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Saturday, May 28, 2011

S-T-R-E-S-S-E-D

Entry written on Wednesday, May 25th...

OMG -- Is today over yet?  I have been super stressed and frustrated.  Being a mother is so stinking hard, and there are times when I think I'm not cut out for it.  *cue vent*

I am on night duty five nights a week while H gets his beauty rest for a full week of work.  At first it wasn't too difficult.  The baby would wake up every 3-4 hours for some food.  I would change his diaper after his feeding, and off he went back to sleepy land.  As he started drinking more of my milk, he would ask for food more often.  This is how it usually works -- wake up, eat, burp, change diaper (about 45 - 60 minutes). Then I pump (15 minutes) and clean all parts and bottles (5 minutes).  I reset his Sleep Sheep timer (set to 45 minutes) and go back to bed.  Next thing you know I hear him crying again.  His Sleep Sheep is still on, and the routine starts all over again. Wahhhh!!!!

He is a month old, and his sleep schedule is supposed to get better.  He should be eating more at each feeding and less often.  He should be able to sleep a 4 hour stretch at night.  The key word is "should."  Obviously he is a total rebel and wants to drive me insane at night.  Grrrrr.

I had less than 3 hours of sleep between 12 AM and 9 AM.  I would have had less than 2 hours if I didn't break down from pure exhaustion and ask H to take over one of his feedings.  I cannot survive off of only 3 hours of sleep, and I get super cranky.  I want him to give me an hour of uninterrupted sleep.  Is that too much to ask for?

I figured out a trick on Monday.  I can co-sleep with him.  Yes, I know it's bad, but he fell asleep while I was pumping.  I didn't want to ruin the perfect opportunity for me to catch some Zzz's.  So I did it.  I slept with him next to me, but I kept waking up to make sure he was okay.  Later that day in the afternoon I decided to sleep with him again.  I was super tired, and I needed a nap.  It worked!  I was able to take a power nap, and the little one enjoyed time in sleepy land.  Success.

Well I tried it again this morning.  Fail!  He screamed bloody murder.  I broke down and called H.  I couldn't take it.  I was so deprived of sleep, and the situation was stressing me out.  I had reached my boiling point.  There wasn't much that I could do. H tried to talk me through it as I cried.  It took me almost 2 hours to calm the baby down and feed him multiple times.  Finally I thought he was ready for bed.  Nope.  I put him next to me for the second time, and he didn't resist.

I break down at least once a week.  I don't want to, but I can't help it.  Caring for an infant isn't easy.  Sleep deprivation isn't healthy.  I have to keep in mind that eventually it will get better.  One day I will be able to sleep through the night.  One day he will change his eating habits.  It will get better.  One day...

When he does sleep, he is soooo adorable and peaceful.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Happy Birthday!!

Happy 16th birthday to my little sister!  Too bad she's not little anymore...

Italian Festival, 1997 -- Age 2

1999 -- Age 4

1999 -- Age 4

Iron Hill Brewery, 2003 -- Age 8

Monday, May 23, 2011

Staying Home with Baby

Entry written on Friday, April 29th...

Being a stay at home mother is no easy job, and this past week has been challenging for me.  H went back to work last Monday, and I was left by myself to take care of a newborn.  Dun, dun, dun!

I wish I could say I spent the first week on bed rest trying to recover from labor, but I'm stubborn.  Instead I used all my strength to get myself back in shape by resuming my life as if nothing had happened.  Sure, I was in pain getting in and out of bed. Going up and down the stairs was no easy task, but that's what the two railings are for... duh!  Basically, I didn't care what anyone had to say.  I wanted... no, I needed to get better.

H and I decided that we wouldn't need any help.  Crazy, right?  We spent the first week with a newborn by ourselves, and it was a learning process for us.  Looking back on it, I'm glad that we did it on our own.  There was no one to tell us that we were doing it the wrong way.  There was no one around to judge us.  I was already tired of hearing everyone's advice and words of wisdom, and I just wanted us to learn how to care for a newborn on our own.  We did just that, and we worked together as a team.  It was a tiresome and a super long week, but we survived and did a pretty good job too.

