It’s officially October. In my mind, October means it’s officially Fall. A month filled with pumpkin spice lattes, cute layered sweaters, and the breakout of booties. But October is also the official Month of Down Syndrome Awareness- something very near and dear to my heart.Read More
The day finally arrived. We got our “baby” baptized. Can you even still call your child a “baby” when they are 10 months old and can somehow boss you around without even being able to utter a single meaningful word?Read More
Before becoming a mommy, I definitely liked to indulge in some beautification. I got regular hair cuts, enjoyed the occasional blowout, always had my nails and toes well manicured. Heck, I even lasered the hair off of my face (which turned out to be a waste of money when pregnancy helped me revert back to the little chinchilla that I am. THANK YOU SO MUCH pregnancy hormones).Read More
I used to party. Like go out, stay out until the wee hours, and then wake up the next day and function off of what I though was very little sleep. But let me tell you all something – I had never felt sleep deprivation the way I felt it once I became a mom. Here’s the thing, my husband and I have a WHOLE lot in common... except when it comes to our sleep habits.Read More
Does this make me look fat? This is the trick question many of us women ask our significant others. Although I’ve found that the men in my life are smart enough to know that even if when I look like a beached whale, the right answer is “you look so skinny.”
Having a daughter has already got me thinking? How do I raise her with a positive body image? How do I make sure she is comfortable in her skin?
To be completely honest, these days I am just thankful that babies don’t understand or remember the things people say to them.
The man who came to fix the garage looked at Charlie and said “wow she’s a big one.” An acquaintance of my mom’s took one look and said “how much she did weigh at birth?” Many others have said “she’s such a healthy baby.” I think that’s probably the nicest term to use when calling my baby a fatty.
My happy baby clearly has no idea that these strangers are calling her fat, because she typically smiles back and occasionally lets out a squeal. Or maybe she does understand and thats her way of saying “F U”. I guess we will never know.
I remember back at Charlotte’s 4 Month check up, the doc asked how she was sleeping. At the time, I was going to lie because I kind of knew where the conversation was going, but instead I told the truth. “She sleeps through the night 50 percent of the time, and the other 50 percent she wakes up 1 time to eat”
The doctor said, “she doesn’t need to eat in the middle of the night. She is eating enough during the day to sleep through the night.” I felt like asking the doctor, “Do I look like I should sleep through the night, because I occasionally indulge in the midnight snack too?” We started talking to the doctor about starting solids at 6 months and she told us to avoid rice cereal and oatmeal. As a serial dieter myself, I immediately was thinking “Oohhh so south beach diet for the baby - low carb.” She then proceeded to explain that these food items were “empty calories, bland, do nothing for he babies palette.” Was she just telling ME this because she felt MY baby did not need the carbs. I now realize that the doctor meant well and that it was completely my own insecurities coming into play since their practice as a whole is against starting babies on that type of food.
All of this chatter about food, and weight, and percentiles brings me back to my childhood. How good mommies try to protect their children. How good mommies don’t want their children to feel hurt or embarrassed. How good mommies want their children to be confident.
Back when I was about 9 or 10 years old, I was quite chunky. I wanted cool clothes, but I couldn’t fit into most of them. It was so unfair that I couldn’t fit into those cool bell bottoms at Limited Too. CHUNKY GIRLS WANT COOL CLOTHES TOO YOU KNOW! My mom tried her best to find me clothes that I liked. She used to take me shopping at Sears. They had a section called PRETTY PRETTY PLUS. For a while, I shopped their happily. I had no idea I was in the chunky kids section. All i knew, was that the bell bottoms fit.
One day, while at Sears, I realized the name of the section. It was probably a day my mother was dreading. I asked her “Mom, why is this section called pretty pretty plus?” Without skipping a beat, my mother said “it’s for EXTRA EXTRA PRETTY girls.” What child doesn’t want to hear from their mom how pretty they are? I was satisfied with that answer, and we went on with our day.
But then a couple of years later, thanks to an early period and a much needed growth spurt, I leaned out. The Sears days were over and I was officially shopping at Limited Too. Hallelujah!! And then one day, my mom and I walked through Sears and I recognized the PRETTY PRETTY PLUS sign. Suddenly It all came to me. It was like the lightbulb came on. The dots were connected.
