Tuesday, December 30, 2008

remember me?

Sweet fancy Moses, what a gawd-awful blogger I've been. The holidays were a whirlwind both in the lead up and the wind down. I've kept meaning to sit down and post something, anything, for what seems like ages, but I just never found the time. I don't even have a good excuse. I have been reading other blogs (thank you iPhone) without commenting as much, so I do feel somewhat up-to-date with what's going on out there in the blogosphere.

Maya is four months old now! She is getting more amazing every day. She "talks" all the time now, and has added words to her repertoire such as "boy", "ooh-gah", "my", "goy" and her favourite, "b'wah". She has full-on convos with me, her daddy and her toys. It's beyond adorable.

She is also sitting up really well now. She still needs a little bit of support, but has become very steady over the past couple of weeks. She loves sitting up so much that she whines when she is laid down again. She just loves to be a big girl! And she really is - my four month old Maya is in 9 month clothing now. Wow!

We've started playing "games" with her as well. She smiles and laughs all the time. Maya is getting more and more interactive every day. She is just getting so fun.

Christmas was fun but exhausting. And truth be told, I think it was hard on our little one. Poor thing was dragged place to place and passed from person to person. Her naps were a complete afterthought and her solid little schedule went right out the window. We've spent the last few days trying to get her back on track. Also, Maya's eye (the one with the blocked tear duct) got a bit infected again over the holidays - I think a result of the crazy schedule, lack of naps, and all around non-stop excitement - and we had to take her into the clinic on Christmas Eve to get it looked at. Thankfully, we got some ointment and it seems to be all better now.

Christmas is hard on little babies, in my opinion. They're not old enough to be excited about, or even understand, Santa and presents, but they're still forced to participate in all the festivities that surround the holidays. Party after party, relative after relative, get together after get together. By December 27th, our poor kiddo didn't know if she was coming or going.

Maya did, however, get really spoiled for Christmas (of course, you knew she would). Grandma and Zeda (Grandpa) went nuts as did her Uncle and Auntie (my brother and his girlfriend). She got a play gym, a Jumperoo, a bunch of cute clothes, an Elmo toy, a little musical thing that plays classical songs and flashes lights (she loves it), some books, some stuffed animals, and my parents even set up an education fund for her. Totally awesome. Her favourite Christmas gift, however, is a little Winnie The Poo doll which makes her grin ear to ear every time we bring it out.

Speaking of the holidays, tomorrow is New Years Eve - can you believe it? The last day of 2008. I'm usually not a big one for New Year's resolutions, but this year I felt like making some. After a lot of thought, I came up with 5, and they are all near and dear to my heart.

For 2009, I resolve to:

1. FINALLY lose the rest of my baby weight. I don't have that much to lose, but I'm sick and tired of looking at that extra bit of belly that I'm lugging around. I'm really not a "dieter", but I think I'm going to make an exception in this case. I just want my old body back. I'm still up a couple of sizes and I want to wear my pre-preg clothes again. I figure, if I'm disciplined, I can lose the rest of my pregnancy weight in about 2-3 months. I can do this!

2. Keep my promises. I have a very bad habit of reneging on things I've vowed to do. It's really uncool. I don't know what on earth has made me so unreliable in this regard, but it's got to come to an end. 'Nuff said.

3. Be kinder to my hands. I wash my poor hands waaaaay too much (of course when one is changing a dozen diapers a day, I'm not sure how to get around it...). My hands are so dry and rough that they sometimes crack and bleed from all the washing. My nails look horrible lately and my cuticles are wrecked. Someone once told me that a woman's hands are her second face, and I think this is true. So, 2009 will be the era of better hands. I shall wash more gently, moisturize regularly and keep them pretty.

4. Spend less/save more. I think this one is on everyone's resolution list this year.

5. Be more mindful of my words and actions. I often speak without thinking, and act without consideration. I put my foot in my mouth and probably slightly offend people on a regular basis. It's only later that I realize and regret what I've said or done. I'm not by any means a mean person, but I can certainly be thoughtless. I'm not proud of it, and it's certainly no way to live. So, more thinking and listening and less speaking and acting is in order.

What are YOUR resolutions for 2009?

Monday, December 15, 2008

now that we've all come to know each other

Amazing the difference a few short weeks makes. Maya is creeping up on four months old now, and we have really come into a solid routine.

My little girl is now, and has been for over a month now, a reliable little clock. She goes down for three naps at day - at 10:00am (for half an hour), at 1:00pm (for one hour) and at 4:00pm (for half an hour). She's in the bath at 7:00pm and asleep for the night at 8:00pm. We've got this thing down to a science.

And I must admit, I'm loving it. Having a good routine makes planning the day so much better. It's so funny, sometimes I forget to look at the clock and I'll wonder why Maya is being a cranky-pants (is she hungry? is she dirty? what's wrong?), and then I'll realize, "OH it's 12:58, she's telling me it's nap time". And so down for a nap she happily goes.

In other news, the baby babble is in full force. She says SO many consonants now. She's even said "words" - for example, "mum", "doo doo" and "Pulau". Of course she has no idea what she's saying but I still like to think my daughter's a little genius.

And the dairy-free living is still going great. I really don't miss it at all. Plus it seems to be helping me shed the last of my baby weight. But of course the best part is that Maya is feeling fantastic. She never has a minute of gas anymore and even the spitting up has been greatly reduced. I guess some kids just aren't meant to have dairy. Our doctor says that she'll probably have a hard time with dairy for the first few years of her life but she should grow out of it eventually.

We bought Maya a Jumperoo for Christmas this year and gave it to her a bit early (mummy was too excited and couldn't wait). She loves it! Behold:



And here's Santa's Little Helper donning her Christmas hat:

Monday, December 8, 2008

santa's little helper


Goodness gracious I looooooooove my baby girl!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

a post in three parts

Part Un:

One is enough, I've decided. One kid is all I need. I am so utterly happy, content and satisfied with my one sweet little baby, I really don't feel any desire for a second. (Plus, Maya is such a good-natured, calm, easy baby - you just know if we had a second one we'd get a little stinker.) I always thought I would just want one but everyone warned me that once I had one kid, I'd want more. At this point, I just don't think so; but of course, never say never.

I have virtually no desire to be pregnant again, either. I see pregnant women all the time and I just feel so thankful that it's not me. (How's THAT for a crazy turnaround from this time last year?) It's not that I didn't enjoy my pregnancy; I absolutely loved being preggers. But it was an anxious time for me, full of worry, anxiety and fear. I guess that's the gift that the miscarriage left behind.

I have everything I've ever wanted, all wrapped up in the sweetest little package. Maya is my whole heart and I just can't imagine loving anyone more. And I don't want to have to share any of my attention, I want her to have it all. And she does. And it's perfect.

...now that I've actually put all this in writing, watch me get pregnant again by accident...

Part Deux:

D bought me an iPhone over the weekend and I am having a love affair with it. Man the things it can do! I never thought something like this could exist in my lifetime. But here it is! I don't have too much more to say on this subject but just had to let you all know that I am having way too much fun with my new toy. (In fact, I stayed up until nearly 2am last night playing with it, while husband and baby snoozed away...)

Part Trois:

We took Maya to get her picture taken with Santa Claus today. Santa made his appearance at a local department store downtown, so we dressed Miss Maya up and took her down there to sit on his lap. Meanwhile, mummy was having a breakdown. Why? Because of the germs. I know I am far too crazy about this stuff - seriously - like right now I have Kleenex boxes on my feet a la Howard Hughes. But seriously, I was envisioning long lines filled with snot-nosed children and oh the germs on Santa's lap and hands. (Is it just me or do other peoples' kids just seem so...dirty?)

Anyway, I know this is all about me and my insanity and it makes no sense. In fact, the thinking part of my brain knows that it's actually good for her to be exposed to all kinds of situations like this to help build up her immunity. But like I said, I am crazy. A germaphobe is a kind way of saying what I am.

And I really don't want Maya to miss out on any fun or opportunities because I am crazy. So I sucked it up, took her to see Santa and sit on his lap, cringed as the photographer put her finger in Maya's mouth to wipe off some drool, and couldn't help but notice Santa's dirty fingernails. And there did end up being, in fact, a dirty little boy in line behind us who was positively plagued with green snot pouring out of his nose. But whatever. We did it. I survived. Maya smiled the sweetest smile for the camera. And then we rushed home to give her a bath.

