Goodbye Florida!

Hello Milwaukee, WI! You read right, my little family of three is moving from the sunny, and warm state of Florida, to the very, very cold state of Wisconsin. I couldn’t be anymore excited. Im sure people up there will think im crazy for being happy to leave Florida, but I’ve never been happy here. 

My parents moved here from New Jersey when I was a baby, and we left all my family behind. Every time I visited up north, I knew one day I would move back. Florida is full of chains, tourists, and traffic. Sixty degrees is our winter and our summers reach around ninety-eight degrees. It downpours everyday in the summer, and the humidity is suffocating. In order to get anywhere you have to drive. The entire state can be defined by suburban sprawl.

I want to live somewhere where I can walk to a little coffee shop, or bike to the store. I want to be able to hang outside without needing to run inside after fifteen minutes in order to avoid heat exhaustion. You cant even enjoy the beach in the summer because the sand gets so hot it burns your feet, and the water is so warm, its not even refreshing.

I will miss the pretty sunsets, and getting to wear flip flops year round, but it is nothing compared to all the great things ill be experiencing in Wisconsin. I will get to actually wear fall and winter clothes! Not just a cardigan and light scarf. Emma will get to experience white Christmases. I could go on and on, but ill stop rambling. 

Now, I am DREADING the move. My boyfriend will be driving the Uhaul, which will be trailing his car, and ill be driving our other car with Emma and our dog, Oliver. We are trying to go straight through without stopping to sleep. We are thinking it should take about 20 hours or so. If anyone has any tips on traveling with a baby, or tips for long distance moving at all, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE feel free to leave a comment. This is our first road trip with Emma and it’s the longest move we’ve ever made. We are moving exactly a month from today, so I am starting to get anxious. 

xoxoxo

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My Daughter Is A High Needs Baby

My daughter turned six months this past Sunday. As I reflect on these past six months, the typical things come to mind. “Where did the time go, she is growing so fast, I miss how little she was, etc..” Most people say they wish time would slow down, however I am yearning for her to grow older. Don’t get me wrong, I love my daughter, but I am OVER this baby stage. I have a high needs baby. Now if you don’t know what that is, go read this article. Basically she is excessively fussy and needy. Constantly wants to be held- while im standing up, refuses anything synthetic (swing, bouncer, baby bottle, pacifier),  and is probably only happy for 1-2 hours a day. The rest is spent fussing, crying, yelling, and well, you get it.

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After multiple doctors visits and spending many late nights researching why my daughter cries 24/7 I finally stumbled across the above website and everything clicked together. I couldn’t believe that I figured out the problem! Since then, we’ve been able to handle her a little better. We know her triggers and what makes her happy and we take it day by day. Some days are absolutely awful, while others are pretty decent! She loves to be outside, and she loves her jumper but you have to switch her activities every 10-15 minutes or else she has a meltdown, obviously she loves to be held, and she HAS to get put down for a nap every hour and a half. I spend 20-30 minutes rocking her to sleep in order to put her down for a nap. Also, she is still waking up every two to three hours at night to comfort nurse, since unfortunately she uses me as a pacifier.

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I cant wait for her to get older so this stage can get a little better. From what I’ve read, some high needs babies turn into great kids, and others turn into whats known as a “spirited toddler.” Emma also had colic, which she grew out of at 4 months and she has pretty bad acid reflux. So we’ve got our hands full. It’s definitely very hard when you carry around this little baby for 40 weeks and you dream about what she will be like, and you fall in love with her, and cant wait to see her smiles, and hear her laughs, and then when she arrives its nothing like you imagined. I didnt think it would be all rainbows and unicorns, I knew it would be hard, but I didnt know it would be this hard. I hate that I look at my friends babies and wish that my daughter was like them. Their babies hardly ever cry, fall asleep on their own, will sit and entertain themselves, and are just so sweet and happy and It kills me that Emma isn’t happy. I hate to see her cry all day and no matter what I do, not much makes her happy.

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With all that said, I wouldn’t change a single thing about her. The things that do make her happy are so uniquely her and I love it. She is obsessed with bottles and cans, and water faucets. She loves to talk to herself in the mirror. When I pick her up after a nap, or when she wakes up at night, she clings to me and paws at me with her hands in the most gentle way. She loves to stand and bounce, and even when she is laying down she kicks her legs and tries to bounce. She has taught me patience and unconditional love.

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The most frustrating aspect of having a high needs baby isn’t Emma, its all of the people around us who say its our fault. They say “there is no such thing as high needs, you’re just spoiling her.” “It’s probably from you picking her up when she cries.” “Have you tried not breastfeeding her and forcing a bottle?” “Oh she is probably just hungry, tired, needs to be changed, etc.” Heres a thought, why don’t YOU spend a whole day with her and then tell me these things. First of all, you cant spoil a baby, at least one under six months. Secondly I don’t immediately pick her up when she cries, I give her a few minutes to see if she figures it out on her own, then I will go get her. Forcing a bottle, are you stupid? Im not going to starve her until she takes a bottle and I like breastfeeding her anyway. And lastly, im her mother, don’t you think i would know if she was hungry, tired, or needed to be changed?

