February 18, 2010

Next Blog Teaser

So many exciting things happening this week: a photo shoot with my excellent photographer friend; Jill's first night in her own room and crib; my first day back at work; Jill went to sleep at 9:30 last night (regularly 11-11:30pm); and we have special visitors coming today - three of my college roommates and an extra special visitor too, Jen's daughter, Katie. Will hopefully be able to write about all of these things later today or this weekend! Things are much more fun in the Musante household these days. A little sleep goes a long way!

February 10, 2010

Sibling Rivalry (not the trendy restaurant in the Theater District)

The last doctor’s appointment with shots Jill was up half the night. That appointment was at 4pm. So this time around I thought I’d be an experienced and wise parent and make a morning appointment. It worked. We let her cry for about 3 minutes (seemed like 15) and she fell asleep. Tony jumped back into bed so excited I didn’t think he’d be able to sleep (kinda like the “snow day effect” when schoolchildren can’t sleep in) but then exhaustion set in. So here we are. Asleep at 10:30pm. An amazing thing. Until Rachael decides that last night would be a good time to express her feelings of neglect since the baby arrived 9 weeks ago.

Now Rachael has never been a dog to demand attention. She’s super chill and relaxed and would rather be left alone on her bed. I definitely haven’t been walking her as much but that’s also due to the weather. I don’t want to take Jill - the barely 10lb baby – out when it’s below 30ish. So last night we paid. Rachael made her way up Tony’s side of the bed and asked to be let out around midnight. She didn’t have to go to the bathroom. She just wanted to play. Tony obliged but was no doubt annoyed. Then Jill woke up to eat too. Tony moved the pack n play to block his side of the bed. I fed Jill and we all went to sleep. Well not Rachael. I could feel someone looking at me in my sleep so I opened my eyes and there was Rachael: sitting perfectly and staring at me, asking to be let up onto the bed. Tony and I invite Rach onto the bed here and there during weekends. She never sleeps in bed with us. She’ll lounge in the morning hours while Tony reads the paper and I have my coffee. But last night we needed sleep so badly – and were so thrilled that Jill was sleeping well – that Tony didn’t care. He lifted Rachael onto the foot of the bed and we all went to sleep. I remember having extra warm feet.

February 9, 2010

Life With a Newborn Takes Teamwork

Jill’s crying. She needs to eat. No, she needs to be changed. No, no, she’s hungry. Actually, that’s her wimpering I’m-about-to-fall-asleep cry. We’re learning that now. The meaning of certain cries is not something you can read about. It’s in the books but it’s hard to explain until you actually hear it. And when you hear it on 3.5 hours of sleep – even if it’s for the 10th time – you still forget. You can still try to feed her, throw on a fresh diaper and try to feed her again. All the while she just wanted to fall asleep.

I’ve always prided myself on knowing where things are. It drives me nuts when Tony goes rummaging through drawers and cabinets looking for things when all he has to do is ask and most of the time I know where the tape measure, etc. is. Take this morning. Tony wanted to dress Jill in her pink and green watermelon sleeper for her doctor’s visit. I knew where it was! All he had to do was ask and I told him it was on the top of the clothes basket in front of the washer and dryer. It’s clean. It’s clean just like the rest of the mounds of clothes that have been thrown into Jill’s crib and haven’t been folded and put away yet. We’ve resorted to just wearing clothing out of the crib. Less to put away. So back to the watermelon sleeper. I was so proud of myself that I knew where it was on such little sleep. But then I thought, “She shouldn’t wear that sleeper. It doesn’t have feet and she’ll have to wear socks and shoes and I can’t deal with socks and shoes today.” So on went the pink fleece “adorable” kitty sleeper, with feet.

[Sidebar: This morning’s doctor’s visit was good practice for next Tuesday when I go back to work. Tony and I make a good team. I really don’t know how an unhappy marriage can survive a newborn. It doesn’t seem possible. Our morning went like this: Tony showered and got ready while I nursed Jill. She took about 40min (suck, suck, snooze…). I washed up and got dressed (good thing I showered last night) while Tony dressed Jill. I packed her diaper bag the night before. I ate breakfast while Tony fastened Jill into her car seat and went out to the driveway to warm up the truck. I’m not sure when Tony ate … It was teamwork like we’ve never done before! All that to get a family of three out the door on a schedule.]

