Monday, January 27, 2014

Weekly Workout Summary: 1/19-1/25

Weekly Workout Summary: 1/19-1/25

Sunday, 1/19: 8-Minute Abs and 8-Minute Arms
Monday, 1/20: Jillian Michael's 30-Day Shred

Tuesday, 1/21: None
Wednesday, 1/22: 45 minute Jillian-esqe workout on OnDemand
Thursday, 1/23: None
Friday, 1/24: A handful of OnDemand workouts-- 12 minute legs, 5 minute abs, 6 minute arms. Also shoveled snow outside in our driveway.
Saturday, 1/25: Walked in place/around in circles in my living room while wearing Bailey in a carrier for an hour. I realize this sounds bonkers... but, after being cooped up all day I NEEDED to move a little and it's FAR too cold and snowy to get outside. Do what you can when you can. Also shoveled snow outside in our driveway.

I think I've kinda fallen into a nice groove with my home-on-maternity-leave life. I know my best bet to get a workout in is during Bailey's first nap, as that is her best nap of the day. While it would be SOOOO nice to just go back to bed (as it's still pre-7:30am!) during this nap, I know if I don't get the workout in then, I likely won't get it in at all that day... turns out babies can be kinda needy sometimes. :) Again, I'll call this week a victory.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Let's Get Real: Day in the Life

I was texting with a wonderful friend of mine yesterday about just HOW FREAKING HARD this whole newborn stage is and about how I was worried because Bailey isn't smiling or really making eye contact yet and how "everyone" says she "should be" by now (false) and how "everyone" else's baby is already sleeping through the night at 10 weeks and Bailey isn't and how she "should be" by now (false). My very wise friend first asked just who all these "everyone's" were and then reminded me that just because people SAY their babies do x, y, z doesn't necessarily mean they do AND, if they do, doesn't mean their babies are perfect.

Like I said, she's so wise.

She also reminded me that I posted a "Day in the Life" post not too long ago that painted a pretty darn pretty picture. BUSTED. She was right. I was being honest. SOMEDAYS were/are like that. However, let's get real. Not everyday is all unicorns and sparkly. Some days there are more of my tears shed than Baileys. Some days girl just refuses to nap. Some days I am COVERED in baby vomit all. day. long.  So, for the sake of full transparency, I figured it was time to see what one of those days look like.

Bailey's been having some SERIOUS sleep regression issues lately. For a  while, she was doing SO well. Not sleeping through the night, but sleeping in her crib like a champ and, oh yeah-- SLEEPING. The past 2 weeks girl has 100% refused to sleep in her crib at night and has been way too cool for sleep in general. FUN.

So, here's what Wednesday, January 22, 2014 looked like. I use an app to track all of B's diaper changes and nursing sessions, so it's pretty easy for me to recap these dead on. With that, let's do this...

Backing up a bit to the Tuesday evening before was SUPER fun, starting around 8pm with a diaper change and nursing session and then trying to put B to "bed" after her normal night time routine. Girl was not having it. She and I spent about 2 full hours where I would put her down in the crib, she'd immediately start crying, I'd pick her up and shush her and then set her back down after she'd calm then she'd immediately start crying again. SUCH A FUN GAME.

At about 10pm, I try to nurse her again, thinking maybe she's still hungry. She is and has a full nursing session and then another diaper change. By now, it's about 10:40pm. She is OUT LIKE A LIGHT, so I put her in her crib. That lasts for less than 10 minutes. We do the crib game for another few minutes before I wave the white flag.

So, it's now about 11pm and I gave up and decided to just let her sleep in her bouncy seat (the ONLY place we can get her to sleep right now). So, we move downstairs, get her in her seat and then I cozy up for another night on the couch (it's easier to sleep on the couch when she's SOOOO fussy and when she's in her seat b/c they're on the same level so I can calm her without having to get up). I get about 5 minutes before she starts whimpering again. I pop the paci in and we do this game for 40ish minutes before she's finally, FINALLY out and I get to fall asleep.

So, now it's almost midnight and Wednesday officially beings...

1:47am: Diaper Change

1:48am-2:15am: Nurse, then I get her settled back in her seat (where she actually goes back to sleep pretty quickly) and then I go to the bathroom.

 I have no relevant pics... so, enjoy the many faces of Bailey. :)
2:15am-4:09am: SLEEP! Glorious, glorious sleep. Well. Semi-glorious. Girl wakes up 3-4 times and I have to pop the paci back in her mouth.

