Friday, July 28, 2006
I've been lucky enough to not really have to deal with some of the pain that breastfeeding can incur, like clogged ducts, mastitis, or nipple issues. For once in my life, my body has been doing what it is supposed to do. After dealing with four years of infertility, what a breath of fresh air!
However, as we near our one year mark, I'm beginning to think that it is time to let this go. When I think about it, my body really hasn't been my own for almost three years. First, there was the year of trying to make the baby (accompanied by shots, progesterone, and ultrasound probes almost feeling like a natural appendage), then almost a year to grow the baby (again, more needles, this time for GD, and having to give up my one craving for GD), and now another year to feed the baby (no needles involved!). It's time. Time to wear bras that I actually like, where the cups don't open by means of a convenient plastic clip. Time to quite embarrassing the checkout boy at Target that is all of seventeen and gets goofy when I buy breast pads. Time to stop worrying about leaking. Time to have a visit with two of my long lost friends: Captain Morgan and his friend, Coke.
And while I'm ready on all of those fronts, and have enough milk frozen to feed Son for quite a while, I'm feeling, well, a bit down about the entire thing. I have a feeling that this whole weaning process is going to be much tougher on me than on Son. I really do enjoy nursing. Son is such a little busybody, always moving. It is my one time that he totally snuggles, and is just still. I love that. I love to feel him tuck himself in. I love how he looks up at me, and occasionally plays with my hair or my face. I know that some of the contentment comes from the hormones associated with the physical act, but it helps to calm me down too. I guess that it is the one guaranteed time that I get him all to myself and that I can forget how fast he is growing.
I'm also a little concerned about the physical side of it, and a little confused as to how to go about it. I know that I want the bedtime feed to be the last to go. OK. However, what do I do in the interim? After worrying about keeping my supply up for so long, it's hard to adjust to the thought of trying to ramp the supply down. It would help if Son could smooth out the whole nighttime sleep schedule. He is still (!!!!) getting up at night. While it isn't every night, it is still frequent enough. I have to admit, I've been lazy about getting rid of that feeding. It's a surefire way to get him back down with minimal pain. However, if he nurses then, he doesn't get to in the morning. He gets a sippy cup of milk at breakfast at daycare. I've also been pumping right before I go to bed so if he doesn't get up, I don't wake up with two overinflated basketballs on my chest in the morning.
Maybe that is my first step, to drop the night pump. Then cut down to just once during the day. My whole goal is to be done by the third week in October, when I have to travel for work for four days. I really don't want the fun of trying to not only lug a pump through airport security, but then try to finagle time to pump during my all-day meetings with my primarily all-male department. Oh, and last time that we all got together, I was 36 weeks pregnant, and couldn't participate in the team-building that took place after the meetings (read, time at the hotel bar). It's not that I'm a lush or anything, but I would really, really, like a chance to play a little. I suppose that since I wouldn't be carting any milk home its not an issue, but I just want to be done.
All of this is just another sign that Son is rapidly moving away from being a baby to a little boy. While I don't miss the every four hour feedings, I do miss my baby sometimes. I know that I'll miss the snuggle time with him, and watching him while he sleeps on my lap. But then again, when my near-toddler smiles up at me, and I can't wait to see what he'll do next. This is just one step towards him growing up and into the person that he is going to be.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
This one is from when he was just hours old. Poor little guy, you could tell that his road to the outside wasn't fun. I didn't realize how swollen he was until a couple of days later.
This one is from when he is about 8 weeks old. When someone at work saw it, they just told me that they could already tell that he was going to be a handful. He really isn't in the fact that he is bad, just very curious and full of adventure.
Finally, here is one from last night. What a big boy! I've got to say that I don't think that we have ever had a bad picture that was his fault-he's just cursed with parents that are too slow on the shutter! While our digital is OK for these types of every day pictures, the technology is progressing so fast that I'm of the opinion that we need to start looking into something of a bit better quality, that we can still run. It's taken us a while to figure this one out!
