Monday, June 30, 2008


This weekend, the hubby and I took Brooklyn to get her 3 month pictures done. It was quite the frustrating exerience! Brooklyn was in a fussy mood and just didn't want to be messed with! We go Wednesday to pick out which ones we want, and I don't think we are going to have much to choose from....lots of crying, lots of pouting. She did fall asleep for a bit and they took some pics then. Oh well. We'll see.

Oh - for some of the pics, I had Brooklyn in her dress that she wore home from the hospital! It actually fits her good now (it's a size Newborn). She is so petite.

David was off this weekend, so on Saturday night, we went on a DATE! My MIL came over and stayed with Brooklyn, and we went and saw The Happening and went out to eat. The movie wasn't very good...I am disappointed in M. Night Shyamalan...I am usually a big fan of his work. But this movie wasn't very well written, had some really crappy acting, and none of his unpredictable plot twists. David and I had a nice evening alone. In a way, it was good to get some time to ourselves, but I also found myself missing Brooklyn a lot too. I know it's important for us to have time when we can just be a married couple, but since I miss so much time with Brooklyn during my work weeks, I don't really want to do anything on the weekends that would take me away from her, or even take away from my time that I could be holding her.

Brooklyn has been really, really fussy and has been spitting up a lot more since starting her new medicines. I don't know whether they don't work or if they just take a while to kick in, but it feels like we are going back to where we were before we knew that she had reflux. She didn't get to start the new meds until Friday. The pediatric pulmonologist wrote on her Reglan prescription that she was to take "0._" milligrams. So of course, the pharmacy couldn't fill it without finding out the proper dosage. It took over 2 days of David, myself, and the pharmacy calling the doctor to get the situation corrected. All so that Brooklyn could start taking her medicine. I was disappointed in the doctor for this...I mean, I know you're busy, but what's a minute of your time to correct your mistake? Sigh.

Last night, I saw an online job posting for a part time academic advisor position at a local college. I need to sit down and do the math to see if the pay would be enough to cover our expenses, since it would cut my salary in half. Also, we would have to pay to put Brooklyn and myself on my hubby's insurance. If the money is enough, I will definitely apply. 20 more hours to be at home with my sweet girl would be WONDERFUL.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The stranger I once knew

So this morning, I was about to walk into my office building. I happened to glance over my shoulder before entering the building and saw a homeless man walking across the street. He was rail-thin and bald. He was wearing a backpack, sunglasses, and headphones, and walked with his head down. He was a pitiful sight. A body eaten away by drugs. A poster child for why children should just say no. I froze and stared. He didn’t look my way. My thoughts raced as I debated whether I should say something to him. Should I run across the street and catch up to him? Call his name?

How did I know his name? Why would I talk to him?

He’s my little brother.

And I chose to silently turn around and walk into my office building. The security guard inside had seen me staring at my brother. He gave me this raised-eyebrow look, like, "Yeah, look at that crazy guy." I stuttered, "Ummm, no, uh, that’s my middle brother." "Oh...sorry." "No," I said, "the look you gave me was right. Don’t worry about it."

I went up the elevator to my office. I looked out the window. I couldn’t see him anymore. Gone. Just like that. Almost like seeing a ghost.

When I think about it, I did see a ghost...a ghost of my past, a ghost of my childhood. A ghost of the brother I knew before methamphetamine and cocaine and LSD and pills and pretty much every other drug he could get his hands on turned him into a person I don’t know. Before he tore apart my family time and time again, and before he broke our trust a million times over.

And now I see him on the street, and he doesn’t see me, and I don’t say anything. I walk away because I don’t want to be hurt again.

My brother. My flesh and blood. How sad is that?

Brooklyn's pulmonologist appointment

All went well at Brooklyn's appontment yesterday. The pediatric pulmonologist decided not to do the scope on Brooklyn right now. She goes back on July 30, and he may do it then if nothing has improved.

