Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
It may be important to note that I am not what I would consider an "over protective" mother. I am very comfortable speaking to strangers to acknowledge compliments they give Riley. I don't mind at all when the waitress holds her hand or the guy who's always at the coffee shop leans in for a closer look. Riley loves people and I'd never hide her away.
That said there are boundaries. If we are not on a first name basis I'm not going to let you hold her. She's not a puppy. We had a waitress the other night who repeatedly commented on how much she'd LOVE to hold her (insert game show buzzer noise here). I also prefer that people don't smoke around my kids (or me for that matter). I just find smoking to be a nasty, vile, irrational, unhealthy habit. So, even if I know and love you I probably won't want you to hold the baby after your cigarette.
I love it when someone sees me with my hands full, as frequently happens with a baby, and holds the door for me. I do not like it when I'm doing things my way and after politely turning down help an over insistent stranger "helps" anyway. Like today I was carrying Riley and the heavy baby bag in front of the hospital and the baby bag slid off my shoulder. I knelt carefully to the ground to resituate and a parking attendant rushed over. I explained that I was readjusting my bag, but he took Riley right out of my arms! He walked her to the car and then handed her back. Really? Come on.
I'm not super concerned with some of the things it would be fashionable to worry about. Like that Riley sucks her thumb when she's tired or watches tv. Riley has set her own pace with eating solids (within pediatrician guidelines) and hits milestones when she hits them. I try not to stress about that stuff, but occasionally something bothers me. I want to feel like she's safe. I want her to be comfortable, clean and secure most of the time. I feel like I'm pretty reasonable about these things so why, do I have to be made to feel bad and overbearing? Why should anyone care as long as I'm not making constant unreasonable demands on anyone. I don't want to be made fun of taking care of my kid.
I understand there are extremes, but I'm doing my best to nurture the independent little adventurer that I've been blessed with. I want her to experience the world and for everyone to get to see her and I don't care how other people feed, clothe, transport, bathe, or entertain their children. I'm doing it my way and we're doing fine.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Everything has been building. The stress, the tension, the pain...I've been "taking it easy", but it's rare that I have a moment that I'm willing and able to have the catharsis, I clearly need at this point.
The universe has been nudging me in that direction. Last night at 10:00 there was a horrible noise out front and Michael ran out to find his car side swiped. Talk about adrenaline, phew. Then I woke up at 4:30am with a low grade fever drenched in sweat. I had trouble time getting back to sleep and then Riley was up at 6am. I was exhausted and I had to get Riley to her pediatrician for her 6mo check up and more shots. Like clockwork when we hit the 4hr mark after her appt she was a seriously cranky girl. At about that point I got a phone call that my high school friend and neighbor's 1yr old had passed away. As I sit, raw nerves absorbing all this the pouring rain begins and my pain increases exponentially.
Don't worry this isn't an entirely "woe is me" post. I wrote about my friend's loss on one of my mommy boards and someone who read it went to give her son one more kiss and found him tangled in his blankets. He had turned blue. He's ok, she saved his life with that good night kiss. I held Riley while she slept for over an hour tonight.
I'm so grateful for all that I have, especially Riley. I'm just a little black rain cloud, the rain will come. I just hope I'll feel relieved instead of weak and stupid.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
At 6mo2wks she is now 14lbs 11oz, 25in long and in the 49th percentile. Small for her age but height and weight and perfectly proportioned (like mama).
She can sit unassisted for long periods. Eat from a spoon or with her fingers. Take a regular bath in the tub. Pull herself to sitting without holding on to anything. Roll front to back and back to front. Pull her self to standing holding on. She can grab and whack her toys. She can spin in her exersaucer. She can open and close lids and flaps. Take steps holding on. She can hold a toy in each hand. Scoot on her back or hold herself up on her belly. Drink from a bottle, boob or sippy cup. Blow air through her lips, stick out her tongue and blow raspberries.
