Monday, April 29, 2013

Weekend Rewind

I guess you could say we had a slow weekend around here.

Friday I made pizza.

When we make pizza it doesn't bother me to make our own dough, but I hate chopping up all the veggies. But I channeled my inner Martha Stewart and was able to pull it all together. And yes, there are only black olives on half because Daniel is weird and has yet to discover how amazing they are. After dinner, Daniel took off for english corner and Paige and I hung out. 

So, I'm realizing that having a baby means that my weekdays and weekends pretty much look the same. The last few friday nights i've joked that i want to sleep in on Saturday morning. Technically, this past Saturday I kind of did. Paige was up for an hour in the middle of the night....she keeps coming out of her swaddle! After an hour and trying everything, i fed her. I really didn't want to feed her just so she would go back to sleep, but it was the only thing that worked. She ate for a few minutes and it was enough to put her right to sleep.

So because I'm getting annoyed with waking up at 3, 5, and then 6 am to reswaddle Paige (okay I wake up and nudge Daniel-then he reswaddles her. but i still wake there's that) we decided to try to break her of the swaddle. The past 3 naps we've put her down with her arms out. She hasn't napped yet today. I want to persevere and make it thru so we can be done with the swaddle and not have to worry about it. But oh my for the love I just want her to sleep! i'm hoping i can stick with it.

So I usually wake her up at 7:30-ha, who am I kidding, she's always up before I have to wake her! But she gets up by 7:30 every morning. But Saturday I rolled over and it was 8:15 and I was still sleeping. Everything in me wanted to just roll over and keep sleeping...but I'm a Babywise mom so I went and got her up. 

We skyped with family in the morning and just hung around the house most of the day-except when Daniel went to play ultimate frisbee. Saturday night we walked to our fave local restaurant that we lovingly have nicknamed "the cat restaurant." When my mom came to visit last year we took her to it, and the owners cat was all over the place inside. My mom kept calling it the cat restaurant whenever she talked about it, and the name stuck. We haven't actually seen the cat since. But we don't mind the cats too much because it means there probably isn't any mice. You pick your battles.

Sunday it rained. Riveting right??

I bought Paige some Babylegs legwarmers and she wore them on Sunday but i forgot to take a picture. Next time.

We all took naps and spent the day mostly resting. A friend lent us a copy of The Next Food Network Star, so we finished that up last night. Watching recorded seasons from the Food Network is one of our guilty pleasures. Since we don't have tv here, it's extra special to watch "real" tv every once in a while. I can't wait for season 3 of Duck Dynasty to come out on disc! 

I just finished making 5 loaves of french bread. And I'm about to go make crescent rolls so i can make this for dinner. I haven't made it in forever and i'm excited!

That was our weekend!! Can you believe it's almost May?!?!!?!?



Sunday, April 28, 2013

Looking Back-Paige's schedule

I know as Paige gets older her schedule will change-less naps, feedings, etc... But for now I want to document what we're doing so I remember.

This past week I got a true taste of what it's like to be a SAHM. Daniel was gone Monday-Friday from 8-5, which for us is very unusual. One thing I like about our lives here is that there is a lot of flexibility. We don't generally have 8-5's. So it was a bit different, but not bad.

Paige and I got into a good routine. After her first feeding which is at around 7:30, we do what I call "window time." We live on the 14th floor and have floor to ceiling windows in our living room.

(this is an old picture, but you get the idea)

Window time is when Paige sits in her bouncer, looks out the window, and I get to eat breakfast! Paige has been becoming so alert these days! She will smile and coo and is just so much fun. I love our daily window time!

Here is a pic of her smiling the other morning. 

When Paige goes down for her nap (about 8:30 or so), I do my quiet time, check email, clean up the house a bit-dishes, start laundry, etc....

After she wakes up and feeds, it's about 10:30 or so. Paige will usually be on her activity mat for a little while, then I'll take her into her room to read a few books. Usually around 11:30ish Paige goes back down for her second nap.

During this nap I try to get a lot done. I'll bake-this week it was granola bars, pumpkin bread, and peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, or do a work out video and then shower. I have to be quick and try to use every minute of her nap.

Paige naps between 1-2 hours. On most days she averages at least 1 1/2 hour naps.

