Whether you’re a fan of little lady Z or just like rolling your eyes and thinking “pathetic” at yet another baby post (hey, however you get your jollies off is fine with me), I’m adding all things Zoey to the exciting and far too neglected mother-ship blog, The Very Hungry. I can’t promise life-changing insight or ROFL hilarity but there’s sure to be more of the Katie brand awkwardness you’ve come to know and love and even more hey-what-now moments that will keep you entertained for a good 4-7 minutes.
As the pictures may suggest, we went to the beach. Hopefully, you can also see that we had a marvelous time. So marvelous in fact, we considered never ever ever coming back. While in Emerald Isle we…
…and generally just sat around staring at Zoey! Now, we’re easing (kicking and screaming our way) back into the less salty life.
Today marks three weeks! Here’s the latest from Lake Zobegon:
Next week we head to the beach! I’m so excited to introduce Z to a home and a shore that has been such a huge part of my life. My mother’s parents (E-Oh and Pop) bought this house in 1984, the year I was born and so many of summers were spent here with our little family as well as cousins and friends. Marc and I have been a handful of times too. During our last visit we spent a few days at the house with E-Oh and Pop. This is now, of course, a very special memory.
On tap for this year? Lots of walks on the beach, a shrimp and clam-eroo, date night for Marc and me (with MoMo and Dadaw babysitting!), and of course, catching what we can of US Open Tennis (Djokovic is on tonight friends!!) You’re going to be sick from the amount of pictures we take/post. Or who knows! Maybe we’ll just get so caught up with the surf, sand, and spit up that we leave our camera and phones packed away!
We’ll pretend I’m buying this for Z.
Tomorrow marks the end of week two and we’re starting to feel like we’re getting the hang of things! Of course, both Marc and I being off work right now really helps but there are several baby items that have also made these first two weeks much more manageable.
"Ooooh! Tell us more, Katie!"
Why I’d be happy to!!:
1) Pink Hat: At the hospital none of the little knit hats fit Zoey- come to think of it, I’m not sure how these would fit any baby!- and every time we had to pop her cap back on she would get really, really upset. I’m guessing it had something to do with having just squished her head through a teeny, tiny space…We had brought my little pink hat from when I was born for sentimentality’s sake but ended up trying it on her when nothing else would stick. It fit her perfectly! When she returned from the nursery one morning without it we had everyone looking for it since we really didn’t want to smoosh another ill fitting one one her tender little dome-piece. Of course, our cherished hat was just tucked away in her crib drawer where we, of course, didn’t look until we had frustrated the floor’s entire nursing staff.
2) Aden and Anais Muslin Swaddle Blankets: (Thanks Marie and Rob!!) We’ve been lucky; it hasn’t been earth-scorchingly hot these last couple weeks. That noted, it is still August and lots of the plush, warm blankets we received for Z will need to stay shelved until the cooler weather arrives. I’m going to go ahead and say that the A & A blankets are a summer baby essential, right up there with milk and diapers. We take ours everywhere with us since they’re enough cover to keep her comfortable in air conditioning and breathable enough that she doesn’t swelter outside!
3) Chicco Cortina Travel System: (Thanks Barb and Lat!!) Let me first say that for some reason, during pregnancy the stroller decision was my obsession; every time I saw one out in the city I dropped everything and studied it. This compulsion became so generalized I actually began checking out shopping carts and rolling luggage. I wish that was a lie. We went back and forth over whether one stroller was going to be enough. About a week before Z arrived I started “researching” again, convinced we needed something besides the Chicco we inherited from B & L. I am so glad Marc talked me down from this because this stroller is all we need! It’s so, so easy to pack up and put away, though we usually leave it out since, even in our tiny place, it doesn’t take up a ton of room. I was concerned it wouldn’t maneuver around the city as well as some of the sleeker models I’ve seen but it’s been great! The other day I walked Rumer and Z together and was able to steer this thing one handed for a while. If or when we need to invest in a different stroller this one will be hard to beat.
3) Swing and Blankee: A two-fer!! We got this swing on Friday. Z was born on Tuesday. I call this a close call. Afraid that a swing like this would just take up too much room, we held out. But after every visit with Noelle and Jason and seeing how crucial the swing was to maintaining a bit of sanity, we came to terms with how necessary this would be. Thanks to Noelle for putting this out on her listserv and finding us a used one. It’s been a life saver! The other day when the batteries died we had a slight moment of panic and I immediately ran out and bought more DD batteries than we will ever need. Seriously. We could keep this thing running until she’s 18. Also awesome? Her swing blankee (Thanks Shannon!!) Not only is this the softest thing ever but it’s small, meaning it doesn’t hang and then fall off of her while she sways. Shannon explained this when she gave it to us and I thought “that’s cool” but now I get it. Cold toes are the difference between a happy baby and a Hulk baby…don’t make her angry.
