Wednesday, June 30, 2010

5 months

I meant to get this out yesterday. My normal excuse for being late on stuff is that I'm lazy, but I would have to say that is no longer the case. Now I'm just busy and very tired and take the chance to sleep when I get it... email, blog, paying bills, returning phone calls can wait.

I know a lot of women dream about their babies when they are TTC or pregnant. They can see what their baby will look like and act like before he or she takes a breath of air. Some pregnant mothers will even know the gender of their babies just from a feeling or intuition.

I was not one of those women. At all. I never dreamed about what my baby would look like. Once I tried hard to imagine it and I imagined a baby, but I never felt like I was imagining my baby. Not even ultrasound photos helped. I couldn't have guessed the gender for the life of me, however my SIL instinctively knew she was having a boy and after she found out that I was pregnant, she just knew that we were having a boy too (I found this a bit annoying).

But maybe I'm glad I didn't have any preconceived notions (pun intended) about my baby. I wouldn't have wanted him to live up to some unfair expectation about what color of hair he would have or whose disposition he would more closely resemble.

But now, wow, I can picture this kid holding a crayon and looking up at me from a coloring book. I can see him throwing a tantrum as a toddler. I can see him walking into school on the first day of kindergarten. I don't have any trouble seeing now because I know him.

Even if I had been one of those women, I doubt that I would have ever been able to imagine something this great.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Laundry Day

The last weekend of every month I do a preventative stripping of my diapers. Something is so satisifying about seeing a giant stack of REALLY clean diapers.


Can you see the Bub in the background there?

And what diaper does a baby wear on laundry day?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Soy allergy?

I'm suspecting that Michael might have a soy allergy.

He is a big time spitter. I tell people this and they don't believe me because the kid is so big... YES, he is big, because he eats ALL THE TIME. I complained about the spitting to the pediatrician who said, "Well, what ever he's spitting up he doesn't need." Ok, fine, he doesn't need it, but my breasts would like a break now and then. But daycare made me feel like I wasn't so crazy, they confirmed to me that he does have exceptional regurgitation abilities (I like to think of it as his super power). But spitting up is pretty normal, that didn't trigger any suspicion of allergies. (And FYI, the spitting doesn't seem to irritate him, he smiles and laughs when he does it.)

Since having M, I have taken a lot of shortcuts, particularly in the diet department. I have been eating several granola bars a day because they are convenient and easy to eat one handed... since I've constantly got the other hand busy breastfeeding him. I started with FiberOne bars but I quickly realized that both of us got terrible gas from them and switched to the candy bar-like Sunbelts. I know they are bad for me, but I'm lazy and they are tasty!

Then when I went back to work, I didn't have time to make myself a decent lunch, so I took a favorite of mine with me everyday, Green Giant Steamers: Healthy Weight. The Healthy Weight is a blend of black beans, edamame (immature soy beans), peas in the pod, and carrots in a 'buttery' sauce. They are tasty! And pretty good for you! But looking back, I noticed that M's eczema picked up about this time. He also started having more constipation.

I was starting to get burnt out on my Healthy Weight steamers and while pushing peas around my plate the other day, the dots started to connect. So I quit eating them for a couple of days and his eczema looks better and he's more regular. And both me and his daycare workers think he is spitting up less too! But if it is soy, I have a little bit of a problem, because soy is in nearly all processed foods... including my granola bars, my breakfast oatmeal, and about everything else that comes out of a package. I put peanut butter on a piece of bread to have instead of a granola bar and realized that soy bean oil was in the peanut butter AND THE BREAD, sigh. I will be trying Celia's granola bar recipe asap.

So I'm going to try to eliminate nearly all soy sources over the next week or so and see if it makes a difference. At least I have lots of practice reading labels since I'm a paranoid vegetarian. I'm feeling like even if he does have an allergy, it's not severe, so I can still eat a meal with unknown ingredients without a ton of guilt, but I should have the motivation and will power to avoid what I can.

