Archive for April, 2009
First of all, to any would-be breastfeeding mamas out there, if you, like me, idly wondered what it would be like to be engorged, and gee willikers, would I even know? Yes, yes, you would know. It’s like someone took a pile of rocks and not-so-gently placed them into your boobs without warning. I experienced this, by the way, at the hand of an extra-long nap my girl so kindly handed us Monday afternoon. The solution was to nurse it off, and I learned not only by experience, but from frantically e-mailing my friend Amanda, who promised long-ago to offer breastfeeding support when I needed it. (And dude, she’s more than delivered on that front,and has been awesome. They don’t call her Mandajuice for nothing.)
Anyway! I hesitate to say this, but things are marginally better. I mean, I’m still a co-sleeping parent with an elaborate series of ritualistic routines to get her to sleep at night without screaming, but whatever. Small victories, people, small victories.
First off, in retrospect, I’m not sure the specialist was needed for us so much as for the pediatrician on call who handled Sam’s reflux. Dude did not know what to DO with her, and he just panicked, sent her off with a scary diagnosis and ran away. I think he thought since he’d thrown her the biggest gun he had — the Prevacid — that this was time for DEFCON 1-level action. And don’t get me wrong — I’m glad he did, because thanks to him, she’s being treated by someone who has a clue, but really, had he been a little more ballsy, we could have saved a lot of tears. Um, mine, that is.
(Btw, she’s now on Zantac and it seems to be helping. Zantac! Of all things! The pansy-ass first line of reflux drugs! That tastes like melted toothpaste! Gross!)
Now, for my plate of crow: it appears we DO have colic AND wicked bad reflux. How delightful! We shall revel in the screaming! The only consolation is that colic usually resolves in ~three months, ergo, there may be signs of even FURTHER improvement then. I’ll take it.
For the record, the colicky hours-long screams she’s had since the Zantac are WAY WAY different than the painful, ear-searing reflux screams. WAAAAY different. Painful, yes, but not so obviously painful for HER. Who knew I’d be happy about colic? Yay, colic! We welcome your *temporary* presence!
Moving on! You’d think all this screaming put a damper on my TV time, but you’d be wrong. Turns out, when you’ve got a screaming kid, there is little else to DO but either turn up the music or the television while you’re dealing, because there isn’t any other way to cope. And for the record, it doesn’t keep her up or distract her. We’ve tried silence, soothing music (rain! snow! white noise! whatever! I think Adam bought the entirety of white noise offerings on iTunes) and it makes no difference whatsoever.
And so, my child has been subjected to many, many late-night viewings (well, listenings, as her back is to it) of the Sex and the City movie, as it’s on ALL THE DAMN TIME, which features a gratuitous sex scene with Miranda and Steve that honestly, I could have just flat-out done without. It’s awkward, sweaty, strangely unnecessary, and, because I’m apparently a closet prude, I just kept thinking how UNCOMFORTABLE it must have been to film, given that these are REGULAR ACTORS and not, say, porn stars. Or fluffers, even. Jesus.
Also, and I’ve said this before, Sarah Jessica Parker is NOT a good actress, and the character of Carrie Bradshaw is painfully self-centered, and frankly insufferable, and I don’t understand how the series kicked off such a bona-fide phenomenon. I never identified with a single SATC character, experience or relationship, nor did I really have aspirations for any of them. I mean, really, does one really wear a sequin hat with their pajamas with a fur coat out of the house? Really? COME ON. And the LOOK on her face! The calculated, “I am so fashionable, please examine my daring choice of headgear”-LOOK on her face.
God, I despise SJP. DESPISE.
This is likely because I am a homebody with a history of being in the marching band and the fashion sense of an LL Bean catalog at BEST, but still! I lived in a city once! And was single for about five minutes in my twenties before I met my husband! And … oh forget it. I am not its target audience, I accept this.
Further, it dawned on me that my daughter shares a name with one of the women (yes, this just occurred to me), and that there’s a chance people might thing I did it on purpose.
Dude, how good is Real Housewives of New York City this season? And it’s SOLELY because of the Bethenny/Kelly war, and most specifically, Kelly’s stupidity. Oh, Kelly. Easily the best character on reality television for pure dumbassery alone, although I sense she will be outdone with the RH of New Jersey, because really, NEW JERSEY. My almost-homeland (I grew up literally on the border, about an hour from Newark). I’m fully expecting Sopranos-like drama, and will be bitterly disappointed if I don’t get it.
I hope you have a great week. And further, I hope to see you again later this week, maybe. I’ve figured out how to shower almost every day (bouncy seat, y’all), so maybe I’ll figure out how to blog when and if she finally sleeps.
O happy day!
April 29th, 2009
Not sure how anyone could look at that face and say anything but. I mean, could you? Could you deny this face anything, even in light of The Screaming?
I didn’t think so. I’d give her anything in the whole world.
*Pet Shop Boys.
April 23rd, 2009
Not that I have time to write anything of substance — we’re still in reflux hell, with the occasional seven-hour screamfest, no kidding –and she still needs to sleep on my chest even for naps sometimes (this time with the pediatrician’s RECOMMENDATION, oh my hell) (Next up, hardcore Ferberizing because my teenage daughter won’t know that it’s not okay to sleep on my chest) (I kid) (I hope).
