Sunday, December 31, 2006

Thank God he understands my moans and sign language

Act 1, Scene 1
Location: Our bedroom

I am lying on the bed, recovering from a migraine (ever since having Jack, I now get a premenstrual migraine every month...WTF? This was NOT part of the deal!).

Tim is in the living room, caring for the baby in my incapacitation. With his incapacitation, which must have been fun. When you have a migraine, you don't care.

Me: Ehhhhhn. Ehhhhhhn. Help. Tim. Help.
Him: (comes running in to room) What?
Me: Ehhhhhhn. (points to palm of hand) Help.
Him: Where is it?
Me: Bag.

Tim hastily exits the bedroom.

Act 1, Scene 2
Location: Still the bedroom, I can't move.

Tim returns with my glucometer and a handful of glucose tablets. He starts feeding them to me. Meanwhile, all I can say is "Ehhhhhhn" (don't ask me what that means, it sounded appropriate at the time) and I feel seconds away from a seizure. Tim takes my blood sugar.

Him: Wow, you're low. 44.
Me: Ehhhhhhn.
Him: Milk?
Me: Chocolate. (Even moments away from seizure, I can express my undying need for chocolate!)

Tim exits the room again, returns with a glass of chocolate milk.

Him: Here.
Me: Ehhhhhn. (waves hand around frantically)
Him: You need a straw?
Me: Ehhhhhn! (waves hand around frantically some more)
Him: Here (reaches down with his good hand to help me sit up, then exits room to fetch straw)

Meanwhile, I guzzle milk and flop back down onto the bed.

Act 1, Scene 3
Location: Still the bedroom, I still can't move.

He returns with a straw for my now empty glass.

Him: Are you going to be okay?
Me: Ehhhhhn. (Hand signals 2 then 0 then points to hand)
Him: Okay I'll recheck you in 20 minutes.
Me: Ehhhhhhn.

I pass out slobbering.

Act 2, Scene 1
Location: Again, the bedroom. As I have yet to move.

He returns to recheck me.

Him: Better, but still not normal. You're 60.
Me: 4 sugars.
Him: Okay.

He returns with 4 glucose tablets, which I chaw immediately.

Just as an aside, they really need to start making some better tasting options for treatment of hypoglycemic attacks. Those chalky nasty ass tablets are disgusting. They're like really sweet Tums made of chalk. This is the new millennium, or Willennium if you're a Will Smith fan. (It's here and I like it...Woo! Ha ha, ha ha!) Is this the best we can do, people? Seriously? Can we at least make them palatable? Just because I'm about to pass out and have a seizure doesn't mean my taste buds are dead.

He leaves me to rest, and recovery takes me a few hours. I was all slobbering and rubber limbs until I had rested a bit. When you get that low, your body steals glucose from your muscle tissues to keep your brain alive. So it takes a bit to get everything back to a point of stasis.

Thank goodness my husband knows me. I don't think I could have moaned and pointed to my hand to anyone else and they would have understood what I needed! (What? Your hand hurts? Do you want some aspirin? What's wrong? Someone stole your bones? What?...I can just see this playing out with someone else in the role of Tim. It would not have ended well. If it were my ex-husband, he would have said something along the lines of "Stop whining, you know where the juice is" and I would have had to crawl/flop myself down the stairs to get to it. Or died, I could have just laid there and died. [Yes this actually happened when I was married to my ex, yes that was actually his response and yes I really had to basically throw myself down the stairs in order to treat my low. Thankfully, I was rubbery from the low so I just kind of bounced/rolled down the stairs. Good times, good times.])

I have no idea where the baby was during all of this. I think the swing, maybe. Or maybe he was in bed next to me. I'm not sure. I was pretty out of it.

Dammit, now I have every Will Smith song ever stuck in my head. It goes like this:

Woo! Ha ha, ha ha! Y'all hear me? Y'all hear me? Big Will y'all! What, what, what, what? Woo! Ha ha, ha ha! Na na na na na na na! (repeat).

If this non-nonsensical repetitive lyrics thing keeps up, I may have another migraine...

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Father Knows Best, My Sweet Pooper! Mother knows best, and now everybody knows it.

Well, I predicted a broken ankle but instead it's a sprained wrist.

Back when Tim's Heelys arrived he was SO PSYCHED for them that he wanted to go walk the dogs with them. At night. Outside. I begged him not to, imploring him to stay safe. I enumerated multiple reasons why heeling at night for the first time with 150 lbs. of dogs was a bad idea.

1) it was night
2) that's a lot of dogs
3) he doesn't know how to do it yet

This escalated into me basically telling him, "No, I FORBID YOU to wear those for the first time ever outside at night to walk the dogs!" He was all whiny and claimed I would be one of those annoying overprotective mothers to Jackson. I got him some cheese to go along with his whine, and put my foot down (as firmly as possible, with the sprained ankle and all) and said NO.

Now keep in mind, this is MOMENTS after I hurt myself. I could barely walk, and Mr. Cheese For Brains wants to wear HEELYS at NIGHT to WALK THE DOGS. I'm thinking, "One cripple in the family is enough for me right now. We have a 3 month old baby to take care of and I don't need both of us out of commission, it's bad enough with me being injured." He's thinking "HEELYS HEELYS HEELYS HEELYS!"

You see where the conflict arose.

Yesterday morning, I called my multi-disciplinary medical practice (they have my family doctor, massage therapy, physical therapy, chiropractic, mental therapy, personal trainers and acupuncture, all under one roof) and BEGGED for an acupuncture appointment.

I could have tolerated the cold alone. I could have handled the hurt ankle by itself. But combine the two and I just wanted to die. I couldn't walk and I couldn't breathe. I had to sneeze but I couldn't hobble to the Kleenex box. I sometimes stuff things in my bra so I don't lose them. Like Jackson's binkies. I'll cram one of those in between my sweater muffins so I always have one close at hand. I never have to run to hunt one down, and it's not left out on the coffee table for dogs to chaw on. Anyways, the point is, I'm a 36DD and I was stuffing my bra with tissues just so I'd have some on hand when I got that annoying running tickly nose. Don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about. The snot tickles your nose so bad it nearly hurts and if you don't wipe it off you will go insane. Everybody's had tickly nose.

Anyways, so I scored a last minute cancellation with my Acupuncturist, who just also happens to be my Chiropractor. The man is a true healer. He fixes me. I am in awe of him. So I go see Mr. Magic Doctor Man and say "Please put needles in my face!" So you can imagine how much pain I must have been in to beg for that! He notices my 50 Cent-like limp and asks what's going on. So I tell him and in addition to doing the acupuncture for sinus, he also does some points for muscular stuff on my leg. Allright! (read that in a Matthew McConaughey Southern drawl, much more effective. It sounds more like "Awwwwlright" the way I 'm thinking it.)

20 minutes later, my needles are removed and *POOF!* I can breathe again. And I can walk without considerable pain. (For those who have not tried acupuncture, I highly recommend it. Once you get over the mental hurdle of having needles stuck in you, it's a cakewalk. You don't even feel the needles 90% of the time and if you do it just feels like a little mosquito bite. Don't ask me how it works, it just does.)

So since I have been healed like an old lady jumping out of her wheelchair on Benny Hinn ("In the name of Jeeeeeeeesussssssss!"), I'm off to the races. I have so much to catch up on! Prescriptions to pick up at CVS, a Bebe Pod chair to buy at Babies R Us and gDiaper flushables to snag from Whole Paycheck. I dropped Tim off at home (he had driven me to the doctor since it was my driving leg that was injured) so he could get back to work, and Jackson and I took off for Errandville, Population: Us.

I run all my errands then stop to gas up and wash the Jeep, and head home. When I got home, I see Tim walking up with the dogs. In his Heelys. Holding his wrist.

I TOLD HIM SO! But just when my back was turned and Mommy wasn't around to yell at him, he went and rode those Stupid Shoes to walk the dogs. Son of a B! I'm sorry for using such harsh letters.

We schlep in my purchases, the baby, the dogs, my durse. I fetch him some ice, aleve and water. I could kill him! Thank God I am once again ambulatory, because if I weren't....oh man, if I weren't he would be in so much trouble!

Ordinarily I have great compassion for the injured. When it's caused by an accident, that is. Not when it's caused by stupidity and bullheadedness!

So now I am stuck caring for 2 babies. One whiny one and one that needs diaper changes (guess which is which?).

We get in the car to go get a wrist brace, pick up a pizza for dinner (which I now refer to as "peepa", thanks Andrew! [Like he can read this...anyways....]) and a movie at Blockbuster.

By the way, let me interrupt this blog post for a mini-commercial for Blockbuster Online. If you use Netflix, you're getting ripped off. Switch to BBO and get movies by mail that you can exchange in store for ANYTHING (new releases or games!). You can also mail them back. In either case, when you return to the store or in the mail, they mail out the next movie in your queue. So if you return to the store, you actually get double the movies! Super awesome deal, tell your friends. I just did.

Anyways, so we go to the car and I say "I feel it is in our family's best interests that I drive. For safety reasons." He says "I can drive!" I'm all "Yeah, right".