M doesn't have bad eczema... a little on his cheeks, elbows and a larger patch on his tummy. It doesn't appear to be itchy or bothersome to him in any way. I think it bothers me more. We have been treating it with CJ's BUTTer. It cleared up his face in a couple of days, but his tummy is less responsive to it. And we avoid all petroleum, artificially preserved lotions/creams, and scented products on skin and with his laundry. I mentioned to my husband about bleach baths, and he freaked out... my husband is sensitive to bleach and gets a rash from it. (My in-laws use bleach baths for their kid, who has terrible eczema and it has helped him a lot!) So for now, we will keep plugging away with the current treatment.

I'm very, very glad that whatever the cause of the problem is, it seems to be rather mild. I'm going to do my best, but if it's not soy, or if I have to go crazy and do a total elimination diet, things may get a bit overwhelming. I'm already a vegetarian... I feel like I have less that I can cut out and still get by. If I let myself obsess about it I'd probably have to get rid of a bunch of my vitamins and maybe give up dairy since most cows are fed soy (and if he can get soy from my milk, can't I get soy from cow's milk?)... and what if he is sensitive to other legumes like peanuts and chickpeas! Ok, must stop thinking the worst before I explode. But what I do know is that just eliminating a few of the items that I normally eat for the last couple of days has made a big difference, so that is encouraging.

But on the bright side, I think this might motivate me to eat less processed food.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What's been going on

I am so tired... I think the last couple weeks are really getting to me.

Michael has been fighting a cold for a couple of weeks now. I had taken him in once for it, but a week and a half later, he still sounded like crap, so I took him in again on Friday. Despite all the vibration and rough breathing I was assured that it was still all upper respiratory. But the copay was not wasted! We caught his first ear infection, just getting started up. So between the lingering cold and the ear infection, the ped offered antibiotics, and I accepted without hesitation.

Oh and by the way, both DH and I have picked up his cold too. I'm afraid to take unnecessary meds, so I'm kinda miserable right now.

I went to fill the prescription and found out that our insurance policy was cancelled! Yes, cancelled, despite the fact that my husband is still employed and paying premiums. So while holding a crying baby in a busy pharmacy that was abnormally hot (it's right in the entrance to our clinic and it was a VERY hot day) I got to deal with that crap too. Turns out they cancelled our current policy to start a new one with a different number because DH's HR turned in the wrong social security number. The new cards were in the mail (not doing me any good).

But actual tragedy struck when I got home. SIL's mother died somewhat suddenly. She has been battling heart problems for years and we knew that her time was winding down, but she got a septic infection and passed rather suddenly. I felt horrible for SIL. She was very close to her mom.

SIL's parents have kinda become somewhat extended family. They celebrate many holidays with DH's family and like to be included when appropriate. I felt terrible that we hadn't taken Michael to meet her. We were planning on them seeing him for the 4th of July. We hadn't taken to meet him them because he doesn't travel well. That excuse felt a bit empty saying it to SIL's dad. Of course the irony there was that we had been avoiding taking him on long car trips and now we had to take him to on one anyhow to go to the funeral.

The funeral was Monday. I have to say, although there were tough times traveling, Michael did really well. Our biggest problem when traveling is getting him to eat. He has decided that he absolutely will not take a bottle from us. And it's hard to BF him in the car because he likes to look around so much that he won't eat unless he is starving.

I haven't been to a funeral in awhile, but it used to be that you wore black or drab colors. Can I just say that I was shocked with all the color and springy dresses. Is this common these days?

I was also shocked at the number of babies there (not that that is a bad thing). There were just tons of little ones. But it was so cute... DH's cousin was holding SIL's baby and sat next to me. The boys kept trying to hold hands. So precious. But of course we couldn't let them since Michael has a cold.