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Whether she becomes a happy toddler, or a spirited one, wont matter much to me. On both the bad and good days I love her just the same. If you think you might have a high needs baby then I highly suggest you check out the fussy baby site and the Facebook support group.

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On Bees and Efs

Do you — or did you ever — have a Best Friend? Do you believe in the idea of one person whose friendship matters the most? Tell us a story about your BFF (or lack thereof).

In Response to On Bees and Efs

I like to think that I have had many Best Friends. Things happen though. You get older, people change, conflicts can arise. 

In Elementary School I had a few good friends. I spent all my time with these girls but there was one who I definitely identified as my best friend. I was at her house every weekend! We traveled together, went from thinking boys were gross to hanging pictures of them on our walls together, and she helped me get through my parents divorce. Of coarse we fought constantly, but we always got over it a few minutes later. While im not sure exactly what happened, I know our fights got a little worse and more hurtful as we grew older. It wasn’t fighting over games, it was fighting over friends and back stabbing. Calling each other very hurtful things. Middle school can be a very rough time. We still never stopped being best friends until high school came around. We ended up going to different schools and making different friends. The first year we would see each other like once a month, after that im not sure what exactly happened. Now we just like each others posts on Facebook and that is about as much contact as we have. 

In High School I never really had a best friend until I started dating my boyfriend. I didn’t know a single person at the school and was really quiet. I made the Varsity cheerleading squad my freshman year and even that didn’t get me many friends. None of the girls from my old cheerleading squads were on the team and they all knew each other already. I spent most of my time with these girls but I would hardly call them my friends. I had a couple other friends I spent time with but I didn’t necessarily enjoy spending my time with them either. Sophomore year rolls around and that is when I started dating Austin. I never knew what a good relationship was until I was with him. The absolute best relationship you can be in, is one with your best friend. We definitely didnt start out as best friends. I hardly knew him, he had AP world history and math class with me. He was the kid with long hair that carried around a guitar. But as I started spending the majority of my time with him, our interests became increasingly similar and eventually I related to him more than anyone else. He is absolutely my Best Friend and I am so thankful to have him in my life. 

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Jobs

The thing that has been consuming about 85% of my thoughts this past month has been work. Specifically entry level jobs. While i have yet to graduate college, I will be doing so within a few months, and all I have to put on my resume is a fast food job and a job as an assistant nurse. You would think that at least the assistant nurse would help me out, considering my degree is public health, but it doesn’t. The type of career im looking for will most likely be one out of an office building, therefore I need office skills and experience. I figured hey, might as well get a head start and apply to entry level office jobs. Nope. Nope, nope, double nope, triple nope, no. Apparently entry level jobs no longer mean entry level. All of these jobs have requirements of at least 1-3 years of experience in an office setting, or such. The ones that do not say they require that, all email me saying there are people more qualified than I am. OF COARSE THERE ARE PEOPLE MORE QUALIFIED THAN ME! But isn’t this an ENTRY LEVEL JOB?!?! I might be wrong, but I thought that meant a job for people with little to no experience? Im pretty sure I have enough experience to be a receptionist.

So now my dilemma is this: If I cant even get an entry level office job, as a receptionist for example, how will I ever get a job in an office setting? Specifically a job that is not entry level, but one that my super fancy, expensive, college degree is suppose to help me get. I apply to at least ten receptionist/ administrative assistant/ front desk type jobs daily, and have yet to hear back from any. This is making me question my decision to go to college in the first place, and rack up thousands in debt. This is making me terrified of the future. My future. 

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The Mommy Diaries

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On May 24th, 2013 It was my best friends birthday. It was also the day I texted her, in a panic, a picture of a positive pregnancy test. I just kept asking her “what do I tell my Boyfriend (Austin)?” Im pretty sure I almost fainted when I saw those two little pink lines. I took the test, set it on the counter, and took a shower because I was about 99% sure it would be negative. I actually forgot all about it until I went to brush my hair and saw the test out of the corner of my eyes. All I can remember is immediately texting my best friend and then thinking now what? I don’t remember feeling happy, sad, scared, or anything for that matter. Just now what? Will I get to finish college? Will my Boyfriend support this? What will my parents think? All of those thoughts disappeared that night when I told Austin. When he got home from his hockey game I told him to look in the bathroom… felt like ages till he came out of there haha. Anyways, he came out with a smile, and hugged me, and said we would be fine. After that, any fearful thought I had was gone. We were both ecstatic! We waited to tell family members until after the first doctors appointment, and waited to tell friends until we found out if we were having a girl or boy.

