Jun 202013
 

When Dilan was born, I was disappointed. My goal from day one was to breastfeed. Guess what his very first meal was? Formula! Ugh, poison, I thought. I did not have a choice. My all-natural labor took a toll on my body and I had to be knocked out (put under anesthesia) for surgery. I did not even get to see him take his first bath. He was born at 6:50 PM and remained in the nursery that first night since I was unable to breastfeed him while in surgery and with medicine still in my system. I know,  sounds like a big first world problem and I’m lucky enough to have top quality medical care in the first place, but it was still a huge disappointment for me.

breast milkFast forward almost 8.5 months later and I’m still pretty happily nursing. I nurse twice a day and pump once at work. I’ve definitely ramped things down since it’s really hard to pump frequently at work (in my job, no one is going to move a meeting just because you have to pump for the 50,000th time) and my  low supply is probably not worth the extra pumping sessions. The end is definitely in sight. I could easily look at this as “giving up”. After all, there are many moms who breastfeed for one, two, heck, even three years. But instead, I’m looking at it as a giant accomplishment. I’ve done what I could and to this day, have given Dilan almost every drop of milk I can. If I could talk to my past self, I would have given myself these 5 breastfeeding tips:

1. It’s ok to give yourself a break. Pumping after every nursing session sounds great, but just breastfeeding every 2-3 hours alone (or on demand) will help your supply in the first 6 weeks. Don’t go nuts trying to build up “a stash” for when you return to work. It goes fast. Just do what you can without killing yourself. I had my mom around for only 8 days after I gave birth. It was impossible to pump while Dilan was awake and no one else was around to help. Just the way it was / is.

2. Keep things consistent. On the other hand, you don’t want to skip TOO many nursing or pumping sessions because your supply WILL drop if you don’t keep things fairly consistent. Skipping a few here or there is ok, but being disciplined and trying to establish a schedule early on is key.

3. Supplementing with formula is not the end of the world. Formula is NOT poison, I promise. We had to start supplementing around 5 months since Dilan needed an extra bottle a day (the boy likes to EAT) that I simply could not provide. I was never the girl with the freezer full of milk. I’m still not. I just pump for the next day’s bottles and sometimes, not even enough for that. It worked out just fine. We tried a few types of formula and settled on the one brand he reacted best to.

4. A great network is key. I could not have kept this up without multiple Facebook messages and emails of encouragement, tips, and of course the many baby blogs that I read during 3 AM feedings. Finding friends and family who will encourage and not judge you is both essential and wonderful.

5. You have the RIGHT to nurse and pump. This one especially applies to working moms. I am lucky enough to have an office that I can pump in. I blocked out the window with printing paper and have a giant DO NOT DISTURB sign taped to my door once a day now. Even if you don’t have this, you have the right to ask your employer for a reasonable solution. After a while, people might get annoyed with you being unavailable for a small period of time, but that doesn’t mean you have to completely stop.

My current goal is to keep pumping until July 4th. It will be one heck of an Independence Day! I hope to continue to nurse Dilan in the mornings and evenings after that, but it will all depend on how well my supply holds up. It may or may not be possible. Regardless, I hope these 5 breastfeeding tips for the working mom help some of you exhausted new moms out there. You’re doing something absolutely wonderful for your child. Don’t ever forget that. I’m glad people told me this when I was that exhausted new mom just a few months ago.

I can’t say I’m not looking forward to being done with pumping, but I know I will definitely miss the nursing. It’s bonding time for me and Dils. That, and time for him to check out every detail of whatever room we’re in. It’s been a fun journey, one that only comes around once. The best advice I have for my (future ?) self and all you other new moms out there is: while you deal with the inevitable disappointment, exhaustion, or whatever emotion comes your way, don’t forget the most important thing of all: to enjoy the ride.

 

 Posted by at 8:39 PM
Jun 192013
 

So you’re either sharing a room with your infant or have him/her right down the hall in the nursery, but are still tip-toeing around the house? I don’t think there are too many parents that can’t relate to that. We certainly can. Dilan has been a light sleeper since he was born and hasn’t been a stranger to waking up every 2 to 3 hours until he was about 5 months. In addition to the various sleep training techniques and methods that we used (more about this later) to get him to sleep better, we decided to introduce white noise fairly early on.

