I have felt especially anxious these past few weeks and I always feel better when I write, so I am back. This isn’t really about miscarriage, really, so it doesn’t really fit the “miscarriage blog” theme, but, well, so it is.
Things that are making me anxious (part I):
1. Baby E, just like her brother, spontaneously stopped nursing. He did it in one day; she did it in two. I love nursing her and this breaks my heart. I am hoping that we can still have an early morning feed, or that she will have a change of heart, so I am going to still pump. She is 11 months now, so we have had a pretty good go. Still, it makes me sad. I was hoping it would last longer. We spent 4 days on a work/vacation trip to the SW and she did not nurse a single time. I thought perhaps it was a change in her routine, but she still, after 2 days at home, has no interest. She had virtually lost interest before we left, so this is not a surprise, really.
2. Baby E is not a baby anymore. She is little girl E. I do not have a baby anymore. I am SO VERY HAPPY to be past the pregnancy phase of parenthood, but it is a chapter closing, and it makes me a bit sad.
3. I am gaining weight. Oh, and I didn’t lose a single pound while breastfeeding. And my thyroid is working just fine. I need to get to the gym, but I am just too pooped at the end of the day to motivate myself to go.
4. S is super-gifted and, in a nutshell, his school doesn’t know what to do with him. He is developmentally all over the place (gross-motor delay but he can read at 2) so they gave him what I think is a bogus diagnosis so he can get early intervention services. This is good for him, but very hard for my maternal pride. Through all the testing, all they did was tell me where S was behind. I kept wanting to add “but you know he can read, right? You know he can write words, right? You know HE’S ONLY 2 YEARS OLD, RIGHT?” He doesn’t fit the mold. He’s different. The system can’t deal with different. So, yes, on one level, I get it. On another level, though, can’t they at least acknowledge that in some areas, he so beyond their norms that their tests don’t even register this? His skills do not show up on the tests for his age group, so instead we just ignore them?
5. Money. We owe a lot. We are owed a lot. What we are owed is not here yet.
6. My neighbor is bat-shit crazy. She’s a hoarder and owns two houses on our block that are totally full of shit. We are now in a property line-dispute over inches. Also, we own a third of her backyard and I am just annoyed enough to redo the fence so we get our land back. This is mostly amusing, but I had living next to someone who doesn’t like me, even if it is mutual.
7. Work. Tenure. Publishing. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
8. My brother and his wife are going through IVF. I feel like I should reach out to them, but I don’t like them. They are honestly two of the most selfish people I have ever met and last year, the metaphorical straw broke, and I decided it was best for me to just stop trying to have a relationship with them. I know how suck-tastic infertility is, but I just can’t reach out to them. And this makes me feel like a terrible person. But I just can’t.
I am sure there are more, but these are the big ones right now. I would really like my new anti-anxiety medicine (actually, same medicine, higher dose) to kick in soon, please.
I feel less pregnant today, which makes no sense, because I am shooting HCG into my leg every three days and shoving Progesterone up my bajingo every night. I am still terrified of finding nothing alive at next Tuesday’s ultrasound.
My boobs are not as sore. I am still utterly exhausted and gaggy. I think I remember this happening with pregnancy #3, but at that point I was peeing on sticks still (for The Plan) and that made me feel better. My hormone levels are higher with this pregnancy and I already maxed out the dye in the tests earlier this week, so peeing on sticks is moot. This is probably all mental, right?
I am too tired to really panic. I also have a ton of stuff to do, and S doesn’t understand why Mommy just wants to lay around all day. Instead, to really shock us back to reality, we are going to Target on Black Friday. Maybe we will go to IHOP for lunch. My kitchen is too messy right now to cook.
Update: I did indeed go to Target and, as expected, it was packed. As we left I got hit with a wave of nausea that is still going strong. No vomiting, but I had to take a Zofran and my Unisom/B-6 nightcap.
My horrendous migraines are getting better. I had a month where I had one almost every day and it was truly awful. My neurologist recommended I use a new type of magnesium supplement, upped the dose of my migraine medicine from 20mg to 40mg, and recommended that I take Reglan along with my regular medicine when I get a headache. Reglan is typically used as an anti-nausea medicine but it has also been found to help reduce the severity of migraines. It is also used for — hold onto your seats here, folks — stimulating milk production.
