Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Sigh of relief

Apparently the title of my previous post needed not include "Day 1", the implication being that there would be a Day 2, or 3 or perhaps 4. Luckily, his nursing strike ended late last night and by bedtime today, he was nursing normally again.

HUGE sigh of relief.

Last night before I went to bed I attempted a "sleepy nursing", hoping that if he were only half conscious, he'd latch on and nurse a bit, and perhaps that could coax him back to the breast. It was a rather miserable failure. I went in and picked him up, simply holding him for a while. As my friend put it, I went "National Geographic Woman", sitting with him topless so he had easier access to my breasts. I held and rocked and tried to entice him to latch. All I succeeded in doing was making him mad. After a while I gave up and tried to put him back down, at which time he decided to wake more fully and cry. He was rather pissed off at having been woken up.

I finally got him back to sleep and a couple of hours later he woke on his own. My husband and I both went in. Hubby held him for a few minutes, then passed him to me for an attempt at nursing. He still resisted, crying and turning away. So my husband held him again, then once he was calm, set him back on my lap. We gave him some sips of water from his sippy cup, talked to him softly and let him grab at the tag on my boppy. Then I laid him down again and he didn't cry; it felt like progress. We rocked for a few minutes and he looked sleepy. Suddenly, he turned toward me and latched on. OMG! My husband slowly and silently backed out of the room. I was afraid to move, fearing any twitch on my part would ruin everything.

He nursed for a while and I got him back to sleep. When he woke again around 4, I had to coax him into nursing, but he eventually did. That time took longer to get him back to sleep; I was up with him for quite a while. But at least he'd nursed.

Today he went from reluctantly nursing after some coaxing, to nursing as normal. By bedtime, he was latching on right away, almost as if yesterday had never happened. Thank you God!

When he nursed for the first time last night, I can't even explain how relieved I was. I was so panicked by the parallels between his behavior and what went on when D stopped nursing. Both had colds that seemed to be getting better. Both nursed normally the day/night before, then suddenly refused. Both nursed ONE time on the day in question. D never did again. So when G nursed again, it was like breaking the cycle. Suddenly, it was different. D hadn't nursed again, here G was nursing. Even if he'd continued to refuse after that, I had hope that the outcome wouldn't be the same. Sure enough, I was right.

Did I need to get so worked up and upset? I guess not. Will I if it happens again? Probably. Who am I kidding, right? As my good friend said to me on the phone last night, it's never just about the nursing. The nutritional benefits, the immunities, those are all good things. But there is something more; something unique and special about the nursing relationship. I'm not knocking moms who choose not to nurse for any reason; I'm just talking about what it means to ME. Nursing is something that means a great deal to me. It's important and more than once I've had to fight for it to work.

I desperately want to nurse G until he's at least (over) a year old. And I'm more than open to continuing as long as it's mutually beneficial. So yesterday when I was faced not only with the difficulties of a baby who won't nurse, but the rather painful memories of when D stopped, it was quite overwhelming. I'm enormously grateful that things turned around today, and I'm not posting "Nursing Strike Day 2". I'm hopeful he'll continue to nurse well and this won't happen again.

I tell you, one thing I have learned as a mother is these little stinkers keep you on your toes! You expect or plan for one thing and they throw something else at you. But what is it they say about how to make God laugh? Tell him your plans...

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Nursing Strike: Day 1

When D was 10 months old, he went on a nursing strike. Despite the people who have told me, "He probably just didn't need to nurse anymore," I still consider it a nursing strike - although we were never able to recover and it spelled the end of breastfeeding. I've always wondered if I made some mistakes when that happened; that if I'd handled things differently (ie, not given him a bottle right away), he might have gone back to nursing.

Apparently I'm being given another shot.

Not that I wanted one...

G won't nurse. We've all been sick for at least 10 days now. D got it first, then G, then me and my husband. G has had it the worst. A week ago his cough turned to croup and he was utterly miserable. Over the last week he's been doing better, but he's still pretty congested and mucusy. And today, he refused to nurse.

When I got him up this morning he wouldn't nurse and I had a pang of fear; what if it's happening again. I tried not to worry about it, and assumed he was too distracted by his brother. He'd been up twice last night to nurse, and ate fine. I tried again a couple times over the course of the morning, but he wouldn't even attempt to latch. Finally, before his morning nap he did nurse and I was pretty relieved.

