On my mind
by Karla ° Friday, December 8, 2006
I have managed to catch a horrible cough and cold and have lost my voice and ability to breathe. I can’t breathe through my nose because it is blocked and trying to blow it results in a murderous red nose bleed and my throat is too raw to draw air down it without spasms of razor sharp pain. To add insult to injury, my baby is so large that he has collapsed my lung capacity to zero. I think I am slowly suffocating. To compensate I now spend my days moving between islands of sleep and wishful thinking for those days when I can self medicate once again.
Do you put a baby to bed with or without a sheet? I’ve heard yes and no and to use a sleep hugger or a baby sleeping bag to lower the risk of SIDS.

My front entrance closet has smelled like sweaty sandal clad feet for months now and I really should clean it.

In two weeks my baby will be born.

How frustratingly infuriating it is to get a second medical opinion. After the conflicting opinions of my OB and Pediatrician about the timing of medically intervening to birth this baby (who both incidentally work at the same hospital and both followed my care with Ava), I tried to get a third, unbiased opinion. To see an OB in Ontario requires a referral from your family doctor and then about a three month wait to see the OB. My family doctor had no openings until after Christmas. Not one midwifery organization would speak to me about my concerns for fear of legal issues.

Should or shouldn’t we buy one of those angel care sleep monitors that detect your baby’s movement and sound an alarm if they have stopped breathing for more than 20 seconds?

At what point is concern for one’s baby considered abnormally neurotic?

Mother of all Ebenezer’s, I am a total Scrooge. I didn’t buy Nate a Christmas present. Instead I wrapped a silicone soother and put it under the tree.

Why the hell is it so complicated to know what the right thing to do is? When my mom had me I was put to sleep on my stomach, I slept with a big huge baby comforter, I wasn’t breastfed, car seats were not yet invented and horror or all horrors, I wore rubber pants.

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It is so funny about how things have changed. I remember very vividly as s small child, sitting in the FRONT SEAT of the car of all things without a restraint.

I think your concerns about your baby are valid and trust me because I am the most neurotic of all mothers when it comes to SIDS fears. Both of my kids slept with me as infants so I could keep my hand on their chests and monitor them to make sure they were still breathing. My youngest (11 mths) still sleeps with me sometimes when I'm feeling particularly paranoid. All this unfortunately leads to not a lot of sleep. But personally, I don't think there is ever too much paranoia when it comes to babies. Just my opninion.

Wow, you are getting close!!
Posted by Blogger Kate :  December 08, 2006

It is totally normal to feel utterly paranoid about not making a mistake when it comes to the care of your newborn. I was petrified. Seriously. Almost to the point of incapacitation. If it hadn't been for Hubba-hubba, it would have been a disaster.

As for sleeping, we of course had him on his back, and in the interest of keeping him warm, kept him in warm fuzzy cotton jammies and if I felt it was especially cold, used a blanket that had rather large holes (crocheted) as a precaution. Hey, maybe that was wrong, I don't know.

But, as it turned out, we co-slept with him anyway.
Posted by Blogger Gina :  December 08, 2006

Should or shouldn’t we buy one of those angel care sleep monitors? -

In my opinion, YES. If you are planning to have your baby sleep in his crib, I would buy one. I had one, I loved it and I will never NOT have one as long as there is an infant in my house. It gave me peace of mind and if we went anywhere that didn't have it under the matress inwhich Tyler was sleeping, I wouldn't sleep.

Honestly, the only complaint I have ever heard about the ACM was how sometimes there can be false alarms. My monitor NEVER had a false alarm, not once, and even if there had been it wouldn't of mattered to me. I'd rather be safe than sorry. It was well worth it knowing that my baby was breathing while he was sleeping, and while we were sleeping as well.

I recieved my montior as a gift for my shower, and it was one of the best gifts I got!! :)

I can't believe that he will be here in two weeks! I just can't wait to meet this little man!!!!
Posted by Blogger Melanie :  December 08, 2006

You will make the right decisions for your family and your baby!

