The Test

Little miss has her first cold. Boo. Some say we’re lucky she’s older than their babies when they had their first. All I know is she sounds terrible and I hate that she’s feels poorly.

So I’m putting my essential oils to the test. With infants, because essential oils are SO potent, it’s important to dilute with a carrier oil. I’m still using almond oil. I used 3/4 full dropper of oil plus one drop of lavender and one drop of Breathe blend (think super strong Vicks rub). Then I massaged it into little Miss’ skin after her bath, concentrating on her chest area.

I’ll repeat in the morning. But I can tell I’m already breathing better so I’m hopeful she’ll be breathing better soon too.

Bath time Thoughts

As I watch my baby girl kick her feet in the water, splashing me in the face as well as herself, I wonder what she’ll be like in five years. Ten. Twenty.

Will she try all the veggies we put in front of her?

Will she only eat pasta and cheese?

Will she have light hair as I suspect?

Will she climb our fruit trees with reckless abandon?

Will she hate us for being an only child?

Will she love to swim?

Will she grow up to love her state of Washington or itch to leave as soon as she graduates high school? (Go class of ’32!)

One thing I don’t wonder is whether or not she’ll know she’s loved. Because she will. Every single day.

Would you like another?

I participate in a couple of infertility forum communities online. I’ve been with them for over three years. There are many many women that have struggled with infertility for much much longer than three years. And my heart breaks for them. I feel so sad for those still longing for a child. Just one. That was my prayer for those three years. Just one, God. That’s all I’m asking for here. Some of the women in the online communities continue to struggle with IF issues with multiple pregnancies. They go through the IF dance with each one. And some of those pregnancies were/are difficult till birth, every time. I am in awe of their tenacity to grow their families. They know exactly what they want and are willing to go above and beyond to fulfill the dreams they have for themselves. Little miss is only three and a half months old but I’ve been asked practically since she was born if The Mister and I would be trying for a second. After picking myself up off the floor, I give my standard, “Oh, let me just enjoy my daughter first.” Or if it had been a rough day, “Let me survive her first.” Now that some time has passed, I think I can safely say that she’s our one and only. I asked and prayed for just one. And she’s here. The emotional roller coaster we went through to bring little miss into our lives was devastating at times. I could barely hold it together some days. I skipped baby showers and left rooms when a pregnant woman walked in. I cried on the way home from work when yet another person I knew announced an impending birth. My want for Maddy was so strong that it overshadowed so much of my life that was happening around me. I spent many days in my own sadness. I couldn’t understand why The Mister and I couldn’t have a baby. All I wanted was her. And now she’s here. After so many tests and medications and procedures. She’s here. Our one and only. To go through the emotional strain of trying to get pregnant again with years added onto our ages compounding the issue is just too much at this point (I’d be close to 40 before I’d even think about considering another). I don’t want little miss to witness the strain or somehow feel the effects of it. I don’t want to put The Mister through all that pain again either. Once was enough. Though we’d go directly to IVF knowing our road blocks, I’d still live with that “what if??” monster. That monster beat me up, stomped on me, and then kicked me in the knees for three years. We don’t need that monster in our lives. There isn’t room for it.

Months 1 & 2

Oh boy.  This is going to be a long one…  I can aspire to writing a post once a week but I can’t promise it’ll happen.  Obviously, since it’s been WEEKS since I’ve been able to post.  This one’s taken me the last four weeks to write.  

MONTH 1

So Month 1 of little miss’s life just FLEW by so quickly I didn’t even get a chance to chronicle it. I don’t even know if I remember it. Just kidding.

I remember some of it.

As you know, little miss arrived on St. Patrick’s Day. The first two weeks of her life were a blur of feeding, sleeping, changing diapers, washing diapers, blankets, spit up (so much spit up), crying (oh the crying!), and my parents (if my mom hadn’t been here, all our animals and US would’ve starved.)

Also during her first two weeks were a doctor’s appointment, a trip to a nearby town, and many many car trips. Little miss HATED the car seat. She’d scream bloody murder until she wore herself out or The Mister hit enough bumps in the road to calm her down. I know many moms will sit in the backseat with their baby but I found out that it really didn’t matter if I sat back there with her or not. My presence was inconsequential to the fact that she was strapped in, couldn’t move freely, and loathed every minute of it.

The last part of little miss’s first month included getting the hang of breast feeding more (on both our parts), another two doctor visits, weight gain, and still more spit up. Momma also managed to go to the grocery store on her own with the babe in the Ergo. That proved to be a bit much for everyone though. Too much too soon.

Though it sounds like we went to the doctor a lot the first month, it’s because we did. It’s a good thing we like her doctor. Little miss has a bit of reflux so we spent a couple weeks trying to sort that out. She has a minty-fresh tasting medicine I give her twice a day in a little plunger to help with the burning the spit up causes her.

Little miss had several visitors the first month of her life. Grandma was here for two and a half weeks and then Grandpa came up from California for a few days. Auntie and Uncle from California were also here and Auntie took some cutie pictures of little miss.

Aw! My little munchkin.

MONTH 2

Sorry for the unedited picture – the edited version has been misplaced.

Auntie B came to visit shortly after hitting the 2 month mark.  Little miss and Momma drove to Seattle to pick Auntie B up from the airport.  There were LOTS of snuggles once we returned home since it was such a long trip for the little miss (almost 7 hours in the car in total.)

Auntie B also took some cutie pictures and helped me take little miss to school to make the first round of visits.  She met my AP kids, several district office folks, The Mister’s coworkers, and school office people too.  It was a very busy day.

