Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Ode to Daddy

We have not had the smoothest of days lately. Love Bug is still sleeping through the night, and feeding better during the day, but is fussy in the evenings and has been sleeping a lot. I suspect that the Love Bug is teething. She doesn't have all the symptoms, but she is drooling like crazy, biting anything she can get in her mouth, and has been fussy, especially when eating. I thought eating would be comforting, but I read yesterday that the sucking actually hurts when they're teething. Poor thing. So, B has been so great and has done everything he could to help me. When she cried while feeding, he sat with us and helped me sing to Love Bug to calm her down. He also stayed up with her last night when I had a temperature. Even now, as I type this, they have both fallen asleep after B rocked her for almost an hour.
So, tonight is the ode to Daddy... he is wonderful and is the sole reason that Love Bug is such a sweet, mellow baby (totally his temperament). I know that I could not have gotten through the last few months without him. The Love Bug is so lucky to have him as a Dad, and I'm even luckier that he is my husband and best friend.
They always say that you get paid back when you have kids, so I'm guessing our next one will be like me. My Mom says that I slept well (once she rocked me to sleep), fed well (of course), and rarely cried (because I was the first born and constantly entertained). But I was also independent, high energy, and in her kind words, very "spirited"... wow, the next time, we're in trouble.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Smiling and Talking

For the first two months or so, babies really don't do much socializing. They smile a little, especially at the sound of a familiar voice, but that's about it. The Love Bug is so cute, so of course I enjoy her no matter how much she wants to be social. But now, in the third month, I feel like all those sleepless nights are paying off. All my smiles, hugs, and kisses even when sore, exhausted, and defeated are coming back to me ten-fold. Love Bug now smiles for long periods and can now "talk" to me. Her coos, baas, and gees are awesome. Sometimes I feel like when I talk, she answers, so I try to ask her questions and pause to hear her "reply".

I've also noticed that now that she is sleeping through the night, she is refreshed in the morning and seems to be smiling, happy, and that much more excited to see me. Love Bug must know that 8 or 9 hours have passed since she's seen me and therefore, it's thrilling that I'm back. It's amazing, that one, little person can make you feel like a superstar, more important than anyone in the world.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Clarity on Feeding Issues

Although Love Bug is now on almost two weeks of sleeping through the night, feeding has not been so easy for us. In an attempt not to share "too much information", I have too much that comes out too fast. If you don't know about all this... well, you don't want to know. My Obstetrician said I should have had at least twins, to use all the milk I produce. It has been very frustrating because Love Bug cries at feeding times and is gagging and choking on more than she can handle. This COULD (in the long run) cause her to stop feeding all together from a negative association and we would have to switch to formula. It's been worrying me and I have been trying a lot of techniques to deal with this issue.

Then, I got some perspective last night. I was searching online for help with "feeding problems" and I found a link to a blog of another Mom. She has two foster children, who are 13 months and 2 months, and they hope to adopt them soon. The biological parents did not do the right things in the prenatal period and the children have ended up with feeding tubes. She cannot feed them bottles, soft foods, or anything. They have to be fed directly into their stomachs. Talk about getting perspective! I am agonizing over the remote possibility of having to switch to formula and she is dealing with tubes, medications, special diets, etc. On top of all this, she doesn't even know if she'll get to keep the kids and has current court battles with both biological families. What an amazing woman she is - a true hero.

I think sometimes I just need a reminder to have some perspective.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me (the 24th)

The AMAZING White Chocolate Cheesecake that B made for me!


Wednesday, the 24th was my birthday and I turned 28. B made white chocolate cheesecake and a few friends came over to have cake and champagne. It was really nice and having the Love Bug this year for my birthday made it even sweeter. She is such a blessing, because I was feeling sad all evening. I could not figure out why I was sad, but then I finally realized before I went to bed that I was waiting for my Dad to call. Even though I already talked to my Mom and that's when I would've talked to him too, I was still waiting for it. I can't believe it's been 7 months since he passed away... it still feels so new sometimes.

We talked on the phone often, but birthday phone calls were different. They were longer, more thoughtful... and he would ask me about life. If I could talk to him, I'd tell him that I learned something very important in my 27th year. And it was a lesson he taught me. It's that life is short and that you can't take anything with you. I'm so glad I've traveled all over Europe and now I just want to travel more. I'm so glad I've used the money we have to take cruises, go to wonderful French restaurants for dinner, and give to charities, instead of buying the best clothes or gadgets. I'm so glad that I've taken lots of pictures, made lots of memories, and rarely turned down an invitation to do something fun. I'm so glad that my family and friends know how much I love them, and that HE knew that before he died. But mostly, I'm so glad that I got to be his daughter for 27 years. I'm sure he's sitting on the beach in heaven, drinking a gin and tonic (or maybe a beer, because surely there aren't carbs in heaven), and I just hope he knows that I miss him. I wish I could have told him all that over the phone instead of in my prayers.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Zzzzz

Ah... sleep at last! Lately, we've had a lot more success with the Love Bug sleeping through the night. In the last two weeks, she has slept through the night 8 times, inlcuding the last four nights in a row! Yes, that is 1, 2, 3, 4 nights! It has been wonderful and we are so proud of her for sleeping so well at only 10 weeks old.

