Crawling, Clapping and Croup

So I guess there is a first for everything and it just so happens that 3 things took place all on the same day. That’s how we do things in this family- I guess.

My baby girl finally learned to crawl. It was tentative and shaky at first but within mere hours she had mastered the ability to shake that booty and motor along! Then she opened her palms and started clapping- same day! Unbelievable. I couldn’t believe my eyes and I was so proud of her. I felt like she had just won the Nobel Prize. I know every other baby out there does these things but seeing her do them, my heart was about to burst. I am a staunch believer that she will do things in her own time but to see her achieve so much in the span of hours, wow. Just wow. I nuzzled her, cuddled her and couldn’t stop kissing her and that’s when I noticed something very odd- her nose was runny and she was stuffed up. I know she’s teething so I justified it in my mind. Today was a big day for her with all the new skills she acquired it was time for some much needed shut-eye. Off to bed we went as I went through the nightly routine of diaper changing, putting on the lullabies, drawing the curtains, reading the book and cuddling. Everything was fine, she fell asleep then at 11:30 pm, my world shifted and I found a new definition for the word “fear”.

My husband went upstairs to do the usual check on the baby to see if she’s ok and then I heard him summon me on her monitor. I rushed upstairs to find her in his arms and he asked me to hear her breathing. She sounded like a 60 year old smoker or a creature straight out of SeaWorld. She was having difficulties breathing and she was wheezing terribly. I didn’t know what to say or do so I did what any other panicked parent would do- I googled “Baby sounds like a seal”. The surprising forum replies all led to a few possible diagnoses- Asthma, allergies or a virus. This did nothing to calm my racing heart and I went back to my rational, calm husband who was still holding my daughter gently and wondering where I disappeared off to. He gently asked me to call ‘Telehealth” and ask a nurse what we should do. Clear, decisive, rational solution – WHAT WOULD I DO WITHOUT HIM??

So I call and the nurse can hear her hoarse breathing on speaker phone. She tells me that she will now transfer me to 911 because anytime a baby is struggling to breathe, it is a medical emergency. But we live 7 minutes away from the hospital. It would probably be faster to strap her in and go but the nurse’s next words will never be erased from my memory “If she stops breathing, the ambulance will have a way to revive her”.

All of a sudden my reality shifted and I was sitting in a wheelchair in the ICU staring at my newborn daughter with tubes and needles stuck to every tiny body part. I felt the same dread and despair at that moment with those few simple words. In my heart, my emotions raged and my mind was fragmented with negativity. I gave our home information to the dispatcher and mechanically dressed and packed her bag. I waited by the door and met with a paramedic who preceded the ambulance. He said that he is on his own and sometimes arrived faster so her can diagnose “urgent” cases. My baby was one of those “urgent” cases. I guess he avoided the word that any mother would be unable to bear- “Possibly FATAL cases”.

We sat her down on the bench as she sweetly and innocently sought to make sense of the weird turn of events and the stranger who is clamping a device on her toes connected to machine with a screen that has lines that go up and down. She smiles sweetly at her daddy and me then turns her attention once again to the screen as if deciphering some secret code. The paramedic tells us her heartbeat is strong and that she looks good but her breathing is -yes- laboured. It was so loud and so obvious that I felt the impolite urge to say “Really Einstein?” I held back. We might need him, it’s ok. Then as if in a dream, I looked outside our door and the ambulance had arrived. A young man and beautiful woman were at my door with uniforms and amidst the haze I heard them say “Ok, so we will take her in the car seat in the ambulance and mom, you can come with us. Pack her some toys and maybe some reading materials for you because it might be a bit of a wait”. Before I knew it, my baby girl in her little blue car seat was placed on the stretcher in the ambulance and strapped in. She looked so small and so pale under the harsh hospital-like lights in the truck. I sat across her but was unable to touch her because the bench is so far away (it may have been a foot away but it felt like miles to me). All I wanted was to hold her and make everyone and everything go away. Have her breathing normally again and sleeping in her crib then waking up to her beautiful smiling face with red cheeks and sloppy, drooly grin. But here we were riding in the back of an ambulance and going to the hospital for the first time. A dream that turned into a nightmare.

We arrive at the emergency bay and she is promptly checked by a nurse and we are sent to the fast track section. Operative word “fast”. However, they must have no idea what the word means because we waited from midnight to 3:45 am with a sleepy, somewhat confused, cranky-ish, hungry and finding-it-difficult-to-breathe baby. Every nurse that came by told her what she had- croup. The beautiful lady from the ambulance told me that too. She said that both her kids got it and that it is a virus. If it is really severe, and worst case scenario, the doctor would administer oxygen with epinephrine in it to relax the throat allowing her to breathe easier. I was still mollified at the wait and this intense rage in my heart at my baby’s discomfort was brewing like a deathly storm. Despite all the waiting and the fatigue, my baby girl was a sweet, charming and charismatic princess through and through. She smiled at nurses and played with those who carried and admired her. She was content to be held and carried and even laughed a few times. She kept trying to sleep but the artificial, fluorescent lights were intrusive. She ate a few cookies and played with some toys. Then the doctor was called away on an emergency and we saw the ambulance come in as well as the cops and there was blood, then the curtains were drawn and we were asked to sit down and stop spying.

