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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Somewhere Between All Natural and Medical

My latest self debate has been trying to find my place between the "all natural" moms and the "medical" moms.  You know both types, the "all natural" mom who is all about steering clear of any products that may have cancer causing chemicals or bad things in them, the ones that only give their children herbal remedies and listen to old wives tales, the mom that refuses to listen to a Dr.'s advice and goes out to get their child some more vitamins and remedies.  It's the mom that believes that the experience of other mothers is much more informational and accurate than anyone that's been doing research or studying pediatrics for years.  They are the ones that swear what you eat causes your baby's tummy aches and that something in your house smells funny or sounds strange or the room your baby is in is scaring them into their fits and that colic has an easy cure if you can just find out what is really wrong.  These moms rely on faith and nature and nurture to get through motherhood and baby phases.

Then there's the "medical" moms.  These moms are well versed in the What to Expect books, they research and study and read medical journals, they ask their nursing friends for advice and always trust their doctors.  They listen to research and the changing knowledge and then new medical views and advice, they read magazines that give them tips based on facts and science.  These moms are all about using things that are doctor or hospital recommended.  They believe in changing everything that worked for them before because now it's the wrong thing and new research says to do it another way.

So here's the dilemma I face...
Where do I stand in between both these types of moms.  I'm not 100% natural and holistic, but I'm not 100% into only what the doctors and nurses and research says either.  I feel like I'm somewhere in the middle and it's working for me.  I believe in giving my baby the best start in life.  I believe that God gave us the ability to breastfeed so it's best for baby and for me.  I believe that we shouldn't expose our newborns to harsh chemicals and that natural products are great for little ones such as California Baby versus Johnsons and Johnsons shampoos.  I like that kind of stuff.  I'm all for natural baby food that I will work hard to puree myself and not into formula or canned and processed baby foods.  Having said all that, I have too many OB and Neonatal nurse friends to not listen to the logic of sound research and medicine.  Lots of great advice and good knowledge comes from people who have studied and spent years learning about that research and what has been discovered by other nurses and doctors and lots of experience with moms and babies.  So yes I do believe in the current research on topics like banning crib bumpers and back to sleep campaigns.  I know that for years people put babies to bed on their tummies or sides, but I'd rather listen to my doctor and trust them in helping to reduce our risks for SIDS. I have struggles hearing family members talk about how they've always done things a certain way and it was a tried and true method and works.  I do believe that old wives tales have some truth behind them or they wouldn't exist, but I don't rely on wives tales as how I should be a mom to my son.  I really think doctors probably know what they are talking about, but that doesn't mean all doctors have ever been mothers and really truly understand what it means to love and nurture a newborn like an auntie or grandmother does. 

So in closing I am somewhere in between and I think that's right where my son needs for me to be.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Worries and Woes

Welcome to motherhood...the endless land of worry.

I worry about my son 24/7.  Is he eating enough, is he eating too much, is he breathing normal or sounding wheezy or stuffy?  Is this spit up ok and normal or should we talk to the doctor about reflux and problems. 

It's like I'm never confident in anything that I do.  I feel like I'm learning something new for the first time, which I guess I am, but this is a HUMAN LIFE here.  I have to keep him safe, well, and happy.  And I'm not totally sure I'm qualified to do those things.  I make so many mistakes.  I know this because he's not happy, he's crying.  He cries when he's hungry and I've about figured that one out from the other cries.  It's those screaming, painful, hurting cries that I can't figure out very well.

Today my son woke up screaming, it was the horrible kind that I just knew something was wrong.  After burping him several times and getting covered in thick spit up, I lay him across my legs on his tummy, and he threw up even more all over me.  He screamed and spit up, and spit up and screamed.  It was awful.  At one point he gave me that "help me" eyes and I just about lost myself.  That hurts my heart so bad to see him in pain and practically begging me to help him with his tear filled baby eyes. 

So I just kept trying and holding him and loving him, I did everything I could and finally he felt better, soothed to sleep and is doing ok now.

Being a mom is hard work.  It's a worrying job.  I never will feel totally confident in this first go round and probably keep learning with this child and then be a total pro with the second one and/or third one(s).

Anyways, say a quick prayer that we figure this out.  I'm worrying about reflux now.  Hope I'm just a worry wort and wrong about this.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Living a Zombie Lifestyle

I used to be the type of person that would sleep 10 hours.  Practically every day I'd have to have about 10 hours of sleep.  I asked the Dr. about it and they said for some people that's their normal.

