Tuesday, November 30, 2010

This run was made possible by the Glee Pandora station

I ran for the first time in six months yesterday!!

I am spending two weeks in New York with my family (we came out almost a week early for Thanksgiving, and then decided to extend our stay because Derek has a conference in the city this week and didn't want to travel back and forth). I packed not one, but two running outfits. I had such grand ideas about doing a crisp, sunny Thanksgiving morning run, reminiscent of the great one I did in 2007 in Riverside Park by the George Washington bridge--never forget that feeling!

But low and behold, stuff happened. Most notably that I got a bad cold and that the baby was not napping and was VERY cranky, making it nearly impossible to just feel okay about passing her off to someone and go running. So my plan for a Thanksgiving run came and went. I imagined all the Turkey Trots I was missing and got a little sad.

But then an amazing thing happened. Well, two amazing things. One: I started to feel better VERY quickly. That almost never happens. Actually, let me clarify: I used to never get over colds for like a week. Then I started running, and I virtually stopped getting colds, or if I got one, it was gone in about two days. (In fact, amazingly, the entire time I was pregnant, I only got sick once, right at the beginning, and it was very brief. I haven't had a cold since January.) When I stopped running due to being--well, humongous--and then stopped walking so much a couple months later, I dreaded getting sick because I thought that my immune system--previously protected by running--would be like, "WTF?" and leave me sick for a long time.

But no! Apparently I have trained my body to reject sickness. Nice! I must have residual runner's health. Either that, or the prenatal vitamins that I am still taking are actually doing more than giving me strong nails and hair.

Anyway, the second amazing thing that happened was that the weather...actually...stayed....sunny and beautiful for a few days! What?! (Now watch, now that I said it, it's going to snow.) But yesterday was the perfect opportunity. Derek was working, but my mom and Jack were both home on vacation. It was mid-day and about 50 degrees (perfect!). I fed Lorelei, then changed and was out! I took only my phone, which, with headphones, can double as a music player thanks to the Pandora app. My plan was to walk/run for one mile. Just one! I asked Jack for a route that was either about a mile or which would take me no more than 20-30 minutes to walk/run. I got the info, and was out the door!

The Glee station on Pandora, might I just mention, is awesome! I heard a few winners, including "Eye of the Tiger," which was just perfect because it was right as I was starting out.

To be honest, I was very happy with the amount that I was actually able to run. I thought I would start out all show-offy and strong, and then stop gasping for air after two minutes, clutching my side as I walked it off. Like I used to. (This is square one, isn't it?) But, amazingly, it wasn't like that at all. Not only did I retain all the "muscle memory" on how to maintain a good stride and run economically and all that, but I didn't lose my breath. Maybe that's because I didn't go off sprinting down the road like I had naively tried when I first attempted running five years ago. (Geez--has it really been five years?!) No, the reason I slowed to a walk three or four times during this mile was a combination of: 1) running stitch in my upper stomach - funny how those present themselves more when you're first starting out; 2) very rationally (ha ha) not wanting to "push it" too soon because I knew I'd probably be sorry. If there was an instance during the run where I was like, "Hmm. Should I keep running, or should I walk here?" and I was in mild to medium discomfort, I usually walked. Nobody needs to be sidelined even longer by a dumb injury. (Listen to me, all calm and mature. Yeah, right!)

I made it back as Jack was out walking the dog....and part of me thinks he might have gone out to check up on me because both he and my mom were a little bit nervous about it. That is so funny to me. But it's cute.

Here is the route I ran. (Actually, according to gmap pedometer, it was 1.6 miles!)

In other news, Derek's dad and grandpa want a picture of the three of us for their Christmas letter..but Lorelei was not having any of it! She cried the entire time. Here's a semi-decent one:

Anyway, that's all for now! Have a great Tuesday.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Never leave home without these five things

1. Pacifier
2. Change of clothes for baby
3. Ziploc bags to put gross things in
4 and 5. Your boobs.

Today Lorelei had to have an ultrasound of her hip done. I made sure I nursed for as long as she wanted before leaving. However, low and behold, she was hungry again during the ultrasound! (growth spurt, probably).

Anyway, the technician could not get a good picture because of Lorelei's fussing and squirming. She asked if I had a pacifier, and I said no. I didnt think to bring a bottle of breast milk either since we were gone such a short time. I tried giving my pinky...nope, not good enough!

The technician said, "We have some sugar water. Can we give it to her?" I almost gave in, but then said, "This is gong to sound weird, but can I breastfeed while you give the exam?" to which she replied, "Of course!"

So I leaned over and nursed her and the tech got her pictures!!! LOL! It wasn't too comfortable to bend over, but oh well. It had to be done.

Of course, in true baby fashion, she dirtied not one, but TWO sheets, and three towels. Yep, she peed twice, and sharted twice. Nice job little one!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Fussy Time: It's not just for babies

I was thinking about "Fussy time" today. Although most babies do have a few hours or so each night where they are acting extra...well...nuts, we all stress about it and sometimes even call it "colic." Even though babies cry! A lot! They're supposed to. But sometimes, adults get just as fussy about it.

