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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

4 Weeks

Jamie is 4 weeks old today. It's hard to sum up how the last 4 weeks have gone ... in a way, it just went by so fast. In other ways, it has been achingly slow.

Four weeks seem like forever when you are up at 2:00 AM, desperately trying to soothe a crying newborn. Four weeks seem like forever when you are changing the eighth dirty diaper and is not even noon yet. Four weeks seem like forever when you have to drag yourself out of bed at 5:30 AM to breastfeed. Four weeks seem like forever when you have to sterilize bottles and prepare formula while balancing a fussy baby on one arm. Four weeks seem like forever when you are worried about your baby eating, sleeping and pooping habits. Four weeks seem like forever when you sleep with one eye open making sure you don't miss a feeding or fail to hear your baby whimper in her sleep.

Four weeks went by in a blink every time I watch Jamie smile in her sleep. Four weeks went by in a blink every time I rest Jamie's head on my shoulder and we end up cheek-to-cheek. Four weeks went by in a blink every time I see my baby watch me with trusting eyes as I feed her my milk. Four weeks went by in a blink every time Jamie makes her funny faces and cute sighs. Four weeks went by in a blink every time Jamie poses prettily for the camera. Four weeks went by in a blink every time Jojo and I stop to marvel at our beautiful little angel.

But no matter how I look at it, I can say the last 4 weeks have been a humbling and rewarding experience. Jamie has completely changed my life for the better. I know there will still be many ups and downs - and that I am still in for a crazy ride. But, in my heart, I know it will be worth it.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Quick Prayer

Lord,

Thank you for giving us a little baby girl. Jamie is truly a baby angel and we are humbled to be given the chance to take care of her and welcome her into our family. We know how truly blessed we are to have this little miracle with us.

On the same note, Lord, I pray for PATIENCE and STRENGTH to be a good mom. These last 3 weeks have been truly an eye-opening experience for me. It has been challenging to say the least. But I know in my heart that all good things are worth the effort - and Jamie is definitely worth all the sacrifice.

Please bless my husband too. He has been a wonderful support and a huge help to me. He has also demonstrated in such a short time how good a father he is to our baby. Give Jojo the endurance for our all-nighters ... as well as the strength to continue studying for his certification and eventually as he looks for a job.

Please bless my mom. She has been invaluable during this time and while I will miss her when she goes home, I know that she is always there for us. Help me be strong when she leaves. And help mom be reassured that we will be well cause I know she worries about us too. Please bless everyone else who has offered me encouragement and support during this time. Everyone's support, no matter how small, has helped me move forward.

Thank you again, Lord, for blessing us with Jamie. Please help us to be worthy of this special gift.

Papa, I know you can read this and you can hear me ... please intercede for us and help us take care of your baby granddaughter ...

This I ask during this Easter season ... AMEN.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lucky Seven

Yesterday was a great day. After last week's visit to the pediatrician, we found out Jamie had gained 5 ounces (she was at 6.5 pounds). This in itself was good news as my baby was finally on the road to recovering the weight she had lost during her first week. However, Dr. Chung was hoping she would gain 7 ounces (1 ounce per day).

Our next pedia appointment is not till the 27th (two weeks later). But me, being the anxious mother that I am, can not wait 2 weeks - so yesterday (being the 1 week mark), I asked Jojo to take us to Healthlinks where we could use their scale and weigh Jamie. I was hoping she would be up to 6.12 (gaining 7 ounces in the last 7 days). But we were very pleasantly surprised to find that Jamie was an even 7 pounds (gaining about 10 ounces - give or take a few). I called Dr. Chung and she was happy about the news too.

Finally, I am able to breathe a little sigh of relief. The all-nighters and round the clock feedings are working. The progress in Jamie's weight shows that she is getting enough nutrients and nourishment. My paranoia is abated somewhat - at least in terms of her feeding. Of course, we still have lots to do but for now, I am just so happy to know she is ok.

Other milestones:

Yesterday, Jamie enjoyed her first manicure (which I had to do ever so carefully and while she was asleep). She started Enfamil powdered formula (and liked it). We are now up to 2 ounces per feeding - and may increase to 3 ounces by the end of the week.
She is now using her new Avent bottles / nipples - and had no problem adapting to them. We are still on a breastmilk and formula supplemented diet - and it seems to be working well for Jamie.

Today, is her third week. Our baby is 21 ... days old!

Thank you, God for these little milestones!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Realizations

A few realizations I've come to chance upon the last few days:

1.) I'm the kind of person who likes to be prepared, organized and know what I am up against. Whether in my personal life or professional career. Motherhood has stripped me of that. With being a mom, there is no way I can be prepared for everything, no way I can be completely organized about things, and no way to predict and know everything that comes up. This is what scares me about motherhood.

2.) Now that I have come to realize that I can not be as prepared and organized as I'd like to be - I have to focus on what I can do about it. I will take it one day at a time. I will do the best I can. I will not take minor setbacks personally. I will try to prepare as much as I can but also accept that some things are just beyond my control. I need to help myself through this.

3.) My husband, mom and sister are my core support group. They are with me 24/7 and have been 100% there for Jamie and me. I am so lucky and blessed to have them.

