Archive for July 2013

"Don't be a hater"

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Anyone who has read this blog for a while (let me thank you for doing that right now!) may remember the co-worker/friend that once made me feel like crap regarding my miscarriages, turned understanding about my miscarriages, turned secretive about her pregnancy, turned back into my preggo buddy.  You can get a little background here, here, and here if you are interested.  Well, her last week in the office was the week before I came back.  She was 38 weeks when she stopped coming in, which makes sense.  By the time I was 37 weeks I felt like a beached whale and stopped commuting, so I totally get it. 

The week before I went back to work, my husband, the baby, and I met up with her and her husband for dinner.  It was interesting to hear about how the last few weeks of pregnancy were treating her and how she thought she'd do once the baby was born.  They asked us questions and we gave them honest answers.  They even got to witness me breastfeed the baby at the dinner table.  They seemed prepared enough for the birth of the baby, although I heard rumors from other coworkers that she had the idea that she was going to be bored when she was on maternity leave. Haha.

Yesterday her "supervisor" mentioned to me that she went to the hospital and he thought she was in labor, at 39 weeks.  I sent her a text message mid-day to wish her luck.  By the time I got home from the gym last night, there was a picture posted to FB of her cute little bundle of joy.  She had a baby girl, 7lbs even. 

My first thought was wow, that little girl is super cute and looks like her dad...normal.  My second thought was why was this pregnancy and childbirth thing so easy for her when it was so difficult for me...not normal.  She went into the hospital a week early and half a day later had a healthy baby.  She had the normal pregnancy discomforts of itchy belly, swollen ankles, and fatigue.  She did get RLS at the end, but I would have taken that over PUPPPs any freaking day. 

I whined mentioned it to my husband about it and all he had to say was "don't be a hater".  Easy for him to say, right?  Then I thought to myself, why can I still not get past the feelings of jealousy surrounding pregnancy?  I have a healthy, cute, amazing little boy  and yet I still have to dwell on the fairness of it all.  Even when I am interacting with normal mommies of babies that are the same age as B, I still have this deep seeded sadness and envy.  I feel cheated in more ways than one.   

How nice would it have been to just get pregnant, enjoy the pregnancy, and have a regular, conventional, childbirth?  I still fantasize about this, but know that I'll never have that.  I feel like if I were to be lucky enough to get pregnant again in the future, I am doomed to diabetes, induction, and babies so big that they won't fit through my vag.  It isn't like i am wishing that anyone have difficulty getting pregnant, being pregnant, and/or giving birth.  It is not like that at all.  I just don't understand why so much had to happen to me, one person, while most people float through the whole process with nary a scratch. 

I hope someday I can just move on and focus on the good rather than dwell on the unfortunate events of the past.  Yes, a lot of bad shit happened to me over the past few years, but also, a lot of good things happened.  B is getting cuter by the day, which helps me to stop and refocus on the future and the fact that anything is possible. 

Yesterday, after giving him a bath, I realized that his "caves" were full of "bats" (a.k.a. tons of boogers in his nose).  I asked him if he had boogies in his nose and he started laughing.  I said it again and I got an awesome belly laugh.  My heart melted and thoughts about unfairness were quickly pushed to the back of my consciousness.  I guess everything happens for a reason.

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Post baby body

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

This is a tough subject for me to write about because I am still struggling with my "new" post-baby body.  I struggled while I was pregnant at times, but I think it has been more difficult since little B arrived.  I am almost 14 1/2 weeks out and I still have a sizable mommy pooch, although it is definitely smaller than it was just a month ago.  By the time late afternoon rolls around, I look like I am about 4-5 months pregnant.  It is really depressing until I look at my amazing little miracle boy (I added a pic of him) and then I feel a little bit better.

I have been in physical therapy for my diastasis recti for several weeks now and I was doing so well with it.  I had gone from a 4 finger separation to an almost 2 finger separation.  I had exercises that I was doing every night until I started back to work last week.  Something had to give and unfortunately, it was the PT exercises.  I have been vowing to get back to them this week because I really think they are working and I really love my physical therapist.  She is so nice and helpful and she believes that I can get back most of my pre-baby shape.   

Last night was the first night that I got a chance to go to the gym.  B has gone down to sleep at 6:30 PM for the past 2 nights so, I crammed myself into my bathing suit (it was a tight squeeze) and scurried out as fast as I could once I knew that my husband was armed with the video monitor and the Angelcare monitor. I planned on doing the pool exercises that my physical therapist had given me in the 4 ft section of the pool.  Too bad that there were 30, 10 year old Asian exchange students using that same section of pool.  I got splashed, my borrowed workout gear (kick-board, foam weights, noodle) was stolen, and I was asked all sorts of questions about what I was doing by a 5 year old girl.  Normally I would have been totally peeved, but I was able to keep a smile and continue my workout.  I was there, working out, and that's all that mattered.

