Sunday, August 31, 2008

If I weren't THIS me, who would I be?

Who could I be?

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.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Here's where I make it all about me.

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.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

so, that was vague

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.

Friday, August 22, 2008

there's so much more than this, but right now this is what I have

Today Birdie is nine months old.  
Today she's been "out longer than in" (in theory, anyway, I'm not doing the math.)  

Today Birdie had a well-baby visit that didn't go so well.  On the verge of "failure to thrive" and I never saw it coming.  Apparently this doesn't make me a crap mom, but I sure feel like it.  

Blood draws and urinalysis to come, just like her mommy.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

yep, i cried then too =\

yesterday, she extended her pudgy arm, opened her fingers and then shut them in her first-ever baby-wave.


Saturday, August 09, 2008

we never did fill up our basement

I suppose one good thing about moving all the damn time is that you don't have years and years and years to accumulate mountains of crap.  Oh, and you get to wade through your "memories" often.

Some things I found today:

-tiny puppy collars
-tiny kitten collar, first lost tooth, and first destroyed toy
-turkey baster and cup of "stuff" that my BFF sent me when she found out we were "trying" LMFAO.
-two old emails from P that I printed out before we were married.  I made him listen as I read to him how much he "used to" love me.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

I'm guessing they talked about US in the car on the way home!

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?!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

bad form, dear

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 cold patiently 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!

Saturday, August 02, 2008