A day late and way more than a dollar short….

Yesterday I was featured on PAIL’s Monday Shapshot.  Here are a couple more photos I took during the same banana breakfast on Saturday morning:

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So that was a fun look back at what was a pretty nice weekend.  This week’s pretty much turned to crap already, frankly.  This morning as I was driving down the highway to drop Ike off at my parents’ house before work, a little star in my windshield that we had “repaired” a while ago decided it was high time to get crackin’.  Literally.  Not sure how well you can see it here, but it split almost all the way across, near the bottom of the windshield.

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Was actually kind of cool to see happen, but it would have been a lot cooler if I didn’t have to pay to have it replaced.  I’d even settle for the middle-of-the-road-cool of having a clue as to how I’m going to pay to have it replaced. Terrible timing, as all unforeseen financial obligations are, I suppose. Motherfucking MEH.  I had really been hoping to purchase the digital files, or at the very least a few more nice, larger prints from Ike’s six month photo session, but it looks like I can pretty much kiss that idea goodbye.  Breaks my heart a little bit, but clearly having a structurally sound windshield on the car in which he’s most often transported is more important.

I would really like to get back to actually writing more often here.  Too many months have gone by in which I’ve barely posted anything beyond my letter to Baby Ike, and while I’m still amazed that I even get to do such a thing, I can do better.  I hope, anyway.  I don’t know if it’s some seasonal affective-type stuff, and hopefully not delayed PPD, but I am feeling not so chipper lately.  Not that chipper is a word I’d actually use to describe myself even in the best of moods, but you know what I mean, I’m sure.   I probably just need more sleep (and to write a post about that, at some point, too). Thankfully, PAIL also has the perfect meme to get me going again, at least with posting SOMETHING, if not actual writing – I have 20 questions to answer, hopefully tonight.  Please feel free to harass me if you don’t see them, along with answers, posted soon!

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Seven Months

Dear Baby Ike,

I hardly know where to start this month.  You turned seven months old this past Friday, and while I know this letter won’t capture anywhere near all of the amazement I have in your development in the last month, I need to get it posted now or before I can blink you will be eight months already!  You are doing so many new things and there aren’t enough hours in the days for me to properly sop up all your deliciousness and also function as an adult human.  I gladly sacrifice the functioning part, frankly.  A lot of the time I know I am leaving a lot of quasi-important, household-y things completely undone, but for the most part I don’t care at all.  It’s quite difficult to convince myself that I should do anything at all instead of hanging out with you, feeding you, playing with you, or snuggling you.  This often means that I also neglect to do things like cut your fingernails and toenails, because I have such a hard time forcing myself to do something that I know will frustrate you and make you upset (and yet I’m also loathe to try doing it while you’re alseep, because I know you need that sleep and I don’t want to wake you up accidentally!)  Good thing Grandma is happy to help out on that task as well.  Otherwise you’d have talons probably literally inches long sometimes!

Going to work five days a week makes me feel like I am missing SO MUCH of your cuteness, which is getting dangerously cuter by the day.  Grandma got some awesome pictures of you in the bathtub at her house the other day, and I can’t wait until she sends them to me. I love it when she gets her camera out so I can feel like I get to catch up on at least a sliver of the fun you have with her all week. You really do keep her on her toes, and you’re not even actually mobile yet.  I know she loves being with you so often (but she could probably stand it if you gave her a break with a real nap now and then).

Speaking of sleep, we have been mostly cosleeping for a while now (three months?  I don’t even know anymore), as it seems most logical that neither of us has to really get up out of bed to have your dream feeds.  I know I should probably be working harder to get you used to sleeping in your crib, but again, it’s very hard to care right now.  It seems silly to put effort into putting you down for the night farther away from me than you need to be.  You will only be small for a short time, and this time of being a baby is getting shorter all the time, so I don’t think I will look back and regret being able to cuddle you close after you drift off to sleep.  Waking in the night with you can be exhausting, but I treasure it at the same time.  A couple of times now you have woken up in the morning and fussed for a bit without actually opening your eyes first, and then you eventually open them, continuing to fuss a little, not realizing that I am right there in the bed next to you.  When you do notice that I’m there, your face breaks into the biggest, most joyful smile I have ever seen, and my heart bursts into a million pieces right there on the spot.  It makes me long for the technology of a camera implanted right in my brain so I could simply blink and try to capture that feeling and never ever let it go.  I suppose I might get the same kind of smiles coming in to pick you up out of the crib in the mornings, but it’s so nice to be able to lay my face down right next to yours and just drink in the sweetness that is you.  I have never in my life been this close to being a morning person, but you really do give me endless things to look forward to, day after day.

