#Microblog Monday’s: Life Happens

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Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.

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This was my last weekend before returning to work (today being a holiday, I don’t return until tomorrow). I had plans of fun, family activities, nice meals, and time spent together. While we did get some togetherness, it was not as relaxing as I had planned. Baby Girl got her one year immunizations this past Wednesday, all was well, we went home and got on with our day. The next morning, I noticed she had a bit of a rash on her upper thighs and lower belly, it was big red splotches and not raised up, but I figured it was just a minor reaction from her shots and it didn’t seem to be bothering her so I wasn’t worried. Thursday was also her first day of daycare. Since we were paying for the whole month of September I was going to take advantage of Thursday and Friday, and since I wasn’t back at work yet, it would be a good couple days to ease her in, and take her from 9am – 3pm as opposed to 7:30am – 5:30pm that will be her norm.

When I took her in, they were just getting the other kids ready to go out for a walk in the stroller so I unpacked all of her stuff, and they whisked her away.  I had planned on staying a bit so she could get used to me leaving so it was a bit like having a band-aid ripped off, and there were tears prickling in my eyes as I left the centre. I knew she would be fine, but it’s a tough milestone. I was, however, looking forward to my baby free day of shopping and getting a pedicure. I mentioned the rash to the daycare staff, but told them it was minor, and wasn’t bothering her.

I headed to a mall very nearby her daycare centre (just happens to be the largest mall in the city, and maybe 5 minutes from daycare) and spent several hours cursing my boyish hips and short torso as I tried to find dress pants that fit. After finding several tops, a dress, one pair of pants and a skirt, I was ready to finish my day with a pedicure. I stepped off the escalator to head to the nail salon and my phone rang; the daycare’s number. The director advised me that the rash had spread and I would need to come pick Baby Girl up, in case it was anything contagious.

I left the mall immediately, and reached the daycare quickly. When I got there I could see she was covered in red welts and spots, but still seemed in good spirits otherwise. I called her pediatrician’s office but they weren’t able to get us in as it was already so late in the day. J and I decided to take her to the children’s hospital that is very near our house (and the same hospital as her ped’s office). After spending a few hours there, we left with her having received a dose a Benadryl and a diagnoses of reaction to the immunization. She had no fever, was still eating and drinking and otherwise fine so we went home, intending for her to go back to daycare the following day.

The next morning the rash was worse, her eyes were red and swollen and it had turned from a rash to bruising in several areas. I called our health hotline (it’s a province-wide health advice line staffed with nurses) and the nurse suggested we should take her back to the doctor due to the progression of the rash. I managed to get an appointment at my ped’s office, with another doctor, as her own ped was not in. When we took her in the doctor asked the same questions everyone had the day before; any new foods, changes in laundry detergent, anything else that could have caused it? It just happened that the pediatric dermatologist was doing rounds in their clinic that afternoon, and she came in as a second opinion. Everyone was very surprised at the severity of her rash, plus her wrists and ankles had now swollen and she was refusing to crawl, seeming to indicate it was causing her pain.

With all of the doctors conferring, they figured it was most likely an allergic reaction to something in the vaccines, as opposed to presentation of a mild case of the diseases that vaccines immunize for, but they also wanted to run blood work and urine for a few other more serious things it could be. In the meantime, they prescribed her pred.nisone (a very heavy-duty steroid) to combat the rash and the swelling, which they thought was also affecting her joints, given that she wouldn’t crawl. So after spending a few more hours in the hospital, and getting her testing done we went home with the steroids and appointment to come back on Thrursday to check on her condition.

The past few days the rash has improved drastically, though yesterday she seemed incredibly itchy, which was odd because prior to that she didn’t seem to be bothered whatsoever. She never had a full blown fever, she got slightly warm a few times but nothing indicating a true fever, and she still ate and drank with gusto. We’ve had some nights of bad sleep, including Saturday night in which she was awake from 12am -4am despite nursing, patting, shushing, holding, eating a snack, cuddling, going for a drive and a walk. I was in tears, and we were at our wit’s end. She would throw a fit any time we put her back in the crib, was happy to play in the living room but was yawning like crazy. J finally tried putting her down one last time (otherwise we were just going to start our day) and she finally passed out. Still woke up at her usual time of 7am, so Sunday was a long day for all of us.

