Wednesday, September 25, 2013

You're Right. What Could I Possibly Know?

So I just had a co-worker try to convince me that my out-laws, "Can't be THAT bad. They CAN'T BE THAT BAD." She smiled and slowly shook her head at me like I was a silly little child who was upset that the sun was going down.
And that really made me angry. She knows many of the tales. Has crinkled her face in disbelief. And yet here she was, telling me I couldn't possibly be right.
I often do think that maybe I am being overly sensitive. Constantly on guard with them. That I should give them more slack. And then things happen or are said and I'm right back to where I started. Shaking my head and kicking myself for being so naive. Wondering why everyone keeps telling me that's just how it is and I should just deal with it.

So I come here, and I reread what I've written about the visits.  Relive the moments, the statements, the questions and some times I feel vindicated and other times I feel doubt.
Like when MIL heard of my plan to wait until Little Man was 6 months old to start feeding him solids, she wagged her finger at me via Skype and said, " You listen to ME honey, if you don't feed him food now, he won't like anything later!"
Um, what? Doesn't one of the nephews you pretty much raised only eat chicken nuggets? And he's 8? Soooooooo, what again??
Or how she gave me a necklace and out right lied about "having one made for you from The Homeland because you said you liked mine."
Oh, you read that and think how sweet! why is she complaining? I can't stand being lied to, especially when you give me a broken piece of jewelry as a gift and tell me it is new, especially made for me. To me that is an insult to my intelligence. And this is when I question myself. Just let it go! I say to myself. She is TRYING. But then my other side says, Is it really trying if it is lies and broken items?
I drive myself crazy with the back and forth!

 The constant battle between F and I over his family is harmful. Here it is almost 4 months out and I'm already stressing about heading Back East for Christmas. No matter what we do, someone is going to be miserable. I of course prefer it not be us.
How do you make yourself not care? How do you make yourself the person who is always seeing the bright side of things? How do I become Zen? How I ask you,  HOW?

