My daughter is fearless, and though she could rival any drunk penguin in a walking competition, when she's really excited her little legs move quicker than her balance can keep up with. Her poor head usually suffers in some way. I know bumps, scrapes, and bruises are all part of the deal, but I just feel so bad for her when she tumbles headfirst into nothing (or worse, headfirst into something.) All in all, she is getting pretty good with her walking and has not crawled at all since her birthday. Apparently, crawling is so eleven months.
Birdie is in love. She has her own baby and she is a fantastic mommy. She is sure that her baby is always dressed appropriately (no hat needed, and do NOT try to sneak it back on) and that she is jammed in her stroller/walker safely (head-first = ok; two legs in one leg hole = ok) and she is never without LOVE. Birdie has learned how to give LOVE and if you are the lucky recipient of a kiss, watch out for the tongue (we're going to work on that before school, I swear.) Having so many pets, we've tried to teach about gentle petting from a very, very early age. It has worked. Mostly (who doesn't enjoy the occasional slightly-harder-than-gentle tap?) She regularly pets the pets, her stuffed animals, her babies, and us. I love baby love. Chubby arms around my neck for a tight hug are the best thing ever.
Birdie can dance the rhythmic baby squat. It's beyond cute.
I came into the room I have her PnP set up as I heard some sounds alerting me that she was awake. From the doorway, I saw the kitten sitting on the floor in front of the PnP, and the baby sitting inside facing the kitten with a blanket over her head. Apparently I interrupted a delightful game of peekaboo.
I hate teething. Teething is from the devil.
I have still managed to resist all attempts made by enthusiastic friends and relatives to give Birdie a french fry. I don't care if "she would like it." She has her whole life to eat crap, I'd like to keep her as ignorant as possible as long as I can. I love that she loves plain cheerios and doesn't need the flavored ones. I love that she'll eat as many blueberries as I'll give her. I feel good seeing her drink a cup of water. We have friends who smirked a laughing parental smirk when I told them the types of things she eats. "Just wait till your second," the father said, "with the first you make it all yourself, but by the second, you're telling them to microwave her own hot dog for breakfast!" Could be. But for now, we're doing it this way.
She likes to be flipped upside down. Repeatedly.
Birdie likes to bring me things. Sometimes it's her own toys, plastic dishes, bits of shredded kleenex or toilet paper, or teensy blades of grass she found on the floor. Sometimes she just likes to pretend to hand me things.
My daughter has a TEMPER and she gets ANGRY. She has been known to pound her tiny fist furiously on a table or highchair tray if denied the object of her desire. She is currently perfecting her temper tantrum skills. She can arch her back, wriggle out of a hold, make all or part of her body perfectly rigid, and she can do it while screaming, sobbing, or both.
She can stick her tongue out and wiggle it around. She can cluck and click. She can shake her head no. She likes to brush her teeth with me. Even though she's still pretty bald, she pretends to comb her hair. She can show you her new shoes. She likes to read and climb stairs and growl and laugh and wave to strangers.
She is obsessed with the phone and will stare at anyone she sees talking on one (and then point and say "nuh! nuh! NUH!" until you acknowledge the presence of a phone.) She knows where all our phones are and where they are at her grandparents' houses. Having a cell phone in her hands will nearly always stop a fit, but it will prevent some of your buttons from working in the future if they get too slobbered/chewed.
Her favorite word is still mama.
We went to an awesome Christmas house (it was featured on HGTV) and she stared in awe at the lights and squealed with delight at the reindeer. She loved watching the train and listening to the music. When we visited Santa she was more impressed by the big tree than the big man. She didn't cry, but she didn't smile either.
She can squat, bend down, and pick up her sippy cup with just her teeth.
She's sweet and smart and strong and funny and curious and soft and squishy and wonderful.
I love her and I can't imagine my life without her in it. I hope she always knows.
I'd like to issue a public apology to those on the flight(s) with me. I know that must have been disgusting for you. If I had any idea at all that was going to happen to me, please believe I never on a billion years would have gotten on the plane. Believe me, no one likes to have to use atwothree barf bags and certainly no one wants to throw up so violently that they miss the bag and puke on their own pants and shirt and jacket on the first leg of their trip. I'm not even going to discuss the other ways stomach flu on an airplane can be less than comfortable. Thank you, Mr. Flight Attendant, for not making me feel any more humiliated than I already did. And thanks for watching my daughter.
PSA: There's a very nasty stomach flu virus going around, particularly in NM and TX. Wash your hands thoroughly and often and avoid small children. Or just wash, your call.
I am really, really glad I have friends in Texas! I think everyone had had enough of the car and hotels and the being strapped in and the strange smells and not-my-beds and off-schedule eating...
I am also really, really glad to be able to visit friends! Having a great time here.
The next part of the plan involves the adult humans splitting for further travel. I'll be flying with Birdie and P will drive the rest of the way with all four critters. P's dad thinks we need a psych consult. I think we just need to keep a sense of adventure (and humor!) and a little luck in the sleep department wouldn't hurt either!
My balloons (not just any ole latex balloons, btw - I'm very afraid of those - these are 30" mylars) are going to be expressed here, hopefully by noon on Saturday. Just barely makes the cut, but in this case, barely works! Now, everyone just has to do as they said they would.
