Monday, October 19, 2009

Today sucked

Today was a hard day. It went fast, I was busy, but it was tough. I didn't even realize how tough it was until someone asked me if I was okay. It took me by surprise. "Yes" was all I could think of to answer. Looking back on the day, it was just filled with the guilt that a working mom feels. I usually have great outlets for this guilt, but not today. No, today everyone was in their own worlds. I can't blame them really, but it took its toll. Sometimes I want it to be about me, but it can't be that way, even if I really need it to be.

When I got home, Luisa was sleeping so I didn't get the huge smile and squeals when I walk in the door. Tom then accidentally woke her up. I went in and got her and she snuggled me, something that is rare in our house. I loved it and it made most of the day fade away. Until we sat down to eat dinner. She was still tired from being woken up and she was angry. I couldn't figure out why so I ate my dinner while she struggled through hers. It wasn't until I took her out of her high chair that I discovered the root of the crankiness. It is hard to take a big poo while sitting in a high chair. That's it people. That's all I got.

Monday, September 7, 2009

One Year

She turned one yesterday. For old times sake, I tried to swaddle her.

Music: While you were sleeping, Elvis Perkins

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Depression, Part Deaux

I suppose my struggles with depression started in High School. At least that is the first time I remember feeling sad, helpless, hopeless. I was a freshman I think and I remember being in the car with my mom. She pointed out that she thought I was unhappy. I knew I was, but I thought I was hiding it well. I wasn't. My mom was not a touchy feely mom. We did not often talk of emotions or feelings. We had a great relationship, it just wasn't a love fest, so to speak. So for her to broach this topic, I knew it was apparent that I was heading down a path she didn't want me to go down.

I made a decision at that point to be happy. It was that easy, it really was. From that point on, I was pretty happy. Sure I had bad days, just like every one, but they were here and there, nothing unbearable.

My mom died unexpectedly in 2005. Three months after I got married, she was gone. I was a mess. I flew home immediately and for two weeks, I was with my sister and dad, figuring things out. I am the youngest. I live in California. My family is in Denver. My sister was there that morning. She arrived at my parents while my mother was still in the house. She arrived to the fire trucks, ambulance, police cars and medical examiner. She was there when they wheeled my mother's lifeless body out on a gurney. I was in California, in bed, sleeping.

When my father called, I didn't pick up the phone. He then called my cell phone. I knew it was something tragic at that point, but I had no idea of the train that was about to hit me head on. When he told me, I began to scream. He immediately handed the phone to my sister. When I arrived in Denver, I was useless. There were things that needed to be done and for the most part, I sat. The phone would ring and I would sit. The doorbell would chime and I would sit. I was unable to make myself do anything. My sister did it all. I think back on it now and realize how terrible it must have been for her. We both lost our mom and yet, it did not register with me that she might just want to sit. She never did. She always moved forward.

When I returned to California, I went back to work immediately. Things were okay for a while. For about six months, I was able to function normally. We scattered my mom's ashes in the mountains, had a nice Thanksgiving dinner at the table I grew up sitting around. Things were definitely different, lonely, but okay. It wasn't until January that the depression took hold. For me, it manifested itself at home. I stopped cleaning, doing laundry, cooking. I showered every other day at most, sometimes going a few days in between a good hot shower. Every night, I would come up with some reason why I could not go to work the next day. I would agonize over work, but every morning, I would wake up, get dressed (sans shower) and show up. I was fine during the work day but the cycle would start all over again when I got home.

I let this continue until I simply could not function at home at all anymore. I let it go on until I was afraid my husband was at his wits end with the filthy, laundry filled house. I realized I had to do something before I lost myself completely. I sought out a therapist. I went to someone who my friend saw when her dad died. For eight months I went. Several times a week I would sit in the chair, petting her dog and talking through my feelings. I never felt completely comfortable and once I did the laundry, made a meal and proceeded to shower daily, I quit going.

I was okay until I had Luisa. I was totally overwhelmed and cried for two weeks straight. I knew that was normal and sure enough, after two weeks it was fine. I was okay until she was 31/2 months old and the world came crashing down on me. I was getting up twice a night and I was irate. I was so mad at this tiny little defenseless baby. It was a terrible feeling. I also didn't want to see anyone, didn't want to talk on the phone or have visitors. I was still at home with Luisa and I would cry if I had to leave the house for anything other than Stroller Strides. Sometimes I would cry at Stroller Strides. I got medication that was a god send (God makes meds ya know) and I was better.