Friday, September 13, 2013

Just Call Me Mommy

Oh my digital friends, I know I've been  MIA for many a months. My life is fully consumed with Little Man and all the ripples his existence creates.
As I am allowed to pump at work, twice a day, I am losing basically 2 hours of work related productivity a day. I have managed to stay on top of things by working through my lunch, but then my Boss went and reduced my project completion time. Things have been a tad stressful on the work front to say the least because of this. I don't really have the "spare" time to be writing this, but I need to clear my head of a few things and I know putting them out to the digital world would help relieve some of the stress. And possibly garner some ideas and suggestions.
Little Man is causing me all kinds of stress. I love him so, but seriously kid, SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT ALREADY. When he first arrived on the scene he would start to doze off and I would put him to bed still awake. As time went on, he would have to be completely asleep or he would cry and scream. We were creating a monster. I think the trip Back East was the breaking point. His entire schedule was off by a mile. All the pointing and prodding and smile demands really got to him, and me. At one point, after I was allowed to nurse him instead of his "Nanna" feeding him a bottle, (um, yeah, that's a post in and of itself) he just laid across my lap and rested. I would pat his belly and when I stopped he would make his little "eeehhh" sound and I would do it again. This went on for a good 20 minutes before F looked in on us.  Anyway, this trip is where I feel it all fell to hell. Getting him to sleep that week was hell. Napping was just as bad. When we got back it got a tad better, but never back to where we were. All my mom friends keep  telling me he should be sleeping through the night and to just put him to bed and walk out. Let me tell you, it DID NOT WORK. I put him to bed, told him I loved him and walked out of the room, closing the door behind me. Little Man LOST HIS MIND. I went back in 2 minutes later, calmed him down, put him back in bed, and left. HE LOST HIS MIND. This went on for an HOUR AND A FORTY FIVE MINUTES. I increased the times between going back in, tried to stop picking him, but it didn't work. He SCREAMED at the top of his voice THE ENTIRE TIME, unless I was holding him, and even then he might let out a good scream just to let me know he was still pissed at me even though he was stroking my hair.  F? F was beside himself, almost in tears listening to it. He finally couldn't take it anymore, deciding I was forever damaging Little Man psychologically, he went in and held Little Man for half an hour until he feel asleep. I felt like such a bad mom. And I was pissed at myself for listening to the other moms. But I was SO TIRED. Little Man is still waking up at least twice a night. F rarely hears him, so I go in, comfort him, put him back to sleep and then get everyone up and out the door in the morning. I am beat.  But clearly, just up and leaving him isn't going to work, for any of us. So I've switched tactics to a more gradual, less crying sleep training version. And I'm sorry, but there is no such thing as the "No Crying/Tears" method. My kid cries, period. Anyway, we do our normal bedtime routine, lotion, pj's, nursing, prayers, a little song, now maybe a book, and then we sit for a little bit. When he is relaxed, I tell him it is "Night Night time" that I love him, and put in in his crib. He stiffens the second he feels me move to get up.  I lay him down, he is UP and screaming and crying. Yes. No cry method my foot.
The first night I sat on the floor next to the crib with my hand through the bars and if he was close enough to me, I would pat or rub his arm/leg, whatever. It took an hour of him crying and flopping dramatically on his mattress for him to fall asleep. He slept through the night.
The next night I sat in front of the crib with my hand through the bars, but didn't touch him. Well, too much. He would flop dramatically next to my hand and I would touch him with my finger. I mean, come on! The kid was crying and reaching his little chubby groping hand through the bars at me, I'm not made of stone people!
He slept through the night.
So basically, I am slowly moving away from him each night. How tired he is depends on how much dramatic flopping and crying goes on, but it is NO WHERE NEAR the over an hour of crying and screaming, mostly screaming. The most so far I think was 40 minutes. I haven't made it out the door just yet, and I'm not completely sure I will. If I step out to get something during this process the wailing kicks in. Can I spare 10 minutes to sit in my kid's room until he falls asleep? Yes, I can. Is this the wrong thing to do? Probably. My hope however is that I will be able to put him down and walk out of the room like I used to do in the beginning. I'm sure I'll get this put into place just in time for us to go Back East for Christmas. And have it forever FUBARed again.
So there is that. Sleep training is a bitch and I hate it.
Next? Again, Little Man. He has gone from being a Champion eater to a non-eater. He has dropped to the 3rd percentile. I can see his rib cage when I change him. Some nights he just refuses to eat. Even Cheerios!!
Other nights he stuffs whatever he can lay his hands on in his mouth to the point where I'm afraid he's going to choke. F and I are completely beside ourselves. We are worried, confused, at a loss. No one else seemed concerned though, even his Doctor thinks he is fine. And he is growing, reaching all the important "milestones." But we, as his parents still fret over every morsel. I am sure we are developing an eating disorder in him.
And lastly, the nursing. In the beginning F and my Mom; while she was staying with us, (another post unto itself) had me in tears with worry over not producing enough for Little Man. My mother kept telling me to just stop and switch to formula. Eventually though production went up and all was well, we were stockpiling like mad. Then I went to visit CBF for a week, got sick, passed out in her bathroom from dehydration and it has been a struggle ever since. I was able to stockpile some, but no where near what it was before. In fact, I don't think I've stockpiled anything in over a month. I am producing enough for him to have one bottle a day. The rest is formula. He is almost 10 months old. Most people tell me that it is GREAT to have gone so long. But I wanted him full breast milk for his first year. I'd like to know how in hell these people are doing it for six years! I will admit though, that the gradual decline is making it much easier to accept. I'm not tied to him, or the breast pump. I can go quite awhile without worrying about the need to pump. It is, freeing. I will miss it when it comes to an end though. Little Man and I have had some of our best times together, thus far, while he is nursing.  We've also had some of our worst. He continues to bruise my upper arm because he likes to pinch my bingo wings while nursing. F thought I was crazy until he saw the bruise. Despite that, I feel sad whenever I think about it. I remember how hurt I felt when he refused to nurse while he had a cold because he couldn't breath. F didn't get it, to him it was logical. And I knew that, the poor kid couldn't breath, but my feelings were hurt. It felt like rejection. Silly. I know.  I think it all stems from the guilt. My mom was a stay-at-home mom for the most part until I was 9. I spent all day with her. Not that I remember much of it, but I do remember some of it. I spend very little time with Little Man. F even less. So every moment I get is precious gold. I really wish I could switch to part time so I could spend more time with him. But unless F gets some kind of dream job or we win the lotto, that ain't happenin.

