I’m Not Alone and Will Come Out Better, Stronger


One of the things I love about my mommy group is how open and honest we can be with each other – almost like our online community. Just not quite like it entirely.

I had a couple of the girls over for lunch after our group yesterday and the three of us talked about how hard marriage is after a baby. It felt good to know that MH and I are not the only ones struggling. It was reassuring to know we are not alone in struggling with marriage. It is a lot of hard work.

A couple of you are right in that some of our problems stem from poor communication prior to Roo’s arrival. I made the mistake of not communicating and resolving some issues that I had with and about MH from before we were even married. I always had issue with some things that I pushed aside for one reason or another. They bothered me but since it was just me, I chose to pick my battles and let them go.

Something was triggered inside when Roo was born and those issues are suddenly a problem for me again. Because its not just MH and me. We have a little one to think about and those issues could have an ill effect even if indirectly on her.

I’m disappointed in myself for not forcing us to deal with things before. I’m bitter and pissed at him for not following through on some things he said he would when talked about them before and putting us in a poor position now.

MH is being awesome in that he acknowledges the error of his past mistakes and issues and wants to do everything to make our marriage work. I won’t go into detail about our exact issues but be assured that they have nothing to do with infidelity.

I do know this: I am not alone in this. MH is coming to the table with palms up and open. He’s ready to do the work to strengthen our marriage. I need to do my part and come to the table with the same attitude and I need to let my anger from the past go. We need to look to the future and focus on finding solutions and not blame.

If we can keep doing this, we will come out stronger, closer and better than we were before.

MH has agreed that we may need counseling to help us and I’m so relieved.

I need your help. This is going to be hard but in spite of everything he has and hasn’t done, I love MH and I want our marriage to work for me and for Roo. I need you to keep reminding me that this is worth fighting for even if it gets worse before it gets better.

I need you to let me vent here even if I’m vague on details. I feel lucky in that some blogs have readers who are terribly judgmental and leave nasty comments and I have only once or twice and maybe even never gotten a judgmental comment. I appreciate the support you give me.

Advertisement

Survival


Those of you who are new moms may understand entirely where I am coming from here, or maybe not!

When Roo came home from the hospital, I suffered from major anxiety. I even went to a therapist a couple of times to help deal with it. I was terrified something would happen to her. Like every new mom, I was concerned about whether or not she was breathing. But to the extreme. When she was in the NICU, she was monitored 24/7 and then they suddenly sent us home. And, I was frightened that she would stop breathing and not know it.

In order to survive, I held her or asked someone else to hold her all the time. She was held all day and all night. We hired a night nurse a few times but that was expensive.

My parents took over so that I could get sleep and woke me for her every three hour feedings. Eventually my dad took over entirely and for the first two months of her life, it was routine for her to sleep in my dad’s arms. It was nice bonding time for the two of them and good for my dad and I too to spend time together in the middle of the night.

Eventually, I knew the craziness had to stop. It wasn’t a way of life for anyone. So, I started bringing her to bed with me. She slept in the crook of my arm and I pushed the blankets and pillows away from us. And, we slept.

I have to add also that I was concerned because Roo was spitting up through her nose and suffering from colic. The only way to help her was to hold her upright all the time and to nurse her in order for her not to cry constantly. It was tough and a lot of tears were shed – and not just by her.

We co-slept successfully that way for the past month or so. I come from a family full of doctors. I recognize the dangers if co-sleeping even when done “safely” but I needed to survive and this was my only solution at the time.

I tried several times to get her to sleep in her bassinet in the pack-n-play and a woman in my mom’s group lent me her at arms reac.h co-sleeper. It always failed. Roo would spit up through her nose and become hysterical and panicked. So, we co-slept more.

I finally purchased the nap na.nny a few weeks ago. I tried it and she loved it. But, she was still spitting up through her nose 😦

So we continued to co-sleep.

I knew it couldn’t be the solution and I wasn’t sleeping well because I was terrified that something would happen but I needed to survive and get at least not a good nights sleep but at least some sleep.

With my parents leaving to go back to their lives, I hired a mother’s helper/babysitter, D, to support me a couple of times a week. Roo is such a cuddly and needy girl that she wants to be held ALL the time making it impossible to get anything done.

On Monday, D got Roo to sleep in her nap na.nny without spitting up! She also strongly encouraged me to put her in it at night. D is a former oncology nurse and mom of four.

So, on Monday night, I put Roo in the nap na.nny in the middle of our bed. And, she slept. And, she slept well. Better and longer than in my arms! She’s slept there for the past three nights!

My new mom survival mode is slowly coming to a close as Roo matures. Her colicky nights are farther apart and fewer. She spits up less and less. She can bear to be out down for longer and longer and is able to entertain herself for short periods of time. Its wonderful! My newborn is now an infant.

