It’s a Girl!

Damn, I hate it when he’s right.  But he was.  From the beginning.  The day I peed on the $14 stick and announced our pregnancy status to Craig, he said “it’s a girl.”  I was not as convinced.  Throughout the pregnancy he held firm that we were having a girl, while I waivered.  And secretly hoped. 

Some say that every woman wants a baby girl.  That we all want little girls that we can outfit in pink dresses and take shopping.  Others say that the bond between a little boy and his mother is unlike any other.  I’ve heard both sides.  But I still wanted a girl.  I had visions of doll babies, cheerleading camps and prom dresses.  I saw myself pushing her through the mall in a stroller and graciously accepting comments about how cute she was. 

Now that I have a daughter, I’m beginning to comprehend the responsibility of raising her. She’s not just my baby.  She will be a classmate, a friend, a partner, and, if she’s lucky, a mother.  While I still want to dress her up, buy her dolls and have long talks about boys, I also want to teach her many of the things that my mother taught me.  I want her to learn to be independent but not be afraid to ask for help.  I want her to identify the things worth fighting for and work like hell until she gets them.  I want her to always be safe, but take risks and push the boundaries a little. I want her to know how much she is loved. 

This baby that squeals when I blow raspberries on her belly will have her toes stepped on and her heart broken.  She will try and sometimes she will lose.   She will want things that she can’t have.  My job is to help her grow with each loss and praise every win.  To be her biggest champion but not carry her through life.  To let her struggle as she finds her way.  To support her every single time.   

And to teach her that a new pair of shoes can cure almost any bad day.

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Swaddle Fail

After a couple of nights of Baby Girl being harder to put to sleep, being more restless while she was asleep and waking up earlier, I decided to take on the battle of Operation: Sleep 2009.  I gave her a little bit more to eat at her last feeding, kept the lights low, swaddled her with her arms wrapped up tight, placed her in my arms on her side, swayed and ssshhhed her until she fell asleep.  The author of Happiest Baby on the Block would have been proud.  When I laid her down all snug and proud of myself, I was mentally writing a post about how I got my kid to sleep through the night. 

Then she woke up at 1:45 (earliest time yet) with her arms pulled out of the blanket and flailing around like she was attempting lift off.  I repeated the sequence of events when I put her back down and when the husband went to check on her at 5:30 she was wide awake and completely out of her blanket.

Baby Girl: 2    Krista:  0

One Month Later

One month ago today, Baby Girl was born and everything I thought I knew about babies and motherhood was put to the test. I thought parents were supposed to be the teachers in the mother & father/child relationship but I’ve learned more from this little girl in the last month than I ever thought possible. While I wouldn’t call it an easy course in parenthood, (there have been moments that I wanted to escape a hot bubble bath in another country) and God knows we’re not out of the woods yet, I am smart enough to know that she’s a pretty good baby. In most cases if she’s fussy she’s hungry and she’s a champion sleeper so I’d say we got pretty lucky.

Here are a few things I’ve learned:

#1. There is a difference between fussing and crying. Hell, there’s even a difference between making noise and fussing. Fussing means that she wants to be held, needs to be changed, or is too hot or cold. Crying means she’s hungry and her mother is looking at the clock thinking “it’s not time yet.” I think in her head she’s thinking, “WTF mom, a clock can not tell you when I’m hungry. Get to the kitchen and get me a bottle.” In my defense figuring out her feeding schedule (or lack thereof) has been one of the hardest things to determine. I don’t want to be the mom that shoves a bottle in her face every time she makes a noise thereby contributing to ‘fat kid america‘ but I don’t want to starve my baby either. Once the pediatrician said to feed on demand, I felt a lot better about not trying to stay on a real strict schedule.

#2. This world is a big scary place for babies and when all else fails – the child is fed, diapered and at an appropriate temperature – she usually just needs to be held and made to feel safe and secure. For me that means holding her tighter than I would ever think could be comfortable and doing the bounce and sway move that parents have been doing for a bazillion years, but it typically works to put her to sleep or at least settle her down.