Then the doc returns and calls in himself (usually the nurses did that). Finally, it was time for the verdict. I felt the black rage inside toil as we entered in one of the ‘rooms’. The teeny patient had JUST fallen asleep and he apologetically told us that he would have to wake her. He unzipped her sleeper and listened for her heartbeat then her back then looked in her ear and briefly opened her mouth to see her throat. Diagnosis: Croup. Common virus for babies, hers was extremely mild. He is going to give her an oral steroid and will send us home. We should sleep next to her and listen for her breathing but she should recover within a few hours and be left with flu-like symptoms for a few days. That’s it. She is beautiful by the way, he says and leaves. 4 hours wait for 90 seconds check-up.

A nurse comes in, forces a needle full of clear liquid down her throat and she is gone. We take our baby girl home and I spend the most sleepless night since her birth next to her in the guest bedroom. I wake up every twenty minutes to check her breathing. I fondly remembered doing this when she was younger because I was deathly afraid that SIDs would claim her life. I even wrote about it in an earlier blog but now, I was ordered by the doctor to do this. My insanity is justified.

Needless to say she was breathing fine. After a long and horrible night, I finally managed to fall into deep sleep at around 8 am and then at 9 am, my little angel sat up and started groping my nose and pulling. I open one eye and there before me is Ms. smiley-drooly-sloppy-grinny-red cheeked princess. I couldn’t be happier. Despite my exhaustion, I sweep her into my arms and I don’t think I recalled a more joyous moment in my life. I realize now that relief is another word that changed definitions in my heart and mind. I felt a sense of calm and a burden lifted that I can’t describe. Imagine walking around with a severe ache for years then one morning you wake up and it’s gone. Just gone. Wow.

I prayed throughout this ordeal and I still pray now. I prayed to God that she gets better and that this illness is fleeting with little effect on her future or long-lasting repercussions. I prayed that she will breathe and smile and drool again normally. I prayed that I will see her so full of vitality and energy as she tries to crawl across the room. I prayed that she masters the skill of clapping so that we can groove together to music videos.

I prayed and He answered. I am thankful and so grateful that everything is ok.

On that topic, today she is doing amazing. She is crawling everywhere she shouldn’t be and it doesn’t look quite so awkward anymore. She knows how to sit up from a lying flat position but doesn’t really look before planting her butt down. She sometimes sits on objects or walls and gets really disgruntled. It is actually hilarious to watch her trying to park her keester only to have a shelf or wall stopping her from landing. She is also clapping gleefully and incessantly now. She heard me hum and there goes the hands. I turn on a toy and she’s clapping again. She claps to commercials, theme songs and even the birds chirping. Thank goodness we don’t have one of those clap-on clap-off lights- just saying.

I wrote this painful blog to tell you that it will happen. You will have to face fear and demonstrate inhuman endurance to protect your child and find a cure. Again, I gain a new appreciation for parents who had children with learning differences and physical disabilities. I know that God grants each of us the strength to face what we need to in order to ensure that our baby gets through it.

I am not proud of the rage or the despair. I am proud of my husband who kept me grounded and who calmed me with his unwavering faith and inherent strength. I am thankful, blessed and happy to have shared this with you.

If you feel the need to share your experience, do so. If not, thank you for your time and God bless.
Smartignani

 

 

 

10 months and counting…

10 months and counting…. read and share please =)

10 months and counting…

So she is quickly becoming a little person. She has a personality and objections! She also has food preferences, television show preferences and even colour preferences- what? When did this all happen? Beats me. It just did.

Sometimes she’s like a little monkey climbing up the bars of the crib or my legs. Sometimes she’s like a little bear, especially when she wakes up. Sometimes she’s like a skunk- no explanation needed of course. Sometimes she’s a reflection of me- my mannerisms, my head tilt and even my loud voice! I am awed by her. I thought it would wear off but it isn’t. Everyday becomes more special as she blooms into a tiny toddler.

I thought I would mention she hates bedtime. She feels like she’ll miss something if she sleeps. She didn’t exactly tell me this but I’m thinking that’s probably it. She’s also very much against eating beef for some reason. She makes herself gag when she eats it which is pretty fun. Actually not pretty, just funny.