So we get in the car and Cheese For Brains can't do his seatbelt. Because he can't bend his wrist that way without being in excruciating pain. So I do his seatbelt. Like I said...2 babies!

We got him a wrist brace support thingy, got dinner and our movie (Little Miss Sunshine, haven't finished it yet but so far I'm enjoying it a great deal) and headed home. All night long he is a whiny B. Ow it hurts to hold pizza. Ow I can't hold the baby. Ow I'm trying to do dishes but I can't unscrew the bottles. Ow ow ow. I'm surprised I didn't have to hold his dick to help him pee.

I am officially exhausted.

And as soon as my doctor's office opens on Monday, I'm making an appointment for Cheese For Brains to get in for some acupuncture. I don't care if he's afraid of needles! He should be afraid of me killing him for being such a whiny B.

Again, I'm sorry to use such harsh letters. :)

Friday, December 29, 2006

Changing my "slave name"

So the thought has occurred to me recently that perhaps I would like to legally change my first name.

I've officially rid myself of my maiden name, which was an OK name except that I share it with the man who sexually abused me as a child, since he was a trusted relative. So when I got married, I had no problems changing my name. (Maybe that's why I like getting married so much? Nah. It's the CAKE.)

But my first name, and all its dichotomy remains. My name means "happiness", which is so incongruous with my past and everything I've survived it's just silly.

Then I thought...wait a tic...I can pick any name I want for myself. I'm not locked into the name chosen for me by the woman who beat the living crap out of me, and the man who let her do it. Hmm.

This just might be my final step in emotionally emancipating myself from a lifetime of bad memories.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

I'm not going to be friends with Alice anymore, her injuryproneness is catchy.

All I wanted to do was take the dogs to the dog park.

It was a nice day out, about 50 degrees and sunny. I waited until Jackson woke from his nap, fed and changed him, then the four of us (Me, baby, Bella & Katie) all headed out to the dog park.

Halfway there the grating in the back of the Jeep (that separates the dogs from the backseat) fell down. Katie was under it, Bella was over it. Katie was being crushed and Bella was freaking out. I think she knew she was hurting her sister, but she didn't know what to do to stop it.

So I pulled over, gently eased Bella off of the grating and Katie then lifted it off of Kate. Now it's getting dark really fast and I have two dogs who want to play in the street. Great.

I load everyone back into the car, set the grating in the back seat to be reassembled later, and decide that it's too dark out now for me to take my baby to the park even if I do have 2 big dogs, it's just not safe. So I turn around, with 2 antsy dogs and a screamy baby in tow.

I remembered the mailman said we had a package at the front office, so I stopped there to pick it up. I grabbed the baby, in his car seat and headed in. While I was in the office and all the office girls were oohing and ahhing over Jackson, the dogs were having a rockin' good time jumping all over the interior of the Jeep.

Turns out, we had 2 packages at the office, so I headed out carrying more than I should have tried to bear.

While trying to put Jack's car seat back in the base, I noticed that Bella was the front seat. I was startled and lost my balance just so...and down I went. Somehow, Jackson's car seat magically levitated between the car door and the backseat. It got wedged in there just right so he didn't come crashing down with me.

And there I am, baby half in the car and half out, dogs all over the place, while I'm sprawled on the ground (which the landscapers have cleverly decorated with cut pine branches, so I have balsam fir jammed into my butt). All of a sudden I'm Mrs. Fletcher and I need Lifecall, because "I've fallen, and I can't get up!"

Instead I whip out my cell phone (and it is only by the grace of God that I had the forethought to stick it in my coat pocket, as it is usually in my Durse [diaper bag/purse, feel free to start using my new word at will] which I had left in the front passenger seat) and call Tim for help. I ask him to please wind sprint from our house 1/2 a mile over to the leasing office so he can help me off the ground (and I can get the balsam fir out of my rear end) and get us all home.

I reached up to where Jack was precariously perched on...really nothing. I still don't know how he stayed up there. I got him down, he was crying so I gave him his binky then the two of us sat and waited, while Katie and Bella yukked it up in the car.

Tim came to rescue me, and we all headed home.

We never got to the dog park, and now my ankle is just about as swollen as it was when I was pregnant! I'm seriously considering seeking medical attention for it since putting any weight on it is very painful. Even if it's just a sprain and all they give me is an Ace Bandage and some Darvocet,'s Darvocet. Right?

Here's the kicker: (get it, ankle/kicker? ha ha ha!)
One of the packages contained Tim's Christmas gift...a pair of Heelys. So I broke my ankle, while retrieving a package with which I am certain he will break his.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

There are no sick days on this job. But I could really use one.


That is all...

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

I can't stop laughing at this! WARNING: NSFW or kids!

I especially love the step by step instructions:
1) cut a hole in a box
2) put yer junk in that box
3) make her open the box!

Flounder? No. MOOSE!

Tim is trying his best to annoy me, by contradicting my new nickname for Jackson (Moose) with his new nickname for Jackson (Flounder).

MOOSE is an excellent name. Moose is a big, strong, beefy boy. A baby who gains 3 pounds in 2 weeks while recovering from surgery is A Moose!

Flounder is...what? It's some kind of faggoty BS name, that's what it is!


Friday, December 22, 2006

Jack Is Back.

Why wait until January 14 for Jack Bauer when right now on December 22, you can hang out with Jack Powers?

He has returned to me. That sweet, fun, easy going, joyful, music loving, happy little baby boy I knew for 37 weeks of gestation is back. His surgery incision is nearly healed - you'd never guess he was ever cut at all! His personality is completely different now. He will sit and jabber jaw at you for 10 minutes at a time. And then he wants some help sitting up, and when he gets there he will grin and giggle and squeal with delight. When I play music for him and help him "dance", he smiles wide and enjoys wiggling his cute little self to each beat.

He's more fun than we ever imagined.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

It's a Festivus Day Miracle!

Last night:

Bed time baba: 10 pm
Bed time sleepy sleepy lavender bath: 10:30 pm
Bed time lullabies and massage with sleepy sleepy lavender lotion: 10: 45 pm
Drift off to sleepy sleepyland, population: Jackson 11 pm
Wake for baba: 5 AM.

Yeah, you read that right. 6 hours. Straight.

I feel human again!

Jackson knew just what Momma wanted for Christmas, and homeboy delivered.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

It's a beautiful day...

Guess what I’m wearing today?

Pre-pregnancy jeans.

Granted, I had to wrangle all my post-pregnancy flubber into a pair of Spanx to get the jeans on…but still. Let’s focus on the REAL issues here, people.

Pre-pregnancy jeans!

Sara Blakely is my personal hero.

Monday, December 11, 2006

"They" (whoever "they" are) are right.

They say the third time's the charm.

After two failed sojourns into marital bliss (it was more like marital blisters!), I went for a third spin. I was either crazy, or it was the best decision of my life. I believe a little of each, more of the latter.

Yesterday, Tim and I celebrated our first year of marriage. And what a year its been! Our first year brought the challenge of me transitioning into a new role in life, (you may think staying at home full time is a vacation, in actuality it was really tough for me to feel personally valued when I didn't have an income after supporting myself for so many years. In a society where your value is ascertained by the price tag on your head set by HR, not making any money at all can be a total brainfuck) and our first year also brought us our beloved son, Jackson. (The reason I stay home. When they asked me at admission into the hospital who my employer was, I pointed at the baby. I said "He pays in poop and spit up. LOTS of each. I dare not ask for a raise!")

We're only a year older, but exponentially wiser and emotionally richer. Yesterday, as I laid Jackson down for a nap, it hit me -- how blessed I am. I am not lucky, because luck alone could not give me all of this. Only God could give me a life so rich and beautiful. I set Jack down, and a tiny smile flashed across his face. Even he knows that life is good. 3 years ago, I lived in a different town in a doomed and unhappy marriage that I was overdue to break free from. I was so depressed. If only I knew what was just around the corner...

I never could have foreseen this. I never would have dared to dream of such a lovely, blessed life. I could not have married a better man. We could not have found a more wonderful life together. It was such a long and treacherous journey here, but I truly do feel in my heart of hearts that I have finally arrived at the destination I was seeking. Life is pretty good here, on the corner of Blessed and Content. (Blessed and Content actually both intersect with Peace and Happy on the map, you know.)

A month after Tim proposed to me last year, I heard this lovely song that perfectly expresses how I feel about our relationship. It's this:

The Last Time
Eric Benet

The first time I fell in love was long ago,
I didn't know how to give my love at all.
The next time I settled for what felt so close
But without romance, you're never gonna fall.
After everything I've learned;
Now it's finally my turn,
This is the last time I'll fall in love.

The first time we walked under that starry sky,
There was a moment where everything was clear.
I didn't need to ask or even wonder why,
Because each question is answered when you're near.
And I'm wise enough to know
When a miracle unfolds,
This is the last time I'll fall in love.

Now don't hold back, just let me know.
Could I be moving much too fast, or way too slow?
'Cause all of my life, I've waited for this day.
To find that once in a lifetime, this is it, I'll never be the same.

You'll never know what it's taken me to say these words,
And now that I've said them, they can never be enough.

As far as I can see, there's only you and only me.
This is the last time I'll love.