But that was just the beginning - and the last time he ate all day. After his nap, he again refused, this time getting upset when I tried to put him to the breast. At that point, I got panicky. I called my husband, who despite his good intentions does not understand in the least why this has me so upset. After talking with him, I made an appointment for G at our pediatrician's office; I wanted to rule out an ear infection or something similar that might be causing him pain and making him reluctant to nurse.

Meanwhile, I had to get him to take another nap, and he still wouldn't nurse. I did get him down, but he had to fuss a while before he'd fall asleep. He didn't sleep long, but we had to go to the doctor anyway. I again tried to nurse - nope.

The doctor concluded we've all probably had RSV this whole time. Lovely. No wonder we can't seem to shake it! G is full of mucus (no kidding) and she said his nursing issues are likely due to all the mucus in his nose and airways; plus he's probably just feeling crappy. Here's where I feel like the WORST mother on the planet because we let him CIO for a while last night. Go ahead, flog me. I deserve it. But the last several nights have been horrid and I was thinking he's probably well enough that he needs to get back on track with his sleeping. Now I feel like he's punishing me for letting him cry.

The doctor gave him a breathing treatment - or rather, had me give him a breathing treatment. You know how fun that is? Try holding a plastic mask over your 21lb 9oz 8 month old's face when he's screaming, thrashing and clawing at it. That was fun. Not to mention, the whole ordeal scared D so bad my husband (thank you God that he was able to be there) had to take him out of the room. He did not like seeing his brother like that.

The breathing treatment apparently helped a bit, although his breathing still sounded just as juicy (for lack of a better word) to me. But his O2 level went up a little (not that it was bad to begin with) and the doctor said he sounded better when she listened to his lungs. So we were sent home with our own nebulizer and instructions to give him 3 breathing treatments per day for the next few days and come back on Friday. As for the nursing, well, she didn't really say much except that he's probably not nursing because he's sick and he's likely to start again once we get a better handle on all the mucus.

Hmm... I guess I should be grateful she didn't tell me to "just give him a bottle". I was sort of expecting that.

Today I've been feverishly reading up on nursing strikes and what to do about them. When my husband came home I gave G his breathing treatment (great, make him associate THAT with me and he'll want to nurse even more... NOT), then took him in the bath with me. I have no idea if that will really help, but the websites all list it among "things to do in the event of a nursing strike" and at this point I'd try to nurse standing on my head if I thought it would help. No luck there, and none at bedtime either. So he's sleeping now after nursing a grand total of ONE time today, when he usually nurses 6 or 7.

I'm trying very hard not to think about how closely this parallels David's nursing strike and the end to our breastfeeding relationship. I'm trying to tell myself that I know more this time and I'm too stubborn to let it get the best of me. I'm desperately hoping that he'll nurse tonight; never before have I wanted him to wake up in the night like this! I'm dreading how the night will go if he still won't nurse, but does wake up.

All in all, I'm hoping against hope that we come out of this in better shape than D and I did when the same thing happened. And I can't frickin believe this is happening to me again. What are the chances BOTH my kids would do this? Unbelievable.

Now I have to go pump.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Good husband award

Although I don't think I have yet on this blog, I do tend to complain about my husband occassionally. Today, however, he reminded me why he's such a great guy.

We've all been sick for like, forever. At least it's beginning to seem that way. We have this super mega cold that we can't seem to kick. I'm probably the healthiest out of everyone, but I'm also getting the least amount of sleep, so it sort of evens out. D isn't too bad; he has a cough still, but he acts like he feels fine most of the time. G has had it the worst, and as a result, his sleep is horrible. My husband has been sick too, and I'm sure you can guess who's been the biggest baby in the house...

In any case, last night was awful. G was up more times than I could count, and many times he wouldn't go back to sleep. That's unusal for him; typically if he wakes up, even if he's sick, he goes back to sleep fairly easily. At least, I can usually count on nursing to zonk him out completely, even if he's not hungry; a good comfort nursing session almost always does the trick.

Not last night. I was up and down out of bed so many times, I have no idea how much I actually slept. And the worst part is he's getting better; he's a little stuffed up and he coughs occassionally, but overall he seems a lot better than he was a week ago.