So tell me, my digital friends what are your tips on getting your kid to sleep? To eat?  How to deal with being a parent who maybe cares a little too much??
Seriously, how cute are they together? 

Friday, May 17, 2013

It Has Begun

Last Post I told you of the impending trip Back East to visit with the Outlaws. From day one the "discussion" about where we would unpack our suitcases began. It has not been pleasant. I made my case, crossed my arms over my chest, drew my line in the sand and considered the discussion closed since F agreed to a hotel.  MIL on the other hand does not agree. And over a month later she is still harassing F. Still crying to him on the phone.  F is absolutely beside himself with guilt and God only knows what other feelings are churning inside him. I can only guess at what is being said to him. And it makes my blood absolutely boil. I am stressed out by extension because I know if I would just give in and agree to stay there, things would be pleasant. For the moment.
I have however made up my mind that I am standing my ground. My little family deserves to be treated with love and kindness, not anger and disappointment. No matter what we do, there is always something that makes them unhappy.  And by "them" I mean the entire family.  We don't visit often enough. We don't get there fast enough.(I'm not exaggerating about this.) We don't stay long enough. We don't spend enough time visiting with each family member. We don't allow MIL to make us enough meals.
It is exhausting.
And stressful.
And sad.
F is between a rock and a hard place. Visiting with family should be exhausting, but because you've done so many activities and late night card games, not because you've been emotionally tormented.

If anyone has any suggestions on how to deal with this, I would greatly appreciate them.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Blessed Be Bitches

Today Little Man is 5 months old! I cannot tell you how much we love him. It isn't quantifiable. As much as I want him to stay the same, I love all the changes I see in him. His smile is a heart melter, let me tell ya. FLIRT just like his daddy.

