Here’s what I did on my last week of maternity leave:
Sent bad doggie to day care to wipe him out for days
Hung out on the couch with Baxter and the baby
Lots of snuggling
I have two weeks of maternity leave left. At this point, I’m technically on vacation.
As much as I dislike working (not necessarily my job, just working), I’m not good at home. I’m lazy yet bored. I feel isolated and some days desperate to talk to someone besides an infant and a puppy. Thankfully (?) people insist on talking to me about the baby all the time. As an aside: she’s dressed completely in pink, why would you think she’s a boy???
Here’s my big, ugly confession: I have named all of the baby’s toys. They all have personalities too. My world was rocked when I learned that Betty the Butterfly was really Freddie the Firefly. Mortimer the Moose is a wannabe Brit, Tommy the Turtle may be gay. I named a dog “Baxter 2″ today. I need to talk to grown ups!!!
If I knew I was staying home for more than 14 weeks, I think I would have had to get on a schedule. And I’d definitely have to get some stay at home mom friends, maybe even join a group or two. Being alone gets old fast. I’ve tried to make plans every day, and the days I don’t get out drive me crazy. I shop a lot but don’t necessarily buy anything.
I wouldn’t have listened to the people who told me I’d spoil the baby by holding her too much. I know that you can’t spoil a brand new baby. And I did (do) hold her a lot, but now that I won’t be with her all day, I wish I had held her more. My favorite times are when she wakes up too early, eats and falls asleep on me. Then I fall asleep, and Baxter joins us on the bed, and I wake up to Willie Geist on the Today show, and all is right with the world.
I learned I really do hate to clean. Faced with the option of cleaning or wandering stores aimlessly, I always choose wandering.
I learned (really, always knew), that eft to my own devices, I will not exercise. I need to be told what to do and just do it. I can come up with 25 reasons not to jump on the treadmill or go for a walk. But if there’s a DVD with a man telling me to jump, I’ll do it. Even if that man speaks about himself in the third person (Shaun T gets tired during Insanity!)
I learned that dressing a boy may have been easier.
I would have stayed off Pinterest – it just made me feel guilty. I thought I’d do all this stuff when I had the time. Now I have the time, but I still don’t want to be all crafty. And, really, I don’t want my Elf on the Shelf to make a mess. I have a dog for that.
Most importantly, I learned that no matter how tired I was/am/will be always, how ready I am to go back to work, how many nights I thought “What the hell have I gotten myself in to”, the fact my pants still don’t fit and possibly never will, the possibility that Molly the Monkey thinks I’m certifiable, all the “am I a good enough mom” worries I have at 3am when I’m wondering if the baby is okay…this makes it all worth it
This was my only race of 2012, which is kind of sad. But, it is what it is, and I knew I wanted this to be my first race post baby. Even though this year was a lot different from last year, I’m still glad I did it.
A nice perk of this race is that, if you go get your number on Saturday, you get a free beer. So J & I took Emilia with us for a ride and out tolunch. It would have been nicer if I hadn’t left my license at home and could have enjoyed a free beer, but it was still a nice afternoon. The baby wasn’t all that impressed by the lack of beer, though.
The weather was great on Sunday, and we left the baby at my parents so we could enjoy the day. While I have a great jogging stroller, I didn’t bother getting the infant seat adaptor since I’d only use it for a few months, and really, it’s not like I’m running every day. By the spring, the baby will be able to hold her head up well enough to go in the jogger and the weather will be getting warm again, so we’ll take advantage of it then.
J & I decided to stick together during the race, which, in retrospect, wasn’t the best idea. You know how sometimes people you exercise with motivate you to keep going or to run faster? That didn’t happen. We walked a lot, and were just kind of “eh” about the whole running thing. I’d say we did about a 50/50 split of running and walking, and finished in 42 minutes. Nothing to write home about, but we didn’t exactly give it our all either.
The best part of this race is the after party. Plenty of beer on tap, and great food. My college roommate came down to run (and smoked us), and we saw some friends we haven’t seen in way too long. After a few beers and some mac & cheese, we headed to dinner at my parents and a happy, spoiled baby.
There probably won’t be any more races in 2012, but I promise the Mews won’t be the only one in 2013!
I said all sorts of stuff about how I’d raise my hypothetical child before I had her. I tried to include the words “I’d like to…” or “I plan on trying…” rather than “I will definitely…” so that I wouldn’t look like a complete idiot when made to eat my words. Now that we’re two months in, here’s where I’ve netted out:
I blew it all in the hospital. I had a very detailed birth plan. It was: “Get drugs. Have baby. Have goop wiped off baby before holding.” When I checked into Labor & Delivery, the nurse asked if I wanted the baby cleaned up before I held her. I said no. I don’t even know why I said no, the word just came out of my mouth. (We never got to that point, but I think I would have been okay either way).