I'm sure she doesn't read my blog, but huge thanks to A.L. in Brooklyn for helping me get this fixed! I hope your child loves the Sesame Street balloons you picked as well - they're in the mail!
I'm sure it seems silly to get all worked up over something like this, but... sorry, can't be helped.
I don't share everything on this blog because I'm just not comfortable with doing so, regardless of how "anonymous" it may appear. Some of you know more about me and my family. Chances are, if I've emailed with you I consider you a friend. I'm just not comfortable having too much out here for all to read forever. I also try to only write things that I'd be ok with P reading. Obviously that's limiting, especially when he's the problem (sorry, sweetheart) because I could really use a good vent now and then.
Life here is stressful. We're dealing with several monumental changes at once and it's putting a lot of strain on us individually and as a family. While I'm confident we can and will make it through, for now we're currently living life on a roller coaster. On thin ice. At the edge of the world. (Sort of like the Grinch and Max and the sled full of stolen Whoville gifts and goodies.) For someone who thrives on routine and predictability and planning ahead, this is particularly rough.
I wish I could tell you more. I wish I could tell you everything. Thank you for being there for me anyway.
Birdie was a black cat like our Big Kitty for halloween. She thought it was hilarious, and since the words she has said so far include: mama, dada/yaya, bubba (Big Kitty), meh (the kitten) and "meow" we thought the kitty thing was appropriate.
We took her to a mall so she could see the kids all dressed up (we don't get trick-or-treaters here.) Of course, she refused to say "meow" for anyone. At first, she just gave everyone a cold stare. She eventually warmed up and gave huge smiles and reveled in the joy of people telling us and her how cute she was.
Then she wanted to practice her walking. At just that time a giant Dunkin' Donuts Donut Man came along. Our little Birdie was soooooo excited and tried to get to him/her/it. She's not a great walker yet though, so we toddled hands and fingers down the mall walkway at a remarkably slow pace for people chasing someone. Hearing my little girl squeal with delight and YELL as she "chased" a giant donut was pure comedy. Best Halloween Memory. =)
I think the endo is back. I'm starting to experience some pain issues again. I'm also pretty sure that I have a cyst. What this means for my current and future fertility and family-building is... the ten-thousand dollar question. I have tons of other things to worry about right now, but I wouldn't be a good infertile if I didn't devote at least some of my worries to the status of the mess down yonder. I could do without the pain though.
Open House #1: done! I hear (from my neighbors, who were counting people) that there were tons of people here. Only time will tell if that translates into (good) offers.
Weekend Trip: we went to visit P's parents. While there, P's grandfather died. They weren't close, so he's not particularly sad or anything, but it did make it a different sort of visit. Birdie helped distract everyone. She is not currently a good traveler. She does not sleep well at all in strange places, no matter how much I try to make her environment seem like at home. She's just sensitive to changes in her routine, I guess. I am not in love with middle-of-the-night screaming that lasts for a million years, even though I understand the problem.
Birdie: big day today - Birdie took her first unassisted step. She's been cruising for a while now and standing on her own, so I knew it was coming. I still want to cry though! My baby is getting so strong and independent (just as she should, I know, but still...) She's in love with pointing and we spend lots of time pointing at things, naming them, and giggling about it all. She has decided that she no longer cares for pureed veggies, and is currently in love with cheese.
My grandma: is in the hospital. She had surgery recently and is not recovering as well as we were hoping. There's nothing that my being there would accomplish, but I still feel bad being so far away. She will probably recover fully, it's just not going very quickly. And it's not easy to watch in the meantime.
P left us on the way home from a long trip to go fight a fire. Birdie climbed out of her carseat and got into my seat with me and climbed up my face. We were almost home and we would have made it if there had been two adults, but I had a challenging time driving with a baby on my face.
What really happened:
I woke up to a scream from Birdie's bedroom at 5am (she gets up between 7-8.) Usually I wait and see if she'll go back to sleep, but in my sleep-daze, I jumped up and went right to her and scooped her up out of her crib without thinking. I realized what I had done and fed her and rocked her a little and put her back in her crib.
She did not fall back asleep. She moaned and whined for a half an hour. I tried to sleep through it (yeah, I'm awful.) P did sleep through it (the whole thing. he usually does.) At about 5:30, I went and brought Birdie to our bed. I offered her a nice full boob and hoped for sleep. I drifted a bit (I was so very tired) and managed to fall asleep enough to dream sometime in the 6 o'clock hour. I woke up with one hand clutching a handful of Birdie's sleepsack and the other brushing a baby off my face as P slept peacefully next to us.
So, Birdie had a "raging" ear infection. (sorry about the lack of updating - I did on twitter though!) She seems a lot better now that the antibiotics have kicked in. I'm feeling a lot better too, just tired.
We spent the last couple days getting the house "picture ready" so we could put it on the market. I'm looking out the window of Birdie's room and I see a "for sale" sign on our front lawn. It makes me sadder than I thought it would. The thing I'm most bummed about leaving is this room. It's perfect. I love being in here with my little girl and she loves it too. I look around and I see all the time and effort and planning and hoping and dreaming that went into this space and... yeah. There's going to be one sad mommy the day I pack this room up.
"I really want to remember this moment, this feeling, right now."
