Tuesday, December 30, 2008

setting my clocks by the 4am gas cry

So Davie has had a very consistent wakeup time the past few days of 4am.  We pick her up and she toots and toots.  I use Mylicon at her last feeding, so what gives?  


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Love

Your Christmas with baby?

So, those of you with little ones . . . what are you doing for Christmas?  Steven and I kind of thought we'd play it cool since Davie is only 4 months old.  Plus, I think family members are getting her things of course.  I did get her some stocking stuffers - but really every gift for her is really for us, because it entertains her.  Oh well.

She is a little under the weather it seems.  She has the whiniest little cry, but she still tries to be chipper.  Poor lil gal.  Imagine if you were in a foreign land where no one spoke your language, or knew what your gestures meant, and you didn't feel good, or you were hungry, or tired, or you pooped your pants . . . you'd feel so frustrated!

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!

To those of you who are expecting, just imagine, next year at this time you'll have a lil 10-12 month old!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Davie the Fearless

Davie loves it when I growl at her.  I mean LOVES it.  Even when I'm making a mean, scary face . . . she thinks it's hilarious.  I don't make a habit of making mean, scary faces at my 4 month old, but she thought it was so funny when I growled with a smiley face, so I just tried it, and she laughed even more.  She's fearless.  Anyways, it's her new favorite thing.  She tries to do it, but it just sounds like everything else she tries to do.  

Also, I think she is getting tired of us fixing everything with a song.  Yesterday I was at my parent's house and she had just woken up from her nap and was not that happy.  She wasn't crying, but she wasn't amused by anything either.  My sister tried to sing her a song and she burst into sad, angry tears, as if to say, "No.  Not this time.  A song can't fix my hunger!  I need a bottle."  So she got one, and all was well.  

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The big girl makes her own decisions.

Davie decided that she didn't want to eat every 3 hours during the day anymore.  Nope.  Not her.  She has made the decision that she is ready to eat every 4 or 5 hours.  

This really freaked me out.  I wondered if she was sick or having an anti-growth spurt.  But no, she was as happy as a clam, as long as we didn't try to feed her too soon.  
 
It seemed like this happened over night.  She still eats the same amount of ounces in a 24 hour period.  Instead of eating 3-5 ounces every 3 hours, she's eating 6-7 ounces every 4-5 hours.  Today was like 6am, 10:30am, 3pm, 7:30pm.  That's it!  FREAKY!

My First Attempt at Video


Davie talks and sings often, but she laughs all the time.  We tried to catch some of it on video.  This is her enjoying the sights and sounds of momma singing and using the "ooo" sound.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Locked in a Cabin with a 3 Month Old . . . No really . . . LOCKED.

NOW FOR THE CREEPIEST EVENT THAT I HAVE EVER EXPERIENCED:
(Preface - This weekend we went to Horseshoe Canyon Ranch in Arkansas with 10 friends.  We all shared a small cabin.)

On Saturday, everyone except for Davie and I hiked out to go climbing for awhile.  Steven said he would come back for lunch.  So I played with Daves, cleaned up the cabin a bit, watched movies, graded papers, and did all the things I had planned on doing.  The cabins are really like one big cabin, with a wall down the middle.  So you share a porch with your neighbors.  I had gone out on the porch to clean something, and our 30-something male neighbor was sitting on his side of the porch.  He asked if I decided not to go climbing with all the rest, and I told him I was taking care of the baby.  We exchanged niceties and I went inside.  

An hour or so later, I took Davie on a tiny walk around the cabin to get some fresh air.  He was still out in his chair, and on my way in, we again nodded hello and goodbye.  I went in the cabin into the bedroom, changed Davie's diaper and I heard a knock on the door and then it opened.  I was not alarmed by this, because climbers are friendly open-door people and such.  However, after I tried to figure out what exactly he needed, and finally he said, "I've just never really been around babies before," I knew something was amiss with this dude.  Then he started to walk into the bedroom and ask if she was asleep.  I said no and that I was just fixing to feed her outside and wait for the group to come back for lunch.  I bundled her up and led him outside.  He sat beside me on the bench and I tried to make small talk.  I quickly realized he was "not all there".  I think he was a pathological liar or something, and he kept saying the same things over and over again.  The creepiest thing was how obsessed he was with Davie.  I wanted to run away, but there was nowhere for me to go really, not with a baby.  So I just decided I'd have to kill him with my own two hands if he tried to take her from me.  He called us both (the 3 month old baby and myself) "hotties".  Weird.  He talked about his wife alot, but then he also said if he weren't married he'd just say, "Hey honey.  Forget about the baby."  Meaning what exactly?!?!  I was horribly uncomfortable and scared and felt helpless.  Oh yeah, he also asked if he could use my bathroom.  Our doors are 3 feet from each other!  When he went in, I thought about making a break for it, but I was carrying a baby, with no car seat, no keys, no place to go. 