The pictures were promised by Wednesday - will post as soon as I get them!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

they grow up so fast

Maya is asleep right now, sound asleep, in her crib.

For the first time ever.

She is fine but I am losing my shit. I miss her terribly and she's only in the next room!

I realized that since she was born - three and a half months ago - that we have never been separated. Never ever. Not even by one room's distance (except for maybe 5 to 10 minutes at a time). Partly because she won't take a bottle so I can't leave her with anyone for any real amount of time. And partly because we're joined at the hip and I seem to be addicted to my daughter. I can't help it, I love her so.

So yeah, we've got the baby monitor going and D and I are sitting downstairs trying to watch TV and keep ourselves busy on our respective laptops but truth be told, we're both eyeing the baby monitor intently for any slight movement or sound.

I know what you're thinking - you must let her grow up, she needs some separation from her mummy for her own sake. I know, I know, you're right. It's time. And I'm sure I'll get used to it. But in the meantime, I feel kinda sick. And antsy.

This is hard. Like really hard. Does it get easier? Tell me it gets easier!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

32 and keeping busy

I've been meaning to post an update for a few days now. This last week has been crazy. I was my birthday - turned 32! - and my parents and my brother came to town to help me celebrate.
What a great birthday I had. I woke up, rolled over in bed and peeked in the bassinet only to find my beautiful little girl grinning back at me. Right then and there, I knew it was going to be a fantastic day and an amazing year.

I had lovely time with my family and a great (dairy-free) dinner. And I already have the best present I could ever imagine, but I also got a cute pair of Juicy Couture sweats from my brother, a couple of sweaters and an awesome baby book from my parents and a winter coat from D.

I've also been kept busy by planning a surprise birthday party for my friend L. She is turning 30! It's incredible how much work goes into planning a party; thank goodness her husband is really taking the reins on this one.
Vegan(ish) living has been tough, but worth it. Maya's poos have been beautiful since I gave up dairy/meat. She has had virtually no gas either, which has been great because gas was a pretty big problem for her before. And the spitting up has even been greatly reduced. I just wish I'd gone dairy-free sooner!

I just need to find some better vegan resources. It's amazing how much sneaky dairy is in foods you'd never expect, like crackers and cereal. Whey powder, calcium stearate, casein - plus a million other ingredients - all "code names" for dairy based ingredients. Maya is so sensitive that I have really had to cut out any trace of dairy, even if it's just a little bit waaay at the end of an ingredients list. But it's so worth it. She feels better. I feel better. Down with dairy.

In other news, I'm almost finished with our Christmas shopping. It was soooo fun shopping for a kid this year. Maya is getting this from mummy and daddy this year. I think she's going to love it! It was a toss up between the Jumperoo and a play mat, but I think ultimately this will last a bit longer in terms of her interest.

I am finding myself so giddy thinking about the holidays this year. I haven't felt like this since I was a kid. Having a baby changes everything. I am so excited, happy and blessed to be seeing Christmas through Maya's eyes. She's going to have so much fun. I can't wait!

Speaking of Christmas, I am having Maya's picture taken with Santa this weekend. I think it's obligatory, despite the fact that I'm going to have to disinfect her afterwards (ewwwww just think of all the germs). But it's Baby's First Christmas and it's a must. I'll definitely post those photos when I get them.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

got soy milk?

Well, after 5 days of being dairy, chocolate and caffeine free, I can honestly say that there has been some improvement in the colour and consistency of Miss Maya's poo poo. Yesterday it went back to green again temporarily, but it looks like it's come back around to yellow. I am pretty sure this points to the fact that she is very, very sensitive to dairy. Makes sense, her daddy was the same way when he was a baby.

Substituting soy has been pretty easy. I'm lucky to live in a day and age where there are countless substitutes for just about any dairy or meat product you can think of. Here are some things I've learned:

Soy milk - GOOD
Chocolate soy milk - VERY GOOD
Soy cheese - NOT SO GOOD
Soy sour cream - PALATABLE
Soy yogurt - BLECH
Soy ice cream - YUM

So, we're managing.

Maya's getting so good with her hands now. She grabs things and holds on tight. When wants to nurse, she'll practically pull my shirt up. She's also laughing a lot lately. Especially in response to being tickled. It's adorable.

And, in the last couple of weeks, Maya has been taking naps! She just kinda fell into a routine and it's been great. She usually has one nap in the morning, about an hour and a half after she wakes up, and then another nap in the early afternoon.

Speaking of naps, someone is just waking up from hers now.... gotta run!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

vegan(ish)

I love animals. Big fan from way back. It may even surprise you to know that my college major (before I dropped out) was veterinary science. I've always had pets and even used to volunteer at the local animal shelter. Yup, I sure do love me some animals. But I guess I don't love them enough to not eat their delicious meat, drink their yummy milk, or wear their supple leather.

HOWEVER. I DO love my baby girl enough to do absolutely anything. And if it means practically going vegan, well, then, so be it.

I discovered some mucous (in addition to a lovely green-hued poo) in this morning's diaper. It was this finding that landed us at the doctor's office at 2:00pm this afternoon. With the diaper in tow.

After some discussion and a quick exam, the doctor proclaimed that Maya's recent diaper excitement is likely NOT the product of a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance as originally thought, but probably instead a sensitivity to something in my breastmilk. I did question why Maya is suddenly reacting now - 12 weeks in - when I have been eating essentially the same stuff since the beginning. To this, my doctor just said something to the effect of it being "cumulative" and added that "babies are strange little creatures."

So, I have been instructed to remove from my diet:
All dairy
Beef
Caffeine
and *sniff sniff* Chocolate

I'm not really a big fan of seafood anymore (I used to like it until I got preggers and ever since I just can't stomach it). So that really just leaves poultry. Not that I really ate that much meat before. But the dairy, oh the dairy...that's going to hurt. I yearn for yogurt, I cheer for cheese, I melt for milk, I beg for butter, I scream for ice cream. But whatever. I'll do anything for Maya. No biggie.

So I am to keep this regiment for two weeks to start. At that point, we'll assess if Maya's poo has returned to normal, and if it has, then I can slowly add things back in to my diet until we figure out what is causing the upset. If there is no improvement, it's back to the doctor with us. I really hope this works.

*Raises a tall glass of soy milk* Here's to a beautiful yellow poo, as bright and perfect as a summer's day!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

st. patty's day came late this year

Shamrocks. Spinach. Cash. Grass. Trees. Granny Smith apples. Emeralds. NyQuil. Envy...
...and my baby's poo...
All lovely shades of green!

Yes, for the past 72 hours, Maya's poo has been the colour and consistency of *ahem*
pesto. TMI? I have no doubt.

A lengthy internet search and a call to the 24-hour nurse's hotline resulted in the following information:

Green baby poo in an EBF (exclusively breast-fed) baby is either caused by:
1. A foremilk/hindmilk imbalance
2. An allergy or reaction to something in the mother's diet
3. A virus

I'm also informed that green poo is not *usually* something to be concerned about unless that kiddo is showing other signs of illness as well.

I'm really not sure what to think. At 12 weeks, an milk imbalance would be unusual, I think. But who knows? Also, I have been seriously GOING TO TOWN on the chocolate lately. Can that cause it? Oh I hope it's not a virus; luckily baby girl is showing no other signs of feeling sick, and seems like her normal self. No fever, no vomiting. She has been quite gassy over the last couple of days and that has made her a bit cranky...she did cry a bit from gas pain earlier...but she does do that from time to time...

I let her really drain both breasts tonight so I'm hoping that maybe that'll fix things. Shall I keep you all posted? I know you're all at the edge of your seats, waiting with bated breath for the next installment of "Maya: The Poo Chronicles"...

Anyone got any advice, expertise, experience to share? My little leprechaun and I would sure be grateful.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

bath time and other adventures

Thanks for all your comments and advice, guys. We're still on the fence about the whole city vs. country thing. We're going to stew on it for a good while and see how we feel in a few months. No rash decisions here. (But I have a feeling this discussion is no where near over.)

