Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Sleeping Game

I always knew that one of the most disruptive things about becoming a mom in terms of my life and schedule would be sleep. I like to sleep. My preferred, natural biological schedule is to go to bed around midnight and wake up around 9am. Obviously, that isn't happening anymore. It will likely never, ever happen again except on special occasions.

Pike came into our lives and, after seven months of hopping up to pee several times a night and other good fun like that, I was already on a weird schedule. He spent three weeks in the NICU and I pumped every three hours anyway, sleepy and blurry and playing games on my phone.

We have been blissfully lucky so far with Pike. He came home, and he's always been a good sleeper, only up once or twice a night even when he was tiny. If he's stuffed up (as he has been this week) or sick, he may be more fidgety, but by and large he's slept through the night for months. He's an AWESOME baby. But going to bed at nine in the evening and waking up at 4:30 or 5 am still rubs me the wrong way. I'm not a morning person. I would be if I could be, but I'm not. I don't like waking up, I like staying snuggled in the sheets and drifting back up.

What makes it worth it is that little face. When I go into his room in the morning to pick him up, he pops his head up in the crib, grins, and is always in a good mood. My baby is a morning person just like his daddy - god help me! Thankfully the fact that they're both so happy and smiley in the morning means that even when I'm grouchy and don't want any of it, I'm surrounded by smiles and cuddles and it kinda sorta almost makes it worth being conscious.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Pleasant Pumping

Oh boy, breast feeding is soooo boring!

I'm going to talk about pumping here. Some people might not find that super pleasant even though I don't intend to get gory or anything. So... yeah. Be warned! lol Basically, these are just the things that I've found work for me personally to make pumping tolerable. It's dull, it's tedious... it's all the time suck of breastfeeding with none of the benefits and twice the clean-up. But sometimes you just gotta do it.

  • Get a double electric pump. Medela has the fanciest, best ones, but they're pricey. You can rent them from the hospital, but they're $80 a month. Or for that same $80, you can get a Playtex. Mine's taken the abuse of going from home to work every day for eight months now.
  • This is actually just more for breastfeeding or pumping - get yourself some reusable nursing pads. I wish I'd done that sooner. I felt kind of dumb when I realized how much money I would have saved, plus less filling up of landfills. 
  • Find something that makes the experience tolerable for you. Personally, I refuse to do anything productive if at all possible. I read fan fiction, I play Angry Birds... whatever. My Kindle Fire has been an absolute godsend, as was my phone before that. Because I'm not even going to attempt to hold a regular book open and hold pumps on at the same time. Uh uh. 
Those are the big ones. You're already working if you're pumping - by which I mean that the pumping itself is a productive activity. So try not to let yourself feel like you've got more important stuff pressing or you should be multitasking. Give yourself that fifteen minutes or whatever guilt free. You deserve at LEAST that for doing it to start with. 

And if you don't pump or breastfeed... that's FINE. And if someone gives you crap for it, flip them off for me. Things like this are personal, and as long as you and your baby are taken care of, that's all that matters. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Nailed It

In the same vein as my previous entry, these are the things I think we've done awesomely well that we wouldn't change:
  • pick a unique but viable nursery theme
  • pick a name that's special but not too weird
  • use the Pack and Play for an in-bedroom sleeper while the baby is young enough to wake up multiple times during the night
  • ask for diapers and wipes on the registries so we are stocked up
  • have the front room set up for receiving visitors 
  • take tons of pictures
  • People from work did a schedule the first week we were home of bringing dinner by the house - and it was AMAZINGLY helpful
  • Don't stress. Even the parts that were rougher worked out.