Thursday, February 25, 2010

10 Valentines' Ago

Even though Valentine's Day has already passed, I thought I'd share a quick little hallmark. My husband has a billboard where he had been posting all of Diego's ultrasound photos. Awhile ago, I noticed that he posted a Valentine's Day card that I gave to him 10 years ago when we were 9 months into dating. It was my first Valentine's Day with a real Valentine.

In the card, I was very wordy and sappy to be honest. I started thinking about this card, its age, and everything that has happened since. I wished I could go back in time and tell the me that was writing in that card that 10 whole years later, we would be welcoming our first child together. But not without a lot of trying times in the relationship as well as in the baby-making process first.

I bought my husband a new Valentine's Day card this year. As I worked on writing another sappy message I thought about how maybe 10 years from now it will be posted on a billboard somewhere. I wonder what the future me would tell me today if she had the chance...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Some"sling" we had to do

It's been a month since that little hairless dog came to live with us. Since then mom's been very tired and the hairless dog goes wherever she goes. Mom and dad keep putting him near me, but I can care less about him. Plus, he kind of smells funny and he whines too much. I don't think he's house-trained yet either. Mom doesn't expect him to go the bathroom in the backyard like me and Mokee. I made sure my voice was heard by taking a stand. One morning while everyone was sleeping, I grabbed a clean bag of pampers and ripped it apart in the living room. There was cotton everywhere! It was very satisfying. Mom came upstairs in the morning and looked upset, but didn't yell. All she said was, "I'm not talking to you today," and proceeded to clean the living room. She's been trying her best not to alienate me.

As such, we all went on a day trip to Big Sur on Valentine's Day. We went hiking on one of dad's favorite pet friendly trails. I had a great time hiking and I came back brown after reaching the river and sitting in it for awhile before heading back to the car. Since the hairless dog, Diego, was "too weak" to hike with us, mom stayed behind in the car with him. What kind of dog still can't walk after a month? I'm going to have to sniff to the bottom of this and figure out what's going on with him.

I guess Mom is getting tired of holding Diego all the time. The other day she attempted to cook a Peruvian dish with only one hand. Although she succeeded, it was a rather slow process. She said, "It's time for a sling." When grandma came over to watch Diego, mom went to a few stores to look for a sling. She decided that Babies R Us is waaaay too overpriced, even with a 20% off coupon; plus all their slings were too "girly". Marshalls didn't even have any slings. She ended up buying an Eddie Bauer sling from Target for $35. Diego is a long and lanky thing just like my mom, so she's worried he won't fit in it for very long. Other than that, once she put him in the sling, she suddenly felt free and mobile. She yelled, "Freedom!" She said it was the best $35 she's spent in a long time. Then she whisked away to do laundry, dishes, and organize around the house.

It was some"sling" that was necessary at this point.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Unbirthday!


A bright orb in the sky shot it's light rays through my window this morning. After weeks of heavy rain, drizzlies, and fog it was a welcome change. Diego was sleeping by my side making his usual grunts indicating that it was almost feeding time. As I got up to begin my morning pumping and enjoy the vitamin D in the form of UV rays, I thought about what a difference today was in comparison to the day Diego was born (cold, rainy, and windy).

Today was Diego's "unbirthday". For 9 months, I had but one date on my mind: February 13th, 2010, the day before Valentine's Day. I was almost certain he would be born either on or around that date. I never imagined that he'd actually come much, much sooner on 1/20/2010.

He is now almost 1 month old on his unbirthday (1/2 a week away) and these are his milestones:
  • His umbilical cord fell off (I threw it away, to my mother's dismay)
  • He can now lift his head up when he's on his stomach
  • He has found his inner voice (and it's loud!)
  • His newborn outfits are fitting a bit snug, so he has graduated to 0-3month clothing. He's filling out; his new nickname is "cheeks".
  • He's already shown to be a ladies man: He was invited to a 5 yr old girl's birthday party which happened to be today (he's not going unfortunately because he's too young to be around the germies). He also had company a couple weeks ago; a 6 week old cougar (j/k) named Zoe who had come over so that my sister could take photos of her. They hit it off well.
As a new mom, I've been dealing with Diego's diaper rash and constipation. There was a day when he was fussing so much for food, but he had depleted my milk supply. I decided to give him 2 oz. of formula provided to me by his pediatrician. Bad idea - he was constipated for a day and half. His body was not used to the "new stuff".

I'm still getting used to all the "new stuff" too. And I'm chugging along OK. I figure as long as he's warm, fed, diaper is changed, and he gets his love and attention, things can't be so bad right? So happy "unbirthday" to you... my son!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Nature vs. Nurture

Diego has now been born for exactly 3 weeks, and yet it seems so much longer than that. He's taken over my whole life it seems. I can't even get a few minutes in before he starts to cry and needs to be held. I don't want to spoil him, yet he won't stop crying unless you hold him.
The nights have been the most difficult because he does not like to sleep in his crib. I'm not sure if it's because it's been cold lately (though I turn on the heater through most of the night) or if he's just being spoiled, but most nights he ends up getting his way and sleeping with us. And by "us" I mean "me" because Javier can't take it and sleeps in the office most nights. His work schedule makes it much too difficult with a crying baby to top things off.
Other than his constant crying to which his new nickname is "grumpy old man", my other struggle has been whether to breastfeed or pump breastmilk and deliver via a bottle. Most women I've talked to seem to have taken to breastfeeding very easily and naturally. I'm not saying that I haven't, I just think there are some inconveniences and I prefer to pump and bottle feed when I can.
As of this week, I believe I finally found the perfect blend of breast vs. bottle: breast during the night, bottle during the day.
Why this works for me: I prefer to bottle feed during the day and would also do it during the night, but I just don't have the stamina to keep it up. Bottle feeding helps me have more control of the milk supply. By pumping, I know exactly how much milk I am producing (2-2 12 oz every 3 hours), and how much Diego is consuming (the whole thing). The pump gets all the milk out, that Diego may not have been able to suck out had he breast fed, therefore he's eating more via bottle. Diego is not a strong breast feeder so I know that he is not getting all the milk naturally; plus I've had leaks in the night when he has breastfed, indicating surplus. The pump is also quicker and less painful than breastfeeding. I thought I had a lot of patience, but sitting in an uncomfortable position for at least 45 minutes while the baby breast feeds and holding his head in place causes stress on my body. I already feel like I've got carpel tunnel on my right hand. Another nice thing about the bottle is that family members like Javier, my mother and sister have been participating in feeding time, which allows them to bond with Diego as well.
Why breastfeeding at night works for me: By the time night falls, I am exhausted. If I were to continue pumping, it would require me to get up in the cold night and wash the pump horns and bottles each time. Then I have to attach all the pieces prior to pumping. Not to mention the loud noise that the pump makes. I also know the importance of breastfeeding to bond with your child and aid in milk supply production. Therefore, nighttime is our time.
Now if only I could figure out the constant crying!