Then when we were back at SIL's house, one of SIL's friends was there with her baby that was just 2 weeks older than Michael. She got out her nursing cover and BF'd her little girl on the couch. Michael started to get hungry so I sat next to her and did it too. I felt really cool doing it without a cover in front of everyone. One of DH's uncles even came over to look at the "sleeping" baby and I'm not sure he even realized that I was feeding him.

The ride home was rough. M was tired and didn't want to sleep but we made it back and he hit the hay quick as soon as we got him ready for bed.

This is going to sound weird, but it may have actually been a good thing M didn't go to daycare Monday because one of the other babies got Hand, Foot and Mouth disease. They didn't find out until today, so given the highly contagious nature of it, he will probably get it too, but my fingers are crossed that we may have dodge that bullet. He has just been sick so much since starting day care, it would be nice to get a breather. The antibiotics have kicked in and he is starting to get over this cold. I was looking forward to having a healthy baby again. I knew that day cares were notorious for spreading illnesses, but this is getting a wee bit ridiculous.

So that is why I'm tired.

Monday, June 21, 2010

An interesting read

Here's a short article about some new research linking PCOS and BPA. Interesting for anyone with PCOS, but maybe even more so for skinny cysters.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Fun fact

When I sneeze really hard, I leak milk.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Oh, wait, maybe not

Oh, I am so glad I did that last post.

I got to google image searching, and those pink pills are NOT metformin. They are 'metformin and glipizide'... a combo drug.

I called the pharmacy and they don't know how that could of happened, because they say they don't carry metformin and glipizide. Well... somebody screwed up. You hear about these things, I'm glad I figured it out before taking it. It probably would have been ok, but with the breastfeeding it scares the shit out of me. People die because of these screw-ups.

The pharmacy will replace them for me if I bring them in. I'm feeling like their offer doesn't quite satisfy me due to the potential seriousness of this. Should I raise my voice a little louder?

----

So I just found this. I need to go home and flip over my pills.

Pardon me as I back out of the room slowly.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Off Color

So behind... where does the time go?

Anyhow, I've been meaning to post this.

My husband went and refilled my metformin for me the other day. They ran out of my normal met and had to fill it partially with met produced by another lab. This met looks totally different than what I normally take. It makes me uncomfortable. I love my met, LOVE IT. I'm going to be all kinds of hypochondriac when I get to these weirdo pills.


The white one is what I normally take and is made by Barr... the pink one is made by Teva. I also find it strange that the pink one looks smaller. Anyone else take pink met?

Something else off color at my house...


There is (well, was) a white lily growing amongst my mulberry lilies. You'll see the pink lilies next to the mulberry ones, but this was definitely white. Weirdo.


And just because those pictures don't really do my lilies justice, this was from a few days earlier. You can see that white one was a late bloomer.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Patience

Honestly, I have had some less than stellar parenting moments. Stuff I wish I could erase from my memory because that isn't the mom I wanted to be.

Michael was a very demanding newborn. I know all newborns are demanding, but I think he was a little more than some. He just did not sleep for the first 6 weeks. Ok, he would sleep about 8 hours a day, in 45min intervals, after passing out at the breast, while I was holding him. That's about it. Eventually I was able to sneak him in some naps in the bouncy chair, and then at 6 weeks, he finally started sleeping well in the crib. But otherwise I would hold him. I loved holding him, but it was very tough on me. Oh, yeah, and he nursed constantly on my cracked and bleeding nipples which was pretty tough too.

I am no stranger to sleep deprivation, so I thought I would be able to handle it, but this was so much worse than I had ever experienced (and I'm quite experienced). I was perfectly fine with it during the day light hours... happy, joyful and remarkable energetic, but come nightfall, I would start to lose it. I had anxiety about basically being awake all night and that much more tired in the morning, and pretty much doing it alone so that my husband could get a good night's sleep (one of us had to be able to drive).