After her next feeding, I usually try to get out of the house for a bit. We'll take a walk, go to the market, go to the store....just something to be outside for a little bit. Usually by the time we're almost home I'm having to try to keep her awake. When we walk in the door, she usually goes straight down. 

During this nap is when I try to clean something. I make a weekly list and each day I choose one thing to clean-the kitchen, the floors-bathrooms, dusting, laundry, etc.... I'll usually check email again during this nap too.

After her 4 o'clock-ish feeding, she gets to sit in the bouncer in the kitchen and watch me get dinner ready. Usually around this time Daniel will get home and play with her while I finish cooking. She's usually back down for another nap by the time we eat dinner. I love this because then it gives me and Daniel time to have dinner and talk-just the two of us. This nap is shorter than the rest. 

After this next feeding, about 7ish, she usually gets fussy. If it's bath night, she will get a bath during this time. It's nice because it fills the time until her next feeding. I usually don't put her down to sleep in her crib...if she falls asleep it's usually while Daniel is holding her. 

I've been trying to cluster feed, so tonight her feedings were at 6, 8:15, and I'll go and wake her up for a 10:15 feeding. After the 8pm feeding, she goes down in her crib-technically for the night. I'll go wake her for her last feeding, then she'll sleep till about 7 or so.

What's hilarious about everything I just wrote-is that it's all about to change!

This week Daniel will be home a lot more, and we'll be doing more of these things together. I also hope to start back to class in the next week or so. Our plan is for Daniel to be at home with Paige while I have class. I'm not going back full time, just a few hours a week. My goal is to be able to take 6 hours a week. So I'll be using some of those naps for class and study time.
But right now, Paige is refusing to take a bottle. She used to take a bottle great, but we went several weeks without giving her one, and now she's not wanting it. So until I know she'll take a bottle, I can't really start class. She isn't really refusing the bottle, she just won't suck. She lets the milk run down her chin.....and I'm not a huge fan of wasting all of that milk. So hopefully we can figure it out soon. 

Tomorrow I'll post a recap of our weekend!



Thursday, April 25, 2013

Raw and Real-C section Postpartum

I've been wanting to write this post for a while. But I just haven't been ready. Please be gracious.

Postpartum....the things they never tell you! I read lots of books about pregnancy, delivery, etc...but nothing could have prepared me for postpartum. I obviously knew of postpartum depression and know people who have dealt with it. But I honestly thought that after you have your baby, you were either depressed or you weren't. I didn't realize the thousands of different emotions you could have in between.

I think that's why my postpartum emotions (as i like to call it), were so confusing to me. I didn't feel depressed at all. I didn't have any thoughts of hurting Paige or myself, but I did feel things. Different things than I had ever felt before, and I just didn't really know how to process or express them. I figured that since I didn't feel depressed, I was fine.


Ya'll know I didn't want to be induced, let alone a C section. I still feel 100% that how Paige was born was the right way. I have no regrets about being induced, trying for the epidural, or having a C-section. Looking back, it's probably the only way she would've ever come out of me. I know this logically.

Moving on.....

I wasn't emotionally or physically prepared for a C-section. I knew people who had them, even close friends. So I knew I would be sore for a while, that it was major surgery, blah blah blah.......I wasn't too worried because I was in America and had my mom (super servant who loves thru acts of service!). I figured I would take it slow and be fine. My doctor kept telling me that my hormones would be all over the place and I would cry at commercials and get easily upset at Daniel for no reason at all.

But that didn't happen. I wasn't really emotional or all over the place. I cried about 3 times. And mostly it because I was just tired. I didn't feel all sappy or out of control.

I want to be real about my emotions. I wish someone had talked to me about postpartum, specifically c-section postpartum before i had Paige.

Here is my story:

The first time I saw Paige, she was being carried out of the operating room to get all cleaned up. I realized she was perfectly healthy and downright beautiful and I cried. I was so thankful she was healthy. About 30 minutes later, they brought her to me to nurse and do skin on skin. I knew she was my daughter, but it felt strange. I was shocked at how strange it felt to hold and see her. I didn't bond immediately with Paige. It was a daily process. We had to get to know each other. I think it was because I didn't deliver vaginally. I didn't push her out. I didn't see her come out of my body. Someone just handed her to me and told me she was mine. It was very strange. Obviously I had been pregnant for almost 10 months so I knew a baby was inside of me. But it was so weird to not see/feel her being delivered and all of a sudden she was there.