You’ve now tasted several different solid foods:  avocado, sweet potato, green peas, and bananas (I feel like I may be forgetting one right now).  At first you didn’t seem to really be liking the tastes of these things, if the hilarious faces you make are any indication, but you do like the act of eating, grabbing the spoon and putting it in your own mouth.  I think you’re slowly starting to actually like the food itself, at least sometimes.  Next on the list to try are pears and apples, and who knows what else.  There are still many, many tastes that will be brand new to you; it is so exciting to me to think about seeing your face and reaction to new foods.  I am also relieved that you’re still nursing.  Now that you’re not exclusively breastfed, I will admit to living in a little fear of the day that you decide to wean.  As thrilling as it is to watch you grow and develop, I am nowhere near ready to be done with your babyhood.  Thankfully we still have a little ways to go!

You continue to add different sounds to your repertoire of baby babble.  Lately I hear a lot of “buh-wuh” and “bwuh” though I don’t think it means anything in particular yet.  Still lots of MEH and MUH, sometimes repeated so it gets awfully close to ‘Mama,’ which I of course love to hear.  The more I hear you making recognizable sounds, the easier it becomes to picture you actually talking, though that is still a ways off yet.  I can imagine your little voice singing songs and telling jokes and asking for things that you want and telling me what you think about all kinds of things, and I just can’t believe how lucky we are that we get to have you in our lives, doing all these normal things that to us will be clear strokes of genius, every time.

You’re not crawling yet, and I haven’t seen you roll from back to belly yet either, but in addition to rolling from tummy to back you now also scootch in circles when we put you down on your belly, so you’re definitely working hard on the pre-crawling skills.  It’s starting to become more concretely imaginable that we’ll be chasing you all over the house soon – we have a lot (read:  ALL) of babyproofing yet to do!

I love you so much, my little Sugar Butt.  I never thought I would be the kind of mother to make up ridiculously obnoxious nicknames for her kid like that, but you have really turned me into a different person, and I absolutely love being that goofy, baby-obsessed mother that I never thought I’d have a chance to be.  I’m definitely a great big silly fool for you, Isaac.

Love always,

Mama

Stuffs

Health stuff:  I took Ike for the ultrasound of his noggin this morning. Of course it will be a few days before the radiologist reads the images and gets the information back to the pediatrician’s office, so we don’t really know anything yet, other than that he is still the offspring of a big-headed father, so I am not too nervous about that.  Just glad that his fontanel is still open enough that they could do an ultrasound and not have to knock him out for an MRI.  Still no word from the hepatologist’s office in Cincinnati about the latest round of bloodwork. Not sure if I should call them and ask, or assume they just wanted it as a new baseline and I’ll hear from them after we repeat it next month.  Again, not too nervous about it since the doctor was so reassuring.

Halloween stuff:  Our Beggar’s Night (do they still call it that, or is it back to Trick or Treat?) was postponed due to the icky weather, so we’ll be dressing Ike up to hand out candy on Saturday instead of last night.  We did go to a friend’s kids Halloween party on Friday, but it was so warm in the house that he only had his Tigger outfit on for a few minutes.  Didn’t even get a picture, so we’ll have to try that and the panda outfit both on Saturday.  He’ll surely drool and/or spit up at least enough to justify that wardrobe change.

Mike and I did go to an adults’ party on Saturday.  He recycled his Dick Cheney mask from several years ago, and I cobbled together a Toddlers & Tiaras costume using my sister’s tutu from the box of old dance recital costumes in my parents’ basement, the tiara from my bachelorette party, pigtails, excessive (for me) eye makeup and one of Ike’s future sippy cups.  Plus my I FUCK LIKE A GIRL t-shirt because, well, seems legit, right?

There was beer, and plenty of it:

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I’ve misplaced my sippy cup, but I think I like this better!

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Aren’t we cute?

Supply stuff:  have been having a fairly significant dip in my pumping output, and have been trying many things to get back on track. Thankfully Ike has only had to have one or less partial bottles of formula on really low days to tide him over.  I hate that he’s had any, but it’s not enough to diminish the benefits of breastmilk, I’m sure.  I ended up breaking down and buying a new pump.  The one my friend loaned me had already been through three babies, so I think I was lucky to have gotten as far as I did with it.  The new one is helping, though I’m still not ending up with much of a surplus every day.  I think it’s partially hormonal (maybe my period is about to come back? Eeeeeeeek!), and partially stress-related, and was exacerbated at first by a failing pump.  I started calcium/magnesium supplements, which I should have done while I was off dairy anyway, have been trying to add an extra pumping session at work whenever I can, and am drinking Mother’s Milk tea like a fiend until my fenugreek and blessed thistle arrive via Amazon.  Hoping I’ll be able to ramp back up to get a few extra bottles in the fridge again on a regular basis.  They never hang around long enough to be worth putting into the freezer anymore, so I just try to rotate FIFO at my parents’ house, and anything left on a Friday, of which there was almost none last Friday, can come home for the weekend, letting Mike take an overnight shift on occasion.

