Monday, December 15, 2008

So Very Tired and So Much To Do

Well, my son has hit a rough patch in his quest to sleep through the night. I don't know why, but for the last four nights he has woken up at least three times to feed. Now, I am not complaining (I know I signed up for this) but I hate seeing him so upset. And the last three nights he has woken up because of gas and a dirty diaper. Poor little man.

And poor mommy. I am so very tired. In all honesty, I should be used to this by now, but I admit I'm not. I'm sure I'll get there eventually; it just seems like it's a long time coming. And really, I should be taking a nap now because he is napping, but I have too much to do and it's all I can think about. I'm almost a little glad that it's super crappy out because it gives me an excuse to stay inside and just get some things done around here.

I spent the better part of last week making gifts (more on this after Christmas), so I'm a bit behind on my Christmas shopping. But it'll get done. And in the process, my baby will get to meet Santa Claus for the first time - hopefully today. Oh, and he'll be dressed appropriately ... more on that when I have pictures to back it up.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ultrasound Night

Have you ever noticed how things look when you're in a darkened room? It's almost like everything is in black and white ... the colors disappear from your surroundings and everything shifts to shades of gray. Since my son was born and I've been up a lot more in the middle of the night, I've become accustomed to the grays of nighttime.

The other night I looked down at my son as I was up feeding him at around 3:30 a.m. Bathed in the soft glow of his moon nightlight, he looked like he did in his some of his later ultrasounds. I sat there, tired as can be, and marveled at how far we have come from the days when he was still inside me.

I don't really miss being pregnant. I gained about 64 pounds during those nine months and it took a toll on my body; from carpel tunnel syndrome in my fingers and hands to aching knees to a perpetually sore back, by the end of my pregnancy I felt pretty bad most of the time.

With that being said, the only thing I do miss about being pregnant was that my baby was with me all the time. I never had to worry about putting him down because my arms were tired, and I could always talk to him because he was always there ... connected to me. He's still connected to me, though, and always will be - they really aren't joking when they say that when you have children it's like your heart is forever walking around outside your body.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


I'm not the best cook, to say the least, but lately I have had luck finding easy and super yummy recipes in the Kraft Food & Family magazine. Last night we had the Weeknight Lasagna Toss and it was fantastic; it was much easier to make than regular lasagna and it tasted just as good. Tonight we had the bruschetta chicken bake, and it was really good as well.

The Kraft Foods website is also awesome and features many of the same recipes as the magazine ... I found my favorite spinach artichoke dip recipe on that site ( Their recipes are typically really easy but still have lots of flavor. And if you want to tweak them a bit - if, say, there is an ingredient you aren't fond of - it's really easy to do because the recipes are so simple.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Post-Partum Depression

Depression in general is not often talked about in anything other than hushed tones. Millions of people suffer from it to varying degrees, but it is still often something people are ashamed of. I was diagnosed with depression (dysthymia, more specifically) my freshman year in college and at first didn't think it was something I should talk about. My counselor suggested anti-depressants, and I tried A LOT of them before I found the right one. Initially I thought the medications would stifle my true self, that they wouldn't let me be who I really was inside. But once I was on wellbutrin I realized that it helped me to access the happier, calmer parts of my personality. The medication and the assistance of a great therapist really allieviated most of my depressive feelings, and for years I was doing really well.

Then I got pregnant and decided to try getting off the wellbutrin ... I just didn't want my unborn baby to be affected by it in any way, if possible. Amazingly enough, I felt fantastic off my medication; the pregnancy hormones made me feel wonderfully happy and with a little therapy I was able to deal with things pretty well.

Eight months later (since you really don't know you're pregnant that first month), I had my beautiful baby boy and I couldn't have been happier. He was gorgeous, healthy, and happy himself. So about a week later when I started crying for no reason, unable to stop for up to an hour at a time, and feeling sad and doubting my abilities as a mother, I sought help from my doctor and my therapist. They decided, given how I was feeling, it would be a good idea for me to start on an anti-depressant and to really get back into therapy. Wellbutrin isn't approved for women who are breastfeeding, so I had to try something else. Luckily, the first drug I tried (Zoloft) has worked wonderfully and hasn't seemed to have had any effect on my son.

Now, I feel happy, and I am able to better handle the stresses of being a new mom. I wish I didn't have to be on medication, but I hated how I felt when I was crying so much. I remember thinking to myself as I was sobbing, "Nicole, you have everything you have ever wanted ... why can't you just be happy?!" And now I am.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Breast Feeding

I knew I wanted to breastfeed my baby since before he was born, and since it is a natural thing to do I assumed it would be easy. Not so, in my experience. It took almost six weeks or so for it to feel "natural" and stop hurting. In the beginning my son actually lost weight - over a pound while in the hospital - and we had to see the local lactation consultants a few times before we got things right. Now things work more or less like clockwork, and I have a big healthy boy to prove it.

In my quest for comfort I tried lanolin, but it didn't seem to help ... and then the lactation consultant asked if I was allergic to wool (I am) and she told me that some people who are allergic to wool have a negative reaction to lanolin because it is derived from wool. No one ever said anything about it to me, so I thought I'd write about it here to let my very small audience know that.

While it was difficult at the beginning and it's not ideal having to nearly expose myself every time I want to feed him, I know the benefits well outweigh any of the pain or inconvenience to me. Hopefully the milk will help protect him against allergies and illness and give him a good headstart. I figure it's the least I can do.