I have decided to stop pumping this week and I am now getting migraines due to the hormonal changes and one of the meds recommended to help with the migraines stimulates milk production.
Are you laughing? I am not laughing.
It has been three days since I have pumped and WOWEE!! do my breasts hurt. I worked down to pumping just once a day and it took until last night to get really uncomfortable, but I know if I pump again, I will just stimulate more milk production and I will have to start this process all over.
I made it a year and I want my body back. I need to lose weight. At Baby S’s 12-month check-up, his pediatrician suggested we give him cow’s milk in a sippy-cup, and he seems to like it. While part of me still wants to pump and give him breast milk (I keep hearing the “human milk for human babies!” rally cry of the breastfeeding mafia in my head), I made it a year and I just can’t pump anymore.
I am just taking Tylenol and hoping my body gets the “no more milk, please” message soon. If we get cabbage leaves in our CSA box, I may try that, too. Hopefully, I will feel better in a few days.
Edited to add: I am doing it cold turkey because while I know that this may make my bewbies sore(er), it will minimize the duration of the hormone drop, which is what causes my migraines. If I string the process out over two weeks, I am going to suffer that entire time with headaches.
7) I pee involuntarily when I cough, sneeze, or — most horrifyingly — when I laugh.
Pee. In. My. Own. Pants.
And, yes, I Kegel.
I heard this doesn’t go away. My mom told me to buy Depends if I ever get bronchitis.
But he is just so darn cute that I almost don’t mind! (Almost.)
Niobe put up another Niobe’s True Confessions. I found the first edition horribly unsettling (is everyone really cheating on their spouse and/or having suicidal thoughts?) and I can’t bear to read the second. Instead, I will post my own version of “true confessions.”
1) I do not enjoy breastfeeding. On 22 June, I will have made it a whole year. Baby S has refused to nurse for over a month, so I pump between 2-3 times a day. I do it exclusively because the health benefits for him, which are particularly important given all the auto-immune issues in our families. I don’t even remember loving it when he was actually nursing. There were days when it was okay, but mostly I felt like it was a chore. Still, it is a minor chore and may bring him a lifetime of health benefits, so I pump. And pump. And pump. I will continue to pump until I go back to school in the fall.
2) Giving birth was not a transformative experience. Having a baby was/is a transformative experience, but pushing him out of my bajingo did nothing for me except, well, to get him out. I would have been fine with a C-section if it had been necessary.
3) I weighed 30 lbs. less when I was 9 months pregnant. Fuck.
4) I have the worst acne I have ever had while breastfeeding — huge, cystic zits that really hurt. I have gotten facials, I have applied zit creme, I have used every product imaginable; nothing seems to work.
5) The only thing that keeps me from wanting to try again for another baby right away is my trip to Europe scheduled for next spring. It’s the hormones talking, I swear. My logical mind is no match for my hormonal mind. A 2+ week European trip, however, is no match for my hormonal mind.
6) Having my own biological baby has made me more interested in adoption. Go figure.
My bewbies, apparently, are evil. E.V.I.L.
Baby S decided yesterday that he was done with them. It is really warm here, so I just assumed it was the heat and maybe the closeness of nursing was annoying (even though we hold him in our arms when we give him a bottle, too). I would lift up my shirt to nurse and he would turn his head and close his mouth, but I thought maybe when it cooled off, he would be more willing. So, I pumped and he happily drank from a bottle.
This morning when I went in to nurse him, he took one look at my bewbie and started screaming. I had no idea what was wrong. I thought maybe I smelled bad or I had gotten something on me, so I gave up, pumped, and then took a shower and tried again. Same reaction. We did not have a biting incident or anything traumatic; my bewbies are just suddenly terrifying.
This afternoon, post-shower and in a perfectly cool room, I again tried to nurse him but he again turned his head to the side and clamped his mouth shut. He will happily snuggle with me while he sucks his thumb and he will also happily take a bottle of breastmilk, so this is either the famed “nursing strike” or he just self-weaned.