So, I did another thing I never thought I would do. I let our baby sleep in our bed. But, I’m taking the steps to slowly get her out of this habit. She’s growing up and thriving and I know soon I can move her into her own crib in her own room!! I can move from survival to living and enjoying!

How did you transition from co-sleeping to crib?

It’s the Small Things


It’s the small things in life that add up to make a big difference, right?! Especially these days since a baby has many small advancements every day.

Well, yesterday, I won! I really needed to take a shower and I didn’t get a chance to before MH left. I’ve previously almost always either had a grandparent around to watch Roo or I’ve gotten up to do it before MH leaves for work.

I put the Nap N.anny on the floor by the sink where I’d be able to see her the entire time I was in the shower. I didn’t make a big deal of it when I put her in. I kept talking to her about everything I was doing and before I knew it, I had taken a very fast shower!! By the time I was out, she was crying and ready for me to pick her up without giving me a chance to put any make-up on or do anything except put my hair into a pony tail but I still showered!! I was proud of myself 🙂

Next time, I’ll probably let her cry a little longer but keep talking to her and do my make-up. I need to encourage her to know she’s fine to hang out on her own when I’m right there.

The women in my mom’s group have talked about bathing or showering with their little ones. I need to learn how to do that safely and then we can get two things done at the same time 🙂

I know she’s 16 weeks old but I’ve gotten a lot of help and her adjusted age is just 9 weeks, so I don’t feel so bad about getting a late start in this area 😉

What do you do with your little one when you get ready? Do you bathe or shower with your baby? How do you do it safely?

Thank you


Thank you for your comments and support. Most of all, thank you for not being judgmental.

One of the reasons I want this blog to be anonymous is for me to feel comfortable. With only a handful of you knowing me in real life, it makes it easier to share myself and what I’m experiencing without censure.

I am also thankful to those of you who shared that you too are experiencing some of the same difficulties that I am. It helps to know that I’m not alone. That I’m not a weirdo.

Marriage is hard. Caring for an infant and a premature one at that is hard. Combine the two and life becomes extra challenging.

Will MH and I make it through this? I sure hope so. It will take a lot of work on both of our parts but that marriage, right?! With or without the added challenge of a preemie, it takes work.

MH is so sweet. He likes to live in a world where hard things go away once they are said out loud. He thinks that because we talked about it once that it goes away. So not true and I need to help him figure that out.

We got lucky both literally and figuratively today. My dad took Roo out for a walk and it was the first time that we’ve been alone in the house since we left for the hospital. I kind of forced it but I’m glad I did.

I also told him that I’m really feeling angry and resentful and that we need to figure things out. He said that he didn’t know I was still feeling this way about things. (Like I said, he thinks if I mention it once that since its been said that it will go away). I hope that I’m able to help him realize that we really need to work on things together.

I need courage and patience to get through this tough time. I have the courage. But, I lack patience. I need it. I have it with babies and children but I don’t have it for adults. I don’t know how to get it. My lack of patience shows through my tone of voice and it drives MH nuts. Any suggestions on how to keep an even tone when I’m feeling impatient?

Thanks again for being on this journey with me.

Xo

life-preserver


typing with one hand as my needy baby won’t nap without me holding her,  my parents are away this week for a break and are actually starting to transition away.  they will be fully gone and i will be completely on my own (with mh) by mid-october. i’m excited and terrified at the same time.

one of the biggest and best parts of them being here is to hold her at night. she spits up so often and through her nose that i hate for her to sleep on her back. my dad snuggles her at night from 1-6am. it is amazing. in preparation for their departure, i bought the n.ap na.nny, which is like an infant recliner with safety straps. it was recalled in 2009 voluntarily but the version i purchased was not included in that recall.

i used it last night for the first time and IT CHANGED MY LIFE! i hope it works again tonight. i put her in it around midnight after her 11pm feeding.  she slept in it until 4:30am!!!!! after that feeding, i put her back in it and she slept for another three hours.

i knew that i had to get something to help us out because holding her all day and all night is NOT an option and i feel very nervous about co-sleeping, which i’ve been doing some too. i needed a “life-preserver” and this just might be it! this could be the answer and a start to a routine that i hope to start implementing. my friend, sandy, introduced me to a sleep training program called moms on call and she swears by it. it must work because her 9 month old is an awesome sleeper with a great routine.

today, roo is three months old (adjusted age 6 weeks). i think i can start to think about introducing a sleep routine to ease into sleep training. it will be good for all parties involved especially me 🙂

when did you start sleep training your baby?