Today is the first normal-ish day we’re having so I am making a nice fall meal of lasagna and apple crisp. We’ll enjoy our family time today, and begin living for the weekends tomorrow. I’m nervous to start work, to figure out our new normal, and meet my new coworkers (at my new office), but things are always in flux, and life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.

**For the record, I am pro vaccine, and believe the reaction she had is less severe than if she were to not be vaccinated and contract a potantially deadly (preventable) disease.

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#Microblog Mondays: Mystery Angel

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Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.

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Time is flying; tomorrow I’ll have an eleven month old. We are planning her first birthday, preparing for daycare, my return to work. Life is so different, and it’s about to change again as my maternity leave ends. Some days I look forward to returning to the workforce; having some variation in my days and adult conversation. Other days I just want to stop time; how can I leave my baby girl for most of her waking hours of the day? I don’t want to be a stay at home mom, I know that, it’s not for me, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be hard to send her to daycare for five days a week. This year off has been a good taste of it, and I am so thankful that living in Canada affords me this opportunity, but I would not leave my job to stay home. Not only would I not choose it, we can’t afford for me to stay home, so it was really a non-choice. Our summer is jam-packed with activities, meet ups with friends and family events so I know it is going to be gone in the blink of an eye.

In one of our mom and baby classes we spend the last few minutes with the lights dimmed, listening to peaceful, calming music and cuddling our babes (as much as they will allow). It is one of my favorite parts of our week, yet it is bittersweet because our undivided time together will soon end, and many of our activities together will cease. So it makes me a little weepy; for this season of our lives that is almost finished, for the new seasons to come, for all that we’ve had, and done and been through together. There has been so much that has happened in the past year, I can’t possibly describe it adequately and eloquently enough, but this beautiful song from our relaxation time together makes me feel all of the things that I can’t put into words.

*Sidenote: This song reminds me of Jess over at My Path to Mommyhood and the Mystery Baby that she is waiting for, so hopefully this sends some good vibes her way!

#Microblog Mondays: Friendship

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Wow, I’ve been absent for a while! It’s been unintentional, but every time I have some free time (aka, when baby is napping) there are a hundred other things I need to do and blogging falls down the list. I’ve been reading and following along, and I do have a million things to talk about (which is sometimes why I don’t blog, even if I find a pocket of time…where to begin!). Anyways, I’ve had a situation weighing heavily on me for a while, (I’m sure there are others in a similar boat) so I’m going to get it off my chest.

Like many other infertility sufferers/survivors, my best friend was busy procreating while I was struggling through IUIs and IVF. Her first child was born just after J and I started trying to get pregnant, so at that point I was super excited, for her, and for J and I. By the time she was pregnant with her second child, J and I were fully immersed in the world of IF. In a strange twist, just before my BF got pregnant for the second time, she had been prescribed clomid as she wasn’t ovulating regularly, and was having very long cycles. She went to her GP, who ran some tests and gave her the clomid (all of this happened in a very short period of time and she never went to Ye Olde Fertilty Clinic). She was waiting for her CD1 so she could get some bloodwork done. Her period never came, and it turned out she was pregnant.

That was a turning point in our relationship. As much as I didn’t want her to be in the IF trenches with me, it would have been nice for my BF to understand what I was going through. So when she told me she was pregnant, I was relieved for her, but also turned more into myself. I shared less with her, I didn’t see her as often (it was too hard). Once her second boy was born, I went for the obligatory visit (it’s awful that I saw it as obligatory, rather than wanting to see her new child). Granted, she also now had two children, and I had none so we were living very different lives.

Even once I finally succeeded in becoming pregnant, and having my baby girl, we never reconnected. She did come visit when baby girl was just new but then after that I noticed a distinct pulling away. She was very curt and brief in our text message exchanges, they were never initiated by her and when she didn’t wish me a happy birthday I knew something was really up. I questioned her on it, and she told me that she was hurt that our relationship had faltered after she got pregnant, that we weren’t close anymore, and that she rarely saw me anymore. She ended with something along the lines of “I’m not solely blaming you”, but sort of left it hanging as in, she mostly was blaming me. I did pull away, I know that. But I didn’t have much left to give to anyone during treatment, and then life with a new infant swallowed me up for a while. I blame myself, but I wish she would have made more of an effort too.

