Saturday, October 31, 2009

I don't nap

Everyone keeps telling me to "sleep when he's sleeping" and I totally understand why. I'm more like a walking zombie than an intelligent capable woman. Probably a lot of sleep would get me closer to intelligent and capable....or maybe it would get me closer to frumpy, tired, hung-over, disheveled mom who never gets out of her bathrobe. That's my fear.

I'm bad at napping. And I'm scared of being good at it (see the bathrobe result above...). So I really haven't even tried.

It's just that every time he sleeps I have to make a choice: shower or nap? dishes or nap? eat or nap? laundry or nap? me-time or nap? pee or nap?

So far I've showered every day, we still have clean dishes, I'm far from starving to death, there is only one pile of bodily fluids laundry to do, and I've read a lot of Mitford.

I brag simply to prove why I don't choose "nap". If I napped every day I would be smelly, with science projects growing in my sink while I wither away to practically nothing (ha ha ha....that's funny because...nevermind. It's not funny.), surrounded by piles of laundry soaked in mystery fluid, wiping my kids mouth with a dirty burp cloth (because no matter how many I have it isn't enough) and I would not have read even one sentence of my Mitford books and Father Tim would have one less 20-something year old girl in love with him. And my bladder would have exploded long ago. Tragedy I tell you.

It's just that I haven't learned to do the things that are basic requirements while the child is awake. His awake time is spent rocking him, cuddling him, loving him, and looking at how much his tiny little fingers have grown! Not to mention the changing, nail clipping, feeding and dressing him that all have to happen when he's already screaming....

I know that there are people out there with more than 1 kid, and here's my question: what if they don't all nap at once?!?!?! Heaven forbid.


On Thursday I called the Dr. at 11:30am because Thomas was still spitting up a lot and not producing anything to give me reason to believe he was digesting anything. (Subtlety is not my gift....the kid hadn't pooped in like 3 days.) The nurse sounded as concerned as I was (not comforting) and said we should come in. They had an appointment at 2:40. Could I make that?

3 hours and 10 minutes.....I quickly surveyed my circumstances, Thomas had been asleep for a long time and I knew he'd wake up any minute. I hadn't showered or done my hair. The carseat base needed to be installed in my car, I'd have to get both of us ready to leave the house, install the carseat base, feed him - twice probably - and change his diaper at least 3 times. 3 hours and 10 minutes......"Sure. I'll be there." I answered. I know, sometimes I amaze even myself with my ambition.

3 hours and 10 minutes really isn't very used to be long.

That's like 6 episodes of a tv show. It's long enough to cook a dinner that is frozen solid. It's enough time to pick a movie and go see it (even if it's Lord of the Rings). It's long enough to read a LOT of book. Long enough to attend 3 college courses (with bathroom breaks!) It's 3 loads of laundry, 3 loads of dishes (with drying and putting away time), it's 4 trips downtown. It's long enough to go grocery shopping, AND Costco and put away the goods AND make the list for next time. It's long enough to plan a party, ask people to come over and have the house presentable for company. It's more than long enough to plan and prepare dinner.

Now 3 hours and 10 minutes is exactly long enough to complete only the most necessary tasks to get our butts out the door. Nothing more. Doing my hair is optional and getting dressed happens in at least 3 different sessions.

3 hours and 10 minutes is also the amount of time I spend sleeping before waking up to the cry of my sweet sweet child.

It used to be that a week was just 5 days of work and 1 very short weekend.

Now a week (until the next Dr.'s appointment where they tell me that he's fine) is eternal. It's 9,000 feedings, 12 million empty diapers, and 2500 crying sessions.  It's 21 outfits (because I refuse to let him soil more than 3 per day...) 4 baths and 6 sleepless nights. It's 7 whole days of wondering if everything is OK. It's 168 hours of not knowing if I'm doing OK and 10,080 agonizing minutes of trying to decide if his cheeks are fuller or that fat roll on his thighs was there yesterday.

I knew a baby would change everything....but I didn't know that even the value of a minute would never be the same.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I remembered why I hate the Dr.

It's the waiting.

And the anxiety.

And the screaming children.

And the sniffling and sneezing germ infested rooms.

And the waiting.

And the fact that it's my screaming child.

And the response "Well....we don't really know, but why don't you try _____"

And that's after all the waiting.

And the copay.

And the blood and needles.

And the poking and prodding.

And the look of disgust when I don't know my entire family's medical history. (Imagine if they knew I don't even know my entire family!)

On the plus side he (The Dr.) gave us drugs, said nice things and asked me to call back and let him know how it's going in a week. I hope I get to say "poop everywhere, puke nowhere" that would be ideal. Or maybe he'll let me e-mail him a picture. That might be more fun.

Real Mail, faces, and friends.

I hate getting the mail.


It's never fun.

It never has anything in it.

Except ads. And bills.

The people want my money.

The mailbox is "way over there".

So I never get the mail. Josh does.

Yesterday I found the stack of mail that Josh brought in, and lookit what there was!

For me!

(one of) My favorite part(s) is this line in the card: "PS I know there is a face on it so just deal with it, OK?"

And now I will explain and clarify my hatred of stuff with faces:

There are creepy faces

(which Josh likes)

and there are cute faces

(which both Josh and I like)

and Josh can't tell the difference between creepy

and not

So he told me I was weird for hating all faces. (which I don't)

And I told him not to buy baby stuff with creepy faces

(like these)
and he told me that not all faces were creepy
(like these)

And I told him that since he couldn't tell, just to stick to the "no faces" rule. 

And that's why everyone keeps apologizing for giving me stuff with faces. But the best part is that the stuff I have with faces is FREAKIN' adorable. And I love it. 

So, there you have it. 

Some faces are cute. 

And some are....well....not.

Special Privileges

Being this cute comes with some special privileges, there are a lot of things nobody else in this house gets away with.

  • Pooping in a blanket.
  • Demanding food at 2am and falling asleep before finishing it.
  • Holding hands with every girl who walks through the doorway.
  • Being congratulated for burping, farting and pooping. The louder the better.
  • Getting all of his sneeze blessings. This is how it ususally goes:
    Amy: "achoo!"
    Josh: "Bless you."
    Amy: "achoo!"
    Josh: "Fine then, bless me."
    Not the case for Thomas. He always gets ALL of his sneeze blessings. I'm jealous.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

2.85 miles

It was a rough day yesterday, I seriously think something is wrong with my little angel, he was all lethargic and tired but wouldn't sleep (bloodshot eyes are ugly on me, but on my baby....they are heartbreaking). He grunts and growls but can't seem to poop and I'm relatively certain his tummy is killing him.