During little miss’s second month of life, she’s perfected rolling over (she did it for the first time at three weeks and caught herself off guard.) The pediatrician says she does pushups of a four month old! Very proud momma indeed.

We also have tons of smiles these days! I love the smiles. Love love love them.

We also had some visitors. Grandma came back up with Great Grandma and Great Auntie K.

Little miss knows her people and LOVES them!

Grandpa C has been by the house many times to check on his granddaughter. He brought his friend C over a couple of Saturdays ago to celebrate little miss’s first two months on planet Earth.

Little miss talks so much these days. We have conversations about Mr. Fan (her most favorite friend in the house so far), the laundry, what Momma’s eating, and her hands. She squawks a little louder these days and her cries are changing a bit. We have new cries that I can’t quite decipher yet. And her almost-faint “wah!” kills me. It’s so pathetic sometimes. She uses that one when Momma isn’t moving fast enough to dish up little miss’s meals.

We’re still working on nap time. Little miss sleeps pretty well at night and fights taking a nap longer than 30 minutes. Kill me.

She still loves her bath time though, will mostly tolerate her car seat now (there are a few screams here and there, especially if she’s wet, hungry, or tired), and loves being naked over wearing clothes. Daddy happily complies with the last one since he believes babies should be FREE! Momma says it’s too cold out still for her baby to be free and promptly puts little miss’s pants back on.

But not her hat. Apparently hats are the devil.

3 Things No One Tells Older Moms-To-Be

As an older mom-to-be, I read every book and website I could lay my hands on about being a mom over age 35.  I talked to friends that had babies in their 30s.  I tried to prepare myself as much as possible.  But there were a few things I didn’t prepare for quite enough, if at all.

1. Your knees are not what they used to be – my baby needs constant rocking or bouncing. She loves movement and if she loved her car seat more, I’d drive her around in The Mister’s truck more often.  But she doesn’t love her car seat, so I bounce and rock and sway her in my arms daily.  While it’s a great workout (my FitBit counts each bounce as a step), my knees aren’t super happy with me.  They ache.  Since I’m able to take Advil now, I do.  To save my arms and knees for a few minutes every day, the vibrating seat takes her after a good feeding. But 85% of the time, I’m bouncing her. Which means my knees are constantly moving. Add in getting her off and onto her under-the-sea playmat, up and out of the rocker, and into her car seat, my knees bend all day long. And they know it. They crack and whine. They wobble and shake. Oh to have my knees of ten years ago.

2. Sleep is not what it used to be – I keep trying to channel my long gone college self to no avail. Even back then I got more sleep than I do now. I can’t recall a single all-night study session – I loved sleep more than my grades.  Everyone tells new moms to “sleep when the baby sleeps.” Which is all fine and dandy if you’ve managed to pee, eat, and take a shower while your little one was peeing, and eating (and yes, in times of desperation, I have taken little miss into the bathroom with me.) Most of the time, I’m dancing her to sleep while holding it and praying I don’t sneeze. Once baby girl goes down, I feel the freedom of a my arms and run frantically around the house doing as much as possible before she wakes up (which could be 20 minutes or two hours): laundry, dishes, vacuuming, showering (though this one is sure to make her wake up no matter how long she’s been asleep), and I consider knitting. After I do all I think I need to do, I fool myself into thinking I could get in a short nap too. But that’s when she wakes up. Mom’s Murphy’s Law. And the vicious sleep debt cycle continues. The zombie midnight and 3am feedings continue and I pray I don’t fall asleep standing up.

3. Your curves are not what they used to be – 
And not being in your 20s means it doesn’t necessarily bounce back like it used to. The abs you were working on flattening before pregnancy? Gone. The butt that was almost lifted to where you where you wanted? Flattened. The hips that fit into your favorite pair of jeans? Widened. Body parts shift and muscles slacken, no matter how much you work out during pregnancy. There’s a recovery period after pregnancy that seems to push body parts into new regions.  I swear I’ve lost half my butt since giving birth.  Though all the weight I gained since last summer was gone by the time little miss was two weeks old, the weight that remains is suspiciously in different places.  I can fit into pre-pregnancy jeans and zip them but not button that top button.  I swear I’m carrying at least ten pounds inside my nursing bra. From what I hear, nothing will return to its former state.  And the jury’s still out on how I feel about that.

Days These Days

Life with a newborn. Not much more to say, is there? Eating, sleeping, diapers. That is our life.

There’s really only one part of our day that’s been relatively consistent. We wake up around 4 or 5 am to eat and fall back asleep around 6ish. Then up again around 8 or 9, depending on how long after 6 we fall asleep.

After that, the day is at Miss M’s beck and call.

Sometimes she takes another nap after eating her mid-morning meal. Sometimes she stays awake until lunch time or later (like yesterday). Sometimes she feeds all day long, every hour. Some days she takes cat naps throughout the day. Some days she takes several big naps all day. It just depends.

Scheduling doctor appointments and visits are a crapshoot. I just make sure she eats before I pack her in the car and hope she snoozes a bit during the drive to wherever we’re going. Besides the doctor, we’ve been to the farm store, out to eat a couple of times, school to say hi, and we’ve walked down the driveway to get the mail. Those are our big outings so far. And everything is scheduled during her nap time, not eating time.

All I know is the swing works for naps. The Ergo works when she’s extra clingy. The pack n play only works for one nighttime sleep. Momma works every time.