My hospital “strongly encouraged” rooming in. I “strongly encouraged” sleeping, so I swore I’d send the baby to the nursery. After I had her, it was late, my parents (who were stalking me in the waiting room while I was in surgery) visited, and no one really asked if I wanted her to go the nursery. Plus, I was traumatized by her birth and didn’t want she or J to leave my side. The next night, I figured I’d have to nurse her every two hours, so she could stay. I didn’t count on the fact she wouldn’t go back to sleep immediately after eating, so by my last night I was an exhausted, sobbing mess, and it was “strongly encouraged” that I send her to the nursery. I also swore there was no reason for J to spend nights with me in the hospital, but after realizing how hard it was to get out of bed every ten minutes to care for a screaming newborn, he only spent one of the four nights at home.
Once Emilia came home, it just continued.
What I said: I want to nurse for at least 6 months (or until baby had teeth), and would build up a stock of pumped milk to send her to day care with when I went back to work.
What I did: I nursed for 7 weeks and never pumped enough to give her a pumped bottle more than once a day, if I was lucky. It was hard, and I had to stop for my own sanity as much as for Emilia’s health and happiness. Overall, I’m okay with the decision, but sometimes I think – I should have tried harder. Then I look at the baby who never screams unless its been 3 hours since her last bottle, sleeps for 6 hour stretches at night, and gained 2 pounds in a month, and I think – Nah, its okay!
What I said: I’ll wear her in the Ergo all the time and get stuff done.
What I did: I do like the Ergo, but she’s too little to use it without the infant insert, which is an extra step. And it makes both of us hot, sweaty messes. She likes it, though. I wear her when she gets fussy and I don’t feel like holding her, I wore her at the wine tasting last week, and when I raked yesterday (that didn’t last long). I do see myself using it more when she’s a little less squishy and easier to get her in and out of it.
What I said: We’ll take her everywhere with us!
What I did: She does go wherever we go, within reason. She’s been out to eat multiple times, and usually sleeps, but does sometimes get fussy. She doesn’t scream though, we pick her up or feed her ASAP. I try to take her out every day – for a walk, to the store, out to lunch, the vineyard (she may have a drinking problem). I realize she’s at the stage where she’s highly portable, and this freedom could change at any minute! We also do things without her, we left her with my parents at two weeks old, and I’ve left her with J many times.
What I said: I’ll be back to running in no time, and in my regular clothes by the time I go back to work.
What I did: Gained too much weight while pregnant, and still working on it. I didn’t count on the C Section, and while I did start walking a few weeks after having the baby, I didn’t start running until after my 6 week check up. Its going slowly (as is the weight loss) but I’m running my first race this weekend. I’m only hoping to run more than I walk, and make it to the free beer before it runs out.
What I said: I’m going to cloth diaper.
What I did: The diapers I bought (FuzziBunz, BumGenius, and Flip) are one size fits all, 8-35 pounds. I knew I wanted to give getting used to a baby a month or two before I added in extra laundry. And then I needed laundry detergent, and I needed to actually figure out how to use them. But I started the other day, and so far, so good. I haven’t attempted overnights yet, or out and about, so I’d say she’s in them 50% of the time. But they’re easy to use, just one extra load of laundry every 3 days or so, and they’re really not that much extra work. She can’t use them at day care, so I’m not going to recognize a ton of cost savings, but I really wanted to try them and I’m glad we’re doing it, even if its not as much as I’d like.
What I said: I’ll never sleep with the baby.
What I did: 95% of the time, she’s in her crib. But when its 6am and she’s screaming in her crib but not in my arms, and I’m tired, she’s napping with me. It makes me nervous, but its comfy, and we do it as safely as possible. I’m currently holding strong on the “no family bed” thing, but reserve the right to change my mind to get a good night’s sleep.
What I said: I’ll get all sorts of stuff done on maternity leave!
What I did: I do get stuff done, but not as quite as much as I thought. Its not really the baby’s fault, its more because I’m lazy. If I don’t get up and moving, I find myself farting around on Facebook waiting for Ellen to start (what? Emilia likes to dance too). I do have dinner planned or cooked every night, I do keep up with house things, and I did finally assemble the Ikea dresser for the spare room. Grocery shopping is tough with the baby, but as long as I don’t put too many canned goods in her car seat we’re good. As a side note, its only a matter of time before I get arrested for shoplifting because something has fallen in between her car seat and the carriage and I forget to pay for it.
So, I’m eating a lot of my words, but I think that’s ok. And this little one doesn’t seem to mind.
He’s a jerk, but he’s our jerk. And he’s lucky we love him.