After I straight up asked her what was going on and we hashed that out a bit, we had a casual catching up convo, and I made a date to go visit her and her boys. That visit felt awkward, and stunted. We haven’t had much contact since, but neither of us has brought up our dying relationship. I think she’s stopped trying again, and frankly if it’s this much effort and things have changed so much between us, is it worth saving? I feel harsh saying that, and she is/was my best friend. We’ve know each other since we were 17, we used to be inseparable. But I think when things really changed was after the birth of her first child. And I get it, new parents are busy, priorities change. Couple that with the fact that I ended up undergoing fertility treatments, I think we’ve drifted too far apart, and though we now have similar-ish lives (in that we both have young children), I’ve changed fundamentally and I don’t knowhow well she fits in my life anymore.

I sort of feel like I am being lazy, and dismissive of such a long time friendship, not trying to save it. But I have a high school friend who I rarely see, and we don’t chat a ton but whenever we do, we never skip a beat, it’s like no time is lost at all. It’s not like that with my once-bestie. And that’s what makes me think, as sad as it would be, that it’s time to let it go.

#Microblog Mondays: Odds and Sods

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This won’t really be micro, and it doesn’t really have any direction because I have a million things floating around in my head, yet no time to write individual posts, so here goes;

There is tension/distance with my best one of my oldest/longest friendships. It’s been going on for a while (like over two years since she got pregnant with her youngest son). Her pregnancy/children and my lack thereof really drove a wedge between us. It came to a head after baby girl was born. I think she thought that would erase everything and make us close again, but it didn’t. I am trying to rebuild that friendship but we’ve grown as people, and grown apart. It sounds horrible, and I don’t want to just give up our friendship but sometimes friendships fade, or become less close when people change. This topic will probably need it’s own post at some point.

I took some “me time” this weekend to go clothes shopping. At first I was having a sucky time of it because I am not happy with my post baby body, plus I try and wear clothes that are breastfeeding friendly so it limits my choices a bit. But at the same time, I won’t be breastfeeding forever, and I want things that I like and that I feel like I look nice in and will want to wear once I go back to work. It’s a tall order, but after a second lap around the mall (the first was dismal) I had some success and felt better.

While I was out, J was on daddy duty. Normally when I go out, it’s in the evening so he doesn’t have to do as much because baby girl goes to bed early. Well going out in the middle of the day meant he got to deal with naps, feeding schedule (solids and milk), and generally entertaining baby. Not to say he can’t or doesn’t do these things otherwise, but generally I’m around too, so we split duties. Plus he doesn’t like being housebound, and I told him that taking baby in the car for a nap doesn’t count as a proper nap. We I am trying to nap train and for that she needs consistency in her crib. He actually even did some housework, and managed to walk the dogs (we live in an apartment condo so we actually have to go for a walk, not just put the dogs in a yard, so it entails packing up baby to go outside). I was quite impressed, and it left me wondering if he thinks I have it so easy staying home with the baby when he managed to take care of the baby and the house. A little while later he was laying on the couch, yawning and he admitted that he was beat, and he said “I don’t know how you do this everyday, I’m exhausted”. Best validation EVER. (For reference I was only gone for around 4 hours…).

Speaking of naps, baby girl has some pretty high sleep needs, yet she more often than not will only nap for 45 minutes (to the minute, she is like an alarm clock). When she wakes up she is still tired (yawning and rubbing her eyes 20 minutes after she gets up) but has had enough sleep that she won’t go back down. It is exhausting and becomes very frustrating day after day. I’ve read a lot about the “45 minute nap intruder” and tried some tips and tricks to deal with that but so far it’s really hit and miss getting her to nap longer. She has also started waking up earlier and earlier in the morning. Mommy no like-y.

I sometimes feel like a bit of a helicopter parent, not to baby girl, but to my husband. I really try and let him just do things his way but sometimes I will change/correct something he did, or ask him about X, Y, Z and I’m sure he feels like I am judging/second guessing. I try really hard not to. If it isn’t that important I mostly just let things slide, but I am the one who is around and caring for baby majority of the time so sometimes I can’t help myself. But as soon as I do or say something I feel bad and know I should have just let it be. Working on it…

One thing that has improved since having baby girl though, is my housekeeping. Our kitchen is almost always clean now (because I clean it a million times a day). But when baby girl is awake I don’t want to be cleaning and not spending time with her so I try really hard to keep things neat and tidy, cleaning up after myself as I go and cleaning when she’s sleeping. I was never a super messy person, but when it was just J and I we would sometimes be lazy and leave dishes in the sink, and though our house wasn’t unclean, we aren’t the tidiest people in terms of leaving clothes laying around or stacks of paperwork and what not. But since I spend most of my time at home now it has become my sanctuary and it drives me nuts when it gets messy. It’s a place where I can keep order when there is so much out of my control. Strange benefit of having a baby, as usually housework falls by the wayside with a new baby.

