Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Yes I am still talking about sleep

I am sorry that I keep talking about sleep, but I don't think you understand. PORGIE IS SLEEPING IN HER CRIB!!! It is not a fluke. I can put my baby down awake in her crib and she will go to sleep. SHE IS PUTTING HER SELF TO SLEEP!!!

Now that you understand, we can move on. I have a really bad habit of cursing. Trust me when I tell you that I swear like a fucking sailor. I realize that this is not good for Porgie. So, I have decided to stop. But I didn't think this would be so damn hard.

I drop the F bomb, left and right. Fuck this and fuck that and fuck you! For a few weeks, I would catch myself getting ready to say that awful word, and I would alter it. So, instead of saying "FUCK!!!" when I stubbed my toe, I would say "Fucky ducky!" I realize that this is not the best solution for the problem. I can already imagine Porgie dropping her crayon box in school and yelling "Fucky ducky!" It would be adorable, but I don't think her teachers would appreciate her dirty little mouth.

Before having Porgie, I was a teacher. I didn't curse in front of my students, but during my lunch break the expletives would start to fly. Some of the other teachers would look at me in shocked disbelief. I guess they didn't appreciate my colorful vocabulary.

So, although I have thoroughly enjoyed my vulgar language, like all good things, it must end. Now I just need to find the fucking strength to stop.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Breastfeeding is HARD

When I was pregnant, I decided that breastfeeding was the best thing I could do for my baby. The thought that my body could support and nourish her was amazing. I wanted to experience the bonding and closeness that breastfeeding entails. Most importantly, I wanted my baby to be healthy.

After the c-section, I became very ill. I was vomiting into a bucket, while shaking violently. I felt cold, but I was sweating profusely. The room was spinning, and I just kept vomiting. Apparently, my body did not like the medication they had used during the surgery. I actually vomited several times, while they were performing the c-section. Porgie was taken to the nursery to go under a warmer. The nurse came in and asked if she could give my baby a bottle of formula. Between heaves, I agreed. I just could imagine trying to breastfeed her. This was my first mistake.

After the vomiting , hot flashes, and shakes dissipated, Porgie was brought into my room. She was so beautiful and fragile and small. I fell in love instantly. I remember thinking that she looked just like my husband, but had my nose. I tried to breastfeed Porgie, but we encountered a problem. She absolutely refused to open her mouth wide enough to get a good latch. After several attempts, Porgie was crying and so was I. We called the lactation consultant, who showed up for about three seconds. She forcefully shoved Porgie's head into my breast and left a stack of information. Then she was gone. I wish that I had demanded more instruction on getting a proper latch. This was my second mistake.

The struggle with getting Porgie to latch continued for the next three days. She would get so hungry, she would begin crying hysterically. The nurses would come in and suggest formula. Thinking more clearly this time around, I would not let them give her a bottle. So, they fed her formula with a syringe (without the needle, of course). By day four, my milk had finally come in and Porgie was starting to latch. We were sent home with our new little bundle of joy.

After being home for a day or two my nipples started to hurt. Well, not just hurt - it felt like Porgie was going to rip my nipples off. My nipples started to crack and bleed. Every time I tried to feed her, I wanted to scream. The pain was intense. But trying to be a good mommy, I fought through the pain and continued to breastfeed. However, we had developed a new problem. Everytime I tried to nurse Porgie, she fell asleep. I would rub her head, burp her frequently, and even undress her. Nothing seemed to keep her awake. However, when I layed her down in the bassinet, she would instantly start screaming. So, I would try to breastfeed her again, with the same results.

When I went back to my OB to have my staples removed, I told her about my bleeding nipples. She took one look at them and told me to go rent a breast pump. She explained that I needed to give my nipples time to heal. She recommended that I pump for 3 days and to let my husband give Porgie bottles of expressed breastmilk. So, I rented the pump. For three days I pumped, while John gave her bottles. I was only able to pump 10 cc of breastmilk from each breast, so we supplemented with a little formula.

After the three days, my nipples felt 75 % better, so we started breastfeeding exclusively again. Once again, Porgie would fall asleep before filling her tummy and wake up right when I layed her down in the bassinet. She seemed to be crying A LOT. I felt like something just wasn't right.