Most of the nights I made it though alright, but a couple of times, I just couldn't do it. I would have to wake up my husband and sit so that he could watch me nurse Michael while crying and saying "I can't do this" over and over again. I'd hand the baby off and go punch the wall. Yeah. Those are nights that I would like to forget, but I can't because it really was that hard. Me and my husband would look at each other and wonder why anyone would do this to themselves a second time, on purpose, because it was awful.

I will even admit to confessing to my husband that I knew why people shake babies and he confessed back that he understood too. Then, a kinda funny thing happened. He was talking to one of his friends that had a kid on the phone the next day about newborns, and the friend, unprompted, said it too, "I know why people shake babies." Honestly, this made me feel better. This confession that I had made, made me feel like a terrible person. Only an awful person could think of something so awful. But DH's friend wasn't a bad person, no, he was a great dad. Other parents, good parents, had been through something like this too. It really is THAT hard. (And don't worry, no babies were shaken, it's just the point that parenting can be that frustrating at times, please don't think that we are bad people.)

Things got better. Sleep happened a little more frequently. Nipples healed. We settled into a routine. We started to understand why people would want to put themselves through this again.

One night, after Michael had his night sleeping down pat he woke up... again and again and again. I had just started back to work and I was back in that same place, crying, I can't do it, afraid of the next night.

In the morning when I was sane and calm again, I realized that the Chipotle I'd the day before did not agree with Michael and it was really the gas that had caused it. I felt ashamed that had so little patience for my baby that was in pain and instead let the anxiety overtake me.

I'm the first person to admit to my impatience... it's more than the title of my blog, it's probably one of the biggest personal problems that I have in life. But after that night, I loosened up so much. It was the thing I needed. I stopped saying 'I can't do this,' and instead I just learned to comfort my baby and realize that whatever I was going through was probably not as bad as what he was going through and tomorrow is a new day. I don't know why it took me a while to get this to click in my head, but the change was huge. I'm sure I'd had these thoughts before, but it wasn't until then that I could really make the change in me that I needed to make.

So what prompted this out pouring of a very personal topic was that Michael has not been eating great and I've felt my supply has been lower than I feel comfortable with lately. I turned to the KellyMom and was looking for answers on their forum. I've never used their forum before, so I was surprised when I looked at the first page and saw at least 3 posts that could have been written by me. All about 4 months old and supply issues. And someone had linked to this article: Wakeful 4 Month Olds.

The article was exactly what we have been going through lately, except that Michael has not been waking at night. Actually the opposite, he is sleeping all the way through the night and doesn't even need his night feeding anymore.

Well guess what? Michael woke up 6 times last night (3 from 6:30-8:30 and then 3 from 1:00-3:00). And every time I went it his room, instead of anxiety, I just laughed, because it was just too funny that I had just read that article. And so we may be doing some night waking for the next couple of weeks or months, but I don't care. Doesn't bother me. I can handle it now. I feel so much better... I might be more tired, but I feel good about it these days and instead just look forward to spending the extra time with my baby. And I was honestly a little sad when he dropped the 1 am feeding so I was maybe a little too happy to get up over and over again last night.

I wrote this post because I feel I need to be honest about how hard it has been. I've touched on it in other posts, but I've never really came out and said that I felt at times like I was literally on the edge of losing my mind. I think I'm doing a disservice to anyone that reads this by not sharing this part of it. But I also wanted to write this to share in my victory over what once was. I am a better person today because my patience, at least for my child, has grown infinitely and I'm sure that will continue to be a good thing for the challenges ahead.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I hate pumping

Let me tell you how much I hate it.

Before pumping, life was simple. I had a baby, he got hungry, I fed him. End of story.

