31 Days of Blogging!

Day 31 – January Daily Blog Posting Month

A lot of people hate the month of January.  I can understand why.  It’s the month after Christmas, the VISA bill hurts, and the reality of winter sets in.  For me, the first month of 2014 was pretty darn good.

I set out to blog daily and I did it.

I exercised daily, in one form or another.

I cut out desserts after dinner and lost close to 10 lbs.

I tried to run 3 times a week – the only thing that stopped me was bitterly cold temperatures and snow.

The month ended with me running three days in a row – yes, you read that right.  I went for another run today.  It was short, only 3.22 km for 26 minutes (10:1s).  I ran a total of 44.4 km this month.  What a great start to the year.  I feel great.

Another milestone this month was introducing the baby to solid food and formula. In the past week he has started eating rice cereal twice a day, and in addition to some formula, last night was the first time he woke up only once.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, folks!!  I’ll be weaning the baby over the next few weeks, I am close to being done  with nursing.  I need to get some good sleep for at least a month before I go back to work on April 1st.

I’d like to thank all of my readers and followers for sticking with me during this self-imposed daily posting month.  I am having crazy thoughts about doing it again for February!

 

Progress.

Day 23 – January Daily Blog Posting Month

So, baby J is now 4 months old. Sleep training has begun and is going reasonably well. Daytime naps are still pretty short but once 5pm hits he is pretty dusted and will sleep 3-4 hour stretches until 6am. He still screams bloody murder at naps but it’s getting shorter and shorter and he’s starting to soothe himself asleep. Great progress all around.

The next hurdle is the formula introduction. I tried to give him a few ounces the other day and he looked up at me with the most disgusted of expressions as if he was thinking, “Woman, WTF is this?!”

Yesterday, I delegated the task to husband and he worked his Jedi magic and the baby drank the formula.

*sniff*

Daddy milk is starting.

I plan to continue nursing for at least another month if I can. I just would like to get some more sleep, so I hope with more formula there will be less nighttime awakenings. Of course this likely means that my supply will start to take a nosedive. Damned if I do and damned if I don’t.

But on the plus side – more sleep for all of us!!

Mommy Guilt.

Day 6 – January Daily Blog Posting Month

First off, welcome to my new followers.  Thank you for embarking on this journey with me!  I am honoured and flattered that you are following along.

Baby J is going to be 4 months old on the 16th of this month.  I continue to exclusively breastfeed him which is a huge thing for me given how awful an experience it was with my firstborn.  I still have the emotional scars.  Baby J feels like he is gaining well and he is certainly growing!  He is already ahead on the developmental side of things – he is doing everything a 4 month old should be doing and he is only 3.5 months old.  He is laughing at us, grabbing at things and is starting to bring his knees up and pivot on his back.  He could roll over any day now.

He is napping pretty well throughout the day, it’s just his nighttime sleep which I wish would improve.  Selfishly, I admit.  I am tired.  I want to sleep more than 2-3 hour stretches at nighttime. Last night at 4am, husband got up to replace the soother as I had just fed him 45 minutes earlier.  Husband came back and said, “We should be giving him formula at night.”  The thought being that he would sleep longer.  It certainly was the case for our other kids, why not this one?

My plan all along was to introduce formula about 6 weeks before I returned to work, which would be in mid-late February.  But last night and this morning, I am seriously considering introducing it early.  Yet, the mommy guilt kicks in.  It’s only been 3.5 months.  I could do this longer, I should be doing this longer. After all, why did I extend my leave by a month?  So I could hand off the baby to be fed by a bottle, by others?

Ugh.

All of my children were given formula.  My daughter was 2 weeks old when I started supplementing; my middle son was 3 months old when I first started his transition.  By all accounts, I have done pretty well with Baby J as he has been exclusively breast-fed the longest.

So why can’t I just do it now?

Mommy guilt.

Poop.

Day 23. National Blog Posting Month.

Poop.  Oh yeah, I’m going there.

The baby is exclusively breast fed.  He’s gaining weight pretty well (we just had his 2 month well-baby visit and is just shy of 11 lbs), he’s smiling now and watching everything that is going on around him.

The only thing he is not doing regularly …  you guessed it, pooping.

I think the last time he had a good poop was over a week ago.  It might even be 10 days, I’m not sure. In my sleep-deprived state, I’m not even sure what day it is!

You should have seen the horrified look on my mother’s face when I told her.

“Let’s give him an enema,” she said, seriously.

“Um, yeah, mom, no.”

Never have I been so obsessed with bowel movements than when I started having kids.  It starts with that first bowel movement after birth – meconium.  It reveals so much about the infant’s gastrointestinal system.  When it happens, it’s like everyone breathes a sigh of relief.  If it doesn’t – alarm bells sound.