Every day she grows, I get closer to leaving her and returning to work. I don’t want my maternity leave to end because I think she still needs me for another year or two. I know I will have issues with the person who will be her primary caregiver while I’m at work. I will feel irate everytime I have to pry her from their arms and I will cry at night because deep inside I will think she doesn’t love me as much as she loves them now. I will also be grateful for their help and if she loves them then all the better because at least I won’t feel guilty about leaving her behind for the sole purpose of participating in the ever capitalistic and profit-seeking ritual known as “work”. I will deal with that in two months, for now let me try and deal with leaving her for 11 days as I travel with my husband to Rome and then on a 7 day cruise with his work.

I know. What? How can I leave her so young? Listen, if it was your spouse who gets an all expenses paid trip to Rome and a seven day cruise, wouldn’t you go? They specifically said no kids which was my get out of jail free card because I can’t feel guilty about obeying a rule, can I? There are differing opinions and reactions to our plan to take a trip while she’s only 11 months. There are those who praise our courage and encourage us to just “Go and enjoy each other again” while others view us with indignation and a subtle stabbing question of “Wow, are you sure you want to leave a baby so young?”

The answer is a resounding YES! She will be taken care of by grandparents and her aunt. I can’t think of anyone who would love her more and take care of her as if she’s their own child like her own family. I am confident in their ability and their expertise- since they give us advice when we are lost and they raised us – we didn’t turn out so badly, right?

I read multiple forums and they all seem to utter the same message- I will miss her more than she’ll miss me. Ain’t that the truth? But I will try to deal with it- really, I will. I made a pact with me, myself and I and we all agree that everytime we miss her, we will schedule a hot stone massage and a luxurious manicure. This way, I will look and feel good about myself everytime I start to feel bad about leaving her! Deal- we agree. Great, now let’s move on.

I am about to write something very important. You may want to forward this to moms-to-be because this is the sum of my experience when purchasing ‘stuff’ for baby-to-be. Here goes nothing- consider a review as well (hopefully I don’t get sued because these are the items I bought and these are my OPINIONS):

Bottles:We bought Avent bottles. They were ok. The only thing is they leak. We tried the Playtex baggy ones but they weren’t great either. Besides those baggies just didn’t hold enough formula for our little hungry monster. So we switched to Avent and realized we needed to buy the big bottles. BEWARE of the clear bottles. Buy the ones that are coloured because they don’t leak.

Leaky bottles

Good bottles- also available in pink and white

I am sure that other moms can comment with the brands they used and maybe they worked for them. All I know is the coloured Avent bottles- awesome!

Diapers: For some reason, Huggies leaked when she was a newborn but they worked just fine when we got to size 3. Pampers are a sure buy but Huggies goes on sale more often I find. All I know is, if the diaper starts leaking that means it’s too small. Time to move on up the size scale and don’t take too much notice of the suggested weight on the sides of the boxes. My baby was only 20 pounds when she was wearing size 4!

Car Seats: Listen, they are all tested and approved but they differ in price and functionality. We bought an expensive stroller (th review is coming up) so we had to buy the infant car seat that goes with it. Truth be told, it only fit her until she was eight months and it cost an arm, a leg and possibly a finger! There are convertible 3-in-1 seats out there but they don’t really fit newborns (especially if they are born small like mine was) so be really careful. Overall, we loved out Maxi-Cosi chair even though it was a fleeting sort of love because now she rides in a  majestic, throne-like Britax Boulevard 65 CS. We actually bought two, one for each car and let me tell you, the one above it is more expensive for some silly add on features. Don’t buy into the hype and get this one. It’s perfect! Also, if you can find a small store then you can bargain with them if you buy two. For some reason Toys’R’Us just won’t budge no matter what negotiation techniques I pull out of my hat!

It doesn’t have to be this colour of course, they have a really nice cow print one if that’s more your taste or polka-dot pink. Whatever floats your boat or heats your seat!

Strollers: Ok. I’m going to say this and I know some of you might hate me but investing in a good stroller is key to a happy and fit again mom. Some strollers have great travel systems and lots of space in their baskets down below but they are hard to steer and difficult to maneuver. I was actually against my husband buying this stroller but I thank him 15 million times everytime I got for a walk or shopping or to the mall. This stroller is awesome. It steers like magic and it’s easy to stow away. It’s also cool looking- a friend of mine calls it the “Spidey Mobile”. The Quinny Buzz. I love it. It’s worth every penny of the $400 or $500 it costs.

This is not my husband or baby. This is a random picture from the Internet but you get the picture- literally. Also, note that it unfolds like a bat mobile because of its cool hydraulics system!

Furniture:  We bought a change table, a crib, a rocking chair and a book shelf (Ikea). I thought I wouldn’t need a dresser. I did. Bad mistake. Buy a dresser.