And my God, when I get five whole minutes free, I’m doing something thrilling like EATING or changing my pants or opening a bottle of wine for the one paltry glass I’m allowed, when I really want the entire bottle or maybe a CASE. In other words, I don’t have time to write at the moment, but I’m hopeful that I will sometime in the very near future. (We have a referral to a specialist, because lo, she is that barfy and acidy and no, Prevacid didn’t do shit, and my regular pediatricians have pretty much thrown their hands up and said they can’t deal.)
In the interim, and I know this is LAME, but I’m on Twitter, which, at the moment, is more conducive to my two-second free snippets while the kid is conscious and occupied in her bouncy seat, and is not screaming because she’s in pain, the poor darling bugaboo.
You know what’s totally and utterly weird about this whole thing? She is HARD, harder than most babies, I reckon, although if one more person tells me that this is just what babies DO, and that it’s just COLIC and oh my God, babies CRY, you idiot, I will cut them. No seriously, I WILL CUT THEM. I’m not a fool, and I’m pretty sure this isn’t normal, so please, Colic People, STOP OH MY GOD.
Anyway, yes, she’s hard — I suppose to make up for her easyness in the beginning. I mean, the kid screamed like her toes were being ripped off and systematically shoved down her throat for seven whole hours. SEVEN. IN A ROW. NO LIE. We started videotaping the whole sordid disaster at 5 a.m. during Hour Six, because we just flat-out couldn’t believe she was still going. If I’m feeling that I can handle having the least flattering video of me in the history of forever up there, I’ll post it when I get a chance, because in retrospect, it’s HYSTERICAL. We are CONFOUNDED. And miserable. All three of us. MAN.
The irony, of course, is that she was wearing a onesie that said, “Worth the Wait.” HA HA HA. HA HA HA HA HA HAAAAA.
(She is, of course. But at hour seven, I wasn’t feeling it. I was feeling very conflicted, to put it mildly.)
But dude, even with that, there are days that are so awesome — when she smiles at me, and then her silly little toys and cringes when she gets a big fat kiss from the dog and I think, yes. I could do this again. I will totally do this again. Where do I sign up?
Babies! What joy and torture they bring.
I hope you’re all doing well. I miss you.
April 22nd, 2009
The only time I have thought that motherhood was a less than stellar idea was when I realized that from this point forward, my emotional well being and happiness is wrapped entirely in another person’s body. And I don’t mean her sleep habits or diaper changes or any of the inconvenient things that come with having a baby, I mean that since the day she was born, my heart is now dressed in a diaper and a onesie, and can be shattered with the slightest lip tremble and a cry. And God forbid she get sick or … well. With everything I’ve seen this week around the blog world, I’m barely holding it together, because there is horror out there, and it’s literally unthinkable.
On paper, this whole thing seems like a colossally stupid idea, right? I handed my entire ability to exist over to a person who can barely lift her own head and pees wherever she is, whether she’s wearing a diaper or not (I’m not going to lie, however, it’s FUNNY when she pees on her daddy). I swear, sometimes my heart breaks a little just looking at her.
Anyway, this last week, week and half, has been a blur of sleepless, teary proportions and finally, a diagnosis, though little relief.
My poor bug has acid reflux and how, I tell you. Remember when I thought she had a head cold and always seemed congested? Yeah. Not so much. I realized when it had been something in the range of three weeks, with the “cold” getting no worse and no better that maybe it wasn’t a head cold. Because EVERY TIME I’d put the kid on her back, she would wake up and scream. And scream. And snort and snorfle and struggle to breathe. Oh, and puke. Yes, there was much puking. Gagging, too.
Oh, and my God, there was no sleep for anyone, least of all her, which is really all I cared about, because nothing’s worse than a tired, sick baby. Remember when I said being tired was manageable? That’s true when you get at least an hour of sleep at a clip, but when that hour is reduced to twenty minutes, and those twenty minutes are spent making sure your kid is breathing, because sometimes she has trouble with that, well … sorry folks, I have to amend my previous statement. I am, at this point, more tired than my childless self and even my PREGNANT self, and that’s saying an assload, I tell you.
The only way, for now, that the bug will sleep is on my chest, or, on rare occasions, in her car seat, because her little throat get shoved up full of acid and then the GAGGING starts and … man. I’m in that phase right now where even though I know it’s going to get better, that some day she’ll be able to sleep comfortably and she WILL survive this and the Prevacid WILL work and she won’t be in pain forever and no, I won’t be wheeling her to her high school graduation comfortably cradled in her Quinny Zapp and screaming, “STAY UPRIGHT, KID. THE ACIIIIIIDDDDD WILL EAAAT YOOOOOOU!”
I mean, it will get better, right? Preferably before she turns one? Or twelve?
By the way, she’s on Prevacid every night. And I’m on the mother of all elimination diets — no dairy, eggs, caffeine or tomatoes. Who doesn’t love caffeine-free root beer for breakfast instead of coffee with milk?
