Friday, January 28, 2011

Ball Twisting.

Yep, you read that right. I considered titling this something else, but all my poor little sleep deprived mind could come up with was "Ball Twisting." So there you have it... Perhaps now is a good time to put a little reminder out there of the disclaimer I gave when I first started this blog before I continue with this particular entry. I will say that it is unlikely I will be discussing those same exact words, as I am no longer pregnant, but I will be using other just as unpleasant ones. I mean come on, I have a baby who (gasp!) poops and let me tell you, does it stink now that we've introduced solids. He also pees! Sometime in the tub! (shock and awe!) Then there's me. Yep. You guessed it. I still have a uterus. Does it have a baby in it? God I hope not! It does, however still present me with some problems. Problems that have been giving me trouble since the dawn of time, or more accurately since I was twelve. If you don't want to hear about poop and pee, or God forbid my uterus, I feel compelled to remind you, this is not the blog for you. Turn back now. Do not proceed. Scroll down at your own risk.

With that out of the way... In an effort to bring myself out of the postpartum funk I've found myself in, I've been trying to take better care of myself. As cliche as it sounds, if I'm not taking care of myself then I'm not going to be able to take care of my baby, right? Sooo, I've been forcing myself to eat breakfast every day, I've been making sure I don't spend every day in my pajamas, little G-Man and I have been going on walks almost daily and I've been trying to make other mommy friends (for the love of God why is that so hard??).

Today, after forcing a bowl of cottage cheese and fresh pineapple down, I put the little one down for a nap, waited for Husband to come home and I went off to get a filling. Apparently taking care of my teeth after having G was also low on the list of priorities and now I must pay. At least I got a little adventure away from the couch. After spending some time in the torture chair I came home, tagged Husband (you're it!) who trotted off back to work, and I resumed caring for the little stinker. Who as it turned out was quite literally a stinker. After changing a near blowout (a "poosplosion" as they're known around here) I decided to take G for our afternoon walk. Walks around here are usually pretty uneventful. I live in a small little community where the road conveniently goes in a circle so I can do "laps." As we make our way around my mind begins to wander. Today it went something like this: Who lives in that house? What outfit should I wear tomorrow? What outfit should G wear tomorrow? If G bites me with his new tooth, how bad will it hurt? What will I do if/when he bites me? Gee this stroller sucks. I should get a jogging stroller. Who am I kidding? I don't jog! Ow that hurts. Did those old ladies just lap me? Wait, what? What the hell is that pain? Shit. That pain feels familiar. Yes they did lap me!! Better pick up the pace. Damn. There's that pain again. It's baaa-aack!

And with that we returned home. For those that don't know the story, I'll try to give a brief back story. Painful (like passing out, puking, need a shot of whiskey painful) and heavy periods since forever. Countless doctors, many of whom laughed me out of their offices, and years of taking over-the-counter and prescription (don't worry not the addictive kind!) pain pills during that time of the month. Finally saw an OB who listened, Dr. M, and was willing to take action. In the summer of '09, after countless ultrasounds and endless debating I went in for an exploratory laparoscopy. Dr. M. warned me repeatedly that they might not find a source for my pain but I figured it was worth taking a look. At that point extensive walking and sometimes just getting up off of the couch caused a shooting/stabbing, take-your-breath-away pain in my pelvic area. Although they had found cysts on my ovaries through ultrasounds, she didn't think that was the cause, so she decided to take a deeper look.

