Monday, October 29, 2012

When I have my next baby...

Things I want to remember for whenever #2 comes along or advice to first time moms:

  1. Rest as much as possible before and after delivery
  2. Don't expect the baby to come on or before the "due" date
  3. Don't try to self induce, it'll happen when it happens...just rest!
  4. Keep communication up so family/visits know expectations
  5. Stock up on some diapers (some newborn, a couple 1's, maybe a 2 you can always exchange them if you need more of another) and a lot of wipes
  6. Keep receipts for anything baby related
  7. Don't have your last meal before going to the hospital be bagel bites and cake, even if it was your husbands birthday cake, it's just embarrassing :)
  8. While at the hospital let the baby sleep in the nursery at least once so you can get a little rest
  9. Bring comfy clothes like sweats, nursing top, etc
  10. Take all hospital room items (bathroom toiletries, diapers, wipes, etc) with you, they're yours
  11. Order each meal you can after delivery to regain energy
  12. Accept help for at least a week (hopefully 2) after delivery
  13. Get baby to enjoy being swaddled
  14. Get baby to sleep in their bassinet/crib 
  15. Pump if/when you can so daddy can take a turn and feed baby while you sleep
  16. Be flexible and open (birth plan, family visits, advice, etc)
  17. Don't stress as much {especially about nursing}
  18. It's OK to cry (scared, happy, pain, relief, hormones)
  19. Remember your mom and your husband are your best friends***
  20. Smile at your baby as much as possible :)


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Addie is 1/2 a year old!


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Addie {4 months old}

I can't believe how big my baby is getting! She doesn't have her 4 month appt until next week, but we believe she is about 15.5 lbs (about 2xs her birth weight!). She is so smiley and happy pretty much all the time! We just love her so much, here are things she does now a days:

  • Smiles. smiles, smiles
  • Eats her hands/fingers
  • Sticks her tongue out (thanks Daddy)
  • Drools a ton
  • Pulls her bird in her baby gym (which entertains the whole family!)
  • Laughs out loud occasionally while awake
  • Wears 3-6 months clothes and size 2 diapers
  • Pulls out her paci and can get it back in
  • Is super close to rolling over
  • Likes to stand all the time
  • If she is too tired to stand, she wants you to stand while holding her
  • Can make click noise with her tongue and roof of her mouth
  • Jibber jabbers constantly
  • Co-sleeps with Momma and Daddy
  • Likes her toes painted
  • Instead of crying the first phase of communicating a need is "angry talking"
  • Lives up to the nickname "toots-McGee"
  • Gets called: Addie, Baby, Princess, Love, Sweets, Sweetheart, Adds, Beautiful Girl


Friday, April 27, 2012

"Bringing Up Bebe" Review {part I}

While reading this book, I've taken down some notes of the things I wanted to remember and then post about for future reference. Honestly, overall the principles that she is discussing are pretty common sense and I'm not quite convinced of their "french"-ness as opposed to just good parenting. Maybe the French culture just has more self control and drive to follow through with these principles as opposed to us American moms.
Sometimes the things that are common sense just get overlooked because of their obviousness. We know this from many aspects of our lives. One aspect is health, we all know we SHOULD exercise, eat right, sleep well, and we will look and feel great. Another aspect is spirituality, we all know we SHOULD pray, read our scriptures, go to church, but they are just so simple that we constantly need reminders to do so.
Here are some of my notes of my reading so far so that I can remind myself and maybe it could help someone else :)

Principle 1: The Pause (for parents)

I started reading this when Addie was about one month old and I wish that I would have read it sooner. Everyone always tells you not to pick up your baby right when they wake up or start to fuss. Advice just seems like advice, and I always welcome it but hardly follow it. I like to just see how things play out and work in my circumstances as opposed to how someone else's circumstances turned out. Like with child birth. I didn't take any classes on how to prepare. I watched "A Baby Story" and saw how every single delivery was totally different. How can you prepare for something that you have no clue what is going to arise and how you're going to deal with it at the time? You can't. Some things are just plain unpredictable.
So, when in the book she described that babies move around and make noises when they are sleeping because of their sleep cycles, it slowly started to make more sense. Baby sleep cycles are only about 2 hours, and babies have to learn to connect the previous cycle onto the next. So the little noises, faint cries, and quick movements aren't baby waking up. These actions just come from a break between cycles. (when you hear it from a biological perspective, advice makes more sense!)
"The Pause" as the author calls it, is for the parents to pause before disturbing this break. The best way to learn your baby's needs are to pause and observe their behavior. Look to see if they are in a break between cycles or if they in fact are waking and need to be held or fed. Also, that if they do wake up and don't cry there's no need to pick them up immediately. It's important for them to start learning self reliance by spending time or playing by themselves. Just  like adults, babies like to have alone time too.

Principle 2: Patience (for the child)

The author says that the French are all about teaching patience to their children. Well....duh. I don't think any of us out there are saying, "my child definitely does NOT need to have patience". I when I think about American vs French social culture, I can see how the French as a whole might have similar standards and expectations as to how children should behave. As opposed to American culture which is so vast, purely due to the size of our country. Not only are we huge but we have pockets and mixtures of different cultures with different social behaviors. It's the difference of a mostly pure cultural country (I know there are other cultures and immigrants to France as well) and the melting pot of culture that America is.

