Saturday, February 28, 2009

I hear you, baby

For the past couple of weeks, Brooklyn has been sleeping in her own room, in her own big girl crib, on her Tucker sling for about 5 or 6 hours each night. Since making this transition, I have been able to come up with one "positive" about her laryngomalacia. Because of her stridor, I can hear every breath she takes on the baby monitor. Which is good for a mama who has so much anxiety about her baby's breathing. I can hear her. She is breathing. She is doing fine in her big girl crib. I will know if anything goes wrong. I would know if she stopped breathing. Plus, I have gotten so used to hearing her stridor all night long, I'm not sure I would be able to sleep without hearing it.

video

Sorry about the Blair Witch Project-esque shakiness of this video. My dog wouldn't quit licking my arm. Ha.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Of healing....

Our friend who was in a terrible car accident remained in a coma for over a month. A couple of weeks ago, he woke up from his deep sleep. Since then, he has been moved to a rehabilitation hospital in Dallas. Each day, he gains strength. Every day, he accomplishes something new.

We have talked to him on the phone twice now. He sounds remarkably like his "old self." He has a long way to go though. He has suffered a traumatic brain injury. But the progress he has made so far is absolutely incredible. It is unbelievable that he was at death's door not even two months ago. And a month ago, no one knew if he would ever awaken from his coma. And here he is. Amazing. I have never seen such evidence of the power of prayer before.

Yesterday, on the way to my mother's house to pick up Brooklyn, I drove past the tree that our friend wrapped his truck around on that rainy December day. There are many deep gashes in it, large cuts that expose the light yellowy pulp, a stark contrast to the dark brown bark.

It is wounded. But it still stands strong. Just like our dear friend.

In time, they will both heal.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Rejected.

She doesn’t want me anymore.

At least not my milk.

She refused and pushed me away when I tried to nurse her on Wednesday night. I didn’t think much of it, because she just does that every once in a while. But last night, I tried to nurse her three different times. She would not latch on at all. She just pushed my breast away and cried. She was hungry, that wasn’t the problem....she took a bottle, she ate her baby food.

So is our time breastfeeding over? I’m thinking it is. She has never refused me for an entire night. And she usually will at least latch on and nurse for a little bit before she decides she's not into it at that moment.

So last night, I sat in the corner crying while I pumped and Dave fed her baby food. I haven’t had to use that pump at home in months. Rejection. It sucks. I really didn’t think I would take this so hard. It’s probably dangerous to cry as much as I did while hooked to an electric device. But when my baby pushed me away from her with her tiny hand, it felt like my heart shattered. I wasn’t prepared for the emotional jolt. No, Mommy, I don’t need you anymore.

I know that there are things that I have looked forward to, things that I have planned on doing when I am done breastfeeding. But those things are not as important as bonding with my daughter, holding her close while my body nourishes hers. I wish I had soaked it in more. I regret how many times I typed away one-handed on the laptop or watched TV during our nursing sessions. I should have just focused on her and our closeness, because obviously it can be over just like that.

No, I’m not sure how I thought this would happen. I suppose I imagined that the weaning process would be take place over a length of time. A gradual process that I could adjust to. I didn’t think that she would just decide that she didn’t want me anymore and it would just end so abruptly. I wanted her to decide when it would end, but I didn’t think that it would be so soon or so sudden. And I did want to continue breastfeeding until we have safely made it through RSV season....another month or two. She can use all of the help she can get when it comes to avoiding that monster. Another few weeks and we would have made it past her first birthday.

Breastfeeding has never been easy for us. It has been such a struggle for us both from the very beginning. That’s a story for another day. I have worked so hard and pushed through to make it work the best I could because I know that my milk is the best thing for her. She has already had so many challenges with her health....I wanted to give her this.

And I had hoped that this experience would end sweeter than it began.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Brooklyn at the zoo!

Dave and I were both off on Sunday, and it was a beautiful day outside. We decided that it would be a great day to take Brooklyn to the zoo for the first time. She LOVED the zoo! She was happy and content the entire time we were there - almost 3 hours! Her favorite creatures were the fish and the macaws. I won't bore you with my pictures of the animals, but I will show you my gorgeous Baby Bear and how much fun she had!

Peekaboo!

Looking at the animals

Hi, Mommy! I'm just chilling out and putting my feet up! What a comfy ride.

Check me out! You can see my first tooth in this pic, and my second one came through that same day!

Sweet, sweet baby girl :)

We had a good day. Little adventures like this are so much more fun with my Baby Bear around.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Rest your little head.....