Maya is 12 weeks old today! She is "talking" (babbling) more and more all the time. I love to have baby conversations with her, it's so funny. Her favourite conversation buddy is Elmo. My parents gave her this Elmo doll (who is exactly her size at this point) and she loves him so. Every time we bring him out she gets all excited and tells him all her secrets.

Maya has also started laughing and giggling a little bit. I've only managed to coax out a laugh maybe 5 times so far, but I feel like I've won the lottery when it happens.

Over the past couple of weeks, I've noticed that Maya has woken herself up crying a few times. It's heartbreaking to watch, it's almost like she's having a nightmare. Once she's awake, she immediately stops crying and looks kinda confused. I don't know what the heck she's dreaming about that upsets her so much. Maya so rarely cries when she's awake, I hate to think that she's dreaming about something bad or scary.

Our routine is pretty much solidified now. Solidified into basically not being much of a routine at all. We've got the whole bedtime thing down pat - 6pm bath time, 6:30 feeding, 7:00 play with daddy while I make dinner, 7:30 feed again until sleeping and then at that point, our little girl is out for the night.

But daytime is another story. I try to get her down for naps, really I do. But she just doesn't nap well, or consistently. Some days she'll get maybe two hours in and other days (most days) she gets 10 minutes here and there but nothing to speak of. I can't really complain though; she sleeps about 12 hours a night and usually about 6-8 hours at a stretch. She sleeps through the night at least once or twice a week now. We're very, VERY lucky that way.

I guess it's my fault that Maya's not a great napper. We're always filling our days in different ways so she never seems to have the same day twice. Some days we stay home all day, some days we are out running errands, visiting friends, going to storytime at the library or out for a walk. I think all that variation really confuses baby girl's little "internal clock" so she just kinda naps when she naps. If she naps at all.

Here are some pictures from Maya's bath time last night. I "styled" her hair for the first time and was laughing so hard at how adorable she looked that Maya started grinning and squealing back at me as if to say, "I'm funny but I don't know why!" I had to grab the camera. Check out my little cutie:




I am sooooo in love!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

city mouse, country mouse

I am a self-proclaimed, big-time, big city girl.

I live in Vancouver, British Columbia - quite a metropolis in my opinion. It's not like it's New York City or anything, but it's definitely a big city. And, we live in the heart of downtown. In a high-rise condo. There is a grocery store, two coffee shops, three restaurants, a post office, a bank, a liquor store, a travel agency, a salon and a doggie-accessory shop (I'm serious) just in the bottom storey of our building alone. We can go downstairs and quite literally eat at one of a zillion restaurants. I don't have to leave the footprint of four city blocks for anything; it's all right here. This is city living at it's finest and we've absolutely loved living here.

But something's changed. Now we have a kid.

Suddenly, out of the blue, I find myself thinking about a house, a yard and small-town lifestyle. I used to scoff at my friends, tried and true city folk, when they started having babies and were struck with this very same notion. And here it is, happening to me. Today, during Maya's nap, I guiltily started searching online for the most-livable towns in British Columbia, researching school districts, crime rates and family statistics. I actually started imagining a life in one of these small towns, hours and hours away from the city I've lovingly called home for these past 6 years.

D wouldn't have to work nearly as hard or as long to support us; the cost of living and the housing prices would be way cheaper than what we're paying now, and therefore we'd have more time to spend as a family. We could easily trade in our two bedroom brownstone for a 6 bedroom house on acreage for half the price. I could send Maya outside to play in the yard, rather than take her to the public park. The sound of traffic and sirens would be replaced with birds and crickets. We'd know our neighbours. We'd be able to see the stars at night. I can't believe I'm typing this, I can't even believe I'm thinking this, but it's all starting to sound so...appealing.

That's not to say that city living doesn't offer some advantages when it comes to raising a kid. We've got a great community centre only one block away. We don't need a car; in fact, we don't even own one, and there is an elementary school just across the street. There are a million great places to take a kid in the city - the aquarium, the planetarium, the library, different neighbourhoods and streets to explore. And as far as amenities, it really doesn't get more convenient. Vancouver is such an awesome city.

So this is all kind of a conundrum. I am really confused. And I need your help.

What would YOU do? Comments, advice, words of wisdom - totally appreciated.

Monday, November 10, 2008

what a difference a year makes

November 11th is a significant date to me. It was my LMP (last menstrual period). This time last year, I was gearing up for the IVF and on November 11th, the "cycle" officially began. Two weeks later (on November 25th) I'd have the egg retrieval and 5 days after that (November 30th), I'd have the transfer. The transfer of one perfect, gosh darn beautiful blastocyst.

This morning, I looked back at my posts on my old blog, The Trying Game, from this time last year. It seems like just yesterday and so long ago at the same time. I was reminded again, like I am every minute of every day, how incredibly blessed I am. I have the baby of my dreams and I am loving every second of motherhood. Every.Single.Second.

This time last year, I remember feeling full of worry, anxiety, and nerves. I remember some dark, dark times. I also remember feeling cautiously hopeful.

I never imagined that my life would turn out this blissful.

This time next year, I will be the mother of a little girl who is one year and three months old. She might be walking, starting to talk.

My birthday is at the end of November. I will be turning 32. For the past few years, I was always a bit sad on my birthday. My birthday reminded me that I was getting older and I wasn't living the life I wanted. I felt like I was failing.

This year will be different. Last year I was a wreck and this year I am completely happy, content and fulfilled. This year, I will wake up on my birthday and look at Maya's sweet face and feel like the luckiest person in the world. I wished for a baby when I blew out the candles on last year's birthday cake. My wish came true. I am finally a mother, and it is everything I hoped for and waaaaaaaay more.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

milestone!

She did it!  My brilliant little baby can finally hold her head up, nice and steady, all by herself!  What a big girl I have!

I'm so proud.  I'm seriously bursting with parental pride. I must have the smartest, most advanced little baby genius ever born. Of course, I could be biased.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

a day in the life

If you have a baby AND hold down a job or have other kids, you're my hero. If you have a baby AND hold down a job AND have other kids, well, there are just no words to describe my amazement.

I have one baby and my only job is to be a stay-at-home-mum. And I can't believe how fast the day goes and how little I get done. Seriously. Sometimes I look at the clock and it's 7:45am and then 5 minutes later I'll look again and it's 4:30pm. And I can't name a single thing that I've accomplished in that time. But there are women, millions of women out there, who have jobs and multiple kids and still find time to check email, have a hobby and exercise on a daily basis.

What am I doing wrong?

In an attempt to answer this question, I am outlining a typical day in my life with my 10-week-old baby Maya. Please note that the following does NOT take into account if we have to leave the house for any reason (doctor's appointments, grocery shopping, etc.) or if Maya's having one of her hungry or gassy days that require even more of my attention than usual. That's a whole other level of craziness.

It should also be noted that Maya is a fantastic sleeper but a terrible napper. Bless her heart, she will sleep for about 12 hours at night and usually for 6-8 hours at a stretch without waking up to feed. But napping is another story. She takes random catnaps here and there - if I'm lucky - and those typically don't last more than 30 minutes.

So here we go, here is a typical day in the life:

7:00am - Maya wakes up, feeds, change diaper
7:30am - Playtime
8:45am - Feed, diaper change
9:00am - I *try* to get Maya down for a nap, doesn't always happen. If she does nap, I try for a shower, I do laundry, empty the dishwasher, try to get some breakfast, etc.
10:00am - Feed, diaper change
10:30am - Playtime
11:30am - laundry, feed, diaper change
12:00pm - Playtime, if Maya isn't been too demanding I try to eat something quick
1:00pm - Feed, diaper change
1:30pm - *Try* to get Maya down for a nap. If successful, check email, blogs, laundry, etc.
2:30pm - Feed, diaper change
3:00pm - Playtime
4:00pm - Feed, diaper change, more laundry (if you're keeping count, YES, I do laundry ALL day)
4:30pm - Playtime
5:00pm - Feed, play
5:30pm - Feed, play (Maya is always really hungry in the evenings)
6:00pm - Bath time
6:30pm - Feed
7:00pm - Daddy plays with Maya while I make dinner. She usually nods off around 7:00/7:30pm
7:30pm - Parents eat dinner
8:00pm - We watch some TV
9:30pm - Bedtime for parents. I try to wake Maya for a feed around this time so she'll sleep longer but she usually doesn't wake up. Check diaper.
1:00am - Occasionally Maya will wake up for a feed at this time, maybe twice a week.
3:00am - Feed, change diaper
7:00am - We start all over again!


