Sunday, April 29, 2012

Just one of those days

Today is a day where sitting down with my pint of Vanilla Almond Bark ice cream would be dangerous, but that's exactly what I feel like doing, only I'm not because I know I'd regret it later, so Im just eating some chocolate instead.

As you know, I still haven't found permanent help, but part of me doesn't want permanent help. I know there's nothing wrong with having a mother's helper, but I like being by myself. I feel like crap asking people to help me with the baby. Maybe having a mother's helper would be more bearable if I were working, but I'm not working now. I think having help is harder to swallow because it's a confession that I can't and shouldn't be on my own with my baby. In my building I have my next door neighbor who occasionally helps, though I know she's getting tired of it. I understand that. People have lives and they have already had their kids. Why would they want to deal with mine? Yesterday I met the woman who lives downstairs with her family. After discovering that she works from home, you can guess what my first question was=) She said she'd be glad to help me. I'm just tired of organizing people and times. I actually have a whiteboard with a weekly schedule. Unfortunately, It's empty for the remainder of this week. I have to call the volunteers and coordinate...UGH!! Scheduling is on a 3-4 hour shift since Naama is on about a 3 hour eating schedule, but the hardest times are the mornings. Sometimes she'll wake at 630am, so I feed her in bed, which means that the person who is scheduled to show up at 7, now I don't really need her and I hate hate hate having someone here so bright and early in the morning, especially on nights I barely slept. Sometimes I have to let them into my bedroom when my husband is trying to get ready for about awkward and frustrating.

Today, Mary Poppins was here from 7am-12pm. At 2:30, I texted my neighbor and asked if she was available to help me nurse. She came over and after feeding, we changed Naama. Ten minutes after my neighbor left, I hear Naama leaving me a present. Great! I didn't want to call my neighbor back because she was getting ready for work. I decided to deal with Naama on my own. I wheeled the stroller to her swing so I could transport her to the couch. As soon as Naama saw the stroller, she broke into a huge smile and began flapping her arms and legs in anticipation of a walk. Poor baby didn't realize I was only wheeling her about 3 steps to the couch! talk about a letdown! As I thought, Naama left me an explosive surprise which required me to change her onezie. Since I can't get the onezie over her head, I had to think outside the box. I changed her diaper hoping I put it on securely. I got her arms out of the onezie and then just shimmied the onezie down her body. I placed her in her footed pj's and buttoned her up. It took me quite awhile to change her.  I had trouble snapping the snaps closed. Naama eventually started to squirm and cry and I almost joined her, especially, as I glanced up to see Doggie on the balcony vomitting up shabbos potatoes for the 5th time today, thanks to children overfeeding him, but I finished changing Naama and finally got her back in the stroller. Naama fell asleep shortly afterward.

I sat down wiped and felt very defeated. What pushed me over the edge and the reason I began writing this post is because I saw pictures on Facebook of a friend who recently had her second child. She looked great. The baby was resting on her in a sling as she pushed her older child in a stroller. I immediately felt very jealous and sad. She can take care of her kids on her own no problem. I will never be able to carry Naama on me. I know everyone has their problems and I shouldn't compare blah blah blah, but yea I'm gonna compare. It sucks being me sometimes. The other reason I'm very jealous of her and some other friends who recently had babies, is that she had a home birth and was raving about how amazing the experience was. My other friends got to experience their baby's birth, but I was knocked out for Naama's birth. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I wanted to experience the pain of childbirth, even though I do think it would be nice to have gone through the birth experience at least once, but I at least wanted to be awake to see and hear my baby come into the world, but because I can't have an epidural without risking major neurological damage, I will never be awake for any other of my children's births. Maybe it's just because Naama is my first born, but for nearly 2 months after her birth, I felt I was missing a certain connection with her because I wasn't awake for her birth. I kinda feel cheated that I had a C-section under general anesthesia. When people ask how the birthing experience was and I say I had a c section, I get looks like oh poor you. sometimes the person asking will actually say Oh....which is followed by an awkward silence. This isn't just my perception.

I know I have a lot to be grateful for and I'm reminded of that whenever Naama smiles at me, but today is just one of those days...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


God has blessed me with a very intuitive baby. She understands mommy has limitations. The other day, I lifted Naama from her stroller to her changing mat which I had placed on our bed. Having the mat on our bed makes me feel more stable than trying to change her when the mat is on top of her changing table. I struggled to get her diaper on properly, and I couldnt get her onezie over her head. I tried numerous times but I couldn't do it. Getting the onezie over her head is a task that requires using both hands at the same time while slightly lifting the baby's head and then pulling the onezie down over her head and down her body. I was amazed that Naama didn't cry or squirm as I kept trying to get the onezie over her head. She just lay there quietly studying my face. In the end, my husband finished dressing her.