4:09-4:35am: Another nursing/diaper session

4:35-5am: Girl really, really fights sleep. We play the paci game and I end up pulling her out of her seat and let her sleep on my chest, which means I don't get any sleep. Fuuuuun. But, she finally falls asleep, so I put her back in her seat.

5-6:28am: Girl is OUT, which means I get to sleeeeeeeeeeep.

6:28am-6:54am: We start our day! Nurse and diaper

6:54-7:15am: Play! Sing songs, dance a little, etc.

7:15am-7:20am: Diaper and swaddle her for her nap. Set her down IN HER CRIB (!!) while she's awake and sneak out.

7:20-9:30am: Girl is OUT. Yep- she'll sleep in her crib for (some) naps. SO WEIRD. And frustrating. Anyway- this is by far her BEST nap and I use the time to get shit done. I pump, workout, eat breakfast, and clean up the living room.

9:31am-10:02am: I had to wake her up from her nap and then we diaper and nurse.

10:02-10:25am: Play!

10:25-10:30am: Diaper and swaddle her. Put her in her crib for nap #2.

10:30-11:30am: She sleeps and I try to nap, but wakes early so my nap is cut short. I get maybe 30 minutes of sleep in before we play the paci game for a bit and then I give up.

11:30am-12:15pm: I bring her into my bed and try to get her to nap a little while longer while laying next to me while I facebook and read blogs on my phone.

12:15-12:58pm: Nurse and diaper

1-1:30pm: Play!

1:30pm: Another diaper change, then swaddle and put her down for a nap.

1:30-2:30pm: She naps for a solid hour, while I get to eat some lunch! I was planning to try to nap again after lunch, but she doesn't nap long enough.

2:30-3:30pm: She lays on my chest and kinda dozes in and out.

3:37-4:02pm: Nurse and diaper

4:02-4:30pm: Play!

4:30pm: Diaper

4:30-5pm: I rock her and try and try and try to get her to go down for a nap, all to no avail. Girl is just not having it.

5pm: Put her in her swing and she finally does doze off.

5-6pm: The Hubs gets home and we reheat some leftovers and eat dinner while watching an episode of Dexter (we're ALMOST through the last season!! OOOMMMG!!!!).

6-6:32pm: Nurse and diaper (well, the Hubs diapers :) )

6:30-7pm: Play!

7-7:30pm: Diaper, bath and then bedtime routine.

7:30-8:55pm: Play the OH-SO-FUN crib game again. AHHHH!!!! Start to LOSE MY MIND because girl will JUST NOT SLEEP IN HER CRIB. I start crying because she won't stop crying. Hubs and I take turns for a while before we wave the white flag again. Bailey wins. I take her back to the living room.

8:57pm-9:24pm: I think maybe she's hungry again and am right. Another nurse and diaper session.

9:25-11pm: Try over and over and over again to get Bailey to stop crying and go to sleep. Even her bouncy seat isn't doing it tonight.

11pm: FINALLY she's out and I pass out about 2.2 seconds later.

Rinse, lather, repeat.

So, as you can see... it was a far cry from the perfect day. But, at the same time- it wasn't a total bust either. She wasn't crying ALL DAY by any means. She also wasn't the never-cries baby. Life is usually somewhere in the middle. I'm far from living a perfect life. I'm also so incredibly lucky and love, love, LOVE my life and wouldn't trade a single thing. I mean... if someone wants to come change the really poopy diapers or clean my house while I sleep, I wouldn't turn them away, but I know you gotta take the bad with the good and if a poopy diaper and a sleepless night is the "bad" I gotta take, I can handle it.    



Tuesday, January 21, 2014

That Time I Made Up a Workout

We've talked about how it's difficult for me to get to the gym right now. Ok, difficult is an understatement. It's impossible for me to get to a gym right now. Maybe some new mom's can do it, but it's just not in the cards for me right now. And, again, I'm OK with that. I dig at-home workout DVDs and can make do with what I have. However, you can only do Jillian so much before your muscles want to fall off from working the same ones over and over and before you want to gouge your eyes out with a spoon from boredom. Solution? Make up your own workout! So, that's what I did last week... sorta.

I combined a workout DVD and made up my own workout.

