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Saturday, June 30, 2012

It's time we had a little talk.

There is a subject I havnt really touched on yet, but I feel that now is the time. That subject is the 'baby blues'. The baby blues are basically a less serious/intense version of postpartum depression.The reason I am bringing it up is because for the first two months post partum, I had the baby blues. Of course I didnt want to talk about it at the time because I didnt want to admit to it. But now that I am past it, I think it's time to be honest. After all, that was the idea behind this blog ... honesty.

The baby blues started pretty much right away. I think it was really a continuation from the heightened hormones that I was already dealing with at the end of my pregnancy. I was aware that it was common to feel very hormonal right after delivery, but I wasnt prepared for it to continue past that.
It started with feelings of being overwhelmed because I was learning so much in just a few days and was trying to recover at the same time. The thoughts of going home were scary because I was afraid I wouldnt know what to do. These are all normal for a new mom.
The first few weeks I had a lot of help with the house and with James, but despite that I was still feeling overwhelmed and often cried at night. The tears would build and build during the day but not wanting anyone to worry about me, I would hold it all in. Some days I found myself watching the clock, waiting until it was an acceptable bed time so I could turn off the lights and let it out.

I started feeling guilty about the way I was feeling. I felt that if James saw me crying that he would think it was because I didnt love him, which couldnt be further from the truth! I would feel anxious and thought there was something wrong with me because this was supposed to be the happiest time of my life. I started thinking about how some mothers have depression so bad that they hurt their kids. I started feeling guilty about that too, even though I could never harm a hair on his head. In other words I was feeling guilty for things that I hadnt even done and would never do! I thought I was going insane!

Then the guilt turned towards my relationship with Josh. Because I was spending so much time caring for James and hiding my baby blues, I felt that I wasnt paying enough attention to him and was afraid he would think I didnt love him when the truth was that I needed him more than I ever had. But of course I didnt want him to see me sad, because I knew it would make him sad and make him worry. I was a mess.

I also avoided friends and came up with excuses as to why they couldnt visit because I didnt have the energy to entertain anyone. I just wanted to be left alone with my little baby. Who knew that letting them in would be the key to feeling better.

I did eventually open up about it. I told Josh and my mom how I'd been feeling and they both immediately started making me feel better. I became more honest about where I was each day and started feeling less alone, less isolated.
It was when we hit the 2 month mark that I really started feeling like myself again. I started inviting people over more, going out more and started having more motivation to do stuff :)  Of course I still have my moments, but being a new mom is a tough job so it's to be expected and I am learning to be more patient with myself.

This is all normal and women shouldnt feel ashamed the way I did. I am very happy to be past it and now can just enjoy each day with my little boy! :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A few of my favourite things!

Two months have gone by and I have learned so much! Some of my favorite things so far are James's smiles and giggles, his little toes and the way he holds on to my finger. I love how he lays his head on my shoulder when he is sleepy and the faces he makes as he figures out the world around him. I love the sounds he makes as he is falling asleep and way he stretches first thing in the morning. His baby breath and soft skin. His little nose and the way he kicks his legs constantly as if dancing and the way he has started to sound his voice. And that list doesn't even begin to describe all the things I love about my baby boy :)

Of course I also love how he has started to sleep through the night (3 nights of 6 straight hours and last night was 7.5 straight hours!). And one of my most favorite things of all is watching the interactions between James and Josh. Their father/son bond is already so strong and continues to grow. Nobody makes my baby smile like Josh does ... perhaps it's how he sings every action they are doing or the faces I didn't even know he could make haha!   :)

I don't even mind that James likes to pee or poop in his new diaper before I even take him off the changing table or how he will puke on me right next to the burping cloth.

The only thing that makes me sad is when he cries and I cannot seem to soothe him. When he screams due to painful gas and tears are running down his little cheeks and there is nothing I can do except hold him until it passes. And the most recent thing that I dislike is watch him get frustrated because I am not producing enough milk for him.

James has been going through quite the growth spurt to where he is wanting to nurse every 30-45 minutes or less! First thing in the morning I have plenty of milk for him because it has been 6+ hours. But as the day goes on he is getting less and less because he is constantly attached to me. It's tough for a new mom to feel she is not meeting her baby's needs. But all you can do (before supplementing formula) is to keep nursing and pray that your body catches on soon and starts producing more milk due to high demand.
James and I have been struggling back and forth for over a week now. Some days we seem to do very well and other days it's tears all around. I know formula makes for healthy babies also, but I love that the breast milk is 100% natural. There are so many wonderful benefits to him drinking only breast milk for the first 6 months and so I really want to try doing it that way. But if it comes down to it then of course I will do what is best for my baby boy and choose the best formula that I can.