At Porgie's first doctor's appointment, she had not regained her birth weigh. The doctor didn't seem very concerned, but she recommended I talk with their lactation consultation. Once again, the LC didn't seem very helpful. So, I went home and continued to nurse Porgie exclusively, despite the fact that she always cried when our nursing session was over.

The next week Porgie had still not regained her birth weight. The LC recommended that I start giving Porgie a bottle of formula after every breastfeeding session, just to top her off. Not wanting to use that evil formula and bottle, I stubbornly continued to breastfeed exclusively. Do you see a theme here? I am a stubborn asshole.

So week three rolls around, and Porgie had still not regained her birth weight. Let me specify that she had not lost weight, but she had only gained an ounce or two. The doctor (a different doctor from the first two visits) seemed very alarmed. She told me that Porgie HAD to start taking formula - at least 24 ounces per day. She basically said that my baby wasn't thriving and that something had to change. I started crying. I explained how I breastfeed her constantly and how she still cried and cried and cried. She proclaimed that formula would solve all my problems. I didn't like this doctor.

I left her office and cried all the way home. I was ready to give up breastfeeding. It was causing me nothing but heartache. It certainly wasn't the magical bonding experience that I thought it was going to be.

That night, I gave Porgie Formula. She gulped it down. For the first time in weeks, she appeared content. I cried again. I felt like I had been starving my baby. Why didn't I listen to my instincts? Why didn't I listen to the LC?

The pump I had rented was still sitting on my table. That night, I decided to start pumping for Porgie and supplementing with formula as needed. My milk supply was surprisingly low. I could only get about an ounce total per pumping session. To get my milk supply up, I started pumping 8 times a day. I would still breastfeed Porgie when she needed comforting, and I always breastfeed her at night.

Overtime, my milk supply slowly began to increase. Unfortunately, as time passed Porgie's interest in breastfeeding declined. By 3 months, she would scream her little head off when I tried to nurse her. So, I stopped trying to breastfeed her and pumped exclusively for the next 3 months. By the time she was 6 months old, I was pumping about 24 ounces per day. Porgie only took one bottle of formula per day.

When Porgie turned 6 months old, John and I were planning a trip to visit both his family and mine. John had been hinting that maybe I should stop pumping. I realized that pumping was difficult for me, but it was also a burden for him. I was constantly cutting family outings short to get home to pump. I often asked him to do extra baby chores so that I could pumped. I would get out of bed at ungodly hours to pump.

So with a heavy heart, I made the decision to stop pumping. This was an extremely difficult decision. I felt like I was letting Porgie down. I felt selfish. John was supportive, but he didn't understand my feelings of guilt. It just made me sad knowing that I was deciding to stop, when my body was clearly willing to produce milk for her. It still makes me sad almost 2 months later. I wish that I had made it until her 1st birthday. I think I'll always feel a sense of remorse about my decision.

On a positive note, Porgie doesn't really seem to care whether I give her formula or breastmilk. I always secretly thought that she liked breastmilk better than formula, but apparently I was wrong. She gulps down her formula and begs for more. I have so much to be thankful for. She is a healthy and happy baby girl.

Holy Crap!

I have the most amazing news to report. My baby only woke up once last night. ONE TIME!!! And she has slept in her crib for three nights in a row. THREE NIGHTS!!! I am just overjoyed and elated. While co sleeping, Porgie always woke at least three times a night. I have gotten so much sleep over the past three days. I feel great and wonderful and happy and alert.

Just now, like 5 minutes ago, Something really really amazing happened. I feed Porgie her bottle, but she didn't go to sleep. When this happens, I usually put her in her swing until she falls asleep. Well I was feeling brave, so I put her in the crib. She fussed around for like 10 minutes and fell asleep on her own. I am so happy I could cry. Seriously, the tears are welling up in my eyes right now.

I know that she might have regressions, but I now know that she is capable of putting herself to sleep. This is such a major step forward. I think I just fell in love with my husband all over again. If it wasn't for him, I can guarantee you that Porgie would not be sleeping in her crib. I am so weak willed, that I run to her at the first whimper. Obviously, she doesn't need me to pick her up at the first cry. Porgie never cried longer than 2 minutes, the entire weekend. Just letting her fuss for a few minutes seems to be all she needs. I am so proud of my baby!


I will be posting about my woes with breastfeeding in the next day or two. It is a long and complicated story, so be ready to read.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

A little history...

