Long Island Mom

What I've learned about being a mom.

Round 2

Round 2 of hospital stays for baby David started yesterday. Thought they were going to have to check me into a psych ward. It started with another doctor visit to check his weight, then a bilirubin test since he still looked a little yellow. The machine in my pediatrician’s office only goes up to a 20 and baby D was off the charts. Thy sent us to Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park to get re-tested for a more accurate reading.

We spent several hours in the pediatric emergency room before they came to do blood work. My poor baby at only 5 lbs has such tiny veins that they were digging in his arm to get blood. Tears streamed down my face hearing him cry out in pain and I wanted to wrap him in blankets and just run out. They finally got the sample they needed and we waited. And waited. When they came in with a result of 20.8 and told us he was being admitted I lost it.

I am aware that jaundice is common and that it is fixable. I am aware that he doesn’t have a serious medical issue. I am beyond thankful for that, but it doesn’t change the fact that this tiny baby is continually stuck with needles and wires and can’t be home with our family. The frustration and sadness has become too much for me to ‘stay strong’ through.

Overnight his level came down to a 12 and this morning the doctors took him off of phototherapy again. We’re awaiting good numbers at 3pm and hoping he can come home if things continue to go well. He will be carefully monitored by our pediatrician, and if he knows what’s good for him he’ll never scare mommy like this again. Or he’ll be so grounded.

Our family and friends have been so supportive and wonderful through all of this and I can’t begin to express how much I appreciate all of the kind words and prayers through texts and Facebook. It means the world to us to know everyone is pulling for our baby. We love you all dearly.

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The power of daddy

My husband has taken 3 weeks off from work to be home with me helping with the kids while we adjust to our new life. I remember the time he took off to be home after Sofia was born 2 years ago and things have definitely changed. Dave was very hesitant to change diapers, feed or give baths because he thought Sofia was so fragile. He was scared to break her. This time around, with a 5 lb. preemie, I expected much of the same.

I was so wrong. Not only does he look like a seasoned pro this time around, he seems so much more confident in his daddy abilities. He’s feeding, burping, changing and holding baby David without any hesitation, and seems to enjoy it much more this time around. When the baby is wide awake at 4am and I look like a complete wreck, Dave takes him downstairs to hang out and watch a movie so I can get some sleep.

He is also showering Sofia with attention, taking her outside to play, snuggling with her and making her feel special every chance he gets. She’s going to be devastated when he goes back to work. All the attention she is getting from daddy makes her a very happy girl.

The cherry on top of this fabulous daddy and husband sundae is the list of household chores and things to fix that he made himself. I didn’t impose this on him. Every day he checks off a few more household improvements and errands he’s been meaning to do but hasn’t had the time.

So, this is my homage post to my wonderful husband. What an amazing family man you have become and I find myself falling in love with you more every day.

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And Baby Makes 4

The relief I feel having baby David home after the tumultuous week we had is indescribable. Everyone is healthy and happy and adjusting to life in this crazy house and I couldn’t feel any happier. Definitely no baby blues here. Sofia reserved judgement of her little brother at first, totally unimpressed by him, but is warming up. She will now give him kisses goodnight and refers to him as ‘baby brudda’. It’s kind of the cutest thing ever.

I was extremely nervous about how this new baby would effect our lives. Mostly Sofia, because she is such a spoiled princess, but also Dave and I. How would I love another baby the way I love Sofia? How would I manage time between the 2 of them? Would my husband now be completely ignored?

I in no way have it all figured out just a week in, but I have gotten lots of great advice from moms of 2 or more. And I can tell you, just like every mom told me, you love them just as much as the first. I don’t know how this is possible but you just immediately love them with as much intensity as your firstborn. It’s really crazy how much you can love a little being that you hadn’t even met a few minutes before.

Some of the great advice I’ve gotten :

1. Tend to your older child first. Your older child is mobile, and can get into trouble where your newborn cannot. If the older child needs a snack, the baby can fuss for 2 minutes until you take care of that.

2. Don’t interrupt what you were doing with the older child to run to the baby. It’s so important that the older child knows he/she isn’t less important. Finish the puzzle, the hug, or the story before you run to the baby. I have much more of a tolerance for fussing from my 2nd than I did for Sofia. I know he’ll be just fine in 2 minutes when I can get to him.

3. Enlist help. It’s much more difficult the 2nd time around because although the baby sleeps a lot, he is up every 3 hours to eat, so I’m not sleeping much. My mom is here staying with me, and my husband has taken some time off work, so I can grab something to eat, or a nap, and I have an extra set of hands with the kids.

