Thursday, September 30, 2010

Where Have I Been...?

If I only had time to really answer that question. Being a mom, wife, career woman and blogger just isn't as easy as it looks. Right now bedtime is not going as smoothly as it should. Which will probably cause me to lose my train of thought as I pause to get up to answer his calls. Right now what he wants is for me to rub his back while he stares at me to make sure I don't leave. Cute but not so great for my work obligations or pumping schedule.
I've been reflecting and I don't like being the night time parent. My husband works 3-Midnight and is with Little Man during the day while I'm at work. I pick Little Man up from daycare at 6 and start bedtime around 8 and he's usually out before 9. So really if I'm lucky I only get 5 hours of quality awake time with him a night. My thought now is I'm eating my words as it is 10 of 11 and he now just went to sleep and my arm is pretty much dead weight from the back rubbing.
So what strange and interesting highlights can I fill you in on? Well Little Man has a grand total of four teeth that came at the expense of some much needed sleep. He has had his first ear infection which led to amoxicillin, diarrhea and then a disappointed and prolonged complaint from daycare. That complaint about him leaking through his diapers was three days long. They asked us to put him in plastic pants, to which I said no because of latex. My hubby's solution was to "double wrap" him and put another diaper cover over the bumgeniuses. As you can guess that led to diaper rash and my putting my foot down and refusing to allow the ridiculous second cover any longer. This also meant that at night I broke down and used some disposables in order to really cover him in diaper cream. Another great thing the diarrhea led to was the most expensive probiotic I have ever purchased. My sitter got sick on a day she was supposed to watch Little Man because I had a game and wouldn't be home in time. Frantic search for alternate care and my sister-in-law swooped in to save the day. Oh yeah and because I've not had enough down time at work, I have forgotten to drink my mother's milk tea there or take my fenugreek or even drink an adequate amount of water.
But really I realize that when I try to do my best with an area of my life other areas get neglected and being the type of mother that I am it usually means everything other then my son is on the back burner. My pumping schedule at work has left me little time to get my grading and paperwork done during my free periods, the fact that I only see my husband and son on weekends has pushed my desire to complete that work then even further back. I scoff at the idea of housework. As long as there aren't things living or growing where they shouldn't be I really could care less that is unless it's my pump station and parts. As you probably can guess my writing took a back burner to sleep. All I can really say is at the moment I still have my sanity even thought it may not seem like it. I'm not throwing in the nursing towel yet, however I did have to actually set myself a goal for the first time.
Currently my goal is to make it to a year, before this I didn't have a goal because I never even thought stopping before he was ready was an option I wanted. I still don't like it but I don't know if I can make it the next month let alone nurse for an extended period of time. Which by the way I would love to nurse him into toddlerhood.
So in answer finally to the question at hand, I've been everywhere and stretchinapologizeg myself thin but wishing I was home with Little Man and hubby. I apologize for the incoherent and

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Baby University: Little Man, My Teacher

Welcome to the September Carnival of Natural Parenting: We're all home schoolers

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared how their children learn at home as a natural part of their day. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