Food: I wrote an entire blog about baby food before so I will keep it short. For formula we used Enfamil (after trying Similac and Good Start). Becaause she spat up a lot due to reflux, we mixed Gentlease and Thickened Enfamil and that worked like a charm. She didn’t spit up as much but she wasn’t constipated- perfect! Don’t use no name brand (Costco) until the baby is at least three months old. My opinion. Do what you like, I’m just saying. Also for baby food, I usually buy Organic. It’s the next best thing after fresh cooking in my mind. Baby food is on sale somewhere almost every week so shop around (you will be surprised how much $0.10 a jar makes a difference). Also, do buy Mum-Mum cookies. They were a God send when she was 6 month and older and starving in public and needed something to tide her over. I have a cupboard full of them. Do not leave home with them!

   LOVE BANANA FLAVOUR!!

Toys: Truth is there are more toys and baby bouncers, rockers, swings and jumpers than one person can possibly comprehend. My advice is to buy brand names (they are safer). Here is a breakdown of the toys she loved and those that she didn’t care for-

Sophie: my baby didn’t really care for her but I have friends who swear by this toy. It is great for teething but it constantly needs wiping because its rubber and picks up dust and nasties if dropped (which it will be- quite often). Our Sophie was gnawed on and played with twice or three times then discarded. It was not worth the investment for us.

 Aquarium: BUY THIS! It’s magic. Fisher Price aquarium. It puts them to sleep. It works. Enough said!

Seahorse: Again- great tool to help them sleep. Sounds like music on the beach with waves. It works. Period.

Whirly-Twirly for Strollers: Hours of fun, right here. Worth it.

 If you want to be adventurous and fun, buy these pacifiers (for babies over 6 months old only)- they are from Billy Bob.

Baby Swings:We bought “My Little Lamb” swing pictured on the left and I tried setting it up while I was 8 months pregnant, let me tell you- BRUTAL. With swings, I advise you to go simple. The simplerthe better because ultimately, the baby only uses it until they start to crawl/creep/roll/drag their bodies on the floor. Then they usually lose all interest in being cooped up in a swing/high-chair/car seat. We bought a light weight pack-and-play swing It folds up and can be taken anywhere. Really cheap too!

High-Chairs: There isn’t really a high chair that is better than another. Just don’t buy them too bulky because you WILL stub your toes on them. It’s a fact of life. The sleek ones are so much more expensive and I have to tell you, at some point your baby will figure out how to catapult their bodies forward then slam themselves backwards with enough force to move the chair a foot at a time! So it better be a little heavy and not ultra-light weight because they will fly out of it!

Too Light  Too Bulky   Just Right

What is that?? A high chair that prepares the baby to become a dentist??

Baby Monitors: We bought the simple Angel Care monitor system where you can hear the baby if they so much flip over. There is also a sensory pad that goes under the crib and sets off an alarm if the baby stops breathing. We didn’t use it. It was a complete waste of money and apparently sometimes it goes off by accident. I don’t want to be that parent who runs up the stairs ready to do CPR on their newborn only to find that it was a false alarm. Just so you know, one of my best friends bought one of the monitors that have a camera attached to the wall and a screen that allows you to see your baby. I like those. They were more expensive but she said it was worth it- so there you go. We are happy with our little monitors (buy the one with two hand-sets because you will inadvertently always misplace one for a while).

Shoes:  The heated debate continues- should babies wear shoes? I say yes. Just because they can’t walk doesn’t mean they look like bohemian slobs. I’m kidding. It doesn’t really matter and I won’t judge you if your baby isn’t wearing shoes. They end up taking them off as soon as they learn how anyway! Also, there are socks that look like shoes, those are cute and comfortable. Buy those. Oh and shoes with laces, not practical. Don’t buy baby Jordans or baby Shox, they will end up hurting their feet and probably become decorations for your rear-view mirror. Very expensive decorations for your rear-view mirror. Just saying. Again, it’s all a matter of personal style. I bought my baby shoes fom Winners for $7.99 with velcro and they fit great! There are Roca Wear (Jay-Z if you read this, give me props for the shout out!). She loves taking them off and gnawing on them. It keeps her happy and fashionable, who am I to complain?

I think that is it for now. If I remember any other products, I will be sure to review them in a future blog. I must confess, our baby’s all-time favourite toy so far: the empty Pampers box. It’s too cute how she loves the simplest things. We invest so much money in shiny, colourful and musical toys and give her a box or a metal bowl and a wooden spoon and BLISS for 15 to 20 minutes at a time (which is super long for a baby).

If you have something to review, please feel free to comment!

Thank you to all and to all a good night!

SMartignani

Mother’s Day Mania

Mother’s Day Mania.

Mother’s Day Mania

I always loved Mother’s Day. I loved calling all the great moms I knew including my friends and friends’ moms. I loved making cards for my mom and I really enjoyed this well-deserving and well-earned tribute to one of the most influential of God’s creations. Since this is my first Mother’s Day as a mom, I feel like I got promoted and I find myself daydreaming about all the cards and pictures that I will be receiving for the years to come. This year I don’t expect much from my baby but I know my husband will have something sweet for me (no pressure sweetie, I love you anyway).

