Monday, May 14, 2012

Bringing Up Bébé Book Club

So I did my first book club over the last two months. I just barely finished the book by the deadline and I didn't send in any questions, so by golly, I'm at least going to respond to some of the questions.

The book, Bringing Up Bébé, is about the experiences of an American raising her children in France. I thought the book was well written, and while it may have painted an overly flattering (they can't all possibly be that happy!!!), I thought it contained lots of suggestions without being pushing or scientific.

Did you find that you already possessed (or hoped to possess) some “French” parenting characteristics?  Did the book make you want to adopt some?  Do you prefer the “American” way in any of the parenting areas the book covered?

 Since I don't have my baby just yet, I haven't seen what my parenting style is going to be like. There were a number of "French" parenting characteristics that I would love to try. The biggest one for me would be 'the pause', especially at night. I do not do well at all without sleep, so getting up every few hours is going to be the hardest part about having a newborn. I don't even like the fact that I have to get up once or twice to pee since I've been pregnant. So that's one of the first things I'd like to try. Maybe I can avoid the issue of sleep training altogether if we get that to work. 'The pause' also shows up elsewhere, and I've used it a number of times with kids when they fall down. More often than not, little kids fall and then look around to see if anyone noticed. If you go running, they start screaming as if they're dying. If no one appears to notice or you don't make a big deal about it, they usually can pick themselves up, dust off and go about their business.

The issue of scheduling feedings struck me as interesting, but I'm not sure I could do it. It's been a few years since I've been in the day care business, but I'm pretty sure there are some guidelines governing how often they offer milk to the baby. And I'm pretty sure it's more often than the schedule. I could definitely see if working a.) once I'm done being pregnant and b.) when little one is bigger. Once she is eating more than just a bottle, I could totally see that working. It's not a bad idea for adults either. Although I wonder how well that plan interacts with the current eating trend of eating smaller meetings more often.

I love the idea of talking to babies about what's going on. I do that anyway just because it's good for language development, but I'd never thought about it from an intellectual 'they have a right to know what's going on' kind of way.

As for independent playing, see below.

 I will try to add more tonight, but I don't have the book with me at work, so I would need to page through to see what else I'd like to try. There were more than this, I do know that.

“…[a french mother] also teaches her kids a related skill: learning to play by themselves. ‘The most important thing is that he learns to be happy by himself.’”

What do you think of leaving young babies (6-12 months) alone for a fair amount of time (20-45 minutes), if they are playing happily on their own? Neglectful, or smart parenting?

I don't think there is anything wrong with letting a baby entertain herself for brief periods of time. It does teach independence, and that is important. I would make sure I was still in the room or at least nearby to her, but the world is not going to entertain you. You will eventually have to find something to entertain yourself. I have talked with my mom about how she never had to worry about me being bored. I was always able to come up with a game or find a book or create something to do. Now, my younger brother has always had a sibling. He didn't have the opportunity to learn that skill, and is constantly bored and jumping from thing to thing, even as an adult.

I wouldn't say that it would be wise to do this all the time. You can't just feed and change her and then leave her to her own devices all the time. Babies need interaction as well. But they can also become over-stimulated, just like adults, and need time to decompress.

Other posts regarding this book can be found here:  Bringing Up Bébé Book Club.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Still being stubborn

My 24 week appointment was on Friday. We had an ultrasound to try to get the missing pictures from the anatomy scan as well as just a regular check-up. We talked about my episode the night before, and the doc agreed it was heat-related. She said that I was just going to have be careful to not overheat and make sure I stay super hydrated. In other words, if I'm not careful, this could become a regular thing. She looked at the spots on my face, confirming they were from the vomiting, and then commented that it would be fun (in a sarcastic way) to see how my face looked after actually giving birth if puking did that. Beyond that, I got the liquid for my GD test for my next appointment and set up an appointment for yet another ultrasound.

Here is the elusive profile picture they couldn't last time. The floating orb is actually a cross-section of her arm since she had her hands up by her face yesterday. Speaking of her face, I think she's going to have a cute nose.

But, yes, another ultrasound. Baby girl is quite stubborn and has stayed breech, making it difficult to get the pictures  of her heart. Now that she's grown a little bit more, her head is above my belly button, so they got those photos, but now her heart is directly below my belly button making it difficult. Add to it that she has consistently had her back to the u/s wand, and you've got the most impossible shot in the world. So we get another ultrasound which I'm not horribly upset about.

