Posted in Baby Foxes

Things that I would do differently next time

I have been very pleased with my parenting decisions so far but there are a handful of things that I would do differently next time, nothing major.  This list is not comprehensive but it gives you an idea.

Would they get done?  Maybe some….

Operation Happy Baby: Mission Accomplished

What I would do differently

1- I would hire a post partum doula and/or accept cooking/cleaning help.  The first few weeks were brutal, specially after hubby went back to work and I would spend the bulk of the day alone with baby while recovering from surgery.  Nothing got cleaned, I barely ate and it was just a miserable time.

2- I would get a real high chair, booster seats are not the same.

3- I would make sure that my husband has a carrier that works for him, babywearing rocks and I want him to experience it too.

4- I would get professional professional newborn photos.  We have hundreds of cute Shammy pictures but they’re all amateur shots.

5- I would not listen to the incorrect breastfeeding advice given by the nurses at the hospital, instead I would follow what I had already learned.  This would have saved time, headaches and sleep and Shammy wouldn’t have lost as much weight at first.

6- I would give elimination communication a fair chance.  I barely did it and got promising results almost instantly but laziness among other factors made me drop it.

7- I would research BLW more and try it.  Making my own baby food was fun but messy and he didn’t like purees all that long.

8- I would not limit the number of baby costumes that I buy for the 1st Halloween.  Gotta take advantage before I loose the ability to choose what to put on.  There are way too many cute choices out there!

9- Join the playgroup circuit sooner.  The only thing that has stopped me this time is not having a car.

10- I would not skimp out on newborn cloth diapers and get good tiny cloth diapers like Lil’s Joeys.  I tried to go cheap with prefolds and covers and Shammy couldn’t stand it so we had to use sposies until he grew into his one size diapers, don’t want to have to do that again.  With enough planning I can purchase them little by little and they have a good resale value so it would still cost less than sposies.

11- Take sign language beyond the basics, we did very good with it at first and once again laziness and life got in the way and I just stopped using it.  Shame on me.

12- I would fight for my placenta. It was Shammy’s roommate for over 9 months, it kept him alive and they just toss it?! It’s standard procedure for the hospital to take the placenta away and I tried to fight for it while I was lying open on the operating table and was so overwhelmed with suddenly being a mother that I didn’t push the subject after I was in recovery. To this day I feel a sense of loss about it and wish that I could get it even though I couldn’t encapsulate it I would still do art with it.

I would totally breastfeed again

 

Things that I would totally do all over again

1- Labor at home.  I’m now high risk and wouldn’t quality for a homebirth in most cases but would like to still labor at home for as long as possible.

2- Have a doula.  My husband was awesome but he’s just one guy and great for some things but clueless on other, a doula provides the perfect complement and balance.

3- Skip on Vitamin K shot and eye goop.  No regrets about skipping it, it wasn’t hard for me to take the Vitamin K drops and passing it through the breastmilk.

4- Skip/delay vaccinations.  I don’t regret this one bit, in fact I’m tempted to take things a step further and delay/space them out even more.  Either way I’m definitely repeating the no shots until 6 months part.

5- No circumcision (if boy). If I need to explain this one you need a Prepuce Information Pack.  Heck, I’ll lend you mine!

6- Breastfeed.  I am so glad that I was determined enough to overcome the speed bumps and successfully breastfeed exclusively for 6 months and continue breastfeeding today (9 months and counting).

7- Co sleep.  Our bed isn’t big enough for traditional cosleeping (although Shammy made it work by kicking his daddy out of the bed and sleeping with me, lol.  I would buy a king size mattress and just put it on the floor.  Easier than attaching the bassinet/crib to the bed.  I’ve never come close to rolling over Shammy and in my sleep my mother’s 6th sense has been known to stretch out my arm and stop my husband from rolling over.

8- Babywear.  Babywearing saved my sanity during the first few months by being the only thing that would calm a screaming Shammy and even though it’s not necessary anymore I still thoroughly enjoy it.  I would like to get a better hang of ring slings though.

9- Cloth diaper.  So cute, so economical, so environmental.  I would love to have the wallet to be constantly trying new styles but have a good working stash with that I have.

10- I would again stay home as much as possible and not accept visitors outside of family for the first 2 weeks.  I am glad that I instituted this rule and stuck by it.

11-  I would still refuse to cry it out.  I can’t understand how someone can let their child scream for hours.  And for those that use the modified method of 5 minutes on, 5 minutes off, glad that it works for you but it’s still not for me.  It’s still contrary to Attachment Parenting and 1 minute is too long.

12- Use consignment sales. The only new clothes that we bought were on clearance, the rest were gifts or purchased on consignment, same for all of the gear and most toys.