When I was four months pregnant with Porgie, John and I moved from Kentucky to New Jersey. After the move, we discovered that I had pregnancy induced hypertension. I was on bed rest for the majority of the pregnancy. I developed no major complications from the high blood pressure, and the rest of my pregnancy was fairly uneventful.

Two days after my due date, my water broke. I had tested positive for Group B Strep, so I had to go to the hospital immediately. Once I arrived they reported that I was 3 cm dilated. So, they stuck me in a bed and hooked me up to a fetal monitor. The problem was that I wasn't having regular or strong contractions. In an attempt to get my labor started, my nurse began administering pitocin. That shit is strong! I began having horrible contractions. I felt like my spine was going to shatter into a million little pieces.

After being at the hospital for a good 10 hours, they checked me again. I was only 5 cm dilated. I wanted to die. How can 10 hours of pain result in 2 little cm? Of course, I was weak and asked for the epidural. That shit is good! All of my pain faded to the background. The world was rainbows and unicorns again.

After about 4 more hours, they checked me again. I was still 5 cm dilated. The doctor explained that after a woman reaches 5 cm, she typically dilates 1 cm per hour. My labor had stalled. She let me know that a c-section was likely. I did not want a c-section. I really wanted to experience a vaginal birth.

After 4 more hours, she checked me again. Guess what? I was still 5 cm dilated. They scheduled me for the c-section. The next hour was a whirlwind of activity. Before I knew what happened, I was laying on the operating table, all drugged up. However, I do remember Porgie's first cry. I looked over at John and smiled. I couldn't believe we had a baby. Porgie was born at 10:21pm. She was perfect in every way.

I stayed in the hospital for 4 days, where I suffered from the baby blues. I cried at the drop of a hat. This leads to a discussion about breastfeeding, which is a story for another day.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

And she sleeps... part of the night

Last night John decided to help me with Porgie. He always says to wake him if I need help, but for some odd reason I never do. But I was so exhausted that I couldn't resist the temptation.

John is so much smarter than I am. He decided that we should put Porgie in the crib, but to place her on top of my sheet. That way she would think she was on our bed when she awoke. He's a pretty smart guy. He also wanted to put her blanket in the crib. She has this small pink blanket that she likes to cuddle occasionally. Being the paranoid person that I am, I tied the blanket into two big knot, to avoid any risk of suffocation.

So, at 8:00 I took Porgie into our room and gave her a bottle. When she was completely asleep, I transferred her to the crib. Then at 9:00, john and I went to sleep. Porgie didn't wake up until midnight. I woke John and he went in to feed her a bottle. I went back to sleep. Porgie woke up again at 1:00. John went in to comfort her. I went back to sleep. Porgie woke up at 3:00. I woke John, but he said that he wasn't going to go back in until she was really crying. Porgie fussed around in the crib, without crying, until 5:00. Finally, she fell back to sleep and slept until 7:30.

This might not sound that great, but it was wonderful having her sleep in her own crib. I think I got more sleep last night, than I have gotten in 3 or 4 months. I am hopeful that we have turned a new leaf. Maybe Porgie will start sleeping in her crib for longer stretches.

Friday, January 26, 2007

I am the most rotten mommy in the world

This morning I just about lost it with Porgie. I was so overwhelmed and frustrated, I honestly didn't even want to look at her. Last night she woke me up 4 time. I HAD to feed her in order for her to go back to sleep. Then, she woke me up at 6:00 am for the day. Needless to say, I wasn't in the best mood from the very start.

I tried to be happy. We played on the floor, ate some prunes, and watched a baby video. At 9:00 she began looking tired, and she was getting a little cranky. I made her a bottle and we went into the bedroom. She gulped down the milk and was fast asleep by 9:20. Being extremely sleepy, I layed down next to her and drifted off to sleep too.

I was jarred awake by a little foot kicking me in the ribs. I opened my eyes to see a fully awake Porgie. I rolled over and looked at the clock. It was 9:52. She had only been asleep for 32 minutes. I layed there praying that she might go back to sleep. Instead of going to sleep, she began crying.

