Lately life has been sprinkled with really nice little things, things that make me a little happier to be right where I’m at.
Thursday night NBC’s The Office aired the series finale, bringing to close a nine year run, of which I have watched in real time for nine years. I’ve never stuck with another series for that long (although, Grey’s Anatomy will surpass that next year), so the ending was emotional for me. And hilarious. And emotional again.
That same night, when Jeremy came home, he scooped up the baby (as he always does) and presented me with tickets to the ballet and said he’d arranged childcare for Mila. As you can guess, the man is not a fan of “going to the ballet”, but he knows I was really wanting to see A Midsummer Night’s Dream, my favorite Shakespeare play, performed by a local ballet school on Friday at my absolute favorite building in Indianapolis.
The dancing wasn’t of the same caliber as a professional company, but it was really enjoyable to watch. Indianapolis just cannot sustain a professional ballet company- we’ve tried and sadly failed. It really makes me long to go see the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago (or, of course, the New York City Ballet or American Ballet Theater, among others). Overall, it was a surprisingly very clean performance with solid technique and interesting choreography, which I do prefer to sloppy execution of more difficult technique.
And today has been the laziest day I’ve had since I was pregnant, and it was exactly what I wanted. Camila went to bed easily enough, though a little later, at 11:30pm. I dream fed Mila at 3am when I went to bed and let Jeremy handle the 8am feeding. She didn’t even wake up until after noon, which isn’t too rare but always majorly appreciated. And that meant I didn’t get out of bed until nearly 1pm. Awesome. And lazy, but mostly awesome. The rest of the day went like this: brunch in bed, movie on the couch, lunch, going on a walk, taking a nap, watching another movie while Jeremy and Camila went on another walk, eating cookies… yeah. Mom needed a break. Thank you, husband.
And tomorrow my baby will be half a year old. WHAT?!?
A couple disclaimers: This isn’t a comprehensive list, but I didn’t want to include links to my boobs or anything. And I swear I’m not selling you stuff (you can tell I’m so far away from being savvy enough to make money from this blog).
This is just a short list of items Camila loved as a newborn- which means we loved them even more- AND that we also found to be very fairly priced. It’s in no means a comprehensive list of things you should rush out to buy.
Summer Infant SwaddleMe fleece swaddlers: I’m not sure what I would have paid for an easy hook and loop swaddle what helped Camila sleep like a dream nearly every single night… maybe, like five time what we paid? Or is a sleeping newborn considered priceless?
Phillips Avent Soothie pacifiers: I used to hate pacifiers. Didn’t like the sight of them, and especially didn’t see the need if we were going to be “really good parents who didn’t let their baby cry” or some crap like that. Fast forward, like, a few days into our parenting gig. If you’re going to give your child a pacifier, these one-piece pacis are easiest to clean (because you know your floors aren’t pristine).
Fisher Price Bouncer: This is the one we have, although I’m sure most bouncers under $40 would have worked just as well. We used this thing all day long for naps, for when I was in the shower, for entertaining her, for her first source of baby toy music. It contained her, it let her sleep, it let her play. And she’s still using it daily.
Infantino Breathe Vented Carrier: Are there better carriers out there? More ergonomic, more comfortable, more supportive for babies? Sure. But this one was $20, could be put on with one hand, is of great quality, not bulky, and a great introduction to carriers for people who aren’t sure if they want to splurge on a Ergo yet. We used it all the time when Camila was between 8-12lbs (we have another one that we use more now that she’s bigger and needs better support).
Medela Harmony manual breastpump: I don’t have a picture of this in use because no. But I picked this up before Hawaii to have a transportable pump (and I got it half off, for $17), hoping it’d do the trick. And guess what? It works as well as my $300 double electric. Not recommended for everyday use or working moms, but it’s great in a pinch.
As for clothes? Gowns for the young newborns, stretchy knit sleepers that zip or have magnet closures (ain’t nobody got time for snaps), BabyLegs newborn leg warmers, pants with attached feet (pants + socks = win), cute and warm jackets and hats if you have a winter baby (they’ll get a lot of use).
The list is short because newborns honestly don’t need much at all. Next time around, though, we might splurge a little on items that weren’t necessary but might help out a little… an infant car seat (we have a great convertible car seat, but it’s not transportable) and one of those enviably trendy looking Mamaroo bouncer things. That last thing is pricey, but I’m pretty sure there were days I’d have sold my soul to get the baby to sleep an extra hour, so $200 is like nothing, right?
Forgot one: 23 weeks. ;)
We knew that donor milk would be a very temporary and non-stable solution to fattening up the baby with an exclusive breast milk diet. We were given about 250oz, which sounds and visibly looks like a lot of milk. But since we were supplementing entirely with breast milk, as opposed to stretching out our stash with formula added in, it was gone within two weeks.
I’m so entirely grateful for those two weeks. Camila digested the milk really well, that much was obvious. She went from only 5-6 slightly wet diapers during the day and a full night with a dry diaper (while supplementing with the same amount of formula), to fully saturated diapers after every feeding and needing an extra liner at night- a total of 9 wet &/or dirty diapers a day! That’s awesome. It felt really good to be able to “flush out” her system.
But honestly, that time was more beneficial for me. It gave me time to come to terms with supplementing with formula. I know I initially proposed formula after all of our problems with breastfeeding, but I wasn’t comfortable offering more than 2-4oz a day. When the pediatrician and the lactation consultants all urged for 1oz after every feeding, then 2oz, I felt everything slipping out of my hands. Whether I let her go hungry or let her have 18+oz of formula a day, I felt like a bad mother. I felt judged.
I know what I need to do now, and I’m okay with it. I have just one bottle of expressed breast milk left- a bottle I pumped myself a few months ago. After that, I will be supplementing with formula with every nursing, probably for many months to come.
I have started to view formula more like I would vitamins: it’s not a natural food source in and of itself, but it gives the body necessary, beneficial nutrition. My baby likes the taste, her body doesn’t react poorly to it, and personally, I have no ethical concerns with the formula company we buy from.
I’ll continue breastfeeding for every feeding night and day until I know for sure my supply has ran completely dry. I don’t know if that will be a week or a year, but it doesn’t matter so much to me anymore. What I’m not going to do is spend more of our money on galactagogues that have no affect on my supply, waste more time stressing about how to feed the baby, nor hand express until my breasts are bruised (which, yes, has been happening frequently these days). It doesn’t work, and it doesn’t get my baby fed.
I’m determined to keep looking at the overall picture. Camila is such a happy, vibrant, strong, active little baby. She’ll likely always be underweight on the charts, but that’s her normal.
And this is our normal. It wasn’t at all what I thought feeding my baby would look like, but it’s what works for us.