Friday, March 26, 2010

Bye Bye Grandma & Grandpa

This moment is bittersweet because ALL the grandparents are officially gone. They were all so much help to me, and now the real test begins. Sort of. I'm still tired all the time, but I'm feeling much, much better than I did when I came home from the hospital. The first 2 weeks when my parents were here was by far the hardest, and that was probably the biggest test. Now that we have a system in place to take care of Max I think we'll be ok.

The biggest new development at home are my boobs. Breast feeding really requires a little bit more dedication than I had anticipated. I find that it is the main thing on my mind 24/7. It's almost impossible to be away from Max while I am breast feeding. When Grandma and Grandpa would take him out during the day, I would constantly be wondering if they had enough milk to last until they got home. Supplementing with formula makes me feel like a failure, and I just don't want to go there. I don't like to eat processed foods, and I certainly don't want to begin my child's life on them.

The breast pump I am renting is a little big to travel with, so when we go on a trip I don't know what I am going to do if Grandma and Grandpa want to take Max on an outing while I rest for a bit. This really isn't a problem for me so much as it is for those that want to do something different than I do. I'm tired all the time and happy to do nothing, but they want to be out and about. Maybe by the time I'm traveling with the baby this will be easy.

Another breast feeding development is that I am very sore right now. I think it is because I pumped A LOT this week so that Marc's parents could take care of Max without me there. Pumping stimulates the nipples differently than breast feeding, and it hurts. I am hoping to go all natural for the next few days in hopes of eliminating this pain. It's bearable, but all too unpleasant.

I've had an "ah ha, now I get it" moment. People used to tell me to enjoy being pregnant because when the baby is born you won't have him all to yourself anymore. You will be sharing him with everyone else. I totally get that now. When Max was out with his grandparents for more than a few hours, I started going crazy missing him. And my boobs would fill with milk and he wouldn't be there to feed and it was harder on me than expected. I don't consider myself overprotective and am very surprised by my understanding of those comments.

I remember before I had the baby, my mom asked me if it would be ok to take Max somewhere without me if I was too tired to go. My response was, "Sure! Go have fun!" She said that I thought I would be ok before having the baby, but you never know how you are going to react to certain things immediately after the baby is born. I didn't believe that, but now that Max is here, I don't want him gone from me for very long at all.

So it makes me think this is the way mother nature intended. We weren't created with breast pumps in tow. And it's proven that the baby recognizes the mothers voice when they are born. Mommies are the food source for their babies. If it gives me less freedom because I need to always be close by for him, then so be it. The bonding is a beautiful and natural experience for both of us.

But don't get me wrong, I still wish I owned the thousand dollar breast pump....hahaha!!!

I went to a marketing research study today and got paid a whopping $50. The purpose of the survey was to get breastfeeding mothers' opinions on a new formula. Basically they were trying to convince me that their insanely expensive formula was as good for my baby as breast milk. Isn't that the problem with society today? Companies like that set out to convince our health providers of absurdities like this, and people fall for it. And cha-ching, money in the bank for them.

That's disgusting. I understand that some mothers are unable to breast feed and have no choice but to rely on formula. But there is nothing wrong with me and there is absolutely no convincing me that formula is as good as breast milk. Yuck.

I better try to take a nap for a bit before Max wakes up looking for food. Grandma and Grandpa won't be here to allow me to skip the 6am feeding. It's bewildering to think that I am moderately tired after having them help this week, and I hope I'm not beyond exhausted in a day or two. Oh wait nevermind, he's already awake and ready for milk. Go figure! Gotta' get back to being mommy....the best job in the world!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Max is one month old tomorrow, March 22, 2010

Ok, seriously? He's a month old already?! Time is flying by too fast! In these pictures he is 3 1/2 weeks old. He's 10 lbs and you can tell by the picture that his abdomen is growing. I hope he's not embarrassed by the lack of clothes he's wearing in these pictures that show his cute belly button.

Today was my biggest day out since having the surgery. This morning we went to the beach. It was Max' second trip to the beach, but his first time to go out on the sand and watch daddy play volleyball. It was a successful adventure with Grandma and Grandpa there to help lift the stroller and carseat over the sand. It was great to be outside in the world, and we topped off the beautiful day with dinner at PF Chang's. Delicious!

My schedule is so much easier with the grandparents in town. We have a system where Grandma Madeline sneaks into our room and gets Max at 6am so I can sleep through a feeding. It is a nice treat even though I don't sleep too far past a feeding because I have to express milk. The past 24 hours was the best schedule yet. I slept from 4 - 10 pm last night. Then I got up, ate dinner, and wrote thank you notes. At that time everyone else went to sleep and I fed Max until 1:30 am. Then I went back to sleep until 3:30 am when Max was ready for more milk. I got back in bed at 5 am after feeding, changing, and telling Max how much I loved him. It took me until 7am to get back to sleep, and I didn't wake up again until 10 am to eat breakfast, pump milk, and go to the beach. That schedule would work for me every day because I got 10 hours of sleep. You would think I'd be completely rested and rejuvenated, but after weeks of sleep deprivation, that still isn't enough. But I'm not complaining because things are getting better every day.