I started with 8-Minute Abs. If you haven't ever seen this classic 80's workout, it's worth 8-minutes just in entertainment. Hello spandex and soup cans. Check it out. You'll see exactly what I mean.

Annnnyway- so, I started with 8-Minute Abs. 
Then, every 3 moves (each move is like 45 seconds, I think) I paused and did between 1:30-3:00 minutes of cardio. What cardio can I do with no treadmill or elliptical at home and without being able to get outside (thank you very much, 1+ foot of snow... still)? Lots! I did the following:
-Jumping Jacks
-Mountain Climbers
-Twist jumps (like Jillian does in Level 2)
-Plank Jacks
-Running up and down the steps
-Running in place while punching up and down in the air
-High Knees
-Butt Kicks
-Jump Rope (minus the actual rope)

So, after the cardio burst, I went back to the DVD and did 3 more moves then another cardio burst.
After 8-Minute Abs, I continued on and did 8-Minute Arms using 8-pound hand weights, continuing with the cardio bursts. By the end, I did both 8-minute strength workouts and 20 minutes of cardio.

Then, I did a few planks to round out the workout and make it a solid 40-minute workout. At home. With only hand weights needed. And, I was SWEATING and PANTING. It was a damn good workout and, very importantly, the time flew by.

Just goes to show, even if you don't have much equipment and/or can't get out of the house, you can still get in a solid workout that doesn't feel like it drags on and on and on.

Done and done!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Weekly Workout Recap: 1/12-1/18

Sunday, Jan. 12: None
Monday, Jan. 13: 2 mile walk with Sadie and Bailey in the stroller

Tuesday, Jan. 14: Jillian Michael's 30-Day Shred
Wednesday, Jan. 15
Thursday, Jan. 16None 
Friday, Jan. 17: 8-Minute Arms & 8-Minute Abs with 2-3 minute cardio bursts (think jumping jacks, mountain climbers, high knees, etc) every 3 moves to total 20 minutes of cardio
Saturday, Jan. 18: 3.5 mile run with Amy
Again, I'm calling this week a win. Maybe it's not anywhere near how much working out or at the same intensity as I was a year ago... so what?!?! My priorities are different now. Is working out still a priority? Yes. There's no denying that. I think being in shape will make me a better mother. It's important to me to be healthy so I'll be around a long time for Bailey, so I can keep up with her and play with her without getting winded, and for my mental sanity. I LOVE working out. If I don't get a little sweaty now and then my mental state suffers, which would make me a worse mom. I think it benefits my entire family for me to stay active. HOWEVER (& this is a BIIIIIG however)-- working out is NOT my number 1, 2, or 3 priority. Bailey, the Hubs, even Sadie are light years higher priorities than working out.  
Simple as that. End of story.
So, as I said and did last week-- I'll keep doing what I can, when I can.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Bailey: Month Two

Bailey turned two months on January 11, 2014. It's SO crazy that she's been here for over 2 months now. In some ways, it feels like she's been here forever and in some ways it feels like she just got her. The second month was easier than the first month, by far. Any new moms out there reading this, it's true what they say: it gets easier! Sure, we had our moments, but everyday we seem to get more into our groove and everyday Bailey seems to become more and more a real person with a personality all her own. I'm trying not to wish away a single moment of today for tomorrow, but I can't lie-- seeing how far she's come from month 1 to 2 gets me SO excited to see how far she goes from month 2 to 3! 

 Age: Two Months

Weight/Height: Little chunker has GROWN this month! She's finally just over 8 pounds! Yes, I realize the majority of babies are BORN at or bigger than this weight, but it's been a long time coming for us, so I'm super excited! She's visibly bigger and filling out. She's got a few ADORABLE baby fat rolls that I am literally obsessed with. I could stare at them all. day. long. She's also gained 1/2 an inch in length, bringing her to 21 inches long.

Bailey is measured on a different "scale" than full-term babies. There is a separate scale for preemies, giving them extra time to catch up with weight and height gain. Right now, on the preemie scale, B is coming in in the 25% for weight and 5% for height and head circumference. At her 1 month appointment, she was in the 5% for all 3 areas, so the doctor is SUPER happy with her weight gain (which makes me SUPER happy as nursing is TOUGH and it really makes it all feel worth it!) and is also very happy with her height/head, as it's stayed consistent. Doc thinks she might just be a slow grower and a lil' peanut, which is A-OK.

