Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Days of grace: the worry edition

1. I tossed and turned in between caring for the little one last night, filled with angst. Strange sadness wafting over me that we didn't do a professional photo shoot when my little girl was a newborn, that although we've taken many photos and shot a good amount of video, none of it is "professional" quality. Already I feel that she is growing and changing, just as she should be, but that I haven't captured or savored each moment enough perhaps, despite how longed for each one has been, and now some moments are already gone. Strange nostalgic sadness and anxiety. I awoke and booked a photo shoot immediately in the hopes of getting her gummy smile commemorated before she sprouts her first tooth and this too is gone. She's growing and changing so fast!

2. Sleep strike: Ms. Magpie has not been interested in napping or sleeping long of late, instead wanting to twist herself around and look at everything (even in the dark) and grab at my clothes and my hands. How can one little girl have so much energy? How can she not be as tired as I am?

3. Now that I am back at work, I feel de-skilled more than ever with my daughter. I have paranoid thoughts that she doesn't know the difference between myself and her caregiver or that she prefers the caregiver. I worry that I will become a stranger to her. Not rational, I know. I want her to be deeply connected to the caregiver. Just mommy doubt, I think. Funny how sometimes I feel so incompetent around her, so incapable of knowing how to do the right thing and other times we fit together perfectly.

4. My daughter is a mover, as I have mentioned before. She is always twisting and arching her body. It is often a struggle to feed her as she prefers to whip her head from side to side to evade the nipple when she can. We've been told she has "high tone." I had her evaluated by a physical therapist who said that she is high toned and tense but that we don't need to intervene. This writhing, board-like, ever moving baby is not what I expected. I worry that she is uncomfortable or that I am doing something wrong. Or that there is something amiss (despite what we've been told) and I'm missing or delaying the opportunity to help her.


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  1. Mommy worry is the worst isn't it?

    I hope the photo shoot goes well. I also have regrets about not having newborn shots taken, but it wasn't worth my stress about germs (and I wasn't in a place to want to be photographed with them - not that I am now).

    I am guessing that, rather than causing any delays, that high tone will lead your daughter to achieving her motor skills milestones. As will her desire to interact with the world and explore. A baby that is content to lie in one place has little motivation to move.

    She reminds me of my daughter. Fiercely independent and stiff as a board. I anticipate her moving from rolling all over the place to a more sophisticated form of locomotion any day now.

  2. 1. I just run mine into JC Penney! There are always coupons, so it's cheap (as long as you don't let them upsell you!), and relatively quick.

    That said, my second will turn 1 next month and I can't believe he's not a baby anymore!

    I can relate to how you're feeling.

    2. Around 7 months is when we finally broke down and sleep trained our daughter. She was up and wanting to nurse like 5 times a night! I was losing my mind (along with all my sleep). Hang in there!

    3. Completely how I felt when I went back to work after my daughter. Now that both kids are home with dad during the day, the feelings are a little less because he's their father, but I'm still jealous and torn- wanting them to want/need me, but also wanting them to be secure when I'm not there.

    4. Is she different than you expected or different than 'normal/typical'? I think sometimes our expectations are unrealistic. A squirmy baby sounds normal to me- twisting and writhing trying to get her body to do what she wants it to do when she doesn't know how to tell it to do something might look like that. That said, I'm of a mind to go with your gut. You can get a second opinion- it will either confirm your suspicions or put your mind at ease.

    And that nipple avoidance thing- I think that's typical. Both my kids got to an age where I couldn't have the TV on while nursing because they would constantly turn to look at it. Now with two, there are times I have to send the older one off/out of the room if I want to nurse the younger because he's so easily distracted.

  3. I have had all these same thoughts. My baby girl went to daycare full time at 4 1/2 months old...don't worry...NOTHING replaces mommy. She loves her care givers and has special relationships with them...but she is all about mommy and daddy...there is NO replacement.

    And...she was also a High Tone baby...very stiff from birth through about 11 months old and still (at 2 1/2) not very flexible...but she is fine and meeting all her milestones. She is just in her area of the spectrum...not outside of normal. So I know you will worry...but is okay. (and we did have the full evaluation for her...and they all agreed she is fine)
    I sure hope you share when you have the pictures taken. I only have a handful of professional pics for both of my babies...I love them...but honestly...the candids do more to help me remember the baby days because they are the "real" image that shows our daily life...not just my adorable children in good lighting :).