So today I was a complete zombie. All morning I was counting on G taking a morning nap so I could at least lie on the couch and close my eyes while D watched Playhouse Disney. And, you guessed it - G wouldn't nap. Prior to having kids I never would have imagined how much stress naps, or lack of naps, would cause. Often the outcome of my day literally hinges on whether or not a nap happens. It was like that when D was still a napper, and it's like that now with G.

He did finally fall asleep, but a lot later than normal and by that time my window of opportunity for couch vegging was pretty much over. It snowed a bit today and D was clamouring to go outside; he wasn't about to sit and watch yet another TV show. I called my husband in tears, just to hear his voice and hoping he'd tell me everything would be ok; because right about then, I needed to hear it.

Later this afternoon, my husband came home for lunch. He happened to arrive in the midst of D's enormous tantrum (my Dad had been here earlier and D did NOT want him to leave). He took care of calming down the beast while I got G down for his nap. Then he did something that made my week. I wish I could express to him how much this meant to me. He said, "Why don't you go to bed. I'll work from home the rest of the day. Go ahead and go upstairs - I got this."

O. M. G.

Seriously, how many exhausted moms would absolutely die to hear those words. "I got this." You can put down your burden of responsibility for a little while and know that I will be here to take care of it for you. Go, rest, feel better. Let me help you and you do something for yourself.

I love that man.

I took myself upstairs, despite the fact that D was wailing for me, and went to bed. I turned on my fan to drown out any noise, turned off the baby monitor, closed my eyes, and slept. My husband had things under control, and I could relax. That's a pretty powerful thing when you're as sleep deprived as I am.

After a glorious two hour nap, I'm happy to say I felt better, but afraid to say I was still tired. And not in that I just slept too long in the middle of the day so now I'm groggy tired; it was more like I'm so sleep deprived there's no way one nap, even a good one, will catch me up. But still - it was nice, and helped me get through what otherwise was turning out to be a pretty rotten day.

I thanked my husband when I got up from my nap, but I think I'm going to tell him again how much that meant to me. I want him to understand that it was more than just taking the kids for a couple hours so I could rest. It was allowing me to lay aside my Mom outfit for a little while, to hand over the weight of my responsibility for just a little bit, and that means a lot.

Regardless, he's so getting some tonight.

Friday, January 25, 2008


I think it is safe to say we've made some poop progress!

(Only moms get so excited about poop. Well, maybe dog owners do too, especially if they've trained their dog to go in one spot in the yard...)

For the last three days, D has pooped on the potty more or less willingly. [Insert huge sigh of relief here.] I'm hoping we've turned the corner and his poop holding days are coming rapidly to an end. Thank you Dr. H and thank you miralax! I know there's always the possibility of regression in potty training, but so far we've been full steam ahead. He's totally and completely out of diapers and I can't remember the last time he had an accident. And now if the poop holding drama is over, we might just be home free.

Now if someone could get him to stop yelling, "YES IT IS!" at me when I tell him no to something, that would be great. Thanks.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Dear HR Director,

Dear HR Director,

It has come to my attention that when I began employment approximately three years ago, I was not given an employee handbook. There are now certain policies and procedures for which I have questions that I expect the handbook would explain, but I cannot find a copy. I've been told by certain other coworkers that such a handbook does not actually exist; however, I deemed it prudent to inquire as I assume that there must be such a document.

The issue in question at the present time is my allotment of sick time and the procedure for taking sick days. I realize that this job does not include weekends or holidays off, nor nights and evenings for that matter. I also realize that vacation time is only allowed when grandparents or other suitable individuals can be found to fill in. But, in the event of illness, I had thought (or perhaps hoped) that there was a procedure for calling in sick.

Apparently I am mistaken?

It would be helpful if someone would let me know who to call in the event of an illness so I might have the opportunity for a break. I believe that a day or two off would in fact increase my productivity, allowing me to get over any illness more quickly, thus returning to my duties faster and in better spirits. As it is, I am forced to continue working through my illness and my immune system is weakened by lack of sleep, as well as the increased demands of my subordinates, who are also ill.

Your prompt attention to this matter would be greatly appreciated. In the meantime, I believe we are out of kleenex.


Friday, January 18, 2008

A moment of gratitude

Another friend of mine had a baby recently. I talked to her on the phone and she sounded so... peaceful. While it was probably the vicodin, I was left to imagine her holding her new little baby in her arms, softly stroking his hair, looking at his face and marveling at the wonder of new life.