 

Posted in Baby Foxes

Adventures in Mommyhood- week 18

We are experiencing the Florida equivalent to winter weather, now I really wish that I had more pairs of babylegs for Shammy, oh well.  I’m not having as much trouble keeping him warm as I feared but I sure am relieved to have a baby in Florida and not Canada or somewhere else that’s super cold most of the time.  It is a pain in the rear to have to remove so many layers to change a diaper, hence the wish for more babylegs.

I don’t like turning on the heater so I make sure he’s wearing enough warm clothes, this weather gives me the opportunity to get more mileage out of his monkey suit, it’s nice, warm and super cute.  He doesn’t mind it.

warm and toasty monkey

I have confirmed what I had been suspecting for a long while in regards to the correlation between fussiness and temperature.  Shammy is way happier when it’s cold or when the A/C is on, there goes our electric bill!  I also think that there is a humidity factor but haven’t made enough observations on that.

I have ended up having to compromise on the no TV for baby issue given that the baby likes it so much.  So now my focus is on minimizing exposure and making sure that when he does watch that it is appropriate content.  Enter PBSKids.org  The laptop is now setup so he can watch an episode of Cat in the Hat from his bouncy chair and he’ll yell at me to restart it if the episode stops.

Shammy may be nearing Santa overdose having seen him 4 times in one day.  Luckily he isn’t afraid of the guy and instead decided to hold on to his beard and not let go during his last photo.  Yes, he now has another Santa photo, this time it was better planned so he was dressed for the occasion with his elf outfit.

By chance I stumbled across another blog on the internet with the name of Adventures in Mommyhood, I swear that I wasn’t trying to copy anybody’s name and I didn’t even know about that blog until 17 weeks after I started using the name, I hope that mama doesn’t mind until I figure out what else to call these entries.

Work has been dry lately so I while I wait for something to pan out I’ve been making money out of market research, it’s not a new career or anything but $20 here and there are better than nothing.  I have also been able to do some trades so now I have enough cloth wipes for the house AND diaper bag, no more disposable wipes yay!

Since the beginning I had known that Shammy is sensitive to energies and this was recently further confirmed by a pattern that we have observed when shopping at Walmart.  As usual I wear him in the Ergo when out and he’ll either be happily looking around or go to sleep.  That is until we make it to the check out registers, there is a ley line that runs parallel to this section and standing on it will wake Shammy up and have him screaming inconsolably until we move past it.  Last weekend I experimented by standing on it, seeing him wake up and fuss, taking 2 steps and watching him go back to sleep only to have him wake up again when I stepped back into the original spot.  Now I know exactly what spots in the store to avoid.

In the cute department, Shammy had started to fuss when on his swing and I was in the middle of laundry so I wasn’t able to immediately go to him, in that delay brother Cheeky bird starting to sing to him and Shammy calmed down and fell asleep.  It was soo cute!  Cheeky is usually known for waking him up by being loud, so this was a nice change that unfortunately has not repeated itself since.

Shammy is finally taking better naps, sometimes.  He prefers to sleep on soft surfaces such as in bed with me.  I should really look into getting a plush mattress pad for his crib so that he can take longer naps.  Thankfully he’s still good about sleeping through the night.

Xmas has an attitude, lol

I haven’t yet finished the DVD project, it’s mainly an editing project by now.  I have also taken to document things in writing thanks to a thoughtful gift in the form of a Mothers Legacy book received at Shammy’s Blessing.  I have also looked into exporting this blog into a printed book in the future, all as gifts for Shammy.  We’ll see.

Our baby registry ended up evolving into my wishlist for Shammy, the place where I keep track of the things that I want to eventually buy for him.  Since people sometimes ask what he needs, I have decided to leave the list public and accessible here. Shammy’s Wishlist

I can now see why people don’t start teaching sign language to their babies until a later age, it’s hard to do so with a baby in your lap as many signs require the use of 2 hands.  I still find that it has been helpful.

This week’s rant is a short one….

If you feel like you don’t have enough milk and must give formula, please don’t give a bottle, you’re just setting yourself up to have even less milk, use a Supplemental Nursing System, give the formula while still having baby at the breast and therefore stimulating milk production.  Your body doesn’t know that it needs to make milk if there isn’t a baby at the breast placing an order for it!

I leave you with an inspirational song to theme of the Season…

Twelve days of breastfeeding

On the first day of breastfeeding my mommy gave to me:
colostrum to increase my immunity!

On the second day of breastfeeding my mommy gave to me:
two full breasts and colostrum to increase my immunity!

On the third day of breastfeeding my mommy gave to me:
minimized jaundice, two full breasts and colostrum to increase my
immunity!

On the fourth day of breastfeeding my mommy gave to me:
fewer Dr. visits, minimized jaundice, two full breasts and colostrum toincrease my immunity!