He said that the noises she is making actually sound more like laryngomalacia than tracheomalacia, but he can't be sure without doing the bracheoscopy. It's the same thing basically, just higher in the airway. He put her on two new medications for her reflux, because he said that her reflux is causing her airway to swell and is making the problem worse. If this doesn't help, the scope will be needed to make sure there are no other problems such as growths or tumors causing her breathing issues. Her respirations were still high, and he pointed out what he called "intercostal retractions" (sp?), where her diapraghm kind of goes in and up under her ribs when she breathes. It means she is working too hard to breathe. He told us to watch her color and explained what "respiratory distress" looks like so we would know what to look for in case that happens. We are not to lay her flat on her back as this can cause the airway to collapse down further.

On the positive side, her oxygenation was still 97%. She had more chest x-rays and they looked great as well. She was so brave for them....she didn't even cry!

She weighed 9 pounds, 13 ounces and was 22 1/4 inches long. She is now 3 months and 2 weeks old. The doctor wants to keep an eye on her growth because she is so small. She may be burning off too many calories by working so hard to breathe, causing her not to gain enough weight.

I appreciate that the doctor didn't want to immediately do the invasive procedure that we thought we were coming to the appointment for. He said that it is very invasive and doesn't want to do that to her if he doesn't have to. That's good. I don't want her to hurt or have procedures done that she doesn't need. But I still worry about what could happen between now and her next appointment, if things don't improve. All of these doctors warning me that she could stop breathing is scary as hell.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Testing, testing....

Tomorrow morning, Brooklyn has an appointment with the pediatric pulmonologist. They are going to do a scope to see whether her breathing problems are tracheomalacia or something more serious that could be mimicking tracheomalacia. We are hoping it is tracheomalacia because that is a condition that she would outgrow by her first birthday. Her pediatrician actually did not talk to us much about what the other possibilities are, and I have avoided scaring myself further by trying to look it up on the internet.

So please join me in hoping and praying for the best.

I am worried about tomorrow because the scope involves them putting a camera up her nose and down through her airway. At one point, Brooklyn's pediatrician had mentioned that to do the scope, "They might not even have to sedate her." Almost everyone else I have told about the procedure has assured me that they will sedate Brooklyn. While the thought of sedating a 10-pound baby kind of freaks me out, I really kind of hope that's what they do. It would be better than watching her fight the procedure, and screaming because she is scared and probably in pain. Yeah. Letting her sleep through it sounds like the lesser of two evils.

Since I have absolutely no vacation or sick time left at work, I have to go to work for like 3 hours in the morning and then meet my hubby and Brooklyn at the pulmonologist's office. I am already kind of freaking out about the whole I really doubt I'll get much accomplished at work. I am just not wanting them to hurt Brooklyn or scare her, and I'm a little worried about what the doctors could find during the test. I really don't think they are going to find anything terrible..I just don't have a bad feeling about the whole thing...but you never know. After all, there is enough of a problem to have to do the scope in the first place, right?

Please keep Brooklyn in your prayers and thoughts tomorrow. And maybe me too, if you think about it, because I'm tired of being a stressed out bundle of nerves.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Heron Blue

"Heron Blue" by Sun Kil Moon

don't cry my love
don't cry no more
a crashing sky, a roaring scream
a city drowned in god's black tears
i cannot bear to see you

she lay under the midnight moon
her restless body stirring

until the magic morning hour
like poison, it succumbs her

her baby skin, her old black dress
hair twists round her necklace
constricts and chokes like ruthless vines
til sleep, she overtakes her

her room is painted heron blue
lit by candlelight and chandelier
and from her headboard perched so high
a million dreams have passed her

don't cry my love
don't cry no more
it overwhelms my breaking heart
her mind a swell of violins
i cannot bear to hear them

a mother shepherds her young birds
she fills their mouths and warms their souls
til they are strong and good to fly
away from her, alone she'll die

cradled on quiet old oak limb
as heaven blew her light fell in
a breath of soot into her lungs
a life a journey's end in one

don't sing that old sad hymn no more
it resonates inside my soul
it haunts me in my waking dreams
i cannot bear to hear it

don't play those violins no more
their melancholic overtones
they echo off the floor and moan
i cannot bear to hear them

Monday, June 16, 2008


Today when I came home from work, I picked Brooklyn up and she started fussing. She was fine until I held her. And that was all I had been wanting to do all day long. It broke my heart.

