In Place of 1,000 Words

9 10 2011

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3 Weeks

3 10 2011

Hazel's First Camping Trip: She wasn't the least bit bothered by sleeping in a tent in the pouring rain.

Some days, I’ve slept enough hours to actually feel how little sleep I get anymore.  Luckily, most days I haven’t.

I’ve learned to play that game that new mothers play: “If the baby only sleeps for five more minutes, what do I want to do in that time?”  There is a constant list of possibilities, but everything is a trade off; the baby will wake up.  So the game goes.  I can take a shower OR brush my teeth OR change the laundry OR make something to eat OR eat it.  If I take a nap, I may never get an opportunity to shower; if I shower, I won’t have time to wash the diapers.  Never mind the dishes.

That’s okay.  I was pretty smug about my child-rearing skills going into this whole thing, and I probably deserved to be taken down a peg or two.  For example, I really didn’t understand why it’s impossible for a new parent to be on time.

Then I had a baby, and I learned that other game: the “Trying to Get Out of the House” game.  You know, the one where you are trying to get dressed but the baby needs to nurse, then the baby poops and needs a clean diaper, then falls asleep, so you get dressed (finally!) and pack a diaper bag, then pick up the baby who either poops or vomits all over you (and herself, and the diaper bag), which wakes her up, then you repeat the whole process… again… and again… FOR HOURS.  I wake up at six a.m. to leave the house by 8, and am lucky if I actually leave before 10.

This sounds like a complain-y sort of post, but I really don’t mean it to be.  I mean it to be a hey-new-moms-I-am-finally-in-your-club sort of post.

Because right after my baby spits up on me?  I kiss her cheeks and her head and call her silly names.  And right after she pees in the middle of a diaper change?  I kiss her forehead and blow raspberries on her tummy and talk to her in that ridiculous baby-pitched voice that everyone hates except mothers and babies.

Because I waited my WHOLE LIFE to be sleep-deprived and pooped-upon and chronically-2-hours-late.  And now that I am, I wouldn’t change it for the world.

This is my "Camping in the rain with an infant is nonstop fun! But I do wish I had the time and energy to brush my teeth and change my underwear..." look.





5 A.M. at My House

29 09 2011

 

 

Wide. A. Wake.

 

 

 





24 Hours of (Mostly) Cloth Diapering

29 09 2011

Now that Hazel is a little bigger, we’ve started our cloth diapering journey.

I tried the cutest diapers we own first, of course.  These are XS Bum Genius 3.0 All-In-One diapers.  AIO are the easiest to use; they are just like disposables.  The downside is that they take longer to dry due to their thickness.  They are also more expensive than other diaper systems, but these I purchased used from eBay – used diapers in the tiniest size tend to be in excellent condition, as most babies only wear them for a week or two.  The first BG seemed to work, as the baby stayed dry through a nap, despite a small gap between the diaper and the baby’s legs.  I put a second one on the baby, and had her on the changing table while I examined the first diaper.  It seemed completely dry.  Amazing wicking powers?  Alas, no.  As I stood there, sniffing the used diaper suspiciously (ah, parenthood), the baby peed about a gallon into the new BG, and most of it ran right out the leg hole.

Next, I tried a Bumboo fitted diaper with a Thirsties cover.  Fitted diapers are similar to the classic (“prefold”) cloth diaper, in that they are not waterproof and require a cover.  But they are “fitted” like a disposable, fastening with snaps, rather than just a rectangle like the prefold.  This worked really well, and since we have two of the bamboo fitteds, I tried it a second time, again with success.

Our fourth diaper change brought out the Thirsties Duo.  It is a pocket diaper; it has a built-in waterproof cover and wicking fleece that goes against the baby’s skin.  It comes with two pads that snap together and stuff in between the cover and the fleece to absorb liquid.  This one worked perfectly, through a very messy evacuation.  If she wasn’t growing so fast, I would invest in more of these.

Diaper number 5 was a disposable; the baby did that Exorcist-type spitting up thing, where she pukes her weight in regurgitated milk, prompting an immediate bath.  The baby was cold and screaming and I didn’t have time to put together an cloth diaper option.  I’m pretty sure diaper 6 was disposable, too: it’s a slippery slope, those ‘sposies.

Diapers 7 and 8 were traditional “prefolds,” those classic white rectangles, with a Thirsties wrap over them.  Messy.  Urine leaked.  Poo leaked.  It was not great, not great at all.

Then it was back to a disposable while I did laundry and started over.

So that is, more or less, our first 24 hours in cloth.

Since it’s taken me 4 days to complete this post, I can give a quick update:

– The cute little Bum Genius diapers?  They work, I just need to really cinch them up so there is a seal around her legs.  New favorite.

