Archive for Baby T

is this thing on?

I have no real explanation for the long silence here. I wish I could say I’ve been busy doing productive and brilliant things.

Instead of, you know, what I was actually doing, i.e. watching all 180 episodes of Desperate Housewives on Netflix. And most of the documentary section.  (Let me know if you want recommendations!)

And now you know the entirety of what I’ve done with that precious time called “nap time” for the past several months.

Outside of naptime, life has marched on and as the old cliche goes, I can’t believe how fast it’s going.  I really can’t.

The last time I posted here, T had just started crawling.  Now?  He is fourteen months old (yesterday) and his preferred mode of movement is walking though he is still a little shaky.  Yesterday we took him to Chrissy Fields for a barbecue and he was trying to run (which he did but only a few steps before falling on his bum, then repeat, repeat, repeat).

He started walking a couple weeks ago and amazingly, I managed to be the one to catch his first few steps.  And the day he really started to do what we considered “walking” was a Sunday so both Paul and I got to be there for it!

I’m still working four days a week and it has been such a blessing.  I don’t know why but there’s something that feels special being able to stay home with him on a weekday.  I guess it’s knowing that times like this don’t last.  Pretty soon he’ll be in school and even if I’m home he won’t be for the most part…so I’m really enjoying the extra time I get with him.

Not only is T walking, he is starting to say a few words!  Most of his words are Chinese because that’s what my mom speaks to him and I try to say the words I know he knows in Chinese to him too.  So far he can say “mao mao” which was his first word and means cat.  The most surreal moment happened the other day as I watched him toddling down the hall after the cat calling at “mao mao, mao mao” – it occurred to me then, holy crap, I have a real toddler here.

He can also say “bao bao” which means “pick me up” in Chinese.  He’s managed to attach proper nouns in front of this useful verb and will say things like “ama bao bao” to my mom (grandma pick me up) that generally just can’t be refused by his intended target.

Other words are, “ne ne” (milk in Chinese), “dyo” (throw in Chinese) and his most favorite word of all, his only English word, “apple,” which he uses to refer to anything round.  Yesterday we were at the market and he was calling all the cantaloupes, watermelons, oranges and apples, “apple.”  He also refers to balls as apples.

He got his first professional haircut yesterday and he was so good.  He didn’t cry at all, for the most part he just sat still and played quietly with a toy while the lady snipped off his mullet.  It’s strange being able to see the nape of his neck again.

T is starting to have a little bit more “stranger danger” as he gets older, but for the most part he warms up to people so fast that it surprises them!  The developmental specialist came to see him the other day and he was clinging to my leg when she first walked in but by the end of the hour he was walking to her and giving her a hug when she stood with her arms out towards him!  That’s just the kind of boy he is, super friendly, outgoing, and loves to give out cuddles!  He is still a major flirt whenever we take him out to eat.

Anyway, I think naptime is going to end soon so I should probably go get myself ready for that.  I think I’ve run out of interesting or even quasi-interesting things to watch on Netflix so I’ll try to make a habit out of posting here again.

hey jealousy

The other day, as we walked past the park on our way to get some gelato, my eye was caught by a very pregnant woman sitting serenely in the middle of the grass. There was a man holding a baby, they were playing, pretending she was an airplane as he lifted her around. It became clear that the baby and man belonged to the very pregnant woman and in that moment I couldn’t help it. A wave of jealousy washed over me.

Her daughter, barely walking, couldn’t have even been close to two yet and this pregnant woman looked like she was about to pop any day now. Of course, I don’t know their story, but in my mind, in those ten seconds I watched them, I created an entire narrative of a woman who had gotten easily pregnant both times, sailed through blissfully, had her perfect birth experience and was now on the verge of her next perfect birth experience.

As I looked down at my sweet, beautiful, perfect T, I couldn’t figure it out. Why the jealousy? What is it that I want, that makes me feel this way, when really I’m pretty content with my life as it is. What is it about seeing a pregnant belly that brings out the irrational green eyed monster in me?

When I think about it rationally, it’s not so much that I want to be pregnant right now or that I want another baby right now. It goes back once again to all the shit that hangs over me, all the crap that must be taken into account. All the doctors that must be consulted. I am jealous of the ease with which other people can move forward in their life.

