Balls.

Oh, balls.  So many meanings to the word.  There’s balls you throw/dribble/kick, there’s fancy dances, there’s fun times, there’s man balls that you kick when they piss you off.

 

But right now, I’m thinking about the hypothetical balls you juggle.  Right now, I have a lot of these.  There’s the wee dude, duh.  And J.  And the dogs.  And the house.  And my job and the various associated duties that go along with it.  And my family, and my friends, and running.  And plenty of other things that I can’t think of right now.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the whopping five months since I went back to work, it’s that life has truly become about figuring out which balls are the REALLY important ones that need to be juggled constantly (wee dude, J, dog health related stuff, work for example) and which ones are still important to keep nearby but that you just don’t have the time to keep them in the constant juggle rotation so you set them on the ground until you can handle them (running, friends, the house, dog exercising).  This is why my kid is well taken care of, my husband is fed and coffee’d and has nice work clothes (because I buy the coffee and the food and the work clothes), my dogs are healthy, and things are great at work.  It is also why my house is a mess, I don’t see my friends nearly as often as I’d like, and my dogs desperately need some exercise.

 

Oh, and running?  You mean that thing I’m lucky if I have time to do twice a week?  yeah…that says it all.  I’m supposed to run a half marathon on 5/3, and today I ran 8 miles for the first time since this time last year.  I didn’t feel like I was going to keel over which is good, but my runner brain KNOWS I need to run more than twice a week.  The problem is, my sleepy mom brain wants to sleep in the morning before work, and NOT run.  The other problem is that running after work is not an option.  So I need to try to suck it up.  

 

Starting this week.  I hope.

 

In other news, the wee dude is a quite fab 8 month old.  His sleep is slightly less fab than it was for a  while (meaning he wakes up once during the night, god forbid) but it’s still pretty good so I’ll take it and not bitch about it.  Still no more teeth besides those two bottom guys, but I have a feeling one of the top guys will make an appearance soon.  Wee dude loves food, making noise, and chewing on his TMNT stuffed turtle ball.  He and Raphael are BFFS4EVA.  Not much interest in trying to crawl but I’ve read a lot of stuff saying that babies with big heads tend to meet their motor milestones a little later because they have to figure out how to drag their giant heads around.  And wee dude’s head is pretty giant.  So I’m not worried.  Nursing is still going well overall, though my pumping output dipped some this past week so I had to get into my very small freezer stash more than I would have liked.  At this point, I’m willing to do fairly easy and minorly labor intensive things to up my supply (like buy new pump membranes and drink hard cider) but that’s about it.  I made it to 8.5 months without needing to supplement with formula, and I’m thrilled with that…so if that freezer stash runs out this week and I need to start sending bottles of formula to the sitter’s, it’s cool.

 

Hopefully the next time I post, it’ll be all LALALAAAA I’M SUCKING IT UP AND RUNNING BEFORE WORK AND NOW I’M RUNNING 3-4X/WEEK AND ITS AWEEEESSSSSSOMMMME and less OMG WHAT AM I DOING FREAKING PACING A HALF IN A MONTH I AM SO NOT READY AND AM GOING TO LOOK LIKE A FOOL AND OH SHIT DID I HURT MYSELF RUNNING TOO MUCH AKA NOT ENOUGH?!  Cross your fingers…you know I will be.

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Back at it…again

Maybe this time, I’ll actually get my act together and blog more. Maybe.

TIme to catch up again…

-wee dude: is 7 months old and pure awesome. He’s adorable and cuddly, even though he’s sprouting two teeth which makes him sleep slightly less spectacularly than he was. But hey, shit happens. He’s rolling all over the place, sitting up some, babbling like crazy, and eating all sorts of veggie and fruit purees (that I make myself because I’m awesome…or because I have the time so I figure why not). He thinks his Jumparoo is awesome, and so is grabbing anything within arm’s reach. Bonus if he can put it in his mouth. Turns out one thing he DOESN’T like is facial hair, if his fear of my friend’s husband’s goatee is any indication. Good thing his dad couldn’t grow a goatee if his life depended on it.

