Monday, August 20, 2012

First mobile blog

Hello everyone! I am testing out blogging from my phone. If this works out well, then it will expand my blogging capabilities immensely! (I can even do it while nursing).

Today I took Guinevere on her first trip to Target. It might not seem like a big deal to most people, but it was so refreshing to be able to get out of the house and take her with me on an ordinary errand. :)

While we were at Target a woman came up to me and told me how cute Guinevere is and then she asked how many months old my baby is. When I told her 7 weeks, the lady looked surprised and said, "Oh! Big baby!" You hear that? Someone said my Ginny looked big! :)

Guinevere in the check out line at Target.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Guinevere's Travels: First Outings

As some of you know, I have been going a little stir crazy on maternity leave.  However, we haven’t been completely housebound this entire time.   Aaron and I have been slowly expanding Guinevere’s horizons.  We’ve already taken her to Lake Balboa, Marina Del Rey, Long Beach, San Diego and Malibu.  Now that she’s had her shots, we can start taking her out even more.

Guinevere’s first outing was to Lake Balboa when she was 2 ½ weeks.  Lake Balboa is this great little man made lake near our house.  Aaron and I walked around it all the time when I was pregnant.  We’d always see people out with their babies in strollers and talk about how we couldn’t wait to take our little one around the lake too.  Little did we know that our baby would be born during one of the hottest summers on record!  As a result we’ve only taken her to the lake once so far . . . and we didn’t even walk all the way around the lake.  We just walked a little bit and then went back to the car because it was so hot.  We didn’t want our little 2 ½ week old to over heat!

Guinevere at Lake Balboa (2 1/2 weeks)

The next week, Aaron had a meeting in Marina Del Rey, so we decided to make a family event out of it and escape the heat of the Valley a bit.  During Aaron’s meeting, I took Guinevere across the street and we had a bit of a “girl’s afternoon” – we went to a Barnes & Noble and a Coffee Bean.  All the ladies working at Barnes & Noble oohed and aahed over my tiny Guinevere, and they loved her name too.  After Aaron was done with his meeting, we grabbed some lunch and headed down to Playa Del Rey for a picnic and stroll on the beach.  It was Guinevere’s first time at the beach (one reason we chose Playa Del Rey is that it’s hardly ever crowded, and we thought it might be less daunting for her, and us).  She was a champ and seemed perfectly happy strapped up in the sling during our walk.

Guinevere at Playa Del Rey

That next weekend, Aaron had to go out of town for business, so I was left to drive Guinevere down to Long Beach for a Mehtropolis reunion by myself.  Our artistic director (and good friend) was in town briefly between moving from Spain to Florida.  I previously blogged about how much all my Mehtropolis friends mean to me.  It was so much fun to see everyone again!  We also got a picture of the three Meh babies that have been born since my Mehtropolis shower.  
Meh babies!

Last weekend, Aaron and I drove down to San Diego with Guinevere so that she could see Grandma and Grandpa’s house and meet some of our San Diego friends.  I feel a little bad, though, I kept telling her that we would escape the oppressive heat of LA when we went to San Diego.  San Diego usually has a very mild climate – almost always cooler than LA in the summer and warmer than LA in the winter (I blame growing up in SD for my low temperature differential threshold – I’m cold if it’s below 65 and hot if it’s above 85).  I was really looking forward to finally being able to take her on a walk outside.  Unfortunately, the heat followed us down.  My parents don’t have air conditioning because there is maybe one weekend out of the year that they might want it . . . and of course, we brought Guinevere down for her first trip on THAT weekend.  It was also humid, which is very rare for Southern California and only added to our discomfort.  It wasn’t all bad, though, Guinevere got to meet my sister’s fiancé, Will (he flew out for the last half of her trip and they were able to get some wedding planning done).  She also got to meet my good friend, Corey’s baby.  Corey and I have been friends since elementary school, so it is only fitting that we ended up having babies within 5 months of each other.  And of course, my mom got to hold the baby on her home turf.  My mom gets this fantastic “grandma glow” every time she’s around Guinevere.
Meeting Will.

