Initial Thoughts on Attachment

When I was pregnant, I read a good deal of books on both pregnancy and babies. Some of what I read related to attachment parenting, and although I liked the idea, I was not sure to what extent it would work for us. Now that I actually have my baby and have been with her for a few months, I can comment on how it has been working so far. I am no Mayim Bialik, but I am definitely doing many things AP-style.

Co-sleeping

Before she was born, we got an Arm’s Reach co-sleeper crib. When we were in the hospital after Audrey’s birth, she slept with me in my hospital bed because I was in pretty bad shape so I wasn’t going to be up and down getting her out of the bassinet whenever she needed to nurse. Once we got home, it was pretty much the same situation – it was at least a week until I could move around semi-comfortably. It was just easier to have her in bed with me. After that, we just couldn’t get her out of the habit… she would sleep in the bassinet or in a crib for naps, but at night she just sleeps much better, deeper, and longer in the bed with us. And when she sleeps better, I sleep better. Her co-sleeper is now used as an expensive shelf holding baby wipes, washcloth for night feeding messes, her toilet, and some other random baby items.

Elimination Communication

We started EC a few weeks after Audrey was born, once I felt physically well enough to work on it with her. Audrey caught on right away and would pee the minute I set her on her little Baby Bjorn potty, and it got to the point that I was catching all of her poo’s! Once we started getting out more and then starting work and day care, it got harder. Audrey started going poo more in her diaper, and now I am trying to get back in the habit of pottying her at predictable times. I think the most important thing with our new schedule is to make sure I potty her before we leave and whenever we get home, and whenever she wakes up in the morning or after naps. I am hoping that if I am consistent, then part-time EC will be successful and I can have her potty-trained very early!

Baby-wearing

I thought that I would do this a lot, but now in practice I really don’t wear Audrey too often! She does not want to be worn all the time, and when I try to wear her while doing household activities, she kicks around and whines until I take her out. She does, however, like being worn in the Moby Wrap sometimes while I am grocery shopping or the like. She is far too strong and active to deal with it for long though, so I can only really wear her as long as she will nap! And now her naps are 45 minutes max…

Breastfeeding

…Check! 3.5 months and counting. Audrey refuses pacifiers and bottles, so I think it’s safe to say there is no nipple confusion. In fact, I think I may actually shun the wisdom next time around that says you should hold off giving your baby any nipple substitutes, because if I am going to work, it will be much better if my baby will actually drink out of a bottle! Luke actually just discovered that he can get her to drink from a cup… If he pours the milk in her mouth she’ll drink it down. She just doesn’t want to suck on silicone! I don’t know how this one is going to end up- I don’t have a plan for weaning. I am probably just going to let Audrey nurse as long as she wants it, and wean at her own pace. I intend to breastfeed exclusively as recommended for at least six months, and start feeding her solids sometime between 6-8 months when she seems interested. I know Luke is pretty eager to start giving her food, but it’s important to be patient, wait long enough before we start, put some thought into the foods we start her off with, and take our time with weaning!

There are a lot of things I do that are not really attachment parenting… I watch TV, and Audrey will to. I know it’s good to limit or even ban screen time for babies and toddlers, but I figure if she is playing and interacting all day then a little screen time won’t hurt. I just know that in the future, we are definitely going to have to set limits on TV and computer time so it doesn’t get out of control!

Daycare

Also, I am a working mom. I did not give up my career for a variety of reasons, so Audrey is spending a few days a week at a great little day care near home and work, she’s hanging out with Luke on Wednesdays, and I am working from home on Fridays. Before I went back to work I took her everywhere with me- shopping, social events, etc. so she became comfortable with a lot of situations and people early. She is getting used to going to day care now, and what I have realized is that despite our lack of a strict parenting style, Audrey is a perfectly attached baby. She knows who we are and loves us, and she knows we’ll be there for her so she does not freak out when we part. She is comfortable with the ladies at day care and only whines if she is hungry or tired, and when I get there she seems content and is happy to see me. Since she is starting at such a young age, I foresee no reason why she would ever get separation anxiety going to day care or school.

Random Thoughts & Glucose

Sleeping has been tough for the last few nights. It’s tough to get comfortable with only two options for sleeping positions (left and right side) and needing to extort myself around my completely necessary pregnancy pillow in order to switch positions. I normally toss and turn, but at least I used to have the option of sleeping on my belly or back so I could turn in circles throughout the night without completely waking up. Attempting to sleep has been practically an athletic event- I can never relax completely and wake up tired and sore.

Speaking of sore, I went to the chiropractor on Monday after work and told him about the random pain I was having in my lower back/glute that might have been the sciatic nerve. He did a series of adjustments, and it hasn’t hurt since I left his office! Even if my tailbone never recovers completely during this pregnancy, it will be worth keeping up with my chiropractic appointments so he can take care of any nerve issues like that!