I stayed on the medication for four months and then slowly weaned myself off. I had been fine for a few months....until last week. Luisa is turning one, we are spending our life savings on a home renovation and Luisa is going to start daycare in November. A lot is going on, I realize, so I ignored it as long as I could. Then one night I couldn't get Luisa to bed and it all came back. I was mad at her (HELLO, SHE'S 11 MONTHS OLD!!). I didn't want to see my friends, I didn't want to go to work and I hadn't talked to my dad in over two weeks.

The good news? I know how to spot it. I know there are steps I can take, with out medication, to help my circumstances. I know that I am a person who absolutely needs to exercise (even though I LOATHE it) , needs to get outside, needs to be around positive people. I am making changes right now to see if I can kick this with out the help of a prescription, but believe you me, if I can't, I already have the meds on hand.

There is nothing wrong with suffering from depression. There is nothing wrong with using medication to combat this horrible disease. There is nothing wrong with asking for help. I am okay with the fact that I have to deal with this, I know that I will get through it. My depression is not epic. It has never landed me in the hospital, it has never gotten so bad that I have thought of ending my life, but it has been debilitating in its own right. It doesn't matter who you are, how bad it is or isn't, there are solutions and they are fine. If anyone tells you different, send them to me. I just might feel better after beating the crap out of someone.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I see you

I see you there, crouching in the corner of my mind. Trying not to make too much noise as you sneak in for an ambush. I'd recognize your stench anywhere. You had me before, but not this time. Not now, not again. I have seen your darkness, felt your hopelessness, lived your hell. I have gone there and come back, scratching and pulling and fighting to get out of your grasp. It will not happen again. So you can sit there, waiting, seething, rotting. I will not give in, I will not fall under your spell. I hate you more than you love me, so go ahead, sit. I can beat you. Staring contest? If I win, you get out.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Happy Birthday!

She's eleven months old.....moments away from her one year birthday. I am amazed, sad, ecstatic and nostalgic over the whole thing. That's a lot of feelings for a gal like me.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Living in .......fear?

I have come to the conclusion that I live in fear. I guess this is not a new revelation, I have known this for a while. Okay, I have known it since about sixth grade when I became super shy after asking all of the boys out and being rejected.....repeatedly. I find it funny that I remember that so well and I can see how it affected who I am today. Sad really.

Anyway, back to the here and now, no need to relive that painful period of my life, right? So I am a scaredy cat. This manifests itself in many ways. Not only am I afraid to fail, I am afraid to succeed as well. I play it so safe that there is really no room for anything except steady Eddie. A straight line, never testing the boundaries, never going outside of my zone. This can be very boring, I realize that, but it can also be very comforting too. However, at this very moment, I am at a crossroads and my fear is taking over. I am at a complete standstill. I am in a dream screaming my head off but no sound is coming out of my wide open mouth. Fear is holding me captive. Somewhere, a ransom note is going unanswered.

We live in a 1080 sq foot home in Southern California. It has two bedrooms and two bathrooms. One of which we added ourselves. I love this house. It is perfect, albeit in a bit of shall I say, "unique" neighborhood. Okay, it is in the hood people, but I love my hood. And I love my house.

A few months ago my husband hired an architect to put together plans for a home renovation. Originally we thought we would finish our attic or dig out our cellar and make a basement. Our architect had other ideas and has given us plans that completely flip our house to make room for one more bedroom and adding a sun room. I love the plans, but it makes the house unlivable for pretty much the entire construction phase. Okay, a bit scary right? But these plans, they are not for now. They are for later, when the market bounces back and we can qualify for a home equity line of credit right? RIGHT? Not so much. My husband is hot to start this project. His little pants are on fire to start this renovation. I just smile and say "wait for the construction budget babe" but he is steps ahead of me. He has already priced it out in his head and brought his dad on board for the construction part. He is well down the road and I am stuck at the top of the street paralyzed in fear.

