Friday, April 21, 2017

One Year

One year ago today, my dad died. So did Prince, and my family quietly mourned our own loss amidst the swirling grief of the world. As did the families of all the other people who passed on April 21, 2016. Our grief is not special. Our grief is not unique. But it is our grief.

One year ago today, for the first time, we felt external movement from the baby growing inside me. I'm sure many other people felt their unborn children move, too. Our joy and excitement were not unique or special or different, but of course, to me, it was. I wrote about it here.

This morning, I forgot to light the Yartzeit candle for my dad before I left the house. I was late for work, and in the rush to get extra baby snuggles and still get out the door, I left the candle sitting on top of the fridge. I knew I should have put it on the counter last night, where I'd be sure to see it this morning, but I didn't. My brain has a hard time remembering things, which I hear is perfectly normal. It's hard to not be hurt by my forgetfulness sometimes, though I remind myself that these things happen. That it's ok. That it's not really a big deal. And it is ok, and it's not significant in the grand scheme of the world, and my dad would not likely be offended by my slip. But still. We'll light it when I get home from work, and it'll burn for 24 hours, and we'll remember my dad, as we remember him always.

There are good days and hard days, and life with a baby certainly provides a number of distractions I hadn't even imagined. Some days I forget, and I reach for my phone to call my dad, but those days are fewer and farther between. I think I'm starting to learn.

Healing is a tough thing. Reconciling living your new life with remembering your old one. I've been doing a lot of that lately, with the grief over my dad and the challenges of motherhood. Eventually it's not your "new life" anymore, it's just your life. It just is.

I'm about the same age as Margie in this picture, and I still have that satin Paramount jacket my dad is wearing. It's a trip, as my dad would say, to think about the passage of time, and to think that I was once this small, and he was once this young, and here we are today. It just is. And we just are.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Bun Maternity

While I have recently taken most of my pre-pregnancy clothes out of storage, and thankfully, much of it still fits, there's still this ever-constant issue of what shirts to wear. I look at every shirt with my "can I nurse in this?" glasses on, which means some of my favorite shirts and dresses are just out of the picture for a while more. Make way for flowy tops that are easy to lift, or low-neck wraps that won't get stretched out when pulled to the side! Lots of cardigans and zip-up hoodies in my life for that easy-access front, for sure.

I recently became familiar with a company called Bun Maternity...and their super cute nursing hoodie. I'd seen it around the internet, in my Facebook feed, on the mommy blogs...and I wanted to try it for myself. When they offered to ship me one for review, I was super excited! And it did not disappoint.

I love how it comes low enough to cover my bum!
It's just fitted enough to be cute, not frumpy, and its front panels are a cute alternative to the standard front-flap nursing top. My husband didn't even realize it was a nursing shirt - he just thought it was a hip, artistic sweatshirt :)  It's warm but not too heavy, and the fabric is super soft.

The easy-access front is great for nursing in cooler weather (side note: this was taken in February - she already seems so small in this picture!). And while I don't care much about nursing modesty, if you are someone who does, I think you'll like the modesty it provides. 

I typically wear a size 12/14 in tops, and the XL fits me great, even after going through the wash (on cold) and dryer (on low) (that's how I wash everything). I also tried their Nursing Tank Top (the XL is a tad too big on me) and the Long Sleeve Cross Top Nursing Maxi Dress (looked kind of frumpy on me, but I think it would look awesome on someone who isn't so high-waisted), but this hoodie is by far the best thing of theirs I've tried. I'm considering buying one in another color, just to have two.

I'm embarrassed that it took me so long to write this post, but not embarrassed at how much I love this hoodie. Seriously.

Full disclosure: Bun Maternity sent me a few items for free to try and review, but did not ask for a specific type of review. My opinions are my own.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Sleep Training: One and a Half Weeks In

Well here we are, one week into the official world of Sleep Training.

Night 1
Night 2

The other nights have gone like so:
Night 3: Asleep within seconds. Fussed herself to sleep a couple times overnight. Fed only at 5:30am.
Night 4: Asleep after 4 minutes of crying. Fussed herself to sleep a couple times overnight. Fed at 1am and 5:30am.
Night 5: Asleep after 30 minutes of crying (it was awful). I have officially forgotten how many times she woke up overnight to eat. I think it was once.
Night 6: Asleep within seconds. Fussed herself to sleep a couple times I think. Fed at 12:30am and 6:15am.

The next few nights were similar - falling asleep easily and quickly with zero to minimal fuss. Last night (night 11 if you're keeping track), she was wide awake in her crib for at least 5 minutes, maybe longer, quietly looking around before falling asleep. She woke to eat around 1:30am, and then...woke up at 4am. It was too soon for her to be hungry, so we thought we'd try to do the intervals, but she just got louder and louder. Will thought something might be wrong, so we checked her physical needs -- diaper: dry, gas: not apparent; pain: possibly teething. She was pulling on her ear a lot, so we thought maybe it was teething pain. At around 4:30am, maybe 4:45, I honestly have no idea, we gave her some ibuprofen. Back to the intervals. By 5:30am, I was ready to give up. She'd been sleeping or quiet-like-sleeping for a maximum of 10 minutes, but usually only 2-3 minutes, for an hour and a half. I threw in the towel and nursed her to sleep. She slept until her usual 7:30am wakeup time. It was the first time we'd needed to do intervals in the middle-of-the-night/early-morning, and it did not go well. Oy. Hopefully that was just an April Fool's joke (she's still figuring out what a "joke" is, I suppose) and tonight will be better.

We've had slight variances to her bedtime routine over the last week or so, and are figuring out what works and what doesn't. I'm tempted to log this all in an app or a spreadsheet and really be able to analyze the data...or I could just roll with it. Which I think is the better thing for my sanity. Try to let go. Try to learn but not control the uncontrollable. I don't think I could handle more tracking anyway.

The biggest news for us is that we're doing no arms swaddled now - she's in a sleep sack, which we started with the swaddle "wings" around her chest. It was hot the other night, so we tried a sack without wings, and she's been doing fine in that. From now on, it'll just be in the zip up sleep sacks, or just pajamas if it's warm enough, I suppose. No more swaddled arms, no more hands-as-weapons.

Relatedly (I think), I'm struggling with my supply - I was always a "more than enough" person, and now I'm becoming a "just enough" person, at least where pumping is concerned. It's stressful to pump at work and not get enough for the next day. Stress decreases supply, so it's a vicious cycle. I'm trying to relax, to drink more water, eat more oatmeal...and I'm back to pumping three times a day at work (I had gone down to two and had been getting the same output). Margie seems to get plenty to eat straight from the tap, so I've thought it could be an issue with the pump, but it doesn't seem like anything is wrong with it. Might just need to re-train my body to pump.

We're trying to sleep train for naps now, which means she's somewhere between crying for half an hour before we give up the nap and sleeping for an hour in her crib (so far, just for Lorena). Usually if she nurses I can get her to nap for half an hour.

Baby sleep is vexing. I'm surrounded by people who are in the same boat, so it can sometimes feel like the only topic there is to talk about, at all. It's hard and it's exhausting walking the line between "do whatever it takes to get some sleep for everyone" and "try to make some progress to get her sleeping independently".

But that's where we are. We know she can do it. We know there will be setbacks. We know there will be more heartbreakingly painful cries. We know there will be more nights of uninterrupted sleep. But man, it's tough.