Sleep: We have a night time routine down pretty well now. At about 7:15pm, we head upstairs and change her diaper and put her into PJ's. Then, the Hubs reads her a book or two and then, at about 7:30pm, I nurse her while the Hubs grabs a shower.

We were doing nurse then book for a while to try to avoid "nursing her to sleep", but it just wasn't really working for us, so we switched the order. Yes, that might be creating a bad habit. No, I really don't give a crap. It works. And, I have no intention of stopping nursing anytime soon, so what do I care if she nurses to sleep? I'm OK with it. 1 big lesson I'm learning is you gotta pick you battles. This isn't a battle worth fighting to me. Anyway- generally we nurse from 7:30-8:15-- 15ish minutes a side, with a short break between for burping and swaddling her. Then, I rock her for a few minutes just to make sure she's out-out. Most of the time, she is and I just put her down and we're good to go. But, sometimes she wants to nurse again (called cluster feeding which is totally normal) and/or needs to be rocked even longer. So, sometimes by 8:15pm I'm outta there and she's out like a light. Sometimes (though not very often) it takes to 8:30 or even 9pm.

Then, she's out til the Hubs gives her a bottle with my pumped milk and her vitamin D supplement  (apparently b-milk lacks vitamin D) and does a diaper change at about 11pm, right before he hits the hay. I go to bed around 9:30pm, giving me 5 GLORIOUS hours of uninterrupted sleep. Seriously. Makes me feel like a whole new person. Most the time the Hubs has to wake her up for this feeding, so starting this weekend we're going to stop this and see what time she naturally wakes up on her own... we'll see how that transition goes. MAYBE we'll be able to drop 1 MOTN (middle of the night) feeding! We'll see...

Anyway, so she eats around 11pm. Then, she wakes me up sometime between 2-3am and we nurse/diaper again. Then, she sleeps again til about 6:30am, when we start our day.

So, I think we really only have 1 MOTN feeding. Then 11pm one is sorta one, but since the Hubs is still up, it's doesn't feel like it. At 8 weeks, I think that's pretty darn good. I know there are some miracle babies out there that can already sleep through the night at 8 weeks. Well, great for them, but we're not there. 1- Bailey's still just too small. Girl JUST hit the weight most babies are BORN at. Her tummies just too small to go all night. 2- B-feed babies tend to wake up at least once, as b-milk is digested faster than formula. So, I don't think we'll be in a "sleeping through the night" situation anytime soon. And, I'm OK with that. She's a GOOD baby... she goes RIGHT back down each time when she feeds, so it's not like it takes hours. Honestly, she's never had one of those nights (I say as I knock on wood), so I'll take 1, quick-ish MOTN feeding as long as she needs it.  

Awake Time: No real changes here... Bailey has been able to stay awake for LONG stretches, if she wants, since pretty early. The doctor even commented on how alert she is. We've fallen into a pretty decent routine at this point... she spends about 15-20 minutes of wake-time after each day feeding where we "play" on her play mat, read a book, sing songs, or swing her in swing. Sometimes she'd stay awake much longer, if I let her, but then she'd get to a not-very-fun overly tired fussy stage, so I intentionally try to encourage napping about an hour after each nursing session. So, sometimes I lay her in her crib awake and she puts herself to sleep (usually for the first and second nap of the day) and sometimes I have to rock her or let her sleep on my chest (usually the later naps of the day). Sometimes she flat out refuses to nap and that's OK. The process so far is working for us.

Nursing/Eating: Nothing really new to report, which is actually great! No news is good news, right? It's still going well. She's still going between 10-17 minutes per side, both sides at each feeding. She's going every 3 hours during the day, every 2-ish in the early evening, then every 3-4 overnight. It's going really well. I am beyond happy with how nursing has been going for us and I can only hope it continues to go this well, especially when I go back to work. I still LOATHE pumping, but I continue to do it to keep the freezer stash up and so the Hubs can give her a bottle each night. While pumping is a pain, it's not TOO bad and easy to keep up.

Likes: Staring at lights.  Girl LOVES lights. She also loves being held (duh!), but also likes some "alone" time lounging in the boppy or in her swing.  

Dislikes: Music. I mean, I wouldn't say she dislikes it per say... she just doesn't care at all about it. If she's having a meltdown, singing to her doesn't help at all-- she could not care less about it, as a matter of fact.