That day my wonderful parents drove down to be with Husband and me as I went in for the procedure. Since I was out like a light I don't really remember much about that day except for the excruciating pain as Husband and my Dad helped carry me up the stairs to our apartment. As I understand it, the procedure took a little longer than Dr. M had originally anticipated. Lo and behold, not only did she find a source for my pain, she actually found a couple of sources. The first being what I already expected, Stage II Endometriosis. Then the unexpected news... buried somewhere under or around my intestines was a relatively large (about the size of a small egg I believe) subserosal pedunculated fibroid tumor. For those that don't care to follow the link I will rely on the words of the wonderful Dr. M. Apparently as she was telling my parents and Husband about her findings she explained that the fibroid was one that was growing on the outside of my uterus. This kind of fibroid is attached to a stalk rather than growing on/in the lining of the uterus. When the stalk twists it can cause pain. Feeling that her words weren't carrying enough weight she continued. (Paraphrasing here) It would be like if every time you sneezed or got up from the couch someone grabbed your balls and twisted them. Apparently the look on Husband's and Dad's faces was priceless. Too bad I was zonked out in the recovery room, I would I have like to have been there.

So, here I sit today, that nasty tumor was removed but I am left wondering if I have a new little friend growing. As I took my walk I felt some familiar twinges. They're not quite at the "ball-twisting" stage yet, so I'm hesitant to call the doctor. I was hoping to make it a full year without seeing her. A full year without medical problems. Of course if the ball-twisting worsens I suppose I'll be forced back to her office. Until then, anyone have any good jogging stroller recommendations? I can't be letting those old ladies lap me any more.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Crying It Out

Cry it out. What are your thoughts on this (assuming you have any)? The baby of course, not me. Although occasionally I have been known to cry it out too. :)

Up until recently I have been adamantly against letting G cry for any length of time. My natural instincts led me to inadvertently subscribe to the "attachment parenting" method of parenting. I say "inadvertently" because prior to having him I had not read up on attachment parenting or any other style of parenting for that matter. I wasn't a baby whisperer or a happiest baby on the block-er. I was just me. A fairly laid back, sensitive, sometimes planner, who was ok with winging it. My past experience with babies had taught me that "planning" was futile. The baby, to a large extent, is in charge. Early on you can attempt to direct and guide their day, but if they decide 2:00am is a perfect play time there's not a whole lot you can do to convince them otherwise.

After G was born my own parenting style began to take form. Lots of holding, carrying in various carriers (two Moby wraps, a Bjorn and a Beco), exclusively breast feeding (and I do mean exclusively, this kid won't take a bottle to save his life), co-sleeping/family bed (more for my sanity than for his benefit) and never letting him cry if it was in my control. I'll admit sometimes he was left to cry when I had to run to the bathroom or on a long drive over a twisty mountain road where there was nowhere to pull over, but you better believe there was no other choice and the mommy guilt hit hard.

Fast forward to present day. As I have already mentioned, G isn't exactly a good sleeper which in turn has turned me into a non-sleeper. As is typical with babies, just when I think one thing works/does the trick he switches it up and I have to work to find the new thing that will help him sleep. For a long long time the only two ways for him to fall asleep were nursing and his swing. Then one day it was like a switch was flipped and that just wasn't doing it anymore. Suddenly I had to stand by his crib and vigorously pat his stomach while repeating "shh shh shh" over and over. Then there was this blissful week where I could put him in his crib, walk away and he would fall to sleep on his own. Pure magic.

Just to keep things new and fresh, my little monster has decided to switch things up again. Last night we went through the whole routine, pajamas, books, nursing, rocking, bed. It worked. Then an hour later he was up. No amount of patting or shooshing helped. Nursed again just to calm him down and back to bed. This happened over and over until midnight when he finally gave up... for four hours, then he did it some more. It's nights like this that I find myself faced with the decision of letting him cry it out. I'm so tired. So desperate for him to sleep. What do you do when none of your "tricks" are working? Do you really just leave your baby to sob in his crib? If you do, how do you not cry it out yourself? How long do you let him cry? What do you do if you have a baby that just doesn't stop crying?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A New Post For The New Year

Friends, family, countrymen, I am back! It has been pointed out to me that I have grossly neglected my blog and although I have frequently thought of posting, life has always gotten in the way. I have so many ideas for blog topics swirling around in my head. Babies and (lack of) sleep, sleep deprivation, babies and marriage, babies and depression/anxiety, baby milestones, baby smiles and kisses. So much to say. For now, as G-Man naps, I will do a quick update, newsletter style.