Development stuff:  my mom said that Ike’s been showing off a new consonant, and it’s M!  He’s been saying MEH, which cracks me up, because…that’s so my kid.  Not that I really think he means it like I would like to interpret it, but funny all the same.

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So perhaps there’s a chance that Mama will end up being his first word after all.  I haven’t yet actually heard him say this myself, but I can’t imagine that my mom would tell tall tales.  She also noted that he enjoyed seeing his first snowflakes yesterday.  They usually walk her dog every morning, but since it was so miserable outside they just took her out in the yard instead of taking the stroller around the block. A few flakes fell on his face and he smiled.  Hopefully we won’t have a totally snow-free winter like we did last year, and he’ll be able to really enjoy some snow as he gets bigger over the next several months.

That’s all for now, I suppose.  Oh!  Tonight I get to go meet and visit with my friend’s sister’s newborn baby girl.  I think she’s only threeish weeks old, and I cannot wait.  I have a total newborn addiction anymore.  So grateful to be able to enjoy things like this now.  There was a time not so very long ago when I would never consider doing such a thing, because it would just have made me too jealous and upset.  Yet now I’m excited and looking forward to hearing her birth story and passing on some cloth diaper geekery (and supplies).  Fun!

Hope you’re all faring well if you were in or near Sandy’s path.

Reprieve

The GI clinic left me a message earlier today saying that Ike’s blood test from Saturday looked better.  So that’s good!  They said to continue breastfeeding (phew), which we of course had already done.  Or, rather, he had at least started getting breastmilk via bottle again.  I am finding it hard to get into a rhythm with pumping and matching it to his feeding patterns and timing it all right.  Seems like half the time, even when we are together, I end up pumping because he just had a bottle (granted, it’s great to occasionally get longer stretches of uninterrupted sleep), or he ends up having a bottle because I just pumped.  Chicken and egg, I guess.  I am basically still letting him tell us when he’s hungry (and sleepy, for that matter).  I think it’s less stressful for all of us to not try to get him to stick to a real schedule yet (I’m not really a scheduleish person, so that helps, I’m sure).  Luckily, he most often sleeps through the night, so naps and feedings and snacks can still be random and on-demand, at least for a little while longer.  What’s going to be weird is that his daytime schedule will basically end up being set by my mom.  Since he’ll be with her five days out of seven, whatever works for her is what will be best.  On one hand that’s nice; I don’t have to worry about figuring it out myself, but on the other hand…it kinda sucks.  I wish I had the option of being the one to have to figure it out.  Le sigh.  I was actually sort of happy at the dumb mistake I made this morning: when dropping Ike off at my mom’s, I forgot to unload the stroller out of the back of my car.  They use it every morning to take the dog for a walk (um, that’s a weird sentence construction…the baby goes in the stroller, not the dog), so when I took an early lunch to bring it back to them I got to feed him.  Or, at least top him off (he’d just had a bottle, natch).  So nice to get that midday bonus cuddle and nurse him into his nap. Very much did not want to come back to work after that.  Le double sigh.

Anyway, yes.  Improvement is good.  We have to retest again in three weeks.  I’m still playing phone tag with the nurse to find out if we need to make an appointment with the hepatologist in Cincinnati.  I’m hoping not, but that may depend on the retest in three weeks.  Er – they just called back.  Yes, will depend on the retest numbers, but in the meantime we are supposed to keep our follow-up appointment with the NP next Monday.  I’m not sure how that will go, but I suppose it’s good to get another weight check at least. He’s getting so stinking big!  I would think that would be the best indicator of a properly functioning digestive system, but if we need to step it up with the hepatologist, the GI says it would be to rule out any infectious or inflammatory processes or problems with his bile ducts.  That’s all well and good, I suppose.  I would just like to minimize those awful blood draws and not get any more invasive, pleeeeeeease.  The bills are now rolling in, too, and that’s certainly not fun.  I haven’t even looked at them, honestly, but there have been plenty of envelopes in the mailbox.  Our only hope is that maybe being a children’s hospital they will be accommodating of our brokeness and let us set up a payment plan.  Otherwise, we are going to be fucked. Stupid high-deductible health insurance.  Better than nothing, probably, but it sure doesn’t feel like it when you’re beyond covered preventive care.