On the fifth day of breastfeeding my mommy gave to me:
LESS ALLERGIES!… fewer Dr. visits, minimized jaundice, two full
breasts  and colostrum to increase my immunity!

On the sixth day of breastfeeding my mommy gave to me:
Zero constipation LESS ALLERGIES!… fewer Dr. visits, minimized
jaundice, two full breasts and colostrum to increase my immunity!

On the seventh day of breastfeeding my mommy gave to me:
teeth and jaw development, zero constipation,
LESS ALLERGIES!… fewer Dr. visits, minimized jaundice, two full
breasts and colostrum to increase my immunity!

On the eighth day of breastfeeding my mommy gave to me:
reduced risk of breast cancer, teeth and jaw development, zero
constipation, LESS ALLERGIES!… fewer Dr. visits, minimized jaundice,
two full breasts and colostrum to increase my immunity!

On the ninth day of breastfeeding my mommy gave to me:
skin to skin comfort, reduced risk of breast cancer, teeth and jaw
development, zero constipation, LESS ALLERGIES!… fewer Dr. visits,
minimized jaundice, two full breasts and colostrum to increase my
immunity!

On the tenth day of breastfeeding my mommy gave to me:
decreased chance of diabetes, skin to skin comfort, reduced risk of
breast cancer, teeth and jaw development, zero constipation,
LESS ALLERGIES!… fewer Dr. visits, minimized jaundice, two full
breasts and colostrum to increase my immunity!

On the eleventh day of breastfeeding my mommy gave to me:
bonding and loving, decreased chance of diabetes, skin to skin comfort,
reduced risk of breast cancer, teeth and jaw development, zero
constipation, LESS ALLERGIES!… fewer Dr. visits, minimized jaundice, two 
full breasts and colostrum to increase my immunity!

On the twelfth day of breastfeeding my mommy gave to me:
Higher IQ, bonding and loving, decreased chance of diabetes, skin to
skin comfort, reduced risk of breast cancer, teeth and jaw development,
zero constipation, LESS ALLERGIES!… fewer Dr. visits, minimized jaundice,

two full breasts and colostrum to increase my immunity!

Posted in Baby Foxes

Adventures in Mommyhood- week 17

I never expected motherhood to turn me into a bigger geek than I already am but that is exactly what has happened.  I started to tinker with a movie creating program to create a dvd for my parents showing some video clips of Shammy since they’re not techie enough for YouTube.  I never would have guessed that I would get so into it that now the project has evolved into a full “history of Shammy” compilation.  It’s got photo slideshows of the pregnancy, the birth and Shammy’s first 3 months, it’s got background music, transition effects, captions and at 15 mins long already I’m not yet done.  The video along with this blog will document Shammy’s early history.  I hope that Shammy will appreciate this legacy that I’m creating for him, I wish my mom had kept a journal or something.

Who knows, perhaps this will just be volume 1 and I’ll create new chapters every few months or so….

I have given up and come to accept the fact that my son is going to be a technology geek, it’s int he genes.  He loves to stare at the computer screen, tap on the keyboard and even figured out on his own how to click the mouse.  When’s he’s fussy he’ll calm down when the TV comes on.  ::sigh::


more interested on the computer than the camera


He’s had a messed up sleep pattern lately, some days he’ll sleep through the night as usual and on other days he’ll decide that 4am is the start of the new day and he is not going back to sleep and wants to be entertained.   Out of exhaustion my husband sat him on his bouncy chair in front of the TV and turned on an infomercial and lo and behold, we got to snooze.  How sad is that?

As of this week I will have been breastfeeding exclusively for 4 months, I admit that at first I didn’t know if I would make it this far.  I am glad that I have and we keep on going strong.

I have finally found my pumping groove.  After struggling for months and dreading the whole process I have worked it out to a smooth routine.  I now pump once a day 1 hour after he goes to sleep for the night and I keep the pump parts in the refrigerator so that I don’t have to disinfect every day.  I’m also increasing the volume of the bags that I freeze for larger servings.

The other night I was preparing a bag to freeze when hubby walks in and asks “what are you cooking?”,  without hesitating I responded “breastmilk, want some?”

A lot of people may cringe but I have actually tasted my milk, I do it regularly too.  No, I don’t steal Shammy’s pumped milk to do shots with.  Instead I lick the drops of milk that fall on my arm during nursing or pumping, most of the time it tastes like vanilla soymilk but I love to notice the change in taste based on what I’m eating.  Shammy’s milk is a heck of a lot more interesting than formula and I do ask him “what would you like in your milk?” when I am trying to decide what to eat.  He gets birthday cake milk on his birthdays.

Since work has been dry for a couple of weeks thus needing less bottles I am finally starting to have the resemblance of a freezer stash.

Shammy got to celebrate his first Thanksgiving, his father insisted on instituting the tradition of having him watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade and see Santa.  Shammy’s act of peaceful rebellion was to conveniently fall asleep 10 minutes before Santa came on and waking up 2 minutes after it ended.