Ok, enough is enough with this eating what I want and not working out gravy train I’ve been on since last Christmas Eve, when I found out I was pregnant. As much as I didn’t want it to, the positive pregnancy test immediately triggered my inner fat kid to say – “hey! You can eat whatever you want now! Go for it! You’re just going to get fat anyways.” I tried to shut her up, I really did. It only lasted for a day or two though, then she was right back at it. I even lamely attempted to exercise, but that didn’t last long either.
Before Emilia was born, I gave myself 4 weeks after I got home from the hospital to get into a groove and not worry about what I ate or if I exercised. And I stuck with that. Some days I was too tired to anything but scarf a muffin, and I allowed myself that. Once she hit the month mark, I started paying more attention to what I was eating, tracking calories, and walking more. I had my 6 week check up the other day, and asked if I could run and do ab stuff, and was told it was fine (I’m kind of oblivious to what a C section entails, I was afraid if I tried to do a sit up something might rip or hurt, but apparently I’m sewn up pretty well!)
So yesterday I dropped Emilia at my parents and went for a run (she has a snazzy BOB Revolution, but I think she’s too little for it). It really sucked. I’ve been on 30-50 minute strolls with the baby with no problems, but once I started running: ouch. My body was immediately like – “dude. what the hell are you doing?” But I kept going, alternating running and walking, for two miles. And I’m proud to say that I’m still alive and not in too much pain today.
I’m realizing that I can’t work out on a schedule right now, so I’m taking it day by day. Today we’ll go for a walk, tomorrow I’m planning on doing 30 day Shred. I’m trying to get Emilia on some sort of schedule for my sanity (I’m a planner, I can’t help it!) and once I get back to work I’ll be able to go to the gym there and not worry about what she’s doing, so that will help.
Its just about time for the Mews Gear n Beer 5K, so that’s my next race. I don’t expect much from it in the way of time, but if I can get out there and finish with as little walking as possible, I’ll be thrilled. And then I’ll drink free beer to my heart’s content. Its a win-win!
I have no idea where September went. Seriously, no clue. Here’s what I do remember!
I started off the month giantly pregnant and miserable, about to bite off everyone’s head at work each time they said – you didn’t have that baby yet? Uh, clearly no.
Labor Day weekend was full of our usual “OhmyGodthehouseisamesswecan’tbringababyhometothis!” plus dinner with my family where I realized one glass of wine simply wasn’t enough. Then J let Baxter out, he ran into the woods and impaled himself on a stick. True to his stubborn dog-ness, he didn’t care, but it was gross and deep and we didn’t want it to get infected, so off to the doggie ER he went. When leaving, J said – uh, please don’t go into labor while we’re gone, okay? Here’s the pathetic patient with his cone head:
$550, two cones, two rounds of antibiotics and 3 trips to the vet later, Baxter is his usual annoying puppy self again, with the added bonus of refusing to go in his crate.
The next day, I had a doctor’s appointment where I found out nothing and was incredibly frustrated and cranky about it. And the day after, 5 days past due, I went into labor. After 24 hours, lots of pushing, and an emergency C Section, we had this little angel to add to the craziness in our house:
(I have a private blog post with more birth details that I didn’t want everyone in the world to see. If I know you and you’d like the password, e-mail me at email@example.com and I’ll decide if you’re worthy).
We are settling in nicely at home. I was in the hospital for 4 days, and J stayed with me all but one night (I said I wouldn’t make him, but it was the weekend so he was off, plus getting up and down with the baby while recovering from surgery was difficult). J went back to work and little miss Emilia and I spend our days eating, napping, and trying to accomplish at least one thing a day. I couldn’t drive for two weeks but I’m clear now, and we went to the market yesterday, where she slept and put up with having cold yogurt placed on her lap in the carriage. I’m feeling almost 100% back to normal and am trying to re-join the real world while feeding Emmy every 2 hours. This is all harder than I thought, but I know it will get easier.
Baxter is great during the day, but kind of a jerk to J when he gets home. J immediately takes him for a walk before he showers off the chemicals on his clothes, then takes over baby duty so I can have a break. Baxter likes to lick and sniff Emilia, and we spend a lot of time re-assuring him that we still love him too. This may be my favorite picture ever:
In other news, my sister-in-law got married a couple of weeks ago, 5 days after we came home from the hospital. So I stayed home with the baby and J went to share her day with her. She and her wife did an amazing job pulling off an elegant wedding in a beautiful backyard, and I’m sad to have missed it, but happy for them!
For my birthday, J’s work gave him a few hours off in the morning with the instructions to make me breakfast in bed, so I started my day with banana pancakes, bacon & a beautiful necklace, plus a card from him and one from Emilia. The day went downhill when Baxter chewed the face off my teddy bear, but improved when J & I went out for a ton of sushi and a giant glass of wine while my parents watched the baby. We almost didn’t come back home.
Throw in some doctor’s appointments, lots of diaper changes, and lots of staring at a beautiful baby, and there you have my September. Maybe in October we’ll leave the house more!