Finally after Davie was cozy and asleep, and I was thoroughly frozen down to the bone, I said, "Well, they tell you to sleep when the baby sleeps, so I better go take a nap until the group comes back."  We both got up and he opened the door for me, I walked inside and turned to grab the doorknob, and he was on his way in . . . TO MY CABIN.  I reached for the door, and said "I'll be back out in a little while," and shut the door.  I locked it and closed all the curtains, then I went in the bedroom and locked that door.  Then I burst into tears and called every person that was with Steven.  Finally he called back and I told him he needed to come back now cause the neighbor was creeping me out.  Actually as I was talking to Steven on the phone, the guy tried to open the door again!  

Steven ran the whole hike back, and I was there waiting by the window to know when to unlock the door.  I guess creepy guy went back in his cabin.  So Steven came in and I was telling him the story when creepy guy once again tried to open our door, so Steven bust it open and said, "Can I help you?!"  The guy muttered something about a dog being out there and that it woke him up.  Anyways, the guy left for good a few hours later, but I was not alone until I was sure of that.  

The weird thing is I would not have been scared if just one other person would've been with me.  We probably would've laughed about it.  Or even if I was completely by myself.  I could've run away if I needed to.  But I had this bitty baby with me to protect.  Frightening.  I don't wish the experience on anyone.  




Saturday, November 29, 2008

Quality Time

Steven went on a climbing trip this weekend.  While it would really be nice to get to spend time with him while I'm on my break, it has been so pleasant to get to spend some selfish quality time with Davie.  She is doing sooooo great these days (except for last night, yipes!).  I really appreciate being able to predict when she is going to wake up, get hungry, and get sleepy.  It makes me feel confident and of course it is convenient when your life seems anything but consistent.  

On an average day she goes to sleep around 7:00 or 7:30pm and then I get her up and feed her around 9pm (she stays asleep while she eats).  USUALLY, she sleeps til 7:00am and wakes up blissful . . . however, last night was a different story (see below). She usually eats around 7:30am, 10:45am, 2:00pm, 5:30pm, and 9:00pm (4-6 ounces each feeding).  She has been taking her longest nap after the first feeding.  Usually 1.5 - 2 hours.  She has another long nap after the next feeding, usually 1.5 hours.  Then after the other feedings she might have a little cat nap of 30-60 minutes.  

Yesterday she did soooo wonderful.  She slept without interruption between 9pm and 7am.  Then she slept 2.5 hours, 1 hour, another hour, 30 minutes, and then went to sleep at 7:15pm last night.  I think she got a little TOO MUCH sleep, because last night she woke up every 3 hours (midnight, 3am, 6am) for seemingly no reason - diapers were no big deal, wasn't really hungry, just awake.  So it took a lot of rocking and pacifying each time.  Oy.  Finally we both got up at 7:20am this morning to start the day.  We'll see how things go.  

Needless to say, I can't wait for Steven to come back this afternoon, so I can get a little break.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Some Pics


This is her investigating the camera.  
I tried to take a picture of her curly top . . . but it didn't do it justice.  You can kind of see it in the photo above.  Just like her Poppop's.
This is Davie in her Christmas gear.  She looooves the Christmas tree and all the lights.  This is the smile I get to see ALL the time!  I love her.

Sunday, November 23, 2008









So Davie has been sleeping 8-9 hours pretty consistently every night.  But the other night she slept ALMOST ELEVEN!!!  Why?  I'm not sure, but I think it had to do with our heater shutting off randomly.  We woke up and our house was 63 degrees.  Steven and I discussed this being the only thing that was different, and so I looked it up.  I found this on parents.com . . . 

"Regulate the temp.  
You know how you sleep better when the room's a little cooler?  Well, your bundle of joy is no different.  Keep your baby's room warmer during the day and cooler at night, Dr. Greene suggests.  The optimal temperature for infant sleep is between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit."

We'll experiment with that tonight and see if it makes a difference.  

Also, the other day my friend Chelsea came over with her baby Gracie.  Gracie was born 4 weeks early . . . and 2 weeks earlier than Davie.  Chelsea took some pictures of the two new friends.  I'm going to try and post some although I've never posted pictures here before.  


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

Some New Things

1.) Davie's new BFF was born this week.  Peyton Ann Grubbs was born to some good friends of ours.  I'm sure Pey-Pey and Day-Day are going to get along just fine.

2.) Jennie's baby shower is tomorrow and I'm SO excited.  I love that woman, and I'm so glad she is reproducing.  

3.) Davie went 11 hours between feedings last night . . . she didn't sleep the entire time however, but it is a grand step!  It's good to know she can do that and doesn't need food every time she fusses in the night.  (Babywise . . . I'm telling ya, Babywise).

4.) We are on a roll with bath time.  She is still not giggling and happy during, but she tolerates it without crying.  She just furrows up her brow and looks at me.

