Archive for the 'On worries' Category

Am I nervous?

Now that we’re only 7 weeks away, people have been asking me over and over the same question: Are you nervous?

If they’re talking about labor and delivery, the honest answer as of now is that I feel nothing. (Let’s hope that continues through the entire labor and delivery process…with the right drugs, it just might!) I haven’t spent any time thinking about the experience because honestly, I have no idea what to even think could happen. I know of too many people who have had different labor experiences to think I have any way of anticipating how mine will be.

I’ve read about women creating a “birthing plan.” Who are these women? And how clean are their houses? How many lists do they need to get through the day? Seriously, I like to describe myself as “detail-oriented” and “organized,” but let’s face it: I’m a bit of a control freak. However, I could never write out a plan for how I want my labor to go. That would be like asking a 5 year old to plan out which college they’d like to go to when they graduate high school.

My birthing plan is as follows: Enter hospital with baby in belly. Leave hospital with baby in arms. My labor will happen as it happens. If the doctor suggests this or that, my answer is, sure, go ahead. My guess is that they know more about what’s best for the baby, as they’ve done this a few more times than me. (Although, I suppose I should modify my “birthing plan” a bit: I did think that I’d really like to remember to bring a headband. I want my hair pulled away from my face. Yes, this is what I think of. So, enter hospital with baby in belly. Put on a headband. Leave hospital with baby in arms.) Continue reading ‘Am I nervous?’

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Lessons from breastfeeding class

I just finished watching a breastfeeding DVD, as that’s one of the aspects of baby care I know the least about but have an interest in doing. I’ve heard it’s so good for the baby as far as nutrients go, and also that it saves mucho on the cost of a baby. I’ve also heard that for some moms it just doesn’t work.

Breastfeeding is sort of a weird topic. It’s very comfortable for new moms to talk about, but other than that most people are a bit uncomfortable. People try to pretend it’s a topic they’re okay with, but feel just a little strange—after all, it’s boobs we’re talking about here. Boobs and sucking. (If you weren’t uncomfortable with the topic before, I bet you are now!) Seriously, though. Not the next thing I want to talk to my dad about.

New moms, though, they’ll go to town with the topic. Some of the best new mom stories I’ve heard begin with “I leaked once when…” or “I was so full of milk I had to…” These stories, although not funny at all at the time, I’m sure, are always great for a new mom laugh months later. In fact, if the whole breastfeeding thing works out for me, I hope to have some embarrassing boob milk stories for the blog in the future.

Anyhow, I learned a few things from this breastfeeding DVD I watched that I thought were interesting:

  • You can wake a sleeping baby! If you’re trying to keep the baby on an every 2-3 hours schedule like the DVD recommends, especially in the first few weeks, you’ll have to wake the baby up to make that happen. It sounds like it’s a “good luck” thing with some babies, though, as they are really tired and love their sleep the first week or so. Good luck waking them!
  • You may have noticed babies all have the same nose. Now you can know a reason, according to the DVD: babies noses all are pug noses so they can’t be smothered by mom’s boobs when breastfeeding. The nose tilts up so they can breathe!
  • A lesson I gathered on my own from the DVD: Like on Seinfeld, there’s good naked and bad naked. Breastfeeding is bad naked. Really! The instructor on this DVD was fully clothed using a doll to demonstrate positions to hold the baby in. I got what she meant, but for some reason the DVD editors felt the need to cut to Boobs McGee or Booby McBooberson to demonstrate as well. Trust me on this formula: boobie closeup + attached baby = bad naked.
  • Last, breastfeeding is hard work! I still hope to make it happen, but I know a little more about how much of a commitment it’s going to take. Wish me good boobie milk luck (or not, as that is an awkward phrase even as I type it)!

Chronicles of a first diaper change

As I’ve said, I’ve somehow managed to get through 28 years of life without being lucky enough to be around a baby whose diaper needs a changin’. Wally V seemed to be a little concerned at the prospect of such inexperience being in charge of his dryness and comfort, so I decided it was time for a little rehearsal to be sure I could handle it.

Fortunately, this week I had all the ingredients for my practice run: a willing, calm and cool mom (my sister [in-law] Jane), a cute little guinia bird (my nephew Grady), and a simple wet diaper. (The room of witnesses, Wally’s fam, insisted I should think hard before I try a level 2 stinker.)