Aunt Sharon and Guinevere.
"Grandma Glow"

My favorite outing so far, though, was a couple days ago when we went to Malibu to meet up with my co-workers.  As much as I love being home and able to spend all day every day with my baby, I really do miss going to work.  My co-workers invited Aaron and me to join them at their summer event at Paradise Cove in Malibu.  They rented a cabana and relaxed on the beach with some food and drinks.  It was the perfect outing for us!  We were able to introduce my co-workers to Guinevere and finally escape from the heat of the Valley.  I was also able to catch up on a little of what’s been happening back at the office.  So far, Guinevere seems very good with being passed around to new people.  She was great in San Diego and in Malibu with my coworkers.  Of course, when we got home that night, she was a cranky pants because she was exhausted from all the excitement.  Oh well, it was worth it to get out of the house and be able to dip my feet in the ocean. 
Guinevere's first time "in" the ocean.  :)

Hopefully the weather will cool off in the near future and we can start taking her on more fun outings.  I really want to take her hiking.  I’d also like to try to get her to all my favorite beaches before I go back to work.  Next up: air travel with an infant.  Wish us luck!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

First Immunizations

Guinevere had her first round of immunizations today.  She was given DTP, HIB, Polio, Rotavirus, Pneumo and Hep B . . . don’t ask me what any of that stands for because I don’t honestly know.  All I know is that seeing my daughter’s little face all bright red and scrunched up in pain made me so much more emotional than I anticipated.  I really didn’t intend to cry, but I did.  Somehow I thought I would go in there and hold her hand and tell her to be a brave girl, even though she can’t really understand me yet.  But somehow, I think I ended up being more emotionally scarred than my 6-week-old daughter.  Ok, that may be a slight exaggeration.  It wasn’t horrible.  In fact, it was over very quickly.  After the nurse finished giving her the shots, I picked Guinevere up to comfort her.  She calmed down in my arms – it kind of melted my heart.  She doesn’t always calm down when I hold her, but I will admit that it makes me feel like a good mom when I go to comfort her and it works!  Since we got home, she’s been alternating between napping and waking up crying in pain; then the cry dissipates into this pitiful little whimper and she falls back asleep.
Other than the shots, the appointment went well.  Guinevere is now 8 lbs 12 oz and 21 ¼ inches long.  She’s already outgrown a couple of my favorite newborn outfits.  You should see the cute little outfit we brought her home from the hospital in – it’s way too short on her now.  It makes me sad and proud all at the same time.  However, I am very excited to be able to start putting her in some of the adorable 0-3 month onesies that were so ginormous on her just 2 weeks ago.
In other news, Guinevere has started to smile and coo.  My sister visited from New York this week, and every time Guinevere would smile or coo at us, we would squeal with delight, which of course, made Guinevere smile even more!  Unfortunately, she tends to smile the most when there’s no camera at arms reach.  So of course, one of us runs to grab the camera and by the time we get back, she refuses to smile.  We’ve found that she tends to smile the most in the morning (I am secretly pleased to have a morning person daughter . . . though I guess it’s not so secret now that I’ve just posted it for the world to see).  She also seems to smile a lot on the changing table.  I’m guessing it’s a combination of a) being up closer to our faces and b) knowing that she will soon be clean and dry.
My happy girl this morning.
Nights are also starting to get better (though I always feel nervous saying that, like I’m tempting fate or something).  She even let me sleep a full 6 hours three nights this week!  Most nights I’m not that lucky, but she has been pretty good about going back to sleep after waking for her 3 am feed.  Honestly, that’s the most important part to me.  I have pretty much adjusted to the new reality of sleeping in 3-hour increments.  I am now able to wake up from a normal night like that and feel relatively rested.  It’s the nights when she refuses to go back to sleep at 3 am that are the worst.  I can’t quite decide if it’s more frustrating when she’s fussy at that hour or super cute.  There have been a couple nights when she wakes up at 3am and then is all smiles.  I feel so bad trying to get her to go back to sleep when it seems like she wants to be all bright and sunny and awake.  At least when she’s fussy, I don’t feel bad telling her to go back to sleep.  But I guess of all problems to have, that’s not a bad one.
One of G's goofy faces at 3am
One issue I would like to put out to the world: Guinevere seems to hate tummy time.  The pediatrician told me we should be giving her more tummy time than we are, but every time we put her down on her tummy, she starts screaming.  Does anyone have any tips on how to get her to like it?  Or at least do it without crying?  I’ve tried laying down next to her on the floor and encouraging her, or trying out different toys to see if any of them take her fancy, but nothing seems to work . . . yet.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Post-partum Recovery

My little Guinevere is now 5 weeks old!  I can’t believe it’s already been 5 weeks! (I have a feeling that it will feel like time speeds up more and more as she continues to grow!)  My post-partum check up is this afternoon, so today’s post will be about my recovery in the past 5 weeks.

