Tuesday, May 26, 2009
I was in the shower at about 6:30pm and I swear to god I was thinking, "Wow. I'm really lucky that Ruby's never gotten sick. Not so much as a cold."
And then I heard Steve yell something kind of panicky to me.
He came into the bathroom to tell me that Ruby thew up.
Uh huh... well, she does that sometimes.
Except she was COVERED in barf. More than I'd ever seen from her. So I was a little bit concerned. I told him to change her clothes and I'd come have a look at her. Turns out she had filled up the seat of her swing with puke and it had soaked through and dripped on the floor.
I sat with her on the couch and a few minutes later she was retching and gagging and then power puking everywhere.
Yes, she's spit up before but never with the retching and gagging.
She got super pale. Almost green. And then she started to pass out. Falling asleep maybe, but she'd just had an hour nap (also unusual) and should not have been tired. I couldn't keep her awake though! It scared the crap out of me.
A couple more pukes and I had her in the car and on the way to the emergency room. I sat in the back seat with her while Steve drove and she kept trying to pass out again. I kept talking to her and holding her little face and she just looked at me with this sad, scared, pitiful look on her face that I'd never seen before.
We got in the hospital and into a room fairly quickly. I'll tell you something - I NEVER, EVER want to see my baby laying in a hospital bed ever again! The poor little soul had on a teeny tiny hospital gown and the little bitty bed had those horrid metal bars. Ugh. I cried and cried.
We were next in line for the doctor when an ambulance full of idiots who had been fucking around with kerosene on their home stove came in with their hair and hands all burnt and then we sat and waited for a couple of hours for the doctor.
Meanwhile Ruby only puked a couple more times (never in the presence of a medical professional) and then I fed her around 10pm and she went to sleep. By the time the doctor examined her, she was sound asleep, not puking and had all her color back.
So guess who looked like the crazy, over-protective mother? That'd be me.
I saw that one nurse had written on her chart, "Baby looks fine".
The doctor gave her a complete examination and then told me that, "Babies puke for lots of reasons" and that he had no way of knowing why Ruby had been puking but that she seemed fine now and I should just keep an eye on her for the next 6 - 12 hours.
We didn't get home from the hospital until midnight. I didn't get to bed until 1am. And Ruby slept with me in my bed last night and Steve slept in the spare room so I could keep an eye on her. So I'm a little bit tired today.
I don't regret taking her to the hospital. Something was wrong, even if she got better without the help of the doctors. Because what if she didn't get better? What if something really bad was wrong? What if all the fears that I battle with on a daily basis were to come true and I lost her??? Holy fuck I was scared. I felt safer being at the hospital than taking my chances at home.
Ruby's pretty much back to normal today. Except that her mom is being obnoxious with the loves and cuddles and I think I might be getting on her nerves.
I also promised her on the car ride to the hospital that if she would just be ok, I would breastfeed her until she was 18 if she wanted me to. So as for quitting that, it's not going to happen anytime soon.
Monday, May 25, 2009
OK... The teething? It sucks. It sucks real bad. No teeth have actually pushed through yet and I just wish they would already. The poor little bugger just whines and whines and whines and I love her to death but the whining! It drives me! After hours of it, I just want to smash my head against the wall (that's MY head). And of course I feel bad for letting it get to me. She can't help it, poor little soul. She's obviously in some serious discomfort. And it doesn't seem to bother Steve nearly as much as me, which makes me look like an even bigger asshole.
And then there's the pumping. Fuck, I am getting tired of that shit. Especially lately since Ruby has been eating a lot more than usual. I am pumping, pumping, pumping and I sometimes just can't keep up with her (lucky the freezer is well stocked). And it DRAINS me. I feel like it's sucking the life out of me sometimes. It doesn't help that Steve's had the past week off work and we've been out and about, going here and there doing stuff. It's been really hard and sometimes really inconvenient. And I don't know if I'd ever mentioned it before but the actual action of pumping (and breastfeeding for that matter) gives me a really yucky, depressed, anxious feeling. It's never gone away (I thought it might with time). As soon as I'm done pumping the feeling goes away but just knowing how it's going to make me feel for that 15-20 minutes fills me with dread when I know I have to pump.