A few days after we brought Paige home, she had a night of crying, fussing, and refusing to go to sleep. I laid in bed the entire time (6 hours to be exact) watching (and bossing) Daniel take care of Paige. I told him what I thought she needed and what to try. But I didn't do anything (other than feed).I felt completely paralyzed-I couldn't move. I feel awful that I didn't even try. 

A few days later I realized why. 

Because I felt like I was unable to birth Paige on my own (getting the epidural, having the c-section), I felt that I was unfit and unable to be a mom to her and take care of her. I felt so inadequate and weak. Not like, I'm a first time mom and I'm still trying to figure things out. I truly felt like i was incapable of being a mom. I was unfit and didn't have what it took. Because I had tried to have Paige vaginally and was unable to, I was afraid to take care of her, to console her, to love her-fearing I would fail in those areas like I felt like I had failed at childbirth. 

I had to force myself to hold her sometimes. It took a conscious effort to bond with Paige and to be vulnerable. Not because I didn't love her. But because I felt like I wasn't good enough to be her mom. I was afraid to get close to her just to let her down again.  I felt like I had already let her down by not being able to have a vaginal birth. In my mind, everyone else was much more capable at loving her and caring for her. I felt like I was on the sidelines watching. 

I felt like I hadn't earned my child.

I was talking to a friend on the phone about 2 weeks or so after having Paige. My friend had also had a c-section and put into words exactly what I was feeling. It was so freeing to realize that someone else knew what I was feeling and I wasn't insane. She put the perfect words to what I had been internally struggling through. I talked to another friend later who shared very similar feelings as well after her C section.

I felt that because I didn't push Paige out, I had taken the easy way out (even though I did labor for 13 hours). My c-section was necessary, yes, but it wasn't an emergency surgery, because she was breech or in danger. I had friends who had c-sections because of breech or other complications. I saw theirs as necessary. I didn't see mine that way (at the time.) Because I did choose the c-section I felt like I was telling Paige I couldn't hack it. I didn't have what it took, so I took the easy way out. 

I felt so guilty. 

When people asked about the delivery, I felt compelled to tell them the whole story so they knew that i had tried. I needed to justify my decision and the c-section. I assumed they were all judging me for not being able to hack it. Probably no one was....but I had convinced myself.

I felt like a bad mom. 

For weeks, i felt that every move I made, every decision, ever little thing I did was being scrutinized. I felt my family, friends, and strangers were watching me like a hawk to try and make up their mind if I was a good mom or not. Sadly, there were a few things that people said/did that didn't help the situation. A few "harmless" remarks made me feel like the worst mom in the world, and that I should just give up. I convinced myself that Daniel wished he had married someone else. Someone who would be a good mom to his children. 

I felt misunderstood and alone.

When I tried to share with other people, everyone said "well you got a healthy baby and that's all that matters."  FALSE.  Having a healthy baby was the most important. In the big picture, Paige's health was more important than my emotions and struggles. By a long shot. But I don't agree that it was "all that mattered." I know that people meant well with their words, but each time I tried to share and heard the same lines, I felt more isolated and misunderstood. I read an article that said yes, having a healthy baby via c-section is important, but it's still okay to be disappointed with the birth itself. Which is how I feel. I'm beyond thankful that Paige is healthy-especially with the kidney situation. But I have to allow myself to feel disappointment that her birth didn't go like I wanted or planned. Those feelings are too strong and too real to disregard them. I can't tell myself that she's healthy and to get over it. I need to experience the raw hurt and disappointment that came. I would've loved to have an all natural, vaginal birth. That's not what happened. I had to walk through and work thru that valley of emotions to get to the other side.

The first several weeks I struggled. Hard.

I felt that if I left Paige's side, someone would think I didn't love her. If I left the house at any time without Paige, I felt guilty and judged the entire time. I thought that a good mom would never be able to leave their newborns side. And that clearly made me a bad mom. I knew i needed to just breathe and have a little alone time. I logically knew that it was probably healthy for me. But the guilt was so heavy.