Every time I set him down he cried, every time I picked him up he moaned and grunted, every time I patted his back or rubbed his tummy he arched his back and howled.

After being up with him since 2:30am, by the time Josh got home I was ready for some help. And a nap.

So I did the laundry, and the dishes, and cleaned the kitchen, and went for a run.

I haven't run or even walked for....longer than I care to admit (or figure out) so I was pretty proud that I did 2.85 miles! And I could have done more, but I told Josh I'd only be gone about 30 minutes. And if his evening had been anything like mine, I couldn't stand to leave him alone any longer. It hadn't. Thomas was asleep when I got home and had been since I left. Is it bad that it makes me mad that he waits for Dad to come home and then sleeps like an an angel?

It felt really good to get out of the house, to move without rocking, swaying and bouncing to sooth the baby (OK I rocked a little....but only as much as you can on an elliptical). It was nice to see that other people more than 20 inches long exist. It was good to do something completely uninterrupted. As in, I stopped because I felt like it, not because Thomas needed me.

If it wasn't so cold outside I'd call my neighbor (hi Eva!) and see if she wanted to go for a walk....but I don't dare because it's a whopping 36 degrees outside, and even if I bundle him up, I think Thomas would freeze.

So here's to walking, or running, or moving, or leaving the house. And here's to my amazing husband who let me.

Who knows? Maybe I'll be back to my 5K a day by Christmas.

One things I love about Josh....

One thing I love about Josh is that when he walks through the door and I hand him our baby, he lets me pee in peace without asking any questions.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

When Amy takes a commanding lead

Remember the ongoing lifelong contest that I've been plotting to win this year so I can pull ahead for the first time since 2007?

When I saw this outside

I knew today was the day.

So I waited.

And I watched.

And I strained my ears to hear the "beep beep" of Josh's car (two beeps because he insists on pushing the button twice, NOT because the car normally beeps twice) above the screaming of the baby.

And I waited some more.

And I planned my sneak attack.

And when I saw his car pull up,

I snuck outside barefoot with a naked baby in my arms.

And I gathered up what little snow was left on the dirt.

And I formed the perfect snowball. It was wet and heavy and lopsided (hey, I had a naked baby in one arm, remember?) and gloriously cold. 

And I walked right up to Josh, 

And I waited till he turned and looked at me......

And BAM! (or as the vacuum salesman would say "Goosh!") I hit him square in the chest with it.

And then I celebrated.

While Josh cried like a sissy on the couch.

And just like that, I took a commanding lead.

Final score:
Amy: 3 Josh: 2.

Things I hate about formula

  • It's sticky. And gross. And smelly.
  • $$
  • There's no such thing as a "half-scoop". I tried. And failed.
  • Waiting for the water to warm up while holding a squirming screaming starving child sucks. I swore I wouldn't let him starve, and even thought it's only 30 seconds, I feel bad.
  • It takes 2 hands to feed a baby a bottle. Or one arm, and a chin to balance the bottle in his mouth....


Josh went back to work today and (miraculously) I survived! And so did Thomas. My list of accomplishments includes:

  • Eating breakfast before 10am.
  • Folding 2 loads of laundry.
  • Showering. It took me all day to gear up for this. I kept thinking something horrible was going to happen to Thomas while I was showering and I wouldn't be able to get to him in time. Will I ever get over that?
  • Staying awake all day.
  • Not crying. At all. Yet. It's only 6 o'clock.
Fortunately it was a short meeting and Josh came home at 1:30. If tomorrow is a full day it should be I'm not sure what I'll do.

Part of me feels like I can do this, I made it through the day and it wasn't as hard as I expected it to be. 

The other part of me feels like I'm an idiot for thinking I can be a mom. I don't know what to do and I don't know if I would have survived a whole day if it hadn't been a good day. 

I just keep thinking: Am I doing the things I should be? Am I neglecting some ultra important developmental activities? Is eating and sleeping it? What can I do when he's screaming? Why does he hate the diaper change so bad? When will I stop feeling like I'm torturing him when I dress him? He has a booger, is it really the flu in disguise? If I leave the house will he get sick? If I don't leave the house will I stay sane? Where would I go if I left the house? What would I do? 

So while today was good, I'm wrecking it by worrying about tomorrow. And the next day, and the next 18 years really. 

Why can't I be one of those moms who just knows what to do. You know, the kind who instinctively multi-task to the 90th power. The ones who can talk on the phone while fixing a snack while unloading the dishwasher while remembering the schedule for the rest of the year, while wearing designer clothes (why does it take so much effort to wear clothes? The effort should be over once they're on), while planning and preparing preschool lessons. 

It isn't that I think these moms don't have to work hard at all of these things - they do - but where did they learn which things to do at which times? How do you know which things to focus on? Does that part of mothering just come naturally to some people? Because I'm still setting an alarm to remember to feed my child. I'm still looking up online what it means to "play" at this age. Every time he cries I go through the list of things to check in my doesn't just occur to me that his diaper needs to be changed, that it's been a while since he ate or that he might be uncomfortable. Are my instincts broken? Or am I just an average mom surrounded by wonder-moms?

Monday, October 26, 2009

We didn't buy a Kirby vacuum

That lousy no good dirty rotten girl told me that they just wanted to advertise their carpet cleaning services.

I asked her 10 times what the catch was and what I was committing to.

"Nothing." she said.
"This is just the only way we can advertise." she said.
"The only catch is that we'll only do one area of your home." she said.
"I only have to schedule 2 more and I get to go home for the day" she said.

"Fine. Come clean my stairs for free." I said. Like the idiot I really am.

Then I went upstairs to finish getting ready for the day. After all it was almost 1:00 and my little brother was coming over to play in about half an hour.

The salesman came over and started to unpack his gear at the top of my stairs.

"Great." I thought. "I'm sure he needs all this crap to shampoo the carpets.

Then he said. "OK, I'm ready." As if we were supposed to do something.

