Learning to crawl

I just watched my daughter crawl toward my voice during tummy time. It was just like her first feeding nine days ago. It was incredible. I whooped with joy. “Shots” by Imagine Dragons was playing in the background so it felt especially epic. A rush of happy memories about my mom came to mind. 

Parenting is awesome!!





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Maxi pads

Totally just had to ask my husband to buy me maxi pads. Seemed normal when I asked, but about ten minutes later, I pictured him a target in the massive isle of female products, staring like a deer in the headlights at the 150 different colors, shapes, sizes, types, lengths, and thicknesses he would have to chose from!

I clarified via text:



Funny thing is, I’m not even sure that’s specific enough! I don’t have one of the packs (because obviously I just reached my very last one).  

I guess in situations like these, you just have to hope for the best!

Checking the Mail: Part 2

Being a new mom is kind of complicated. Who knew what a feat something like checking the mail would be after pushing out a nine pound baby? Go figure. 

If you remember my first story about checking the mail, you will now see how now I have officially reached victory over the mailbox… The epic saga continues!

Yesterday I asked if my husband thought I was up to checking the mail and DH, good husband that he is, advised me against it. 

I tried explaining all the reasons I could think of for why I wanted to go check the mail. Somehow, “Because it’s something normal, because it’s something I want to do,” didn’t convince him. 

“Is there something you need from the mailbox?” DH asked, trying to be fair. 

“I ordered a second tube of lanolin so I can have one in the nursery and one in the bedroom. I keep forgetting to put it on,” I explained, sure that now he would understand why I wanted to go and be okay with it. 

“We have a second bottle of lanolin,” he said. “The little one from the hospital.”

Defeat. He had a point. I still wanted to check the mail. 

“It would be a nice walk, a practice from here to the mailbox,” I put forth.

DH said nothing. I had not convinced him it was okay for me to go. He wanted me to stay. We were at an impasse. 

I was out of ways to explain and I still wanted to check the mail. I started to open the door without his approval, even though I really wanted him to approve. 

“Do what you need to do,” he said.

I paused

“Just remember you’re not supposed to go for walks for two weeks,” he reminded me. 

I kept the door open. He hadn’t convinced me. I walked to and from the car to the doctors this morning that’s as far as the mailbox! I thought. 

“An hour ago you told me you were too weak to lift a single limb. Are you really certain about this?” DH added. 

I hesitated. I looked longingly at the mailbox on the other side of our little townhouse complex. It did look rather far away. 

“Your body needs to heal”

This time I looked at DH. He was trying to take care of me like he’s been doing all week. 

I walked from the door to the couch. My heart raced like mad and by the time I sat down I felt so lightheaded I almost cried. DH was right. I wasn’t ready yet to check the mail. 

It’s the next morning now. 

When I woke up this morning checking the mail was one of the first things that came to mind. I still wanted to check the mail. 

So, I just went and did it! I didn’t even think about it. DH and Aria were asleep upstairs. I tiptoed down the stairs put on my coat and scarf and slipped through the front door like a convict busting out of prison. And I left the house, by myself for the first time in nine days!

It was awesome. I was tired and barely awake. I waddled and it was freezing cold. I hadn’t dressed for this! I kept going. I kept my eyes on the prize – the gray mailbox. Just twenty or thirty more steps through the cold and victory would be mine. 

Damn! I made it to that sucker! Hell yeah! 

I didn’t even pull out the mail. The key was sitting on top of it. I closed our house’s box and went for the real prize: the package box. 

There was more in there than I ever dreamed! Six packages!

I loaded up my haul and started waddling. I don’t even remember the journey home. It was cold, I’m sure. And long. At least ten yards! But I remember opening my treasure chest. It was full of things I needed, things I’d ordered during my first week as a new mom and forgotten about. 

My haul:





  • Second tube of lanolin
  • Face mask for sleeping 
  • Second nursing bra
  • Pictures from the hospital
  • A surprise

Last weekend Tressa was here taking care of me and DH. In our final hour together, she shared the most amazing candied peacans I have ever tasted. Pretty much the most amazing candied anything

There were two bags of candied peacans in my treasure chest. No frigin way!”

