Category Archives: Infant

I’m So Tired

Warning – Whinny Post Alert!!!!

I’m so tired.  And I’m tired of saying, “I’m so tired”.  And my husband and friends are tired of hearing “I’m so tired”.  But I’m so tired.

I just can’t seem to recover.  I have been exhausted since my second trimester.  So basically, I have been exhausted for a year now.  No one tells you that.  And it’s not that I don’t ever sleep.  I sleep.  But not the same quality of sleep I had before.  I don’t think I’ve just woken up on my own since I gave birth.  There is always something or someone waking me up.  Admittedly that the “someone” is the most adorable human being ever – but nonetheless, waking up to his screams is quite a jarring experience.

The other day I was complaining explaining to someone that I feel like I work two full time jobs.  I work all day and then come home and try to be a good mom.  Then I physically drop at 9:30.  Most nights I don’t even have enough energy to read a couple of pages of a great book I’m trying to read.  This morning I noticed that my eyebrows are out of control.  I just haven’t had time to pluck.  My house is a mess and dirty.  I haven’t updated John Patrick’s album since he was three months old.  And I’m sure most of my friends think I’m a big selfish hermit because I never call anyone anymore.

Did I mention that I’m so tired?  Ok, and admittedly, feeling sorry for myself.  Believe me, I KNOW that I’m not the only working and tired mom out there.  But how do you all do it?  And am I ever going to feel rested again?  Sometimes I just daydream about checking into a fancy hotel, drawing the curtains shut, turning the air conditioner down really low, and sleeping for a good 14 hours.  In this dream, I wake up on my own because I have had enough sleep and it’s a slow process, not a jumping out of bed and running to get a bottle process.  But then I realize that even one night away from my pumpkin would make me miserable because I would miss him so much.  So I guess it just leaves me with…

I’m so tired.

Jen

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Filed under Baby, Infant, Sleep, Work

More Travel Tips

Well, we successfully lived through our first airplane trip together. And it really wasn’t that bad. I learned a very important lesson from it all. It is that I can do this. I can be a mom and take care of him and handle sticky situations. I feel a little more confident now (till the next big milestone anyway).

Here are some things that helped me while traveling:

  • Definitely take a window seat if possible (especially if you are breastfeeding). It just gives you more privacy.
  • Wear your easiest nursing top that doesn’t show stains. I found the logistics of breastfeeding challenging at times and I was glad that my top didn’t show all the “stains” that can happen from careless breastfeeding.
  • Take your time! Let everyone else get off the plane first. Don’t rush. As soon as I accepted that everything is going to take a lot longer, my life got a lot easier.
  • I carried John Patrick in a Baby Bjorn and didn’t even bring a stroller. It was easy but be prepared that you can not have him in his carrier during take off or landing. I just held him on my lap.
  • John Patrick had no problems with the air pressure. I made sure he was sucking his pacifier during take off and landing.
  • Lastly, my friend Sarah always brings earplugs for nearby passengers just in case her little one gets a little too loud.

I was a nervous wreck leaving for the airport but I can honestly say, it wasn’t bad at all. It’s just one of those things that once you do it, it’s a piece of cake. Well, until he’s walking that is – YIKES.

Jen

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Filed under Baby, Infant, Travel

Walk of Shame

Right now, as we speak, I am currently skipping along the walk of shame.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been working part-time at home. It’s been hard. So I have set up the bouncy seat next to the computer so that I can multi-task motherhood with working. This morning, I looked down in the middle of a conference call and noticed that John Patrick was adoringly staring at me and smiling. Ahhhh. What a sweetheart. And what have I spent the morning doing? Work, work and more work. Instead of taking advantage of these alert and sweet moments, I’ve stuck my child in his bouncy seat to entertain himself.

I hang my head in shame………..

Let the therapy bills begin.

Jen

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Filed under Baby, Infant, Mom Issue, Walk of Shame

Little Pitchers Have Big Ears (and Eyes)!

From the moment Becca was born, she was aware of her surroundings. When the nurse first handed Becca to Omar wrapped up like a papoose, I was surprised to see that her eyes were wide open and blinking at everything around her. She looked like a little owl with her slow, methodical blinking. As soon as she got close to me, she intently focused on my face and I could feel her communicating with me: “I trust you”, blink, “to take care of me”, blink, “I trust you”, blink, “to take care of me”, blink. Right from the start, she knew how to assess her surroundings and determine who/what was important in them. Once she had determined that I would care for her, she promptly fell asleep.

Owl Eyes

Almost 18 months later, I am continually surprised at what she notices and is able to figure out. Without ever having a sip of coke, she quickly deduced there was something really delicious in that red can. She would see Omar drinking it and say, “mmm, mmm, mmm” with her arm out-stretched reaching for it.

Coke Can

It has really made me realize how important my eating and exercise habits are to her. If she sees me eating Hershey Kisses *like today* then she is going to beg and beg and beg for them. I’ve been trying to use her clear fascination with my eating and drinking habits as an incentive to make better food choices. I wish I could say that I was now always eating fruits and vegetables but I can tell you that I generally keep my ice cream eating and cookie snarfing until after she goes to bed.

Hershey Kiss Stamp

Have you been successful at changing any of your bad habits? If so, I’d love to hear about it. If not, I would love to commiserate with you 🙂

Mary Kate

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Filed under Baby, health, Infant, Mom Issue, Solids, Toddler

Transitioning into the Crib

As John Patrick turned 11 weeks old, my husband and I came to the realization that the co-sleeper really wasn’t working out for us. John Patrick would spend the majority of the night staring at me and making what can only be described as the most annoying sounds in the world, in order to be put in our bed. I admit, I often gave in quickly in hopes to get some sleep myself. We had no schedule and each night was, well, sort of a nightmare.