So what am I doing wrong? Where does the time go? Is it me? Am I missing something? I really want YOUR opinion. Please comment if you have any ideas.

I feel like I'm insanely busy all day.  But busy doing what?  I know it seems like I do a lot of feeding, and I do. But I let Maya feed on demand and for as long as she wants. I don't know how else to do it. I don't want her to be hungry. I do want her to feel like she can eat anytime she feels the need. Is that wrong?

Is anyone else experiencing this black hole of time suckage? I feel like I have to formally schedule in cutting my fingernails and drinking a glass of water. And going to the bathroom.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

in touch with the world again

My wonderful darling fabulous husband bought me a new computer. I had a desktop computer before and now I have a shiny new lovely laptop. Which means....I can post a lot more often than I have been since Maya was born AND keep better tabs on all my bloggy friends. Having the mobility of a laptop makes it a lot easier to do computery things with a baby. RIght now, for example, she is asleep next to me while I am clickity-clacking on my new computer on the bed. Hooray for my new computer!

Other news: At our last doctor's appointment (the one with the dreaded vaccines), Dr. M took a swab of Maya's blocked tear duct because it was a tad bit red and irritated looking. She called me yesterday to tell me that the results were in and the eye seems to have a very scant infection. So, she prescribed some eye ointment for us to use three times a day for a few days.

Have you ever tried to put ointment into a baby's eyes? Well let me tell you, it's not easy. The good news is that it seems to be working already. Her eye looks waaaaaay better than it did yesterday. Thank goodness.

Gosh it feels great to be able to post whenever I want now. And to check emails. And surf the web. I don't think we ever need to leave my bedroom again!

Observe: Maya's awake now and we are enjoying our new toy on the bed (this cool new computer has a camera built into the screen). Photo taken with Photo Booth.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

you know you're a mum when...

1. You can tell when a diaper is wet just by feeling the outside. Of two layers of clothing PLUS diaper.
2. You suddenly find yourself saying such nonsense as "cool beans" and "awesome possum", etc.
3. You realize that you haven't had an adult conversation in more than 48 hours.
4. You can almost pinpoint your baby's temperature to the tenth of a degree just by touch.
5. You eat your meals really, REALLY fast.
6. You know how to make a really catchy song out of any topic or random words strung together.
7. You still consider your clothing to be totally clean if there is only a little bit of spit-up on it.
8. It takes you 5 hours to do a task that should only take 20 minutes (i.e. reading the directions on how to use your new breast pump).
9. Your husband feels neglected.
10. The love of your life is less than 2 feet tall.

The vaccinations were awful. Maya cried so hard she made sounds I've never heard her make before. And I sobbed so hard the doctor had to give me a hug. It was brutal. Just horrible. I can't believe we have to go through it all again in another two months. I can't even think about that now.

The good news that came out of her two-month appointment is that she is growing perfectly, right on track, and is in the 75th percentile for all her measurements. She is thriving and that makes me really happy. More good news - it looks like her thrush is pretty much gone, or at least is on its way out. Yay!

And because the thrush is finally at bay, I decided to try pumping and bottle-feeding. I don't want to bottle feed all the time, just once in a while so I can do stuff like, I dunno, get a haircut for example. Well we tried for the first time this evening. I pumped a nice 3 ounce bottle this afternoon and D tried to give it to her when he got home from work. Maya was not having any of it. So I tried. No luck. By the end of the whole ordeal, Maya was crying and we were worn out. I ended up relenting and offering her my deflated boob and that was it. I think we'll try again and see how it goes, but I gotta say, it does not look good for bottle feeding right now.

Maya is growing so fast. She is two months old and is already in 3-6 month size clothing. Here are some recent pics of my baby girl:



Saturday, October 25, 2008

v-day

Monday, oh lord Monday. I am so dreading it.

Monday is the day that Maya is scheduled to get her first vaccines. I am totallyfreakingout. I would honestly prefer to get 1000 shots in my face than put her through getting the 4 shots in her thigh that she's in for. I don't know how I'm going to handle this. Dread. Dread. Double dread.

Studies have shown that babies feel less pain if they can breastfeed while getting the shots. So of course I'm going to do that. I am so scared. The mere idea of inflicting pain on my little sweet baby is honestly making me nauseous as I type this. I am just beside myself. Thank goodness D is taking the day off work to be with us. Please wish us luck and if you don't mind, we'd so appreciate a good thought sent our way on Monday at 11:45am PST.

In other news, we're still battling the thrush. Well not so much battling as not battling actually. It just wasn't getting any better despite the 14-day course of Nystatin. Or if it was getting better, it was just a minimal improvement at best. So, at our last appointment, Maya's doctor told us to stop all medications and "just see what happens". Dr. Jack Newman - breastfeeding guru - says that there is no reason to treat thrush unless it is causing problems or pain for the mother or the baby. And really, thank goodness, it isn't in our case. So we're following this advice. I can't tell if it looks like it's getting any better yet (of course I stare at it every day) but other people have said it seems like it's starting to clear up. We'll see what the doctor says when we see her on Monday.

Ug. Monday.

*Shudder*

Saturday, October 18, 2008

i like it

This post has been stewing in my head for the past couple of days now. I'm not sure who it's directed to specifically, I guess just other mums and mums-to-be. These are some items that, for the last 8 weeks, I have found absolutely indispensable. There is a lot, I mean A LOT of baby crap out there and here are some of the "must haves" in my opinion.

g Diapers. These things are amazing. First of all, they are an excellent cross between cloth and disposable. The "pants" are made of a lovely soft cotton and the disposable "insert" is made of a flushable, compostable, biodegradable material that is oh so nice against baby's skin. They handle the poo blowouts wonderfully and I believe they are more comfortable than the disposable diapers. Plus they look freakin' adorable on my little girl's bum. Highly, HIGHLY recommended. However, I suggest that you wait to use them until your kiddo is past the pooping-ten-times-a-day newborn phase, otherwise, they're just not cost effective.

BioGaia Probiotic Drops. I've posted about this before. Designed for colicky babies, these drops are essentially the "good bacteria" that newborns lack to help ease gas pains and digestive troubles. Maya is a very gassy baby by nature (thanks in part to daddy's genes haha) and these drops have helped immensely. She still had gas but it seems to be generally less painful and much less frequent. And when she does have it, it seems to take her less time to pass it. And it's good stuff all around - D and I have been taking it too (it's not just for babies) and it certainly does seem to help provide digestive balance. It tastes like butter.

Our Little Giraffe Satin Chenille Blanket. This is the nicest, most luxurious baby blanket I've ever touched. We got ours as a gift and I can't recommend this enough. Maya loves it and it's become her favourite blankie. In fact, she's sleeping with it right now as I type this. These blankets are impossibly soft and they wash and dry beautiful. We never leave home without it. I guarantee if you buy this for someone's baby shower they will love you forever.

Bugaboo Stroller. We have the "Cameleon". This stroller is not only super fashionable (ooh la la) but it's also made really well and easily converts into a zillion different configurations. It's got nice hearty wheels that turn 360 degrees and are great for urban and trail trekking alike. It's a very sturdy and rugged stroller, despite it's trendy design. Okay, okay, Bugaboo strollers are indeed expensive. It's true. But worth every penny. We use ours every single day. Even in the house.

Gagou Tagou socks. We have a box FULL of baby socks. We must have 30 pairs. But the Gagou Tagou ones are the only ones that we use. Why? Because they are the only ones that stay on. I don't know how, but they do. Love 'em.

What To Expect The First Year. I know there is a lot of controversy over the "What To Expect" series. Some love it and some hate it. But I can tell you this: I have referred to this book more times that I can count. It has been really, really helpful in answering my millions of baby questions and providing much-needed information. Even D reads it. Our copy lives on my nightstand and never ever collects any dust.

Johnson's Bedtime Bath and Johnson's Baby Shampoo With Natural Lavender. Babies smell like heaven on their own. But these products smell almost as lovely. Especially when you use the combination of the body wash AND the shampoo in the same bath...delicious. The scent is so soothing and wonderful and I swear it's a big reason that Maya always seems to get sleepy after her bath. I also like it because it's really gentle - both in scent and in its cleaning. It's ohhhhh so nice.