5.) DAVIE HAS CURLY HAIR!  We just discovered that THIS week.  She's always had a lot of hair with a lot of body.  And it just kept getting puffier and puffier, like hair plugs standing up off of her head.  Well, my very-curly-headed sister and I were giving her a bath this week, and as I was drying her off, before I rubbed her little head dry, I pulled back the towel and she had all these little curls all over her head.  So we just patted it dry, and it stayed that way . . . until she rubbed her head all over everything and puffed it up again.  Ah well, one day.  

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The First (Almost) Cry-Free Bathtime

Tonight was monumental.  Tonight I gave Davie her first bath that was mutually enjoyed by both parties.  

It. Was. Awesome.  . . . and what's funny is that I don't think she really loved it that much, but she didn't cry.  And that is what counts.

I made a $6 purchase at Wal-Mart that made all the difference.  It's just a little mesh cradle thingey that you can put down in the bathtub.  It keeps most of her body in the warm water, but her head out.  I also got one of those little cups with the flexi-side thing so you can rinse their hair out without pouring it all over their faces.  Another thing that helped was I put a washrag over her belly that was sticking out and everyonce in awhile I'd pour water over it to keep her warm.  That child hates being cold.  

But I think above all of these little purchases, the main thing that helped our bathtime situation was our pre-bath conversation.  I reminded Davie of all the other bathtimes where she cried and screamed and hated me, even though I kept trying different things to please this child.  I reminded her of the trip we made to Wal-Mart to get these new gadgets.  I reminded her that I have never lost hope that one day we would have joyful bathtimes.  And I asked her that if she STILL didn't like the bath, could she at least pretend like she did, as to not hurt my feelings and make all of my efforts feel wasted.  And being a sensitive child, she felt my desperation and decided to go easy on me.  

But when I picked her up out of that bathtub and she felt the cooler air hit her little body, all bets were off.  It didn't last too long though.  I wrapped her up, dried her off, gave her a pacifier, and then we were able to really enjoy our nighttime baby massage.  

Ah.  Things do get easier as we go along.  I was thinking today, I have really only known this child for 10.5 weeks now.  We are still really getting to know each other.  I mean, there has never been a person that I knew for less than 3 months, that I knew all of their likes and dislikes and their schedules and their temperament.  So I'd say we are doing pretty good.

Bathtime

Any tips on how to help my 10 week old love bathtime?!

She hates it.  Therefore we put it off at all costs.  Should I just make it a nightly ritual and hope that she learns to get used to it.  

We stopped using the infant tub, and started putting a folded towel in the big tub and putting enough warm water in to cover her without getting in her ears.  She hates being cold.  So the infant tub did not work for us, because it didn't keep her down in the water.  She grew too big for the sink.  Anyways, I really want bathtime to be this fun thing, but maybe she's too young.

When do kids start having fun in the bath?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

First Overnight Away

Davie is spending the night with my mom . . . her nana.  

I miss her and am anxious . . . but I'm tired.  So that wins.  

I am grateful to have a night with my hubby bubby, and to have a night of uninterrupted sleep.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

MILESTONE!!! 8 HOURS!!!

Last night Davie Lucille Charles slept 8 hours.  It was delightful.  We had been trying to do the "dreamfeed" thing.  If you don't know, "dreamfeed" is the idea that you wake the baby up before you go to bed to try and get them to sleep a longer stretch.  For instance, we feed her at 8pm and put her down . . . and then get her up at 11pm to feed her and put her right back down, trying not to really even wake her up.  Well, the girl would still wake up at 2am and then again at 5am and then again at 8am, so what's the use?!  So one night Steven forgot to set his alarm for 11pm, and she still woke up at 2am.  Well, if she's going to wake up at 2 anyways, then we're not going to get her up at 11.  So just recently we dropped the dreamfeed thing.  The night before last she lasted 7 hours.  Then last night I fed her at 8pm, and she was asleep by 8:30pm.  I went to bed around 9 or 9:30, she cried once for exactly 1 second around 1am, and I thought, "Here we go."  I got up and walked into the other room and she was fast asleep.  So I went back to bed thinking she'll really wake up any minute.  But the next time she cried was 4:30am!!!  I couldn't believe it.  So I fed her and wondered if she'd be awake for good (she's an early riser), but she went back to sleep so easy, and then woke up right on time at 7:30 to eat again.  I'm so proud and can only hope that this is not a one night event.  

Also, for those wondering, we are using Dr. Brown's bottles.  They are BPA free and have this little vacuum thing to keep extra air out of the nipple.  We only have one and we use it nearly everytime.  Steven and I were talking about how many bottles we do NOT use.  We really use maybe 3 in rotation, but usually 1 or 2.  But then again we don't have a dishwasher, so we keep 'em washed by hand pretty quick.  