Hit or Miss: Baths... I think if we get the temp JUST right she likes it, but if it's a little cold, she hates it. She's still hit or miss with tummy time, too. Just depends on her mood.

Looking forward to: First smile and giggles!!!
Don't let this gas smile fool you... we're still waiting for her first social smile. In the mean time, I'll enjoy these gas smiles! :)

Special Moments/Milestones: Bailey started coo-ing. She isn't really doing it in response to anything and hasn't been having a "conversation" with us yet if we coo-back, but we're getting there. She also has better and better head control everyday. She started grasping stuff in her hands and loves to pull my hair and the strings on the Hubs hoodie or the collar of his polo shirts.

Doc said she has GREAT head control and, based on her head control, alterness, ability to grasp and her coos she doesn't expect Bailey to need the extra time for development based on being a preemie. She still gets the time, just in case, but doc said she thinks B'll develop on time, as though she was a full-term baby. So, that's exciting!

And, of course- we had her first Christmas, which was a special moment. Obviously girl had no idea it was Christmas, so next Christmas'll be fun when she's more interactive and such. But, this year's was fun, even if she did sleep through 90% of it. :)

Happy two-month birthday, baby girl!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Weekly Workout Recap: 1/5-1/11

WOW-- it's been a LOOOONG time since I've done one of these! As I SLOWLY get back into working out, I'll track my weekly workouts here.
Sunday, Jan. 5: None
Monday, Jan. 6: Jillian Michael's 30-Day Shred

Tuesday, Jan. 7: 15 minute home made-up strength workout (while wearing Bailey in Moby Wrap... fun!!)
Wednesday, Jan. 8: Jillian Michael's 30-Day Shred
Thursday, Jan. 9: Jillian Michael's 30-Day Shred
Friday, Jan. 10: None
Saturday, Jan. 11: 3 mile run

To say I'm out of shape is an understatement, but I can tell with each workout, I'm verrrrry slowly getting better and better. Saturday's run felt waaaaaay easier than the one before. Speaking of... Woah! I can't believe I waited that long in between runs. With all the snow/ice/cold, it's really hard to run outside, which is my only option right now. Plus, I can't really do any mid-week runs right now, as we don't have a jogging stroller so I can't go with B during the day (even if we did have a jogging stroller, it's too snowy/icy right now anyway) and by the time the Hubs gets home it's pretty much dark and I want to spend time with him and B as a family. Family time trumps running time, hands down.  
I'm calling this a BIG WIN week. 5 days of working out with a 7-week old? VICOTORY in my book! As you can see, everything (minus the run, which was done outside) was done in my house. While I still have my work gym membership, they don't have a daycare (& I wasn't really up to leaving B at daycare before her first round of shots anyway) so it's home workouts for me. While I SO wish we had a treadmill so I could walk and/or run throughout the day (stupid ice & snow outside!), it is what it is. The home workouts are working for me right now. There's only so many hours in the day and a gym just isn't in the cards right now. Gotta make due with what you have.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Day In the Life: 8 Weeks

These days, my life looks almost nothing like it did 8 weeks ago, so I thought it might be fun to capture what it looks like today...

Sometime between 2-3am (I set my alarm for 3:30am and she's NEVER made it all the say to 3:30am... Someday!) I hear Bailey start stirring over the monitor. We moved her to her crib in her nursery a few weeks ago and she did really well. I think she's too little to know any different, so hopefully transitioning to the crib will be 1 less battle we have to fight. Famous last words. :) 

Anyway- I give her a few minutes to see if she's really starting to wake up or just a little sleepy-stir. Usually she's waking up, so I get up and nurse, change her diaper, and re-swaddle her. I don't really talk to her (except a few "Mommy loves you!"'s) and there's no playing during this time. I keep the lights very low, as well. The idea is to get her to know this is JUST a feeding time and then it's time to go back to sleep right away. She's honestly doing really well with this concept. It usually takes about 45 minutes to nurse her and change her diaper.

From 3ish to 6:30am it's time for SLEEP! Glorious, glorious sleep. :)

About 6:30am is wake up time! Sometimes I have to wake Bailey up, but usually she's just starting to stir/wake up sometime around 6:15-6:30am. I go into her nursery, turn on the lights, sing her a wake up song, change her, nurse her, and change her outfit, all while talking to her and playing music in the room. Again, trying to get her to understand that it's now daytime which means we're gonna play and be awake. Usually this takes about 40 minutes.