And that is how I achieved the very monumental feat of checking the mail. 

Huah!! 

A few dozen small steps to the mailbox, one giant leap for healing momkind!

Extended Family

I just dictated the post below, because my dad is here and it was a way to include him as I mused. A little different style than normal, but my dad loved it!

My dad is sitting here with me telling family stories. My dad loves telling stories. He can tell stories for hours and hours and hours! He’ll go from one story to the next, from one topic to the next, and you just have to listen. I love listening to him tell stories. I don’t know if I always listen but I was really listening just now and I loved it. I really enjoyed it because he was telling me about my grandfather. And I think he’s told the stories before. I’m sure he has. But just now I really listened. And I had an epiphany. I feel more connected or want to feel more connected to my extended family all of a sudden. It’s like, being here as a post pregnant woman with my daughter and my dad here, family just matters more. Everything is slower when you have a child. You can pay attention to things like this. You can pay attention to family. I love that I can pay attention to my family right now. It seems so simple. 

Sleep

I just woke up. When I fell asleep it had been 21 hours since I slept. At least I think so. My dad disagrees. Anyway. I was getting pretty sure I would never sleep again so I had looked up how long I could survive. 



It was oddly comforting. 

I’m so glad I finally fell asleep. Not sure if I’ve woken up yet!



Picture complements of my dad. Laughed out loud when I saw just it. Rockstar pose right there. 

Toes

I just noticed Aria’s toes for the first time. I think it’s because she just started stretching out her legs, instead of keeping them taut like in the womb. Her toes are like little worms or baguettes, with three lines down the middle. Her feet are so tiny, just a bit longer than my thumb. It’s the little things in life… Chuckle 😉

Hair

I am fairly confident I can tell my daughter’s hair is growing. I brushed it yesterday, just because. I’ve never cared about my hair. I usually brush it for the first time each morning in the car on the way to work. Aria’s hair is so much cooler. 

DH missed Aria’s 32nd week appointment due to a dead iPhone and a navigation system that didn’t believe my high risk pregnancy doctor’s office existed. Lindsey, one of the best ultrasound techs out there, decided to help him out. She went all 4D ultrasound on me and started snapping pictures for me to take home to my husband. 

“Oh look, your baby has hair,” Lindsey said and points to an indistinct shadow on the monitor. “She’s playing with it.” I gazed at the image in wonder. I couldn’t begin to describe my awe and excitement in that moment. I couldn’t see anything, but my daughter was so much more real to me afterwards. I told everyone the story. I shared pictures from the ultrasound with everyone. 

I’m looking at the pictures now. She didn’t take one of Aria’s hair. Only her keen eyes could spot it on the image where she found it.

But look, there she is before when she was 30 weeks old and there she is right now this very moment. That’s so weird. It’s just crazy. 

It’s her birthday today. That seems significant. I mean, she’s one week old right now. At 8:36, she’ll be a day older. She’s growing up so fast!





Eavesdropping ;)

My husband is on the phone joking with a friend. “Pretty much the worst week of vacation I’ve ever taken,” he chuckles. Oddly this may be my best. Eat that Bora Bora!

Okay, a different kind of best. To be fair, when I’m trying to fall asleep…

“I pretty much jumped back in shock. Went across the room. It made an odd popping sound…” 

“I would just shut the door and bring it on lockdown. Bring out the hose!” Awesome

Oh! Now he’s describing me going into labor. 

“She goes off to the post office and her water breaks… I know! … Well, I guess we can cancel that induction.” 

“God! Clean yourself off! Have some decorum! Think of the child!”

Hahahaha. Omg! That was amazing!

Learning to push

I put the title of this post in just after my husband and I talked about how I’m going to push through this insomnia the way I pushed out this beastly 9 pound baby. Then we went to feed Aria and daddy decided it was tummy time. Talk about pushing! Wish I started recording earlier!

Dang, can’t include video. Here’s some pics before I started filming. 