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pics

We call this "Baby Fan-Worship" . . . you'll see.  Babies LOVE ceiling fixtures.
I love this picture of her.  Haha.
She's singing already!


Monday, October 27, 2008

Dunstan Baby Language

I love libraries.  They are like heaven for someone like me that is always looking for my next "new thang".  That "new thang" right now is my baby.  So of course, I am researching all things baby . . . and driving my husband nuts I'm sure.  

Well, I have checked out the "Dunstan Baby Language" DVD from my local library.  I saw this lady on Oprah last year when I was barely pregnant, and vowed to look into it.  However, I was unwilling to purchase the overpriced video (I'm extra glad now that I discovered I could get the extremely-short DVD from the library).  

My review:  short but helpful.  Definitely worth checking out.  I guess you can read about it online.  Heck, I could even tell you all of it, BUT it is really helpful to hear the different babies making the sounds.  The idea is there are 5 main different cries (because of 5 main different reflexes).  After they introduce each new cry, they show 20+ babies making that sound.  All the cries do sound very similar, so it's helpful to know what to listen for and then to hear it so many times.  

It was about 5:00pm when I watched it . . . time to feed Davie.  Steven had said she was taking forever to eat earlier so she may or may not eat on time.  As I was watching the video I started listening to her little sounds.  If this video was gospel, then she was telling me she needed to burp.  We hadn't really even started eating yet though.  But I started patting, and out came a burp.  We started to eat again . . . barely . . . and again, she started making the burping sound.  So I patted her again for much longer this time, and out came another burp.  This carried on, off and on, for an hour.  Finally, we got all the air out, and then the food could fit in.  Then we burped some more and some more.  I had no idea she could burp so much.  I started to wonder if she tries to do this everytime we eat.  Interesting.  

Oh by the way, usually I just burp Davie every 3-5 minutes (.5-1 ounces).  And we still have problems with her projectile vomitting at least once every 2-3 days.  Sometimes more often.  Ewww.  But the DVD said not to pull the bottle away from the baby to burp.  It says wait until the baby pulls away and makes the burping sound to burp her, and keep burping until she stops making that sound.  I was nervous, and expecting lots of vomit . . . but it seemed to work . . . this time.  I'll keep you updated.

Anyways, I wish the website (dunstanbaby.com) had a forum though so I could ask questions.  Like what sound do they make when they want a pacifier?  The hungry cry or the uncomfortable cry?  Also, Davie didn't make the sleepy cry sound even though I know for a fact she was very sleepy . . . is that because she wanted her pacifier first and foremost, and the need for sleep came after that?  

Well, if anything, the burp thing worked, and I think that will help!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Babies First Shots

Davie is 8 weeks old as of last Wednesday.  NUTS!  So, last Friday she had her 2-month well check.  We found the most amazing pediatrician in Norman!  The office was like a baby wonderland compared to the prison-like waiting room we were sitting in before.  Anyways, Davie is healthy.  She now weighs 10 pounds and she is 22.5 inches long.  She is in the 25th percentile for weight, and 75th percentile for length . . . sounds like her momma already.  

Then came the shots.  Oh man, was it sad!  Davie cried so hard she stopped making noise.  Heart-wrenching!  But I didn't cry.  I had to stay strong!  Anyways, she didn't cry for too long.  Then she slept for 48 hours (not constant sleep of course).  Finally today she had a little life to her again.  

Now that she is smiling all the time, (and even laughing some times!) she has also learned to pout.  It is the saddest face you've ever seen.  Her mouth turns into a perfect upside down U, and her bottom lip sticks out so far.  This is also paired with crying, and happens when she is really really tired.  

I really like that I am starting to figure this gal out a little bit more.  She is doing very well with her schedule . . . although the shots threw us off a little bit.  Anyways, we are still striving for a little bit longer stretches at night, but I can't complain too much.  

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Back to School

Today is my second day back at school.  Not bad.  Actually it would be as good as I could imagine going back to school would be, if only I weren't sick.  I've had a little nagging cough for a couple of days.  Yesterday was too much for my little throat and I lost my voice.  Then I didn't get much sleep last night and so today I had the saddest, squeakiest voice you've ever heard.  But I taught 6 lessons.  By the time school was out, I could barely make myself heard on the phone when I called Steven.  

But I'm glad I'm back at school . . . for now.  I do miss being at home with Steven and Davie, but it's nice to have a routine and something to get up and showered for.  

Davie is doing well on her little "schedule".  We're trying to get her to eat at 5am, 8am, 11am, 2pm, 5pm, 8pm, 11pm, and then hopefully not at 2am.  Last night she woke up at 2am, and so I gave her a pacifier until 3am, and then fed her half of what she normally eats . . . enough to ease her back to sleep.  Then I fed her half again at 5am.  The rest of the day has been pretty much right on.  We'll see how tonight goes.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Day Two and Three Without the Pacifier (and Day Four With It)

So, Day 2 and 3 went just fine, but the poor kid is all over the place schedule-wise.  I had decided this weekend to, for the most part, let her be . . . and see when she tends to get hungry and sleepy and go from there.  I kept notes.