The first time we tried this, it was absolute magic. White noise completely calmed Dilan down and put him in a state of sleepiness that every parent dreams of. We used a free iPhone app called Noise Box in the beginning. If all else fails, I highly encourage you to try the waterfall sound in this app. It even oscillates if you want it to. Pure magic….but then: We made rookie parent mistake #237: we turned the white noise off. We got Dilan to a sleepy state through white noise and rocking and although we love him more than the best chocolate fudge brownie you’ve ever had, we weren’t going to keep either of our iPhones just sitting next to the crib! Maybe for 30 or 45 mins max, but certainly not the whole night. BIG MISTAKE. Through trial & error, we learned the following about using white noise:

  • Keep it on the whole night. It not only draws out your everyday household noises, but it also helps when babies wake up (and they wake up briefly many, many times throughout the night, way more than you realize) and realize that they’re in the same, comfortable, and safe environment.
  • Keep it LOUD. Either turn it up all the way, or at least 3/4 of the way. We learned this lesson when we tried turning down the volume of the white noise two weeks ago. Dilan woke up 1 to 3 times almost every night until daddy finally decided to turn it up a bit louder again yesterday. BOOM! Eleven hours of glorious sleep for Dilan (and about 6 or 7 for us).
  • Get a reliable and portable white noise machine. We love this one. Its portable and small enough to take on trips and loud enough for the nursery. The sound is pleasant and not too harsh. Available via Prime shipping on Amazon. NO BRAINER.

If you’re concerned about any adverse effects of white noise on your baby, rest assured that it is very unlikely that it will affect his / her hearing. Check with your pediatrician to be sure, of course, but we sure haven’t experienced anything unfavorable. We’re planning to wean Dilan from white noise when he seems to be ready for it. Right now, we’re going to enjoy our glorious 6 or 7 hours of sleep.

 

 Posted by at 3:30 PM
Apr 282013
 

We’re here! Right at six months. Still on our feet. Ok, fine, mommy is about two weeks late with the 6 month milestones post because she’s been swamped at work while keeping the rest of the plates at home spinning. Daddy? Ditto. And Dilan? Here’s how he’s doing:

State of the Dilan

Dilan has turned into a super smiley and very strong-willed 6 month old. He literally smiles the entire day, unless he wants something or someone needs to get out of his face. Doesn’t happen very often.  99% of the time he cries or fusses because he simply wants food or sleep or is bored. Speaking of food, we started solids! Here’s what he’s had so far:

  • Veggies: organic avocados, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, green peas, and carrots
  • Fruits: organic bananas, pears, and peaches
  • Cereal: organic rice and oat

He definitely enjoys the veggies more. Doesn’t seem to care too much for the sweet stuff. This makes a ton of sense to me since I’ve lost my sweet tooth myself! Ever since pregnancy, the only sweet treats I still enjoy are those with a salty element to them or dark chocolate. Hard to find a girl who will give up chocolate, right?

Dilan is not quite sitting up yet, but he does roll over from front to back and back to front. He combines vowels and consonants into mini-phrases such as “ba” as well. He seems to have a preference for simple toys, instead of the loud and flashy ones. I’m ok with that :-). On the sleep front, we are a 2 oz bottle and some random fussing away from sleeping through the night. I promise you that there is no baby or even owl you know who has had a more difficult time with sleeping at night. We spent tons of hours on sleep research and training. Plenty of  “$%&! when is this going to end?!” moments. We worked for every minute of sleep we get. I can go on for ages on this topic and have some excellent tips and mistakes to share, so look out for many more posts to come on this soon!

Physically, Dilan has gotten chubbier. He’s always been pretty tall, but he’s growing horizontally now too. Sounds like mama pretty much all of last year. Here are his physical 6 month milestones:

  • Height: 27.5 inches, 79th percentile
  • Weight: 17 lbs, 50th percentile
  • Head size: 17.32 inches, 75th percentile

Parents tend to get obsessed with these numbers, but unless they drastically fall or increase, I would just shrug them off. Nice to know, but no need to panic and go crazy with comparing your infant to other kids. That’s my advice.