Whatever.  We’ll survive, one way or another.  I guess if we end up eating beans and rice for the short or long term, at least there’s neither dairy nor soy in that!  I am leaning toward believing that neither of those is the issue, but I’m loathe to move on to gluten or corn at this point.  What will be left?  Ah, yes – bacon and potatoes!  Or at least potatoes.  I hear that this summer’s drought may bring us a bacon shortage. Egads.

In cuter news, my friend is now fairly obsessed with photography and keeps adding to her stash of gear. This equals ridiculously cute photos of Ike, and plenty of them!  Will share lots once I get them, but in the meantime enjoy this little bit of nonsense:

Hope your week is off to a good start.  If not, I recommend a mustachioed nap – it works wonders around here.

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.

100 Days to Due

Had my first appointment with one of the midwives at the new practice today.  I’m very encouraged.  She seemed optimistic that the OB will be fine with letting me plan for birth at FB.  Yay!  I see the doc in two weeks, hoping he agrees that there’s no reason why I can’t.  Was annoyed that my current OB’s office hadn’t sent over my records yet, despite having called me to confirm that I wanted them sent over.  Whatever.  I have to go back tomorrow for the cervical check, so I suppose I’ll just pick them up my damn self.  I expect some attitude about switching practices, but it’s honestly not about any dissatisfaction with them, other than the fact that they won’t willingly deliver where I want to go.  If the ultrasound should happen to show any cause for concern, it’s not like I’m going to ignore sound medical advice, whatever it may be.  Will be really interesting to see what the peri thinks of all of it when I go back for the growth scan on the 29th. Think I have enough medical professionals involved here?

(They also changed my due date back to June 28th.  Not that an estimated due date really means much.  I’m just confused on how it was ever the 30th.  I think maybe that particular nurse needs a remedial wheel-thing lesson or something.)

(Oops, I guess that makes the title of the post null and void.  98 days to go.  In theory.)

(26w0d)

20w5d

I’m falling back into the bad habit of going too long between posts.  This is just an attempt to break that – there won’t likely be much of real interest (I guess no news is good news, finally).

We had our 20 week anatomy scan last Thursday.  All looks good, and we even got a cute shot of his face mid-yawn.  I need a brag book just for ultrasound prints, there are so many.  Kind of cool to be able to someday show him pictures starting from when he was less than seven millimeters.  I may or may not eventually post some here, I guess.  Same with belly photos.  My sister asked my mom to take one and send it to her last night, and I asked her to forward it to me, so…a current one does exist, along with the ones I took in the mirror earlier on.  I won’t lie…there are two reasons I haven’t posted any yet.  One – I still feel like the asshole infertile/RPL girl turned happy(ish) pregnant lady.  It’s HARD to read those kind of blogs when you’re still in such an unhappy place, I know (yet it’s almost impossible not to, I know).  So as much as half of me would like to be plastering ultrasound images and belly shots up here…the other half of me just screams DON’T BE THAT ASSHOLE.  Not promising I won’t, just…haven’t yet, I guess.  Two – they are terrible shots.  My camera sucks, my mirrors suck, the lighting in that room sucks, and even the one I let my mom take with her phone is far from flattering.  Just makes me look like the lump of frump I pretty much feel like most of the time.  Excuses, excuses.  I am not complaining, I swear…it’s still thrilling to be feeling movement and kicks and just so NORMAL AND PREGNANT, but I have to be honest – I’m not glowing (except that giant zit…yeah, that one, too.  And that one.  They glow in the dark.  I bet you can see ’em from space).  

What else?  Oh yes, registries and hospital tours.  Partly done with both.  I still want to see the hospital birthing center and try to find out if I”m too “high risk” to plan to deliver there.  Can’t get much info from the website, but we’re touring that hospital next Monday.  Unfortunately it sounds like my OB practice prefers to not go anywhere near the place, but…meh.  I’ll get a new OB if I have to, I suppose.  The hospital they prefer is not terrible or anything, it’s just very…here’s your monitor and your IV and your Pitocin and your epidural and now good luck lying flat on your back and pushing against gravity.  We’ll see.  If that’s how it’s gotta be, then so be it, but if I can plan something cozier and less…stringent, I guess, then I’d like to.  My only real plan is to be flexible, of course.  As usual, I’m grasping for control where little or none can really be had.

Oh yeah.  Happy Valentine’s Day, if you do that sort of thing.  We really usually don’t…it’s just so obnoxious.  I have been fighting a cold that kept trying to turn into a sinus infection (OB said a Z-pack was safe enough, so I took it), so I didn’t get to go to yoga last week…so I’m going tonight, now that I can mostly breathe out of both nostrils FINALLY, and Mike plans to cook a fancy dinner tomorrow instead.  What will be funny is if I’m the only pregnant woman at prenatal yoga on Valentine’s Day.  Time to go find out….