Steven and I talked it over and decided to at least set a first feeding time in the morning (at 8am) and a last feeding at night (at 11pm) and see how it goes.  She's made it 6 hours quite a few times but they are always different times, so we're going to try to reign it in.  For this effort we will need the workings of a pacifier.  It is a great tool for scheduling.  It can tide them over before eating.  It can help them fall asleep.  

I didn't like thinking about using the pacifier as a "sleep prop" . . . but I thought, if we can get her on a fairly predictable (yet flexible) schedule, then we can worry about getting rid of the pacifier later.  It makes sense that if you eat at the same times everyday, after a week or two, you get hungry at the same times everyday.  If you sleep at the same time everyday, after a week or two, you get sleepy at the same times everyday.  If you wake up at the same time everyday, after a week or two, you start waking up on your own at the same times everyday.  

So, now that I know about how much she eats in 24 hours and how much she sleeps in 24 hours, and around when those times are . . . we can kind of set up some times of our own and see if she will work with us.  She very well may not!

Thanks for the pacifier posts!  I needed the encouragement.  

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Day One Without the Pacifier

Like I said before - we've had a rough couple of days.  I wore myself out over-analyzing what could be wrong.  I think I am reading TOO much, and just need to go with the flow a bit more.  But out of my desperation, I think I did discover a few things.  

A)  It was time for us to trash the pacifiers.  I know she's only 7.5 weeks old, but when she started crying everytime it fell out of her mouth, I knew it was time.  Yesterday was our first full day without it.  It was . . . rough.  The poor dear just kept vigorously sucking the air and flailing her tongue about and fussing.  I manipulated her in to sleeping 1.5 hours twice in the morning, and she pretty much didn't sleep after that until about 10pm.  She wasn't really that fussy though for not sleeping.  

B)  We also upgraded her bottle nipple.  I bought a few different kinds that were for 3 months and up.  I cannot believe the difference it made for her.  It used to take her 45-60 minutes to eat 2.5 - 3 ounces.  And she rarely ever ate more than 3 ounces.  She'd get tired of working so hard and quit, and then be hungry an hour later.  Since I switched yesterday evening, she's been eating 4 ounces in 20 minutes!  Hallelu!  

C)  Today I am not thinking about what "the books" say.  I'm going to watch Davie for cues, and go from there.  I'm writing EVERYTHING down, so I can compare her routine day to day and not just make her do what I think she should do.  

Gotta go, she's waking up from her nap!!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Cry It Out / Weaning Binky / Eating More

Davie has been pretty difficult the past 3 or 4 days . . . compared to the breathing babydoll she was before that is.  I have scoured the internet looking up thing that might tell me what to do to help her be more content.  I already mentioned the over-tired issue . . . but I think that is because she is not napping well for one of the following reasons now:

A)  She has gotten used to sleeping on us, and now we've started trying to put her down before she's asleep and she wakes up early (like after 25-35 minutes).

B)  She wakes up wanting her pacifier, or if she has it to begin with, it falls out and she wakes up.

C)  She doesn't eat enough, and wakes up hungry.

I think all of these play a role in why she is not sleeping well . . . my mistake was trying to tackle all these issues at the same time.  It made for a VERY mad baby, and a VERY anxious mom.  Anyways, I decided the easiest thing to fix is trying to get her to eat more at each feeding.  After looking over my little "baby log", I realized the times she slept the longest were the times she ate the most before.  

I think she wants to be like her momma and eat small amounts very frequently.  So today I am stretching out the time between feedings to see if she'll eat more (she is also a very leisurely eater).  

I think the next thing to tackle is the pacifier thing.  By the way, let me know your thoughts on pacifiers and your experience with them.  I think we'll just hold her or rock her or whatever for a few days instead of using the pacifier.  I don't want her to NEED it to sleep or stay asleep.  We'll see.  

Then at some point we'll work on the napping in her crib thing.  She does good at night, so I'm not too worried about it.  But I can't handle the "cry it out" thing yet.  

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Over-Stimulation

Poor Davie.  Her dumb mother has subjected her to stimuli that her little nervous system is not ready to handle.  Last night, we went to the OKC Thunder game ... with a 7 week old.  It was SO outrageously loud.  She didn't act like it bothered her then, and actually I had her asleep in a sling most of the time.  But when she woke up at home, she was VERY upset.  We tried everything - feeding, changing, pacifying.  She was so mad she wouldn't even let a pacifier past her lips.  Finally, I swaddled her up tight and we turned out all the lights in her room and rocked while I shushed her.  She calmed down enough to take a pacifier, and then after that she was good.  Whew.  