I am scared that she is going to be closer to her grandmothers and my hubby than me. It shouldn't be that way. It makes me so sad. I just want to be at home with her. I think Mondays are the worst for me at work because I have been glued to her all weekend, and I feel completely lost spending the day without a baby in my arms. Or attached to my boob.

Sometimes I feel like the only thing I can do to make Brooklyn happy is nurse her. That's the one thing I can do with her and for her that no one else can. I love to hold her against me and know that I am giving her the best nutrition she could possibly have. I rub her back and stroke her fuzzy hair while she eats. I gaze at her delicate little face, watching all of her expressions, in awe of her rapidly changing features. Sometimes she grasps my finger with her tiny hand, or holds on to my shirt. She feeds for a loooong time, and then lays her head on my breast to sleep. I don't mind how long it takes...I feel so bonded to her then. I love our cuddle time.

So, nursing is good. But sometimes it seems like that's all I've got. If that's the only way I can soothe her, and the best way I have to bond with her, what happens when she's not breastfeeding anymore? I'm scared she won't have any use for me then.

Friday, June 13, 2008

A week away...

I will start by saying I'm sorry for the lack of posts this week. I know that going absent after the last post I made (about PPD) wasn't a very nice thing to do. It wasn't intentional. And truthfully, I was flattered that anyone actually noticed my absence! After all, I am a new blogger. I will try to do better.

So let me play catch up...

Brooklyn was 3 months old this week (June 10)! It is so hard to believe how quickly she is growing! She smiles all the time, and it is so just melts my heart. She also has "conversations" with us now...we talk to her and she goes back and forth making cute noises to answer us. It's adorable. I think she is going to be a real talker! At her doctor's appointment this week, she weighed 10 pounds even and was 22 inches long! Wow! No more weight gain problems!

I think I have mentioned before that she has reflux. Her pediatrician put her on baby Prevacid to treat the reflux. It has helped has made her less fussy and she sleeps somewhat better at night. She will sometimes sleep 3 or 4 hours at a time now, although those stretches of sleep often start at about 6:00 a.m. We started a new reflux medication today (Axid), and hopefully that will help her not spit up so much and make her more comfortable.

We also found out at Brooklyn's 2 month doctor appointment that she has something called tracheomalacia. There is a short article about it here: Basically, her trachea is soft and has has not finished developing. It collapses down when she breathes, and causes her to make some really scary breathing noises. It has been worsening and getting much louder over the past couple of weeks.

Brooklyn and I went to our lactation consultant on Saturday, and our LC was concerned because her respirations were more rapid than they should be, and she is "working too hard" to breathe, even when asleep. Her respirations are 60 and they should be below 40. She can't stay latched on to feed because she has to take breaks to catch her breath. Her pediatrician heard her breathing over the phone on Monday and had us bring her in on Tuesday. They did chest x-rays to make sure that her heart murmur (a ventricular septal defect) is not the cause of her breathing problems. The x-rays were fine...her lungs were clear and her heart was not enlarged. He checked her oxygenation and it was good - 98%. She does not need to be on a heart monitor at night for now.

We have to go to a pediatric pulmonologist on June 23rd to make sure that tracheomalacia is the only problem, and not something more serious that could mimic it. The pedicatrician said that they will have to do a scope up her nose and down her throat. She may have to be sedated. That makes me so sad. Brooklyn has been very brave for most of the tests that she has had to have, but I am sure that the scope will hurt her and scare her, and that breaks my heart. But I know that it's important that we find out what is wrong for sure. I just hate that she keeps having to go through all these tests.