I'm a high school art teacher, I have been for 6 years.  I work in the public school system so the style of teaching and learning is mandated by the school district I work in.  They do allow for differentiation and creativity so that is fine by me, I can find a way to accommodate my students' learning styles while teaching the required material.  However, this was not my dream teaching scenario.  I fell in love with the Montessori approach when I was in college learning to be a teacher.  I had wanted to see this type of learning in practice because I had attended traditional public schools all my life and it was fascinating to me that you could allow a child to explore their environment at their own pace and through their own interests and that would choose to learn.  This is a novel idea to most teachers of required courses taught to teenagers.
So when I had my son I took an extended maternity leave of six months which, I have just returned to work from, I decided I would allow my child to direct what we did during the six months I had uninterrupted with him.  And so when he arrived I listened patiently to all the advice from the nurses, doctors and my relatives and then threw all that right out the door and waited for Little Man to tell me what to do.  It didn't take him long either.  Though in the beginning the only one learning was me.  I had to learn quickly what all those different cries meant.  The learning curve was a short one.  I think most of you would agree with me that it doesn't take a mother long to figure out what her new little companion desires.  Mine wanted food, diaper changes and sleep.
Soon he developed his own routine which mostly consisted of sleep, diaper change, breastfeeding, burping repeat, which I might add I because very accustomed to myself.  All the while I kept hearing about, sleep training, "eat, play, sleep", the ferber method, The Happiest Baby on the Block, I could go on but since I didn't care to check any of these things out I'll brush over them and move on.  All the while I'm not doing much of anything except catering to the whims of a tiny little person who is quite content in his own view of the world.  I felt bad for the moms that talked to me about this or that method and couldn't get their little one to sleep or eat "properly"  Are you thinking, what I'm thinking?  I felt guilty that my two month old slept through the night and only because he wanted to, I did absolutely nothing.  They would ask and I would tell them we don't have a routine, Little Man does what he wants, when he wants.
But the teacher in me was still asking, "Where's the learning?" The mother in me answered, "Patience, it's coming."  It did, holding up his head for short periods of time since he was born until he could do it for the entire time he was awake by one and half months.  Despite the fact that he HATED "tummy-time" and had a flat spot on his head to show for it he rolled from front to back at three months and then back to front a week later.  Army crawling came at four months, when he saw something he wanted he went for it.  He used his face as a fifth appendage but he made it to where he was going.  He passed objects from hand to hand around the same time as well.  He did all of this without any real coaching or teaching from me, just because he wanted to at that time.
So you may ask, "What is it that you have taught your baby?"  I actually found out what I taught him the first day I returned to work and he had to go to daycare.  When I arrived to pick up my baby, I thought I would hear from his teachers that he cried and was not comfortable at daycare.  That he might still be crying when I got there and I would scoop him up into my arms and rush to nurse him so that he would feel better.  What did I find?  My son playing with a truck on the floor with another baby, completely uninterested in being interrupted in that moment.  I was surprised and a little miffed but mostly I was relieved and proud, I taught him independence and self-confidence.  So, just how did I do this when I never set a routine nor followed a single baby guru book nor force my child to do the appropriate developmental exercise to achieve those milestones?  I breastfed him.  He felt secure in our bond that it is okay for us to be apart for an extended (11 hours) period of time during the day.  As I reflect back on the past six months with my boy I realize that there was so much learning going on despite my lack of teaching and that I was learning too.  It was nice not to be scheduled and given mandate teaching instructions for your day and how this skill was to be taught.

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be updated September 14 with all the carnival links.)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Ugh I Hate This Right Now!

I only had two days of work last week and then a four day weekend which, I was neglectful of pumping and I am regretting that right now. I am having issues with the pump right now. My slacker boob is not getting perfect suction which has resulted in minimal, we're talking just barely covering the bottom of the bottle, milk. The other side isn't doing so hot either. I had a less then perfect showing this morning and last night as well. I left the house with five full bottles and one just squeaking by. I told hubby to dip into the backup. I feel like I could sit here all day and make nothing. When I get home I'll have some fenugreek with dinner and see if that helps any. Though last time I got a clogged duct and cried for two hours trying to work it out. Ugh I hate real life. Still not ready to give up. Maybe my next two pumps will be better. BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