While Marc's parents are in town, I am a little bit surprised at where Max is spending the majority of his time. He's always with Grandpa! Max prefers to sleep on Grandpa's left collar bone--not the right. He is extremely comfortable on that side and they are best buddies. Can you say spoiled? I hope Baby Max is content to just have me next week when the grandparents are gone. Hopefully he won't be disappointed that I have to put him down occasionally because I only have two arms.

The guys have all surprised me on so many levels. My dad and Marc's dad have both taken an incredible hands on approach. It is quite endearing to see the boys together like that. My dad worked the night shift; Marc's dad changes diapers with no problem; Marc never complains about cleaning up poopy diapers....Everyone has been fantastic. I guess you kind of expect the females to take over all of those duties, but the boys have really raised the bar. Even Uncle Scott helped change a diaper. He won't do it by himself, but he held the feet while I wiped the butt. We'll go ahead and give him an A for effort, or at least acting like he wanted to help.

Thank goodness I got a breast pump. If I didn't have a breast pump, I never would have slept for so long last night. I'm currently renting the Medela Lactina from The Pump Station. It retails for about $1100. I wish I could buy a used one for a discounted price. Especially if I have a second child, it would be nice to be able to own my own pump, and then when we are finished having kids we could sell the pump. I had a cheaper Medela Swing that retails for $150 and the quality is so much less than the hospital grade lactina. I wonder if I could convince Marc to get me the best pump or find someone to buy it from. If I breastfed for a year, I think it would more than pay for itself. If we were buying formula we'd probably spend a minimum of $100/month. So maybe it wouldn't be a frivolous buy to splurge on a breast pump. I would love that more than anything right now.

Uncle Scott is leaving for the airport now, so I need to say goodbye. Fortunately Madeline and Bernie are staying here until Sat. They are so much help and we are enjoying this special time together.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sweet Baby Max

I noticed a huge change once Max turned 3 weeks old. Everything became so much easier. I'm guessing this is a combination of my feeling better along with getting the hang of being a new mommy.

Nothing could have prepared me for the sleep deprivation of taking care of a newborn while trying to recover from surgery. It is really HARD on so many levels. I never get a REM cycle of sleep. Even with the help of others, I still need to get up all the time to express milk. When I sleep a bit longer, my boobs become so full and hard and are leaking all over the place. So no matter what, I am constantly up and down through the night and day. And I never feel rested and rejuvenated. But looking at that tiny face gives me a burst of energy to do what I need to do.

Sweet baby Max has had some new developments in the past couple weeks. His umbilical cord stump fell off when he was 16 days old. The last time I saw it, it was hanging on by a thread. Then the next time I changed his diaper it was just gone. I think the stump just got lost in a dirty outfit when Marc changed him, and I never saw it again. So it probably got thrown in the wash and disintegrated into nothing.

Once his belly button looked all cute and normal, we were allowed to give Max a bath. We didn't really plan when to give him a bath, but the next day he asked for a bath in his own special way. I went to change a poopy diaper and while I was changing him he squirted out a wet, mustard poop that went all over the place. Liquid mustard got all over the bottom of his onesie, so when I took it off his body it looked like he had been playing in burnt yellow paint balls. So, it was a mad rush to the bathtub for him.

Marc helped me with the bath by bringing me towels and washcloths. Max laid on his safer bather and was a good boy. The water seemed to scare him, but he didn't cry. I kept dipping the washcloth into the water and putting it on his body. And I talked to him the whole time and explained what I was doing so he might feel secure. I read that it was soothing for a baby to hear his mommy's voice since that was the main voice he heard for all those months inside the womb.

All in all, I think his first bath went ok. I was really nervous about bathing him for some reason, and was glad Marc stayed close by in case I needed his help. For his second bath, I moved him to the sink and it was much easier. I'm still not an expert, but with the steep learning curve of parenthood, I'm figuring it out fast.

Saturday, March 6, 2010


I am sooooo in love with my child. Welcome to the club, eh! This is a love that only parents know. It is an overwhelming, undying love that has consumed me from head to toe.

Today was a better day. I got more sleep and didn't have any fever all day long. Thank goodness for that! Grandmom (my mom) did a lot of babysitting so I could keep going back to sleep as much as possible. Yaaayyyyy!!!

Yesterday, Max went to his first pediatrician's appointment. I was going to take him, but was rescued by Marc and Grandmom. They let me stay in bed and continue resting. The road to recovery is looking brighter since I have made such a big effort to slow down. It's just hard to be still when there is constantly so much to do for the baby. And yeah, a few things for myself are nice a shower and a salad or a shake. And believe me those showers are important when you're sweating like a pig. I don't know if pigs really sweat, but I sure do in my postpartum state.

Speaking of postpartum, I had no idea your body went through so much to get back to its pre-pregnancy state. No one ever told me it was normal to sweat so much. But I guess the hormones are regulating and I'm probably losing a bunch of water weight. No one tells you that you will go home wearing bigger diapers than the baby. Or how wonderful it is to be able to eat an entire mexican dinner as a snack and continue to lose weight while breastfeeding. Or that when you uterus is contracting back to its original size that it can catch you by surprise and literally take your breath away. I guess you kind of think your own physical issues will be over and done with once the baby doesn't live inside your body any longer. But you quickly learn otherwise.