But for some reason (I know I’m not supposed to start sentences with ‘but’- grammatically horrid- but just let it go and FOCUS), I feel sad. I can’t put my finger on it but it’s a strange feeling that has overcome me. I feel like I have finally grown up and that I am no longer youthful. Yeah, I said youthful not ‘useful’. Anyway, I was just contemplating as I was lying on the floor next to my daughter who somehow isn’t sleepy a full hour and a half past her bedtime because she decided to go poopoo at this ungodly hour (I like that word-ungodly) and I thought to myself- “Can I even go on a roller coaster anymore without getting sick?” Background: I was rolling around the floor like my daughter does to make her laugh and I got dizzy. Just from rolling around on the floor. I know. What a wuss I am becoming. But (there it is again- FOCUS) I am really not usually the easy to get dizzy type- like ever. So I am getting old.

It’s official. I didn’t really feel that old because my baby can’t say mama yet, she can only blabber mamamamamamamam with no ending and I think she calls everything that (but that is inconsequential- I like that word too, it sounds ironically important despite its meaning- inconsequential). Where was I?

Yes. I am getting old. It is my first Mother’s Day and instead of being super-duper elated, I am internally anguished at the eternal loss of my ability to claim youthfulness. My mom called me and asked me what I wanted for Mother’s Day and I almost cried. I want to be a kid again. I’m scared of being the mommy. I know I have been doing it for almost 10 months now but that was natural and easy (except for the waking up at night- dude, that sucked- but everything else was easy). I mean, what am I going to do when she turns to me and asks me “Mama, how do you boil eggs?” or “Mama, what is the square root of Pi?”

I am kidding of course (I boil eggs but they always crack, there is a secret to it but I’m not sure what that secret is). I can only do math up to grade 10 and I am not ashamed to say that I am really good at other things. I also declined Chemistry, Biology and Calculus in school. I was allergic. Still am.

I’m scared of being less than a mom that I want to be and less than a mom than she deserves. I’m scared I won’t know all the answers or be able to kiss away all the pain. I’m worried that she will blame me for not letting her go or letting her go too soon. I am anxious about the ear piercings, the makeup, the skirts, the hair colour and the boys. I am terrified of the idea of her dating or even liking anyone. I am especially horrified by the thought of her wanting to move out or go away to University. I am getting ahead of myself but I am entitled to share how I feel since it is Mother’s Day and I earned it!

So for now, baby steps. She taught me that. Today she learned to emulate kissing sounds. She doesn’t pucker up, just sucks in her bottom lip and releases with a big smack of her lips. I video-taped it and I even got her to repeat it for her daddy. Today she learned to kiss after many months of me trying to teach her. She is moving slowly and growing up according to her schedule. I am partially a bystander and cheerleader. I can’t wait to see her grow but I want to wait forever because I never want it to end.

As for all my fears and my imaginative yet peculiarly vivid montage of her development that is ingrained in my brain- its inconsequential. One day at a time.

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.” Oogway, Kung Fu Panda

Smartignani

 

Welcome to the wonderful world of “What to do”

Ok. So a few things to start:

1) I love numbered points; they bring order to a world of chaos

2) Seriously, I may be writing TOO MANY blogs this week but I have so much to say

3) This may be funny so feel free to laugh

“But I don’t know what to doooooooooo” I whined to my husband.

A little background: I am due back at work after a year off maternity leave in mid-July when my baby turns one. I don’t know if I should go back to work (with no hope of promotion anytime soon), find a different job close to home, waitress, open a home daycare, tutor on the side, give up altogether and just go on welfare… those are not all serious options but you get my drift. I don’t know what to do in mid-July. It will cost lots of money for daycare, gas and parking to go back to my current job which has sweet benefits and excellent perks but I am now a mother and thinking first of my baby who is growing up way TOO FAST and she needs me and I JUST DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO (I am now whining to you, the reader).

So just a little more background to those of you who don’t know me… I am the kind of person who sits there in the McDonalds drive-thru (is that how you spell ‘thru’? Looks odd) anyway, and I hum and haw over what I want EVERY SINGLE TIME, even though I order the same thing EVERYTIME! I know what you’re thinking- “She eats at McDonalds? Who does that?” and I reply “Have you ever noticed how people sneak McDonald’s into their lives now? It’s like they would rather admit to being alcoholics before admitting that they indulged in a Big Mac and fries?” Has our society really become so extremely health conscious that the Golden Arch became a symbol of obesity and mockery? Really? I know what you’re thinking- again. What does that have to with a background about me?

I will tell you… yes I do.

I am a really creative thinker who tries to keep up with everyone else but my focus shifts slightly every few seconds. It is hard to think about the same thing for a long period of time because I get really tired or distracted. There is so much to think about and so little time. So I try to go for equity and think about everything a little bit at a time. That way other things don’t get jealous that I didn’t think about them. See? I told you that I will tell and now I did.

