Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star & This Old Man

My husband and I had a few errands to run on Saturday, so we loaded up our son and all of his paraphernalia (going places is definitely a big production now!) and hit the road.

These days I usually keep the volume on the radio in the car a lot lower than I used to “pre-Davey.” There were times when I would blare the music and sing at the top of my lungs. Not so these days and here’s the other change I’ve found, my choice in music isn’t the same either.

I always thought that I would be one of those cool mothers that trained her son on what was really great music, not good music, but GREAT music. I would introduce him to all the different genres and he would grow up being extremely diverse in the musical arena. My original plan was to listen to some of my favorites, which usually falls along the lines of Alternative Rock, then mix in a little 70s rock (another of my favorites) before finally taking a ride on the entire musical spectrum. Davey would be well versed in music and perhaps it would encourage him to pick up music as an interest when he got older. Unfortunately, my plan isn’t exactly being followed. Instead of some Paramore and Red Hot Chili Peppers mixed in with old school Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton, we are now listening to various versions of children’s songs, something I never thought I would hear in my car.

But there is a funny side to this change of the best laid plans…it’s that my husband and I are quickly remembering some of our all time favorite songs as children. We’ve also found that songs that we had perhaps completely forgotten about, can quickly be recalled. So, Saturday instead of singing to the latest Top 40 hit on the radio, we popped in my son’s CD (courtesy of his aunt) and proceeded to sing “This Old Man”, “I Wish I Was a Fish”, and “Mockingbird” at the top of our lungs. All of this, while our son slept peacefully in the backseat.

Every aspect of our life has indeed changed and I’m not even slightly embarrassed to say that I actually love this change.

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Trying NOT to channel my inner Charlotte York

Before I go any further, I feel that I may need to explain just who Charlotte York is. For those of you who know this fictitious character, please forgive me for indulging those who may not.

Charlotte York is the waspy best friend of Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City fame. I used to joke that Charlotte was like a walking magazine rack and by that I meant she had a lot of issues. The one thing that I liked most about Charlotte was her desire to be a mother, to be Miss Susie Homemaker and Betty Crocker all rolled into one super hot lady. She wore dresses and pearls, never looked slobby, even during her pregnancy. All around, Charlotte was a pretty classy lady.

In the latest movie, Charlotte is going through a few parental dramas with her adopted daughter and biological daughter. Charlotte always seemed to have this overly romanticized version of being a mother and secretly (perhaps maybe not so secretly) held the desire to be like June Cleaver, the completely together mom who makes cupcakes for your classes while cleaning the house and maintaining some level of fun and normalcy within the family unit. And oh yeah, Mrs. Cleaver does all of this in her skirts, pearls, and heels.

Charlotte’s parental dilemma is basically a breakdown in which she hides in the pantry and cries about the fact that everything isn’t as it seems and that her visions of children dancing around in one happy family unit, aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Charlotte, even though she has the help of a nanny, feels like she must do it all and when she can’t or when it becomes much too overwhelming, she succumbs to the dreaded monster called Hopelessness.

I, in fact, experienced this same level of hopelessness on Monday. Davey hadn’t slept since around noon on Sunday, except for the periodic 30 minute nap here and there. For the most part, he was only satisfied with being latched to one of my breasts or just being held in general. Sunday night was much the same and needless to say I didn’t get much sleep. He cried most of the morning on Monday. I changed his diaper, fed him non-stop (until I felt like I was completely drained and 5 pounds lighter) and even gave him a supplement. Nothing would work, he just continued to cry which at that point spurned on my crying and breakdown to the level of Charlotte’s in the second Sex and the City movie.

I texted my husband, called my dad, and blubbered on the phone with my mother about being a horrible mother. After all, I couldn’t seem to find a way to appease my son and his crying was moving the point of a near catastrophic breakdown for me. I was sleep deprived, my mind wasn’t exactly thinking and my heart was aching over the fact that I couldn’t fix what was wrong with my son. I told myself I was a horrible mother, as I continued to cradle my son and cry with him. My husband called and I profusely apologized to him for the fact that he married me and chose me to be the mother of his children. He, of course, immediately came home and relieved me for about 3 hours while I caught up on some much-needed sleep.