So there you have it. Just some stuff that we like and that works for us. Maybe next I'll compile a list of stuff we DON'T like...hehe...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

finally bought those batteries

And I owe you guys some photos...

BUT before I get to the fun stuff, I thought I'd post an update on the thrush.

We went to the doctor yesterday and she agreed that while the thrush *might* be looking a tad bit better, it was a marginal improvement at best. However, she reminded me that fungi and yeast are a serious bee-yatch to kill off and it usually takes a while. And Nystatin is notorious for taking its sweet time. So, we're continuing with the nasty yellow banana juice until Monday, at which time we return to the doc for a follow up check and we'll decide where to go from there.

The good news is that Maya is getting waaaay better at taking the meds, smiling and being so stoic, even though I know she hates it. It almost breaks my heart even more to give it to her when she is so patient with this whole thing. What a good baby I've got. D reminded me that it would be worse and crueler to leave the thrush untreated, so I guess I've got to take solace in that. My goodness, how thankful I'll be when this thrush ordeal is finally over. Here's hoping it's right quick.

Okay, now on to the photos...

Look how lovely and acne-free!


This was taken today - we went for a walk to the park.


The bib don't lie: Maya loves her zeda.


I love my girl.

Monday, October 13, 2008

am i seeing things?

Maya is upstairs having a nap with daddy, giving me a much treasured moment to update my blog.

I'm not sure, I really can't be certain and I wouldn't put any money on it or anything...BUT...it looks like maybe, just maybe, the thrush is starting to improve a little bitty bit. It's really hard to tell with any certainty. When I catch Maya in a yawn I can get a good, if not momentary glimpse at what we're dealing with and today it might look a teeny tiny bit better. But perhaps it's just wishful thinking. Those yeasties are pure evil, I tell you.

In other news, we've been using BioGaia drops for the past week and half or so and we're definitely starting to see improvement in Maya's gas pains. BioGaia is actually supposed to be for colic (which we are so lucky not to have) but it's certainly helped put our little one's immature bowels at ease. She still gets gas every day, but it's a lot less painful (seemingly) and a lot less dramatic (certainly). I would definitely recommend BioGaia drops for a gassy baby. As for the colic it's designed for, I don't know, but I imagine it would help greatly.

Maya is 7 weeks as of yesterday. I just can't believe how quickly the time has flown. I really need to get some batteries for my camera because she is looking different every week now. And she is so precious. We are so lucky. We've got such a good natured, happy, patient, silly, sweet baby and I just couldn't possibly love anything more. I can honestly count the number of times she's cried on one hand.

D just informed me that we had a spit-up and pooping incident take place upstairs and could I help him clean it up. Ah, a mother's work is never done. And I'm loving every minute.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

nystatin day 5

We're in the thick of it trying to treat this damn thrush. It really sucks. It's taken me three of the five days to figure out how to get Maya to take her medication (it's banana flavoured - how stupid is that?? I mean if they're going to go to the trouble to make this stuff banana flavoured, why not just make it milk flavoured and save us all the headache??? Ah but I digress...) without projectile vomiting. She HATES it. And I hate giving it to her.

So far I really don't think there's been any improvement, but my husband swears it looks a bit better. Of course, he doesn't look at her all day like I do. I'm giving it until the end of the long weekend (Monday is Canadian Thanksgiving...and I'll be oh so thankful if the thrush is gone by then!) and if there is still negligible improvement, it's back to the doctor with us. Again. Sheesh.

Other than the thrush, things are really going great. We're still struggling to find a daytime routine but it's all good. We'll get there. Maya still has days where she sleeps practically all day and other days where she's awake and ready to party hardy all day. I have a feeling we'll settle into a bit of a pattern when she's around 3 months or so.

Maya's latest tricks:
-squealing with delight
-making all kinds of vowel sounds
-holding her head up when she's being held over my shoulder
-laughing (granted so far we've only had one laugh and it was in her sleep. But still.)

Baby girl smiles all the time and loves to cuddle. She'll pet my face when we're lying in bed together and it's so sweet. She definitely gives mummy the biggest smiles.

I had my 6 week postpartum gynecologist appointment last week. Good news, I healed up nicely. I suspected as much. Now I have to start thinking about birth control. How weird is that? After trying for a baby for so many years and now to think about how to not get pregnant just blows my mind. I think I might go for an IUD after we're done breastfeeding but we'll see. I've got a year to think about it, and besides, that's another post altogether.

It's the Saturday of a long weekend and D is playing with Maya on the floor in the next room. I can hear him singing a silly song to her. Life is good. But I could still do without the thrush.

Monday, October 6, 2008

take that, thrush

We saw the doctor again today, who agreed that the Gentian Violet was not working. At least not very well. Now we are trying Nystatin. Good lord I hope it works. My understanding is that Nystatin is sometimes not very effective, but apparently it is still more effective than Gentian Violet. Here's hoping.

Oops, I wanted to post more but my little princess who was sleeping so peacefully two seconds ago is now on the brink of having a meltdown. Better run!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

gentian violet

My doctor prescribed Gentian Violet for the treatment of Maya's thrush. We have used it for almost 4 days now and honestly, I don't see any improvement. I HATE giving it to her. It just seems so toxic. It stains her mouth and lips bright purple and because we're breastfeeding, I know she is swallowing some of it. I was willing to try it in hopes that because Maya's thrush is so mild we wouldn't have to use it for long, but here we are four days later and there really doesn't seem to be any change. I'm feeling so guilty for giving it to her and I want to cry. I know it's commonplace to use this stupid stuff on babies, but I also know that it's known to be carcinogenic, mutogenic and teratogenic. And it apparently tastes awful too. I guess it's back to the doctor with us. I am totally frustrated.

Just when her baby acne is going away, now she's purple. I wanted to take a picture of her all purple and stuff, but my camera just ran out of batteries.

Does anyone out there have any experience using Gentian Violet? Shouldn't it be working by now? I feel sick giving it to her, and it just makes me feel so much worse thinking that all this could have been in vain.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

a rush of thrush

First pink eye, now thrush. Yup, Maya and I have thrush - hers is oral and mine is on my nips I'm told, although neither one of us has any symptoms to speak of save for a thin milky coating on the back of Maya's tongue. The good news is the pink eye is totally gone and Maya is unscathed. And as an added bonus, her baby acne is starting to fade as well.

Other than the above, we are all getting along famously. Maya is all smiles these days. Real smiles too, not just the gassy variety. She is old enough to enjoy playing now and I try to set her up on the floor with all her toys every day for at least an hour. We sign and yell and get silly. She loves it.

Our only hurdle has been the gas. Poor baby girl gets so gassy sometimes and you can tell she's just in agony. She so stoic about it though; she never cries. She just looks miserable and kinda yells and grunts in pain. It's really so sad. Our doctor recommended BioGaia, which I picked up today and plan to start using tonight. I'll let you know how it goes. It's made for colic (which Maya certainly doesn't have) but we're hoping it helps with her gassy tummy issues.

I wanted to post more but the little one is awake now and frantically stuffing her fist in her mouth - a sure sign that I better get the boob out pronto. Gotta run!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

pink is the new black

Pink is a lovely colour. It is great for donut frosting, cake boxes, ballet slippers, easter eggs and of course, little baby girl stuff. I once coveted a pair of bright pink Converse high tops. Yes indeed, pink is one great colour. Except of course, when it's in your eye. Yup, I'm referring to pink eye.

I awoke this morning to discover that I have pink eye in my right eye. No explanation as to where I could have picked it up. This sucks, not only for the obvious reasons - it itches, it's sore, it's crusty, it looks just awful - but what I'm really worried about is giving it to Maya. All I can do is wash my hands frequently and try not to touch her face too much if it can be helped. The nurse I spoke with said if the cause is viral then she is somewhat protected because my breast milk will make antibodies for her. However, if the cause is bacterial then there is a decent chance she could get it. And as everyone knows, pink eye is pretty contagious. So there's that.

