Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Hmmmm....Why should I even bother to wash the clothes?

As I sit here sipping my warmed up yesterday's coffee, still in my pj's, my new babe (whom I shall refer to as Newbie for the rest of these posts) sleeping beside me and my almost one year old (who shall be affectionately known as Bruiser from here on out) downstairs with Oma attempting to feed herself for the third day in a row, I just now realize that I am wearing on my pajama shirt some of whatever the jar of food I picked out for Bruiser for her meal this afternoon may have been. 

This is not the first time something like this has happened.  For instance, I was at the WIC office the other day with Newbie, getting her weighed and checked out and I had to have myself checked out as well because it is WIC i.e. Woman, Infant, Child and they worry about me since I just gave birth.   As I get off the scale I happen to look down and notice something nasty looking on my pant leg, my black pant leg. 

Upon further inspection, it appears to be a booger.  Ew.  I wonder momentarily how a booger got all the way down there at the bottom of my pant leg and whose it may be since I don't pick my nose, neither does my fiance or either of my daughters because they aren't at that stage yet, thankfully. 

So that begs the question, who's booger would it be?  I shuddered at the thought of a stranger's booger being on my leg. 

Unconvinced it was a stranger's booger stuck to the bottom of my pants leg, I proceeded to do the "mom thing"  You know what I mean, that thing where you wipe at whatever it is with your finger/hand whichever you decide to use and then sniff it to try and identify the unknown object, stain, mess, wet spot, whatever it may be. 

Identification made:  Banana.  That's right folks, I had some warmed up, half eaten, banana on my pant leg courtesy of Bruiser, no doubt and had been walking around with what looked like snot on my black pant leg for nearly two hours. 

This realization led me to another question, why the hell should I even bother to wash the clothing if I never get to leave the house with it clean in the first place? 

Of course, I know the answer to that question.  You wash them because you want to be as presentable to the outside world as possible, with good, clean, nice smelling clothing so that you at least don't look like you never get any sleep, barely have time to shower, don't know when the last time you sat down to a hot meal was and barely know where your hairbrush and nail clippers and files are.

It really burns my bottom, when I put on fresh clean clothes and have actually had time to shower that day and I'm out the door looking good, or at least feeling that way, and smelling nice, only to find out about an hour or two later that my child left me a present of some sort of food, snot or slime related item on my nice clean outfit when I said goodbye to them.  Despite the fact that all I did was give them a kiss, our bodies didn't even touch below the neck!  And yet, somehow they have managed to smear banana, oatmeal, milk, juice, something on the smallest most unnoticeable portion of my shirt or pants.

However, as irritating as it may be, once again, I wouldn't change it for anything.  And I know for a fact, that one day, a day I anxiously await, I will be able to leave the house in clean clothing because they'll know their hands or face are dirty and they will wash them all by themselves.

In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy every moment I have with them while they are as young as they are right now and they need me as much as they do because I know I'll miss it someday.

It's just one of those little things  

Monday, May 27, 2013

My New Babe

The newest addition to my family, my second daughter, was born on May 10th, 2013 at 7:53 pm weighing in at 6 lbs 15 oz and measuring 20 inches long.  After 29 hours of induced labor and only 3 minutes of pushing, with family and close friends by my side, Teagan Rose was finally here, 41 weeks after her conception.  I cried, daddy cried, Oma cried and her big sister Ardanata clapped her little hands away in unknowing surprise and happiness.

Teagan spent the first two days of her life with me and daddy, in my recovery room being no more fussy than your average baby but for some spitting up issues, a few tremors when disturbed and a small rash on her chin.  All of these things are symptoms from withdrawal. And soon she became so fussy and obviously uncomfortable that I had no choice but to say yes when they asked if I wanted her to go to the nursery for the night. 

As I'm sure I mentioned in an earlier post, I have to take Oxycodone on an every 4 hours, every day schedule.  I have chronic pain in my low back due to a twisted spine which I got from a car accident I was in six years ago and I take the Oxycodone to numb the pain enough for me to function on a daily basis. 

As with all mothers who give birth to children who are addicted to any medication at birth, they started rating Teagan according to her symptoms.  A 10 is the highest and worst number a new baby can get with a 1 being the lowest and best.  For the first two nights she was rating 3's and 5's.  With the last night she had rated three 8's and a 5.  The 8's are what pushed the decision for her to go into the NICU for observation and possible treatment for withdrawal symptoms. 

Thankfully, Teagan ended up having to go into the NICU for only two and a half days.  That's right, only two and a half days!  Not a week like with my first daughter and my new babe didn't need any meds to help her with the withdrawal symptoms either!  I was elated. 

We brought her home, got her tucked in and settled and everything has been going pretty well but my elation soon turned into sleep deprivation which has now turned into a massive migraine that I am still battling.  I wouldn't change any of it for anything in the world, though.

And despite the fact that a change in hormone levels has made my bipolar disorder and depression become so far out of control that I actually asked my psych doctor to help me out and give me something more than what I'm already taking, I love my girls with all my heart and soul.

My psychiatrist did as I asked without any hassle and even gave me back my anti-anxiety medication, which I am eternally grateful for, because they help calm me down once I've gone into full panic mode and can't get back out on my own. 

