Archive for the 'Mandy Says' Category

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belly laughs




belly laughs

Originally uploaded by schleifnet

My belly is no longer carrying a baby – but that fact is not commonly guessed at. I wore this outfit to school the other day and at the end of class the professor asked me if I was pregnant. Luckily for him I just had a baby or else I might have been insulted. I don’t know if I should still be insulted.

My doctor has only just (last week) given me the go ahead to do stomach exercises – so I do have an excuse. And yet, it is kind of embarassing that I still look pregnant. The good thing is – I must not look fat.

So, how does a once pregnant belly differ from a chubby belly? Or is it all of me that still has that pregnancy glow so my chubbiness looks purposeful. Perhaps all those stores of breastmilk in my belly, thighs, bottom and arms glow in a way normal fat stores don’t .

I guess I should start doing some stomach exercises since I can now – the only problem if I do that is then I won’t have that nice soft shelf for baby to lie on while she nurses.

Fall Baby




bundle of joy

Originally uploaded by schleifnet

When people think about when they want their babies to be born – or even go so far as to plan it (near a holiday or during the summer) – they usually don’t think about the silent detriment to having baby arrive in the fall – Flu & RSV Season.

We didn’t pick or plan a month for our baby to arrive – no, we just lucked into the gorgeous fall for her birth. But, as gorgeous as it is we now have to contend with the height of flu & rsv season for her newborn days. Not quite a walk in the park.

Although, walks in the park are something we can do. Flu shots were something we had to do – but baby girl is too little for her own so she must rely on us. Something we can’t do is take her to crowded places where people can breathe on her and touch her. We do take her to stores with us – nobody comes near her – just let them try to get past me. But no social gatherings – ie, no mommy and me type groups as per order of her doctor. No religious gatherings where people are in one place for a long time – breathing their germs on her.

In books and movies and tv mommies go to these places and groups – but I guess that is because fictional babies only get sick to advance the plot. Real life babies might get sick when it doesn’t even help the plot.

When baby and I must be out and stationary and there happens to be a sick person present I just cringe. Baby’s doctor says it is getting to be the height of the flu season and later on the same day she told us we were stuck at Firestone getting our car repaired with a woman just coughing away. Then at class tonight two girls kept coughing and coughing through the entire three hours I was stuck in that tiny room with them.

Sick People Should Be Able To Stay Home And Get Better!

Maybe we should elect one of those socialist leaning candidates for president so then it wouldn’t be so worrisome to have a baby during the flu season.

hang on tight – I’m 3 months old




hang on tight

Originally uploaded by schleifnet

Annabel turned 3 months old on the 17th of January. I can’t believe three months have passed so quickly. She can almost hold her head up. She desperately wants to crawl. She loves when we read her books. Some of her favorites are “Great Day For Up” by Dr. Seuss, “Where is Baby’s Belly Button” and “Counting Kisses” both by Karen Katz, and “Hey Wake Up” by Sandra Boynton. I love reading to her because she just starts smiling and laughing and talking to the book. She doesn’t talk to me yet, but she loves talking to her books.

We just had her three month check-up. She weighs 12 pounds and 7 ounces – which puts her in the 50th percentile for growth (which means she’s the average). She is 24.5 inches long – which puts her in the 80th percentile for height. Her head is 15.75 inches – another 50th percentile. However, when you calculate her weight to height ratio she is in the 5th percentile. What does all this mean? Who knows. She is healthy and happy and somewhere on the charts which is all that is important according to my doctor. Mike and I like to think she is going to be a model or a football player – the quaterback of course.

She isn’t turning over yet – or trying to for that matter. When we put her on her belly she still just tries desperately to crawl. She also doesn’t laugh out loud yet or really talk to me (just to books and toys and ceiling fans). Supposedly she will turn over and start to laugh out loud this month. Hopefully Mike and I are silly enough to make her laugh.

It has been a good three months. Every day with her is good. I can’t wait for more – and it already scares me how quickly she is growing up.

Whew! Nobody light a match – mama’s been eating broccolii




Fireworks!

Originally uploaded by schleifnet

Here is yet another way I am a bad mama (social services is going to be coming by soon if I’m not careful). I eat broccoli. I also eat cabbage – ooh but I love cabbage. And edamame and hummus and eggs and milk……….
Hold on, you are thinking, what is wrong with that. They all sound like healthy food choices there little mama.
I feel your logic gentle reader – but, healthy is not alway best when breast is best!
What? you question again.
Well, all these foods are known agents of a little something we call gas (oh, I forgot – I also eat yummy yummy beans). The “they” and “them” who live inside parenting books warn against consuming all he foods I eat daily. As with many of their other suggestions, I ignore them (and yet I keep reading – it’s like a car wreck!).
Yup, I keep eating these gassy foods and so – qed and drum roll please —- baby is gassy.
But, (no pun intended) we are very lucky. Instead of screaming in pain, baby farts – and farts and farts and farts …. ad infinitum. This can all be rather embarassing when she does this (loudly – oh so loudly) in public – or a new friends arms. But, the only other option is for me to sit around eating cookies (there is no grey area in my diet). So she will continue farting – and farting and farting and farting….

carseats, ah carseats




bye-bye time

Originally uploaded by schleifnet

Carseats are interesting contraptions.