We started with Wally IV calming the culprit down with a belly tickle.

I started with the basics, distinguishing front of the diaper from the back (there’s an illustration in front!), and finding the tape attachment thingies ( that’s an official term–I looked it up). Then I started unsnapping the onesie. Grady noticed me examining the diaper with such scrutiny and felt a little uneasy. He reached out to his mom, saying, are you sure you shouldn’t be doing this?

I got the old diaper off and apparantly took a few too many seconds preparing the new diaper. Everyone in the room was saying, “Cover, Mollie, cover him up!” I thought at the time they were concerned about his modesty, since we were photographing the experience. Only later I realized they wanted me to protect myself and others in the room from squirt action. 

Thankfully he spared us from such antics.

I got him snapped in and ready to go.

Grady Bird looked at me and said, “You did a pretty good job, Aunt Mollie. I feel okay about you doin this for cousin Wally V. I’ll let him know.”

An unfortunate side effect of registering: confusion

Wally and I decided to try regisistering yesterday. We have 15 weeks and counting left to baby launch, and I’m starting to feel like we’d better start doing more to get ready! I thought registering would be another thing to check off the list, but it seems it’s done nothing but add more to the overwhelming feeling that we’re not quite ready! But Wally V is in there, saying, Ready or not, here I come!

We were very confused. They start you off with a list and a scanner gun. Wally manned the gun, and I had the list and pen. So far so good. A list helped me feel in control.

But the first section of the store was the infant care, feeding section. The wall of bottles of every brand, shape, size, form and feature was 1 mile long. A labyrinth. Wally stood with the gun and looked at me. I stood and looked at a few bottles trying to tell the difference. I felt like a 10 year old boy forced to pick up tampons for his older sister from the supermarket. With no instruction on the difference between pads and tampons; Tampax, Playtex, and Kotex; light days and super ultra. The boy is told, “tampons” as instructions. My list said, “bottles.” I could tell we were in for a long morning.

Wally could tell, too. Luckily, he hurried me along, instead of letting me overanalyze each choice. Sometimes, he hurried us to a fault. We got to the wall of baby tummy time gyms, and he was going to scan the closest one when there were 12 cute choices, some of which Wally V would love over others, if I could only ask him. So between my scrutiny over price and features, and Wally’s pushing me along, we got out of there in 3 hours.

The best moment, though, was when we were looking at diaper genies. I asked Wally if he thought the one that uses regular garbage bags would be better, or the actual Diaper Genie with it’s own bags. (Like he would know!) I actually found myself asking him a lot of questions. And if he didn’t know, I’d just ask him again, hoping between when he said, “I don’t know,” and I took a deep breath, he might have figured it out. A mom overheard us about the diaper bins and told me all the perks of the one she uses and loves. A no stress decision! Someone who knew what they were doing! I wanted to ask her to tag along with us the rest of the store and point out what was better or worse. Or at least to follow her the rest of her shopping trip and see what she got.

When we got home I spent hours online reading reviews and adjusting what we’d picked. A friend of mine was on Twitter and gave me her advice to get 4 Snugme blankets to burrito wrap little Wally up in and a Bumbo. Again, easy decisions!

So, if you’re a recent mom or dad, and have a second to comment about the thing, large or small, that you LOVE that you registered for, or that you registered for and didn’t ever use, let us know! You will make our day. And help me sleep better at night. Because seriously, I’m freaking out!

p.s. Oh, and I mostly have stuck to the basics, but look at this cutest thing ever in the entire world known to man that I found!!!! Wally V will be my little dino baby! As a shirt my sister found says, he’ll be a Cute-a-saurus!pTRU1-5562251reg

Things I don’t know

Jane, my sister (in-law),  had a baby shower this weekend. (Baby Ottenhoff’s cousin and future best buddy will be born late May/early June.) It made me realize several things that I don’t know as of today. (It reminded me of the Friends episode where Rachel has a baby shower, opens something, and says, “Now wait, that can’t be right. Is this a bong for a baby?”)

