Thursday, August 5, 2010

So much on the horizon

School is about to start up again. And right now I have that feeling of suffocation. Of the impending craziness that our lives will whirl into.

And also, about creating a new life.

I am a planner. It is just how I work. But I know this whole creating baby business doesn't always work the way you plan. And so I make allowance for that too.

Like, trying for a May/June 2011 baby but if it doesn't work out, taking a breaking and trying again for a Feb-June 2012 baby.

Why the gaps in time?
Mostly because I teach but also to try and stay home for the maximum time, get paid as much as I can and still go back to work at some point.
And I want to be able to enjoy the summers as much as I can.

Also, I don't want act or feel as crazy as I did when we conceived E. I was a lunatic. It worked out perfectly but the way I behaved was terrible. So hopefully I learned from that experiment.

Each summer I am off with the girls, proves to me how I have found the place that I am meant to be in. I love teaching and I love the time off with my girls. I am glad this life found me (because let's face it, I do love the whirling craziness!).

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Tired of sick kids

The girls have two days of daycare left. I am not done teaching until next Wednesday but B and I came up with the idea for him to take three vacation days to save on money (we would've had to pay for the full week) and to give him time with them.

Today H stayed home with B because she was shaking and had a fever last night. E still went so B could try and work from home. Daycare calls B to talk about her GIGANTIC mosquito bite, which, if there is a way to inherit gross implosions from insect bites, she totally gets from my side. Then they call 'cause she has goopy eyes. Is it pink eye or isn't it? So, I get grouchy about all this and am close to freaking out because I really need to go to school and I know B wants to go to work. So, I start filing through the brain and think about my dad, currently laid off but dealing with the death of my cousin's husband. He says he can help but informs my of the death.
All this is just peachy, isn't it?

I can't wait to be off. I just want to give their immune systems a break. I want to give the part of my brain that swells when this kind of stress happens a little vacation. TWO. MORE. DAYS.
*Sigh, can we do it?

Sunday, May 30, 2010

A taste of summer time

Yesterday we had out big annual BBQ. It is the kind of event that always takes a lot of time, hard work and preparation. The Friday before and all the time Saturday morning before the event begins is chaotic and stressful. And it doesn't help to have a motoring 1 year old (the 3.5 year old is helpful and plays by herself so she is, for the most part, and non factor). Luckily, my parents came to help and I have learned to take on the attitude that if we are still preparing when people start showing up it doesn't matter. I also believe as long as we have burgers cooking and the sangria made everything else will fall in to place.

This year was the best BBQ to date. B and I put some better systems in place and we were actually able to enjoy our party. And it seemed like everyone else did too. Last year, I felt so busy (oh yeah, the 1 year old was like, oh, I don't know, 3 weeks old) and like I didn't get to talk to anyone.

We always have a lot of babies and kids at our parties (that is just the age group we are in) and this year was no exception. I love all the little personalities and how 9-11 year olds were playing with 3 year olds. Little squirt guns are universal fun, apparently.

Originally, picked this weekend because it is B's birthday weekend (sometimes) and we always have a three day weekend. And that is making everything seem so relaxed and wonderful right now. We all woke up at 9am. That's right, my sweet little darlings did not wake us up. They might have been awake because there was much giggling and laughter and other sounds of joy coming from their room but they let us remain peaceful until we awake on our own.

So, we had a nice late breakfast of waffles and strawberries that B prepared (love this man!) and I worked on a little bit of kid laundry in the basement while H played. We all ate outside, which we all love and then I got a bug to start working on the backyard. I feel so productive and relaxed from my yard work and from my second sangria.

I have only 7 days of teaching left and then it is summer break. And, I feel like this is another good reason for having our BBQ now because it is such a lovely time to start welcoming summer time at our house. Sadly, summer break always seems to fly by. No worries for me, I looked forward to so many things. It makes it pretty awesome living this life.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Menstrual Cycle

I started my first cycle since July of 2008. That seems like such a long time. And, I have to say I am happy but completely out of practice! I forget to bring pads to the bathroom with me, which is silly. I really do want a Diva Cup but plan on getting pregnant in September so that seems like not enough time to figure it out. This is why I am happy I got my cycle back though. I want to know when I am ovulating so when can end up with a June 2011 baby. Crazy yes, but I am so excited to add to the family!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Having to take your baby to the hospital.