4. Take the older child out. I was back at our Gymboree classes with Sofia a week after having David. I was blessed to be feeling good and didn’t have a c section so obviously it was easier on me than it would be for a lot of new moms. I get cabin fever being locked away in my house, and I know Sofia does too, so I make sure to feed the baby, leave him with daddy or grandma, and take Sofia out even if its just for a walk or to the supermarket. If I didn’t, she’d be a maniac.

5. Don’t rush a sibling bonding moment. Sofia wanted nothing to do with the baby. In the hospital, she stayed on the opposite side of the room from him when she came to visit and wouldn’t acknowledge him. At home, she seems so uninterested at times, but will occasionally say ‘hi baby!’ Or give him a kiss. She’s coming around and I’m going to let her get to know him on her terms.

Any more advice for me? I’m still learning but what a fun adjustment this has been for our family. Wouldn’t trade it for the world.

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It Ain’t Over…

The past 24 hours has been a roller coaster. Baby David has been feeding great, he is off antibiotics, and his temperature leveled off so he was moved out of the incubator. We were told that as long as his bilirubin count didn’t go any higher, he would be able to come home Friday.

I was discharged yesterday, Thursday. As hard as it was to leave him in the NICU, I knew it would only be a few hours and he would be home. And I was looking forward to having a little alone time with Sofia before her little brother entered her world.

I walked in to a little girl who doesn’t look like a baby anymore. Holding my tiny preemie made Sofia seem so big in comparison. She ran up to me and said ‘mommy!’ and gave me a huge hug and I felt like it had been ages since I saw her last. This whole ordeal has been tough on my entire family and it kills me how hard it must be for her. Mommy and daddy in and out, her routine totally messed up and never knowing who she would wake up to.

My mom and I walked into the NICU at 8:30 this morning prepared to feed and hold the baby and get the ok to take him home. We were met with the news that his bilirubin was too high, meaning he has jaundice, and he would need a minimum of 48 hours under phototherapy lights. I broke down in tears for the first time in days, so disappointed that it’s not yet over.

So, for the next 2 days, and hopefully not more, my son will be laying back in that incubator, with a mask over his eyes and phototherapy lights above him. I have no pictures of my tiny baby since the first hours after he was born, because I honestly don’t want a memory of him like this. Just a little while longer, I know, and in the grand scheme of life 48 hours is nothing. Doesn’t make it any easier to leave him behind and go home to a house that is ready to welcome him.

Thank you, as always, for the kind words and support. How lucky he is that so many people care about him already.

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Thankful

This week is only halfway over and our family has been put through the ringer already. Sunday, at 36 weeks pregnant I was admitted to the hospital for a possible placental abruption after a bleeding episode while we were at church. Many many tests were done and in the early evening Monday it was decided that they would augment my early labor with pitocin and baby David would be born 4 weeks early.

David Anthony III was born at 1:01am on Tuesday, September 18 at 5lbs 3oz and 20 inches long. Initially he was doing well but has had trouble with his breathing, feeding, and regulating his temperature because he’s so early and so small. My husband and I have been hanging out with him in the NICU, holding him when we can and letting him know how loved he is.

Sofia briefly met her little brother before he was moved to the NICU yesterday and was unimpressed. She’s been through a lot the past few days, with mommy and daddy in the hospital and her 2 very loving grandmas giving her anything she could ever hope for to keep her happy. There will be no living with her when I get home, for sure.

I did a lot of complaining through the end of my pregnancy with Sofia because I was uncomfortable and wanted to meet her. She was born a week late and was the picture of health. I would give anything to have been able to carry David to term instead of watching his labored breathing in an incubator and talking to doctors about going home and leaving him to get stronger for days and maybe weeks in the hospital. My heart breaks watching him lay there with IVs and monitors on him, but I know he’s in excellent care and will come home when he’s nice and strong.

So, I’m thankful that he’s in a great hospital with wonderful doctors and nurses watching him closely. I’m thankful that his issues are ‘normal’ for a pre-term baby and not as serious as some of his neighbors in the NICU. I’m thankful that Sofia is being spoiled and well taken care of by her grandmas and that I don’t have any long-lasting problems from the birth of my son. Mostly, I’m thankful that this part of my life will be short-lived and I will be taking home a healthy little boy to join our family.

Say a prayer for my beautiful little boy please and thank you to everyone who has been so supportive over the past few days. Your kind words mean the world to our family.

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Public Urination

Mom Gets Ticket After 2 Year Old Pees in Street

First of all, hilarious.

The poor kid was shopping with his mom and grandparents and 2 older siblings when the ‘urge’ struck him. Mom asked the shop owner to use the restroom and was refused, so she told the boy to pee in a grassy area nearby. When she turned around he was peeing on a utility pole.

