Archive for motherhood

Don’t cry for me Argentina

So yeah, as a family we’ve come to the conclusion that Disney’s Aulani in Oahu is prrrrretty much as good as life gets.  We’ve spent the week here hiding from the SuperBowl 50 madness that has taken over San Francisco and it was an excellent decision if I do say so myself.  

But enough patting myself on the back, that’s not what I’m here for.  I’m just here for the reason I’m always here.  Whine, whine, fret, overthink.  Been doing it in my head for awhile now so I figure I may as well get some use out of this blog and use it for the outlet it was meant to be.  This way my friends don’t have to hear it (and the ones who want to know where to find me – here).  

Anyway, I saw my nephrologist again last week post kidney ultrasound and fresh labs (which were better but still above my baseline…again).  He was still mystified and confused, which is exactly how you want your medical specialist in practice for several decades to feel about you right?  No?  Okay, yeah no.  I told him I was at a loss, which is weird since I know how to read my labs pretty well by now, and he was all, “Wish I knew what to tell you but, me too.”  So that wasn’t very helpful but it was kind of reassuring I guess because he was just like, well hopefully it’s a weird flukey thing, and told me just to get my labs repeated again (for the fifth time now).  Exact words, “If it goes down to 1.2 then we’ll just chalk it up to a weird blip and move on.” 

So the day before we hopped on a plane headed for heaven on earth (aka Hawaii) I got my labs repeated and then I tried to just sort of forget it all.  It actually wasn’t that hard to do given the view (see above).  I did end up calling on Tuesday just to see if they had my results and guess what?  It went down to 1.2.  So….

I see my rheumatologist next week (why am I leaving paradise?  Whyyyyyy??) and basically this means we have the all clear to start changing my meds and *gulp* TTC.  

Here is where things get weird.  I should be all “yippee!!!” right?  Growing up I always imagined having two kids, P and I always talked about two, more if it weren’t for my stupid crappy body.  

But see…here’s the thing…I think with all we went through to have T, the whole NICU thing, almost losing him, and then watching my best friend live that entire nightmare without the happy ending, part of me just let go of the idea of having more.  Part of me decided that T was the one I had to have.  Before T, I had this feeling like I would fight through anything to get my baby.  And I feel like one some level, I’ve lost that fighting spirit.  More than before, there is fear instead of fight.  

My life is so good.  It really is.  I feel like the most blessed person in the entire world.  I have my wonderful husband, I have my perfect little boy, a supportive family, still employed, I have a roof over my head, food in my belly, heck, I have vacations in paradise.  The world can be such an ugly, ugly place, I can’t even stand to watch the news most days anymore (I stick to reading articles about how awesome my Dubs are because yes even my NBA team is just ridiculously, unbelievably good right now – life is THAT good!), I just feel so lucky.  And I’m scared that in reaching for more, somehow I could screw up the whole rhythm and balance I feel like I have right now.  

Obviously, if we do end up having another healthy baby (God willing), I would never admit this to that baby, but I don’t feel like I need another one.  And if I don’t need another one the way I needed T, then is it fair/right/whatever to have another one?  I mean, wait, don’t get me wrong, I would LOVE LOVE LOVE another baby.  We are here in this place surrounded by ridiculously adorable, chunky little ones and there is definitely a part of me that kinda wants to steal them and snuggle their chub rolls until security comes for me.  And there is this huge tug on my heart when I watch all these siblings playing together while T is just playing in the sand by himself all lonely and sad-like (but not really cause he’s a happy kid).  So it’s not that I wouldn’t like to have another kid, it’s just not the same visceral, animal-like need that I felt before we had T.  

I just…know too much…I know what can go wrong, I know what’s at stake.  Also, I’m more afraid for myself this time because I know T needs his mommy so I can’t even just be like “fuck it” like last time where I was like well if I die trying to do this then so be it.  I’m not being morbid, just realistic, you know?  

And then on a less dark, more normal level, I’m also worried about just the practical stuff.  How do we actually raise two kids?  I don’t think we can afford the preschool we’re trying to get T into if we have two kids.  But the public schools in SF are literally shit, like so shitty that a public school product like me who always thought I’d send my kids to public school just won’t do it (and I know SO many other people who feel this way).  So do we move?  Do I keep working?  I’m not really built to be a SAHM so I assume yes, but if we move out of the city how do I physically deal with the commute, how does it all affect my health?  What if another kid doesn’t love sleep as much as T does (and as much as I do!)?  What if the stress of it all affects my relationship with P?  What if I really suck at being a mom of two kids?  Sometimes I feel like I suck at just one, so am I being selfish bringing another human into the world to be raised by ME?  I mean, is it even fair to do that to T and the as of yet unconcieved other potential baby?  

I mean, I literally yelled at T and called him a chicken two days ago because he wouldn’t go down the water slide with me again.  Shall I remind you?  He is three and the poor kid just needed a nap.  What kind of mom does that?  Me, apparently.  (Don’t worry, I apologized to him after I went down the slide alone and thought about what a mean horrible mommy I am, luckily he didn’t seem to remember because his dad had gotten him shaved ice, so at least the poor kid has one good parent).  

So this is all the stuff I worry about.  I worry and worry and worry more.  And then my husband is all just like “meh, why worry about this?  If we have another one, we’ll figure it out.”  And I KNOW he’s right.  But my stupid brain just can’t stop with all the worrying.  So stupid.  This is why I can’t tell people what goes on in my head.  

At the end of the day my kid makes me a better person (except when I’m yelling at him for not going down waterslides with me).  I’m sure that if I can survive another pregnancy and come out of it with a healthy baby, I’ll be better for that baby too.

Where’s the positive thinking fairy when you need her?  

ripped away

So the last few days have been a bit of a roller coaster. A very slow, very predictable, but very unpleasant roller coaster.

