Monday, June 29, 2009
She's been on formula for two weeks now without incident, so I don't think it's the switch from breastmilk. She whines a lot and gives me signals like she's hungry (she even recently started signing "milk" although she doesn't quite have it totally figured out yet), but then when presented with a bottle she gags on it and gives me a dirty look - even before the milk hits her tongue. Sometimes she'll drink a half bottle and then be done with the whole thing.
She's been getting better at eating solids - she LOVES carrots, and is starting to enjoy bananas mixed in with her rice cereal in the morning. As long as the food is fairly thin, and warm - she's willing to give it a shot.
I knew that eating solids would change her milk schedule - I expected that. But I didn't expect it to get so erratic. And for her to be so fussy and fickle about her bottles.
I try not to worry too much about it. I figure she knows what she wants and I'm just her slave, to present her with whatever I think she wants and hope for the best. (There has been a lot of formula dumped down my sink lately).
Admittedly, it bothers me that I seem to be misreading her ques lately though. I had gotten pretty darn good at knowing what she wants. I know when she wants milk, when she wants naps, when she wants extra attention, when she wants to chill out. But lately it seems all mixed up and I'm not getting it. It frustrates me. I have a neurotic need to be good (or better yet, perfect) at everything I do - so I hate that I seem to be misunderstanding her right now.
I know this probably wasn't the right thing to do - but after she refused a bottle today but was still acting hungry - I put her in her highchair and gave her her first Mum-mum. When all else fails, cookies are the answer - are they not? They are in my world...
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
When I am asked that question, the hair goes up on my back and I instantly feel defensive. I always scramble through my thoughts, grasping for the right words to try to properly convey how much I actually do during the day, and also let the person know, subtly, how inappropriate that question really is. I don't know that I have ever really gotten it right because I'm always so flustered and taken off guard when I hear those words.
I understand that some people are not in tune with my world and can't imagine filling a day if not under the structured regime of the workday, but some people? Some people should just know better.
My HUSBAND should know better...
This morning Steve agreed to care for Ruby while I got ready and went for a jog before he went to work (yay me!). He had her on the couch and was just starting to give her a bottle when he asked me to turn on the TV for him.
I said: I'd really rather the TV not be on all the time. Ruby doesn't need it.
He said: Well I'd like to watch the news.
I said: Ok, fine. But afterwards I'm shutting it off. It doesn't need to be on all day. There's nothing on during the day that I need to see, it's just a distraction. I just don't want Ruby to grow up being *addicted to it.
He said: You don't watch TV? What do you do all day then?
This from a man who comes home on his lunch break to have lunch ready and waiting for him (I'm actually a little embarrassed about that). He comes home after work to his dinner usually ready to eat, and if not then at least prepared and ready to go or in the process of cooking. The floors are clean (although he wouldn't notice). The house is clean. The baby is fed and happy and clean. There is food in the fridge. He gets to walk in, have a shower, sit down to dinner, then put his feet up and WATCH TV.
So I get all prickly and pissed off about his comment and he claims I took it the wrong way.
Actually, no I didn't. I KNOW how he meant it. He cannot imagine a whole day at home without at least 75% of it being spent glued to the TV on some stupid fucking sports show. He would NEVER think to wipe the spilled milk off the coffee table, or prepare dinner ahead of time. He doesn't see the dust on the shelves and he doesn't see the dirt on the floor (which he tracked in because he didn't take his shoes off). He thinks that food magically appears in the fridge and he would never think of walking to the store to pick up needed items. Hell, he wouldn't think of walking anywhere unless maybe it was through 18 holes with a golf bag over his shoulder. And as for caring for Ruby.... he thinks it's ok to plunk her down in front of the TV for as long as he feels like it.
So I didn't take his comment the wrong way. I know what he was thinking. It still pisses me off.
And I still want to cut a bitch.
Hey, at least he gave me some fuel to burn up during my jog.
