Archive for September 2011

Poopy Pants   3 comments

**Disclaimer— this blog post is primarily about poop.

As a teenager, I LOVED to babysit. I loved ordering pizza and feasting with the kids (my favorite was the kid who told me he could only have 3 pieces of pizza ’cause he was on a diet!). I loved getting them ready for bed and tucking them in. I loved lounging on someone else’s couch watching TV while falling asleep only to jerk back to consciousness at the sound of an opening garage door. I loved the money. One night of babysitting meant I could go buy a new box of hair color AND some new nail polish. Ah, disposable income!! There are only a couple of things that I didn’t like about babysitting:

  1. When the dad would drive me home at the end of the night. Why-oh-why did the dad have to drive the 14-year-old girl home?! I would stare straight ahead, nervous and replying with monosylabolic mumblings to questions such as “So, were the kids good?” and “Should I turn left here?”
  2. Poopy diapers. I hated poopy diapers. One time, I called my mom from the home of a particulary stinky pooper and explained that there was NO WAY I could change the kid  saying “Mom, I’m going to throw up! I cannot change this diaper!”

Thankfully, my mom came to the house and changed the toddler’s diaper for me, but that night scared me. I feared that when I had my own child I would be unable to change his or her poopy diaper. This past spring, I learned that there was nothing to worry about. Apparently there is some truth to the saying “It’s different when it’s your child” because Millie’s early poops just didn’t bother me at all. I found I could change poopy diapers without batting an eye or experiencing a gag reflux. That is, until this weekend. On Saturday, Millie was hanging out in the exersaucer when I started to hear the tell-tale grunt of a baby who was filling her diaper. I waited for the grunts to subside and then went to the business of cleaning her up thinking it was just another dirty diaper. Boy was I wrong. I’ll try not to get too gross here, but I must say that the waste in her diaper was green in color and crazy-stinky. It was up her back and all over her pajamas. And THAT is what really bothered me. She was wearing the cutest pajamas (a gift from her Great Uncle Clint) and I was heartbroken at the thought of them being ruined.

See how cute she looks in them? Nate told me to just throw them away after the blow-out incident, but I just couldn’t. I kept thinking, what if we have another daughter some day? I’d love a picture of her in the same pajamas. Then, I could put the pictures side by side and compare my girls. (No, we’re not expecting another baby girl and no, we don’t plan to expand our family anytime soon.) So, with this thought about someday having another baby and the idea of an adorable picture of this future baby in my mind, I decided to try to save the poopy pants. I filled a bucket with water and soaked the pajamas. Then, I used a spray bottle to remove as much of the green, stinky, disgusting poop as possible. Then, I let them soak in water yet again before pre-treating the stain with detergent. Finally, I put the pajamas in the wash. GREAT NEWS— the poop stain came out. Now, Millie can wear this sleeper a few more times before she grows out of it and I put it into storage pending a future baby.

After all that effort, who wants to bet we end up with a baby boy the next go around and I will have put so much effort into poop removal for nothing? Who bets I’ll just end up putting Future Baby Boy Keyse in these PJ’s for a quick photo-op? Of course, it’s just as likely I’ll misplace the PJ’s in the years to come and won’t be able to find them for baby #2…

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Posted September 27, 2011 by Nate and Julie in Millie

Happy birthday, Mom!   Leave a comment

Well, today is my birthday (happy birthday to Jennifer Galietti too!). My friend Susan sent me the first “happy birthday” text of the day, saying “It’s your first mommy b-day!” and I must say being a new mom puts a new perspective on this day. Today, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about my own mom. After all, this was a pretty big day for her! 28 years ago, my wonderful mother went from being the mother of 2 to being the mother of 4! I cannot imagine how terrfying and exciting that must have been.
My parents were once told that they would not be able to have children of their own. They decided to go the adoption route and were blessed when my brother Chris joined the family at the adorable age of 3 months. A couple of years later, they were happily surprised to find out that they were expecting a baby and Kevin joined the family. Mom and Dad thought their family was complete. THEN, surprise!, Mom came to find out she was expecting. She was at the doctor and was told they wanted to do an ultrasound, just to rule out twins and— SURPRISE AGAIN— the doctor informed her that she was indeed carrying 2 babies. I think she threw up and cried when they gave her the good news. She made the doctor tell my dad. I’m not sure who told Chris and Kevin that they would be big brothers, but I doubt they understood the hugeness of what was happening.
I was born at 11:29 pm on September 25, 1983. Jennifer arrived at 11:30 pm (we couldn’t stand to be apart for more than 1 minute). Mom says we were great sleepers right from the start. She had to wake us up to feed us! The only thing Kevin remembers about our birth was that Mammaw (I think it was Mammaw) gave him M&Ms when he came to visit us.
Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to Jen. Happy birthday to my Mom. She has been the mother of 4 for 28 years now and I hope it has been enjoyable for her.