The truth is, I don’t even want to get pregnant yet. I want more time to enjoy T’s babyhood, to immerse myself in being amazed by him every moment I’m with him. I think ideally I’d like him to be about two years old by the time the next baby is born, which means we still have almost a whole year to think about this.

But unfortunately my body is a piece of shit. My experiment of going off my meds has failed spectacularly and my numbers are trending in a bad way. I self-diagnosed and put myself all back on my correct dosages but will it be enough? Will I have a bad flare? Will it push everything off again or will this time be the time they say, don’t do it. Be happy with the one we have. The perfect, adorable one. Which I could be happy with. Because how could I not?

But also, he is so friggin perfect, how could I be happy not having more?

I know this nothing more than the behavior of a five year old, but I want to stomp my feet and throw myself to the ground and scream about how unfair it all is. Unfair that other people’s bodies don’t fail them like this. That other people can live the lives they imagined for themselves. Two and a half kids, white picket fence and a yellow lab .

And me, I don’t know. Just trying to stay healthy. To keep myself going every day. To not do things to set myself back. Stupid lupus.

“it’s that feeling that i get when i see my children smile”

Titus is seven months old now.

Can you believe it? Because I can’t. He is becoming more and more of a little person every day, one with strong opinions, one who flirts with the girls at the next table over, one who is determined to put as many things as he can in his mouth all while he kick, kick, kicks his strong little legs.

He makes funny faces and squawks at us and has started blowing raspberries when he’s frustrated. He yells, “MAMAMAMA” and “DADADADADA” when he’s upset, though we’re pretty sure it doesn’t mean anything yet at this point. He is starting to be able to sit up unassisted, to pivot himself in different directions on his tummy, and he can stubbornly roll front to back but not the other way around.

He’s also finally starting to enjoy bathtime. Splashing the water. Kicking his ducks out of the tub, or smacking them, or sometimes grabbing them and shoving them in his mouth.

No matter what, no matter how tough my day has been, one little smile from him and I melt. He is worth it all, everything.

Sort of a six month update

Blogging from my phone again because (as usual) I’m trapped under a sleeping baby. At this rate I’m going to have carpal tunnel in my future.

Anyway, just completed my 3rd week back in the office, although this week involved one official “half” (practically a full work day for others – 6.5hrs) day, a holiday and a day that should have been a half day but was not (today). So does this week really count as a complete week? Sure, why not I guess.

I’m strongly leaning towards requesting “flex time” and working only four days a week. I had been thinking I would ask after a month to settle back in and make myself somewhat indispensable again (indispensable four out of five days a week anyway) but since I’ve been back we’ve had some layoffs which makes me nervous. I think I may have to let the dust settle a bit longer unfortunately.

It’s hard to be away from T for so many of his waking hours especially now that he is showing more and more of his personality. He is smiling all the time now (especially at the ladies, the little flirt) and just last weekend started to laugh real laughs.

Around three months, he suddenly started tolerating tummy time much better and can now hold it for much longer periods of time. He still has zero interest in rolling but he’ll get there I’m sure (he did roll front to back once on accident when he had just woken up from a nap). The developmental specialist who was sent by our NICU left him a toy to borrow called Happy Apple and we ordered one off eBay (they were made in 1972 and no longer manufactured) so sometimes we do tummy time with one on each side and he darts his head back and forth as though he can’t believe there could be two! Too bad we’ll be giving one back soon.

He’s also started to sit quite well in his high chair and yesterday at the park he was sitting himself! Well, sort of sitting. He was leaning forward and holding himself up with his hands to avoid folding himself in half. It was windy and he was laughing and smiling and made me think of a dog with his head out the window. Super cute.

Oh and the boy loves to “stand.” He will “stand” until the adult holding him can’t hold him in that position any longer.

We’ve also discovered that the little imp can be VERY impatient (gee I wonder where he gets that from? Oh yeah, me). We’ve started giving him solids here and there and when it comes to sweet potato or watermelon he does not like to be kept waiting. If you pause between mouthfuls, he starts screaming as though you will never feed him again!! We wanted to try baby led weaning but can’t really let him feed himself because he gets too pissed that hardly any feed is going in his mouth. So we end up mushing food up so he still gets some texture but we can feed him with a spoon so food actually goes in his mouth and he doesn’t throw a fit.