-life with a baby: not too bad. Sure I don’t sleep as much I did, but thanks to having a baby who sleeps fairly well I’m getting more sleep than I thought I would be. J works all the damn time so I’ve gotten used to feeling like a single parent 5 nights a week and for a good chunk of the weekend too. I don’t have the time for long leisurely happy hours like I used to, but still get out some thanks to having parents who 1. live 20 minutes away and 2. will take any opportunity to babysit their grandson that they can get.

-running: ha. I’m currently running 1x/week, 2x/week if I’m lucky. That has to change, seeing as I signed up to be a backup pacer for the Cap City HM in May. Unfortunately, we are still in the midst of a cold, shitty Ohio winter…there have been a few recent days of glorious 50 degree weather but otherwise its been complete shit. That plus a general lack of motivation have had me NOT running during the week. I’m also blaming my lack of a basement meaning no room for a treadmill…but who are we kidding? I wouldn’t run on the damn thing anyway. Really, I just have no motivation. I’m hoping this changes soon, otherwise Cap City may be down one backup pacer.

I’m hoping to get in the habit of blogging more about the everyday stuff, hence the change in my blog title. Because there’s a lot of random shit that bounces around in my head that has nothing to do with running ;) We’ll see if I succeed, but that’s the plan.

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New Year, New Me…

…sorta.  Or more like, getting back to the “old” me.  And figuring out how to balance that with the new things in my life that aren’t going anywhere.

 

Like the wee dude.  Who, by the way, is currently 5.5 months old and 18 lbs of adorable sweetness.  Still super chunky, sleeping great, eating great, and learning all sorts of new stuff.  It’s SO much fun to see him change on what is almost a daily basis.

 

I feel like I’ve been on autopilot though, and I don’t like that.  So my plan is to force myself out of this new comfort zone a bit…how, I’m not sure yet.  But I’ll figure it out.

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Snappy snap snap

Snap decisions, that is.  Last Thursday, this happened: Me-”Hey, do you care if I run a 5k Sunday morning since you’re off that day?”  J-”It’s cool.”  So, Sunday morning I ran a 5k with some friends from running group.  My official time was 33:07, aka not my best time and not my worst.  But for 10.5 weeks postpartum, I’m damn pleased.

 

And then I got back to my car to find a series of texts from J over the course of an hour, starting with a request for McDonald’s breakfast and Gatorade and getting progressively more impatient, ending with “Baby, wtf?”.  Let’s not forget the two missed calls in the same time span, complete with voicemails.  Homeboy apparently forgot that me leaving home at 7:45a does not equal the 5k starting at 8am…especially when I still needed to register. Race started at 9am, I socialized a bit after and got back to my car around 10am, aka when J was in full on hissy fit mode. Oy.  Either way, he got his breakfast and gatorade and balance was restored to the universe.  Before I kicked him in the nuts.  

One of the friends that I ran the race with was 29 weeks pregnant, which is roughly where I was in my pregnancy during my last race before giving birth-the Cap City Quarter Marathon. She has been feeling great and able to keep up an activity level that she considers satisfactory, and do so comfortably which always makes me glad to hear. I know I’ve mentioned this in the past, but I feel like staying active during pregnancy is frowned upon by some, even for women who were active before getting pregnant and are looking to maintain a similar level of activity as long as it is comfortable and safe for them and their babies. This article says it far better than I could have: http://www.athleta.net/2013/10/02/the-pregnant-athlete/. I am choosing to tune out the part where she talks about getting pregnant while on an IUD. Because that is not happening to me. Nope. I won’t ramble on this topic any more though ;)

Because you wanna know what is occupying my mind? (Besides straining to listen to the baby monitor and praying the wee beast doesn’t wake up anytime soon) Work. As in, the baby will be 11 weeks old tomorrow. And that means I go back to work in a week. I am currently going back and forth between OMGYAYGROWNUPSANDGROWNUPTALKING (Who are we kidding? Everyone’s going to want to ask about the baby, and I work with kids so there’s not much grownup discussion to be had.) and OMGWHEREDIDTHELAST11WEEKSGOWHATWILLMYPOORBAYBEEDOOOOOOOWITHOUTMEEEEEEEEE??????!!!! It doesn’t help that the wee beast had a dry run half day at the sitter’s yesterday and did great-my baby is growing up :( I know he will be in good hands though, and I NEED to go back to work. 1. I make significantly more than J does and thus am the primary breadwinner (though since his promotion this gap is significantly decreased) and 2. I am not cut out to be home all.the.time. Some moms do it and rock it, but I am not one of those moms. And that’s okay. At least that’s what I keep telling myself, and will continue to do so next week. And the week after that. And the week after that. Whatever it takes.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I will be resisting the urge to continue to spy on the wee beast over the video monitor (that thing is the SLAM, by the way. Get one.) and trying to convince myself that yes, I AM getting up at the ass crack of dawn to run tomorrow. I need to get used to this before next Wednesday, because lord only knows I won’t have time after work!