State of the Mommy

I’m definitely doing much better than I was a few months ago! I’ve been swamped at work and still feel exhausted from sleeping 4-5 hours each night, but I’m slowly getting back to where I want to be. I eat a lot of gluten and dairy-free meals – helps a ton with keeping energy levels up and makes me feel much healthier overall. I’ve lost 36 pregnancy pounds and am back in all my original clothes, but want to lose about 4 more. Piece of cake? Well, that’s exactly the problem. I need to get more toned too. Now taking notes for any do-at-your-desk exercises you can think of.

Out of all the 6 month milestones, my biggest one is having reached my goal of breastfeeding for 6 months. I’m so glad I kept it up because those white blood cells make sure that Dilan hardly ever gets sick (knock on wood). I’m still going at it, even though it’s mega tricky with work,  meetings, and all the other million things to do. I’ve battled low supply. And no, eating a ton of fenugreek does not just magically bring it back. More blog posts and tips to come on this as well. I’ve also found time to read! I know, those of you with newborns and multiple kids are really going to HATE me now, but before you get jealous: by reading I mean trying to get through Lean In on my iPhone, while nursing,  picking boogers out of my son’s nose and wearing spit-up stained yoga pants. Glamorous, right?

Overall, I’m happy. Make that elated. Being a new mom, and also a full-time working one, is the toughest job in the world. Even in the first world. Somehow I’m making it happen. House still intact. Marriage still intact (note that I have the wonderful hubs to thank for ALL of this). Happy & HEALTHY family. Crankiness minimized….most days. No complaints! :-)

State of the Daddy

The daddy told me that he’s in a state of shock that 6 months have already gone by. Work is as busy as ever for him too (comes with the package when you’re an entrepreneur, I think), but he’s more driven than ever to get work done during working / waking hours. The brightest part of his day is the time between when he comes home and Dils goes to bed. Sometimes that’s only about 5 minutes, but it’s still the highlight of his day. He’s been traveling quite a bit and feels more rested in some ways. But, Dilan sleeping longer stretches is almost worse because his body is still used to waking up every 2.5 – 3 hours.  So, in some ways he feels even more tired. Weird, right? We’ve never been big coffee or tea drinkers, but do a cup a day now on most days.

When I asked if he’s happy, he said that he couldn’t really ask for more. I had to put in here that he’s proud of my nursing effort and calls me the Dairy Queen. It’s better than calling me a cow, so I’ll take it :-). The one complaint he does have is that he’s trying to figure out when the hell we’ll finish Battlestar Gallactica. We’ve watched maybe a total of 3 shows in the last 6 months. Still a milestone, I think. We’ll finish up the rest when we’re completely back on our feet.

photo-27

 

 

 

 

 Posted by at 10:30 AM
Mar 012013
 

We’ve passed 4.75 months! About 4.75 months since Dilan’s birth, that is. While that may seem great, we often wish he was as tiny, light, cute, and quiet as he was when he was born again. But, 4 months does come with its own brand new characteristics and doses of awesome. Sticking with my fondness of numbers and stats, I’m going to describe what 4.75 months is like for us by using numbers. Makes sense, right? Read on to find out more. Oh and Dilan, if you read this post many years from now, know that none of these numbers are fake. It’s all 100% you :-)

95 – Dilan’s current height percentile. He was in 6 month outfits weeks ago and even those are getting tight now. Yep, he’s going to make one heck of a basketball player later. We hope.

3.5 – Average number of hours that we still sleep every night (since his birth). I know you guys are probably tired of me whining about this one!! Yes, it sucks, but you really do get used to it and we’ve gotten pretty darn good at making it through a full work day without having to serve Cheerios for dinner and things piling up too much (ok, laundry is a different story…). Unfortunately, Dilan does not seem to sleep much longer after a warm lavender bath, rice cereal, or a massage. He’s a pretty straightforward guy and doesn’t care about the fluffy stuff. Sleep will come…..right?

132 – Average number of times that Dilan smiles per day. He’s a happy chap. Happy and active. Sometimes a little too active.

9 – Number of all-natural products we’ve tried to treat Dilan’s eczema. Definitely our least favorite stat. We finally visited a dermatologist and got him prescription strength oil for his scalp. He has his wonderful mom to thank for all the little things that are wrong with him – eczema included. But hey, if this is our biggest health worry, then we are pretty darn blessed! I just really hope this is not a food allergy issue. I love my breads and cheeses too much for it to be :-( Gluten and dairy-free meals are becoming a more common occurrence, though. Not a bad move for keeping my energy levels up.