It was a long six months without that medication and I am happier than a clam to have it back in my grubby little paws.  Don't misunderstand, I am no addict, I just can't believe I even made it that long without it.  I can't believe my fiance made it that long without my anti-anxiety medication.   He is a saint for putting up with me and my craziness that long.  

All in all, I'm just glad to have my body back to myself once again and I plan on keeping it that way for a very, very long time.  It feels fantastic to bend down and touch my toes or to lean forward and not have a little person pressing down on my bladder or up into my ribs.  But just like a quote that I found one day while surfing the ever expanding interwebs, "No one will ever know the strength of my love for you.  After all, you're the only one who knows what my heart sounds like from the inside." I will always have a strong connection to my children no matter how much suffering I went through in order to bring them into this world, healthy and relatively happy. 

In the meantime, my new babe Teagan is giving me hell with her schedule being all bass ackwards, sleeping during the day and being awake at night, so I must go and try to correct this, again.  Just one of those little things again.  :) 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

First Time Mom Equals Questions Galore

I'm a first time Mom to a beautiful baby girl who is now 11 months old, she'll be a year old in less than a month.  Also, I'm expecting my second child any day now.

As a first time mom, who helped to raise my godson, who is now 8 years old, babysat for many a child growing up, helped to raise my autistic sister and did medical transcription for a pediatrician, I have found that I was/am nowhere near as experienced in "mom things" as I thought I would have been. 

There are still so many questions I have on a daily basis and I am often second guessing myself.  I realize that some of the second guessing is my own insecurities and I also realize that every baby is different in their needs and wants but it can be so disheartening at times.

Picture this:  Your child is crying, you have gone over the list of things that usually make them happy or calm them; diaper change, hungry, teething, tired, wanting a specific toy or some play time with a certain someone that isn't you but nothing is working.  Absolutely, NOTHING is working.  You've gone over this list several times to try to calm them and still, they cry.  What do you do?  What WOULD you do? 

I, unlike some new mothers, have a backup plan to my list, her name is Oma. She is my mother, my daughter's grandmother, she raised two beautiful and healthy daughters, my sister and I, and has much more experience by far than I could ever seem to think I do.  Whenever I start second guessing myself or have gone over the list so many times that I'm ready to pull my hair out, I call her. 

When I do give her a call, she listens to what I have to say, usually agrees with my "diagnosis" of the problem and reassures me that what I have decided to do is similar to or the same as what she would do.  There are some times where she will think of something I haven't and will suggest it but never force it on me.  She realizes that my daughter is my daughter and that the in the end it is completely up to me as to how to raise her or take care of her needs and wants and I'm forever grateful for that.  I know some new parents who don't have the luxury of a grandparent who does or would do the same things for their children and grandchildren. 

I am and forever will be eternally grateful that my mother, Oma, has been around to help me in this first year of new mommyhood for me and my daughter and that she will be around for my second daughter in just the same way. 

And "Oma time" is just fantastic.  I have a unique living situation, you see, my mother who is physically disabled from years of transcription work (her back and hands are so messed up that she can longer do the work she had done for over 25 years) and my autistic sister live with me and my fiance and soon to be two daughters.  It's a full house for sure but I'm glad I have this situation because when I've come to my wits end and no longer know what to do or even just need a break for an hour or two my mother is right downstairs and more than willing to have "Oma time" with my little girl. 

"Oma time" can be anywhere from a couple hours to half the day, depending on how Oma is feeling, but there are even times where it's only for an hour or so and even that small break is a great relief to me.  I couldn't be more blessed or more grateful for that hour some days and other days, my daughter doesn't get "Oma time" at all and those days are okay, as well. 

My daughter really has brought so much joy to my mother's life, she's become Oma's little buddy, sharing toys and food with her and listening to music with her (my daughter will start dancing and moving her little head back and forth to the beat of some music that only she can hear and it is quite adorable) and dancing. My mother has battled depression for many years and having a granddaughter to share time and energy with has really brightened up her life. 

I stray from the topic though, as I usually do, forgive me.  What I'm trying to get at is that as a new mom you will forever have questions and you will always second guess yourself.  It's inevitable, it's going to happen because no one is perfect and it's ridiculous for you to think that you know everything there is to know about children and raising them just because you've babysat a few or you've helped out with raising someone else's child or because you've read all the books on raising children you could possibly find. 

Nothing, absolutely nothing, will prepare you for taking care of your own child except for personal experience. Even then, you have to remember that every child is different and that way may have worked for your first child may or may not work for the second child or third or fourth or whichever number you may be on.  Yes, you may have all the basic experience down, diaper changing, formula making or breastfeeding, whichever, medicine giving (if you do), fever reducing, teething consoling and so much more but really think of it this way, could you find someone or do you know someone who is comforted in the exact same way you are? Or by the same things?   You probably don't and if you do, then you are one lucky duck. 

When you start second guessing yourself, turn to someone you trust to help you find an answer or to just give you a little self esteem boost and let you know that you really are doing what's best for your child.  Be it a Mommy group on facebook, your pediatrician or even your own mother, everyone needs that little extra oomph in their self esteem when they start the second guessing process because nothing is working.  So don't be afraid to turn to them in your time of need.  And remember, everyone is different, what works for one child may or may not work for another and it doesn't mean there is anything "wrong" with you or them, it just means they're different, their needs are different and it may take time to figure things out but patience is your biggest ally in raising a child.