Monday, February 25, 2008

Stall tactics

There's something I want to write, but I'm having trouble with it, so first my procrastination in the form of some housekeeping. In response to the comments (I wish I knew who you were - I think there's an option to be anonymous but put a first name or user name in. Will you do that?) :

1. My son does have a name, but it's my intention not to use it here. My previous blog was one I never thought anyone would really read so I was pretty relaxed about using my daughter's name. As it turned out, I was shocked to develop a pretty large group of readers and ultimately regretted being so relaxed about my identity. This time I'm trying to be more careful. So, "the little" or "my son" will probably be what you get. Those who have given me their email address will get it in email if I know who you are.

2. I've seen the same issue on the black. I'll work on finding something I like that will work better.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A belated valentine

A friend I met in college once told my husband that we became friends because I showed up at her door and said, "Hi, I'm M. Let's be friends." My husband (then boyfriend) laughed and said I'd come over one day and never went home.

While neither is telling the exact truth, they're right in that our relationships developed quickly and naturally in a way that made it clear no matter what happened, we'd permanently be a part of each other's lives. With my friend, it was that I knocked on her door, introduced myself and we started talking. Now it's hard to remember a time when we didn't know each other. WHen we didn't call each other about the big stuff.

With my husband, I showed up to apply for a job and while neither of us can remember what the other said, we remember that I said something that made him laugh, he says I gave him "the smile" and he instantly hoped I'd get the job. It took us several months to actually start dating, but from the moment of that first kiss, it was over or just beginning, depending upon how you look at it. And if I never went home, it's because he asked me not to.

For whatever reason, it seems the friendships that are meant to be, the ones where in that person you find something amazing seem to happen that way for me - in an instant, unrecognizable at the time for its significance. I can't remember the first conversation I had with a third friend of mine, I'm willing to bet the first time we discussed anything it was directly related to her pregnancy or mine, as ours overlapped a few months. I don't remember what it was, in fact I remember very little of our conversations from back then. Ah, but the conversations now!

To she who shall not be named, but must surely recognize herself in this post - I thank you. For the countless times I called you crying and you made me laugh, for helping me hold it together when it has felt like everything was falling apart, for reminding me of my strength when I didn't feel strong. For not cringing when I'm so mad that I'm cussing like a sailor, for understanding my pride and frustration regarding the kiddos, for not judging if you hear Elmo in the background. For telling me my kids are beautiful in a way that makes it clear you mean it, just like I mean it when I say Oh my god, we make gorgeous kids.

For knowing exactly what I mean when I say "It's Almost Funny," when I'm at the end of my rope, and sending me a freaking tshirt that says that. You know how incredibly rocking that is, right? I mean seriously, do you truly know how cool that is? Because I just might sleep with that shirt tonight. My mantra, our private joke that got me through preterm labor, GD, prodromal labor, rough birth, the little's pneumonia, stress of epic proportions and my own health issues.....on a tshirt. A tshirt that came in a care package full of nutritious snacks, chocolate, chicken noodle soup, calgon and more that made me feel so utterly CARED FOR and TAKEN CARE OF that my heart is just brimming with amazement.

Someday, we are going to meet in person. We're going to have a girl's weekend someplace near you, me or somewhere in the middle and drink cosmos or margaritas or both and marvel at how we don't remember how we became friends, it just happened. Maybe we'll make it a tradition, an annual thing when the kids are old enough, buying airline tickets on sale to random cities (wherever S.west has a special, eh?) or saving our pennies for a road trip to some place in the middle. We'll sit and talk and just randomly say things like "dildocam" and "almost funny" and fall into fits of giggles in the wee hours of the morning.

Even when we're, like, 80.

One Step Forward..

No, you didn't blink and miss the pictures - uploading them failed to work somehow and I'm too tired/lazy to figure it out. I hang my head in shame, and will fix it later. The general idea is that on Valentine's Day, we were told we could discontinue the little's supplemental oxygen which meant no more tubes or tanks...just holding our baby.

Two Steps Back.