#3. Newborns don’t stay newborns very long. It’s only been a month and already she’s outgrown anything that’s sized newborn. There were some outfits we had for her that she didn’t even get to wear. She’s already way more alert than she was three or four short weeks ago, she coos and smiles (I don’t care if it’s gas, if her lips are turned up, it’s a smile!). It’s amazing to watch her develop and grow, but it sucks too. It makes me want to document every moment of her life and save them for the days that she’s running around the kitchen and we’re yelling at her to sit still. (This is probably why we have approximately 325 pictures of her!)

#4. I don’t care about those men that work on rooftops or fight bad guys (I do actually, but go with me here…) being a parent is the scariest job in the world. When I snuggle with my daughter and look into her sweet little innocent face, all I can think about is how I want to protect her from anything bad – from bumps and bruises to heartache and disappointment. I don’t ever want her to know pain and I would give anything if I could do that for her. Knowing that I can’t breaks my heart a little.

#5. Post partum recovery sucks. Enough said.

#6. I don’t think I could be a full time stay at home mom, but I think going back to work in less than two weeks is going to suck worse than when I wasn’t allowed to go to Homecoming my freshman year in high school. (Yes, I survived but that was maybe one of the biggest disappointments for a 13-going-on-21-girl ever! ::Sigh::) I’ve liked being able to work a little from home and go in here and there for meetings, but there’s a big difference between that and having to be at the office nine hours a day, five days a week. I do have my own office now, do you think anyone would notice if I snuck her in there with me?

Mission Accomplished

Spent the morning cleaning my house – mopped floors, ran the vacuum & scrubbed the bathroom. The good news is it now looks better than it has since the day we brought the babe home. The bad news is my lady bits feel like someone took a swing at them with a golf club. When will I learn to pre-medicate?

Learning a Little More Every Day

Lesson #245: Someimes when she cries, its because she needs to poop, not eat.

The Choices We Make

People warned me about this… sort of… I heard “your life is going to change” so many times during the last nine months that I wanted to throat-punch anyone who dared give me that knowing look and start to open their mouth to grace me with their words of wisdom about how I wouldn’t be able to pick up and run to WalMart when I wanted or how Craig and I would have to arrange child care if we wanted to go out for a hot meal or about how all around wonderful my life would be once I had a baby.

Nobody told me that there would be days that I would have to choose between showering and eating. They gave me advice about “sleeping when she sleeps”. Sounds easy enough. Except some days this child only sleeps in 30 minute increments. Which means that by the time she falls asleep – deep enough that I can lay her down I have about 15 minutes before she’s up again wanting to be held or fed or needing a diaper changed. So in those 15 minutes do I take a quick bath or eat something? And if I chose sustenance over hygiene what exactly do I eat? Nothing that requires microwaving since the beeping will surely wake her up and nothing that takes longer than a few minutes to prepare because I want to have time to actually eat it. So, if anyone goes to the grocery store could you grab me more cereal and bread please? (side note, this is probably why I’m only 4 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight.)

Top 10 Things I Learned in Childbirth Class

  1. People who let themselves be taped for childbirth videos in the late 70’s early 80’s were funny looking
  2. Labor is gross
  3. I need to get over my desire for modesty
  4. Some people should not be reproducing
  5. Attempting breathing exercises in a room that’s full of strangers is a good way to give me a fit of the giggles.
  6. Labor is gross
  7. It’s bad to smoke during pregnancy (yes, someone in our class asked this question)
  8. If Craig spends the night at the hospital, he is going to be very uncomfortable in that little reclining chair.
  9. I plan to stay in the comfort of my own home (and more importantly the comfort of my own clothes) as long as possible when I go into labor.
  10. God does not answer prayers for the VCR to eat the childbirth video tape.