I dragged myself out of bed and took her into the kitchen. I put her in the exersaucer and she cried. I put her on the floor and she cried. I placed her in the swing and she cried. I decided that maybe she was still hungry, so I put her in the highchair. Guess what? She cried. I got out the squash and attempted to feed her anyway. She screamed bloody murder and I lost my shit. I yelled at my precious baby. I think I told her to "STOP CRYING!!!!"

Instantly, she started screaming even louder. It was one of those quivering cries, that usually make my heart break. Not today. I grabbed her out of the chair, put her jacket on her, and headed out to the car. I had no sympathy for her.

You might be wondering - where is she going with a crying baby? Why shopping, of course. Porgie calmed down once we started driving, but I was still angry. I didn't calm down until we were half way through our shopping trip.

The thing that really disturbs me, is that my lack of sleep makes me so short tempered. I have decided that something has to be done to remedy this horrible sleep situation. This lack of sleep is negatively affecting my relationship with Porgie, John, and my pets. I am just no fun to be around. I think we may have to start letting Porgie 'cry it out.'

Thursday, January 25, 2007

It's not my fault

Today is not a very good day. Porgie took a very short nap this morning, which resulted in a mean and cranky baby. I couldn't take her constant whining, so we headed out to the nearest Target Store.

I have a really bad habit of going shopping when I am frustrated or angry. Therefore, I spent entirely way too much money at the store today.

It started out innocent enough - I am just going to look, no buying. First I went to the clothing section. I saw these really cute jeans for only $16 - they were normally $27. I couldn't pass up such a good deal and besides, I need new pants to fit my new huge ass.

Next, we went to the baby section - just to look. I see this vibrating teething ring. Porgie had a vibrating teething ring, but it is broken. I showed her how the ring vibrated and she got really excited. She was flapping her arms and smiling. I couldn't resist. We got the teething ring.

We pass the baby section and start down the aisles of randomness - you know cleaning supplies, outdoor wreaths, crafts, etc. I see the scrapbook aisle and I try to pass it, but I can't. I am so weak. I quickly turn down the aisle, and I see this adorable scrapbook kit for baby girls. It was so cute and pretty, I had to get it for Porgie's baby book.

Finally, we come to the movie section. I don't want any movies, this section will be easy. What is that? Arrested Development - season 2. I do love season 1. It is only $20. So, you guessed it - I bought season 2.

What the hell is wrong with me? I not even going to tell you some of the other things I purchased. Just let me say that John is going to flip out when I get my credit card bill. It is really not my fault. I totally blame Porgie's whiny attitude. Yeah, it is definitely her fault. I don't even see how I could be held responsible for this.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

My head HURTS, so you get random thoughts

My head hurts. I mean it really hurts. I have this pounding pain on my forehead, that just won't go away. What could be causing this pain? SLEEP DEPRIVATION. Porgie woke up 4 times last night, and got up for the day at 6:00am. What the hell is wrong with that child?

Anyways, I tried on the adorable bathing suit last night and, of course, it doesn't fit. So now I have to take the damn suit back and get a bigger size. This baby needs to stop growing. I don't know what size to even buy her anymore. She is only 7 months old, but somehow she needs 12 month clothing. What the hell is up with that?

I called my cousin today. I love my cousin to death. She is like a sister to me, but she is a little intellectually challenged. She has twins, and they are both sick. Her little boy had the flu, which turned into pneumonia. My cousin kept calling it ammonia. I corrected her like 80 times, but she kept calling it ammonia. DUH!!!!

My husband left me the most obvious note this morning. It snowed this weekend and our front steps are icy. They have been icy for 3 days - 3 DAYS. The note said that the front steps are icy and to be careful. Keep in mind that I went out of the house every day this week, and John knows this. Maybe he is a little intellectually challenged too.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The water is fun

I live in NewJersey, which is awesome because we are pretty close to the beach. Porgie was born in June of last year, so needless to say we didn't go the beach. So, I can't wait to take Porgie swimming this summer. However, I am fearful that she won't like the water. This fear is rooted in the fact that one of my younger brothers hated swimming when he was a baby. He would scream and cry every time you took him to the pool. I desperately want Porgie to like the water.

In an effort to get Porgie use to the water, I am signing her up for a swimming class at the Y. I am all excited about getting her in the water. Today, I went bathing suit shopping. Infant swim suits are too adorable. I loved every suit I saw. I was tempted to also purchase the matching robe and flip flops, but I resisted the urge. We ended up getting a pink suit, with big cherries all over the front.