If it doesn’t improve, we can increase the dose. I’m fine with this, so please, no dire warnings of death or harm at the hands of medication, please. You may think you’re “helpful,” when actually, you are CRUEL.
Moving on! As much as I’m loathe to say anything negative about my dog, lest the Pet Police come out (and oh, I’ve seen them COME OUT) and accuse me of neglecting my precious pet in favor of my brand! new! baby!, first, let me assure you that Sunny is as loved as ever and getting plenty of attention. However, since Sam’s been born, she’s been so jealous that she’s demanded THREE TIMES the attention she got before, and it’s a little hard to keep up with. But more than that, she’s … well. She’s very interested in breastfeeding, to the point where if I don’t keep her FAR FAR AWAY during feedings she will try to latch on herself. It’s AWFUL, and about as unsettling and foul as you’d expect. I mean, WHATTHEFUCK, my dog is trying to BREAST FEED.
There are good things, still, however, and I wouldn’t trade this for anything, obviously. There’s nothing better than feeling the weight of her little head under my chin, and feeling her tense little body relax when she’s passed back to me after being in someone else’s arms. When she’s with me and she sees Adam, she lights up like a Christmas tree and vice versa. She’s almost smiling — almost. And it’s like heaven when she bounces her little arms and legs in nothing but pure joy.
But man, am I excited for this phase to pass. MAN.
Happy … oh God, no idea what day it is again.
*Duran Duran, The Reflex, obviously. I sing it to her with “reflux” substituted in there.
April 13th, 2009
I finally saw Baby Mama, and while I understand the complaints about the film, I have to say that dude, THAT WAS MY BIRTHING CLASS, perineal massage talk and all. Perhaps my instructor didn’t have a speech impediment, but still, it was something. My God.
You know, people warned me about The Breastfeeding Hunger, but really, I was not prepared. Like, not even a little. As you know, I was never hungry during pregnancy, so while it’s one thing to have one’s appetite return, it’s another to suddenly be able to eat the entire kitchen, plus whatever the neighbors are stocking in their refrigerators, which I’m secretly hoping includes cookies.
Seriously, I’m starving. Do you have anything to eat? Anything at all? Pop Tarts? Cookies? ANYTHING AT ALL OH MY GOD? I am SO HUNGRY.
Speaking of food, I didn’t mention it during my last post, but I’d already given up dairy by the time I posted about The Screaming, and I’m happy to say it seems to have worked, or at least we have some serious improvement on the timing. While yes, it’s true that They (who is They?) say that it takes several weeks to leave your system, the majority of it is out in 24 hours, and also, They have no idea how much dairy I was eating. Macaroni and cheese! Lasagna! Half-gallons of milk! Cheese with every meal! Ice cream! I was a walking dairy bar in every sense of the word, and I was shooting a stream of angry cow milk proteins right in my kid’s snarfling maw every hour on the hour.
(Truth? I don’t even know if I buy it, but I tried it anyway.)
To say this is an improvement on my overall enjoyment of this experience is a vast understatement. I still dread the evenings and the Will She or Won’t She Sleep? horror, but it’s SO MUCH LESS, because even when she does melt down, it’s MUCH EARLIER. By the way, that issue is fraught with terror either way, because if she sleeps too much I assume there’s something WRONG (as evidenced by her first four-hour stretch when I PANICKED), but if she sleeps too little, I’m crying with exhaustion. Ah, new motherhood. A fascinating mosaic of disjointed frustration.
I’m a little embarrassed by how this has changed me — all the things I swore I would never do, I’m now doing, and can’t imagine any other way. I ordered a co-sleeper! I’m about to whip out the Ergo so I can wear my kid! I’m planning to breastfeed until she’s 16!
HA HA. I kid on that last bit. I’ll also say that this experience has surprised and humbled me and reminded me to never say how I will or won’t do things until I’m actually there. And you know, to never judge anyone on any parenting thing because blah blah unique snowflakes blah.
That being said, I’ve turned into a person I didn’t see coming, and I feel like I’m cheating on myself, because I thought I’d be able to snarkily screech about how ANNOYING this is, and how everyone who ever complained about it was SO RIGHT and OH MY GOD, PARENTHOOD, THE HORROR.
I don’t do earnest well.
And while I GET that and have total moments of it, it’s not my overall experience, and if you missed it the first time, IT MAKES ME FEEL GUILTY. See also: fear of other shoe dropping. Like this means some sort of awful shit is going to hit the fan. It’s strangely stressful, in a whiny, cry-me-a-river sort of way.
So far, by the way, the most disarming thing about parenthood that no one told me about was how unintentionally HYSTERICAL it is to see a whimpering, writhing baby suddenly let out the world’s loudest fart (seriously, they’re louder than ADULT FARTS), openly sigh with relief, then pass out cold with a grin on her face.
Something ELSE no one told me? What letdown feels like for some. Which, for me, is actually painful and a little overactive. Pins and needles my ass. Me? I ACHE.
Happy Monday! (OMG I KNOW WHAT DAY IT IS.)
*Paul Oakenfold. In my head since Baby Mama.
April 5th, 2009