We are all different, and I the opinionated one when it comes to taking care of babies, could tell you what you should and shouldn't do, but I will let you decide for yourself! Whatever works for Nate and whatever makes you and Mark comfortable will be just perfect!
Posted by Anonymous donna :  December 08, 2006

Trust your heart and your gut.....leave the books and the pamphlets and the naysayers behind...trust your instinct. It's a gift from God and it takes time to develop.
You can't cover every single base. Take one day/situation at a time. You're going to discover what is important and what to not fret about but it takes time.
I believe in you.... really, I do :)

The baby angel monitor, Lucas had one but sometimes it would just go off and freak one out. In turn also wake the sleeping baby! So I dont know will it instill more panic in one? That is a personal option.

What does your doctor recommend about the sheet?

I hope you feel better!
Posted by Blogger TBG :  December 08, 2006

Yes, you should do what you said, ha,ha..

Two weeks is really soon. Woohoo..

I think you'll find that never again will you sleep so soundly that you'll miss even the sound of a cat's paws hitting fresh snow next door. Buy some nice blanket sleepers and you'll/he'll be fine. Buy lots of Shout or Dreft stain remover. Lots. I'd say breathe, but you can't. I'm a total stranger, but I am so excited for you...I check in all the time. Good luck sweet mama.
Posted by Blogger Amanda :  December 08, 2006

Karla! You're doing just fine. Remember, take each day as it comes. It will work itself out. Most important, go with your gut. Maternal instinct. I might recommend if I may, not to start into the habit of sleeping with a newborn. SIDs is a rarity in children, but two adults in a bed with a baby can pose even greater risks. If anything, you might consider having a basinet in your room with baby the first few weeks until you feel confident in his sleeping patterns and safety. Good luck, and continue to stay positive.
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  December 08, 2006

The Sleep Angel thing? Umm, don't bother. A friend bought it because she was so panicky about her baby's breathing. I told her, Ok, you have it, when the baby stops breathing, do you know what to do? Get thee to a CPR/First Aid class, please. That is far more important than the Sleep Angel gimmick whose inventors only want to profit from us poor worried, panicky and gulliable mommies! =P

My son slept with us from birth and on with first a sheet covering him because it was summer and later a down comforter. He was fine. Nate will be fine. IMHO, the best place for babies is to be in the same room as you for at least six months, in your bed or in their own. When babies sleep, should they "forget" to breathe, hearing the adults' breathing helps them "remember."

Now, I'm going to tell you something that no one told me before my son was born. When Nate arrives, you WILL have horrific visions of bad things happening to him, while walking down the stairs, driving, etc. They are really "Day-mares." It is NORMAL. If you get such a vision, just brush it away, take a deep breath and clear your mind. Do it again and again. The visions will decrease over time.

Positive affirmations work great! I like this metta meditation:

May you (I, Nate) be safe from internal and external harm.

May you (I, Nate) have a calm, clear mind and a peaceful, loving heart.

May you (I, Nate) be physically strong, healthy and vital.

May you (I, Nate) experience love, joy, wonder, and wisdom in this life, just as it is.

Posted by Blogger Keri :  December 08, 2006

I have to say I agree w/Keri. If you think your freaking out now feels irrational, wait until you have Nate. You won't do it forever, but at first EVERYTHING will freak you out.

We had a monitor w/TJ, but our house at the time was HUGE, and we couldn't have heard him otherwise had he been crying. I don't use anything now, nor did I w/Taryn. I also cover Cole up in a blanket at night, as well as put him in footie pajamas. As a matter of fact, when they are little, they teach you at the hospital how to swaddle them, which you do w/a blanket. Cole (and TJ and Taryn did, too) sleeps on his belly during the day sometimes, and he's fine. It's good for babies to have tummy time sometimes (usually it's while they're awake and active, and they eventually fall asleep that way). So maybe I'm not being overly cautious, but I was a lot more w/TJ till I found out most of it was just needless worry. However, everything you are worrying about is 100% normal, and not neurotic at all.