On Monday I visited Dr. Kidney who seemed only slightly put off that I have yet to completely wean T or start any of my meds as had been agreed upon during our previous visit a month earlier. He understood that between T going to daycare due to my mom (his primary caregiver during the day) off in a foreign country for two weeks, it was just not the greatest time to deny him the b0ob.

The plan then became to finish weaning T, stat, like in the next few days and switch meds and then see him in 5 or so weeks.

Well, yesterday morning when I woke up, I woke up with a raging headache. I took my blood pressure and it said 169/105. And I freaked the f*ck out because, um…169/105. There was much googling of hypertensive emergency and crisis and the conclusion of my google-ing is that I was close but not quite at the cigar. 180/120 seems to be the “GET YO ASS TO THE HOSPITAL IDIOT” threshhold and I was not quite there yet. So I just cracked into the supply of blood pressure meds that my doctor had been urging me to get onto and realized that this was it. I was unceremoniously giving up breastfeeding because I was suddenly terrified of stroking out at work. Legitimate, but I still felt pissed and depressed that it wasn’t under MY terms.

Anyway, my numbers have gone done steadily (spoke with Dr. Kidney last night and he said I should be much better by today.

The baby seems mildly upset. There are times where he clearly wants to nuzzle into my chest and these moments make my heart shatter and break into a million tiny pieces because…I…..can’t. Wahh.

But really, other than that he seems totally fine. Because let’s be honest he’s a happy little dude and not much seems to bother him. Except eating. Which he seems to now hate with a fiery passion. But that’s a related post for another die.

bitch is back

I am feeling particularly tired and emotional tonight. My body is tired. And my brain is tired about thinking about my body and why it’s so unwieldy and uncooperative.

My body hurts. From my back to my fingers to my freaking teeth. Yes, my teeth hurt.

Not a good sign.

My blood pressure is a mess and my rheumy wants me to go back on blood pressure medication, but I think this would mean I have to wean T. As much as I can logically appreciate the benefits of the end of breastfeeding, the emotional side of me is a blubbering mess about it. Truthfully, our breastfeeding relationship has been at best, a love-hate relationship, but even so, the idea of having to stop now, before we are really ready is a bit gut-wrenching Probably more than it should be. But it feels like once again, a decision is being taken out of my hands and forced on me by my lupus.

Unfortunately as the days tick by and my health deteriorates, I may be running out of options very soon. My blood pressure has gotten scary high at certain points in the last few days and the fact that work has been extra stressful this week has sometimes made me wonder if I could be that urban legend of the person who drops dead in the middle of a stressful moment in the office.

Today I found myself making contingency plans for what happens to Paul and T if I suddenly die.

And so I know that if I have to give up breastfeeding, I have to. Because ultimately I have to be alive to be T’s mommy.

So yeah. I’m praying for a miracle but if nothing changes in the next couple weeks then I will have to make some changes around here.

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.

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.

that was fast

Yeah, my ability to think positive seems to be fading quickly.

Maybe it has something to do with the pure and utter exhaustion.

And knowing that having to be in the office by 5am every day, all week starting on Monday, is only going to pile the exhaustion on.

The upcoming return to work has me all kinds of panicky. I have been snapping at Paul and much to my own dismay, snapping at the poor baby.

It’s my own fault really, I am jealous in my care for T. I want to be his sole source of comfort, food, everything and so it has come to be that way. Maybe Paul could put him to sleep but I’m so scared that if he tries and fails I’ll end up doing it anyway, except it will be two hours later and he will be all riled up and harder to put down. And then I get irritated that no one can help me with this screaming infant, who through no fault of his own currently can’t seem to stay asleep!

I get annoyed at my mother. For implying that she knows better than I do how to care for MY baby. For implying that she can do it better. That she is more “natural” at it than I am. I’m jealous that she’ll be getting all this time with my baby which may lead her to feel even more so that he is HERS and not MINE. But he is mine! I know what he likes! I know what he needs! I KNOW him.

I have a pretty good relationship with my mom by most people’s standards. I tell her almost everything. She tells me probably more than I want to hear quite a bit. I know she loves T very much. But we are definitely having some boundary issues and the funny thing is she thinks she is very cognizant of boundaries but she isn’t. She also thinks she is not critical and judgmental, but she is.

I can’t do anything different from how she raised us without her taking it as a criticism of her mothering skills. I’ve told her it’s not about her, it’s about me and how I want to care for my child but somehow this only makes her even more defensive and upset. So I really don’t know how to address this problem because every time she starts criticizing me and I defend myself it descends into an argument I can’t win where she essentially tells me “It’s my way or the highway” and the problem is, I have no choice. I’m going back to work. As others have pointed out, hiring a Chinese nanny (which is what we can afford) would just be like paying someone to do exactly what my mother will do. In fact, my mom brought up hiring my grandma’s previous helper, the one who kept telling my mom to tell me not to do this or that while I was pregnant.

Um, yeah, thanks but no thanks. I am not going to pay someone who thinks their opinions on child-rearing trump my own in regards to MY OWN CHILD. And at least my mom truly loves T.

But the fact remains, my mother doesn’t respect me as a mother and I don’t really know what to do about that.

When daddy is useless

My baby is in the throes of a sleep regression and true to form has become insanely needy. As in I tried to put him in his bed 3x tonight and instead here I am typing on my phone with the little dude snuggled on my chest – sleeping like a baby.

Now, what to do? Put him down and risk him waking on contact with the mattress only to have to pick him up and restart this process again? Or just go to bed like this?

All I know is when I start work next week Paul cannot be snoring away while I deal with these situations.

Not. Gonna. Happen.

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…


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

Yet I’m also wishing that these days…


…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.