You see, this renovation would drain our savings. It would drain my husbands stocks and we would still end up borrowing about 10 to 15K to complete the project. Scary right? Let me clarify though.....we have several (four...does that constitute several?) retirement accounts, a 529 for Luisa's education and have zero credit card debt, no car payments and our only debt is our house. So, am I scared because I live in fear or am I scared because this is a bad idea in this kind of economic environment? I don't know the difference. That is the main problem with living in fear. I am scared of everything so how do I know when the fear is real or when it is just me being me?

To make matters more confusing, I hate my job and would really like to start my own business. What kind of business? A baby boutique. One that has really cool, unique, new items but that also carries a ton of second hand goods. Yep, that is what I want but I know nothing about owning a retail store save what I learned working at Color Me Mine after college. I do have a degree in Marketing though which is pretty much worth the paper my diploma is written on so I have that going for me.

My husband? My sweet husband? Well, he will give me the money to start my business if that is what I want, but I have to do my homework. I have to show him that it will be profitable. Basically he is the bank and I am applying for a small business loan.

My instinct is to freeze. To stay where I am. A mediocre sales person in a hotel. Status quot. I am successful enough to stay off the radar but not successful enough to get recognition. This is my comfort zone people. I like it here, mostly until I really think about it and wish I had the balls to run, run like hell into the arms of myself and fucking buck up! But I don't and I know that about myself.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Wait, what? WHAT?? I know, I know. I did not......adjust.....well to motherhood. I get that. I don't know why it happened, but it did. I am okay with that fact. It took a while and some meds but I am better now! I am a good mom and every time I see any baby smaller than Luisa I want another one. I can't help it. AND I'M NOT GETTING ANY YOUNGER AHHHHH!!!! There I said it. Now I have to go take the birth control pill I forgot this morning. I do have a rational side...I think.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I am in funk today. The worst part of it? It is not even my funk to be in. My life, thankfully, is fairly drama free. I have a husband of four years and a ten month old baby girl, oh and two ill behaved but lovable dogs. That is it. We have as much drama as that can supply and luckily, it's not much. I guess this is why I feel other peoples drama as if it were my own. (Also my excuse for watching reality TV, for the drama since I don't have much of my own).

Here is the root of the funk. A friend is back with an ex. This friend is not someone who I hang out with on a regular basis. We work together and I love her dearly, but we have our own paths and they don't cross as much as I would like. What's the problem? This ex, he's a bit on the verbally abusive side. Actually, he is a lot on the verbally abusive side. They have been broken up for a couple of years, but have never severed ties completely. He made her feel about an inch tall when they were together and made her feel about two inches tall when they were apart. He is a jerk, he is a coward and I can't stand the sight of him.

My friend? She is lovely, beautiful inside and out, talented, successful, the list goes on. So why oh why is she with this guy? I don't know. I think she lacks a bit of self esteem. I understand how this can happen, but with her it baffles me because she is so fantastic. I tell her this often, but she doesn't listen and I get it. I know how we view ourselves is often different from how others view us. I was one class short of a minor in psychology people, I GET IT (I realize this means nothing, don't comment about it, moving along).

I have listened to her cry over this said guy for years now. I know all of the terrible things he has said and done. I know the story. Here is my issue...WHAT DO I DO NOW? What does she need, my friend? Do I support her whole hearted and wait to pick up the pieces again or do I ask her WHAT THE FUCK IS SHE DOING? Does she need tough love or undying support? Am I enabling her if I give her support? I know her biggest fear right now is being judged by her friends. I get that and Internet, I am not judging her, she is a great person regardless of this situation, but I don't know how to deal with it. I want to scream from the roof tops HE IS AN ASSHOLE THAT WILL GIVE YOU NOTHING BUT A BROKEN HEART AND THERAPY BILLS!!!! But I don't want her to feel like I am not trying to understand. I am trying. I need to understand. I don't get it. HELP!

Sunday, July 12, 2009


This last week, I took Luisa to Denver to see my family and friends. It was a great trip. Luisa was her normal easy going self and charmed the entire family, not to mention the flight crew on both flights. The only downside? Realizing how great it is to spend every day with her. But, due to the "sunshine tax" in lovely Southern California, I have to work. I know, poor me.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I married Tom okay, his name is Tom

When Luisa was born, I cried for two weeks straight. Baby blues for sure. It stopped for the most part around week three with only the occasional melt down over nothing. By week 8, I had joined Stroller Strides, attached my self to two other new moms and felt pretty good about the whole motherhood thing.