She's learning things like crazy too. Milestones are funny because you wait and wait for them to do something and then you move on to waiting for the next thing. It's usually not until I spend time with a younger baby that I realize how far she's come. For example you wait and wait for them to notice their toys, then we wait for them to reach, then grab, then whack and throw, play by themselves and hopefully someday clean up their toys. It's amazing to see the moment they figure it out. The best example is the moment in every House episode when he realizes the answer. Babies have those A LOT at this age. What a fun time, too bad we grow up with no memory of it and start taking things for granted.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
I finally went for my follow up with the doctor today.
1) I do NOT have a bone infection after all, phew. 2) My Scoliosis increased from 5degrees to 13.9degrees (YIKES), but is not surgical. We'll watch it for now. 3) My left hip is way worse than we thought and needs to be replaced ASAP. We scheduled surgery for April 29th. 4) My right hip also needs to be replaced, but is nowhere near as urgent so we will see how my recovery goes before discussing that.
So, Yay for no long term IV antibiotics! Boo, increased curve in my back. Yay, no back surgery. Boo, 3 more weeks of pain (he still won't prescribe anything). Yay, new hip. Boo, being in the hospital (aka away from Riley). Yay, I only have to stay 3 days. Boo, more tests to get clearance for surgery. I could go on all day...
Here we go...
Monday, March 22, 2010
Sunday, March 21, 2010
I made it. I pumped every 2hrs for 3days, ugh. I survived the physical and emotional awfulnessof not being able to feed the baby. Riley took full formula bottles by the end and nobody died. I got a taste of what weaning will be like for better or worse. Mike got a small taste of what my life as milk machine is like. I learned how to make and warm a formula bottle. I learned that through all kinds of stress and pain I can take care of my baby.
I feel like I've been holding my breath for three days. It was so satisfing to finally try on the nursing tops I ordered online that had the bad sense to arrive the day of I had to stop nursing. After tearfully setting them aside 3 days ago I joyfully discovered one of them fit perfectly. Hurray for not looking like a little girl in my mom's clothes! Why has no one considered nursing after most of the baby weight is gone? Even XS are tents. Maybe I should just cut holes and sew flaps in some regular shirts.
I digress, I fed Riley at 11:30 this afternoon. She was so happy. She kept making really surprised faces while she was eating it was so freaking cute. It's so much more peaceful around here now. Hurray, magic boobs.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Today was same old same old minus the engorgement (not that they're not sore or that I'm comfortable). I'm still sad and Riley is still having a complete meltdown about 6 times a day. The change is that today I "tried" to embrace my freedom (as much as I can pumping every two hours).
First I rushed everyone out the door this morning because I got an email about a great one day diaper sale and they were supposed to be doing a "diaper demo." In bold print at the bottom of the email it said FREE GIVEAWAYS and in very small print while supplies last. I got my diapers and dashed over to the demo which was exactly the one they do in the tampon ads with the blue liquid. We all waited patiently through the less than thrilling display and then the lady next to me said "So, is there a free giveaway." The woman doing the demo said "oh, your going to LOVE this." and tossed out little inflatable balls that say Pampers on them. Oh, Hurray so glad we rushed here for that. Why do I always think I'll get diapers? Nope a ball. The whole walk around the store Riley was drinking a formula bottle by herself. I have to admit it was nice to walk a store without the blanket tent over the eating baby who is mad about the heat and missing everything.
Later that night after I'd expressed wanting to "enjoy my freedom" and actually starting a book (not a parenting magazine but an honest to goodness fictional work) I asked Mike to take Riley with him to the store. Mike has a habit of adding errands to his trips once he's out the door. He was just going to pick up dinner at the grocery store which is about a 5min drive from our house. Off they went. I pumped, read some of my book and watch an hour of tv and when I started to feel the need to pump again I started to worry. I texted and got no response, I called and got voicemail. Maybe it's because I'm used to feeling like it's time to feed the baby and hearing that elsewhere Riley wanted to eat. Maybe it was just the deprivation of breastfeeding making me emotional. Maybe I was just really tired and hungry and dinner was taking far too long. Whatever the reason I had a bit of a meltdown and regretted requesting that I be allowed to enjoy my freedom.
More than once through this ordeal I've wished I could be pregnant again and have Riley all to myself. She's only getting bigger and more independent. Maybe that's what parenting is, paradoxes like sad liberation.
Friday, March 19, 2010
So, I'm giving fair warning this post isn't for the faint of heart (aka boys may stop here).
I got through the hours after my appointment yesterday and felt like I was hanging by a thread. I slept like a rock and speaking of rocks...I have NEVER woken up so engorged in my life. My right breast was so painful my eyes teared up. I wasn't expecting that since I pumped every two hours after the appointment.
I also had some very painful blocked ducts (like golf balls under your skin) on the outside. Every time I lifted my arm the skin tugged. After making it through 6mo of breastfeeding without mastitis the thought that it could happen when I'm not even feeding the baby seemed totally ridiculous and entirely possible.
It hadn't occurred to me that feeding the baby and pumping leading up to the appointment would amp up my production big time. Just in time for me not to be able to keep any of it! So, pumping and pumping and 4 phone calls to the lactation department at the hospital later I'm feeling better. At least the ducts are clear, two overflowing storage bottles onto myself and the carpet later. ):
It's still depressing, her prolonged hunger cry still tears me up and I realized the extra sleepiness I've been complaining about for weeks may be my body trying to fight this infection. I'm super on edge today and have spent more of the day in tears than not.
But there was this beautiful moment where I was sitting in bed with Riley in my lap while she had her bottle watching last night's Project Runway. It wasn't as intimate as breastfeeding her but I felt close to her. I stroked her cheek and watched the sunlight coming through the bed room window reflect in her wet eyelashes. Maybe we'll make it through this beautiful moment to beautiful moment.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
I'm home now. I had my test I have the films, but the ortho refuses to see me until Tue!! Sigh.
Riley breast fed this morning before I left and then had an all breast milk bottle at 9:45-10 and then at noon she ate some veggie baby food and had a 1/2 breast milk and 1/2 formula bottle and was napping soundly when I got home.
I did my first big pump and dump (well I made Mike do the first dump) it's so depressing to dump 6oz down the drain. Ugh. But that I can handle. Even seeing my beautiful girl hold her own bottle and look so grown up. That hurts, but when I give her a bottle she still turns her head so she can see me. She still reaches for me and strokes my face and holds my shirt and I know I'm still needed and that she doesn't feel abandoned. All of that is painful, but I know it will pass.
What I'm not "handling" at all is all the tears. She used to use body language or a turn of her head to get fed, but now she indicates she's hungery and a bottle has to be warmed. She's in my arms and hungery and I'm not feeding her. She cried more today than she has in the last 6months. It's absolute torture. I cried with her twice already. I hate bottles for taking so long! God help me. I know she's a baby and they cry. I know this will be over soon. I know there's no "long term" memory forming. What I know is that I've been encouraged from certain sources to just "go ahead and ween" in light of all that's happening. I obviously don't agree, but sometime I'll have to. How in the world will I survive? It's only 5:30 and technically she didn't start bottles until 10am today and I'm in physical pain over the distress she's had to suffer so far.
How is it done? How do people stop? Is it different when it's your choice? I'm not even feeling half of what actually weening would be like because I'm pumping on her eating schedule. Between engorgement and heartbreak I can't imagine it. Maybe it just means it's not time for us.
To end on a positive note it's liberating to know anyone can feed the baby (would be more so if I wasn't pumping every 2hrs).
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Even though I wasn't on maternity leave and planning to rush back to work I wanted Riley to be able to take bottles so that we could have babysitters and also so they could get some daddy daughter time in. I never took a break I always pumped while she had her bottle for the next one. Breast milk gets heavier as it gets later in the day (to help baby sleep at night) so I wanted her to get the evening milk in the evening and keep my body on her eating schedule.
