Monday, 12 October 2015

Three Months

Cheeky grin...

Everyone warns you how quickly time will pass once a baby arrives, and believe me, it has. I can't believe it's been three months already. Yet at the same time, it also feels much longer than that. My parents visit seems as if it were ages ago, and those first few nights in the hospital has become a distant memory. My pregnant is also a blur. I'm so happy to forget about the swollen ankles and numb fingers, but every now and then, I'll place my hand on my abdomen and try to conjure the memories of feeling her flip and kick inside me. Perhaps it is because we waited so long and wanted her in our life so badly, that her presence seems to be transcending time. It feels as if she has been with us for a lot longer than three months.

Recently, an event marked just how much has been accomplished in these three months. I went into a local boutique shop and brought a sleeping Jate in her infant carrier seat. She started to wake up as we approached my car. As there was a bit of time left on my meter, I decided to try to take her for a walk in the Baby Bj.orn. She did rather well for about twenty minutes, then began to fuss. She was due for a diaper change and a feed, so I stopped in a cafe to take care of both, as well as get a cup of tea for myself. I lost track of time, which resulted in a near sprint to make it back to my car before the meter-maid issued [another] $58 citation. Maybe Jate didn't like dashing about while strapped in the carrier, but whatever was upsetting her, she was showing no restraint to make her feelings known. She was screaming bloody murder at the top of her lungs. When I started to fasten her into her carseat, an event she hates while in a good mood, she began to wail even louder, which I didn't think was actually possible. Yeah, yeah, you're crying... I acknowledged to her while acknowledging something else to myself. Ten weeks ago the sound of such a stressed cry would have reduced me to a puddle of tears. As she had been fed and changed in the past half hour, I could be dismissive. Perhaps even a bit cavalier. Some people looked inside as the passed my car. This time, I welcomed their judgement. Yes, I am a terrible mother. Worst Mother in the World -right here! 

Yet, I can't believe it's already October and the holiday season is breathing down our necks. Pretty soon, we'll be ringing in another New Year. Recently, I've been becoming aware of certain anniversaries that brought us to Jate. It wasn't intentional, but I stopped at Star.bucks almost exactly a year to the date when a bathroom stop after the Farmer's Market announced AF's arrival and the commencement of our FET prep. It's funny how some details are still so salient. I remember that New Girl liked the dress I was wearing when I had my laminaria placed. I still recall the sense of relief when my RE declared that the transfer could not have been any smoother. I vividly remember the sense of panic when I started to cramp from my overdistended bladder and decided to risk getting off the table after only 8 minutes of rest. I remember there was a beautiful sunrise on the morning of my beta draw. I couldn't help to wonder if it were some sort of sign from the Universe, which I knew was just a silly thought. Nonetheless, I decided to pull my car over and stop to take a picture, even though I knew I would arrive at the lab late and be further down on the list. Now that I know the result, I like to think that there was some message in the sky...


Nicknames: Still the same

Stats: (unofficial) 13 lbs 6 oz, 24 inches

Eating: Still exclusively breastfeed. I know I said that I didn't want to set any goals for a particular duration, but once breastfeeding was well established, my first target was to hit the three month mark. As my paediatrician is pretty adamant about not starting solids before six months, that's my next goal and then we'll play things by ear once the solids start. Oh, I had another moment where I reversed a vow made by my former self. I had previously declared that if I ever had a baby and decided to breastfeed, I would NEVER feed in public without using a modesty cover. When Jate was five weeks, I attended my first session of a New Parents group. One of the other moms informed me that the discussion usually continues by going out for lunch after the class ends. I joined the other moms who were sitting with their babies in the outdoor eating space at the local Whole Foods. Jate, who had been calmly sleeping in the Baby Bjorn carried, decided to wake and go from zero to full out wailing in less than 5 seconds. I was in the far corner of the picnic table. Not only would I have needed other moms to get up to let me out, but my pram, which contained the my cover, was the furtherst away, so I would have had to crawl throughout a maze of strollers to reach it. Oh fuck it! I thought. Then another thought hit my brain like lightening. You're in WHOLE FOODS. In BERKELEY CALIFORNIA. I'm sure people would probably take more objection to your use of a cover! 

The thing is, I'm not so much worried about offending other people, as I don't think breastfeeding is offensive. I can appreciate that it make a situation awkward. Husband was always uncomfortable around breastfeeding mothers and he wasn't sure where to look and didn't want to accidentally see someone's boob. I think that is was resonates with me. I actually have fairly nice breasts (or at least they were nice). I don't want just anyone to see them. The exposure can translate to a certain feeling of vulnerability. Nonetheless, with a screaming baby, I did what I had to do and I breastfeed in public sans cover. Of course in the nanosecond between when I lifted my shirt and stuck Jate's mouth on as if it were a magnet, I looked up and saw a youngish guy looking my way. Oh Jane, why do you think he pays the higher prices at Whole Foods? He probably comes here hoping to see some boobs!