The other day I made the mistake of giving him a little bit of my watermelon juice at the farmers market (dripped into his mouth using my straw) and he wanted the whole thing! I didn’t want him to fill up on watermelon juice though so we had to endure some screaming til I could nurse him. Won’t be making that mistake again!

He still seems to like nursing. Usually that is the first thing he wants when I get home, no matter when he last ate, which makes me feel like maybe he just wants his mama? I hope anyway because he doesn’t give me the same BIG smile Paul gets when he gets home. He just launches himself towards my bo.obs. Paul was joking that he just thinks of me as his cow. Or maybe that wasn’t a joke?

It’s now Sunday (started this post Friday) but I’m similarly lying in bed with a sleeping baby on top of me so figured this might be a good time to finish up.

Yesterday we noticed that his changing pad is looking a bit small. Hopefully this means he’s grown taller and isn’t taking after me in terms of height. He isn’t putting on weight as fast as we’d like 14lbs 12oz as of yesterday) but he is continuing to grow along the curve at least. We’ll see what the pediatrician says when we see her this week for his six month visit (and another round of shots :().

Anyway I’m sure there’s more I could say but I’d really prefer to sit down at a keyboard one of these days.

Hope everyone had a nice 4th of July!

Six months postpartum

I really hate updating on my phone but between work (where I choose never to log into my blog because every site we visit is tracked) and constantly having my hands full at home (T is currently napping on my chest because he burst into tears the moment I attempted to put him in his bed) it seems it’s this or nothing.

I can’t believe that in ten short days T will be SIX MONTHS OLD. Seriously, his babyhood is flying by much too quickly. I started to go through his closet to pull out things he’s outgrown for storage and Paul was like, “This is making me sad,” and so we reminisced about how big he is getting instead.

I need to sit down at a keyboard and properly document all the new ways in which he has been delighting us these past couple months. It really is amazing getting to see a little one grow by leaps and bounds, sometimes seemingly overnight! Every day he is a little bit bigger, stronger and smarter. And cuter, if that’s even possible.

For now I wanted to do a quick update on how I’m doing six months post-partum.

As far as healing from the c-section, I don’t think I am 100% yet. The scar is still bright red (I’m told it will eventually fade) and sensitive to touch. I don’t really wear tight clothes though so for the most part it doesn’t bother me unless T is kicking me on it (which he does seem to like to do). Activity-wise I can do as much as I did before getting pregnant and my arms are actually a lot stronger. I can easily load and unload the stroller from the car, which I doubt I could have done pre-baby!

We are still breastfeeding and for awhile before I went back to work we were actually exclusively breastfeeding. Now I pump 3-4x per day (usually once before I leave for work, 2x during work and if he goes to bed early I will pump before bed) and nurse him 2-3x after I get home. I think because of the breastfeeding I managed to lose all my pregnancy weight and then some despite the fact that I am always ravenous. I’m actually about 3lbs lighter than I was when I got pregnant which I occasionally worry about since I’ve read that while breastfeeding you should actually keep about 5-10lbs of extra weight on. But so far (knock on wood) my supply doesn’t seem to have suffered so I’m hoping its ok. I really do need to start making sure that I’m getting enough calories and nutrition though so that I can be healthy enough for pregnancy #2 when the time finally comes. It is actually easier for me to eat now that I’m back at work because even though I don’t get a lunch break, I don’t feel as bad ignoring my computer for a few minutes while eating than I do with T.

My period has also not returned, although there have been several occasions when I thought she was attempting to make an unexpected visit. The first time was actually only about 6 weeks postpartum when I suddenly started bleeding again (turned out to be just regular post-partum bleeding) and then just last week I spent one morning at work with an agonizing stomach ache that didn’t quite feel like cramps but then it’s been so long since I had a period (over a year now) that I thought perhaps I just don’t remember what they feel like. Still not sure what it was but it went away by the afternoon and I never had any bleeding. So the long and the short of it is, is no period.

Even though I’m breastfeeding/pumping enough that this makes sense, there is still this crazy, nagging voice in my head encouraging me to pee on things, i.e. pregnancy tests. This is pretty ridiculous given that, aside from immaculate conception, there have been about three opportunities since T has been born to make him a sibling (incredibly sad, I know) and for the record I did pee on stuff after an appropriate amount of time from the first two occasions (negative, obviously) and we used protection the third time so I don’t know why The Crazy is begging me to go buy some things to pee on anyway. Old habits, I suppose.