Maybe it’s being so aware of this impending glucose test, but I have suddenly lost my craving for sugar. Eating even a little of it in processed form makes me feel sick. That’s probably a good thing, because now the baby’s brain is really starting to develop so I should be eating plenty of good fats and proteins!

Speaking of the glucose test, I had an appointment at my transfer clinic today to discuss and hopefully get out of the test. As I mentioned before, I have no risk factors for gestational diabetes, so I believe that it is ridiculous that I should subject my body to that kind of nutritional torture. The clinic is a woman-centered practice that is definitely a step up from the hospital, but it is still not what I would consider natural or alternative. Laws require women to jump through some hoops in order to have a home birth, though, and one of those hoops is that the OB-GYN has to sign off and say that I am “low-risk” before they will allow me to give birth in my home.

After some waiting around, I got in the exam room where a nurse checked my weight (first time I’ve been weighed in a few months! Up to 155…) and blood pressure (100/60 – low, but my blood pressure is normally quite low). A little while later the doctor, who has been my midwife’s backup for 14 years, came in. After introducing himself, he checked the baby’s heartbeat and asked me how things were going. I told him everything was good, except that I was having some trouble sleeping. He asked me, “Do you have a mental disorder?”

Um, what?? “No…”

“Well, some people have trouble sleeping because they are manic-depressive and get anxious at night.”

“Uh, ok… I am mostly just physically uncomfortable, and if my brain was excited last night it was because that was an awfully stimulating debate!”

That was a little weird. When we got to talking about the glucose test, he pretty much wouldn’t let me get a word in, talking about how it was important that every pregnant woman is screened. He had never heard of the Paleo diet, and didn’t react at all when I mentioned that I feel sick and experience reactive hypoglycemia when I have too much sugar. He kept on saying, “Hey! I’m not the enemy here…” Not that I was accusing him of being the enemy in any way! I replied, “I understand, I am just trying to find out if there is an alternative.”

We finally made a deal… I am not going to drink the sugar water, but have to eat 50g of carbohydrates an hour before the test. We agreed on jelly beans because they are measurable… I didn’t realize how many jelly beans that was until I got back and looked it up. Considering I never drink sweetened drinks (I even find juice to be repulsive) and don’t make a habit of eating much sugar, 50g is a ton and eating 50 jelly bellies would definitely give me a tummy ache. If anyone asks, I ate the jelly beans…

I looked up the carb content of some fruit and found that if I have an apple and a banana, it will total about 50g of carbs. It is still more fruit than I would ever eat in one sitting, but at least I will get the nutrients and none of the artificial crap.

At the end of the appointment the doctor started talking about how it was safer to give birth in a hospital… I almost started to debate but managed to reign myself in as that would not be helpful to my cause! There are just so many people, doctors especially, that subscribe to the “just in case” philosophy. My philosophy, on the other hand, is “Everything will be fine. If it’s not, we’ll deal with it.”

I texted with my midwife after the appointment and told her about the things he said. I told her, “I like going to your office so much better!!”

She said, “Lol sometimes it actually helps people who are nervous to feel better about their choice… We call him if we need him… He is a great doctor just a fast talker making sure he covers his bases. 14 years backing me and he still asks people why do you want a home birth?” Oh, and she said she has no worries about my mental health, haha!

I am just crossing my fingers that everything will go smoothly so there is no need to transfer. If all goes as planned, I will only have to go to the clinic once more at 36 weeks to be signed off for home birth, and then I am in the clear! After that time, there are only a few reasons women need to be transferred. If the baby is breech, they are required by law to give birth in a hospital (usually by Caesarean section). Also if there are any complications during labor that need medical management, or if the labor doesn’t progress, and gets to be so long and drawn out that the mother needs medical support or a C-section.

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20 Weeks!

We are halfway there! I have a real baby bump growing, our one ultrasound planned for tomorrow, and a mini “babymoon” to Cape Cod in the works for this coming weekend!

My pregnancy continues to be pretty good. I sleep soundly with my giant worm pillow as long as the bedroom is cool- not even a lot of dreams. Maybe my body is resting up in preparation for sleepless nights in its future?

The baby has been moving on a regular basis- I can feel it mostly after lunch or when I am laying on the couch propped up on pillows on my left side.

One bad thing- the heartburn has started. If I eat too much at dinner, I will regret it. I guess my giant uterus is pressing my stomach up so the acids don’t stay confined so well… not cool. Time to buy Tums!

Boob update: I have grown 2 full cup sizes! Just bought (and fill out) a 36C. Makes me want to wear low-cut tops and show them off a bit while I’ve got them!