Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Further Adventures with Milo and the "moms"

So after getting Milo to take the bottle from Michael again (for two nights) we skipped the bottle on Saturday night because Michael had to get up early for a tournament on Sunday morning.  Sunday night, when Michael tried to give Milo the bottle, he wouldn't take it...and then, in a new twist, also wouldn't take it from me. This was the first time he wouldn't take it from me and I agonized over whether to give him a boob or not. He was clearly hungry and I didn't want to deprive him. On the other hand, I didn't want him to think that if he cried long enough, he would get the boob over the bottle, since he needs to be able to take the bottle from a nanny in a couple of weeks. After a lot of fussing and choking sounds and arching back, I tried to comfort Milo and he fell asleep. So I figured he couldn't have been that hungry. I feel fairly confident that babies won't starve themselves and if they're hungry enough, they'll eat. A few hours later, he woke up hungry again and took the remainder of the bottle. Unfortunately, this whole deal meant a lot less sleep for me. And we had made plans to meet a couple of the moms from the moms' group for an 11:20 movie, which meant getting moving early enough to feed, pump, shower, change, dress, etc etc. so we didn't have time to make up the sleep.

I learned after last week, and left time in between feeding and changing so Milo was done pooping before his last change and we (miraculously) got out the door more or less on time.  I hadn't had time for breakfast, though, so wanted to go through the McDonald's drive through on the way to the movies. I didn't want to be late, since I had organized the gathering and others were meeting me, but I thought I could make it. I called Tiff on the way there, since she was due to have a baby any minute. As I slow down to order, Milo wakes up and starts crying. Which is awesome, since I was hoping he would sleep through the movie. And then I get to the payment window and they tell me to "just hold on a minute" and proceed to take FIVE minutes to change out the cash drawer while my son screams his head off in the back seat.  Awesome.

Luckily, as soon as we started moving again, he fell asleep again and was sleeping by the time I walked into the movie (only a few minutes late) and met the other moms. The movie was GREAT. Well, okay, it was Friends with Benefits and it wasn't a particularly quality movie, but it was very entertaining. I laughed out loud. I cried. Milo didn't. yay. He fussed a bit at one time and I asked him to just hold out until I finished my chicken strips. And when he made it that long, I negotiated for the cinnamelts. (Yes, I know what a terribly unhealthy lunch this was.)

When he decided halfway through the movie that he couldn't wait any more, I fed him, which went really well until he had the blowout to end all blowouts. (In case you're not a baby person and thus not familiar with this term, it's when baby poops so gloriously that it can not be contained by a mere diaper and usually ends up in astonishing places.) Milo was completely unfazed and kept eating while I could feel the poop seeping through the back of his onesie.

At which point, I did what any good mother would and wrapped a receiving blanket around his bottom half. I let him keep eating, and I kept watching the movie. He fell asleep afterward so I figured why wake him only to spend 15 minutes in the bathroom cleaning him up? And, actually, I was a little worried about opening him up in public.

After the movie, we were all in various states of undress and had to make sure we were all contained before asking one of the teenage boy ushers to snap a picture of us as evidence of our bravery in attending a not "baby friendly" movie.

I told the moms about the blowout and how I didn't want to miss the movie to clean him up, and one of them immediately said that's what she would have done too. I can tell we're going to be good friends. I so appreciate people who don't make you feel like you have to try to be (or pretend to try to be) supermom.

I was tempted to leave him sleeping until we got home, but it didn't seem right to leave him sitting in that level of poop so I took him to the bathroom to clean him up. Their changing table was in the handicapped stall, and I found myself hoping that no handicapped people would come along, since I knew this wasn't going to be fast. I opened him up and OMG. I'll spare you the details, but I'm sure my fellow restroom buddies were REALLY wondering what was going on in there as I was commentating on the diaper change: "Oh my god. OOOohhh wow. Ew ew ew. What a mess." etc etc. haha. All in all, it was a four wiper diaper--a record for us (though not Michael, as he tends to use more wipes than me anyway). I was glad I was prepared with a change of clothes and a stuff sack for the soiled outfit and blanket.

So then we were off home to interview the nanny, and on the ride home, I got a text that Tiff was on her way to the hospital. I had wanted to get there early enough to straighten the house but I got there just in time to meet my friend and nanny in the parking lot, and we all walked up together. Milo, of course, woke when the car stopped moving and was starting to fuss because he was so hot in the car seat. The nanny asked if she could take him out and I knew that was a good sign...a) that she didn't just do it without asking and b)that she had an inclination to do something to make him more comfortable.

The interview was great. Both my friend (who is "sharing" the nanny with me) and I loved her answers to pretty much every question. But I have to be honest, when she told me she's one of those people that actually really likes to clean, I was ready to hire her on the spot. My friend and I met quickly after she left, realized we both loved her and wanted to move quickly, checked her references which were glowing with no hesitation, and called to offer her the job. She told us her fiance was a little worried about the mileage/commute but that she thought it was a great fit and just wanted to talk it through with him when she got home. I was convinced she wouldn't take it, since it was a 25 minute commute without traffic. So I was SUPER excited when she called later that same night to accept. YAYYYYY. We have a nanny. A GOOD nanny. That we can practically afford. That will do laundry and dishes and floors. And she has great experience and is insightful.

