I didn’t see this coming…because I really didn’t want to

Back in October I wrote this post. It was a good moment for me. I meant every word, which I think is important to remember when I write what I’m about to write.

Today I was working on a sewing project and got a call from M who I talk about in the linked post. His wife went in for her 36 week appointment and her blood pressure was up and her ankles were pretty swollen. Big red flags for preeclampsia. The doctor admitted her for a 24 hour urine hold. They’re not at all worried-she’s very far along, the baby looks good and has a strong and steady heart rate, but if the urine hold comes up with bad results they’re going to go ahead and induce her tomorrow.

M didn’t need my reassurances, but I gave them anyway-she’s had a picture perfect pregnancy. She’s 36w1d today, so baby is basically full term. There’s no reason to think that everything won’t be fine. He said he felt the same way, especially since her blood pressure had significantly dropped by the time they got to the hospital. It’s very possible she was just out of breath from rushing into the doctors office (they live 30 minutes away so it’s a bit of a jaunt for them).

I told him, genuinely, that if they need ANYTHING to call me. Either Chief or I will run anything they need up to them no problem. We live a bit closer to the hospital and plus, M doesn’t want to keep leaving L to go and get last minute stuff I’m sure.

When I got off the phone Chief came into the sewing room with Charlie and asked what was up. I told him. And I looked at my big, beautiful, healthy, ten month old daughter and felt….sad. I love my daughter so much. I would never ever trade her for anything. But that doesn’t allay the sorrow that I feel over the fact that she may have been the only newborn I’ll ever hold that is my own. I should be happy with just her and if she is all we ever have-she is more than enough. But I am an inherently selfish person. So while I’m happy for M and L, excited for them, joyous to meet Charlie’s soon to be best friend, planning all the freezer meals I’m going to prepare for them, I’m also extremely, heartbreakingly jealous. And ashamed for it.

I’m bracing myself for the joy and pain I’ll feel at holding my best friend for the past 15 years’ son. The son that was conceived within two months (earlier I told the parenting after infertility group I’m in it was one month because I forgot, but seriously, it’s a potato po-tah-to sort of thing as far as I’m concerned) when they weren’t even really trying. To a woman who is five years older than me. I don’t WANT them to have suffered. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, but it doesn’t change the fact that it still stings and I WISH it didn’t.

I am still excited. I’m waiting anxiously for the call that he’s on his way so that I can start making them fruit salad and lactation cookies and freezer enchiladas. I want to know his birth weight and birth date so I can do some machine embroidery on a lovey for him. I want to hold him. M is like my brother. I want kiss his son’s cute little cheeks and see if he looks more like M or L. But I’ve forgotten what it feels like to hold a newborn baby. I realized that today. Charlie is more than twice what she weighed when she was born, and she’s not particularly cuddly these days because now she has this whole world to explore, and I know the tiny weight of a fresh newborn that I will love like my own is going to break me into pieces.

I’m no longer mad at infertility for making me wait three years for a baby, because if I hadn’t waited I wouldn’t have had Charlie. I’m not mad at infertility anymore for the money and the time it took from us. It was all worth it for Charlie to be our daughter. What I’m mad at infertility for is taking away even a small part of my joy at holding my best friend’s son.

 

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My baby hates me and is also incredibly hungry

I could use advice in a sort of desperate way.

Charlie has been super moody lately. She won’t play for long on her own before she’s crawling over to me and demanding to be held, but when I hold her she screams and pushes away. Inevitably I’ll nurse her for a bit before she starts the cycle again.

Today this went on and she nursed for a straight hour, then played for about twenty minutes and nursed again until her dad got him, when of course it was all smiles and giggles for him.

She’s also started nursing again at around 1:30 am when she was going from 7:00-4:00 previously.

So what’s going on? Is my supply dwindling and she’s trying to revive it? I keep wondering if it’s time to just give up  and start thawing frozen milk for her to have in a cup throughout the day. I’m frustrated and tired. I’m frustired.

Edited: FFS y’all. I’ve been dieting. WHY DIDNT I THINK OF THAT?! My baby probably IS hungry because I’ve cut my calories back to about 1450 a day. I’m going to bump back up to where I was for a few days and see if it makes a difference. If it does then I’ll just focus on eating HEALTHY but not reducing calories, and exercising.

Accountability and Pumping

Thank you all so much for all your helpful suggestions-I’m looking into a few of them while I decide how I want to handle this transition. I don’t want to rush into the wrong program because damnit I want it to stick this time, so I’m just looking into all of my options. As of right now I’m just being mindful of what I’m eating, using My Fitness Pal, exercising, and working on strength which is an area I’ve always neglected in the past. I want more kids. I know that for certain, and I’m barely strong enough for the one I’ve got.