First Day at Work

So the first day went pretty well.  I awoke at 5 am, pumped, heard my boy around 5:45 so I was able to sneak in a nursing before I had to get ready.  Jumped in the shower, heard Little Man again at 6:15 but decided that I needed to concentrate on getting what I needed to get done so poor hubby had to get up.  Finished everything I needed to get done and left the house at 7:10.  Discovered that the new bus schedule is going to force me to leave at 7 am to make the "20 minute trip" and arrive by 7:45.  Oh well I guess there goes the hair straightening.
I was welcomed back by my colleagues and former students throughout the day.  I was able to get two pumping sessions in during my prep periods, I skipped the pump session for my lunch because I was starving and I had some computer work to do.  I was also able to thankfully squeeze another session in before I had to run to practice after school.  I discussed work my office mates the possibility of me using our office to pump instead of going to the nurse's supply closet because I needed/wanted to multi-task.  It was agreed, so I'll be covering the windows to the office door so I can sit at a computer.  Bonus is I get service in our office which, I did not in the closet because of lack of windows.
So how did I feel about this?  I'm not going to lie it is a huge adjustment.  I really wish I could have stayed home with him forever.  I missed him every second of the day.  I texted hubby as often as possible to check on Little Man and then poor hubby texted me to get reassurances that he was okay at daycare.  When I picked him up from daycare he wasn't immediately hungry so I had to wait for relief.
The first nursing session home was just that relief.  I couldn't settle down to enjoy it the way I would normally because even though I pumped I felt like I was busting at the seams.  Plus I was still starving myself.  It wasn't until our third nursing session, our bedtime session, that I was able to enjoy the moment.  I felt so much more present  similar to how I felt when I first met him in the hospital when I couldn't take my eyes off him.  I soaked in every movement, smell, sound and feeling that he made during this session.  It was so relaxed that if I could have stayed in the rocker all night I would have.  But the time came that he indicated he was finished and wanted to go in his crib and I had to leave.
I came here to put into words the gift that was that nursing session after my first 11 hours away from my son, but as I look back it just pales in comparison.  It was times like that I wish I had a night vision lens on my iphone so I could record that and watch it while pumping in the sterile, brightly lit, lonely closet I pump in.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

My Yogi Tea's Profound Though for the Day

I drink Yogi tea Nursing Mother Support pretty regularly.  It tastes good and I feel it helps with my supply. I have been drinking Yogi tea since I was pregnant and my OB told me I could no longer enjoy my regular tea or my favorite herbals because of the risks to my growing baby.  The tea has a little thought on the paper tab that are like little nuggets of good thoughts for your day or moment that you are enjoying the tea.
So what was my thought provoking tidbit for the day? "Happiness comes from overcoming the most impossible challenges."  What a perfect quote for a breastfeeding support tea.  Nursing is by no means an easy feat for most mothers and babies.
I myself have gone to the end of the world and back just to participate in this natural and loving gift for my son.  We had weight gain issues for the first two months of his life.  I struggled to stay awake and calm for the first week when he screamed non-stop during feedings.  I pumped exclusively and was a slave to that machine for two months of his life.  I started back at square one when at two months my supply dipped and I figured I'd better give this one last shot of natural nursing before I give up on the whole thing.  I did this all with painful bleeding nipples because I did not know that I didn't have a correct latch and on top of that really bad thrush.  But we as a team prevailed through and have developed a nursing relationship that I cherish every day when I get the privilege of watching him watch me while he eats the best stuff I can offer him.
So here I am again about to enter another trial by fire challenge for us with nursing as I reenter the workforce on Tuesday.  All week I've been at my wit's end because my little one has been waking during the night to feed and then again in the morning as Mama is trying to get out the door for preseason practice.  This has made pumping difficult to say the least.  I have a supply built up of at least 40 ounces so I have that to fall back on and If I can get 2-3 pumping sessions from the time he goes to bed to when I'm walking out the door and then the 3 possibly 4 pumps at work I should be fine.  Again I have to put things that are out of my control out of my head, if it's meant to be then it will be.
The other the thing that has me concerned is my hubby and his ability to handle his new responsibilities.  I got very upset last night over something as trivial as turning off the fan in Little Man's room when it was bedtime.  I was fuming because I had to stop nursing to get up turn the switch back on which blasted us with light and then pull the chain to turn off the light and keep the fan on.  I'm thinking, "doesn't he care about our baby?" "Haven't I explained up and down about the risk of SIDS and what we can do to prevent it?" "For two weeks now he has gotten up with the baby, didn't he see the fan is on and the humidifier?" "My husband sleeps with a fan, why wouldn't he have the baby sleep with a fan?"  Well of course my husband knows this stuff he just forgot.  Do I really need to freak out, probably not.  But it is just one more of those things I need to learn how to deal with so I can go to work and feel if not  confident, at the least at ease that they will be fine without me.  Which they will.  I'll make sure of it.
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