Reminded me of when she did “the crawl” right after she was born. She was a beast. Twenty minutes after working her way out of my womb, I have them lay her on my chest and make her crawl about eight inches to my nipple. 

Smell 

Sprawled out on floor of nursery. Early to feeding. Using receiving blanket to cover eyes from sun. It smells like Aria. I know my daughter’s smell. I barely have a sense of smell, but I can smell her on the fabric. I love that. It’s incredible!

Blue jays

I just noticed two blue jays in my neighbor’s tree. I can’t remember the last time I saw a blue jay. It’s so delightful to slow down from a life ever on the move and to notice such meaningless things as birds in a tree. I feel rather Buddhist right now. 

Oh my god! I had to update this post. Now there are five blue jays. That’s awesome! 

Two in a row?

Is it possible for her to need to feed again when I just finished? I did 48 minutes total on the breast, starting at 4:41. It’s 6:05 now. I’d gotten her all setup in the monkey rocking bassinet thing, took care of my own restroom needs (which I had the oddest impulse to log on my iPhone just like I do hers), and just as I’m sliding into bed, she starts sucking on fist like she hasn’t eaten in a week! So much for the nurse worrying if she’s getting enough to eat. 

Late night snack, second course, or some fancy word for a full meal following a full meal? I guess we’ll see!

Btw, is it really 6am? My FitBit says I’ve gotten 56 minutes of sleep. Omg. 

My body is changing!

Couldn’t figure out why I’ve barely been able to sleep in the past twelve hours. Total insomnia, right? I didn’t realize what it was until this fourth attempt since I woke up yesterday. Every time I’ve been so cold

It’s the middle of a freezing winter, but I haven’t been cold at all this season. I’d forgotten what it was like to be cold. I’ve always been cold. “Cold hands, warm heart,” my mom would always tell me growing up. 

But I’ve been pregnant. And now I’m not and I’m friggin’ cold!! 

I think I’ve gotten a little colder every day since I gave birth. That’s so weird! Between that and literally feeling like one of my organs fell halfway down my abdomen two days ago, post pregnancy body is proving to be more surprising than pregnancy body. I guess because it’s all so sudden. 

Pregnancy changes were either miserable and confusing or this gradual miracle of feeling more and more the reality of the baby inside me. I wasn’t suprised so much as mesmerized by Aria’s movements inside of me. It’s odd. I’m feeling nostalgic all of the sudden, but I just realized it was just eight days ago when I was sitting and waiting for Aria’s every movement. 

Just two weeks ago, I think maybe exactly, which is also weird when I stop and think about it, I had gone about a day without really noticing Aria move at all. In the middle of a night like tonight I woke up for the second of my habitual nightly bathroom trips. I realized I still hadn’t felt her. I’d gone hard at the gym during the day (aka, a three mile walk at 3.5 miles per hour), trying to move Aria along out the birth canal (I was two days out from due date and was not dilating). I became frantic. I thought maybe I’d somehow hurt Aria by being too aggressive at the gym. It broke my heart to imagine it. I was so frantic. I couldn’t feel anything. I just sat there rocking on the couch, tears rolling down my cheeks. “Oh, god, what if I hurt her?” I had to work to not imagine it. I needed to calm down. I was so scared. But I was also scared I was being ridiculous, if you can imagine that. What if I was just overreacting? I thought about texting my doula, but didn’t for that reason. 

I remembered DH telling me, begging me, to keep him in the loop about any changes in my body. He wanted to be a part of it all. He wanted to know even the little, silly signs I was gauging to see if I was closer to going into labor. I clung to that request. He wouldn’t think I was silly or ridiculous. He would want to know. 

I went upstairs, sobbing uncontrollably. “DH, I can’t feel her! I can’t. I don’t know what to do? I don’t know what to do…” I moaned. 

He took me into his arms and whispered soothing words into my ear. I calmed. I finally calmed. 

“Let’s listen together,” he whispered. 

DH put his hands on my belly and I started listening to my belly. I don’t know how else to describe it. There was a baby in me and I needed to listen for her movements, to wait to feel them. 