"Take a seat and get comfortable." he said. I hate it when people offer my own stuff to me. It's my house I'll stand if I want to.

The next 2.5 hours of my life are.....well I'll never get them back. Nothing would stop this guy from doing his full demonstration.

I've been thoroughly educated in the structure of a vacuum. And why all vacuums that aren't Kirby as crap.
I've seen the grime all over my house. And I'm not telling whose side of the mattress pulled more grime.
I've been informed that I'm "literally throwing away carpet by the pound." due to my inadequate vacuum.
I looked at all of the grime and grit.
I've been reminded that "this area will be the little guy's playground before you've even blinked."
I lost half a box of baking soda to the middle of my living room floor.

When he finally started to shampoo the carpet in the hallway, he'd been there for 10 hundred years and my little brother was here with his wife and baby and the man showed no signs of going home soon. So we didn't correct him because I'd hate for him to start all over.

What did we get out of this 2.5 hour extravaganza?

1 clean hallway.
0 clean stairs.
The heebie jeebies.
The knowledge that Sales Guy's Boss is infinitely worse than Sales Guy.
Something to discuss for the next 7 days.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Why my bananas smell like wet wipes

When Dr. Lady's temporary replacement (Dr. New Girl) came in to check Thomas's everything, the first words out of her mouth were "do you have any questions for me?"

We did.

Are his leg cracks OK? They look owie.
Why does he wheeze? Does he have asthma already?
Can you make the nose-puking stop? Please?
and most importantly: When is it safe to go back to church and out in public?

In short, his leg cracks are fine, he's wheezing because his throat is coated with milk and the nose-puking is something we'll have to work on.

As for church (and public), it MIGHT be safe to go to church by March or April. Of course you'll go back before then, but it's flu season and you risk disease and death.

Then she started volunteering information about just how paranoid we should be about quarantining our baby.

In short, VERY paranoid is best. No Christmas parties. No being Mormon. No kids. No touching. No breathing. Yes wet wipes. Yes hand sanitizer. Yes soap and water. No diseases.

So we left the Dr.'s office and showed him off at my office and went to Walmart. Downtown. That was stupid. 

In my defense, we needed things, and we were already halfway there. And Dr. New Girl said "don't let people touch him, that's the real concern." And we left him totally covered with a blanket in his carseat the entire time. And we didn't even touch him until we got home and washed our hands. And I just didn't want him to run out of diapers. (Did you know diapers cost like $20 for 1 package? For something he POOPS on. Literally!) And I figured that since we weren't going to stay in our house until April anyway, we may as well get out today.

While at Walmart we bought some bananas. Because they looked tasty. To Josh, not me. The triple-chocolate-fudge cake on my counter looks tasty to me. 

And when we were checking out, the world's slowest disgustingest checkout lady sneezed. Right into her hands. Then she picked up my bananas AND my bottle of Simply Orange juice and put them in a bag.

It was like the gross slow motion part of a movie. I could see all the germs running around the store SWARMING my bananas. The plastic grocery sack suddenly became a hotel for every green goblin within 50 miles. The lice jumped off the head of the guy behind us to join his creepy crawly friends in the party zone.

I gagged.

Josh paid.

The lady sanitized her hands while telling Josh - "sorry, I have to sanitize my hands because I just sneezed and I don't want to spread anything."

I somehow refrained from jumping over the bagging station and strangling her right then and there while shouting about my contaminated groceries and asking why she was the dumbest person on the planet. "YOU TOUCHED MY FOOD BETWEEN SNEEZING AND SANITIZING YOU FOOL!!! Are you stupid? Do you know nothing? Did you flunk out of kindergarten when they taught you to WASH YOUR HANDS? Are you the idiot they put up signs for in the bathrooms of restaurants reminding employees to NOT spread their bathroom germs on other people's food? WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL MY BABY?!?!?!?!"

We were only 2 steps away when Josh and I looked at each other and shuddered.

That's why we can't leave the house until April.

And that's why my bananas smell like wet wipes.

Friday, October 23, 2009

My Lactation Lady can kick your Lactation Lady's BOOTY.

I was nervous about telling Lactation Lady the truth about breastfeeding because I was scared she'd be a boob nazi and insist that I try harder and not give up so soon.

But I had to talk to her because I needed to return the breast pump (aka "satan in disguise" and not a very good one) to her and I knew she'd ask.

I started thinking of all the things I could say that would be true but wouldn't really require the whole truth. And more importantly, things that would leave her with the impression that I was fixed and everything was working fine.

Phrases like "I'm going to keep breastfeeding as much as possible." and "I'm still taking the herbs." and "Thanks so much for offering the great advice so I could increase my milk supply" were on my approved list of things to say.

Phrases like "over my dead body." and "1/4 ounce after 15 minutes of pumping after 50 minutes of sucking just isn't worth it when my child is still hungry." and "I'm not doing that anymore." and "Formula probably has more nutrients than my pathetic excuse for milk anyway" were on my list of things NOT to say.

I was relieved when she wasn't there when I went to return the breast pump.

I was stressed when the phone rang and Josh said "Hi Sonya, thanks for calling......sure.....she's right here." But for some unknown reason, I told her the truth.

I was relieved again when she said "I think it's great that you've done the things that can help and even greater that you're OK with using formula. I always feel bad when new moms are a basket case because breastfeeding isn't working for them but they feel guilty about using formula." Thank goodness she didn't see the breakdown.

I was relieved more when she said, "Yep, I think you've made a great decision, a lot of people try to force it and they wind up making themselves crazy and still not feeding their children."

I wanted to kiss the ground she walked on when she said, "I understand completely."

My Lactation Lady is the best Lactation Lady there ever was. No doubt about it.

Good Friday

Visits to the Dr. (7 pounds! yay!) And to work.

Visits from Grandma

And Great Grandma

Learning new tricks

And cuddling

And pumpkin carving

And applying new tricks (yes his fingers are INSIDE the pacifier)

Showing off long legs

And having yummy treats.

That's what Good Fridays are made of.

Eat your heart out Aundrea.

