Posts Tagged With: infant

For Me, For Next Time.

I will enjoy the last weeks of my pregnancy and I will try to enjoy the anticipation.
 
I will make sure I have all my bathroom necessities in all bathrooms.

I will not attempt to do dishes or clean for, at the bare minimum of, four weeks.

I will not feel bad about that.

I will ask the doctors how to take care of me. At the hospital – all the information given to me was how to care for this precious little baby. That came more naturally to me than I expected – but how to take care of my traumatized body was something I wasn’t prepared for.

I will make freezer meals, have paper plates and lots of snacks.

Water bottles will be at every nursing station.

I will realize what I’ve just done – given birth – and celebrate the miracle of life as well as the strength, energy and courage that it took to get that baby out. I will remind myself that I am a warrior.

I will not be afraid to take the baby into public or outside or in the car nor be afraid to bath the babe.

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I will ask for help.

I will not feel guilty for taking naps when we have company.

I will remind myself that I am beautiful whether I’m dressed with makeup or in my pajamas and a disheveled ponytail.

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I will not do laundry for the aforementioned four week period – at least.

I will not even think about working out, restricting calories or shedding excess baby weight I’m ready, emotionally and physically.

I know I will cry – and I will not apologize for any of it. It happens.

I will put away clothes with maternity tags.

I will stock up our DVR with my guilty pleasure shows like Full House, Gilmore Girls and Friends (even though I’ve seen them all more than a few times).

I will try to understand that needing a break from my baby doesn’t make me a bad mom and doesn’t mean I don’t love him. It means I need a moment to myself, to sleep, eat, shower, brush my teeth and regroup.

I will enjoy my pajamas.

I will shower every day.

I will call my girlfriends when I’m ready.

I will make play dates when I’m ready.

I will sleep, cry and remember to laugh because all too soon I will be back to work and he or she will be growing out of newborn onesies.

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Categories: baby, birth, family, friendship, infants, newborns, parenting, pregnancy | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Choir Camp in the Nursery

It’s amazing that ten years ago while in college, I could stay up until two a.m. without blinking a sleepy eye. Today, while I’m usually awake at 2 a.m. it is preceded by a few hours of sleep. When I creep into Cameron’s room to change his diaper and nurse him, I try and keep the mood quiet, dreamlike so he will drift back into a sleepy slumber.

Most nights I am successful.

Every so often, he will require a little more effort on my part. If I put him back in his crib before he is ready, he lets me know, usually about the time I make my way back to my room and crawl under the covers. It doesn’t matter if I wait in his nursery to ensure he is soundly sleeping for 30 seconds or ten minutes. He knows when I get back to my room and snuggle under the blankets and just as I sigh with relief for my impending three hour nap, he murmurs a bit and then lets out his angry cry, “momma, I was not done cuddling you yet, come back.”

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So I dart back to the nursery, so Matt can keep sleeping (and yes, I’m tired but I realize the need for momma snuggles is fleeting). I pick up my sad little boy and put him up on my shoulder to comfort him. I inhale his lavender shampoo and kiss his hairy head. Some nights we rock, some nights we dance. But all nights are accompanied by my loving, quiet singing, albeit out of tune. I don’t think he minds though.

What songs come to mind in the wee hours? Matt claims the only songs he can recall in the middle of the night when he brain is clouded with exhaustion are inappropriate rap songs. One night I overheard him on the monitor singing Sublime, “ What I Got” editing the lyrics for our young audience. (To be fair – he can also be overheard making up his own love songs to our son when he draws a blank).

I, however, go back to the songs that always brought me comfort. Church songs, hymns, campfire tunes, Vacation Bible School ditties. I like to know all the words to the songs I choose and since those songs are shorter and have been in my life for more than two decades, I know them all by heart.

I open with the song, “Sing, sing it out loud.” It’s the song that most Choir Camp campfires began with and seems like the perfect opener to my early morning set. I usually follow with any song in a foreign language because it takes more effort and ensures that I will not drift back to sleep in the middle of the chorus. “Siyahamba ekukhanyeni kwenkos’” – the Zulu song that translates – We are marching in the light of God and “Alabaré, Alabaré, Alabaré A mi Señor” – Spanish for “We will praise the Lord” and my favorite” Ki mu nki maa nyi, Bu li mun tu al in a en sii go, Om ut ima gwo gu ku lung ‘aa mye, Bu li mun tu al in a en sii go”– the Lugandan song, “Everybody has a Seed to Sow.”

