Monthly Archives: January 2010

My little bird, I love you

Standard

Mom and Jax, Day 3

“Six months ago today, at 11:05am, our little angel was born. Little did I know what love was and little did I know what she would offer me, and the world..”

This is the status on my Facebook page right now. It’s hard to believe that my little bird is 6 months old. I’ve been thinking about her growth, her journey over the past week or so, but it really hit me last night how much I love her and how much my life is changing because she is in it.

For those that are reading this blog and haven’t read any of my pregnancy blogs, I can tell you that I was really scared about becoming a mom. I’m “older” (now 39) and had my life. Although I always wanted a family, that proverbial “clock” never seemed to be ticking for me, no less the alarm going off. I finally determined that it probably wouldn’t go off and I just needed to go for it before it really was too late. The process of getting pregnant was not a fun one as we had to go thru a few IUI processes for Jackie to come to us. In the end, it was all worth it, but when someone goes thru that process, a lot of the time you tend to get a bit detached from what’s going on as it seems so technical. For example, I know more about pregnancy and how to get pregnant that most moms that have gotten pregnant naturally. Because of all the attempts, drugs and research, it’s just part of the gig.

And fast forwarding to the end of the pregnancy, there were so many classes to take and preparation, the bonding process, at least for me, was really tough. It honestly wasn’t until about week three that I felt truly connected with Jackie. I can say it was scary at first asking myself if I would bond with this baby and doubting whether I would be up for raising her, but in the end, everything turned around, she was an angel and it was one of the easiest things I had to do.

I can think back and it doesn’t seem like 6 months ago when we brought her home… but then on the other hand, it does. All I can say is that she is the best baby in the world, hands down. I’m sure most moms say this about their kid, but this is really the case. 🙂 She has made my life easy.. as far as taking care of a baby is concerned. After I started understanding her cues (which was at about 6 weeks), it was like we were a fine tuned machine. I always wondered how moms just “knew” what was going on with their kids when they cried. Now I know. There are different cries. Other people wouldn’t be able to determine the difference, but that baby’s mom can. From there, it was just getting me up to speed–finding a way to not feel isolated, creating what a stay at home mom looked like and looking at the reality of not going back to work as a career woman. I do have to say it was hard, not to mention Winter came much too fast.

But as the weeks went on, and I got to know Jackie, she gave me the sun in my life that I was missing. The smiles came, she started to recognize us and her personality was arising.. and then.. the laughing. I can tell you, there wasn’t one thing that could EVER cheer me up when I was down.. I’m telling you, nothing (bless my DH), but when I hear Jackie laugh, there’s nothing stopping my mood from changing. She’s a crazy, happy baby and loves laughing.. and it reminds me how much I used to laugh when I was younger.. and how I need to bring that back into my life.

They say that God only gives you as much as you can handle and in the beginning that sure was the case. But I think now, in some way, I’m being rewarded. I’m not sure for what as I always thought I was being punished for some reason (for every time I failed, etc.), but here I am with this baby that loves life, is so smart, and loves me unconditionally. Do I deserve this?

Whether I do or not, there she is–sleeping like a champ, giving me the joy I desperately needed, and showing me what unconditional love is all about. I feel I could go on and on about her, but I’ll stop here.

Jackie, 6 months

I love you, little bird.. and happy half year birthday 🙂

Advertisements

Getting close!

Standard

(Originally written: January 19, 2010)

Jax trying rice cereal for the first time

December was a month! Very busy with a lot of holiday preparation, doctor appointments and the normal December craziness.

I have been wanting to write for some time, but finally got a chance to get my thoughts together over the past week or so and decided to write today.

As I’m writing, Jackie is on her play gym and has found the “music and lights” section of the gym. It’s on one of the sides and you can turn the music on while lights flash. A few months ago she had no interest in this, but this morning, Joe turned it on and it’s like the best thing around. She’s really loving her gym now and it’s nice to see her playing with everything that is hanging down. We’re waiting for her to “honk” the nose on her Whoozit that she received from Omi and Poppy months ago.. she’s able grab all parts of it but hasn’t squeezed the nose to make a sound.. I predict it will be soon!

It’s still amazing to see the changes week to week. For example, she had no interest in her play gym 3 months ago, but now she’s loving it and practices a lot of her rolling over and cause and effect play there.