Like me! I stress out at practically anything and everything. And, after a good day with (hopefully) 2-3 naps for Lorelei and one for me, a nice bath, changing, feeding, burping, and snuggling...it is stressful and confusing for parents when babies just act like a crazy baby has taken his or her place. "Why now?" we say. As adults, we want to relax at night. We've had a busy day, we've worked, ran errands, etc. and now we have cooking and dinner to accomplish. Yes, it IS an accomplishment to cook dinner with a whiny baby! Even bigger of an accomplishment is when we actually have a second to sit down and EAT said dinner. Derek and I often have to take turns soothing the baby while the other scarfs down dinner. And, even more often, even if Lorelei has ALREADY eaten, she'll have to have dinner #2 before I can even have dinner #1. So my dinner gets cold, and I'm cranky because of hunger. And Derek is probably getting work done, and even if he's not, he wants some time to unwind too and just enjoy the baby - not console her.

Enter adult fussiness! During the day, we adults expect to be annoyed at stuff. Daytime is for doing important stuff. Nighttime is for doing what WE want. Wait, what?! There IS no more "what we want?" Oh, right, I forgot. This pisses me off! Making my tolerance for baby's screams lower. Adult fussiness, I tell ya!

In other news...the question of the day for babywearing moms is...

How do I, like, go to the bathroom when my baby is sleeping in the Moby?

Very carefully.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A swing is not a boob (and other six-week musings)

Today marked Lorelei's six-week birthday (at 6:17 am! Hell yes I was awake). So many things have been going so much better, and others have been continuing to confuse and frustrate us.

Right now Lorelei is spending some time in her lambie swing, which she just loves! However, something strange has happened. The last few times she's been in there, she has craned her neck to one side and started to fake nurse on the pillow part of the swing! WTF!?! And I know she's not hungry, because I just fed her.

This, of course, worries me a bit due to the whole SIDS thing - is she going to smother in there? But the other part of me is just amused, because, well, she nurses probably 18 out of 24 hours every day, it's no wonder she is  always looking for a boob!

The other thing she's doing in the swing right now--and in general--is smiling, cooing, and making baby noises other than crying. That is a huge relief. Not only that she is somehow developing different types of communication skills, but also that I know that she's not really so unhappy all the time, which I had no way of knowing before.

Nursing is going "well," by which I mean it's still going. I've had a bunch of problems thus far, but luckily none of them have gotten in the way of our Little Miss getting enough to eat. Last week I got mastitis and had to go on antibiotics. :( Three weeks ago I also stopped eating dairy products because of "interesting" diaper colors and textures. However, I've also sorta stopped eating peanuts/peanut butter..and decided to try it out this morning (had a tablespoon of PB on bread). If she has a reaction, then it's possible it's peanuts and NOT dairy (because those two were the only two foods I really consumed on a daily basis). So I'll try a switch if that happens. OR, it could be both! Wonderful. Can you imagine if I had to go about my running life without eating peanut butter?! That's my go-to long run/race pre-snack. Well, I won't jump to conclusions yet...of course, I could always avoid this issue and give formula so that my diet doesn't have to change. But I'm not really interested in that option yet.

Sleeping is sort of better, but not great. For a while, she was only sleeping in the swing for extended periods of time (the longest being 4 or 5 hours overnight) and only like 30 minutes to an hour in the crib or bassinet (and that was if we could even get her to fall asleep--usually putting her down on a flat surface rouses her and she starts crying, even if she is in a deep sleep!). But the last two nights we have been trying harder with the bassinet, because we will be traveling next week for Thanksgiving and won't have the swing with us! She has been doing pretty well - I think she has gotten up to about 2 or 2 1/2 hours now in that. Maybe even 3 hours, although honestly, any times recorded between the hours of midnight and 6 am are quite fuzzy to me, so apologies for not remembering accurately!

Also, we've found this technique from The Happiest Baby on the Block which includes the 5 Ss: Swaddling, Side/Stomach position, Swinging, Shushing, and Sucking. It's pretty amazing how the "shushing" part works. You kind of have to do it loudly, and it sounds like waves crashing or something (and it's more like "shhhhh" than "shushhh"). It's supposed to mimic the sounds inside your uterus--in fact, all of the 5 Ss are supposed to recreate that. Dr. Karp (the creator of this technique) calls the first three months of life "The Fourth Trimester," where babies are really not used to life outside the womb yet. Makes sense!! And, while I cannot "shhhh" all night long, our Cloud B Sleep Sheep helps TREMENDOUSLY with this! There are four sounds: a heartbeat; whale sounds; rain, and ocean waves (which sounds like the "shhh"ing).

Other observations of the past couple of weeks:
1) Your baby will probably have more clothes in one drawer than you have in your entire closet.
2) Some burp cloths are meant to be thrown out. As in, the ones you have to mop up baby crap with.
3) A thank-you email is sometimes necessary instead of a thank-you card in order to maintain sanity (and still give you time to nap).
4) Despite the persistent advice to "avoid housework," you'll still feel self-conscious when a visitor comes, clearing the couch of baby blankets and discarded nursing bras in order to make them feel welcome.
5) A GOOD breastpump is essential! I just ordered the Ameda Purely Yours, which is due to arrive soon, because my manual pump wasn't exactly productive enough.
6) Do NOT skip coffee. Just don't.
7) Have water/snacks at a number of "stations" throughout the apartment, because you never know where you'll be nursing, and you want to be well-stocked wherever you are.

In other news: I had my first workout post-baby! I went to a yoga class called "Beginners and Beyond Ashtanga Yoga." Um, more like beyond beginners! Not too fun. And I'm not really a huge fan of the Astanga style, I realize now. It's ok! Just glad I got back out there. I have my six-week checkup tomorrow, so I'll ask the doctor when it's ok to resume running. Not like I have the time OR energy right now! We'll see.

Here's a recent pic of Lorelei in her crib!