Aunt Beth’s Visit

Aunt Beth's Visit

My aunt left a few hours ago. It was a nice visit! It’s definitely convenient to have the people visiting you actually staying at your house, haha. Makes getting together a lot more convenient.

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We had a really good time. We hung out with the in-laws a bit, she spent tons of time with Eva, and she even made us dinner last night. It was delicious! I had leftovers of it for lunch today.

It took Evangeline a little bit of time to warm up to her. I’m not used to this, of course. When she was less aware of everything, it didn’t really matter much who held her unless she was hungry! Now she has a bit of stranger awareness, so new people can throw her off. Thanks to Aunt Beth being around all the time during the visit, though, she warmed right up to her.

It’s so funny to see other people holding her. I don’t get to see her at a distance very much, so it just hits me suddenly how adorable she is! She is just too freaking cute. She’s going through a mental leap that’s about to end, so she’s been a bit fussy, but we’ve worked out a tentative nap schedule that seems to keep her pretty happy most of the time.

I’m definitely not used to her nursing less! It always shocks me when she stops and it’s only been fifteen or so minutes. I hate to complain, but it always worries me now due to her being underweight at her last check-up. She’s 12 lbs now, though… so I guess I should stop. I always try to offer nursing to her, though, and only stop when she throws a fit! She’s so independent now. She wants to play on her mat or see the world, not cuddle with mummy.

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I did get her to nap on me last evening while we waited for dinner to be ready, though, so that was nice. She also cuddled in bed with me this morning after the husband woke her up. He stubbed his toe on an empty laundry basket and cursed, which caused her to start crying, haha. I’d just put her down twenty minutes earlier, too.

As of today, I have only four weeks of maternity leave left. I’m anxious about it. We’ve got the daycare lined up (I still have to get the pediatrician paperwork, she’s not back until Thursday) and everything… but I hate leaving her. The thought of it makes me sad. I want to go back to work and restore normalcy… but it just feels like she’s too young! Can’t it wait until she’s one? I don’t know, just mummy guilt, I guess. I was lucky enough to get this time with her.

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I’m just trying to squeeze in every precious moment with her that I can right now! Which is such a vast difference from December, where I was desperate for personal space, haha. I want to play video games again, but I don’t want to squander these last moments I have that’s just us. After February, it’s over; she’ll never be this small again and we’ll never have this time together, alone, again.

My hormones are also going a bit wonky since I’m back on birth control and the whole breastfeeding establishing itself and whatnot. I keep wanting to cry over this. I feel like I’m pregnant again! It’s so ridiculous. This picture of Eva and the husband nearly brought me to ridiculous tears when I opened it in Photoshop!

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Mum arrives tomorrow. That’s our last scheduled visit during maternity leave. Then it’s the husband’s nose surgery and Eva’s weighing appointment. After that… one week until the return to work. Ugh.

It feels like it’s been forever since we left the hospital and yet it feels like time is just passing by far too quickly!

Whew!

Whew!

The daycare called me yesterday morning around 10am and told me that they had openings. How shocking! Of course, I call and tell the husband. He immediately stops freaking out and is completely relieved. We later find out that my friend who is an officer with my job and also a board member, talked to the director. The director apparently told him that she would “investigate the misunderstanding.” Hooray!

I went today and picked up all the paperwork. Our pediatrician is out until next Thursday, though, so we can’t hand it all in just yet. I’m seriously relieved, but the husband was completely losing it. He was having panic attacks and all sorts of anxiety. I kept assuring him that something would happen, that it would work out in the end, however it ended. Besides, he wasn’t going to be the one quitting their job and completely losing their career! If I quit my job now, it’s over for me. No one will hire me in the tech field in a year or even a few years. I was lucky to get this job, as I hadn’t even done anything IT-related since college!

So, phew. I will still be sad and miss seeing her grow every day, but I feel like it will definitely kick-start some normalcy into our lives. We’ll find our rhythm, finally. Until then, I’m going to enjoy these last few weeks with Evangeline. She’s already Miss. Independent and doesn’t want to cuddle–she’d rather hang out on her Kick’n’Play mat.

