Heading back to work

Well, here I am 12 weeks from the birth of my daughter and heading back to the office today.

I feel nauseated.

I’m running late, though I got up when I planned to. She was in a great mood, as she usually is in the morning, all smiley and full of coos and squeals. By the time our new nanny arrived, I had nearly everything ready to go.

I just wasn’t in a hurry to leave.

I’m going to miss my baby girl. And I’ll worry about her, because already she is very attached to me and is more upsettable with others. And she has been fighting the bottle, so I worry she won’t eat much.

I cried yesterday, to think it was my last day of full focus on my baby.

At the same time, I am looking forward to returning to my work. I feel so lucky that I have a job I love. I can’t imagine how I would get through this if I were at one of my previous two jobs. I feel certain I would have decided to stay home. But not now. Now I have a place to go where I will see people I’ve missed, where I will contribute to projects I care about in ways I enjoy.

And all of that will be at a part-time workweek of 2 days in the office and 2 partial days at home. The rest of the time is hers and mine, to continue to enjoy each other as she grows.

I feel so supported to have this option. I worked hard to get here, making calculated choices with a future like this in mind. But I am also so extremely lucky to have the skills and opportunities to make it happen.

I think it will be good for me. I even think it will be good for her, to become comfortable with others too and with my absence. And as she gets older, it will be a good model for her of possible ways to mix motherhood and career.

So I know today will be hard, but I think it will be good.

On attachment

My Precious will be 2 months old on Sunday. The 2nd month really flew by! My husband went back to work after 6 weeks off, and today marks the end of our 3rd week with him gone during the day.

I think one of the biggest surprises to me is how quickly that seems to have had an impact on their relationship. Where she spent many cozy hours in his arms before and took a bottle from him pretty readily, now she often fights the bottle feeding and cries until she’s back in my arms. That’s not to say he can’t soothe her but there have been times when it became clear to me that there was something to the idea that what she wanted was to be back in my arms.

Thank goodness he was home with us for the first month to develop a strong bond with her and many lasting memories. I am sure that as time goes on, and we get through the exclusive breastfeeding stage, she will be more and more comforted by him again.

It also worries me because I plan to return to work, part-time, in 4 weeks. So far I’ve left her with a sitter just once for almost 2 hours to go to the doctor. The idea of leaving her with others, strangers at that, for full days is scary, especially seeing as how she is acting when it’s her loving father!

This weekend she will meet her Grandpa (my dad) for the first time, and then next weekend I plan to leave her with my husband while I go ice skating before the rink closes for the season. So that should be several hours and will be a good test for us both.

At one month

It’s hard to believe but I’ve been a mommy for 5 weeks now. Our little girl turned a month old last Sunday!

I am completely loving motherhood so far. This little girl is so precious. That word comes to mind so often in thinking of her that I think it will be an appropriate blog name for her. So, here is a picture of our Precious:

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We are truly lucky to have her in our family.

I was thinking about ways to describe our first month, and how we are adjusting to life as a new family. I’ve been using an app (Feed Baby Pro) to track a lot of her days, and its been helpful in identifying patterns and learning what to expect. So I decided to share our first month in numbers:

Daily hours of sleep: 13
Daily hours of feeding: 5
Daily feeds: 22
Oz of breastmilk pumped: 40
Bottles fed: 9
Oz of formula fed: 0
Diapers changed: ~300
Pounds gained: 4

And a bit about what we’ve been doing:

Times Precious and I left the apartment together: 5
Total times I left the apartment: 8
Dr visits: 2
Walks with stroller: 0 (too cold and she was too small for bunting)
Car rides: 2 (to visit her grandma and back)
Dinners out with baby in wrap: 2
Classes/support groups attended: 2 (breastfeeding and babywearing)
Times breastfed in public: 1
Extended family met: 4
Visits from friends: 3
Friends met: 5 adults and 3 children

I’d add the number of cries and exhausted nights and tired days and smiles and laughs and warm fuzzies and general cute moments, but I haven’t been able to count those!

Love

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We are so in love with our daughter. There are so many things to love!

We love her adorable face, with daddy’s head shape and eyes and my nose and lips, with skin more like daddy’s and hair a mix of the blond he had at birth and the strawberry brown that I had, with this adorable round torso and my long strong legs.

We love her smell and the sounds she makes when she is sleeping or making an effort to get to something (usually food).

We love the way she looks around quietly when she is awake, sharing at the lights or the window or the edge of the dark curtains on the white wall.

We love taking care of her, learning more every day about how to meet her needs and make her comfortable, watching her grow and change even in these early days which are all about sleep time, feeding, and just a little bit of alert time.

We love the way she smiles already, not only in her sleep but also sometimes with her eyes open, signaling she is feeling content and well.

In short, we love her and everything she brings to our very lucky family.

Our daughter is here!

Our daughter was born on Jan 9 at 3:21 am. She weighed 6 lbs 12 oz and was 20 inches long.

The labor was eventful and I’ll post a full labor story when I have time. The short version begins with me being in early labor before the induction which started at noon on Wednesday. I was given 2 doses of cytotec to get me ready for pitocin, and then I was well into active labor by the end of the 2nd (4 hour) dose. Though I was only 3 cm, labor was progressing so well we never used the pitocin! By 1 am Thursday I was fully dilated. I pushed from 2 am and she was born vaginally with vacuum assistance at 3:21 am.

She’s now 9 days old and the time has flown by! Some days have been calm and others more stressful, but w are thankful for each one of them!

I’ll post more pics once I download the ones from the camera. For now, here’s one at about a week old.

I will meet my baby in a day or two!

After my appointment on Monday Hubby and I did some more research on Gestational Hypertension (GH), trying to find out more about the risks for mother and baby and the reasons why doctors would deliver you early because of it. It was easy to find that it is definitely standard practice, but most of the time was not accompanied with much in the way of compelling details as to why this would be better than regular monitoring and induction only if things got worse, which seemed to us to be a logical approach for mild hypertension.

But then we found a thorough study out of the Netherlands called the Hypistat study, which compared induction vs expectant monitoring for mild GH and pre-eclampsia. Surprisingly, it showed that those who got induced not only had lower rates of maternal complications, but also had lower rates of c-sections! Apparently if you have even mild GH and it has time to progress, your body may not be able to handle labor as well, so you are more likely to need an emergency c-section than if you get induced before the GH gets worse or develops into pre-eclampsia. Since fear that it would end in c-section was probably our biggest reason for reluctance to induce, finding this info really called me down.

So on Friday I went in for an ultrasound and everything checked out fine – baby’s fluid levels and movement were normal. Then I went in to the doctor for another check up. My BP was as high as the high ones the week before. I was a little bummed as I guess I’d been going against reason that it would just drop on its own. But the doctor said it was good that it hadn’t risen further.

Then they checked my cervix to see if I was progressing at all on my own. I should mention that while I’ve been uncomfortable for weeks, with cramps and Braxton Hicks contractions, lower back pain, and lots of pressure on my pelvis from baby, I had noticed on Friday a distinct increase in the pressure and the sensation that there really was a baby’s head in my pelvis!

So I was glad to hear that the discomfort had been productive – I was dilated 1/2 cm, 50% effaced, and baby was at -2 station.

I talked through more of the induction process with the doctor. We are scheduled to be at the hospital at 8 am tomorrow, and he said it usually takes about 24 hours from admittance so the baby will most likely be delivered on Thursday, when he is in.

That night Hubby and I talked through it further, and decided that we agree that it is best to go forward with the induction. Since then we have been relaxing and doing final preparation. Today we are so excited, it’s like being a kid the day before Christmas! We will meet our little girl by the end of the week!