If Naama is wearing a button up dress, I can place her in the dress and then just button her up. Unfortunately she doesn't have many button up dresses, but the one she does have is super cute on her.

Unfortunately, Naama took the dump of her life in this dress a few weeks ago and I'm still trying to get the stains out!!

Another way God has blessed me is that Naama has been sleeping through the night since she was two months old. When I tell this to other parents of newborns they're shocked. I believe Naama knows that if she gets up at night, daddy also has to get up. He has to lift her from her bassinet and burp her when I'm done feeding her. My husband would be a zombie at work if he were getting up every night with me and the baby. I'm also very blessed that Naama wakes up smiling every morning. I don't know many babies who wake up smiling!

Naama did me a huge favor a few weeks ago, when we tagged along on one of my husband's meetings. I didn't have anyone to help me and I didn't want to be alone when Naama needed to eat. Naama  doesn't really nap for long periods of time and I was nervous that I'd have to interrupt my husband's meeting so he could give me the baby to nurse her and then burp her. Shortly after we arrived at the meeting, Naama fell asleep and stayed asleep for nearly 3 hours!!! I was so thankful=0)

My baby continually amazes me with how intuitive she is. I can pick Naama up from her swing if I'm sitting across from her. One day, I picked her up just to eat her up and I realized I could burp her in this position! She's big enough now that when I hold her against me, she can stand on me so all I have to do is pat her back. I was so happy when I realized I could burp her on my own. Last week, I was on my own for 4 hours with Naama. I pumped milk and bottle fed and burped Naama. Bending forward to feed her in her swing strains my lower back after awhile, so I was amazed when I saw Naama doing this
I couldn't believe that at 4 months old she can hold the bottle by herself and actually be eating from the bottle!! I lifted Naama 3 times to burp her during her feeding. My hands and arms got tired from lifting and holding her. I didn't factor fatigue into the situation but I was extra careful with her. I loved being able to hug her as I waited for a burp. She kept nuzzling into my neck and I love her intoxicating baby smell. Having the ability to pick Naama up when she's in her swing makes me so happy. If I feel like taking a bite out of her I can, or if she's crying and just wants to be held, I can comfort her. Lifting her was something I didn't do when she was younger. I was too afraid of her lack of head control.

Realizing that I could feed Naama on my own gave me the courage to see what else I could do on my own. My husband was around as a precaution, but using the chair, her stroller and the couch, I did almost everything on my own.  From her swing, I put her in the stroller which is how I transport her around. On the couch, I can change her diaper or put her on her tummy time mat.
My setup

Putting her diaper on is hit or miss. Sometimes I put it on correctly and other times not so well, but practice makes perfect.

                                                         mmmmm the fat rolls;)...oh yea successful diaper change!

 I'm ALMOST at the point where I can be alone with Naama all day. Once my husband takes Naama out of her bassinet and dresses her, I'm fine with her but if Naama decides to do an explosive poop and I have to change her onezie I'm stuck, so that remains a problem to be solved. If I have milk pumped, I can be on my own with Naama for longer periods of time. As great as it finally feels to have my independence, I know being alone with Naama for the day is not a realistic or safe option. 

I'm not always able to have a bottle ready for a single feeding, let alone have multiple bottles ready. If I formula fed her my problem would be solved, but I don't want to give up nursing since it's the healthiest option for her. Also, I love the closeness that nursing provides, so as annoying as it is to have to have someone with me, that's just the way it has to be. I need someone to hand me the baby to nurse and help position her in the football position when she feeds on my right side. I recently met a neighbor who is about my age. She offered to help me during feeding times because she is home with her kids anyway. I took her up on her offer once. Other than feeding time, I was alone with Naama all day. It felt good but scary at the same time that I was alone with Naama for so long. I feel that when a person gets too comfortable doing something that's when the accident happens, so that's another reason why I decided I won't be alone with Naama all day. 

Unfortunately, I still haven't managed to find a permanent mother's helper, so I have people coming in shifts throughout the day. The two people I had before are still helping me. Other people have volunteered their time in shifts. I'm very grateful for all the help, especially the volunteers since that cuts down on the cost of having help, but there are just days when having people here 10 hours a day gets to me, so some days I won't schedule anyone for the lat 4 hours because I just want to be by myself. However, having such a good tempered, adorable baby who everyone loves, makes having people here bearable. I just wish people wouldn't feel free to kiss her. That drives me nuts. Who knows what bacteria they may have??!! I haven't found a nice way to say LAY OFF MY KID yet=) 
I know my Naama is just yummy, especially when she smiles.  My Naama really is a blessing in every way.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The little train that could

I'm going to start this post by tooting my own horn;) Today I felt like the little train that could. Today I felt like my old self again. It's a beautiful sunny day outside and I needed to take Doggie for a walk. My husband had left for work and the girl who helps me for the day hadn't shown up yet. The baby had been fed and was sitting happily in her swing.

