Monday, January 30, 2012

Pity Party for One

Please tell me I'm not the only one who has ever felt like throwing themselves a pity party.  I mean, I even thought about going out to buy some decorations, but decided not to.   I realize it isn't productive at all, but sometimes it makes me feel better to be sad about something and then get over it.  There is always someone worse off than me and I know that I am beyond blessed.  But, just humor me for a moment, and let me have my party.  And yes, I'll cry if I want to.

Sometimes I wonder what it's like...

To get pregnant without trying or easily.  What is it like to not go through almost a years worth of months of pregnancy tests seeing only a negative?  It seemed like others could get pregnant without any effort at all, while Mark and put 'work' into it without seeing any results most of the time.

To get to cave into your pregnancy cravings.  I know I shouldn't complain about gestational diabetes, because some people have this everyday of their life.  Checking my blood sugar four times daily and modifying my diet during pregnancy was not what I had in mind.  What I had in mind was sending Mark out to get me late night cravings and eating ice cream everyday. Now that I think of it, it was probably a blessing for me (and for Mark!)

To have a 'normal' child birthing experience and not rushed in for an emergency c-section because the placenta has decided to abrupt.  Instead of hearing the word "push" I heard the words "can you feel the lower half of your body" before they made the incision.

To have a baby that likes to sleep.  Really, I shouldn't be surprised by this as I could tell this was Karter's personality in the womb.  But really, I wonder what's like to have a baby whose longest span of sleep is more than 2 hours. 

To get through breastfeeding without getting mastitis.  If I had to rank the most painful things I've been through, it would be 1.) Kidney Stones, 2.) Mastitis, and 3.) C-section.  It seems silly for my body to be punished for providing the best nutrition for my baby.

But then, I wonder...

What it would be like not to have a baby at all, and all these things are so worth it.  I wouldn't trade Karter for 9 months worth of Cherry Cordial ice cream, for a normal child birth, or for a boob that doesn't throb.  He's totally worth all this and more.  When I look at his precious little face, well, that pity party is over. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I Am Seeking Treatment for Exhaustion

Wouldn't that be nice.  I mean, wouldn't it be ridiculousness if you read that as my facebook status one day?  This was the top story on "Demi Moore Seeing Treatment for Exhaustion."  Oh please, Demi Moore, like you even know exhaustion.  You know, I used to think I knew what tired was, and then I had a baby.

I wonder what it is like to be a celebrity and to be able to take a vacation from your life to be "treated" for this illness. I'm guessing that Demi wasn't up every hour last night to deal with a fussy baby.  Sure, she's going through a public divorce with someone half her age, but really, people get divorced everyday and they don't have to seek this supposed "treatment."  The article said that she will be receiving "professional assistance to treat her exhaustion." Umm, what are they going to do-read her a bed time story and warm up a glass of milk each night?

I know she is a mother and has experienced her fair share of sleepless nights, which I figure would toughen her up.  Apparently, not.

Isn't really funny to think about what you think was tired before you became a mom or parent?  Believe me, before I had a baby I would think I was the most tired person ever and that no one could be as tired as me, but that was a lie.  No matter how little sleep I would get one night because of homework assignments due or watching ridiculous movies with Lisa, I always had the luxury of taking a nap the next day or sleeping in on the weekend.  Those days of reprieve are no longer. Now, my idea of luxury in relation to sleeping is getting 2 straight hours of sleep.

Demi, in case you are reading this, please book me a room next to yours in the Exhaustion Treatment Facility. (And pay for it.)

Monday, January 23, 2012

My Biggest Regrets

I don't really like to live with regrets...I mean, who does?  But now that I have Karter, I realize if I could turn back time, I would do a few things differently.  Luckily, these aren't earth shattering regrets, but they make a difference just the same!