Obviously as more time passes the question of Another One? becomes more prominent. I stopped taking my meds (other than my tiny dose of prednisone) and am hoping to stay off but do need to go get some labwork done soon to see how the innards are taking it. I should probably also get back in the habit of regularly monitoring my blood pressure which I stopped doing after we brought T home. Not really sure why since it only takes a minute. I feel mostly well, tired and achy on certain days but since my sweet little guy has been so kind to sleep by 7:30 or 8pm at the latest, I just force myself to sleep a bit earlier myself and am usually fine by the next day.

I guess we shall see how the next six months go and the discussions about #2 will begin in earnest then.

For now I’m just trying to get/keep my body in good working condition so that I can enjoy my perfect little boy every moment we’re together.

Pillow talk

Typing this from my phone, in bed, with a sleeping baby attached to my ni.pple. We’ve been lying here like this for almost an hour and I’m so thankful that my bo.obs are still so comforting to him. And also that we’ve learned to nurse laying down.

My sweet little boy decided that since mommy was going back to work that it would be a good time for him to start sleeping 12 hours straight through the night (typically from 7-7 or thereabouts). That means I got at least 6 straight hours of sleep all week! 7 hours some nights. And given how exhausted I was even with that much sleep, I can’t imagine how awful I would have felt if he had still been going to bed at 10pm and waking at 1 or 2am, as he had been doing just a week earlier.

On day 2 of being back at work we also managed to solve the bottle problem. We realized that our little foodie wanted his milk served properly – at body temperature. He is now drinking 4.5 to 6 (!!!) ounces per feed, although sometimes he needs a break so the milk can be reheated to the proper temperature.

T seems to be adjusting to our new lives with relative ease. This makes me both happy and sad. The fact that T is so happy and well adjusted seems to have convinced my mom that maybe my parenting methods aren’t so ridiculous after all and that I do know what I’m doing! So that hasn’t turned out to be the huge issue I thought it would be as she has been mostly agreeable to do things my way as much as she can.

Towards the end of the week he did seem clingier to me at night, wanting to do a lot of comfort nursing before being put in his cosleeper, and my mom said he wanted to be held a lot more on Friday so I like to think that he did miss me and needed the weekend as much as I did.

turn, turn, turn

Time becomes a funny thing once you are a parent.

All at once, I find myself nostalgic-ly longing for more of these days…

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…when my little guy was my teeny-tiny newborn.

Yet I’m also wishing that these days…

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…with my giggly, chatty, everyday-a-little-more-personality, baby boy could last forever.

But there are also so many moments where I find myself looking forward to the future, first foods, first steps, first birthday…and I just can’t wait.

How can it be that I want more of the past, more of right now, and the future to get here faster, all at the same time?

I guess it all boils down to the fact that I just want more of every single second with this perfect little human I have the profound privilege of calling my son.

odds and ends, return of the bullet points

  • T will be four months old tomorrow. He is starting to outgrow his 3mo clothes and grow into his 6mo. *sob* My baby!! I missed a three month post for him but I do plan on writing one for four months because dangit, he has been growing by leaps and bounds and I need to document it!

  • My cousin-in-law B had a chemical pregnancy last month. It was their first month trying so it’s probably just one of those things, but I still always get sad/worried when I hear about things like that. I hope it was just a fluke and they get their sticky baby soon. T needs a cousin to play with! It will be weird when my baby cuz is a daddy though…

  • The cat has been pooping in inappropriate places. I’m not sure if this is just older sibling syndrome kicking in or if she needs to take a trip to the vet. If it’s the latter, I have no idea how I’m going to lug a 12.5lb baby and a 22lb cat to the vet by myself.

  • WARRIORS!! T was our lucky charm tonight. ‘Nuff said!

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  • T has his first home visit with this development program our NICU referred us to. Another reason I love our NICU, I don’t think he qualified for the program, strictly speaking, because it’s meant for micro-preemies who are at higher risk but because of some of the issues he had in the NICU the head of the NICU referred him anyway, and as our social worker said, they do whatever Dr. S tells them to, so he is getting a visit tomorrow. I think if we weren’t having regular visits with my cousin-in-law B I’d be a little more worried but since she’s been hanging out with us weekly and seems to think he’s fine, I’m hoping for no surprises tomorrow. (B is a pediatric physical therapist).

