Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Round 2

I've never been one that always had to keep up with the Jones'...and yet, I totally do have to keep up with the Jones'. The latest trend? A second child. It seems that almost everyone that I was pregnant with in 2005 is now pregnant again. I'm just not ready. I want to go to school. I want Jayla to enjoy being an only child a while longer. I want to continue sleeping through the night. I want to reach my 5th anniversary at my job. So, why do I have the urge to ditch these pills and stock up on pregnancy tests?

Monday, January 29, 2007

The Guilt Factor

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here, yet. But, I started school again two weeks ago. I am officially working on my doctoral coursework. I decided to do it now, while Jayla is young, and technically won’t remember the nights that I was in class and I won’t have to miss any of her cheerleading games or track meets when she is older. I’m trying not to feel guilty. I only have to be in class one night a week (Wednesday) but, I literally died when I got home last Wednesday night and she was asleep on her daddy’s shoulder when he opened the door to let me in. He said, “I tried my best to keep her awake.” It was only 7:40 though. Her new school is wearing her out. Anyway, I decided to let her sleep on my shoulders for a few minutes rather than actually putting her in the bed. After 15 minutes, I decided that it was pointless and I should just lay her down and get me some dinner. She woke up while I was pulling her shoes off and gave me the hugest grin. Then she played with me for about 30 minutes before I did put her to bed. It made me feel so much better – like I actually had a chance to interact with her for the day – albeit brief. Just 12 more weeks of feeling guilty for being in class…and let's not even talk about how I'm going out of town next weekend without her!!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

So, I kept doing it because...

The very first time that I saw Jayla, she was in the Level II NICU - hooked up to an IV, several monitors, and had a tube going down her throat to remove air from her stomach. She had a surgery appointment for the following morning though the surgeons nor the doctors knew exactly what kind of surgery would need to be performed. All they knew is that her tummy was distended and she appeared to have some sort of blockage of her bowels. So, they didn't feed her. Jayla was never fed until she was 6 days old.

But, during that 6 days, I pumped at least 42 times so that when my baby could finally eat, I would have a milk supply for her. I was determined to make sure that she was getting breastmilk because it is supposed to be most easily digest by babies...and I needed good digestion so that my baby could poop and get out of that hospital! She was finally able to breastfeed at 3 weeks old. It was hard at first. She was very used to taking bottles in the NICU. But, I was determined to make it work. So, I kept doing it because I wanted to make sure that we did not stop up her bowels again.

After 2 weeks or so, she had become a pro nurser. In those days she was nursing about 8-10 hours a day. But, when she wasn't, I didn't know what to do with her. She cried. So, I kept doing it because it meant she wasn't crying.

Then once I went back to work, I was determined that I would do everything for my child that I would do if I were staying at home with her. So, I kept doing it because it helped ease some of my working mom guilt.

Then I realized the power that I had. It meant that Jayla had to be with me always because I was the only person that could feed her. So, I kept doing it because people accepted it as a reason why I couldn't be separated from Jayla.

As she started to get older and I would think about the weaning process, I became very afraid. I did not think I knew how to be a mother to her outside of our nursing relationship. So, I kept doing it because I wasn't sure how else to be a mother to her.

Then as we were approaching her first birthday and people were really looking at me to wean her, I decided that I didn't want to. So, I kept doing it because there was no real reason to stop.

For the last 6 weeks, we've only been nursing in the morning - just one feeding a day. But, it was the most awesome time. It was how we started our every single day. It was the one thing that we knew would happen no matter what. Her daddy would bring her to me as I lay in bed every morning and she always looked at me and smiled as if to say, "Good Morning!" before she latched on. So, I kept doing it because no one in their right mind would want to give that up.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The End of an Era

After Jayla was born, I took 16 weeks off of work. Before returning to work, I worried about how I would be able to get up in the morning and get everyone out of the door in a decent amount of time. One of my main concerns was having to nurse Jayla every morning when it generally took her any where from 60 to 75 minutes to nurse each time. So, the morning of December 12, 2005 I woke up at 6am and started nursing her. It took her an hour, of course. But, during the last 30 minutes of that, my husband was able to get himself dressed and was ready to dress Jayla by the time we were done. We then packed the car after Jayla and I were dressed and managed to get out of the house around 8:00.

Well, as the months passed, we got more and more efficient at the morning routine. By the time Jayla was about 7 or 8 months old, it went something like this:

  • ~6:50am - Daddy wakes Jayla up and brings her to our room.
  • 6:50am - 7:30am - Jayla nurses. I sleep. Daddy gets dressed, picks out Jayla's clothes and packs the car.
  • 7:30am - 7:55am - Daddy dressed Jayla. I get dressed.
  • 8:00am - Everyone leaves the house.