  4. Is it possible she's having a little reflux? Leading to the high-tone and twisting? My son showed that behavior when he was refluxing. Propping his head up higher than the rest of him while nursing, and just after helped.

    I agree the candids are more "real" :)

    Hang in there!

  5. This sounds like normal, just returned to work angst. Mo, she is so connected to you. Going back to work will not change that. I think this feeling is more prevalent for moms with at home caregivers. With Sunshine in a daycare center as an infant, my concern was about her needs not being met quickly enough. As an infant, she wanted to be held ALL THE TIME. Until she became mobile, then get out of her way!

    This mom thing, it's for the long haul. I know you will be mindful in your parenting. You'll become more and more connected with Magpie as she grows, and you share experiences. Really! Big hug, mama.

    Sorry about the sleep strike. Sucks. Maybe she's teething? I've also heard that sleep regressions are common as babies are hitting or about to hit mobility milestones, i.e., rolling, crawling, cruising, etc. It's like their brains are going, "WOW! I CAN DO NEW THINGS! MUST. DO. THEM. NOW." It was the case in our home. If we could just slip a few extra hours in the day ...

    I agree with KD, she's likely on the spectrum, which is why the PT said no intervention was needed. But get another opinion if it will put your mind at ease.

    BTW, just a suggestion, but since she's not very interested in eating, I suggest skipping cereal when starting solids. It's pretty tasteless, and might turn her off solids. You can start with just simple mashed banana, then apples, etc. Real flavor might tempt her more than bland rice cereal. And there are now pediatricians recommending this. Here's a good article.


  6. I think your feelings are so valid.

    You won't remember but just around the time I went back to work, I was super emotional and my BOSS told me it was the coming back to work :)

  7. My mom has kept my 2 year old daughter since my maternity leave was over. She's my mom and I still get jealous of her relationship with Davie, so I can imagine how much harder it is with someone who is not a relative.

    I finally started reading on attachment and learned that there's nothing wrong with her attaching to her daily caregivers. It's a great sign that she is comfortable and happy. The love Davie is getting is only multiplied. She is lucky to have so many who love her.

    I still have a pang of jealousy every now and then, but once I started looking at all the love surrounding her, it changed my viewpoint and made everything so much easier. Still, I wish it was me that got to stay home with her every day.

  8. Just a quick heads up.
    Is the writhing and turning only at feeding time, does she arch her back when feeding? My child did this at Ms. Magpie's age and it ended up being silent reflux, it took a long time to feed her too. Worry comes with the territory, it is endless and changes themes and colors every day in my house.

  9. No words of wisdom, but I can tell you that the only professional photos taken of my son to date have been school photos -- one set in preschool the year before K, and now K. So, um, definitely not a mandatory part of a treasured childhood. That said, I hope and trust you'll find ways to record Magpie's life that work for you and that you'll get a wonderful pro to take pics if you want to have them done.

  10. If only they came with instruction manuals. It's funny how we were so focused on getting them here, that what we did after never really occurs and then we are just kind of thrown in to it. Easier said than done, but try not to worry. You are doing a great job and your little sweetie is going to be just fine (as will you, I promise)!

  11. I was SO worried about my son liking his nanny more than me - and that hasn't happened at all. He loves her. He's excited to see her, but for about 6 weeks he went through a stage where he cried and clung to me as soon as she walked in the door. That sucked. Now he's greeting her at the door, hugging my leg as I walk past and talking to his "NahNah" about helping to mix his yogurt for breakfast.

    But then he is SO full of excitement when I get home. Nonstop "Look Mommy!" as he runs around trying to show me everything he's played with during the day. And during the day he talks about me all the time. (or at least the nanny tells me he does! LOL)

    Life is so much easier as a working mom with a child who loves their caregiver. And Mommy is always the one they love best.

  12. The pictures, the baby book, the growth chart, the missed opportunities that can never be recreated....oh the guilt and remorse! That was me, and still I am as much of a procrastinator as ever.

    My advise? Throw something together, just do it. What you will have is better than nothing, even if it's not perfect.

    I feel for you on the writhing baby. Silly me, I expected newborns and babies to be warm little cuddle bugs. Not busy, twisty, grabby, pushy, squirmy movers!