Christmas time rolled around and all of a sudden, I totally lost my shit. I am not completely sure I ever had it, but I was sure I lost it. Not only was I crying ALL the time, I was eternally pissy....even with close friends. I felt like the only new mom in the world. And then I felt stupid for feeling that way because HELLO? We clearly have a population problem so there were plenty of other crazies doing exactly what I was doing too. I knew I had to get a handle on myself. I had suffered a bit of depression about six months after my mom died so I knew I was prone.

I was out mailing some gifts for Christmas on the 22nd of December. I stood in line at the post office for almost an hour and then in my "new baby haze", told the guy I was mailing wine. Yep, I actually said that. Guess what.... YOU CAN'T MAIL WINE!!! I know, you already know that hunh. So did I. I fought back the tears and yelling and snuck out the door. I walked into the next post office prepared to lie my ass off and got in line behind a lovely little family of three, the baby being about Luisa's age. I lost it. Crying hysterically. For. No. Reason.

I went home, sat down beside my husband and told him I had some post partum depression. "What are you going to do?" he asked. "I don't know, call my doctor and get some meds." I said. "Really? Don't you think you could control it with some vitamins, food and more exercise?" I shit you not. This sentence came out of his mouth and he still has no idea of the feud between Tom Cruise and Brooke Shields.

This is the point where my head blew up into a million bloody little pieces all over our beautiful little baby and our living room. I sent "Tom Cruise" away, called my nurse Cookie (LOVE me some Cookie) packed up that pretty little baby and went to get some good drugs!!!

The drugs made me feel instantly better, they helped me get out of the house more with Luisa and THEY SAVED MY HUSBAND'S LIFE! Thank you makers of Lexapro. My husband is indebted to you.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Hair Raising.

Seriously, when you have this much hair nobody believes that YOU ARE ONLY TEN MONTHS OLD! What am I going to do with you?

And the side view:

Guilty much?

As a mom who works full time outside of the house, I am constantly guilt ridden. There are several reasons for this guilt. Some are justifiable and some are not but who am I to argue. I am, and always have been, full of guilt. I am a people pleaser so it is in my nature.

Here are just some of the reasons I feel guilty.
1. For leaving Luisa Monday to Friday (yes using her name, she is real after all)
2. For knowing that for me, working outside of the home is much easier that being a stay at home mom. I truly believe any other working mother will tell you this. I deal with adults that can speak their minds. Sometimes they act like babies, but at lease they can "use their words" (for the most part)
3. For missing out on her daily milestones
4. For never having had a total breakdown because I went back to work (I swear, I love her, I just like working too)

Last weekend though, I had the best time just playing with Luisa and hanging out. She is almost 10 months now and she is so animated and funny. She is a little mimic and just hilarious. Come Sunday night, I knew I couldn't leave her on Monday morning. I made the decision to take Monday off and hang out with her all day. Two of my other mommy friends were taking their babies to the beach so we would join them. y Husband also had Monday off because, well, he takes about every 4th Monday off to do God knows what.

Monday morning arrived and Luisa woke promptly at 5:30 am. I jumped out of bed so excited for our day. We started off with breakfast with Daddy. We ordered Luisa a giant fruit bowl and laughed as she squirreled away melon in her cheek. Luckily the restaurant was empty so we didn't have to worry when she decided to play a song by banging the bowl on the table. We left the restaurant and Luisa decided that she needed a little nap. Funny, she never naps with her nanny but for mama? A nap. I cleaned up a bit and got her things ready for the beach.

We met a good friend for a walk on the boardwalk and then headed to the beach. We spent the rest of the afternoon there with her friends. The babies ate sand, the mamas drank coffee and I just enjoyed my daughter and my friends.

The day ended with a sand filled bed (mine, I didn't want to change crib sheets, stupid idea) and dinner with Daddy. Oh, and the ENORMOUS feeling of guilt for calling in sick. Sometimes I just can't win.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

No use crying over spilled milk

My very first failure as a now mother was that I only breast fed L for three weeks. She was born ready to breastfeed. She latched on minutes after she was clean and warm and wrapped like a little pink burrito. The problem was that I had no idea what to do. She latched on incorrectly and the damage was already apparent after the first night.

