Monday, January 28, 2013

Back to work

This is my last week of maternity leave before I return to my job.

I like what I do.

I like my coworkers.

I like adult interaction.

To be perfectly honest, I didn't love most of my maternity leave.

Until now. For the first 6-8 weeks of my baby's life, she was kind of a jerk.

That may sound harsh, but I'm being real honest here. I could lie and say it was magical, and I loved every sleepless night, and every moment of horrendous boob pain. I could say that every diaper blowout was adorable, and each moment of rocking her back to sleep for hours and hours on end when she wouldn't stop screaming was precious. The reality is that there were amazing moments, and long, lonely days.  I don't like to be alone, and my husband had to work. So, I was home alone everyday caring for the Mollsers.

I am incredibly fortunate that I was able to be home with her for 12 weeks, but what kind of cruel joke is it that as soon as you're ready to return to work...they turn FUN???

I have been peed on, spit up on, screamed at, fussed at, slept on the floor of her nursery, slept in the chair in her nursery and prayed for hours that someday my child would smile and turn fun.

And she did, right before I have to return to work.

She smiles. She laughs. We can play with toys. My boobs don't hurt anymore. She is starting to respond to the dogs. She recognizes me. She recognizes Jeremy. She recognizes my parents. She sleeps well. She is the cutest, smartest, most amazing child that ever landed on this earth. (sorry to every other human that has ever been born)

And now I have to return to work.

All throughout my maternity leave people kept telling me to enjoy every minute and there were days when I found it really hard to do that. They clearly did not remember the first 10 weeks of their children's lives. They were remembering the weeks after that.

Those are the best weeks. Well, they're all amazing, but again...honesty....the weeks are way more fun now.

But, I'm a working mom. And I love what I do. And I enjoy working. And this may be taboo to say, but for me, I think I'm going to be a better mom when I work.

But I'm still really pissed that maternity leave is not the second three month's of your child's life.

So for now, I'm going to hold my baby tight, laugh with her, smile with her and sing with her.
Except that my singing makes her cry.
So maybe I won't sing.
She hates it when I sing.
No singing, just laughing and smiling and enjoying every last minute.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Rookie parents

We are rookie parents. I am the first one to admit that we are just figuring this all out as we go. Sometimes we have wins. Sometimes we have losses.

Today was a loss.

Let me explain.

Our baby has very dry scalp. It is common in babies and is called 'cradle cap'. Jeremy read online that you can wash their hair, and then rub baby oil into the scalp, then wash it out.

That seemed easy enough, so I tried it this morning.

Wash, baby oil...perhaps a little too much baby oil, wash.

After the bath I noticed that her hair didn't look like it was drying. I ran my hands through her hair (Mollie has a lot of hair) and noticed that it wasn't was full of oil. Coated in oil.

My child looked like a used car salesman.

I panicked and called Jeremy and informed him that I broke the child. I ruined her hair. Then I called my mom and explained what I had done.

My mom recommended that I try rinsing it out with Dawn because...Dawn takes grease out of the way. While I was talking to my mom, Jeremy texted me to say that he had been reading online and apparently baby oil can make your baby's hair fall out.

Of course he finds this information AFTER I had doused her hair in the stuff. So he tells me to go wash it fast.

I ran to our kitchen but we only had Palmolive kitchen soap.

I assumed they must all be the same, so I brought the baby back to the bathroom and began to Palmolive the child's hair.

Baby shampoo
Baby shampoo

Did it work? Nope. My child now looks like her hair hasn't been washed in a year.

Help!!! What do I do? My baby's hair still looks like a cast member from Grease.

Note to other parents out there: don't wash your baby's hair with baby oil.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Hail, hail, the gang's all here!

Long ago I posted that I was pregnant. And then I announced that one of my close friends, Ali, was due about a week after me, then that another very close friend, Rachel, was due a couple months later with twins, and finally, one of my best friends, Debra, was also pregnant and due 3 months after me.

Lots of babies from my very closest friends. It was not planned this way. But it was a wonderful surprise and one which has made this transition easier.

Note: I did not say easy. I said easier!