When I look at my stomach in the mirror I really don't like what I see and I feel guilty that I don't like what I see.  I should be ecstatic that I have my healthy baby boy and not focusing on my stupid lack of abs.  My linea negra is still very pronounced and I have so many indentations from the stretching.  I am not sure if they are stretch marks or not because they have no color, but regardless, they are unsightly.  My brown belly button has almost disappeared, thank God!  My c-section scar is slightly pink, but no longer as dark and pronounced as it was.  The feeling is s...l...o...w...l...y coming back to that area.

Speaking of the feeling coming back to that area...  While actual feeling may be coming back, there is nothing else going on down there.  My husband and I have tried twice (unsuccessfully) to have sex since the baby was born.  I am not sure it is lack of lubrication due to breastfeeding and birth control or if I have some scar tissue and adhesions, but sex was so freaking painful I wanted to cry.  Not to mention I have absolutely no sex drive, AT ALL.  I am now scared to even try which makes things oh so much more enjoyable!  I figured that having a c-section would make this a non-issue, but I was totally wrong!  I think we'll give it one more try and if I am still in pain, then off to the GYN it is.  I haven't seen them since my second miscarriage.  They don't even know that I was pregnant and had a baby.  That will be an interesting conversation. 

I also keep messing up the birth control pill.  I took that damn thing for 10 years straight at 12 PM EVERY DAY and I only ever screwed it up one time that I can remember because I forgot the pack at home.  With this pill, I have screwed up so many times already.  I forget to take it 3-4 times a month.  Not good for someone who, medically, should not get pregnant again for at least another 8 months. 

Still no period yet.  I have had some EWCM, several times and have been crampy and bloated, but still no period.  I am quite ok with that.  It is weird that the start of my last period was July 5, 1012.  I haven't had a period in over a year!

I haven't weighed myself in a few weeks, but I'd guess that I am back to around 128 lbs.  Still not at my goal weight, but I am still breastfeeding and that is by far more important to me that losing the weight right away.  I'd rather continue feeding my baby then look like Giselle (ok I'll never look like her, but I think you catch my drift!).

Here is a pic of me now, 14 1/2 weeks out.  I still have a ways to go, but when I compare it with a  few months ago, I feel a lot better.  Any one else with post-baby body issues that feels totally guilty about it?  

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Knowing when to hold'em and when to fold'em

Friday, July 26, 2013

Some of you might remember me crazily mentioning that I was going to sign up for the New York City Marathon this November.  Well I signed up.  I paid my $266 and started running 6 weeks postpartum.  Things were going great while I was on maternity leave.  I was running 3-4 times a week with long runs on Saturdays that started at 6 miles and progressed to 10 miles last weekend.  Yes, I was slow as $#!t, but I was getting faster and faster with each subsequent run.  Then I went back to work.  Suddenly I found myself not being able to keep my eyes open let alone run after the baby goes to sleep at 8 PM.  Today was the first day that I have been able to squeeze in a run this week and it was only 4 miles.  Thinking about getting out of bed at 5 AM (after not sleeping more than 3 hours straight) to do my 12 mile run tomorrow morning makes me cringe.  Isn't this supposed to be fun?

This morning I logged into the NYRR website to finally select my transportation and baggage options after getting several threatening emails from the NYRR staff.  Unfortunately the mid-town Manhattan option was gone leaving only the Staten Island and NJ options.  Procrastination screws me again.  I then noticed a cancel button at the bottom of the screen with some fine print so I decided to take a closer look...

"Cancellation: If you wish to cancel your 2013 entry, click the "cancel entry" button below. By cancelling your entry for the 2013 ING New York City Marathon you will have guaranteed entry to the 2014 ING New York City Marathon. You will still need to claim that entry in 2014 (when the application process opens) and to pay all applicable fees pertaining to the 2014 ING New York City Marathon. The deadline to cancel online is 11:59PM EDT on October 30, 2013. In addition, you can mail your cancellation to: Marathon Cancellations, New York Road Runners, 9 East 89th Street, New York, NY 10128, complete with a note that states your name, address, date of birth and the words "cancel my entry." This must be postmarked no later than October 30, 2013. In-person cancellations will be accepted from October 31 to November 2 in person at the ING New York City Marathon Health and Fitness Expo. Once runners have picked up their race number, they cannot cancel."

OMG.  I was so excited to see this.  I was thinking that I could not cancel/defer for this year and run next year, but apparently, I can.  Granted I will be out $532, but at this point I don't even care about the money.  Thinking about the training runs getting longer and longer while being sleep deprived and nursing makes me not even bat an eyelash about paying another $266 next year.  