Shortly after talking to her, I was sitting on the couch with my boys. D was playing with a couple of toys; his toy hippo deep in conversation with his elephant. G was on my lap, alternately watching his brother and reaching out to grab one of the assortment of baby toys I'd picked up and set within his reach. I had this wonderful moment of clarity. Not the first; there have been a number of times when the reality of my situation has hit me in similar ways. But I sat there looking at my children, thinking of my friend holding hers, and I felt nothing but pure, unadulterated gratitude.

That's something, coming from me, and it makes my heart a little warm that I was able to feel that and nothing else. I didn't feel a twinge of jealousy, nor a spark of envy. Even in the wake of my second pregnancy, achieved without the long trek through infertility, I'd grown used to feeling at least a teensy bit jealous of friends or acquaintances when they announced pregnancies or had their babies. But here I was, basking in the reflected glow of new motherhood, and all I could think was dammit if I'm not one of the luckiest chicks on this planet.

G still smells of baby, his head is soft under my chin. He's chubby as can be and feels amazing in my arms. D is possibly the most entertaining person I know; he never ceases to amaze me with the things that come out of his mouth. And between the two of them, I can't imagine loving anything more.

As cliche as it may be to label them such, they are my miracles. I look at them and I see pieces of myself, pieces of my husband and something entirely new. I tell you, God really knew what he was doing when he created us and this whole process of life. What better way to express to us His love, than to have us experience the amazement of having our own children. It absolutely takes my breath away.

They are such beautiful little beings and it humbles me to be trusted with their lives; to have their little souls in my care, if even for such a brief time as childhood. I'm so grateful for this gift, the gift of being a mother. So tonight I say a prayer for all mothers, that you may have the love and wisdom in your heart to raise your children well; and to all who wish to be mothers, that you are blessed with the children your hearts so long for.

Friday, January 11, 2008

One of those days (aka I need a drink!)

Can someone please pass me a really big margarita? No wait, a cosmo. Yeah, a cosmo would be good...

We're still embroiled in the poopscapades. Despite days and days of miralax, which is successfully softening D's stools, he does not want to poop. At all. It isn't that he doesn't want to go on the potty - he doesn't want to go at all. I've even offered to put him in a diaper or pull up, just so he'll go and it won't be so damned messy. Of course, the mention of a diaper brought up an instant refrain of, "Nooooooo! Those are for babies!"

Part of the plan, per our pediatrician, was to get D to sit on the potty for a bit once or twice a day, in addition to the times he pees. He absolutely will not do it. I've asked, coaxed, told, given him a 5 minute warning, bribed with treats, tried to read books, sing songs, play musical instruments and have him listen to my ipod. He wants none of it. He refuses completely. He's even started jumping off the potty as fast as he can after peeing, to the point that he's barely finished, just so he doesn't have to sit there any longer than aboslutely necessary. Because of course, he wouldn't want to accidentally poop.

You know how they say not to force potty training? I'm ready to duct tape the kid to the freaking potty until he poops.

I can totally tell when he's holding it. He gets quiet and a little whiney, and very clingy. He wants to sit on the couch and cuddle, or lie on the couch with a blanket. Then he'll tell me his head hurts - what he really means is his tummy hurts, but he's heard me tell him that his tummy hurts because he has to poop so many times, he doesn't want to admit it's his tummy. This, of course, brings up my paranoid mommy instinct and I start worrying he has a brain tumor. Sigh.

Then he'll start pacing around, not quite doing the potty dance like he has to pee really bad, but walking around, standing on his tippy toes, shifting a lot. Then the poop will simply start to come out, whether he likes it or not. He'll hunker down, look like he's actually trying to go - but what he's really doing is trying to suck it all back in. Lovely image for you, isn't it?

Twice today I had to wipe his bottom and change his underwear because there was a little smear. The miralax is making his stool too soft to hold it in (as per plan), but the problem is, I can't get him to sit on the potty to take care of the rest of it. He'll hold and hold and pace and whine and tell me his head hurts until finally, he poops a little in his pants.

Today he did that during quiet time. I got out of the shower to find him calling for me from his room. I opened the door and the smell gave it away. Great. But there wasn't much in there and I was certain he wasn't done.