If this is it, or was it, I will still pump for another few months to ensure he is still getting breastmilk. It is easier to just nurse, but if I must pump, I must pump.
I have two conflicting emotions: one, my feelings are very hurt that my bewbies are suddenly so offensive; second, I am relieved that I don’t have to initiate the weaning process.
I will try again in a few days, just to see if it really is a “nursing strike,” but my gut tells me that our nursing days are over.
Me to my CNM: “Uh, yeah, I was wondering if I could get a thyroid cascade done this week?”
CNM: “Are you symptomatic?”
Me: “Well, my carpal tunnel is acting up and I am tired, but I am mostly asking because I just got on the scale and I have gained almost 30 lbs. while breastfeeding.”
CNM: “Wow. . . . Yes, I will have the orders ready for you at the lab tomorrow morning.”
I have a new plan. It is not terribly exciting, but I will feel better if I write it down.
Next spring, I am going to do another study-abroad trip. I can’t handle the spring break thing, but I will ask if I can do it in May. We will save and save so that Mr. MC and Baby S can go along with me. We will also save and save so that we have a nice big nest egg.
This will be May 2010.
After that, we can start trying for another one. Baby S will be almost two at that point, and my midwife’s advice was to wait until he was at least 18 months before trying again.
This will give me a chance to have my body to myself for a little bit and try and lose some of this breastfeeding weight.
This will allow us to beef up our savings.
This will allow me to enjoy the heck out of Baby S.
This is the new plan, because I like to plan.
And, because abstract plans are boring, here is a picture of Baby S:
When you are trying to get pregnant, or trying to stay pregnant, it is all consuming. You live you life in two week increments: waiting to ovulate; waiting to take a pregnancy test; waiting for the next ultrasound, etc….
Here I am with Baby S, my wonderful, glorious son, and I feel like I should be doing something else. I feel — dare I say it? — like I should be trying to get pregnant.
The problem is, I do not think I am ready to be pregnant again. I am still breastfeeding and I would like to have some time to have my body to myself before I have to share it again. I would like to lose weight. I would like to work on my research. I would like to not have to divide my attention between Baby S and another child.
Yet, there is this nagging feeling that I should be doing more. Is it my biological clock ticking? Or it is just that for years, a healthy pregnancy was all that I wanted? I am not sure. I do want another one, I really, really, really do, but I can’t pinpoint why I keep thinking about it so much right now. Baby S is only nine months old. Still, it might be easier to just stay in the trenches? To just do it now instead of waiting?
Or perhaps I have just become obsessed with the means and not the end.
The yeast is gone.
I don’t have mastitis.
My supply and Baby S’s demand are more or less in sync.
So, of course, something had to go wrong.
He has started biting. Me.
In. The. Nipple.
When he was getting his first two teeth in, he did this at the end of our feedings when he was trying to soothe his gums.
A few days ago, he started doing it again and yesterday and today, he has started chomping down right at the beginning of our feedings. I can not find any new teeth that appear to be breaking through.
I sternly say “NO” and end the feeding, as is suggested in my breastfeeding book. He always looks surprised and then confused as to why I flinch in pain. We wait a while and try again, with the same problem. I have just started pumping and giving him the milk via bottle.
Please tell me this is a just a phase? And it will end soon? (It’s okay to lie to me. Go ahead. I will not care, I promise.)
It is a good thing he is so freakin’ cute.
The fucking wee yeasties are back.
For like the 5th or 6th time.
If you have never had yeast, it burns like someone is pouring battery acid on your nipple after you nurse. For me, it is more painful than mastitis.
So, I am back on the Diflucan. Double the regular dose for two weeks with two more months of refills. Baby S is on Nystatin for two weeks to make sure he stays clean. I have to go wash all my bras in hot water and vinegar and continue to boil everything that touches my nipples, i.e. all of my pumping stuff.
Baby S’s doctor and I decided that I will pump ‘n’ dump for a few days and give him formula. Since we have passed this infection back and forth while I was exclusively pumping, she is assuming that there is yeast in the breastmilk itself.