Then I had a baby.  Now I'm so happy and refreshed after about a 3 consecutive hour sleep.  It's amazing how I can force myself awake at the tiniest peep and get all ready to nurse my son no matter what the clock says.  For the first few sleep deprived nights I admit I got a little bit frustrated at getting woken up and feeling so out of it, but now I honestly cherish every single middle of the night feeding and don't mind the sleep deprived person I am because I LOVE these little moments of awake times with my son.

Yesterday he was so tired and quiet nearly all day long and you know it sounds nuts but I wanted him to wake up a little upset because at least then he needed me.  I wanted him to need me.  But he didn't all day and all evening UNTIL about 11pm when I came home from a "Mom's Night Out" which by the way was a wonderful couple of hours with other stay at home moms and I highly suggest anyone that can join a mom's group.  Anyway LAD was up until 1am but then slept for four hours so it wasn't so bad.  Anyways long story short, I love my baby, don't mind never sleeping 8 hours straight through and wouldn't change these little moments for the world since they don't last too long and it's just so darn precious.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Public Display of Hooters...

So I mentioned yesterday that we would have a discussion on nursing aka breastfeeding in public.

Legally in the state of Missouri where I currently reside it is 100% legal to expose one's self in a public place for the purpose of feeding an infant child.

Here is the current law which also asks that hospitals provide breastfeeding information as well as lactation consultants and information about breastfeeding support groups.

So my thoughts on the matter are as follows:

Breastfeeding a baby is the most beautiful and wonderful thing a mother can do.  The benefits are amazing for both physical health for mom and babe as well as emotional and mental heath.  I honestly believe breastfeeding him is preventing me from becoming a post-partum depression case because the endorphins being released while nursing him make me so happy and takes away any feelings of frustration I may have experienced if I weren't nursing.

I love nursing my son, even with a month of problems on my right breast where the pain radiated through my entire body, to a cracked nipple that just wouldn't heal, to having to use yeast cream and triple antibiotic ointment on my breast to help heal the deepest crack a human could have on a nipple, it's all worth it to see him happy and smiling after he's been fed.

Pause I am being summoned to feed...

Ok I'm back FINALLY. :) Anyways I'm all for breastfeeding.  Having said that and shown my opinions on the benefits of it and how great it really is for everyone involved, I am not a huge fan of PDH (Public Display of the Hooters).

What I mean is that nursing is great, and nursing in public is something we all have to do at times.  But there are things called Hooter Hiders (nursing covers) and there are dressing rooms and sometimes even nice nursing rooms or family areas with nursing spaces that we can use.  I'm 100% against using a public bathroom because that's just gross and who wants to eat their steak dinner on a public toilet.  So if no private areas can be found, sure nurse your child in public.  Nurse right at the restuarant table if you need to, whatever makes that little bundle happy.  But cover yourself up!  No one should have to see your boob.  Just because it's legal doesn't make it right.  If my son was 7 years old and had to go to a store or restuarant and see some woman's breast even if it was to nurse her child, I as a parent would be a bit upset and have a lot of explaining to do to my son when I get home.  There's really no reason to completely expose the breast when feeding.  Most of us get experienced enough to feed a baby with a blanket or our shirts hiding the "goods". 

So as you can see I'm all for nursing in public and think it's a wonderful thing to do and if anyone has a problem with it they will learn what mamma bear's fury is all about, but I will vow right here and now to always keep my nursing discreet and private as much as I can and not just WHIP IT OUT for the whole world to see. :)

Thanks for listening and please comment your opinions and thoughts on public nursing and whether it is ok to expose it or leave it "under wraps" or whether you are so grossed out that you don't even like to see it happen even with a cover-up (which if you feel that way you're going to hate me).

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I used to be the one staring...

Well we decided today to get out and shop with our little dude.  Went to Babies R Us and Buy Buy Baby for a few coupon spends.  Got really lucky with a JUMBO pack of pampers swaddlers (my favorites) and was able to actually use several manufacturers coupons with a store coupon and got a 210 pack of diapers and a jumbo thing of dreft for about $53 bucks.  Sounds like a lot but we saved over $21 in coupons so I felt GREAT!  We also got a pee pee teepee for our son's wee wee LOL!  We got two new Rockabye Baby CDs, the Beatles 2 and the Queen ones.  LOVE THEM!  We also got a drying rack and me some Motherhood jammies.  It was a good shopping trip.  Thanks to both stores for having awesome nursing rooms for us moms because it sure kept my baby happy for those trips.