"They" are right. The third time is the charm. You guys who got it right the first time around -- you are so fortunate, I can't even tell you. You don't even know!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Savor the Flavor of Sweet, Sweet Freedom

We've just been sprung from the hospital.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

What Child Is This?

It's no secret that after Jackson's birth, I felt really let down and disappointed. Nothing went as planned. My unmedicated vaginal birth turned into two days of failed induction, followed by a c-section with the much dreaded epidural. Nursing turned into pumping my breasts with a hospital breast pump, since I was separated from Jackson and we couldn't come to each other right away. So I'd sit up in my hospital bed with the big cones attached to each breast, crank up the pump and moo like a dairy cow. Pumping turned into frustration, as each pumping session would yield only droplets of milk, not even enough to make it to the collection bottle. Frustration turned into determination and prayer that God would give me milk. Determination and prayer dissolved into defeat, hurt, and anger.

Through it all, I felt so betrayed by my own body.

And then we sprung Jackson from the NICU on a cold, rainy Wednesday afternoon. We brought him home, and he proceeded to devolve into the angriest, fussiest boy on the planet. He'd scream and wail for hours on end, all night long. At times Hubby and I would take turns having our own little mental breakdowns. Hey, the crying wears on a person. Combine incessant infantile screaming with major parental sleep deprivation and you have a recipe for admission into the local mental institution.

In desperation, we'd take the baby for car rides at 2 am. Grandma bought him a swing, and we bought 2 sets of rechargeable batteries for it, so we would never be without juice for the swing. Sometimes the swing was the only thing that would lull him into a slumber, so I'd set the monitor on the swing's tray and put the receiver next to my pillow. Or, I'd just crash out on the sofa so I could be near to him. Even though I knew I wouldn't be bringing home any Mother Of The Year awards, I let him sleep in his swing A LOT.

His crying never gradually went from slightly fussy to more fussy to starting to cry gently to seriously crying. He went from silent to CODE RED SCREAMING in a matter of nanoseconds. There was literally no chance of catching him before he went to the point of no return.

How could this Demon Spawn be my son?

This wasn't the Baby Jackson that I knew. My Jackson was a happy baby. He loved music and puppies. He calmed down at the sound of my voice. He was easy going and sweet. At least that's how he acted while I was pregnant. I thought I knew him. We had a relationship. We had a thing going, we had a deal.

He totally reneged on his part of the deal!

It was emotionally painful for me. I would sit there at night, holding my screaming son and cry. I would look down into his handsome little face that is a perfect mesh of his father's and mine and feel like I didn't know him at all. It hurt! I wanted to know all about him. I wanted to memorize all his cues and prompts. I wanted to feel like he was an extension of myself, without ever second guessing my understanding of his needs. But this never happened, and it broke my heart. I felt like I wasn't bonding with my baby. Everything I knew about him was wrong, and I had to learn him all over again.

I felt like a tiny stranger had invaded my house and begun bossing me around.

Well, as it turns out, that tiny stranger was a stranger to even himself. He isn't a Demon Child, he is just a baby who was sick and in pain.

So now his medical problem has been addressed, and he is, yet again, a different person. Just when I was getting used to the old one! He is comforted more easily and fusses less angrily. He gently shifts from mildly agitated to slightly fussy to getting angry to really crying. I don't know how to read him. He is, once again, a tiny stranger. It's a frustrating challenge, because it's hard to build a relationship with somebody who changes their color so often.

I don't know who this baby is anymore. It sucks.

He's Bringing Stinky Back. Those other babies don't know how to act.



We have poop and gas, in copious amounts. We're very hopeful that we can begin feeding again tomorrow, and hopefully head on home with our babylove very, very soon!

Thank you so much to everyone who sent us their prayers and positive thoughts. We have absolutely, totally felt the love and God's healing hand on our son. The loving support of our friends and family is what has buoyed us through this impossibly difficult challenge. So thank you, thank you, thank you! God heard you, and He answered. And His answer was what we wanted to hear.

Hopefully, this means that our happy ending is just around the bend. Everybody loves a happy ending.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

So tiny. So many tubes and wires.

We're still in PICU.

Here's a riddle for you: What does my son have in common with the starving children in Africa? The latest news is that Jackson has, over the course of the past month and a half of being sick, lost so much of each of his meals that he is actually suffering from malnourishment. My baby could be on one of those Sally Struthers commercials. "For less than the cost of a cup of coffee a day..."

So the doctors have started him on some IV nutrition. Said IV nutrition, called TPN, is mixed up each night by a guy who only does it once a day around 6 pm, so we had to wait on our bag of TPN. I had visions of a guy in the basement wearing a cloak, standing before a giant vat of bubbling, mystery brew with a scraggly cat at his feet while he tossed in some eye of newt. In my mind, the guy who makes the TPN cackles like a witch and stirs the kettle with a giant wooden spoon. I'm sure it's far from accurate, but this is the story we made up this afternoon when my dearest friend Crystal was here visiting. Thank God for good friends. I really needed a mental break from all the heaviness in this room. I needed to laugh. I feel more like myself again. Far less rage-y.

If you're still praying for us, pray for farts. As soon as he passes some gas, we can give him food by mouth, and then as soon as he poops we can start thinking about heading home. We'd really like to go home.

Somewhat calm after the storm

Dr. Pediatric Surgeon has just left the surgery waiting room, after telling us that Jackson's procedure went well, and was uncomplicated.

We are waiting for the Murse that was attending Jack's surgery (why are all the night nurses boys?) to come get us so we can go be with our baby in recovery.

Today was one of the longest and hardest days of my life. Jackson's condition is something that develops in utero. So you know I spent a good part of this afternoon blaming myself. It happened while he was growing inside me. So it's my fault. Don't argue with my "logic".

After beating myself up mentally, I grew increasingly angry with the doctors. I remember the pediatric GI guy telling me in the exam room, in his haughty God-complex voice, "
I'm a specialist. I see VERY SICK babies. Your baby doesn't look very sick to me."


Tell me about how sick he isn't, when I'm rushing from the pediatric hospital to the surgery hospital, with my son's records and films in hand, ready to meet a surgeon I've only spoken to over the telephone once 10 minutes ago, so he can operate on my baby. TELL ME AGAIN HOW SICK MY BABY ISN'T.


It fills me with The Rage to think about it.

What an awful day. I'm so glad the bad part is over. It had better be over.

Please, God. Make the bad part over...

Monday, December 04, 2006

Mother's Intuition

I knew something was wrong with him. I knew it wasn't "just colic". Nobody wanted to listen to me.

I told our Family Doctor, "This baby vomits too much, and sometimes it's green." He said that babies spit up a lot, and that's normal. Which is the medical diagnostic equivalent of giving someone a pat on the head and a lollipop. I came back to our next check up and repeated, "This baby vomits too much, sometimes it's green, and sometimes he screams uncontrollably for hours on end and I can't help him feel better." Doctor says that its colic, and nothing more. Just a passing phase and I will have to suck it up until its over. He promises it will go away on its own. I suggest maybe there is a medical underlying issue, maybe gastric reflux. Family Doctor says that's a possibility, so I can take Jackson to a Pediatric GI specialist.

I took Jackson to the Pediatric GI Guy. I said, "This baby vomits too much, sometimes it's green, and sometimes he screams uncontrollably and there's nothing I can do to make him feel better." Pediatric GI Guy says that behavior is normal, a phase of colic, and it should go away on its own. I said I wanted to make sure there wasn't an actual underlying medical issue. He said, "So why did you come to see me?" I said, "To make sure there isn't anything seriously wrong." So he orders some tests, which feels like he's just doing this to placate me. You know, more pats on the head and lollipops.

This morning, we rose bright and early and I force-starved Jackson to empty his bowel in preparation for an Upper GI study. He had his last bottle at 5 am. His test wasn't until 10. I was dreading the time in between. You know he's going to cry, and you know you can't give him what he needs to feel better. It's heartbreaking. On the way to the Pediatric Hospital, I warmed his baba in the car and put it in an insulated coozy. The second he's done with his test, I think to myself, I can give him his baba and help him feel better. Because he will be starving!

His test went uneventfully, I thought. The Radiologist told me that if he saw anything, he would tell me right away. He said that Jackson didn't have Pyloric Stenosis, which was good. That was the bad diagnosis that I was fearing. That's the bad diagnosis that would require surgery. No Pyloric Stenosis was a good thing.

But then...

It's not Pyloric Stenosis, it's Intestinal Malrotation. This is something that I have read requires surgical intervention, and can be life threatening when left unchecked. So I am calling the Pediatric Surgeon for a consultation, and we'll take the next step after that.

I am not happy that there is something wrong with my baby, but at the same time I'm glad there is a diagnosis. I hesitated to complain too loudly, because I didn't want to be "That Mom" that bothers the doctor with each little hiccup. But I felt very strongly that something more was wrong. It wasn't just colic, it wasn't just a fussy baby, it wasn't just an upset stomach. I feel somewhat vindicated after being given so many pats on the head and lollipops. I *knew* it was something more.

I wish they had listened to me sooner. A mother knows her baby. They should have listened.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Coos and Smiles...

...are the best in the world!

Jackson woke up today and decided that today would be "Coo And Smile At Mommy Day".

