Another Chapter

Let’s be honest here…I knew there would be sadness, but I didn’t know to this level. Does this sadness change my mind about my decision? Absolutely not. I’m just shocked.

The past few weeks I’ve begun the cleaning up and cleaning out process of baby toys and clothing. Since my husband and I made the decision to have a tubal ligation, I see no need in keeping my house cluttered with baby paraphernalia. I’ve separated out the stained from the pristine, the broken from the fully functional, the slightly used to the completely demolished. I’ve offloaded some of said product at consignment stores, sales, craigslist, and even the Salvation Army.

The first batch was a set of newborn to 3 month old clothing. Truly, this didn’t sadden me as I saw how quickly people were snatching the items up at the consignment sale and my check was growing larger. It was nice to see some money coming from the items, especially since we operate off of one income. The next thing to go was the Mamaroo, which was by far one of our greatest purchases if not for Davey then definitely for Henry. It’s like the Bentley of swings and retails for $200. Davey didn’t use it quite so much, but for the first month of Henry’s life, this was literally the only thing he would sleep in. It became my saving grace, my little piece of sanity in an otherwise crazy world.

I posted the item on craigslist and sold it promptly. As I drove downtown to meet the mother who was to purchase the swing, I had an intense level of excitement. We were getting $100 for this bad boy, something that didn’t cost us a single penny thanks to baby showers and gift cards. We were literally profiting off of this and I was excited to have the cumbersome thing out of my house, but something happened when I put it into the back of the mother’s van. I stroked the seat and walked her through the mechanics of the swing. I touched the spot I had dutifully cleaned where Henry’s diaper had leaked out and I thought back to those days of him whimpering while he slept, the little stretches and yawns, while the swing rocked him off to dreamland. I thought about the nights I was wide awake with him, sitting downstairs in the recliner with the television on, while he rocked away sleepily in the swing. I thought about how he slept through Christmas in that swing…his first Christmas, just 12 days old. And for a brief moment, as the van drove away, I had a lump in my throat. That one little swing had so many memories.

Today, I hauled off a few other items to the Salvation Army. More clothing, accessories, and even Davey and Henry’s tummy time mat. I watched as the gentleman working the garage haphazardly took the contraption from my hands and tossed it into a bin. My mind starting thinking about those poor toys from the movie Toy Story and then it drifted off to what memories were stored up in that little mat. Davey had his roll over on that mat. I was still working at that point. My house was a disaster, I was a disaster, but nothing else mattered except for life around Davey and watching him as he rocked himself a few times before finally flipping from his back to his tummy. What a proud moment that was. And then there’s Henry and his first roll over at just about the same age as his big brother. Now the mat is off to hopefully create new memories with other families.

All of these thoughts have begun to swirl through my head lately and it saddens me. My boys are growing. Chapters have been written, memories made, and new chapters are in progress. I can always unfold those previous chapters in my brain, to read through them at any point, but they are done. There are no more like those, which has its up and downs. It saddens me that I won’t have this opportunity with another child. Does it sadden me to the point of regretting my decision? Absolutely not. I’m blessed and fortunate with the two healthy, happy, smart little boys I have. I’m sure I could handle a third, but at almost the age of 40, I don’t think I really want to.

There are still items left in the house…baby toys, the jumparoo, and even ride on cars for which Davey is much too big, but Henry is just getting to the age to enjoy. There are more memories to be made and I look forward to each waking morning when I get the opportunity to make those memories. Still, I never really knew how much purging my house of never to be used again baby items would affect me.

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Good Night, Sweetheart

I’ve found myself singing that old Sha-Na-Na song, “Good night, Sweetheart”, when trying to put Henry to bed. I’ve actually found myself doing a lot of things over the past three weeks in an effort to put Davey to bed at night. Lately, I’ve felt like sleeping at night is more like a chemistry experiment, as opposed to just getting in my nice warm bed and closing my eyes and drifting off. And let me just say, I HATED Chemistry. I sucked at it, couldn’t stand it, and was beyond being excited when those days of my high school were over.

You see, here’s my issue, and it’s the same issue countless other parents experience…getting your child to sleep.

Some days I wish I had a time machine and could perhaps just go back and literally watch what my husband and I did with Davey in order to get him to sleep at night. Other days I really wish I’d done a better job of documenting his sleep patterns, but who would have really thought that would come in handy? I’ve even scoured through this blog to see if I had posted in advice on getting a baby to sleep. The only thing I found was that Davey HAD to be swaddled. It was the only way he would sleep. Henry? Not so much. So, now I feel like we’re starting over again, which technically we are.

