So last night's experiment was a success... it worked so well that she slept for 4 hours in her crib! Bryan and I actually went to bed and slept a little before I got up with er at 12:30. I had a hard time sleeping with her in the other room, but I didn't want to disturb her sleep to move her into our room.
We're trying the crib for naps now. Not quite as successful. She's only been down for 10 minutes and I think she's waking back up. She's SUPER tired tho, I think I'll wait until I hear her cry before I go in there - maybe she'll soothe herself back to sleep.
We're currently trying an experiment... will Penelope sleep in her crib?
I put her down for a late nap (or an early start to the bedtime routine) at 8:40 in her crib. I turned on the baby monitor, turned off the lights, and am now waiting to see what happens! She's making some noises in there, but she's not crying - and she's a noisy sleeper, so those could just be sleeping noises. I'll go get her once it turns into real fussing/crying.
If this works ok, then we'll try the crib for our afternoon naps. Now that I have the whole baby monitor thing worked out, I'm going to use her crib more often. She won't spend the whole night in there, she'll stay in the bassinet in our room until she's a little older. I'm not ready for her to sleep that far away from me yet.
This weekend should be an adventure. I have the boy-child for the whole weekend and we're going to spend it at their house. I'm sure she'll do just fine... I'm curious as to how it goes Saturday at the Library tho (boy-child has to do research for a history report). I'm sure if I have plenty of bottles and I bring the Moby wrap then we should be ok.
Oh! And Sunday is Bryan's birthday! My wonderful husband turns 35! (He will not be pleased that I announced that on the journal *lol*) We'll be over at my Aunt Diana's house for cake & superbowl watching... Go Steelers!
Last night I watched the video of Penelope's birth for the first time. It only lasts about 18 minutes and includes parts of labor and pushing - the pushing stage starts as her head is starting to come out.
It wasn't as hard to watch as I imagined. I wasn't as loud ad I thought! I did cry a little, but that was when Penelope finally came out... remembering the moment when we first "met" always makes me a little teary.
I was initially opposed to having the birth on film, but now I'm glad that Bryan charged the camera and Kaleem set it up on the dresser to capture the birth. It's really an amazing experience, and now I can guarantee that I won't forget a moment of it!
If I get brave enough, I may try and post some of the video...
Oh! And I took cute video of Penelope 'talking' last night - once Bryan shows me how to upload it then I'll post it for everyone to see, it's super cute!!!
Last week Bryan's dad & step-mom came out from Wyoming for a visit. It was a really nice visit, I had to work during parts of their stay - but Penny stayed with Daddy so her Grandma & Grandpa could get in some quality time. Here's a picture of her with her Grandpa!
We've also had a visit from Penelope's Great-Grandma Barbara! She's in town until Saturday. I have some pictures of her and Penny, but I haven't uploaded them yet...
I have an update, but the baby's awake - so just one more picture. This one is from 3 weeks ago, but it's one of my favorites...
But somehow in the course of the day I forgot what I was going to say. That tends to happen a lot more often now. So I'll ramble on a bit and hope that I eventually cover the points I was going to make.
I need to go to Sac State sometime this week or next to fill out paperwork so I can apply for the Fall semester. If that doesn't happen AND I don't get into an alternate teacher credential program then we are screwed - seriously. I should be able to get into the program without too much hassle, so as long as I keep on top of things we should be fine.
Bryan is adjusting to his new work schedule, although he really shouldn't have had to make the switch. The reason they have him come in early is to help customer service with the phones, they're allegedly super-busy in the mornings. However, the chick in customer service is never on time and Bryan ends up in the office by himself - answering the two or three phone calls that they get in the morning. I think the real reason they're having him come in is because everyone is a tad jealous that he can work 5 hours a day and still get everything done (and done well) while it takes them 8 hours to do a mediocre performance of their own jobs. I may, however, be incredibly biased.