We also got our pre-registration paperwork for labor & delivery (eek!) as well as the list of options for our birthing plan. There is a whole lot of stuff on there that I haven't even thought of, and if she stays breech and they can't flip her, some of it won't even matter..... like drugs. If I have to have a c-section, obviously, drugs are not optional! So over the next few weeks, we'll be discussing that. I kinda want to wait until we get through our birth & labor classes to see if we learn stuff there.

Speaking of birth & labor class, we start class on Wednesday! It's three weeks, with class for 3 hours on Wednesday nights, complete with the pillow and blanket requirement. I'm kinda nervous. I don't feel pregnant enough to be doing birth classes yet, even though it specifically says to do it in your sixth or seventh month, and tomorrow, I'll be 25 weeks, which is pretty much the end of month five, beginning of month six. I guess I'm just not showing in the way that I'd expect. We've also signed up for a breastfeeding class toward the end of June which Matt isn't thrilled about attending, but is going to  go to since I want him to.

After my appointment, we met with one of the ladies in billing to find out about our options once I no longer have insurance coverage through work. Luckily, they accept Badgercare which is the state aid here in Wisconsin. So the plan at this point is, even if we end up having to move to IL, to figure out a way to stay in WI through the birth and the first few weeks of her life to make sure that we continue to qualify for Badgercare. We will make this work!!!

Maybe I'll have Matt take a new pic tomorrow to compare to the last picture of me. I haven't really posted those on here, but I suppose I could. I haven't seen a whole lot of change, but others say they can tell a difference.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Scary times

Last night was super scary. It has gotten super warm and humid in the last few days, and my room was unbearably muggy by the end of the day. We stopped and picked up Speedy-Freezes and Jimmy John's on our way home. I was looking forward to my tuna sandwich until I discovered there was lettuce on it. I don't hate lettuce; I just don't want it on my sandwich. It was okay.

So we sat and watched some TV, and I eventually fell asleep during Wheel of Fortune. When I woke up, I was really warm and sweating and just really uncomfortable. My sides were aching like I'd been doing side crunches or something, and my stomach was a tiny bit crampy. We started to watch Wire in the Blood, a great very creepy British thriller series about a shrink who helps with serial killer cases. After about 20 minutes, I just was too uncomfortable sit still any longer. I went to the bathroom, paced around in the bedroom, and eventually took off as much clothing as I could (without being completely indecent) and sat in front of the fan.

Less than five minutes later, I was in the bathroom, puking violently. That lasted for a good 30 minutes. 30 minutes of misery. My head and face hurt, my nose was plugged, I'd somehow managed to throw up on my shirt, and I had tears streaming down my face. And I was still sweating like mad and hot. So I decided to take a cold bath. I thought maybe it was a combination of the heat and not enough liquid even though I'd had that entire Speedy-Freeze. So I say in the tub for at least another half an hour. I almost fell asleep even. Matt checked on me a couple of times, but I really just wanted to be alone. I got out of the tub and promptly threw up again. After throwing up that last time, I was still achy but I was pretty sure I was done throwing up. I dried off, got dressed and parked myself in front of the AC. Since I felt better after the cold bath, I decided it was most likely heat related, so one of the times Matt checked on me, he told me he was going to turn on the AC so I could crash in front of it.

After sitting in front of the AC for awhile, I felt a lot better. Better enough to eat some crackers and drink water without worrying about throwing it all up. The achiness went away and I could sit in one place for more than a few minutes. I worried about the potential for listeria infection from the sub because how I was feeling sounded eerily like a story I had read about someone who had it, but from what I could find on-line, the timeline didn't work out. And I wasn't noticing decreased baby movement which was something the other person had noticed. According to webMD, I had a lot of the symptoms of heat exhaustion which lines up with what I was thinking it was related to.

Unfortuantely, all the puking left me with a bunch of red spots all over my face. Matt suggested heat rash, but I think I'd have it elsewhere if it was heat rash. So I think it's just broken capillaries from the vomiting. They're not painful or itchy, and they're not as red as they were last night. They kinda looked like I grew a whole ton of freckles or tiny little mini-bruises overnight. They're even on my eyelids!! Blech.

I do have a doc appointment already set up for today so I'm definitely going to bring it up, but I am feeling much better today. It's also a lot cooler outside. But if I didn't have an appointment, I would have called to make an appointment. Just to be on the safe side.

I've never felt like that before and it really scared me. My biggest concern is that baby girl is okay. I haven't felt her a lot today, but it's been a busy day. And I haven't been too hungry, so I haven't eaten a whole lot. Food usually gets her going. :-)

I'll write more later after our doctor appointment.