Tuesday

The cuteness expiration date

Fact: Everything babies do is cute. I know some would argue with me that the midnight screaming sessions and exploding diapers aren't so adorable, but I stand firm in my initial statement. Every little thing a baby does is considered cute.

I dressed my daughter in her Winnie the Pooh track suit this morning, and as I pulled her little pants up to her belly button on her disproportioned baby torso, she resembled Fred Mertz a la I Love Lucy.

Now this isn't a good look for anyone, unless your fashion icon is Steve Urkel, then you have achieved your goal. But while on a grown adult, pants up to your armpits would look ridiculous, on a baby it draws sounds of laughter and "Oh my goodness, what a pwetty widdle girl you are!" It's not like you can buy low-rise pants for your baby. That would lead to the need for thong diapers and it's all downhill from there.

With this in mind, I've compiled my list of what I have given the lengthy title: "Stuff That is Totally Cute When Babies Do It, But Weird Coming From An Adult."

- Hiccups. When a baby hiccups, their whole body expands and contracts. The mouse squeak that accompanies each bounce is endearing. To hear that little "Hee-ooh" and watch their limbs flail is hysterical. Since you can't exactly scare a baby or say "Here kiddo- drink this glass of water upside down while standing on one leg and humming the National Anthem," you have to ride the hiccups out with a smile.

Now if an adult made that much fan fair with each diaphragm spasm, you would last maybe five minutes before throwing a shoe at them.

- Spit up. When my daughter spits up, the trickle of regurgitated milk from her mouth is accompanied by one of the best facial expressions I have ever seen. Her eyes look so confused and slightly panicked, and if she had a cartoon thought bubble over her head I think it would say, "What the crap? What's happening? What did I do to deserve this?" 

Since adult spit up is usually caused by illness or drunkenness, it is not an occasion for laughter. And since our stomachs hold more, um, diverse contents than a baby's, the results are absolutely disgusting. Although, that same facial expression might still occur.

-Crying. I know how terribly cruel this sounds, but any mom knows what I mean here. I'm not referring to cries of pain or those pitiful whimpers. But the big honking wails, complete with red scrunchy face and quivering chin. It may not sound cute, but it gets to a point where the baby looks so utterly ridiculous it circles back to cute again.

Now if you have a baby girl, chances are you will experience this crying again over the course of parenthood. But with the exception of excruciating pain or extreme emotional trauma, watching an adult kick their legs and screech through crocodile tears is just comical (and cause to seek therapy.)

And the number one, ultimate cute thing babies do that is weird coming from an adult is:

- Baby farts

People will giggle with pure glee when a baby farts, especially if the baby does it while you are holding them. Now I thought fart humor was limited to the realm of teenage boys and Jack Black movies, but babies open up a whole new world in which it is appropriate for anyone to laugh at that little (or sometimes not so little) tooting noise coming from the diaper.

If an adult were to fart while sitting on your lap, chances are there would be a high level of discomfort. But when a baby passes gas, it is the most adorable rush of air you'll ever feel on your leg.

Monday

Making the breast of things

When I wrote my initial post about breast feeding, never did I imagine the scenarios that would occur when I actually put my money where my boobs are.

The proverbial “they” say that breast feeding is better for babies on all levels, nutritionally and even emotionally. The skin to skin bonding is supposed to help with raising well-adjusted children. Charles Manson must have been a formula baby.

Many pregnant women wonder “How will I know when my milk comes in?” Well ladies, when you wake up feeling like someone poured concrete in your breasts and they are about to explode – your milk has come in.

I found that my daughter has three phases to let me know she is hungry. The “More Milk” dance typically begins when CeCe starts gurgling and waving her hands around in the air. With her tiny arms peeking out from the gaping sleeves of her sleeping gowns, she resembles some sort of baby wizard speaking gibberish and casting spells.

Phase two begins when the baby starts grunting like a wild boar and attempting to chew her sleeve, blanket, Daddy's hand, whatever is within her very limited range.