When I look at this short history, it is so amazing to me how far he has come. While thinking of PithyDithy today on her way to get her first sonogram, I think back to the day that we saw Son (aka "the blob") the first time. Furiously beating heart, a life that had literally just begun. Then I think about last night where his biggest delight was in climbing Mt. Mommy over and over again, babbling away the entire time. Nature and life itself truly is an awesome thing.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
After a late start this morning, no thanks to Son's erratic sleep schedule, I was clipping through my morning. Surprisingly, I was actually getting some things accomplished. It has been a while since that happenend. After my small jug of Diet Pepsi, I hung up the phone after leaving a message for a client and realized that gee, I really am a lawyer.
Not that this is huge surprise. Law school is not something that anyone can forget, even though you may want to. However, maybe just because I wasn't big into the whole clerking racket during law school and didn't take the bar right away, it just felt like it was another thing that I had done. Like I wasn't ready to actually go out and get a job. I had been a professional student for seven years, and worked a lot of jobs that didn't require me to use any of the accumulated knowledge residing in my head. I had the degree and a small clue, but that was about it. I did everything a little backwards. I clerked after law school, a good year after I had graduated. I took the bar almost three years after I graduated. Typical, I can't make it easy.
I've been told on more than one occasion by people that had just met me, or didn't know me very well, that they were surprised by my profession. The comments were made as a compliment; apparently they expect all lawyers to be stiff, formal, with a good degree of arrogance. Maybe I just didn't give off that learned air. Then you have my mother-in-law, who was kind enough to state that I wasn't a "real" lawyer. Interesting, since she has only dealt with the one that made up her will and what she has seen on TV (long live Matlock and Perry Mason...ugh). Regardless, I just didn't view myself as a professional. As I continued to work where I had eventually landed after a temp job assignment, I never got that sense of almightyness that some of my profession seem to carry around. I kept thinking about the various comments, and it struck me that maybe there was something wrong with me. What was I doing that people didn't see me as a professional? Was I lacking in some way?
Its this kernel of self-doubt that has permeated not only my career but other parts of my life. I'm not sure which seeded which, and its something that my psychologist and I plan on exploring. I've struggled with this issue for a long time.
Maybe its a sign of growing up, but after I hung up the phone after stating that I had concerns about a certain proposed disclosure, I realized that I was actually a functioning attorney. When did that happen? I have a whole office full of lawyerly stuff, clients stop by my office to ask questions, and, get this, they usually follow what I say! (Now if I could only get Husband to follow this trend!) I've been practicing for six years. I guess that I've finally arrived. I still am shaking my head at the entire situation. Gee, maybe I need to upgrade the wardrobe.....
All in all, I guess that it was a good day in the life of an in-house counsel. They are few and far between some days, so I'll try to enjoy this one.
Monday, July 24, 2006
I haven't tried to post pictures before, so if this is ugly, well, at least I tried. Can you tell that he is ALL boy? He just had to have a remote like Daddy. I think that I am in trouble. I can't run the electronics that I have now...what will I do when he joins leagues with Husband??
We were sitting on the floor playing, and he crawled up into my lap (Mt. Mommy!) and was smiling and talking at me. He then came at me with his version of a kiss. At first I wasn't sure exactly what he was doing, but I finally figured it out. My fear was that he was trying to bite, since he has enountered a nasty little biter at daycare. However, this was soft, and while a little lacking in the aim department, sweet nonetheless. Wet, but sweet. The first attempt landed squarely on my, ahem, somewhat prominent nose, which he then proceeded to chew on. At least the intent was good.
Where he picked this up I don't know. It is nice to finally see him express himself. His other communication methods, such as banging on the tray of the highchair (roughly translated "hurry up woman, I'm hungry!"), throwing a fit while changing a diaper, etc. Felt so, well, impersonal. That the particular reaction would be given to anyone. He's selective with his kisses. So far, only I get them, and the "food lady" at daycare. She asked about it this morning, and I took it that he was really trying to show affection. I could just eat up that little man!