I might not even get dressed. I may just sit here in my bathrobe and "talk" to him all day long!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

This is SO my life right now.

But don't you think he's worth it?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

So much to be thankful for

Dear God,

You have brought so many wonderful things into my life this year. I cannot thank You enough.

Thank you for my wonderful husband. He is everything You knew I needed and wanted in a partner. Thank you for making him for me. He is a terrific father, too. I am so very thankful for him.

Thank you for my family and my friends who are as close as family to me. Thank you for giving me people who love me no matter what. These people ARE Jesus to me. They love me and sacrifice for me and are always there. Thank you for giving me such a wonderful circle of love and support. There is not a day that goes by that I am not thankful for my Posse. (Adan, Crystal, Michelle, Tracy, Michele, Kim, Sue, Alice, Brandi, Chris, Lisa and Nicole...I'm talking about YOU!)

Thank you for my son. Jackson is the most amazing thing to ever happen to me. He is a perfect, pure soul that came out of me. He takes my breath away. There aren't words to express how much I love him. He is the dream and the prayer of my heart that I longed for, for so many years. Thank you for finally giving him to me.

Thank you for my health. This year was one that I focused on keeping myself well because of my pregnancy and I am so grateful to have been successful at managing my diabetes. There were some ups and downs, but You always kept me safe.

Thank you for providing so freely for my family. You have richly rewarded my husband's hard work with a very successful career. Thank you for a comfortable lifestyle.

Thank you for my pets. Their smiles, kisses, purrs and swishing tails are full of love and devotion to me and my family. "Dog" spelled backwards is "God". Coincidence? I think not. Bella and Katie love us just as passionately, freely, and unconditionally as You do.

Thank you for everything good in my life, and help me to always remember James 1:17: "Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow." (New Living Translation)

You are so good to me. I cannot thank You enough.


P.S. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Persistance Pays!

Victory is mine!!!

Merry Christmas from all of us. Please ignore my gigantic post-baby hips. I'm workin' on it.

Highs and Lows

So yesterday was a crazy day.

It started out innocently enough. It actually started out pretty awesome. We were invited to a private screening for the whole family of the new film "Happy Feet" on IMAX. I didn't know much about the flick, except that it was a family-friendly animation film.

Happy Feet turned out to be AWESOME. If you plan on seeing the film, skip through this paragraph to avoid spoilers. The movie was a great one for everyone. It had some cleverly-veiled adult humor along with a great message for kids. They matched those up with a strong social responsibility message that everyone needs to hear, then set it to a rocking soundtrack with a huge feel-good vibe. Good stuff! Go see it. Take the whole family. You won't be disappointed, I promise!

After the movie on IMAX at Navy Pier, we all headed home exhausted. We all napped and fed. Some of us had a diaper change. ;) Then suddenly, without warning, the day's tide turned. And none of us even knew it was happening. My Treo's calendar beeped at me to remind me that we had to take Bella the Lab and Katie the Golden to the mall for Take Your Dog or Cat's Picture With Santa Day.

Now I know that
Take Your Dog or Cat's Picture With Santa Day sounds like a really fun time but I can tell you first hand that it WAS NOT.

I carefully dressed Jack in his Baby's First Christmas outfit just in case we were able to get a family photo. I donned a red cowl neck blouse and asked Tim to wear his red and white striped button down. It was a full car on the way to the mall. We had to push my front passenger seat forward to fit the stroller behind me next to Jackson because the dogs were in the cargo area. So we all trucked down to Woodfield for our very first ever
Take Your Dog or Cat's Picture With Santa Day.

On the way to the mall, Tim and I decided that he would drop me off at the door with the dogs, we would go inside to get in line for Santa pictures and Tim would park and then come in to meet us with Jackson in the stroller.
After he dropped the girls and I off, I slowly made my way towards the mall door. Bella and Katie were enthralled with all the sights and sounds and all the people! Bella and Katie LOVE people. They love kids and old ladies and just everyone. They were thrilled to be meeting so many new people. Lots of strangers wanted to meet them and pet them and Bella and Katie were so excited to make their acquaintance. The three of us made our way through the mall, towards the center where the Take Your Dog or Cat's Picture With Santa Day was going on. Every few yards someone new stopped us to pet the girls. Bella and Katie were just in their glory. Katie was actually lying on the marble mall floor, giving up the belly when Mall Security approached me.

"Ma'am", he said, "You can't have dogs in the mall." I explained that it was
Take Your Dog or Cat's Picture With Santa Day and we were headed to see Santa and then we were leaving right after. He said nobody had told him of the event and I said "Oh I'm sorry you weren't informed." We proceeded towards the center of the mall where Santa is.

Mall Security Man came back to me, with a backup officer in tow, to tell me "Ma'am,
Take Your Dog or Cat's Picture With Santa Day is tomorrow."

I was mortified. Here I was, in the middle of Woodfield Mall, which used to be the biggest indoor shopping mall in the US until the Mall of America in Minneapolis was built, with nearly 150 pounds of shedding, slobbering dogs. I had not one but TWO large dogs. Not tiny little ankle biter chihuahuas either. Oh no. I have a 85 pound Yellow Labrador Retriever and a 55 pound Golden Retriever. These are NOT dogs you can fit in your purse. They're barely dogs we can fit in our SUV!

So Bella and Katie are now thinking that it is time to meet and make friends and shed on Mr. Mall Security and his backup unit. They're sitting and trying to give paw while I stand there, dumbstruck, apologizing profusely and explaining that I was sure that
Take Your Dog or Cat's Picture With Santa Day was today.

The two security guards explain to me that no,
Take Your Dog or Cat's Picture With Santa Day is tomorrow, so I will have to leave the premises with my two huge dogs immediately. That's fine and I am willing to leave but the problem is that now I am separated from Tim and Jack. I didn't bring my purse in with me, just the dogs. So I don't have my phone to call Tim and even if I did, his phone just so happened to break earlier in the day.

So let's back the bus up a minute and just review: Me, in the mall with two large dogs. Getting kicked out. Or as we geeks say, I was P0WN3D by Mall Security. Separated from husband and baby in what used to be THE LARGEST INDOOR MALL IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. I'm near tears. I'm humiliated and exhausted and convinced that I'm going to end up waiting outside the mall in the cold (did I mention I didn't bring my coat in either?) until the mall closes. Or I will have to walk home. I could walk home, it's about 5 miles. But it's freezing out and...just NO. NO! This is NOT happening to me!

And yet it was.

I explained to the security guards that I had to find my husband so we could leave. They said "well does he have a cell phone?" in a tone of voice that said "everybody on the planet has a cell phone, Crazy Lady with the two large dogs in the mall" and I explained that yes he does but it broke today.

So Mall Security had to put out an APB on my husband and I had to describe him in detail like I was giving a description to a court sketch artist of a burglar or rapist. So I tell them that he's 6'2", blonde hair, blue eyes, wearing a red and white striped shirt and blue jeans, pushing a stroller with our son in it and the stroller is beige and sage green. And his name is Tim and if they find him if they could please direct him towards the exit they are banishing me to wait outside of so we can all go home in shame.

And then my shameful walk through the mall towards my exit began. The dogs had no idea what was going on. They thought it was all a new fun adventure. We made our way back to the entrance from whence we came. We waited there patiently as mall shoppers stopped to meet Bella and Katie and pet them and tell them they were very good girls. And they were very, very good girls. Tim finally approached and said, laughing, "You got kicked out, huh?" and went to go get the Jeep. We loaded the dogs up in the back of the Jeep and headed home, Tim ribbing me the entire way over how I messed up the days.

The dogs? They were none the wiser. They thought that the field trip to the mall was AWESOME.

When we got home, I looked again at my Treo. That alarm to remind me of
Take Your Dog or Cat's Picture With Santa Day? Oh, I set that to go off a day ahead of time, so on Saturday it would remind me that we had to do that on Sunday. I'm just so sleep deprived I didn't remember that I had set it that way and when I glanced at it quickly, I didn't read that it was a reminder for the next day.

In my defense, when I told Tim that we had to get ready and get to the mall for
Take Your Dog or Cat's Picture With Santa Day, he didn't argue or say "I thought that was tomorrow." He said "Oh yeah, I forgot about that." So HE WENT TOO, he just didn't have the dogs. I don't understand how it is that he gets away with making fun of me when he went too. He forgot too. He screwed up too.

I mentioned to him last night over dinner that today we have our monthly Attachment Parenting group meeting at the library. He said, "Okay. You want to take the dogs?" Ha ha ha. Verrrry funny.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to start getting the five of us ready, again, for
Take Your Dog or Cat's Picture With Santa Day at the mall. Hell yeah I'm going back. After all that, I'm getting my dogs' picture with Santa.

This time, it's personal.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Hi, I'm alive...