Oh, and for Christmas Cole is getting formula and diapers, if that makes you feel any better. They aren't even getting wrapped.
Posted by Blogger Christi :  December 09, 2006

breast feeding and co-sleeping are two of the best gifts you can give your child. best wishes to your christmas baby.
Posted by Blogger karl :  December 09, 2006

I wore rubber pants too. LOL. And no seat belt!

I hope your cold gets better soon. No fun.

I bought the ANgel care monitor and it made me almost loose my mind as mine was faulty and went off incorrectly all the time. We ended up cosleeping ... it was the only thing to come my neuroticness.

Thanks for all of your thoughts everyone. I sort of feel like I am in that “all thumbs” mode like I am about to start the first day of a new job and have no idea what I’ve gotten myself into.

I think the baby sleeping in the room will keep me sane for at least a couple of months. Maybe.
Posted by Blogger Karla :  December 09, 2006

I never understood those angel monitor things. Isn't it going to go off all the time when you're baby is, you know, SLEEPING and not moving? Or are they ridiculously sensitive and go off when the baby stops breathing? I dunno -- they seem too expensive when a normal monitor will do, and it irritates me that they're trying to cash in on parental fears.

We've never used a sheet -- just a blanket. Lucy was gently swaddled the first few weeks, then just tucked. We've had to get over the suffocation fear, as at 9 months she likes to sleep wrapped from head to foot in her knit blanket. Sometimes I go in at night and I can't tell which end is up...

Lucy slept in the room with us for the first four weeks (out of paranoia and ease of endless breastfeeding). At one month we moved her into the nursery and from that night on she's slept through the night. We figure she stopped freaking out hearing us, and vice versa.

Wow, this is a lot of assvice. But thanks for letting me rant!

ps -- my mom can't get over how "safe" we are nowadays, either. She's especially flustered with food: waiting days between new foods, only breastmilk for six months etc.
Posted by Anonymous Carly :  December 09, 2006

I agree with Keri too. I regularly questioned my sanity when both mine were newborns, but especially with the first. Everything felt like a hazard and I was constantly on alert.

I don't have any good advice on sheets and comforters. I never had luck with the crib or bassinet. I know it's controversial, but the only way anyone got any sleep was with the baby sleeping with me with a boob exposed for easy access. I never came close to rolling over them smothering them in any way. I suspect those statistics about babies being rolled on don't take into account whether the parents had been drinking or not.
Posted by Blogger Julia :  December 11, 2006

You have to do whatever makes you feel sane. I never thought that I would do some of the things I ended up doing - but I just had to, to deal with the madness in my head. (e.g. co sleeping for the first few months) You'll soon find out whether letting baby sleep in the same room as you is a good idea or not - for ours, as soon as I moved him to his own room, he started sleeping through the night!
My one concrete tip is that baby sleeping bags (e.g. Grobags) are a good thing. I've just come back to Canada from living in the UK where loads of people use them and they are super handy. In fact, we just had to hunt down a special boutique to buy a new one here! Of course they aren't necessary - just handy, and well researched into safety (to be honest, for me it's more about the kid staying asleep as he's warm under a blanket that stays put).
First time I've commented but am following your progress and wishing you all the best.

ahhahahha. rubber pants.

to quote invader zim


I enjoy your blog Karla. You will be amazing with Nate, so I wish you all the best as I feel good luck is a dumb thing to say.

post lots of peektures!
Posted by Blogger Tachae :  December 11, 2006

Oh man, I was so paranoid too. Anyway, I thought I'd link to this Sleep Sack thing, we had a couple for Riley when he was itsy-bitsy and they did a nice job of keeping him warm at night while not being the Dreaded Bedding we're all warned against these days.

Hope you're doing well!
Posted by Anonymous Sundry :  December 11, 2006


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