After we finish with nursing and diaper changes usually it's about 7:15am and it's playtime! We almost always do some tummy time during this wake-period, as she's always the most happy during this period. Sometimes we read a book, sing songs, etc.

The, at about 7:30am, it's naptime! I usually check her diaper again to see if she's dirty, the re-swaddle her, pop her paci in her mouth, rock her for a few minutes, and then set her in her crib, hopefully while she's awake, but drowsy. Sometimes she falls asleep really quickly and easily. Sometimes, I end up going up and down the stairs to put the paci back in her mouth 10 times. 

Between 7:30-9am-ish is my time! Well... sorta. I make some breakfast (oatmeal, as it helps w/ my b-milk supply) and then eat it while pumping. Not everyone pumps while nursing, but I exclusively pumped while B was in the NICU, so I got used to it. Now I keep it up so the Hubs can give her a bottle and to start a freezer stash for when I go back to work. After pumping, I try to clean up a bit, wash the pump parts and random paci's, and sometimes even get a shower in (we're on the every other day plan). Sometimes I do laundry during this break too.

Sometime around 9-9:30am-ish to 10:30am Bailey wakes up! Time to nurse, change her diaper, and play til 10:30am. Then, Bailey naps again til about 12:30pm. During her nap, I pump again, do more laundry/picking up, sometimes work out (loving Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred, even though it KICKS MY ASS every time) or take a nap. 

Bailey starts stirring again at 12:30pm, and it's time for another nurse/diaper/play/sleep cycle. By 1:30pm-ish, it's time for another nap. This is usually her toughest nap. Usually she takes a while to go down and needs a little more rocking, but eventually- she does fall asleep. While she's sleeping I pump again and make/have lunch. Lately, that's been a cheese omelette and carrots and an apple or left overs and water. LOTS of water. Who knew breastfeeding would make you SO THIRSTY?

Usually Bailey starts crying about 2:30pm. Again, this is usually her worst nap. I know she's still tired, so I try to play the paci game or pick her up and let her nap on my chest. Either way, we make it to about 3:30pm, when it's time to nurse/diaper/play again. By 4:30, little girl is ready for another nap. This is OUR nap... It's my favorite time of day. I let her nap on my chest and we just snuggle. Lots of kisses and "I love you!"'s. LOVE this nap.

5:30pm comes way too fast which means our snuggle time is over and it's time to nurse and diaper again. Right around now, the Hubs gets home from work, which is great! He is a great daddy and jumps right in to help right after he walks in the door.

After we finish with this nursing/diaper session, I try to put Bailey in her swing or bouncy seat so the Hubs and I can eat dinner (usually leftovers of something we make during the weekend or an easy freezer meal). Usually this is a big, fat fail and more often than not, the Hubs eats while I hold Bailey, then we switch. This is Bailey's fussy period for SURE. Sometimes from 5:30-7:30pm we can't put her down at all without her crying.
At 7:30, we start our "bedtime" routine: I nurse her while the Hubs takes a shower. Then, he changes her diaper, swaddles her, and reads her a book. Sometimes I'll then read her a book too. Usually, she's still pretty awake, so then the Hubs or I rock her for a bit. We try to put her in her crib drowsy, but still awake. 

SOMETIMES, this'll be it and she'll fall asleep. But, let's be honest. Usually, it's not and she starts crying within a few minutes of putting her down. The Hubs and I take turns going upstairs and patting her back or putting the paci back in. Sometimes, we'll pick her back up and rock her for a bit or I'll see if she's still hungry and nurse her again. I'm nervous about starting "bad habits" with rocking or nursing her to sleep, but whatever. I know if she's fussy around now it's because she's tired and the only true solution will be to get her to sleep, which she'll fight with all her might. Silly lil' girl! I know she CAN fall asleep on her own, as sometimes she does and for almost every nap she does. I know some people say to NEVER put your baby down asleep.... whatever. It is what it is. We do what works for us. And, to be honest-- I kinda love the extra snuggles. Usually by 8:30pm, she's out. Sometimes more like 9 or even 9:30pm. Just depends just how much little girl wants to fight sleep that night. 

Then, the Hubs and I watch a little TV or do some work around the house or something. Pretty much every night I also have a snack (or two or three).