But just barely. Sleep deprived but still head over heels in love with my Depriver of Sleep. Jackson has The Colic. :(

More later.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

About Bon Jovi, and trying to understand my mother

Jackson has loved music ever since before he was born. When he fusses, nothing soothes him more than a good tune. So this morning while he was throwing a little temper tantrum for no reason, I plugged in my mp3 player and sang along. And hormonal me got all choked up singing the chorus of "I'll Be There For You" to my son:

I'll be there for you
These five words I swear to you
When you breathe,
I wanna be the air for you
I'll be there for you
I'd live and I'd die for you
Steal sun from the sky for you
Words can't say what love can do
I'll be there for you

But I don't think it's just the hormones, or that Jon Bon Jovi is a particularly touching songwriter. I think it's because when I look at my son, I love him so much my heart nearly breaks. And then I try to reconcile these feelings with my own childhood experience, and it doesn't make sense. It doesn't add up.

Why didn't my own mother love me as much as I love Jack? (I tearfully asked my husband this over dinner Sunday night. He said, "Because she's crazy". I think he's onto something.)

There is nothing on this earth that I wouldn't do for my son. My love for him is fierce and loyal. It's the truest thing I've ever known.

But my mom was different. My mom told me I was stupid, fat and ugly (and I believed her for a very long time!). My mother told me she wished I was never born, and that I ruined her life. (And though I thought MANY times that maybe she shouldn't have spread her legs, I never voiced it. But oh, how I wish I had!) My mother screamed at me with a violent temper. She beat me, smacked me, punched me, yanked my hair and flung me to the floor. She did all this behind closed doors, then put on her nice Sunday School Teacher Face and was a complete hypocrite in front of everyone else, but that is another story entirely.

And then I hold Jackson, and gaze down into his eyes, into his perfectly pure, sweet little soul. And all I ever want to do is to love him and protect him and always make his world and his life the best I can. I can't imagine ever hurting him like my mother hurt me. I can't comprehend that.

I have to admit that trying to reconcile my childhood and my mother's feelings about me has been the hardest part, mentally, about being a mother. When I hold my son, I love him so much my heart almost explodes. Then I think about how my mother did not love or want me and I just can't understand it. I can't fathom ever treating my son the way my brothers and I were treated. It just doesn't make sense to me. Babies are the most precious miracles on earth, how can you not love them? I don't understand her. It's been so hard for me, because I kind of thought that maybe when I was a mother myself that I would understand her better.

I was wrong. The only thing I understand is that I will never understand her.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Happy Birthday to me from the National Football League

Last night over dinner I mused aloud to Tim, "maybe tomorrow the 49ers will win for me for my birthday!" He laughed and said "I wouldn't count on it."

And he's right. I've had a crappy season so far. I came into this week 2 and 5. I know my team sucks right now, but you can't always be the winners. Right now the Niners are in a building mode, working with a newer coach and a second year QB. I don't have much of an offense and my D is laughable. But still. I hoped. I wished. I dreamed.

I received. And as an added bonus, my game was televised in my area! So I got to watch my 6 point win over the Minnesota Vikings. Jackson was surprisingly calm as he lay in my arms, while I screamed at the TV.

The icing on my birthday gift-from-the-NFL-cake was a little local team loss. I'm not a Bears fan and ordinarily I'm not anti-Bears. But the Bears fans are out of control this year. They've had a good run lately, I'll give them that. But the second they start mentioning the "S" word, they jinx it. And they've started throwing the "S" word around like it's their destiny or birthright. They've gotten cocky and you all know that pride cometh before a fall. So it did my heart good to see the Dolphins take them down a notch.

I'll be honest. It just kind of stings a little to see all those darn happy Bears fans while I stay true blue and forever loyal to my crappy, losing team. So sandwich a Niners win with a Bears loss on a Birthday weekend...and I'm a happy camper indeed!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Annual Inventory

Another year has passed me by, and my oh my what a year it's been! My 31st year afforded me some amazing moments. I married my wonderful husband. He's the best person I've ever known. I experienced my first pregnancy. Despite the rough times, it was such an amazing journey. I gave birth to my firstborn child. He rocks my world. I was able to get back into touch with a few old friends. The internet is an amazing invention!

Overall, this has been a great trip around the sun. A really, really great year.

I'm not sure I could top it if I tried. Hopefully 32 will be just as kind to me. My 32nd year just has to be good. Anything that starts out with cake is going to be good.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Sometimes words aren't enough

One of my dear friends/blog readers who shall remain nameless is doing a very amazing thing to help us and our son. This person's kindness and generosity blows my mind. It's enough to make a hormonal new mother cry!

Sometimes God rains down goodness on you in a way that you never thought to ask for. It's times like this that makes me remember that Thanksgiving isn't just reserved for a Thursday in November. Thanksgiving can
come every day, with or without turkey and cranberry sauce. But let the record show that I prefer it with the turkey and cranberry, specifically the jellied cranberry sauce that slides out of a can in a big can-shaped lump. :)

Speaking of big can-shaped lumps, I'm so overwhelmed with gratitude that I have one of those stuck in my throat right now. I'm gonna go snuggle with The Peanut.

Don't you just love him to pieces? No? Okay, then it's
just me.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

It's been that kind of day

Jackson received a few special Halloween outfits at our baby shower, and I picked up a couple for him for $2 each at Old Knavery yesterday. He unceremoniously serial barfed on all but one of them in succession today.

In the end, I think this lone surviving unbarfed on outfit and the accompanying facial expression best describes our day:

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Too big, too fast. The past four weeks? I blinked, I missed it.

Quick, look at your calendar. Jackson is 4 weeks old today, can you believe it?

Neither can I.

Where did all that time go?

I got scammed out of his first week of life since he was in the NICU. So I've really only had 3 weeks of getting to know him. But still. Four weeks. FOUR WEEKS! He's nearly
a month old. He is getting too big for his "Newborn" sized onesies. He is starting to try to lift his head on his own, his Floppy Necked days are numbered. He hangs out with his eyes closed less and spends his awake time with his gorgeous eyes wide open, taking in the world. He listened and watched intently as I sang him Little Bunny Foo Foo yesterday complete with hand motions. He responds to me. When he cries, if I tell him "It's okay, Mommy's here" he settles down a little just at the sound of my voice.

I wish he would stay my tiny little Peanut forever.

He's getting too big, too fast. As each day melts into the next, time just speeds by us. Sometimes I hold him and think "I will never have this moment again" and it makes me so sad! His little face changes every day. As each day passes, his features become more defined and he becomes less of a generic "baby" and more

Too big, too fast.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Happy Mean Monday

From Jackson and the hippo on his Mean Monday onesie.

Please tell me the Land of Bad Mothers isn't calling because they are missing their Queen

Jackson had a particularly spitup-y morning and I hadn't yet had a shower.

Necessity was the mother of invention, and I crafted a crude "sling" from a couple of cloth diapers (thin, dries quickly, provides just enough traction to keep a wet and slippery baby in my grasp). I strapped the kid in and we took a shower together. He kind of liked the sprinkling water (he loves his bath normally) and didn't fuss at all. Now we're both freshly bathed and warmly dressed and we're both pretty happy about it.

Please tell me it's not a Crime Against Children to take a shower with a three week old baby. Because it worked well and I just may do it again (and again and again and again) so we can both avoid becoming Smelly People.

On girlfriendship, and the family that you choose.

The past month has been exceedingly tough for me. First there was all my fear and nervousness that the pre-eclampsia would be a serious threat to my baby. Then there was my very difficult labor and delivery that did not at all go how I had wished. Then there was my struggles with nursing and not having enough of a milk supply for my baby. Now there's the sleepless nights and exhaustion. Through it all, I have had one constant buoy in the stormy sea of life.

I've had my girlfriends, the people I love who love me. The family I choose.

My friends who live as far away as across the country and as close as around the block have all been there for me, rallying me on, comforting me, listening to my problems and supporting me every step of the way.

I've never been alone during any of this. A circle of incredibly amazing ladies all made sure of it.

Not to discount the loving support of my dear husband, but there are some things that guys just don't "get" and that girls are better equipped to understand and sympathize with.

I have revealed to you my difficult childhood, and how my parents aren't a part of my life anymore (and why). My family has become not just those people I am related to through blood or marriage, but the people I let into my inner circle. My family consists of those select few that I am not afraid to be emotionally naked in front of. The people who know all my shortcomings and mistakes and love me just the same.

My heart overflows with gratitude for my family. And if you're a regular reader of my blog, chances are pretty good that definition includes you.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Let the Damn Near Anorexic Diet Begin!

Since I am sadly unable to nurse Jackson, I am attempting to make lemons out of lemonade. I can't diet while I'm nursing (at least not to the extreme that I have in the past) so I'm doing it now! Before we conceived, I had dropped about 40 lbs. by using Seattle Sutton's for 2 months and NutriSystem for 1 month. I was eating 1200 calories a day and hitting the gym for a couple of hours a day. I can't log the gym hours yet - have to stay home and take care of the bebe and plus I'm not yet cleared to go back to working out by my doctor. I still have a few weeks to heal from the c-section. But I can go back on the NutriSystem - which Tim and I are doing together (poor lamb gained some sympathy pounds during my pregnancy).