“MOM..... you told me that we shopped here here because I was EXTRA EXTRA PRETTY!!!! And it’s because I was fat!!!!!”
My mom looked at me lovingly and she shrugged her shoulders as if she was saying “well what was I supposed to tell you.”
In that moment, I did not appreciate how fortunate I was to have a mom who always built me up. As a kid…well really, as a chunky kid…I never felt less than, or embarrassed, or not pretty. My mom thought I was perfect just the way I was. I understand this love now too, because when I look at Charlotte, she is perfect to me. And now as Charlotte's mom, all I can hope is that I raise her to be confident but not cocky, opinionated but open minded, determined but not unrelenting. I know that if I can raise her to be all of these things, that even on a day when she is physically feeling her worst, she will know that these are qualities that make her EXTRA EXTRA PRETTY.
I love you.
Like a lot.
You don’t know how badly I needed you. You don’t know how badly WE needed you.
You see, our baby and us- we had a great start to this journey. Sweet little Charlotte came home from the hospital and like a typical newborn, she was sooo sleepy. She slept in our arms, on the boppy pillow, in her bassinet. I mean this child was basically a narcoleptic. But boy that did not last. At about 8 weeks Charlotte decided that napping during the day was NOT COOL. And on top of that she suffered from really bad gas (I’m sure she will be thrilled about this post when she is older). Because of the gas, the over tiredness etc, what some refer to as a “witching hour” turned into witching days.....on end.
There’s truly nothing like taking your 800th lap around your apartment while your baby and you stare into each other’s eyes while both of you cry together. “Cry” is understatement. At times, we both wailed...in perfect harmony, like the psychotic choir from hell.
Here’s the thing- when I registered for my baby shower, I was appalled at the amount of stuff Buy Buy Baby recommended I scan. I mean, I thought I was completely stocked up when I noticed the little icon on the registry said I was only 37% complete. Did I really need a wipe warmer, a shush machine and a swing? For God sakes, they even suggested I buy a pad for my knees that is to be used “when giving your child a bath.” Hahah - “giving your child a bath?” Is that why they’re calling it these day. I know FOR SURE that the “bath” knee pad was invented by a man.
Well, it turns out that my baby is a diva and only likes her booty to be touched with warm wipes, so one week in and I sent my husband to buy a wipe warmer.
Just weeks later I laughed when my mother in law gifted us the Shusher machine that basically does he “shhhh shhhh” for you. One night after my jaw was hurting from shhhhhhh’ing and after accepting the fact that with all this shhhhing I was going to need a lot of juviderm to correct the wrinkles around my lips, I finally popped some batteries in the little machine and let it do it’s job. Let me tell you something, there’s a reason that bad boy has 5 stars on amazon and it’s because it’s awesome. Thanks MIL!
This brings us to the swing. Oh lord. Thank you sweet Jesus. The only reason I’m able to even write this post is because Charlotte is sleeping soundly in her swing.
For those of you city slickers, you know what it’s like to live in a small apartment. I registered for a bjorn bouncer and not a swing. I had read some babies hate the swing anyways and I figured it was unnecessary. My god! I was wrong. The swing is necessary. The swing is the difference between showering once a day or once every 10 days. The swing is the difference between a home cooked meal and seamless delivery. The swing is the difference between a clean home and a place that looked like a bomb hit it. Hell, this swing may be the only way Charlotte will ever get a sibling 😂
I would have never discovered the power of the swing had it not been for my mom who every day coaxed me into biting the bullet and buying one.
My moms friend had a swing that her grandchildren had grown out of and so she let my parents set it up in their home to borrow for a while. Charlotte would take the best naps at my parents house but I convinced myself if the was because she felt peace in the suburbs. NOT true. She was taking great naps because she was in her swing. And like usual, my mom was right. AGAIN.
So on the very next Friday, as Charlotte and I cried to each other (she cried because of gas and I cried because she cried) my husband called me to tell me he was leaving work. “Babe, need me to pick anything up on my way home” he generously offered as he always does. I’m sure the last thing he expected was me telling him not to come home unless he had a swing in his hand. He must have sensed the desperation in my voice because within an hour, my husband, my dear angel of a husband, walked into the apartment carrying that Fisher Price swing.