Birdie and I were playing in her room. Actually, I was sitting on the floor, reading a paperback book and Birdie was playing. I watched her as she crawled over to her books and selected one. (I am so puffed up with pride and joy that she often chooses books to chew over other toys.) This time, she opened a book on her lap and inspected a family of bears.
Today I exploded a little. Not in an angry way (ok, there were some angry bits) but mostly in a "there's-too-much-inside-and-something's-bound-to-come-out" sort of way. There have been a lot of little things (and some not-so-little ones) building up around here making it a generally unpleasant place to be. I think the air has finally been cleared a little.
Are things better? I don't know. I got to have my say, but I'm not totally satisfied with all the answers I got. I don't really have a choice about that though, since I'm not in charge of the world.
I think that's something I never considered. That there would be times, in marriage, in life, that you just aren't satisfied with how things have turned out AND you may not be able to or want to do anything about that.
Probably doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but it's meaningful to me. I guess we make compromises about things all the time and we don't even realize we're doing it.
I'm sitting here alone tonight (well, as alone as I ever am with my zoo) and I'm kind of down. It's one thing when P is away for work, sure I miss him, but I get why he is wherever he happens to be. But sometimes (like now), when he's out with friends, just having fun... I just feel ... very on my own.
I'm pretty sure I was able to keep it inside, but ouch.
"How old is your baby?"
"Oh, she's so tiiiiiiiiny."
It's not the first time someone has said that to me and usually I just think that they must all have gigantor babies or their babies are teenagers and they've forgotten or they're just not good judges of size. I used to just shrug it off because for a long time Birdie was in the 95% for length and has the thighs to match. Now? Yeah, she's not that big percentage-wise any longer. But she IS average (I don't want to look up the number.)
I know people don't mean anything by it, and blah, blah, blah, but I still shrink inside a little when I hear it. My heart stops just for a second now when someone asks me how old my baby is and I wonder if she's comparing my baby to hers. And I hate that I think about that at all.
I no longer have access to my bookmarks & my blogroll is completely gone. I usually don't care if you go anon, but it would help me a lot if you could fill in the url field just once (especially if you don't have a blogger profile where I might be able to find you.)
If I haven't commented lately, this is probably why. I just can't seen to find time to track everyone down right now.
Birdie gained back the weight she lost. And then some. So, YAY.
I'm not going to go all into what we did to get her there right now because honestly, I'm a little tired of talking about it, hearing opinions, listening to suggestions, etc. No one has done anything wrong, I'm just a little burned out.
The ped did say that failure to thrive is fairly rare in breastfed babies Birdie's age. This didn't make me feel better or worse. We're still watching her and she still has to go for weight checks, but the situation is much less alarming/dire/panic-inducing.
Before Birdie was born we got a bunch of bibs. I hate bibs, always have. I think it's because I see pics of babies wearing them when they're not eating (yeah, I get that they're probably for drool then) but I still don't like the "look" of them.
Since BFing went well (then, haha) we never used a bottle and honestly, I thought having all those bibs was a little silly. I mean, they just sat there sad, lonely, unused, in a basket in the closet. I seriously didn't see myself using them. At all.
Because obviously I'm not who I was before I was married. I'm not who I was before we started trying and (thankfully!) I'm not who I was during treatment. Still, infertility being the gift that keeps on giving (yes... even if you end up with a take-home baby) I have... issues.
Who am I now?
Because I kind of don't like me. And If I don't, why should you or anyone else?
I have reasons/excuses for everything... but do they even matter? The reason doesn't change the reality.
I need to do *something* but I just don't know what exactly.
I'm not sure exactly what I was hoping for, but I suppose that doesn't matter since I have no say anyway.
Test results only revealed one abnormal value, the one which indicates nutritional status. It looks as though her nutrition level isn't what it ought to be. This doesn't tell us a whole lot really. The basic plan of action is to increase calories and see if she gains.
Why is that so depressing to me?
1. The most calorie-dense, readily-absorbed source of nutrients is breastmilk. I can't physically feed her any more often than I do now. Since last week, I have begun to encourage her to eat longer, which puts a single feeding at well over 30 minutes, often much longer. She eats 9x/day. I'm exhausted.
2. I have not had success with pumping, ever, and hand expression, even though I'm probably slightly better than average at it, yields very little after an extremely long nursing session. I don't know how, at this point, to introduce any more breastmilk.
3. I didn't have a breastfeeding goal when we started. For months, I just said I had no specific end date in mind, that my breasts didn't expire, etc. Very recently (within the last month?) I decided that my goal was no formula. We made it nine months, what's another three? I didn't have weaning plan set for one year, but if we made it that long we could give her cow's milk, etc. if we needed/wanted to supplement. I have no beef with formula, I just didn't want to buy it if I could make healthy baby milk for free.
4. Which means, essentially, that the milk I'm making is not sufficient. Either the quantity or the quality is not enough. I'm feeding her an effing ton, and she's not gaining. So it's me. My milk. My fault. (yeah, I know what I'd say to me if I were you, but I still feel like this. Telling me it's silly will not help.) Once again, my body has failed at something. The doctor kept saying over and over that it was no reflection on me, that I didn't do anything wrong, that we've gone longer than most, blah, blah, blah, but really? It couldn't be any more personal. I've been starving my baby. And I didn't notice.