I decided to use the NutriSystem plan again because it's less expensive than Seattle Sutton's by far and it's super easy and convenient. It's become far too easy to send Tim out for take out for dinner every day and far too hard to find the time to grocery shop, meal plan and cook for us while we adjust to life with a newborn. Everything on NutriSystem is pre-packaged and shelf stable. You add milk, fruit and veggies every day to the meals. It's super easy and nearly impossible to screw up. we go! Since starting the plan earlier this week, I've seen the scale drop by 4 pounds, and that's encouraging. Nothing compared to the 30 lbs. I lost in my week in the hospital...but still a great start. Stay tuned for updates...

And of course if you'd like to join me on my journey with some weight loss goals yourself, drop me a line. It's more fun to do with company along the way for encouragement!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Happy Frolic Friday

When I was pregnant, I ordered these Day Of The Week onesies for Jackson. At the time, I thought they were just a cute novelty. I had no idea how useful they would be!

You see, by dressing my child every morning, I am made aware of what day of the week it is. This is especially useful if you're a new mother whose brain has deteriorated into jello after each day runs into the next and it all becomes one big blur of dirty diapers and middle of the night feedings.

Thanks to Jack's Day of the Week onesies, I know that today is Frolic Friday. Tomorrow is Silly Saturday. Hooray, it's the weekend! When I put them away in his drawer after washing, I make sure to stack them in order so I always have the right day on top of the pile.

It hasn't happened yet, but I'm sure one day it will. My onesies will get mis-stacked and I will end up having the buzzkill of all buzzkills. I'll dress him up and celebrate

but it will really only be

You know it's going to happen and so do I. It's only a matter of time...

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Dear Spawn of Satan On My Chin:

Please go away.

I have scrubbed you, I have microdermabraded you, I have glycolic peeled you, I have Retin A'd you, I have Lavender Oiled you, I have Oxycuted you. And yet still you persist. Can't you tell when you're not a welcome guest?!?!?!?!?

Look, here's the deal. I begrudgingly put up with your shenanigans when I was pregnant, because my hormones were all crazy and there was nothing I could do about it. But the baby is born now, and my hormones should be starting to settle down a little and frankly, I don't like walking around with a gigantic zit cyst on my chin. So beat it already!

You're embarrassing! You walk into the room five minutes before I do, and with you prominently displayed on my chin nobody notices any of my other, better looking facial features. Nobody even notices that I have lost 30 pounds in a week! All they see is this gigantic, honking zitfest!


I would like to go back to my regular non-pregnant complexion now. The skin that looks like the weather forecast for Heaven: eternally fair and clear. I miss THAT skin.

If you do not go away on your own, I will be forced to call in someone to perform an exorcism on you. And by exorcism, I mean extraction facial. And trust me, you will NOT like that. So pack your bags and get out of here. I'm sure some greasy faced 15 year old misses you somewhere. Get along, little doggie!

Love, me.

Monday, October 16, 2006

If I sleep while the baby is sleeping, when am I supposed to shower?

Seriously, this is my question.

There are plenty of things that I would like to do while my arms aren't occupied by Jackson. One of them is blog...see? I'm doing this now.

But I also enjoy a hot shower, eating meals, painting my nails, going to the bathroom, doing laundry, washing dishes, cleaning house...I could go on for days.

When the kid only naps for an hour and a half at a time if I'm am I supposed to do all these tasks? I'm supposed to be sleeping while the baby is sleeping! But if I sleep while the baby is sleeping, then I can't, say, EAT while the baby is sleeping. Or PEE while the baby is sleeping. Because have you ever tried to go to the bathroom while holding a wiggly infant? It ain't easy, my friend.

But then if I do eat or pee or clean or whatever while the baby is sleeping...I never get to sleep. It's a vicious cycle.

To remedy this, I have determined that the perfect solution would be that at the time of birth, the hormonal shift caused by the removal of the placenta should also trigger an Appendage Growth Hormonal Spurt, which causes mothers to sprout an extra two to four arms. While this would make clothes shopping a little bit more of a challenge, I'd put up with it in order to be able to consume a meal while it is hot again. Wouldn't you?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Jack is crack.

It must be hormones. What is it about holding this tiny person that relaxes every cell in my body? He melts me. When I snuggle him while feeding him, I just turn into a blob of happy jelly. It almost lulls me to sleep!

He makes me so ridiculously happy. Happy isn't even the word. Like I said, he's crack. I'm high on him. When I hold him, my heart just explodes with happies. I love him so much I want to inhale him.

Tim frequently needs a hit too. I tease him that he's a Baby Hog, when he's home he always wants to hold the baby. I'm like "Ummm...can I have my kid back now?" Unless a stinky diaper is involved, Daddy doesn't want to hand him over.

I still can't believe that this person came out of me. This tiny, perfect little person was inside of me. He shared my blood. It's the most amazing thing.

I made a person. We created life.

When I married my husband, I never imagined that I could love anyone as much as I love him. Tim's such a good person. I adore him and I'm so lucky to have him. As much as I love my husband, the love I feel for this tiny package of wonderfulness completely eclipses any feelings of affection I've ever known. "Love" isn't even an adequate word to define it.

I'm totally hooked on this little man.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

This also made me laugh today

These made me laugh today

I love cats.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

On bottles, breasts and capes

Well, I officially quit pumping. Including the time it takes to wash and sterilize all the parts, I was spending 4+ hours a day pumping my bewbs to get maybe a grand total of 8 ml of breast milk. Total. For the whole day.

The time I spent doing it just wasn't worth what I was getting out of it. Jack is officially going to be a bottle baby.

At first it broke my heart. I cried. I asked God why...why He would take this away from me in addition to everything else I had to give up over the past two weeks. And then I realized - He had to take it all away so I could see that He gave me what I wanted to begin with...He gave me Jack. What more do I need? He gave me the dream of my heart, the one wish I nurtured for so many years. The one thing I wanted, a healthy and happy baby is mine. Maybe I got greedy, maybe I started to ask for too much.

I was talking to my friend Alice yesterday, and we were discussing how much more difficult new motherhood is compared to what they tell you in the parenting books. I really feel like I was duped! I had spent the past 8 months reading parenting books like I was cramming for final exams. I really thought I was prepared for these first two weeks! Boy, was I ever wrong. Now that I'm in it, I feel like I need to be SuperWoman to do it all. But there are times where I'm washing dishes and holding the baby and the phone is ringing and I'm cooking dinner and I have to go to the bathroom's nearly impossible! Maybe I could be better at this if I had gotten my Regulation Issue SuperWoman Cape when they discharged me from the hospital. They gave me all kinds of things...a cheesy diaper bag, that puffer thing to blow into to work out my lungs, weird nylon disposable panties...but no cape.

I really could use that cape.

It makes me laugh when I hear people say that stay at home moms have it easy. Because we're not out there earning paychecks, sitting in endless meetings, patching runs in our hose with clear nail polish, laughing at our bosses' bad jokes. Tell me again how easy I have it, when I don't have a moment to pee much less take a shower, as my shirt bears spit up stains as a badge of honor, while I'm changing a poopy diaper as I get ready to walk the dogs right after I feed the baby...when I haven't even had lunch myself. Oh yeah, it's a freakin' picnic.

They really should give you a cape.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

New mother indecision

Since I can't quite bend at the waist without having pinchy pains, I have not shaved my legs for nearly two weeks now.

I can't decide if I should just go to Target and get a bottle of that foamy Nair stuff that you squeegee off with a rubber "razor" (which I could do seated, easily) or just let the hair continue to grow and see how long it will get...maybe go for a Guiness Book of World Records leg hair length.

I think I would feel far more attractive, maybe even a little bit seckse if I went for the depilatory.

I mean, look at how good I feel after I snuck in a shower! Imagine having smooth legs too. Hmm....decisions, decisions.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Labs really DO make excellent family dogs!

Bella loves Jack!

Friday, October 06, 2006

I'm an aunt!

Here's my youngest brother's son, AJ.

AJ was born 6 days after his cousin Jackson.

My two main men

Please try to not die of the extreme cuteness.

What's my name again?

So, I have survived Jack's first week of life.

And when I say "survived" what I mean is that I am still alive (although I feel half dead) and I haven't killed anyone else.

What day is it? Isn't that Daylight Savings Time stuff supposed to change soon?

I am all sleepy and sore and out of touch with reality. I turned on CNN the other day and had to turn it off. School shootings and some congressman hitting on a teenage intern online. Ew. Maybe I didn't miss that much anyways.

I am so thankful. I am thankful to my husband who listens to me cry and tries to comfort me. I am thankful to him for trying to cook so I don't have to. I am thankful to him for being such a great Daddy.

I am thankful to my wonderful friends who have been there for me, who understand how I feel and talk me down from all this crap swirling around in my head. Because as much as I adore my husband, and as much as he tries to "get" me, there are some things that only a girlfriend can understand.

Time for me to go hold my baby, and slowly let my brain turn into soup some more. Being home with a new baby is exhausting, and it has turned my life upside down like never before. It's so incredibly crazy.

I've never been more miserable or more tired or more fulfilled or more content. I'm a walking dichotomy.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Welcome to Hell, Population: Me

I am so overwhelmed right now.

I'm fried.

I'm tired.

I'm sore.

I'm frustrated.

My milk still isn't here yet, Jack won't latch on, giving him formula breaks my heart because I want to give him the best of everything and I know breastmilk is so much better...

I'm pumping and get only drops. It makes me want to cry.