Anyway, I believe I promised you a Baptism story.  F did all the planning. I did all the shopping.
There were countless discussions about where the Outlaws would stay upon their arrival. F of course wanted them housed with us. I of course, did not. I managed to make enough logical points(or so I believe) that they, and the other out of towners, stayed at the local hotel. How this went down with them, I don't know, F has taken to not telling me certain things where his family is concerned, but I am sure it was not received well.
MIL immediately dedicated herself to telling me that Little Man was catching his death of cold in the meat locker I kept him in while dressed in mere rags. This continued for the next 4 days. Even when we were in a restaurant that I kid you not, was above 80 degrees and Little Man was in his sheep skin lined car seat, with fleece pants and jacket on. I told F to remove said fleece jacket so he wouldn't over heat. "Isn't he cold?!!!!" MIL quivered worriedly as F reached to do as I asked. He stopped dead mid-air.
"No, he's not. F, take the jacket OFF."  F did as I asked. Bless him. Crazy Best Friend was seated beside me and later gave me her take on the whole situation.
"They must think you are one bossy bitch."
"What?!!? Why?!"
" 'F! TAKE OFF HIS JACKET!!!'  Seriously DH, you were bitchy about it."
I was floored. I floundered about for why she, who knows me so very well would say this. We are decidedly honest with each other and I knew she wouldn't say something, obviously, just to make me feel better.
"I'm going to guess you didn't hear MIL say "Isn't he cold!?" "
"She did?"
"Oh, well then, you were fine."
As the long weekend came to a close CBF saw more and more instances of MIL questioning my parenting choices and of her "poor pity me, I'm such a victim" manipulation tactics. They are subtle, but they are there.
 I'm not going to lie, it was nice to be validated. I'm not just being over sensitive, these things really do happen.
Every time I would try to take Little Man into a separate part of the house behind closed doors to feed him or try to quiet him down for a nap or just because he was being over stimulated by all the activity, MIL would hunt me down, burst into the room without knocking (I breast feed in my own home with it all hanging out, no cover); and insist that I needed help. Was she truly wanting to be helpful? Maybe. But I took it as her continual questioning of my parenting skills. I had been doing it without help up to this point, why did she keep insisting that I needed it?
MIL's parting conversation with me? In a heavily concerned voice; "DH. I don't know how you can do it *heavy sigh* but you MUST find a way to keep him warm in there (Little Man's bedroom)." (a room that has its own free standing heater. Set at 70. With the door closed.) 
 FIL on the other hand insisted that Little Man, at all of 3 months, smile on demand. And became disgusted when Little Man didn't comply.
He was told a day in advance at what time he needed to be ready to leave for the church.  15 minutes from departure time he insisted that he needed another 30 minutes to get ready. F hit the roof. FIL managed to get himself together in the allotted  time but upon arriving at our house, REFUSED to get out of the car and come in.  True to form he was grouchy and sullen for most of the visit. After picking up CBF at the airport and getting her settled into the hotel we went back to our house. The moment my foot touched the tile FIL demanded, "WHAT IS GOING ON????!!!!"
Bewildered I asked, "What is going on with what?"
"With M and L!"
"I don't know what you are talking about."
"Have they landed!!???"
"I don't know. Didn't F leave to go get them from the airport?"
"YES. But they were delayed because of the snow. So what is going on! Are they coming here or what??!!!"
"I haven't heard anything from F, so I don't know what is going on. You know more than me. Have you called him?"
"YES. He's not answering."
He was not at all happy with my lack of knowledge and glared at me until F and his passengers walked through the door and then it was as if the long lost son (M, not F) had returned.
When Little Man would start to cry he would loudly inform me, "HE'S HUNGRY! Feed him!"
By the end of the long weekend I had all I could do to continue to bite my tongue.  M even mentioned to F that he was shocked when I snapped at FIL after FIL had informed me that my son needed feeding. I didn't even remember doing it. I was that exhausted by dealing with them. (Later I would also realize that I was coming down with the stomach flu that weekend, so yay!)
The stress was was insane for both F and me. I felt bad for him and how his father was behaving.
But we made it through intact.

I may be recovered by the time we head BACK EAST to visit with them for a week in June.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Not What I Expected

We went through a lot to get Little Man. And now that we have him I am finding I don't want anyone else who isn't blood related to have him.
This is going to be a major problem.
In the beginning, before he arrived F and I were looking at day care places. I remember sitting in the first place feeling just fine about leaving him there until we started discussing drop off and pick up. And that's when the panic set in. It wasn't the person or the center that I had an issue with, it was with the base premise of leaving him. I don't want to leave him.
This has been delayed by the fact that my mother up and announced at my shower that she would be watching Little Man when I went back to work. This was news to us. VERY WELCOMED news. So for the last few weeks I have been happily dropping Little Man off with his very loving Grandma. She loves having him, I love her having him, all is right with the world.
Until this morning.
Last night she asked for a week off. Not a problem!  This morning she upped it to two weeks and when I hesitated she then tells me that we'll have to put him in daycare come April. Now I am sitting here at my desk with the bile churning in my stomach and tears welling in my eyes. He is just a BABY!!! He needs cuddles and love, not to be one of many. This is going to kill me, I can tell. I already feel like I am missing out on so much. I hardly see him at all as it is. But to hand him off to strangers when he is just months old. I can't fathom the idea. I never expected this from myself. I thought I would be glad to rejoin the adult world. And to an extent I am. But I miss him so much. I don't want him smiling at someone else. I don't want him adoring someone else. I want him to be all ours. Sharing with family is one thing, but sharing with outsiders? I can't do it. Oh how my heart is breaking already.
Why does this have to be so hard? Why can't I work from home? I don't need to be in this office to do what I do! Why can't we be rich enough for me to stay home or work part time?
I'm going to go cry while I pump now.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