What I’ve come to realize is that I’m only human. I love my son with all my heart and there’s not a day that goes by that I regret having him. He is my life, my sunshine, my heart, my soul, my flesh and blood, and there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for him. I just have to remind myself that I can’t be Wonder Woman or Wonder Mom for that matter. I can only do so much and can only work with what the good Lord gave me.

Last night, after feeding Davey, I had this paranoia that he wasn’t going to sleep again and I would be at my wit’s end. After putting him to sleep, I said a prayer to God. I asked for Him to continue to walk with me each day, to guide me, and to help me as I raised my son. I asked for forgiveness for any self-doubt I had and thanked Him for giving me the greatest gift in the world….my son.

Day One….Poopy Hand

Today marks the start of my second full week at home with Davey and the first day without my husband at home.

Originally, I had a bit of trepidation and anxiety about being at home with Davey and not having the support of my husband. Would I be able to handle everything? What if something happened and I couldn’t cut it? What if today were to be the day that started post partdum depression (something that I know not every mother experiences, but one that I’ve been terrified would hit me)?

Well, the day is almost over and I have to say that I’ve done more than just survive, I have managed to conquer my fear of not being a good mother.

The day started out with a change of Davey’s diaper and a big ole poop into my hand as I wiped his tushy. I watched my son as he stopped crying and looked me in the eyes and couldn’t help but wonder if he were laughing at me. I wouldn’t blame him if he did, after all, I found it to be quite humorous myself. I thought for a moment, Lord, is this how my day is going to be and is this a sign of things to come or perhaps this is the worst already behind me?

My husband left an hour later for work and I fought hard to keep the lump in my throat down deep and talked myself off the ledge of tears of which I was about to jump. We’ve been one big happy family for over a week, just the three of us, hanging out at home and getting caught up on some much-needed time together. I was sad to see that part ending and that reality was rearing its ugly head again.

For the most part, my day went very well. Not only did I manage to navigate through 4 pee-pee diapers, 2 poopy diapers and one spit up all before lunch, but I also found out my son can hold his binky in his mouth all on his own now. I’m such a proud mommy!

My other worry for the day was being non-productive and not having anything to show for it with my husband, who God love him, had to go into work exhausted from Davey’s nightly feeding that woke him. I survived and felt good about myself and my role as a mother and I can’t wait to see what the next few days will bring and what adventure I will embark upon. Tomorrow is his 2nd doctor’s appointment, my first time driving in 2 weeks and I’m actually super excited about it all. Who knows, perhaps we’ll go see Davey’s Mimi while we’re out.

The Magic of Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding always intimidated me. I decided well before Davey was ever born, even before he was ever thought about, that I would be a breastfeeding mom. It seemed to be the most natural thing to do as a mother (although my mother never did it), not to mention the fact that breastfeeding is cheap. It’s like that old saying: Why pay for the cow when you can get the milk for free? What I didn’t really know about breastfeeding was the emotional attachment that would come along with the ride.

Last week hours after my son was born, I gave breastfeeding its first shot. I recalled all the articles and pictures I’d seen over the months of the best holds for the baby and how to cradle him into my arms. I had my husband bring my boppy to the hospital so that I could use it to help support my son as he suckled. I remembered hearing that at times breastfeeding could be painful, although it shouldn’t be, and because I’m not a big fan of pain, I was actually a bit nervous when my son first latched on.

The initial latch was painful and I actually felt like my son was biting down on my nipple. The pain shot up through my right arm and I felt the nerves causing my arm to twitch. I screamed out and immediately pulled him off. I was quickly questioning the merits of breastfeeding. The lactation nurse guided me with my second attempt and how to get my son to latch on correctly. After a few practices with different poses for his body, I finally figured it out.

Over the past week, I’ve breastfed my son relentlessly, and what’s happened is a new level of love and devotion to my son. I actually look forward to our intimate time together, a time when it’s just me and my son. It’s a time my husband is jealous of, a time that makes me feel like a rock star mom.