In fact, she's so wonderful that I'm already worried she's going to back out. Keep your fingers crossed for us, okay?

By the time we were done checking the nanny's references, Tiff had had an amazing baby boy! She had him so fast I couldn't believe it! What a pro. I so wished I was there with her. This was another one of those moments where now that I know what it's like, I realized how much I sucked when she had her other children, and how much I am currently sucking because I am not in the car headed to NJ to be with her and meet her latest bundle of joy. I totally want to too, but I can not imagine spending 5+ hours in a car by myself with Milo, having to stop and feed him. And then what would I do once there, with a newborn? It's not like I could be very helpful, as I can barely keep the two of us clean and fed. This is when it sucks most to be far away from my family. I miss my sister and I want to visit her in the hospital and make her laugh like she did for me. But I'm not really as funny as her anyway.

So I was in a great mood by the time our California Pizza Kitchen got delivered, what with a nanny lined up and a new nephew to meet.  Milo was fed and happy and all was well with the world as Michael and I settled into dinner and the DVR.

When we finished eating, Michael decided to go night fishing at a nearby pond and I was going to work on college counseling and this blog.  Unfortunately, Milo had other ideas and within minutes starting fussing and pouting and crying. I tried everything to calm him, but it was clear he was in some discomfort. He felt clammy to me, so I undressed him and turned up the A/C as I continued to soothe him.

He cried desperately for the entire three hours Michael was gone. Which was so unlike him that I took his temperature (rectally) for the first time. (More traumatic for him than me). It was 99.9, which is not technically a fever for a baby but a bit higher than normal.  When Michael got home, I stuck Milo in the sling and we all went for a walk, which turned out to be really nice time together and Milo quickly calmed down and fell asleep. That kid really loves moving.

When we got back Michael got ready for bed and then of course Milo started fussing again, so I fed him again and by the time that was all done, it was after 1:00 am and we were both exhausted so I gave up on the emails and blog and we went to sleep.

Usually, I wake up as soon as Milo starts fussing and well before he's really hungry and crying, but we've been trying to wait to make sure he's really hungry before I wake Michael to get him a bottle. So when that happened, I poked Michael, told him the baby needed a bottle and then...fell back asleep. This has never happened before, me falling asleep despite my baby crying only inches away.

Next thing I know, it's 6:30 and baby and Michael are both gone. Apparently, Michael got up at 2 to give Milo the bottle but by the time it was ready, Milo had fallen back asleep. When Milo started fussing and crying again a little after six, Michael started getting the bottle ready for him.

And I slept through the whole damn thing. I must have been REALLY tired to pass out like that. A little alarming really. Someone could have come in and taken my baby and I would have slept right through it.

So Milo had slept about 5 hours, and had gone five and a half since the start of his last feeding. Awesome. (Must have filled up with the cluster feeding!) Unfortunately, Michael could only get him to take an ounce or so. I knew that wouldn't hold him for long, and sure enough, Milo woke an hour later, hungry as anything. But he finished the rest of the bottle without too much drama (YAY) before I nursed him.

Unfortunately, by that time it was 8:15 and I only had an hour until my alarm would go off to start getting ready for moms group day. On Tuesdays, we meet for lunch at 11 before our 1:30 class, which means leaving the house by 10:30 or 10:40 at the latest. Well, 9:15 came and I snoozed twice. I laid there, looking at Milo conked out peacefully and cozily on my arm and was seriously considering skipping the lunch. But I was so happy after last week's lunch, so I made myself move him into the nursery and I started pumping. Of course, not five minutes in, he started to stir and then started to make serious choking sounds. I was like a deer in headlights, trying to get to him, with the pump vacuum sealed onto my breast, and the tubing not long enough to reach. Oh what a sight I must have been.

I sat him up and tried to pat his back and comfort him, but he was all gurgly and congested sounding. I tried the bulb suction thingie, which did absolutely nothing, but before I could really panic, he settled down again. Phew. But then he started trying to wiggle his way down to my boob, so I had to stop and feed him again. By this point, it was 10:00.  After he finished, I had to finish pumping (7 ounces from ONE boob. Jesus.) and then jumped in the shower. At 10:28. sigh. I figured I had 12 minutes before I really needed to leave.

But then I had to get him changed, us both dressed, and refill the diaper bag supplies (replacing the backup onesie). Then I had a moment of indecision about whether to pack a bottle or not. He had been cluster feeding yesterday, and I didn't want to have to deal with him eating (multiple times) during lunch. But then again, the bottle might cause more of a scene than trying to nurse him. And, if I didn't use it, and it was really hot, it might go bad and then I'd be wasting it.

But I did decide to bring it (at 10:56) and we finally got in the car at 11. Milo promptly fell asleep.

And stayed that way all through lunch.

And halfway into the moms' group meeting. He even slept through infant massage time (I was sorry to miss that time with him but have a deep commitment to never to wake a sleeping baby). When he woke, I fed him and changed him and he smiled at me and then we did a bit of tummy time, in which everyone admired his strength and I snapped pictures, as per usual.