Shammy made a new friend in Turkey Gobbler on his 1st Thanksgiving


Shammy is now 4 months old!  And to think that I still get pain from the surgery, usually after physical activity.  I still can’t have the elastic in clothing sit on the scar without pain 🙁

I’ve had to adjust the straps in his car seat to a larger setting again, it was just over a month ago that I had adjusted it last, wow.


I just HAD to have another photo shoot before he completely outgrew the costume


He has outgrown all of his sized diaper covers and I only have 1 one size diaper cover so we are barely using the contour diapers.  I now have a couple of [amazon_link id=”B003K1CNBK” target=”_blank” ]Fuzzibunz [/amazon_link]one size diapers that I had traded for and I must say that I like them so far.  I like the fact that they come in colors that are not available with Bumgenius such as brown and they are a trimmer fit which works well for clothes that Shammy is about to outgrow.  I also like the sizing adjustment process for them.  I haven’t tried them overnight so I don’t know how well they would hold but I would like to get more in different colors to better coordinate with Shammy’s outfits.

Speaking of diapers, I need a larger diaper pail.  The one that I currently have was designed for disposable diapers emptied daily and instead I use it for cloth diapers washed every other day so it doesn’t quite hold 2 days worth of diapers.  When I start working again I’ll look into getting a kitchen trashcan, that would probably be better for the task.

Despite books and websites repeatedly telling me not to expect Shammy to respond with sign language for several months I am happy to report early success with this approach.  He understands the sign for milk and has been known to use it (his dexterity is still developing so it’s not perfect but understandable).  He has also developed his own sign for “pick me up”.

I’m hoping to learn more signs to incorporate into our interactions.  Books advise to just pick a few signs and teach those but if I can learn more and just use them normally in conversation I don’t see how that could hurt.  What he has learned so far has been from regular “conversations”, I haven’t tried to do sign language lessons, instead I just make the sign whenever saying the word/doing the task and he’s learning by context very well.


And this week’s rant is a 2 part one:

I have been attacked on Facebook for being outspoken about breastfeeding thus making formula moms “uncomfortable”.

Seriously? I am PROUD! I worked really effin hard at this and succeeded!  It wasn’t always easy, I cried, I dedicate a lot of time and energy but it is worth it.  I don’t always enjoy being covered in milk, or pumping on the highway, but I do it. It is the best thing I can do for my son, and I am proud of it.  I am sure we have a zillion things that we don’t agree on in all areas of being a human being. I post things on facebook as a reminder to myself and my dear pregnant friends, that they can do it. I have had more than one pregnant mom tell me that the pro-breastfeeding things I post on facebook has encouraged them and empowered them, so damn-it, I am going to keep on keepin’ on!

I happen to have good friends that are passionate about things that I am opposed to.  I just skip over those posts and I don’t put anything negative, it’s my personal choice.

! It seems like every single time I post something (or a friend posts something) about breastfeeding or circumsicion, at least someone gets offended and acting like I am attacking them directly. Nothing I post on Facebook is aimed towards anyone but myself, and my fellow natural moms who might want to read the same article. If it doesn’t apply to you, or you don’t want to read it, then skip it.   Though I am not as nice as some of my friends, I like to defend myself and I rarely apologize for anything I have said or posted, because again, its NOT aimed at YOU! Get over it!

I have also been attacked for being indescreet in my breastfeeding, I proudly admit to this.  Why do fatty men get to show their boobies (many of which are larger than mine!) but I can’t feed my kid?  If you don’t have to cover up when eating your cheeseburger or go eat it in the bathroom then baby shouldn’t have to do the same to eat his lunch.

Besides, breastfeeding needs to be normalized, not hidden.  Sundae Horn wrote a good essay on this topic on Mothering Magazine and she wrote the “Indescreet Breastfeeding Manifesto” which I happily subscribe to.

Indiscreet Breastfeeding Manifesto

  • I will nurse my child anytime, anywhere, no matter who is present or what I am wearing.
  • I will bare my breast with pride and confidence.
  • I will not apologize for nourishing and nurturing my child.
  • I will not smother my child with a napkin or blanket.
  • I will smile at everyone around me and ignore rude stares.
  • I will know that I am giving my child the perfect infant food from the most efficient, ecological, and economical delivery system.
  • I will know that I am giving my child the healthy start that is his or her birthright.
  • I will set an example for women and girls, educate the public, dispel breastfeeding myths, desexualize the breast, and make the world a better place, all through the simple act of feeding my child.

I’m not a fan of the performer Pink but I do tip my hat to her for making a powerful statement in her latest video by showing a row of human females pumping milk that is then fed to a young cow.  Powerful analogy for what most people just refuse to think about…