Henry sleeps, but it’s not a quiet sleep. He’s a grunter and a moaner and it takes some time for him to fall asleep. Davey would immediately go back to sleep after he was swaddled and nursed. It was pretty easy peasy and I even found myself jumping up some times at night just to check on him because he was such a quiet sleeper. Not the case with Henry. I’m having to figure out a way to tune out all the grunts just so that I can get some sort of shut eye!

We’ve tried the swaddling. We’ve tried the rocking. We’ve tried the white noise (which by the way worked in the hospital on his 2nd night). We’ve tried his crib. We’ve tried the bassinet. We’ve tried giving him a bottle of breast milk. We’ve tried everything and what we seem to find right now that works the best (although not as good as anything did with Davey) is to put him in the Mamaroo alongside my part of the bed, turn it on, and let him go to sleep. Even then, he stills has the occasional grunt and moan, but not as bad as when he’s lying out flat on his back.

I’m sure I’m going to get some stunned comments about this post. I’m sure there will be some mother(s) out there who feel that I’m practicing unhealthy and perhaps unsafe sleep with Henry. I can assure you, we’ve taken every precaution necessary, but we ALL (including Henry) need some sleep.

I’ve googled possible diets I should be on in the event that it’s something I’m eating that’s passing through my breast milk that’s keeping him from sleeping. I believe he does have acid reflux as he want lie out flat to sleep and anytime we try to put him that way he immediately starts spitting up and then develops the hiccups that of course seem to anger him and keep him awake. I’m pretty adamant about breast feeding Henry, but I wonder if there is perhaps a type of formula I could try as a supplement?

So, with this blog, I’m really looking for some help out there, Moms. I know it’s early and I know I shouldn’t expect for him to be sleeping through the night quite so soon, but he should still be sleeping and not have to sleep on an incline. Any suggestions of what to try? And please, I’m really not interested in being berated or criticized for the fact that he sleeps in a Mamaroo right now. I don’t anticipate this lasting forever.

Much thanks!

Marking Territories

Everyone told me to be prepared for this. For the past 3 weeks, I’ve bragged about Davey NOT behaving as everyone said he would. From day one, he held his little brother lovingly, would greet him in the mornings with a handshake and a, “nice to meet you, Henry.” I was just so proud and knew for certain that my sweet Davey would stun the world. Unfortunately, I’ve allowed myself to live in an altered reality, at least in my head.

Today marks the first day of me operating solo with both of my boys. Henry woke me at 5:30, so after nursing him, I climbed into the shower, then trudged downstairs for a cup of coffee and my 30 minutes of Bible study. It’s a new day in a new year, so why not start it off structured and organized, right? Davey slept until almost 8 am which means he missed seeing his daddy this morning. I did my normal morning routine of singing my own personal take on “Good Morning”, from the musical Singing in the Rain, and dressed Davey. As a side note, when I wake him he requests “Good Morning”.

So, Davey and I talked during breakfast. We counted, said our ABCs, and sang a couple of songs, all of which we’ve done PH (moving forward, this stands for Pre-Henry). It wasn’t until Henry started crying, that the demeanor of my cute and sweet little two year old morphed into something I’d hoped we’d never encounter…the Jealousy Monster.

This morning, all I’ve heard is Davey say that he doesn’t like Henry. I’ve watched him scowl when I would pick up Henry to nurse him. “No, Mama, no. Not feed Henry.” I’ve tried to read to Davey while nursing Henry (which worked last week), but instead I got, “mama is Davey mama, not Henry.” I told Davey I could still read to him, which seemed to be fine until Henry became fussy again. I told Davey I needed to change Henry’s diaper, “no, mama, not change Henry diaper. put him in floor.” I’m shocked, although I shouldn’t be. Everyone told me Davey would start becoming territorial.

Over the weekend, I was paged upstairs to Davey’s room while my husband was putting Davey to bed. I handed off Henry and went into Davey’s room. He wanted mommy to read to him! How wonderfully sweet, I thought. So, I read to him, but when I would try to leave I was met with tears and sobs followed by, “mommy, hold me. Mommy, I love you. Mommy, don’t leave me. Mommy, please come back, I be a good boy, please, mommy.” It tore me up! I eventually had to leave to nurse Henry, so my husband took over with Davey. I listened through the monitor as my husband explained to Davey that mommy still loved him, but she also loves Henry. At first, it felt so good because it meant Davey needed me, but lately I feel bad because I can’t let everything be about him anymore.

