Monday, October 22, 2012

I'll try anything once...twice if it works!

over my shoulder
So I feel that lately all my blogs have been about the same things... struggles with raising a baby, and well, what can I say, that is pretty much all I do these days...

So here goes another one.
Pack and Play Bassinet
I am sitting here on the floor of Max's nursery listening to the soft ocean waves that flow through the speakers of his sound machine. I have to say it is a sound that I hear all night and lots of the day. I have tried some of the other sound options, and Max does like the "white noise" sound bite as well, but it kinda freaks me out when I am up in the middle of the night...I can always hear little background noises, like a ghost ya waves are the best and peaceful. I am sitting in here writing my blog because I am too nervous to leave haha. I just know that if I try leave and go do something, he will wake up and start crying. Better to be here, so maybe I can sshh him back to sleep if I get there quick enough.
On my chest holding on:)
...............It didn't help, he woke up after only 15 minutes:).............3 hours later and now I'm writing, while standing and Max is asleep in the sling.  Its 5pm and if he doesn't get this nap, then it means a super early bed time and super early wake up time in the morning for me. So I'm not going to risk sitting down and waking him:)
Now that I'm typing I can't really remember what I was going to write about...I guess I just wanted to write...

the couch
In the baby carrier
 I feel like I have tried literally everything a person can when it comes to babies sleeping. Every day I search for something else I can try to get Max to sleep...I tried swaddling, not swaddling, keeping him upright, having him nap on an incline, having him nap on his stomach, soothing noises (example the sound machine from above) complete silence, super loud backgrounds, taking him for a walk in the stroller, taking a ride in the car/ car seat, the baby swing, just putting him in his crib, rocking him, walking him, the baby sling, the baby moby wrap, and most recently, putting a warm rice bag next to him once laying him down so he thinks its me and stays asleep. I am not writing this to ask for suggestions on how to get a baby to nap, because honestly I am sure I have tried it already:) Some of these things have worked a few times...some more than others, but nothing has worked consistently. Every day I wonder if he will sleep, some days he sleeps, sometimes he sleeps and is fussy, sometimes he doesn't sleep and is fussy, and sometimes he doesn't sleep and isn't fussy at all...
Boppy Pillow
Everyday if something new works, I get my hopes up and wonder if it will be that miraculous moment when I find the thing that "works like a charm!" Every day I am disappointed when what worked yesterday doesn't work today. Then I find myself back at the drawing board, desperately searching online for tips, or advice or some miracle product that Max will love. I understand why people pay so much for baby sleep things. There is an unlimited supply of "product" that promise a good sleep for baby. I have fallen pray to some of them...

Nap Nanny
Blanket Swaddled in my Arms
  I have to say that I am beyond thankful that Max will sleep at night for 2-5 hours at a time. If there is anything that doing research online has taught me it is that some people have the problem and the baby won't sleep being set down at any time, night or day. So things could always be worse.Yet every night when I place a sound asleep Max in his crib, I feel anxious and worried that tonight will be the night he decides not to sleep in his crib and resort to his napping methods. As frustrated as I get, I try and remember that things will get better. I constantly hear words of encouragement from my friends and family, reassuring me that this is a phase. And I believe them, I'm not being bitter when I say that encouragement can only go so far, for example I remember when I was in Mom, Jeffrey, the doctors and all the nurses kept being so encouraging and positive. Near the end, the doctor kept saying, "ok, this is it, one more push and he'll be out!"...she must have said that at least 20 times and I have to say it was encouraging the first few times, but the 10th time she said it, I was very frustrated to say the least...I remember being so annoyed...I didn't want to get my hopes up every push, only to be greatly disappointed. I remember thinking, why can't she just be strait with me and tell me the truth! I asked my Mom later that week, why the doctor would say that? Why not just tell me, "ok, you're going to have push for 45 more minutes."? My Mom said, "Well you might not have kept going if they told you the truth" I feel like that is what is happening now. Like the baby has to ultimately come out, Max will eventually get through his sleeping problems. But also like giving birth, no one knows how long and painful it is going to be. All I can do is keep pushing and listening to every one's encouraging words and try not to get annoyed:)
Swaddle Me Swaddler in my arms
Although I suffer with frustration on a daily basis,  every morning I see my little Max and his smiles (he is always in a  good mood after he sleeps:) I can't help but honestly think that he is the cutest baby in the world. And thank goodness he is because that comes in handy when every once in a while he even looks cute when hes crying:) That helps me get through the crying the fussing, and the not sleeping,(plus looking back at these pictures reminds me  that he actually does sleep sometimes :)

All the pictures are various places and ways Max has slept over the almost 3 months of his life:)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

