Monday, October 25, 2010

Molly went in for her two-week tune up today.
She's weighing in at 8 lbs, 11.8 oz, up from her birthweight of 7 lbs, 8 oz. I think we have a competitive eater on our hands here.

We spent most of the weekend hanging out at the Compound with my visiting aunt.
Auntie Jennifer came over Saturday night to stay up with Molly while Paul and I slept. Together. Pretty much all night. (OK, I still have to get up to maintain supply and demand, but Paul was out for like 12 solid hours) Jennifer seemed not to be terribly traumatized by the night, but did finally see that, no, Molly does not sleep sweetly all the time. She has a regular-ish awake and agitate period that starts around the time she senses you would like to go to bed, and lasts until like 5 or 6 in the morning. Fortunately, Jennifer is a party animal, and did not get too frustrated. I, on the other hand, am too old for this shit.

Dr. advised us to keep visitors to a minimum particularly as pertains to small children and anyone else who might be getting exposed to a lot of germs, and said she'd make everyone wash up or purell, or whatever too. I'm a total germaphobe, so this was music to my ears. Stay away if you are sick! And for the love of god, do not touch my baby. Someone at brunch picked up their toddler to lean her in over Molly's car seat while we waited for our table, and I just about smacked him. Keep your snot-farm kid to yourself! When Molly is a snot-farm in daycare, I will also keep her from newborns. It only makes sense. Besides, it's a good time to teach your kid not to touch people without asking first.

Man, can she snore with the best of them.

I still have not decide when I will return to work, but HR is pressing me for dates. How's never for you? I cannot imagine going back right now-- I don't even know when it is day or night anymore-- you certainly don't want me on the phone with customers. I suppose this will get sorted out, but I have no idea when. How about I just show back up when I feel like it?

Thursday, October 21, 2010


In case you were wondering:
Yep, she's still cute!
From 2010 Molly

Uh, wait, I mean:
From 2010 Molly

Paul is a fantastic dad, but there was never really any doubt about that-- he's always been great with kids.

And just look at his enthusiastic diaper-changing face!
From 2010 Molly

Auntie Jennifer comes over to spoil Molly with more love:
From 2010 Molly

And then Paul shows her how to nap properly (actually, she did not nap... of course, as she did that when Jennifer was here)
From 2010 Molly

We managed to steal ourselves some semi-reasonable sleep last night, and did not have any appointments or errands to run today, so we managed to have a pretty good mood in the house... so far!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Oh Boy! Laundry!

As we are closing out week two with a newborn, let me tell all of my non-parent friends out there: DON'T DO IT. Your friends with kids have been cooing to you about how it's so great? They must have forgotten the newborn part, or are secretly wishing hell on you.
OK, so I guess the third option is that this part passes and then it's all worth it. But let's be honest, newborns are terrible roommates. They are amoral psychopaths, and if you are lucky they are cute enough to make up for trampling your life and sanity. It is not a good time, for anyone, except maybe the grandparents and visitors. "Oh how cute! she's sleeping! she's so sweet! ... OK, time for us to go. (back to our nice quiet house where we may sleep as long as we like)"

