Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A Working Mom's Fears

The day before I had Patsy, I had a doctor's appointment. In the waiting room was a new mom (baby looked about 6 weeks old) and all the other women in the waiting room were oohing and ahhing at her cute baby boy. Some of the women in the waiting room were asking her about her life as a mom, if she had other kids, etc. She said she was a stay at home mom and the other moms in the waiting room seemed to ooze with glee and excitement. "Being a stay at home mom is really the best thing for your children." "Oh I agree. There would be less problems in the world if more women stayed at home to raise their children." "Who wants their child to be raised by daycare?" This is what the conversation was like for at least 30 minutes.

I sat there with every fiber of my being, trying not to burst into tears. My thoughts were all over the place! I'm about to have a baby TOMORROW and I have to go back to work. What kind of a person does that make me? I'm going to be a horrible mom and I'm going to miss everything! The hubs heard what they were saying and he could tell I was upset. He said some reassuring comments to me (and made me smile because he is pretty much the best). He said that their conversation has set back women's lib about 20 years. He also made a snarky remark about the woman leading the conversation; something that I needed to hear. 

As I've mentioned in previous posts, I try my best not to judge other moms. We all have to do what works best for us in our own specific scenario. I think that includes not putting down other women and moms who are trying to make it work. Because I can't be with my baby all day, I'm trying to do my best to provide the best for her (continue breastfeeding until she is a year old, make my own baby food, family is watching her versus day care). Sometimes it is the little things in life that make all the difference! My little Patsy girl is doing pretty good and seems pretty happy!

Now that I'm back at work, I do miss her, but I understand that this is my life right now. I'm happy with my decision to go back to work. I NEED to find a way to make it work... and I'm getting there! I'm very fortunate to have lots of wonderful family to help make it so much easier to be a working mom. I'm constantly getting photos, videos and even some facetime phone calls.  And I don't know about you, but this looks like a pretty happy baby even if Mommy isn't there!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Baby Patsy Wilson: 4 Months

Patsy is currently: 4 months old! Wow, time has FLOWN by. I've been pretty bad at keeping track of things so I'm hoping to do these monthly posts!

Weight: unknown. We had to push back her pediatrician appointment because we are still figuring out our new schedule! I'll know her weight at some point next weekend.

Clothing:  finally she is fitting into 3-6 month things. Not that I want her to get too big too quickly or anything, I was just starting to get sick of her 0-3 month outfits. Is that bad to say? She is such a fashionista!

Nicknames: Patsy already is a nickname, but we also call her nugget too.

Health/Diet:  Still just on breastmilk! My goal is for her to be breastfed for a full year. As a year seems like a million years away (and I'm back at work full time), my interim goal is 6 months. I know some women exclusively pump and I'm not sure I could do it! I love nursing my little Patsy girl and the pump is just not nearly as satisfying, lol.
Loving a bottle while Mom is at work!

Sleep: She slept really well for the past few months, but now she seems to be getting up more. I think this is what is called the 4 month sleep regression. So now that she is 4 months old, her sleep pattern is changing. That means that she never wants to go to sleep and gets up a lot. Perfect for a mom just going back to work. :) She sleeps well if she is swaddled so we are still swaddling our little nugget!

Milestones: We can get her to laugh sometimes and it is the best sound in the whole world. She has also started fake coughing, which apparently is a thing. She is getting stronger each day! She rolled over once the other day but we haven't been able to replicate it. Also, she pushed herself up to the sitting position to look at Pepper while in her Snugamonkey. I think she used the Snugamonkey as support, but that is still kind of a big deal!

Likes: Being held, being tossed in the air, tubby time, mommy and daddy snuggles, kisses from Pepper, sticking her hands in her mouth

Dislikes: Her bouncy seat, the carseat, tummy time, not being held

Happy 4 months to my Patsy girl!

