Friday, February 26, 2010

Catching up

I notice that it's getting harder and harder to find the time to write in this blog! My to do list is huge and it keeps getting bigger instead of smaller. But here's what's going on lately....

First and foremost, freaking out that I'm going back to work in ONE WEEK. Seriously, I've been crying a lot, feeling so sad that I won't be here with her during the day. Since the daycare is only 2 blocks from work, and my house is only 10 mins away, I'm hoping I'll be able to go and nurse her during lunch as much as possible, for the 2 days in daycare, and the 3 days with the grandmas. But I already have a trip to Detroit for the second week I'm back (luckily it will be in and out the same day), and then a trip to Vegas in May. The Vegas trip will be bittersweet, cause I love to gamble, but I will be really sad to leave her overnight for the first time.

I've been trying to pump a lot to build up a supply of milk, and doing OK, but boy is it a pain to pump in between nursing. It cuts down on "free" time, and then I stress that when she is ready to eat again, I won't have a lot of milk built up. But I'm really committed to try to provide as much breast milk as possible when I'm away from her. I even brought a second pump on ebay so i can keep one at work and one home and not have to carry back and forth.

I'm making some progress with being comfortable with my MIL watching her for one day a week, but with every step forward, there's 2 steps back. I'm finding that even though she says she wants to spend as much time as possible with Aysia, and complains about not getting enough time with her other granddaughter, she is not taking advantage of the time I'm offering her. She finds it hard to commit to being here, and has come late / left early for times she is scheduled. To be completely honest, I regret offering her Mondays when I go back to work, and would probably feel more comfortable with putting Aysia in daycare that day, but now I feel I need to give her a chance. My biggest fear is that she's older, not in good shape, and just doesn't have the energy. But she would never admit that or say to us that she can't handle it, even though we've told her again and again that she has to be up front with us. Just this week she was here and I let her do full care of Aysia while i did other things around the house. I came downstairs to find Aysia alone on the changing table and MIL sitting on the couch about 5 feet away. Aysia was having fun just looking around, swinging her legs and arms around. I had a heart attack. I told her she can't leave her alone on the table, she asked why. !?!?!? BECAUSE SHE CAN FALL OFF!!! I kept calm, and she went over to her right away, but jeez, common sense! I'm sure she was just tired and wanted to get off her feet, but you just can't do that! So now I'm terrified that she will leave her somewhere and she will fall. MIL is coming over on Monday and I will be very specific - not alone on the changing table, couch, bed, or anywhere that she is not strapped in. I've left 3 sheets of printed instructions for things, but I don't feel confident that she's read it or will refer to it (up on the fridge). It's definitely causing a bit of friction with me and DH, but he also sees my point. I will just need to watch her closely when she's here this Monday, and then make sure I come home for lunch and leave work at 5 on Mondays in general. Also, DH has off a lot of Mondays so she won't always be alone with Aysia. But if I see another scary thing I'll have to make some changes to the arrangement. Am I over-reacting??

Aysia had her vaccinations this week, and while it was hard to watch, it wasn't as bad as it could have been. he screamed (and I had to hold her arms), but then by the time I put her clothes back on, she was calm again. I had pictured her screaming for hours, but luckily not. No fever or any reactions afterwards, either. I asked the doc about giving Tylenol or Motrin and he told me something interesting. Apparently there is a recent study that shows that Tylenol or Motrin reduce the effectiveness of the vaccinations. He's no sure if he's in 100% agreement, but could see how that could be the case. So he said to give it only if she's running a fever, but not as a preventative measure. Luckily, she was fine.

I'm not getting much progress with nighttime sleep - seems we've taken a step back to only 3-4 hours. then a long awake period, then 2 hours. Doc said that when she wakes, to nurse her as little as possible to satisfy her, then put her back in the bassinet. That you might think the more milk you give her, the more soundly she'll sleep, but he said she will still wake up for the next feeding, and the objective is to have her eat less and less in the middle of the night until eventually she's eating nothing and doesn't need to wake up. Makes sense, I think. So that's my new game plan!

It's funny, though. As soon as you think you've gotten something figured out and under control, the little one shows you otherwise!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

What a great day so far!

Me and Aysia had some great cuddling time this morning, then came downstairs to a fabulous brunch that DH made. Complete with champagne and chocolate strawberries. Now, usually I tell DH to get NO CANDY on VDday, but this year I told him to bring it on! I am craving sugar big time. He gave me a dozen roses (a beautiful yellow/orange color) and a chocolate filled heart. Yum! He also gave Aysia a dozen white roses, and a cute little teddy bear. So sweet of him!

But the best present of all -- DH told me that today, he will do each and every diaper and clothing change for Aysia. Nice! Being breast fed, she needs a diaper change every 1-2 hours, so this is huge. Normally, DH definitely does his share of diapers, at least 50/50, but getting a full day with no diaper duty is probably the most romantic gift ever!

We've had a lot of visits from friends and family lately, and even a trip to Barnes and Nobles and BRU. And Aysia was very, very fussy, to the point where I had to take her out of B&N before I got what I wanted. I get very uncomfortable when she's crying and I'm getting looks from others. I should be able to just ignore it, but it makes me want to just leave. I've gotten better at being able to breastfeed in public - I've ordered a nursing cover that will hopefully be better than a receiving blanket, and make me feel even more comfortable. Any suggestions from people about nursing in public aids?