We waited. Five or fifteen minutes passed. Maybe a lifetime. Maybe the lifetime of the child I held in the hands of my womb. 

“Did you feel that?” DH asked me. 

“I did, I think.”

A small tender jostle of hope. 

We kept listening together. I listened with my womb and DH listened with his hands. With each new subtle movement, he would look at me and I would nod. 

One… two… three… four… five

I don’t know if we got to ten or not. It didn’t matter. She was alive. 

I think I’ve finally warmed up. DH turned up the heat for me. Time to sleep. 

Waking up

For the past couple of days, or I guess since I gave birth almost a week ago… Wait, hold that thought. I just realized a week ago right around this time (it’s 1:47) DH was asking me if I was ready for an epideral. Baby just fell asleep on my breast. Hold on a sec… Just figured out a more effective way to burp. That’s exciting. Next breast… Hmm, now I need to type left handed. It’s a little awkward… So DH had seen how much pain I was in. We’d gone for a second walk I’m not sure how long before. On the second walk I only made one “lap” around the maternity ward, compared to four on my first walk. 

Baby is drifting. I need my left hand to help her… I was about to note how cute she is when she stretches, then she started pooping. Awesome! … Whoa. That’s the clip for her umbilical cord in my rocking chair. Omg… Do I go back to telling a story right now? This feels kind of epic, like some sort of crazy milestone that I can’t even begin to put into words, although I guess technically that is what I am doing. Baby is drifting on the breast again. Better help… Dang, I was so mesmerized by the cord, I forgot to start the feeding timer again after the diaper change. I have no idea how long she’s been eating… I just realized I called the blogging I was doing “story telling” rather than “reminiscing.” I almost went back to change it, but I just decided it is both. I guess that’s what makes this a blog rather than a journal… 

During the second walk, I had to pause for each contraction. They were long and painful. My first walk I just breathed as they came and kept walking. 

Just got the baby down to sleep. Going to follow her lead and finish up in an hour and forty five minutes when it’s time to feed again… Dang. Realized I added that wrong when I went to set the alarm. It’s an hour and fifteen until next feeding. 😦

She’s crying now. DH is taking care of her. Yesterday, my swaddling worked like a charm. Today, she’s stronger and so much more awake and alert. It’s what I started the post about, oddly enough. She was strong enough to tear off the swaddle. She started to freeze and started crying. I’m so glad DH is taking care of her. She’s stopped crying now. Time for sleep. 

DH bundled her up in three blankets and turned the heat up. It’s been set at 66 degrees at night all through the winter by our smart Eco savings thermostat. Guess the thermostat isn’t smart enough to have figured out we’re a 24-7 family now!



Never did get back to the story. Got pretty busy the rest of the night. 

Winding down 

I think one of the hardest things is that to really get enough rest, there’s no real time for winding down. I just spent the past hour and a half feeding and pumping, it’s the middle of the night, and I need every ounce of sleep I can get. But I just spent the past hour and a half feeding and pumping. That was a lot of work. I was sitting, but god I was working! It feels like it’s time to relax, not sleep. But every moment I take to wind down is sleep I’m not getting. I have an hour and a half before I start again. Is there time to wind down? I guess I just did. 

Right and left

So I can’t remember if I mentioned I’ve been having a little trouble with this whole breastfeeding thing. So one thing I noticed is that I was pretty sure my right breast has just been totally sagging and not filling up. I just woke up from a quick nap and was laying there considering my breasts. My left is really a big juicy grapefruit and my right is a completely deflated balloon. 

It was then I noticed I was sleeping on my left side, pregnancy pillow between my legs. It’s exactly how I’ve been sleeping for the past two months. I read on a midwives board that sleeping on your left gets your baby to have her back on the left side of your belly. Apparently if your baby is on the left, then it is much easier for her to shift to that coming out position during labor. I think that worked really well possibly. I’ll have to post about it later, now that I’ve actually had the baby and can evaluate what happened.  

Anyway I was on my left, I’ve been sleeping on my left for two months straight. I’m guessing that’s what happened with my breasts! 

Shall we experiment? I’ll let you know!