She’s still very social and if she had the choice, would rather sit on someone’s lap listening to conversation then play with toys. I’ve seen this over and over at play dates or even out in public. I have a feeling she will be one social bee when she gets older!

Overall, Jackie is meeting her milestones, but still a bit behind on pushing herself up on her hands. She still hates being on her tummy, although she’s been flipping around on her play gym anytime she gets the chance. She’s very strong, but for some reason is resisting getting up on those hands. I guess it’s a mixed blessing as I believe once she gets the hang of that, we may see some “creeping” and possibly crawling soon after that. We haven’t baby proofed the house yet, so I’m fine having her on her gym for now 🙂

The other major update is we started her on rice cereal and fed her carrots the other night. She seems to be fine with the rice cereal, but didn’t seem to understand the texture of the carrots. We decided we may have gone a bit quick starting on the veggies so we’re going to finish the rice cereal before veggies (on advice from a friend that has a 7 month old).

I also took Jackie to see President Bill Clinton last Friday, as he was in Boston to support Martha Coakley during the Senate race. Jackie did quite well as we were standing for 2 hours! People loved her and I’m glad I was able to give her that experience (although unfortunately she won’t remember it).

All in all, Jackie is an extremely happy (almost) 6 month old and laughs all time. She’s finding her voice by basically yelling like Chewbacca (similar to this baby, but louder!) every chance she gets! Usually that’s when she’s done eating and satisfied.. it’s pretty funny, but one day this past weekend she did it most of the day! She has a lot to say and I can’t wait until she’s able to sign. We’ve been using some signs since she was born and she seems to be picking up on a few. I think once she can use her hands more that will help her a lot and it will be fun to start to communicate with her in words!

Next week we are off to see her new pediatrician and I hope that works out well. I have my fingers crossed, but also have a good feeling about it. She’ll be getting another round of shots, plus her flu shots since she’s old enough now.

Happy 2010 to all!

Four months and counting

Standard

(Originally written: December 5, 2009)

I may not be able to write daily, but seeing that I write another blog on Jackie’s picture site, I thought I would just post that same one here with a few updates. Here’s one I just wrote:

Jackie turned 4 months old November 29. When I was taking a walk with her the other day on a beautiful (and oddly warm) afternoon, I realized that a year ago I was pregnant. We had just found out and hadn’t even told anyone yet! And now, here we are with a beautiful baby girl, who is growing, learning and exploring every day!

She received her 4 month shots this past Monday and it went better than expected. It seems that she knows what “the doctors” is as when her ped was doing the basic exam Jax was screaming. She actually screamed more during the exam than when she got the shots! Her ped even said, “she seems to be very aware of her surroundings.” I totally agree with that, as with anything new, it looks like she is studying it and making mental notes.

I told Joe this evening, that although she may not remember small details, I do think she is remembering basic concepts and making connections.. such as when she has met one of our friends a number of times and recognizes her, or with this doctor example, when she lays down and sees a mirror to her left, she knows she’s somewhere where unpleasant things may happen (such as shots, or being cold). It’s pretty cool to watch although it does pain me when she is so upset.

On that note.. following up with her weight conundrum, it seems as though she has gained weight steadily since November 11 when I took her in for her weight check. We have been supplementing (either with expressed milk or formula) and she went from the 16th %tile to 21st %tile in a matter of a couple of weeks. Her ped was happy and acknowledged me for the result.

I also found out the possible reason for her weight stabilizing.. sleeping thru the night. It didn’t even occur to me as she was gaining weight by exclusively breastfeeding from month 1 to 2, but right after that was when she started sleeping thru the night fairly regular. It would have been great for the first nurse that I spoke to at her peds office to tell me that she may be missing a feeding in there if she’s sleeping thru and to make sure she’s getting X ounces of milk during the day, but no one told me this until I met with her doc at the 4 month appointment. I happened to mention that she was sleeping thru the night and she said “already?” I said that she had been for the past month and a half or so and she said that maybe that was the issue.. if she was nursing the same amount of time and not being more efficient in her feeding, she was not getting enough ounces. Duh.