The thoughts of stopping pumping/breastfeeding make me feel really bad. I love that I am giving Ruby my breastmilk and she's done so well on it. And I like that I still have the option to breastfeed her whenever I need to - even though she's really ineffective at it. SOMETIMES it's comforting to her, and I know I always have that option to calm her when/if I need to. As for the other aspects of it - formula is expensive, and also it's giving me a little tiny bit of help with weight loss. The biggest factor - once it's gone, it's gone. I can't get it back. So quitting is a big decision. One that I need to think long and hard about. I'm not sure I'm ready yet, but damn it's tempting sometimes. It sure wears me down both physically and emotionally.
And speaking of weight loss, my diet has been suffering lately too. I'm trying to give myself a break because... I gained 68lbs with my pregnancy and I've lost 58lbs to date. I still have more than 10lbs to lose to be happy with myself (don't worry, I have it to lose), but obviously getting to my pre-pregnancy weight would be a huge accomplishment. The past few weeks though, my losses have been minuscule - which is very disheartening. And then with Steve on holidays this past week, well, I can rest assured any loss will be nonexistent this week. So I'm struggling a bit right now with motivation, and feeling crappy about that. Hey - not to mention that it's fucking hard to be on a diet/exercise program while taking care of a baby and a household.
I know I need to keep an eye on myself for PPD. I've done so well up to this point (Ruby will be 6 months old in a couple of weeks), but I know that if I don't take really good care of myself and my mood, I could easily be pulled under.
I wonder if when Steve goes back to work on Wednesday and I start getting back into a groove, if things will improve for me. I've loved having him home to help with Ruby and we've got to do some fun stuff together but maybe I need my routine back. I don't know. Maybe now that I've written about it, my issues will resolve themselves or I'll find the energy to pull my shit back together. It often seems to work that way.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
I joked to Steve that we now finally "own" Ruby and don't share her with the bank. Like if we didn't pay the loan they might take her back.
Of course we stole from Peter to pay Paul, but Peter's interest rate was lower than Paul's and thus reduces the total amount that we will have to pay in the end. It also lowers our monthly bill payments and increases our credit rating. And it's one less loan that I have to look at when I sign into my online banking.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
The day started out fine enough. My mom, Ruby and I went out shopping. We got Ruby a couple of cute new things to wear (she's outgrowing her clothes so fast) and my mom bought her a highchair! Yay! (Funny thing about the highchair, when we walked up to it - it had a tag on it that said "Ruby. $20 off". I think "Ruby" might have referred to the color scheme because it's red, but still we were pretty sure that this was a sign that it was OUR highchair.)
When we got home, my mom fed Ruby and we put the chair together. Steve came home and Ruby was sitting at the dinner table in her highchair, beaming as he walked in the door. She seems to love it.
And then a few minutes later she started to fuss. And then she started to cry. And arch her back. And then the screaming started. And the BAWLING. And the grunting. And the leg kicking. The sad, pitiful little face she was making. The quivering lip. The gasping for breath. The tears!!!
My god it was terrible.
She's had little crying jags like this before, but they're rare and usually I can fix it.
Steve tried first by holding her to his chest (which usually works) - she continued to freak.
I tried next by holding her close to my chest and rocking her, putting a blankie over her head to block out any stimulus (which usually works) - she continued to freak.
Soother dipped in gripe water? Nope.
Nothing worked. And while my mothering style is usually very calm and laid back, after 10-15 minutes of Ruby losing her sweet baby mind, I started to feel a bit... panicked I guess. And in my panic, I gave her some baby Tylenol. I didn't know what else to do! And I thought she must be in pain if I couldn't console her (Ruby has NEVER been inconsolable before). She has been showing signs of teething lately and I wondered if maybe a tooth was finally breaking through her gums or something. Shortly after I administered the Tylenol, my mom asked if she could try calming her... She took Ruby in her arms and was able to rock her to sleep.
Which made me feel like a big fat fucking failure.
Not that I didn't appreciate my mom calming her down - I totally did, but I should have been able to do that. Because I'm her mom.
And I hated that my mom was here to see the whole meltdown anyways. Granted, if it had to be witnessed by someone then I'm glad it was my mom, but still it didn't feel good. Usually, I am a pro at all things Ruby. But for whatever reason, tonight was different. I couldn't fix her, but my mom could. I resorted to giving her medicine that maybe she didn't even need, because I didn't know what else to do.
To make it worse, my mom figured Ruby was just overtired and got herself so worked up that she couldn't calm down - which made me feel extra bad for giving her the Tylenol. I was sure she was in some sort of pain (she was ramming her fist into her mouth) - but if it was just over tiredness, I medicated her for no reason.