Tomorrow I get my haircut. I've been wanting to go in since October, but I didn't want to do something drastic with my hair when I was pregnant and then regret my hair decision postpartum. Although now that the date of my haircut is approaching I feel really nervous... I've been complaining about my hair to anyone who will listen, but I'm not sure if I really want to cut it off! After years of short hair, having long hair is still really new - and it's amazing how fast something like that turns into a security blanket. I think part of it is that it's the only thing that makes me feel pretty (when I actually blow-dry it) - If I had my pre-pregnancy body back I wouldn't cling to my hair like this, but since I feel unattractively heavy, I "need" my long hair to feel pretty.
Maybe I'll be brave tomorrow and cut it off anyway. Maybe.
I need to make a doctor's appointment for Penny - we have to discuss shots! I should probably do that right now before I forget...
Penelope turned 7 weeks on Friday! She's sleeping a bit better, and has been so much more interactive. Parenting gets easier everyday - and we're having a ton of fun. Granted, not every moment is sunshine and rainbows, but for the most part we're all really enjoying this stage.
Tonight Bryan, Penelope, and I had dinner with Dave and Debb (Bryan's Dad and Stepmom who have come all the way out from Wyoming for a visit!). Penny gets fussy and so Bryan goes to change her. There's a series of three steps in order to get out of the area in which we're seated, he misses the last step and... bam! They go down.
On the way to the floor he twists himself so that he's in between her and the floor.
My heart drops.
He rolls up - Penny is screaming, but she seems ok - just scared. I rush over and snatch her away, take the diaper stuff from Bryan and attempt NOT to bawl my eyes out in the middle of the restaurant. I take her to the bathroom and halfway there she's stopped crying and is back to happy-baby. I change her and everything looks ok.
I'm a mess, but pull it together before we get back to the table.
Bryan is alright, but his pants suffered quite the casualty (they ripped). We had to order him new ones.
He felt really terrible, but he did a really good job of protecting her as he fell... his Daddy instincts are exceptional!
Miss Penelope is now 11lbs, 1oz - we officially have a little piglet :)
I need to re-measure her since she was all scrunched up at her appointment.
But everything looks good - all her measurements are on target, she's perfect! I do need to get her into the Pediatrician soon (we saw our midwives today) since one of her pupils dilates wider than the other. It doesn't do it all the time (and it was fine for her appointment today so my midwives told me to keep an eye on things and mention it to her Ped), but my mom saw it this afternoon so I know it's not a figment of my imagination. WebMD doesn't have any information on what it could be, and a Google search freaked me out about possible blindness and caner. But since she's not having an other symptoms or neurological issues, then it's probably not a big deal. I'll still get it checked out, I'm still a little worried.
So tomorrow will be busy - Penny and I have lunch with my friend Holly (who is pregnant with her first, a girl) and then we're going over to Sarah's for an Obama Inauguration party! I think I may have to get Penny a special red, white, and blue outfit for the occasion.
I have no idea. But man, is that tie ugly (we're watching the Obama concert thing on HBO).
Anyway, here are some random thoughts...
*Penelope's hair is starting to grow back (thank goodness) and she looks less like a little old bald person every day! *Her 6 month footie pajamas fit pretty well, they're a little big but not by much (at least length wise)... I don't think we're ever going to get a fat baby (which makes me a little sad as I love fat baby thighs). *Bryan's 35th birthday is 2 weeks from today! He still looks 25 (darn him) and gets carded more often than I do and I'm 7 years younger. It's really not fair. *I'm contemplating doing something really wild with my hair. For those who have known me for awhile, my current hairstyle is the longest my hair has ever been (and the most boring). I've done black, blond, red, orange (I LOVED the orange), streaked, short, layered, permed... you name it and I've done it. I haven't colored my hair in over three years. I feel like I need to DO something with it - it's pretty darn boring. I just have no idea what. *GO STEELERS! *I should be banned from Google. More on this later (probably tomorrow after our appointment with the midwives).
Our midwives called this morning, they had a woman go into labor and so we had to reschedule our check-up for Monday.
I would lament at the loss of sleep since we had to set our alarm this morning in order to get up & ready in time, but Penelope decided to wake us up a half an hour before the alarm went off. So we wouldn't have gotten any extra sleep anyway.
She's had two bad sleep nights in a row... not. fun.