On to more about moi. I am just so sad because my baby is getting so big. Every morning I wake up and come to her crib she seems to expand. Overnight. I am not kidding. Dead serious. I’m scared to blink or sleep for that matter (I’m not really sleeping- see previous post about the mummy). Anyway, I don’t know when she does it. She is growing behind my back. I look away to clean up the trail of soggy cookie she left behind as she attempted to crawl/scootch/back surf and then I look back and she’s an inch taller (I am exaggerating a little but you understand). I need her to just slow down. I am obviously not wishing her to stop growing altogether, just take it down a notch, or two or ten! The older she gets, the older I get and soon she will be taller than me.

More background: I am only 4’10”; she is already half my height. Not really a great achievement for her. I am one inch above a legal little person – just so you have context for that last comment I made.

Back to my weirdly ADD blog post of tonight. I didn’t want to write a super long blog because let’s face it, people have lives and so on and so forth. So I will leave you with a new comical segment called ‘Have you ever noticed…”

Have you ever noticed?

…that babies only try and grab the things they are not supposed to touch despite the fact that their toys are all around them they still reach for the remote control halfway across the ottoman

…that people seem to smile and wave at me in the car after being behind me and thinking that I was waving and playing with them in the rear-view mirror but I was really playing my with my baby

…that half the freakin’ handicapped doors in plazas, restaurants, gyms, malls and arenas DO NOT WORK

…that you can name, if asked, everything your baby ate in the past 72 hours but you have no idea what you had for lunch

…that older moms who take your baby in social gatherings apparently know less than you about taking care of your baby because their kids are old and they must have forgotten so you remind them that she wants to stand/sit/sleep/eat/burp/play even though they already knew that but they are too polite to tell you

…that a glass of wine after the baby is asleep is just not enjoyable because there is a big chance you will have to rise from slumber to attend to your little bundle of misery at 4 am

…that showering daily really takes a back seat compared to making sure the baby’s bag is packed for the next eventful day, cleaning up toys or even bumming in front of the TV

…that you are just itching for your baby to be that perfect age where they can enjoy more things than tummy raspberries and laughing at farting noises you make with your lips

…that we can’t wait for our baby to be mobile then when they start moving we are always wishing for the old days where we can just leave them on the couch and return to find them there a few minutes later

…that someone would invent baby earplugs so they can remain asleep in loud restaurants or at the grandparent’s house when the grandfather clock strikes 12

…that you only start noticing the amount of people with strollers at the mall when you have a baby yourself

…that you smile knowingly and have an intense urge to provide advice and words of encouragement for moms whose babies are younger than yours

Join the insanity…ehem, I mean fun… what are some things YOU can add?? (Threw you for a loop, this blog just got INTERACTIVE! Oh Yeah)

I am waiting for you to join in…

 

Week 37- Still Waiting

So I am now in my ninth month gestating away as I say good-bye to my fellow workers and head home for a year long respite- or is it?
I was just thinking, I don’t think I ever stayed home for an entire year since I was a child. I was always in school or work. This is different! I am not completely clueless and I know that staying home with a newborn is no small feat but then again, I used to hold down two jobs, go to university and have time to style my hair- and that my friends is called multi-tasking. Have you even seen my hair?

So I am now at the stage where I see my doctor every week and there is always something new and exciting to learn. Like how I need to monitor the movements of the baby because it NEEDS to move 6 times every two hours. That alone is becoming a full-time gig for me. I have a spreadsheet and I check off movements because if there are none, I need to head to the emergency immidiately. I cannot pass GO or collect $200.
I was also instructed to monitor my sugar intake, increase my excercise routine to a 45 minute walk and to be wary that at any moment I can potentially leak which is a common sign that labour might begin. And here is the funny part, there are a lot of maybe’s at this stage. If your water breaks, you MAY go into labour right away but it MAY also take hours. If you feel contractions, you MAY be in active labour, you MAY not be. If you start feeling pressure on your pelvis, you MAY be experiencing the baby pushing its head into the birth canal or MAY be experiencing the normal effect of the baby turning (they call it lightening, I laugh at that term).

So after all the MAY be’s, there is one sure thing- I am still nervous about the whole labour thing. Truth is, I am afraid because I don’t know what the pain is like. I read on forums that it is “nothing like you have ever experienced before”- thanks. How the heck am I supposed to relate to that? Tell me something useful like “It will feel like a million papercuts” or “The pain will be like a migraine in your pelvis”… something… anything! Don’t people know that half the fear is not knowing?? For once, I just want one person to tell me the honest truth… only to prepare my poor and terrified pelvis!
I realize that this blog is about a mother-to-be but I think I will continue logging in after the baby is born and call it “A mother has been…” Only to share the stark reality of a newborn regimen and routine and ready moms who are taking the plunge into maternal heaven. I would like to be the one true voice in the wilderness that states it like it is… raw and unmodified from the facts of reality.