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“Wee” beast

“Wee” is officially tongue in cheek.  As of two days ago, he was measuring at 25 inches for length (off the charts for a 2 month old), 43 cm head circumference (off the charts), and 14 lbs 9 oz (86th %ile).  So nothing about him is “wee”.  He took his shots mostly like a champ, with minimal crying, and has slept at least 8 hours straight in his crib the last two nights (out of the last three, which are the first three he’s had to sleep in his crib at night).  My big baby is growing up!

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Whew!

Time flies.  The wee beast is now 9.5 weeks old, and I go back to work on 10/9.  His two month appointment is tomorrow, and despite dreading the fact that my sweet baby has to get shots I can’t wait to see how much he’s grown. He weighed 13lbs 12.4 oz when I weighed him on 9/9 so lord only knows. I call him the Hulk for a reason ;)

 

Moi?  I feel good.  I think I mentioned getting the Mirena IUD in my last post…so far, no issues there.  I did have a week of heavy spotting from week 7-week 8 pp but its hard to say if that was Mirena related, my first postpartum period (though it was awfully early for that) or just a normal reappearance of post delivery bleeding.  Either way, it wasn’t anything crazy and was gone in a week.  I also want to note that while the Mirena IUD does contain hormones, I have not yet seen an effect one way or the other on my boob juice output so that’s good.

Over the last 9.5 weeks, I’ve found myself pondering things a lot. I mean, what else can do I to keep myself awake during those middle of the night feedings? One of the things I’ve found myself pondering is what I wish I knew/advice I’d give to soon to be/very new moms. So here you have it!

While in the hospital (this includes while in labor and after delivery):
-Birth plans are all well and good, but you know what they say about the best laid plans. The ultimate goal is for both you and baby to emerge from the labor and delivery process healthy, and if you end up opting for an epidural when you were hoping to go drug free, or end up needing a c-section because your labor just isn’t progressing…ITS OKAY. While I ultimately did not need a c-section, it was discussed with my doctors twice and I was thisclose to needing one. Sure, I didn’t want to have to have major surgery but it was looking like that was what would need to be done to ensure both the wee beast and I emerged from the whole thing healthy and in one piece and I was okay with that. (My water had been broken for not quite 24 hours the first time a c/s was brought up and over 24 hours the second time with not much progress in my labor, and we were looking at increased risk of infection)

-If you can, eat something before you get to the hospital. (I don’t think you’re allowed to do this with a scheduled c/s but I’m not sure) Because lord only knows when you’ll be allowed to eat again. In my case, I ate dinner around 7pm Tuesday, water broke around 1:45am Wednesday, and other than ice chips and a couple of the most delicious cherry popsicles ever, I did not get to eat until they brought my breakfast tray the morning AJ was born (Thursday). It was a late breakfast order, so I think I ate around 9am. Looking back, I would have had the hubby take me through the 24 hour McDonalds drive thru on our way to the hospital since despite my water breaking I was having no other signs of labor.

-After delivery, the nurses will give you pain meds and stool softeners regardless if you have a vaginal delivery or c/s. Take them every time they’re given to you. Especially the stool softeners. And if they offer you a prescription before you’re discharged? Take it, fill it, and take the meds as directed until you’re comfortable not doing so. Now is not the time for heroics, especially where there is poop involved. The first post delivery poop is not going to be fun, just take your time and don’t force it.