Since my last post I’m happy to say that I’ve stayed on track preeeetty well. I power walked again yesterday which was hard and painful after the first day. Charlie loved it once again. it was also super humid so I was a sweaty mess, and when we got home it was time for Charlie’s nap and she insisted on nursing, so that added to the sweatiness. But we did it.

I also started the 30 Day Beach Body challenge. I sort of hate that terminology because I’m very much of the philosophy that if you have a body, and it’s at the beach, then you have a beach body. But it’s really just a core strengthening program and that’s what I desperately need. I’m so weak from two years of not taking care of myself/being pregnant/having a baby. It’s hard, and it hurts, and I suck at a bunch of the exercises (I KNOW my burpees aren’t good, and my thirty second plank was painful after two seconds), but I have two days under my belt. Tomorrow is day three and then a rest day.

I took a rest day on cardio today and will probably do some tomorrow. We’re having a yard work day so I could legit get by without doing actual “exercise” if I wanted to. I’m not going to push myself and overdo it.

Eating wise I’ve been good. I’ve had a few bite size pieces of chocolate, but calorie wise it’s negligible-like less than 50 calories a day. For lunch the last two days I’ve had a grilled cheese, tomato, and avocado sandwich on multigrain bread. I had yogurt with oats for breakfast this morning and a banana and chocolate milk. Tonight was burrito night and no way am I giving that up, so I just didn’t snack this afternoon. And the good news is that I feel like my energy levels are rising since I started all of this, which is definitely helpful.

So I’m still going. I guess Thursday will be my weigh in day since that’s when I started this week. I’m happy to say that I’m only 4 pounds over my prepregnancy weight. I’d like to lose  a total of 26 pounds. I’d like to lose 15 of them by Charlie’s birthday. This could be lofty-that’s only two months away, and I can’t go too hard and heavy on this because I’m still breastfeeding and supply is a priority, so I’ll be watching that.

Speaking of, my evening pump is getting more and more frustrating. I’m not getting a ton- 2-3 ounces in ten minutes. I know that’s a lot for a lot of folks and I’m not trying to be a jerk, but I used to get six ounces in that time. Charlie doesn’t take a bottle so I just pump for donation, which is what keeps me going. And it makes sense that it’s going down because Charlie is sleeping eightish hours a night now-why would my night supply stay high? But it’s like, I want those minutes of my life back but I’m afraid to drop the pump, and I committed to pumping to donate for a year. I mean, I only committed that to myself, but still-I want to uphold it. It’s just annoying to be getting so little. I know even an ounce is gold to a premie baby. Basically that’s why I keep doing it.

So anyway, that’s where we are right now. We had such a lovely evening with the happiest baby in the world. She was so squealy and giggly and wiggly-I just love when she’s super happy like that. She’s rarely unhappy, and that’s a gift.

Not Giving Up

Y’all, I wish I could tell you that after I got pregnant I was that totally healthy, glowing, perfect preggo. I so wasn’t.

I gained a ton of weight while I was pregnant. The doctor never said anything about it but I know it was too much. Like in the 40-50 pound mark I’m guessing. I’m not keeping it from you, I HONESTLY don’t know how much I was at the end because at one point I just stopped looking when they weighed me because I did not want to know. I ostriched those last few weeks.

I lost my baby weight with relative ease though. I was lucky-it didn’t take long to get down to my starting weight. The problem was that a combination of Gonal-F and emotional eating had led to a weight gain of about 20 pounds in my last few cycles. Add in to that serious pregnancy saggy belly and humongously expanded hips (that’s what all that pain at the end was about I’m guessing) and, well, my body was something completely different from what it started out as.

And on top of all that, uh, I had a newborn who of course turned into an infant. I also had no energy and no desire to really work out. I tried a few times at the beginning when Charlie was still a sleepy babe. I would take her to the parents room at the gym in her stroller and let her snooze. But one time she woke up and started to cry and after that I didn’t try anymore. Which was DUMB because it was WAY easier to find time to work out when your baby was sleeping most of the day and night.

Oh, and because it totally makes sense, one of my reactions to being unhappy about my weight and body is to eat a whole lot. And not good stuff. So I just dug that hole a little further.

Add it all up and what you get is a deeply dissatisfied and self conscious librarian who is still wearing her maternity underwear and nightgowns all day because, while it’s all too big, nothing else she owns fits either.

I honestly don’t know how much I weigh right now. i don’t think it’s horrific, but I also don’t think I’m at my prepregnancy weight anymore. I guess I’ll find out tomorrow morning when I weigh in, because I’m taking this shit back.