At nearly 4 months old, Naama is big enough that she can sit in the stroller with an insert. Before hand, we had to put her car seat in the stroller. Because of the car seat's height once in the stroller, I never even attempted to put Naama in the stroller. For the first time just last week ,I put Naama in the stroller without the car seat, so I knew I could do it this time, except this time I was completely by myself. Last time, my husband was sort of with me. I say sort of because he was asleep on the couch. Today, Naama was gurgling happily in her swing, unaware of what mommy was about to try. I placed the stroller next to her, put the brakes on the stroller and sat down in a chair across from my baby and the stroller. I lifted my baby from the swing, brought her close to me so I could kiss her yummy cheek and placed her in the stroller! I strapped her in and we took Doggie to the park.

I was so proud of my accomplishment, I felt like jumping up and down shouting I DID IT!! I was so proud of myself that I took a picture of us in the elevator on our way back=)

Being able to do this small thing with my baby makes me feel more like her mother and not just her food source. Until now, I barely walked her in the stroller because the car seat made the stroller top heavy and easily tippable. Now with no car seat, the stroller is much lighter, so I feel more secure walking her.

Last week, when I went for a walk with the baby and my husband, I wheeled the stroller through the park and down a bit of a steep path. I felt good! I mentioned to my husband I was happy that I could do more now with my baby. I hate the way I feel when I can't physically do something, especially since I'm a doer...When we got back to our building, we had to wait for the sabbath elevator. I had to use the bathroom and couldn't wait for the elevator which stops at every floor in sabbath mode. Instead I climbed 6 flights of stairs. Doggie and I reached our apartment before my husband and the baby. I was out of breath but I felt great! I love being active. During the pregnancy and after the C section, I wasn't active at all.

Even though I can do a bit more with the baby on my own, I'm still searching for a nanny. Right now, I have two people switching days while my husband is at work. He got a day job outside the house, so we don't need a live in anymore! One of the nannies is an older, South African woman. I've dubbed her Mary Poppins. She speaks all proper with her accent and is a fine woman. She also turns up for work in a white overcoat, not unlike a doctor's coat. From the moment we interviewed Mary Poppins, I felt I finally found someone who understood me. She said I needed to feel comfortable with her since I am the baby's mother and she didn't want to overstep her bounds. I could've kissed her=) If you've read my other posts, you know I've had issues with other nannies. During our interview, I had to nurse Naama. Mary Poppins said "Do you mind if I look?" The woman was soooo hired=) I told her that I appreciated that she wanted to give me my privacy, but that I needed help positioning and burping the baby during nursing, so privacy in that respect kinda goes out the window. Unfortunately, Mary Poppins wasn't available every day, so she gives me two days a week.

When the baby's diaper needs changing, I will clean her and Mary Poppins will diaper and dress her. One day Mary Poppins said "It must be so hard for you dahling to have all these nannies here." My goal for you is to be rid of us nannies and for you to achieve independence." My jaw was on the floor. I promptly shut my mouth=) She proceded to teach me a few things This woman really understood what I was going through. WOW! When I need help with the baby, Mary Poppins will ask "Do you need my hands?" Interesting that she doesn't ask do you need me? She wants me to be as involved with my baby as possible. The second time she bathed Naama, she asked if I wanted to wash Naama as she held her. I smiled and said "sure". Naama was fixated on my face as I washed the front of her body as I spoke to her. As Mary Poppins was toweling Naama off, I told her this was the first time I washed Naama. She looked at me in disbelief and said "are you joking?"

Mary Poppins has given me the courage to try and do more with the baby. Today, I changed her diaper and buttoned her pajamas back up. I put her changing mat on my bed to make changing the baby easier. Her mat usually rests on her dresser in the nursery, which makes me uneasy when trying to change her, because the mat moves and I'm always nervous I may lose my balance. Having the mat on my bed takes away the balance issue, but bending over for more than a minute really hurts my back, so this is all still a work in progress!

Unfortunately, as much as I like Mary Poppins, she will only be able to give me a few mornings a week. Working all day is too much for her, even if she takes a rest upstairs=( I wonder if Mary Poppins has a twin...