It's been a long while since I've been able to focus my attention on anything other than Shelby. Lately, when I have a few minutes, I find myself debating between taking a shower, grabbing something more than a granola bar to eat, or catching up on some Z’s. Mommy-hood is awesome but so exhausting and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Shelby was supposed to be my Valentine’s Day gift to my husband; her due date was February 13th, but in good Finken tradition plans were tossed to the side as life had its own agenda. Almost 27 hours of labor and two weeks of pre-term labor all mounted to 20 minutes of pushing and a beautiful, healthy baby girl...two weeks early.
Shelby AnnMarie made her grand (and I do mean grand) debut on January 31st at 9:52PM; tipping the scales at 7lbs 3oz, 20 inches long!
Prior to her arrival: the months ticked by, I grew more and more anxious as I thought about all the changes that were heading our way. No longer would we be able to just jump in the car and head to a restaurant for dinner on a whim. A simple trip to the store for a carton of milk would no longer be simple and sleeping in on the weekend...or any day, would all become things of the past. Not only did the changes scare me, but mounting uncertainty in my ability to be a good parent, to raise an outstanding little person; someone who would make the world a more beautiful place, grew too. Lets face it, it's no secret that I have always been more comfortable baby talking to a puppy or a kitten rather than an actual baby. I'm that awkward women who's never really sure what to say or how to act around toddlers or babies.
My how things change.
Shelby has brought out a side of my personality that I had no idea even existed. When those big brown eyes find mine, I melt and forget it when she flashes me with that gummy smile of hers; she could probably get anything she wanted out of me at that moment.
I often find myself admiring her while she sleeps, or staring at her in amazement as she lays cooing on a play-mat. For me, there isn't anything more beautiful in this world than that little brown eyed baby girl.
Don’t get me wrong; these first few weeks have had their ups and downs. Moments when I havw found myself sitting on the couch in a puddle of tears thinking to myself "what have I done?" but those moments are fleeting and worth every tear.
I wasn't able to breastfeed and it proved to be more impactful on my psyche than I thought. We had prepared to bottle feed straight from the beginning of my pregnancy knowing the challenges we faced to get pregnant and knowing the odds of breastfeeding were stacked against us, but I had internally hoped things would work out in my favor. Again, it goes back to the philosophy of consciously making a decision not to breastfeed and my body making the decision for me just like the want/need to conceive.
Upward and onward...
Because I was unable to breastfeed we began what would prove to be a very exhausting and emotionally draining roller coaster ride to pin down a formula that worked best for our little princess. I'm pretty sure our cart went soaring off the track several times before we were towed back onto the rails by Similac Sensitive (for us, the generic Target brand, Up & Up Sensitive). We trialed with six different formulas, gas drops, gripe water, bicycle kicks, prune juice, and Karo Syrup, but nothing worked. If she wasn't constipated she had awful, terrible gas that made her tummy harder than a rock. We even bought the ultra expensive, hypoallergenic formula Nutramigen only for her to take one swig before a hysterical crying fit ensued and the remaining formula spewed out the corners of her mouth. If it tasted as awful as it smelled, I don't blame her.
Watching her cry in pain just to have a bowl movement, or toot, was absolutely heartbreaking. The prune juice offered some relieve, but it was only temporary and led to a blowout in the car...though, I'd gladly take a blowout over the screeching tears of constipation. Similac Sensitive, probiotics and the Windi by Fridababy, have been our saving grace as we seem to be on the upward swing. Plus, she's a bit older now (9 weeks) so her tummy is a bit more developed and she's learning to just push the toots out. We are still fighting the constipation, but that too seems to be on the upward swing as she had her first scream free #2 yesterday! Never did I think I would be Face-timing my husband to share the exciting news that our daughter had actually "enjoyed the go."
As for momma, post delivery hasn't been the easiest. The first few weeks were okay and I thought I just might get lucky and not have the flare in pain the doctors had warned us about. Sadly, it reared its ugly head around 5 1/2 - 6 weeks post delivery. I've dropped a few bottles from pain in my fingers and wrists and I can't hold Shelby for too long before I need support due to pain in my elbows and lower back. Shelby doesn't know the difference though, as we are finding ways to adjust and just power through. Whether it be stuffing pillows around us or using a Moby wrap to more evenly disperse her weight, we're making it work.
With the guidance of my doctors I am moving back to a gluten free diet as well as discussing some other options that may provide immediate, albeit temporary, relief. With that being said, if anyone has any Gluten free recipes that you have tried and love, send them my way!!!
Well, there's more to tell but little miss just woke and is calling for her dinner. I'll leave you with some adorable pictures of our precious little bundle! Enjoy!