My mom has called me twice this evening to try to make me feel better. She said I handled it just fine and that perhaps Ruby was in pain and the Tylenol was justified. And even if she wasn't in pain, the Tylenol didn't hurt her and it probably helped to calm her down.
But I just don't feel good about the whole thing at all.
So I totally ate too much pizza for dinner and then a chocolate covered granola bar. Because I'm a comfort eater and I needed some pizza and chocolate comforting. Now I'm bothered that I fucked up my diet and I couldn't console my own kid.
Not one of my most shining evenings (although I'm sure there will be worse to come over the years).
Friday, May 15, 2009
Ruby is yet to sprout any actual teeth, but oh my is she ever teething. The drool, the red cheeks, the extra puke, the ear pulling, the mouth fisting, and the baaaaaad mood... All pretty good indicators that some teeth are on the way. When they'll actually show up is anybody's guess. Yesterday she rolled over from her tummy to her back for the first time. I made her do it 3 times in a row to make sure it wasn't a fluke. I was so proud that I was bursting with tears, which I realize is kind of silly but whatever. It's the small things.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
After the doom and gloom show with my dad on Tuesday morning I decided that I wasn't going to take his calls for a while.
He called twice yesterday during the day and I never picked up.
Today he called and it's like the whole world has changed. He's in a great mood, he's doing things for my mom, he's building things in the yard, doing the shopping, making dinners... And his mood is remarkably better.
I also just spoke with my mom and she's picked up on the reason for my mood lately. She apologized for both of them - saying that everybody has their problems but that it's not fair for them to dump their shit on me. (Well, she didn't say "dump their shit", that was my phrase.)
I told her that I love them both but I'm not their counselor so I don't really need to hear about all their marital problems.
Of course this doesn't fix all the problems - he is still an alcoholic and a drug addict and all the rest, but at least they've realized that they shouldn't involve me in their misery. For now.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
And then this morning during a marathon "conversation" with my Dad, a light went on, and I realized what's been eating at me. It wasn't any fatherly wisdom, or anything enlightening, or intellectual said by my dad. Quite the opposite actually... It was 30 minutes plus of whining and bitching and crying about his life and how rotten it is right now. Because of the economy he's not working - which is hard for him because he's a workaholic. He's also an alcoholic. And a drug addict. And a food binger. Mind you he's a functioning alcoholic and drug addict, but still. So he whined to me about his job, his drinking problems, his money problems, the rain, that he has no friends (his fault), and about how stupid everyone else in the world is, and about my mom.
And there it was. Ding! Ding! Ding!
That is what's bugging me. My parents. Both of them. They're so fucking unhappy it is breaking me down to be around them or to talk to them. They don't have a single nice word to say about each other. And because I'm apparently the smartest, and most responsible adult in our entire family, they both feel like they can bitch to me about each other.
They both have some really good qualities and I love them dearly but it's making my life difficult, and unpleasant. They both tell me that they have nobody else to talk to besides me.
I know what my therapist would say. She'd tell me to make it stop. Refuse to talk to them about each other. Refuse to spend time with them if it's hurting me. Tell them that when they want to be grown ups and work out their problems that I'll be happy to spend time with them. And then she'd tell me to go to an Al-anon meeting so that I can be with other "adult children of alcoholic parents" so I can be around others who are dealing with this and gain some support from them.
And I suppose I do need to do something, now that I've realized what's going on. Because I cannot have them bring me down (again).
And there's Ruby to think of. She is my number one priority. Right now she has been unscathed by their actions and I will do whatever it takes to keep it that way. Whatever. It. Takes.
I am determined that she will have a better life, growing up, than I ever did. She will not be exposed to the things that I was. Hopefully she will have to spend less money on therapy than me.
I've had a few issues already with my parents in regards to Ruby. My dad somehow thinks that he knows what's best for her - better than I do and he doesn't respect my parenting (not sure when he learned all his parenting skills because he was certainly not a good father). My mom totally respects my parenting but she's a pushover with my dad and gives in to what he says all the time.
Like my rule that he not hold her when he's shit-faced and then he asked to hold her so he can give her a kiss goodbye when we left there on Sunday and my mom hands her to him with a sheepish look in her face.