Then he went back to work, and I was left with the baby all to myself.  I didn't feel like I was prepared.  Even though I was getting back in shape, I didn't have the full strength to take care of the baby the first week.  I had just changed his diaper for the first time only a few days before.  I was a nervous wreck, but I had to face the challenge.  On Sunday night I let H sleep through the night for the first time since I went into labor.  I took night duty, and boy was it tough.  The little guy did not want to fall back asleep, and I felt defeated.  The sleep deprivation on my end only made it worse.  Oye.

Luckily, the story gets better.  Each day I built up the experience and confidence I needed to care for my baby.  Yes, it was extremely difficult in the beginning.  I broke down at times and was on the verge of calling for help.  I'm just fortunate that Baby Ninja is a good baby.  He is predictable and very well behaved.  His needs are very basic -- food, diaper changes, and sleep.  Ninja's schedule has already been flipped around, and he can sleep through the night (waking up for his food and then going right back to sleep).  This made it a lot easier on me.  Before I knew it, the week was over, and the weekend was finally here.  I made it.  Phew.

One week down...

Near Mental Breakdown

Entry started on Saturday, May 14th...

This must be the 10th post that I've started to write but don't have the time to ever complete.  I'm at the point of near mental breakdown, and I absolutely need to vent. This is my warning.  Please do not read past this sentence if you don't want to read about a sad Yin.

Being a mother to a newborn is hard work.  I am so exhausted, and I feel like such a failure.  There are never enough hours in a day, and I can never get enough sleep (does 2 hours in a row count?).  A week after giving birth I was taking care of the baby all by myself during the day.  No help whatsoever.  I try to stay strong, but all I want to do is give up.

This week has been especially tough.  Ninja has reached a growth spurt, which means that he is an eating machine.  It's a constant cycle of feeding him, changing his diaper, putting him to sleep, and pumping breast milk. Before I know it, he is awake again and asking for more food.  I don't even have the time to eat anymore.  When will his eating be back to normal?  I'm waiting.


Then there's the failure known as breastfeeding.  Actually I wouldn't know what that is because I have never successfully done it.  I'm an avid "pumper" because my son does not like my boobs.  Argh.  I am so much of a failure that it took me almost a week to pump out colostrum.  That stuff is supposed to already be there and ready for the baby when he comes out.  I am also an even bigger failure for not having enough time in the day to pump.  I have to go longer periods of time between pumps, and I can't increase my supply to meet the baby's demand.  How can I?  He wants food every 1.5 to 2 hours, and I have to spend it feeding him with a bottle.  I can't pump the same time he wants food, which means that my body can never catch up.  I don't have the luxury of having someone take care of him while I concentrate solely on pumping enough milk for him.  This is all very depressing, and I have cried so many times over my failure.

I haven't left the house since last Sunday.  That was Mother's day, and my MIL made me feel like complete crap.  She pointed out all of my failures, and I wanted to scream so badly.  She touched my stomach and noted how it hasn't gone away yet.  Later my SIL noted that my stomach is barely there anymore, and my MIL had to chime in and correct her.  Then she was disappointed in my lack of milk production.  I was using a hand pump for the first time by the way.  It just wasn't fair.

I need time to myself.  I need time to wind down.  I need time to take a break.  I don't have enough time to take care of myself.  Sigh.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Spit Up of Thoughts

I started this entry on May 11th...