17 – Average number of minutes it takes me to change Dilan from pajamas into daytime clothes every morning. I know what you’re thinking – ROOKIE MOM! This is so true. I’m still not getting used to him knocking over diaper ointment, a towel, and wipes all at the same time while farting, sneezing, kicking limbs in all directions, and grabbing on to mommy’s hair AT THE SAME TIME. True story.

4.75 – Number of months I’ve successfully breastfed. I know this is just a drop in the bucket for some of you, but I never thought I’d make it with our lives being as insane and hectic as they can get. I don’t respond well to the breast pump at all, not even after taking supplements, so this is definitely one of my proudest accomplishments ever. I couldn’t have done it without loads of support from my female mama buds. And, I have to thank my wonderful hubs for this one, too. He’s always kept me going, even after I swore I was done on days when all I could pump was 2 ounces. The hubs never worried, even when I was close to being in tears. You are a saint. I hope you know that.

So that’s about it, in a nutshell. See, Dilan, that wasn’t so bad? I didn’t even mention poopy diapers! You are the biggest blessing and bundle of joy in our lives right now. I hope you know that.

 

 Posted by at 8:09 PM
Jan 062013
 

I really dislike the term “working mother”. I’ve always thought that every mother is a working one and over the last three months I’ve had a chance to actually experience this. It’s been absolutely amazing, but I do have a life and career outside of the house as well and it’s calling now. Although I really don’t feel like I’ve accomplished much over the last three months, it’s important to remember that nursing around the clock, doing laundry, constantly cleaning, cooking, and changing diapers aren’t just things you “just do”, as I often file them under. They are all just as impressive as just about anyone’s career outside of the house. So as I nervously return to work full-time and try to balance both the housewife and business / co-bringing-home-the-bacon side of me, I thought it would be fun to celebrate and list out both Anil’s and my accomplishments over these last three months. I realize that these can be pretty embarrassing for Dilan, but he should be much more worried about the pictures and video stash that we have saved up for his wedding in 20 to 30 years. Sorry, buddy. Here it goes:

Diaper count: 693, 256 dirty and 594 wet
Nursing: 265 hours and 4 minutes, for a total of 975 times
Bottle count (expressed milk): 30, for a total of 64 oz

We tracked all of this from the day Dilan was born using Baby Connect, which you can find in the App Store. It’s an awesome app that has contributed to the little bit of sanity we’ve had these last few months.You can track many more things, including sleep, which we did not track until much later (rookie parent mistake!). You can even track how long you’ve nursed on each side, but I doubt you guys want that much detail. So there you have it. That’s what we’ve been occupied with. In terms of sleep, we’re still waking up every 1.5 to 2 hours (not necessarily to feed every time) and I have yet to sleep longer than a 5 hour stretch, which I have not had in almost 13 weeks. Soooo…wish me luck tomorrow!! 😉

 Posted by at 2:03 PM
Jan 022013
 

December 20th, 2012. THE most beautiful and fun beach wedding ever. My second youngest sister got married and boy, did we have a blast in paradise! On the beach. With a 10 week old. Yep, we managed to get through all 4 days, including a 12 hour stretch of travel successfully. If you don’t have a very fussy baby and this doesn’t seem like a big deal to you then…boo to you. Kidding, kidding! I realize that to some this may not seems like a big accomplishment, but to Anil and I, parents to the fussiest and most difficult baby I have ever met, this was a HUGE milestone. Here are some of my new best friends that made this happen:

1. Our stroller. We are proud owners of the Britax B-Safe carseat and B-Agile stroller. The stroller is SO compact, light, and super easy to assemble. It’s fantastic for airports and gate valet check-ins. I seriously don’t know what we’d do without it. Not only was it a breeze to take Dilan everywhere, but he also slept fantastically in his car seat for all naps and even at night! There are probably even lighter (and more expensive) strollers out there, but this mid-range one did the trick for us.