I then did some other research with a couple books I use often, and found the sleeping thru the night issue associated with slow weight gain. Joe reminded me that I had stopped reading books and getting advice around that time as it was all conflicting! I just wish I had gone back to my trusted 2 books that I have used since the beginning.. it would have saved me a lot of worry, heartache and upset over the past couple months. These are the things I hope to pass along to other moms and friends with new babies. I’d hate for someone to go thru the same things I have if it can be avoided. As an aside, it seems that most kids will wake 1-2 times per night until about 9 months. So why is it that everyone asks you if your kid is sleeping thru the night starting at about 2 months old???? I just don’t get it.

But in the end, Jackie is thriving and doing well. She’s laughing up a storm, is more involved with her playgym and just recently started sucking her toes! She’s also rolling from back to front more now, although I think she has forgotten how to roll from front to back as she was doing just the other day! I think once she is able to put both of them together, we’ll see her sitting up in no time.

Last, we are traveling to MN for the Christmas holiday and I’m trying not to stress about that as well. Right now, we’re just trying to get everything in place on our end and also make sure we have an entire nursery set up at my in-laws place! It’s so generous of her and for Joe’s cousin to allow us to borrow so much stuff. It will be just like home 🙂

In other news, we just got our first real Christmas tree today and in all honesty we got it because of Jackie 🙂 First real tree and first true snow fall today. I do have to say it was beautiful.

Sick and tired of…

Standard

(Original post: November 23, 2009)

.. worrying about:

-Sleep
-Wet and dirty diapers
-Bottles
-Breastfeeding
-Food
-Schedules
-Charts
-Growth
-Milk supply
-Play dates
-No play dates
-Feeling human again
-Sex
-Dates with my husband
-How to cook dinner tired
-Dinner
-Lunch
-Health and well-being
-Working out
-Losing weight
-Gaining weight
-My hair
-My skin
-My friends not being around as much
-People thinking “I’m busy” all the time
-Dealing with doctors
-Dealing with nurses
-Scales of any kind
-Sugar
-Winter and how to get around
-H1N1 and getting the shot
-Traveling
-Making sure we have everything we need when traveling and away
-Christmas cards and gifts
-Hurting people’s feelings
-Not doing enough
-Being my word
-My life
-How to be happy

What my life will look like… ever.

Daily?

Standard

Jackie, 11.5 weeks

(Originally written: October 18, 2009)

Well, I guess I was being a bit over-zealous thinking that I would be able to write every day. I probably could if I liked the Qwerty keyboard on my iPhone, but I just can’t do it.

**I also just realized that I did write this week and totally forgot.. wow, I am really tired. I pretty much wrote the same thing I did in the last post, so here I am deleting a few paragraphs so I don’t look like a psycho. Wow, I still can’t believe I don’t remember writing on Thursday…**

The end of the week was a bit more pleasant, and as always, she was great with my friend “S” on Saturday who has been babysitting her since 2 weeks old. I can’t seem to figure it out.. all I can determine is that I smell like milk and being around has her want it a lot. When we have “S” over to watch her, she gets a bottle and falls right asleep. Aye, to be a mom.

My dad and his girlfriend are coming in today to visit all this week so writing may be tough, but I’m sure I can get a few posts in. Hopefully the weather will be better and we’ll be able to get out in the sun with Jax. If Mother Nature is nice, those high 50s and low 60s I’m seeing and salivating over will really lift all of our spirits.

Onward and upward..

*Note to self

Standard

(Originally written: October 15, 2009)

A Baby's Playground

It seems that every day I have a day from hell, Jax gives me the next day, and maybe even the next, of rest and joy. I keep having to remember that she is a human being too and maybe on some days she has a bad day, doesn’t feel well, or wants to be moody. I mean, she is a girl 🙂

I also have to remember that her growth right now is insane. For all I know, her crankiness could literally be due to growing pains!

Yesterday and today she has slept a lot, which in the past states that she’s in growth spurt time. Her smiles have been readily available and she’s talking to all the inanimate objects in her room.. “learning” to talk. It’s actually quite cool to watch, but I keep looking for things to stimulate her. All I do is watch where she is looking and explain each thing that she’s looking at.

Earlier today, it was her lamp. Little did I know all the cool stuff we bought at IKEA would be a baby’s playground 🙂

Thankfully I’m almost back to normal. I’m also fairly certain that if I get enough sleep I can deal with anything.

Although there are some tough decisions to make and work to get in action about to re-create my life, I have gotten some inspiration over the past couple days and I guess it’s time to act on it.

The life of a mom.. or maybe, it’s just the life of a woman.