Monday, January 13, 2014

First Stroller Run

My running these days has been kind of sporadic. How is the weather? What do I have time for? When did I last feed the baby? Before I was pregnant, I was running more miles so it took longer to complete my runs. Every week starts off with the intention to run a few times... But then I look at the calendar, see how much time has passed and wonder where all the time went! Seriously, motherhood will do that to you! Since I'm base building at this point, it doesn't take me that long to go for a run. I always say I'm getting into a routine, but then something changes. I'm back to work now so we are trying to figure out what is the new normal... So my goal right now is to run when I can, hopefully 2 days a week. We'll see how things go.

Since the arctic temperatures in Chicago seemed to have temporarily subsided, I deceived to take advantage over the weekend and I went for a run with Patsy! The snow was mostly melted, the roads were clear and it wasn't too cold. Since Patsy is still in the infant carrier, I got to look at her for the whole run. She loved it! She was giving me big smiles and she almost fell asleep just as I was finishing up. I seriously have so much respect for moms that run lots of miles with their jogging strollers. It is so much harder than I thought it would be, especially with the wind I wasn't expecting. I'm looking forward to spending some time with my little girl while logging some miles as well!
All dressed up and ready to go!

Of course I had to pose by this SWEET face! :)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Accepting and Embracing the Post-Baby Body

My mom, just like any mom, did lots of things with us growing up. She played around in the yard, would take us to McDonald's so we could hang out in the PlayPlace, and we never missed a trip to the zoo! There was one thing though that I never understood. Growing up my mom was NEVER in a bathing suit. I can count on one hand the number of times she's been in a pool. As a kid, I thought it was weird that my mom never wanted to play with us in the water. My mom never talked about being fat or diets when growing up, but she would never put on a bathing suit. She would always play it off as if she was too old for the pool. As a kid, you want to play with your mom! Now that I'm a mom of my own, I want to play in the pool with my kids like my mom never did with me. 

This past weekend I was with family for our annual Lake Geneva weekend vacation. Somehow Patsy has lots of bathing suits so we made lots of trips to the pool. When packing my bag, I had only one bathing suit that would fit me, my maternity suit.
Don't mind me, just lounging in a bikini with my big ole pregnant belly!

The hubs and I decided that we would bring our little girl into the pool for the first time while we were there. It is a memorable place for the family so it was the perfect environment. I was wearing my swim suit but felt very self conscious about my belly. Is my pouch obvious? Can you see the scar positioning when I sit down?  I decided to not let these fears get the best of me. I know Patsy will look back on these photos some day and love it. She won't see my pouch, she'll see a mom that loves her. :) So I got out there with my bathing suit and my daughter and we got in the pool! To commemorate the event, we took some photos too! And it was worth it because she is so dang cute!
Don't mind the blurry photo of Patsy. She was so excited and kicking her feet!

It is often hard to take a still photo of an excited baby!

Every day I gain a little bit more confidence in this new body of mine. I really want Patsy to have confidence in herself as a young woman, and I hope to lead her down that path by showing her confidence I have in myself.

Monday, January 6, 2014

2013 in Review

Thinking back to 2013, I spent most of the year pregnant. However, that didn't keep me from having some fun!

Friday, January 3, 2014

The Truth About Breastfeeding

If there are any folks that read this blog and don't want to hear/read about breastfeeding, then this post isn't for you. When I was pregnant, I made the decision that I wanted to breastfeed Baby Wilson. I did some research but most of what I read said that it is hard to prepare beforehand. The best way to learn was with your little one already here. As someone who likes to plan and prepare, this made me nervous. I always like to "keep it real" on this blog so I'm going to tell you some of my thoughts. There are a few things I didn't realize beforehand and I thought I would let some of you all know of how things have worked out for me.

