If we must…

I called yesterday afternoon and [politely] harassed the pediatricians’ office for Ike’s bilirubin and liver function results.  They eventually called back and said that both are a bit elevated.  Boo.  But I guess I knew that, given that he was still looking a little yellowish.  I didn’t get exact numbers, but they said to give him formula for 48 hours, and to have the labs redrawn on Thursday morning.  Not exactly cool with me, to say the least, but at least I kept the free formula samples that showed up in the mail, and at least I’d been pumping a little already so it wasn’t a huge thing to figure out, and at least the levels were only a little elevated and not alarming enough to require any more drastic measures, and at least he’s already had bottles of pumped milk so it’s not too strange for him, at least it’s forcing me to get a good stash of frozen milk stored up before I go back to work, and at least….  At least I can try to see the bright side here.  I am trying, because pumping exclusively for two and a half days, having to mess with formula and bottles nonstop, taking my baby for yet another heel stick and then going directly into work afterward is definitely NOT how I imagined concluding my maternity leave.

Yeah, that.  My boss texted me yesterday morning asking when I planned to come back in, and I said probably next week, half days to start.  He asked if I could do half days this Thursday and Friday, and I thought it would be good to ease back in with a really short week and Mike was able to take some time so he can be with Ike, and…I said yes.  Not sure yet if I am regretting it, but the thought of tomorrow being my last full day of true maternity leave does make me feel a bit nauseous and panicked.  It will be fine, I know.  It still just sucks.  I still wish to be Canadian or European or anything else but a screwed-over United Statesian for these purposes.  Blah.

Anyone dealt with prolonged jaundice?  At nine weeks, it looks most like a case of breastmilk jaundice (we do have Rh factor incompatibility – I am B negative and he is B positive), but if things have not improved by Thursday, the pediatrician will refer us for GI consult (eek!).  I think things are improving already, but I am doubting everything right now.  Should I have given him formula, even if it’s only for a couple of days?  I have been all over Google of course but am still not certain what they’ll instruct me to do if it has improved. I get to go back to breastfeeding, right?  Could the jaundice be related to his slimy, mucusy poop issue as well?  Is it making my dairy elimination null and void to give him milk based formula?  So confusing.  Gah.  I just want to be sure everything is going to be okay, but I suppose that’s part of parenting – you never get to be 100% sure about everything.

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Two Months

Dear Baby Ike,

Today you are nine weeks old – on Saturday, your official two month birthday, we were up north for a family reunion.  You slept an awful lot that day, I’m guessing because on Friday, the day before, you had your two month checkup at the pediatrician and all the fun vaccinations that come with it.  But everyone was so happy to meet you and to hold you and love on you and tell Mama and Daddy how cute they think you are, even if you didn’t wake up to give many smiles.

As an added bonus at the doctor’s office, they said that you are still looking a little jaundiced (!), so we had to stick your heel yet again to get some blood so we can find out if it is worrisome.  I am of course already worried, and feel badly that I probably did not take you outside for enough sunshine on the days when it was so hot and humid.  But you are growing, as your Daddy says, like a little weed.  You weighed twelve pounds and two and a half ounces, and have grown to almost 23 inches, bumping you up to the 50th percentile on both measures (50th percentile for head circumference, too, but I don’t remember what that number was). You now have the cutest dimples in your knees and elbows to match the one on your left cheek, and if I could I’d curl up in them and take a snooze with you every day.  It wasn’t until I saw you next to some teeny tiny two-week-old babies in the waiting room that I was able to really see just how much you have grown in the past six weeks.  The phlebotomist who pricked your heel was surprised at just how strong you are – you kicked the little vial out of her hand so many times that she had to start all over, so you had to get jabbed twice in order to get what she needed for the tests.  It sucked, but I managed not to cry along with you during the shots and heel sticks; it wasn’t easy.  I hate to see you so upset, though I know it’s important to make sure you get and stay nice and healthy.  I hope that all your future checkups will be accompanied by much less, if any, bloodletting.

This has been such a big month for your development.  You continue to give us lots of smiles and are very close to giggling, too, while you’re awake and playing.  Watching you laugh in your sleep is one of the best parts of my day.  You love to sit propped up on the couch and watch us dance your toys around for you. Sometimes you even bat at them – it won’t be long until you’re reaching and grabbing, too.  You are really good at holding your head up for short periods of time, even though I still find it hard to get you to do ten minutes or more of stomach minutes (I like to pretend sometimes that you’re too dignified for ‘tummy time,’ but I still reserve the right to dress you in the most ridiculous outfits I can cobble together), and you can do mini push-ups and lift your chest off the ground/bed/couch.  You are fascinated with your reflection in the mirror, and you are the master of wiggling your arms out of even the snuggest swaddle.  I think you may be a finger/thumb sucker once you finally can keep those little hands where you want them – you are very close to really finding them.  I saw you staring suspiciously at one the other day, so it is just a matter of time.  I did break down and buy you a couple of pacifiers to help you soothe yourself – I have come to love breastfeeding you, but clearly no baby your age can eat for 45 minutes straight.  You make a funny face when we put one in your mouth and it takes a minute for you to accept that it’s a suitable object for sucking, but usually it does the trick when you’re fussy and fighting sleep.  You continue to love bath time, and we have now started adding bubbles, which appear to fascinate you.  I hope we’ll get a chance to take you swimming at least once before the summer is over.  You also had a pretty wicked case of milia and/or baby acne that is finally starting to clear up.  I’m so happy to see your round little face getting back to soft and smooth.  In the meantime I developed a serious obsession with the bottoms of your feet, which seem like the silkiest surfaces in the universe.  I could gobble your little tootsies for a snack every day.