Results Are In


Thursdays ultrasound was fairly uneventful.  The hardest part was because Roo needed an empty stomach for the u/s, she wasn’t allowed to eat for 3 hours prior to the procedure.  That made for an angry and sad baby.  She sobbed the entire ultrasound.  It was funny (and cool) to see the inside of her body.  It looked nothing like I’ve seen before even with the number of ultrasounds I’d had when I was pregnant.

Next up was the blood work.  I felt so bad for my little one.  She was unhappy but I don’t blame her.  As soon as I was able to nurse her, she calmed down instantly.

Luckily, the doctor called the next day and said everything looked great!  Roo has no internal hemangiomas.  We will go back in five weeks to see the dermatologist as a part of monitoring the external ones but all looks good for her internally.

Thanks to you all for the prayers and good thoughts!

xo,

Michelle

Hospital Bag


I’m a total control freak. As soon as I hit the third trimester, I started to think about packing my hospital bag.

I researched and read checklist after checklist to see what I should bring with me. I started to order items that I didn’t already have at home and then my water broke and I found myself in the hospital with nothing at all from home! After being there for two weeks before Roo was born, I ended up with quite a lot of stuff but hardly any of it was even remotely close to what I would have packed in my hospital bag!

If I were to pack my bag today, I would bring the following items with me:

Lip balm
Outfit to bring home the baby in (two of them in different sizes because you don’t know for sure how large or small your newborn will be when leaving hospital)
Change of clothes as if you were 6 months pregnant – something comfortable, I wore my yoga pants and a t-shirt
Make-up
Hair ties
Shampoo and conditioner
Lotion
Pillow with a colored case
Camera
Phone charger

The rest I was given by the hospital. I ordered slippers to wear but the hospital had these awesome non-skid socks that I wore the whole time and if they got dirty, they gave me a new pair! I also wore hospital pajamas. They were not attractive but I didn’t want to soil my own clothes! They also provided me with both sanitary pads and mesh panties that were lifesavers for post-partum bleeding. Mine from home would not have cut it at first!

That iPod playlist I was so worried about?! Labor happened so fast for me that I never would have used it.

As for things for the baby once he or she arrives? I recommend letting the hospital dress your baby until its time to go home. They will provide a pacifier, if you want one. They will provide diapers and wipes – cotton and water! They will provide a blanket! If you are formula feeding, they will even provide all of those things too! Just bring a couple of different sized outfits to bring your little one home in. We only brought one and it was too big for her, so she wore the tiny preemie one the nicu nurse had dressed her in that morning.

So, I guess my advice is to keep it simple. After being in hospital for two weeks, we left with a lot of crap. Our car was full and we didn’t even get to leave with our baby. So, keep it simple. You’ll want to just focus on your little bundle of joy and not worry about lugging a bunch of crap to and from your car! Chances are the hospital can provide it for you!

Have fun bringing home your little one 🙂

Birth plans and birthing classes


I had started to think about a birth plan and was excited for our upcoming birthing class when my water broke early in the morning 8 weeks before my due date. When we got to the hospital and I thought I might have to deliver that morning, I was terrified because I didn’t know what to expect for labor and delivery. My awesome nurse that morning reassured me that she would walk me through the process as it happened and to not worry. I didn’t deliver that morning but did two weeks later and I had no more concrete knowledge on June 21 than I did on June 7.

The truth is though that I didn’t need the knowledge. Somehow or other my body did what it needed to do. My labor and delivery nurse on June 21 was amazing and walked me through everything I needed to know and do and while Roo’s birth wasn’t the experience I dreamed about, it was totally fine.

I think that if we had taken the classes and I had come up with a plan that I would have mentally prepared myself for something and would have been very disappointed.

I learned a valuable lesson that things don’t work out how you plan them to and it is ok. Ha!! It’s a lesson I’ve been learning throughout his entire experience. From my miscarriage to our infertility struggles to our surprise natural pregnancy to my water breaking early and now in dealing with a preemie.

I’m glad that the my birth plan was chosen for me. It removed one less burden for me to worry about. My one piece of advice for expectant mothers is to let go of your plan. Your body is going to react to labor in ways you cannot predict. Go with the labor flow and make your decisions as it happens. It’s nearly impossible to plan for something so out of your control!! Never in my life would I have planned for an epidural but it was the best darn decision I made for myself that day and I don’t regret it at all 🙂

Vitamins – Yuck!


Do all babies take vitamins or just premature babies?

Everyday Roo gets a small bottle of her preemie formula along with some vitamins. She hates the taste of them and makes the funniest but cutest faces when we give them to her. I hate giving them to her because she spits half up almost immediately after eating them.

I understand how important vitamins are for adults so I know how important they are for babies too. But, I admit that I don’t make her eat them everyday. I don’t want to torture her…just tickle torture! Bad mommy 🙂