If the infant is breastfed, then over the next 5-7 days the poop changes colour from the tarry black of meconium to the lovely shades of green to yellow.  An exclusively breastfed baby will have liquidy, yellow seedy poop.  (Feel free to Google for an image.)  Most breastfed infants, in the first month of life, will have a bowel movement several times a day.  By two months of age, babies may not poop for a week, sometimes up to 10 days, and this is still considered quite normal, so long as he is nursing well and gaining weight. [http://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/the-scoop-on-baby-poop]

So, nothing to worry about, right?

Right?

Ugh. I really just want him to have one of these:

The pooplosion.

Is that too much to ask?

Tenacity, Determination, Discipline.

Day 19.  National Blog Posting Month.

So, I am really doing this thing.  I set out at the beginning of the month to write a post every day and I am doing it.  I’m not all that surprised though, to be honest.  Usually when I set out to do something, I do it.

I did it with running.  A year or two ago, I never, ever would have thought I’d embrace this running culture.  I recall seeing runners on the street, with their 3-4 little water bottles strapped to their back and their fancy clothes and would think, “Why would someone want to do that?”  Despite have some girlfriends who are runners (who yes, I thought were pretty nuts for running 1/2 marathons), it wasn’t something I felt I could ever do. Back when my husband and I were dating, I remember going out for a “run” with him on Saturday afternoon.  His idea of running is a very leisurely jog in the neighborhood.  I don’t think I lasted more than a few minutes, despite the fact that I had been working out regularly at the gym at the time.  There certainly wasn’t anything “fun” about it.

Then during the spring of 2012, right after my son turned 1, I remember chasing my daughter across a field and getting completely winded afterwards. So winded in fact, that I almost felt like throwing up.  It was a huge eye-opener for me.  I was ridiculously out of shape.  I wasn’t overweight, sure I had an extra 10 pounds or so from my pre-baby weight, but by no means was I “fat”.  I was just really, really de-conditioned.  So, for a few months I debated joining a gym.  I started doing some home workout DVDs but it just wasn’t enough.  Husband suggested that I start running – it’s cheap, it’s quick and I could do it right after work.  In early July, 2012, my girlfriend invited me to her “boot camp”.  I decided to go.  It was a painful 3km run and I couldn’t move for 3 days afterward, but I was hooked.

My husband was really proud of me for not only starting to run, but keeping up with it.  Though he said he wasn’t at all surprised — he has always said that I have a tremendous amount of tenacity, determination and discipline.  I suppose he is right.  After all, I decided at the age of 13 that I wanted to be a physician and nothing stood in my way of reaching that goal.

So as I get back into this running thing, I ask myself what I want to accomplish with my running.  Right before I got pregnant, I was just meters away from running 10 kilometers.  I think that is a reasonable goal to strive for, but baby steps first.  I don’t want to risk injury, nor do I want my breast milk supply to suffer.  I don’t plan on nursing past 6 months as I will be returning to work.  It will be spring when I go back and I think it would be great to be able to get my runs in right after work – it is a very convenient 5 km straight stretch from the office to home.

So, goal #1 – be able to run 5 km by March, 2013.

Goal #2 – physical (ie. respiratory) endurance.  Despite getting close to the 10 km distance, I wasn’t quite able to run a solid 10-20 minutes and that is something I would like to change.  I ran once, a year ago, for a solid 20 minutes but wasn’t able to repeat that feat.

Goal #3 – toning and weight loss.  I was in great shape when I got pregnant last winter and I would love to get back there again, which means I have about 25 lbs (yikes!!) to lose and about 12 inches in total to trim (from hips, thighs and waist).

Wow.

Seeing it in writing makes it so real and so daunting.  But you heard it here first.  I am committed to staying healthy and fitting back into those damn Guess jeans that I own.  Come hell or high water!

Guess Jeans

Tenacity.

Determination.

Discipline.

But first, I need to throw out every single piece of Hallowe’en chocolate in my house.

Back in the saddle!

Day 8 of NaBloPoMo.

It’s been 263 days since I went for a run.  263 days of sitting on my ass, eating countless buckets of ice cream, chocolate, Twizzlers, oh and gestating a human being (well, that’s more like 200 days).  263 days of weight gain (yes, yes, I was pregnant), but now that that’s all done, I have 20 lbs to shed.  I don’t intend on losing it too fast as I still want to continue nursing.  I just feel out of shape, in more ways than one, and it was time to saddle up!

So, I woke up this morning determined to do one thing – go for a run.  I told husband early that this was the plan.  I slowly got ready while the baby slept.  I ate some breakfast with the kids, had my morning cup of coffee [wink, wink] and got dressed. 