I really hope tonight is better! Right now she's napping with her Grandpa :)
So today I thought we might have a decent nap schedule since she didn't get a lot of sleep last night. Nope... she's been sleeping in 20-30 minute increments and then wakes up screaming bloody murder for food. I am exhausted. Bryan is exhausted. I hope tonight is better.
Tomorrow is our 6 week appointment, both Penny and I will get a check-up with the midwives and then we'll start seeing an OB (me) and a Pediatrician (Penny). I'm curious as to how much she now weighs... my guess is 11 lbs. I'll put up a poll and everyone can vote! (Remember, she started out at 7.15, went down to 7.7, and then back up to 8.1 <- that was 11 days after birth).
I have a million things to do, but can't get any of them done because my darling love is a fussy-bucket today.
Bryan got a side-job website done - and the extra cash will be nice. Formula is crazy expensive, luckily we don't have to spend anymore money on diapers!
A real update tomorrow (hopefully) after the appointment.
Today was Penelope's first playdate! During my pregnancy I became friends with two wonderful mommies named Sarah and Alisha who have babies named Sophia and Linden (respectively). They're both about three months older than Penelope (August & September births). Anyway, we went over to Sarah & Sophia's house and Alisha & Linden met up with us there. We made broccoli & cheese soup (well, Alisha & Sarah made the soup), had snacks, took a walk, and had a wonderful time all around. It was nice to spend time with some other first time moms and talk about babies (and other stuff too!).
So here's a picture of the three "playing"
Hopefully we can do a repeat sometime - Sarah & Alisha both had homebirths (with the same midwives), cloth diaper, and baby-wear, so we have a lot in common baby-wise. We also seem to have a lot in common when it comes to non-baby things! Hopefully we can get all of our husbands together too :)
So with all of the excitement and activity today, Penny did not get in a decent nap. I thought she would crash when we got home but nope! A half an hour of sleep & then she wakes up and either wants to play or eat. I'm hoping this trend doesn't continue into tonight, we were just getting a decent sleep routine down!
I know I've mentioned this quite a few times, but Penelope is getting HUGE. Seriously. She's like one of those little dolls that you put in water and they grow 1,000 times bigger overnight. Seriously.
It seems like last week that I posted she had grown out of her newborn clothing (actually, I'm pretty sure it was last week). Anyway, I can now say that she's outgrown her 0-3 month clothing and of her 3 month outfits (which are slightly larger than the 0-3 month stuff), only 2 still fit - barely.
So, at 5 weeks and 2 days we are now almost exclusively in 3-6 month clothing.
It's funny though because she still doesn't fill anything out width-wise, she's just super long.
What's also funny (read: slightly frustrating) is that we have maybe 3 outfits that are in her size. We have plenty of 6 month clothes, which are still too big, and a ton of too-small clothes... so I may actually need to go clothes shopping this week.
In other baby-news, she's sort-of smiling... I say sort-of because they're more like smirks than grins. I can't wait until she gives me those big open mouth grins (my friend Heather's baby boy who is a day older is doing those now and the pictures of it are just adorable!).
Which reminds me that I need to go get professional photos taken...
We had to give up breastfeeding... between supply and latching issues, it was becoming too stressful for both of us. It was a really difficult decision, but it's for the best - if Bryan and I decide to have more kids down the road then we'll definitely try it again. We have found a formula that works best for us, EnfamilGentlease. We were on Carnation Good Start, but my friend Christina gave us some of the Gentlease and it ended up making her less gassy so we decided to stick with it.
So while breastfeeding didn't work out for us, cloth diapers really have. We're using the BumGenius 3.0's and they're fantastic - we've only have one leaking issue, and that was because I didn't check the leg gusset for gaps when I put it on her. We don't have enough of them to last a whole day though - so we use disposables at night. Next week I need to go out and buy a few more... we'll have to space out our purchases because they're not exactly cheap, but they'll save us money in the long run. We tried the pre-folds with covers and she wet right through those. I may just need to put her in the larger size pre-folds in order for those to work. There's a cloth diapering workshop at MSN (Mother's Support Network) next week so I'm going to try to go to that to get some tips.
One of these days I need to post about projectile vomiting.
