You are currently browsing the monthly archive for May 2009.

I’d been thinking about doing this anyways, but this post on Jezebel discussing society’s obsession with women’s stomachs along with the links to The Belly Project and The Shape of a Mother convinced me. I posted tons of pictures of my bump during my pregnancy, why shouldn’t you know what happens (dum dum dum) AFTER. I could write pages and pages about how I feel about my new stomach and how depressed I am after shopping for jeans yesterday and how I detest the phrase “battle scars” and how even though I love my baby I sort of feel like he ruined my body, not that it was all that spectacular before but at least it wasn’t covered in stretchmarks…but that would get really long and boring and be full of self-pity. So I’ll shut up and just post.
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Happy Birthday Baby Evan! For some reason I’ve felt like 6 weeks is some sort of huge milestone we were just working towards, and after today the baby experience will be totally different. I have no actual medical or even anecdotal basis for this feeling, but I still feel better now that I’ve made it. The next milestone in my head is 3 months, but that one is based more on my desire to dress him in the adorable 3 month baby clothes than my desire to reach any major developmental milestones. Although I am desperate to hear his laughter – right now he just makes this tiny giggling noise while he’s sleeping. And sometimes when he’s smiling he sort of gulps the air like he’s ABOUT to laugh but stops short of a real noise. I guess I just haven’t done anything funny enough to deserve laughter. I’m pretty sure he’s waiting for me to hurt myself in a fairly serious manner – falling over the coffee table, slipping in a puddle of baby puke, breaking a toe on the baby swing, having a nipple fall off while trying to pump – you know, something REALLY hilarious…and then he’ll laugh.

My friend Emmy came over today and spent the afternoon saying wonderful things about my baby. Have I mentioned that I really like Emmy? She totally didn’t mind that he spent the 30 minutes she was holding him farting and/or pooping. I have a constant fear the baby is going to throw up all over someone – especially someone who’s just “token” holding him (Oh sure I’ll hold your baby, but only because I can’t think of a polite way to say GOD NO) – but he managed to keep most of it in. Tomorrow my two oldest friends come to visit (SO EXCITED) and we’ll see if he feels the need to christen them as official members of the Baby Evan Loves Me So Much He Threw Up On Me Club. I’m thinking of having t-shirts made.

…as modeled by Baby Evan.
IMG_2188Bibs with no shirts are so hot right now. Hey, he’s just lucky the bib MATCHES the pants. This could be much, much worse.

p.s. Doesn’t he look like a tiny white rapper in this picture? Yo, dawg, whasup?

I’ve been so cranky and miserable, E finally took pity on me and offered to switch sleeping situations – he stayed downstairs with the kid, I slept all night in the bed – despite the fact that he had work today. I think the last straw was this phone conversation:

E: Hi honey, I just got out of my meeting.
Me: So are you coming home?
E: No, it’s 4:00 pm and I have that softball game at 6:15 so I think I’ll just stay here.
Me: But that’s a really long time!
E: I know. Don’t worry though, I have internet here at work.
Me: Internet?! I don’t give a *** about you! I’m here all alone! Gaaaaaaaaa….CLICK.
E: Hello? Hello?

So at 9 pm last night I took two Tylenol PM* and slept for 8 hours straight. Well, not quite straight – I had to wake up in the middle to pump so my breasts didn’t explode. But I did it without getting out of bed or even turning on the lights so my brain didn’t even know I was awake. It was GLORIOUS. FANTASTIC. AMAZING. So totally refreshing, today I feel like I could take care of THREE babies. I love my husband dearly. For his part, E looked and felt awful this morning. He said it took 5 cups of coffee before he could even remember his name at work. But they let him come home early and a little nap on the couch has given him enough energy to play WoW all afternoon. Which I’m not going to complain about if it means he’ll take the night shift again sometime.

*You’d think I was tired enough that given the opportunity to sleep in a soft bed in a dark room I’d have no trouble crashing. But after 6 weeks of feedings every 2 hours I have a baby alarm clock in my head that goes “WHERE’S YOUR BABY? WHY AREN’T YOU FEEDING YOUR BABY? TERRIBLE MOTHER! BAD MOTHER! WHERE’S YOUR BABY????” every 90 minutes.

The good news: My baby is totally and completely healthy. He’s gained 14 oz in 10 days, which the pediatrician said is “spectacular”. This is just normal baby spit-up, not projectile vomit or a sign of an illness (although the cat he just threw up ON might disagree). Baby has healthy lungs (the better to scream at you with), a healthy stomach (the better to hold the puke with) and healthy bowels (the better to crap himself with). There are no signs that he has any sort of allergy and the chances of my milk being the problem are minuscule. The doctor said giving up any foods – even dairy – is unnecessary.