I survived my second week back at work. It really sucks. I am so worried about missing out on all of my baby's "firsts" and losing all of that bonding time. I just love her so, so much. I am missing a huge piece of my heart when I am at work. It physically hurts sometimes. I have a lot of guilt about the whole thing.

I haven't really been online this week. When I get home, I just want to hold Brooklyn because I have missed her so much all day long. There just isn't any time left in my day by the time I get home. So snuggling Brooklyn ends up being pretty much all I do. Hold her and love her and tell her how badly I miss her all day long. I wonder if she notices when I'm not there...

Saturday, June 7, 2008

A crying shame

Post-partum depression is:

-Feeling like you could never be a good enough mother for this beautiful little angel. That you can never do anything right and that your baby will always deserve a better mommy than you.

-Feeling guilty because you should be happier right now than you have ever been. And you're so thankful, and so in love with your baby, and so amazed by her...but not happy. Why?????

-Being afraid that you will never, ever feel normal again. You've become a shell of yourself.

-Crying yourself to sleep at night because you are so, so sad and hopeless...but you're not sure exactly why.

-Having so much anxiety about every little thing. Ending up so overwhelmed that you just can't do anything.

-Keeping how you feel a secret from nearly everyone...only your husband, OB, and lactation consultant know about your "diagnosis."

-Putting on a show around your family and friends so they'll think you're okay. This makes you even more exhausted than you already constantly feel.

-Being afraid that when people hear the words "post-partum depression" they will automatically judge you and think that you don't love your baby. Or take her from you because they think you are the next Andrea Yates.

-Being so ashamed to talk about it that you hesitate to even post about it on your blog because of what total strangers will think of you.

There. I've put it out there now.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Not quite as horrible as I thought...

So, today was day one back from maternity leave. It went better than expected. I had cried and cried in anticipation of this morning, but surprisingly, I only cried once today, and that was when I had to say goodbye to Brooklyn. I managed to stay pretty busy and didn't cry at all at work!

I had been moved from one office to another while I was gone, so I had to unpack everything and hang all my stuff up on the walls of the new office. I brought lots of pictures of Brooklyn with me to keep in my office, so that I could still look at her pretty face. I got 5 new cases to work on. (Ouch!!! So much for easing back in!) Lots of coworkers came by to chat and say welcome back, which was nice. Every time I called my mom, I could hear Brooklyn cooing and playing in the background. Oh, and hubby sent me this gorgeous bouquet of flowers to cheer me up. Isn't he thoughtful???

I was running on about 2 hours of sleep, so by about 4:30 p.m., I was crashing! But I got all excited about seeing Brooklyn while I was driving home. I was sooooo happy to get home and snuggle my sweet little baby bear. It's hard to explain how great it felt to just hold her and hug her and kiss her! I missed her sooooo much.

All in all, today was not a bad day. I am pleasantly shocked. Don't get me wrong, I still don't want to be a working mom. But if things continue the way they were today, at least it could be bearable for now.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

I wish time would slow down...

The countdown is on. Just hours until I have to leave my sweet baby and return to working life.

It's been 11 weeks and 6 days since I gave birth to my little girl. It's gone by so quickly. I am no longer counting down months, weeks, or days until I have to become a working's down to hours. 13 hours, to be exact.

I am not handling this very well.

You would think I would be out of tears after this past week, but I'm not. I feel like such an inadequate mother. I feel so awful for having to leave her. I almost feel like I am having to give her away. I caress her face, I stroke her fuzzy hair, sing to her. I hold her close and kiss her forehead, her soft chubby cheeks, her tiny lips, her long, graceful fingers. I am trying to memorize everything about her, because I feel like I am about to miss out on so much. I wonder if she will miss me like I will miss her.

I am absolutely dreading tomorrow morning. I hope my days at work fly by, so I can come back home to her again.
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