Wednesday, September 29, 2010

P.S.

I forgot my "P.S." on the last post. I realize most of y'all aren't moms, but I have a random question. When making formula, does anyone find it odd that they tell you to put 4 oz. of water in the bottle and add 2 scoops of formula and that is supposed to equal 4 oz.? Because in my experience, once you add the 2 scoops to the already 4 full oz. of water, you end up with more like 4.5 or 5 oz. total. So does this still count as 4 oz.? I've been confused for 2 weeks now (ever since I had to stop breast feeding).

Update on MC

Nothing much is new in our lives... every time I think I have something figured out, MC throws me for a loop. Sunday night I placed her in her crib while she was still awake and it only took her 45 minutes to fall asleep... and she slept for 3.5 hours. I think it's important to teach them how to put themselves to sleep so they don't rely on being held or rocked. I don't let her just lay in there and scream or anything, but she'll whimper a little bit. Monday night was wonderful. I bathed her, fed her and put her down while she was drowsy but still awake and the most miraculous thing happened. She fell asleep within 15 minutes and slept for 4 hours and 15 minutes. I was so proud, and I felt like I was making some real progress... and then last night happened. Little girl would NOT go to sleep, so Chad held her until about 10:30 and she finally dozed off. I don't know what happened. I guess she slept too long or hard during our evening stroll. I am really not too good at this whole schedule thing, but I'm working on it.

We got a swing. I wouldn't call it a "miracle" like most moms do, but it is helpful for naps.

3 Weeks Old

She slept just like this - hand in the air - for over an hour the other day.

Her daddy made over.

She eats ALL the time, but we can't figure out where she puts it... other than her cheeks. I mean, look how skinny those little legs are!

Gerty said, "Don't forget about me, people!"


We are still trying to figure out this Mommy/Baby stuff. But it's getting better. We take MaryCollis for her 1-month checkup on Friday. ONE MONTH! Crazy.

Cheers!
aarp

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Our First Road Trip

We took our first road trip last weekend, and it went about as well as it could have. MaryCollis LOVES to be in her car seat and ride in the car or stroller, so the ride up was great. Once we made it to Starkville, my mom and I took MC to campus to visit all my old coworkers at MSU. It was so hot that day. When we got home our Aunt Mac came to see us and stayed for a long while. We miss her. Then Aunt Lauren (the fairy godmother) drove over from Oxford to spend the night. I did a terrible job of taking photos this weekend, so I don't have a picture of MC with the fairy or Mac. And that makes me sad because she's growing so fast!

Gamma and MaryCollis taking a nap

Saturday morning at the Rice house

Rise and shine! We had lots of company for the Georgia game.


The bulldogs won on Saturday, so my dad declared that MC could never miss another game. Chad drove all the way from St. Louis to Starkville Saturday evening, and we were so glad to see him! MC did pretty well sleeping in the pack 'n play, but it was still an exhausting weekend. Before leaving on Sunday, we went to Grumpy's... and it's safe to say that MaryCollis was the cutest thing there.

Go Dawgs!

After finishing off a bottle.

Thanks for the booties, Aunt Jenna!

Then she contemplated football strategies all the way back to Laurel.

Cheers!
aarp

Monday, September 27, 2010

Bragging on Chad

I'm going to do a more detailed post on our weekend visit to Starkville, but first I have to take a moment to brag on my husband. He has been such an incredible help over the last 3+ weeks. Though he is not often home at night, when he is home it makes me appreciate it so much more. He is great with MaryCollis, and it is such a joy to watch him with her. He doesn't wake up for all the nighttime feedings, but just knowing he's lying beside me in the middle of the night makes me feel better. Like I'm not alone in this whole baby thing... like I'm safe. I hate to watch him leave each week, but gosh I love for him to come home again. 

I had a slight meltdown after we got home from Starkville on Sunday. It has been a while since my emotions got the better of me, and I suppose I was due. I won't say exactly what caused the attack, but let's just suffice it to say that I had been by myself with a newborn all week and this weekend was kind of stressful with all the company in Starkville and not being at our own house and MC has been on this kick where she's fussy all the time, and I just couldn't get any relief... and I had just kind of reached my breaking point. I started crying when we walked in the door, and Chad was so sweet. He didn't know why I was crying, and he didn't ask. He just held me and let me cry until I got it all out. He told me how beautiful I was and how proud of me he was for doing such a great job with our child. I wanted to laugh because I’m pretty sure I am doing a terrible job, but it was so nice to hear. He said and did all the right things today, and suddenly I remembered exactly why it is that I’m still so in love with him. And after I got all of my emotions out, he let me take a hot bath while he ordered pizza. It was a good day.

Cheers!
aarp

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Go Dawgs!