What no one ever really told me about breastfeeding is the connection between a mother and her child, a bond that is much stronger than any other a mother will experience. Davey has been with me 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for over 9 months. I feared no longer having him with me and having to share him with the world. Breastfeeding has managed to calm that fear.

He curls up in my arms, at times drawing in his long legs tight up to his body as he suckles on one breast. One arm is usually under his body as I have him cradled to me, while the other is either grasping my breast or at other times on my chest as if he loves to feel the beating of mommy’s heart (and it definitely beats stronger and harder when he’s in my arms). Occasionally, he’ll open his eyes and watch me. And while I know at this point it’s still early for him to focus on me (the nerves in his eyes are not fully developed yet, as is the case with most newborns), I melt as our eyes meet. Usually midway through a feeding, he’ll stretch out his legs and let them hang down the side of my torso giving me full access to his little toes which I love to count over and over.

I’m already sad thinking about the days when I’ll no longer have this time with him, when he’ll go into solid foods and not have that need for his mommy. Breastfeeding is one of the most magical and endearing moments a mother can have with her child, and it’s quickly become my most favorite time of mommyhood.

Heeeerrrrreeee’s Davey!

Finally!

My husband and I finally welcomed our son into the world on Wednesday, September 28th at 4:06 pm in a slightly dramatic fashion.

I know I posted over the final days of my pregnancy about the excruciating discomfort I was in. I was anxious to see my baby boy, to hold him in my arms, to kiss his little cheeks, to count his fingers and toes. My patience was starting to get the better of me and I actually decided to test out some of the earlier myths about inducing labor that I had written about. I had gone through 2 doctor’s appointments of finding out that my cervix wasn’t dilated and at the last visit was told we would figure out the plan for possible induction should my cervix still be closed tightly.

Last Wednesday morning, I had another doctor’s appointment. My husband and I rose from bed, showered and dressed and then actually decided to get a few last-minute items together just in the hope that I would be dilated enough for the doctor to send me to the hospital. I have to admit it was wishful thinking and I knew that I would be coming back home, but still better to be safe than sorry, right?

So, once again my cervix was closed tightly. I can honestly say that I wasn’t as dejected as I had been before, after all I knew that it was only a matter of a few days before my son would be here as the doctors had told me they would not let me go more than a week past my due date. My husband and I asked about the process moving forward for induction and my doctor stated that he wanted to get another ultrasound just to get an estimate as to my son’s weight. Here’s where the excitement began to occur.

While sitting in the ultrasound chair, my belly all gelled up, the technician asked me a very strange question. “Have they told you your baby is breached?”

Huh? That was news to me! Every doctor I had seen over the last month was pretty adamant about the fact that he was in the correct position, head down, butt up. It gets better from there.

“Wow, he looks to be a pretty big boy, around 9 lbs 9 oz., and we may have a problem. I don’t want to alarm you, but there’s very little amniotic fluid around him.”

What did this mean? To say I was nervous and anxious is an understatement especially after the technician informs me that they will likely admit me today and will have to perform a c-section. Again, say what????

After further discussion with my doctor, it was decided that it was best for me NOT to go into labor and that a c-section would have to occur ASAP. The concern at this point was the fact that somehow I had managed to slowly leak out amniotic fluid and there wasn’t much to protect my son as he came into this world.

45 minutes later, my husband and I were checking into the hospital. I was admitted into the high risk atrium, hooked up to monitors for the baby as well as any possible contractions that would indicate labor (something we were desperate to avoid). 3 hours of this and 2 IVs later, I was taken into the operating room for my spinal and then the surgery.

Within 5 minutes of the surgery, my beautiful baby boy came screaming into this world. He wasn’t quite the 9 lbs 9 oz that had been estimated, but wasn’t too far away at 8 lbs 15 oz and 21 inches long. He is a healthy and happy boy, and I couldn’t be happier to be a mother.

Now that my journey through the pregnancy is over, don’t expect my posts to stop there. As a first time mother, I can’t wait to share even more of my day-to-day adventures with you all.

Thank you all for reading my blogs, for the prayers and the support and stay tuned for even more action and adventure as mommy and daddy navigate the waters of Baby Davey!