This is when it first starts getting depressing.  My running pants are snug.  My sports bra was tight, but I was wearing it on top of my nursing bra for extra support, so that was to be expected. Finally, the running shirt. Ugh.  Tight, ill-fitting and showcased the “muffin top”.  Oh, you don’t know what a muffin top is?  Go google it!  I am NOT publishing a picture. 

The baby woke up, I fed him and handed him off to daddy.  I kissed the kids goodbye (both are home sick today) and off I went.  count

The first minute was a brisk walk.  I used the MapMyRun app on my phone.  I have it set to tell me the minute intervals. At 2 minutes, I started running at my usual pace and a minute in, I was huffing a bit.  It’s about 3 degrees Celsius today, and a bit windy, so my chest started to burn.  I ran through it and at 4 minutes, back to a walking pace.  I continued this interval for about 20 minutes and 2.52 km.  When I got home, I was quite winded but it took only a few minutes to recover.  I did some yoga stretching, a few sit-ups, and I was done.  Done like dinner.  I suspect I will be quite sore tomorrow, but I think it’ll be worth it.

Today, I’m Tired.

Day 6.

I got about a total of 5 hours of sleep last night. Had it been all in a row I’d probably not be writing about it.

Baby J had an epic nap yesterday. He fell asleep at 4:30pm and woke up at 10:30pm. I would have loved to have been sleeping right along with him but that is just so unrealistic. My house is in a constant state of disaster and I am trying to make a dent in it. I managed to clean out the main floor closet and my desk. Victory!!

So yeah, I went to “bed” (actually, the couch in the basement) at 11pm after my nightly ritual of checking Twitter and FB. The baby woke up at 1:30am. Feed, burp, swaddle, back to sleep. He was up again at 3:00am. Feed, burp, swaddle, back to sleep. Then up again at 4:30am. Feed, burp, diaper change, clothing change, swaddle, back to sleep. Up again at 6am … You get the drift?

Zzzzzz….

I put the cereal box in the fridge this morning. I can’t imagine having to go back to work right now. Maternity leave rocks!!!

Where’s my bed?

30 g/day

No, I’m not talking about how much fiber one should have in a day – though, 30 g is about right, I think.  I’m referring to the amount of weight a newborn should gain per day during the first few months of life.

For my American readers – 30 grams = 1 oz.

30g/day was drilled into my head in medical school and particularly so in my Family Medicine training program.  A newborn will typically lose about 10% of his/her birth weight in the first few days of life, but usually by a week of age, the majority of infants will have regained the weight.  I was also taught that this should occur within the first 7 days of life.

So, in my first few years of family practice, I was quite diligent about these milestones.  If a baby hadn’t gotten back to birth weight within a week or wasn’t gaining that magical 30g/day, I would refer to the pediatricians across the hall from my office.  After a few of these referrals, the pediatrician walked over to my office to have a little “chat”.  She’s a lovely woman (she actually sees all my children) who sat me down and told me, that while she appreciated all the consults I was sending her way,  all of the infants were healthy and I was jumping the gun on the referrals.  I explained my reasoning, and she basically told me that “in the real world of clinical practice, most infants will regain their birth weight within 2-3 weeks, and so long as they are gaining weight, don’t focus on the 30g/day rule.”  She reminded me it was more important to assess how the mother was nursing, or how much formula was being given; she reminded me that the hydration status of the infant was more important than the number of grams gained.  Clinically, how does the infant look?  Was the infant having adequate numbers of wet diapers during the day? etc.  It was amazing advice and (sadly for her), my referrals drastically declined.

Yet, when it comes to my own child, I am stuck on that 30g/day rule.  Perhaps it’s because, with my first-born, I had a pathetic milk supply and didn’t recognize that my daughter was hungry and losing weight.  By the time she was 2 weeks old, she had lost about 20% of her birth weight, was just getting enough milk to stay hydrated, but not enough to gain weight.  I had to start supplementing with formula and watching her guzzle back that first 4 oz of formula in about 20 seconds made me realize just how hungry she was.  Cue the gut-wrenching mommy guilt.

I didn’t have to supplement with my second child – we had a great nursing relationship and he gained weight well.  Now, with the third. it seems to be following the same pattern, yet today I decided to take the baby to my office for a weight check only to discover that he’s gaining only about 15 oz/ day.

Cue the mommy guilt again. Oh God, do I not have enough milk for him?  Is he hungry and I’m just not clueing in?  Should I be waking him every 2 hours?  When I relayed my concerns to my husband, he just looked at me and said “He’s fine.”  He’s pooping and peeing appropriately.  He seems satisfied at the breast (unlike the firstborn who was clearly frustrated after a few minutes on the breast).  I am being way too hard on myself, yet I just can’t help it. And to top it all off, the baby now has the cold his older siblings have.

Did I mention he’s only 3 weeks old?

FML.