The bad news: Baby Evan is going to keep puking. There’s no way to stop it. His problem is purely mechanical – the muscle that holds food in his stomach is too weak to do its job. It happens with almost every baby. Eventually it gets stronger and the spit-up stops. I’ve got to keep reminding myself that although I can no longer remember what NOT having a baby feels like, Evan is still less than 6 weeks old. He went from two cells to a whole baby in only 9 months – I need to give him a little time to adjust to the big wide world. I just wish there was a countdown for HOW much time it’s going to take. I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel – because the tunnel is full of BARF.

E is getting really tired of the spit-up. I’m not saying he would actually leave the baby lying naked in the sink for an hour after each feeding…but it would certainly reduce the amount of laundry I have to do.

I did a little searching on the interwebs to see if there was something I could try to help with Baby Evan’s puking problem. Unfortunately, I found advice. I really wish I could unread it.  Turns out if your baby is really vomit-y and it starts affecting his weight gain, the doctor will put a breastfeeding mom on something called the “elimination diet”. It means you cannot eat anything. No really, nothing. No milk products, soy, nuts, eggs, whole grains, citrus, strawberries, chocolate, or tomatoes. Oh and sometimes corn. Plus anything that might have gluten in it. BLERG.

I guess I could eat…apples? Lettuce? Boiled chicken? Plain tuna? I’m looking at my fridge right now and there is literally nothing in it that complies with those restrictions. The other advice on the message boards is to look into medicine for baby acid reflux. As much as I don’t want to medicate my infant unnecessarily, I think I’d rather try drugs + breastfeeding than just give up and go to formula.

***update***
Apparently, I was too hasty in imagining my remaining food choices! According to Dr. Sears this is what you eat for TWO WEEKS:
“Range-fed turkey and lamb, baked or boiled potatoes and sweet potatoes (with salt and pepper only), rice and millet as your only grain, cooked green and yellow squash for your vegetable, and for fruit, pears and diluted pear juice. Drink a rice-based beverage drink in place of milk on cereal or in cooking.” I hate at least half of those foods. It makes me feel like a horrible, selfish mother that I can’t even IMAGINE trying to follow that diet, but that’s how it is. My dedication to breastfeeding has it’s limits. Sore nipples, fine. Engorgement, fine. Feedings every 2 hours, fine. Sleeping on the couch, fine. Nothing but friggin’ potatoes for two weeks, NOT FINE.

***NEW UPDATE***
4:00 am – DEAR GOD I SWEAR I WILL NEVER EAT ANYTHING EVER AGAIN IF THIS BABY WILL JUST STOP THROWING UP. Nothing. I’ll get all my nutrition in liquid form through an IV or something. For really special occasions I’ll just smell the food – although the way things are going Baby might be allergic to that too.
I’m calling the pediatrician in the morning.

I had to take the infant insert out of my swing this afternoon. Baby Evan was looking very squished and it was getting hard to get his feet through the leg holes without taking the tray off. My baby has officially outgrown his first thing!

I need to get the baby weighed this week too, since the infant insert on my car seat is supposed to come out at 11 lbs. I think the fancy baby store has a scale I can use. If not there will be some hilarious bathroom scale high-jinks. Although that’s probably hopeless, since my bathroom scale is CLEARLY BROKEN. Why else would it say I’ve only lost 2 pounds in the last three weeks? It must mean 12. Yes, that’s definitely it.

Life with a baby in real time. The following takes place between 12:00 am Tuesday and 12:00 am Wednesday.

12:00 am – Baby Evan is FINALLY asleep after two and a half hours of fussing, eating and throwing up on anything within a four foot radius. I wish he was in his co-sleeper but the only way he would let me put him down was in the swing. After 5 weeks, the click-click sound the swing motor makes is practically a lullaby to me and I’m going to snooze on the couch until his next feeding. E is upstairs passed out in our king sized bed all by himself. I’m trying to keep my jealousy to a dull roar, but the temptation to “accidentally” slam a few doors is pretty strong.

12:10 am – The next feeding turns out to be now. When I unwrap Baby Evan from his swaddle he stretches and then farts so loud he wakes up the dog, who glares at me and sighs a huge doggy sigh. I throw a magazine at him and daydream about a life with no pets while I feed the baby.

12:30 am – After one very dirty diaper and a few minutes of rocking, Baby is once again asleep in his swing. The pressure to get some sleep myself is actually keeping me awake.

3:42 am – Baby’s hungry noises wake me up. I decide to risk a run to the bathroom before feeding him. I’ve always liked to live dangerously. I make it back before the screaming starts.

