Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Swaddling "Houdini"

THE books, the parenting blogs, the magazines, the pediatricians. They all recommend swaddling infants. Baby Talk magazine notes that 82 percent of parents swaddle their babies. The idea is that wrapping them up nice and tight in receiving blankets or those handy little adjustable wraps will make the babies feel like they're back in the warmth of Mommy's womb and helps to calm them. However, The Little Prince didn't receive that memo. If there was ever a baby that HATED being swaddled, it was him!

From the day he was born and he was swaddled up after his initial examination, my hubby asked the nurses to give him swaddling lessons. "Go slow, please! I need to get this." he implored, and the ever so patient nurses happily obliged. Some nurses had slightly varied versions of the swaddle wrap technique, but the premise was the same. We were told that the "burrito roll" was one of the most secure and effective swaddling methods, so we decided to go with that technique. Two days later when we were discharged from the hospital, we (especially hubby) were fairly confident that we'd be able make The Little Prince nice and comfy. Little did we realize that we were dealing with a baby with magical powers!

Playing possum. He freed himself a half hour later.

Mind you, for the couple of days we were in the hospital, The Little Prince really seemed to like being swaddled in blankets. We now believe he was just so exhausted from the trip into the world that he couldn't be bothered with the attempt to get out. Because when we tried to swaddle him it home it was almost always a royal rumble, I tell you! Who knew a 5lb 7oz baby could be so strong? This boy squirmed, wriggled, tossed and turned so much! A tiny newborn against two adults and he was beating us silly! He liked sucking on his thumb so we'd try to accommodate him by leaving one hand out so he'd have access. But that just made his escape that much quicker. Not that it ultimately mattered. Some nights we'd get lucky and we'd have him wrapped nice and tight and he'd seem to resign himself. So we thought! Turns out was resting up to free himself about a half hour later. Many a time he'd have us sweating from the effort like it was the middle of summer even though it was almost Christmas! Many nights we were so desperate for guidance, convinced that we had forgotten everything the nurses taught us, we resorted to YouTube. Picture it: Hubby's battling it out with the squirming, hollering Prince while we're both poring over videos, hitting the pause button after every step. Hilarious! And pathetic!

It didn't take us long to conclude that we had lost this battle. The boy didn't want to be swaddled and that was that! He was the boss! Swaddling was OUT!

This was the ONLY time he stayed swaddled longer than an hour.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Less is more...

THIS should definitely apply when reacting to news of a pregnancy. I had been warned about silly, insensitive comments by friends who had endured them while expecting, and of course, I was not to be spared. Here are some of the doozies!

The Little Prince

  • "Well, it's about time!" (This was the most common remark. I guess some people feel that late 30s is a bit late to get started. My Ob/Gyn would beg to differ, thank goodness)
  • "This is going to kill your career!" (I mean, seriously??)
  • "I didn't think you could get pregnant!" (I didn't know you had a personal relationship with my uterus!)
  • "You haven't even been married six months and you're already knocked up?" (Sometimes you just have to laugh off stupid)
  • "You're eight months along? And you're so small? I hope the baby is healthy!" (Aye yie yie!)
  • And the Grand Prize Winner..."Thank God you finally got pregnant. I was afraid you would wait too long and risk having a down's syndrome baby." (No words!)
  • Honorable Mention..."Say goodbye to your freedom." (I guess I know how she feels about her kid) 
Common sense should dictate that when someone shares their happy news with you, if you can't say anything nice or sensible, simply offer congratulations and keep it moving. But alas, it is obvious that common sense isn't as common as we think. Makes me remember a sign that used to hang at my Dad's restaurant when I was a child. "Be sure brain is engaged before putting mouth into gear." Wise words!!

Here, at last!

GREETINGS! The concept for this little blog of mine began dancing around in my head not long after discovering I was pregnant. As a soon-to-be new mother, with not a lot of recent hands-on experience around children, I found myself in dire need of information. So I’d spend those moments when I didn’t feel…well…BLEH…reading everything from parenting blogs and magazines, to the oh, so wonderful What To Expect When You’re Expecting. So, when my son Liam (aka, "The Little Prince") was born last December, I felt armed with a wealth of resources and reasonably equipped to cope. BOY, was I WRONG!!

Now, I know many of you seasoned parents will laugh out loud at me on that one. Don’t worry, I’m laughing too! The fact is, no matter how much you think you know, becoming a parent throws you for a loop and the best way to learn is on the job. Anyway, as I mentioned earlier, I’ve been wanting to share my experiences as a new mother for some time, but adjusting to life in a new country, with a new husband and a new baby has been quite the odyssey. Anyway, better late than never. I’m here and ready to share! Thank you for taking the time to visit my little space.

Let me reiterate that purpose of this blog is solely to share my experiences with you. Feel free to share yours as well if you'd like. I'll even post links to articles I think are relevant to topics discussed. But I do not purport myself to be an expert. So, if you happen to read something that is contrary to what you may know or have done, don’t shoot me…please!