Now for the good part, we tried to go to Joe's Crab Shack for the first time.  Not the best place to go with a newborn because you get covered in spices and juices from the meat and it's very hard to crack crab with a newborn in your arms.  I used to be the one staring at all these babies bawling and wish the parents would stop the crying and take the kid out of the room or away from us so we could enjoy the quiet.  Now here I am a new mom and my kid was crying and I did take him to the bathroom to change him, I tried to comfort and quiet him but even after the change he was still mad.  So with him bawling I took him back to the table, got lots of evil looks and stares, and I fed him a pumped bottle of breastmilk and didn't enjoy my meal that much until after he was full and sleepy again.  Thank heavens he went back to sleep and I was able to enjoy my dinner and my hubbie helped keep him calm.  Note to self: It's very hard to put a pacifier in a baby's mouth when you're hands are covered in spices and goo.  Another note to self: Newborns may sleep a lot but it's still not easy to go to dinner with a baby PERIOD.

At some point I decided that even though I used to stare at others and their annoying crying babies and kids throwing tantrums, I am now a mother and will probably be stared at for several more years as my little guy grows and goes through these same phases.  There's not much I can do about it, and why should I have to give up a meal just so others can enjoy the quiet time of theirs? :)  So stare away people, I'm not going to stop eating where I want to eat just because you don't like to hear my baby cry.  It's not like I don't immediately try to quiet and comfort him and you can just mind your own darn business GOT IT?

And for my next post, we'll discuss nursing in public and how people can just get past their feelings on that topic as well.  If my girls are covered up and you can't see them what on earth is the problem?  My son is hungry and I need to feed him.  Now I haven't actually nursing him in public YET, but that day is coming and I dare anyone to say something negative about it to my face :) This mamma bear will defin go off on whoever dares be the first to complain about it.

Monday, January 23, 2012

10 Reasons Why June Cleaver Can Suck It

10. Real domestic housewives don't look that good, we wear sweatpants and baggy t-shirts covered in spit up and sometimes even poop.  We don't shower daily or always wear our makeup, and  you are lucky to get us in a dress more than once a year for someone's wedding and even then we prefer pants suits.  Our hair is either up in ponytails or cut off short so we don't have to deal with it.  We don't wear pearls because our babies would break them.  We actually look a lot more like homeless people than the vibrant and sexy young women we used to be before children.

9. Real mothers aren't sweet and perfect all the time.  We get frustrated, we get angry, we stomp our feet, we ball our fists, we yell, we curse like sailors, we hate everyone and everything sometimes, we have hormones that we cannot control, we fight and cry, we're exhausted and sometimes mean and cranky.  We make a ton of mistakes and then cry some more because we feel incompetent and don't know what to do when our baby is freaking out on us.  We are real women with real feelings and emotions that sometimes explode on us with no warning.

8. Real stay at home moms don't always have the house in perfect order and dinner on the table.  In fact we rarely ever have a clean house and anything done by the end of the day.  We'll gladly trade in laundry and dishes for an extra much needed nap.  Dinner is usually from a box from the freezer because who has time for big meals with a newborn baby?  We are lucky if once a week we lift a hand to chores rather than lift our infant to our shoulders for burp sessions.

7. Our real life husbands aren't perfect and wonderful when they come home from work ALL the time.  Sometimes they come home pissed off at their jobs and do take it out on us.  Sometimes they are allowed to have a bad day and not be full of flower bouquets and chocolates for their favorite lady.  In fact we're lucky if we get those any time of the year it's not "expected" of them.  They get angry sometimes, they expect too much out of us, they don't realize that even though they got up at 6am we were up at 12am, 2am, 4am, AND 6am and also the entire rest of the day and next night every two-three hours.  They are whiney, they complain, they can get annoying, they want too much, they are grouchy, they are rude, and they are a plain old pain in the butt sometimes.  Sure we love em', we couldn't do it without em' and thanks to their hard work we are home with our children all day, but geez they sure are NOT Ward Cleaver and far from perfect.

6. Our real life children are not nearly as easy to please, discipline, or care for as Wally and the Beave.  Our children throw tantrums, are inconsolable, irrational, crazy, wild, a total mess, don't always listen to our advice, don't like us, get in trouble at school, get in trouble after school, don't go to bed by 8pm every night after a bedtime routine, don't eat all their vegetables or even anything at all, and act up about 90% of the time even with strong discipline, sound moral doctrine, and all the love and patience we try to give them.  Did I mention they also cost a ton?