(and yes, I know that 5oz isn't really obvious. but I didn't pick up on a lack of growth either. maybe I couldn't have seen it. maybe no one would have. but the bottom line is that I'm her mother and magical powers or not, I didn't. so I feel like crap.)
5. I have to supplement with something. It can be bottled (sippy cup) breastmilk, formula, solid foods, or a combination. For the time being, I've chosen to increase breastfeeds and increase solids. It's possible that this alone will help.
6. I hate, HATE that this will prove the MILs, the grandmas of the world right. ("you need to feed that baby" "when are you going to stop nursing and feed her real food?" etc, blah.) From what I understand, this isn't a normal outcome, but that's not what they'll hear. I know it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks, but I can't exactly ignore it either. It's hard enough being the pioneer in the family in the first place.
7. There is a teeny tiny chance that she is getting everything she needs and is still not gaining for some reason. This is not very likely. If so, it would (obviously) be bad. If she has not gained in one month, we'll have earned a trip to the hospital. I don't want to think about this. I'd much rather the problem be me than her.
So, the plan, for now at least, is to stop crying about it, increase time spent at the breast, and be consistent with giving Birdie three additional meals per day of table food. I know the ped wanted me to give her an extra (cup) feed of milk/formula, but I want to try this first (I think. I'm still digesting a little.) which is why I asked for a two-week weight check in addition to the one-month. If she hasn't gained in two weeks, I can re-evaluate and try something else before we get to the hospital point.
Also, sincere apologies if I've been short with you via email. I'm worried (and there are other things going on now too) and feeling generally defensive, so I know it's coming out where I don't mean it to. I truly appreciate all your support, even if it doesn't sound like it.
The little problem = Birdie dropped on her growth curve for length and head circumference a little bit this (9 month) visit and a little bit at the last (6 month) visit.
The bigger problem = Birdie LOST 5oz. between her 6 and 9 month visits and dropped "significantly" on her growth curve at this visit (multiple lines.)
Developmentally and cognitively, she's doing great. She crawls, climbs, stands, cruises, waves, babbles... she's perfect. She even looks perfectly average ("sturdy" even, lol.) The problem, as I had to explain to poor P (who looked bewildered and a bit defensive when I told him about this) isn't how much she weighs - she's not underweight for her age or height - it's that she lost weight in the first place and that she's no longer gaining at a pattern normal for her.
So what they look at first is intake/output of nutrients. Birdie is still breastfeeding normally, at an average of 9 times per day. She has begun to take some solids and some water from a cup, but not enough to decrease her intake of breastmilk, which is good. She is having a good number of wet diapers per day, so we know she's getting enough milk. There are no obvious problems here.
Which brings us to where we are now. Since there's no sign as to what the problem might be, they look at blood and urine to see if there are any clues. If she has an illness (like a chronic UTI, for example) her body may be expending more calories to fight the infection than she's taking in, even if she's taking in a "normal" amount. This could be a little thing, easily fixed, and that's what we're hoping for. There are other possibilities, like hormonal issues, that can also factor in.
I won't say it's the "worst" thing, because I know there are many, many worse things out there (and have imagined them already, thanks,) but I'm NOT hoping that the blood panel/urinalysis reveals nothing. Because then we're back to she's losing weight and we don't know why.
I'm taking her to Children's for bloodwork tomorrow and hopefully I'll be able to get a urine sample from her to take that in with us.
In the meantime, thank you all for your kind words and thoughts.
We went to dinner tonight, had the baby out a little later than usual (it was 6:30 already and her bedtime is 7pm) but the timing turned out to be great! We were sitting in a booth with Birdie in a highchair on the end in perfect view. I had (baby) food on my shirt. Who do I see come walking down the aisle? The RE who did our transfer! (and his wife) So cool. He seemed genuinely pleased to see Birdie (he did not meet her when we went into the office a few months back) and that totally made my night.
*ETA: How AMAZING is it that he even recognized me... WITH MY PANTS ON?!
You know what's worse than just stealing a shower?
(shower-stealing, as defined by my house: getting in while the other person is standing in the bathroom waiting for the water to get warm - yes, I know it is wasteful to run the water while not using the shower.)
Stealing a shower while someone is actually showering!
P got in the shower that I was already in and just stood right in front of the water and cleaned up and left, while I waited freakin' wet and coldpatiently for him to finish.
And, to add insult to injury - he didn't even try any funny business with the loofah if you know what I mean!
It's like something happened at eight months to. the. day. and Birdie can no longer nap easily and is waking a bunch in the night and earrrrrrrly in the morning (when mommy does not function well) and is having trouble putting herself back to sleep.
Of course in the last two weeks, she has cut FOUR! MORE teeth (bringing the total to SIX, the first two came together and the last four! came together.) She has also learned to get into the sitting position from her belly, sit on her knees, use my body for a climbing wall*, and best of all - pull herself into a standing position. She is constantly trying to stand up now. I found her in her crib more than once now crying, holding the rail as though she's gotten up but does not know how to get down. Very tragic.
All of which is to say that it's perfectly understandable that her poor little brain is too wired to sleep properly. Not that it helps me any. Especially when she's saying "mummmummmamummmamamumma" repeatedly because that's all she knows how to say (sorry, daddy.)