I nearly dropped Charlotte on the floor to quickly assemble that bad boy. And 30 minutes later, while she hung out calmly in her swing, my husband and I ate dinner together, AT THE SAME TIME, for the first time in two months.
So if your registering for baby items, or curious about what you need, you can forego the “bath” knee pads (sorry gentleman) but DO NOT. UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. FOREGO THE SWING.
Mattel, I love you. So does Charlotte. So does my husband. And so do my future children.
Holy Shit! Literally! If there’s anything I’ve learned in the past 4 months it’s that my life now revolves around poop. Just 4 months ago my biggest worry was whether or not I would poop on the table while giving birth (No we will not be discussing this today). Now my worries entail- Is my baby pooping enough? is she pooping too little? Is it the right color? How about the consistency? Not only are these my current concerns, but they dominate my husband and my conversations with each other.
I call my husband at work and he says “hey babe, how are you and how is my little girl” and the response varies from “she’s good, very happy and just crapped her pants” or “kinda fussy, clearly needs to poop but she’s pushing and pushing and no cigar” I mean, it was just yesterday where we called each other from work to discuss happy hour plans. what happened ?!?!?
When you’re pregnant and about to have a baby, you know that there will be plenty of diaper changes in your future. I knew that too. It was going to be so cute - placing my adorable little bundle on the changing table and wiping her little booty and dressing her back up with a big bow on her head. Well you may be surprised to learn that sometimes that poop goes so far up her back it almost reaches the giant bow on her head.
I can remember the first diaper blow out my husband changed. For the men out there that have never changed a baby girls diaper- let me let you in on a little secret- What you see is not what you get. Not all is visible to the naked eye my friends. This was a lesson my husband quickly learned when I walked past him and reminded him to check in between her rolls. Sure enough, many surprises awaited him. Changing a baby girls diaper is like is like navigating a minefield.
But let me tell you all something. Poop is just poop, UNTIL you are traveling on an airplane. Charlie has a real knack for taking an explosive poop at the most inconvenient time. Just a couple of weeks ago, Charlie took her first flight. Fortunately, my mom was with us which helped with the first flight jitters. I of course dressed her in a frilly pajama and a bow because I wanted her to be comfortable (please go to sleep) but life is a runway and you need to look your best. It was a morning fight and Charlie had not gone number 2 in almost 24 hours so I knew we were in for it. There was an hour left in the flight and my mom gave me a look and said, "She is crapping her brains out." It must have been quite the relief because she immediately fell asleep after. HALLELUJAH!!! But, then i looked over and noticed a giant mustard yellow stain on that cute frilly pajama. It was an old plane, there was no changing table, so my mom took my nursing cover to create a barrier between the leaking diaper and my moms pants. When we landed, I immediately went to the bathroom to change her, and I kid you not, the poop was up her entire side. almost reaching her hairline. The ladies in the bathroom were getting a kick out of it.
After our first flight, I thought to myself, "I can handle this." Our second flight was a breeze and everyone had control over their bowels. Which brings us to our third flight. Charlotte and I were trying to get out before a big storm came in so my husband brought us to the airport. I had Charlie in the ergo carrier and while my husband was getting us checked in at the counter, I could feel the rumbles against my chest. Thank you sweet Jesus for telling me to bring a backup outfit. We swiftly made it through security and I put her in her backup outfit since we were 30 minutes into our trip and she already crapped her pants. We got settled on the flight and I was traveling first class (Thank you Nancy for the upgrade). This fact may seem irrelevant but it actually is a critical fact in this story. Charlotte and I are having a nice flight, it's 30 minutes in and the little lady starts ripping it. SERIOUSLY CHARLOTTE? she was already in her back up outfit and we still had over 2 hours left. Right now I would like to give a shoutout to Delta for their first class blankets, because that blanket served as the blockade keeping Charlie's poop all over her pants and not on my white sweater. (who travels with a baby and a white sweater anyways? rookie move). Fortunately breast milk bowel movements don't smell much because she literally sat in her own $h*t for the rest of the flight. At one point I looked at the sweet woman next to me (I was trying to be a courteous seat mate) and I said, "Can you smell anything? My daughter just took a massive crap but I'm all out of backup clothing." She took a large whiff of the air and honestly said, "no, I smell nothing." Thank God. Now, the real kicker is that we had an hour drive to our final destination so when we got off the plane, I took Charlie to the bathroom and essentially had to choose the lesser of two evils. SO I cleaned her up and put her in the original poop outfit because that one was less explosive than the second one. Here is a piece of advice to all you mommy's out there. ONE BACKUP OUTFIT IS NOT ENOUGH....BRING TWO!!
