Thursday, July 29, 2010

If you can't say it, Post-It--on your blog

Although Diego can't write yet, a mysterious note was attached to him on a Post-It Note awhile ago. There are still no leads or a suspect. I even asked Diego's dad, who is notorious for use of Post-Its, to help us find out who it may have been.

I guess it will remain a mystery...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Don't break the baby!

[6 month update]

I amaze myself every day! It's a wonder that a small, fragile, dependent little thing like a baby has survived being in my care for the past 6 months. Honestly, I can remember that first night in the hospital after he was born. He slept in my room and never left my side. He was laying there sleeping in his little baby bed placed next to my hospital bed. Each time that he would wake and cry, it caused fear and terror in me. I was afraid to touch him. I didn't want to break him.

I held out on changing his dirty diapers and let the nurses, family, and other visitors do that chore while I still could. I not only depended on the nurses to change his diaper, but also to swaddle him since I just couldn't seem to do it as well as they did. I remember there was this tough Russian nurse that would come in and swaddle him so tightly, it reminded me of deli meat wrapped in that waxy paper. When the pediatric nurses came in, they would ask, "Did Helga swaddle him?". The only time I really touched him during that time was to practice nursing, which started off badly for me as well. He just wouldn't latch on.

When we were released from the hospital, I was on my own, but my mother and sister were usually around, and I depended on them a lot. Especially to clothe him because that scared me too. Can you imagine being THAT scared to break your own baby? A couple of days after our release, we were admitted back to the hospital because Diego had jaundice. Where my mother was concerned, I was OK because the pediatrician reassured me that it was common. Once relieved of that concern, I was somewhat happy we'd be back in the hospital: the nurses would take care of Diego's diapers again!

During those 2 extra days in the hospital, I learned to nurse better with him thanks to the nurses. I think the nursing made me bond with him more. Since he had jaundice, he had to stay and sleep in the nursery. I only got to see him every 3 hours when it was time to nurse. This made me miss him a lot. By the time we checked out of the hospital the second time around, I was mentally ready to take care of my newborn on my own. Well, ok not exactly on my own - my mother was there but you know what I mean.

Fast-forward 6 months, hundreds of dirty diapers, bottles, and restless nights later and I'm amazed at what that fragile 6lb little baby has become - an 18lb husky little baby boy. I was so happy to learn that at 6 months SIDS risk is substantially minimized, though I don't take it lightly. But it's great to finally feel like I've got it down, and I'm not going to break my baby.

I can just enjoy my 18lb baby boy who is starting to bear his own weight while sitting, squeal with delight, and grab things. He's on track to sit on his own and crawl. And trust me, I'm preparing for that because with crawling, comes a whole new plethora of ways that my baby could break!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Supermom? No. Superbaby? Yes!

[5 Months/3 weeks]

No!!!! I was looking at the date of my last post, and it's been over a month since I wrote anything. Shameful, shameful. I really intend to keep the updates rolling, since this is a critical time where many details will be forever lost in my memory if I don't record them now.

Since my return from paradise, I've experienced other whimsical adventures by my son's side. He is now fully capable of grabbing objects in front of him (as proven last night while my husband dangled my favorite gold heart necklace in front of him). He has also learned how to roll over from his tummy to his back, though he doesn't do this too often. I've heard many stories of babies that skip crawling all together, and go straight to walking/standing. Whereas I don't doubt these stories to be true, I've always considered them the exception rather than the norm. However, Diego seems to be on this track. Each time I put him on his tummy, he tries to practice crawling, but gets frustrated and starts crying. Then I sit him on my lap, facing me, and pull him gently upward by his arms, and then his own legs do the rest naturally. Suddenly, his strong, husky legs catapult him upward (I'm really there just for support), and in an instant he is an amazing standing baby. Each time that he stands, he proudly smiles at the feat that he has achieved as if he somehow knows how amazing it is.

Despite what an amazing superhero he is, he also succumbed to a terrible cough a few weeks back. I was a bit worried that it was the whooping cough, so I took him to the doctor's office. His pediatrician told me that she wasn't concerned, so I was relieved, though I too had been sick. Actually, at this moment I'm feeling like I may be getting sick again. Since I gave birth, I've been sick a total of 3 times. This is a bit worrisome for me since, previously, I could go a year without getting sick. For now, I'm writing it off as the stresses of motherhood and exposure to daycares, but you better believe I'm trying my best to improve my immune system.

For the most part, daily life is going well. I recently had a couple of friends come over to visit Diego. My friend commented about how happy I appeared to be. She wanted to know what the "bad" stuff in my life was. I honestly had a hard time thinking of something. I specified that as for the motherhood part, the hardest thing is that I don't get a break (OK - the Bahamas doesn't count). But seriously, I don't know how I can stress that sentence: "I don't get a BREAK!" It's on-going, and I doubt it will end until well after 18 years from now. The repetition can drive you crazy: bottles about every 3 hours, boiling water, washing bottles, waking up in the middle of the night whether you like it or not, changing diapers, giving baths, doing laundry to keep those cute clothes from staying permanently soiled, dropping off to daycare, picking up from grandma's, getting his diaperbag ready every morning, the incessant crying, trying to figure out the root cause of the incessant crying, implementing the corrective action to subdue the incessant crying. It's times like these that can cause person who loves schedules and lists, much like myself, to go bananas!

Speaking of bananas... Diego is also eating now. The doctor recommended we wait until 6 months, but after one of those episodes where I was "trying to figure out the root cause of the incessant crying", we determined the answer was hunger. And what a hungry little boy he is. Oh- and he really likes bananas. Asparagus and zuccini: not so much.