I am leaving work and everyone says, “You will be really busy with the little one, enjoy every minute”. I want to define what “busy” means. So keep reading…
But first, I will continue ranting about the rest of this gestational waiting game to either prepare moms to be or just to get a laugh. I just have to remember that there is no “undo” here and there is really no “refunds, exchanges or upgrades”. Nowhere to go but forward and onwards. So forward I march into the dark realm of labour and impending motherhood and I pray that as light is being shed on what it all feels like, that I will adjust quickly and with agility. I am ready and set, now all I need is the “Go”.

Smartignani

B. Ed and B.A Psychology

Update

So my belly is getting even bigger… which I thought was truly impossible from the last post but here we are. I feel my skin stretching in areas where undoubtedly my baby’s oversized head or shoulders may be. I know it is hard work being a mother but this is extremely alien to me!
Each night, I go to bed optimistic that I will fall asleep like the good old days and stay sleeping with dreams of fields of green and beautiful roses and every night, I wake up at least 5 times because I either have to go to the restroom to empty my bladder or adjust my body in a position that doesn’t make me want to gag.

I am like a truck getting in and out of bed and my poor husband is instantly awake asking “Are you ok?” each time. God love him for his patience, he truly has my undying gratitude but I wish he knew what it felt like to be a “beached whale”.

My self-esteem is beginning to suffer. Yes, me. I can’t believe it either! For those who do not know me, I usually love me. This is obvious through the hundreds of photos I take of myself and the endless hours I can spend laughing and giggling in my own company using only a mirror. I was the youngest of three children with a big age gap in between so I was left to entertain myself by myself quite often, thank you very much.

But even then, I try to strike up a conversation with my reflection but then I am distracted by the implosion of my nose or the sheer size of my chin(s). I am calling myself bad names like “whale” and “truck” (as aforementioned) and even my husband is alarmed and keeps reassuring me that I am beautiful (he is perfect, I am lucky but I am still whale-ish).
I am finding it hard to put make up on because everything enhances my larger than life features. I think my body is slowly turning against me and just taunting me sometimes. I look down and see my belly moving from side to side because the baby is shifting. We call the baby Peanut because we do not know the gender. So Peanut has decided to change positions and all of a sudden, my belly looks like an oddly shaped pear or mango. It is quite humourous when you can see a bulge sticking out (it looks like a small hernia really because the head or shoulders are running out of space in there).

The feelings I am experiencing are quite strange and I know I will miss Peanut once it decides to grace us with its presence! I just feel like I am becoming more of a U-Haul than a mom to be. Space for rent and this is why I ask, why is it taking so long?
This blog is helping me vent a litttle because I am not entirely sure how else to handle the longest three week wait of my life. I can’t wait till’ this is over and I am holding my new baby. Until then, I need to learn to love every stage of pregnancy and remind myself that I am one of the chosen people who will raise a generation of others to complete the circle of life (cue Lion King music here).

SMartignani

B. Ed and B.A Psychology

Thoughts of a mother to be- The Conception…

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

OK. Motherhood, here I come. Wow. Did 9 months really fly past? Where was I? It felt like one long string of doctor appointments and medical tests. I find out that I am “with child” and all of a sudden our lives change forever… and the baby is not even here yet!
 
I tell the husband and he is calm, collected and somewhat…apathetic? It hasn’t hit him yet. I am actually still waiting until it does. Some people say it strikes most at the moment when he first holds the newborn, others say it happens during labour (if he doesn’t faint or gag first). I know he is going to be a fabulous father but to be honest, I am worried.
 
We argued over the colour of the nursery furniture, the paint colour of the room, the type of stroller to purchase as well as the darn baby swing. We still argue about the potential names for our currently androgynous baby. We seem to agree that there will be many more of these disagreements and how do parents do it? How can you possibly be a united front when you are divided within? I hope the baby doesn’t pick up on our disagreements and decide to play us against each other; as in bawl when one parent wants to sing it to sleep just to get out of bedtime!
 
Here is the thing…my anxieties are mounting and the cumulative stress from the past 35 weeks is culminating into one big ball of hazardous and toxic ball. I am unable to sleep for fear that I will end up on my back and plug up the aorta and asphyxiate my unborn baby! Then there are the dreams of dropping the baby or having my water break at the grocery store- ewwwww. I also have the weirdest dreams of my husband cheating on me with one of my skinnier friends and images of my life-long struggle with obesity. Why? Why can’t I just close my eyes and sleep? Can’t I just ignore the what ifs and go with it?
 