We’ve been working on solids with baby girl for the past month and a half or so, and she took to the first few things I gave her (butternut squash, sweet potatoes, avocado, baby oatmeal) but she has hated almost everything else, and we’ve tried; applesauce, peaches, banana, zucchini, peas, pears, mangoes, chicken, and carrots. I hope this child starts liking more than 4 items because this momma doesn’t want to deal with a picky eater (like I was when I was a child). I keep trying the foods she’s refused, because I’ve been told/read it can take many exposures for a baby to decide whether they like a food or not. I just hope she decides sooner rather than later so I can give her more variety and stop wasting the food I make and she doesn’t want. I’m also still figuring out when to offer her solids, before milk? After milk? Somewhere in between? Having to think ahead if we’re going out somewhere. I struggled with breastfeeding in the beginning but now it is like second nature and adding solids to the mix is just more work!

Baby girl is still pretty immobile. Her newest skill is sitting unsupported. She has a strong core, so she is a sturdy little thing. She looks like such a big girl sitting up by herself, she’s growing so fast 😦 She still won’t roll from her tummy to her back, which I brought up with her ped. because most babies will have mastered that by now. He didn’t seem to be worried, especially since she can sit up. She will roll from her back to her tummy on occasion but then she’s stuck. She doesn’t push up on her arms much when she is on her tummy, she mostly just flaps her arms like she is swimming or trying to fly. I suppose I should be thankful she’s not moving around too much so I can put her down somewhere and know that she’ll stay there.

I’m still really mulling on a second baby, though it’s not something we would want in the near future (like not in the next 3 – 4 years) but I just feel like we should make a decision so we can have somewhat of a plan for the future (I like having a five year plan). I know we don’t need to worry about it right now, and though we have 4 embryos left it may not actually happen. If we decide we do want to try for a second and it doesn’t happen I know it would be heartbreaking.

I’ve also been thinking on being a surrogate. It’s something I’ve been turning around in my mind for a while, since sometime after we started IVF and before we got pregnant (obviously I knew I would have to have a successful pregnancy first). It’s not something I’ve fully looked into yet, and I don’t know if I would even be allowed to be a surrogate, being that I’ve undergone fertility treatments myself, regardless of the fact that my uterus seems perfectly capable. Personally I think it is an asset that I know what I would be getting into, on that side of things. Obviously J would have to be ok with it, and if we do decide to have another of our own, I may not want to carry a third baby. I know that it is a heavy undertaking, but having seen the two little girls that it has brought into this world for my cousin and his wife, I know what a huge gift it is. Having been through infertility, and knowing the pain of wanting a child, it would be amazing to be able to help someone become a parent. This thought is really still in it’s infancy, but it’s being sitting in my brain for some time now, so I feel like it’s not just me being a daydreamer. (This could really also use it’s own post at some point…).

Work is another thinking point, for myself and for J. He could have a very good opportunity for moving up, and to a new location (within our same city) next fall (2017) but if he takes that, then we are sort of committing to it for a year and a half, to two years. And if we do that, then we may just end up staying here for the long haul. We’ve always talked about moving a few hours south of where we are now, to another large city, where J’s brother lives. If we are going to go, it would probably be next summer as the mortgage on our rental property is up and we could sell it and buy a house elsewhere. J could transfer there as well, but it may not be as good of an opportunity as what he could get here. I could probably also transfer to this other city, but it would mean I would have to go back to my same job when my maternity leave is up. I’ve considered changing careers, but if we are just going to up and move I am better off sticking with what I am doing for the moment.

So those are the inner tumblings of my mind. This was clearly not micro in any way, so if you stuck with it, kudos to you. Any advice, suggestion, or comments on any or all of the above are welcome!

