One mom's journey through first time motherhood.
A journal to her son, Tucker, inscribing his birth into this world, the lessons and tricks they learned along way, and what they are not telling you in the prenatal books and classes.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

day 39 - hot oil treatment

We're trying out an oil treatment for your apparent cradle cap. You have a very mild case of it and your hair conceals most of it, but when the lite shines right and I see those little crusty, scabby looking things... it ignites that primitive urge to pick. Much like the urge to pop a zit.

While I have sequestered the picking urge, I simply must do something! You had a similar scab on your ear which went away in just a day or two with a little baby lotion making it seem harmless to treat. I rubbed some baby oil on your scalp this morning, brushed it in with your soft brush, and set you up in the cap you came home from the hospital in. We're letting it soak in before a bit more brushing and a rinse (as per recommendations).

If this doesn't work, at least you will have nice shiny hair! Check back for the results!

Friday, May 29, 2009

day 37 - proficient at one hand typing

Better with the left than the right. I think they call this phenomenon nursing at the keyboard (NAK). Does this mean I can do two jobs at once? No.

More mommy acronyms here at Blisstree.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

day 36 - mom's club

I signed us up for the Naperville Mom's club today. I've never had the motivation to get out and join a club like this before. Hopefully, we'll both find some good buddies. I'll keep you posted...

Saturday, May 23, 2009

day 31 - mom and tucker go solo

We ended up staying home this weekend, instead of heading to Dallas with the rest of the family for Mindy and Joey's wedding.

Housing status: still living at your grandparent's. It's been relatively calm with them out of town. No hustle and bustle, just us concentrating on you and the move to our new house. The biggest difference has been in the increase in freedom for you to cry. I still claim you don't cry much, but we're just not as overly concerned as to who we are disturbing when you do ...

In an attempt to help your dad with the house, you and I planned a big day of errands. With only two stops, it seemed manageable, if we could ever get out of the house. With your dad off to meet contractors and tile our bathroom, we started heading out the door around 10:00 AM. Heading out the door means the final feeding, final diaper change, the final spit up - change up, mom tries to grab a bite to eat - then repeat. We nearly left around 1:00, but I couldn't figure out how to fold and unfold the stroller to fit in the car. Knowing now how to do it, it is a simple task, but pair it with a crying child, hours of frustration, hunger, sleeplessness... and it's no small feat.

I called your dad in hysteria for directions on the stroller and by 2 PM we were out the door, with me a hot, sweaty mess anxious about taking you to the store. What if you cry? What if you are screaming in the Bed Bath and Beyond and I can't calm you? Do I pacify you with my pinkie (we believe you're too young for a pacifier yet) while I try to shop and push your stroller with the other? Do I drop everything and leave? And how exactly do I do the shopping itself? Do I keep you in the stroller? Do I put your car seat in the cart? Is that safe? Does that work? Oh goodness what if you cry?!

As many mothers before me have said, the car ride put you out. You slept on the way to the stores, slept throughout the Bed Bath and Beyond, slept through the Buy Buy Baby and all the way to our house. Being home was more stressful than the shopping ... I think we'll have to get out more.

Mom and Tucker's first solo shopping trick. Success.

Friday, May 22, 2009

day 30 - one month checkup

You had your one month checkup today - at exactly one month. Height 22, weight 10 pounds 10.4 ounces. We were informed you were gaining weight at a rate of over an ounce a day, at least double the average for the average child. We thought you were big when you were born ... Luckily, all parts are reported to be in proportion, head circumference 15 inches.

I was thrown off guard when I learned you were to receive your second Hepatitis-B vaccine. With all the scare right now with vaccination induced autism, I'm terrified of them pumping anything into you. But how am I to know that it's safer to not have the vaccinations? The pediatrician seemed annoyed when I asked about the vaccination schedule and signs to watch out for ill effects of the vaccination. I took solace in the fact that its the Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR) shot that seems to be the kiss of autism, but nevertheless, I worried about you all day and night.