I’m not at the potty training stage yet, but I am familiar with the fact that a 2 year old gives you a 30 second warning when they have to ‘go’. What was this mother supposed to do?

My mom ran a daycare out of our home when I was growing up. One day, as the kids were playing in the backyard, she noticed 3 of the little boys with pants around their ankles peeing in the grass. The ringleader, a blonde curly-headed cutie named Tyler, had instructed the other 2 that ‘big boys per in the woods’. He had gone camping with his dad the weekend before and was taught how to pee when restrooms are not available. Boys will be boys.

So what is the big deal? He was 2 and it was a potty emergency. This mom is being called all kinds of things since this story broke and I’m not sure what the big deal is here. It was either wet pants or peeing in public. I’ll excuse the peeing in public for a 2 year old.

Also, my husband’s cousin has kid of a genius way of handling these situations. Her daughter (almost 3) is potty trained but doesn’t give much warning, so she has a ‘travel potty’ in her trunk. I will be doing the same, in a few months when it’s Sofia’s turn. And as far as that cop goes, get a life. Move on to real issues.

Here’s a link to My Carry Potty – stow it in your trunk and avoid public urination tickets ;)

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Professor Breastfeeds in Class

Professor Breastfeeds in Class

A professor at American University brought her sick daughter to the first day of class and openly breastfed her in front of her students. That’s the gist.

My first thought isn’t even about the breastfeeding. In what other profession is bringing your sick child to work acceptable? I taught at a high school until recently when I became a stay at home mom. When my daughter was sick, my options were leaving her with a relative or taking a sick day myself. Taking her to work with me was not an option. One student in the article says he found it unprofessional and I happen to agree. Unfortunately this is one of those things you deal with as a working mom.

Now on to the breastfeeding. It was a gender and sexuality class. They’re all adults at a university. Get over it.

My opinion on public breastfeeding is this: I cover up when possible but would never, under any circumstances, condemn a mother openly breastfeeding anywhere. Period. If your child is hungry, feed him. In this country it is acceptable to show your breasts in revealing tops for sexual reasons but everyone is all prude when it comes to minimally exposed breasts for their intended purpose: feeding a child. This needs to change and quick.

Your opinion?

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Recipes for Toddlers

Obviously I have been misinformed.

Recipes : Honest Toddler

If you haven’t checked out this blog, I highly suggest it. I’ve been crying from laughter.

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Food and Health

Saw this interesting photo on Facebook and had to pass it along :

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What do you think? Do you pay as much attention as you would like to your diet?

I consider myself a very healthy person. I am even more so for the benefit of my daughter. I made all her baby food and make sure her meals are balanced and nutritious. This does not mean, however, that I don’t let her eat a little ice cream or have a hamburger once and awhile. I also indulge in some pretty awful stuff once and awhile. Like hot pockets. And sour candies. But on a regular basis I pay close attention to what foods I feed my family because I do think that our health is directly affected by what we eat.

Which is why I’m so happy all these studies show drinking wine is beneficial. :)

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Shepherd’s Pie

4 weeks to go until baby David gets here and I’m craving meat in a big way. I’m typically not that into red meat but it’s all I want to eat at the moment. And who doesn’t live mashed potatoes? With cheese? Enter shepherd’s pie.

Traditionally this is made with lamb, but I made it with ground beef and you can make it with any ground meat. Chicken and turkey work well with this. This is another great meal to make and freeze for a later date, then just pop it in a 350 oven for 45 mins and you have a very comforting fall/winter meal. Hope you enjoy!

Shepherd’s Pie

1 lb. ground meat (beef, chicken, turkey, etc.)
4-5 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
4-5 celery stalks, chopped
1 cup frozen peas
1 tbs. chopped fresh thyme
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs flour
1/4 cup red wine
1/2 cup chicken, beef or veggie broth
5-6 russet potatoes, peeled and chopped into large pieces
1/2 stick butter
1/4 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper

1. Boil potatoes until soft (20 mins or so depending on size) and mash with butter, milk, 1/2 cup of cheese, salt and pepper.

2. While potatoes are boiling, sauté onions and garlic with fresh thyme until soft.

3. Brown meat in the pan with onions and garlic, add carrots and celery and sauté 3-4 mins.

4. Add flour and cook 2 mins, then add wine and cook another 2 mins until the alcohol evaporates. Add broth and cook until sauce thickens. Add frozen peas.

5. Pour meat and veggie mixture into a baking dish and top with mashed potatoes. Smooth with a spatula and top with remaining cheese.

6. Bake at 350 for 20 mins until bubbly.

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