Sunday, July 23, 2006
However, despite trips to urgent care, then to the emergency room, Husband having to get a CAT scan, cranky, overtired baby, and me so cranky with restless Husband that I ended up on the couch, we did get one majore thing done. We FINALLY picked out the cultured stone to go on the front of the house. Hooray!
To back up, our lovely "vintage" home (read generic 1966 split-level) still has the original masonite siding on it. One side had been replaced at one point, but the rest is still pushing 40+ years old. Due to some damage from an old arborvitae, the front has started to separate and wick water. Not pretty. Add that to the large peeling pieces (not chips mind you, big honking pieces) of paint, and it is even worse. We finally bit the bullet, got a home equity loan, and are going to re-side in vinyl and add cultured stone to the front, and possibly the sides. We have wanted to do this since we bought the place six years ago. Before Husband got so sick, we went to the stone store, siding sample in hand, and were able to see big sample boards (think really big headstone sized) outside so we were really able to get a good idea of what it looked like. We had picked one from the brochure, but after we saw it outside, we ended up going in an entirely different direction. Surprisingly, it was done without a fight, which is a first for us.
It just feels so good to be on our way with this. Finally, forward momentum on at least one thing! I even got our 2005 tax worksheet finished up so I can send it off to the accountant. Wow, I guess that even though this place still looks like a disastor area, loads of laundry are undone, and the dogs still smell very doggy, I did accomplish something. Yea for me!
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
There were the obligatory crater in the middle of the street pictures, Middle Eastern men with machine guns, etc. Then I stopped. In the middle of one page, the caption read: "A dead child in Beirut." The child was face down in the street, covered with dust and a smattering of debris. This child, this baby, couldn't have been more than two or three years old. There was still some of that baby pudginess in his legs. My heart literally hurt, and it took all that I could muster not to run into Son's room, scoop him up, and hug him like I would never get to again. Some woman on the other side of the world didn't have that option that day.
I couldn't help but think "where is his mother?" Why was he still lying there, dead, in the street for this picture to be taken? This picture epitomizes how insane the whole thing is. I don't understand how children can be dead in the street and someone, anyone, can't see that the whole thing is doing nothing but killing the future? Maybe I don't understand the nationalism, the religious fervor that runs this. It just drives home how safe we really are.
While the image really bothered me, and I wish at some level that I hadn't seen it, it is probably a good thing that I did. It's enough to prompt me to try to understand what is happening in that part of the world. Enough to vote accordingly in the upcoming elections. Maybe enough to get someone else to do the same. Since I have assumed the responsibility for trying to raise at least one part of our future, it only stands to reason that I have a responsibility to the present, so no other mother will have to find her dead child in the street.
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Husband went from cranky to calm in about the time it took for Son to ask to go to him, and proceed to pet Husband's beard. Son just seemed to know that daddy needed him. It was so sweet. Maybe I am projecting empathy into the situation, but regardless, Son was the grounding effect that Husband needed to pull it all back into perspective. To see Son's smile, with that little dimple in his left cheek, can push away just about anything. I'm so grateful to have this little boy.
Son was feeling really warm after his nap, to the point where I was prompted to get a little worried. My suspicions of just being overtired were way off. With a little distraction from daddy, Son allowed me to take a, ahem, rectal temperature that was 103.6. I have a feeling that it was probably higher. Even with distraction, Mr. Wiggles (aka Son) managed to get the thermometer to the point where it probably wasn't in far enough. His temp could have very well been higher. I called the pediatrician, got the answering service, and then the on-call nurse. Turns out I have two choices; an unidentified virus that is making the rounds with no symptoms other than a highish fever, or hand, foot, and mouth disease. Yuck. I'm leaning towards the plain old virus, since he has been eating pretty well. I nursed him before he went to bed, and to see him so tired, hot, and feeling lousy in general, I held on a little longer than I normally do before I put him down for the night. I guess you don't realize how lucky you are sometimes. Lucky that all this was treatable by a dose of some very grapey Motrin and sleep. How lucky we are to have him.