*I'm not against the TV totally. I just don't think we need it on ALL DAY. Ruby is already mesmerized by it and I'd rather she did other things when possible.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
So I'm just trying to roll with it. I wasn't sure what we'd have for dinner anyways so now I have time to browse my cookbooks...
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Today I really do.
I've been relatively strong and confident since Ruby was born but once in a while I feel like my feet have been kicked out from under me.
Today started ok enough. Except that I found it hard to wake up, but that's been a lot lately.
Then I had a scare with Ruby. I don't really want to get into details about it here, but I thought something was really wrong with her and I was on my way out the door to the walk-in clinic when I checked her again and it was totally gone. I've checked her about 15 times since and the problem is totally gone like it was never there. But it scared me enough that I panicked and cried for a good hour - even after I realized it was ok.
And then my BIL's girlfriend was kind of mean to me. Well, maybe she wasn't so much "mean" as she was busy with her own life and didn't respond well to an email that I sent to her and my feelings got hurt. Right after the Ruby thing.
And then Ruby and I went for a walk and people were staring at me. People were giving me scowly looks. People were watching me too closely.
Except that they really probably weren't. I know I was (am) in one of those vulnerable-feeling moods and everything was (is) bothering me. I felt like I was walking down the street naked, maybe with a piece of toilet paper hanging from my bum. That's how I felt.
Sometimes when you're at home all day with the baby and you get worried about something or something happens or you don't feel right, it can get really lonely. Everyone in the world is busy doing their own thing and it can feel like you're all alone and nobody cares. Or is that just me?
AF is due anytime and my chest is still prickly with milk - both of which might cause one to be somewhat "emotional". But together? Double whammy.
I knew the whole Superwoman/Martha Stewart/Suzy Homemaker thing couldn't last forever.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
And I... made her this:
I made her friend Ariyan one too. In a different color.
I've scared myself, really. Who knew that I could whip up a couple of little grad hats out of nothing more than a cardboard box, a receiving blanket, some embroidery thread and a hot glue gun. And all before 11am? This shit could easily get out of hand. I could lose myself completely and turn into one of those annoying Suzy Homemaker bitches that nobody likes.
Wait a minute, I'm still in my pyjamas and haven't brushed my teeth yet. *phew* That must count for something...
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
But first I suffered. I spent Friday and the weekend hurting like a bastard with rock hard, engorged boobs. The whole cabbage thing didn't work out for me because the stank of it made me gag at myself. I felt like my boobs had been in a car accident. They were so sore, it hurt to walk. I did pump off tiny little bits when I absolutely needed it and that really helped. Friday was a particularly low day as I wasn't sure how this whole thing worked and I was emotional and sore and, well the tears were flowing freely. I did consult with a nurse on the Nurse Hotline and found her to be extremely compassionate, and kind and intelligent. She helped me get through. Things slowly (soooo slowly) improved from there and every day is a little bit better.
I am still a tiny bit sore but nothing I can't handle. The pump is now gone for good. And today? Today was my first real, normal day and it's been fabulous so far.
I had NO idea really, how much time and energy that whole process was taking out of me. I feel like a fucking rockstar today.
~Emptied, reloaded, ran, and emptied the dishwasher
~Washed and put away all laundry (just TRY and find a pair of dirty undies on my floor!)
~Cleaned and organized my office
~Made snacks for Ruby's "graduation" from the mommy/baby group tomorrow
~Went for a walk
~Played with and thoroughly enjoyed Ruby all day
~I even had time to be pleasant to Steve when he came home at lunch!
Sure, this may be a normal day for some of you, but this is a BIG day for me. This is a lot of accomplishments that wouldn't have all be done had I been hooked up to the pump and washing pump parts all day.
I still struggle a bit with the guilt of giving her formula but if this keeps up, the guilt should pass fairly quickly.