Following the doctor's appointment, you slept for an unimaginably long time (keep in mind that you rarely went more than 90 minutes without eating). Actually, you slept most of the evening, waking to feed, but very little crying, fussing, or playing. You even let us sleep for three consecutive hours. Of course, this made heightened my nervousness, but despite my worries the sleep was blissful. Perhaps vaccinations are not so bad.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

day 25 - mommy milestone!

I weigh less than your dad today. Thank you for breastfeeding so excessively!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

day 24 - diaper success leads to crib success!

With the miracle of the hair drier and heating pad serendipitously found to pacify you during a changing (you now love love love having a good ole diaper change), we realized the same solution may be applied to help you sleep.

Up until today you were a good sleeper, until the moment you hit the crib. The confinement of the sleeping cell makes you wake like nothing else. We realized today that it may just be that your crib gets cold in the absence of your warm body. Solution? Pre heat the crib with the heating pad. Result? Warm crib and sleeping baby.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

day 20 - the chair

In my initial baby shopping I omitted buying and registering for a nursing chair. It seemed frivolous and unnecessary, one of those industry gimmicks where moms get caught up in decorating and must have a cute little rocking chair.

As your due date got closer I started rethinking this. Breastfeeding 8-10 times a day? I sure better have a comfortable place to sit! And so I drove my pregnant self to Babies R Us to find an inexpensive yet relaxing place to sit. There is no better time to pick out a chair than when you are 8 months pregnant, tired, and swollen. I definitely got comfortable in their chair section.

While I didn't pick the least expensive, I did choose one that goes on sale quite often. Three weeks into breast feeding and it is without a doubt one of the best purchases I've made. As it turns out you nurse much more than 8-12 times a day so we definitely get our use of it. Many a sleep deprived night (every night) we fall asleep together in the chair. Probably not the safest way to sleep, but you love it and I adore the bonding time. It is a big compliment to the chair that I can doze off, unintentionally, for hours at a time. The majority of my sleep actually comes in chair as I am just completely unable to stay awake during our late night feedings. Another perk is the wide arms, which when paired with a pillow make an optimal place for the laptop ...

Product review: This chair (and ottoman) from Babies R Us is a blessing for me. However, I realize it may not be ideal for all builds. It is rather low to the ground, which is comfortable for my 5'5" frame. The construction and materials thus far seem to be of excellent quality. I highly recommend test driving the chairs at your local baby store to see what fits you best. Keep in mind whether you will be using a Boppy Pillow (more on that later) you will need the width of the chair to exceed your width plus the Bobby. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to measure your post pregnancy width when you are pregnant. It's a little less difficult to try on the Boppy when you are pregnant.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

day 18 - happy mother's day

Our first mother's day together!

We started out the day with not much sleep. Up all night feeding and fighting those poopy pains you seem to get. Must have worked as you had the official poopiest diaper thus far.

Mother's day started with breakfast with the family. Your aunts and uncles were in town to meet you. You and I missed breakfast because you were hungry, but we joined them all later for a reheated bite to eat and some gift opening.

As your guests were out the door after breakfast. Your father and I were left to have our first argument. I was mortified over arguing in front of you. You didn't like it much either.

What was my mother's day gift? Your Dad put the B.O.B. stroller together and the three of us took our first walk together. You passed out the second the stroller hit the pavement and your dad and I enjoyed the beginning of the warm Chicago weather.

If you are wondering how it took 18 days for us to make it out for a walk, I was completely surprised by the toll child birth took on my body. Sitting, let alone walking, isn't so easy for the weeks that follow. As my first real exercise, we walked slowly along. Hoping this is the first of many walks to come for us.

Pseudo Product Review: The B.O.B. worked great for our walk. I'm reserving judgment until we give it a go running.

In progress news, you are starting to have much more alert time. We started playing the standup game - I hold you under your arms as you push yourself to a standing position. You are insanely strong and seem to love this little bit of independance. If your bottom hurts anywhere near how much mine does from sitting and nursing (and stitches), I understand why you like the standup game so mch. I've noticed that you are starting to stare at things, mostly lights, and like to grab on. When I tried to end a feeding session today you put a death grip on my bra strap and refused to let go.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

day 17 - the biggest baby on the block

The doctor ripped off your umbilical cord. Your belly button looks fine and healthy, apparently. We just like to worry about you and love the peace of mind of knowing we are managing to not kill you.