Here's what's working:
  • Our laundry detergent. We switched to Charlies a few weeks ago to prep for cloth diapering. A lot of people think their cloth diapers aren't working, and what is really wrong is they are using the wrong detergent. Once w switched to Charlies and got our household laundry through a few times, we noticed that our dishtowels are actually absorbing water! Imagine that! Normal detergents leave all kinds of crap on your laundry that prevent this. Also, no dryer sheets-- those also ruin your clothes' natural absorbency.
  • Cloth diaper wipes. So if you are doing cloth diapers, you should use cloth diaper wipes. Everything all goes in the same bin, easy as pie. (unless you are doing diaper service, which, well, lucky you, then. But actually washing our own diapers has not been all that difficult) I made these out of a flannel sheet from goodwill.
  • Line drying diapers really does work to get the stains out-- if there is sun. Which is starting to fade as we get into Autumn around here, but that's OK, because the heat sucked, and I love the rain and fog.
  • In short, cloth diapering is not so bad. So there, old bag. We are doing a lot of laundry, but we are glad that number of diapers is not going in the landfill.
What doesn't work:
  • Pretty much everything else
  • "Sleep when she sleeps!" Yeah, right! Let's see, when does she sleep? When we are out running errands, and when she is being held, and when there are people over (probably mostly because they are holding her). The propaganda you'll get before having a baby will say things like "be prepared-- your baby will probably wake every 2-3 hours" which sounds fucking awesome to me! I would kill to get sleep in 2-3 hour chunks right now. Rather, she screams every time we put her down. ESPECIALLY at night. She does nap some during the day as we are doing stuff, but if we lay down to nap, it wakes her up. And at night? no fucking way. She has this really active, agitated state from like 12-6 am every night where nothing you do will calm her down. All you can do is hold her to keep her from screaming. For several hours, while your spouse gets some sleep in the other end of the house with earplugs. Then you switch, so the other can sleep while the first sleeps for a few. Swaddling seems to make her more agitated, though we are not quite giving up on it yet. I want this 2-3 hour waking baby desperately. I obsess about sleep now. My days are OK, but as the sun goes down, my emotional state gets worse and worse. Every fucking night.
  • "Make sure to eat well so you can heal and feed." Another ridiculous piece of advice. The first three days I was home I was constantly starving, but could not eat because 1. no time, and 2. I had terrible swelling and needed to get a special no-salt diet. Can you imagine that I suddenly had time to prepare special food for myself? Thankfully my mom and sister came with homemade low-salt meals for the freezer. Now the swelling is gone but I still can't put her down long enough to even toast a bagel without her getting upset. Just now I put her down for a second to zap some of my mom's soup because I'm starving. When I came back and found her sleeping, I had to choose-- skip dinner or skip sleep? It's like she knows when I will and will not be able to join her in a nap.
  • "Take it easy the first few days to recover." OMG. I was not at all prepared for how shitty the physical recovery would be. I feel like this part was glossed over in the pregnancy books and junk, because I didn't have too bad of a time sucking up the pregnancy symptoms, but after birth, I am now in constant pain. I won't share all the details here. Suffice to say, it is a lot worse than people let on. Which makes me sad because I feel like I should be enjoying her, taking walks maybe, bouncing her up and down on my lap, running around doing stuff for and with her, but I can't. I've already been to the doctor twice for complications in my recovery from a complication-free delivery. Either they didn't tell me what to expect, or it's not turning out as well as it should normally.
  • Maybe it's PPD. Here's a fun fact-- I cry every goddamn day. The baby cries, I cry. It's relentless. I don't think Paul is crying-- in fact, he is the only sanity in this house these days and I could not live without him. I almost can't bear to have other people over because I am so teary, especially at night. I even feel bad about feeling bad, which makes it a never ending loop of self-pity and self-loathing. Yay. And what's this about post-partum depression? Well, let's see? What would make me feel better-- some Prozac or therapy or whatever? Or, I don't know, maybe some sleep, a little less feeling like I couldn't help my baby feel better, and if I wasn't in physical pain every second of the day. I really think the insurance companies should consider nannies as treatment for "PPD" since probably most of these cases are easily explained without blaming hormones or chemical imbalances-- it's too obvious-- why *shouldn't* you be depressed if you are going through this? The worst is realizing that while other people are looking at your baby and seeing absolute joy, you are looking at your baby and seeing a mix of absolute joy blended with the horror of a bottomless pit of need. The exact ratio depends on your mood and how loudly/long she is crying.
In short, things are not looking good in your life when the only thing going right is *laundry.*
I keep telling myself that this will be temporary but I don't really know what that means. Will she suddenly start sleeping more and not requiring constant holding? Will we finally break down and drive to Home Depot to pick up a trabajaro to hold her whilst we nap? (yes! I am voting for this one) I don't even know what I'm supposed to be doing with her now-- all the crappy baby books and shit talk about babies and reading to them and playing with them and all this shit, how you can help them sleep by having patterns and activities, but they also say something about awake and sleep times as though she had separate periods of nap vs. awake. It really seems more like screaming vs. sleeping. And this active sleepy area where she is just pissed off. I suspect these crap baby books are just written rather poorly and gloss over the newborn phase. At least that's what I'm telling myself so I can have hope that this will pass. It's that, or I just got stuck with a baby that will never sleep. Or possibly, she got stuck with shitty parents who don't know how to help her sleep like the nice babies in the books. Sorry baby, you got a shit mother. We can't all win at this game.

All told, everyone is happy and healthy. Well, Molly is anyway. I'm still working on healthy for me. On Tuesday morning before feeding, she was up to 7lbs 15 oz, so I guess she's growing like a weed, and that's a good thing. Also she eats really fast, which is good because I have shit to do. Pediatrician says everything looks fantastic. She's definitely filling out a lot from her birth-- she even has jowls, particularly when we strap her into the car seat.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Hello Sailor! Haven't seen you in about ten months! Welcome back!
From 2010

Yesterday I was falling apart from no sleep and being in pain. Paul let me sleep an inordinate number of hours while bravely taking the night shift with Molly, who is decidedly a night owl. Everyone comes to visit while she is sleeping, says how sweet she is and tells us that we should sleep while she sleeps. And then they leave and she wakes up for the evening. Gah!