Babies don’t seem to like them too much – except when the car is continuouvsly moving over 30 mph. Cats love them – as long as they are stationary in the house.

No matter how tight or lose you make the buckles – baby always thinks they are too tight and you always suspect they are too loose.

As tiny as the seat and baby are – they somehow take up more space than an adult.

Baby seems to grow too long too quickly but still be too small to move into a bigger seat.

The car seat weighs way more than baby or even a stroller for baby – and costs more than some strollers too – but strollers aren’t the necessity that carseats are.

All these ponderings and we are still only on our rear facing infant car seat.

birth – medicalized




IMG_4299.JPG

Originally uploaded by schleifnet

This post might offend some people. It is not going to be garish or obscene. No, just a reflection of my pregnancy and birth compared to other women’s reflections. Reflections that annoy me as this will probably annoy some.

I have read quite a few blog entries, letters to editors and articles by women who feel cheated out of the birth experience they desired. They ended up with an over medicalized birth when all they wanted was to do it the old fashioned way. My labor and delivery of Annabel were definitely not the old fashioned way – but then neither was my pregnancy.

From the get go we relied on our doctor and much medicalization to make our pregnancy last. At the beginning my hormone levels were too low so I had to go on a hormone supplement (that was not proven to help but at least we would know we had tried). In my second trimester I had more complications and had to go on more medicine as well as full and complete bedrest except for weekly doctor’s visits. By the end of my pregnancy I had given up hope (partly) of the natural childbirth I had dreamed of (and goodness knows I only dreamed of one because I had never given birth), while still reading my book on the Bradley method and practicing my breathing.

The actual labor and delivery of Annabel was nicely planned by my doctor and went smoothly. She broke my water, my labor became harder, I progressed from 4cm to 10 cm in an hour and a half, the epidural guy FINALLY showed up, I “labored down” for a epiduralized hour, then pushed for three contractions and Annabel was out.

I do not regret anything except that the epidural man went to the wrong room. I missed nothing I desired to feel by having an epidural for my last hour. I felt myself pushing and when I pushed Annabel out it felt right. The feeling of pushing her out was the right feeling and I knew it even with the epidural in.

Yes, it would have been nice if I hadn’t had so so so many complications during my pregnancy. It would have been nice to feel like I had some decision making power at some point between conception and that last push. But, I have Annabel. She was and is perfect. I would do it all again for her – with a million times as much medical interference if it meant I would get her in the end. So, when I read about those women who feel cheated by the birth experience they had I get annoyed because it seems like all that should matter now is that they got a baby out of it. Who cares about any of the other details.

it’s hospital time

So, all the pregnancy books tell you what to pack to bring to the hospital. In addition to the many other things “they” were wrong about (“they” and “them” being interchangeable and meaning those who “know” all about pregnancy) this was another one.

I followed the checklists and brought magazines and an ipod for early labor when I would be killing time – except it turns out my early labor lasted a month and I was already 4 cm dialted upon arrival making it to 10 cm in an hour and a half. So, that undrugged hour and a half (while the epidural guy was lost) were devoted to breathing through my hard labor contractions.

I brought my own pillows – okay they were right about this one… BUT, I wish I had also brought my own blanket. I had a blanket for baby which I had crocheted out of soft pink chenille and I found this thoroughly indispensable as a prop and pillow and support and wrap, a larger one would have worked even better.

I brought my own nightgown and underwear “to make me feel more comfortable” but wore the hospital issued ones the whole time. Why dirty my nightgown or underwear when the hospital is providing disposable net underwear (surprisingly comfortable) and a gown tailor made for easy post-delivery examinations.

I brought slippers and a house coat (I did use the housecoat to cover where the hospital gown didn’t) but found the flip-flops I happened to wear to the hospital much more useful being inherently non-slip and able to be worn in the icky hospital shower.

I brought “healthy snacks” for me and my labor partner as well as mini candy bars ( the benefit to having a baby near Halloween). We made it through the candy bars in a day and a half. The “healthy snacks” were toted home. I actually liked the greasy hospital food – but next time I will have a McDonalds double quarter pounder with cheese waiting for me once baby is delivered (crazy as it seems I produce more milk after eating one!)

We obviously used the camera (the digital one). But that is a no brainer.

We didn’t need all the stuff we packed for baby. The books tell you to bring nightgowns and diapers, burp cloths and wipes – but our hospital provided everything except the going home outfit. So everything we packed was just more to lug home.

The books are interesting – but I think they are written for big city girls going to big city hospitals (ie NYC or La or the likes), here in good old Metairie, LA what happens is more common sense and less list worship.