Additionally, in my LEFT eye, I have a big old sty. I freakin' nasty sty just hanging out on my upper eyelid. The sty appeared earlier this week and was almost completely gone until this morning, when it reappeared. Folks, I'm in rough shape. And yet another thing I need to worry about giving to my poor sweet innocent daughter. Great.

Rough times.

In happier news, we finally have the first part of the routine that I'm so desperate to establish down pat. Hopefully the rest will follow slowly but surely. It goes a little something like this:

7:00pm - bath time
7:20pm - a nice long feed
7:45pm - bedtime

I know it's only the beginning, but now that we have the end of baby Maya's day good to go, I'm hoping the rest of the day will sort of fall into place.

Everyone has different opinions about setting a routine for kids. Some say you can't do start one until they are at least 3 months old. Some say 6 months. Some say you can start a routine right at birth. Some say you shouldn't have a routine at all. There are many schools of thought on this.

I am a firm believer in routines. I think having one makes kids feel more confident, because they know what is expected in a day. I also think having a routine promotes calm and peace in a baby's life, not to mention the parents' lives. Of course, you can't be too rigid; situations will naturally come up from time to time that throw a wrench into the day. That is to be expected. But keeping a general semblance of routine, even on the crazy days, makes a lot of sense, at least to my mind.

So yay for the first part of our routine being established!

Speaking of, it's 8:25pm right now, and as per the above, Maya is fast asleep and D is demanding some of my attention. But before I go, I just wanted to add that my poor baby has a horrible case of baby acne. It hit at about 3 weeks and is still going strong. Boo hoo. So in case you were wondering why I haven't been posting any photos lately....

Friday, September 19, 2008

oy vey

Wow, two posts in one week...I am on fire! I have no idea where the time goes these days.

Maya will be one month old on Sunday. Can you believe it? These last four weeks have felt like a blink. While things are going quite well, despite some minor issues (spitting up, gas, etc.), I am struggling with some serious personal inadequacies.

As anxious as I was during the pregnancy, I am plagued that much with insecurities in new motherhood. I am always thinking that I could be doing so much better. I am constantly wondering if I am holding Maya the wrong way, being too rough with her, not engaging her enough, not being patient enough, not giving her enough. I worry when she doesn't sleep enough. I worry when she sleeps too much. Moreover, I am plagued with guilt. As I sat feeding her in the rocking chair this morning the thought ran through my brain that I wished she would go to sleep so that I could get the laundry done and take a shower. Immediately I felt awful for even entertaining that notion, because clearly my priorities are second right now. I shouldn't be wishing my baby would sleep so that I could get my own selfish needs met.

And she really is such a good baby. She barely ever fusses, and anything that she does complain about is generally fixable (hungry, gassy, poopy, tired, etc.). Maya deserves a really great mummy and I spend a lot of the time feeling like I just don't fit the bill. My husband hates it when I say that - he thinks I'm fishing for compliments. But I'm not, really. I just wish I could be a better mum...somehow. I just feel like such a novice.

Every night before I go to sleep, I look over at my beautiful sleeping princess sacked out in the co-sleeper next to me and wish I'd given her a better day. I just want her to be so happy and feel so perfect all the time. She is my whole world. Four weeks along and I'm already wracked with guilt.

I am really getting to be such a jewish mother. My ancestors would be so proud.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

gag me with a spoon

I think I have the most spitty-uppy baby in the world. She really has a tough time keeping down her meals. After Maya projectile vomited product of the last three feedings all over the place, I went on the internet and found this article.

I think my baby has a touch of reflux. For the most part, she is a "happy spitter", gaining weight appropriately and not overly bothered by the frequent barfing. I have heard it once said that spitting up is a laundry problem, not a medical problem, and for the most part I agree with this sentiment. But it is discouraging watching the product of my hard-earned breastmilk go flying out of my baby.

The fact that I make tons and tons of milk accompanied by a pretty forceful milk let-down is likely not helping much. I am going to try the suggestions outlined in the article and see if it helps. Either way, I will bring it up with Maya's doctor on Monday and see what she says.

In other news, I went out this morning and officially registered Maya for a birth certificate. Hooray! On my way there, I stopped at Starbucks and got a little something (I was STARVING - I really must start keeping food upstairs). A nice man sitting outside asked how old Maya was. When I told him that she was about three and a half weeks, he said, "Wow! Wheeling around your baby with your coffee already...you make it look so easy!" I had to thank him and correct him: It was nearly noon and I had been trying to leave the house since 8:30am. Nothing is easy - or quick - with a newborn. But I'm glad I give that impression anyway!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

our little valosa raptor

I cannot believe how busy I am.

I was in my pajamas until 1pm today. Not because I'm lazy and slept in, oh no. I was stuck in my pajamas because I didn't have even one spare second to put on real clothes this morning. Baby girl keeps me so busy, I am finding it a real challenge to do regular day-to-day things (like shower, eat, blink) let alone keep up with my blogging properly. I have been experiencing so many things that I've wanted to write about - milestones, breast feeding developments, baby acne, etc. - but have had nary a second to check my email let alone update my blog.

However, since Maya is currently sleeping right next to me I actually have a minute to check in here. I am reading other blogs but not commenting as much as I would like. As for updating my own blog, rather than try to backtrack and cover all the developments that I've missed documenting over the past week or so, I think I'm just gonna start fresh and talk about what's going on today, now, this minute. Here goes:

D has gone back to work as of Monday. It's been hard without him, I miss him tons. And I know he misses us too because he's CONSTANTLY calling to check in on his "girls". We've been managing but I must admit it is a lot more challenging to keep up with baby girl without those extra set of hands.

Maya is a really LOUD baby. She grunts, growls and snorts like a 65 year old man. It really is the cutest thing. When she stretches, it sounds like a valosa raptor laying an egg. We love it. She is such a vocal little monster.

My daughter absolutely loves her feet massaged. Just like her mummy. Not too hard, not too soft, and she likes it when I play with her toes. She'll flex, clench and stretch her feet in response to the rubbing. It's soooooo cute.

Maya's room is finally finished! I'm going to take some pictures and post them asap. She's currently sleeping between D and I at night in her co-sleeper and I can't bear to put her in her crib just yet. We set her down in there yesterday while we were finishing up her room and she looked SO small in there. Such a tiny girl swimming in sea of crib and bedding. We'll get there. But for now, I like to hear her grunts and growls while she sleeps right next to me.

I know it's far too early to establish a routine quite yet - Maya is only barely three weeks old after all - but I am planting the seeds. Starting yesterday, unless we're out, feedings always take place in the rocking chair in her room. Followed by a burp and a diaper change and a few minutes rocking in the chair...and maybe a story. We started out giving her a bath once a week, and then twice a week, and now we're up to every other night. Starting tonight, we're going to start bathing her every night as part of her bedtime routine. I am convinced that babies enjoy routine. I know that I am excited to have one.

We had a doctor's appointment last week and everything went great. The doctor was happy with Maya's weight gain (up about a pound to 8lbs 8oz). We go back for another weight check on Monday. I think (and hope) she'll be up again by quite a bit. She feels heavier to me. And she seems bigger. She's already outgrown a handful of outfits.

My biggest challenge thus far has been *trying* to accept that she's not as fragile as she seems. Every time I pick her up, I wonder if I've wrenched her neck or pressed a fontanelle. Everyone says it's much harder to hurt a baby than I think it is, but I am so totally consumed with worry about accidently hurting her. She's just so tiny. And I love her so very much. And I think part of it is that we've worked so hard and waited so long to have her, I'm nervous about breaking her. Am I the only one who worries about this?

I am so in love with my daughter. She is really and truly the love of my life. Barely three weeks old and she's already got such a personality. She totally cracks D and I up on a regular basis. This parenting thing is really hard work, no doubt, but I can barely remember my life before she came along. Every fiber of my being just wants to provide for her and take care of her and protect her and make her happy. When she's crying, it makes me crazy, I can't concentrate on anything else. I don't know how else to explain it other than to say that right now - I am Maya's mum first, Hilary second.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

we're off to see the wizard

Or rather, the amazing doctor that got us pregnant. We named Maya's middle name after our wonderful fertility doctor who helped us to finally have this baby, so we felt it was really important that Dr. T gets to meet her little namesake! The whole clinic is very excited to have us visit. And I am excited to show off their beautiful handiwork. I have been dreaming of this day for 11 months now.