After that initial conversation with my friend, and realizing i wasn't crazy for how I felt, I started to read c-section postpartum articles. I was surprised and thankful to read many women felt the exact same way I did. It was so reassuring and comforting to know that I wasn't alone or the only person to feel the way I did.

I did talk to Daniel a lot about what I was feeling. I'm so glad I did. I generally process everything internally, then talk about it after I know how I feel. Daniel listened to me. He could not relate to what I was feeling. But he was supportive and reassuring, and prayed for me. He loved me through it. 

It's still very fresh though and not too far below the surface.  Someone was telling me the (vaginal, natural) birth story of another friend, and it was difficult to hear. I was so excited for my friend who was able to have the birth story they wanted. But it was a huge reminder that i didn't. 

I think time was/is a huge healer for me. Time to process my emotions, time to heal, and time to bond and fall ridiculously in love with Paige. I was wounded. But I feel healed. I no longer struggle with these feelings. They are still there sometimes...but they are no longer a part of my daily thoughts. Each day they get further and further away as I choose the Truth.

I daily had to choose Truth, and not lies. I know the enemy used my vulnerability and raw, open wounds to try and take me down. Sometimes I felt like he was winning. Maybe at times, he was. I read this very timely post by my friend, that hit a little too close to home. It's timing was perfect for me. But in the end, I chose Truth. I know that Father created Paige to be my daughter. He chose me to be her mom. 

I was chosen. 

Not because all the good moms were taken and I was what was leftover. But because I am the best mom for Paige. (even now just writing that sentence was difficult. Because it doesn't always feel true, i have to continue to believe it.)

I love Paige. Each day I'm amazed at how deep my love is for her, and how I cannot imagine my life without her. I feel bonded to her in a way that only a mother and daughter can be. My heart aches with love for her. 

Thank you for listening to my story. I hope that if anyone else has gone thru this, or going thru it now, know you are not alone. It's okay. You were chosen too.



Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Paige's first Easter

In the chaos of coming back to EA, I completely forgot to post the Easter recap.

Easter Sunday was our last day in the States, so it was pretty crazy busy. We tried to take a few family pics, but as you know, getting a newborn to cooperate isn't easy.

Here she is with her Easter basket that my mom made. She also got a lifetime supply of gas drops and a rubber ducky, but those were already packed by the time I remembered to take a pic.

We went to church and this is how Paige felt about it.

I just found this pic and love our faces!

This wasn't Easter, but it's still fun!

I'm excited for Paige's next Easter-maybe we'll dye eggs!



Sunday, April 21, 2013

Paige is Two Months

Paige turned two months on Thursday! We are able to do her check ups and get her vaccines here in town. She got all of her shots and did amazing! She cried for like 2 seconds-we were so proud!

Two Month Stats:

Weight: 5 kg/11 lbs  75%
Length: 59 cm/23 inches 85%
Size Diaper: 1's. I'm pretty impressed actually with the diapers here. I'm able to buy Pampers. But I'm planning on going to cloth diapers hopefully in the week!
Size Clothes: 0-3 Months. Because our child is insanely long (ha! we have no idea where she gets it!) she is getting a little too long for some of her 3 month clothes.

We have been doing Babywise from the beginning, and I'm a believer! I don't think you have to use it like the Bible, but it is an amazing guide and has been so helpful to us. Paige is now sleeping about 7 hours a night. Hallelujah!!

Last week Paige had a HUGE growth spurt! She was eating all the time, fussy, and taking 45 minute naps. It about did me in. BUT, she is doing much better and the last 2 days I had to wake her up from 2+ hour long naps. The last 3 days, we've been implementing the morning wake time. Even if Paige wakes up at 5:30 and feeds, I wake her up at 7:30 to start the day. It's been SO nice to have a consistent wake time and she's been eating and napping on a more consistent schedule.

I need to do a nursery update. We bought her changing table (which is really some shelves from ikea) and did a few more things. I love how it looks!!

This month Paige took her first taxi ride-just call me the human carseat :) We don't have carseats here so we just hold her when we are in cars. I know....that would never pass in America!