Today I took her to school so I could get some stuff to plan for next week.  We stayed in the teacher's lounge during lunch.  My 4th grade team is laidback and calm, so no big deal.  The 5th grade teachers are loud and boisterous and I think she became over-stimulated again, because tonight she was again inconsolable.  

It's important to remember that babies DO have immature nervous systems, and therefore need us to shield them from getting over-stimulated or over-tired.  We have to look for "cues" that tell us they are getting tired, and then get them to a quiet place where they can rest.  

I looked up techniques for soothing a baby that is over-tired.  I found a website/book/DVD called "The Happiest Baby on the Block".  The dude (Dr. Karp) talks about 5 S's: 1) swaddling (tightly with arms down by their sides), 2) shushing (louder than their crying, or use some kind of white noise), 3) side (lay them on their side or tummy . . . I prefer us being tummy to tummy with her on her side), 4) swinging (or some kind of rhythmic motion), 5) sucking (pacifier, finger, bottle, or breast).  

Most of these I tried before reading this out of instinct (or desperation).  I'm checking out the DVD and the book from the library, so I'll be writing about that soon.  Hopefully though, I can just avoid the whole over-stimulation thing and look for signs that she is getting tired, and skip this whole frantic soothing thing next time.  


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Baby Slings Galore

I am a baby sling connoisseur.  When I was pregnant, I thought that the highlight of motherhood would be carrying my little bundle of joy around in a stylish little baby carrier.  I had many slings given to me.  So I have personal experience with 5 different brands, and I am here to give my two cents on them.  (By the way, because I have a husband that also wants to use the sling, I have to get boring neutral colors.  But I do appreciate having a husband like that).

Maya Wrap - I got a hand-me-down and I was so excited about it.  It was an XL, but I figured it was just a bunch of fabric with some rings, so I could adjust it.  I think I would've liked this one a whole lot, but I couldn't get it to fit right.  

Baby Bjorn - The old standby . . . but Davie is 6 weeks old now and is still a bit small for this.  I think this one will be great when she gets a little bigger, like when we go on hikes and junk.  
BABYBJĂ–RN Baby Carrier Original Star

Hotslings - Again, I got this one a bit too big.  It is not adjustable, but I washed it and it shrunk up a little bit.  But because it's not adjustable at all, it's kind of difficult to get the baby in and out sometimes.  


Munchkin Cargo Sling - This one was quite awkward.  It had a teeny strap that digs into your shoulder, and the sling is like an elastic bag that you place your baby in.  Weird.   
Jelly Bean  Cargo Sling

Baby K'Tan - MY FAVORITE.  This one is fabulous.  It has straps to go over both shoulders to equalize the weight.  It is 100% cotton, so it's nice and stretchy and obviously adjustable somewhat.  You can also wear it like 8 different ways.  Davie really seems comfortable in this one, and it's definitely more comfy for me.  
tie dye baby carrier

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Intrauterine Hell

Today I got my IUD inserted.  Yikesers!  It was a hellacious experience.  

You would think (as I did) that after having a 7 pound baby naturally, that having a teeny tiny device placed in my uterus would be like a slap on the wrist.  Well, it was like being slapped on the wrist with an electrifying cat-of-nine-tails.  

It turns out my uterus was tilted toward my back so they couldn't get it to measure the required measurement.  I laid on the table for nearly 30 minutes while they poked and prodded and I cramped and cringed.  I was SO CLOSE to saying, "Nevermind.  Just write me a prescription for oral contraceptives!"  It was really painful.  Finally, they got another doctor, and he got it in - THAT WAS A DOOZIE.  Afterwards, I sat up and felt lightheaded, so they made me lie back down and eat some crackers and juice.  So then I had to lay there 15 more minutes.

I felt crampy and terrible for a few hours.  Currently, I'm doing okay . . .  but that could be because I overdosed on Ibuprofen.  I plan on staying "doped up".  

At least with childbirth, I was distracted by a million things (and I had adrenaline on my side).  

Monday, September 29, 2008

Real Daddies Love Diapers!

If you are a new mom, then you probably feel like no one can take care of your baby as good as you.  I don't know if it's a "if you want something done right, do it yourself" mentality, or just a mother's instinct, or something else - but it's there.  

There is no one I trust in the world with Davie more than my husband Steven.  I mean, we've made all our decisions involving her together, so he knows everything.  The only thing he is lacking is "motherly instincts" . . . AKA - what seems like common sense to a woman.  But that sure seems like a lot sometimes.  The GREAT thing is that I have a husband that wants to be as involved as possible.

I got some great advice from one of my student's mothers a few days before I went into labor.  By the way, I respect this woman immensely because her daughter was angelic in every category of life.  You could tell she was raised right.  Her darling mother asked who would be watching Davie when I returned to work, and I told her that fortunately my husband worked from home during the weekdays and he would be taking care of her.  She thought this was spectacular.  She said, "Let him do as much as possible with her.  So many moms just do everything themselves and don't let the father's actually care for the baby."