I think it's safe to say that MaryCollis is good luck for our bulldogs. I did a horrible job of taking photos this weekend (being a busy mom and all), but I will at least write a more detailed post about our weekend in Starkville later on today or tomorrow. For now, we are taking MC to Starkville Cafe for the first time. Have a happy Sunday!

HAIL STATE!
aarp

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Calling All Moms

MaryCollis is going to be 3 weeks old tomorrow, and I think I'm ready to start trying to get her on a schedule. I realize that most people (and books) say that you shouldn't even try to start a timed schedule until at least 6 weeks because newborns survive on a demand-style schedule at first. And that makes sense... but I also realize that it's going to be difficult to establish a schedule. It won't happen overnight, and it definitely won't happen by accident. It's going to be hard work... so that's why I want to start early. Moms, what advice do you have for me?

Cheers!
aarp

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Days 11-17

Well, friends, MaryCollis is growing at a rapid pace. She weighed 9 lbs at her 2-week checkup. NINE!  She's still got skinny little legs and arms.... but those cheeks are so plump and kissable! She's just a little doll.

My only complaint is that she likes to stay awake after her early morning feeding. She usually wakes up sometime between 3:30 and 5 to eat and then she is AWAKE, buddy! Those eyes are big as Dallas and she is not interested in going back down. She'll finally doze off around 7, and that's when she and Mommy get a good 2-3 hour nap. That is the best sleep I get all day (or night for that matter!).

My mom spent Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights with us while Chad was on the road... and I gotta say, I'm not sure how people do it without help. It literally takes a village. She was so wonderful... she'd wake up for every feeding and sternly say, "Go back to bed.... NOW." And I didn't argue. My mom requires very little sleep.... usually about 4 hours a night.... so she is the perfect grandma!

Our friend Meredith brought us a wonderful meal of lasagna, salad with homemade ranch and garlic bread on Wednesday. It was so kind and thoughtful. Attention new and expectant moms! I can't tell you how much you will appreciate meals. It doesn't even matter if it's a frozen pizza... if you can get someone to bring it to you, it is the perfect gift. And here's another tip: when someone calls and asks if they can bring you anything LET THEM. It doesn't matter if it's a pack of toilet paper. Rely on other people to help you... because you will not be leaving the house any time soon.

Chad came home Friday and found an empty house. My mom and I had taken MaryCollis on a secret adventure. It sounds crazy, but we took her to the chiropractor Friday evening. When talking to my neighbor the other day, she mentioned that she takes her grandson to the chiropractor on 7th Avenue and that she is "wonderful" with babies. She told me that since I was now using formula that I needed to take MC to see this doctor so she could test which formula is best for her body. I kind of brushed the conversation off and labeled her as a crazy person for taking an infant to some kind of witch doctor. 

But then something happened.... MC went several days without pooping. (That's another thing, new moms, you won't BELIEVE how obsessed you become with poop.) I just knew it was her formula that was making her constipated, but the pediatrician said it's not considered constipation until she has a bowel movement and it's hard. Well that sounds like a good theory, but when I'm watching my baby girl moan and groan with gas, that spells constipation in my book! So off we went to the witch doctor. Sure enough, the doctor tested the formulas and the one we'd been using was not a good match for her. (And thank goodness too because it was the most expensive one - $28/can!!) So we immediately switched to Similac Sensitive, and dum da da dum... we had a pooper today! Hooray for crazy medicine practices!

Yesterday I took MC out to my parents' house around 3:30 for her very first sleepover! You would think I would've been emotional, but I wasn't. I knew Chad and I needed a break, and I knew my parents would appreciate the alone time with their sweet grand baby. After giving my mom strict instructions dealing with bottles, gas drops, diaper changes, alcohol swabs, bath time and outfits, I ran back home and took a shower before Chad and I went over to Jenna and Matt's for dinner. Instead of preparing bottles for a nighttime feeding, I prepared an olive and cheese tray, and we were off to watch the MSU game with our friends. Though the game was terrible, we enjoyed having time to ourselves. I even had a margarita! (Well, half of one. Baby steps.) When we got home, I didn't quite know what to do with myself.... so I went to bed at 9:15.... and I didn't wake up until 7:51 this morning. I think I almost got too much sleep. But it was really, REALLY nice. In fact, I'm thinking these Saturday night sleepovers might become a weekly event! Chad reminded me that Gamma and Doc might not want to have sleepovers anymore after they spent one night with her... but they said she did fine! Thanks again, Mom and Dad!

I picked up the girl this morning, and my mom had some very exciting news upon my arrival. She said, "I was changing her diaper last night, and I looked up and it was gone! I could see her little navel, and I didn't know what happened to the black thing! It scared me, but I found it in her clothes." Hooray! No more nasty umbilical cord stump! Now that it's gone, we are finally ready to take some professional photos and hopefully fill up all the empty frames sitting around the house!