5. Unlike June staying home actually drives us crazy even though we'd rather not work either.  We walk a thin line between wishing we could just go to work like our husbands and escape this crazy human being at home with us and freaking out because daycares and babysitters terrify the crap outta us and we know that there is NO ONE on this planet that will love our babies as much as we do nor have the patience and tolerance to deal with them and love them through every fit or tantrum like we can.  We fear that people will harm our child, not properly clean or care for our child, and we wouldn't dream of giving up this crazy and insane daily life and going back to some mundane job just to escape the exhausting days spent at home because deep down we don't mind the mess, the fussing, the constant need for our attention, in fact we thrive on this time and we love the rewards of seeing our little ones grow and learn and change before our eyes daily.

4. We don't feel bad about having a drink with the girls when our weeks have been stressful.  Sure you don't catch Miss Perfect out on the town dancing and shaking her money maker with a couple cocktails in her, but believe me they just aren't showing you the truth.  We ladies need each other, we need to gripe it out together, have a drink or even a soda or coffee and spend the day or night with other adults venting, relaxing, letting our hair down and just being girls for a few hours.

3. We actually have girl pals and our lives don't completely revolve around the men in them despite what the men in them think.  As stated above, girl time is very important to our sanity and our emotional health.  Without our friends and play date pals and other moms we wouldn't make it, we'd have given up years ago and went back to work just to socialize, and we'd have no one in our lives to laugh and cry with, to hug us when our days were hard and the husband couldn't possibly know what it feels like to be a mom, and to slap us when we think about giving up the best JOB on earth and tell us we can do this, we're in it together, and we totally rock.

2. We honestly love our children and our husbands with all our hearts and soul even though unlike June we don't always have the smiling face to prove it.  We put on the hard and worn face of exhaustion, frustration, starvation due to never getting a hot meal but always making them for someone else to eat, and just plain over it when our days are rough and we just can't manage a smile let alone laughing about it.  But deep down we enjoy every second, we want to make our men happy.  We adore our little bundles of joy and we wouldn't want it any other way.

1. She makes this housewife thing look too easy and we want to thank her for ruining reality for us.  This is the HARDEST job on the planet and anyone who says differently has never been a full time mom.  We have the task of not only raising tomorrow's young minds who will one day change the world for good or bad, but we have to teach them, discipline them, feed them, clothe them, drive them around, encourage them, nurture them, be their mom, teacher, chef, daycare, cleaners, chauffeur, butler, and many more things and we don't even so much as hear a thank you most days.  We also have to be a wife, friend, confidant, lover, caretaker, companion, and much more to a man that we adore and who sometimes forgets that flowers on a random day would go a long way.  But we do it all anyways because we love our families, we are powerful, strong, courageous, and AMAZING moms, wives, homemakers, and we are WAY WAY BETTER THAN June Cleaver.

I'm Covered In Spit Up...Please Let Me Take a Shower Today

Today is Monday.

My day began with spit up.

My day ended with spit up.

When I woke up this morning to the sound of my son's crying I thought to myself, self it is now 6am and I'm still tired, but I can't wait to lift this beautiful face up for a kiss.  I went to the bassinet next to my bed (which by the way is a Fisher Price Rock and Play Sleeper and I highly recommend it) and I lifted my lovely son to my chest for some morning cuddle time.  Instantly as I pull him towards my body I get covered in baby puke.  I'm talking covered here.  The kind of covered that you have to change all of your clothing, his clothing, his blankets, and while you're at it might as well get that diaper done too.

After I cleaned up the disaster that used to be my comfortable (yeah right) pajamas, I fed the little guy and you can probably guess where that leads...yes, more spit up.

So the day went fairly well with good naps and a happy every two hour eating schedule.

About the end of my day (by which I mean the part of it I spend alone) I was doing some chest to chest tummy time with LAD (my son's initials) and ended up with a shirt covered in spit up.  The sticky disgusting kind that gets all over and can't really be wiped off without just starting over and changing everyone's clothes again.

Needless to say I still did not shower today so when the hubbie got home I wrote this blog, and finally took my much deserved shower (UPDATE: Did not get to shower because someone woke up and decided they just HAD to eat and there was no waiting about it.) and got out of the spit up infested outfit I was still wearing when he got home.

Eventually I will shower and have taco night, watch the bachelor, and hopefully a have relaxing night interrupted only by constant need to feed a hungry newborn boy.

I hope you enjoy my new mommy blog.  Hope it brings you humor and joy.  And I bet you know exactly what I'm talking about in the never ending battle of spit up, and begging for a shower.