Naturally, the last phase of the hunger dance concludes with CeCe wailing her head off like someone is amputating one of her toes without anesthesia.

I usually try to get my torso disrobed before phase two ends. Because CeCe's jaw clamps down like a bear trap when she's kept waiting too long.

We've been successful so far in our nursing journey, with a few surprises along the way. I never knew how far breast milk could spray on its own accord.

In our second week home, Matt, CeCe and I were enjoying some t.v. time together and our little girl wanted a snack. But in the middle of assuaging her appetite, she abruptly slipped off of her target and revealed a stream of milk that shot across the room.

As I frantically spun from side to side looking for a burp cloth, I looked like a human lawn sprinkler. When I resorted to simply slamming my hand over the blast, I looked down to see my daughter's beautiful face covered forehead to chin in milk. Awesome.

Beyond the fact that a new mom's breasts occasionally turn into tiny uncontrollable volcanoes that erupt milk lava with no warning, we've tackled the issues that come with nursing although I'm sure there are many more to come. The main lessons I've learned from nursing in this short time have to be:

A) When your home is being overrun by visitors wanting to coo and cuddle your child, you can always slip away for some private time with baby by nursing, and

B) When life gives you excess boob milk, choose to laugh about it. Your couch cushions may get sprayed, your shirts will be soaked, but if you choose laughter when it happens- you'll be smiling a lot.


My Labor of Love

The last two weeks have gone by quickly, but have no fear readers- time has not erased the memories I have of Tuesday, the 23rd. I've been mentally scripting this post since I got my epidural and am delighted that CeCe has decided to sleep peacefully so Mommy can get back to blogging.

When I awoke at 6 a.m. that Tuesday with stabbing pains in my gut, I told myself one thing over and over: "If this is false labor again I'm going to kick somebody."

Of course, it was the real deal. Thankfully my mother was by my side to whisk/ help me waddle to the hospital and we proceeded to get down to business. As my contractions intensified I was sure the nurses thought I was insane. Despite all the breathing techniques we learned, my reaction to the pain was to squirm around, moan, shake my hands frantically above my head and tap my feet against the railing of my hospital bed.

For those women of the world who endured drug-free childbirth, I applaud you with one hand, and use the other to shake you while screaming, "What were you thinking?"

Just let it be known pregnant-world, there is no medal awarded for not taking advantage of pain medication during labor.

I toughed it out to 5 centimeters then thought "I made it halfway naturally- that is admirable. Bring on the drugs."

Because some idiot father in California passed out during his wife's epidural, hit his head and sued the hospital, my anesthesiologist wouldn't allow anyone but the nurse in the room for the big event. Luckily, he was quite the soothing presence. With his salt and pepper beard and surgical cap that attempted to hide his ponytail, he was the type of guy who if asked what his favorite Grateful Dead album was, you know he would have a well-thought out answer.

The doctor chatted me up during the process, calling me "mama" the whole time, which I feel was more of a 1970's throwback term of endearment rather than a reference to my status as "mother." And once he had that little silver tube in place, there was no trying to understand- he was my magic man. I was numb from the waist down and kept poking my own legs in amazement at my lack of feeling.

But the love of being numb wore off when it came time to push. While the nurse kept telling me I was doing great, I certainly couldn't tell. You do what you think is pushing, unsure of what muscles you are using or if any progress is being made- and then you feel it. The bowling ball reaches the end of the tunnel. It wasn't painful, but the pressure was overwhelming.

Because they anticipated I would take a few hours of pushing, they didn't call the doctor in right away. Well the medical staff certainly underestimated how badly I wanted to meet this baby. I was quickly informed to stop pushing, to which I said, "Um, yeah, not an option right now. Sorry."

The doctor actually had to jump forward to catch CeCe I popped her out so fast. I started pushing at 9:00 and my daughter was born 29 minutes later. That didn't surprise me at all - UK had a basketball game that night, and tip-off was at 9:30.She had her priorities straight.