Every time she she woke to eat, I would call the nurse to come in and help me latch her on. The nurses I had were phenomenal. I loved them and they were very helpful, but it hurt so bad I didn't know what to do. On the second morning, our nurse came in and told me two things.

1. She ordered the lactation consultant to come in that day.

2. She was bringing me a nipple shield. (a what??)

When the lactation consultant arrived, I could tell by her demeanor that she and I were not going to get along. She was abrasive and rude. She took one look at my breasts and told me that I had done so much damage that I should not feed L for the rest of the day. I needed to give my body a break and some time to heal. This was at about 9 am. She said to wait until that evening to latch her on again.

All day we waited. At about 6 I called a nurse and asked her if she could send in the lactation lady so I could feed L. She seemed confused because the lactation consultants leave at 4. I couldn't believe it. By the time the nurse got to my room, I was in tears. She helped me feed L and got me through the night.

The next morning, the night nurse came in and told me that she was having a new lactation consultant come in that morning. She know the first lady and I were not a match. I was relieved when the new gal came in. She was nice, patient and helpful. She got the pump, helped my husband and I learn how to finger feed (L had jaundice so she was already being given formula to help with that) and explained how we could get L the formula she needed while breastfeeding her.

We left the hospital a mere 36 hours after L was born. I knew I wasn't ready, but I also knew my husband could not take one more night in there so home we went. I was so afraid to latch L on due to the pain that I only pumped for the first few days. We went to a breastfeeding support group when L was 4 days old. This was the first time I had latched her on since I left the hospital.
For two weeks, I went to every support class for breastfeeding. L still had jaundice so we were still supplementing her with formula. I was a wreck. I was tired, overwhelmed and really just a mess. I was so scared of breastfeeding that I would have my husband finger feed L while I pumped. It was a nightmare.

Slowly, her jaundice got better and I became more confident with the feedings. At two weeks, I stopped supplementing her with formula. I was going to breastfeeding support group three times a week. From Friday until Tuesday, I only breast fed her. I was so proud of myself! I felt great, until I got to support group. I let the consultant know that I had stopped supplementing and had only breastfed L for the past four days. Then they weighed her and she had not gained the one ounce per day that they wanted her to. She had only gained 3 oz instead of 4. I was crushed. They recommended adding another feeding into our day. WHAT???? It already took all I had to get her to stay awake for the feedings she already had, how was I going to get one more in?

I went home, defeated, devastated. I was so disappointed in myself. It was about this time that L developed a severe case of reflux. (I refer to it as severe, the upper GI only said it was minor. They were not in charge of feeding a screaming infant!) She would latch, eat for a minute, unlatch throw her head back, arch her body and scream. I had no idea what was going on. When she would do this, I would prepare a bottle because it was easier to feed her that way as I could keep the bottle in her mouth while she squirmed. It was terrible. Several trips to the doctor revealed that it was reflux. I began to pump only and feed her breast milk in a bottle. This lasted an entire week.

At four weeks of age, I had to make a decision. Keep pumping, start to breastfeed again, or pack up the pump and go with formula. I was still feeling so defeated over the entire breastfeeding situation. I packed up the pump and went the formula route. When I called the hospital to let them know that I would be bringing the pump back, Sally answered the phone. She was the first lactation consultant that I dealt with at the hospital. I panicked and lied to her. I told her that I had been given my own pump and would not need the hospital one any longer.

I cried for two months. I was failing my daughter, my husband, our families. How could I have not gotten the hang of breastfeeding? I didn't understand. Surely L would not get into college. She would of course loose IQ points. We would not bond the same way. TERRIBLE THINGS WERE GOING TO HAPPEN! Then I got a grip. Vowed to stop crying, forced myself to look forward and just be okay with my decision. L was thriving. She was growing, gaining weight, making all of the milestones she should. She was fine, better than fine, she was glorious.

The other day, I got an email from my girlfriend that she was beginning to wean her daughter. Without notice, all of my insecurities about not breastfeeding L came flooding back. I cried again as the wounds of my first failure as a mother opened again. I realize how silly it is, I know deep down that L will be just fine. That she will get into college if she chooses that path, that we are bonded as only a mother and daughter can be. I guess sometimes you just can't help crying over spilled milk.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Are you done getting high on that baby?