I pulled three main points of the to-do's of patience:
  • Deny Instant Gratification
  • Explain Why They are Waiting
  • Self Distract
Denying instant gratification helps children to not only have patience but also to not have "tiny Emperor" syndrome. The other two points teach how to prevent this, she says you must explain to a child why they are waiting. This helps them to realize they are not the only person in the world that has needs such as, "I can't hold you right now I am helping your sister". It can also teach them timelines and help them gage time better such as, "I can't hold you right now because I am making dinner because I know that you're hungry. When I'm finished we can all eat." The child can then realize that he can be held when mom is done helping or cooking.
Learning to self distract seems to be a crucial ingredient in patience. It helps them become occupied and unfocused on their needs or wants. She referred to a study that I learned about in one of my child development courses in school. The study left a toddler in a room with a marshmellow. It was explained to them that they could have the marshmellow now, or wait ten minutes and then they could have two marshmellows. The results showed that that toddlers that were able to put off the instant gratification and get the second marshmellow where the ones that distracted themselves by playing with toys or singing to themselves. 
I want to be able to remember this lesson. Maybe while I am preoccupied I can have my children coloring or doing some other singular activity.

Principle 3: Eating Schedule (for the family)

In reference to eating behaviors, she states these guidelines that should be observed; baby's usually eat roughly the same time everyday; they should have a few big feeds instead of a lot of small ones; and they should fit the rhythm of the family. Generally, the french adults and babies end up sharing the same eating schedule in order to comply with the rhythm of the family unit. I think that somewhere between the 3-6 month range is when they institute this schedule. Again, she suggests to distract the baby in order to gradually lengthen the time between feedings.

French Proposed Eating Schedule
When Baby Wakes Up

This wraps up the first section of my notes, now maybe I'll read the other half of the book reasonably soon!


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Addie's Birth Story

This is my account of what happened and what I remember. Granted, if you ask Andrew, my mom, or Nicole, you'll get more details and stories because my memory of many things is very fuzzy. I'm not sure if that is due to the medication or just wanting to repress the memory of so much pain.
In any account, here we go!

My due date was set for March 1, and when that date came and went I was becoming more and more anxious for Addie to arrive. I didn't know what to expect when I went into labor, I never had any Braxton Hicks contractions through out my pregnancy. So my doctor went ahead set an induction date for March 12, which seemed like a lifetime away. Of course, on Andrew's birthday (March 11) I finally started having contractions. They were 2 mins long and about 2-4 mins apart, so we called the doctor and they said to go ahead and go to the hospital. So at 7:30pm Andrew, me, and my mom grabbed my hospital bag and headed out!

Those contractions at home were nothing compared to the ones I had at the hospital. After getting registered and checked in, I still had no real progression, so they had me walk around the lobby for 2 hours to see if that helped. The contractions were getting increasingly worse and worse the more I walked, and the distance I could walk before stopping and clinging onto Andrew for comfort was getting shorter and shorter. Finally after the 2 hours they checked me again, and still....nothing. My only options were to stay the night or come back at 5:30 am for my scheduled induction. We chose to just stay the night as it was already 11 pm. They got my IV set and gave me some pain medication for my contractions. At some point, maybe around 5 am they came in and told me I was a 6! You know what that means....epidural time! I was so happy I finally had some progression and a release from the pain.

The epidural was great, unfortunately the baby's head was pushing on one of my nerves that was making my left leg hurt horribly. There was nothing we could do for that pain since it was due to the pressure she was putting on me. All I could do was push! Around 3 pm they had me start pushing. Since I couldn't feel my contractions, I had to be told when they were starting so I knew when to push. I kept looking at my mom and saying, "tell me when I'm contracting!".

Randomly in the middle of pushing, the nurse told me that the girl scouts wanted to come in and visit me once the baby was here. I thought I was hallucinating, but no it was true. She was the only baby girl born in the area on the centennial of the Girl Scouts, so we she was awarded a free lifetime membership. They also brought cookies for Andrew and I. :)

At 3:52 pm I saw my beautiful baby girl enter the world. It was the most incredible thing to see. Andrew cut the umbilical cord, and then watch her get weighed, cleaned up, taken to the nursery, etc. I however got to sit there without seeing my baby for almost an hour while I got stitched back up since I "pushed too quickly". Hey, if your baby is 11 days past due date and her head is putting pressure on you making you want to amputate your own leg during child labor, why wouldn't I push as much as I could? It was all worth it though, every bit of pain and discomfort.

Recovery the first week was much harder than I thought it was going to be. No one tells you how scary it is to have to take care of a new born! It's so scary because you are responsible for such a fragile human life. I couldn't sleep much because I would always watch to make sure she kept breathing. I'm pretty sure she didn't cry at all the first week because we were constantly holding her! She's a spoiled, but perfect little girl.

I'm so grateful that Andrew has been here in the beginning to help me, and ever so grateful for all the help my mom has given me. I could not have survived with out their help. Sometimes it's hard to admit that you need help, but I did and I have a great support system in my family!

Addie is the biggest blessing we have in our lives, and couldn't imagine it without her!