You Won't See This Pregnancy Story On TLC

My pregnancy had been pretty easy. All the NSTs (non-stress tests) had gone very well. Little Guy was a mover and a shaker. So much in fact that my very first NST landed us in the Hospital because they couldn't get a clear read on him. But an hour and half later I was back home chillin.
Yes, I had Gestational Diabetes from pretty much day one and was put on insulin, but I was doing incredibly well controlling it. My Dr had agreed to let me go to 40 Weeks if everything in that area stayed under control. She knew I didn't want to be induced. And I felt we were well on our way to a "normal" delivery pretty close to my due date.
Um, yeah, no.
I think it was about week 35 that things started to go haywire. 
At one visit my Dr informed me that I had dilated to 2 cm. But in my gut I knew I was no where near ready to deliver. Then my sugar levels started to drop. Which in turn made my insulin needs drop. Not a lot, but enough. In fact it took me a few late night sweats for me to figure it out.  I was in the middle of week 37 and was desperate to go to week 40. My Drs decided that because my need for insulin had dropped, that my pancreas was shutting down and the baby needed to come out ASAP. I was not at all pleased with this. At WORK, on a Wednesday the Dr shut down my hopes by telling me that I was to come in on the following Monday. After I calmed down a bit, F and I were able wrap our heads around a Monday delivery and even made plans for the weekend. Luckily we went shopping for a few important baby items. Thursday, the very next day, the Dr called me at work again and told me I was to report to the Hospital THAT VERY NIGHT.
 I freaked the hell out.
 I was not ready for this! I truly felt that if I had the weekend, my body would do it's job and make the baby ready to come. I still had an appointment with the Dr that afternoon and hoped I could push this whole thing back to the original Monday plan.
Then the Dr called again and said there was no room at the Inn for Thursday night but hey, come Friday!  I'll see you at your appointment!!
No, no, no. I still needed that extra day to finish work! I still needed that extra day to find some peace with this. The Dr would not budge. Even though in two weeks I'd only dilated HALF a cm more. Nope doesn't matter; Friday, come on in!
I knew in my core that this wasn't necessary. That the baby was FINE and we could make it just a little longer. Let my body do what it was meant to do. I thought about refusing to go through it all, but I knew if putting this off meant something would then go wrong and Little Man would somehow be affected, I would never forgive myself. So I relented.  We went in on Friday morning, and were late getting there. They still didn't have a place for me, so we ended up waiting. Little did we know that it was going to be  waiting game for a full day while they monitored me and Little Man. We were none too pleased to discover this since we thought by Friday night we would have a baby. Not so much.
It only got worse once I was "settled" in my room and the medical side of things started. Needles and I are not friends. IVs and I are mortal enemies. So needless to say when they stabbed me 6 times before they managed to get the IV in; I almost passed out. My mom told me later I was whiter than the pillow case. Then my sugar crashed because I hadn't eaten since 6 am ("something lite" like I was told, total bs, btw, eat as much as you want) and my system was used to snacking right about the time they decided to stab me.  By noon time they were just starting the medicine to get my cervix to dilate, since it wasn't doing it on its own. (duh) Little Man and I were continually monitored throughout the day.  At 2 pm I still hadn't been feed, and was being told that wouldn't happen until after I delivered. MANY HOURS LATER. (WTF?) When the Dr on rotation came in and told me that they might send me home to rest for a few days and "let things progress naturally" then bring me back, on MONDAY to try again; I had all I could do to not start swearing up a storm and crying like a little girl. They were so worried about the baby that they MADE me come in and be induced, but NOW it was ok to send me home?  At home who would monitor me, the baby, my sugar that was low, or my blood pressure that was continuing to climb? The nurse did her best to talk me into it, but she couldn't answer any of my concerns. Needless to say nothing more was said on the topic.  The new nurse ordered me food on the sly at 5pm.   VERY late Friday night I got feed again, again on the sly, because within the hour they would start the Pitocin to induce contractions.  By Saturday morning I still hadn't progressed much more. All day long on Saturday they pumped me with pitocin and monitored my sugar and blood pressure. Throughout the day they upped the pitocin dose until they finally maxed it out.  