I was told once in jest that IVF babies are cuter than other babies, and I'm starting to think maybe that's true...

Monday, September 8, 2008

they grow up so fast

Wow. I have been meaning to post for the past few days, but my kiddo has kept me so busy I haven't even had time to shower or eat (D has literally had to spoon food in my mouth whilst I am nursing Maya) let alone even think about getting on the computer. I just can't believe how the days are already flying by. But, after a late night with a gassy baby, she is passed out next to me now, giving me a few minutes to finally update.

One of the reasons Maya has kept her mummy running is because this little girl wants to eat ALL THE TIME. We are exclusively breastfeeding her so she is constantly on my boob. At this point, she eats almost every hour. And when you factor in changing diapers, cleaning up spit up, trying to keep up with the laundry, and everything else baby-related, I am quite literally busy morning, noon and night.

But all this feeding is certainly not in vain; baby girl is already about 9 pounds (based on daddy weighing himself on our home scale and then weighing himself again holding Maya and doing the subtraction - so this is not an exact measurement) and is officially in the size 1 diapers. Size 1 is the next size up from newborn (the smallest size). Which means only one thing: Baby's got back. Also notable is the fact that Maya's cheeks are getting chubby and she's got a double chin now. Cute cute cute. I loves me a chubby baby.

Maya is also smiling now, which I personally think means she's super advanced for her age. Sure, most of her smiles are sleep-smiles or gas-smiles, but I can confidently count THREE separate smiling incidences where either D or I were able to elicit a sweet baby smile IN RESPONSE to our smiles. Taking into account that Maya is only 2 weeks old, doubters and naysayers are understandably plenty. But I know my baby and I know what I saw. I was even able to catch one such smile on film:

In our two weeks of trial-by-fire parenting, D and I have come to discover that we both excel at different parenting skills. I find it interesting that with no prior training, both of us have naturally come into our own with certain aspects of parenting.
For example: D is REALLY good at changing her clothes, getting her to fall asleep and distracting and soothing her when she's upset. I am REALLY good at knowing instinctively what she wants, reading to her (we like Goodnight Moon) and getting her to smile. D and I have become such a team when it comes to managing the care of this baby, it makes me wonder how things will be when D goes back to work after this week. Honestly, I am a bit scared. Thank goodness my mum and dad are coming back to town.

This is getting to be a bit of a long and rambling post, mostly due to the fact that I have been wanting to post every day for the past several days and am now just getting a chance to empty my brain here. I should wrap it up. But before I go, I want to leave you with the lessons I've learned from Week Two of being Maya's mummy:

1. There is a thin layer of dried breastmilk/spit up covering nearly every surface of my house at this point. I have learned to accept it.
2. NEVER remove the dirty diaper from under baby's bum before there is a new one unwrapped and ready to go.
3. Meals just don't happen, at least for the first few weeks. It is imperative to have cupboards well stocked with snacks that can be eaten quickly with one hand and no utensils. Even cereal is too much to manage for the most part.
4. Take lots of pictures. Every day if possible. Babies really do change every day.
5. Keep trying on those baby outfits that are a bit too big. By the end of the week, they just might fit.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

milk machine has feelings too

I am lucky; Maya seems to be a very good eater, despite her constant spitting up my hard-earned breast milk. As of yesterday, she officially surpassed her birth weight which was cause for celebration all around.

I'm not sure if Maya knows I'm her mummy yet, but she has certainly figured out that I am the one with the milk. And milk she loves. Milk she demands. If I'm too slow on the draw, she will wave her ams and kick her legs in protest. And curse at me loudly in baby-ease. Just like her mum, Maya does not like to be made to wait.

When I am finally able to still her punching arms and get her to latch on to my breast, she'll immediately start voraciously hoovering up the milk like a wild animal who has gone all winter with nary a snack. She growl, grunt and gulp while she eats and sometimes she'll suck so very hard that it really does hurt. When she gets like that, I admit it: I am afraid of my baby.

The trick is to get her eating before she gets too frantic. That's not to say that she'll feed calmly, but at least my poor nips have a fighting chance. If she wakes from sleep only to discover a nice milky nipple in front of her, she tends to be a little bit more gentle. A little bit.

Maya also enjoys ripping farts while she eats. The more frantic the feeding fest, the more exuberant the farts. Sometimes she will fart so forcefully that she will shake one leg like a dog who is getting it's belly scratched. And there is always the delicious baby sigh that follows after the fart has been let loose, signifying the sweet relief she is experiencing. Breast milk is gassy and laxative by nature, and my baby is proof of that. Baby girl loves to fart. Her daddy is so proud.

The last step in feeding is the aftermath. Inevitably, after 30-45 minutes on the breast, Maya will usually spit up 30-45 times. I have actually wondered if she keeps any milk in her tummy at all. I don't see how there could be anything left after she's done spitting up. Last night, I fed her in bed and after she was finished, I cuddled her close to me and we enjoyed a sweet moment of mother-daughter bonding. It was pure poetry, her warm breath on my neck while I drank in her sweet smell with eyes closed. And then she farted. And after the fart, she then proceeded to projectile vomit what seemed like at least a half cup of milk all over my face and chest.

I am learning it's all par for the course when it comes to new motherhood. I am here solely to give, serve, dote on and attend to this little girl. And honestly, I love her so much I wouldn't have it any other way.

Ah...I hear the creature stirring now. Milk Machine to the rescue...

Monday, September 1, 2008

very rude awakening - or - why beans are off the menu

Maya was a fussy little thing yesterday. She fed at around 2:00pm and I couldn't get her to calm down much after that. I don't think we finally got her to sleep until 8:00pm or so, which is unusual; for the most part she will sleep on and off every couple of hours.

I didn't make the connection until later that night - when she started ripping major farts - that she was probably gassy and uncomfortable. Another connection I failed to make was the fact that the bean and rice burrito I ate for lunch was likely what did her in. After carefully monitoring my diet to an insane degree during pregnancy, it never occurred to me that I'd have to watch what I ate after Maya was born. It was a lesson learned and I realize now I'd better think hard before I eat anything gas-producing for fear of what it will do to my baby.

In the middle of the night, around 4:00am, I heard Maya make a really big poo. I got up to change her, and just as I had removed her dirty diaper and started unwrapping a new diaper, she pooped again - but this time with so much force that it squirted ALL OVER ME AND THE BED. I am seriously lucky it didn't go in my mouth, it was that powerful. It was an incredible blast of poo. I had to yell at D to wake him up to help me get everything cleaned up. What a mess. And now, all our bedding is currently in the washer. You have to ask yourself how a sweet little week-old baby girl could do what she did. Again, I blame the bean and rice burrito. Never again!

---

Yesterday, Maya and I ventured out for the second time. We went to the natural foods market to pick up some Baby Vitamin D drops as instructed by the pediatrician at the hospital. I couldn't help but just gaze at my little baby snuggled in her stroller as I pushed her around. In that moment, like a ton of bricks, it hit me how deliriously and deliciously happy I am. All my dreams have come true in this little girl. I've been so busy during this first week, it hadn't really hit me that wow - I am finally a mother after all these years of waiting and wishing. I have everything I've ever wanted and I just can't imagine being any happier than I am right now. The love and devotion I feel for my daughter is like nothing I've ever known. This must be what heaven feels like.

I really am the luckiest girl in the world, even with the 4:00am poo shower.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

labour of love

Babies are hard work. Like really hard work. Duh. Just had to put that out there.

Breastfeeding challenges have continued, though they are getting better. Maya still has the occasional bloody meal, which I absolutely hate. She seems to be doing well on my breast milk, though; she seems content after feeds and sleeps well. The big test will be on Tuesday when Charlotte (our nurse) comes to weigh her. She has been down about 4% from her birth weight and I am really hoping she'll come up again by Tuesday.

Maya's umbilical cord fell off this morning. What a milestone! Now she has a real belly button and it's oh so cute. I considered taking pictures of it but I think I'm the only person who would enjoy them.

Things Maya likes:
1. Eating
2. Eating
3. Eating
4 Spitting up
5. Being swaddled
6. Making monster sounds
7. When I talk to her
8. Being cuddled in bed

Things Maya dislikes:
1. Waiting to eat
2. Wondering when that boob is coming
3. Waiting for mummy to take her shirt off and get that boob ready already
4. Waiting for the next meal
5. Being changed
6. Being naked
7. Being bathed
8. Being burped

Sorry for the disjointed post. My brain is all over the place this morning. Here are some photos from this week...