Yeah. Tried that but to no end. There is a method to the madness and a rational explanation for this according to Google (my information god). Apparently, this is Mother Nature’s way of preparing me for motherhood. Want to know what I think of that? Screw you Mother Nature… I highly disfavour you right now and I don’t care if there is going to be an eternal rain cloud hovering over my head for the next millennia…
 
So here is the other thing – I am consistently hungry. It’s like my stomach has been overtaken by an alien that also happens to maintain an astounding bottomless pit. I think about food constantly and I am asking myself “when is the next time to eat? What will I eat? Do I want to eat now? What is she eating? Is he eating what I think he is eating”- What the FREAKIN’ heck is going on here?
 
And when did I become a tight a$$? I find myself sneering and leering at individuals who spit, swear and smoke. I have an unexplainable sense of self- righteousness which frankly, used to piss me off when I saw it in other people. Who the heck am I to be looking down on people who have extra saliva, no manners and those who practice a vice in which I partook…
 
I want my body back. I can just hear my spinal column sing with pain “What the hell have you done- carrying all this weight’s no fun- please get this weight off of me- or you’ll have a herniated disc to be”… can anyone else hear that crack? Oh yeah, and why does no on tell you about the sciatic nerve when you happily announce your pregnancy? I can’t sit, I can’t stand, I can’t walk and I can’t move. It is the single most painful feeling in the world; a shooting pain from the tips of you little toes to the top of you pounding skull.OMG. I am told that the best I can do is take Tylenol extra strength… BUT I NEED MORPHINE… something… the pain, oh the pain.
 
So coming back to the lies and deception of others’ who have had children. How could you? When I come to you with a big stupidly naive smile telling you I am pregnant, you should appropriately react with sympathy, pity or in the least- fair warning. Why did you not inform me of the gross invasion that this spawn will cast on my poor, unknowing body? Why wouldn’t you tell me that with my disappearing waist, there will also be endless bouts of starvation, hormonal hurricanes and incessant gas (enough to blow up a city)? Why would you hide the immeasurable pain involved in simply bending over and trying to get back up? Or how the stairs become insurmountable after the 30th week of pregnancy? And let me ask you this, because maybe you will know- WHERE ON FREAKIN’ EARTH ARE MY ANKLES????? I lost them somewhere between the 5th and 6th month of gestation and I have been walking around with gross looking blobs as feet ever since. They actually make people flinch but I don’t feel pain- just shame. You let me down, a little. But thanks for repeating the one line that sheds an even slight hope on the situation: “It will all be worth it in the end”… I hope you’re right. I will thank you when the kid is graduating from med school!
 
Well… there are other reasons why I should be thankful I guess. Some people can’t conceive so I am fortunate to be given the opportunity, even though adoption seems like a pretty good option now for remaining 5 children I wanted! Also, there is the whole enjoyment of seeing people light up when they cast their eyes upon my bulging belly. I am usually perceived as a sign of hope because I carry a future citizen of our planet earth. Then there is the intriguing and often unpredictable belly rubs that I get in anticipation of a kick. I was uncomfortable with this at first but it brings such joy to people’s eyes that I cannot resist to smile and shut up. So what if some random 40-year-old-gentleman is rubbing my belly… I am pretty sure there is NOTHING sexual about it. I think…I hope.
 
Finally, I wanted to rant about one more thing. With the ever increasing use of technology in all its forms, humanity can now predict the weather, the next major world war and even the possible fluctuations of the stock market- but why can’t we figure out a way to predict the exact date of delivery for a baby? I was told that women gestate for 40 weeks- that’s 10 months and hey, I only signed up for 9!! Also, I was asked to start counting from the date of my last menstrual cycle… why? I was not pregnant then, believe me, I actually got my period! Also, I was told that the first ultrasound is the most accurate in informing us of how many weeks I am pregnant. I go for my first ultrasound thinking I am 5 weeks preggo and lo and behold- nope, I am 8 weeks already!!! What? That doesn’t make sense! My husband and I weren’t even in the same country at the perceived point of the alleged conception. Now forums, Google and my doctor are saying that the baby can come anytime after 35 weeks… so I have to literally pack a towel in my bag in case my water breaks (how embarrassing if it happens at work- which is why most sane pregnant women take an early mat leave- who wants to “gush” while at work???)
 
I am honestly scared. I don’t know if I can stretch far enough to accommodate the enormous, disproportionate and obese skull of my baby. I know it is natural and that women (some kids in other countries) do it all the time but my hole might be freakishly smaller and I might end up with 1000 stitches. I am exaggerating of course but no one has fears that are realistic. Partially, this is due to being a first time mom. Apparently, it is easier the second time around which can be a totally different experience… because wouldn’t you know it but every pregnancy for each woman is different. So you think you own it… you think you know it all… you think you can predict the feeling… then BAM- new complications and new experiences hit you. Wow… motherhood is charming, isn’t it?
SMartignani B. Ed and B.A Psychology

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