Sometimes when I hold S or E in my arms, I mourn the babies that never were. I hold them close and tell them that they are very, very loved and very, very wanted.
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.
The war with the wee yeasties is over, but there are still skirmishes at the front. Two 14-day courses of Diflucan for Baby E and three 14-day courses for me were required to get rid of the initial infection. Just to avoid this whole mess again, I am going on a maintenance dose of Diflucan (after a liver test) for the next few months. I can finally nurse without being in excruciating pain, which is a huge relief.
I managed — through “clenching and grinding” — to crack one of my back molars. I did the same thing after S was born, only I cracked a filling and not a tooth, although I still ended up with a root canal. This time my dentist applied a temporary crown and I am waiting a week to see if the pain goes away. If so, I avoid a root canal; if the pain persists, off to the endodontist I go. I also bought a new night guard, one that doesn’t make me gag.
I am slowly emerging from the sleep-deprivation haze, which means I can finally start to formulate complete sentences and return to blogland.
The wee-yeasties are still here. Oral Diflucan, vinegar washes, and Monistat cream (me) and Nystatin (Baby E) have not worked.
If I have not mentioned it before HOLYFUCKITYFUCKARETHESELITTLEFUCKERSPAINFUL.
We have now moved onto gentian violet. My sweet baby’s mouth and my nipples are bright purple. We took pictures of Baby E — it looks like she has been eating blueberries and will someday, I am sure, be quite comical.
At my 35 week OB appointment, I was screened for group-B strep and e-coli. They usually test later, but since I was early with S, they tested me at 35 weeks. My water broke at 36 weeks. Breech baby. C-section.
My OB treated me with IV antibiotics both for the group B strep, which came back positive, and as a matter of protocol for a surgical procedure.
Last week, the yeast infection in my breasts started raging, most likely due to the antibiotics. I was put on an antifungal, Diflucan, and Baby E was put on Nystatin. My colitis, also most likely due to the antibiotics, started to flare last week as well. I was already taking probiotics (the “good” bacteria) but I doubled the dose to try and avoid c-diff (the “bad” bacteria that grows when the “good” bacteria is killed off). I took my anti-inflammatory medicine. Nothing was working. I did what I usually do — I started a course of steroids (Prednisone) on Saturday and planned to call my GI doctor on Monday to determine a medium-term course of treatment.
Prednisone, as luck would have it, encourages the growth of candida yeast.
My breasts were starting to feel better but I woke up this morning and all the burning was back. I can’t believe I forgot about Prednisone and candida. I called my doctor. He prescribed a new type of steroid for me (it dissolves in the GI system so only 10% gets into the blood stream), a 6-day course of antibiotics (irony!), and upped the dose of all my anti-inflammatory medicines. I am probably going to have to stay on the Diflucan for 6 weeks, the duration of the steroid treatment. Baby E will probably have to stay on medicine, too.
All this from one dose of an IV antibiotic: necessary, yes, but evil.
Once again, I have a yeast infection in both of my breasts. It is very, very painful. I guess the antibiotics they give you during the c-section can cause the overgrowth of the yeast. Baby E is also on an antibiotic for a clogged tear duct that became infected, so between the two of us, it is not surprising this happened.
If you have never had one, imagine someone pouring battery acid into your nipples and then shoving shards of glass into the rest of your breast. It is worse during let down and then continues to burn for hours after the feeding. I have to rewash all my nursing bras in hot water and hang them in the sun to dry so I don’t reinfect myself.
I am on oral Diflucan and I have to wash my nipples with vinegar and rub Monistat on them after every feeding. Baby E has to take Nystatin after every feeding and she really doesn’t like the taste. Poor girl.
Let it never be said I am not committed to breastfeeding.
Born 6/28/10 at 4:31AM at 36 weeks via c-section.
5lbs. 8 ozs. / 18.5″ long
My father killed himself, via a massive drug overdose (after a previous attempt about 2 weeks earlier), 5 days after S was born. In the past two years, I have learned to forgive him for a lot and empathize with the illness. Robbing me of my euphoria over S’s birth, however, I will never be able to forgive. I will always hate him for it. It makes me angry that in my mind S’s earliest days are clouded by this event, as much as try to avoid doing so.
With E, somehow I feel like I am getting to do everything over again. They are almost exactly 2 years apart (2y/6 days, to be exact). Both were born early. My labor started with both of them at 36 weeks: S stayed put for a few days longer while E was born just hours later. Both times my water broke announcing that this was “real labor” after Mr.MC was told to go home and get some sleep. To me, at least, they bear a striking resemblance, especially with E in her older brother’s hand-me-down clothes.
Five days after her birth, instead of processing my father’s suicide, I spent the day with my husband, my son, my daughter, and my mom. We sat for hours in the new nursery while S entertained us with his 2-year-oldness. It was perfect.
Instead of breastfeeding woes (poor latch, poor sucking reflex, mastitis, blocked ducts, previous duct damage in my left breast, etc…) I have a preemie baby who nurses like a champ. What my father’s death didn’t undo, hormones and the stress of breastfeeding finished off. I was told I had to feed every 2-3 hours. I had to pump to try and get the left breast working. S wasn’t gaining weight and he wasn’t sucking long or hard enough to bring in more milk. I hated pumping. I was physically exhausted and sleep deprived. My baby was not gaining weight and I had to supplement with formula for a few days. It was crushing.
This time I have a preemie who figured out breastfeeding the first time she nursed. She latches and sucks like a champion (I have to break the seal of her latch to get her off, even when she falls asleep, because she sucks so well). She came even earlier than S but nurses, according to the lactation consultant at the hospital, like a skilled full-term baby. My milk came in without incident. She is already starting to gain her weight back. Even with a clogged tear duct, eye drops, and antibiotics, she rarely cries (only when I don’t get her on the boob fast enough) and is very mellow. I am not pumping; I am nursing completely “on-demand,” even if she goes 4-5 hours between a feeding and, contrary to the warnings of the lactation-nazis out there, she is just fine. She poops and pees the requisite amounts. Her pediatrician proclaimed her, save for the tear duct infection, “perfectly healthy.” Instead of worrying about when I should feed her, I feed her when she is hungry, which means no more setting timers and constantly worrying that she has gone too long between feedings.
This is how it is supposed to be. I am exhausted and still recovering from the c-section but this is one of the happiest times of my life. My son is happy, healthy, and hilarious. My beautiful daughter is here, albeit a little early, but she is healthy. My heart feels like it is going to explode with love for the both of them. My husband is has taken time off of work and we get to be all together as a family.
And my dad is already dead, so he can’t ruin anything anymore.
There is no “Bitchfest: 36th-week Edition” because, well, I was only pregnant for 4hours and 31 minutes of week 36. Baby E arrived at 4:31AM on Monday, 28 June, via c-section. I had gone into labor the previous night, and although we tried to slow things down, my water broke and she was still breech.
I am still processing everything.
She’s tiny (born at 5lbs. 8 ozs.) but strong and, other than her weight, is as strong as a full-term baby.
She breastfeeds like champion, too.
More details to follow; I dread writing on these strong pain meds.