Pretty soon I have to figure out how to go back to work.  I guess I will go ahead and start back next week so I can do half days or every other day for a couple of weeks, and still have a few days off to use for the rest of the year.  It breaks my heart in a billion tiny pieces to think of not being with you for most of every day, but I know that you will have lots and lots of fun with Grandma and she will take very good care of you.  The weeks off from work that I’ve had to spend with you this summer have been the very best weeks of my whole life so far, so while I wish I didn’t have to go back, I do.  I can only hope that spending part of my days away from you will make every moment that we do spend together in the mornings and after work and on the weekends all the sweeter.  You bring the sweet with you wherever you go, so I will just have to find a generous spot in my heart and let you spread that sugar around a little bit more.

Love,
Mama

Don’t Say Cheese.

Last night I took a quart of heavy whipping cream out of the fridge, put it in the passenger seat of my car, and drove it to a friend’s house.  Not because we planned to party like McPoyles, but because, somehow, some way, I’m going to try to give up dairy for ten days.  At least.

[Pause while I sob quietly into my cup of black half-caff doctored only with a sad, lonely, oh-so-light sprinkle of sugar.]

Some of you can probably see where this is going.  Or, rather, where it came from.  I don’t even want to type it.  Yes, I’m being melodramatic, but dairy fat and I have a thing.  It’s not a good thing, but it’s a DELICIOUS thing, and I am going to miss it fiercely.  Weirdly I don’t drink that much actual milk, almost none actually, but I love everything made from it with all my heart.

Wow.  This is really shining a light on how kind of awful my diet actually is.  Don’t get me wrong – I try not to eat fast food very often, though I do sometimes.  I am not any kind of vegetarian (bacon is a total deal breaker, though I probably could go mostly pescatarian without too much angst), but I do enjoy lots of vegetables and I try to keep them in the house – it’s just sadly not so rare for them to wilt or shrivel before I get to them.  I rarely salt my food (other than what’s used in cooking, which I haven’t done a lot of myself since Mike took an avid interest several years ago now), I don’t have a huge sweet tooth though I do get hankerings for chocolate rather often, and I try not to keep much processed crap snack food around, but in general I am not a dieter.  I’m lucky to have come from two parents that apparently have great metabolisms even into their (very early) sixties, so I have thankfully never had major weight issues and I do tend to eat whatever I feel like eating most of the time.  I go through phases in which I want a lot of crap junk food for a while, but then I start wanting fresh healthy stuff something awful.  I like to think it balances out, but I do wish I could encourage myself to stay more on the healthful side.  I really wish we could afford to buy only organic, local produce, and even grow more of our own than the few patio tomatoes and peppers I usually do every summer, yada yada hippiecakes, but…you know, time and money and all that.

Anyway, the reason for this attempt is I suspect Ike may have an allergy or intolerance for cow’s milk proteins.  I’m not sure if it causes any discomfort, since he’s been super grunty since birth I have a hard time telling, but his grunting rarely if ever escalates into crying so I hope it’s mild if it is making digestion at all unpleasant for him.  His dirty diapers have been…interesting, if mildly disconcerting of late (still the right color, for any fellow breastfeeding geeks out there, but often slimy…sometimes very so).  I called the pediatrician’s office yesterday after doing some doctor google work, and the nurse did not seem at all concerned (mucus is a natural component of stool, blahblahblah as long as there is no blood it’s “normal” to them), so this is not a physician ordered elimination diet, but I can’t help but feel like I should try it and see if it helps.  It should also help me drop some of this remaining weight (I’ve got at least ten pounds to go – I have ONE pair of non-maternity “fat” jeans that I’ve been wearing…but sometimes I have to do the hair elastic trick instead of actually buttoning them to ease up on the muffin top), and maybe it will even help with the ever present adult acne that I can’t seem to shake.  I’ll keep up on the prenatal vitamins and add back some calcium supplements and try to shower myself in dark leafy greens.

Have you ever done an elimination diet?  Any tips?  I do like tofu, but I don’t want to add any more soy since babies that have problems with dairy often are also sensitive to soy – if dairy doesn’t seem to be the culprit soy will be the next thing to try eliminating.

If this kid ever (read:  when he) questions my love for him, I don’t think I’ll rattle off all the pharmaceuticals it took to conceive him and sustain his gestation.  I think I’ll simply state that I once gave up cheese (and sour cream and yogurt and butter and half and half and ice cream waaaaaaaaaahhhhh) so he could poop right.

Seven Minutes of Terror

It feels like it’s been ages since I talked about anything but pregnancy and baby stuff (because it has). Surprisingly, I do remain at least somewhat aware of other things going on in the world (Olympics?  Good. Love me some gymnastics, especially), and my attention is especially drawn to the Curiosity landing tonight.  I’m geeking out on all the extra features available on XBOX live – if you have access, I highly recommend downloading the app and and nerding out.  I am not sure where else the videos are available, but I’d imagine that they are out there online somewhere.  Hmmm, let me google that for you:  7 Minutes of Terror.  That’s a good start.

The landing is supposed to happen at 1:30 AM Eastern time tonight.  I don’t foresee a problem staying up to watch it live – Ike slept basically through again last night after being up all day…but it seems like he’s slept almost all day today, so I assume tonight will be, um, fun.