Like when he had her in her stroller in the driveway and he pushed the stroller (with her in it) away up the driveway and then let it roll back to him and I got pissed off and said not to do that!!! (He was even sober at the time) then I found out that he kept doing it when my mom and him took her for a walk. Well why the fuck is she allowing him to push the stroller if he can't be a responsible grandparent???
My dad is a wreck right now but he thinks he's got everything figured out. He thinks he does no wrong. He thinks he knows everything and will not listen to reason. He is very defensive, and bitter and sometimes very mean. And selfish.
My mom despises him right now. She can't even talk to him nice, or look at him without bitterness. Yet she has lived with him for 35+ years and continues to do nothing about her life with him.
So yes, something has to be done on my part. I guess I got sucked into their mechanics again. But now that I've realized what's going on, I will do something. I just need a couple of days to let this all sink in and and to think about what exactly I need to do.
Monday, May 11, 2009
PS: The other bonus is that this sets the bar for a fairly easy Father's Day...
Saturday, May 9, 2009
I know Steve is going to suck at doing the Mother's Day thing for me and I feel kinda sad about that. Because after everything that I've been through to become a mother, and everything I do on a daily basis to be a good mom to Ruby - I think I deserve a little sumthin-sumthin. A little TLC. A day of being made to feel special and appreciated.
On the other hand, tomorrow will be special and significant to me even without any extras. Because I have Ruby. And I will enjoy spending the day with her. Reflecting on what it means for me to be her mom... How it is nothing at all like I would have expected. How it has changed me in so many ways, for the better, ways I could never have imagined.
And while I appreciate the need to celebrate our own mothers, (and I do intend on showing my own mom just how much I love and appreciate her) I do not want to spend my whole day and all my energy by fussing over my MIL or my mom. They both live an hour away, in different towns and I can already see that we'll be running around to visit them and fuss over them. But I'm a mom now too, and I deserve to enjoy Mother's Day just as much as anyone else.
As I was picking out cards for my mother and Steve's mother, I saw that there was a lot of cards from grandchildren to their grandmothers on Mothers Day. And I thought about maybe getting our moms each a card from Ruby (in addition to cards from us). But then I gave my head a shake and decided that this is not something that I want to start doing. Because that just means twice the work for me every year. Eff off, Hallmark - you almost sucked me in.
Also - on Mothers Day I will be thinking of my comrades in IF. I know all too well how painful the day can bee for those who are still in the trenches, fighting the fight. I wish for all of you to come out of this battle successful (in one way or another) and with some peace in your heart.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
* The eating spree doesn't reflect any significant weight gain in Ruby so far. She's 14lbs 6oz today. No more than she weighed last week. She's gained exactly 1lbs in the past month.
* My tattoo "guy" (he hates being called an artist) is friends with me on a certain "social networking" site. He saw pictures of Ruby and told me yesterday that they thinks she is adorable and should be in commercials... How's that coming from a tattoo guy?
* Tattoo guy colored some of the flowers on my arm "bubble gum pink". I"m not sure how I feel about it yet. I'm not a real "bubble gum pink" kind of girl. We'll see how it looks once the color settles down. May need him to re-color. Here's what it looks like now (it's a tree that starts at my wrist and winds around my arm with various flowers and things along the way):
* As predicted I didn't lose much weight this week - about half a pound. But at least I didn't gain. And I have less distractions this week so I will be able to get out and exercise more and eat more veggies. Fingers crossed for a better weigh-in next week (I'm currently 10lbs from my pre-IVF weight)
* My midwife had told me that it was ok to give Ruby a pacifier as long as it was gone by the time she was 5 months old. That is next week and... uh... we're not ready to give up the pacifier yet. (5 months already next week???)
* The issue with the funeral has been resolved - my mom said she would take Friday off to look after Ruby so I can go. She said she needed a day off anyways and time with Ruby is always a treat. She's a good grandma.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
* I had started her on rice cereal a few weeks ago and she loved it. But then she got a rash on her tummy and a couple of spots of eczema on her head. I stopped giving her the cereal and the rash and eczema went away.
* This past week has been a write off as far as exercise goes - I've gotten very little. And my diet hasn't been as good as I would have liked either. But it was my birthday so I guess it's ok - I just feel crappy about it. And I suppose I should expect a smaller weight loss this week. (I weigh myself on Wednesdays).
* My tattoo artist opened up a brand spanking new shop and I was his first customer. I've had a few appointments since and am working on getting my sleeve finally finished. I have another appointment this evening and I'm looking forward to it.