Friday, June 12, 2009
But like "Operation:Overnighter", just because it's difficult doesn't mean it's the wrong thing to do. Just because it's difficult doesn't mean that I should put it off. It's simply time. The toll that that pump is taking on my life and my family is something that I'm not willing to compromise with anymore. I know that weaning would be hard at ANY age. If I had $110 extra dollars I would go visit my therapist and I am quite certain she would confirm that I am doing the right thing and then she would give me a good dose of tough love and make me snap out of this guilt bullshit. But since I don't have the $110 dollars, I'm just going to have to fight the fight on my own (and perhaps with a little help from my dear internets).
I'm sure however, that a couple of days of being pump free will do wonders in the mood lifting department. In fact, it's not been 24 hours yet and although my chest feels like someone sewed two giant boulders under my skin and then held them over an open flame for a couple of hours, the break from pumping is already making me feel happier.
I've been giving Ruby supplemented formula feedings for a couple of days now and it's going well. We're up to 50/50 with no problems. (I still have plenty in the fridge and freezer if I need it). Her appetite seems to have changed a little though - she doesn't always finish her bottles and I wonder if that's because there's more calories in the formula and she gets fuller faster. I'd like to go with that train of thought instead of my Crazy Mommy Guilt train of thought which says she isn't finishing it (occasionally) because she doesn't like it.
My worries were somewhat abated by Steve last night. He fed her at 4am and through the baby monitor I could hear him softly chanting, "Rob-erts! Rob-erts! Rob-erts!" When he came out of her room with an empty bottle I anxiously asked, "Did she take it ok!? Did she finish the bottle?!!??"
He said, "Did she finish the bottle??? Tara, she chugged it!!! She's going to be a big hit one day at Spring Break!"
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
It seems I may have a penchant for over reacting with Ruby related issues.
What? You hadn't noticed?
Sometimes it seems I get myself so worked up and upset and psychotic to the point that I can't stand myself and then I totally talk myself down and reason and breath and find a way to fix the problem.
I am going to start weaning Ruby from breastmilk to formula. I've spent a good long time thinking about this and weighing the pros and cons. I've agonized over the guilt. I have embraced the guilt and I am now letting it go and I am moving on. We need to find a way to make our lives as simple and happy as possible and that means I need to give up the pump. I have my limits and they are being reached. I realized that I am making things not very nice in my home because I am becoming a nasty, cranky bitch. Yes, more so than I was before. And I can see how my marriage has been a little "luke warm" if not cold at some times lately. I will admit that if I were Steve, I certainly wouldn't enjoy coming home to me everyday. I know that if I can free up some of my time, and stop that "soul sucking" pumping, that I will be a happier and nicer person. And that is the end of that. (I hope).
I went to the store last night and stood in the formula isle for a good 3 hours. Reading labels. Shaking cans. Weighing the (many) options. I will admit I was slightly shocked by the price of formula. I ended up buying a small can of "easy to digest" liquid concentrated formula. I have supplemented 3 of her feeds with it so far and I am pleased to announce that there have been no "Exorcist" re-enactments thus far. The diapers are still a bit ugly but nothing overly out of the ordinary and nothing I can't handle (Steve on the other hand, cannot handle them - he is in poopy diaper training right now).
I ordered this book. I have had a hard time finding any literature on feeding and nourishing kids but this book was recommended on a pamphlet that I received from our local Health Unit after I had Ruby. I don't want her to have a bad relationship with food and for solids we're not off to a very good start. I need some professional guidance. I am also going to speak with a health nurse today at my "mommy group" and hope that they can at least guide me in the right direction. And hopefully there are no breastfeeding lectures because seriously? Fuck off about that already.
Also of note: today I hit my pre-pregnancy weight. I have 4lbs to go until I am at my pre-IVF weight. I plan on continuing on with the weight loss although I know it will be a little harder once I'm not pumping anymore. Or maybe it will be easier because I will have that little bit of extra time and energy.