The Days are Long but the Years (and Months) are Short

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Today is my birthday, almost baby girl’s half birthday and coincidentally my 200th post. Going for the trifecta! Birthdays, much like New Years, beget reflection. This will be the last year in my 20’s, which makes me sad just because I feel infinitely 21 or, maybe 25. I just can’t wrap my brain around ageing, and I don’t feel older, most of the time. More mature and adult-y, but not older. Obviously a lot has changed between this year and last, and even more from the year before that, it feels like a blur. Yet when I am spending my days trying to entertain an infant, get her to sleep, trying to fit in solid food, and keep the house going, the hours can drag. 

My little peanut is not so little anymore, weighing in around 16 1/2 lbs and measuring 25″ a couple of weeks ago. She gained 2 lbs and 1 1/4″ in a month, my growing girl! She has just recently started sitting unsupported for short bouts, and if she is on the couch or sitting against the boppy pillow she is perfectly stable. She was rolling from back to tummy around Christmastime but since the new year she doesn’t do it much anymore, and she still just flails around when on her belly. For some reason she doesn’t push up on her arms, she just uses her core to lift her chest off the floor but she tires of that pretty quickly so tummy time is often, but short. Plus if I put her on her tummy too soon after her last feed, she’s guaranteed to spit up. She is really strong standing, while supported. Just last night I was trying to sit her in her crib but she wouldn’t bend her legs so I put her standing at her crib rail and she held on and stood there without me holding her. She looked so grown up! 

We started solids about 3 weeks ago but it’s been slow going. She has taken pretty well to oatmeal pretty well but sometimes she just flat out refuses it for seemingly no reason. She loves sweet potatoes, and butternut squash. She was sort of indifferent to avocado, does not like applesauce (too tart I think), mango was a big no (a bit too strong of a flavour, maybe) and she puked after the three bites of peas I gave her. Carrots yesterday were so-so but I’ve heard bananas are usually a big hit so we’ll try those soon.

We went to Mexico in early January for a week. While it was a nice to escape winter for a while, and not have to cook or clean, ultimately you still have to, you know, be a parent. We’re going to California at the end of April because hubby has a conference, so we’re tagging along (woot woot!), and we’re planning on going to Vancouver for baby girls first birthday, just ’cause. Gotta make the most of being on mat. leave and not using up my vacation time. Have baby, will travel!

I don’t speak of it often, for fear of jinxing, but nighttime sleep has been very good since around 3 months, with a minor blip during, and for a week or two after, Mexico. She wakes up earlier than I appreciate, but I can’t complain about a full nights sleep with an early wake up call. Naps are my nemesis. My baby has high sleep needs, so her little 45 minute “catnaps” do nothing to stave off tiredness, yet she can’t connect two sleep cycles and fights being put back to sleep after waking from a catnap. So we have nap battles where I try to get her to go back to sleep and she screams, or I give in and just get her up which results in her being tired 20 minutes later and just generally crabby. I’m going to try some sort of nap sleep training before I lose my mind.

Breastfeeding is still going strong which I didn’t anticipate. In the beginning I had such a hard time getting her latched, I was uncomfortable and awkward feeding in front of anyone but my husband, yet I hated (still do) the cover, my supply sucked, breastfeeding took forever and baby never seemed satisfied. I took it day by day, with a goal of making it to my 6 week check up, then the 8 week mark, then 3 months. By the time we got to Christmas, it wasn’t even a question. I was so glad to be breastfeeding when we went to Mexico, it just made it infinitely easier to be able to whip out a boob, whenever, wherever. And I generally do just that. I’m over my discomfort of feeding in public. While I’m definitely still uncomfortable exposing myself, I’ve figured my wardrobe to help me be discreet without the nursing cover. Plus baby and I are both a lot more confident, it’s just easy and takes a lot less time than it used to, though she is rather distractable now.

So that’s life in a nutshell. Bored out of my skull one minute as I watch my pudgy girl play with her toy apple with the intensity of a brain surgeon, while the next minute I wonder where my teeny tiny brand new baby went. Still learning to adjust to this pace of life, but baby girl’s sweet face is the only birthday present I need this year. Except for maybe a spa day…

Perfectly Imperfect?

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I just saw this commercial for Plan B “emergency contraceptive” and my reaction was, “WTF?!”. Maybe I’m overthinking it, or my IF history is making me overly sensitive but I feel like they are being really flippant. Like, eh don’t worry about birth control until it’s an “emergency situation”. Is this commercial a bit ridiculous, or is it just me?