After Paige's 2 month check up, we walked a few blocks to a home furnishing store. Our city is undergoing major construction this is what it looks like for us to travel. We are actually standing in a major intersection here.

Here are some fun pictures I took this week. This is my new fave!

She is so adorable, I can't stand it!!

We bought this activity mat and she LOVES it! She is so happy whenever we lay her on it.

So no matter how much pink or polka dots she has on, people always say she's a little boy. I quickly correct them, ha! big news....we had an earthquake here yesterday. We are pretty close to the epicenter. Daniel and I both experienced a catastrophic earthquake here in 2008. The one in 2008 was extremely terrifying and I'm pretty sure I had post traumatic stress for a long time. was 8 am yesterday and I had just finished feeding Paige and we felt the building shake. We are on the 14th floor, so we really felt it!!! We grabbed our 'go bag' (because after what we've been thru, we are always prepared!) and ran down 14 flights of stairs. We stayed outside for about 2 hours then decided it was safe to go back in. Paige slept thru most of it.

We've been having some aftershocks, which makes it hard to really relax. You're always waiting for the next one, and not knowing if you should run from the building or not. We are so thankful that we are okay. There are a hundred thousand without homes and several thousands injured. Please continue to remember all of these families...especially the displaced children.

I don't want to leave this post on a sad in random good news....we just got our baby monitor and LOVE it!!! We got the Motorola MBP36. It zooms, scans, has color video, and i love the volume feature! I'm so glad we got it-our floors here creak really loud, so now we can check up on her without having to tiptoe to her room.

That's Paige at 2 months!



Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Paige Paige and more Paige

Yes, I am THAT mom who thinks every picture of her baby is priceless, adorable, and must be shared.

So on that is what Paige has been up to recently.

We went to church Easter Sunday. It was our last day in the States before heading home to the EA. Paige thoroughly enjoyed herself. I almost died when I realized she had matching socks and headband to go with her dress. Cousin Adelyn has the same dress. I love that even though the girls are separated by thousands of miles, there is a special clothing bond :)

Paige is also thrilled her socks match her dress. It really is the little things.

Here we are taking our first outing in East Asia. Can I also say, we LOVE our stroller. Phil & Ted's-2 huge thumbs up! 

Our friend lent us her bouncer, and Paige has been getting some good quality time in while spending time with Mr. Giraffe.

Yesterday we read a few books. We read Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you see? and That's not my Princess.

Daniel had a little fun with Paige the other day too. Boomer!

This past Sunday, Paige wore my new favorite outfit from Aunt Dena. I seriously cannot handle the cuteness. Have you ever seen anything more adorable? No. The answer is no.

And this face....oh my word. LOVE!

On to the sad news....Paige has her very first cold. It kills me to see her not feeling well. It's nothing major, but she has a lot of congestion and hates the nasal aspirator. She wants to be held a lot too, which is fine by me. I love to get my cuddles in. Hopefully she'll feel better very soon!

She is also 7 weeks today! WHERE did the time go?!!?!?!?



Monday, April 8, 2013

We're Back!

Last Monday morning we were up by 3 am to catch our first flight out of St. Louis. After a very tearful goodbye to the grandparents, we took Paige on her first (of many!) plane rides.

She was SO good! From start to finish, it took about 25 hours. She slept a good amount of the time. I was very pleasantly surprised at how "easy" it was to travel with her.

Her very first flight!

Paige was so good. However, nursing on an airplane.....SO not for me! It was much harder than I thought it would be, and so stressful. It doesn't help that Paige doesn't like the nursing cover. I am glad it will be a few months before having to do that again. When we landed in our city, she decided to pee all over herself and the changing pad. Apparently she thought she needed a new outfit and couldn't wait the 30 minutes to get home :)

On our domestic flight, they made Paige wear her own seat belt. It attached to mine.

I don't think any of us really experienced jet lag. Paige has already gone back to sleeping 4-5 hour stretches at night, and is awake much more than I would like during the day. She's almost 7 weeks old and feeding every 3 hours. How long should her awake time be? She used to be able to sleep up to 2 hours at a time, but now she's closer to 45-1 hour. When does babies start having set naps?

I have tons of really cute pictures that I need to post. Maybe tomorrow.