And as if I needed something more on my plate, Henry has decided that today is the day he MUST be held. I’ve bragged about the fact that he seems to be more independent than Davey was, that he’s content to be in the pack and play or the Mamaroo, but not today. Much like Davey, Henry seems to be marking his territory while thumbing his nose at his big brother. It’s going to be a fun, fun world in the Doser household moving forward.

First Week is in the Books!

I often spent many a night before Henry was born wondering how we were going to handle two children in the house. I pondered how difficult it would be with a newborn and even worried about my two year old becoming more rebellious than normal. I imagined everything I possibly could, most of which was bad, before we were discharged from the hospital. As the nurse was transporting me down to the car, my newborn son cradled into my arms, an immense fear seemed to take hold of me and I felt as if a heavy boulder was pushing down on my chest. Where was all of my excitement and bliss about my sweet little baby? Where were all the daydreams about a happy, romantic family ala the days of Norman Rockefeller or the Waltons? All feelings I’d had when my son was first born and placed into my arms quickly dissipated and reality set in. Could I do this? Well, let’s just fill you in on week one…

My husband had to work all week. There wasn’t a grace period of sorts like there was with Davey. He’s been promoted since the days when Davey was born and with that promotion comes much larger responsibilities. If he were in his old job, he would have been home, but if he were in his old job, I wouldn’t be a stay-at-home mom, either. So, Tuesday started out the first official day of being home with Henry and with Davey and it was a piece of cake. Davey had school, so my husband went into work late to take him. My mom and dad came to stay with me and help out with Henry. Piece of cake. Flash forward to that evening when my husband came home from work and informed me that he had to be in Pinehurst, NC for a job all day on Wednesday (a 5 hour drive from our house). As a side note, I hope the project manager for this job gets a bag of poop from Santa. Because of this job, the rest of the week became a catastrophe.

Wednesday morning, my husband took me and Henry to Henry’s first doctor’s appointment and my dad stayed with Davey. Thanks to the C-section and the pain medication, I was unable to drive us. At least the one side perk to this day was that Henry had gained 4 ounces in 2 days! He IS my little porker. After depositing us back at home with my dad, my husband drove back to work, got his rental car and took off east bound and down for NC. He was not to return until 8 o’clock that evening. Thankfully, my mother had arrived in the afternoon and we had a wonderful dinner. Now here’s where the week gets better (insert sarcasm) and once again I blame it on the Pinehurst trip. Did I say that I wanted Santa to leave the project manager a bag of poop? I did? Well, let’s make that a BIG bag of poop.

Thursday morning, my husband walked out the door for work only to find that the rental car he was driving had been broken into. Sigh. So, between entertaining my 2 year old and nursing my 6 day old, I had to call the police, file a report, get my husband back here, have forensics go over the car, contact the rest of the board on our HOA (I’m one of the V.P.’s), get a post on our neighborhood Facebook page, and call a locksmith. I hope this thief gets just as big a bag of poop as the project manager in Pinehurst. And oh, by the way, my parents informed me they could not come over first thing on Friday morning to help because their freezer had gone out and they needed to find a way to salvage a few thousand dollars worth of food. Again…sigh. Surely, Friday would be better!

Friday rolls around and to start the day off on the right note, Henry had started sleeping 4 hour increments at night! Woo hoo! Unfortunately, my husband didn’t get to really enjoy the extra sleep seeing as how he had to be on the road at 4:30 for another day of travel that probably would not end until after 8 o’clock again. It was ok, because I was hitting my stride with a toddler and a newborn. So, just when I thought everything was under control, we lost power. I called the power company while dealing with an antsy toddler and a screaming newborn only to have the lady tell me there was no power outage. I’m sorry!?!? Did we forget to pay our powerbill? Come to find out there was a fire at a local substation. We were without power for 3 hours. And while at first I became frantic, I quickly slid into play mode with my 2 year old while my one week old slept. The other plus side to the day was that at least my husband was able to come home early and we could go to a family Christmas party where I was informed that I didn’t look like I’d just had a baby a week before. SCORE! Insert a HUGE happy smile and even a happy dance.

So, long story short, I survived the first week. Davey is adapting very well to having a little brother. When Henry cries, he says, “Don’t cry, Henry, it be ok.” Every morning he greets Henry with a handshake and a “nice to see you, Henry.” Henry seems to enjoy the Mamaroo which means my hands are free to do a lot more. It may not be as glamorous or romantic as what’s portrayed in Hollywood, but it’s the most wonderful thing I’ve ever had. Here’s looking forward to the rest of our lives.