I read that it's important for dads to change diapers, help with feeding, give baths, pack diaper bags, etc.  This is more for the father's sense of bonding than the babies.  If the dad takes care of the baby (not just holds and plays with) when they are little, they will feel more responsible for them as they grow up and be more involved throughout their life.  VITAL!  

I go back to school (to answer Amanda's question) on October 20th.  So, as hard as it is, I have the added motivation of knowing that in 3 short weeks, whether I like it or not, Davie and Daddy are on their own for at least 9 hours a day, 5 days a week.  

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Miraculous Body of a Mother

I realized this morning, I have a brand new respect for my body.  This respect is obviously not for the physical beauty that motherhood has brought me.  It's because it is the body of a chronic survivor.  You will do things you did not think possible.  For example, anyone that knows me KNOWS that I do not function on less than 7 hours of sleep.  I've always been that way.  Even as a giddy junior high girl at church camp . . . I was the one shushing everyone else so I could get some shuteye.  

The other night I got much less sleep than what I require - and I survived.  I was a little beat the next day, but I got a little more sleep last night and now I feel almost as good as new.  

You wake up countless times to feed or change or burp your baby, and you feel soooo groggy, like you cannot possibly get out of bed.  Then once you are standing there over your baby's crib, you are invigorated . . . you even smile!  At 3AM!!!  

Anyways, being a mother puts you so intensely in focus, that you can do anything - especially when it involves your child.  

Now, having said that, Steven and I are seriously discussing whether I will continue pumping once I go back to school.  You see, I have always used every last minute of every allowed break to work on stuff for school.  I never just sit around and chat with other teachers or surf the web on my breaks.  I grade, plan, and make copies.  So, now if I am spending that time pumping, then I will have to go early or stay late . . . and I already go an hour early and stay at least 15 minutes after.  When will I see my baby?!  And when I do, what state will I be in?  Anyways, we are thinking about it.  What is best?  That Davie gets the best possible nutrients in her body, or that she gets the best possible version of me when she sees me?  I think the latter . . . but hopefully she can have both.  

Also, she has got that crazy newborn rash that looks so awful and painful, but everyone keeps saying that it's normal.  It still makes me sad.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Is this typical?

Last night was like one of those nights you watch on a movie, read about, or hear other people tell stories about - a stereotypical night in the house of a newborn.  Yikes.

Davie was NOT happy with us.  Neither Steven nor I had seen her like this.  We were a little freaked out.  Finally after an hour or so, she tolerated me walk/bouncing around the house.  I managed to change her diaper somehow.  She seemed somewhat calm, and so I put her to bed.  After she woke up 3 more times, I decided to move this party to the living room.  I put her in her swing and rested my eyes on the couch.  By 3am, I had slept maybe 2 hours (very unrestful sleep), so I thought it was Steven's turn.  Thankfully, she did better after that for Steven, and I got to sleep for 3 or 4 hours until it was my turn again.  

It was rough.  I feel bad for the people that have these nights every evening.  How do they do it?

I did have an epiphany though.  Even though I drastically reduced my caffeine-intake, I still have a Dr. Pepper every once in awhile.  I think I see a pattern if I'm remembering correctly.  Each time I pump after I have a Dr. Pepper . . . Davie seems a little fussier than usual after she eats.  

So - no more Dr. Pepper for us.

I should go take a nap now.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

She's growing up so fast!

Last night I gave Steven the night off.  He went out with some friends from out of town and Davie and I had a quiet evening at home . . . semi-quiet.  We went to bed around 8:15pm, I in my queen-size bed, she in her laundry basket beside me.  This is usually her "fussy time" so I was a little worried.  Indeed it was her fussy time this evening, no exception just because Dad is not there to walk her around the house until she is sleeping soundly.  Every time my eyes drifted shut, she would start crying.  I'd wait a few minutes and when she got louder and more frantic, I picked her up and calmed her down.  I even gave her a pacifier a few times, but each time it fell out while she was sleeping she'd wake up crying again.  

I had read that 15-20 minutes of crying isn't going to scar a baby for life . . . I just wasn't sure if I was going to be able to lay there right beside her for that long listening to her sad little cry for 15-20 minutes . . . or 5 minutes for that matter.  So, I took her basket to her room and put it in her crib and turned on the monitor and went back to my bed.  A bit later the crying started.  I lowered the volume on the monitor slightly and waited.  After five minutes, she was asleep . . . without a pacifier.  (I had also read that sometimes babies need to exert that energy through crying to sleep soundly, and when you keep picking them up, you rob them of that).  