How to become a person again

So about 10 months ago I found out I was was kind of a surprise and kind of not. Ever since then I began to change, both physically and emotionally. Even though the physical changes didn't become apparent until months later, my thoughts and feelings were switched into "baby mode" and I was considering baby names, baby room decor and how I could be a good parent....all things that only briefly crossed my mind before. Once there's the weight gain, every day discomfort, and physical limitations that being pregnant brings, I began to feel less an less like the person I had been for the past 26 years...In the last few months of pregnancy there is the finish line to look forward too. That ultimate goal of getting the baby ou tand feeling normal again, not like a huge unatractive incubator:) I couldnt wait to go back to normal and be myself again. So then labor arrives, and there is the grossnness and bodily discomfort that follows that for days and weeks. I thought, ok by 6 weeks post-pardum I should feel good. I knew I wouldn't be back to my old size but still feeling good. Wrong again, as my body was still... umm..mending itself. Then there was the sleep deprivation that was starting to really wear on me, making the bags under my eyes even more apparent. I felt I was getting grosser every day as things like shaving my legs or putting on makeup just didn't seem to be relevant. I would occasionally look in the mirror and then look away, I looked too awful to think about; plus I had so many other things to worry about. By 8 or 9 weeks all the baby books say your baby should be sleeping 5-6 hour stretches at night consistently, well Max never read the baby books, so that wasn't happening. At this time I feel like the random outside person expects new moms to get it together. I feel as if the first 2 months of your baby's life, the general public kind of gives you a pass. Almost like they understand if you go to the store covered in spit up or never change out of your pajamas all day. After all, you just had a baby.But once that 2 month mark hits, people expect you to have it together. You're not the "new" exhausted mom any more, so your pass disappears. Generally, at this point, you should have this whole parenting thing down. Well, this wasn't happening for me. I felt more confused than ever as I am still trying to figure out Max's unique rhythm. I realised I was one if those moms that I would previously have looked down on. I rarely ever left the house because it was just so nerve racking to not know if Max would be screaming or not. Every day was and is a constant battle to get Max to sleep, and I just didn't have the courage to fight that battle in public. It's so much easier to rock a screaming baby in the comfort of your own home and warm slippers. I started to wonder what was even the point of going out. I mean say church, for example, would take soooo much effort to get ready in the morning and make my way to church only to spend most of the sermon in the cry room and then leave as quickly as possible after. Once home, the whole shirah of going seemed crazy, why even put myself through that?Then this thought made me sad because anyone who knows me, knows I love to be involved and do things. I was and never will be a homebody. I was longing to get out, make friends, and explore this new country I am living in, but the sheer thought was just so exhausting. I was getting into a sad, sleep deprived, spit up covered rut. I've had many conversations with my sister Leigh about this very topic. It helps me to know that someone else is going through the same lose of identity from baby syndrome. I often compare myself to other women I know who had babies around the same time a me. Sometimes I get jealous because they appear to " have it all together"-or at least that's what they portray on the outside- and I am still struggling with every day tasks. That's when I realised that I have a choice on how I view everything. I am never going to be the person I was before Max came along, and although I am only a few pounds away from my pre- pregnancy weigh, my belly stretch marks will never completely fade. I will never ( or not for a very long time) be able to sleep 10 hours a day or spend an entire day baking and decorating a cake. But there are so many things I can do now that I could never do before Max came along, like enjoy the smell of a clean baby after he takes his nightly bath . Or watch his eye lids flutter so cutely when I'm rocking him to sleep. Or feel the sense of parental pride when Max does something new like reach for a toy or make a little laughing noise, or lift himself up during tummy time. So I have come to the conclusion that I need to find a way to mix the old me and the new me and simply accept that I am a different person. So here is my list of things I have come up with to make me feel human again (and not like a dead mommy)

1. Do one thing I like every single day. This can be anything like baking a batch of cookies, reading a chapter of a book, writing this blog, calling a friend or family, or even taking a walk to the craft store and looking around. Just one small thing a day reminds me of me.
2. Conquer at least one daily chore. Dishes and kitchen, bathrooms, laundry, whatever it is, doing a chore helps me feel accomplished and it may be silly but it helps me think I can still be a good wife too.
3. Go out and be social at least twice a week. This may still sound like a small amount, but it requires the full hair and makeup getting ready so ya. It could be church, meeting a friend for lunch or going to Bury for some shopping. Whatever it is, getting out of the house:)
4. Change out of my pajamas, brush my teeth and wash my face every day. Some of you may be thinking... Ew there were days you didn't brush your teeth? And sadly yes, there was. Sometimes things just are forgotten with a screaming baby. The pajama change doesn't need to be right away or even into cute clothes, yoga pants and a t-shirt are acceptable some days, just as long as it wasn't what I slept in haha.
5. Take a picture of Max every day, doesn't have to be uploaded anywhere, I just like to look back at the pics and see how much he has grown. Again, makes me feel like I am doing something right!
6. Embrace the lack of sleep I get. Instead of getting frustrated and cranky with only 3-4 hours of sleep a night, just come to terms with it. If its what I expect, it makes it so much easier to handle and I don't get as upset. ( have to give dibs to Leigh for making me realise this one)
7. Take time to kiss, hug and tell me husband that I love him, even if feel exhausted.

I think if I will continue to follow my new found rules, I will in turn become a new person again!