Geez, I'm starting to wonder if I'm bipolar...
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
I cannot keep up right now and my mood is deteriorating, fast.
Ruby's 6 month birthday is Saturday. She's becoming more active and more interactive and more fun and in turn, that demands more Mommy Time. She's also going through the breast milk like a wildebeast. I'm giving her 5oz every 3 hours (if I can stretch it that far) and that doesn't seem to be enough for her. And as discussed previously she has NO interest in solids.
I have been thinking a lot about hanging up the breast pump and switching her over to formula.
I know, I know... I'm the worst mom.
I know that what I should be doing is pumping more often than I already do to produce more milk to keep up with Ruby's appetite. Except that cuts into my time with her. And my time to eat, my time to sleep, my time to pee, my time to breath. Selfish of me to want to eat and sleep and breath and pee, I know.
And I know I should go out and hunt down a lactation consultant and have them teach Ruby and I how to breastfeed properly so that I don't have to pump at all. Because if I've heard it once, I've heard it a million times - she's older now and there's no reason why she can't catch on to breastfeeding at this stage in the game. But do I really want to get into that at this stage in the game? Isn't this the time when moms want to start getting the babe on a bottle or sippy cup? Again, selfish of me to deprive us both of such a "magical" experience...
And as if I haven't had enough torture from the midwives, the health nurses, the breastfeeding advocates - when I topped up Ruby's bottle this morning with some formula - she made a face at me, refused to finish her bottle and then proceeded to projectile vomit off and on for 45 minutes until all the horrible "poison" that I gave her was out of her system - along with any breastmilk and even some bile. What kind of mother does that to her baby???
Hours later I am still doing laundry.
I am not sure where to go from here. Perhaps if I gave up eating all together, it would free up more time for pumping breastmilk and/or breastfeeding.
Oh, excuse me - this post is now going to be cut short. I have a new load of laundry to do. Ruby just shit through her diaper, onesie, pants and all over the white bedding.
And look at that, it's also time to pump again...
Monday, June 8, 2009
I am having a serious struggle trying to get Ruby onto solids. I am so frustrated and at my wits end. I don't know what to do.
I had started her on rice cereal when she was about 4 1/2 months and she was totally digging it. She liked it, she ate well. We were doing awesome. And then she got a rash and I thought it was from the cereal and so I stopped. (Turns out it wasn't from cereal, it was from soap). And the reason I started her on solids that early was because she eats SO MUCH! At that point she was drinking 4.5oz of breastmilk every 2.5 hours.
And now, she's drinking 5oz every 3 hours (on a good day). She needs to have something else in her belly to fill her up. She'll be 6 months old on Saturday and I've been working on getting her to eat solids every day for the past two weeks.
For the first week I gave her oat cereal. She didn't like it. So I tried the rice cereal the second week. No go. So I tried adding a little bit of mashed banana to her cereal. Nope.
And then I tried the sweet potatoes. Oh the sweet potatoes.... Here's what happened when she ate sweet potatoes:
So. The cereal. She turns her head away. She refuses to look at me when I have cereal in front of her. When I get her to actually take a bite, she makes a face like I've given her a spoonful of dog poo. Sometimes I put it in her mouth and she just holds her mouth open and yells and the food all slides out. She even smacks at the spoon with her hand sometimes (causing food to fly all over the place.)
Different foods (oat cereal, rice cereal, bananas, sweet potatoes)
Feeding her at different times of the day
Feeding her before she gets too hungry
Feeding her when she's really hungry
Feeding her in her car seat (so she can't move around as much)
Having Steve feed her
Making stupid noises to make it more fun
Making the cereal with water, making it with milk.
So far... NOTHING WORKS! She ONLY wants breastmilk. She sees the bottle and reaches for it (I have to hide the bottle when I'm trying to give her solids). I'm banging my head against the wall with frustration right now.
What do I do? Anybody? Please? I'm desperate for advice here...