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It’s still so hard to comprehend that she’s going to be three months soon! Augh. She’s getting big so fast.

We’re doing back-to-back visits right now, so everything is pretty hectic. Dad left Tuesday, my Aunt arrived just now and will be here within the hour, and then mum comes on Tuesday. We won’t get a break, but that’s okay! I don’t want anything happening when husband has his surgery on the 13th and then I want to spend every moment I can with Eva at the end of the month.

It’s so hard to believe that, at this time next month, I’ll be preparing to go back to work and Eva will be going into daycare… how time flies.

Breastfeeding is going great. I’m still supplementing her with an ounce or two, but for the most part, she’s getting it all out on her own. We’re going through a leap currently, so she’s not nearly as interested in nursing, but she’s still gaining! She’s nearly 12 lbs, so that’s almost 2 lbs in 2 weeks… woohoo!

Dad’s Visit & Daycare Woes

Dad's Visit & Daycare Woes

Dad was here this past weekend, amazingly enough! They arrived late Saturday, we ate a quick dinner of delicious Marco’s sandwiches, and they saw Eva for a few minutes before she melted down because it was well past 7. We usually start her bedtime routine around 7 or 7:30 simply because that’s when she wants to start it. She always gets grumpy or tired around that time. She doesn’t usually doze off until around 8 or 9, though.

They stayed until Eva went to bed and then left around 9pm. They claimed they were going to go and sleep, but we found out the next day that they stopped off at the sports bar/restaurant next to their hotel and drank. Which explained why it took them until past noon to come and see us the next day.

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The entire visit was kind of aggravating and extremely disappointing. I had expected dad to come and see Eva and spend all the time he possibly could with her. I understand she’s still small yet, but who knows when he’ll see her next and she’s growing so fast! This is likely the last time they’ll see her when she’s still so tiny and new.

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His wife kept complaining about her aches and pains. She didn’t even come over on Monday, it was just dad. On Sunday, I got some pictures done and everything, but Eva wasn’t very fond of dad’s wife and kept melting down every time she tried to hold her. Husband and I are pretty sure it’s because she’s a smoker or she’s just smart… haha! Eva did fine when dad visited on his own, though. She was my typical happy, smiley baby. She gave him big grins and cooed at him.

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They stayed an extra day and left Tuesday morning due to the snow hitting the East Coast. We met up with the in-laws and had dinner on Monday evening. In total, I think they saw Eva for a total of four hours that day. They didn’t even get out of bed until after noon and we had already been awake six hours! I even offered to take them to tour our workplace and crime labs… nope. Sigh.

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We were up so early taking the husband to his allergy test and ENT appointment. He has surgery schedule for February 13th… so not only will I be caring for a three month old then, I’ll have him to take care of, too! We’re really hoping this solves his breathing issues, as they’ve gotten exceptionally bad as of late.

As disappointed as I am by my dad’s visit, I’m glad Evangeline at least got to meet her grandpa on my side. Dad did one thing completely right, he brought her a Kick ‘n’ Play mat for Christmas. She loves that thing! It’s so adorable watching her on it. Definitely keeps her entertained and lets me get some stuff done.

They brought us a bunch of unnecessary stuff for Christmas. I don’t even know how my dad has money, what with all the spending he does! I would have rather had nothing and seen them spend all their time with Eva, sigh.

As if all of this wasn’t enough, now we’re having issues with the daycare and they’re jacking up their rates by another thousand dollars. So, a year for an infant would be nearly $9,000! That’s insane! We don’t even know if we can get in now, despite what we’ve been told. All of the sudden, “there’s no spots” and “they’re re-enrolling for fall if we want to try for then.” Husband is about to choke someone.

Since bad news travels in pairs, we also found out that the mother-in-law has ulcers in her eye! She’s been having issues and thought maybe she’d gotten something in her eyes and scratched it, but no. She has freaking ulcers. There’s a very high chance of her losing her vision in that eye if they don’t respond to the medication they’ve given her. She’s at the doctor again now to discuss options and get more information. We are all, understandably, worried.