Today Baby Ninja is 23 days old , and I have been a stay at home mother for the past 2 weeks.  It's not easy being on baby duty all day long with a slight break in the evening when H comes home.  I'm currently "wearing" the baby as I blog.  This is my first break of the day, and it feels great to have some down time.  Honestly I have been itching to blog again.  Since it's too difficult to write multiple entries, I'll just spit up some of my thoughts... (in no particular order)

Pooch
I read that women leave the hospital looking 6 months pregnant after delivery.  It is 100% true!  I was well aware of this and fully prepared for my body to take its time to shrink back.  Heck, it will be months (maybe even a full year) before I can resemble my former self.  I still have a tummy, and I call it my "pooch."  Well everyone else hates my pooch and cannot stop staring/touching it.  Yes, they freaking touch my stomach!!  It's fine when there is a baby Ninja inside, but it is just plain wrong right now.  Everyone keeps talking about it, and it most certainly is not helping with my influx of hormones.  I have had problems with my body image since forever (overly critical mother will have that effect), and I feared what my body would look after pregnancy.  Well I was happy with my progress and weight loss (almost back to pre-pgrenancy weight), but that quickly came to an end.  Sigh.  People (aka family members), please stop bringing so much attention to my pooch.  It has gotten a lot smaller.  Please get off my case and stop touching my pooch.  Grrr.

Food
I had some complications with my glucose levels during labor, and I was injected with insulin multiple times.  I was even hooked up to an IV drip.  No worries.  Ninja was fine, and his glucose levels were perfect.  Mine, on the other hand, were on the higher end.  Oh well.  The doctors didn't stop me from eating carbs, and I am enjoying food again.  Yay!  Too bad the battle isn't completely over.  I still have to go in for a 2 hour glucose test in June to check on the status of my gestational diabetes.  I can't imagine actually being diabetic.  For now I'll forget about it and just enjoy eating like a normal person.  I also realized how much of a picky eater I used to be with Ninja inside, and I am 10x better now.  Phew.  Oh and I have no desire to cook, but I am always hungry for food.  Ha.

Sleep
I don't get enough of it.  Enough said.

Parents
They have been pretty hands off, and I find that very odd.  I think I'm over analyzing it.  I guess it is a good thing after all.  I know they would drive me nuts if they came to help me take care of the baby.  Heck, my parents drive me nuts when they drop by to visit for 10 minutes.  They keep reminding me that I should let the baby cry it out and to never pick him up.  Uhh... sure.  Then they like to tell me how well behaved he is. Yes, I do pick him up when he cries.  I also feed him and change his diaper.  So yeah... lack of involvement from our parents.  It's good for our sanity, but I still find it very odd.

Hubby
Is it weird that I'm more attracted to my husband because he is now a father?  There is something about seeing him care for our child that is so amazing.  The first week of Ninja's life was so difficult, and H was simply the perfect husband.  He took care of all the diaper changes and most of the feedings while I took time to recover and gain back my strength.  *swoon*

Breastfeeding
... or how about the lack of it.  Ninja doesn't like my boobs, and the breast pump is my best friend (short version of the story).  I am constantly at battle with my milk production, and my mental health takes a toll.  There are days when I feel like a complete failure of a mother, and then there are other days when I feel like giving up. I take it on a day by day basis, but I have a feeling that I will try to stick with it for as long as possible.  I have to remember that Ninja's health is my priority.  If breast milk is "liquid gold," then I will make sure he has it.  He deserves the best.

So there you have it folks.  This is the short version of my thoughts.  Now I have to go tend to my baby...

Monday, May 16, 2011

Weekly Photo Project

*catches breath*

Miss me?  I miss me too.  What does that mean?  I miss having time to think and be myself.  The house is finally quiet but not for long.  Maybe I'll have enough time for a quick update?  Go!





This is my weekly photo project, and hopefully I can take a photo every single week until he turns 1.  I'm 1/12 of the way there with only 50 weeks remaining.  Haha.  By the way, I'm too cheap to purchase stickers or onesies that document his age. Technology is my friend, and all editing has been done in Adobe Lightroom and Irfanview.  If you have Microsoft Paint on your computer, you can do it too!

So that's all the time I have folks.  Until next time...