Baby Feet: I like them.
"Miss Spit Up Queen Vancouver 2008" (note the spit up on baby girl's right shoulder)
Maya and grandma (my mum)
Maya's first adventure going outside (we went to the drugstore for more diapers!)

Friday, August 29, 2008

birth story

On Saturday August 23rd (40w6d), I woke up in tears because I still hadn't gone into labour and was certain I would have to be induced. My husband D tried to console me by reminding me that our long awaited baby girl was coming out by Wednesday, no matter what, and I should just try to focus on that. I decided that he was right and to get my mind off things by cleaning the house and going over to my parents' house for a visit.

By the time the afternoon rolled around, I was feeling much better. Weirdly calmer and more peaceful. I realized that there was nothing I could do so I may as well just try to relax.

I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions since my membranes were stripped for the second time the day before. But they were generally irregular and mild so I wasn't paying much attention. At my parents' house I started noticing that they were happening about 6-8 minutes apart, but every so often I would skip a contraction altogether, so I didn't think anything significant was happening.

Wow was I wrong.

I stood up to leave to walk home from my parents' house. As I went from sitting to standing, I felt a trickle of what I thought was urine come out. I laughed and announced, "ooh, feels like I peed myself again!" This was an ongoing joke because I had developed a bit of incontinence since around 38 weeks. Late pregnancy is funny by nature, and when you've finally lost all dignity and can't put on your own socks, wipe your own ass or control your own bladder, it's time to laugh.

I walked home and went to the washroom. Usually, when I had an episode of incontinence, it was only a couple of drops at the most. But this time, I noticed it was more like a couple of tablespoons. I casually mentioned this little development to my husband and he said it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to call the hospital and check with them, just to be sure. I was totally certain I had only leaked pee but thought he was right, a call to the hospital was probably prudent. Better safe than sorry, I thought.

So I called and talked the the doctor on call. He said, "at 41 weeks, leaking fluid is largely academic, especially if you're GBS negative. However, it would be my recommendation to have you come in to be assessed so we can see what's what." I am laughing at myself now because my first thought was, "But I have dinner reservations!"

I called my dad and asked him if he could drive me to the hospital for a quick check up. D decided not to join us for our hospital excursion because he had worked hard that morning and had just got home. And honestly, neither one of us had anticipated the craziness that was about to happen.

My dad showed up about 15 minutes later and we headed for the hospital. As we were driving over the Granville Street bridge, I felt a two weird "clicks" in my pelvic floor. It felt like something had suddenly popped. Before I knew what was happening, warm fluid just started gushing out of me. Gushing. Uncontrollably. Tons of fluid. All over my dad's Lexus. Fluid everywhere, on the seat, the floor mats, my clothes. My water had broken.

I started freaking out, shouting, "Dad! We need to get to the hospital now! Drive faster!" I called my husband on the way and told him what was happening. I think he was shocked. I was too. I couldn't believe that my water broke. It was all so surreal.

Dad and I arrived at the hospital about 10 minutes later. Meanwhile, fluid was still pouring out. I am not exaggerating when I say that there was probably over a gallon of amniotic fluid gushing out of me. When I got to the assessment room, they had to follow me around with a mop. I changed into a gown right away and they got me checked into an exam room for assessment. The contractions - the REAL contractions - started happening right away. I went from zero to a thousand in terms of pain in about 5 minutes. I'm not sure, but I think when your water breaks, you kinda skip the first two stages of labour and pretty well go straight into transition. I felt like my body was being ripped in half and I was screaming, crying, foaming at the mouth even before the doctor could come in to check me out.

Finally, after what felt like a week, the doctor arrived and did a quick exam. He said, "Well, your cervix is only dilated to about 2cm, so my recommendation would be for you to go back home and come back in a few hours and we'll check you again to see where you're at." As if possessed by a demon, my head spun around and I snarled back, "There is NO F-ING WAY I could get in a car right now, please let me stay!" I remember the doctor sighing and saying, "OK. You're obviously in a lot of pain. We'll bring you some gas and you can stay. But I have to warn you, this is just the beginning of your labour. You probably won't be giving birth for at least another 12 to 20 hours. But I'll come back to check your cervix in about 30 minutes and we'll see how you're progressing, sound good?" I am quite sure I spit out some obscenity in his direction. Meanwhile, my dad raced home to pick up my husband, my mom and the birth bags.

The nurse brought me a birth ball and some nitrous oxide. The gas didn't even come close to touching the pain, all it did was make me feel stoned and help me to not panic as much in between contractions. I didn't like it. Every minute that passed was absolutely pure hell. I was screaming bloody murder for an epidural.

The doctor came back 30 minutes later as promised. A quick cervical check revealed that in 30 minutes, I had dilated to 5cm, much to the surprise of everyone. The doctor admitted that it was good I didn't go home because this baby was coming - and fast! The epidural was ordered, the delivery room was readied, and by the time they hooked me up to all the machines and and the IV, everything started happening. Within about an hour I was fully dilated and ready to start pushing.

And push I did. For about an hour. D coached me all the way through it, he did such a great job. The nurses and doctor were amazing, and I felt very supported. They offered me the mirror so I could watch my baby being born. At first I declined, but then I changed my mind and asked for it. And I'm so glad I did. It was so incredible to watch my own baby's birth, and it was an incredible motivational tool for pushing. With every contraction and every push, I could see Maya's head coming down further and further. It was happening!

On Sunday, August 24th at 2:03am, our daughter Maya was born. 7 pounds, 10 ounces, 20 inches long. Gorgeous and perfect in every way. My dreams all came true in that instant.

And now, we start a new life with our long awaited baby girl. This new blog will serve as a journal of sorts, so that I can record and remember the details - big and small - of how it feels to be a new mum. Maya's mum.

Here we go.

week one

Holy crap, I'm a mum.

This first week has been pure insanity. Thank G-d for my parents who have come to the rescue by helping with the housework and keeping D and I fed.

My first real challenge as a new mum has been breastfeeding. Maya has a huge appetite and a very, VERY hard suck. Thanks to that, and some terrible latches early on, my nipples have been sore, cracked and bleeding. Which is obnoxious in and of itself (feels like I've been dragged across a gravel road on my chest), but the worst part has been the bleeding. Maya can't help but express and ingest that blood every time she feeds and when she spits up, it looks like she's a little vampire. I have been assured and reassured that it doesn't harm the baby to ingest some blood in these situations, but it really seems to have been hard on her digestion.

Thank goodness for Charlotte, our community health nurse (in Canada, every new parent gets a personal nurse who comes to your house every day to check on you for as long as you need) who suggested the miracle that is the nipple shield. I have used it only for 24 hours so far but what a difference it has made. Maya now gets pure milk, with no blood, and my poor ragged nipples get a fighting chance to heal. I think I will use it for one more day and see how it goes from there.

Speaking of milk, I apparently have enough milk to feed twins. Seriously, I make loads of milk. It practically sprays out whenever I even hear Maya starting to fuss. A woman's body is so incredible. I am so relieved because I was nervous that because of my PCOS, I might have troubles in the milk department. Not so.

Other pearls of wisdom I've learned this week, that I'd like to pass on to my fellow expecting bloggers:

1. Do not bother to change baby's outfit every time she spits up on it. You will never be able to keep up with the laundry.
2. Become adept at picking things up with your feet. At least one hand/one arm will always be tied up going forward.
3. Your bed will become a soiled mess with all things that come out of your baby. Expect it and be happy. Fight it and lose the battle (see point #1).
4. Everything takes waaaaay longer than it should. If you would normally take, say, 5 minutes to load the dishwasher, expect the job to be done in 45 minutes. Nothing goes smoothly anymore and baby distractions are numerous and imminent. To that end, try not to make any plans either. There is a very good chance you will have to break them.
5. Invest in a good sling. With my sling, I am able to walk around, check my email, do the dishes, eat a snack, go to the washroom, etc. I am wearing Maya right now as I type this. And she is sucking her fingers and snorting like a little piggy girl. Observe: