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Saturday, April 16, 2005

seven pounds of fear

... especially advice

and now, for your reading pleasure, a missive from the Other Side. the nice guys have a good friend who gave birth just a couple of short weeks ago. here's the note that she just sent us. it has the exceedingly rare quality of being simultaneously very useful and bone-freezingly terrifying:

I've been thinking about what I would have liked to have known about those first couple of weeks, and although I'm no expert on motherhood, here's what I wish I had known:

1. You will never be more dependent on other people for your survival. I ate 3 meals a day in bed for almost 2 weeks -- getting out of bed to pee and shower was about as much as I could handle. Stock up on groceries, freeze some meals -- do anything you can do to make life easier for the people waiting on you because you will never be needier.
2. Have at least a couple of pairs of comfy pajamas and nursing bras (as well as nursing pads and Lansinoh) on hand before you deliver. I did this, but I underestimated my enormous boobs and ended up with bras that were slightly too small. You will leak, sweat, and be covered in baby pee every night and will want to change pajamas at least twice a day. Which leads me to...
3. Take a shower everyday. No matter what.
4. Even with a super hungry baby with a great latch, breastfeeding is really hard at first. It just is. I spent the first few days referring to H____ as The Vampire. He latched like a champ but my nipples were just raw for a few days and then I was totally engorged for about a week. Ouch. I was nearly in tears waiting for the baby to wake up and eat because my boobs were about ready to explode. Good times. And I have cursed every moment I have ever wished for bigger boobs. Oy vey.
5. The amount of laundry a 7 pound baby generates is astounding. Nevermind the amount of laundry generated by having milk leak everywhere all the time. And being peed on. And puked on.
6. Accept all offers of help. Anything that makes life easier is good. Anything (other than the baby) that makes life harder should be ignored.
7. That thing they say about "sleep when the baby sleeps"? Yeah. It's true. Although figuring out WHERE the baby sleeps is an ongoing process for us. Right now he's mostly in bed beside me all night but we bought a co-sleeper and would like to transition him into there (which seems to not be happening when he's up to eat every 2 hours anyway -- getting him settled down and into the co-sleeper is more work than it's worth at this point). We also bought a "Snuggle Safe" thingy that fits in the middle of the bed and you put the baby there, but he didn't like it. If you think you'd like it, just let me know.
8. The little baby kimono t-shirts are da bomb while waiting for the cord to fall off. They are easy to put on, don't go over the head, and don't press against the cord. All good.
9. Pampers Swaddlers for Newborns are the smallest diapers we could find. Other diapers looked GIGANTIC at first.

i told her that her list was so going to be blogged, she replied: "Glad to be of service. Back to the Amazing Screaming Baby."

ladies and gentlemen of the jury, please kill me. now.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your friend summed things up quite well, but did leave out one important point. The best/worst words of encouragement (?) we got before our first son was born were "it is more work than you can ever imagine, you will be so tired you will want to die...but at the end of every day you will talk about how absolutely amazing and perfect that little person is."

You and Mrs. Nice Guy will be OK. And after a while you will even love it.

4/16/2005 4:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doesn't it surprise you that this world is over-populated?

4/16/2005 4:36 PM  
Blogger Candace said...

I cannot stress enough how important it is/will be for mrs. nice guy to have a hospital grade breast pump (assuming she's breast feeding. Otherwise, forget it.). If you don't have one, rent one. It MUST be hospital grade, not run on batteries, and have the option to double-pump. Your friend mentioned engorgement. The breast pump can relieve just enough pressure so that the mom isn't in terrible pain, but not enough to start a let-down. Also, some babies don't empty the breast completely in the first few weeks. The pump can help with that. Screw what La Nazis say. My breast pump was my best friend in those early days.

Also, an engorgement help-hint: if it's time for the baby to nurse but the mom is engorged, warm compresses, a hot shower, or a back massage can start the milk flowing (because a baby has a difficult if not impossible job of latching on to an engorged breast), to release enough for the baby to latch on.

4/16/2005 8:15 PM  
Anonymous BIYF said...

My advice to you... take everyone's advice (including mine), put it in the back of your mind, and forget about it unless and until it applies to your baby. The BEST advice we got from ANYONE was from my father who said, 'all babies are different.' So, I wish you the best of luck with your baby, and know that you'll adapt to whatever your situation may be, just like we all did to ours... having said that:

I highly recommend the book BABY WISE. Screw Dr. Spock. This tome is the one.

4/16/2005 10:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take ANY and ALL baby advice books with a large grain of salt.

Think about this: the human race thrived and prospered for hundreds of thousands of years before baby advice books came on the scene.

Ulitmately, you and Mrs. Nice Guy will be the experts on your baby.

But please, please do research before committing yourselves to any specific books. Some of the "advice" can actually harm your child.

4/17/2005 3:21 PM  
Blogger Michael G said...

The list was very good. Just remember you and your wife are there to help each other. Even if you have a different idea on how to do it. There will be time and another opportunity to try it the other way.

Yes nod your head for every piece of information given to you. But trust your insticts. That is correct more times than the best advice.

Don't "label" your baby. Some book will make you pick one, "Perfect child, fussy child, stuffy," whatever. Your baby will be everything they say in the books. Just deal with everything as it comes along.

Last bit of advise you can forget. clean the house, do the laundry, and have food in the fridge. because the house will be forgotten, the laundry will pile up, and you WILL get hungry at odd times of the day/night.

Have fun.

4/17/2005 4:27 PM  
Anonymous Donn Buie said...

Pampers only. Huggies blow. They leak and they feature Disney characters. You may think Mickey and Minnie are funny. You may like to look at Mickey and Minnie twenty or thirty times a day. If so, you shouldn't be having children. No Disney characters are funny.

Are the Muppets funny? Well, at least you can entertain a discussion about that. The Muppet Babies are not funny and not necessary, but at least looking at Baby Bert reminds you of the middle-aged, sexually ambiguous Bert. It's better than the Mouse, by any measure. And the Pampers say "Back to sleep" on them, which is nice to think about, even if it doesn't happen.

Don't skimp on the breast pump, and don't skimp on the nursing bras, either. Mrs. Buie favors the Glamormom brand, which are available in a tank variety.

4/17/2005 11:52 PM  
Blogger lauritajuanitasanchez said...

I had a bad case of engorgement. I had to take a hot bath and "milk" myself...which was an experience. Then I heard that cabbage leaves on boobies will help the pain. So I had hubby bring me a cabbage. He did and then broke into hysterics seeing me in my cabbage leaf bra.

Here's a bit of advice for the men (since this is a daddy blog)...don't even THINK about asking for sex at the 6 week point. A ripped up twat doesn't heal fully in 6 weeks. Be there emotionally. I know you hate hearing this...but CUDDLE without expectations. Your wife will thank you for this later.

In the meantime, do what you've always done. Why do you think God invented internet porn? For men??'s to give new moms a break.

And on that note, I sign off respectfully.

4/18/2005 12:32 PM  
Blogger mr. nice guy said...

wifeandmom2, you are the wisest person alive.

4/18/2005 4:22 PM  

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