2. My nursing cover. I’m proud to say that after almost three months, we’re still going strong with exclusively breastfeeding. I know that’s really not that long, but every day that I can keep this up is a win in my book. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to keep it up once work starts, but I’m really glad that we kept things going for at least this long, especially because breastfeeding can be one of the hardest things to do! The Bebe Au Lait (don’t you just love the name?!) nursing cover is a bit tricky to use at first (position baby, pull down / unbutton shirt without flashing the whole world, latch, and feed), but once you get the hang of it, it’s really wonderful because there are no bottles that need to be warmed or prepared ahead of time. You simply feed on demand. I fed in restaurants, on all flights (get the window seat to make this easier!), in airports, on the bus, and even on the beach at night while we were doing speeches during the beach reception. I have to thank Anil for helping me out and fully supporting me with this. And for getting Dilan out of the nursing cover when I was done, even though he farts every time you pick him up.

3. Our labeled diaper bag. I absolutely love our Skip Hop diaper bag. It’s got just enough space to hold at least 8 – 10 diapers, my nursing cover, 3 extra outfits, diaper cream, toys, pacifiers, a bottle or two, and even a few personal items. The best part about this is that it doesn’t scream “diaper bag” and it actually looks kind of stylish. For our trip to Jamaica, I labeled each outside pocket by writing on tape with a Sharpie. This way, when I quickly needed a burpy cloth but couldn’t reach for it myself, all I had to tell Anil was “get me the burpy cloth in B1, please”. It worked like a charm and I highly recommend it, especially if you’re traveling with someone else and your diaper bag has a gazillion pockets.

No mommy musing blog post of mine is complete without a thank you! A big thank you goes out to my wonderful family and especially to Shresta and Grayson for getting married. We had been to the all-inclusive resort twice before, but loved the wedding and our trip just as much the third time around, all thanks to them. They sure know how to get married in style. And…we sure know what to do the next time we travel with the fussiest baby on the block.

 

 

 Posted by at 12:50 PM
Dec 052012
 

Sleep when the baby sleeps. This was drilled into my head since pretty much the beginning of my pregnancy. Whenever the baby naps or seems to go down for the night, you sleep as well. Is it effective? Yeah, probably about 80% of the time. I had a pretty difficult labor with a 4th degree tear and some anemia due to the large amounts of blood that I lost during labor and delivery. It’s hard to come home from that and then have visitors who are dying to see your new mommy skills and all you want to do is rest and sleep and recover! Socializing was the last thing on my mind (I know, I’m horrible) and those first two weeks, I indeed followed the golden rule of sleeping when Dilan slept. It was quite easy too since he slept all the time back then!

Fast forward a few weeks and I’m not so much following the golden rule anymore. Has Dilan become easier to handle? A little bit, yes. I’m also able to handle the sleep deprivation a bit better, but more than anything else, I often don’t nap when he does because I simply want to get something DONE. I live and breathe for getting things organized and I don’t do well unless I accomplish something every day. SOMETHING. ANYTHING. So my take on this is that it’s ok to skip a nap because you just want your kitchen counter to be clean, laundry not to pile up, or dinner to be done before the hubs comes home. It gives you the tiniest sense of accomplishment and if you’re breastfeeding and saving a stash of milk for later, a chance to pump in peace! All the baby blogs you’ll ever read will tell you not to sweat the small stuff and the mess around the house. I say, sometimes it’s cleaning up these little things that help you feel best and like a normal person again. If organizing isn’t your thing, you could always take the time to do something nice for yourself (like shower or meditate!). Talk to me in a few weeks when I go back to work and I’ll probably be begging for that nap. Or if you do decide to skip a nap, you can always pick up on my favorite breastfeeding mantra instead: “eat when the baby eats”. One handed, of course 😉

 Posted by at 2:46 PM
Dec 052012
 

I blogged about pregnancy products that I love a few months back and thought I’d sort of extend that blog post by talking about my favorite baby and post-partum products. As you may know, I’m big on green, eco-friendly, and natural products, but I also like a good deal and am quite the value conscious shopper and coupon clipper. So, with those two things in mind here are my favorites:

1. Burt’s Bees Baby Bee products.1. I pretty much love all of the Baby Bee products. They smell great, but not too overwhelming and so far, Dilan’s skin has been responding pretty well to them.They’re free of synthetic fragrances, sulfates, and parabens – all ingredients that I try to keep out of our household as much as possible. I also love the fact that Burt’s Bees is a local, Durham-based company and I’m always happy to support our local start-ups and companies! Check them out at: http://www.burtsbees.com.