I'm hoping to get her newborn photos taken at some point this week, but for now here are some photos of MC taken days 11-17:

11 Days Old
She sleeps just like her daddy and her grandpa - mouth WIDE open!
11 Days Old
2 Weeks Old - Where does the time go?
Chester, Sara and MC - 15 Days Old
MC, Gert and Daddy - 16 Days Old
17 Days Old
17 Days Old
Look at that little booty!
Cheers!
aarp

Monday, September 13, 2010

Date Night

Last night I drew myself a hot bath while Chad took MaryCollis and Gerty over to Gamma and Doc's house. Saturday afternoon (during one of my emotional episodes), he declared that the next day we would be baby and puppy free so we might enjoy each other's company on a date night. Man was it nice. When I got out of the tub, he had take-out sitting on the coffee table and had the remote laying by my salad. "Pick any movie you want." This never happens. I picked out 2 movies that I thought he would like and told him to choose. "No. How about Date Night? I think you'd like that one better." So that's what we watched. And it was actually really funny!



We cuddled up on the couch in our PJs with a big blanket just like we used to, and for just a few hours it was as if it were just us again. No puppy. No newborn. No worries. It sounds awful to say out loud, but I have to tell you... it was wonderful. But it couldn't last.

I picked up the two girls around 8:45PM, and as soon as we got home MaryCollis started crying. She really put on a show last night. I just knew I was going to wake up this morning to find Chad - along with all his belongings - gone. It was that bad. She cried from the time we got home until 1AM when I finally (after many attempts from Daddy) got her into bed without her waking up as soon as I put her down. I think she was really gassy and had the upset stomach, but no amount of gas can justify the screaming that child did. Hopefully tonight will be better... or I might need to start looking for a new husband!

Oh! And on a super exciting note... As of this morning, I have lost 29 pounds. It almost makes me forget about being up all night.... almost.

Cheers!
aarp

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Post You've All Been Waiting For

Let me preface this post by saying I'm sorry it has taken me 10 days to post any photos of the wee one... this mommy business is no joke. But since today is MaryCollis' original due date, I figured it would be an appropriate time to show off our girl. And just so you know, I am skipping my morning nap in order to please you people! I'm going to keep it real in this post, so if you don't want to know the reality of what the first 10 days are like with a newborn, just scan through the photos and move on.

As mentioned before, Dr. Weber and I decided to induce on Thursday, September 2 at 5AM. Surprisingly, I slept really well the night before. I woke up at 3:30 just like it was any other day (besides the waking up at 3:30 part). I took Gerty outside, fed her, washed my face and brushed my teeth. After getting ready, I woke Chad up and sat on the bed while he showered... I flipped through my pregnancy journal and stared at ultrasound photos of our baby girl wondering what she might look like in real life. I jotted down some final notes about how I felt the morning of delivery: scared, excited, anxious, nervous I won't do it right, fear of being a bad mother. It felt odd to drive to the hospital knowing I was going to be in labor within the next few hours.


Getting ready to head to the hospital at 4:45AM on September 2. I thought I'd give a shout out to Mickey, since Disney World is where MC was conceived.

We got to the hospital and I was immediately put in my labor & delivery room. Chad left to get coffee while the nurse administered my IV (which made me feel very faint - always does) and returned just after I recovered from the I'm-about-to-pass-out-room-is-spinning-have-the-cold-sweats feeling. She hooked me up to all the monitors (one for the bebe, one for me and one for blood pressure) and started the pitocin around 7, and Dr. Weber broke my water around 7:30. And so it began. All was well for the first hour... Chad read aloud the latest issue of The ReView, and we both laughed hysterically at Karen Rasberry's column on dealing with a Blackberry-consumed life. Even though I had been having contractions for quite a while, I did not feel the first one until 8:25. It wasn't bad... it felt like stomach cramps. "I can totally do this," I thought to myself.

But by 10:00, I was singing a different tune. It hurt... bad. I can't even describe it to you. The only thing that kept me from ripping off the cords to all the machines I was hooked up to and bailing was my sweet husband holding my hand and the fact that I literally couldn't move I was in so much pain. I was still only at 3 centimeters, so the nurse gave me Stadol to help "take the edge off" until I could get an epidural (Ha! It maybe helped for 10 minutes). For the next 2 and a half hours, the contractions came hard and fast... like every minute. I would just close my eyes, grab onto the rails of the bed and squirm my legs around. I could feel myself acting like a crazy person and normally I might care what the nurses thought, but it was the only thing I knew how to do. And it was completely involuntary. Around 12, I literally couldn't take it anymore so even though I was only 3.5 centimeters dilated, the nurse called the anesthesiologist. "He said it'll be okay to administer the epidural, but he's in surgery so he won't be able to make it for another 45 minutes." Dear God, take me now. "But I can give you another dose of Stadol until he gets here." So she did. And finally... FINALLY the anesthesiologist showed up around 1PM. 