I can’t believe my maternity leave is almost over. Before, I couldn’t wait for it… now, it’s different entirely. I’m going to miss her so much! I love seeing her grins and getting to experience all her new developments. She’s started noticing her hands and feet a lot lately, watching herself move them all around!

I could never be a stay-at-home mum, but I wish there was some sort of happy medium. It just sucks that the first part of my maternity leave sucked. I mean, I loved her, but she was just sort of ‘there’ and when she wasn’t crying, she was sleeping horribly and we were struggling with breastfeeding. As soon as everything starts to even out and get good, I have to go back to work.

Oh, and going back during her four month sleep regression, too. Ugh. I hope it doesn’t hit her, but I’m sure it will. I’m going to be a total zombie!

Progress

Progress

Things have slowly been going better with Evangeline and nursing. I’m basically force feeding her every opportunity that I get! If she doesn’t finish a full feed at the breast, then I pump, and give her what comes out in a bottle. This isn’t something I’ll continue once she “catches up”, as babies will overeat easily. Right now, though, it’s all about packing those calories in so she can grow and her brain can develop properly!

The baby scale definitely helps. She’s gaining several ounces a day so far. I haven’t done any feeding weighs yet. I may or may not, depending on how things go.

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We had our first outing alone yesterday. I took her into work to visit. It was also my first time driving the new car (and driving in general for two months!) After we stopped at work, we continued on to Target, stopped at Petsmart, and then grabbed lunch and headed home. She only fussed a little at work, due to over-stimulation, and then a little bit in Petsmart because she was tired. She slept on the way home and remained asleep in her car seat for almost a full hour and a half nap!

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It was a busy day in general, as the in-laws came up to deliver our futon couch. We went out to eat for father-in-law’s birthday, Eva’s second restaurant outing! By the time we got home, she was more than ready for bed. She was in her bassinet, asleep, by nine. She slept until three, too! Which I was greatful for. Sleep has been fleeting lately.

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I’m officially six weeks away from returning to work. I’m still trying to work on my freezer stash when I can. The ability to leave the house with Eva confidently definitely makes things less bleak. I’ll be happy to return to work and some semblance of normalcy… but I’ll miss her, I can’t lie. I know she’ll enjoy daycare once she’s old enough to socialize properly… but with her being so young, it just seems wrong! At least I was able to go four months with her. I would never even consider staying home–that’s just not my bag. I like money, I like making money, and I like having a part of me that’s not 100% mother.

I remember the stress when the husband was the only one properly working and it was awful! Both my coworkers deal with this, living paycheck to paycheck, I just don’t know how they do it. It’s maddening. We’ll still have weekends and holidays with her. Plus, the vacations we’ll be able to take!

My dad and his wife are supposed to be visiting this weekend. He texted me that they made reservations, so perhaps it’ll actually happen! He hasn’t visited me once in the seven years since I moved here. They were supposed to visit directly after Christmas, but her kids gave them the flu. I really hope he comes down. I don’t even care if it’s just to meet Eva, I want him to visit!

My Aunt Beth (his sister) arrives next weekend, too. We’re both stoked about that, as my Aunt Beth is tons of fun! She was our saving grace during my dad’s wedding in Atlantic City and she visited during my pregnancy, too. It’ll be so fun to introduce her to Eva.

We’ve been doing some deep cleaning, which is nice! I finally got to tackle our bedroom and closet. I purged all of my clothes from my second job. No more black everywhere! I only kept a few pieces I knew I’d make use of. I still have more purging to do, but three bags worth seems good for now. I got rid of some other stuff and some of the husband’s stuff, too.

We need more plastic bins to store things in and another set of plastic drawers to help keep the closet from going into chaos again. I’ve also been eyeing an accent table to put in our little stairway area, so we have a place to put mail and whatnot… but the current depth is 12 inches and most things are 14+ inches. If we redo the railing, we’d have plenty of room… but that requires us to redo all of the railing… which I want to do, but is quite the task for right now.

 

Disappointment & Failure

I feel like a complete and utter failure. Evangeline’s original two month appointment was on Monday, but was rescheduled last minute due to her doctor being ill. I managed to get an appointment first thing on Wednesday morning. We went in with high hopes–we were excited to see how much she’s grown and to get her immunizations. We didn’t wish her the pain, but being able to have her around others and out without constant worry would be nice!