After finally feeling like my infection must be healing well, as I was starting to feel better, I made the mistake of thinking that too loudly. This weekend I started feeling more soreness in my uterus, more tenderness to the touch and my temperature is still hovering in the 99-100 range most of the time. In the mornings it seems normal, but I feel worse and the temp reflects that in the afternoon/evening. By nighttime I'm needing a hot water bottle to get some relief from the soreness. At 5 weeks pp, I don't expect to feel like dancing a jig but I shouldn't feel like I need a jigger of something to relieve the pain either. (and no, I'm not really drinking despite my joking about it and even a call to a friend to find out how much I could drink without needing to pump and dump)

I had an ultrasound yesterday, and the doctor (not my OB) who first saw me for the infection looked at the pictures and had a nurse call me to say that things looked fine and I could stop seeing them for the infection. Sorry, but this is the same dr who completely missed the clot left in my uterus, didn't give me a strong enough antibiotic and failed to give me something to make me pass the clot. I'm not exactly trusting of her opinion. SO, tomorrow I see my own doctor and hopefully will get some answers (and relief).

Is this the part where I have to treat my uterus like an insecure lover? "No really, just because I don't need you anymore doesn't mean I don't NEED you any more." "Don't go, I'll be nicer/better/bring you flowers/do the dishes." "Please stay. I promise you never have to do that again."

Because seriously? While she may be more trouble than she's worth, I don't REALLY mean that.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A picture is worth...

Can you see what's missing in the second photo?? Happy Valentine's Day, little, and to Mommy and Daddy too. We're so glad to see you doing better.

I probably won't keep these up for long, but given that some of you have 'known' me for so long, it seems only fair to share.

Monday, February 11, 2008

He won't be the little for long.

My husband has suggested that the end of the little's time with supplemental oxygen (coming this week, hopefully) should also bring about another change. The move to the crib in his room or at least putting the bassinet in his room.

The very thought put me into a panic of illogical proportions.

My husband means well. His thinking is that it would be better for everyone. More room in the living room (where the bassinet currently resides), less need for our daughter to be quiet when he's napping, etc. I think he's forgetting that our daughter slept close to us and in the bassinet for months, not weeks, and the little is just going to be a month old on Thursday.

For the record, I get his line of thinking...but. I don't ask our daughter to be quiet or whisper, just not to scream while he's sleeping. I don't think that's unreasonable, and even when he is in his room there are times she'll need to be quiet. Frankly, the need for her not to scream has more to do with my reaction to it than the baby's.

I've considered asking our pediatrician to recommend we keep him close...our pedi has done that for me before - listened to concerns I had and then addressed them later in the form of a recommendation. One stellar example was when I explained that my daughter didn't seem ready to stop nursing at a year old and I wasn't in a hurry to wean her, so he suggested we stick with it while my husband had that AAP guideline of a year written in his concrete thinking.

Then I got to thinking about how silly it is for me to be thinking of asking him to recommend something when I could just as easily say "I'm not ready for that. I need him closer, for my own convenience while nursing, so I don't have to move the monitor receiver around all the time, because he's still so, so tiny and I'm still so, so freaked out over how close we were to losing him." It ultimately boils down to me being afraid of losing it and bawling as I explain my reasons. I'm so worried about seeming....what? Overemotional, overprotective, really freaked out? I don't think any of those labels apply, and I know what I really need to do is explain why I'm not ok with the change et and I'm sure it will be fine.

And, whether I admit that a lot of it has to do with the fact the little is my last baby and I'm trying to hold on to every second --- that remains to be seen.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Wounds or The Only Way Out is Through

Today I see our doctor to find out if the little can finally come off of oxygen. While I'm there I'm going to ask for a referral to a good counselor, if he knows one, because it's time to start healing.

Yesterday I saw my OB, who gave me a prescription to make my uterus cramp and my postpartum bleeding start again. Despite bleeding too much in the delivery room, it seems after that I did not bleed enough and my uterus held onto some things that need to be let go and that let to infection, pain, etc. Fitting, it seems, as there are certainly some things I have been holding onto that need to be let go. Festering and in pain, I want to be free.