It’s been almost eleven years since I’ve been a choir camper but the songs are etched in my memories as if I were just singing them yesterday in my hot pink Choir Camp tee shirt, jeans, flip flops and French braids. It’s amazing to be able to sing these songs to my son and at the same time recalling the incredible friendships and memories from the five years I was a camper and three as a counselor.

And while his nursery smells of the pink Johnson and Johnson baby lotion and A&D ointment, not well water, bug spray and campfires. And the paint that covers the walls is a fresh gray and turquoise and not musty wood covered in cobwebs. And the floor is soft, white, plush carpet not gritty, sandy, cement that inevitably ends up at the end of your sleeping bag. Somehow – despite all that- sometimes at 2 a.m. I am transported back to a cabin at Camp Lael.

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I wonder if Cameron will love singing as much as I do. I wonder what his summer memories will be made of. I wonder if he thinks his momma sings off key and sometimes messes up the words.

Probably not.

For now, I am content knowing that his early morning feedings are accompanied by the songs that comfort me and by the songs that tell Bible stories that will help him to grow into a man of God.

Sing, sing it out loud
Sing it so everyone can hear,
Let it begin it’s ringing in every listening ear right now
Lifting our praise unto the one who brought us here
Lifting our hearts to Jesus whose name we gladly sing!

Categories: baby, camp, family, newborns, parenting, singing, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Our Oompa Loompa

On Sunday, Cameron was five days old and my milk finally came in but he refused to eat. I felt like a had two gallons of milk attached to my chest and he just couldn’t latch. After each feeding, we were both soaked with milk, frustrated and one or both of us were usually in tears.

Even though we were told that infants have tiny tummies and don’t need to eat a lot, I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that I was unintentionally starving my baby.

I couldn’t wait until our pediatrician’s appointment the next day.

We got there and weighed him. He had lost a half a pound over the weekend and my little babe looked like an oompa loompa, he was tiny, lethargic and a sad shade of orange. The doctor asked about feeding him and I was so grateful for my husband because I couldn’t speak through my sobs.

Our doctor was incredibly kind and compassionate. He offered him two ounces of formula to see if he was capable of eating. He ate it in about five minutes – which was a very good sign.

We were then sent to get blood drawn to check his bilirubin levels. He told us to go home, feed every two hours and wait for his phone call to get our results.

The phone rang about five minutes after we got home. Cameron needed to be admitted to the hospital, bilirubin and sodium levels were too high. I was only five days postpartum, operating on very little sleep and couldn’t control my tears, I was sobbing in the backseat holding on to tiny orange fingers, while Matt drove us to the hospital.

We were admitted right away and shown to a room with an incubator, a twin bed and a pullout couch. It was going to be a long night. Cue the tears. Again.

They took the babe’s vitals, got him an IV, hooked him up to heart monitors, put on his baby sunglasses and laid him in his incubator on his billi light.
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To see my tiny son hooked up to wires was beyond terrifying. My mind kept envisioning the worst even though every nurse reassured me that this was so common and he was going to be better in the morning.

How do you cope when your perfect baby is sick? What do you do when there is nothing you can do? I felt so helpless. I felt so sad. Melancholy, miserable, depressed. Only five days old and he had captured our hearts and became our world. The thought of losing him, heavy on our minds, was unbearable.

So we fought for him and alongside him. We prayed for him, for the nurses and doctors. We prayed for strength for each other. Matt and I held each other on the twin bed, trying our best to comfort each other.

Our instructions were to feed him every two hours –either formula or breastmilk. I had my heart set on nursing my baby and was afraid that if we gave him bottles he would never be able to nurse. But he needed to eat. I learned how to pump and were able to give him breastmilk bottles every two hours.

We settled in for a long night. We set alarms. I pumped and fed him. I pumped and Matt fed him. Repeat. We alternated guiding the tubes and cords out of the incubator so we could hold and comfort our baby boy while he ate.

They did another blood draw to recheck his levels. Nurses were in and out constantly checking, updating his chart, noting his feedings.

At 7 the next morning our pediatrician came in and was very happy with the progress over night. Cam was getting hydrated, fed and started having wet diapers and normal poop. I never thought I would be so happy to hear the words “normal poop.”

He set up an appointment with a lactation consultant for me that afternoon. She was patient and understanding. She taught me how to nurse and how to make sure he latched correctly. She brought her sensitive baby scale and we weighed him before he ate and after and it appeared that he was getting about 3 ounces from nursing. This time, they were happy tears.

I was finally nursing my son and bonding with him in a way I had dreamed about even before we got pregnant.

We were discharged that afternoon. We drove home and I had the confidence knowing that we, as family were going to be okay.

Categories: baby, family, newborns, parenting, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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