The new normal

We're slowly adjusting and trying to get used to a new version of "normal". Some things that may never go back to the old normal are:
  1. Swaying. All the time. I do it in the shower, in the middle of the night, when I'm standing in front of the fridge looking for something to eat (sorry mom, I still do that), while I'm blow drying my hair, and the Wii fit thinks there's something wrong with my balancing skills. The Wii Fit also thinks I'm ".....incredible! you met your goal before your deadline!" and thinks my body is only 20 years old. She knows nothing.
  2. Playing with my boobs. I'm not even going to start on how many hours a day I spend massaging, rubbing, squeezing, and pinching my boobs. Let's just say they haven't seen this much action since....ever.
  3. Time of day = number of feedings. I can tell you what time of day it is by how many times I've fed the child. I also count through the long nights in feedings. "OK, just 2 more feedings until Josh will wake up and help me." and "1 feeding before bedtime." are common thoughts in my head.
  4. Sitting the back seat. I honestly think that before Thomas was born I'd never sat in the backseat of the car before. Since he was born I haven't sat in the front. Update: I sat in front yesterday. I hated it. Will I ever get over this? What will I do when Josh is gone and I have to drive the car instead of watch Thomas sit in his carseat just in case he needs something. I suppose I'll learn - but only because I HAVE to.
  5. One-handedness. I can do almost anything with 1 hand. I'm more talented than I ever knew.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

First Bath

Since the cord fell off (thank goodness!) we got to give Thomas his first real bath on Tuesday.

Well....he didn't hate it. He didn't scream or cry or whine or kick or flail or beat us. Those are all good signs.

My mom would (sarcastically) say that he was positively frantic. Or delighted. Or he could hardly contain his joy. Or some other very strong positive adjective or phrase.

I'd post the video, but really it looks exactly the same, only it's 30 seconds longer.

I won't lie, I was kindof hoping for a reaction a little

Sugarhouse Park

Today we enjoyed fall.

It was unintentional really.



Very "Josh and Amy 3 years ago". You know....before we had shows to watch, and sitting around to do.

We had to go to the library to return some books, and to get more children's books. Turns out we only have a few....not 12,000. Josh and Thomas have a lot of reading to do and Thomas isn't really into The Continuous Atonement.

On our way back to the freeway we got distracted by Sugarhouse Park.

How could we not stop? So we went for a very short walk. Took a quick picture (to prove that we're still fun.)

...and let Thomas crunch his first autumn leaves.

He was ecstatic.

If you ask me (you didn't, but you're reading this, so you have to pretend to be interested) it was the perfect afternoon. The weather was beautiful, the company was incredible, the baby happy, the husband wildly attractive, the leaves crunchy, the park green (and red and yellow) and the afternoon delightful. I love days like this.

I love fall and we almost missed it!

The truth about breastfeeding (dun duh duhhhhhhh!!!!!)

I'm really glad that God sent me to a family with sisters.

When my water broke I called Katy and asked her if my water really broke (partly because google didn't really know) she said it did. She was right. I probably wouldn't have gone to the hospital if I hadn't talked to her. My appointment with Dr. Man was the next day at 2:30 in the afternoon and I sorta figured I'd just talk to him about it then. Thomas was born at 2:19 the next day. Waiting for the Dr. appointment would have been a bad choice.

When my boobs weren't making milk I called Sarah and asked her what was wrong. Of course she could only tell me her experience, but it turns out that her experience feels exactly like mine.

When my milk came in I told my mom that my colostrum was getting watery. She told me that's because it was milk not colostrum.

And by "my milk came in" I mean "after squeezing and playing and pinching so I could to get the kid to latch on I was able to express almost a whole drop of fluid." I still haven't felt "full" or engorged or really even productive forget about leaking milk everywhere.

I spend 15-20 minutes pumping with the super-duper heavy-duty $1800 hospital pump and get a combined 1/4 -1/2 ounce of milk if I'm lucky. Sometimes I get nothing. Baby Thomas will eat suck for 30 minutes at a time, but I sortof don't think he's getting anything after the first 5 minutes. That's because when I pump I can see the milk coming out. Usually it's like 5-10 productive sucks then 20-30 unproductive sucks. But that's only for the first 5 minutes. After that it's nothing. He's just sucking because it's so dang much fun for everyone involved. He is always still starving after sucking for at least 30 minutes (usually more like 45 or an hour).

The milk I do get is the thickness of watered down soy milk.

Compare that with someone like Lindsey who has so much milk she needs to buy a deep freezer. Me? I literally spent 15 minutes trying to figure out how to get the 3 drops of spilt milk off my counter and into a bottle for him to be able to eat. Because those 3 drops were a big difference to me.

So, to every Lactation Consultant who will tell me that it's "just supply/demand" I say "mmhmmm.....and so is the price of gas." (snicker snicker snort - I'm so funny.)

Fortunately Lactation Lady never said any such thing. She's really supportive of anything I want to do and I don't feel like she'll tell me I'm a bad mom for using formula. And I'm not.

I'm not giving up, or quitting, and I know it's only been 2 weeks. But I'm no longer going to spend 2 of every 3 hours trying to feed my baby. I'm not going to invest in a $300 pump to try to suck 3 drops out of my boobs. I'm not going to deprive myself and my baby of a much needed good night's sleep. And I'm certainly not going to starve my child (I promised him I would never let him starve during my major emotional breakdown).

What I am going to do is give the kid a bottle when he's hungry and sick of sucking on my dry boobs. I am going to enjoy feeding him. I am going to hold him while I feed him and tell him that I love him. I am going to watch Josh feed him and remember that my baby is loved by his daddy. I am going to enjoy the freedom that comes in the form of a bottle of formula. (Josh, your turn to feed the kid, I'm going on a walk.) I am going to remember that the formula probably has more nutrients than my particular brand of water-milk. I am going to breastfeed him when I have something to give, but I will not deprive my child of food because I want my body  to provide him with everything he needs.

And all of that is fine by me.

Lessons in Motherhood: Laundry

When I got married my laundry loads quadrupled. Suddenly I had all of my clothes, all of Josh's clothes and about 10 times the whites I had before. I thought I'd never do more laundry in my life.

I was wrong.

Now the way I do laundry has totally changed.

I used to be the laundry-sorting nazi (according to Josh). I did different loads for lights, darks, nice lights, nice darks, whites, towels, cleaning rags, denim and delicates (also according to color).  Then there are special loads, like sheets. Nothing goes with sheets, except more sheets. And massage sheets don't go with bed sheets because they have oil on them.