4:10 am – Awwwww, he’s so cute and quiet while he nursing. Oh wait, now he’ done and the struggling has started. Having the gassiest baby in the world is a real challenge but watching how many shades of red he can turn is quite impressive. Grunt, grunt, grunt pffffffffftttttthhhhh. Diaper change!

4:15 am – I run to the sink and aim Evan just in time for him to puke. I am again reminded of the similarities between a drunk college student and my baby. But a least one pair of pajamas are safe…for now.

4:20 am – Baby fusses.

4:30 am – Baby fusses.

4:44 am – Diaper change. Swaddle. Begin go-to-sleep rocking/burping/shushing.

4:58 am – Put quiet baby in swing.

5:15 am – Baby is still awake. Turn on lullaby cd of special go-to-sleep music. Hey, it’s kind of relaxing! I really like the heartbeat in the background. It’s definitely going to zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

6:00 am – E comes downstairs for breakfast (something he never ever does) and eats cereal loudly. Everything about his presence annoys the crap out of me and keeps me from sleeping. I consider divorce briefly but can’t reach the phone book from the couch.

6:10 am – E leaves, everyone sleeps.

7:45 am – Baby Evan starts making hungry noises again. Mooooooo time for breakfast! I pump 3 oz of milk off my fullest boob before I even latch him on, hoping to slow him down and maybe prevent some of the spit-up.

8:10 am – Change diaper, wash his face, dress him, and pop the baby in the sling. Feed cats, let out dog, feed dog, start laundry, fold yesterday’s laundry, brush teeth, brush hair, unload dishwasher, re-load dishwasher, let dog out again, eat bowl of cereal.

9:00 am – Adorable baby transferred from sling to swing. Check news, check blogs, make a few hilariously witty comments. Lie down for morning nap.
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9:15 am – I remember I need to change the laundry and run upstairs. I take the opportunity to put on real pants for the first time in two days.

9:16 am – Evan sees my absence as his opportunity to try out a new skill: filling his socks with puke. He also gets his shirt, pants, hair, binky and swing.

9:17 am – Change the baby’s clothes. Repeat puking. Repeat clothes change.
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9:32 am – Baby starts making angry velociraptor noises, signaling his desire to gnaw on some human flesh…also known as breastfeeding.

9:56 am – Done with the eating, baby wants to play. I try reading to him, singing, showing him the house, two different tummy time mats (BIG MISTAKE), light up toys, rattles – DIAPER CHANGE BREAK! – the swing, the bouncy chair, and the fourth hour of Today. That last one sends him completely over the edge into hysterical sobs.
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10:45 am – I discover poop on the back of my hand. I briefly wonder how long it’s been there before I decide to abandon that line of thought and just wash it off.

10:47 am – Baby Evan’s screaming changes from “anger at my inability to provide proper entertainment” to “starving to death you evil evil woman”. Boob in the mouth it is.

11:00 am – Evan falls asleep with my nipple still in his mouth. I give him a few minutes to make sure he’s really out and then get him back in the swing.

11:15 am – Nap time for mommy too. I pass out almost immediately despite the screaming contestants on the Price is Right in the background.

12:00 pm – Awake again. Since it’s only been an hour since his last meal I distract Baby Evan with his pacifier and some cuddling. He keeps pretending to fall asleep until I’m about to nod off…then flails his arms around and spits out the paci. It’s not a very fun game.

12:38 pm – I can’t delay the feeding any longer. Booby time!

1:10 pm – Fed, burped, changed, dressed baby gets popped in the sling so I can finish the load of laundry I started at 8 am. We’re having a thunderstorm right now and the dog is following me around the house whining. It gets worse when the lighting hits something in town and the emergency vehicles start racing down my street. I daydream about selling him for a personal chef. Who am I kidding, I’d trade him for an extra-large pizza at this point.

1:30 pm – Lunch for me. I debate actually making something – by “making something” I mean putting together a sandwich or heating up chicken nuggets – but settle on Wheat Thins and hummus. No assembly required, no dishes to wash.

1:52 pm – Confident the baby is really asleep I sneak him out of the sling and into his cradle. I decide to make a sandwich after all. Then I eat a bag of pepperoni, the leftover salad from last night, two Diet Cokes and three Fudgecicles.

2:06 pm – Baby Evan pukes himself awake. I clean him off (mostly) and move him to the swing, hoping it will keep him asleep for a little while longer. The countdown for E to come home is on and the chance to take an uninterrupted nap is more delicious than anything left in my fridge. Baby burps and fusses and spits and farts like a fat man…but eventually passes out.

2:47 pm – Feeding time again. I take off Evan’s shirt so he smells less like curdled milk and latch him on.