And as if all this poop talk wasn't enough, I have also found that I now have to apologize for my daughters public displays of gas. On the last leg of our trip, we landed in NYC and got into an Uber. My driver was a nice older man. The car was quiet, Charlie was behaving, and the driver and I were having a nice conversation. He was making eye contact through the rearview mirror as he told me about his kids, and his history when suddenly Charlotte start to RIP A$$. Not like a soft little fart. I am talking blowing the house down, machine gun style farts. They sounded like they could not POSSIBLY be coming from a child of that size, so the man is looking at me in the rearview mirror and I can tell he thinks I am letting loose in his car. I panic. Do I throw my child under the bus or let him think i have altitude farts and am super comfortable in his car? BUT THEY KEPT COMING.....so I threw her under the bus. Sorry sweetie (Not that she seemed to mind). I said "I'm so sorry sir, my daughter is very comfortable in your car and is taking a poop." He kindly offered to open the windows as I smiled at my baby while in an annoyingly high pitched voice i said "ohhhh sweet Charlie....where are your manners!! taking a poop in this nice mans car??"
Listen people....all I can say is that $h*T HAPPENS...traveling with a baby is stressful on its own and requires SO MUCH GEAR. So control the things you can control (and as the adult hopefully that includes your bowels), let go of the things you cannot control, and enjoy the ride !
Call me Bessie because I feel like a freakin cow.
Liquid gold they say. It’s the most natural thing you can do they say. Breast is best they say. Well all I have to say is that all of this is bullshit. And I can say this because I am breastfeeding....sometimes.
During my pregnancy I always assumed I would breastfeed. I didn’t even buy formula to have in the house. I purchased a pump, stocked up on nipple cream, and even bought storage bags for what I expected to be an abundance of milk seeping out of my utters. Little did I know at the time, that breastfeeding would be one of the biggest challenges of my first weeks home with Charlotte.
While at the hospital, the nurses asked me if I was okay with giving Charlotte some formula. This was a trick question. First of all my insides were cut open, I felt like a truck hit me, and the last thing I felt like doing was shoving my boob into this screaming baby’s mouth. Second of all I had blood sugar issues and as a result, Charlotte needed to be monitored closely and pricked often for sugar testing. Thinking nothing of this - I told the nurses I was fine with supplementing with formula. BIG MISTAKE. This baby looked little but she was a BEAST when it came to her food and she quickly got used to the fast flowing nipple in the hospital.
As a result, she was NOT HAVING IT when I put her on the breast and she sucked for an eternity ending up with essentially nothing. My Russian nurse was trying to help me to show me positioning so that we could get this breastfeeding journey on its way. The first thing she did, was take a look at my nipple and say - “if she can’t latch on to those I don’t know what to tell you.” Should I have been offended that she was talking $**t about my massive nipples, or should I be proud that in the nipple game, I was freakin number one. Either way, there was no time to waste because before I knew it this tiny blonde Russian was manhandling my breast and shoving it down my baby’s throat. Who said breastfeeding was calming and beautiful? THEY LIED.
On my last day in the hospital I decided to attend the breastfeeding course with the lactation consultant. She described colostrum and explained how fatty and wonderful it was and that because of the contents, the baby didn’t need more than a teaspoon. She then handed me a teaspoon, and showed me how to squeeze gooey colostrum out of my giant nipple to feed to the baby. It was like I was a baker, except this wasn’t fun, and there were no cookies in the end, just a half empty teaspoon with what they kept calling liquid gold. In their defense, Charlotte did eat that stuff like it was going to give her wings.
The nurse also told me that in order to stimulate the production of milk that I should start pumping so they brought me a pump to use in my room. I quickly set up it, attached the flanges to my breasts and pumped for 20 minutes. I was a cow hooked up to an electronic machine. I was a shitty cow though because NOTHING CAME OUT.