Not to say it wasn't hard. It was. REALLY HARD (for me). But just because it was hard doesn't mean that it wasn't right. Because I think it was right.
I spent the day at my moms with Ruby and everything was fine and I was feeling pretty ok about leaving until my dad came home from work and he picked her up and she totally made strange with him. She started bawling. I mean, tears-squirting-out-of-her-eyes bawling. It made my stomach roll. She's never done that before. Yes, she's made a little bit of strange with people before but never to that extent.
So after we got her straightened up and happy again, she went down for a nap. I had to leave by 4pm to make it to pick Steve up from work on time but I did NOT want to leave her when she was sleeping (see this post) because I didn't want her to wake up and her mommy be gone. But she woke up just in time for me to kiss and hug her goodbye and then I gave her to my mom. As I put my hand on the door knob, she started to pout. And I started to cry and thought about cancelling the whole thing - but I knew if I didn't do it now, I might never be able to do it, ever. So I told her I loved her and ran out the door (Christ, you'd think I was leaving the country). My dad made fun of me as I left.
As I drove the 45minutes to Steve's work, I cried and worried and had a big old anxiety attack while my brain when into overdrive, thinking of all the terrible things that could happen while she was away from me. When Steve got in the car, he saw the state I was in and called my mom to see how Ruby was doing.
She was fine. She was laughing and playing in her jumperoo and giggling at Lexi the German Shepherd.
So I felt better.
And then I started to relax a bit.
Steve and I went out for a beer. Then to dinner at a restaurant that we used to go to once in a while before we were parents. And we had a really great time. Of course, we spent a lot of time talking about Ruby and looking at pictures of her on our cell phones but that's ok. We talked and laughed and really enjoyed each other's company. And I think we really needed it, because lately it's been kind of... luke warm between us. We both admitted the next day that we had a fantastic time and that it felt kinda good to be able to have a night together, just the two of us. And it's done wonders for our relationship (so far anyways).
I will admit I didn't get a great sleep though. I was up at 4:15am wondering if Ruby was awake and having a bottle of milk? (She was.) And then I was up at 5am to pump milk. And then I couldn't sleep in because I was so anxious to go get Ruby!
And when we did go pick up Ruby, she was happily bouncing in the jumperoo, smiling away. And she was totally annoyed by the smothering of kisses and hugs she got from me when I snatched her up!
My mom said she was the perfect baby while I was gone. No fussing. No crying. Went to bed easily at 8pm on the dot (her usual bedtime). She napped well. She laughed lots. And I could tell that she totally connected with my mom. She kept an eye on her all the time and always had a smile for her. And that makes me feel good.
SO.... in summary.... I'm glad I did this. Now, when I have a wedding or a concert to attend (or just need a break) this summer, I will be able to do so and feel comfortable with Ruby staying overnight at Grandma's house. I am glad that I fought my own issues and personal demons to do something that might have been a little outside of my comfort zone, but definitely not the wrong thing to do.
It was good for everyone involved (except maybe my dad whose feelings were pretty hurt that Ruby continued to play strange with for the rest of the weekend).
Friday, June 5, 2009
It took me a while to decide that I actually wanted to have children. So many of my friends had babies and I didn't like what I saw. I felt that that somewhere along the birthing process they lost themselves and became nothing more than "mommy" - unable to carry on a conversation if it didn't involve diapers, poop or the latest preschool. I never wanted to be that. I wanted to keep my edge and still be me. So when the realization came to me that I could still be "Tara" and also be a mom (and a good one at that) then I knew I was ready to have kids. (And then I had to wait a few more years... but I digress)
The fact of the matter is this: all babies/mommies/families are different. There are different personalities, different dynamics, different relationships - and I was foolish to think that there might be a one-size-fits-all approach to when a child is ready for an night away from her parents. If I'm doing things my own way, then I only need to take an honest look at our life and our relationship and our situation and the answer should be found there - not in the opinions of others (not that I don't value your opinions, I TOTALLY do).