3:00 pm – E’S HOME!

3:20 pm – Baby’s done eating and I hand him off for some daddy time. It starts with puking. Then more puking. I’m guessing the puking will continue for a while but I’m going to bed.

7:00 pm – I wake up to hugely swollen boobs. E let me sleep instead of waking for Baby Evan’s last feeding, which was extra nice of him considering how much Baby HATES the bottle. He ends up with more of it on him than in him. But all that thrashing was exhausting so my bundle of joy is all bundled up and asleep in the swing – again. I pump an entire bottle’s worth of milk (6 oz) out of the right side. People who have breastfed, try to hide how impressed you are.

7:10 pm – E goes for Wendy’s. I realize I am out of both chocolate and ice cream and search the pantry for dessert. Hmmm…how old is this boxed pound cake mix? Eh, I don’t think powdered cake expires. Pound cake it is!

7:30 pm – Grown ups are fed, just in time to see Baby’s eyes fly open with an audible POP. HEY GUYS WHAT DID I MISS? We respond with a pop of our own – binky into mouth. Quiet again although I already know it’s not going to last.

7:32 pm – We attempt to catch up on the TV from last night on our DVR. If Tivo was smart, they’d start advertising during “A Baby Story” on TLC: Record your shows so you can watch them when the baby’s NOT crying! No more infomercials at 3 am! Amaze your friends and family with your ability to talk about something that ISN’T baby related!

8:24 pm – Diaper change. Feeding time. Moo moo moo mooooo. He eats for a really long time, even switching boobs in the middle. After he’s done I let him lie in my lap and make baby noises for a while. My hope is the milk settles into his stomach instead of coming right back up.
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8:52 pm – E burps the baby. Most of the milk comes back up. At one point Baby throws up into E’s work boot – although he wasn’t actually near the boot at the time.

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9:20 pm – Swaddling really is a miracle. E rocks the baby to sleep to Adam Lambert singing “One” on American Idol. I wonder if my baby could grow up to be that fabulous. Maybe I should start hiding my eyeliner now.

11:20 pm – Baby is still asleep. E goes upstairs to bed. I use the quiet moment to check my email, upload some pictures from my camera and refill my water bottle. I settle onto the couch with my blanket and my pillow and my book, prepared to read until it’s time for the next feeding. The news tells me that tomorrow will be gorgeous, warm and sunny, and I make plans in my head to walk to the library with the baby. There’s almost zero chance of that actually happening but the thought is nice. Too bad the thought doesn’t burn any calories.

11:55 pm – My leg is wet. It takes me a full two minutes to figure out that my breast has begun leaking. Through my bra, through my tank, through my sweatshirt, and now it’s dripping onto my lap. I put my nighttime cotton nursing pads in.

12:00 am – Day starts all over again. Hey, maybe this one will include a shower! Or at least some serious eye cream and a mascara. This is what exhausted looks like:
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For the record, I am smiling as much as physically possible right now.

Before I had Little Evan, I thought people who said “My baby has his father’s nose!” were deluded. It’s an infant, it looks like an infant, stop imagining a resemblance where there isn’t one. But my baby clearly looks just like his father. Which is good, I guess, because it makes their shared name even cuter. Evan and mini-Evan.  I’m imagining a future of matching pajamas at Christmas and coordinating shirts for Father’s Day. Strangers will look at them on the street and say “Oh my goodness what a handsome baby! He looks just like his daddy!” Besides having the same nose and the same shaped mouth, Baby Evan has his father’s hair. Not just the color but the shape as well – both have high foreheads and a tendency towards an overgrowth on the back of their neck. It’s adorable.

If I didn’t have such a clear memory of actually pushing this child out of my lady bits, I wouldn’t believe he was mine. I think my mother might feel the same way since I look so much like my father. “Sorry,” says Dad “I’d rather you look like your mom.”  Although Baby Evan’s gorgeous hair gets comments everywhere we go, I’m getting tired of saying “he gets it from his father” in sort of an apologetic way. I’m very sorry, person I’ve never met, that I’m not as cute or pretty as my baby. Maybe next time. Besides having the same nose and the same shaped mouth, Baby Evan has his father’s hair. Not just the color but the shape as well – both have high foreheads and a tendency towards an overgrowth on the back of their neck. So my baby has a receding hairline and a mullet.

This morning, for the first time, my baby smiled at me because he recognized me. He did it three times before falling asleep snuggled on my chest, dreaming little contented baby dreams. Best Mother’s Day present ever.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers and mothers-to-be!

I love email! It's like talking to other grown ups without having to worry if the baby is screaming! Contact me: bebehblog@gmail.com
May 2009
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