Late Saturday afternoon they broke my water which kicked the barely felt contractions into high gear. That in turn made my blood pressure soar. They put me on bed rest and the nurse highly encouraged me to get an epidural because my blood pressure just kept climbing. I had wanted as natural of a birth as possible. Granted, I hadn't completely ruled out the epidural, but to me it was a last resort. However, putting me on bed rest due to my blood pressure killed all the plans I had to walk, shower, or use the birthing ball to help the process along. So I went along with it, I mean, if I was going to be confined to bed, why should I suffer? F had just left to get something to eat, but he came running back to be there when they stuck me, IN MY SPINE. Yeah, a NEEDLE in my SPINE? SERIOUSLY? Thank God that stuff is fast acting. They put a skull monitor on Little Man and one inside me since I wasn't going anywhere and it would give a more accurate reading of his heart rate and my contractions. I still had to fight to be feed and was only allowed broth, and they were still talking about a vaginal delivery. At this point, a day and a half in with 2 sandwiches in my stomach and no real sleep to speak of, I was beyond that. I was tired, extremely hungry and knew there was no way I would have the strength for "4 to 6 hours of pushing, people do it all the time." WTF????  Yes, this wasn't the way I wanted to give birth. But NONE of what was happening was how I wanted to give birth. I probably could have done it, but I still knew that my body was not ready for a vaginal delivery.
Late Saturday night/ Early Sunday morning they stopped the pitocin to give my system a break. They started it up again about 3 hours later. For a total of 27 hours of pitocin. I think it was a record.  I was so incredibly bloated it was horrifying. I could have given the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man a run for his money.  During the night Saturday Little Man's heart rate went down a few times. Just before 7am Sunday morning I was still stuck  at being dilated 6cm  and 70% effaced.  It was at this point that they decided to do a C-Section. I was fully on board at this point. I just wanted to be done. Poor F had all of 15 minutes to pack up all our stuff so it could be moved to Recovery. He saw his son born while still in his slippers, pj pants and a t-shirt.  They stuck me AGAIN to have a "fresh IV line", so I had TWO flipping IVs in me for the next several hours. At 8:54am on Sunday they pulled my little baby boy out of me. And then stapled me back together, again WTF??? STAPLES???????????
So yes, I didn't really get to "deliver" or "have" my son. He was taken and then given to me. But damned if he's not the  most precious thing I know.
The next several days in the hospital were surreal.  Nurses, Doctors, Aides, all came and went. Little Man and I struggled to breast feed. He was so tiny and thin!! I felt like my huge boobs would crush him. Family came the same day. I fell asleep on more than one visitor. F and I were so spent. Hospitals are not known for their restfulness. Twice I sent F home to try and get some sleep in a real bed. It didn't really help.  
Finally we were released into the wild as a new little family unit. As we pulled out of the parking lot it hit us full force. We had a baby in the back seat!!! Holy crap, now what???? There wasn't going to be anyone checking on us every hour, no call button to bring immediate answers.
We were on our own. On our own with a little 6 pound 6 ounce person. There would be no leaving him in the car to run into grab a pizza. Those days were gone.
Do I wish it had all gone differently? Of course. Did the end justify the means? To a point. I will always believe things could have progressed on their own just fine if left alone. But when I look at Little Man and he smiles at me, I know I would do it all again.
He is the best gift God could ever have given us.
Baby Chicken Legs

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

My Precious (said in Gollum voice)

Is anyone still out there bothering to read this? I know I have been M.I.A. for several months now.
But it is VERY hard to find time to type when you've got these to play with....
My Baby's little FEET!!

YES!!! Little Man arrived! Ah, if only it were as easy as all that! Alas, there is a story here, and I'm not just talking about a Birth story. Little Man came to us on November 18th. It was a great relief to finally have him.
Much went into getting him, in every sense of the phrase.
I promise I will get you this story, because shortly I will have his Baptism story which will involve the arrival of the Outlaws.


So for now, I hope this keeps you coming back.....