Sleeping: She has stretched her sleep to 8-9 hours uninterrupted each night. I truly hope she is a good night time sleeper and we're not being lulled into a false sense of security, which will come crashing down as she hits the four month sleep regression, right when I go back to work. I've also been fearing the night we have to wean her from swaddling, as I think that is one of the reasons why she sleeps so well. A few weeks ago, I noted that her size small swaddles were getting tight. The weight range was 7-14 pounds and she was barely 12 pounds at that time. I found one in the back of her drawer, which still fit, and led me to conclude that the others must have shrunk in the dryer. So when I washed the remaining swaddle, I let it air dry; only to find that it was also too small. I realised I had my washer set to "warm", which was still hot enough to shrink my swaddles. Alas, we had to break out the pack of medium swaddles, but they were a bit too big and she could easily wiggle her arms out. We decided that this was a good time to start swaddling with one arm out. It has been working both to protect her good sleep, but also to prepare for when we go sans swaddle. She will almost always release the second arm, and when I check on her, I'll often note that she will still have both arms by her side, as if they were wrapped in the swaddle; which is a bit odd, but also rather cute.

Likes: She is going to be a Blankie girl. She loves the soft muslin blankets and will cuddle with them. She also really loves her Wubbanubb and I'll often find her with her arm around the little giraffe, giving it a snuggle. She also seems to really enjoy bath time.


Dislikes: I'm afraid I have to add the Baby Bj.orn carrier to this list, although I've convinced that she just doesn't like it yet. I tried carrying her during a recent New Parents group gathering at Whole Foods, but she became fussy after fifteen minutes or so, and I put her back down in her pram. One of the other mothers observed, "maybe she just prefers reclining rather than being held upright". She's probably right, but in my more vulnerable lactation induced menopausal state, I felt as if I were failing in my bid to be a baby wearing mom. Now, this would be a big deal if I subscribed the the theory that strollers are evil and mothers who love their babies, wear their babies. Seriously, I didn't know this was such a thing. I recall watching the movie Away we Go on an airplane flight (98 minutes of my life that I'll never get back, as I couldn't figure out the point to that movie) where a character was anti-stroller as she proclaimed,  "We don't want to push our babies away from us." I thought the writers were trying to make her character really quirky, but one mom in my group shared that her brother and sister-in-law are anti-stroller and they make the seventy year old grandparents carry their baby and toddler up and down the steep streets in San Francisco! Um, how about sometimes a stroller is more convenient and sometimes a carrier is more convenient and let's not read anything else into it. When I'm at the Farmer's Market, I prefer to use the stroller. I would be worried about someone bumping into me and I don't have to overload myself carrying a baby and bags of fresh produce. Plus, it's easier to shield her from the sun and I kind of enjoy the fact that people will get out of your way. When I'm in the grocery store, I prefer to wear her in a carrier, so I have hands free to load and push the trolley.

Diapers: We moved up to size 2 Pamp.ers Swaddlers and still use regular size cloth diapers during the day. She still pees on the changing table at least once a day. While I was pregnant, Myrtle called me at work to let me know that I didn't register for enough changing table pad covers. "Really?" I asked, "two is not enough?" "Nope. Double it." she insisted. Okay, I thought as I figured I could keep them in their package and return them if I didn't need them. However, Jate must have been listening to our conversation and she decided "challenge accepted!" as she has gone through all four covers in one day...

Milestones: Nothing major this month. She's been more cooperative with tummy time and her head control is coming along. We've been working on sitting, both propping her on pillows and placing her in our laps. She's learned to bring her hands together and recently discovered her toes. She's been babbling more frequently, which sometimes turns into a bit of a howl, and is rather funny.

Looking forward to: Well, our trip to the East coast is right around the corner. I'm a little nervous as Husband is leaving five days before me. (He has many umpiring assignments and my parents aren't getting back from vacation until the day I arrive, so if I left at the same time as Husband, Jate and I would spend the better part of five days alone at my parents house. Bored out of our skulls). The prospect of flying by myself is daunting, but other experienced mothers have helped assure me that it's not as hard as it seems. I'm excited to see my parents again, and my in-laws are also visiting from England. Especially after being the lone parent for a long stretch of time, it will be nice to have many willing family members to take her off my hands. Myrtle is busy with a work event for part of our trip, but I'm excited to see her as well. I'm also hoping to meet up with a fellow blogger! I'll also be attending a continuing medical education conference just before I leave. The conference takes place on two of the days while Husband is away, so my cousin will watch Jate for a few hours while I attend the lectures. It will be a nice way to get a little break during my long stretch of solo parenting, but I'm looking forward to using that part of my mind again (which has gathered so much dust and cobwebs) and it will be a refresher before I go back to work. Ah yes, my mornings of watching Gilmore Girls will be coming to an end... 

"do we have to do this every month?"

14 comments:

  1. It's funny you mentioned being reflective, the current post I am working on is the same way. It's so much nicer to look back now vs. before being pregnant. Your little one is just precious and it sounds like you have this Mom job down pat!

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  2. Q hasn't loved babywearing either, which is disappointing to me seeing as so how many moms comment on being able to get stuff done around the house while doing it. But I guess I could also use that as an excuse to justify the fact that nothing gets done. :) Jate is a cutie, as always! Love that smile in the first pic.