Posted September 25, 2011 by Nate and Julie in Uncategorized

BUSY!   Leave a comment

Life has been busy! Work, home, church, family, errands, housework… it never ends. I will try to do a full blog update this weekend, but for now I just want to say thank you to everyone who shared encouragement after my last post. I am still breastfeeding and pumping but I am letting go of the guilt and stress that previously plagued me and as a result, I am feeling MUCH better. I have had to supplement some with formula and Millie is doing very well with it. Just take a look— such a healthy, happy 4 (almost 5) month old.

Posted September 20, 2011 by Nate and Julie in Uncategorized

Mommy Guilt   2 comments

Before I had Millie people kept telling me that I would love her more than I’d ever loved before. I believed them. Even though I couldn’t fathom just how much I would love her, I understood that it would be a new, overwhelming love— it’s Mommy Love. And do you know what goes great with Mommy Love? A heaping serving of Mommy Guilt. Mommy guilt is a new, overwhelming guilt, unlike any guilt I’d ever felt before. Since becoming a mother, I have felt guilty for sooooo many things (and yes, the use of numerous “o’s” was absolutely necessary):

  • When we first brought Millie home from the hospital, I felt guilty when I asked Nate for help. Since I was on leave from work, I thought that I should bear the full responsibility of comforting and caring for Millie, especially during the overnight hours. I slept in the guest bedroom for the first week of her life so that Nate could get a full night’s rest before having to go into work. The first few nights, it was fine. I was running on adrenaline and love. But, after about a week, I was just plain exhausted. And I felt immeasurable guilt when I finally asked Nate for help in the evenings. It was so stupid, though. Nate was happy to help (he’d take the 9-11 pm shift so I could get some rest) and I would have had a breakdown if I’d gone much longer without sleep.
  • I felt guilty for going back to work. From the moment I found out that I was pregnant I knew that I would be a working mom. Nate and I discussed it thoroughly and we knew that this was the best decision for our family. However, that did not make it much easier when the day came for me to return to work.
  • Once I went back to work, I felt guilty for leaving Millie on the weekend so I could get my hair cut. I was gone for about 45 minutes and Millie napped for most of that time, but it didn’t alleviate my guilt. I left her for 45 minutes when I’d already left her for 40+ hours that week. Ugh.
  • And now, the biggest guilt-inducer of all—BREASTFEEDING. Part of me does not want to include this in my blog post, because I’m feeling sooooo incredibly guilty for what I’m about to say (type, whatever) but I’m hoping it will be therapeutic to write. Before I became a mother, I knew I wanted to breastfeed. Breast is best. If you’ve ever read a pregnancy book (from What to Expect to Babywise) you’ll recognize the phrase. And, since I wanted the absolute best for my baby, I was all about breastfeeding. There are so many benefits for baby and mother. Plus, everyone and every book says it’s such a wonderful bonding experience. Well, do you want to know about my experience? Breastfeeding sucks. (You have no idea how guilty I feel for typing that.) For me, breastfeeding has not been some magical experience. It wasn’t bad at the beginning. I’ve always been amazed by my body’s ability to nourish my baby. It’s pretty cool. But, it comes with some not cool side effects like leaking, engorgement, and–unless you’re one of those ladies who can just whip it out in front of anyone— it comes with a special serving of banishment every 2-3 hours (yes banishment… I always feel like I’ve been banished to a lonely bedroom when it’s time to feed Millie when we have company). While I was home on maternity leave, though, it didn’t seem all that bad. The leaking was annoying, but it was pretty much under control by the time Millie was 1  month old. What really sucks is pumping. I HATE dragging my pump with me on the bus to work. The seats are tiny and the 9 lb pump is bulky. I HATE pumping at work. It’s a major interruption and time-consuming (I have the same work load as everyone else, but I have to take 20 minute “breaks” every 3 hours). My hands are chapped, raw, and bleeding as the result of constant hand- and pump-parts washing. And, here’s the kicker, I’m just not producing enough milk.  While I am work, Millie takes 3 bottles that are between 4.5 and 5 oz each. That means I need about 15 oz of pumped milk to send to the sitter each day. BUT after 3 pumping sessions, I am lucky to get a total of 9 oz. This week, I haven’t been able to get more than 7. Which means I have pump multiple times in the evening after work. I don’t even get to play much with Millie when I’m hooked up to my good ‘ole Pump n Style for a “Power Pump”— 10 minutes on/ 10 minutes off for an hour— it’s intense. And, even after power pumping like a champ, I end up having to dip into my tiny, dwindling freezer stash, which means I start stressing, which means my supply problem gets even worse…. and all the while, I have this crushing feeling of guilt. It would be easier to just supplement with formula. Ah, but then I’m not giving Millie the best! BUT at least then I’d have more time to play with her (less time pumping at home means more time playing, right?). Ah, but remember mother’s milk is like liquid gold— I can’t deprive her of that! Then again, I don’t have the healthiest diet (vegetables are rarely— more like never— on my plate) so certainly my milk isn’t liquid gold… No, breast is best! Just think of the antibodies!… Still, I think I’d like to stop pumping… No, that’s just being selfish… But some breast milk is better than none and I’ve fed her for 4+ months!… Ah, but that’s not good enough! 6 months is recommended and the World Health Organization recommends bf-ing for 2 years! Do you see? I’m just scratching the surface here! Mommy guilt. It’s relentless. Have you read Bossypants by Tina Fey? She has a whole section of a chapter where she discusses nursing vs formula feeding and refers to some of the crazies as Boob Nazis (or something like that). There are people out there who liken baby formula to poison and some who think the FDA should print warnings on formula labels like they do on cigarette packages (I am not making this up… I googled “feeling guilty for wanting to quit breastfeeding” and I found 1 (ONE!) article on the subject noting that while breast milk is superior, formula is fine and it’s ok to quit nursing… the FDA-poison-warning-label-content was left by a Boob Nazi in the comment section…). Everyone I talk to says “Keep nursing as long as possible”— I think they mean into toddlerhood—- “it’s just so wonderful!” I hear a lot of “It’s all about supply and demand. You just need to nurse/ pump more often.” Apparently pumping for 30 minutes out of an hour isn’t often enough. Nate and I have talked about this a lot. He refuses to tell me what to do, but he did make a great point. “Julie, breast is best is a general rule, but we have to consider what’s best for our family, and that means all of us.” I called Millie’s pediatrician today (crying, of course… Mommy guilt— it’s rough!) and asked “what should I do??????” The nurse was an older woman. She first said, “Look, you need to chill out.” She continued “yes, breast milk is best if you can do it, but not everyone can. Lots of babies have some formula… lots have only formula! She will be fine if you need to supplement. More important than where the baby gets nutrition is just making sure that she gets it! And stop stressing! You’re not helping anything by stressing. You’ll be fine.”