So I've been wanting to post about the first night post-birth for quite awhile. I don't want to forget it, even though... well, I'll just start the story.
Penelope was born at 3:27 am, so we were all up and awake for a very long time. After all of the post-labor clean up and check ups, the midwives put Bryan, Penny, and I to bed at about 5am. I woke up with Penny around 7:30 and moved to the couch where Grandma was sleeping; we were able to catch a little more sleep before everyone else woke up. The day was spent resting and staring at the baby... then the three of us tucked ourselves into bed and naively thought we'd get some sleep. Ha.
Not long after we were all in bed, Penny started fussing. I attempted to nurse her, but a combination of post-labor related pain (which made it impossible to sit up properly in bed), improper latching, and supply issues made nursing in bed and exercise in futility (granted, at the time I had no idea we were having latching or supply issues). The fussing quickly turned into crying and that quickly turned into screaming - sometime in between the transition from crying to screaming I started to loose it. I had been a mom for less than 24 hours, I was exhausted, incredibly sore, and finding breastfeeding to be more of a challenge then I had expected - it was probably the lowest I had felt since, well, probably ever.
Thankfully my mom had spent the night and she came in to see how I was and if there was anything she could do. She took Penny and walked her around to try and get her to sleep while I sobbed on the bed. Poor Bryan slept through the whole thing - he was exhausted and didn't have the hormones or endorphins that had been keeping me on my feet.
So mom and I moved out onto the couch and attempted to figure out what Penelope wanted - I tried nursing again. At this point nursing had become an incredibly painful experience, which was disheartening because all of the books and literature I had read said that nursing should not be so painful that it makes the mother cry... and at that point even the thought of nursing made me want to cry and I would tense up every time she tried to latch.
After hours of attempting to nurse and attempting to get Penelope to sleep - I finally broke down and gave her a bottle. It was like magic, after she finished she slept! I was so relieved that I had figured out what my baby wanted, but a part of me was also sad - I was obviously doing something wrong if I couldn't get her satisfied exclusively through nursing.
It was a very difficult night - but it wasn't all bad. That night I started to understand Penelope's different cries and which each of them meant. I also learned that I was capable of enduring a grueling night of no sleep, and that I have an amazing reservoir of strength and patience. I learned that I will not always have the answers nor will I always know what to do - and that's ok. Parenting is done by trial and error, good parents are the one who never stop trying and learn from their mistakes.
So while I'm incredibly happy that we have never had a repeat of that unforgettable first night, I'm thankful that we had that night - it was an important night for me as a mother and helped me understand a lot about myself.
**Updated (2015)** After doing A LOT more research I have come to the conclusion that I hadn't done enough research. Being a parent is scary and every parent wants to protect their kids and do what's best for them. Which is why we have decided to fully vaccinate (and vax on schedule, with the exception of Hep B because we homebirth and don't get that one until the kids go in to see a Pediatrician at around 6 weeks). The risks of any side effects are outweighed by the risks of actually contracting a vaccine preventable disease - and considering the uptick in Whooping Cough and Measles in CA, not vaccinating is a huge (and frankly silly) risk to take. I encourage anyone who is nervous about vaccines to look at actual peer reviewed research before making any decisions. Also, I decided to update this blog instead of erasing it, because I wanted anyone who was curious to see that reluctant vaxers can be swayed by data, research, and facts. I homebirth because of science. I leave my children intact because of science. I vax because of science.
I think that everyone, the moment their child is born, becomes a worrier. There are dozens of things that, while seemingly benign before you become a parent become potentially hazardous and scary when you realize that you baby relies on your good judgment for practically everything.
Soon Bryan and I will have to make the decision whether or not to vaccinate Penelope; and if we decide to vaccinate, whether or not to follow the CDC's recommended schedule or go with a delayed schedule for the shots. I'm sure a lot of people would consider this a "no-brainer" - if the CDC recommends a certain schedule for shots, then why wouldn't you follow their guidelines? They are, after all, an authority on disease control.
However nothing is ever simple - the vaccination question especially.
While I have yet to be convinced that there is any link to vaccinations and Autism (no matter what has recently been in the media), I have very serious concerns about the safety of vaccine ingredients and the frequency with which they are given.