Sure enough, a couple hours later the dance began again. His demeanor changed, he started acting clingy and complaining vaguely. Finally he was standing next to me and started saying, "Mama, Mama, Mama," and I whisked him into the bathroom. He protested on the way in there, but not to the point of a total meltdown, so I had hope. He sat there and peed, but I could see he needed to do more. I said in my cheeriest voice, "Wait a second!" and he paused - long enough for the offending poop to finally make it's exit. He looked at me in surprise as he did it, then said with a quiet smile, "I pooped, Mama."


I made sure to talk to him about it a bit, reiterating that it didn't hurt when he did it. He agreed and told Daddy, "My tummy feels so much better now!"

We'll see what tomorrow brings. This non-pooping thing has been driving me up the wall. I wish he'd figure out that it won't hurt (as long as we keep putting his "special vitamins" in his morning milk, wink wink), and it feels better to just let it go than hold it in.

I suppose he will figure it out eventually. Until then, I'm edgy.

And G is getting all four top teeth at once. Please pass another cosmo!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

My stroller addiction

Some people are addicted to coffee, some chocolate, some late night trips to Taco Bell. I am addicted to strollers.

Prior to today, I owned three, all of which I purchased before G was even born. One child and three strollers... sure, makes sense. I started with one, my Graco which came as part of the travel system I got at my baby shower before D was born. Then I added a jogging stroller - a really nice BOB Ironman which actually got a lot of use when I was training for my triathlon. And when I was pregnant with G I bought a cheap umbrella stroller; I needed something light and easy to lift so I could more easily take D out and about with me. The last thing I needed was to be chasing after my toddler while I was big and pregnant.

Add to that a wagon, backpack, baby bjorn, bike trailer and sling and you have way too many baby transport items in one garage.

But today, I added to my collection. But I have to back up...

I am a chronic overthinker. I obsess over the simplest decisions, research the crap out of everything and generally make myself crazy in the process. It's one of my larger insanities. I've been eyeing the Baby Trend Sit-n-Stand stroller literally for months. When I was pg with G, we decided not to spring for a double stroller right away, being unsure as to whether we'd need one. We didn't put D in a stroller much anymore; he usually prefers to walk, and we've spent many an outing with him pushing an empty stroller, or me pushing a diaper bag. So a double stroller seemed like an unnecessary expense, at least until we knew whether it would get much use.

When G was smaller, I carried him around in a sling a lot; there were plenty of times when I'd sling G and have D in the Graco. A double stroller didn't seem necessary. But then G started to grow - and grow and grow and grow! That kid is huge! My little guy became an almost 20lb 6 month old in no time flat (he clears 20lbs now). That's a lot of baby to be strapping to your hip!

So I started looking at double strollers, "just to see what's out there." Yeah, right. I found the Baby Trend and my heart did a little leap - it wasn't a real double, but could fit both kidlets. And didn't cost an arm and a leg - this one had possiblities!

Proceed to obsessive overthinking. I looked at it on various websites; tried to find different pictures, different angles. Found the best possible deal, just in case I actually decided to buy one. I told my husband about it, and he was lukewarm on the idea - not helping me at all. I tried to picture outings with the thing, and without it. Whenever I went somewhere with both boys, I wondered if the trip would have been easier with the stroller. Sometimes, it felt like it would be. Other times, well, I don't know.

This went on for literally a couple of months. See, I'm insane. I couldn't decide if I'd buy it and end up regretting spending the cash. I hate feeling buyers remorse, especially when it's something I have to talk my husband into getting. He just kept laughing at me and shaking his head at my "stroller obsession" (his words).

Finally, a week or so ago, the four of us went to the mall. We had G in the umbrella stroller, which has zero features except to hold the baby and allow me to push; it's even too short for my husband to push it comfortably. David was alternately walking, whining to be picked up, riding on Daddy's shoulders, and then whining because his legs fell asleep. We got home from that little trip and I was drawn inexorably to my computer - to once again look at the damn stroller.

I ended up ordering it as much because I wanted it and truly think it will be useful, as to get the stupid thing off my mind. All right, already, I'll order you! Just get out of my freaking head! I was sick of debating and wondering and obsessing, so I just freaking did it.