Lucky to have the choice of holding him a little longer.
Monday, July 17, 2006
I was home today with another grumpy man in my life, Son. Last night he woke up at 2:45 and didn't go back to sleep until somewhere in the neighborhood of 4:30. He got up (finally) at 8:30 this morning and was clingy, whiney, and just not headed for a great day.
Oops, grumpy husband is home. Let the games begin!
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Our neighbors just recently (well, six weeks ago), had their fourth. After three boys, a girl. They are really nice people, and their boys are something to behold. You would expect to hear chaos ensue on a regular basis with three that are 6, 4, and 2 but there is very, very little of it. Amazing. Their two year-old has been talking in complete, very articulate sentences since he was a hair past one.
OK, my whole point (yes, there is one in there) is that holding a relatively new baby was darn close to enough to push me over the edge to dial up Dr. RE and see when we could get in for a consultation/planning appointment. However, I have refrained. Husband still isn't completely on board, but he has been talking lately in terms of "practicing" so Son could have a brother or sister. Encouraging to say the least. (Although we know that no amount of "practicing would ever end up with me pregnant).
I know that I need to be patient here. There are a lot of things that we need to get in order before we start down this path again. First off, Son needs to be weaned. He is pretty much completely off of bottles (at daycare, he very rarely gets one at home), but eliminating that last bedtime feed is something that I'm not quite ready for. I just finally got him to sleep through the night on a semi-consistent basis at ten months! Secondly, I need to try to put myself in better physical condition before we do this again. Now that I have a clue about what pregnancy does to me, I know what I need to work on. Son becoming more independent will help me get out and do more, either by virtue of a walk or the gym that I have been paying for. Finally, we need to get the whole housing situation figured out. I emailed Husband the listing for the house that I like when I got the notice from the website that it had dropped another $10k. We just got the approval for our home equity loan to side and put stone on our house now, so that would need to be done before we would ever be able to think about listing it.
All in all, my encounter has left me more and more convinced that I want to, need to, do this again. Let's just hope that the higher powers that helped last time are up to the challenge yet again.
Monday, July 10, 2006
Anyway, it became very clear to me this weekend that my son needs a sibling. Almost requires one. He's so social and I think, gulp, that he got a bit bored with just Mom and Dad this weekend. He just likes to be around other kids, although lately I have noticed that he seems to be getting better at playing by himself. I was good at that too, and since I was virtually an only child (my brother is six years younger than me) it was out of necessity. Maybe that is why I still need periodic spells of alone time. But I digress.
Son just gravitates towards other people. Stranger anxiety? What's that? He's only cried once, and that was at daycare with some maintenance guy that came into the room. I was told that he was absolutely inconsolable, which is really out of character for him. I just believe that he would benefit from having a sibling. First, that whole concept of share is reinforced. Second, and maybe most importantly, he can learn that while he is loved and that we are always there for him, the universe doesn't revolve around him. Blasphemy, I know, but I've seen so many kids that just have such a tough time adjusting to that or just flat out figuring it out. It can get in the way of social relationships and just plain being able to get along. My mom has taught kindergarten or first grade for almost 30 years, and she keeps running into these kids. It's hard on them, and takes away from the actual learning. I know that there are a lot of only children that are out there that function just fine, but a recurring theme is being a bit lonely. I don't want that for my son.
OK, since I appear to have convinced myself that this whole concept needs to be a reality, there are a myriad of other issues to confront. Let's get these in order, shall we?
