Monday, August 28, 2006

Sick, sick, sick...

I am not talking about John Mark Karr today.

I am talking about the plague that seems to have settled over the Ark...

I have had a cold for the better part of two weeks now. Dyke Two had it, gave it to me, got better, and now has it again.

Bigfella has it. In the last two weeks, he has cut 4 teeth and gotten his first cold. He looks so pathetic as he sits in the steamy shower with me, two rivers of snot flowing down his face. He screams if you bring the bulb syringe thing near him.

My ears are so clogged I can barely hear. I am blowing out snot from deep in my sinus cavities. I even have pressure and sharp pains on the roof of my mouth. I assume it is from the congestion, though I suppose there is a possibility that there are small creatures poking miniature icepicks through my mouth.

But, the really sick thing: I picked Bigfella up from daycare today and looked through the window into the baby room. "Hmmm..." I thought, "Why did Dyke Two send Bigfella to daycare in his pajamas?" I dropped off our payment for the week, and went to get him. When I walked into the room, I realized that Dyke Two had put him in Halloween pajamas...

We left the daycare and I called her to tell her we were on our way home.

"Honey, why did you dress Bigfella in Halloween pajamas today?"

"Huh? I didn't know they were Halloween ones."

"Didn't you see the pumpkins and bats on them?"

"I thought they were basketballs."


On a separate--but related--note, what do you all recommend one does to increase their pumping output? Bigfella is taking 12-15 ounces a day, and I am pumping 10-12 ounces. I would like to dump that up to 15-20 if possible...

Saturday, August 19, 2006

6 months old

We've had a big week.

Monday, we went to our 6 month wellbaby visit (20 pounds, 11 ounces, 28.75 inches long) and started daycare. Bigfella took 3 ounces of breastmilk, and I pumped 8.

Tuesday, he took 4 ounces of breastmilk, and I pumped 9.

Wednesday, 5 ounces, pumped 10

Thursday 6 ounces, pumped 11

Friday 8 ounces, pumped 8.

But, I have had a terrible, terrible cold, and am still using my manual pump.

My fellowship check cleared finally, so I just ordered my electric pump and a carseat for Dyke Two's car. (I also finally paid on a few outstanding bills, so hopefully, I will sleep a little better at night with the visions of bill collectors breaking down the door gone from my anxiety bundle.)

Basically, daycare seems to be a smashing success. The set up in the center is to have a room for 8 babies with two adults, and an annex off of it for 4 more babies with one adult. The annex is for babies who are working toward transitioning to the toddler room, so they all creep and crawl and some walk. They still feed and sleep on demand. Once Bigfella is taking more milk more easily, and sleeps without 20 minutes of being rocked to sleep, he will spend more time with the older babies, since he is developmentally more like them than the little babies in the infant room. The great thing about the center is that right now they are understaffed, so they only have 4 babies in the little baby room and three babies in the older baby room. Basically, we feel like we lucked into the smaller group size and calmer environment of a home day care with the oversight and regulation of a center. Also, the teacher was sick one day this week, so rather than have to worry about back up care plans, we arrived in the center and the floater teacher was happily waiting to take Bigfella.

He loves the babies in both rooms and starts to dance when he is taken out of the carseat in the parking lot.

Wednesday, Bigfella turned 6 months old. He celebrated by cutting two more teeth. That makes a total of 6 in his little mouth: two on the bottom and 4 on top...

Sunday, August 13, 2006

I don't know if I can do it...

...Bigfella starts daycare tomorrow.

I have felt sick to my stomach all weekend. I have been on the verge of tears all day.

I want to go back to school. I want to finish my doctorate. I have always seen myself as a work outside the home mom. I went to daycare myself as a kid. I loved daycare.

But, I have felt sick to my stomach all weekend. I have been on the verge of tears all day.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Leader of the Pack

9 years ago this week, I stumbled across the path of the greatest thing that has ever happened to me*. My now-ex-girlfriend and I were visiting a friend from college in a city near our home. Ex and I had just gotten engaged, and were enjoying the end of summer. We went to lunch, and as we were leaving, a woman crossed the street with a beautiful orange puppy on a leash. We stopped to pet the pup and compliment the woman on her beautiful dog.

"You want her?" she asked. "She's looking for a home." At the time, Ex and I were NOT looking for a puppy to add to our home. We were happy with our two sweet cats, and Ex was about to move thousands of miles away to start graduate school. (The plan at the time was for me to join her a year later after I finished my master's degree.) We laughed and said no thanks, and went along our way.

About a half a block later, I stopped. "I need that puppy," I said. We waffled back and forth, and 30 minutes later, I was the slightly stunned owner of a beautiful dog.