2. Seventh Generation Free & Clear Baby Wipes. Like the Baby Bee products, these wipes are fairly natural and although they’re thinner than some of the other wipes out there (like Huggies), they get the job done. Definitely worth a try. We have these on auto-order with Subscribe & Save on Amazon, so that we never run out. Find them here.

3. Earth Mama Angel Baby Bottom Balm. This is by far the best diaper rash cream that I’ve come across. It beats out Butt Paste and even the Baby Bee diaper rash cream. When we received this, I thought that it was way too pricey for the amount of product you get, but I soon realized that a little goes a long way, so the small bottle last a while. So far, Dilan has been diaper rash free. He even coos when I put this on his butt! Find it here.

4. Earth Mama Angle Baby Natural Nipple Butter. Like the baby bottom balm, this product is amazing, all-natural, and well worth the money. I’ve been fortunate enough not to need it too many times, but if you’re breast feeding and your nipples get sore, this is a must! Works great on other parts of your body as well (elbows, feet) and it even makes for a great lip balm. Find it here.

5. Summer Infant Swaddleme velcro swaddlers. Oh what would we do without these?! We have a ton of aden + anais swaddle blankets. They’re 100% cotton and very breathable. They’re also amazingly soft, so I would highly recommend them….if you’re a good swaddler. I happen to suck at it, Anil’s quite a bit better, but the main problem we have is that Dilan has well above average swaddle escape skills. Bring on the velcro straps that the Swaddleme provides. Dilan sleeps SO much better swaddled in these (arms and legs aren’t flying around everywhere), so these are definitely worth your money as well. Find them here.

Well, that just about wraps up my top 5 favorite mommy (and daddy, to be politically correct!) and baby products so far. I’ll keep updating the blog as Dilan grows and we learn :-)

** Update from two days later: Dilan is starting to escape from the Velcro straps now too! All I wanted was a healthy baby, not necessarily a Herculean one. What’s next, super glue? I kid, I kid!

 Posted by at 12:26 PM
Nov 152012
 

So it’s been a little over month since we’ve brought our pickle into the world! Dilan was born on 10/10/2012, a date which is very near and dear to us. It’s the day Anil and I started dating in college, 11 years ago. We went through a list of names, but settled on Dilan since we find it such a simple, cute, yet pronounceable name (it’s pronounced the same as “Dylan”).  Its origin spans across Sanskrit, French, and Welsh. I’d like to think it’s a name as international as we are :-).

So how have we been coping? Depends on when you ask us :-). Certain days are awesome and we feel on top of the world, others are pure torture. The main reason why I think parenthood is difficult is because of all the pretty pictures, overly positive Facebook posts, and advertisements you see everywhere. It makes you believe that parenting is something fairly consistent that you can just “learn” or “pick up”. Start with the videos they show you about giving birth. Everyone is calm, looks pretty and the baby slides out gracefully and is peaceful.  NOTHING like it in real life. Middle of the night with only 2 hours of sleep. 18 hours of labor. No epidural or meds. Back labor from the very beginning. That was my story. Now am I glad I did it that way? Absolutely! I think it makes me a much stronger and confident person, not heroic or proud, but just stronger. It’s an experience neither Anil nor I will ever forget. But, nothing like they show you in the videos :-). It wasn’t pretty and I’m sure I said some ridiculous things during labor (I was in a daze for a good part of it)!

Now about the torturous days. Don’t get me wrong, we are extremely blessed that we have a roof over our head, food on the table, and enough disposable income to buy just about anything to make our lives a little easier. But even with all that, it takes one little pickle to wreak havoc, in the first-world-problem way. I think a lot of it has to do with our personalities, which Dilan seems to have a good dose of. We’re both fairly independent, somewhat picky, and rebel-ish. We always love a good challenge. You can see that in Dilan when we rock him to sleep, white noise cranked up, and all he does is yawn 12 or 13 times, but then FIGHTS his sleepiness. Why? I think he’s challenging himself…and what better challenge for a 5 week old than to see how long you can stay awake? So that, in addition to Dilan’s reflux,causes a good number of sleepless nights and fussy evenings. And then there’s breastfeeding. DAMN HARD. Breasts unfortunately don’t come with markers on them, so you never know how much you’ve just fed. And then there’s pumping and milk supply. Maybe I ate the wrong thing. Maybe I’m feeding too much. Maybe I’m feeding too little. Maybe I need to pump more. Maybe I need to pump less. Maybe I’m just doing EVERYTHING wrong. That’s how it’s been going for the past few weeks.

