Lazy, Icky Saturday

J still isn’t sleeping well — I suspect because he’s still working on his first tooth, and the second appears to be close behind. And so, last night I was awoken at 3:30 a.m. … and we were up until 5:30, when he finally fell back to sleep. But I think D was actually the one who stayed up with the baby last night — I don’t remember because I felt so awful. I had a very queasy stomach (hangover-esque, but not a hangover) and simply couldn’t find the strength to stand up and rock J for more than a few minutes at a time.

Well, eventually we were all back in bed, but 8:30 rolled around and I wasn’t feeling any better. Still the queasy stomach, but I was also just exhausted. I fed the baby but could not get myself out of bed. Finally at 11:30, D convinced me to get up. I started to feel like I had overslept, and I hoped that getting up and showering, moving around, and eating something would help my stomach settle. We had lunch (after I fed the baby again, of course), and then we decided to take the baby to the park to swing.

Turns out, J wasn’t in a very good mood, either.

baby crying in the swingClearly the park wasn’t a great choice.

We came home and put the baby down for a (much needed) nap, and I was still feeling queasy. We lounged in the living room and watched a movie, and called our (new) friends and the babysitter to cancel our double-date plans (which I’m super sad about — but we’ll reschedule).

D was sweet enough to go to the store and get me some soup and Pepto Bismol, so hopefully that will help my stomach a bit. Unfortunately, while he was gone, the baby spit up quite a lot — I hope he’s not sick, too.

I’m still not feeling well (in case that wasn’t obvious with the pity party post), and I’m glad it’s a Saturday, so I’ve been able to relax, but I was really hoping to get some things done around the house today.

In other news, I’ve been trying to make some cosmetic improvements around the house. I replaced all the brass door knobs with brushed nickel ones, and I’m planning to paint soon — gotta get rid of this nasty yellow beige that we’ve had since we moved in. (Currently, the only room in the house that I’m actually pretty pleased with color-wise is the freshly painted nursery.) But I’m finding that picking out paint colors is way more difficult than it seems like it should be. I want something bright and happy without being too bright, warm without being dark, neutral without being the same color as my couches. So I’m working on calling in some help — my interior decorator cousin. Hope she’s able to come up with some ideas!

Birthday Celebrations… Like the Old Days

Yesterday was my husband’s 28th birthday, and his first as a father. And what a wonderful father he is.

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We celebrated with his family last weekend, so we had done the whole cake/candles thing (and there was no way I could top his cousin’s delicious cakes), so this weekend we just aimed to relax and have fun.

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But rather than have a date night alone, we went out with a few friends while a sitter took care of the baby at home. We had put him to bed already (which really frees us up for the evening), so we were able to relax and enjoy ourselves.

We’ve gone out alone a few times, but it was refreshing to go out sans baby with our childless friends. The conversation steered clear of the kid, and I, for one, felt almost back to my pre-pregnancy self that night.

I say it all the time — I love being a parent! But it’s always nice to get away for just a couple of hours. Having a baby is really all-consuming, in both good ways and … inconvenient and stressful ways.

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Anyway, happy belated birthday to my husband. I love you more every day.

(Almost) Crying Over Spoiled Milk

Tuesday morning, I woke up in a panic.

I realized that the day before, I had come home from picking up the baby at daycare, set my bags down, and went upstairs… without putting away my precious, precious cargo (other than the baby): two full 5-ounce bottles of freshly expressed milk.

I lay in bed on Tuesday morning, eyes wide, panicking. All that work for nothing — that’s 30-40 minutes’ worth of pumping and enough milk for one full day of daycare. But by this point, it was too late; the ice pack would surely be melted, the milk warm and spoiled.

Whoever said “Don’t cry over spilled milk” didn’t have to pump that milk from her own body.

BUT! When I went downstairs and opened the freezer, this is what I found:

frozen expressed breastmilk

All my worry was for naught, because I have an amazing husband who had the forethought to put the bottles in the freezer on my behalf when I got home on Monday while I was upstairs caring for the baby.