Granted both Bryan and I (and many people we know) were vaccinated on schedule - although the amount of vaccinations given today have greatly increased from when we were kids. The vast majority of people seem to have no adverse effects from following the vaccination schedule. However, articles like this one (http://www.mothering.com/articles/growing_child/vaccines/aluminum-new-thimerosal.html) raise very serious questions about the levels of metals like aluminum in vaccines and what effect exposure will have on children long-term.
Here are some selected quotes from the article (underlines mine): 12-pound, two-month-old baby could safely receive at least 30 mcg of aluminum per day. A 22-pound one-year-old could receive at least 50 mcg safely. Babies with healthy kidneys could probably handle much more than this, but we at least know that they can handle this much.
Here are the current levels of aluminum per shot of the following vaccines, as listed on each vaccine's packaging:
DTaP (for Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis): 170-��625 mcg, depending on manufacturer
Hepatitis A: 250 mcg
Hepatitis B: 250 mcg
HIB (for meningitis; PedVaxHib brand only): 225 mcg
HPV: 225 mcg
Pediarix (DTaP-��Hepatitis B-��Polio combination): 850 mcg
Pentacel (DTaP-��HIB-��Polio combination): 330 mcg
Pneumococcus: 125 mcg
However, I (Dr. Sears) can find no references in FDA documents that show that using aluminum in vaccines has been tested and found to be safe.
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), who in 1996 published a policy statement, "Aluminum Toxicity in Infants and Children," that made the following points:
Aluminum can cause neurologic harm.
Because a newborn's body contains about a liter (300 milliliters) of blood, more than 30 mcg of aluminum floating around in the bloodstream could be toxic if the baby's kidneys aren't working well.
Now, this is only one article, but there are others out there like it. There are also articles out there that say the benefits of immunization outweigh the risks posed by aluminum (and other metals) present in the vaccines. There are no studies (as of yet) that conclusively link vaccines to neurological disorders (such as Autism, or even ADHD), chronic illnesses (like asthma), or other serious illnesses. But that doesn't mean that there isn't a link - the lack of data only means that more studies need to be done. It may be that vaccines can trigger diseases that a child is genetically predisposed to but is dormant until they are exposed to the vaccine ingredients... or not.
However, there is enough out there for me to be concerned about the vaccination schedule that is currently recommended for infants and toddlers. I have very serious questions about the safety of exposing my child to that much aluminum (in addition to formaldehyde, MSG, and other chemicals) at such a young age. While the risk may be small, there is still a risk - and I don't take the responsibility of making that decision lightly.
Every family has to weigh the risk/benefits of vaccinating/not-vaccinating/delaying vaccination and make a decision that works for their family - but it's articles like this that make that decision a very difficult one for me.
Last night Penelope actually slept for a 3 hour stretch! It was just one stretch, the rest of the night were 1 & 1 1/2 hour block, but that one 3 hour nap did wonders for me. I'm not sure how much sleep Bryan got since he had to be at work early this morning and left before P & I got up for the day. I hope he was able to get enough rest, poor guy is having a hard time adjusting to this new work schedule.
My biggest gripe about sleep right now is that I can't seem to get Penny to go to bed before 11pm. Even if I start the process at 7pm, she won't sleep until close to 11. I've tried night baths, the swing, lullabies, rocking chairs, and books. Nothing works. If I could get her to start sleeping at 9 then I think we'd all have a better night. Suggestions would be appreciated, I'm ready to try just about anything!
Today my Aunt Diana is going to come over to go shopping with us - I desperately need "transition" jeans and it's really difficult to shop solo when I have the baby. If I had 8 arms, everything would be much easier.
So today was the first time that I have left Penelope alone for a significant period of time. When she was a little over two weeks old my grandma came over and watched her for 45 minutes while I went grocery shopping, but as that was under an hour it doesn't really count as a significant period of time. Today is different, I have been away from my baby for a little over two hours and counting... I didn't realize how much I would miss her, even though the break is a little refreshing.
I cried when I left the house; I think Bryan thought I was a little crazy.