On Friday night, the last remaining pregnant friend came over to our house for dinner. We were supposed to do spicy Indian to get her baby-a-movin'. But she wasn't feeling up to it.

My friends like to eat. In fact, we love to eat. So, when she called to say that Indian food didn't sound good anymore, and, in fact, nothing sounded good...I knew something was not quite right.

They came over for dinner. We had matzo ball soup as Debra still just did not feel right. She had been having intermittent contractions for days, but nothing consistent or strong.

Until dinner. Debra is stubborn. And does not like to listen to her body. She is a wonderful, amazing, kind and hilarious person, which makes up for the fact that she does not listen to her body. She could literally have gangrene on her foot before she would mention to someone that, you think I should have someone look at my foot? The foot could be moments away from falling off her body and she would still find a reason why it was "probably fine".

So, I forced her to track her contractions as she thought they were no big deal.

6 minutes apart. Lasting at least 1 minute. For a half hour. Then they went down to 5 minutes apart. And finally, 4 minutes apart and I literally walked her out the door and made her go home. This baby was on its way!

She went home and on her way, her mom, sister-in-law, sister and I started a group text message to discuss the issue at hand.

Debra arrived home.

And decided to take a shower. Then she thought it would be a good idea to relax for a bit. WITH CONTRACTIONS 3 min 45 seconds apart!

Her mom, sisters and I thought this was not such an excellent idea. I think this group text exchange may deserve a spot in the baby book.

Finally, around 10pm, she called her doctor, who sent her directly to the hospital.


And, the next morning, after a textbook perfect delivery, an amazing, beautiful, perfect little girl entered the world.

Welcome to the world Margot Jean. We have been waiting for you for a very long time. I am not your real Auntie, you already have three fantastic Aunties, but I love you like you're mine.

And to Debra and Alex, Saturday you began the most amazing, scariest, most life altering journey of your lives. You will be incredible parents, and we will be here for you every step of the way.

And finally, to my Mollie. Your best friend was just born. I wish you just as much happiness in this friendship as her mom has brought to me.

And now we have Mollie, Annie, Scarlett, Burton and Margot.


I am one happy Auntie Kara!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The scariest moment of my life

This post is equal parts therapy and public service announcement. It is different from my typical posts but very important to read.

Last week I was changing Mollie's diaper in preparation for bed. We give her a vitamin D supplement as she is exclusively breastfed. The supplement is a liquid form and is administered through a dropper. She gets 1 mL of the supplement through the dropper. I typically give it to her while changing her diaper because its easy to remember and I can distract her so she is not mad about getting the vitamin.

She laid on her changing table, as she always does, and I gave her the supplement as I always do. However, this time, she started to cough. And then the cough turned into a choke. I lifted her upright immediately and held her to my shoulder.

She continued to choke and I ran her downstairs to Jeremy for help, trying my best to remain calm and not to scream or cry.

Prior to her birth, Jeremy insisted that we take an infant CPR class through the Red Cross. The technique is not the same as adults and he felt it was important that we were trained. In this class, they also cover what to do with a choking infant or child.

I handed our baby over to Jeremy, and looked at her face. By the time we walked down our 5 steps to the main level if our house, she turned blue. She continued to choke and struggle to breathe.

Jeremy instructed me to call 911. I called immediately. While I was on the phone, he practiced all of the techniques we learned in the class and she was able to clear her airway.
She started to regain her color as we heard the police driving up to our house.

I broke down in tears, holding on to my baby for dear life.

The most amazing police officers came to our house and took incredible care of our baby, followed by our wonderful neighbor who is a physician. She saw the police drive up and ran over to see if we needed help. Finally, two wonderful paramedics arrived to assist.

By that time Mollie was breathing fairly normally with a slight cough from the remaining fluid. She was cooing and smiling for the police officers while I continued to cry uncontrollably.

That was the therapy part.

This is the public service announcement part. If you are, or plan to spend a lot of time with a child, please get CPR training. Our training taught us what to do until the police could arrive to help.
So here I am, standing on my soapbox, asking you to think about what you would have done in this situation.
Would you have known what to do with a choking infant or child?
I would not have known.
Thankfully our baby is fine. Absolutely fine, but please use this as a reminder to take the time to educate yourself.