-In your postpartum room, take whatever medical supplies you can. Mesh panties? Grab ‘em, stuff ‘em in your bag, and ask for more because “you ran out”. The same goes for the ice pads, Dermoplast spray, and Tucks pads. Make sure they give you at least one squirty bottle for your girly bits too. I never thought I’d be so happy to have a squirty bottle…and then I pushed an almost 8 1/2 lb baby out of my vagina.

-The same goes for the stuff in the baby’s crib cart. Diapers, wipes, pacifiers, receiving blankets, those little half robe thingies, the snot sucker bulb…get it all, then ask for more. Since “you ran out” and all. If you’re super nice to your nurses they may load you up with a big ol plastic bag with extra diapers, wipes, etc. Not that I know anything about that.

-Take a shower as soon as they’ll let you once the baby’s out. For me, this was once my final bag of Pitocin was done (they kept me on it after AJ was born to ensure my uterus would do the contracting thing it was supposed to so that the rest of the post delivery yuck would come out). The nurse disconnected my IV, the PCA wrapped my arm in Saran Wrap, and I got to take the most amazing shower ever. It will make you feel better and more like yourself, I promise.

-Don’t overdo it, but don’t be afraid to get up and moving too. Listen to your body-I did a lot of shuffling around my room and found that being up and moving really helped me feel better.

And once you come home (because eventually they ARE going to send you home with your baby, as scary as that sounds)

-Don’t be afraid to put the kibosh on any visitors you don’t want to deal with. For me, this was anyone I felt like I needed to entertain-FIL, SMIL, various aunts/uncles, etc. Thankfully my parents and sisters are great and did not hesitate to send me to bed with the promise they’d come get me if AJ needed to eat…but not everyone is like that. They should be, though.

-Speaking of bed, you know that whole “Sleep when the baby sleeps” mantra you’ve probably heard eight THOUSAND times by now? It’s mostly a crock of shit. Especially if you’ve got visitors (unless they’re my family, or friends that have recently been new moms themselves). After the first few days, I was able to relax a little bit and nap some when AJ did if no one was over but it was in mostly half hour spurts because wanna know what they don’t tell you about the “sleep when the baby sleeps” bullshit? It takes you a bit to wind down enough to fall asleep, and then you do and guess what? The baby’s awake and hungry again!

-Ah feeding the baby. That reminds me. Breastfeeding. It’s a LOT harder than many people, books, etc make it out to be. You go in thinking you put the baby to your boob and voila! Yeah no. I won’t lie, I’ve been lucky-my milk came in with a venegeance less than 24 hours after we came home, I haven’t had supply issues, and the wee beast has latched well. Not only that, he takes bottles like a champ so if I’ve pumped milk then his dad can give him a bottle and I can take a break (more on that in a sec). Utilize every resource you can-your hospital nurses, the lactation consultants, local breastfeeding support groups, La Leche League meetings, Kellymom.com (their FB group can be really informative)…whatever it takes. But at the same time if you need to supplement with formula or god forbid, go to formula completely (that god forbid was meant with a sarcastic tone, I promise)…THAT’S OKAY TOO. The most important thing is for baby to be happy and growing AND for mom to be happy too. And if that means not breastfeeding, then so be it.

-Don’t push getting back into your prepregnancy clothes. Yoga pants are your friend. So are your maternity jeans. I picked up a pair of jeans at Old Navy a couple of weeks ago to accommodate my post baby hips and butt, but only because the Hubs and I were going to a prefootball tailgate that his boss was putting on and I didn’t think it was appropriate for me to wear yoga pants or maternity jeans to his boss’s tailgate.

-Another thing to NOT push? Working out. The day I was discharged from the hospital, my practice’s on call OB stopped in to check on me and in the course of our conversation of course I asked when I could run again. Her suggestion was to overall listen to my body, but that she recommended taking at least 3-4 weeks but take longer if I was still bleeding. I was feeling good and itching to run at 3 weeks but still had some light bleeding, and at 4 weeks the bleeding was gone so I gave it a shot. It was the slowest, strangest feeling 2 miles of my life…but I did it. Keeping the runs short and slow has definitely helped me ease back into things though I’m still nowhere near where I was. For example, I ran 5 miles this morning at 11 min/mile pace. And that’s okay.