My two biggest regrets are:

1.  Buying a two door car while Mark and I were dating.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.  It was affordable and got great gas mileage, and since I drove a lot for my job that seemed to be a good enough reason to buy it.  Now that we have a little one in a car seat, it seems like the worst decision I ever made!  Getting a car seat out of a two door car is more of a workout than I've had in months.  Sometimes I contemplate smashing out the back window because I figure it would be easier to get the car seat out that way.  I know I look pretty ridiculous in parking lots when I'm trying to get Karter out of the car and people probably chuckle as they walk by as I'm breaking a sweat trying to maneuver him out.  Should have just gotten a mini-van...

2.  Getting a queen size bed.  The bed worked pretty well (except when I was pregnant!) when it was just Mark and I...but now that little Karter has joined us, the quarters are pretty cramped.  I know what you're thinking: "Megan, you wouldn't have this problem if Karter slept in his crib."  Well, try telling that to Karter.  Karter refuses to sleep in his crib, and when I am exhausted and he's crying, I give in and he joins us in bed.  Now, I can't really imagine sleeping without him and I love waking up to a Karter sandwich (that would be Mark and I cuddling him.)  Unfortunately, Karter seems to think that the entire bed is his.  Actually, that is incorrect...he thinks my side of the bed is his.  No matter how far I put him on Mark's side, he rolls over to my side and pushes me to the edge.  I have drawn this illustration for you to show what a night in our bed is like.  As you can tell, it is not to scale (Karter is like 2x as big as me) and it may look like Karter has 10 legs, but that is because it is showing how Karter kicks me in the back all night long (and by all night, I mean the hour he is asleep.)

Chances are, if we had a king size bed this would happen as well, but it probably wouldn't hurt to have a larger space to sleep in. I'm hoping that by the time I am pregnant again, Karter will be sleeping in his own bed, or else little Baby Sasquatch #2 will be endanger of getting kicked by Karter in the womb. 

I find it really funny that we spent all this time making his nursery perfect, and he's spent maybe 15 nights in there so far.  I've learned that next time, instead of making the nursery perfect, I'm just going to spend the time and money making our bedroom the way I want it because that is probably where we will spend most of our time!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Waste Not

While I have always had my doubts, it has been recently been confirmed that my husband was born during the Great Depression.  He may only be 33, but he displays so many characteristics of my grandma, who survived the Depression, that it has to be the case that he lived through it.  I mean, I turned a blind eye when he refused to throw out fast food soft drinks until they were empty and I looked past the fact that he has Neosporin that expired in 1999.  Given his history, I should have known that starting Karter on solids would bring out the Great Depressionist in Mark. 

Karter just doesn't like baby food.  For the last 5 months, I have looked forward to the day I could start him on solids.  Not because I want him to sleep at night (because honestly, nothing will make that happen!) but because it was another big milestone that I felt took him from newborn to infant. I really wanted to wait 6 months until starting him on solids, but he showed signs that he was ready before that and the doctor encouraged it (and yes, I did plenty of research and used my own judgement as to when I wanted to start him.)

We started with rice cereal at 4.5 months and after a week he had had enough so we stopped trying.  Last week we started again, but this time we tried butternut squash-which, might I add, we grew in our garden and I Baby Bulleted up.  Lo and behold, Karter hates it.  He eats just enough to make his diapers disgusting (especially since we are using cloth) but not enough to make the squash in his bowl disappear...and we're talking like a tablespoon here.

This is where the trouble lies.  Mark wants him to eat it all.  I have tried telling Mark that Karter doesn't understand the concept of eating what's on your plate, but Mark seems to think this is something Karter should learn early on.  Poor Mark, I think it genuinely tortures him to see leftover squash in the bowl.  So what does Mark do?  He has been finishing Karter's leftover baby food.  It's a sickness, I tell you.  He came home yesterday after work and I had already fed Karter and his first question was "Did you eat the leftover squash?"  I think he could tell by the look on my face that the answer was a "no."