And I’ve thought of more things since. In fact, my main thought the past few days has been, “Hmmm…I really don’t know that yet.” We’ve already established that I don’t know how to hold a baby. Here are a few other things I just don’t know:

  • What the heck is a receiving blanket?
  • When the baby is a little lump of a thing that can’t hold its head up, do I dress it in outfits every day? If so, how exactly would one go about that? If not, what does he wear, PJs? Onesies? And do I have to get dressed every day, or can I stay in my PJs and onesies?
  • How often does a baby need a bath? And when he’s a lump and can’t hold his head up, is bathing a two man job? One to hold the lump in place, one to wipe him down?
  • How often will the little guy eat? And what is formula? My theory right now is, formula means Wally can get up at night when the baby’s hungry. If that’s right, I’m good with that.
  • Can you hug a newborn? My hunch is that you can’t. You just hold it.
  • When does he start to get teeth, stop being a lump of a thing and hold his own head up, crawl, walk, make vowel sounds, make sounds that could be swear words, say mommy, and start doing chores like scooping the dog’s doo doo?

You don’t even want to know some of the other things I thought of that I am too embarrassed to put in print. But I do have a confession to make. I realized this the other day: I have never changed a diaper. Really. I was trying to think back to any baby I’ve been around, let alone been in charge of for any period of time. And I can’t think of one. I’m hoping this diaper thing is a trick I will pick up on very quickly, though. I’m sure all it will take is a few leaks before I make myself learn it well enough that I could teach a class on it.

This baby is in for a real treat!

Two Phone Calls, One Good, One Bad

The first weekday after taking the positive test, I was ready to call the OBGYN first thing to schedule our appointment. I wanted to hear the little guy’s heart beat. So all morning I thought about the “proper” way to tell the doc’s office I was pregnant. Does it sound silly if I claim I am, with absolute certainty? Shouldn’t they be the ones telling me I’m pregnant? Should I show my excitement when I say it? Should I tell them it was on purpose? Should I request the appointment, then say why? Or should I casually try to work it into the conversation? I practiced. Not in the mirror or anything, but I practiced.

So much fretting. All of it unnecessary. When I got through, I mustered up the most casual tone I could, and said, “I know I’m not due to come in until May for my annual appointment, but I took a positive pregnancy test and needed to come in sooner…I think…er…right?” So they said the earliest I could come in would be in two weeks, when I would be 9 weeks along. March 10! And that was it.

Then a few days later another phone call, but this one not so fun. I had some “spotting.” So of course, I was worried. It sounds so simple…just a little spotting, pish posh. But when it’s happening to you, believe me, it is not pish posh. My mind and Wally’s immediately turned toward doom. We tried comforting each other by looking online (Dr. Wally, studying at WebMD) and in books (my 479-page Dr. What to Expect), but while my at-home diagnosis made it sound okay, his made it sound terrible. Then I started finding bad possibilities, and so we decided to just call the actual doctor. The one who who went to medical school. And has years of experience diagnosing these things.

I got through to the on-call midwife, and held it together (barely) while I explained the situation. She sounded comforting and grandma-ish, and said it’s probably fine. As long as I wasn’t cramping or having what was like a menstrual cycle, we shouldn’t worry. She said I should increase my water (WHAT? I was already drinking 2 quarts or more a day, but okay), and that it could last a few days. As long as it wasn’t too much, it was okay.

So we sighed (sort of) and felt better (sort of) and waited. I haven’t written the past few days because we’ve been a little more tempered with our thrill. Light spotting lasted. A little here and there. We prayed a lot. One day I was mid-thought about something else entirely (a rare moment), when a thought that was not my own said, “Don’t diagnose it, Mollie, you are not a doctor.” That, I believe, was to help me stop running through all the negative possibilities in my head. It was still lasting yesterday. So we still were worried, and I decided to call again today if it still was worrisome. But to our happiness, no need. Today, it seems to have let up.

The most difficult part about all of this is not knowing, even with all the info available in books and online, what for sure is happening. I want to know with certainty that our little baby is okay. My only “signs” are a few pregnancy symptoms, which I assume mean that everything is coming along. But that is not enough right now, as it’s not the baby communicating. So I can’t wait for the first doctor visit, the ultrasound, where I hope to hear that little heart beating, our baby’s little tin can, sending up a message, “I’m okay, I’m okay, I’m okay.”


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