A week later, Ex dumped my ass. Thanks to Orangedog, the depression I spiraled into was relatively short-lived. I emerged a month later, 30 pounds lighter, but with a great new circle of friends. Each morning, when I was too tired to leave my bed, Orangedog would whine until I took her for a walk. Each evening, when I dragged myself home from work, Orangedog was waiting, her puppy exuberance so overwhelming that I had no choice but to take her to the dog park instead of sitting on my couch crying. It turns out that the dogpark was full of really nice people who were friendly, and excited to talk to me each night. And, since they knew nothing about Ex, Orangedog gave me a new group of people who knew me as me, not as part of a couple. And, when we came back from the dogpark, and Orangedog was hungry, feeding her dinner was my cue to eat, my appetite was completely engulfed by the dark thoughts and clouds hanging over me.

About 6 months after I got her, I turned on the space heater in the crappy basement apartment I was living in. I went to take a shower, but Orangedog kept coming into the bathroom, barking and pulling back the shower curtain. When I got out of the shower, she nudged me toward the front door, barking. She had already gathered the cats at the front door, and was trying to lead us to safety from the glowing space heater, which smelled slightly of burning animal fur.

When Dyke Two came into my life, Orangedog begrudgingly shared her side of the bed with her. But, each night, at about 3:30, when Orangedog felt crowded, she would bark until Dyke Two got up to let her outside. At that point, Orangedog would happily jump into the spot Dyke Two had just vacated.

When Bigfella was born, we were very worried about Orangedog's reaction. We were afraid that Orangedog could decide that Bigfella was an intruder into her space, and would turn against him as she tried to protect me (and by me, I really mean, Orangedog's place as second in command. Sorry, Dyke Two, but you know you are not the alpha in our family...) But, Orangedog has definitely decided that Bigfella is her little friend, and that her friend needs her protection.

Twice in his short life, his Angelcare monitor has gone off. Both times were false alarms, but both times, Orangedog was at the crib before me, barking, nudging the crib and glaring at me for my slow reaction time. Now, whenever the monitor beeps as it is turned on, Orangedog sounds the alarm--barking, running, bumping me toward the crib. When Bigfella cries, she comes to find us and let us know. There is no way we could Ferberize in this house. Orangedog would never allow it.

But, the true test of her dedication came today. Two days ago, Bigfella rolled off our bed after a diaper change. Thank goodness it is only 10 inches to the carpeted floor. This afternoon, I laid Bigfella down on our bed for a nap. After he fell asleep, I got up and went to the living room. I went into the bedroom a few minutes later, and there was Orangedog. She was stretched out facing the spot on the bed where he rolled off. Normally, she relishes naptime as her chance to get time with me. Apparently, Bigfella has usurped me. I am no longer Head Human in Charge. Bigfella is now the leader of the pack.

He rewarded her for his new position in our family by laughing, dancing and grinning each time she came into view this afternoon. Seriously, he stopped looking at me to stare at her. I'm second fiddle to a 60 pound dog...

*My apologies to Dyke Two and Bigfella, though by the end of the story, you will realize why my dog rates as The Greatest Thing to Ever Happen to Me. If it weren't for her, I don't think I would have lived to meet Dyke Two or have Bigfella.

Friday, August 04, 2006

I don't know what to call it, but I've got it

Baby blues, post-partum depression, post-partum anxiety, dysthymia, generalized anxiety disorder. Call it what you want, since it all feels the same. And, it's the reason I haven't been blogging much recently.

In my previous life, before Bigfella, I took a variety of SSRIs (Celexa, Prozac, Zoloft, Lexapro and Effexor) and a variety of anti-anxiety or sleeping meds (Ambien and a couple of drugs in the Benzodiazepine family). I went off them 3 months before trying to get pregnant, and have been drug free ever since.

But, over the past few weeks, I have come to terms with the fact that I need to go back on something. I am struggling with insomnia, I have little energy and, I have begun to imagine out the details of accidents, deaths and illnesses in myself and those around me. This morning, Dyke Two left for a breakfast meeting, saying something about how she was leaving, but would come back, since the trash cans needed to go to the curb. I thought she meant she was taking the cans to the curb. When she didn't come back in 15 minutes later, (she was after all at breakfast) I became convinced that she had died outside. Yes, died. But, rather than go outside to, you know, check on her, save her life or call the ambulance, I was too scared to leave the bedroom. So, I stayed in bed for another 30 minutes, until I realized that if she were dead in the driveway, the neighbors would have noticed and called someone. So, I got up, checked for her car, and when I saw it was gone, remembered she was having breakfast with a friend.

So, yeah, once classes start again and I can see the folks at Psych Services and have some semblance of a schedule and routine, I'm signing up for some headshrinking and some pill popping...