Now hear this, y'all: Get an epidural. Don't ever EVER fake yourself into believing you can do this naturally. If you had a migraine, wouldn't you take medicine? Well, this ain't no migraine... it's childbirth. And that epidural saved my life. I'm not trying to be a hero... give me the drugs. And it was the funniest thing too... I got the epidural and things finally started progressing. I was even able to rest and didn't feel a darn thing... I went straight to sleep for 2 hours. Best nap I ever had. When I woke up around 3PM, I was at 6 centimeters. Not even 45 minutes later, I was at 10 centimeters and ready to deliver. I was fully prepared to push for 2 hours, but MC came very quickly! I started pushing at 4:30 exactly and she arrived at 5:14PM for a grand total of 10 hours of labor. I think that's pretty darn good!

So in a nutshell, there were 3-4 hours of labor that I will never EVER forget. And I will remind MaryCollis about them every single time she misbehaves. But once I got the epidural, it was smooth sailing. Our baby girl weighed 8 lb. 7 oz. and was 19 1/2 inches long (can you imagine if we had waited until my due date?). It sounds like she weighs a lot, but she doesn't have a single fat roll (besides her cheeks)! She is just the most precious thing I've ever seen.



Mom, Dad and MaryCollis Malone Patrick.



Our first photo together. She doesn't even look like herself in this photo.



Proud papa.



Me, MC and her Fairy Godmother.



The grandparents: Gamma and Doc.



The Fairy loves that little girl. She drove from Oxford to be at the birth, and then she stayed for 4 days to help with laundry, dishes, middle-of-the-night feedings and emotional outbursts.



My dad is smitten. Seriously.



My parents saying goodbye to MC before they left for Starkville.



Lauren and Mac got MC ready to make the big car ride home.



Going home! What do we do now?



MC's first photo at home. She did not wake up for literally 2 days straight. You still can't make the child wake up... unless she's hungry, and then all hell's going to break loose.



Gerty thought the Boppy pillow was her new resting place.



MC's first bath. She didn't love it.

Lauren and Mac both stayed several nights after we arrived home to help with the baby. And thank God they did because I had several meltdowns and needed my friends. The 2 nights we stayed in the hospital were wonderful. MC literally slept for 2 days straight. She didn't even wake up to nurse. So since she didn't ever wake up, we never really got the hang of feeding. She finally woke up around 6:30PM Saturday evening (at 2 days old) and was just starving. I tried and tried to feed her, but we were having major difficulties with latching on properly. Since we couldn't get it right, she was fussy because she was starving and I was frustrated because she wouldn't open her mouth wide enough - or at all! So that very first night at home, I did something I promised myself I wouldn't do - at least not for the first 2 weeks. I gave her a pacifier. It was 3:30AM, and baby girl would not stop crying. And it helped.

At 11:30 the next morning, I did something else I promised I wouldn't do. I gave her formula. She was so so hungry, and I just couldn't feed her so I had to do it. And now, 8 days later, I am still supplementing with formula because I can't express enough milk for her and she won't latch properly all the time. I have cried and cried and cried about this... I feel like a failure, like I can't give her what she needs. I know it's not the end of the world to use formula, but there are so many reasons why I didn't want to. 1) It's too expensive. 2) It's not the best thing for her. 3) Breastfeeding helps me heal faster. 4) Breast milk is more easily digested. 5) Formula leads to early onset obesity because they overfeed on it. 6) Formula causes more spitting up and it stains. The list goes on and on. I have not given up yet, and I don't intend to for at least 6 weeks but I am so frustrated and upset about not being able to produce enough for her little body. If you have any advice for me, please let me know. I have talked to every person I know who has breastfed, and everyone says it will work out. But I just don't see how. Taking care of a newborn is hard enough without any extra issues, so this has just really got me down.

Anyway, moving on. Here are some more photos of our little nugget's first week:






Do you see a sleeping pattern here? This is why we never could see her face during ultrasounds! She's constantly in the boxer's pose.


Doc holding MC - 4 days old.



6 Days Old



1 Week Old - Tear.



8 Days Old



Daddy, MC and Gert - 8 Days Old



9 Days Old



Our first family photo post-hospital. Not a great one, but it'll do!



Getting ready to go to Gamma & Doc's for Saturday football.




Today: 10 Days Old


And finally..... my push present. GORGEOUS diamond stud earrings that I have been pining over for years now. My sweet husband surprised me with them the day after I had MaryCollis. He has truly been so amazing over the last 10 days. I hate that he has to be gone so much.

So that's it. Now you've seen the bebe, you've heard my experience with childbirth and you've read about the hormones/emotions/meltdowns that come afterward. I hope to get back to posting regularly, but I can't make any promises so enjoy this one! 


Cheers!
aarp

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