To sum up Brooklyn's sleeping situation, she has had to sleep in her car seat in our room since she was a couple of weeks old on the advice of her doctors. First it was because she had terrible reflux and they wanted to keep her elevated. Then when her breathing problems began, her pulmonologist told us we were to continue because her trachea would collapse down/obstruct if we allowed her to lie flat on her back to sleep. Anyway, the more she has grown, I believe she has become increasingly uncomfortable in her car seat....she can't really move around or stretch like older babies need to do. Another concern was that her car seat was flattening the back of her head. Her pulmonologist told us in December to get a Tucker sling through her gastroenterologist. A Tucker sling would allow her to sleep in her never-used crib and let her stretch and move a little more, so that hopefully she would be more comfortable. About a month ago, Hope sent me the Tucker sling that Ava had outgrown so that we wouldn't have to buy one. Then we saw her gastroenterologist and he wanted us to get the wedge for the Tucker sling. So, several weeks of phone tag with nurses and home health agencies and calls to my insurance company followed. This week we got the wedge.

Tonight, we decided to try it out for the first time. Brooklyn was really, really tired, but was freaked out by being put in the sling for the first time. We calmed her down and then moved her and the wedge to her crib. That did not go over well with her.

I understand completely. She has never, ever spent a night alone in her room. She is always right by Mommy and Daddy's bed, and sometimes even on the bed in the car seat, on the nights that my husband works overnight.

I tried my best to calm her down, and it would work until I moved the slightest bit away from her. Then she would get so upset all over again, crying her little eyes out. Which hurts a lot, because I don't want to do that to her. I guess my husband saw that I was getting emotional about it, so he told me to go take my shower and he would take care of her. I took an extra long shower...trying to get rid of the stress, I guess.

Thirty minutes passed and I returned to Brooklyn's room. She was sobbing. Sad, pitiful cries. "Nothing works," said my husband. "I can't get her to calm down. She's just angry." "She's not angry," I told him. "She's scared. She's never done this before." He left the room.

That is the thing that I really hate about the whole situation: my sweet baby is scared. She's afraid of being in her room by herself, she's afraid of being alone, she's scared of sleeping somewhere different. I don't want my Baby Bear to be scared. I don't want her to know fear. I can't stand to think of her feeling that way. The idea of it just breaks my heart into a thousand pieces. And the thought that I am causing the fear...well, that's a million times worse.

I leaned over her crib and put my head against her sweaty little forehead. I wiped the tears off of her sweet, soft cheeks. She clutched the fingers on one of my hands, and I stroked her hair with my other hand. Brooklyn settled down, her stridor loud from all the crying. She drew in big, jagged gasps of air, trying to breathe normally again. At first, I tried to soothe her by just telling her that she was okay....Mommy is here....it's all right, sweet girl....I'm not leaving you.

Then I decided to tell her why she would be okay.

It's all right, sweet bear. I know it's scary, and I'm sorry. But you're such a big girl, and you're doing so good. It's hard to be a big girl, isn't it? But look at you in your big girl bed. I'm so proud of you. This is gonna make you sleep better, okay?

You're such a brave girl. I wish I was brave like you. All of the times you've had to go to the hospital and to all those doctors....all of those tests you've had to have...you've been so strong. I would have been so scared. I was so scared. But you're such a big strong girl. Did you know that? You are. I'm so proud of you, Baby Bear. I love you so much. You're my sweet baby girl. You're gonna be okay. I won't leave you. I'll be right in my room. I'll be right here when you need me. You're doing so good. You're so brave, Baby Bear.


Then I was wiping my own tears off her plush little cheeks.

I slowly moved my forehead away from hers. I gently lifted my hand off of her head, and finally set her hand down next to her side. She relaxed and released my fingers.
I crept out of her room.

And now she sleeps.

My husband smiled and excitedly pointed at the baby monitor, listening to the rhythmic sound of Brooklyn's stridor when she is asleep. "What did you do? She is out."

"We just talked a little."

I sat down on the couch and exhaled deeply. I felt relieved and somewhat accomplished, but still so sad.

Now we will see whether I can sleep with her in another room. The monitor will lie right by my pillow. I have so much anxiety about her breathing. In my mind, I have more control over it if I am right there beside my baby.

This motherhood thing. It is not for the faint of heart, is it?

Friday, February 13, 2009

My 100th Post!

100 things.....