I realize now that perhaps starting Karter on solids isn't quite the milestone I imagined it to be.  There's a good chance that after we finish off this batch of butternut squash, I may wait until he understands the concept of "waste not, want not" to make more baby food...or find Mark a support group for "Father's Whose Babies Don't Eat All Their Baby Food."

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Cheating Mother

I have always wanted a large family.  I've dreamt about having four kids all my life.  Then along came Karter.  While those first few weeks of no sleep caused Mark and I to second guess having any more kids AT ALL, that was just a fleeting feeling.  Now, I am worried about having more children for another reason-I will be cheating on my first born.

I mean, doesn't it feel like that?  Here is my sweet little Karter, getting all the attention from a momma and dad who are crazy about him.  How will he feel when he is only getting 2,500 kisses a day instead of 5,000?  There's not really a way to sneak behind his back to have another baby, or else I might consider it.  Karter's feelings are so fragile (he frowns when I sneeze) that I wonder how he will react when he sees me rubbing my belly because there's another sweet baby in there (hopefully, one that sleeps:) or when he sees me holding another baby. 

Plus, how will I be able to love another child as much as I love Karter?  All you moms out there, you can be honest, isn't your firstborn kind of your favorite?  Can you tell I am also a firstborn? Karter was the first baby heartbeat I heard on the ultra sound machine, he was the first baby I nursed, the reason for the first scar on my abdomen. They say that your heart grows to make room for that other child, but I'm just not so sure there is room in my chest for my heart to double in size. Karter and I will always have this special bond, like an inside joke just between the two of us.  When I look at him I will always remember the time we had before other babies...the time it was just a family of three.

I am sure my fears will be eased once I see baby Sasquatch #2 on the ultra sound monitor (no, there is not one in my belly), but this is what I will worry about until then.  I mean, I've stopped worrying about Karter getting his driver's license, so a girl's gotta worry about something:)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

What Your Boobs Were Made For

Disclaimer:  This post isn't meant to offend anyone, but it's my blog so I can express my opinion if I want to, is how I see it.

So I belong to this birth club on a baby website and mother's post questions and just general comments about their journey in motherhood.  A mother posted something a few weeks ago that has been bothering me since I read it.  This mother stated that she was going to be giving up breastfeeding her baby because she wanted to get her pre-baby body back and breast feeding was inhibiting this.  What makes it even worse is that other mothers were encouraging this!  People were sympathetic and expressing support for this woman's decision.  Umm, what about your baby, lady??

Since when is it more important to look good than to give your baby the best nutritional start possible (and did no one tell her that breastfeeding helps you lose weight?)  I mean, they say "breast is best" for a reason-it is.  Even the formula bottles tell you this! 

Now don't get me wrong...I completely understand that not everyone can breastfeed or breastfeed a full year (which is my goal.)  Sometimes it just doesn't work out or you aren't able to produce enough milk, and thankfully there is formula there for those babies.  I just find it frustrating when someone has the ability and milk supply to breast feed their baby and they choose not to. Babies who are breastfed are less likely to get sick, get allergies and to become obese, just to name a few of the benefits.  Again, how is the way your body looks more important than protecting your baby against all of these things??

I was getting my haircut while I was pregnant and the lady cutting my hair was talking to me about her pregnancy and that when she had her baby she didn't even want to try breastfeeding.  The hospital staff encouraged her to try and she refused.  I just don't understand this madness.  Your boobs are filled with liquid gold and you'd rather go spend $20-$30 weekly on formula instead? 

I'm the first one to admit that sometimes breastfeeding is sometimes a pain and an "inconvenience."  I feel like there is a leash attached to Karter and I because right now I am his source of life...but it's so worth it.  It would be nice to be able to have Mark wake in the middle of the night and feed Karter (and I know I could pump and he could warm up a bottle, but that's so much work at 2am!), but it's so much better for him if I just wake up and feed him.  It's one year of "inconvenience" for me for a lifetime of health benefits for just makes sense.