My husband's favorite thing to say to me is "are you done getting high on the baby yet?" No, I am not. Not even close, not even kind of close.

At nine months pregnant, there were days when I wasn't so sure about having a baby, being a parent, changing my life style, my habits, my spending. There were so many unknowns, as there are in every one's transition to parenthood. I felt at times overwhelmed about what I was about to embark on.

When L was born, I loved her, I knew that much, but I was not one of those moms who falls completely in love with their baby the moment they are pulled, kicking and screaming, from your groin. For me, it was a journey. I loved her, I would have thrown my self in front of a bus for her, but, I also had to talk my self out of giving her to some firemen I saw in the grocery store when she was four days old. What was I doing at the grocery store when she was four days old you ask? Picking up my groceries because my husband was in the early stages of PNEUMONIA!

As the time and struggles went on, I felt that maternal love finally kick in. I remember when it happened. L was two months old. I finally felt like I had a handle on this motherhood thing. At least I knew how not to have a meltdown every time something new happened, and I was finally convinced that she would survive being my child, that she was not going to be taken from me. I let my guard down and the love flooded in. I literally felt it running through my veins, the Oxytocin was flowing. (And I was not breastfeeding anymore so for all of you guilt ridden bottle feeders out there, you will still bond with your child!)

When L was three and a half months, postpartum depression kicked in. Even though I was crying again every minute of every day, I still felt the overwhelming love for her. PPD is real and the pain and guilt are unimaginable. Through it all, the love struck obsession, the addiction to my daughter was still there, persevering through it all. That and good medication pulled me out of my PPD in one piece and it has only gotten better by the day.

As the months fly by, the love I feel for this child intensifies beyond anything I can explain. Sitting here, writing this post, I can smell her, hear her little voice babbling, feel her little hands run across my face, even though she is miles away with her nanny. When I get home at the end of the day, I smell her head, give her as many kisses as she will allow and just feel her in my arms. This is what I carry with me every day as I leave for work. This unquestionable love. I am fully aware that she will break my heard a thousand times over my lifetime. I can only hope I will survive.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Let's Talk About Reflux

See how dramatically your life changes with one tiny little baby? I could be blogging about sex or promiscuity among teens, or any of a myriad of other interesting topics. But instead, I am blogging about REFLUX! Yep. At three weeks, just as I had stopped crying every 30 seconds and just as L and I were finally figuring out the whole breastfeeding thing, she begin to scream her head off every time she ate! Good times people. Let me tell ya.

Here's how a feeding session would go. Baby cries, mama gets situated with My Breast Friend nursing pillow, nipple shield, wipe cloths and baby. Baby latches on, takes a drink, and another, unlatches, arches back, throws head in same direction and screams. I had no idea what to do. I re situated myself, latched her back on only to go through the same scenario. I would end up in tears and feeding her a bottle. Sometimes filled with pumped milk and sometimes filled with formula. I didn't know what was going on. Even with the bottle, she would scream but it was easier to get her to eat a bit from the bottle.

This went on for a day or so and I called the doctor for an appointment. They checked her out, weighed her (she was gaining weight), smiled and said, well it may be a little reflux, but she is doing great! We'll see you in a month at her next well baby visit.

I reluctantly left the office only to go home and have the same thing happen. We must have returned to the doctor's three times before they prescribed Zantac. "Okay, here's your prescription. One ting though, it takes a full 7 to 10 days for the medication to start working" she said with a smile. I would be serving 20 to life if I had done what I wanted to do at that time which was rip her face off. The doctor, not the baby!

Home we went and we waited and waited and waited for the medicine to work. Only it never did. The only time she would cease crying was when my husband would come home an feed her while holding her up in a standing position. His hands were just big enough to do this. She would suck down a full bottle in the same time it took me to get her to scream through one ounce of food! I am embarrassed to write down how many FULL bottles I hurled against the wall in frustration. (it was that or the baby, I feel I made the right choice!) I panicked every time I took her into the doctor's office. I feared they would tell me that some babies are just fussy, that this was how she was. But I knew enough to know that was not true. The second she stopped eating, she was smiling, laughing, playing. It all had to do with eating.