Ten things I love about Brooklyn:
1. Her beautiful smile
2. Her hilarious laugh
3. Watching her learn and discover new things
4. Snuggle time
5. When she holds my hand
6. Taking naps with her
7. Her sweet little voice, talking in a language no one else can understand
8. Her friendly personality
9. Her soft blonde hair
10. Her bravery and strength

Ten goals for myself:
1. Lose weight
2. Be happy
3. Be the best mommy Brooklyn could ask for
4. Be a good wife
5. Organize more
6. Be more patient
7. Worry less/Be more optimistic
8. Be more active
9. Spend more time with the friends I have
10. Make new "mommy friends"

Ten "addictions":
1. Coca-Cola
2. My iPod
3. Taking pictures
4. Google Reader
5. Baked Doritos
6. Facebook
7. The Office
8. Pineapple
9. Blogging
10. Lipstick

Ten things I like to spend my money on:
1. Anything that makes Brooklyn smile. Anything that would look cute on her. Anything for her, really :)
2. Music
3. Educational toys
4. Anything PINK (a girl can never have too much pink)
5. MAC eyeshadow
6. Lotions and perfumes
7. New healthy/low-fat foods
8. Picture frames
9. Scrapbooking stuff (that I never get around to using)
10. Getting Brooklyn's pictures done

Ten places I want to visit:
1. Hawaii
2. Cayman Islands
3. Bahamas
4. Vegas
5. Italy
6. Australia
7. New York City
8. Ireland
9. Switzerland
10. Iceland

Ten things I love about my husband:
1. His eyes
2. His great sense of humor
3. That he is the best friend I've ever had
4. That he loves to surprise me
5. But that he usually ruins all of the surprises because he can't wait to tell me! It's so funny.
6. His dedication to his goals
7. How easy he is to talk to
8. That he is a sweet and fun Daddy to Brooklyn
9. His smile
10. His devotion and love for me. I trust him 1,000,000%.

Ten favorite foods:
1. Enchiladas
2. Eggplant Parmesean
3. Spinach
4. Fiesta Lime Chicken
5. Mac and Cheese
6. Pineapple
7. Queso
8. Garlic butter shrimp
9. Bartlett pears
10. Shivers from TCBY

Ten baby items we couldn't wouldn't want to do without:
1. Peanut Shell sling
2. BabyLegs
3. All things Gymboree! It's a sickness, really.
4. BebePod seat
5. Exersaucer
6. Trumpette socks
7. Fisher Price baby piano toy
8. Fisher Price Aquarium
9. Robeez shoes
10. Lullaby GloWorm!

Ten qualities I envy admire in others:
1. Self-confidence
2. Optimism
3. Unshakable faith
4. Entrepreneurship
5. Creativity
6. Resilience
7. A peaceful spirit
8. Patience
9. Musical ability
10. Quick wit

Ten reasons that I am happy I started a blog:
1. My bloggy friends GET ME.
2. They offer me advice.
3. Or they just listen.
4. They are going through many of the same things as I am.
5. And that makes me feel like I'm not alone.
6. It's given me a place to just be me.
7. I can fret and vent and cry and say what I really feel.
8. I can do all of that and not be judged for it.
9. I can show off my beautiful Baby Bear.
10. It's helped me enjoy writing again!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Robot Baby

So I got some exercise 3 days last week....I got to take Brooklyn out on walks since the weather was nice. But tonight, it was raining, so no walks for us. I got all motivated and decided that I would try our mommy and baby workout DVD. Brooklyn was fed, changed, and bathed, so I figured it was a good time to give it a shot.

Okay. So first of all, I really don't think that I like the host lady. Is that really your six-month-old baby? Workout Lady, you are completely spandex-clad and tight and toned. It's probably to give us flabby mommies something to work toward, or to make us think that the video workout is going to morph us into cute little fit and taut mamas. Honestly, it just makes me feel even fatter and grosser than I already did. Workout Lady's baby is younger than mine. And she looks awesome. I look disgusting. Damnit, Workout Lady! How are you so much better than me?

I told myself to get over my inadequacies and just do the damn workout. Workout Lady sat there telling me about the DVD with her baby sitting happily in her lap, munching on his paci and occasionally grinning and cooing sweetly for the camera. Brooklyn did not follow the baby's lead. She screamed when I tried to sit her in my lap like Workout Lady was doing with her baby. Then she started crawling around, pulling on cords, splashing in the dog's water, throwing Daddy's X-box games, eating the remotes, and headbutting her reflection in the entertainment center.

In between chasing my super-active daughter around, I heard Workout Lady say that I needed to watch this little segment that would teach me some of the basic moves that are used throughout the video. I decided to put Brooklyn in her exersaucer for a few minutes so that I could learn the moves before we did our workout together. This did not go over well. Brooklyn did NOT want to be in the exersaucer. She much prefers tearing the house to pieces. At first she was throwing a big fit. Then she decided that she would just make as much noise as she could so that I could not hear Workout Lady guiding me through the moves. I could see Workout Lady's mouth moving, but all I could hear was Brooklyn yelling as long as she could, over and over. "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!" No tears. Just very loud, non-stop yelling.

Okay, fine, Brooklyn, you win, I thought. Let's just try the workout together and I will try to wing it on these pilates and yoga moves.