The first few weeks, we were not getting much sleep. At times, since I was breastfeeding, Love Bug would wake up again before I fully fell asleep. Even as she started sleeping longer, I couldn't fall asleep because I was so paranoid about how long I would get to sleep before she woke up again. I felt like I had insomnia, but really I was just so stressed about it. I also was getting way to much pressure from other people to try to get her to sleep at night so that her sleep habits would get off to a good start. I was also feeling pressure to get to Love Bug to sleep, so that B could get better sleep for work. Well, after I talked to our pediatrician at the two month appointment, I felt a lot better. He told me just to make sure that she was starting to sleep more at night and less during the day and that is the only goal at this point. Sleep habits shouldn't be taught (in his and most doctors opinions) until 4 - 6 months of age. Even though my Mom and B had been telling me this all along, I just needed to hear it from a more official source.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Good news...

We just got the news yesterday that I am not a carrier for Tay-Sachs, and a bunch of other genetic disorders. It is a little known fact that French-Canadians have a very high likelihood of being a carrier for Tay-Sachs. Since B is of mixed French-Canadian descent, my OB/GYN wanted me to get tested by a genetic counselor. Well, I got pregnant before we could do it, and I didn't want to be tested during pregnancy. No matter what the results, I would always want the baby, so I kinda felt like testing had no point.

Now that I've had the Love Bug, I decided to get tested to make sure we can prevent problems for our future children. Once we arrived at the genetic counselor's office, I realized it wasn't going to be just one test. She was the sweetest French lady and very calm, but she asked about our family background and decided I should be tested to see if I am a carrier for some other diseases, like cystic fibrosis (which is common among those of mixed Western European heritage, like myself). She took a couple of viles of blood and sent me home to wait and worry! Love Bug had been tested for some things when she was born, but not everything, so I did have some small concerns that if I was positive, then I would have to wait and worry while Love Bug got tested. Even if she was fine, then we would have to have B tested. If he was also positive for the same thing, we'd have to decide if we'd leave it to chance or try genetic counseling when we have other children. I'm not into messing with nature too much, but who wants to knowingly bring a child in this world who may just spend most of their life suffering? Luckily, there is no need for that, because I am negative for everything.

The moral of this story is to get tested, before you get pregnant... it will save you a lot of worry.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Rolling Over Halfway/Delusional Parents

Don't you hate when parents think that their kid is so great? Well, that's me right now. The Love Bug is such a strong baby! I know... this is officially only something that parents get excited about (or possibly grandparents, which is why I'm posting it). Love Bug rolled over halfway... just one good kick with her leg and she will be all the way over!

She can also hold her head up HIGH and has been able to do so since about 1 month old. She also can already put her weight on her legs and stand up. The developmental books say that is a skill that should develop by the fifth month... which is 3 months from now!
I have no delusions that she will be a star on Broadway, or an amazing athlete, or valedictorian of her class at Harvard (but I do think that she could do any or all of those things). For right now, the only delusion I have is that she is so strong, much stronger than average.

But, I'm a new Mom and I'm allowed.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Love Bug's Room

We've been getting requests to see Love Bug's room, since we talked about our star and moon theme to anyone who would listen... so here it is.

This is her crib in two different views...

her toys, books...


a window view, across from her crib...


a closet full of more clothes than anyone we know...


and for Nana, the picture frame you "lent" us for her room. (Thank you to Matt & Carrie for getting Nana such a cute frame!)

She found her thumb!

The Love Bug is one of those babies who really needs something and the pacifier just didn't work for us. I tried it on a trial basis, to make sure it didn't interfere with breastfeeding. Well, it did. Plus, who wants to reach into the bassinet every 2 minutes and put it back in? Now that we've taken the pacifier away, she has been very unhappy with us. Love Bug had moderate success at getting her thumb in her mouth randomly, but not on a regular basis.

But then... this week... SHE FOUND IT!

It has been so cute to watch and now Love Bug immediately sticks it in her mouth with no trouble. Now when we pick her up after her nap, she is usually sucking her thumb. It keeps her calm for a few minutes until I can go get her. For a mom who feels bad when her baby cries, it's a lifesaver.

Just something I wanted you all to note, since I've already been scolded for "allowing" this... thumb sucking will not hurt the Love Bug's teeth! That is a wives tale. The pediatrician reassured me that it is usually just fine (it can cause minor interference with their bite if they do it for 5 or 6 years, but only VERY RARELY). Plus, I always revert to the "anything that is natural is good" rule... babies suck their thumbs in the womb, for Pete's sake!

UPDATE on 1/23/07... I found out that my girlfriend's daughter, who is almost 8 weeks older than the Love Bug, just found her thumb for the first time a few weeks ago and is finally getting it in her mouth more and more this week. And her daughter isn't sleeping through the night like the Bug.

So, Love Bug is a genious... it's certified now! (hee, hee... only kidding)

We have Lift-Off

Wow- we have a blog! It's been two months since C (Love Bug) was born and we need to have some way to document our lives with a new baby. I have tried to write a journal, but I just can't get into it. Plus, I type much faster than I write.
I can no longer use the excuse that I'm recovering from the c-section, especially since it went so well. And I certainly can't use the newborn excuse... so this is it. If I want to keep track of C (the Love Bug) and share it with others, it's now or never!