None of this sounds so bad, right? I mean, it doesn’t sound like fun, but the worst part is the actual feeding part. It nearly makes me cry to give him formula and dump breastmilk down the drain. I know it does not make rational sense but it just feels so very wrong. My breasts ache to nurse him and I realize now how emotionally invested I am in the nursing relationship.
Yet, on the other hand, it is strangely freeing. Knowing that he can eat whenever he wants, have as much as he wants, and be fed by anyone is oddly liberating. My goal is to make it to at least a year: 4.5 more months to go.
Mah bewbies are lopsided and I have had come to terms with it. Even in their asymmetry, even allowing for the wee yeasties, they have done a pretty good job. My goal is to make it to at least a year with this whole breastfeeding thing. Studies show that in kids that are predisposed to colitis (i.e. Baby S, as both Mr. MC and I have the disease in our family), breastfeeding for at least one year significantly reduces the risk. They are not sure if it is because of the impact on the immune system or the fact that breastmilk is so easy to digest. I will do whatever I can to help Baby S not develop this shitty (ha!) disease.
I feel like now, at six months, I am finally getting this whole baby thing down. Of course, people have already asked me when I am going to try for another. (Cue maniacal laughter in the background.) Ummmmm, no time soon. I would like another one, but I feel like Baby S just got here. I also do not “do” pregnancy very well, we will have to again contend with my uterus of death, I am up for tenure, etc…, which all make me want to wait. Why are people so anxious to get knocked up so soon again after their first baby?
I am having wicked, wicked mood swings. In pre-baby world, I would call it PMS, but I am not sure when my cycles are going to start back up, so I don’t know if this is “pre-” anything. I feel anxious, cranky, and super-OCD, and then the next day I feel fine, only to have it rear up again a few days later. This started before Baby S started eating solids, so I do not think that is it. But what do I know, right?
My hair is still falling out. Thank goodness I have thick hair because otherwise I would most certainly have bald spots. It is not as bad as it was, but it still sheds more than normal except, conveniently, for the gray hairs at my temple. Those, I am oh-so-happy to report, are just fine. I assume that soon new hair will start to grown in?
My carpel tunnel syndrome, which I developed in my last trimester but only got really bad after Baby S was born, has taken a turn for the worse. It was in my left wrist and now has migrated to the right one as well. My midwife told me it will go away when Baby S is about a year and that it is rarely permanent. This gives me hope, but I still have to go out and buy another wrist brace.
I only gained 11 lbs. when I was pregnant. I lost it all the first week after Baby S was born and have proceeded to gain it all back while breastfeeding. This whole “you-will-loose-weight-while-breastfeeding-because-you-burn-extra-calories” theory is a bunch of crap. I am hungry all the time, I am still almost exclusively breastfeeding, I try to walk as much as the weather will allow, and I am still slowly gaining weight. Like the lopsided bewbies, I have had to make my peace with it.
For Thanksgiving, we went to visit family in a big(ger) city. Outside of this city is a kick-ass medical facility where a bunch of kick-ass doctors work. My kick-ass mother-in-law was able to call in a favor with her kick-ass neighbor, who happens to also be a doctor at this medical facility, and get Baby S an appointment with one of the top pediatric neurologists in the U.S. the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.
In short, Baby S is going to be fine. He has a shudder which will go away on its own by the time he is one, if not before.
Yes, we went out of network and will probably pay a small fortune for the second opinion, but it sure as heck is better than just sitting around for four months wondering if there is a serious problem with my kick-ass baby.
It’s not bad news. It’s not good news, either, but I am trying (and mostly failing) to focus on the fact that it is not bad news.
Baby S had to go and see a pediatric neurologist today. At his 4-month check up, his pediatrician noticed that he had some shaking when he sat up. He thought they may have been mild seizures and requested an EEG and pulled some strings to forgo the usual 6-month wait to see the specialist.
The EEG was normal. He is not having seizures. The neurologist confirmed this today.
Mr. MC and I had both noticed the shakiness, or “trembling” as the doctor called it today, but we assumed it was just muscle fatigue. The trembling began when he started holding his head up and then moved into his shoulders and arms when he began to hold his torso up. It is worse when he is tired or has been sitting up for a while.