The workout begins. Workout Lady starts with some breathing exercises. She tells me to breathe in and out and feel my body relax. Feel the stress leave my body. I actually laughed out loud because at that point, Brooklyn was screaming and thrashing in my arms. I felt anything but relaxed as she pulled my hair and wailed. I did NOT feel the stress leaving my body.

Then I learned that Workout Lady is not the mommy of any ordinary baby. No, she is the proud mother of Robot Baby! Robot Baby loves to work out with his mommy. He is so happy to have her lift him up and down and back and forth and use him as a human weight. Robot Baby has so much fun when his mommy sits him on her thigh while she does "Flamingo Kicks." Robot Baby coos with delight when his mommy lays him on the floor and plays with him while she does yoga stretches over him. I suppose it is only fitting that perfect Workout Lady would have given birth to such a perfect little well-behaved and adaptable Robot Baby.

I do not have a Robot Baby. Brooklyn was very angry at the idea that I would use her as a human weight. She screamed at me even though I kissed her every time I brought her face to face with me. She was very upset when I laid her on the floor and tried to play with her while doing the yoga stretches. She cried and rolled over and cried some more. The only part she liked was when I was holding her against my body. But unfortunately, you can't do much of the workout that way. And that made Brooklyn very, very mad at me. I don't get it. Robot Baby loved it.

So I gave up, 5 minutes into the DVD. I turned the TV off and collapsed on the couch with my ticked off daughter. I am stressed out and frustrated and have not done anything to help get rid of the nasty fat that covers my body. I am angry at myself and annoyed with Brooklyn. And I feel guilty for being so annoyed at Brooklyn. Whatever. Fine. Great. I'll just be a fat disgusting slob for the rest of my life. Why can't I be like Workout Lady? She was so happy and skinny and a great mommy. She didn't get mad at her baby. How did she make him so happy? I suck. I'm fat and I suck.

I don't know if I will torture myself by trying this again tomorrow.

Maybe Robot Baby could have a talk with Brooklyn?



(Oh - on a totally unrelated note...my next post will be post #100! Any ideas?)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Fatty McFatpants

Yesterday at work, I started having the nosebleed from hell. It was horrible...I have never had anything like it before. I had been having nosebleeds for the past couple of days, but had attributed it to the fact that several buildings right by my workplace had burned down this week and our building was smoky. Anyways, my hubby had already been on my case trying to get me to go to the doctor before the nosebleed from hell, so he really freaked out when that happened. He made me promise to go to the doctor right then. I still didn't really want to, but then I started coughing up blood. Okay, fine. I decided that Dave was right and that it was worth a call to my doctor.

The nurse said that if I would leave work right then, she would make sure I was worked in. So I did.

My doctor's verdict? Sinus infection. She said it is the most common cause of nosebleeds. Now, I have no medical training of any sort, but if I have a sinus infection, shouldn't my sinuses hurt? Shouldn't I be congested? I have nothing of the sort. I really don't think I have one and don't want to take the antibiotics she prescribed. Is that stupid? I don't know. I had another horrible nosebleed when I got up this morning, so my hubby is picking up the medicine.

So. To the point of my "Fatty McFatpants" post. The nosebleeds were not the most upsetting part of my day yesterday. At the doctor's office, I weighed 19 pounds more than I did the last time I came to see her...which was 5 weeks postpartum!!! I weight what I did the week that I gave birth! I weigh more than I ever have in my life! What the hell???!!! Why am I such a disgusting fatass???? How could I have possibly gained all of that in nine and a half months???? And I should weigh less than that now - for heaven's sake, I had just had a baby last time I was there! I am so angry and frustrated with myself. So disgusted. And I just don't get it.

Beating up on myself was not enough though....my doctor wanted to talk about my weight too. She kept saying that is was "very bad" for me to weigh what I do. That I have to get this off because "that's just not Amanda." She asked me about my diet and didn't see any problems there since I eat healthy almost all of the time. I'm sure all the Cokes I drink don't help....but damnit, I'm operating on about 4 hours of sleep most days. She said that she thinks my main problem is physical inactivity. I told her about my frustrations with trying to exercise. That it was too hot to get Brooklyn out for walks in the summer and it made her breathing worse. Then we had about two nice weeks and then it was too cold to get her out and we cannot afford for her to get sick. How I can't do an exercise video because if I set Brooklyn down and move a foot away from her, she screams like her world is ending. My doctor's response? "Well, you're just going to have to do it."

Gee, thanks. You're so helpful.

Then she guilted me further by saying that I have to lose weight because she doesn't want Brooklyn to grow up in a house where everyone is overweight. And discussed how bad that is for children.

I KNOW!!!! I am TRYING! I absolutely hate myself for the way I look right now! I am sickened every time I look in the mirror or look down at my gigantic stomach and thighs. I am such a gross, nasty, fat pig. I hate, hate, hate, hate myself for it. But I don't know what to do. Somebody help me.
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