Josh thought there were two loads. Stuff with white on it (lights), and stuff with no white on it (darks). I made him promise to not start loads of laundry until he learned how to sort it properly or waited for me to sort it first. He has been kind enough to comply.

Now I'm sorting my laundry by what kind of dirty it is. "Covered in bodily fluids" (bodily fluids includes pee, poop, spit up, barf, drool and milk) and "not". It doesn't matter what it is, towels, blankets, shirts, burp cloths, denim, onesies, work clothes, play clothes, sheets......

Guess which one I do at least 1 load of every day.

If you guessed "not" you probably have no babies. There are currently 2 articles of laundry that have avoided the bodily fluids - my bathrobe and our bedsheets.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

2 down....

The umbilical cord came off this morning with poopy diaper number 3. Bathtime is gonna rock tonight.

Josh came in to kiss me goodbye at 9:30. He's off to clean his grandma's garage. I TOLD you he was going crazy. It's almost 3, he said he's be gone just a couple of hours....I hope he didn't decide he likes dirty old garages better than us. How can he resist this?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Things that must go

  • The umbilical cord stub. The big nasty bloody scab is freaking me out. Plus, it's the only thing standing between us and a real live splashing-swimming, warm-water-everywhere, bubbles-on-the-nose bath.
  • Breakfast at noon. I want my breakfast before lunch please.
  • Maternity clothes. My real jeans fit, my real shirts look horrible, but they fit cover me and I'm packing up the maternity clothes. Just as soon as I can find a spare 10 minutes to fold both pairs of shorts and all 5 shirts. You wouldn't think it would be so hard....
  • Formula coming out the nose when Thomas spits up. Can't handle that.
  • Daddy. He's going stir crazy and I'm afraid if he stays home one more day he might be as crazy as I am. It would be a bad thing.
  • Non-nursing garments. How does anybody nurse modestly....ever? I go in the other room and pull my shirt and all accompanying layers way up under my chin....NOT gonna happen in the mother's room at church.
  • Hormones. I'm tired of crying, my eyes hurt, my nose is sick of being blown and I'm seriously concerned about Josh leaving me.

Rough night

Lest you think my life is all happiness and joy.....

It was a rough night.

Thanks to Aunt Nancy I sorta think the cheesecake brownies I ate upset Tommy's stomach - a thought I wouldn't even have considered if she hadn't mentioned it happening to her.

Thomas was up most of the night, he was tired, or hungry, or poopy, or wet, or mad, or hungry, or too tired to eat, or too poopy to let me change his diaper, or too cold, or too hot, or bitter, or angry, or SOMETHING. Too bad I don't know which of those things it was....maybe I could've done something for him.

Every time I ask this kid what's wrong he screams and shakes his head "no" violently. I wonder if that means he doesn't wanna talk about it.

He screamed in his bed, he screamed if I held him, he screamed if I tried to feed him, he screamed if I walked into the other room, he screamed until I gave him a bottle of formula. Then he choked and swallowed and gulped until I thought he was going to drown himself and took it away. Then he screamed some more and acted like he was starving.

Really he probably only cried for 15 minutes at a time, but it felt longer. And he did it over and over all night long - sleeping for no more than 10 minutes in between.

This morning he is completely wiped out.

Me too.

10 Days

Baby Thomas is due tomorrow and already we've survived 10 days. Not bad if you ask me. :)

And in no particular order, here is my top 10 list of happy things from the past 10 days:

  1. Thomas has a habit of peeing every time we take off his diaper. He's peed on the window, the changing table, me, Josh, the Bumbo, the Boppy, and virtually every article of clothing he owns. But yesterday topped it all because he peed on his own face.
    Josh was changing him when he started pooping (have you ever actually seen a human being poop? I hadn't, it's odd.) so I came in to help (see "3 man village" post) while I was scrambling for another diaper to put under his butt while he pooped (the dirty one was already full of poop (Did you know babies poop more than their birthweight every day? OK I made that up, but I can't imagine that it's not true.)) and suddenly there was pee everywhere. Mostly on Thomas's face. The look of shock and horror on his face was priceless. If you could read his mind you'd probably see thoughts like "ew. what is that?" and "rude! I can't believe they're laughing." and "get it off! get it off!" running through it. 
  2. Thomas was only like 3 days old when he first did Josh's crookedy smile. Every time he does it I fall in love with both of them all over again.
  3. A walk to the park counts as "productive" for the day. Forget about laundry, dusting, dishes, cooking, cleaning, paying bills, and being a grown up. We get to cuddle and play all day every day.
  4. Josh likes to remind Thomas that he's lucky. He's always responding to Thomas when I tell him what's in store. Me: "OK Thomas, we're gonna change your diaper and you're probably gonna hate it." (I use the same voice I'd use if I told him we were having candy and popsicles for dinner and sliding down rainbows on a sunshiny day for dessert. It's not about what you're saying, it's about HOW you say it!) Josh: "You lucky boy!" (You just have to hear him say it sometime, it's adorable.)
  5. Josh at home all day every day. I can't imagine him going back to work - trying to imagine both of us going back to work and leaving this child with someone else makes me lose it every time. Anybody wanna pay both of us to sit around at home playing with our baby all day every day? Please?
  6. I've only showered before noon twice since we got home from the hospital. Please don't visit before noon unannounced. 
  7. While we were in the hospital the nursery nurses were wheeling a screaming baby down the hall just as Josh was going to the desk to fax some paperwork to his office. He commented to the nurses that they sure had one mad child. Then they stopped in front of our door and we realized that was our mad child. The nurses had tried everything to calm him down and couldn't get him to stop crying, so Josh picked him up and handed him to me so I could feed him. As soon as I held him he quieted down. He wasn't interested in food, just me. It hasn't happened since then, but that was enough for me to know that he loves me.
  8. Thomas sleeps really well at night - he'll wake up every 3 hours for me to feed him then go back to sleep. Usually.
  9. When he's mad and screaming he clenches his fists. If my fingers are in the right place at the right time he's squeeze with all of his strength (more than you'd expect). I love holding hands with him.
  10. Josh sings and reads more than he ever has in his life.
    He sings to Thomas, he sings made up lyrics to "You Are My Sunshine" he sings Disney songs and Primary songs. He sings in the shower, the living room, the car, the bedroom, and everywhere else. I love it.
    My mom said that by the time a child enters school they should have had 12,000 books read to them (1 per day) and Josh has taken it very seriously. I cried listening to him read "Love You Forever." I also cried when Josh asked if I wanted some scrambled crying doesn't really mean anything. But it is sweet.
It's been a good 10 days.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A 3-man village

I can't do anything alone.