I’m sure more randoms will come to mind during one of these upcoming middle of the night feedings…you should see/hear some of the thoughts that wander through my head when I’m half asleep ;)

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Halfway over

As of my last post, the wee beast was weighing in at 11lbs 3.8oz.  6 days later was his official one month pediatrician appt.  And at 5.5 weeks old, he weighed in at TWELVE POUNDS FOUR OUNCES.  Yep.  He gained a pound in a week.  Holy shit.

That’s 86th percentile for weight.  99th for length/height (23.5 inches).  And his head circumference of 41.5 centimeters puts him off the damn charts.  That’s my kid all right! (big heads run on my dad’s side of the family, as does the height.  Basically this kid is going to have his dad’s face on MY dad’s body the way he’s growing).  

Needless to say, he’s doing fab.  Breastfeeding is going great, I’m getting into a decent semi routine with pumping so as to have a small fridge/freezer supply for when a mommy break is necessary (meaning when I need a cocktail/beer/glass of wine/to go on a run), and he’s getting the hang of sleeping for at least 5 hours consecutively roughly 1x/night which is great for his age.

 

And moi?  I feel great, honestly.  I had my  6 week postpartum OB appointment yesterday and my OB said I look great and things look mostly great “down there” but there is still a little more healing to do so I need to wait a couple of weeks before resuming, ahem, marital activities.  Which is fine by me, because thanks to breastfeeding hormones I am NOT in the mood for that.  Oh, and the scale at the office has me at 15 lbs more than my weight when I got pregnant, which sounded about right given how my prebaby jeans fit (they snap but with some muffin top) so no shocker there.

I did opt to have my OB place an intrauterine device (IUD) during the appointment, to ward off the conception of any siblings for the wee beast…for a few years at least.  I know there are no guarantees the next time around, but the wee beast was conceived frighteningly quickly and I am not taking chances again.  There are two different IUDs on the market right now-one containing a low dose of hormones (Mirena) and one without hormones (Paraguard).  I opted for the Mirena for a few reasons-the hormone levels are safe for breastfeeding purposes, I have traditionally not had any issues with hormonal birth control in the past (I was on birth control pills for 10+ years with no issues), and in discussing the two options with friends who had had one or the other it seems that the Mirena has more favorable side effects (such as very light or nonexistent periods) and less unfavorable side effects.  Now, every person is different and I do know people that had a lot of issues with the Mirena IUD…but I know just as many who had no issues so we’ll see how it goes.  

So far, I CAN say the actual placement was a relative breeze and much easier than i thought-some very mild cramping during but that was it.  I did take a couple of Advil before I left for the appointment though so that could have played a part.  There was also some spotting afterwards, which I had been warned about and thus was not concerned when it happened.  I go back in 6 weeks to check the placement and string length.

 

Running is going…slow.  And that’s okay.  Right now I’m only able to run on J’s days off (of which there are two each week) or when he’s in at noon or later (maybe once a week, usually he’s in at 10am).  Even then that is highly dependent on how much sleep I got the night before and when I can drag myself out of bed.  So I’m going to keep working on that part.  My eventual goal is to be able to get in at least a few miles before having to get ready for work in the morning since J will be doing sitter drop off for the wee beast, so I’m working towards getting used to getting up early again. 

 

This will come in handy because I go back to work in less than six weeks.  HOLY SHIT MATERNITY LEAVE IS MORE THAN HALF OVER.  I can’t believe how fast its gone, and am really counting my blessings that I’m able to take 12 weeks off and be paid for the whole thing (thanks to having enough hours in my PTO and short term disability banks).  I’m looking forward to it in some ways-I can’t wait to use my brain for things besides mommy stuff (when I’m not answering what will be lots of questions initially about the baby, labor, etc) and to get into what will be our new everyday routine.  Being able to take naps whenever, go to the grocery whenever (depending on the wee beast of course)…sure, that’s nice but I’ve felt like we’re in a holding pattern b/c I know this loose nonschedule is only temporary and part of me wants to get the show on the road because the post maternity leave schedule is going to be our life for the forseeable future.

 

Watch, give it a few weeks and I’ll be back, crying in the corner over leaving the wee beast until I remember I have to suck it up buttercup because the fact is I make more than J does and therefore there is NO stay at home parents for either one of us.  Thank god for wine ;)

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