I'm not normally the type to keep a tally of my hurts and upsets. Generally I can view each thing by itself, deal with it and let it go. I've come to realize, however, that I've been literally and figuratively stuffing some things I don't want to deal with into the drawers, cracks and crevices in my life and it's not healthy. Exposed to the light, they are less shameful and overwhelming -and apparently what we need around here is a good, old-fashioned blood letting.

I've been grieving, but not allowing myself to grieve, so many losses that it's time to move on and through so I can just enjoy the other side. The loss of a healthy childhoood, normal creation of a family, my brother's murder, two miscarriages, a hard pregnancy, a complicated birth and the very recent close call with my son where we almost lost him.

Infertility and the associated feelings of disappointment, grief, anger, broken-body issues and such (I almost typed suck- and yes, it does as a matter of fact) were things I thought that would be healed after my daughter was born. Or, if not then, perhaps after my son was born. After all, how can you still hurt over infertility if you have not one but two children? How can those wounds not be healed? Turns out they're scabbed over, but the wounds are deep and still ache from the times they have been poked and prodded. The birth of my daughter helped, as did our two year nursing relationship because I could say honestly that in that my body did not fail me. Secondary infertility, another miscarriage, and a pregnancy full of preterm labor brought back a lot of those feelings of inadequacy and betrayal by my own body. Even now, as I fight a uterine infection, I struggle to avoid thinking "Can't you do anything right?"

Those words are so ingrained, however, that it's no wonder they come to mind. As a mother I'm painfully aware of my desire not to be like my own, while still as a daughter one day hoping to have a healthy relationship with her. I try to incorporate the good things about her into the way I am, while being conscious of the behavioral and emotional land mines she buried so many years ago. It feels all too much like a tightrope act, as if one misstep will find me falling into her patterns. I am trying to create myself as a parent, having had three parents but no healthy parenting models.

On my father's side, there are the issues that come with me now being the only surviving child. As it was, I felt responsible for my father at times - a man who often was not very strong on his own and let those moments of weakness keep him from being a true father, a man whose insecurities let him believe he wasn't good enough to be there for us. Now that my brother is gone, I'm feel I'm fighting the battle to keep him from sinking into oblivion all by myself. And, of course, there is the grief that comes from the loss of my brother, when I would have liked to have known him better as a man.

I want to raise my daughter as a strong, independent woman without the baggage I've been carrying. Then there is my son - I feel as if I've been fighting for him since before he was conceived. With scares about my progesterone, bleeding, pre-term labor, visits to L & D throughout my pregnancy, a harsh birth and then a bout with pneumonia where we almost lost him, I fear if I don't deal with all that I am in danger of becoming overbearing or overprotective of him and I don't want to smother him, just mother him....even if I do feel a bit traumatized by all that has happened.

When I called my insurance company about a referral, I joked I needed one of each with regard to what type of counselor I was looking for. Hopefully I can find someone with a good pair of ears, an ability to track a pretty intermingled set of issues, and someone I feel comfortable with. I'm ok with doing the work on this, I just don't want to waste any more time now that I realize how much has been piling up.

The good news in all of this, is that I can honestly say this isn't depression (yes, perhaps avoidance though) and I think it's a sign of some health that I'm going to deal with all this. It will probably be more painful than the pills to get rid of the junk in my uterus, but if I can think about that "it's flawed but it's mine and I care enough to fix it, even if it hurts" then I can take that same attitude with myself .

No more band-aid fixes.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Bringing Home Baby

This afternoon, we get to bring the little home. Again. Hopefully for good.

Soon they'll be coming to talk to me about what we need to do with regard to his home oxygen tank, and we'll have a follow up visit later this week. His white blood cell count is back to normal and he's breathing pretty well - just needing a little bit of additional help.

I'm so, so grateful. We headed for the hospital as soon as we saw he was having breathing troubles, but had we waited any longer we would not be bringing him home. At night that thought creeps up on me. We're in the hospital with monitors that would beep if anything were wrong and I still sometimes peek at him to make sure he's breathing.

Hopefully this afternoon begins a new chapter. One with less worry and more moving forward. I'm really, really ready for that.