The days that my mom was here she kept saying "it takes a village...." and she's right. For a couple of days that village was Josh, my mom and me.

It took a village to get Thomas to latch on. All three of us standing around my open boobs trying to figure out why the screaming baby with a mouthful of milky nipple wasn't sucking. Incidentally, my milk supply seems to be up. The herbs I'm taking are fenugreek and blessed thistle. Still pumping, still supplementing, but headed in the right direction it seems.

It took a village to go to the pediatrician. My mom just happened to be here when we went the 2nd time and the 3 of us walked in with 1 baby. Josh carried the carseat and Thomas. Mom carried the diaper bag. I carried the purse and signed the papers. All 3 of us got him dressed and undressed. Twice. All 3 of us helped change his diaper in between weighings. All 3 of us were necessary at this appointment. Josh is pretty sure the first weigh in where Thomas was declared 6 lbs even was wrong. He swears he saw the scale and it said 6 lbs 5.9 oz. That makes a lot more sense than Thomas gaining 1/2 lb in 1 day.

It took a village to change the diapers. Josh and I teamed up on the kid for the first couple of days. We're getting to be pros now (especially Josh) but for the first little while we were glad to have 4 hands against his 2 legs and 1 overactive wienie. Since I have a baby boy, I'm allowed to say "wienie" right? I say uterus, cervix, boob and nipple, so wienie is no worse.....right?

It took a village to take my pills. with 30-something pills per day to remember, Josh and my mom were constantly asking if I was ready for more drugs.

It took a village to watch the baby. Of course we had to stand in line for a turn, but we each got our turn to watch him sleep, identify all of his body parts, "oh....look at his little tiny fingers!" and try to decide who he looks like Thomas. He just looks like Thomas.

All of the in between moments have been made up of other incredibly kind "village members"; phone calls, visits, e-mails, meals, stranger lady who didn't make fun of us at the park, and Dr.'s have made the first week of Baby Thomas's life a smashing success.

It does take a village to raise a child, and I'm glad my village is made up of the greatest people there are.


Aundrea swears that even though "normal" will never be the same again, one day we'll get up and this new version of "normal" will actually feel normal. I can't really imagine this feeling normal, but I'm sure she's right. She always is.

Evidence that we're slowly getting more "normal" each day includes:

  • I peed and it didn't hurt. That's a big deal.
  • My google reader is back down to zero unread.
  • Yesterday Josh, Thomas and I went on a walk and played on the playground at the elementary school. This playground rocks. We'll be back.

  • I had to use face lotion for the first time in a couple of months. My face turned into an oil factory there for a while, and now I'm thankful for my regular dry skin to be back.
  • Josh went to get a massage today.
  • At night I roll over onto my stomach to reach Thomas.
  • Earrings. I'm wearing earrings for the first time in a week.
  • If we're having dinner tomorrow, I'm cooking it. It's been fabulous having people wait on us hand and foot (thank you!) and if I'm being honest I still have some freezer meals from our moms...but since we'll be home all day tomorrow with nothing to do but feed the baby....maybe I'll cook!
  • Currently Josh is playing Super Smash Brothers and I am blogging - what's more normal than that?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Some pictures

I'm amazed at how much having a baby makes me want my mommy.  Fortunately she's had the week off work and has been willing to come spend days with me. I'm just that kind of lucky.

My mom held him just like this for roughly 3 hours last night. I napped.

Mom Reilley has been staying away as much as possible because she's had a bit of a cold. Considering that this is her first grandchild, there really aren't words to describe the kind of sacrifice this is.

Tommy and I are madly in love with each other.
Our love for each other is surpassed only by our love for Josh. We have good taste in men.

This is my angel baby sleeping in the morningtime. Could he possibly be more perfect?

We love to hold hands.

6 ounces?!?!?!

This weigh in was a bigger deal than anything. Ever. Bigger than weigh in day for wrestlers when everybody walked around in sweats and hoodies spitting into paper cups while it was 100 degrees outside. It was bigger than the final weigh in on The Biggest Loser. It was bigger than....well...anything.

He was 6 lbs 14 oz at birth, 6 lbs 4 oz when we left the hospital, and 6 lbs 0 oz when we went to the Dr. on Wednesday.

We were hoping he'd be at least 6 lbs 1 oz when we weighed him yesterday because that would mean he's gaining and that's the goal.

We stripped him down to his diaper which he LOVES and put him on the scale screaming. The lights flashed at 6 lbs 7 ounces. (pretend this is a movie and it makes the rewind sound zrrttt!) 6 lbs 7 ounces?!?!?! Dude! I looked at the nurse and said "is that bad?" she didn't say. She just said she was going to talk to Dr. Lady and she'd be back.

Meanwhile Dr. Lady's associate Dr. Other Lady was evesdropping and said: "Did you just say 7 ounces in one day? There's no way that's right."
We reviewed the facts again.
Me: "6 pounds yesterday, 6 and 7 today. Isn't that 7 ounces?" I wasn't trying to be rude, just honestly wondering what on earth had happened.
Dr. OL: "Yep. That's 7 ounces, what did you put in his diaper - lead?" ha ha ha ha ha ha I think only Dr.'s get other Dr.'s jokes....
Me: "It was dry when I checked it, but that was more than 30 seconds ago....shall we check it again?"
Dr. OL: "Yes. Then come over to the other scale, I bet you were on a different scale yesterday."
This is when Tommy started to cry because everybody was discounting all of his hard work. He and I said lots of prayers together and had lots of encouraging talks about how important it was that he gain weight before the big weigh in. We had a pep talk on our way into the Dr.'s office and he worked really hard to gain every ounce of that weight. And here we all were saying it wasn't possible, there was no way, and pretending it hadn't really happened. Rude.
We stripped him down again, changed his mostly dry diaper to a new dry diaper and walked him over to the other scale. He screamed on that scale too. I swear someone was doing a drumroll while we waited for the numbers to show up.