While I was at the store, I also looked at the baby walkers. I have read that walkers are really dangerous and that they don't actually help a baby learn to walk. Apparently, the muscles a baby uses in a walker are different from the muscles he/she use for walking. For months I have been telling my family not to buy her a walker. However, I find myself wanting to buy a new toy. She already has a baby gym, a bouncy seat, an exersaucer, a swing, and various other loud noisy toys. But she just seems to be bored with all of her toys. I know that she wants to mobile, because she often cries to be carried around the house. If she wants to play with something along the way, she will twist and turn her body to reach the object she desires. I have almost dropped her on more than one occasion. Also, Porgie is soooooo heavy. I think I really want the walker to give my arms a break. I just can't decide what to do...

Monday, January 22, 2007

A Nice Evening

On Sunday, my husband and I celebrated our 2nd anniversary. We decided to spend the day at home, but to go out to eat for dinner. After much debating, we finally decided to eat at Olive Garden - one of my favorite restaurants.

At 4:30 , we bundled Porgie up and headed out. I was hoping that if we got there early, there wouldn't be a wait. I was soooooo wrong. We pulled into the parking lot and couldn't even find a damn parking spot. When we finally made it into the lobby, there were a ton of people waiting for a table. I was convinced that Porgie was going to get bored and fussy before we even got a table.

To my surprise, Porgie was fascinated with this new environment. She stared at all the people walking by and just smiled. When we finally got to our table, she played quietly with her toys. I was so impressed with her behavior. My husband and I had such a great dinner.

Sometimes it seems like being a mommy is so overwhelming and demanding. But you know, it is kind of a good thing. She makes me appreciate the little things in life, like having a nice dinner with my husband. I am so lucky to have her in my life.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Sleep deprived

Have I mentioned that I am sleep deprived? If not, I am sleep deprived. My baby is a horrible night sleeper. She wakes every few hours to eat. Now if she was a newborn this would be fine. My daughter is 7 months old. She has been waking me up three times a night for 7 MONTHS. I am sleep deprived.

I just don't have the will-power to let her cry. When she cries, I feel nervous, jittery, and on edge. Also, she is so strong willed that I am positive that she would cry for hours and hours and hours and ...

I know that something has to give, because I find myself becoming increasingly angry when she wakes me at night. It is hard to find the energy to get up with her, when I KNOW she doesn't need to eat. She is such a chubby little girl - she is 26 inches long and weighs 20 lbs!

We are currently co sleeping. In the hope that maybe I was waking her with my night movements, I tried putting her to sleep in her crib. However, she still wakes like clock work at 12:30 am, 3:30 am, and 6:30 am before getting up for the day at 7:30 am.

Since getting about 5 hours of broken sleep for the past 7 months, I have become increasingly moody. I can't help it. My head hurts nearly all the time. I am a Tylenol junky. Yesterday, my husband FINALLY agreed to get up with her in the morning. I get a few extra hours of sleep and I felt wonderful all day. However, this morning I feel like my cranky self again.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Blah blah blah and I have baby!

Where to begin? My name is Christy. When I was a kid, everyone called me Cakerwakers. I don't know where this name came from or what it means, but it is fun to say - isn't it? I live in New Jersey with my husband, John, and my baby daughter, Porgie. We are a happy little family, but I am often cranky. Please excuse my negative attitude. I have been sleep deprived for 7 months.

I grew up in Kentucky. No, I am not a hillbilly, I don't have an accent, and I don't know anything about horses. Stop stereotyping me! My husband and I have been living in New Jersey for about a year. We live in a great little neighborhood, where no-one (except my family) is under the age of 104. I am serious. It smells like an old folks home on my street.

My daughter was born in June of 2006. She is my only child, and I am obsessed with her. I am sure I will talk about her way to much, and you will be annoyed. Sorry in advance.

My husband and I have been married for 2 years, but we have been together for 9 years. He is a much better person than I am. I often say mean and hateful things to him, because I am a mean and hateful person. Also, he hates blogs. WHY??? Because he doesn't like the word blog.

Well just in case you were wondering, I am writing this blog because I am bored. Since having my daughter, I feel isolated and cut-off from the world. This is my way to reconnect with adults and to share my experiences.