*and omg, does it ever hurttt when she climbs me using my hair or breasts as handles to pull up with. oh, and the time she pulled up and bit my nipple? i cried. so did she.
sheesh. (oh, and I hate the word "period" but I also hate "AF")
I knew that the first period after baby (not counting pp bleeding) could be rough. But no one told me that the second could be crazy. As in, five weeks after I got my period back, I got another period followed by two weeks of normalcy, and then constant spotting, then bleeding, then a day break, then bleeding, and spotting that went on for days weeks now and is generally pissing me off. Oh, and there are also days of random painful cramping not necessarily associated with anything else.
I asked my BFF what it was like for her (my dear fertile friend is on baby #4, pg #6) and she said that the longest she's ever had bleeding, not counting pp, was six weeks. SIX freakin' weeks? Say it ain't so.
I saw my OB when I was on day two of spotting so I wasn't especially bothered then. He did say that because I'm still breastfeeding (all the damn time,) things just may be wonky for a while.
I told my mom and she said, "yeah... sorry..." That about sums it up.
I have some very bad-hurt feelings about something that has happened recently.
To my face, P's parents backed me up/supported me on something that happened to me but then behind my back (to P and to someone else) said something entirely different (blaming the situation on me, and a related situation on my mom.)
I know that's not at all clear, but it's a long story and I don't know how to tell it and then get to the point. Which is this: These people, for better or for worse, are now my family. I WILL have to see them and interact with them in the future. But every time I think about this thing, I get mad/sad/hurt/pissed/betrayed all over again. How do I sit on their couch and chat or answer the phone or... knowing how they really feel?
-I don't especially want to have it out with them, as I suspect they will not change their minds on this one so it wouldn't really do any good. Not to mention that they could just lie to me like before and nothing would be resolved anyway.
-I can't have P talk to them because he doesn't really get why it bothers me so much (that's a whole other (heartbreaking) topic) and though he now sees it from my POV (or at least he says he does) there was a time where he didn't and was more in agreement with his parents. I'm guessing his true feelings lie somewhere in the middle.
-I don't see another way out other than to just get over it and play nice. I just wish I knew how to do that.
I'm sure this all makes very little (if any!) sense, but I had to get it out. I don't really have anyone to talk to about it who isn't involved or invested in some way. The situation itself makes me want to cry, but then add the "family response" part to it, and I'm just having a really hard time.
My Little guy came home today! I wasn't expecting it at all. I was thinking tomorrow, maybe, unless we determined he needed surgery (which he still might, but not for now.) He's peeing on his own and he's been off catheter for over 12 hours now. Exciting stuff. I have to bring him in tomorrow for a bladder check just to make sure he's still ok.
The home-care part is a lot of work! He has to take three pills two times per day. That's SIX pills. Have you ever given your cat six pills in one day? I wish it was a shot! He also must eat special food (he hasn't had one bite - I measured!) and he has his own box (for now, just so I can monitor his output apart from the Big Kitty) so he's shut up in our room/bathroom by himself. At least it's familiar. At the vet's they said he was a sweetheart but very nervous. I could tell. I visited him for an hour every day and he jumped every time a drawer was shut in another room! They put him as far away from the dogs as possible, but there's nothing comforting about being at the hospital, even for a cat.
I can tell he wants to prowl around the house, but I want him where I can find him easily and monitor his activities. Hopefully he'll just rest and eat.
Another interesting (or not) tidbit - while I was gone Birdie had a poopy diaper. It's the first one P has had to deal with since we switched to cloth (yeah, in April!) and he texted me to tell me about it. Being a parent is awesome!
He's very sick, but we're just waiting. He has a good shot, but he's not exactly on the way to better yet. If that makes any sense.
What was the matter with him anyway?
Um, ok, and that means what?
It means he has/had "sand" (debris/crystals) in his bladder and it's clogging his urethra when he tries to pee. This is very painful and if not discovered within 24-48 hours can be fatal.
Wow. How did you know that he was blocked then?
A couple weeks ago there were pee drops on the floor. I thought they needed a new litter box, so we did that and I thought the problem went away. Then, Monday afternoon I stepped on something damp and saw that we had pee dirbble again. Damn. So I planned to call the vet the next morning (it was nearly 5.) I went to my bathroom and saw on the light colored tile a tiny spot of blood. So I walked the rooms that the kitties frequent and discovered a few other drops that I'd overlooked. I decided to call the vet right then.
They asked me a few questions and told me to bring him in IMMEDIATELY.
Did they really speak in capital letters?
That's strange. Why?
Well, the male urethra is very narrow and easily blocked. The blood is a bad sign. If a cat strains and is unable to urinate, his bladder will fill up.
I have a full bladder all the time. What's so scary about that?
Well, if he can't empty it, it will become toxic. Then the kidneys will stop bothering to make urine because there's no place for it to go.
Oh, I see. What do they do for that?
Well, step one was to unblock him. They did this while sedated and with a catheter. He then got a ton of antibiotics and painkillers. Then they waited to see how he was, took the catheter out to see if he was better. He did well, peed right away.
Then why is he still sick?
Because they watch the kitty for 12 hours to make sure he doesn't re-block. My guy failed this test. He re-blocked and they had to put the catheter back in. There's still stuff in his bladder and without the catheter it would keep blocking his urethra.
Can you wrap this up please? You're saying "urethra" a lot.
Ok, I have to go anyway because Birdie is waking up. I'll finish this later. Come back to read about a very very awful Plan C (it will make your husband cringe.)
