in to the doctor. Just about that time she started to scream again. Non-stop, very shrill, unhappy, heartbreaking screaming. David told me to call the doctor.

So I call the doctor’s office, and get a hold of a nurse, and she asks some questions and asks some more questions, and then makes a few suggestions, but says that we don’t need to bring her in…unless she continues to scream and seems really uncomfortable after we try the things she suggested (a cool bath, a cool wash cloth laid on the rash for 5 minutes, calamine lotion, etc.).

We had already stripped her out of the onesie, just in case it was further irritating her rash, so we tried the wash cloth thing first. She just screamed louder. I didn’t want to try to put her in her bathtub when she was so upset (she kept throwing her weight around, and I didn’t want to try to keep hold of her in a tub while she was doing that), so I sent David to the store to get the calamine lotion. He was back in just a few minutes and we liberally applied the lotion.

By this time it was 6:00. She had been screaming on and off for three hours, and I was so worried about her I was nearly in tears. By 6:30 we had decided to take her in to the doctor. Usually when we put her in her car seat she falls straight to sleep, but this time she started screaming so loudly and at such a high pitch that it actually hurt my ears. 😦 Poor baby! She screamed and fussed all the way out to the car, and fussed while I was getting into the back of the van with her, and cried while David turned on the van. And then he started backing up out of our parking spot, and Briana fell straight to sleep.

We decided to still head over to the doctor, just in case she woke up again, but she slept the whole way there. We drove past the doctor’s office, down to the Mukilteo beach, and back. She didn’t stir. We went through a drive-thru to get some dinner, and headed home. We parked and took her out of the car and she didn’t stir…David walked up the stairs with her and walked in the front door, and then set her down. And she started screaming again. *sigh*

I realized that she had never finished her bottle earlier and decided to try feeding her. At first that seemed like it was what she wanted, but then it wasn’t. Changed her diaper (and noticed that her rash looked a lot better already – we think the material of that cool looking onesie irritated her rash because it wasn’t 100% cotton like all the other clothes we’ve put her in), rocked her, and got her calmed down enough that she finally settled in to eat her dinner. (Thank goodness…)

After another two hours of fussing and crying and occasional screams, she finally fell back to sleep on David’s chest…about thirty seconds before he conked out as well. I would move her to her Sleep and Play, but I’m terrified to move her, so I’m leaving them both where they are. Hopefully she’ll sleep really well tonight – she was awake for 6 and a half hours today, and she was crying almost the whole time she was awake. That has to be exhausting, right?

Anyway, this entry has gone on a lot longer than I meant it to. I just needed to share the story of my day. Somehow, getting it out there always makes me feel better. Here’s hoping my poor baby girl feels better after a good nap, and that the rash goes away quickly.

Worried New Mommy

Holding up her own bottle today...

Briana held up her own bottle for about two and a half minutes this evening. It made us laugh. 🙂

 

%d bloggers like this: