Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The OB appointment

Jeez has it been that long since my last post? Me of the two posts a day? Each night as I try to drift off to sleep I compose long eloquent posts in my head but somehow these thoughts haven't been making it to an actual post.

The OB post-partum appointment went OK. They didn't check my blood sugars because I wasn't fasting and it had to be a two hour test. No one had told me this and no one seemed particularly in a hurry to get me checked for this. The OB told me just to do that on my next annual check up. I was terrified of the pelvic exam. T.e.r.r.i.f.i.e.d. I heart my OB but that woman checks me out down there like she's working on a car and I'm usually biting my lip to fight back tears. So naturally I was scared of the pain when she did it, but what actually happened was much worse: it didn't hurt at all. Like, I could hardly tell she did anything. Why aren't you doing cartwheels about this? You might ask. Well, um, (TMI. . . BUT-) how big am I now down there? She said see? It didn't hurt that's because a baby went through you. Yikes. We haven't done the deed since the baby has arrived and our eight year anniversary is Sunday- and um, I'm scared now.

She said that because I have a third degree tear that they would offer me the option of having a C-section next time because the nature of the tear meant I could have a risk of destroying my rectum area (or something like that). She said the risk was low but there. Great. Anyone with a 3+ degree tear have any insight on this by any chance?

I asked for Metformin and she said that since I'm nursing she didn't recommend it. It wasn't bad for nursing she said, but since the reason I'd be on it is to ovulate regularly and I'm not TTC right now, why not wait? I told her my weight is easier to lose when I'm on Met because it regulates my hormones but she said that wasn't a good enough reason to take Met and that nursing should help me get the weight losing boost I need. Sigh.

I asked her if I'd have to have Lovenox the next time (its cracking me up that I'm all assuming a next time but you gotta hope) and she said yes, we can't be sure it was the lovenox that saved this pregnancy but you had two miscarriages without it and one successful pregnancy with it so why rock the boat? She's right, but I guess it means I'll never have an option to have a natural birthing experience.

Our conversation left me wondering for days now, rolling her words over and over my mind, I had a successful pregnancy with it, without it, I miscarried. I have my baby now and I thought once he was here the pain of what I lost would vanish but the holes remain. What if I had lovenox then? What would Speck or Bug have been like? Out of all the combination of us that existed, which one would they have been? Seeing Sunflower, holding him, I'm so grateful and there are moments I'm wistful because he makes their possibilities more real. It's strange to feel that way because if I had them, I would not have him. In fact, because of losing Bug, I have Sunflower. This time last year I was pregnant with Bug though I did not know it at the time. That loss gave me my first normal ovulation ever and it was that cycle that my son was conceived. I shudder to think if I had listened to my OB who told me to wait a cycle before trying again. I shudder to think if I couldn't convince Jack to ignore that recommendation. I still remember that night, pleading. And now he's here. One day I will tell him what we went through to bring him into this world but I'll never guilt him with the shots I took for him or the labor I went through for him because as much as it was for him it was for me. because it was all selfish, so I could melt a million times over holding him in my arms. And he is worth everything.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Questions Questions

I'm heading for the six week OB check-up on Monday and I'm nervous. What happens at this visit?? I'm nervous about the sugary drink they'll give me to recheck to see if the diabetes went away. I have PCOS and am insulin resistant so won't by numbers remain wonky? And, the real thing I'm worried about is the exam. I had a third degree tear. I am scared to death of what that means. Will the exam hurt like hell? Will I never have sex in the same way again?

I just got a post-partum belt because my friend told me it helps you get back into pre-baby shape faster. I'm not sure if it will help but I'm hoping. Any of you have good experiences with this?

Thank you in advance for any advice you may have!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

First Visitors, Sigh.

We're having our first visitors haul in tomorrow. I say first despite the fact that my cousin, parents, and brothers have come through and been with me on and off since Sunflower was born. My family came and took care of us. They swept up, got groceries for us, cooked, and pretty much helped keep the house running and my sanity intact. When they were coming I felt relief, not stress because I knew that a messy house would not offend them and they would not be offended by frozen pizza and canned soup.

Tomorrow however we are having visitors. My in-laws. I am organizing, cleaning and dusting. It will not be perfect, this house. I'm accepting that my bedroom will remain in a post-hurricane like state and the fridge while devoid of moldy foods will not be sparkly as it normally is. Basically, I'm making sure the toilets, towels, and sheets are cleaned and beyond that I can only do my best. [I'm shocked at even say this since in-law visits usually spark level three panic in me causing me to run around searching for dust behind the fridge and under the oven]

I hear Jack on the phone right now and the first question MIL asked was what have you guys cooked for the weekend? Sigh. While I am capable of making food and have cooked since he's arrived, the prospect of planning out breakfasts, lunches and dinners from Friday to Monday makes me kind of woozy. Granted, MIL will likely cook some stuff once she sees the pizza delivery guy for the second time but its still weight on my shoulders. I feel so selfish and like a bad daughter-in-law saying that, he is after all six weeks, not one week old. At some point I do have to start doing more than just getting by- just wish it was on my own terms.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Breastfeeding, in conclusion

I thought I should update on the breastfeeding saga in the hopes that my story might help someone else. I started out breastfeeding hating it. I had a hormonal reaction to the act of nursing. I felt depressed, anxious, and overwhelmed. The frequency of the feedings did not help matters either. I got to a point where I stopped breastfeeding and just offered him my milk in bottles via pumping. This helped and I was readying myself to pump and feed for the remainder of our time nursing, but then one day about 12 days into this method I ran out of pumped milk and he was screaming too loud for me to defrost any so I nursed him and- I didn't cry. I didn't want to sink into the depths of sadness. I felt just fine. I tried it again, and once again, the feelings I once had, were gone.

This could have been a great ending except that at the same time I stopped crying, little guy began crying. I think he got used to the bottle and was annoyed with the change of protocol. Why hike for your water when you can get it handed to you? Whatever it was, he began eating and then 10 minutes in turned red and screamed like I was pulling his toenails out. Not fun, I tell you. I experimented and fed him with a bottle and while fussy he didn't scream bloody murder. I kept at it though. When he got hysterical, Jack took him away from me, calmed him down, and we'd try again, and repeat. It was not fun. Then, one day, in the middle of crying as I tried feeding him he stopped. He looked up with a furrowed brow and just stared for a good minute. Then he went back to my breast and ate quietly, without incident. Since then, about nine days, we've been breastfeeding just fine.

Because of acid reflux, the pediatrician says he has a hard time knowing when he's full, so he will literally try eating for an hour if I let him and then promptly vomit. So now I feed him ten minutes on each side and when he cries I give him a pacifier. He weighed in at 9lb 10oz at the doctors office today so he's gaining about an ounce a day and the doctor said my method is fine.

I never thought I'd say I don't mind breastfeeding but I actually prefer it now to pumping and serving. I put my feet up on the coffee table and go through my DVRd shows, or read a book, or use one hand to scroll down my google reader and catch up on your blogs. Now that its only 20 minutes at a time, time flies.

I went from hating breastfeeding with a passion, to finding it tolerable but just barely, to now wondering what was my deal before? I am so glad I talked to lactation consultants about what I was going through and that I took it one feed at a time. Now, my goal of keeping this up for six months seems fine and not scary in the slightest. Who'd have thunk it??

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Happy One Month Birthday

Dear W,

When I was pregnant with you the days crept at snail's pace and now that you're here time shows no promise of slowing down. Some days I forget what day of the week it is since days and nights blend together seamlessly [as evidenced by the fact that your birthday was officially several days earlier!] This was a month of firsts. Your first car ride, your first doctor visit and first shot (ouch), your first cuddle and kiss. Sometimes I catch you staring with wide-eyed fascination at the fan, a brightly colored pillow or the gentle glow of the lamp and I'm reminded that everything is new to you, everything is a first. I wish I could ask you someday what it feels like to experience the world so new but like everyone before you and since you won't remember these moments that I will never forget.

On the surface it could seem like a mundane month. You eat, you sleep, you poop. But there is already so much more to you. Each day you grow and change. I'm amazed how someone so small dictates the life of everyone around him. I wake when you wake. I sleep when you sleep. You cry, I run. You smile, I melt.

I've held other people's babies before. Babies who in my arms turned from cooing angels into crying trembling creatures who I could simply not console. While pregnant with you I harbored a secret fear: what if I could not console you? The day they handed you to me you were indeed a crying trembling creature in but once in my arms your cries stopped, your eyes widened and you stared at me as if you had been searching for me your entire life.

Once upon a time I was a teacher and I met an amazing student. An Afghani refugee. He had seen his father die and his mother lose a leg to an IED. The things he endured could break a grown man and yet he came to school each day with a large smile and a zest for life. He was so funny, not like a little child, his sarcastic sense of humor made all the teachers laugh. The children respected him almost as an elder, as if they knew that inside this little boy was an old wise soul. Some people have a nur [light] that radiates from them and touches your heart- he had a special nur that touched everyone he met. In the middle of the school year he told me he was moving to Sacramento. We hugged each other and cried. I never saw him again. His name was W and he was easily one of the most special people I ever met.

Welcome to the world, you may only be one month old but you've been in my heart all my life.

Your Mama

Monday, June 7, 2010

Happy One Month Birthday

I planned a newsletter filled with updates on his first month but little guy got acid reflux and Jack is out of town this week. . . so I'm a bit busy. In the meantime, a real quick happy first month birthday! Time is flying far too fast for my liking!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Breastfeeding and motherhood


Breastfeeding is getting better. We have our bad days where there are tears on both our parts (including today) but I no longer cry from the act of feeding [though I do cry sometimes when he screams at my boob for 45 minutes). And he now weighs 8lb 10oz at his last doctor check which is very very nice.

I've now been breastfeeding over four weeks. He will be one month old Monday! The only way I made it with breastfeeding this far was taking it one day at a time, one feed at a time. I'm a type-A personality. As a lawyer I was trained to anticipate future outcomes, and map out plans. With breastfeeding I couldn't do that. The thought of sticking with it for six months made me want to have a panic attack... but one day at a time I've made it a month. To be honest, the thought of breastfeeding for six months still makes me feel overwhelmed but I'm taking it one day at a time. I hope that this lesson, that one day at a time you can make it through what you think is impossible, will stay with me beyond this.

It also helps to strengthen my resolve when I get Si.mil.ac and Enf.amil ads daily in the mail with things like feeding issues are normal- see our $5 coupon inside. And it disturbs me they had a brown baby on the cover. Are they targeting me?


Being his mother is awesome. I thought long and hard how to describe it, but there are no words so this inadequate word of awesome- it will have to do. I thought my love would just spring up like a geyser when he was born and while I did love him from the start, the depth of my love, it grows deeper each day. There are still days I can't believe he's here, that he's mine, that I am not living in some dream that I will wake up from.

I was worried that I would continue worrying once he got here as I worried through pregnancy but I'm not. Becoming a mother. . . I don't know how better to explain it but it feels like the razor that rubbed against my heart has finally been removed. I can turn off the one track mind- the hamster wheel that was my brain on infertility. Jack mentioned the other day that I seem like a different person. Ofcourse, I am but its not that I'm a truly different person, its that I can finally go back to who I was. Infertility is very ugly and it holds you in a vice. You don't fully get that until you are free from its clutches and can look back. Each smile, each cry, each coo, each diaper change and spit up- he's healing me.

Monday he turns one month old. I'm looking forward to my first newsletter to him. As a boy, I wonder if he'll ever care enough to go back and read these when he's older, but in truth, I'm doing them for me I guess. One month. Time is no longer standing still- its whizzing by- tell me, how is this fair?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Thoughts on Sleeplessness

Sleep. I once guarded my sleep like a jealous husband. Sure I enjoyed a late night hangout with friends but the magic number was eight. Namely, I required eight hours of sleep to function be it all in the night hours or trickling into the afternoon. Even in law school where all nighters were a given, I might have stayed up past 3am on many a night, but that only meant I woke up at 11am the next day. Eight. Consecutive hours. I stress the consecutive because while my little boy respects the number eight, [heck he'll even sleep 18 hours on some days] he missed the memo on the whole consecutive thing.

During pregnancy veteran mama friends urged me with bleary eyes to rest as much as you can now! Sleep in for as long as you can stand it! Except that as humans, as opposed to bears, we can't really stock up on sleep via hibernation. So all the lazy Sunday mornings waking up and lazing about don't really help me at 3am as I rock a beautiful babe to sleep.

I snatch sleep when I can but heavy lids are now a constant companion. This past weekend Jack took a night shift, and my visiting parents took an early morning shift and I got two nights of six consecutive hours of sleep. It felt amazing. I heard there comes a time they sleep six hours in a row on the regular. Right now this sounds as mythical as the land of Oz but one can hope.

They say the best things in life are free. As I remember my sleep I know this to be true, but this lack of sleep is because of the truly best thing in my life, the one that has no price because it is truly priceless. Him. For him a thousand sleepless nights are worth it a thousand times over.

Sleep is one of our most intractable attachments. We claw and clutch and crave it. We adorn and worship it. We four hundred thread count it. It is our one sovereign domain. We hide out there; we fantasize and burrow there; we think we can't live without it. You will see that you can live without it- just enough. -Momma Zen

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

No one track mind here, nosirreebob

K: What do you want for dinner?
Jack: I was going to warm up the frozen pizza
K: Is that going to be filling enough?
Jack: Well if not we can supplement the feed with the food your mom made.

It's entirely possible that it requires three hours of sleep to find the above exchange absolutely slapstick hilarious, but I seriously love how even our conversations about something as mundane as dinner has so subtly altered.