I head to bed around 9:30pm for a glorious 5 hour stretch of sleep. AMAZING what 5 straight hours can do for you after weeks and weeks of 3 hours at a time. 

The only reason I can get that long of a stretch is because the Hubs gives her a bottle of my pumped milk around 11. He then puts her back down to sleep. 

And, then we repeat it all over again the next day! Ya know... at least for a few days until Bailey decides she's over this routine and wants to mix it all up again. :)

Friday, January 10, 2014

Worst Things to Say to Parents of a Preemie

Having a preemie is HARD.

Not having your baby at home with you. The stress of the unknown. The cords and tubes. Nothing about it is easy.

The Hubs and I are lucky in that we have some AMAZINGLY support friends and family who made it SO much easier for us.

But, not everyone has that support. And, even for us, there were still a few asshat people in the world who said stupid, stupid things (NOT our friends/family... again, they were beyond words amazing!!).

Here are a few stupid things people said to me or that I overheard being told to other parents in the NICU that I would suggest never, ever saying to anyone with a preemie or with a child in the NICU.

-"Did the doctor tell you what you did to have her come early?" or (for me) "Do you think working out so much made her come early?" (Yes, I really had someone say that to me-- to my FACE.)
Seriously?!?!? This one was the WORST. What I did DO?? Meaning I did something to make my baby come before she was ready. Way to tell me I'm a shitty parent. Like I'm not already wondering if it was my fault and beating myself up. Thanks for affirming it. Hey shit head, I didn't DO anything. Sometimes babies just come early. I had a picture perfect healthy pregnancy. I did everything by the book. I took prenatal vitamins. I stayed healthy and active (though not TOO active, thankyouverymuch). I ate right (and not too much or to little, again-- thankyouverymuch). I went to the doctor when I was supposed to. I didn't drink a single sip of alcohol or smoke a puff of anything. I slept in the position you're supposed to. I talked to my belly. I even went to prenatal yoga for goodness sake! I didn't DO (or not do) anything wrong. Now, please get out of my face before I punch you, thankyouverymuch.  

-"At least you don't have to go through your last month of pregnancy!"
Ok, maybe those last few weeks of pregnancy are rough... clearly, I don't know, as I didn't GET TO experience them. I WANTED to, but didn't get to. Telling me I didn't HAVE to go through them is silly. I WANTED to. I would have LOVED to, especially as that would have meant Bailey got to keep baking longer and likely been born 100% healthy.
My last preggo selfie!

-"At least you can get some extra sleep!" or "Enjoy your sleep while you can!"
Yeaaaaah. Um, I didn't get any extra sleep. I likely got LESS than a lot of parents with their newborn at home get. I was up every 2 hours to pump and to help with her getting her diaper changed, temp taken, etc. Every 2 hours, like clockwork. I did not take ONE, SINGLE nap the entire time she was in the NICU. Not to mention the added stress and anxiety of having a baby in the NICU. So, NO...I didn't get any extra sleep. Thanks for that, though.  

-"She's so small... she doesn't even look real!"
Saying she's small didn't bother me (though it may bother other preemie parents). She WAS small. I was OK with that. But, dude. Don't tell me my baby doesn't look REAL. She IS real. Her cries are real. Her pain is real. Her smiles are real. She's real. I promise.

-On the flip side... "Wow! She looks like a regular baby!"
What... did you think I gave birth to a monkey or something? She IS a regular baby. Thanks.

-"She's in the best place [the NICU] for her right now!"
I know people meant well with this one. I really did. And, they were right. I knew that. But, it also felt like they were saying the best place WASN'T with me. And, as her Mom, that felt like a kick in the stomach.

-"She's be home before you know it."
Again, I know people meant well with this one... I really, really do. But, no matter how soon she got to go home, it wasn't soon enough. And, I didn't KNOW when she'd get to come home.

Most people mean well. I know that. I'm sure most preemie parents know that. Most comments aren't meant to hurt or annoy. And, even those above didn't bother me too much. I'm pretty thick skinned and not too easily bothered. But, some parents are. So, if you're ever in the situation with a loved one having a child in the NICU, take my advice and just tell them the baby is beautiful and ask if there's anything you can do to help. Simple as that. That's what our friends and family did and, let me tell you, it meant the world of difference.

And, to our my friends and family-- you're amazing!! THANK YOU!! We couldn't have gotten through it without each of you!!!