Unfortunately, things did not go as planned. I’d expected to see that Eva wasn’t quite where she needed to be with her weight; I’d known she’d lost some weight during my cold and taking sudafed. My supply had dwindled, forcing me to attach myself to the pump. I consumed water like mad, I eat oatmeal every morning now, and a wonderful coworker/friend made me lactation cookies. We’re back on track, but it was touch-and-go there for a few days.

It seems like Eva’s progress never recovered. She’s only 10 lbs or so when she should be at the very least 12 and at the very best, 14 lbs! They measure and weight first thing, and then we sit and wait for the pediatrician to come in. The husband looked them up on the charts and gave me a worried look. Her weight put her in the bottom percentile, while her height put her in the top. I felt sick.

The pediatrician was kind, but didn’t mask her concern. We’ve been given a month to try and continue on with just exclusive breastfeeding. I’m to eat full meals and make sure Eva is getting the hindmilk and not just the foremilk. I’m pumping after every feed and then offering her the hindmilk that’s expressed. It’s all very daunting and yesterday, after we arrived home, I cried. I cried over her while I was trying to get her to nurse. The husband had left to go to work. It was just such a crushing blow. I thought she’d been doing better–she was going two hour stretches between feeds! But she still wasn’t napping properly. And she hasn’t been pooping regularly–once a week on the dot. All of it should have been warning signs.

But I was too selfish to see them or listen. I was too preoccupied with having time to myself or getting things done around the house. I’d stop her nursing when she got frustrated instead of switching her to the other breast or bothering to burp her thoroughly and then returning her to the breast. It all came crashing down on me suddenly and I felt completely sick with myself.

I crawled into bed around 12:30, as Eva had drifted off due to her immunizations. She was too sleepy to nurse properly. She woke just as I pulled up the covers and began cooing. I peeked over the bed at her in her little convertible bouncer and she smiled at me. I pulled her into bed with me and nursed her there. We cycled between nursing and sleep for a good four hours. I couldn’t bring myself to leave the bed and she would wake up screaming–a side effect of the immunizations. I’m sure she had no idea why she was uncomfortable. She was spiking low-grade fevers, too. So I curled around her and kept her close to me, checking her temperature and soothing her. I’m not into medicating unless absolutely necessary.

We did eventually give her infant Tylenol more towards the evening, but only because her fever went to 100 degrees. We didn’t get out of bed until the husband came home. I was still upset, but the time sleeping and just holding her helped me try and formulate a game plan. The husband kept assuring me that it would be okay. He’s my only support with breastfeeding and I certainly appreciate it.

I’m pumping after every feed and when she naps; I’ve got milk in 1 to 2 oz increments in bottles to supplement her with if she stops nursing early. I’m feeding her until she gets angry at me for trying. She’s already bodily shoved my boob away and all but swatted away the bottle. She pooped a day early, which is a good sign. We’re making sure her belly is full and Buddha-like. It’s going to be a pain pumping so much, but whatever works. My freezer stash I started is going to build slowly, but contributing 2 oz or so a day is still better than nothing!

We’ve got a month to get her caught up. She’s already doing better today and napping unlike she ever has, which means she’s satiated. She’d wake up constantly and fuss before. Now if she wakes up at 30 mins, she drifts immediately back off. It’s also not hard to get her to fall asleep.

I hate having to use bottles, as we ran into an issue where she didn’t like the slow flow of my boobs… but whatever gets her weight up. She’s still getting 90% boob.

I bought a baby scale off Amazon. It’ll be here Saturday. I refuse to accept “failure to thrive.” When I told the husband that’s what it was called, he was shocked. Needless to say, neither one of us is on board with that being declared. I want to make it at least six months (preferably a year or never!) before introducing any sort of formula. Here’s hoping we can do it.

I hate that I let this happen. It makes me angry, but luckily, anger is usually what fuels me forward. I’m determined to make this right and keep it as such. My personal time and such things are secondary to my child’s well-being. She’ll throw fits because I’m feeding her too much before she’s ever hungry again.