Sample baby giving us the finger.

Our mommy group, set up for tummy time.

My baby, rocking tummy time.
We talked about sleep during class, and I got some good tips we are trying out tonight. First, we learned that the baby's first period of sleep at night is their longest, and that after that, they will wake every 2-3 hours to eat as during the day. Unfortunately that first long period often starts well before the parents go to bed so it's  a bit of a "waste" in that some parents get ready for bed and then feed the baby just before they turn in themselves, without the baby ever really waking up, and they say this extends that first long period of sleep. So we're trying that tonight. Milo fell asleep around midnight, and I'm going to get to bed by 1:00, and I'll sleep feed him and see what happens! Also, they said to turn off all light sources, even the digital numbers on a clock. Michael and I have been leaving the closet light on so we could more easily see and check on Milo (and make sure he's breathing) but tonight we're going dark. We'll see if it makes a difference. We also learned that by this age, babies are ABLE to sleep for a 5-8 hour period without eating, so our facilitator encouraged us to let the baby be when he first starts fussing, to see if he settles back down before we immediately try to feed him. The idea is that they can start learning now to soothe themselves back to sleep, and that will come in really handy later on.

We also talked about the bottle issue, and a lot of other moms have had the same problem or had friends who did, so we got some other suggestions about positioning and nipples. Before we left the center, I picked up some faster flow nipples for Michael to try with Milo tonight, so we'll see if that helps. (fingers crossed).

A bunch of the moms were talking about their husbands signing up for the daddy and baby class starting this Thursday evening, and we thought it would be great if they did it together because then we'd all have couple friends we could go out with WITH our babies. So I'm going to see if Michael might be into it. I've so enjoyed the camaraderie and encouragement of the moms' group, that I really want Michael to have a similar experience. I hope he'll do it.

Milo slept until we got home and got the mail, and then I fed him and we both got a quick nap in before Michael got home and it was time for me to head out with two of my friends that live on campus. We went to a nearby restaurant for drinks and dessert and it very uplifting. We had so much to talk about, and the conversation bounced along easily and happily from subject to subject. They are both such great listeners and offer so much encouragement and advice.  Again, I have to say how wonderful it is to have friends that don't judge me harshly when I tell them I haven't done my dishes for three days and as a result have been using breast pump parts with a slightly greasy film on them. Before I knew it, three hours had passed and I knew if I didn't hurry home, Michael would have to give Milo a bottle. As far as I'm concerned, giving Milo a bottle when it doesn't garner me more sleep is a total waste of a bottle.

We got out of the car and my friend pointed out Milo's shrill cries shattering the peaceful parking lot conversation. sigh.

Luckily it was just hunger and not another episode like last night, he calmed right down when I nursed him and went to bed fairly easily afterward.

What a full and lovely day, overall. Oh--and one of the mom's sent a link to a photographer she used that has decent prices for packages where you get the CD of images. I think I'm going to book one. I feel like I'm cheating on felix (our amazing wedding photographer) and I'd rather use him, but he's as or more expensive and you have to pay extra to get the CD of images. =(

Anyway, tomorrow we have the dorm parent BBQ, and we need to make something for that, so that means a trip to the grocery first with Milo. I also NEED to get the laundry done, as I am out of nursing (clean) nursing pads. I HOPE to gather more stuff for the yard sale and get started on my anniversary vows. (When Michael and I got married, we wrote our own vows, and in them, we vowed to renew them each year in a new place.)  We look at them each year and adjust them for the coming year. They get more realistic each year, and it's kind of amazing to see them change. It's my favorite thing that we do, I think, and each year I put them at the front of our annual kodakgallery photo book. (Though I'm two years behind now). I love having a record of them and how they've changed. This year, since we had to move our anniversary trip, we'll be home for our anniversary so I'm thinking we'll renew our vows in the nursery since technically that's a "new place" for us this year. And Jen offered to babysit so we could go out for our anniversary which is amazing, though I feel a little bad taking her up on it since I don't yet feel ready to offer to return the favor and watch her kids (while dealing with Milo). Hopefully soon I'll be able to. Anyway, I'm thinking we might actually go INTO THE CITY for dinner and then see the Harry Potter movie, which Michael has been wondering how we might get to see together. I think he'll be excited to see that we really can have a night out even with a baby.

Okay, this is officially the longest post ever and I still need to close down our nanny postings and let the other candidates know we've hired someone. Then...SLEEP since it's a busy rest of the week. After the dorm parent BBQ tomorrow, another dorm parent friend is going to accompany Milo and I to this awesome glass exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts on Thursday (after a three hour meeting at work in the morning). I've been dying to see that exhibit so I'm really excited, even if a bit nervous to go into the city with Milo (and deal with the accompanying traffic and parking and adventure in nursing.) Then, that night is dinner with Erin. Then Friday morning is the stroller strides exercise class with some of the other moms. Then Friday afternoon, our summer arts camp is having a festival of arts stuff that I am thinking I'll take Milo too. Then, we need to get the rest of the yard stuff ready because Sunday is the yard sale and our anniversary. 

Who knew how busy I could feel during maternity leave??

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