Sunday, September 9, 2012

Right about now, I'm flipping my shit

So the Yankee and I am all "babies babies babies" lately. We talk about babies a lot in this house- making them, trying not to break them, ideas for parenting strategies, missing our people- all kinds of things related to babies and baby-making.
Last night as we were drifting off to sleep, I had a few thoughts string together that made me kind of panic a little bit. My questions about babies is this: what the heck do you DO with them? Like one day one, home from the hospital- you bring them home, all cute and snuggly and then what? On day 25, you wake up, get some coffee, and then what? If they aren't mobile, what they heck do they do all day? I know there are feedings and diapers and naps and all, but then what? How many times can you force tummy time on them? How many books do you read to a little being that can't really see and doesn't know how to do many things?
I am still engaged in a fight to the death with my weight. To date, I have lost and gained the same three or four pounds and accomplished as many workouts. Tomorrow starts a new week and I am really, really, really determined to work out at least twice next week. I am also really, really, really determined to eat well. I have to go back to see my doctor at the end of the month and I am afraid to show her my food journal. I do find myself choosing healthier items because I don't want to be judged for my choices. Last time, she told me to cut soy and candy bars, as well as processed foods. She also said that if I want a candy bar, I should eat dried fruit instead. Well I can tell you that I have eaten the fruit AND the candy bars on some days. I mean, dried apricots aren't exactly an acceptable substitute for a 3 Musketeers, are they?
So this week we are starting with a fresh meal plan posted on the fridge, complete with snack ideas and breakfast committments. We're trying some new recipes, including one that includes escarole, which I don't think I have ever had. I am really, really REALLY trying to eat more whole (one ingredient) foods, instead of processed junk. I plan to eat quinoa instead of white rice and lots of vegetables this week. I am doing pretty well at reducing my coffee intake and (except for the candy bars) doing very well at reducing sugar. Cheeseburgers.... not so much.
Feel free to confront me if you see me eating a candy bar this week. But please don't ask if I'd rather have the candy bar or a baby, because that's not fair.


Charity A. said...

OMG! Planning to add children to your family is SOOOOO exciting! There are lots of good books & websites on parenting & baby care. A few of my favorites are anything by Dr Sears, Elizabeth Pantley's No Cry Sleep Solution, the Happiest Baby on the Block & Take a look!

I had to giggle a bit about "tummy time". Cruz HATED tummy time! He cried every time I put him down & since I'm not one to make/force a baby to cry, I really never put him down! He still walked at 8months so I don't think I screwed him up too badly! ;-)

BTW, when they are newborns (day 1 to 3-4 months), you don't really DO much! Every time the babies cries, fusses, whimpers, etc... you check/change diaper, feed (& burp), make sure baby isn't too hot (or cold) & CUDDLE! I'm expecting another little one in a month & the only truly "difficult" part about life with a newborn is that you do all of the above every 2 hours or so for the first couple of weeks! Of course that means sleep deprivation but it is SOOOOOO worth it! Good luck!!! You two are going to have SO MUCH FUN learning to be parents together.

Melissa said...

What candy bars are you eating that are soy, dairy, and gluten free? Did it not help you feel better at all to cut those things out? Of course dried apricots aren't a good substitute for a 3 Musketeers bar, but they can be a satisfying snack when you are trying to be healthier and lose weight! Have you tried different dried fruits? I now think apricots are not the best ones out there. I'm very fond of dried cherries and blueberries. And maybe adding in some exercise would help. As I've gotten older, I've noticed that if I am not moving extra, the weight takes a very very long time to come off. Check some dvds out from the library and try them out in your living room! Or explore the crap out of your neighborhood by walking walking walking. Walking tons after I got home from the hospital with Samson helped me feel a lot better too, so if you get a jump start on good routes now, that might help you too!

At 25 days in, I really don't think you're just waking up and having a cup of coffee and then starting your day. Samson literally ate every two hours for quite awhile, and I think he was still doing that at 3 weeks old. So every two hours it was feed him, change him, cuddle him, get him back to sleep, eat something myself half the time, and try to go back to sleep myself before he woke up again. The day after he was born, time sprung forward and I swear Kiris and I didn't even know until at least two weeks later.

One of the cruel facts of motherhood is you start out exhausted and in pain and it takes time to recover from that. So thank God you don't have to plan activities at first! You just roll with the punches, keep the baby alive, and feel super accomplished if you get a shower in every three or five days. There's a lot of doctor appointments at the beginning too. You get six weeks off from work because at about five and a half weeks you will start to think you've got it halfway down so therefore, it's time to get back to the grind! You can't prepare for the sleep deprivation or the swinging moods but it gets a little better every day. You do tummy time when your baby is awake to make sure their neck gets nice and strong and you read and sing to them because it calms you down to have something specific to do and they love the sound of your voice.

I went on a retreat this past February, just before Samson turned two. Kiris was in charge of him and the house for two nights and three days and when I got home, he asked me how I ever got ANYTHING done besides just taking care of Samson. You find a groove and you go with it. And it changes all the time. There is something good and something challenging about every phase your child is in. It is ridiculously hard but also ridiculously great.

Motherhood is not for the faint of heart. But there have been times already when it is downright lovely for me and I'm only two years in!

Kate Valiente said...

See now this is EXACTLY what I needed to know. I've never really spent much time with someone who was nursing so I didn't know you nursed that often. I think I just heard that in the last two or three weeks. I have heard that most of your activities are centered around wearing the your child out for his/her next nap (said in jest, of course).

Fun fact- I actually get 16 weeks off paid. Part of it it paid maternity leave, and there are two paid time off benefits in New Jersey that I get. They aren't benefits at full pay, but it's a tidy lil' sum!

I'll happy check out those books and sites. Parenting advice is fascinating to me. I think it's really important to factor in the human exhaustion factor and admit that we're all trying to produce happy, healthy, productive members of society.

Thanks guys!

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