The neurologist said it was not muscle fatigue. He does not know what it is, exactly. The rest of his neurological exam was normal, so we are to come back in four months and by then it will either have resolved itself or other symptoms will have presented themselves and he will be better able to make a diagnosis.
I hate to wait. HATE IT. I waited so long for this baby, my beautiful baby boy, and now I have to wait to see if there is something wrong with him?
Fuck, fuck, fuck.
I want to cry. I want to hold him and never let go. I want the doctor to call back and tell me that Baby S will be fine and this is nothing to worry about. I want my baby to be fine and perfect and healthy.
Instead, I am going to take a shower and go teach a class. Baby S is with my mom, who is no doubt showering him with her usual love and affection. I really want to cancel class, but I think I need to get my mind off of this for a little while.
I thought it was gone. I am on my last day of Diflucan (oral medicine) and have religiously applied Monistat cream to my nipples for 7 days. I pumped exclusively and carefully washed all the pump parts with hot, soapy water while Baby S dined from bottles with sterilized nipples. My symptoms went away! I was optimistic! Then I started nursing again yesterday and, to quote the ever-annoying Emeril, BAM!, right back to the burning nipples today.
I blame the stupid NP at the pediatrician’s office two weeks ago who told me Baby S did not need to be treated if he was asymptomatic. She was wrong. I knew she was wrong, but she is an NP with years of clinical experience and I followed what she recommended, which was not to treat Baby S for yeast. Did I mention I knew she was wrong? My midwife said she was wrong. The nurse I spoke to this morning said she was wrong. I should have not been so complacent and insisted on medicine for Baby S, too. (I just got a call back from the doctor: he says the NP was “not correct” about discontinuing the medication. So I will not be charged for that visit, right? She will be reprimanded? Told not to be such a smug beeyotch next time? Encouraged to research chronic yeast infections before opening her “I-Have-Years-of-Clinical-Experience-and-You-Don’t” mouth?)
Oh, and my hair is falling out. I had, according to Mr. MC and my hairstylist, thick, shiny, gorgeous hair during my pregnancy. At exactly 3 months post-partum, my hair started falling out. I knew this was normal, so initially I was not alarmed. Except that it kept on coming out. Like a LOT. Like ALL THE TIME. It is really thin now, especially around my face. I know my thyroid is okay, so here’s hoping the book is right and this resolves itself by 6 months, because I shudder to think how awful I would look bald.
Here is Baby S at 4.5 months, who somehow manages to make thin hair work.
I hate yeast.
Really, really, really.
I thought that I hated yeast in my bajingo, but it is nothing compared to yeast in my nipples and poor Baby S’s mouth. It burns like crazy and makes my poor little guy super gassy and fussy.
I have to smear anti-fungal goop all over my breasts after every feeding and swab Baby S’s mouth with the stuff several times a day. We also have to sterilize all his pacifiers and bottles, and I have to wash all my bras and then stick them out in the sun to kill any lingering yeast.
Oh, and did I mention it makes my nipples burn. like. hell ?
p.s. Mr. MC, as you can probably tell, was way more upset about Maggie’s comment than I was. As far as I am concerned, she can kiss my burning nipples ass.
“MC is wondering why her right boob makes so much more milk than her left boob.”
“MC is currently covered in baby shit.”
“MC is currently covered in baby pee.”
“MC is currently covered in baby spit-up.”
“MC is wondering why she is just now starting to pee when she sneezes?”
“MC thinks it might be easier somedays to just strap her kid directly to her boob.”
“MC wants to know how people who have multiples make it work.”
“MC wants to know how people who have more than one child make it work.”
“MC wonders if her sex drive will ever return.”
“MC would just like to get some fucking sleep already.”
“MC just spent x hours on-line researching organic baby mattresses.”
“MC just spent x hours on-line searching for cute baby clothes.”
“MC has gone x days without taking a shower.”
“MC is dreading the day when her menstrual cycle starts up again. She has not had ‘Aunt Flo’ in a year, and frankly, she does not miss the bitch.”
“MC doesn’t understand how a pharmacy can not order her size of diaphram?”