Me: "6 pounds 6.3 ounces!"
Thomas: "See? I TOLD you I was working hard!" My child is an angel.
Dr. OL: "Wow! Really? Wow!"
The nurse went off to talk to Dr. Lady again and let us get him dressed and buckled up. When she came back  she relayed the message from Dr. Lady. "Great. Glad he's gaining weight. We'll see you at the 2 week appointment."
And just like that everything was fine.

People losing 200 pounds in 4 months has NOTHIN' on me.

The breastfeeding plan

So the plan to solve the breastfeeding problem is this. Each time I feed Thomas I get the distinct pleasure of:

  • Making sure he empties both sides. This actually means massaging my boobs the whole time. Apparently I'm looking for hidden milk. As if I'd know if I found it.... The truth is I feel stupid doing this, but whatever. Seems like a waste of getting felt up if you ask me.
  • Use the Supplemental Nutritional System (SNS) to feed him another ounce of formula. The SNS is a horrible device. It's a syringe with a hose coming out of it. The hose goes into his mouth along with my nipple and he sucks the milk out of it. The point? He's stimulating my breasts while he's getting milk. The problems? The hose hurts the nipples. The baby gets irritated by the hose and breaks his latch every few minutes. The husband thinks it's fun to squirt formula out of the syringe. 
  • Pump for 15 minutes. You should see this. But because of my strict adherence to the law of modesty pride you never will. Unless you're my mommy. I get to hold the pumps up to me while I'm hooked up to the big hospital pump on wheels in my living room. It pumps and I sit there. Holding it and watching. 15 minutes has never seemed so long. In 15 minutes I pumped a whopping 1/4 ounce.
So, that combined with some herbs I'm taking (2 different herbs, 3 pills, 3 times a day) should increase my milk supply within a week. 

The problem? This whole process generally takes about an hour (if all goes as it should) and we repeat every 3 hours. Sometimes I have time to shower in between. Yesterday we had time to go to the Dr. AND I helped Josh make the bed. Pretty impressive day huh?

Tender Moments

This morning our house was freezing and I could hardly get warm. I had just fed Thomas and figured that if I was cold he must be freezing. So I double wrapped him and pulled him into bed between Josh and I.

At 5:30 in the morning our neighborhood is pretty quiet, Tommy was awake, looking around and perfectly content with a full belly. He looked around, and I looked at him. Josh was sleeping in the background and we had our moment all by ourselves.

We stayed there until we both fell asleep and when I woke up with him next to me, sleeping soundly, his tiny little breaths barely loud enough to hear, but certainly big enough to see. I cried. But not the sobbing-breakdown-shaking-boogery-sniffling-choking cry which has become my constant companion. More like the "I'm so lucky I can't believe my life is this perfect"-silent-slow-single-teardrop-glistening-down-my-cheek cry.

This morning, all is right in the world.

Emotional Breakdown Count: 5

It's funny how my brain sometimes works (or doesn't). When we got home from the Dr. and Lactation Lady visit and I spent the entire day crying not once did I consider that if my body didn't make milk I'd feed Thomas formula. I wasn't thinking "so we'll increase my milk supply or feed him formula" I was thinking "my body isn't making milk and my baby is starving because of it." I know it's not really logical, but that thought really didn't enter my mind and that's depressing.

Knowing that there is an alternative that doesn't end in heartbreaking death or destruction makes the whole thing seems less horrible.

I still feel like there's something wrong with me that needs to be "fixed" but at least I know my baby won't die because of it. Really there are a lot worse things wrong with me and Tommy and I will both be fine.

You'll also be glad to know that it's been 1 week since he came into our lives and so far the "major emotional breakdown" count is only like 5.

Sunday (the day we came home) I cried because I wanted my mommy and I didn't know what to do.

Monday my mommy came and spent the whole day and I cried because I still wanted my mommy. She was sitting no more than 10 feet away from me ALL DAY LONG. Why the tears?

Tuesday I cried because it hurts. Everything hurts. My back hurt, my uterus (which is quickly shrinking down to the size of a softball) hurt, my enormous cut hurt, my head hurt, my eyes hurt and my baby was beautiful.

Wednesday I cried because I'm broken and my baby was starving. Technically this breakdown lasted like 12 hours....I'm still counting it as 1.

Thursday (yesterday) I cried because my daddy came to see me in the middle of the day. That's because he loves me. And I still wanted my mommy.

So 5 breakdowns in a week isn't bad. Especially compared to Thomas who has at least 5 emotional breakdowns every other day.

All things considered I'd say we're doing pretty well.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My first F minus

I was sortof a good student. Like I took geek classes and got what I thought were good grades (except in AP Calculus my Jr. Year. I was busy rebelling and getting a B- one term). School wasn't hard for me, and I liked to learn things, and I happen to think that it's partly because I'm a reasonably intelligent person.

But the older I get the harder things are.
The more I learn people can do, the more I realize I can't.
As I find more opportunities to try new things, I find more things that just don't come naturally.
Maybe this is natural, or maybe it's me getting a much needed lesson in humility.

Either way it hurts.

Today I think I got my very first failing grade and my heart hurts.

Thomas was 6 pounds 14 ounces when he was born. I did a good job at getting him here (nurses I've never met hear my name in the hall at the hospital and say "you're the one who pushed him out so fast huh?"

I did a good job getting the epidural.

I did a good job of having the worlds most adorable baby (half those genes are mine! I'm taking credit for half of his perfection).

I started healing "beautifully" according to Dr. Man's creepy associate to released me from the hospital.

I followed the directions.

I stayed off drugs as much as possible (because really, who wants to be drugged for the first days of their baby's life?).

But when we left the hospital, I stopped being good at everything. That was OK because I had Josh on my team and he's a natural.

Thomas loves Josh more than anyone in the whole wide world (for which I am truly grateful). Josh is the one who can get him to calm down when he's screaming in the middle of the night. Josh is the one who is brave enough to clip his fingernails. Josh is the one who can change his tar diaper when he's half asleep and has one hand tied behind his back. Josh is the one who isn't scared of dressing him. Josh is the perfect daddy and I love him for it. He's also the perfect husband catering to my every need, cleaning the house, taking care of details, running errands, and generally making sure that baby and I have the things we need to recover.

Unfortunately I can't turn over the feeding of our baby to Josh. I'm sure he would excel at it. Not me though.