She stayed in her room the WHOLE night, like a big girl.  It was good for us as parents because when she slept right beside the bed anytime she made a peep, we'd pat her, or pick her up, or stick a pacifier in her mouth.  But when you hear her little whimpers through the monitor, and your only decision is to wait it out or to get out of bed and walk to her room at 2am, it makes it a little easier to wait.  And she has never slept so well . . . after the earlier episode that is.  

Now the question is when the crying lasts for longer than 5 minutes . . . what do we do?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Panic Attack Avoided

Today we took a family trip to Wal-mart.  As I rode in the passenger seat, I allowed my mind to wander.  I started thinking about the implications of having a dependent.  They are "dependent" on you . . . completely.  I started thinking about my past life of carefree frivolity . . . and then I thought about how many minutes it took to pack up Davie and all of her belongings and the thought process it took to make sure we aren't going to be out when she needs to eat, etc.  THEN I thought about how everyday for the next I don't know how long, this is how it will be.  

I started to feel faint, literally.  My heart beat fast, my face got warm, and I started to feel pretty ill.  Then I turned around and looked at my baby sleeping in the back seat.  Panic attack avoided.  I love her so much.  

What's strange is she doesn't DO anything for me.  She (most likely) doesn't have the capacity to "love" me back.  But I love her.  It is the most selfless love I have for her . . . and this may be my only chance to experience that from this point of view (as love-er, instead of love-ee).  One day, hopefully, she will love me as her mother.  But for now, it's my honor to love her and take care of her.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

If you read ONE book . . .

. . . it should be "On Becoming Babywise".  I give all (okay, most) of the glory of my lovely, predictable newborn to the principles I learned in this book.  Here is my summary for all of you who are cutting it close to your due dates and don't have time to read it yet (although you should still buy it or check it out from the library and read it as soon as you can).

Principles from Babywise (in no particular order):

-  Do everything within your power to give your baby a full feeding every time you feed him/her.  This is usually only difficult because babies like to fall asleep while eating.  WAKE THEM!  If you don't, they will wake up mad and hungry way too soon.  Plus, if you are breastfeeding they need to feed long enough to get the nutritious hindmilk.  So, change their diapers, their clothes, dab them with a warm wet cloth, etc.  

-  Try to stick to a 2.5 - 3 hour schedule with feeding, during the day.  This means if you start to feed the baby at 8am, the next time you will feed them will be at 11am.  This is what I stick to.

-  After the first week, try to set a first feeding time and stick to it.  Ours is 8am.  Today we had to change that up a bit, it's okay to be flexible.  Try to be fairly consistent though.

-  During the day, you should have 3 things happen with baby.  Feeding time (about 30 minutes), Wake time (about 15-20 minutes after feeding), Naptime (until you wake them for next feeding.  At night, however, you will just let them sleep (not longer than 4-5 hours) and then when they start to stir and show hunger cues, get them up and feed them (change their diaper probably afterwards) and put them right back down.

-  If you stick to those 3 things pretty consistently during the day, the baby will not likely get their days and nights mixed up.  Also, do not think that if the baby stays awake longer during the day, that she/he will sleep better at night.  It just gets them overstimulated and then they have a hard time settling down.  

-  Oh, and a new lesson we learned, newborns cry sometimes . . . and it's okay.  We just recently have been letting Davie put herself to sleep for naps.  After she's awake for awhile, we swaddle her up nice and tight, put her in her basket, turn on the monitor and wait.  Sometimes she fusses a little bit, but you can tell it's a sleepy whiny cry and not a PAIN cry.  If you hear that he/she is distraught (or after 15 minutes is still fussing), then try to go calm the baby down.  They might need to burp . . . or just to be held.  But if you can suffer through a little crying now, you'll be glad later when they know what to expect.  Babies learn SO fast.  

Try to put these in to practice (again, flexibility is okay) as soon as possible.  It is really nice to have a predictable baby . . . what with the anxiety you WILL experience anyways.  Again, if there is ONE book to read in preparation for baby, it should be this one.  

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

TO MY FUTURE MOMMY FRIENDS

Ladies,

    As many of you know, I became an official mother on August 27, 2008 at 12:06am.  Since that day, I started a journey.  This journey is one of insecurity, but also tenacity to do whatever I have to do for this child.  

    It seems like I am one of the first of MANY in a row to have a baby.  Truthfully, I have never known more pregnant people in my whole life.  I have a friend or two (or three) having a baby every month from now until February.  One of the most helpful and encouraging things to me since bringing home Davie has been online forums.  When I was feeling SO discouraged about breastfeeding or my "new life", it was so lovely to go find other new moms who are dealing with or have dealt with the same thing.  It got me to thinking about all of you.  How could we help each other out on our journeys?  

    So I wanted to try setting up our own sort of "forum", where we can ask questions, tell our stories, voice our frustrations, etc.  I've had some GREAT conversations with some of you about pregnancy, labor, and the first days home from the hospital.  I hope we can make these conversations more public for my many round-bellied friends.  So, any topics you want to discuss with the group, post them!