* My mom seems to have come around in regards to my tattoos. She bought me this awesome (and expensive), hypo allergenic, non-scented cream for my birthday and said that she thought it would be nice to put on my tattoo while it's healing. A tattoo peace offering?
* Been struggling a bit in the mood department the past few days. I have a few things gnawing at me (that probably shouldn't bother me), hope I can resolve this and feel good again soon.
* Got my hair cut short and I totally love it.
* A friend recently announced she's pregnant with child #2. It made me feel that jealously and sadness again that comes along with IF. It's been while since I've felt that and I don't like it much.
* I was disappointed in the lack of effort Steve put out for my birthday. Can't help but feel slighted that he didn't treat me special. He did give me some cash for a couple of hours on my tattoo (which I totally appreciate) but he direct deposited it to my account the day after my birthday - not so special feeling.
* I'm already preparing myself to not get my hopes up for anything special from him for Mother's Day. Even though I think I really deserve something special after all that I've been through in the past year and all that I do on a daily basis. He just doesn't seem to be able to think of doing something special for me - but he's already talking about Father's Day.
* My close friend's dad passed away this weekend. His funeral is Friday morning at 10:30am and I know she would like me to be there. I just don't know what to do about Ruby. I don't think it's appropriate to bring her to a funeral. Steve and my mom both have to work that day and I don't have anyone to leave her with. I don't know what to do.
* Ruby's now been napping for one whole hour. This is a LONG nap since she's usually a 30 minute napper, maybe it's all that milk she's been slamming back in the past 24 hours?
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Or else maybe I should just send Ruby to Grandma's house and go to a restaurant with some girlfriends.
"We" had a BBQ last night - sorta to celebrate my birthday and sorta just because we wanted to have a BBQ and get all our friends together and have some fun. Of course when I say "we" I mean "me" because I made all the food, did all the prepping, organizing, cleaning, etc. Steve worked all day and then came home, cracked a beer (and then another, and another, and another...) put his feet up and had a great time. If you didn't know better, you might have thought it was HIS birthday. Really frustrating when you have a house and yard full of guests.
Of course I was also on high alert with Ruby. There were plenty of mommies in the house who wanted to hold and play and take care of Ruby and my arms enjoyed the break, but that doesn't mean that I wasn't always with one eye on her, watching, listening, tuned in. And while I had a good time with lots of really good friends, it's not quite the same when you've got your "baby ears" on. You never really get to relax and enjoy yourself.
Even later when Ruby went to bed (upstairs) and I had the monitor on (downstairs), I pretty much had that thing to my ear the whole evening. It just didn't feel right for some reason. I couldn't help but feel a bit guilty without actually being able to put my finger on why I felt that way.
The place finally emptied out around 11:30pm and I got to bed shortly after that... but there was no sleep to be had (not by me anyways, Steve was in a pretty deep coma). Is it possible for adult brains to get overstimulated? Cuz that's how I felt. It felt like my body was vibrating and my mind just wouldn't shut down. I tried all my anxiety tricks that my therapist has tought me (counting, breathing, etc) but nothinng worked. If I wasn't still breastfeeding I would have popped an Ativan because I really could have used it to settle myself down. I ended up watching TV until 1am with a short break to go soothe Ruby when she woke up at 12:30. I finally fell asleep around 2am, only to be up at 2:30am to feed her. I got up again with her at 5:30am and then I had to pump. Then she was up again at 7:30am for the day.
I think I might have netted about 4 hours of sleep. Normally Steve would get up to help out at least once while I sleep but he was in no condition for daddy duty - I don't let drunk people care for my baby, even if it's her daddy. (You can rest assured that he's been doing double duty today, probably with a big headache.)
4 hours of sleep is not enough for me. I don't function well. And with my history of depression, not getting enough sleep is never a good thing. Needless to say today wasn't a great day. (It also doesn't help that I found out this morning that a close friend's dad passed away, and I know her heart is broken.)
This is not to say that I didn't enjoy having people over. I had some great friends come over - (including Emily from IF This Works and Emily from Wish, Wait, Hope, Pray - both who spoiled me). There was cake and food and drinks and it was lovely. It was just not as enjoyable as it could have been - as it should have been.
And I am paying a dear price for it today.
For future reference - I should remember to keep my dinner parties to 10 or less (there were close to 30 people here including kids), and when I am in need of an evening of good fun where I don't have to worry about anything I should make reservations, not dinner.