I've been a bad blogger. A bad internet friend. I've hardly posted and rarely commented. But I'm going to ask you for a favor now.
The kitten (ok, so he's 3, but he's still my baby) is very sick and in the kitty hospital. If there's anyone still reading, please, please, please would you pray/think happy thoughts/direct good vibes/anything his way? Please? He's Birdie's favorite pet and he sleeps by my head and he chases flies and knocks over his water bowl every time and I love him.
I get to visit him this afternoon, so more about that and what's wrong with him later.
At my six-week appointment, my doctor asked the usual question about birth control. And I gave him the usual IF answer of, "well, we thought we'd go ahead and not give a bunch of money to Dr. S and shoot up a whole bunch of times and mix our gametes in a dish..." He, of course, had to remind me that it can and does happen that people get "lucky" after an IVF pregnancy. I scoffed at him (and secretly hoped he would, in like two years, prove me wrong.)
Don't worry, I'm not a blogging miracle and this is not that post.
I've been one of the lucky ones for whom breastfeeding acts as a natural show-stopper. Yay me! Birdie will be six months old next week (yeah, I can't believe it either) and it looks like my luck has just now run out. Birdie does not sleep through the night (we still get up to eat 1-2x) and she has eaten solid foods only sporadically. I guess it was just our time.
There's a part of me that's relieved. I don't know why. I didn't want my "fertility" back. Not yet, at least. I don't want to deal with the people who assume I'm "cured" because I had a baby. I don't want to wonder about #2. I told P months ago, as he was insisting that Birdie was going to be an only (knee-jerk reaction to seeing the trauma his wife has gone through over the last five years and not an actual decision on family size, mind you) that if we didn't take measures to prevent, we ran the possibility of a spontaneous pregnancy. Even if I didn't believe it myself, I wanted to make sure he was clear on that fact.
He laughed at me.
I secretly hoped... well, I honestly don't know what I hoped.
I'm not sure who I am now. I'm not sure what I want. I'm pretty sure I don't want to use birth control. But then am I going to wonder each month? Will I pay attention to the details of my cycles? Will I be so consumed by caring for my baby that I won't think to do these things? I have no idea.
I'm sitting here typing this hunched forward because it feels better on my lower back. Ahhh, yes. My old friend. I do know that I hoped, however irrationally, that the endo was gone. I suspect I didn't luck out there.
Right now I'm listening to the sound of rain over the baby monitor and I hear a little girl squirming around in her crib.
In about five minutes this post will not be on my mind anymore because I'll be attempting to keep a baby from rolling over while I try to change her diaper. I'll forget to go to the bathroom because I'll be reading "Little Duck" again and P will walk in and the baby will swivel around to look at him and smile and I'll think how lovely and perfect things are right now. I got one miracle already. I'm happy.
Birdie was awake early this morning. It was too early to get up for the day, but too late for me to nurse/rock her back to sleep. She was too awake to put herself to sleep and I don't go back to sleep easily at that time of the morning. So I brought her into bed with us like I used to and nursed her there. She drifted off and I went to lalaland. Sometimes I miss co-sleeping. We're all doing much better now that Birdie has settled into her crib, but I still miss her little baby head right next to me and the feeling of her soft, squishy body next to mine.
Do the ones that you are using have a disposable insert or is the diaper all in one? I have both kinds. They both have their pros and cons- I think I get a better fit with the all in ones (AIO) because they're sized. They're the simplest to use. They take longer to dry. The stuffable insert ones (they're not disposable) dry quicker after washing and you can adjust the absorbency to fit the need of your baby. The ones I have don't snap in though, and since DD sleeps on her tummy they get bunched up and she gets a wet belly. I haven't played around with them much though, so there's probably a way to solve this and I just don't know about it. The benefit of these is that they should last longer because you can move the snaps and change the sizing as your baby grows. I hear they're a bit big on a newborn though.
Also, have you had a diaper change while on an outing? Not yet because we haven't been at this cloth thing that long, and right now I try not to be out too very long at a time. Just the personality of my kid - she doesn't nap well out right now and she still can't be up more than two hours without being cranky.
What's your routine for that? That said, I always have an extra diaper and a plan because you never know! You can buy a small "wet bag" that zips up (it's got a waterproof PUL outer so there's no leaking) and keep it in your diaper bag with a clean diaper. The routine is the same as with a disposable. You change the baby as usual, you just put the soiled one in the wet bag and bring it home.
And if she poops while out, how do you get rid of the poop? For breastfed babies, the poop is water soluble, so you don't have to do anything special to the diaper. I like to rinse at home just because it helps with stains, but you don't have to. If we were out, I'd probably put the diaper in the bag and wait till we got home to deal with it just because it seems like it would be easier. Not sure though. You'd want to flush solid poop, but we're not there yet so I have no experience with that. Some people are intimidated by cloth while out or overnight and they choose to use disposables then. As soon as I had enough though, I just went for it.
I mean, is she strapped to the changing table, do you hold her and do it? I've never strapped the baby to the table at home or out in public. Just easier for me that way, even when she's squirmy. Once you have the clean diaper in hand, it's really no different than putting on a disposable. If you use the kind with inserts, you'd pre-stuff it (as soon as it's dry, so it's ready to go!) so there's only one step in putting it on.