I knew the time would come and here it was….. the big transition to the crib and his own room.

First, I should preface this by saying that I spent last week putting John Patrick in his crib for afternoon naps in an effort to help him get used to a “new” space.

Here’s how our first night went:

7:00pm – For the first time we started a real bedtime routine:

  1. Bath
  2. Massage with lotion
  3. A little bit of “naked time”
  4. Fresh clean diaper and pajamas
  5. A last feeding
  6. Put him down while playing lullabies by Mozart CD

I also plan on adding a book to the routine. He actually went down pretty well with not much fussiness.

8:00pm – Awake and crying. This is one of the many times that my husband saves the day. Of course my natural reaction is to go in and pick him up. But Jim, my husband, kept telling me he’d take care of it, which meant he would go in and rub his back and soothe him back to sleep. I won’t lie, he had to do this about a dozen times. He cried pretty much till 8:30, when he decided that he was hungry again.

8:30pm – another feeding in his room with lights dim. He’s back in bed and asleep by 9:00

9:30pm – and back up and crying again. More gentle soothing by Jim

10:00pm – another feeding. Is he manipulating me or what?

10:30pm – 11:30pm – on and off crying. This was a dance between my son and my husband. Jim was so patient and lovingly willful that John Patrick was NOT getting into our bed. (spoiler – Jim won.)

11:30pm – another feeding, this time by formula given by dad. John Patrick is back in bed and asleep by 12.

2:30am – up for a feeding (which is his normal time). After eating and a diaper change, he easily falls back asleep in his crib.

4:15am – up for another feeding? I can’t tell if he’s really hungry or just wants me to hold him. I try to feed him. Because he was a preemie I think I’ll always have this huge fear of not feeding him when he’s hungry. Weight gain was our life for a long time. He just snacks (probably wasn’t even hungry) and is back asleep by 4:30.

5:30am – hungry again? Trick me once, shame on you….. Ah, who am I kidding? I was tricked again. Snacked for a few minutes and then back to sleep in the crib.

7:00am – up and very vocal and ready to really eat. At this point we’re up for the day. He eats and gets put into “day” clothes.

So here’s the lessons I learned in the first night:

  1. It can be done – you just have to make yourself do it.
  2. Husbands are the best and another reminder that I couldn’t do any of this without him.
  3. Just because he wakes up doesn’t mean he needs to be fed.
  4. He didn’t wake up this morning and hate me so that fear is conquered.

And honestly, I slept better (ok, yes, shorter intervals) but better than I’ve slept in a long time. It’s nice to have our bed back. Plus – this is New York!!! Do you know what we pay for his bedroom? You better believe he’s going to use it. 🙂

One day down…..

Jen

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Filed under Baby, developmental milestones, Infant, Sleep

Breastfeeding a Preemie – UPDATE

Well, it finally happened this weekend………

John Patrick has finally taken to the breast!

I decided to give it one more sincere try and it just clicked with him. Today John Patrick is 2 months old (2 weeks past due date) and our whole world has changed. Here’s how……

  • No more pumping sessions that involve bouncing a bouncy seat with one foot while singing “If You’re Happy and You Know It” while John Patrick cries to be held.
  • No more constant math work of “how many ounces have I pumped and will he eat for the rest of the day?”
  • No more frantic feeling of “Oh my God! I only have one bottle left – pump alert, pump alert”.
  • No more excusing myself while dad feeds John Patrick and I sit lonely in a room listening to the “shshshsh shshshsh” sound of the pumping machine.

And Oh! how much easier it is to just feed him right on demand. Hey, I’m holding him anyway. Might as well feed him while we’re cuddling.

In my mind there’s two ways to feed that are both perfectly wonderful – breastfeeding and formula/bottle feeding. But constant pumping and feeding is a nightmare. Although I guess I’m glad I hung in there. Oh the things we do for our children.

And guess what. I’m NOT off to the pump…..

Jen

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Filed under Breastfeeding, Infant

Breastfeeding a Preemie

My son, John Patrick was born 7 weeks premature. Before he was born, I had every intention of breastfeeding and even went to breastfeeding classes in order to be totally prepared. After he was born, he spent the first seven days of his life in NICU and the first 3 days on feeding tubes. Once he learned how to “suck” they immediately put him on a bottle so that they could monitor exactly how much he was eating.

So began the pumping.

I was lucky that my milk came in pretty fast and I had a good strong supply. I kept pumping every three hours and storing up all that milk for his bottles. At the same time I was doing “kangaroo care” and I would literally drop his tiny body into my hospital gown and have direct skin on skin contact as long as possible. (Side note – I do believe this is how he got so strong so fast and was able to leave the hospital so soon.)

I wouldn’t do any of those things differently, and honestly I didn’t have a choice either way. But here is the result of that first week experience……. My son still doesn’t breastfeed and prefers, no actually demands, the bottle. So here I am 8 weeks later, still pumping.

People love to give me advice about it, “try harder”, “call a lactation consultant”, “don’t give up”, “don’t give formula”. And hey, I love advice, so I’ve tried all those things. But as you may remember from my first post, my son was quick to show me he’s the one calling all the shots.

I’ve heard of lots of mothers who had no problem breastfeeding their premature baby. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been my experience and now I am forced to pump as much as possible and supplement with formula. It’s definitely challenging but I am trying to give him as much breastmilk as possible.

I guess another thing I’ve learned through my experience is that premature babies come with their own challenges. You just have to put aside all your expectations and go with the flow (so to speak).

And on that note, I’m off to the pump……..

Jen

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Filed under Baby, Breastfeeding, Infant