I'm not going to be gone for all that long, the kids are almost done with their homework (I'm blogging in-between answering questions - and I have to confess that 8th grade science is not my favorite subject, however 8th grade history is awesome). So if this blog is disjointed in its narrative it's because I keep stopping to check homework and once I've come back I've lost my train of thought.
Anyway... where was I?
Oh! Missing my baby... I should probably stop thinking about it, it's just going to make me cry again. Although I think a good 1/4 of my tears are guilt driven; there's a part of me that missed the freedom, and the rest of me is no longer talking to that part of me - that part of me is, for all intensive purposes, dead to the rest of me.
I was attempting humor... I don't think it worked.
I think the only person in our household that got decent sleep last night was Penelope.
Instead of our normal 2 1/2 to 3 hours stretches of sleep, Penny was awake (and hungry!) every 1 1/2 hours. Since it takes a good half hour to get settled and go back to sleep after she's fallen asleep, this means I got an hour of sleep in-between feedings. Luckily Bryan does the second shift, so I was able to get a little more sleep, but I still woke up when she started getting fussy. Poor Bryan didn't get much sleep either since he had to be at work at 7am today.
At one point I fell asleep on the couch while Penny was in the swing - I was too tired to walk & pat her to sleep so I put her in the swing and passed out on the couch. B woke me up awhile later and put us back to bed - but she was awake and hungry again in an hour...
So since sleep was a problem last night I have canceled all of my plans for the day. We were going to go to our weekly New Moms Support Group, but it starts at 10:30 and I don't have the energy to get us both ready in time. I could show up late, but I'm not so keen on leaving the house. I'm also not going to take her to work with me - Bryan should be home in time to take her and I can drop her off at my parent's house if B doesn't make it home in time. She was fussy on Monday (which was probably because we made a formula switch - I won't do that again!) and while I don't think the kids minded, it was a little too much for me. I'll probably occasionally bring her with me, but not until we have a "normal" wake/sleep schedule - otherwise it's just too much.
I have to admit, that while I want to spend as much time as possible with Penny, a part of me is looking forward to a couple of hours sans baby - even if it is work *lol*. I love being a mom, but almost 5 weeks without a real break is beginning to wear me down... Even when other people are holding/feeding her, I'm still there - and so still "on". Don't get me wrong, Bryan is very hands on and we've gotten a lot of help from family & friends, but there's something about being a mom that makes it impossible to really rest/relax while in the presence of your baby. Maybe that's just me.
Ok, baby is asleep and I think I'm going to try and take a nap.
So I made the switch from LiveJournal to Blogspot! (All previous LJ posts are available at http://rodgersfamily.livejournal.com).
The switch was made mainly because this blogging site allows more options than the free version of LJ. I could have upgraded my LJ account, but I wasn't ready to pay for my blog.
On to more interesting things (well, interesting to me).
Today we visited Granny K (my mom) at her office to show off Penelope to all the ladies. Miss Penelope had a wonderful time (which means she was fed and held, which is really all it takes to make her happy). I'd wager that my mom had an even better time seeing as she held Penny the whole time and got to brag about her granddaughter :)
After the visit, Penny and I went to Target to pick up a few things and attempt to find me some jeans that would fit during this "transition" period - while I'm losing pregnancy weight. I wish I could say we had success, but I just didn't like anything they had there. I'm very, very picky with clothing in general and jeans in particular. Plus it's depressing to try on jeans that are 2-3 sizes larger than what I was wearing this time last year. Odds are my hips are never going to return to "normal" even if I lose every pound of pregnancy weight, so I may never fit into my wonderful, lovely, and amazing '7' and 'Hudson' jeans again... *cry*
Oh well, Penelope was worth it.
Update on Bryan's work-drama - well, no real news actually, they're still not quite sure how much the bookkeeper embezzled. And now that the boss-lady is tightening the company's belt, B has to be in to work at 7am on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. For those of you who know Bryan well, this is not an easy thing. My darling, wonderful husband is NOT a morning person. I think I'll go get him a Starbucks card so he can get a latte every morning. Poor thing. Although he takes the second feeding shift at night, which is usually around 4:30 am, so he'll be able to get ready to work after Penny's eaten.