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  3. My advice for you on the swaddle transition (not that you asked for it, but figured I would give anyway) is the baby Magic Merlin Sleepsuit. It is completely fucking ridiculous but our girl, who loved the swaddle, transitioned super easily to this and it helps prevent her from startling while still allowing some movement in her arms and legs, plus it looks so ridiculously hysterical that I woke her up from a nap the first time I put her in it because I was laughing so hard. And we hit a rough patch of sleep at 4 months and used some advice from a sleep site to put her on a pretty rigid nap schedule (down for a nap every hour and 15 minutes from when she woke up from the last nap) and that not only helped her nap more (she would go down in about 5 mins without fussing) but it seemed to help the night sleep. Or we just got lucky and those two things coincided, a lot of this seems to be a crapshoot, but figured I would mention it in case it helps you as well, can send you the URL to the schedule if you want it. AV doesn't love the carrier much either, she will do 15-20 minutes in it and is just much more content in her stroller. I hadn't realized that there were these fervent baby wearing people either until a lady at work started telling me how she would never use a stroller (which I deemed as fucking crazy and decided that we would never speak of parenthood again). Can't wait to hear how traveling solo goes - I am likely going to have to take AV alone with me to meet my new nephew and am a bit overwhelmed at the logistics of it all so I want all the tips.

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  4. JANE!!! My heart is going to burst for you. I'm so happy to see you as a mommy. I've been so bad…not making the time to read blogs like I used to. As you know, its hard to keep your head above water sometimes with these little ones. Love this update! Happy 3 months to your beautiful girl

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  5. Hahaha, I love your "worst mother in the world" moment. You so got this! AJ didn't like being in a carrier for long periods of time either, and she only seemed really comfortable in it at about 4 months. I agree, it all depends on the situation which is more convenient. Or what mood your child is in. Good luck on the trip. My only advice is to think about how best to keep your hands free (as possible). I wanted to blog my flying system but never got around to it. I found people in airports very helpful.

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  6. I'm so jealous of your sleep right now and I really hope it stays for you! J was a good sleeper early on, but the 4-month sleep regression is a bitch. That, plus learning to roll, ditching the swaddle cold turkey...it has not been good. But it sounds like you're being much more proactive and things might go better for you. I too was never going to bf in public until I had to once at a mini golf course. It was pretty discreet until some high school boys walked over and asked if they could take a chair from the little cafe table I was at. Once one realized what I was doing, he sort of yelped and turned away really fast. It's much less of a big deal than I thought. Love Jate's adorable smile! You're doing awesome.

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  7. Sounds like you've really figured out how to have balance and to parent the baby you have and not the baby in the books. Enjoy your trip to the East Coast!

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  8. You've really fallen into your own Jane, it's quite lovely. I am rather pro-baby wearing but certainly not anti-stroller, I think that sentiment is utterly ridiculous. But I will say, she may just not prefer the Baby Björn. Another type of carrier may suit her better. We have four different carriers and they all have their time and place. We also have an $800 stroller which I absolutely utilize on long walks or when he's asleep at restaurants. As for diaper changes, are you tucking the fresh diaper underneath her before you remove the soiled one? That should catch any errant urine streams. Good luck on your trip. Hopefully, the dreaded eustacian tube/cabin pressure nightmare doesn't occur.

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    1. BTW, we didn't have a four month sleep regression and he very smoothly transitioned out of swaddling. I wish you the same luck!

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  9. Check out that amazing smile!!

    That anti-stroller comment was the most ridonkulous thing I have ever heard! Wait until their kid is 20+ pounds and carrying it around instead of in a stroller is next to impossible for more than 30 minutes/1 hour.

    People in airports are really nice and helpful when you are with your kid. Everything likes to help out which is great!

    We had a short four mouth sleep regression- it only lasted a few days. It wasn't fun but we got through it.

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  10. This is why I enjoy your blog so much. Posts like these. And the whole anti-stroller thing is just crazy!

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  11. Jane, she is so yummy!!!! She looks a lot like you, doesn't she? So cute! And congrats for going sans nursing cover while in Berkeley!

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  12. so cute.................. looks pretty..... Well written post. I enjoyed your post very much. It was great journey for me while reading your blog.
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  13. 3 months, my god! She's got such a light in her eyes now!

    I will admit, I wasn't quite as bad as some of those anti-stroller moms you were talking about, but I didn't intend to buy one and I planned to wear her all the time, because my mom had always talked about how it was so easy and nice with me and strollers are such a pain and all that. And then I walked down to the mailbox when she was less than a week old and it was still February but this is Texas, and all I could think was, "Jesus fuck this is hot." She also didn't end up taking to it that much, and neither did my son. Definitely one of those places where I got my comeuppance.

    Changing pad covers are totally one of those things I encourage moms to have plenty of. I bought, like, two, because that's all the lists ever tell you you need, and then within a week I went out and bought more. Then I bought more later. I bought another couple when my son was born. It has never been too many.

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