I should have wrote about this last weekend. I had tons of time, but I was either with E or sleeping or relaxing.
So, it is important to know she is fine now. I want to keep track of what happened.
Last Tuesday, as I was driving home from work, daycare called because E had a 101.4 temperature. I called Bruce immediately because that meant that one of us had to stay home with her the next day. I stopped at CVS to pick up a script for albuterol and then picked up both girls.
I spent that night before bed holding a very warm, very lazy baby. B stayed home with her but H still went to daycare so that B could still do some work at home.
By the time I got home, we both knew that E needed to see the Dr. the next day. B heard how laborious she was breathing when she was awake (she took several 2-3 hour naps) and I was worried because she only drank one 5oz bottle when she normally drinks 15-20 oz and only had 4 wet diapers in a 24-hour period (normally 6-8).
So B stayed home the next day too and took her to the Dr. After having two in house breathing treatments and an oral steroid E's breathing was still not improving and the amount of oxygen in her blood was around 85%. She was diagnosed with RSV. (Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which causes infection of the lungs and breathing passages, is a major cause of respiratory illness in young children. More information here) Since she was not responding to the treatments the Dr. wanted her admitted to the hospital.
I do not know this yet, I am at work. But I have my phone on me and I keep checking my email. I just want information and I can handle anything as long as she is still here. This is just how my mind works, I worry about babies dying, as long as she is alive I can deal.
At this point I need to brag about B, once I got to the hospital all the nurses could not stop telling me how great B was. It really shows how in American society dad's are not a part of their children's lives. And that B rocks. He has no problems taking babies to the Dr.'s, it packed up expressed milk, cloth diapers and he even wore her into the hospital (makes perfect sense to keep the baby close to you and still have hands free, but that is how I operate with the two girls all the time).
I knew when I called him, he thought I was going to freak out about her going to the hospital. But, I felt like she was sick enough to be hospitalized. I also knew that as long as one of us was with her she would be well looked after.
The plan was for me to take the next day off, stay at the hospital that night and send B and H home. When I picked up H, I still took her to playgroup because I knew she needed to use her energy and I wanted her to have some fun. She did know that her sister was in the hospital and she took it in stride.
E was put on oxygen, which meant she had tubes in her nose to pump in the oxygen. B said at first she kept pushing the tubes out but between being tired and sick she finally left the tubes alone (for the most part).
When I first came into the hospital room my heart did ache when I saw her in the baby hospital gown and the oxygen tube but her sweet little face quickly caused me to go into mom mode. I just wanted to hold her.
Sleep was terrible for me but E did fairly well and the next morning indicated that she would not be going home that day either. The oxygen level was reduced to see if she could come off it, and she did not respond well. B and I arranged for us to switch that night so that I could get some good sleep and so H could spend some time with me. It was completely his idea and I was so grateful for the rest in my own bed. However, we both felt so strange in the house without the other. And it really speaks to how are family is four and so, when we are separated like that it feels fragmented.
I could write about how when B and H came to do the switch, B's parents came and all the drama that briefly surrounded them but lets just leave it as they stressed me out and I need to be more firm about certain situations. And, that they always have the best intentions.
What happened? Why didn't I finish?
Oh yea, dinner was ready!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Breastfeeding help

There are certain issues within child-rearing (especially these early years) that can cause emotional arguments. I probably knew I would breastfeed before I became pregnant but it wasn't something I thought about frequently. And yet, it is something that is very important to me. Recently, I have been thinking about my relationship with breastfeeding because of a friend's current struggle.

For me, it is important to think about how I got to where I am today. And, I have a fascination with starting from the beginning. My biggest influence is my mom. She nursed all 3 of us for 2 years each (and my sister and I are 13 months a part so some that is two kids at once). My mom also stayed home with us and money was tight. But, it is not like I grew up hearing stories of breastfeeding or even seeing anyone doing it.

I really connected with my mom again when I became pregnant with H. When I found out I was pregnant, I was in the middle of my intense 13 month master education program. I was working, student-teaching, finishing classes and writing my research. But, I was also very sick, scared and excited. So I would talk to my mom all the time.

I also read everything I could. Even those, "What to expect when you are expecting" books (that for some reason so many people hate but I don't really mind them). I knew that breastfeeding could be hard. I knew that my baby and I would be learning together. But it was one of things that just made sense to me. If my body makes milk, I should give it to my baby. Design and function. I could careless about what people thought we should do. I had enough under my belt that I felt secure.

So H was born, I brought her to the breast immediately and the rest is history.
Ha! There is always more to a story (and sometimes there is less). I have a theory that my milk comes in quickly because of how much I try to nurse my babies but, that is just a theory. I know the help B gave me those first four weeks were invaluable as well. He changed all the diapers, let me sleep when I needed to and took the baby when she wouldn't nurse but was still crying. He rocks, but that is a whole other post.
After those initial weeks, I think breastfeeding is the easiest thing. It does mean I am in charge of feeding but it is for such a short amount of time (in terms of life span). Since I work full time, I also pump for my babies so it doesn't mean I am literally tied to my child either.

So here I am, baby number two. The beginning period was shorter (like the first 2 weeks were hard), I have over 100 ounces in the freezer, and we are coming up on nines months. For the most part, I don't really think about breastfeeding.

I reconnected with an old friend from High School who was pregnant this last time with me (her baby is 7 weeks younger). I love sharing any insight I have about parenting and she has lots of questions. In the beginning of her breastfeeding journey, I feel like I talked her off the edge of quitting breastfeeding. She was having normal issues: feeling like her baby was not getting enough milk and being sleep deprived. And, I knew breastfeeding was important to her. After she got through her rough patch she called to tell me how thankful she was for my help.

For the last two months her baby has been losing weight. Not huge amounts but still worrisome. At the pediatricians last week, they said she needed to use formula.
I am in no way anti-formula. But, I don't understand how there is something magically in formula to make him start gaining weight. And, as always, breastfeeding her son is important to her.
I had offered her some of my milk before. I have extra and I understand how important this is to her. Yesterday, she called to tell me how much food he had ate. She wants to come by for some of my milk. If he doesn't start gaining after two weeks of more food and extra milk, she will give him formula.
She said she feels like a failure.
She told me, "You know you would too if you had to give your baby formula."
And, I hope I wouldn't. I see how hard she is trying, I see how much energy she is putting into this. I have so much respect for how hard she is trying to make this work.
Should she have given formula sooner?
I don't think that is a fair questions. When you want to breastfeed, giving formula can be the beginning of the end of that relationship. Milk production is all about supply and demand.
Can a baby have both?
I have a huge problem with this all or nothing approach that it seems people sometimes view the world.
But I tend to like to view the world on more of a spectrum bases anyways.
I am not sure how to end this post.
And it has taken me a long time to write this too.
I am sure I will have more ideas about this topic and will of course update about her situation.