So again, I'm not trying to offend anyone, I just don't understand people sometimes.  Kudos to all you moms out there who are breastfeeding, even when it gets hard.  Special shout out to all you working moms out there who continue to breastfeed and/or pump.  I only went back to work for 2.5 weeks but it was long enough for me to see what a commitment it is, and I commend you for it. (Note: if you are a new mom and going back to work, pump as much as you can before you go back!)

Well, this post is long enough...and my baby wants to eat!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Baby Awards

It's award season, which means I am now checking twice daily.  Ok, you've got me, 3 times daily.  In honor of award season, I thought Karter was worthy enough for his set of awards.  So here you have it, the Baby Choice Awards:

Best Almost Solution to Getting Karter to Sleep
A.  The chiropractor
B.  Mark not wearing deodorant (suggestion that was not followed through)
C.  Going on a car ride to get him to sleep

The winner:  A. The chiropractor.  The guy really did want to make it better, but Karter just wasn't having it.  Those few days of all night sleep were great, but almost cruel in the way it teased my body.

Best Mom and Dad Smile Inducing Moment
A.  Karter's first laugh
B.  Karter licking the dog as the dog licks Karter
C.  Karter rolling over for the first time

The winner:  A.  Karter's first laugh.  Karter's laugh is adorable.  He laughs and then Mark and I start laughing because it's so adorable.

Best Public Outburst of Crying
A.  In the middle of Kroger
B.  During prayer time at church
C.  Meltdown in Meijer

The Winner:  C. Meltdown in Meijer.  Little man was perfectly content in his car seat in the cart as we went to pick up a few items for baking...then he decided not to be content.  People soon cleared the aisle as a screaming 4 month old made his voice heard until we could get him out of his seat.

Best Cuddly Moment
A. Holding him while he was sick and needed extra love
B.  First time holding him in the hospital
C. Holding him after my first day back to work
The Winner.  B. First time holding him in the hospital.  Like there was any question!

Best Diaper Explosion
A.  Pooping out of his diaper right after his baptism and getting it on his new outfit

B.  In the tub right during a bath to clean him up from a diaper explosion
C.  Going so much that it soaked through to my sweatshirt.

The winner:  Clearly, it's B.  He really seemed to put in some extra effort and not only dirtied a diaper and outfit, but also discolored one of his bath towels.  Way to go, Karter Man.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Best Thing I Ever Did For My Son...

Was to give him a wonderful father as a role model and someone to look up to. I guess I shouldn't take all the credit for this, as God played a major part in bringing us together, but I do like to think my good looks and charm really sealed the deal (your welcome, Karter.)  I may be able to provide him with a way to enter this world, food for his growth, and a mother's love, but a strong and stable father figure is one of the greatest gifts Karter will ever receive. 

But seriously, of all the people in Karter's life who will make an impression on him, his father is the most important and influential.  Mark will be there to teach him to throw his first baseball, yell at the screen as the Brown's make another mistake, and to be a gentleman on his first date...and I couldn't imagine anyone better to do the job.  Karter may not realize it right now, as the only things he realizes are "I'm hungry" and "I'm not going to bed, fools!", but he has such a great teacher and best friend in his dad. 

Most importantly, I know Mark will be a great spiritual leader for Karter, and for that I am so thankful.  I am very blessed to have a strong spiritual leader as a husband with a heart for serving because that is what I want Karter to be one day.  My hope is that Karter will see this in Mark and want to emulate these qualities in his own life.  Lucky is the lady that will get to marry Karter one day, because if he turns out anything like his dad, he will be a great husband and father.

Some say that your relationship with your own father will affect how you will view your relationship with God.  What pressure that is when selecting someone to spend the rest of your life with!  Not only was it important to make sure that Mark was the right one for me, but that he was the right one for me to raise children with.

While there are so many reasons that I love my husband, this is one of the biggest reasons.  When I look at them playing together and Mark is so gentle and kind, I know I made the right decision that hot June day back in 2009.