Now, I hook an unnatural contraption to myself three times a day for at least 15 minutes at a time and collect my milk and drop it off at day care for them to feed him. But it's not that simple. I have to take so much fenugreek to boost my milk supply that I get dizzy sometimes. And sometimes my supply is lowish, so I have to keep hooked up to my pump most of the day, "power pumping" (10mins on, 10mins off). I eat oatmeal for breakfast and afternoon snack, everyday, trying to eek out a little more milk. On the weekends I can't go anywhere with him because I need him to nurse, and nurse often, so that my supply gets a boost from real nursing (pumps are nothing like babies).

That is as good as it gets, and indeed, it is often worse than that.

You see, I have to make extra milk because he doesn't finish his bottles and I ask them to discard left over milk on bottles that are more than 2 hours old (there isn't a hard and fast rule on this, people will quote the 10 hour rule, but that really isn't for bottles that have already been partially used and are sitting around a day care all day). So every day several ounces of this product I knock myself out to make is poured down the drain.

And when he got his fever the other week, his appetite dropped off, way off, and then so did my supply. So I fretted and worried about even being able to get my supply back up all the next week. Then he got a fever over the weekend and we are in the same boat again this week.

And after several weeks of eating so well at day care I got a call yesterday afternoon that broke my heart. At 1:30pm, he had only drank 1 oz of milk all day. I dropped what I was doing to go feed my baby, but I felt like the worst mother in the world because I barely had any milk to give him because I had just finished another figgin power pump (still trying to get my supply back up). It is awful watching your baby work to stimulate your breast again and again only to get a few swallows of milk. Awful.

I had to go back to work, feeling completely defeated. My baby still hungry.

Pumping is kind of an all or nothing thing. To keep my supply up, I have to pump frequently and empty the breast as well as my pump can... which leaves me less prepared than I would like to be in the evenings.

Why do I do it? Because I love breastfeeding my child. It gives me more joy than anything else I could do in a day. And he loves it too.

I'm glad to have a job and make a good wage and get to do something that stimulates and challenges me everyday, but I hate that I have to pump to make it work. And I hate that I have to be afraid that tomorrow I might wake up all dried up and never get the chance to feed him again.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Urologist

Well, we were supposed to see a pediatric urologist, but he is apparently taking off the month of June, but we could see his nurse practitioner instead. I know I'm a little weird, but I prefer to see an actual DOCTOR. So I asked my Ped's office if there was anyone else. They got me an appointment with a regular (non-pediatric) urologist that is willing to see children.

Michael was awesome this morning. He was great in the waiting room, smiling and making happy squeals. I could tell he was getting hungry because he was trying to latch onto my husband's chest, but luckily we didn't have to wait too long to get called back. I know I shouldn't be so squeamish, but I didn't want to have to nurse him in front of a waiting room full of old men.

The nurse looked at my husband and asked him if he needed to use the restroom ahead of time. Um, no, Michael is the baby. (I guess it takes all kinds, but I normally try to not drag my child a half hour away for a drs appointment that isn't for him.)

We didn't have to wait on the dr for long, but he made the same mistake about my husband being the patient when he came in the room too. People! Did we fill out the paper work for nothing?

Actually backing up a little, I had to go back to M's clinic yesterday night to pick up a CD of his ultrasound that the Uro's office requested because the radiologist's report wasn't good enough... which wouldn't have been a big deal, but I had to take the kid with me, and the poor child was actually napping and I had to wake him up to take him in.

So I asked the Uro if he had looked at the ultrasound that we had brought. He said he wasn't going to look at it and probably would not have ordered one if it were him. GREAT! I put my kid through an ultrasound he didn't need and then went back to get a copy of it that no one needed either. GREAT!

Anyhow... with the size of M's hydrocele, the Uro doesn't think it will go away on it's own and M will probably need surgery when he is about 1. We will go back in December to take another look at it, but unless it has really reduced in size, my poor baby is going to need surgery.

I'd just like to take a second here to throw a pity party for Michael. He was sick last week, he found out he will probably have to have surgery today, and tomorrow he has his 4 month appointment which means shots. Poor kid. Life is hard for a baby.