For the first few days we had a really tough time getting Thomas to latch on. He'd scream and scream and flail his arms and kick and scream and pull back and scream. And then somehow he'd latch on just fine and eat for 30 minutes. But he never wanted to eat. I had to wake him up every 4 hours and force feed him. (Except at night when he'd wake up but refuse to eat.)

Monday evening my milk "came in" and I thought things would be much better.

Tuesday went really well, I fed Thomas a lot of times. He was looking for food more often rather than me smashing his face into my boob and begging him to suck. He latched on easier and sucked more naturally.

Today the Dr. wanted to see him again just to make sure the jaundice level went down. It did (thank goodness). But so did his weight.

He's down to 6 pounds now, which means he's lost too much and we have to go back again tomorrow to see if he's gained anything.

We headed to the lactation consultant right after the appointment because I had made the appointment back when he wasn't eating much at all.

He latched on right away, but got bored/tired of eating after only 5 minutes. Lactation Lady pulled him off and  discovered that my milk was gone. I just don't have enough of it to feed him. Turns out he's been starving since the day he was born. I've been starving my baby for 5 days and didn't know it. Why? Because he's still a good kind happy beautiful baby. No thanks to me.

We talked about things to do, and left with a borrowed hospital pump, a list of herbs to get, and tears welling up in my eyes. Apparently it's pretty common when you have fertility problems to have milk supply problems.

I cried the whole way home.

We came in the house and I picked up Thomas went to bed and cried some more.

I told him I'm sorry, I'm trying. I wish I was better, I wish I had more. I didn't know he was so hungry. I didn't know I wasn't giving him enough. I haven't put him down since we got home. I sortof hope I never have to put him down again. Because maybe if I hold him and touch him and love him all day every day it will make up for  the fact that I can't give him what he really needs.

I feel like I was just given a failing grade. The Pediatrician was disappointed in his weight loss, Lactation Lady was disappointed in my milk supply and probably in my ability to tell what my child needs. She also said that my breasts weren't "as firm as we like to see by now". Rude. I bet her breasts aren't so firm either....but at least I had the decency not to mention it. Lactation Lady and Pediatrician were very kind and optimistic, but the bottom line is that I'm not doing a good job at the only thing I'm responsible for. Feeding him.

When we couldn't have babies and my heart was breaking every single time we weren't pregnant (which was a lot of times) I felt like a complete failure. I felt like I had let Josh down and I was holding him back because the man was born to be a daddy and I was stopping him from having that. Here was the man I love more than anybody in the world and I couldn't give him the things he needed.

Now I feel like I'm letting Tommy down. This child is perfect in every way. He came to me complete and whole. He came with 100% working parts. He came brand new and in perfect condition. After 5 short days in my care he's broken. Dehydrated, tired, starving, but still doing everything he can to be the perfect child.

Once again I'm holding back one of the men I love most in the whole wide world. He can't grow and develop and become because of me. Because I'm broken. Because something I'm doing is wrong.

With any luck at all, I'll spend at least 22 of the next 24 hours feeding and pumping and pumping and feeding and not doing anything else. Except crying. Clearly my body has no trouble creating tears. Why can't that energy be used creating milk?

Sunday, October 11, 2009


There are a lot of things that went extraordinarily well with the delivery of baby Thomas.
  • My water broke before the contractions were painful. In my book, this is good.
  • We were the only ones in labor in the hospital all night long. We had the undivided attention of....everybody.
  • Night Nurses were hilarious (one even had a cool accent) and a pleasure to be around. Somehow it's less annoying when they say "we're going to check you again" with a cool accent.
  • Dr. Man decided that we could wait until morning to start the Pitocin. "Get a good night's sleep. It might be your last." I heart Dr. Man.
  • When they gave me the epidural (at about 10am) it went in really easy. Nice Anesthesiologist told me she'd never seen anybody get in a more perfect position than I did. What can I say? I'm good at sitting.
  • The epidural set in quickly and was quite effective. Nice Anesthesiologist kept asking if I was sure I couldn't feel anything. "This is the lowest dose I can give, so if you start feeling anything just let me know and we'll give you more." "Wow. you're really sensitive to this." "You still think you're numb?"
  • Dr. Man walked through the doors about 10 seconds after they declared me "complete" (That sounds like a grade you get in school for a class that doesn't really matter...shouldn't they call it something cooler? I worked hard for that, way more work than showing up for badminton class.)
  • I rock at pushing. Nice Anesthesiologist and Dr. Man told me so. After 2 sets of 3 pushes Thomas' head was delivered.
Other things didn't go so well.
  • Thomas's heart rate dropped every time I turned on my left side or had a contraction.
  • The inability to be on my left side means I had no epidural on that side. I started to feel contractions on that side which actually made me appreciate the epidural more than I would have.
  • When they put me on my left side Thomas' heart rate dropped and 3 nurses and Nice Anesthesiologist stood staring at the monitor trying to figure out what to do. 
  • When Dr. Man came in announced that "this baby will be here within 5 minutes one way or the other." That was because of his heart rate. The nurses mentioned c-section if we couldn't push him out fast enough.
  • Episiotomy. In Josh's words. "Whoa. That's gonna hurt tomorrow."
  • When his head was delivered they confirmed that the cord was wrapped around his neck. Tight. Really tight. So tight that no blood was getting to him. Dr. Man could barely fit his finger under the cord so he could cut it. Fortunately Dr. Man is the best and handled it beautifully.
  • When Dr. Man delivered the rest of Thomas there was so much blood built up in the cord that it squirted all over the room. Everywhere. I have a Thomas-blood spot on my purse.
  • Thomas was freezing cold, his blood wasn't circulating, his heart rate still didn't get normal and he wasn't breathing, just panting. 30 minutes later he was still on oxygen.

    An hour later his limbs were still purple.

  • They only held him up in front of me for about 2 seconds before they took him off to the nursery to get all of that under control. Josh brought back pictures (above), and 2 hours later I finally got to meet my little guy.

Totally worth it.

The views I love the most

The hospital has some incredible views....these are just a few of my favorites.

Handsomest man on the planet.

I love my boys.

(I know you think this is weird....but when I look down at the top of his head laying on my chest....I melt.)

We are so loved.

This child loves me and that is a beautiful thing.
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