Do you need extra hands? Who doesn't? LOL. Really, it's not so hard. Promise.
Also, how many diapers would you suggest getting? There are a few factors to consider here. 1) how often do you plan to wash? If you wash daily, you'd obviously need fewer than going 2-3 days between washes. I know some people go a week, but personally, I think it's icky. And you may get more staining that way. 2) what type of diaper are you using, and how do you plan to dry them? AIOs take the longest to dry, prefolds and flats (which I haven't talked about at all - they're the type you pin together and then cover) take the shortest. Fitteds and stuffable pockets would be in the middle. Drying in the dryer is quickest, but can break down certain types of diapers. Line drying is good care-wise and the sun is an excellent natural stain remover (can you tell I hate the idea of staining? =) but it does take longer and you can't always be outside (though I can and do hang dry inside too.) Dry time is important because the longer they need to dry, the longer they're not available for use.
For example: I've been washing every night. I have enough diapers to last one full day, but not much more. So if my diapers take a day to dry in the sun, I don't have enough to begin diapering the second day. Or if I wash in the evening, I need to have enough to last through two nights (I have night diapers and day diapers,) because something will be on her when I'm doing the wash and won't be clean until the following night. I have discovered that I need more than 24 hours worth of diapers in order to have her in cloth full-time.
For a newborn you need more, just because you change more frequently and there are tons of those tiny poops! Another option would be to use flushable liners that might keep from needing to change the whole thing for a tiny mess, but I haven't used those so I couldn't say.
I'm not sure yet what the perfect number is because I'm too new at this and I'm not exactly in a groove yet, just trying things out still. So far I think two days worth would be good for me if I continue to use AIOs, wash daily, and hang dry.
I only ask because I am seriously considering this option. I figured that it would save us a lot of money and they really are cute.If you can find a brick and mortar store nearby and feel some for yourself, that's your best bet. I'll write more about the different types later too. As far as cheaper... well, not if you get addicted to cute diapers! The upside is that unlike disposables, cloth diapers have a resale value so you can recoup some of your costs if you buy something you don't like, is outgrown, doesn't fit well, or you just go overboard buying cuteness =)
Please let me know if you have other questions or you want me to post about something. I'm still finding my way myself, but I'm having a lot of fun learning!
and now my baby Birdie is in cloth diapers! I never ever thought I'd try this, but here we are. Birdie has had some diaper-area issues that I'm not going to detail, and it's possible that she's sensitive to the chemicals in disposables.
I never knew how much I didn't know about cloth diapers. The major thing I think is that like a lot of people, I had an image of burp rags and safety pins and ugly plastic pants. OMG, there are some amazingly cute, functional, and easy-to-use diapers out there!
This is an "all-in-one" (AIO) diaper that needs no extra cover or stuffing. It goes on just like a disposable. Easy, simple. I've heard them referred to as a "gateway diaper" and that you get addicted to cloth. I never would have believed it, but after just a couple weeks of research I can see how that can happen.
Birdie got her first cold. Rivers of snot abound. Like any good baby, she loathes the evil snot-sucking device her mother insists on using periodically. Also, I have the cold too. Fun times. We finally moved Birdie to her crib full-time (she was there just for naps, and in her PnP bassinet in our room at night.) I moved her PnP out of our room yesterday. I managed to do it without crying, but it aches a little. I should be happy to have my nightstand back out of the closet and I don't have to sleep with the baby monitor under my pillow now, but it was like I said goodbye to my little baby.
Here are some of the reasons we moved her to her own room: 1. She hit the 15lb. weight limit in the bassinet. I don't think it was going to crash to the floor or anything, but it probably felt less sturdy for her to sleep on since... 2. She began to move around in her sleep. A lot. She'd roll over (and not know how to get back and wake up screaming) and wiggle into the corners and it just didn't seem comfy. I put her to sleep on her stomach (*gasp*) and she can now move from her stomach to back or side and just today she went back to stomach. 3. We have used and will continue to use some CIO methods with Birdie and me being in the room only works her up more (you wanna talk about why because you're considering it yourself and need help or want to reason through it with someone who has effing been there -or- you think I've damaged my baby forever and want to call me a bad mom, please feel free to do it via email.) 3. She began chattering at 4am. Absolutely adorable, but...
Birdie said her first word yesterday! Unintentional, yes, but clear as a bell. She was looking at us and making her baby noises (ba-la-wuh-de-la...) and then "Hi!" P and I looked at each other, "Did you hear that?" "Yeah, she said 'Hi', didn't she?" Interestingly, "Hi" was also my first word. I think my mom cried when I called her.
Did I say before that when I was in the hospital having Birdie our basement flooded? I'm too lazy to go look back. Anyway, our sump pump decided to work only intermittently, and we ended up with like four inches of water in the basement (or so I was told, I never saw it.)
There was no saving a bunch of stuff. All our luggage was wrecked, our fake christmas tree grew rust on some branches, and a bunch of boxes got moldy. In those boxes were mostly paperback books and some children's books (not a huge loss, though I regret moving them so many times now that I've just thrown them out!) But there were two boxes that bum me out. One had t-shirts from high school in it. They were from all the shows I was in and all the festivals I attended (drama geek here.) The other box had my yearbooks in it. I know I can probably get replacement yearbooks, but I can't replace the inscriptions.