I sighed with relief. Close call.

And another big THANK YOU to my wonderful husband.

Luckily this time the story ended well, but it kills me every time I have to pour out spoiled milk. It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes I’ll have an extra ounce or two in the refrigerator that eventually goes bad before it ever gets to the freezer. It’s such a precious commodity — I can only produce so much at a time — I absolutely hate to let it go to waste. Have you ever had to toss out breastmilk?

Retro Post: Finding Out We Were Pregnant

Retro Posts: The baby is now a few months old, but there are several subjects that I want to be sure to record in this little blog. I’ll be posting ‘retro posts’ like this to make sure everything is covered.

We found out we were pregnant on May 2, 2011. The following is transcribed from my journal entry dated May 7, 2011.

“Five days ago, I found out that I am pregnant. I was pretty stunned… which explains (kind of) why I’m a little tardy in recording my thoughts. Here’s what happened:

“It had been a normal Monday. I teleworked but wasn’t feeling very well. I ate saltines & cheddar for lunch, but I figured it was probably cabin fever — I just needed to get out of the house. When D got home, we decided to go to dinner at a local pizza restaurant. I was feeling fine until suddenly, halfway through my slice of cheese and after a small Greek salad, I felt really awful. We picked up my car from our friends’ house (it was there after weekend festivities) and headed home. I asked D to stop at the grocery store for a couple of things, though — among them, pregnancy tests. I stopped taking birth control at the end of February, so I figured, ‘better safe than sorry.’

“As soon as D got home, I tried taking a test, but it didn’t seem to work, so I left it on the counter with the intention of trying again later when I needed to pee. [I figured I just hadn’t gotten enough pee on the stick.] D and I spent the evening playing a video game (Little Big Planet, for the record), and he got up to go to the bathroom after about an hour. The next thing I hear — ‘Sweetie…?!’ He emerged, test in hand — it was positive! I took another… definitely not a fluke. [D still gloats that he’s one of the few men who got to tell his wife she’s pregnant.]

positive pregnancy tests

“We were both stunned. We had talked about having kids in the (somewhat) near future, but we certainly hadn’t been trying (though we weren’t doing much to prevent it, either). I immediately called my parents and sister and D called his — everyone was absolutely thrilled.”

Side note: My mom still talks about how when I called her that first night, I just kept saying, “I don’t know what to do. What do I do?” I was seriously speechless and shocked. It took a few days to process it all…

“The next morning, I called the doctor and they drew my blood to confirm the pregnancy and to see how far along I was. After two days (my mom and I were going crazy), I heard from the doctor’s assistant — I was 8 weeks along. [This was actually incorrect — keep reading.] After work, we called grandparents, then told our close friends. No one else knows yet — still keeping things quiet until the first trimester is over. [Ha!]”

Here’s another journal entry, about my first prenatal exams. As I mentioned above, the original fetal age that they gave me was incorrect, as they found out…

“Wednesday, May 11 [9 days after that first pregnancy test, for those of you keeping track], Momma came up to go with me to my first ‘exam’ … though it was really just an ultrasound with a nurse practitioner. Nevertheless, it was pretty incredible — I got to hear the baby’s heartbeat for the first time! D tried to get there but was unable (and really bummed he missed it), but at least my mom was there to share it with me.

“The ultrasound ended up bringing more questions than answers, though. My last period was March 8 (I had been on b.c.), putting me at 9 weeks, technically. But the fetus was measured at just 1.11 cm & 130 bpm, both of which would be normal for 7.5 weeks — not 9! We set up another ultrasound for 2 weeks later to make sure things were on track and that I simply ovulated later than expected. They drew my blood (again — 2nd time [and certainly not the last]) and I got a call on Tuesday that the doctor wanted to see me Wednesday instead (moved up my appointment by a week). D was bummed again that he wouldn’t be able to be there, but the doctor let me record the ultrasound/heartbeat on my phone for him.