I am not going to quit breastfeeding and pumping. In fact, I need to wrap up this super-long blog entry so I can pump and try to get enough milk for Millie for tomorrow!  But I am going to try to let go of some of my mommy guilt surrounding this issue. If I run out of frozen milk and I need to supplement with formula, I’m going to do it. Please don’t judge me! Just like  breastfeeding doesn’t automatically make me a good mother, giving Millie formula certainly won’t make me a bad one. Or will it? Oh crap, I’m feeling guilty again.

Posted September 9, 2011 by Nate and Julie in Julie

You Should See the Other Baby   1 comment

I cringe every time I go to get Millie up in the morning or at the end of nap time. I cringe, not because I’m dreading spending time with her (in fact, I’m usually staring at the clock thinking “Can I get her up yet? Has she had enough rest?”). I cringe because I know I’m likely about to see a baby who looks like she’s been in a bar fight.

the damage

Millie sucks her thumb when she is sleepy/going to sleep. When she has her thumb in her mouth she also hooks her other fingers around her nose or rubs the skin just under her eye. Of course, rubs isn’t the right description. To be accurate, Millie scratches the hell out of her nose and the skin under her eyes. The result is pitiful. Sometimes she draws blood. Sometimes, particularly if she has drawn blood, she will wake herself up screaming. Nate and I are horrified. We have no idea how to prevent further damage. We trim her nails regularly. We even file them so there are no apparent rough edges.

her weapons

Obviously, Millie has some sort of Wolverine-like claws that only appear when she is sleepy and she is too shy to show them to us. She probably thinks we won’t love her when we find out she’s a mutant. Poor baby. We love her, Wolverine-claws and all.

Posted September 5, 2011 by Nate and Julie in Millie