~ G-Man is now (almost) 6 months old. How in the world did that happen? At his 4 month check-up he weighed 14lbs 11oz and was 27 inches (hello 96th percentile). When I last weighed him at home, by oh so scientifically weighing myself and then doing it again while holding him, he was weighing in at around 16lbs. We will have the official 6 month stats in a couple of weeks.

~ Developmental milestones: G can now roll both ways, sit unassisted for a few impressive seconds, push up with his arms and when placed on his hands and knees stay up (also for a few precious seconds). He is scooting around, grabbing at toys, and putting everything he can into his mouth. He recently discovered his feet and is in love. He especially loves to grab them while taking his bath, unfortunately this habit has, more than once, led to him rolling over in the tub. Hello water up the nose.

~ Sleep: Doesn't happen. Still. Well actually that's not quite true. If you had asked me last week it would have been. My little monster's day looked something like this: Wake up between 8:00 and 9:00am. Play. Attempt a nap in the swing around 10:00, maybe 30 minutes if we were lucky. Play some more, get super cranky and attempt another nap around noon. Play some more and another attempt at a nap some time in the early evening. (Notice the use of the word "attempt"). Between 6-7 we would start our bedtime routine. Bath, pajamas, books, nurse to sleep. From there on out our nights were a total crap-shoot. G-Man consistently woke every one to two hours for the rest of the night until morning. Then, miraculously, last Tuesday he started taking naps, on his own, in his crib. What really happened was Monday night, after literally no naps during the day, he refused to go to sleep while nursing. Utterly frustrated and tired I put him into his co-sleeper and just sat there patting his belly and shooshing him while he cried. I didn't know what else to do. To my complete surprise, he fell asleep. Sure it happened 45 minutes later, but still he fell asleep. So I tried it again the next day for naps and it kept working. Now he falls asleep on his own for naps (did I mention the naps are in his crib???) about 85% of the time. Now we are working on his night time sleep habits. Still up every hour. :(

~ Sleep Deprivation: Needless to say, I am beyond sleep deprived. The circles under my eyes are so deep purple I look like I have two black eyes. I went to the doctor for a regular check-up without makeup on and she wanted to know what was wrong with me. I haven't slept for more than two consecutive hours in over 6 months (remember that whole getting up to pee 10 times a night when I was pregnant?). I am tired. Very very tired. Husband works 14+ hours a day and more often than not nights are left to me. I am "on" 24 hours a day. My "break" is the 20 minute shower I get in the evening. Bliss. As a not so pleasant side effect I have, to a small degree, experienced some postpartum anxiety/depression. I'm not talking "Down Came the Rain" level of depression, but still, it hasn't been fun. It affects my ability to be a mom, a friend, and a wife. I'm not really at a place where I want to talk about it beyond that, but maybe some day I will share in a future post. Let's just say being a mom is the hardest thing I have ever done.

~ Coming Up: We've made it through the holidays and now it's time to make plans. G and I will be returning to our Mommy and Me classes (more on that later) and hopefully making new friends now that he has become more aware of the other babies. I plan to enroll him in swim lessons at the end of the month since he loves loves loves to splash around during bath time. I'm still hoping this little pooch on my stomach and excess baggage in the hips/thigh area will magically disappear, if not maybe I'll actually get around to doing something about it. G is working hard on crawling so there will definitely be some major baby proofing going on in the near future. I also hope to get back into my regular life, at least a little bit. Play World of Warcraft with the family, maybe squeeze in a visit or two with some very missed friends, maybe have a date with Husband, go for walks, read books that aren't about how to get my baby to sleep, just generally enjoy the way things are.

Happy New Year!!!!