I was spoiled by my heroic husband and got a humane amount of sleep last night. We went to the Dr. and to pick up a prescription, and then came back so he could sleep some.

And then! My sister came over with the best new parent gift ever: she offered to sit and do homework in the front room with Molly while Paul and I slept for a couple of hours. YES! Thank you Jennifer!!!

Then we got up an decided it was dinner time, and we took the leap into public dining. Molly slept through dinner at ValleSol like a champ, and no drama was had. Success!

Now, into another long night, as she is suddenly waking up and becoming very animated.
There is no time. But here is my week:

: Oh, hey! We have a baby girl! She is grossly normal just as promised in her NT ultrasound so many weeks ago, though we never did catch what her Apgar Score was. (We hope it will not preclude her from getting into good schools or getting hired by Google)
Grandparents and Aunt Jennifer come to visit in the hospital. Hospital food not so bad, but really wish people were not knocking on our damn door every time we try to drift off to sleep.

Saturday: Some of the nurses got all ZOMG your baby needs to eat more, spent the entire day and night increasing our stress levels and giving us lots of harried, conflicting advice, as well as threatening that she may need formula. Saturday was the day nothing we did was good enough. still getting woken up every few minutes.

Sunday: FREE! We got out of the hospital, I was a wreck, being at home felt better than I would have thought. Normally I like hospitals, but the pressure and interruptions of the past few days had exhausted me.

Monday: By now my feet have started swelling to the size of footballs and nothing will get them to go down. It's beyond a cosmetic issue at this point, as generalized edema is interfering with breastfeeding. My mom came over to help out while Paul went back to class, because I have no idea what to do with a baby. Good thing, too, because Molly had a massive explosive diaper, followed by her first bath. I don't know how we could do this without having family nearby.

Tuesday: Our first outing! Pediatrician's first appointment. We give great though to what to put in a diaper bag, and then are immediately outed as N00b parents when the nurse asks us if we have a blanket in there. Damn!
The jaundice is gone and she has already regained her birthweight. What the hell were those nurses flipping out about in the hospital??? Dr. tries really hard but can't find anything wrong with her, so she makes something up about "epstein's pearls."
After Dr., we run to the hospital to sign something for the birth certificate. Wonder if it is OK to wander back into the Maternity ward without our receipt, a little like bringing merchandise back to the store where it came from, and not having the receipt. Will they think I stole it?
Outing successful, no breakdowns. Mom comes over again when Paul goes to class. Molly acts like an angel, then spend the entire night fussing and crying. No one is getting any sleep at night.

Wednesday: We go to Target to pick up a bunch of stuff. I have "a moment" when we get out of the car, and I find myself pushing a baby stroller for probably the first time in my life. Whoa.
My mom came over while Paul went to class and did the best thing ever: sent me to nap while she watched Molly. Much needed sleep, as the previous night's hell had taken a huge toll on my energy and emotional state.

Thursday: My mom did not come over while Paul had class, and I survived.

Friday: Molly is one week old! She's terrifically advanced for her age. She has already managed to go through all of the cloth diapers within 24 hours, so we end up having to make a trip to Tiny Tots to buy some more cloth diapers. The outing is again successful (she's always so good when other people are watching) and later Paul's mom comes over to give her some much-needed Grandma love.
I am completely falling apart by this point, as she once again didn't sleep at all the night before, and I am apparently having physical "issues" with recovery. Nurse set up an appointment for me to come in Saturday morning to check it out. Not healing properly is making it difficult for me to get things done at home, and making me more morose.
Paul was a saint and did a massive amount of work, then essentially stayed up all night with Molly so I could sleep at the other end of the house. It was awesome. But I feel guilty about it.
We ran into the incredibly nice neighbor on our way to the diaper run, and chatted with her a bit about how she got through the first few weeks with her little one. Then, around 9-something, she came by with cookies she baked for us! How nice is that?!?!?

Today: So far, I have combed my hair thoroughly for the first time since I went to the hospital! It's just about time to wake up Paul so we can go to the Dr., and then? Come home and keep repeating the cycle: Feed, burp, diaper, repeat. Notice there is no sleep in there.

My mother and my sister have been bringing me food for the freezer all week, and generally helping out. (my favorite is offering to let us sleep whilst taking care of Molly) I have no idea how we would do this without the family we have nearby to help us!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Hello Molly!

It is now nearly one week late, but...

Welcome to Molly!
She arrived last Friday, October 8th, at 4:17 am.
7 pounds, 8 oz, blah blah blah

Everyone is healthy and happy, but we are not getting any sleep.

From 2010.10.08 Molly 0th birthday

From 2010.10.08 Molly 0th birthday