Sometimes us women try to do it all.  We think we can and others expect that we can, too.  We get so angry with ourselves when we can't meet our own unrealistic expectations.  We see ourselves as failures.  Under normal circumstances running a marathon is tough, but doing it with a 14 week old, while exclusively breastfeeding, and working full-time makes it so much tougher.  I am going to give myself a free pass with this and not consider myself failing at this.  Sure, I want to get back into the shape that I was in pre-miscarriage/baby, but I can do that slowly.  I don't need to do a marathon in the fall to prove that I am the same girl I was before.  I think a half-marathon will suffice.  ;-)  

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14 week sleep regression

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Wow 2 days in a row.  I am impressed with myself.  ;-)

I am not sure if it is because we completely changed up B's scheduled or what, but this week has been just as bad for sleeping as it was when he was 2 weeks old.  He went from sleeping 5-6 solid hours to 1.5-2 hours.  Mommy is tired.  Mommy is grouchy.  Mommy is sleepy.

I am graciously soliciting advice here from other mommies out there who have gone through the same thing.  I started loosely implementing the E.A.S.Y. (Eat, Activity, Sleep, Your time) baby schedule for B about 2 months back and it seemed to be working. Here is what our typical schedule looked like, with regards to sleep, before I went back to work.  I was BF on demand so I am not putting the full feeding schedule in here.  He sleeps in a co-sleeper in our room right now.

7 AM- wake for the day
9 AM- nap
12 PM- nap
3 PM- nap
5 PM- cat-nap
6:30 PM- bath, massage w/ lotion, book, swaddle, BF, sing
7:30 PM- bed
10:30 PM- dream feed
3:30/4 AM- B wakes on his own to eat

Now that I am back to work and have to wake at the ungodly hour of 4:45 AM for the day, things are a little different.  He takes one good nap in the morning and then that is it.  Only cat-naps for the rest of the day and not on any schedule.  My poor sister.  The items in parenthesis are the events that I have no control over.

5:40 AM- wake B to BF
6:10 AM- I leave for work
7 AM- nap
8:30/9 AM- 5 oz bottle pumped milk, I pump between 6-8 oz @ work
12 PM- 5oz bottle pumped milk, I pump 5-6 oz @ work
3 PM- 5oz bottle pumped milk, I pump 4-5 oz @ work
5 PM- I get home from work
5:30/6 PM- BF
6:30 PM- bath, massage w/ lotion, book, swaddle, BF, sing
7:30 PM- put B down
8 PM- B wakes up crying, soothe and put back in bed w/ pacifier
8:15 PM- wakes up crying, soothe and put back in bed w/ pacifier
8:30 PM- wakes up crying, soothe and put back in bed w/ pacifier
8:45 PM- B is finally asleep
10/10:30 PM- dream feed or pump (last night was the first night I skipped the dream feed and pumped because it doesn't seem to be working anymore)
(12:30 AM- B wakes crying, BF lying down, we both fall asleep)
1:30 AM- I wake up, put B back in his bed
3 AM- B wakes crying, BF lying down, we both fall asleep, again
4:30/4:45 AM-  wake up, put B back in his bed, I get ready for work

I think the thing that I am struggling most with right now is the getting B to sleep.  If I could get him down at 7:30 PM for the night then I would have some time to do things like make dinner, pack my lunch, wash bottles/pump parts, do laundry, and iron my clothes for the next day so that I could go to bed at a reasonable hour.

I bought a Graco sound machine, which I really like, but don't think it helps much.  I also have the Tranquil Turtle, which I also like, but doesn't really help either.  Our room has good ventilation.  We have a ceiling fan, air purifier and central AC.  We use the Miracle Blanket, which he has started to bust out of.  We have tried weaning him from a swaddle at night, but he won't sleep at all.  I know we need to start weaning again though because I have a feeling he will be rolling over soon. 

One other wild card is the fact that he also has suspected mild acid reflux and a suspected MSPI (milk/soy protein intolerance).  He has never been tested and formally diagnosed.  He is on baby Zantac twice a day plus I am dairy and soy free (the joy).  He spits up a lot, but not usually at night.  I am not sure if this is another reason why he has trouble?

Does anyone have good advice on how to get a baby to sleep easier or is this just a phase that he will grow out of?  It isn't even the night waking that is the biggest issue, it is the struggle with getting him to sleep.  At first I was thinking growth spurt, but now that this has gone on for over a week, I am thinking not so much.

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Holding it all together and making it work...for now

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I have debated with myself lately about closing up shop with this blog because it is quite clear to me, and anyone else who used to read, that I rarely post any more.  The truth is that I barely have time to go to the bathroom anymore let alone sit down at a computer to type a collection of coherent thoughts a few times a month.