1) Breastfeeding is hard. Moms that say that it is "easy" have it pretty lucky. The actual act of breastfeeding isn't difficult; it is all the other things that go along with it. You really have to be committed to it and want to make it work. There is lots of overthinking and worrying that goes along with it (just like with pregnancy). The first few days (and week) are kind of painful as your body adjusts to this new task. There are things that help with the pain and it subsides. The pain is never excruciating, just discomforting. I just would tell myself "Let's try one more day" everyday until things got easier... Kind of like running a half marathon. "Just one more mile.. I can do this." And then it got easier, just like everyone said it would.  Thankfully there was a support group at the local hospital as well as a wonderful Facebook group that are always discussing all things breastfeeding. They helped me get through those first few days/weeks.
Patsy and I at the Nursing Moms group Halloween Party

2) Newborn babies need to eat every 2 hours during the day (3-4 hours at night). Babies also can eat for about 40-50 minutes. So, if they eat every 2 hours, and it takes them 40-50 minutes to eat, that means I have 1 hour and 10 minutes to get anything done before she needs to eat again. I think the first time I left the house without the baby was to go get ice cream for me and the hubs. I think I was gone for about 15 minutes. Patsy is slowly starting to go 2.5-3 hours in between feedings during the day. That extra 30-60 minutes makes all the difference! Here is a little example of a real life scenario and part of the reason I started to ask for help while Christmas shopping...
Start feeding baby at 12:00, finish at 12:45.
Put baby in car seat, finish packing diaper bag, start car, put baby in the car.
Finally pulling out of the driveway at 1:00.
Drive to the mall 25 minutes away. Get out of the car, unpack stroller, load diaper bag onto stroller.
Get into the mall at 1:35. Get to shop for 25 minutes before it is time for Patsy to eat again.
Hanging out in the backseat after one of our many backseat nursing sessions

3) Everyone has a different opinion about breastfeeding. I am extremely lucky to come from a family where all of my relatives nursed their babies. I spend a lot of time with my in-laws and they all nursed their babies as well. My husband is also hugely supportive of breastfeeding which makes things so much easier. Without such a strong support system, things would have been a lot more difficult. Thanks to my trusty Boppy nursing cover, I've been able to nurse Patsy around friends, relatives, and in public. (Patsy has eaten at Panera, Bakers Square, TGIFridays, Portillo's, and all around the Michigan City Outlet Malls) I've gotten a few stares here and there while using it, but I don't really mind the stares. I'm not going to feed my baby in a bathroom. I wouldn't want to eat in there, why would I want to feed my baby in there? :) I know every mom has to make their own decisions as to what works best for them, whether that is formula or nursing. I'm pretty lucky that breastfeeding has worked out for me. I hope to breastfeed for 6 months and eventually a year. Right now we are just over 3.5 months and still going strong! :)
Nursing Patsy Rose at Ann Taylor LOFT!
4) Breastfeeding isn't just putting your baby by your boob and hoping for the best. There is the latch (is it good? Is it strong?) and the transfer (how much milk is baby getting?). Since the milk is coming from the source, it is hard to gauge how much the baby is getting unless they are weighed before and after feedings. I left the hospital feeling confident in my breastfeeding capabilities. After a few weeks, I started going to a Nursing Moms Network at the local hospital. There, I started doing weekly weight checks and Patsy wasn't gaining as much as we would like to see. I was able to take some milk supplements, eat some oatmeal and my supply increased! Patsy started to gain more weight and we were on the right track. I feel lucky to have had such a great support group for help! I think I would have worried myself sick if not for other moms who have gone through something similar.

5) Despite the difficulties, bumps in the road, and worries along the way, I wouldn't trade the experience for anything in the world! The bond that I have with my child through breastfeeding is something I really can't describe. I won't go into more mushy details, but it really is quite amazing. :) I feel that this is what our bodies were meant to do. Even if I don't meet my end goal, I am grateful for every time I get to nurse my child and for every ounce of milk she gets from me. As I go back to work, I know the challenges will only increase, but I'm about as ready for them as I can be! :)

As I mentioned in a previous post that the most important thing I've learned about being a mom is that you have to think beyond your original plan. Babies don't always do things according to plan so you have to be able to roll with the punches when the changes come (and they will come). I hope some of you found this post helpful!