Every pregnant woman hears horror stories about post-partum recovery: how sore everything is “down there,” the subsequent “longest period ever,” and of course, trying to lose the baby weight.  I will admit that I have been pleasantly surprised by my body and my own recovery since giving birth.  I was terrified that once the epidural wore off, I would wake up with unimaginable pain . . . especially considering that I was stuck in the hospital in labor for 3 days before Guinevere was born.  But the hospital kept me on a steady intake of Motrin, and I really didn’t feel much pain at all while there.  I guess an indication that my recovery would be easier than others was that I was really disappointed when the midwife told me I was only allowed to stand/walk for 15 minutes at a time for the first 2 weeks.  I felt ready to go for long walks right away.  (After talking to my other mommy friends, I now know that a lot of other women really don’t want to/aren’t up to walking more than 15 minutes at a time, so that advice is not a big deal to them).  Once we came home from the hospital, every now and then I would try to do some housework or stand for too long or otherwise over do it and realize, “oh yeah, I’m still recovering too.”  I’ve only been back to the gym once since Guinevere was born (and it felt great!), but I have gone on longer and longer walks.  I’ve been taking it easy until I get the official “all-clear” from the doctor today.

This section might be TMI for some people, but the “longest period ever” was one of those horror stories I had heard about before even getting pregnant.  For those who don’t know, after going through 9 months of no period, all that blood and fluid that has built up to nourish the baby has to come out.  At the hospital, they give you the biggest pads I have ever seen!  Seriously, they are like adult diapers!  They even have special mesh disposable underwear to hold the ginormous Depends style diaper pads.  I took as many pads home from the hospital as I could so that I wouldn’t have to go out and buy more . . . but of course, they ran out pretty quickly.  Fortunately my mom was up visiting when I ran out, so I was able to send her to the store for a discreet “woman only” shopping trip.  Eventually, though, it petered out to normal period style bleeding and I was able to use regular pads (though still more bulky than my normal preference).  Oh, and tampons are a “no-no” during this time, for obvious reasons – you don’t want to be sticking anything up in there for a long time.  Bonus for breast-feeding, though: apparently breast-feeding women don’t see the return of their normal periods until several months after the baby is born.

As for baby weight, no, I am not back to my pre-pregnancy weight yet, but I don’t have too far to go.  I have 8 more pounds to lose out of the 30 that I gained.  I lost about 20 pounds in just the first two weeks.  I will have to work to lose the remaining weight, since I seem to have stalled out on the weight loss.  But really, 8 pounds shouldn’t be that hard to lose, right? And I really haven’t done anything special to lose the weight yet, since I haven’t been working out, so I am hoping that once I start actually exercising again, the rest will come off.  The most impressive piece of recovery to me is just how quickly the uterus shrinks after birth.  When I came home from the hospital, I still had a big floppy belly.  My uterus was still swollen from holding the baby, but since there was nothing in there anymore, it was really jiggly.  For the first two weeks, my belly was noticeably smaller with each day that passed!  Now that it has been 5 weeks, my belly, is still shrinking, but at a much slower pace.  I am definitely bigger than I used to be, especially in the hip/butt, stomach and chest regions (which leaves my legs and arms the same size, but then they were the same size even when I was 9 months pregnant). I now have 3 pairs of pre-pregnancy shorts that fit and one pair of pre-pregnancy jeans (I might actually have more jeans that fit, but I haven’t bothered to try them on since it’s been in the high 90’s/low 100’s this summer).

Here are a couple of progress pics:
The day we came home from the hospital.  You can see my big, jello belly.

My belly 1 week post-partum.

2 weeks post-partum.
5 weeks post-partum.

And, of course, for your viewing pleasure, Guinevere at 5 weeks.  

Her Aunt Sharon is visiting from New York, so I put her in her special New York onesie (even though it’s still  little big).