image (9) My pregnancy started out as a semi-normal one. I had horrible morning sickness, I lost a ton of weight because I threw up everything I ate. I didn’t start to show until about sixteen weeks. Then I started having frequent Braxton Hicks contractions around twenty weeks. My doctor said I was working too hard and I needed to take it easy. These false contractions continued till the day I was in labor. I also had a bad case of GERD. I ended up developing pre-eclampsia in the last eight weeks of my pregnancy but my doctors didn’t seem worried enough to induce me. They just told me to stay off my feet, and to relax. Well I had to stay off my feet because my legs and feet were so swollen not a single shoe fit. I had to wear slippers everywhere I went, and even those left indents in my feet from being too tight. I was miserable and told my doctors I wanted to be induced. At 40 weeks exactly my induction date was January 29th, 2014. Emma had other plans.

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January 27th, 2014 Emma Jayne was born and our lives were forever changed. The night before, Austin was about an hour and a half away, and I kept telling him I was having contractions but they were so far apart I wasn’t sure if it was them or the Braxton Hicks. I threw up more times than I could count and could hardly get out of bed. He got home later that night and I felt much better. We watched movies till three in the morning and passed out (with the exception of me waking up every 45 minutes to pee). Around 6am something woke me up. I remember waking up in tears. I went to take a bath and then felt it, fully awake, the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life. I texted my Soul Mommy (I couldn’t have gotten through my pregnancy without her, we were both pregnant and miserable and helped each other through and I am so thankful for her) I think this is it! Of coarse she was awake and just as excited as I was; by the way she ended up having her precious little man two days after I had Emma. I yelled out for Austin but I knew he wouldn’t wake up. So I did my best to get out of the bath, get dressed, and wake him up. “Austin take me to the fucking hospital now” is along the lines of what I said. Needless to say he jumped up and grabbed everything, meanwhile im laying on the couch feeling like im dying.

blogphotoThanks to my speed racer, around ten minutes later we were at the hospital. I was already 5cm dilated and they told me they had to admit me and get me into the labor suite before I could have an epidural. Then I had to get my IV which I was terrified of, and they had to do it twice because they messed up. That was horrible. I didn’t receive my epidural until 10:30am and I literally did not feel a thing while they put it in. I kept telling Austin, I don’t think this is right, I can still feel the contractions. My nurse kept telling me it takes a while sometimes to kick in. About an hour later a new nurse came in and said why are you still in pain? She ordered for them to redo it and finally I was feeling good. Apparently it only took on the right side of my body, this occurs in less than 7% of people. Im just that lucky. While all of this is going on, I cant stop throwing up because my acid reflux was going crazy. And it turns out my potassium was so dangerously low that it was life threatening. It should be around 3.6-5.2 and mine was a 2.3. Below 2.5 is considered life threatening. Basically it leads to cardiac arrest. So I had to keep drinking this disgusting salty orange juice type thing, while I was in labor. In addition to all of this my blood pressure was sky rocketing. At one point it was 173/118. So I was going through a lot. Emma ended up being in the posterior position which causes back labor, which is more severe contractions. It is also more difficult to deliver vaginally. My doctor was certain that I could do it though, and after three and a half hours of pushing, about 11 hours total of labor, switching positions, my epidural wearing off halfway through, using a vacuum, having to drink this super sour thing to stop me from throwing up, getting an episiotomy, and many mental breakdowns, Emma was born at 5:18pm.

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There was meconium in the water so they had to immediately take Emma from me to make sure she didn’t swallow any. While that was happening, the doctors were stabbing me with all sorts of needles, trying to fix my blood pressure and numb me up. They had to put me on a 24 hour magnesium drip. At this point I don’t remember much because I was on so many drugs and so weak.  I couldn’t’ even hold my daughter, except to breastfeed. Austin was amazing and did everything for her and I. I wasn’t able to walk until about three days later. I didn’t fully recover from the dizziness and high blood pressure until a month postpartum.  I was in the hospital for 6 days total. As horrible as everything went, It was all so worth it. We are completely smitten by our daughter, and she is the best thing that has ever happened to me.

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Before Anything Else

image (2)Before anything else, my name is Samantha. I am twenty-two years old, and I have a 5 month old daughter named Emma Jayne. I am a college student studying public health, a girlfriend of six years, and I am currently experiencing life right between here and there.

I am starting this blog as a place to ramble, to express myself and beliefs, and maybe organize my thoughts. It will be about anything from school, to babies, to my most inner thoughts.

I am really looking forward to this new project of mine, and hope you all enjoy the reads. I love feedback, positive or negative, so don’t be a ghost reader! XOXOXO

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