It came today and it was like feeding an addiction. The UPS guy rang the doorbell and I knew it must be my stroller! (Not like I'd been tracking the package everyday... no, of course not). I ripped into the box, even though I'd been on my way upstairs to put G down for a nap. C'mon kid, you can wait 10 more minutes while I put this thing together! I got the wheels snapped on, the canopy in place and the tray attached. There it was, in all it's glory. My Baby Trend Sit-n-Stand in blue check. Ah, the things that make moms happy.

The entire time I was putting the thing together, D was clamouring to get on and take a ride. Finally, I let him on and I think he was more excited than I was! He wanted me to put G in and then push them around, so we went outside and rode up and down the street a little. (And if you knew me when D was a baby, you'd be shocked that I'd put off G's nap long enough to do all this!)

So there you have it, stroller #4. It's pretty awesome though, and I think we'll get a lot of use out of it. And like my husband said, we're hoping for a baby #3, so by that time G will be old enough to ride on the sit-n-stand part, D will be too big for a stroller, and the littlest one will be riding up front.

Although, am I kidding myself that I'd actually be going anywhere with three kids? Hmmm...

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

A new life and a confession.

One of my oldest friends had a baby girl this morning. I have mixed feelings about the whole thing. On the one hand, a baby is always a blessing, always a miracle. On the other, she's in an abusive marriage and this is her third child in just over three years. Her ties to her asshole of a husband grow tighter and tighter as time goes on. Adding another child to this marriage is SO not a good idea.

However, I would like to welcome little Charlotte Sue to the world (despite my loathing of her father).

Now for the confession part... Here goes. I'm a little jealous.

I want a daughter. There, I said it out loud.

Look, here's what I know:
I love my boys more than I ever could have imagined possible. You know in "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," at the end where his heart grows three sizes and he's finally able to feel the true meaning of Christmas? I've experienced something akin to that, twice now. My heart has grown so huge I don't know how it could possibly be contained inside my chest (despite my enormous breastfeeding boobs).
I wouldn't trade either of my boys for anything in the world. If God came to me and said, "Ok, so you want a daughter; I can give you one, but you have to give one of your boys back," the answer would be a very quick, clear and loud NOOOOOOOOO! They are my babies and I adore them.
I believe we have the children we were meant to have. If I have a third child (likely) and that child is another boy (also seems likely), I know I will love him just as much as I love my first two and I wouldn't trade him for anything either.

So this isn't a case of I had a boy, decided to try again hoping for a girl, had another boy who wasn't good enough for me, so I need to try again for that girl. We wanted another CHILD, regardless of gender and that goes for trying for a third as well. And like I said, I wouldn't trade G for anything. He's amazing.

Although I know I won't regret having a third boy, there's a part of me that wishes for the things that go with having a daughter. I have a great relationship with my mom and I've always hoped to experience the other end of that with my own daughter. And what can I say, I love Barbies and baby dolls and princess dress up and tea parties. A lot of it is the superficial stuff, like decorating a room with lavendar or pink and dressing her up in pretty outfits for the holidays; doing her hair in braids with pink ribbons. And thinking ahead to things like getting a first Communion dress, ballet lessons, taking her to the latest tween girly movie... being the mother of the bride. Those are things I have to admit, I long for.

I've been through infertility and I haven't forgotten. I'm more than grateful for my children and I love them dearly. Believe me when I say, more than anything I want an easy conception, a smooth pregnancy and, above all, a healthy child. If God has another boy in store for me, then you know what, it will rock. I'll be the cool boy mommy who gets dirty, knows all about transformers and ninja turtles, and takes the boys out to ride four wheelers in the mud. I look forward to being the cool mom their friends all dig because I make them awesome chocolate chip cookies when they come over after football practice. And there is something pretty special about having brothers. I'll embrace it and love it and it will be great.

But, for now, while I'm dreaming about what God has in store for me, I'm longing for a daughter someday. My boys are the best and I love them. It isn't that they aren't enough for me. But with the thought of another baby someday, it makes me wonder if I'll get to experience those special things that mommies of girls get to do.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Just 30 minutes, please

All I want is 30 minutes. Thirty measly minutes when I can sit down, eat a little lunch, check my email and go to the bathroom without someone crying and someone else trying to come in.

D no longer naps (lovely), but I've kept up with what we almost jokingly call "quiet time". While G takes his afternoon nap, D hangs out in his room and plays. Theoretically, he'd be playing quietly, but "quiet" is rarely an adjective I'd use.