- Housing. Our house only has two bedrooms upstairs (gotta love those mid-60's split levels...). Husband is a proponent of moving Son to the downstairs bedroom if/when #2 comes along. I'm not going for it-I refuse to have a toddler on a different floor from me. Not happening. Every other mom that he pitches this to ends up with an alarmed look and serreptiously looks at me with the blatent question: "Is he nuts?" I just smile and nod. Husband does not want to move again. OK, fine, make another bedroom appear out of thin air. Ugh. The housing market here is a mess right now-a glut of homes, and none of them are moving. I've found a house that really would be, well, darn near perfect, but I can't get the gumption to show it to Husband. Even if I could, we would still have to sell the one that we have. Really got to work on that assertiveness thing the shrink keeps talking about.
- Spacing. I really don't know what to do with that one. I'm not getting a whole lot younger, and with a past riddled with infertility, I don't think waiting is going to help a whole lot. This fall I'll turn 35 (I can hear the death knell of my fertility as I type) and Son will turn one. Assuming that we would start trying in January (see finances, below), and it takes us a while to be successful, Son would be two when #2 comes along. Sounds OK on paper, but two in diapers? Do I want to miss out on all of the cool stuff Son will be doing as a toddler not only pregnant but with a newborn? On the other hand, the whole sleep deprivation/diaper phases would be close enough together that it would be a little compressed. Not a bad option I suppose. They would definitely get to grow up together, which is sort of the point of this whole exercise. Oh, and if it was a another boy, all of the clothes might still be somewhat in fashion!
- Finances. Due to my sorta kinda OK medical insurance, they will cover all of the ultrasound (albeit with a $25 co-pay) and the bloodwork. However, they only pick up 20% of the med cost. Last time around, my out-of-pocket ran right around $1000/cycle. This isn't a huge issue, since I can take out $5000/year for my FSA. However, there is also the issue of paying for daycare after #2 would arrive. I am the primary breadwinner, so me staying home isn't an option. For what we may end up in paying for daycare, Husband, if he stays in his current job, could very well quit and be a stay at home dad. Not so sure how that would work though. Last weekend he couldn't handle baking cookies and taking care of Son. I ended up taking care of Son and giving two dogs a bath. Multi-tasking just isn't his thing. Neither is patience, and even experienced moms go into overload with an infant and a toddler. Husband might just bypass overload and go into freak out. Not a great thing for any of the parties involved.
So, here I sit, really, really, really wanting another baby, but just seeing so many things that have to be worked through and figured out, that I just wonder if we will ever get there. Of course, I can focus on logistics to distract me from the fact that we may very well not be able to have another baby. Maybe Son was the one miracle that we have been given, and we've used up our quota. That's the thing about infertility; even if you are able to overcome it once, it doesn't mean that it won't rear its ugly, horrid head again. We had to go through so much last time, both physically and mentally. I know that the end result is worth it, but I'm so afraid of having to darken my RE's doorstep that one more time.
Thursday, July 06, 2006
The point of this blog is to explore the joys of first time motherhood in conjunction with trying to work fulltime and not losing myself in the shuffle. So far, I haven't quite got the juggling act down, although I think that it could be said that I try awful hard.
Just for some background, I finally became a mom in the fall of 2005, after four years of infertility. Those four years included a little over two years of actual treatments from either my OB/GYN or eventually, our RE. My infertility is caused by PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). I'd always had irregular cycles and other issues, but in my teens I was told that I would "grow out of it." As usual, that didn't happen.
We eventually conceived our son on our fifth round of injectibles with IUI. It was only the third time that we had actually gotten me to ovulate. I still remember very vividly coming home from running errands over my Christmas furlough from work to see the light flashing on the answering machine, checking the caller ID to verify that, yes, it was my RE's office, and being utterly terrified to press play. It was two days after Christmas. When I heard the nurse say that I had a positive Beta, and that all of my numbers looked good, I just sat in our office at home in complete and utter shock. We had spent so much time, energy, and money to get to this point, and I couldn't quite comprehend that it had actually happened. This of course was followed by the "holy s***", what did we do? moment.
Even today as I watch my son getting ready to take his first steps, it still can feel like I am looking at someone else's life. I'm a mom. Really? And you say that I get to keep him? Wonderful!!!