I feel like an incompetent mother. This messes with my brain in a way I can't even put into words. I freak out and think that maybe I'm just as bad a mother as my own mother was to me. And then I bawl my eyes out and have to tell myself that I'm not her. I'm not her, I'm not her, I'm not her.

I'm not her.

When Jack doesn't latch on, I have a hard time not taking it personally. It doesn't feel like he's rejecting my breast, he's rejecting me. It kills me inside.

Why doesn't my baby love me? I gave up everything for him.

My career.

My body.

My health.

Sushi and brie and good wine.


And all I want is to give him the best of everything I can and...why won't he let me?

I can't stop crying.

My soul hurts.

If you pray, pray for me and if you pray for me, pray for milk. Everything, everything, EVERYTHING that I wanted for his birth and beyond I have had to give up. I can't give up breastfeeding. I just can't. It's like, the last bastion of being a good mom and doing it right that I have. I have had to give up on everything else that I wanted, planned for and worked for. I can't give this up too. It will kill me if I do.

So pray for milk. I feel so alone and I feel like God doesn't even pay attention to me anymore. I feel like He's left me stranded on an island of Hell to make it on my own. I need to know that's not true. I need to know He still sees me and cares and hears my cries.

This hurts so much I can't even tell you.

'you are not broken you are amazing'

So says the text message that I got the other night.

Thank God for good friends who know just when to say what you need to hear.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Aww, don't worry Dr. Y. We still love you!

Dr. Y came to check up on me today. We talked about how I was doing, how the baby was doing, possible discharge plans for both of us and stuff like that.

Before she left, I said "I have to tell you this. Thank you so much for working so hard to give me the birth I wanted. I know you did everything you could and it means so much to me that you tried so hard."

And she said, "Oh really?! I thought you and your husband for sure would HATE me after I made you have a c-section! I thought you were totally regretting your decision to change doctors to me now."

Oh no no no no no. The only regret I have is not switching doctors sooner.

I told Tim about this convo when he got back from running a few errands and he said "Are you kidding? Changing doctors to her is the best thing we did!"

So if you love your doctor, and they do right by you, make sure to tell them. Because you never know what they're thinking and I personally would have felt bad if Dr. Y kept feeling like I was mad at her when in actuality I am eternally grateful to her.

And if you are looking for a phenomenal OB/Gyn in the NW Chicago Burbs let me know. My doctor is just awesome and I'm happy to pass along her name as a reference. :D

Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Final Score - Dr. Y: 2, Jackson: 2

It's Saturday, and I apologize for being silent to all those who have been sitting at home, clicking "refresh", waiting to find out if Jackson is here yet or not. I've been a little preoccupied with things like trying to recuperate after having a baby and stuff.

After spending all morning having strong, frequent contractions and the most hellacious back labor known to mankind (while contractions are bearable, that back labor is crap! Ohmydog so much pain I can't even tell you. Think of the worst pain you've ever felt. Now multiply that by a million, and put it in a place that you can't reach to try to soothe. Backrubs, counter pressure, heat packs...they all sound like a great idea. And yet I didn't find them as helpful as people sell them as), Dr. Y came back to my room around 2:00 on Thursday to check my cervix. I had only dilated 1 cm (you need to be 10 cm to push a baby out! I was a long way from there!) and hardly effaced at all. (The cervix was still thick, it needs to thin out to open up). So after all that work and all that pain I had made no progress towards being able to get Jack out on my own.

Dr. Y looked at me with empathic eyes and said "You know what this means". I nodded and said, "Prep the OR". I do have to say one thing here though - Dr. Y did everything in her power to honor my wishes regarding the birth I wanted. She truly
and honestly did. I know I never would have gotten that kind of respect and patience out of Dr. Boob Check. I am so very grateful for Dr. Y's multiple attempts to allow me to have the birth I wanted. Her job was to have a healthy mom and a healthy baby at the end of the day. She did her job, and she did her job well. She really did try to give me what I wanted, I know she did her best. But nothing she did worked.

My heart was broken. Seriously, it hurt so bad having to admit that I was going to have a c-section that I could barely breathe, I was just racked with such immense feelings of failure and loss that my entire being shook. I'm crying right now as I revisit that moment in my head. The nurse got me ready for surgery, they called down an
anesthesia guy, and I walked the longest hallway ever from Labor and Delivery to the C-Section Operating Room. I told Tim it felt like a "walk of shame". All the things I did not want so much were happening to me. I had to have an c-section, I had to have an epidural, I had to be tied to the operating table. As they were taping my arms to the wings of the table, I said "I feel like I'm being crucified". Dr. Y laughed hysterically and said that I was the funniest patient she's ever had. But I really did feel like I was making the Ultimate Sacrifice for someone else's well being. I've heard so many Epidural Horror Stories that I wanted to avoid that at all costs. But I couldn't avoid it anymore. I had no choice. I had to do this for Jack. They don't let the Daddy into the room until the procedure is ready to begin, so while they prepped me and epiduraled me, I was all alone. And I truly do mean all alone. I've never felt "alone" as a feeling more acutely in my life. They really should let the Daddies into the OR right away. Sometimes the Mommy needs him there. I certainly did. I kept hearing me telling myself over & over again in my head...'I've failed, I've failed, I've failed...". I really could have used some moral support.

I felt the epidural stuff only on my right side, so they tipped the table to the left. Without warning me. I freaked out. I screamed, "HELP ME I'M FALLING OFF THE TABLE!" because I really thought I was falling off the table, and there was no way in hell I could have fought gravity to hang on to the table. I felt like jelly. I think they
gave me too much of the medicine because I was supposed to be numb from the waist down. Instead, my arms were numb, my hands tingled and I felt like I couldn't breathe.

Dr. Y cut me open and I heard her say something about a big blood vessel. I guess that's why I lost so much blood that now my labwork comes back showing me as anemic. Oopsie. Yet another thing my body can't do correctly. In a moment of pure insanity (or clarity, I guess it depends on how you see it), I asked Dr. Y to make the incision so I could try a VBAC next time. NEXT TIME!?!?! Who am I kidding?!?!?! Next time should be the last thing on my mind at this time, but still there I was,
planning years ahead already. Cuz that's how I roll.

Dr. Y said the amniotic fluid looked nice & clear, which is good. Jack wasn't in such distress that he passed some of his meconium into his fluid, which can be bad for the baby (because basically they end up breathing their own crap). So that was good. I felt the pressure of her lifting Jackson from my womb.

I then experienced the longest few seconds of my life, as I waited to hear my son's cry. It couldn't have been more than 5 seconds, to be totally honest. But it felt like an eternity. I laid there with my abdomen cut open, unable to see what was going on, while Tim snapped pictures, and all I could do was wait. I kept whispering to myself "Cry, Baby, cry". This really didn't help that feeling-like-I-couldn't-breathe dealie I already had going on!

The most beautiful sound in the world is your child's first lusty wail.

I would have killed or died a million times over to hear that sound. I heard it, and my entire body went slack (like I wasn't slacky from the epidural, but whatever). He was here! He was here and he was crying and he was okay. It was the tiniest little crumb of peace and contentment, but I clung to it.

Since Jackson is a little early, he's having some complications that require he stay in NICU instead of in my room with us (Tim packed my air mattress and has been sleeping on that, on the floor so he could stay in my room with me. What a gem of a
guy, huh?). His lungs are a little immature (which is why we wanted to do that amniocentesis in the first place, to check) and he had a little bit of amniotic fluid stuck in there from being born via c-section instead of a vaginal birth. When they come out through "the door", the birth canal helps squeeze that extra fluid out for them. When they have to come out through "a window" they don't get that little perk. So he is in the nursery across the hall, which sounds so close but is yet still so very far away from me. I am still a little wobbly on my feet and they just finally took the IV From Hell out of my arm last night. Jack can't take any food by mouth yet because he's not yet ready to eat and breathe at the same time. So he's on a feeding tube, and Tim has been going to the nursery every few hours to feed and cuddle him. He sings to him and tells him he's going to grow up to be the best quarterback ever of the San Francisco 49ers. :)

I try to make it over there too, but sometimes it doesn't work out with my own eating, insulin dosing and breastmilk pumping schedule. When he's not eating, the nurses want him to rest, so I am shunned from waking him in the nursery to visit with him unless it's a feeding time that fits into my schedule. Except that when I'm not eating, insulin dosing or breastmilk pumping, my doctors want me to rest too. I can't win! :(

I am still more than just a little frustrated with my birth experience. I'm getting over it,
trying to accept the outcome. I'm getting there. I'm not there yet. It's really hard for me. I live life with a lot of discipline and planning. I scope out every move. I like it that way. I control my destiny. Over the past few months, I have trained for this. Millions of kegels, squats and pelvic tilts later, my bahina was prepared for birth. I feel like I trained for a marathon that I didn't get to run. It's so disappointing. I did everything I was supposed to. Everything. And it still wasn't enough. My everything wasn't enough. That *kills* me.