8 week old fetus

“Good news — the baby grew as expected this week — now 1.5 cm with heartbeat in the 170s! Amazing what can happen in a week… and she gave me an official due date: 12/28/11 [the baby ended up being 4 days early].

“Turns out I must have ovulated late after all — the doctor put me at 8 weeks on the dot this time.

“We had planned to wait until after the first trimester to go public, but now that I had a due date, I wanted to tell people! I posted the latest sonogram on Facebook and Twitter and was congratulated by tons of friends. 🙂 This baby is already very loved!

“As for symptoms, I’m having more good days than bad. I count myself very lucky! I’m not able to eat a ton at once, and I get tired super early (most nights)… and there are days that I feel nauseated from morning to night… but overall, very manageable!”

My symptoms early on were few, but I did experience a little nausea (but only got sick once — 5/10, at work. ugh!) and craved steak like crazy for the first few weeks, which is (or was) unusual for me. (My pregnancy cravings for sweets and meats have stuck… maybe they’ll disappear when I stop breastfeeding?) I was also extremely tired during the first trimester. I would be in bed by 9 (D insists it was 7) or earlier every night, and sitting on the couch usually turned into sleeping on the couch very quickly.

I am so grateful to have gotten pregnant so easily and also to have had such an easy pregnancy, including a quick and easy delivery.  I didn’t know it at the time, but J is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me!

Date Night Success!

D’s parents came to visit this weekend. It was a nice visit — always nice to have grandparents in town to love on my little boy! Plus, they graciously volunteered to babysit while D and I went out for a date night on Saturday! (Thank you!)

After our last somewhat failed date night, we decided that this time we would wait until after squirt was in bed before going out. We all went out for Mexican, where we learned that he loves lemon! Crazy, huh? I’d take it away and he would cry until I gave it back to him. I hope lemon is safe for babies to suck on…

After dinner, I put the baby through his bedtime routine — book, breast, bed — before D and I headed out. It helped tremendously to get him settled before leaving — I was much less worried about getting back at a reasonable hour for J’s sake since he was already asleep for the night (at least, as far as I knew).

Since the baby had had his bedtime meal, I knew he wouldn’t be eating again until 7:30 a.m. so I felt comfortable having a drink. D and I went to a nearby pub before heading over to the theatre. We sat out on the porch as the sun began to set and had a nice, relaxing conversation over a delicious cocktail. And we didn’t even talk about the baby very much!

Then we went to see Brave — Pixar’s newest film. It was very cute and the animation gorgeous (as always), though I wouldn’t rate it as highly as many of their other films. Not to go off on too much of a tangent, but I felt like this one was a little less easy to identify with — and it has nothing to do with the lead character being female. I kept thinking throughout the film that “if I were the mother of a teenage girl, this would really resonate” — or even “if I were still a teenage girl, this would resonate” — but why did I feel the need to be in the exact same situation as these characters in order to identify with them, whereas I’ve never had any trouble identifying with Andy in Toy Story, the old man in Up, or even the robot Wall-E, to name a few? Seems like Brave captured fewer universal truths and tapped the heart of human emotion less than Pixar films usually do. At least for me.

Anyway, after the movie, we headed back home and arrived at about 11:45. D’s parents reported that the baby had woken up and they had a lot of trouble getting him back to sleep. I was sorry to hear that — I had really hoped he’d stay down for the night. But I appreciate that they allowed us an undisturbed night out as a couple. Besides, they were able to get him back down eventually, so I wasn’t worried about the fact that I wasn’t here to comfort him. J and I are very attached to each other, but I think it’s good to have some time away as well.

All that to say, I feel like last night was a major success (at least for me and D — sorry, grandparents!). I hope that we’re able to have a post-bedtime date night again in the near future. We’re definitely planning to go see The Dark Knight Rises in IMAX if we can find a sitter (any takers?), and I think it might be fun to go see an improv show in town some time. Any other date night ideas we might consider?