I also have just come to LOVE baby wearing. It's the best. Calms her down, keeps her close and cuddly, and saves my arms and back! I have way too many of them, tho. Here are my reviews:

Bjorn (backpack) - The best. Definitely need the Active or Synergy model with the lumbar support. No strain on back or shoulder. Kind of hard to figure out at first, but then it gets really easy. Expensive (130+ for the active, more for synergy), but I've picked up a second from someone on craigslist for $45 so our parents can use one and keep it adjusted for their bodies.

Jeep (backpack) - I haven't used it, this is DH's. We keep it adjusted for him, he loves it. No lumbar support, but he's strong, so he feels no strain on the shoulders. Very rugged and outdoors looking so he likes it, and she seems comfy in it. Inexpensive (clearance BRU - around $20)

Wallaby (backpack) - eh. No lumbar support, gives me some strain in the shoulders, and it's a little harder to slip her into it, the way it's made. She seems to like it tho. Inexpensive (clearance BRU - $18). Good for keeping in the car in case I forget to bring the Bjorn on an outing.

Moby wrap - excellent, very snuggly, lots of holds, especially once she can hold her head up. But... takes a bit of time to wrap it. If I think if it, I wrap myself up while she's sleeping, and then it's ready to put her in. otherwise, if she's already fussing, I go right for the bjorn. ($40)

Hotsling - OK. very easy to put on, not sure she loves the position. Might be better as she gets older and can go in different holds. Small and foldable, so easy to take with you. (Some styles on clearance for $18 at BRU).

Infantino sling - Eh. simple to put on, she seems OK in it, but only has the cradle position. decent for nursing, but I haven't used it in public yet. (picked it up at Marshalls for $20)

So am I insane or what? Every time a box is delivered, DH sighs and asks if it's another backpack for her! But it really helps me out. After I feed her, the routine is a little playing (tummy time, activity gym, or just singing, 5 little piggies, rattles, toys, etc.), and then into the bjorn for some cuddling and a nap. And then I can do other things while she's sleeping. DH is also a personal trainer on the side, so he showed me some exercises I can do with her in the bjorn - squats, lunges, calf raises... very helpful to get in some exercising and she loves it. With a built in difficulty increase and she gains weight!

Oops, she's in the bjorn now, and I just heard a little explosion... DH, where are you, time for a diaper change!!! :)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

7+ weeks

Aysia is a little over 7 weeks old. I can't believe how quickly time has passed!

Update on the breastfeeding - basically, the issue is that she does not deplete the breast when she feeds. I can't pump each time, but I have gotten really good at early detection. As soon as I feel a clogged duct, I start massaging it, and now they go away before they become really painful. I've gotten 2-3 more since my last post, but it hasn't been as big of a deal. I guess it's something I'll just have to deal with.

Now I am trying to build up a supply of milk for when I return to work. I only have 4 more weeks at home. And the last week we are doing a dry run with the grandmas and daycare, where they come to watch her for the full days Mon-Wed and I bring her to daycare on Thurs and Fri. This will hopefully allow me to be comfortable with leaving her (especially with my MIL), but yet not be away for the full day. So ideally, I'll have my supply of frozen milk built up in 3 weeks. It's hard to pump a lot during the day, though. I really have to plan for it and be disciplined to do it. I should have been better these past two days - we've been snowbound and my DH has been home for the last 2 days. But I only pumped twice each day, and DH gives her a bottle of expressed milk each night, so that only nets one feeding per day. It's harder to pump when I'm alone because I have to wait for her to be asleep.

Aside from breastfeeding/pumping, it's been great to see her develop. She's starting to reach for things a little, and she can really follow you with her eyes. She's also making great progress in controlling her neck. It will be great once she has full control - many more things we can do with her then. Every time my mom comes over, she thinks Aysia has grown so much. I can't see it, since I see her every day, but I can definitely feel her getting heavier. I've ordered a scale so I can start weighing her! Seems silly, but a lot of the baby gear has various weight limits, and since I'm not going to the doctors every other day for weight checks anymore, I really don't know how much she weighs. I've done a rough estimation on our bathroom scale, but I want a more accurate weight!

As far as sleeping, we still don't get any more than 3-4 hours from her at night, and lately, it seems it's been less. 2-3 hour stretches throughout the night. I'm not happy with that, seeing as work is coming soon... Although, even with the little sleep I've been getting since she's been born, I don't feel an overwhelming sense of tired. I get tired by the evening, but I feel very sharp during the day.

I had my 6-week checkup last week and the doctor said everything looked good. I have the OK to exercise again, but I've only done it once in the past week. Not very good at all. The problem is that we moved the gym down to the basement, and it's too cold down there to bring her with me. It's a great temp for working out, but I'm afraid she would be too cold just sitting in a swing or bouncy seat. But I really need to get back into the habit so I can get myself back in good shape. I've lost the pregnancy weight, plus 5 of the IVF pounds, and I have 13 more pounds to go to be at my pre-IVF weight. But I've also lost most of my muscle tone, so I need to add muscle plus lose weight. I seem to have plateaued at my current weight. I've also started eating a lot of candy and sweets. Poor eating plus no exercise, definitely not a good combo...

In 2 weeks, Aysia has her 2-month doctor visit where they give the vaccinations. I'm not looking forward to that - I know how hard it was for me when they had to draw blood to check her jaundice, and she was screaming the whole time. This will be bad, too. But I did read that the study that originally linked autism to vaccinations has recently been completely rescinded - all the doctors involved in the original study have retracted their position and they find no link. I was planning on doing all the vaccinations anyway, but it's good to know this.