I have one tiny ray of sunshine in my dreary outlook. I have Jackson. I have a 6 pound, 11 oz, 19 inch long baby boy who is just the most beautiful thing I have ever
seen. And while he's struggling a little bit right now, his size and weight is just what his mom worked so hard for so long's *perfect*. At 37 weeks, a healthy baby of a non-diabetic mother is supposed to weigh between 6 and 7 pounds. Babies of diabetic mothers typically weigh more when the diabetes isn't controlled at all, or is poorly controlled. Not my baby. I worked my tushus off and it shows. It might sound stupid to you, but I take great pride in his size.

Before turning off the lights to go to bed last night, I told Tim the bad news.

I told him there was another man in my life now. Tim said, "Oh yeah?" And I said
"Yeah. But don't worry, he doesn't even weigh 7 pounds. You could totally take him out."

And so, I present to you our firstborn son, Jackson Phoenix, who was born on Thursday, September 28th at 2:19 pm. He is 19 inches long and is 6 pounds, 11 ounces of the most beautiful baby I have ever seen. However, I will readily admit that I am quite biased.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The score: Dr. Y - 0. Jackson - 2

It's Thursday morning, and I've just showered and changed hospital gowns. Why do they call these 'gowns'? They aren't appropriate for wear to any formal event. (Or informal one, for that matter!)

Dr. Y came in around 6:30 this morning to take my Cervadil out and check my progress. I am still neither dilated nor effaced at all. The nurse just left my room, after hooking up a new bag of Pitocin in an effort to give that a second try.

I spent all night writhing in pain. I had contractions and back labor all night. It sucked so hard. When Dr. Y checked me this morning and said I had not progressed at all, I cried. All that for nothing. I have now been in the hospital for an entire day for NOTHING. I'm so frustrated. I feel like such a failure.

I wish I knew how long they're going to let me go to see if the Pitocin does anything today. I have just about abandoned all hope of having my desired non-medicated vaginal birth. And I don't care anymore. I give up. I quit. Cut me open, I don't care.

Just make it end now, please.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Update: The new plan sucks monkey nuts too

So after sitting here all day long with the pitocin going, I have dilated and effaced...not at all. Dr. Y put in the cervadil a little while ago. It felt hard and scratchy going in. I don't recommend it at all.

I could have spent today at home and ended up with the same results! I'm pissed!

I wanted to do my nails today. I wanted to do my nails in the same color I wore on our wedding day for Jack's birth day. (All together now..."AWWWWW!") I was so disappointed to think that all those first pictures would be taken of me, holding Jackson, with a sad worn manicure. So when Tim went home to grab our bags and take the dogs to the kennel, I had him grab me my stuff. So, my nails are done now (in OPI Shanghai Shimmer, if you must know) and I am *now* officially ready to give birth. Well, my nails are ready. My cervix isn't. Priorities, you understand.

The plan is...there is no plan!

As of Monday, the "plan" was for me to have an amniocentesis this morning to determine lung maturity and if that came out good, which it should, then we'd come back to the hospital tonight and start a dose of cervadil to ripen my cervix to give birth and start on some pitocin tomorrow morning to induce labor.

Well, this morning Dr. Y took a look inside with an ultrasound to find that I didn't have enough amniotic fluid to do an amniocentesis and my placenta is beginning to go kaput. This all surprised the heck out of me...Dr. Y, not so much. So I did not get to pass go, I did not collect $200, I went directly to...labor & delivery.

Oy. I was all about The Plan. I was ready for The Plan. I had my bags packed at home for The Plan. And plan! The new plan involves me in a L&D room, on an IV of fluids, antibiotics (I have Group B Strep in my dirty whore's vagina, apparently), and pitocin. I have a blood pressure cuff on my left arm that monitors me every few minutes. Contractions feel like the worst menstrual cramps I've ever had. OW!

I'm focusing on letting go of The Plan...or any plan for that matter. I have to wrap my head around this possibly not working out for the unmedicated vaginal birth that I had my heart set on. If my blood pressure doesn't hold out, or if Jackson starts showing signs of distress, I might need to be gutted like a fish. Since I know that being disappointed in your birth experience ups the risk for PPD (and we all know I'm already petrified of the big, bad PPD), I am working hard to mentally get myself to a place where I'm okay with a birth, any birth, as long as the results are a healthy baby.

The fun good news portion of this all is that one of the girls I went to high school with is one of my night nurses in labor & delivery. I haven't seen her since our 10 year reunion. But it's still awfully comforting to have a familiar face I can immediately trust with my life as part of my medical team. Once again, I have to chalk it up to "God knew what I'd need". He knew this would be a difficult turn of events for me to accept, and He knew I'd need a friendly, familiar face to get me through. So he put Sarah here.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

A New Perspective

I've decided that I'm okay with having Jackson being born on Thursday. I'd much rather mark the date on my calendar as Jack's birthday than as anything else.

Since I choose to start making a lifetime of new, good memories to replace all those old, bad ones...this makes sense to me.

It's 11:00 pm on Sunday night, and I've just enjoyed my very last ever child-free weekend. It's an odd feeling. In four days, my son will be in my arms.

I'm supposed to rest and take it easy between now and then, but it's incredibly difficult. It's like waiting for the best Christmas of my life.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Mark your calendars! I suppose I should pack a bag now. Also, now taking applications for post-partum support.

Little by little over the past 2 weeks, my blood pressure has been gradually rising. While my health is in decline, the baby seems to be doing just fine. However, I'm told that it's only a matter of time until Jackson begins to be impacted by the problems I'm experiencing.

Based on my current status, my OB would like to perform an amniocentesis next Wednesday morning to check for lung maturity. If the lungs are ready to breathe, we will start the induction process on Wednesday evening and Jack will make his grand debut next Thursday, September 28th. Hold on. I want to check what sign that would make him. Ooh, he'd be a Libra. Libras are nice. Hubby is a Virgo/Libra cusp baby. Anyways, back to the situation at hand.

So, next Thursday I would have my baby. WHOA. That seems so close...and yet so far away! And as I check the calendar, a wave of nausea washes over me. Next Thursday is 9/28. That was my wedding anniversary to my ex husband. EW! It was bad enough how it just so happened to work out that Tim and I got married last year on Dave's birthday. But have our first child on our wedding anniversary? That would be...WEIRD. Dave and I get along great now. I guess we had to get divorced in order to be friends again. I just hung up the phone with him and he laughed hysterically at my conundrum. Thanks a LOT, Pal!

I've been in denial over my impending delivery and I've been a bad girl and haven't packed my bag for the hospital yet. I think this is something I should get done today though. I wish someone could tell me exactly what was going to happen and exactly how it is going to feel and exactly how long it is going to take. I'm not afraid of giving birth, I'm not even afraid of the pain. I'm just afraid of the unknown.

One of the unknowns I am most afraid of is Post Partum Depression. I'm fairly certain that my mother suffered from this with me (why else would you abandon your newborn infant and run away from home?) and with my own personal history of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Depression, I feel like I'm a sitting duck. I know the medical physiology of PPD. I know how the fluctuation in hormones can hit you like a ton of bricks and land your heart on its ass. I'm scared to death of this.

I've discussed this with my doctor, and she is going to start me on a prophylactic dose of progesterone after delivery in an attempt to keep my hormone levels even-keeled so I don't go over the deep end. So at least I feel like I'm doing something to address my own worst fear. At the same time, if any of my beloved friends/blog readers would like to volunteer to be my lifeline should I need one, I will gladly accept the volunteered help. I feel like since there's very little I can do to truly prevent PPD from happening to me, the best plan I can have in place involves preparing my body with the progesterone and my mind with a support system in place. It's really hard to be prepared for something you can't prepare for.

If I focus on it too much, I feel like a hamster running in a wheel. I keep running and running and running in my mind but I get nowhere with all my running. It's really very frustrating! I want to run away from it. Away from my genetic predisposition, away from my personal predisposition, away from the inherent risks just from giving birth. I want to hide from it, maybe under my bed or something. I want a gigantic bubble around me, like in the movie Bubble Boy, that will insulate me from anything bad that can or might happen. But I know I can't run or hide or insulate myself from the possibility. And so I reach out to you, dear friends, and ask you if you can be there for me if I need it.

Because frankly, I'm just so afraid. Knowing I can't control it makes me even more afraid. The juxtaposition of my emotions over Jackson's impending birth absolutely torments me. I am so excited to meet him. I feel like I know him so well after loving and nurturing and carrying him for so long. At the same time, I know I don't know him at all. He is an individual with his own thoughts and feelings and likes and desires. I've never loved anyone as much as I love him. There's a certain vulnerability involved when you let yourself truly love someone. If you don't give your heart to them, they can never hurt you. I adore this little person so much, I can't help it. But by loving him, I give him the ability to break my heart and that scares me. And of course, I dread coming to the realization that I am suffering from post partum depression, if that happens. I know I will completely feel like an utter failure if it occurs. To think that all my life - 31 years of hopes and dreams of a family of my own - culminated in me not being able to handle it will crush my spirit.

My excitement to meet Jackson is evenly tempered by all these apprehensions rattling around in my brain. It's ugly to think about. I think I'll go pack my bag now.

P.S. I'm laughing right now, because I just spell checked this entry and spell check suggests "party" instead of "partum" in my post. Post Party Depression. Oh, how I wish it were something as uncomplicated as that.