We did that for quite awhile and then it fell away somehow in favor of pumping when I needed it (like the baby fell asleep early and I'm gonna pop) or in anticipation of leaving Riley with a sitter. I had always intended to keep up the once a day pumping until I was done breastfeeding, but the best of intentions only go so far when you have a baby.
So, here I am 48hrs prior to my bone scan trying to pump in my every free moment to build up enough for the 48-72hrs I will not be allowed to feed Riley after the test. I also have to pump every time she eats and dump the milk for that whole time. Such a sad scenario. We're hoping to be able to get through with 1/2 and 1/2 bottles, but she may end up on full bottles of formula by the end. I hope we can resume business as usual on Sunday.
Beyond the test I am facing a possible 6-8wks of antibiotics which would mean supplementing some feedings with formula to protect Riley's tummy. After that is done I'm looking at 3 surgeries so who knows how that will all affect breastfeeding. I'll be a trooper and keep my pump next to my hospital bed if I need to, but reality is that Riley's 6mo now and it's going to be pretty traumatic on my body by the end of this process and it may be over.
I hoped to keep giving Riley breast milk until she was a year (pumped in bottles at least), but I may not be able to. Honestly as determined and active as she is I have a feeling Riley would be done before a year no matter what. Who knows.
So, there you go pumping sucks, but is a necessary evil. I love my breastfeeding time with Riley and knowing she's my one and only makes it that much harder to imagine giving it up.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
After a particularly gruesome diaper change: "That's what we call a 4wipe 2dipe situation."
When Riley sat up to look at my computer and stuck her thumb in her mouth: "See when she sticks her thumb in her mouth that's like her bowl of popcorn she wants to watch a movie."
He's not the only one either I caught my self singing during her bath the other day: "wash, wash wash. Wash, wash, wash. Wash your booty."
The short answer is nothing that can't be interupted, the kids see to that.
Riley is at this point an amazing sleeper we're talking between 8-10hrs a night (In general there's phases of teething, illness and separation aniexty that pervent this). Please don't despair new moms it was a long road of sleepless nights to get here, but it does happen. We start our weekdays between 6 and 7:30am. She signals she's up and ready to eat and I feed her. After she's fed I change her diaper and put her in daytime clothes. Only after she's completely ready to I scramble into something clean (hopefully). Mike and I take turns dropping Isaac at school at 8:15-8:20. Here's where it varies by day:Monday= Grocery Day and cleanup from the weekend. Tuesday= Mommy Group (New Mom's Support Group). Wednesday= Girl's Coffee and Story time. Thursday= Appointment and errand day. Friday= Weekend prep.
There's always feedings (6-8 a day) and those are all breast milk, one "feeding" a day of baby food, bath time for Riley after she has her fruits or veggies, diapers (8-10 a day), laundry (about 3-5 loads a week), dishes (run the dishwasher 2-3 times a week), feeding myself, dinner prep, homework supervision, child entertaining, errand running, car circle (and the bane of my existence Weds early release day every week), getting kids ready of bed (usually they're both down by 10-11 these days) and lots of picking up the house.
This of course precludes any special events during the week, school days off, illnesses, injury, time to myself, growth spurts, car troubles, spending time with Mike not taking care of kids (or unconscious) or weeks leading up to trips of any kind.
I usually build up momentum for a few weeks and then break down and spend a week in pain doing the bare minimum. Hopefully a hip replacement will break the cycle...
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
This has been rattling around in my head for awhile... I have done it in the car I have done it near and far I have in a crowd and alone While typing on the internet and talking on the phone Sitting up, laying down While running around Morning, noon and night On a park bench watching Mike fly a kite In the bathtub, on the floor In the ladies room and my car's backseat In the woods in a tent At many a family event I bring a blanket, because you see I breastfeed when the baby's hungry