    Mine grew out of that somewhat, but we still joke about how she is a 5 second cuddler. Now that she is verbal it's nice to hear "mommy I love you SO MUCH".

    And the other commenters are right. You are the constant. You will always be mummy, babysitters will come and go. Even the most loved ones will never diminish how your child feels about you (or her daddy).

  13. I felt the same way when we started Smudgie with his first nanny share-- I loved the fact that I could trust her absolutely and that she was a kind and attentive caregiver and yet I was terrified of him preferring her to me. Didn't happen. Can't happen. And when we switched to a new nanny share eight months later, we all cried buckets of tears.

    Miss Magpie knows who her mama is. It will take a little while to feel true confidence in that, but you will.

  14. My twins had two professional photo shoots in their first month, then once or twice a year thereafter. I have documented almost every day of their lives with my own camera. But, I didn't get their footprints until they were 2 months old and always regret not capturing the size of their tiny preemie feet. There is always something to fret about. Always.

  15. Those are all totally normal feelings, and the sleep strikes are normal, too. I remember when Miss A started to sleep with her knees tucked under her and her butt up in the air. For some reason, she felt compelled to be in that position, but at the same time, she didn't like sleeping on her stomach. So conundrum = very short bursts of sleep. And then when she started to sit up on her own and crawl, 2 a.m. seemed (in her little mind, at least) a totally reasonable time to practice those moves. :-)

    With regard to the high muscle tone, if you're still feeling concerned, there's nothing wrong with getting a second opinion. If the second doctor (or physical therapist) has similar feedback as the first one, maybe that would help put your mind at ease. And if they feel differently than the first one and think there are some things that could be done to help her, then you can do that.

  16. I know EXACTLY how you are feeling. I tend to have very nostalgic and sad periods every now and then too. We have an almost-2-year-old after years of infertility and finally a successful cycle at CCRM. And now we have a VERY unexpected miracle surprise 1-month old baby as well, and I'm so grateful for both of them. But every day/week/month that goes by, I'm saddened by the time I will never get back. Maybe it's because this is something I wanted for so long, and now it's happening and I don't know how to deal with the passage of time... I don't know? I hate when people say "it goes by so fast, enjoy every minute"... or "They will be teenagers before you know it". I want to say, "Do you realize what a depressing thought that is? Gee thanks!" When people say this to me, it makes me feel like I'm not savoring every moment as I should.

    BUT.... I can honestly tell you that it just gets better and better!! And each month is more fun than the last. We keep waiting for our son's cuteness to plateau and start going downhill! But so far he is just more fun and cuter with every month that goes by. This is what saves me every time I get that nostalgic feeling. And honestly, having a newborn is not all it's cracked up to be... we remember it fondly and nostalgically but I'm starting to wish my baby would just get a little bit older. I want her to start doing some of the cute things her brother does. I can't wait.

    As far as the pictures... as someone who did do professional newborn photos, I can honestly say that the ones I cherish more are the simple ones we took with our own camera and our iphones!! They capture the day-to-day life of having our child and that means more to me than posed newborn pictures. My favorite thing that I did was on my son's first birthday. I had literally thousands of pictures of him on my iphone and didn't know what to do with them. So I made one of those hard-cover books on iphoto (many sites make these books), with 16 tiny iphone pictures on each page... small snapshots of our life with him the first year. There are probably 1000 pictures in this book and it didn't take me long to do at all. Just drag and drop. And I cherish it more than anything!! Just an idea for you... Don't beat yourself up about anything - you will have sooo many opportunities to capture the moments you have with your precious baby!!

  17. Welcome to motherhood :) I have a almost 3 year old , and it doesn´t get easier this worriying... it get´s worse. My aunt sais that it gets worse with each grandchild, so I dont think it will never stop. You learn to live with these thoughts. I have similar thoughts about pictures with my 3 month old, but I did have professional pictures taken, but I worry that I don´t take as much pictures af her as I did with my 3 year old. There is always something to regret/worry about.

  18. Hi, I meant to respond to the last post and say that it does get better, and they will still love you and know you...but on the other hand, you'll have to give something up, either here or there. Many a child has been raised by a working mom, and turned out just fine. Hang in there!

    Also, I recommend the blog (and book) mama phD


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