I've fought rather hard to keep quiet time going. He's tested me in every way he can. He's tried coming out of his room repeatedly, sitting in there crying for me, lying on the floor and kicking his door... He's a stubborn little guy (so much like his father, it's rather scary). I need that time, and I think he does too. After a while, he gets bored of whatever antics he's trying and we'll have weeks or a month or so where quiet time goes smoothly. Most days he actually asks to go to quiet time, or tells me when he's ready; I think the routine is comforting. But then something else comes up and I have to fight for it yet again. We renew the sticker chart, promise various rewards for staying in his room, etc.

Our latest problem revolves around the fact that he's refusing to poop. We went to the doctor this morning and I was reminded once again why I love our pediatrician. He has 5 kids of his own, so he's pretty much seen it all. The first thing he said was, "Yeah, Jack did that. Here's what we did for him." He gave us a stool softener, instructions of how to use it and a lot of reassurance that it's very safe and mild; his son used it for 3 years straight! He said it's rare that they need it that long; usually the fear of pooping passes after a month or so of going comfortably. I sure hope so - this has been exhausting!

At this point, D hasn't pooped in about 4 days and he's remarkably uncomfortable. And that's why he's not cooperating with quiet time. His butt hurts, his tummy hurts and all the kid really needs to do is sit on the potty and take a good dump. But will he? Of course not. That would be too easy. So he's sitting in there whining, playing for a bit, then whining some more. He keeps coming out to tell me he needs to go potty, then quickly changing his mind and saying he doesn't need to.

I'm currently banging my head against a wall.

I just need 30 minutes. That's all. G is the short nap wonder, so if he sleeps for 45 minutes at a time, I'm happy. This is the only time during the day, from the time they wake up to the time we get D to bed, that I have any sort of a break. And D won't leave me alone for 2 seconds.

At the moment, I can hear him playing with is new imaginary friend, Mr. Dinosaur and his ninja turtle action figures. I may actually get to finish my diet coke. And considering G woke me up at 5:30 this morning, I need the caffiene.

And yes, I would like some cheese with my whine.

Sunday, January 6, 2008


We went out and saw Juno last night. Great movie! I didn't know anything about it, other than my sister-in-law said it was hilarious and my husband looked it up on and it had great reviews. Deservedly so!

It's about a high school girl, Juno, who gets pregnant and decides to give the baby up for adoption to Mark and Vanessa, played by Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner. Because my SIL deemed it "hilarious", I was expecting the funny stuff. Juno's dialogue is really funny; her attitude and mannerisms were great.

What I didn't expect was the rush of emotions it was going to bring up for me. I saw so much of myself in Vanessa; at least myself four years ago. She's a woman who desperately longs for a baby, but for some reason isn't able to have one of her own. She's likely been down the infertility road with no success, and even been burned by another potential adpotion. I never made it that far down that road; I was lucky enough to be blessed with D. But for 2 1/2 years, I was her. I read books and websites about fertility, and infertility. I tried with marginal success to educate my husband on the ins and outs of babymaking (which is slightly more complicated when it isn't working - a little more than, "let's go have sex without birth control"). I hoped, I prayed, I researched and I tried to do everything I possibly could to have a baby.

But more than all that, I felt that desperation, that longing. I felt that overwhelming desire to be a mother, and the paralyzing fear that I wouldn't ever be one. I went up and down the spectrum, from being hopeful and optimistic, to madly researching international adoptions and doing spreadsheets detailing how we'd pay for it. I made lists weighing the pros and cons of spending our hard earned money on the more expensive fertility procedures versus moving straight to adoption, which at least guaranteed a sure thing. And, hardest of all, I contemplated my life with no children. I looked into my future and tried to see a life with no kids, a life where I was not what I always assumed I would be - a mother. That was the hardest of all, to try to view it in order to move a step closer to possibly accepting it.

I was almost moved to tears several times during the course of the movie. At their first meeting, Juno makes a comment to Vanessa along the lines of, "You're lucky this isn't you," referring to her pregnancy. I cringed, outwardly and inwardly. Oh how such a comment would sting! Many an infertile woman has wanted to bang her head against the wall at all the pregnant teens out there, at the unfairness of it all. In a later scene, they meet by chance in the mall and Vanessa is able to feel the baby move for the first time. I'm almost teary now, just thinking about it. Here is a woman who wants nothing more than to be a mother and she is deprived of feeling that miracle grow inside her own body. Yet she's accepted that reality and still wants a baby to raise; and there it is, moving inside another woman's body, responding to her voice.