Today, so far, he has slept a lot which could indicate an end to the growth spurt. He also seems more content. So hopefully it means that my milk production has caught up to his demand and we will have a few days (or more!) of smooth sailing :)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

How Time Flies!

It is amazing how time flies with a little one in the house! I keep meaning to blog about many different topics and I just don't get around to it. Oh well, I am here now :)

So James is 7 weeks and 2 days today. He is growing fast. Last week we had a pediatrician appointment where we found out that he is now a whopping 10lbs 4oz and has grown an inch. I am sure he already weighs more than that now!
As you may remember from the last blog, we were struggling with colic so I decided to cut out the foods that I read can upset the tiny tummies (chocolate, iron supplements, caffeine) ... and sure enough, just a few days later the colic started to ease. Chocolate was hard for me to give up, but it is very much worth it. I have stopped craving chocolate for the most part and it has only been a week. I now plan to pick some more junk foods to wean myself off of so we can eliminate them from the house completely and bring James up in a healthy environment :)   Chocolate was one of my favorite things in the whole wide world ... so if I can give up that, I can give up anything! Of course it can be a treat for special occasions in the future ... but for now its quitting cold turkey!

2 hours later: Okay, so I was in the middle of a blog and James got hungry haha, but I am back!
At the moment James is going through a thing called 'cluster feeding'. It's usually in the evening time and it's where he demands to be fed every 45-60 mins. It can be frustrating for a mother at first because she doesn't always have the milk supply to keep up with the baby's demand at first. I am one of those moms. He will suck and suck and nothing will come out. So of course he gets frustrated because he is hungry and I feel guilty because I am not meeting his needs.
It has been this way for a few days now. But instead of getting frustrated, I am trying to just stick with it because the more he tries to feed the more my body will start to produce. And this will happen any time he has a growth spurt because the cluster feeding tells my body that it needs to produce more milk to meet the demand of a growing baby.

We had our longest car trip so far with James this past week. We drove the 2+ hours to Santa Barbara to visit my parents and attend my sister's high school graduation. James was great! Despite the cluster feeding phase, he slept the entire trip up and back :)  He is an awesome little traveller!

Anyway, my time is running low again! He is starting to babble at me which means he may be starting to get hungry AGAIN! lol. Will try to blog again soon!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Baby Tummies.

The past few weeks has been a little bit of a roller coaster ride. Our poor little peanut has been suffering with colic on and off for over 3 weeks. In case you haven't heard of colic before ... it's classified by constant (at least 3 hours) fussiness and crying due to bad gas and cramping as his digestive system continues to mature. Luckily there is stuff called gripe water that relaxes the entire baby digestive system giving them some relief. It has to relax the entire system because the baby cannot tell us where the pain is. So instead of using different medications for indigestion, upset tummy and intestinal cramping we can use this one homeopathic remedy. It contains stuff like fennel, ginger and chamomile so it's all natural.

As awesome as the gripe water is on most days, it doesn't always give us much relief. I say 'us' because listening to your little baby cry and knowing there is very little you can do about it can be upsetting. There were times when a cried with him just because I felt so helpless. But thankfully I found another remedy ... breastfeeding. I think it's called 'comfort nursing' though. He doesn't always feed when he is latched on, sometimes he just pacifies ... which is fine with me because it means he isn't crying. However, that has it's own downside.

The last two days were rough as far as the fussiness etc went and the gripe water wasn't giving us very much relief so I just kept attaching him to a breast when I couldn't stand the crying anymore. Yesterday morning I woke up with a bruise and cracks on my nipple from all the pacifying. It does make actual breastfeeding painful, but its worth it if it makes my baby feel better.

I am not yet sure how today is going to go. He is currently napping, and since its only 9am I have yet to really see what his mood is like. I do hope that he is feeling better today so that we can both get some relief from the colic and crying.
Yesterday I started cutting some gas causing foods out of my diet. Foods that cause me gas and foods that are known to upset the baby tummy through the breast milk. Chocolate, caffeine and iron are known to cause upset tummies, which sucks because I have been eating chocolate like it was going out of style for weeks! Hopefully cutting those out will help. I am also cutting down on dairy products since I am lactose intolerant and wheat products due to the high roughage content. Of course there is also the obvious brocolli, cabbage and onion! So I (ummm ... Josh) will be getting creative in the kitchen!

Fingers crossed! As long as colic could go on for, I could never get used to listening to my poor baby cry  :(  Thankfully it's just a phase that a lot of babies go through and even if it wasnt a phase, he will learn to talk eventually and can tell me where it hurts :)