All in all, though, I have slowly come to love it. Now would be a good time to thank those who have made me love it. My mom stayed with us for a little over a week and slowly showed us the ropes of parenthood. The in-laws helped fill our freezer for two weekends in a row. My sisters sent text messages of encouragement. Countless friends, lactation consultants, and our pediatrician have given me the one thing that I think makes parenthood a bit easier: confidence. I slowly gain a bit more of it each day and that really helps me to appreciate motherhood. Whenever times get rough, I remind myself why I love it so much: Dilan’s cute noises and face at 3 AM and the way he sometimes shares subtle smiles, which remind me of my husband. Speaking of the hubs – I have come to appreciate him so much more as a daddy. Just when I thought I couldn’t love him any more than I already did, he became a dad. And if that’s not a huge motherhood bonus, I don’t know what is.

 Posted by at 9:28 PM
Sep 162012
 

I know it may seem a bit early to start my first mommy musing when I haven’t even given birth yet, but not being the superstitious type, there are some great tips and truths about pregnancy that I think are worth sharing! There are TONS of mommy blogs out there, but unlike me telling you what you should do in my posts, I’m only interested in sharing my experiences and invoking some serious laughter and “glad I’m not HER” type of thoughts. So for all you moms, here’s your chance to feel much better about yourself and for all you future moms, sit back and don’t (always) do what I did :-). Here are my favorite lessons learned and tips from almost 9 months of pregnancy:

1. Work doesn’t disappear. I’m well aware that a shower and hot meal become impossible realities once the baby is here, but what no one told me is how busy the 9 months before a baby would be! On top of your regular day job, there’s the nursery to complete and product reviews to read on anything from baby monitors to car seats. I know, all first world problems, but a lot of work nonetheless because you have to figure out what you need, what you really don’t, and what will best fit in with your lifestyle. Although I’ve been fortunate enough not to have taken a single sick day off this year (something I’m very proud of!), that doesn’t mean that eating / drinking gingerale and crackers for breakfast at work or trying not to vomit when you’re in front of a customer weren’t part of the deal. It is difficult to work all day and come home to a house full of chores, especially if your first and third trimesters aren’t completely fatigue and illness-free. And no, Mr. Obnoxious Consultant in the office, my nausea filled work days are still not any better than you having jet lag due to your West coast travel and red eye flights. Not the same thing at all!

2. Sleep disappears before the baby gets here. I wish all current mommies would stop telling me to sleep as much as I can before the baby arrives! It’s been impossible for me (and my poor hubs!) to get more than about 4 hours of solid sleep in per night since about 14 weeks of pregnancy. I’m writing this post at 5 AM on a Saturday and have been up since 3:30 AM. I’ve only managed to get in 8 naps since pregnancy started and have a feeling that number 9 might be needed today.  I’ve tried just about any remedy you can think of for my leg cramps, which have improved a lot over the last few weeks, but still wake me up every single night. More walking, hydration, magnesium, potassium, the bar of soap in between the sheets – you name it! The big positive that comes out of all of this is that the lack of sleep should be good prep for when the baby does actually get here.

3. Eat what you like. Another first world problem since I should be grateful that I even have a choice in foods in the first place. But, I’m pretty tired of people telling me what I should and shouldn’t eat! The only foods that sit really well in my stomach are bland ones, carbs, and proteins. I still eat plenty of veggies, and especially fruits, but really can’t stomach that paneer tikka masala anymore. My poor hubs has been deprived of really spicy Indian food (a staple in our house) for a while now, but I know I’ll make it up to him in the future. Until then, my lesson learned is that you should just eat what you like and what sits well (as long as it’s pretty healthy), keep taking your prenatal vitamins, and not worry about what anyone tells you food wise. I’m also tired of people telling me that I must have heartburn. I haven’t had any of it during my pregnancy. Every pregnancy is different. Just let it go. A splurge once in a while won’t hurt you either, though it gets harder to do this towards the end, especially if you’ve gained a lot of weight. My docs keep telling me that I’m a model patient in terms of my weight management, but they’re not the ones that have to lose 35 lbs!

 Posted by at 4:52 PM