It's just that this is about us and unless you know us and live in our house with us and spend every day with us, then it is unfair to ask you to comment on it. So it was kind of silly for me to publish my last post, asking for advice. For that I apologize, my dear internets. And I hope you will forgive me for sounding like such a sucky wuss.
In the end here's how I feel about the overnight thing: I think it's important that I do it soon because I do need some time to reflect on me, to enjoy a break (and it's ok to want/need a little break), to be an adult, to allow someone else to help me, to gather myself, to make sure that "Tara" is still inside, to sharpen my edge. And I know it won't be bad for Ruby either. She would be going to a place where everyone loves her very much and will be in the care of someone who is more than capable of caring for her well. I also want to be able to do this periodically - I have some events coming up this summer that require me to leave Ruby at my mom's over night - so why not start getting her used to it now?
It needn't be such a big deal.
If I can refresh and recharge every once in a while it is going to make me a better mom and in turn, I will help make a better, more well rounded Ruby.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
(I think we've visited this one before, have we not???)
My mom has asked if she can take her overnight on Saturday night. I would drive Ruby there during the day and then go pick her up on Sunday.
Yes, I could use a night off. And Steve and I could use a night of just being together.
My mom is a good caregiver (as long as she doesn't allow my dad to influence her).
I know damn well that I will feel sick with worry and guilt and I will miss her like crazy if we do this. I can handle that if I think that it's the right thing to do. If I thought that I was benefiting her in some way I could deal with my own issues. I have already seen fear in her eyes when I hand her off to someone that isn't me or Steve and it breaks my heart.
Is it too early?
Is she too young?
Could it really benefit her at this young age to spend some time away from me?
Will she miss me?
Should I do this????
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
And I have such mixed feelings about it.
Honestly, if I were a normal "fertile" I would NEVER even FATHOM the thought of trying again so soon! I am so not ready to be pregnant again! And for so many reasons. Like, I don't think I would want my kids to be so close in age. Like, I want to be able to fully enjoy Ruby as a baby and toddler and don't want to be feeling sick and/or hobbling around after her with a big belly or looking after a newborn. Like, I don't want to be this weight when I get pregnant again - I need to lose more weight so I don't get so big again and hopefully have a little easier pregnancy.
And do I really want another child? At this point I'm not entirely sold on the idea (although I'm 99% sure I want more than one). Ruby has been an extremely easy baby and I'm having so much fun with her. I can easily imagine a life with just the three of us and how much fun we could have.
So why the hell would I be "trying" to have another right now???
Because I'm 34 - so close to that magic infertile age when everything goes downhill the minute it's your 35th birthday . Tick tock, you know? And I probably WILL want to have more kids. I'd love for Ruby to grow up with a sibling. And I really don't want to go through IVF again if I can at all help it. And so even if now isn't the most convenient time for me to get pregnant again, I'll be damned if I'm going to waste that 1% chance each month by not trying at least.
But last night, the bullshit of it all really sunk in for me. I really don't want to get into too much detail on the whole thing but we were... well... you know, "trying" and it started out fun enough, but then things went a bit downhill and it was suddenly apparent that the whole operation wasn't going to work out. And normally if things weren't working out I would just throw in the towel and say "fuck it" (excuse the pun). But because I don't want to blow any chance - no matter how minuscule - I agreed to carry on with a less than appealing, and really not very fun way of "getting the job done". And I didn't enjoy it at all. And truth be know, my feelings ended up getting really hurt and I cried myself to sleep.
And I feel sad and bitter and hurt about infertility again, but in a slightly different way this time.
I'm so very thankful to have Ruby. My life has never been so good. And if I live the rest of my life with only her, I will be ok. But until I have completely reconciled to having no more children, infertility will continue to hang over me like a black cloud and it will continue to affect my life.