  • I finally set an official return date for my leave. June 17th. I can write an entire post about how this is making me feel.
  • panic attacks

    I’ve started so many posts and finished none of them. I guess I’m feeling a bit stuck lately. Anxious, actually.

    My leave is technically over. I requested an extension but the insurance company has yet to approve it and it’s been over two weeks. I spoke with my contact there today and he said it’s under final review with his supervisor which for some reason is making me nervous that it will be rejected. I’m not really sure what happens if I get rejected since I’ve been out this whole time?

    I was hoping that once (if) it got approved I could talk to my HR about taking the two weeks of California’s Paid Family Leave that I have left over. Since our office in CA is tiny and they’re more used to dealing with NY state rules, I’m sure they’re not familiar with it and will have to look into it but I’m pretty sure I do still have those two weeks, it might just look bad at how long I’m attempting to extend my leave. Especially since I still want to use the four weeks of vacation at the end of it.

    Is it obvious that I’m having a hard time thinking about going back to work?

    Adding to my anxiety is that my state disability claim is still pending processing. I should probably call to follow up because the website says it takes 7-9 days processing (and I submitted it over a month and a half ago) but the social worker at the hospital did mention it can take up to 10 weeks or more. Plus the one time I tried to call a recorded message informed me that there were already too many people holding and hung up on me.

    Sigh.

    I just wish I could stay home with my baby.

    T is smiling real smiles now and working on his laugh. He definitely wants to and has the first “HA” down but can’t quite figure out how to finish it off.

    Honestly before he started with the smiling I wondered if he was a happy baby, I couldn’t tell because it felt like all he did was cry, fuss or quietly stare. Now he smiles all the time and it just melts my heart to know that he really is a happy boy. I love that I’ve gotten to see him change bit by bit, day by day and I really can’t imagine having to leave him for so many hours every day and missing all that.

    pushing and pulling

    This thing with my mom is turning into a ridiculously epic power struggle.

    Her problem is that when it comes to T, I get to make the decisions and she’s quite confident that I’m doing it (i.e. everything) wrong.

    So even though I know in my head that I should be over the moon grateful that she’s willing to help out by taking the absolute worst shift with a newborn baby, I end up acting like a sour, angry teenager every time I see her.

    The ridiculous arguments she insists on picking with me don’t make the situation feel any less like junior high.

    For example tonight we got into an argument about whether or not T should have a night light in his room. I say, yes, I mean I think most children in this country have a night light to keep the bogeymen away right? She thinks it’s going to cause childhood insomnia and is the reason that T doesn’t want to fall asleep tonight. (Nevermind that he fell asleep just fine with it every other night).

    Also tonight I informed her that T must be having a growth spurt because from 10am on he ate every 2 hours until 6pm at which time he started feeding every hour. She replied in Chinese, something along the lines of, “That’s unacceptable, what are the grown ups (watching him) supposed to do?”

    Um…deal with it? If the baby is having a growth spurt and hungry, you feed him. It doesn’t matter if it’s every 2 hours, every hour or every 15 minutes. I’m not understanding what her philosophy even is in this situation. Let him be short?

    The Type A personality in me is having a really tough time with this arrangement because I feel like her lack of respect for my mothering choices leads to her kind of winging it and doing it in ways she think are better but that I don’t agree with. I’m not some crazy attachment parent who believes babies should always be held and never, ever cry for a single second, but I also don’t think I want my newborn baby crying it out when all he really wants is to be fed, changed, or held. And yes, I do count his need to be held as a legitimate need and something that I should respond to. But all I hear from my parents (even my dad is in on this part of it) that I’m spoiling him by holding him too much.

    I feel terrible about what a little shit I’m being towards my mom but I can’t spend every night arguing about what I’m doing and what makes sense and why. I just want to be a mom. And I want the person who’s helping me out with that endeavor to go along with what I’ve already decided. Non-judgemental advice is more than welcome but without any obligation to use it. None of that I’m going to get from my mom.

    I have a feeling that before this week is over there will be tears.