We stripped you down and weighed you at your doctor's appointment today. Current weight: 9 pounds 4 ounces. That means in the one week and one day since you were last at the doctor's you gained a whole pound. That's over 10% of your body weight! Looks like we know what we are doing with this breastfeeding thing.

Friday, May 8, 2009

day 16 - the umbilical cord story

Stress has hit the household again. Your umbilical cord fell this evening, Friday, just before your Dad got home and just before your aunt's and uncle's all arrived to meet you. Previously, I was completely looking forward to the day your umbilical cord fell off. It opens the door for clothes that would have rubbed your "stump" and we had been using it as a milestone for when we would try you out in your gDiapers (more on that soon ...)

When the moment arrived, we were completely uninformed as to what the cord belly button should LOOK like once it falls off. Naturally we freaked out. Remember how we sent you to the hospital over your circumcision? Here we were, breaking you again. No book, no class, no one had told us that the umbilical cord stump can PARTIALLY fall off. This it what happened with you. Your stump fell off and hung there, dangling by a few threads (threads of WHAT, I have no idea).

In typical fashion, we consulted the internet (I know this is going to sound so archaic when you read it) and could not get a straight answer. Your belly button looked oozy and white - like the color of the umbilical cord right after you were born. I slapped a piece of gauze over your belly button and called your doctor. We have an appointment for 10:00 AM tomorrow.

It was a big day for you. In addition to the umbilical cord tragedy, the scab on your head from the fetal monitor fell off too. That fell off with out a problem.

Monday, May 4, 2009

day 12 - dear tucker

It's hard to believe you were born nearly two weeks ago today. I had every intention of starting this journal for you (and other moms out there) the day we came home from the hospital, but while the thoughts have been stirring in my head and my hands have struggled to put you down. I'm sure mom's out there can sympathize. Bringing up baby is no small feat.

When you're wondering why this post seems misplaced, it isn't. Today I started your journal. The older posts are back dated... Come on, I know we took a laptop to the hospital, but we really did have more pressing things to do!

You're sitting in your Fisher Price, My Little Lamb swing now, so let's see what we can get out of my head....

Sunday, May 3, 2009

day 11 - your cord blood donation!

You received your first certificate in the mail today!

Before you were born, your father and I made the decision to donate the blood from your umbilical cord the the cord blood registry. It is a wonderful cause where your cord blood is used to save the life of another child or for research. It was a simple, free procedure where the doctor who delivered you extracting the blood from your cord (after you were born and detached!) and then drawing my blood for tests.

Today you received your certificate thanking you for your wonderful donation!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

day 10 - the hot air effect

You hate having your diaper changed. It is one of the few times you cry, but oh do your little baby lungs perform. We were guessing its the cold air, maybe the cold changing pad, or just the overall inexperience of going, um, potty. Maybe its the diaper rash you've developed from our rushed, end-the-crying diaper changes.

Only time will fix the inexperience part, so we tackled the heat factor, or lack thereof and slapped some butt paste on your rear side. And for the heat factor we added in the most efficient heat AND white noise producing diaper changing agent there is, the hair drier.

The hair drier truly is the miracle tool. You instantly calm down from the noise and it works perfectly to expedite the recommended air drying of babies bottom. Nappy rash and crying solved in one fell swoop! Success!

Lesson Learned:

Hair driers do much more than dry hair! Word of caution: We use the cool setting (which is really more like a warm setting) on the hair drier most of the time. We will interject a few seconds of warmer air and constantly have a hand where the air is blowing - to make sure the temperature is okay.

Alternative Lesson Learned:
Pre-heating your changing pad with a heating pad (remove heating pad before changing baby) also seemed to make the diaper change more enjoyable. While it helped with the crying though, the pre-heat time is a bit frustrating and it does assist in tush drying.

Friday, May 1, 2009

day 9 - the big weigh in

Back to the pediatrician today to weigh you in.

Current weight: 8 pounds 4 ounces. Starting to gain back baby weight lost.

Happy to report all our breastfeeding is going to good use, packing on those baby pounds (ounces).

In other news, poop looks good! Everything looks good! Happy healthy boy.