4.) Soon, my sister is going to be busy with school, my husband will have to go back to work, my mom will be leaving for home. I have to realize it is NOT the end of the world. It is just a shift in how things are. I still have their support - but it's also time for me to "stand on my own" and be a "mom" to my baby.

5.) Life will never throw up challenges we can not handle. I know that - now I've got to "live" it.

P.S. THANK YOU to my friends and family who have read my blog and have written me emails to show support. You guys are all angels helping me through this. THANK YOU again!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

New Mommy Fears

While the euphoria of having Jamie with us is still very much in the air, these days I also find myself worrying constantly and stressing over the littlest matters. I think this is what they call "new mommy fears" and unfortunately I've got it pretty bad! I'm normally a calm and rational person. But lately I find that my emotions have the tendency to run haywire!

For starters, I get so rattled when Jamie cries and I don't know why. After the usual diaper check, feeding check, and finding out she is ok, I get so frustrated when she cries and I can't calm her down. I don't know why I seem to take it somewhat personally! Also, in the evenings when we get ready to sleep, I find I am so restless and sleep so lightly that every time Jamie stirs in her sleep, I get up and check on her. It drives me crazy that I am so obsessive about making sure she is alright.

Not only that - but I am also so paranoid about other things too. My mom is leaving for Manila in three weeks. And soon Jojo will be taking his CCENT exam and will be going back to work. As early as now, I am starting to worry about being left alone with Jamie and whether I can manage to take care of her properly. Is this weird? I am usually so sure of myself and so confident I can take on new things - but these days I feel so unsure of myself. Is this postpartum? Is this normal "new mommy fears"? Is this me losing my mind?

Friday, April 08, 2011

Baby Girl ... Rock My World (Part 2)

As I type this post, I am watching my ten-day old daughter asleep beside me. It's still a bit surreal to me to have Jamie here. After waiting so long, sometimes I still can not believe I have been blessed with this miracle and that she is finally here in the flesh - living and breathing next to me. I don't want to take a single moment for granted and want to make sure I do the very best I can for her. I have been a mother for only ten days and so far the experience has been a rollercoaster of emotions.

For starters, let me tell you that being a mother is no easy task. I have some new found respect for mothers everywhere - including and most especially my own! The last 10 days have totally turned our world upside down. Jojo and I have been totally focused on Jamie's every need - whether she is awake or asleep. Feedings are every 2-3 hours. Jojo can prepare formula in a heartbeat while I can get into breastfeeding position in record time. Changing diapers has become routine and we can practically do it with our eyes closed - which is great for those midnight and early morning changes. We have learned to sleep lightly (almost with one eye open to watch out for Jamie). We've learned to eat in shifts and to multitask to get everything done.

Gone are the days when our lives were just ours. These days our lives are ruled by a beautiful 6 pound, 19-inch tall angel. We are totally at her beck and call. And I would not have it any other way. Nevermind the long nights spent cradling her in my arms so she can fall asleep. Nevermind the missed tv shows and movies we were planning to see which are now spent preparing for Jamie's needs. Nevermind not being able to go out with friends and family since we mostly spend time just rocking her bassinette to lull her to sleep. Nevermind not having time to do household chores and run errands, I'd rather just hold her in my arms and make sure she's ok. Nevermind not having time for myself when I have this beautiful baby by my side.

Jojo and I make a pretty good team. Coupled with incredible support from my mom and sister, Joy, the last few days have been filled with so many learning experiences and revelations. I am tired physically and I am still healing from my c-section - but at the same time my heart is bursting with joy every time I see this angelic face with her gorgeous eyes looking up at me. I think this is what every mom says is what makes motherhood (despite its difficulties) worth everything.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Baby Girl ... Rock My World (Part 1)

She's here. She's finally here. I am still in shocked awe that our precious baby girl is with us. Every time I look into her face, I get all humbled by just how beautiful and precious she really is. Beautiful baby face, gorgeous almond eyes, fair skin with pink cheeks, and that baby smell (you'd make millions if you could bottle that scent!). Jojo and I quietly marvel at the little miracle we have been blessed with - it's still a bit surreal and astonishing to me (even though it's already been a week).

Let me back track a bit. Jamie was born on March 30th at 8:58 am. I underwent a C-section because the baby was in distress and her heartbeat would decline after each contraction. My doctor was worried she would not survive the rigors a of a natural delivery. So at 8:00 am, Jojo and I consented to a C-section and 20 minutes later I was wheeled into the operating room.

I was scared and really anxious. Jojo was supportive but I could see he was concerned too. To be honest though, after almost 12 hours of labor prior to that, the 20-minute operation was not a bad ordeal. I barely felt what was happening but was conscious the whole time. My best memory is when the doctor said "Here she comes" and I heard two loud gusty cries. The nurse took her to a side table to wipe her down. Just seeing her for the first time brought tears to my eyes. She was so perfect and I was so overwhelmed with emotion. Minutes later, she was laid on my chest so we could bond, skin to skin. I will never ever forget that moment when I first looked into her face, first held her little body, first felt her next to me. I will never forget the first time I inhaled her scent and felt her move on top of me. It is a moment I can only describe as pure joy. We got to spend the golden hour together as a family. JOjo and I talked in hushed tones about our precious little Jamie. It is no doubt one of the best moments of my life.

THANK YOU GOD for this beautiful blessing!