4) Manual Pump: This is another lucky save. Regardless of how I felt about her, if the lactation consultant had not come by with a manual pump 2 minutes before we were discharged from UMMC we would have been up a creek. Two days after getting home out pump stopped working. I’d explain the situation in more detail but that’s about it. It just stopped. So we ran out to buy another one and were brilliant for a day. Then the new one stopped working. Again, just stopped. We called the company (Lansinoh) and they shipped us a new module overnight, which is great customer service but still kind of a really bad product to be breaking so much. This all happened on the same day we were instructed to start supplementing Z with milk via cup, so pumping was necessary. As you probably know, pumping is also a really great way to encourage your supply in these first few weeks (the more you know…) so for about 24 hours we were stuck without an electronic way of getting things going. So I used the manual and really committed to it. It was a work out but saved the day, giving us enough to feed Z for the next day. If we had it all to do over again I would have just bought the Madela. We’ve only stuck with the Lansinoh because we spent the money on it and for obvious reasons, you can’t return these kind of things! Pumps: Not the thing to go half-way on. Lesson learned!
5) Homedics Sound Spa: (Thanks Rob!!) Since we’ve been home, Zoey has slept in her crib every night. This is one of the things we had planned on and hoped for since her “nursery” is technically our bedroom and fortunately it’s one of the ”hope fors” that has worked out really well. Probably because of the sound machine. We tested this before Z was born and decided since we’d be falling asleep to these sounds as well that the ocean soundtrack was the most calming. Zoey seems to agree since within seconds of hitting the crib she’s usually asleep. The sounds of waves and sea gulls also reminds us that in a few short weeks we’ll be at the beach (Emerald Isle, NC)!! A vacation we’ve been looking forward to since Marc returned home! It’s been a couple years since we’ve been to the beach house. The last time we went we were able to spend time with E-Oh and Pop. Lots of fun and cherished memories (of once again being at the mercy of Pop’s dangerous driving!!)
At our doctor’s appointment on Thursday we learned that Z had lost more weight even though we had begun supplementing with cup feeding after her regular “breast seat in the house” meals. (Good one, K!) We know infant weight loss is the norm, however Zoey has lost hers a little too quickly. Understanding this, I get a little panicky every time she’s put on the scale and I have a good doc’s office cry when I see that her weight hasn’t stabilized. Our pediatrician is the best we could ask for. She’s understanding, incredibly personable, and kind while still being able to serve us with the slice of reality that is the first few weeks of infancy. So after I get my weepies out I usually get right on board with the next step in Z’s weight-gain regimen.
This whole little heart-break is something I didn’t expect; I’d watched mothers who fret over things like this and thought, “Really lady??? Get a grip.” And now, I am that woman and I experience these mini meltdowns as part of the uncontrollable love I feel for Z. Part and parcel baby.
Still, when I get a chance I’m able to step back and say “Hey you! This is OK. This baby is going to be taken care of by you, her father, her doctor, and the many amazing people who already love her dearly. Now take a breath and while you’re at it, take a nap!” and I feel overwhelmingly OK and very, very grateful. This gratitude works its magic, as always, and has opened me up to seeing and knowing the many, MANY gifts in our life as well as the many, MANY women and children who are not as fortunate.
I sort of cringe as I type that. It sounds so awfully “middle class white girl” and well, yeah, while those are some of the boxes I check it still sounds gross. I’m not sure how to write about this awareness. In a way, I guess thinking more globally helps me from mentally venturing into the natural “what if” thoughts that probably every momma experiences with the birth of her child. So instead of covering all the corner edges or outlets in our home, making sure Zoey only goes outside on the most perfect of days, and taking every precaution short of wrapping her in bubble wrap, I might be sending this energy in a more productive direction. I’d like to think that’s what I’m doing…
A while back I learned about MAMA, the Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action and thought this was a really wonderful way to use technology (the kind I take for granted) to help educate and support women through pregnancy, childbirth, and the beginning of motherhood. In the last few months I’ve learned more about MAMA’s efforts in South Africa, India, and Bangladesh, how they have evolved in the year and a half since their birth as an organization, and how they are effectively changing their game plan to reach mothers in the greatest amount of need. What I’ve really liked to hear as I’ve kept up with MAMA is how they partner with established resources within the communities they seek to serve. Partnership is key, right? From what I’ve learned, this approach to the relationship with these impoverished regions is why they’re success rate (partially measured by the # of women/communities they’ve connected with) is climbing. This also means they’re “culturally sensitive” (their words, not mine) and not handing out information that will be irrelevant and ineffective in some areas. Love this too.
Do we have other favorite organizations/alliances/efforts helping momma’s worldwide? Fill me in!
Tonight we had our first real adult dinner since we came home from the hospital. Like, at the dining room table and everything! Most nights we’ve eaten at different times in order to get Zoey fed or ready for sleep. We’ve also done a lot of eating in front of the TV just to wind down and zone out. Tonight, Marc cooked while I sat and played with Zoey. Tough life. Our dinner was delicious and it was so nice to light a candle, take a minute, and really enjoy each other’s company. This first week and a half has been unreal. While we were told to prepare for hell we’ve really enjoyed getting to know Zo. Her disposition has made it an easy adjustment. Sure, we have our sleep deprived nights, but for the most part we’re loving this!