Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Worry, worry, worry

It would appear that I've become a worrier. I don't worry by nature. As a rule, I'm actually a fairly carefree lighthearted person. But wow, becoming a parent has dug in deep and brought up some really intense worry (and some occasional obsessing too).

Mama & Baby @ 4.5mos
I seem to worry about so many small how Baby still needs prune juice and probiotics everyday to keep her regular, how she has small eczema patches on her arms and legs, how her front teeth have some decay on them (despite our lack of sugar and good dental hygiene), how she appears to have some dietary allergies and how she still can't sleep without me being right beside her (to be fair, this comes and goes and seems related to teething).

There are bigger things I worry about too. Things that seem overwhelming to me because there is nothing I can easily do to "fix" them.

I really worry about childcare. The thought of a big impersonal daycare center just sends me into fits of extreme sadness. They seem really lonely. Even with all the kids there. I can't imagine a child..a baby!...getting enough one on one attention in such a place. And for me, that is very important. And I'm so afraid of someone hurting or abusing Baby that the idea of a home daycare or a nanny scares me to no end as well. I am grateful that we won't have to make a decision until Baby is 2 but I still think about it all.the.time.

I worry about Baby being an only child. I want her to feel connected to family and friends and I want her to have a sibling to "be there" for her as she grows and for her to "be there" for that child as well. I think siblings are an important that I want for Baby. I don't worry about this one quite so much because, at this point anyway, I feel like I have some control over this and hopefully can give her a sibling without too much trouble.

I worry about her having her heart broken, about other kids making fun of her for whatever reason, about her being lonely or sad or disappointed. I worry about the state of the world and all the terrible, terrible things going on and I sometimes ask myself, how could I possibly be selfish enough to bring another human being into this world to deal with these problems?!

I worry about dying young and leaving her. Like my own mom.

Perhaps all this worry is just par for the course in being a new parent. I don't expect the worry to go away, I assume it will change and I will just worry about different things at different times.

I guess, like many things about becoming a parent, I just wasn't expecting to worry so much. I guess there was just no way I could comprehend these awesome feelings of love and my ferocious instincts to protect her until I experienced them. Maybe I should look at my worry as some sort of protection that drives me to care for Baby. I'm sure I'll have many more days and sleepless nights of worry so maybe as long as I don't let it take over my day to day life it can be just another parenting tool in my rapidly growing toolbox.

Oh, and I worry that I worry too much.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Really Easy Sweater Pants

The last time I cleaned out my clothes closet I put aside a few sweaters that I didn't fit into anymore. They were in great shape however and I hoped that one day I could turn them into little pants for Baby. I thought it would be complicated and I often start projects and realize how friggin complex they are and then curse my way through to the end (I ALWAYS finish a project....eventually). So, I had put off attempting to make them for a long time.

I had bookmarked a tutorial from BouncingButtons after googling "making pants out of old sweaters." I mostly followed her instructions but I ended up having to sew an extra waistband on the top (as she suggests in her instructions) because the rise was too short to fit comfortably over DD's puffy cloth covered bum.  I had cut the arms off the sweater (at the seams where they join the neck/shoulder) weeks before. I measured the size using a pair of pajama pants that fit Baby fairly well and were roomy (to fit over afore mentioned puffy cloth covered bum).

One day, S and Baby were going out for a couple of hours so I dragged my sewing machine out and got down to it. They were quite possibly the easiest sewing project I've ever worked on and they turned out great. The extra waist band I had to add was a pain and was the most time consuming part. Next time I will make sure to measure generously for the rise. I will also use the same or at least similar coloured thread. I was lazy and just used white because I couldn't find the rest of my thread stash.

They fit Baby really well and she seems comfortable in them. I have 2 more sweaters to work with and am eager to get them done before the weather gets too warm to wear them. Super fun project, very easy to do and great, practical results!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I finally decided to start restricting my own and Baby's diet. I've often thought, and have expressed it to S and others, that her poor sleep and stressful wake ups (more the latter) are a result of a gastro issue. It just seems like it for a variety of reasons. And, I don't know, I just feel like that is part of it. So, after reading a few anecdotes online about people whose babies started sleeping better as soon as they cut out some common allergens and after thinking that sleep couldn't possibly get worse for me or Baby, I decided to cut out all gluten, dairy and soy.

A bit of background...I have a self diagnosed gluten intolerance. I don't say I have celiac disease because I don't know for sure. I may have it and probably even do have it but I haven't gone for testing. I know what makes me feel good and what doesn't so I just go with my gut (pun intended). I've been mostly gluten free for about 4 years. I was very strict while trying to get pregnant and during the first trimester. However, when I was pregnant, I CRAVED sandwiches so badly. Sandwiches on big, fluffy, wheat filled bread. So I had one or two. And much to my surprise, I didn't have the same effects! I did a bit of research and found out that symptoms of gluten intolerance do sometimes subside during pregnancy (I doubt the harmful effects go away though). So, I ate gluten a lot at the end of my pregnancy and into the post partum period. I could tell the honeymoon with gluten was over around December of last year. The symptoms started coming back and I knew I had to give it up again. (As an aside, the symptoms came back right before my menstrual cycles returned...interesting!) I've been dragging my heels on giving it up because I truly love bread. I enjoy gluten free bread a lot too but I LOVE wheat bread.

Anyway, back to my current story. Here is the run down on what's happened sleep-wise since cutting out gluten, dairy and soy for Baby and I:
  1. Night 1: Baby slept in 2 hour stretches. The waking up screaming and kicking only happened during the morning wake ups.
  2. Night 2: Baby had two - 4 hour stretches. No waking up screaming at all.
  3. Night 3: Baby only woke up twice between 10pm and 5:30am. Then woke up every hour until 8:30ish am. No screaming.
  4. Night 4: Baby slept in 2 hour stretches. No screaming
  5. Night 5: Baby had one 3 hour stretch and the rest 2 hour stretches. No screaming.
Tonight is night 6. Nothing else has changed in our sleeping habits that I can tell.
  • I have still been going to bed with her around the same time. 
  • Her napping is about the same (maybe a bit shorter some days). 
  • Her second canine tooth has still not broken through so I don't think it's teething related (still not convinced of that 100% though). 
  • She doesn't seem to have hit any huge, noticeable developmental milestones. 
  • I haven't nightweaned her and her nursing habits haven't changed at all.
I am still not convinced that it is food allergy related and not just a coincidence. If it is, however, I feel absolutely awful that I didn't go with my gut early on and test out the allergy thing.

My plan is to continue on with the restrictions for 21 days. I will then introduce dairy back slowly and see what happens. Then soy. Then gluten for Baby only (I still won't be able to eat it). I'm hoping she doesn't have allergies but at the same time I will be thrilled if I caught them.

I'll keep you updated.

Oh, and I lost 4lbs in 5 days since being on my new "diet." A bonus for me.