I miss blogging.  I miss my bloggie friends.  I feel like every time that I have a chance to actually sit down and read, I am so far behind in each blog that I have to go back many posts to catch up.

So here goes, one last try.  If I can't pump out 4 posts by August 23rd then it is time for me to move on.  Stay tuned!

The past two weeks have been really tough for me.  This past Monday was my first day back in the office, full-time.  Last week I spent preparing to be back in the office so that this week would be less stressful for me.  I think I cried every night last week when I would hold my baby, thinking to myself about how unfair it is that I can't spend my days with him instead of going to work every day.  Mommy guilt is such a strong force.  That in combination with the sleep deprivation can be a recipe for disaster.  In the last 3 nights, I think I have had a combined 5 hours of sleep.  I passed out cold on my train ride this morning. 

My sister is graciously nannying for us.  We are so incredibly thankful to have someone with an early childhood education background watching out son.  This has not been without its challenges though.  She is several years younger than me and has spent the last 2 years in a third world country teaching underprivileged children.   Going from an unstructured and stress free life to a regular routine (complete with a schedule and documenting baby feeds/poops/sleeps in BabyConnect) has been more difficult than she or I imagined.  Not to mention that she is living with us in our tiny 1100 square foot house and is a vegetarian in a Paleo house.  To her credit, she is is really settling in nicely and is doing a great job.  I have not had to worry about B.  We decided that she is going to watch B from 6 AM-5 PM and then live her life, baby free.  If B were in daycare, it would be the same thing.  

Work itself has been fairly busy so that the days are going by super fast.  I have worked out a schedule of 7:15 AM- 3:30 PM M-Th and then 8-4 PM on Fridays, from home.  I am pumping 3 times a day: 8:30 AM, 12 PM, & 3 PM, for 15 minutes each session at work.  I also have to tack on an extra 10 or so minutes for clean-up (Medela no-water wipes are AMAZING) and 5-10 minutes to wait for the gentlemen that I work with to vacate the lactation room and take their personal calls elsewhere, so it is pretty time consuming.  The room is also pretty awful.  A closet with a small plastic covered couch, a small square Ikea table and one uncomfortable chair.  There are milk stains on the carpet and on the couch.  The walls are manilla.  It is awkwarly located near several cubes with no walls in which only men sit so they see me go in and out and of course they always look up when the door opens.  This aside, I have been pretty successful with pumping so far, although I know it is early.  Yesterday I got 8 oz, 6 oz, and 5 oz.  B is taking 3 bottles of 5 oz each when I am gone, so I am making more than he needs right now.  I am super thrilled about this.  I also have several hundred ounces saved up in the freezer for emergencies. 

On the topic of sleep, B has been regressing from his solid 5-6 hours straight, back to 2-3 hours at a time.  This totally sucks for me when I am going to bed at 11 PM and getting up at 4:30 AM.  It sucks even more because I am getting up at 1 AM and 3 AM to feed him because he is Houdini and can break out of any swaddle including the SwaddleMe and the Miracle Blanket.  He has also gone from going to sleep fairly easily around 7:30-8 PM to going to sleep but then waking up every 40 minutes and fussing until my husband or I soothe him back to dreamland.  We are going to try to move him from his co-sleeper in our room to his nursery this weekend.  I think we are also going to try to wean him off the swaddle again because he just busts out of it anyways. 

I was in a good groove with working out up until this week.  I signed up for my marathon and was running at least 3 days a week, with a long run on Saturdays (last weekend I ran 10 miles!).  This week I have not run at all.  Partially because I am exhausted.  Partially because I get home from work around 5 PM and then have to take care of B and try to put something on the table for dinner.  Partially because I want to spend time with my little boy because I don't see him from 6 AM until 5 PM.  Basically, I don't have any time to run.  I am not sure how I am going to run this marathon on a little over 100 days.  Also, my husband has not gone to x-fit this week, which is unheard of.  Last night at dinner we decided to work out a schedule that will start next week and will allow us to run.  I get Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.  He gets Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.  If this works out then we will see about adding days.  I am going to bring out the BOB stroller this weekend to see if B could handle some light jogging in it.  I know that it says over 6 months, but he has had very good head control since birth and is extremely strong.  He can sit up in his Bumbo with no issue, so I am thinking some towels for support and a flat surface to run on and we may be cooking with gas. 

I feel like I am holding things together right now, but not tightly.  Things could become derailed fairly fast and fairly easily.  I hope things normalize soon.  I am not a "just holding it together" type of person, if you haven't noticed.  Haha.  I want to be in control of my life 99.99% of the time.  10% doesn't cut it! 

Time to go spend some quality time in the lactation dungeon with my pump and 1/2 caf coffee.  Yes, I am back on the caffeine.  At least partially.  :)      

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