There's a part of me that doesn't mind too much. Most of high school was miserable for me. I had problems and my friends turned on me when I needed them most (though, to be fair, I had big problems, not regular teen issues, and it would be a lot for them to deal with.) Still, there were pockets of fun and goodness that I'm disappointed to have to rely on my memory alone for. My memory is both great and sucktastic.
I wonder sometimes if I'm stunted in the adult friend-making department or if we're all this way. I find myself craving mommy friends (well, friends in general, but the baby opens up a new realm of possibilities for me) and I'm trying. I'm really trying. I try to strike up conversations when I can (do you like your stroller? that's a great hat! how old is your baby?) but so far I haven't really gotten anywhere with this technique. Oh well. Eventually. Maybe.
If you're the woman from B&N with the chubby seven-month-old with great eyes, I liked meeting you, even if it was just for a few minutes. Thanks for sitting by me, it totally made me feel like less of a loser!
I think I recovered well from the surgical part of having Birdie. I was eager to get up and about asap, since I heard that it would make a difference. I moved around when I could, and I stayed on top of my pain meds, and I was ready to go home quickly. Yeah, it hurt to laugh or cry or cough, but I expected that and it really wasn't too bad. I had Birdie on Thursday evening and was released on Sunday morning.
My doctor was surprised that I wanted to go already (I guess people stay longer?) but was fine with sending me home. The only problem was that I had the feeling that "they" wouldn't let me go home unless I was off pain meds, so I stopped taking anything but motrin (no one told me I couldn't leave on meds, I think it was just hormonal paranoia.) I wish I had gone home with a little something more, but it was still manageable. I've seen a lot made of the benefits of stool softeners, and I was prepared for problems. I took one when offered, but it gave me severe diarrhea. That was one of my very least favorite parts of all.
I vacillated a lot between "just fine" and "emotional wreck" for the first few weeks. I got mad at my mom the first night she was there because she was "being too high maintenance" even though it wasn't a big deal. I cried and had a meltdown when the nurse came to take Birdie away "so I could sleep" and I wouldn't let her go. It was awful for me because I felt like I had no control. I finally let her go for three hours. I made it my mission to stay awake as much as humanly possible from then on out because I couldn't stand the thought of them taking my baby away. I was exhausted by the time I was released from the hospital.
My incision was a little oozy at the end of the first week. I had stitches, not staples, and I healed up just fine. My bleeding was heavyish for the first two days, but pretty light afterward, though it was very light for several weeks.
I would stare at my baby and cry because I knew that she would never be that small ever again. I still tear up about this. It's going too quickly. Obviously I want her to grow up healthy and strong, but I also want to freeze time. I've loved each stage (except teething. teething can bite me. ha.) and my little girl keeps getting bigger and bigger. I don't know if I'll ever have another baby and it makes me sad that there are so many things that are over already.
You'd think I'd be grumpy. I told my mom as much when she called me this morning to sing to me.
I woke up much, much earlier than I wanted to. I was stiff and sore from sleeping (and not sleeping) in an awkward position.
I began my day by heading down to the basement in search of yesterday's laundry only to find that I had forgotten to put it in the dryer. I set it to wash again and put today's two baskets on the floor. They'd have to wait.
I picked up a shirt that P had left on the dresser and saw that it had a hole in it. Must be why it's there. I'll bring that downstairs to sew it up if I can.
I looked around the kitchen and saw quite a mess. P tries, but isn't the best at cleaning up. I filled the dishwasher and ran it, then filled up the sink to wash the things that wouldn't fit. I cleaned the countertops.
Outside it is raining.
I had plans for the day, places I wanted to go and things I hoped to get done, but I knew I'd need to wait. I'll be lucky if I get to do one thing this afternoon.
But none of that makes me grumpy today.
Today I'm sore and stiff from sleeping with a baby on my arm.
Today I have extra laundry because I forgot yesterday's while I was holding a little girl who was feeling awful from teething.
Today I'll sew up a hole in a shirt that, if it was mine, would be in the garbage, but because my husband loves it will be saved (again.)
It's ok that I won't go for a walk outside today because when I do get to my errands, they'll be with a baby in a stroller or carrier who is happy just to be hanging out with me. When I have to get home for someone else's nap, I'll be just a bit jealous that it's not my nap, but I know I'm the lucky one. I have a baby sleeping peacefully (ok, possibly doped up on tylenol and baby oragel) in her crib.
I didn't mind cleaning up the kitchen because when I did it, I had a baby Birdie observing me from her bumbo seat on the counter. I handed her one teething ring after another and in my mind, flashed back to yesterday.
The kitchen was a disaster because P baked me a cake from scratch as Birdie looked on (in amazement at the wonder that is a KitchenAid mixer.)
When I think of this birthday, I'll always remember how full my heart felt as I watched her watching him.
My thoughtful husband and my beautiful daughter baked me a cake and for the first time in years, it really is a happy birthday.
(At age 6 weeks) (middle of the night. best time of day for a good joke.)
"I was changing Birdie and she peed on a new diaper as soon as I was putting it on. I got pee on my hand and I looked down to see why I was wet and then she was pooping too. She looked at me with a huge grin like she just told the best joke ever. I laughed and I think if she could have laughed, she would have too. Birdie looked so happy with herself!"