      This schedule seemed to work like second nature for the whole family.

      Today Jayla turned 17 months old. This morning, I finally decided to switch up the morning routine a little. It went something like this:

      • 6:40am - Daddy and I wake up
      • 6:40am - 7:05am - Daddy and I get dressed.
      • 7:05am - I wake Jayla and take her to the kitchen to warm milk for her. Daddy picks out Jayla's clothes.
      • 7:10am - 7:30am - Daddy dresses Jayla. I make breakfast for Jayla and me and pack the car.
      • 7:30am - Daddy leaves for work.
      • 7:30am - 7:40am - I feed Jayla a bowl of oatmeal.
      • 7:50am - Jayla and I leave the house.
      A huge part of how we have always defined our mornings is now gone. It was a game time decision. I prayed about it last night because I was considering making the change this morning. I did not even tell my husband that things would be different this morning until about 6:55am when I said, "When you go get Jayla, just go ahead and get her dressed." It seemed fitting. It seemed like the time was right. I am very happy that Jayla and I were able to enjoy that experience for 17 months. I think Jayla realized it was missing this morning but, did not put up a huge fuss. I am slightly uncomfortable, physically, as I type this. But, I think it was the right thing for us right now. I have always known this day would come and, quite honestly, I am handling it much better than I thought I would.

      Monday, January 22, 2007

      The Power of Cheerios

      Today was Jayla's first day at The New School. As we got out of the car, she started screaming because she didn't recognize where we were. I managed to calm her down as we walked up to the door. I explained to her that everything was new. I have no idea if she understood the concept but, it quieted her down. We went in and Jayla was very curious about her surroundings as we walked through the halls. When we approached the door to her classroom, she stood and just stared at her new classmates. I talked with her new teacher for a while, giving Jayla a chance to get comfortable. She spent 5 minutes or so hugging my legs. I explained to the teacher that Jayla would need to eat breakfast, so she poured her a bowl of Cheerios. Jayla walked over to the table. The teacher put her in the chair. Jayla grabbed the spoon and put a bite in her mouth. She then turned to me, waved her little hand and said, "bye bye". I took my cue and left my big girl in her new environment. It was totally her way of telling me that she would be fine and that she liked it well enough to let me leave her there...after all, they had food!

      Her teacher said she had a great day. She was amazed at how much Jayla could eat. Maybe I should start warning people about that. Apparently, Jayla polished off two full lunches of chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, and pears. I was not at all surprised that she managed to consume twice the allotted amount of food. Her teacher said that Jayla never cried, whined, or even wimpered all day long. Best of all, Jayla has been reunited with another little girl who was in her class at the old school. The teacher said they were two peas in a pod all day. She even let them nap beside each other. (This little girl's mom is the one who tipped me off about this new school.)

      Jayla was absolutely giddy all evening today, which makes me think she had to have had an awesome day. She went to bed about 45 minutes early tonight - I guess she was worn out.

      So - so far, so good. I am happy. Jayla is happy. I think it was the right decision for us...finally...

      Thursday, January 18, 2007

      Don't Worry

      Luckily, her nose broke her fall...

      Tuesday, January 16, 2007

      More School Decisions

      This is Jayla's last week at The School That I Settled For After The School That I LOVED Closed Down After Giving Me Two Weeks Notice. I just never was completely comfortable with it. It felt like Jayla was spending the better part of her day in complete chaos. I feel like she needs a little more structure. Plus, you know, "the fall", the eating insane amounts of food that I don't necessarily approve of, the playing with 3 and 4 year old kids that are 3 times her size...and such. Not to mention how long I agonized over not hurting their feelings when I told them that my child would be leaving...and their response was, "Okay. Let me write it on the calendar." So, I'm done with them and we're moving on...on Monday! I'm excited. I think Jayla will really like the new place. Hopefully, this can be the end of the childcare drama for a little while...

      Wednesday, January 10, 2007

      More Than Just Words

      Tonight my husband and I sat on the couch and watched Jayla walk around the family room, playing and singing to herself. She has turned into such a big girl and it's just amazing to think about how fast it has all happened. Two years ago this week, I found out that I was pregnant with Jayla. And this time last year she was just learning to roll over. Now she can run, dance, jump, and talk.

      Talking is the funniest thing. In the past couple of weeks, she has become a little mimic machine. When our families were here for Christmas, she learned everyone's name. She somehow manages to use the word "Uh-oh!" about a trillion times a day! That is by far her favorite. Tonight when my husband got home from work, he said, "Hi Jayla" and she replied "Hi Daddy!". It was so cute. She also likes to say "Oh" when you tell her something. She can point out and say eyes, nose, mouth, ears, and hair. But what takes the cake is when I sang "I Love You" to her tonight and she repeated it...