The real test begins Tues. when my mom leaves. Even though I will still be healing from the surgery, I am hoping my immune system will be strong and back on track. It's just too hard to do everything when you're sick. Thank goodness we were able to change Grandmom's flight without paying an arm and a leg.

I learned a few things about Baby Max. When his chin is quivering, it's because his nervous system is developing....not because he's cold. So that's good to know that I am not freezing my baby out of the house. That is a relief to know that I won't be getting bad mom of the year award. And he enjoys the warmth of the heating pad in his diaper changing station. Can you say just a little spoiled?

Another thing about Max is that he is obsessed with food and likes to guzzle his milk down as fast as possible. We are trying to slow him down a little because when he eats too fast, he spits up a lot. I think he inherited this trait from his daddy. I like to eat slowly and savor the taste. I spent a lot of time reading about newborns that spit up because I thought it was possible that he was allergic to something in my breast milk, but it is very common for babies to spit up and there is no need to worry. And the pediatrician complimented my healthy diet because my milk looks so good. Gosh darnit, it better look good considering I'm not eating meat, dairy, spicy, processed foods. That includes no caffeine and almost no chocolate except for a few bites that I snuck when I absolutely couldn't resist myself.

One more thing about our sweet baby is that he loves to be next to his mommy. He probably knows that no one will ever love him as much as I do. I'll try not to get sloppy and emotional about what a perfect baby he is. People might get tired of hearing me say it!

Just one more time: I'm so in love with the best little baby boy in the whole wide world!!!!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Baby Max Perry is here!!!

Maximilian Perry Newhaus entered the world on Feb. 22, 2010 at 9:10am. He weighed just a little over 8 lbs. and was over 21 inches long! The nurses said he was the longest baby they had seen in a year. WOW!

I'll save my labor and delivery story for another post when I am feeling better and a bit more rested. I'm slightly traumatized over it and don't have the energy think about it. As of right now I have a fever and ache all over. Sleep is unbeknownst to me at the moment. Being sore, sweating like crazy, and exhaustion is taking its toll on me. I've been laying in bed on and off for hours with no luck on getting comfortable, so I actually decided to write a blog while I am drinking water and taking my temperature.

So let's get to the good stuff....Baby Max! Oh my goodness, I couldn't have imagined him to be more perfect in any way. If I could have picked a baby out of a line-up, I would have chosen HIM! He is the cutest, sweetest, most peaceful baby I have ever met. And lucky me because he's mine! He almost never cries. Sometimes I see him making funny faces only to realize that he is chilling out in his poopy diaper. His calm demeanor is such a blessing

One lesson I quickly learned this week is that Max gets cold very easily. His little chin was quivering every time I changed his diaper. So now we have a heating pad in his diaper changing station. It has definitely made for a happy baby. I had to learn this lesson the hard way. In my post partum state, I am dripping in pools of sweat. I think it is hot all the time and must have complained to the nurse in the hospital that it was too hot. So she turned the air down for me. She saw how drenched I was and even had to get me a new, dry hospital gown. Shortly thereafter, another nurse came in to check Max' temperature only to find out it was too low. Poor little baby Max had to go sit under the heat lamp in the nursery for a few minutes to warm up. That made me so sad that he was too cold and had been laying there shivering. I felt like the worst mom in the world, but I was completely out of it and had no idea what was going on.

On the third day after Max was born, my milk came in full force. I was a little surprised that I had no problem after all the stories I've heard from women saying how difficult it can be to produce. I almost had the opposite problem because my milk has been leaking all over the place. Visits from lactation consultants only proved that things were going great. Baby Max is definitely a boob guy so this works out very well for him. Marc says it's like a dairy farm around here with all this milk.

Unfortunately, when I got fever yesterday my milk supply diminished quite a bit. Thank goodness I had a small sample of formula in the house and was able to supplement. I never thought I would have done that because I am gung-ho about breast feeding the baby, but my body has been shutting down and there was nothing else I could do. Hopefully I will be feeling better soon because I don't do "sick" very well. No, not my forte.

My parents flew in town the day before I got out of the hospital and have been a big help. Last night when I was practically dying in my feverish state, my dad did the nighttime feedings. I still woke up to pump, but he did ALL the dirty work. He changed a poopy diaper...probably for the first time in his life. From what I hear, he didn't help with diaper changes when we were little, so this is HUGE! It has been precious to see Grandmom and Granddad with their grandson. And I am forever grateful they are here to help me get passed this sickness.

Nothing compares to being mommy. My son is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I promise to show him all the love and kindness that the best people in my life have shown me. From here on out, it is my primary goal in life to be a good mom to him. I'm blown away by the love I have for this child, and I am so happy he is here.

I better go get back in bed. My fever is up to 101 tonight. I thought I was getting better, but I guess not. Even though I feel terrible, I don't want to forget how special this time is. Bonding with my son and getting to know Baby Max has made for an incredible week. He is absolutely amazing!!!