I kept reading about breastfeeding. I mean, I read, I read and I read some more. And everywhere said to keep putting the baby on the breast. They also say don’t supplement but I was not going to be in the business of having my baby scream all day so i did supplement with formula and honestly I don’t regret it.... that much. I kept putting Charlotte on the breast and she would start by crying. It was like giving a fat kid a carrot. I’m allowed to say this because I was once the fat kid. And then the cries would turn to a SCREAM. It was as though I was trying to poison her with my boob. I was devastated. MAYBE my milk was rotten (haha) Would i ever be able to breast feed OR was it just not meant to be?
I continued to pump around the clock (every 2 hours) to stimulate milk supply and by day 10 my milk came in. HALLELUJAH THIS COW IS BACK. Once my milk came in Charlotte did better on the breast but would still get pissed. BUT I WAS NOT GOING TO GIVE UP. Had I not been so dead set on trying to breast feed, I would have thrown in the towel a lot earlier, but if you read my post on Charlotte’s birth well then you know I like a challenge. NYU does this latch hour course with a lactation consultant and so i decided to go. This was no easy fete as the class was a cab ride away. Thank god for my mom who decided to drive us down there and attend the class with me- that class was the best thing we did on this journey.
When we got to the class, we met Rachel another new mom. And boy did I need Rachel that day. Rachel came in and right away had diarrhea of the mouth “my baby wont sleep, he is constantly hungry, I have no idea what I am doing or if he is getting enough.” Rachel made me feel better because I realized it I was not as alone as I felt.
Now, my mom is basically my best friend, so she of course stayed for the class, and I of course had no qualms about whipping my boob out in front of her. The instructor walks in and says okay everyone start breastfeeding and then I will come around and adjust you and your baby.
“Start breastfeeding?” Are you kidding? I sheepishly stood up and said ummmmm we are not exactly breastfeeding. We are trying but we are failing.I think Charlotte understood this conversation and thought to herself, “I’m gonna show you mom,”because she literally made me look bad.
I put Charlotte on my breast and she started to feed as though she had been breast feeding exclusively for the last 2.5 weeks. While I was so proud of my showoff, I was also annoyed because I knew that the minute we got home she would stop latching and the lactation consultant wouldn’t be there to help. BUT at the very least, the course gave me hope. For all new moms out there who are thinking of breastfeeding- go see an IBCLC and do it ASAP. My mom (charlotte’s GiGi) was also super proud of Charlotte because as Charlotte sucked away as though my boob was leaking chocolate syrup, she whipped out her phone and took a video. She then proceeded to text the video to my husband who accidentally opened the video in a meeting, unaware that the video was of his baby sucking away on his wife’s breast (sorry babe, and sorry to the others in that meeting that may have had to witness that).
Charlotte is now 11 weeks. Let’s just say this has NOT been easy. She has good days where she takes the breast, and other days where she outright rejects it. I keep offering it to her and also pump around the clock so she can have breast milk in a bottle. Is this lifestyle for everyone? Definitely not and I COMPLETELY understand why. But, at this point I’m not yet ready to throw in the towel, so if it means pumping in the middle of the night when the baby is fast asleep, pumping in cars and hauling my pump everywhere I go, so be it.
To all you breastfeeding mamas who are successful or who have at least tried, I applaud you! And to those who it didn’t work out for, I applaud you for trying. And to those that didn’t even try because they decided it wasn’t for them, I applaud you too! The choice is yours and you should know that a fed baby is a happy baby. Don’t listen to those crazy people who shame you because of your choices. I can guarantee you that by the time your baby is in school, no one will be asking whether he or she was breastfed or not. So do you!
With that, I must now go pump to empty these utters. Moooooooooo!
I can remember during my pregnancy, reading so many articles about being flexible and letting go of expectations. And despite all that I read, I like many expecting moms, still had expectations. I dreamed of the day I would meet my daughter.Read More
It’s Sunday November 19th, and tonight at 10 PM my husband and I will be heading to the hospital to begin the induction process to bring our baby girl into the world. I’ve been toying with the idea of starting a blog about life, adventures of motherhood, and NYC living and thought, “there is no time like hours before giving birth to start.”Read More