– The cotton prefolds do work, it just takes some practice to get them on correctly and the waterproof wrap on tightly enough.

– The Bumboo fitteds and the Thirsties Duo have had zero leaks.  The fitteds are super bulky and look uncomfortable – her legs stick out at funny angles when she has that much cloth on.  The Duo is less bulky, but bigger than the Bum Genius AIO.

This should get easier as the baby grows into the stash I have; she’s still in tiny sizes of which I have only a few, and that means daily loads of laundry and some ‘sposie supplementing… and, of course, a few leaks…





My Daughter’s First Crush

19 09 2011

My daughter is in love with my nipples.

And it is with a passion that only comes with young, new love.

She flirts with them.  She gives them coy little smiles that she has yet to bestow on her daddy and I.  She latches on, then drops off, and then grins like she’s told them a joke before she bobs her head back to latch again.

She can recognize them by their scent.  In the dark of night, I hear her snuffling, rooting, searching for them.  A satisfied sigh escapes her when – at last! – she finds one.

She dreams of them.  Her mouth working, her tongue tasting the phantom milk, she smiles again, that elusive smile that is only ever directed at my chest.  She sucks a fist for a moment, then frowns; even in her sleep, she knows this is a poor stand-in for her love.

She turns to them for comfort.  When she finishes nursing and drops into sleep, she opens her eyes every few seconds to make sure her favorite is no more than inches from her face; even better, to have one gently resting against her lips, a security blanket in her sleep.  No matter the hurt, this is her cure.

Her daddy talks to her daily about her impending introduction to the bottle.  He doesn’t understand: even if he is the one holding the bottle, it isn’t at him that she will be smiling.  The bottle will just be another rival, at least until our sweet girl learns to look up while she eats.

And so, less than two weeks as a new mother, I find myself jealous of my own breasts.  And, in fact, her daddy would be lying if he said he wasn’t, as well.

Parenthood, it seems, can make you strange.





Dangerous Levels of Joy

17 09 2011

I didn’t sleep for 4 days.

Everyone talks about new-mother exhaustion, and they talk about meals and laundry and all the things that don’t get done because a new mom is too tired.  Things like showers and grocery shopping.

I prepared as well as I could, making meals and freezing them, and trying to keep up on the housework as my due date came nearer.

What I couldn’t have prepared for was the shocking levels of euphoria that came with seeing my baby for the first time.  Suddenly, sleep was my last priority.

Because how do you sleep when you can kiss these:

How could I sleep and miss one second of seeing this:

I became an addict.

Jason would walk into the room where Hazel and I were in bed and ask, “Are you trying to sleep?”  “Yes,” I’d say.  “No, you aren’t,” he’d reply.  “You’re staring at the baby again.

I knew I had to let other people hold her.  People like her dad and her grandma.  And those were times when I could sleep, yes, in theory.  In practice, I was a junkie watching other people get high.  I tried to play it off by keeping busy, but would ineffectively flit from task to task, completing nothing, and watching Hazel out of slitted eyes, waiting for her to cry, praying she would cry, so I could have her back.

Eventually, due to exhaustion and the extreme need of a user, I would succumb to hysterical tears, walk over to whoever was holding her, and carefully pick up Hazel and carry her off to bed to stare at her some more.

Seriously.

The truth is, it’s true what everybody says: time goes by so fast with a little baby.  Suddenly, she’s a day old.  Then two days old.  And doesn’t stop.  This moment of baby-ness is speeding by, and sleep seems unnecessary given that fact.  I couldn’t miss a moment.

After 4 days, Jason was ready to shoot me with a tranquilizer dart – from a safe distance away, of course.

Frankly, though, after over a hundred hours with probably less than ten hours of sleep and a major surgery, I was finally exhausted enough that I had to collapse, even if it meant missing a few hours of this:

And sleep I did.

And what happened?

My sweet baby girl TURNED A WEEK OLD.  She gained A POUND.

I NEVER SHOULD HAVE LET THIS HAPPEN!

Luckily, she doesn’t let me sleep through the night, or I might wake up to a teenager tomorrow…





Learning Curve

16 09 2011

Day 1: Learned to breastfeed

Day 2: Learned to breastfeed while walking around

Day 3: Learned to breastfeed while going potty

Day 4: Learned to breastfeed while wearing a nursing bra

Day 5: Learned to breastfeed without waking up

Day 6: Learned to breastfeed while in public without dripping breastmilk all over self and baby

Day 7: Learned to use a sling carrier

Day 8: Breastfed in the sling carrier while walking the dog through the dog park without exposing any skin

 

The funny part?  When Jason’s holding the baby, he will ask if I can move the tv remote a little closer because it’s hard to reach that far…








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