Obviously, my worst fears have not been realized and I've been abundantly blessed with two amazing children. I love them so much my heart aches with it. Being a mother is harder, more challenging, more frustrating and infinitely more wonderful than I ever could have imagined. But my experience with infertility will always be with me, always a part of me. It changed me in some ways, and I don't think I'll ever be quite the same.

Having such an easy time conceiving the second time went amazing lengths to heal my infertility wounds. I never thought I'd be able to see a pregnant woman without feeling that sting of jealousy, even after having D. I was surprised at myself when D was a baby and I still felt that pang of envy upon hearing someone I knew was pregnant. I thought, come on, you HAVE a baby! What more do you want! But it's hard to turn that off; the experience sticks with you and colors how you see things. After I got pregnant with G, (the first month we tried, talk about opposite experience), those feelings dulled so much. Even now, I'm rarely hit by those pangs of jealousy, rarely reminded of the ache of infertility. But this movie brought it all back.

I found myself feeling such a kinship with Vanessa; I felt her pain and understood how hard it would be. I know the longing, the heartache, the pain. I felt it again last night. I didn't expect that, in this movie deemed "hilarious". It was much more than a comedy. It had a big heart and, in my opinion, a pretty neat ending.

I hope young girls see this movie and maybe some will be moved to chose life for their babies, if they're ever in Juno's position. Maybe they'll see what a miracle it is to have a child, even an unplanned one. Maybe they'll be the ones making a dream come true for someone, someone who is a lot like I was four years ago. I hope so. I don't know if this movie was made with that kind of agenda; but the message was still there.

I came home and G had woken up (of course, the one night we're gone he wakes up early). I spent a long time holding and nursing him. And I hugged both my boys extra tight this morning. I'm so freaking lucky! SO lucky!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New years resolutions

It seems like almost every year one of my new years resolutions is to lose weight. I must be one of millions to make such a resolution. Sometimes I've even kept it! But in the midst of having babies over the last few years, I've been up and down the scale several times.

I have PCOS and, among other frustrating symptoms, I gain weight. PCOS is one of those really great disorders that bashes you over the head, then kicks you when you're down. It causes everything from weight gain to infertility to excess body hair, male pattern baldness and acne. Gotta love a disorder that not only makes you question your place in the universe as a woman (if you can't have a baby), but also screws with your physical appearance. I'm one of the lucky ones, in that my symptoms are fairly mild and I don't have problems with some of the worst ones. I don't lose my hair, or grow much where I shouldn't. I have been able to have kids, although D was 2 1/2 years in the making. And I do struggle with my weight, but not to the extent a lot of my PCOS friends do.

I was a skinny teenager (oh for that body again!), but in my late teens I started gaining. I went years not knowing I had PCOS, and not understanding the reasons behind my weight gain; or why the things I tried to lose weight never worked. I didn't get the whole carb-insulin-weight connection. Once I figured that out, I was able to successfully lose weight. Early in 2004 I dropped 20lbs. Then I got pregnant with D and put on, well, way too much. I lost weight again after he was born, getting down to about 132-133 before getting pregnant with G. Of course, I did get pg again, and I can't seem to do pregnancy without gaining at least 50lbs. Bleh.

I'm still carrying around a good 20lbs that I don't need. I was doing pretty good losing weight, but I lost momentum a few months ago. I've maintained since then, which is good, but not good enough. It's tough, since I'm nursing and my body isn't excited about lowering my calorie intake, even a little. Because of nursing, I can eat quite a bit and lose, but it's this mental battle with myself all day long. Hunger is a powerful sensation; it's very hard to ignore. And when you're always slightly sleep deprived, it's that much harder. I find my level of motivation is directly correlated to the amount of sleep I get.

So here I am on yet another January 1st and I'm resolving to lose weight. But this year, my resolution has a bit of a twist. I resolve that next January 1st, my resolution WILL NOT be to lose weight.

My weight loss goal for this year - lose 20lbs by G's birthday in May.

That means I need to do a serious goodie purge tonight. There's so much chocolate in my house every PMSing woman in a 5 mile radius can probably sense it.