Our last resort was Previced. A drug used for extreme cases of reflux. A drug not really tested on babies. A drug that does not dissolve, that you have to learn how to administer through a syringe by mouth. A drug that MY INSURANCE DOES NOT COVER and costs $300 for 30 pills. I finally understood what it would be like to be sick and uninsured.

On the Prevecid, she was better. Eating was tolerable at best, but she was eating, gaining weight and thriving despite my crying, worrying, bottle throwing fits. I knew then that we would make it. Some how, some way my little girl and I would make it.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

September 6th, 2008

Let's start at the beginning. I guess it really started about 10 months prior to September. On a cool day in December. We were painting our living room. All of a sudden, I stopped painting.

"Babe, let's do it. I think we should, right now." He turned to me. "Really? Right now? Mid paint? Me: "Yep, I'm ovulating."

I was right. The last time I would be right about anything, or so it seemed, for a long while.

After the perfect pregnancy and the perfect delivery, she arrived.

We'll call her L.

I was 32. I was prepared....or so I thought. Apparently I knew I wasn't really prepared. At one point during my labor I observed that it wasn't the party I thought it would be....out loud. Excuse me? I should have known then that it might take a turn for the worse!

I, well we, stayed in the hospital for an entire 36 hours. If I had it my way, I might still be there.

We brought L home, put her car seat down and stared. I was afraid to vocalize my feelings. I was afraid to be mortally afraid. I didn't get it. I wasn't sure what to do. Where oh where were those maternal instincts? Here she was, that baby I wanted. That baby I predicted was ready to be conceived on that December day. Wrapped in pink, complete with hat, little fingers, little toes, sleeping like an angel and she was completely alien to me.

I spent the first week of her life in tears. Actually the first two weeks. I would call my sister (my childless sister) and tell her how hard it was. "Why is it hard? What is hard about it?" she would ask lovingly. "I don't know, it just is" I would say between sobs. "I will call you right back" she said. Moments later, my sister's best friend, who has a son, called me. My sister had to bring in reinforcements. Nothing she said helped me stop the tears. There was no consoling me. I was a 32 year old "I want a baby sooooooo bad" wreck.

Now, NINE months and some great medication later, I understand. Here was the issue. I brought this baby home with a stack of papers and a 500 page book on new babies. Here is what the papers and book said:

1. Your baby should eat every two hours

2. Your baby will poop several times a day, at least three

3. Your baby will .........

4. Your baby will........

5. Your baby will.........

Okay, great info for a new mother to have right? Not so much. L slept a lot and she didn't eat every two hours. More like three or four and guess what? She would latch on to my boob, eat for a minute or so and FALL BACK ASLEEP!!! She hadn't pooped since we left the hospital, over a week ago. I was panicked. I thought she would die FOR SURE! To top it all off, she was jaundiced. So much so that the doctor almost didn't let us out of the hospital with her. Every time I would take her to the breast feeding support group they would take one look at her and ask me if her doctor knew how yellow she was. YES! I go there every day to make sure she is less yellow than the day before!

All of these questions, all of this uncertainty led to a full on melt down on her one week birthday. It was Saturday. I had been crying all week. She hadn't pooped, was a yellow, sleepy, quiet and content baby and I thought she was moments from death. I kid you not, I prepared myself that she might not make it. I finally called the emergency hot line at L's pediatrician's office. The message I left was almost undecipherable. Moments later, the phone rang and it was the on-call doctor. I was so wound up that speaking was difficult.

"She doesn't eat every two hours. She hasn't pooped since we left the hospital, she falls asleep every time I try to feed her.....SHE'S DYING I KNOW IT!!!" The doctor talked me down from my self made ledge. L was fine, some babies don't eat every two hours. It was okay that she wasn't pooping, some babies only go once per week....for a breast fed baby, this is fine. The one in danger? It was me. My husband got on the phone to tell the doctor that he thought L was fine. I could hear the doctor on the line. "Yes, your daughter is fine. Your wife, however, is not. She is sleep deprived, has zero hormones and is in a completely new situation. And it is all okay. You have to understand how this affects her. You have to support her and realize that this is all very normal". Thank god someone told him this or this blog may be titled "Doing it wrong and alone since 2008"!

So started my sometimes turbulent, full of love and possibly medication, leap into motherhood. Enjoy the ride!