Inspiration? What a concept

Standard

(Originally written: October 14, 2009)

I just saw that it was exactly a month since I last wrote. Wow. It seems like that was many, many months ago.. it just goes to show that having a newborn has you tethered to the clock and has a day feel like a week in itself.

Yesterday I was feeling somewhat desperate. This happens once and a while. Jax will be crying all day for no apparent reason, and I wonder how I’m going to get thru the day, no less the days following the bad one. So Dr. Phil comes on today (and as an aside, I know people will make fun of me for liking him and watching his show, but for whatever reason, his advice has worked for me on a number of occasions and I like things that work, so there) and show happens to be about “Stay at home moms vs. Working moms.” There was this really uppity woman in the audience that was a “stay at home mom” that was very, very angry. She had opinions, but they really were judgments. She made all the other stay at home moms embarrassed and the working moms pissed off. Go Jessica.

On the show, Heather B. Armstrong was in the audience. She has a blog called dooce.com. I checked it out as soon as Phil mentioned it, as I knew it would probably be flooded with people trying to get on. I looked at the blog and found it interesting.. I haven’t gone back into much of the archives, but seeing that she is an award-winning blogger, I thought it would be “more” than what I see, but again, that was just at first look.

I bring this up as she gave me the inspiration to blog on my current experience–very candidly. Maybe even daily. I have been told by a number of people how great of a writer I am, and I’m honestly not worried about being candid, etc. I also feel that I have a stance on being a mother that not many have–or maybe it’s that we are scared and embarrassed to share so we stay isolated in our houses talking to ourselves or to our babies that don’t even understand English yet.

I just ran this idea by a friend of mine as one of my only concerns was that Jax would see this later in life and it would be tough to read. He said if he saw a blog from his mom later in life, he’d probably have a good laugh reading it. So here we are.

I still need to write my “Breastfeeding Basics: The Real Basics” blog as I think I have an obligation to write it. There are some things in life where I feel I need to let other people know, and in this case new moms who choose to breastfeed, that they are not alone. Usually when I feel this, I did feel alone at the time and due to my research and own day to day goings on, I feel it could help others.

I will write that blog and I know I need to fairly soon as the weeks are passing by quickly and I may forget some of the juicy details. But man, were those 4 of the longest and most challenging weeks in my life–ever.

But I digress.

I know that I’ll have time to blog each day, even if it’s just a paragraph, as you can see from this one, I have a lot of time on my hands. This doesn’t mean that I’m up, eating Doritos all day and watching TV.. it just means my baby is sleeping, I feel awake and I now can interact, even if it’s on a blog or Facebook, with other adults.

I’m at a point now, at 11 weeks today, that I’m feeling isolated. I feel even more isolated than I did when Jax first came home. I think that was due to people checking in all the time, knowing that my husband and I would be on sleep dep, and generally that’s the time when you really need a lot of help. I’m blessed that I got the help I did from a few people and I wouldn’t trade that for anything, but what happens now?

I just completed my first mom’s group last week. I had expectations that were not met, and here I am again disappointed. This happens a lot. I did meet a couple women who I’d like to keep in contact with, but I’m also old enough to know the reality of that. Unless we see each other at least weekly for the next couple months, everyone will have their lives and that will be that. I also found when I was in the group that out of 10 moms, I was the ONLY ONE STAYING HOME. Although I guess I should have expected that due to the economy, I had yet another expectation that didn’t get met. In a room of new moms, I was still alone.

I just reached out on Facebook and to some past colleagues at Berklee regarding what I could do with an 11 week old that didn’t include being stuck in the house. Luckily I got a response from one of my colleagues fairly quickly with some sites to review. I’m hoping there’s a listing for mom’s like me, because if I have to wait another 3 months before I do anything, I think I will be severely depressed. Why is it that most baby groups start at 6 months?????

Maybe writing will help me stay sane. It has in the past, but that was with the “old fashioned paper and pen method.” I still like that method, but I sure can type a lot faster than I can write, so we’ll stay with this bloggy here.

To close for now, a big shout out to Heather for the inspiration, Dr. Phil for having her on and having a show on moms, and my friend D for encouraging me to not care about the future so much and do what makes me happy NOW.

That sounds like a plan.

Find me on Facebook (if you add me, let me know you read my blog!):
facebook.com/KathyGaalaas

Twitter:
twitter.com/djkatg