Nursing or taking the bottle. How long does it take? Just drink 4oz, burp a few times and be done with it. No? Not exactly. Sip, sip, snooze. Suck, suck, fall asleep, slide off the assumed position and try to suck some more. And who would have thought it can take SO long for a newborn to burp. Sometimes it’s almost immediate and it’s loud. Other times it takes 10 minutes and it’s so quiet it almost escapes you. But don’t let the burping fool you. They need to burp. If they don’t, they will throw up on you.

Then there’s co-sleeping, bed sharing, throwing your kid in the crib in the other room. When are you supposed to make the jump? If I don’t hear Jill making noises from the other room, will I jolt out of bed and think she is dead?

We had a doctor’s appointment this morning. Jill weighed in at 9lbs, 7oz and was 22.5in long. She’s a tall peanut to translate the percentiles. Needs to put more meat on her bones like her Mommy. It may have been the cover-up under my eyes but the doc asked right away how Jill was sleeping. I thought Tony was going to laugh in her face. She had a schedule for about a week but that was about a month ago. Since then, she’s been falling asleep around midnight and sleeping until 5-6am. Last night she fell asleep at 11 (downstairs, in front of the TV lights with Tony rocking her chair in his sleep). He brought her upstairs to eat at 3am and then the little delight was wide awake until 5. So we went downstairs and let Dad do some sleeping. There isn’t much on at 3:30 in the morning. Sex in the City re-runs end at 2 and that awful crooked cop-turned taxi driver-but wants to be a good cop show Hack ends at 3. While Jill dozed, fussed and dozed again, I downloaded pictures and uploaded them to snapfish. I went on facebook. I wonder if people notice the time stamps on these emails and posts. I’m not just getting home from the club people. I’m the mother of a newborn. And I don’t sleep.

[Side note: Multi-tasking = blogging while pumping]

February 3, 2010

Blowing Booger Bubbles

The only good thing about Jill being sick is the extra sleep it has brought the household. She's been fighting a cold since Sunday (Saturday really when she was getting cranky) and finally seems to be feeling better. Her color is improving and her head congestion seems to be loosening up. Moving the humidifer (this thing is massive!) into the bedroom last night made a huge difference. We also elevated her daytime chair so that she was sitting more upright and we were extra diligent with feedings to keep her well-hydrated. She's been eating fine but was a little lazy breastfeeding yesterday so I pumped and mixed formula a few times then gave her a bottle and she ate fine. Who wants to work for their food when they're sick anyways? I don't blame her!

A few expectant friends have asked for my honest opinion about motherhood this week. Apparently I have the reputation of not holding back...hahah! It's hard work! That's my honest opinion. I can't say how their labor and the first few nights and weeks will be for them since it's so different for every person. I thought my labor was fairly easy. Jill was on the small side, which was a benefit for labor but not for nighttime feedings. Tony and I had to set the alarm every 2-3 hours to make sure we woke her up to eat. We couldn't let her sleep. She had to eat to keep gaining weight. And eating every 2-3 hours means every 2-3 hours from when the feeding started. So if the baby eats for 30-45 min then takes 30 min to get back to sleep, the alarm is going off again in an hour. Great, one hour of sleep! It was brutal. Once peanut gained some weight, her pediatrician said we could let her sleep for longer periods of time. We were so happy to hear that. I almost hugged her!

So back to motherhood. It's hard. I love to hold Jill and craddle her when she's crying and feed her when she's hungry. But for the first 6 weeks or so, you don't get much in return. Soiled and wet diapers are gratification I suppose, but not really. The first time Jill smiled at me (the full face smile), I cried. It was awesome! It made me forget about all the hard work. I can't wait for more smiles, more giggling and more jibber jabbering. The gratification comes; it just takes awhile.

And in the meantime, maternity leave is a TON of work. I told my work friends I was going to learn to cook and reorganize the house while I was on leave. What a joke! haha I'm lucky if I brush my teeth before 3pm. I had no idea how much time my little one would take up. I suppose it's a little different if you don't breastfeed, but not much. You're still feeding every 2-3 hours! Gotta go, she's up and hungry!