Tonight in a fit of rage at myself for my treatment of my body over the last two years, I put Charlie in our new Lenny Lamb Mei Tai (yes, I have a baby carrier problem. I don’t need your judgement), put on my work out shoes, and power walked for thirty minutes. The whole time I was saying things like:

“You will NOT accept being fat just because you had a baby.”

You need to set a better example for your daughter.”

“You need to treat your body better because it gave you an amazing gift.”

“YOU ARE NOT GIVING UP ON YOURSELF.”

Charlie kept looking at me like I was crazy, but she really liked the walking lunges I added in periodically and giggled like mad at the bouncing.

One of my biggest problems is the whole SAHM thing. Right now it’s a fairly sedentary job. I work on my computer for the morning and charlie toodles around on the floor playing. She does that in the afternoon too. I can go on walks every day, but then what? We do storytime on Thursdays (though not this Thursday because my car is in the shop and I have to drive my dad’s land yacht which I’m not comfortable doing anymore than necessary). I’m tracked down a park that’s not within walking distance, but closeish so I can start taking her to it more, but the very nature of the beast is that my priority is her, and she needs floor time, and I have to supervise that. So that’s going to be a challenge and I am definitely open to suggestion on that.

Chief and I had already confronted our eating head on and we’ve done pretty well this week. Last night was sort of a cheat night because we ate out with my dad and had pizza, but I patted myself on the back for drinking water and not coke because I ALWAYS drink coke with pizza-it’s a thing, just ask the Captain. Tonight I made lasagna with lighter ingredients, and two nights ago we had spaghetti squash lasagna and it was excellent. Tomorrow night we’re having hawaiian barbecue chicken wraps. We’re trying.

I hope I can hold onto this attitude. It’s so hard on the really tired days. The reason I was able to make myself work out today was that Chief let me get a nap in this afternoon so I had an energy burst. Charlie is actually sleeping 8-9 hour stretches at night right now but I feel more tired than ever. i’ve read that when your baby starts to sleep better it can take a while for your body to adjust and you actually feel MORE tired. I’m proof positive of that, because I’m effing exhausted all the time. More so than when she was waking up 2-3 times a night.

Tips and suggestions are always welcome.

My Husband

I don’t know if I’ve ever painted a terribly accurate picture of Chief. He’s kind of a hard guy to nail down. I’ve never met anyone like him. He doesn’t talk a lot. I mean, we have discussion obviously, but he’s not one of those guys that needs to fill a silence. He has no moves. I mean that-the guy has NO MOVES. He is not smooth, except that he kind of is because he doesn’t CARE that he has no moves. You can take him or leave him and he’s pretty okay with that.

He’s kind of nerdy but not SUPER nerdy. He likes cars and motorcycles. He works pretty hard and is smart, but sometimes lacks common sense, like with money-but we’re working on it. He loves Charlie so much. They both just light up when they see each other.

He has never been the kind of guy to buy flowers or give compliments. If I ask him if he likes dinner he’ll say “Yeah, it’s good.” If I ask him what he thinks of my hair 0r my outfit he’ll tell me I look good, but he doesn’t volunteer that information. It’s sort of a constant point of aggravation. I don’t need to be fawned over, but the OCCASIONAL compliment that I don’t have to ask for would be great. I try to lead by example in this area, but it’s like trying to squeeze water from a rock. Oh well. It’s not fair to ask a person to change. Probably the biggest compliment he can give me is that he NEVER gets mad at me even though I do some pretty stupid and annoying stuff. I mean never. I’m sure he’s been mad at me maybe once or twice, but honestly I can’t remember it. When we fight it’s usually me fighting with a silent man (which in and of itself is a problem, but I digress).

I tell you this so that the point of my story here will have context.

The other night a friend put up one of those “Ask your spouse these questions without explaining anything” sort of quizzes. The baby was in bed and we were just lying there watching TV, so I figured why not. They were just dumb questions-nothing too serious.

Librarian: What makes me happy?

Chief: When Charlie is happy.

Librarian: What makes me sad?

Chief: When Charlie is crying.

Pretty straightforward stuff. Question 14 though, his answer to that one reminded me why I married him:

Librarian: Okay, question 14: What makes you proud of me?

Chief:  That’s easy. I’m so proud of you for quitting your job to stay home and devote yourself to Charlie on top of working two other jobs. I know how hard you worked for your library job-really hard. You worked REALLY hard for it, and you put up with a lot of crap to get it. I know it wasn’t easy to give it up and I know you miss it, but you do such an amazing job taking care of our daughter.

SO MANY WORDS. Seriously that is A LOT of words for him. And they were all so nice. I almost didn’t want to finish the quiz because I wanted to cry, but I also didn’t want to make a big deal of the niceness and scare him off from doing it again, so I went on with it and that was that.

But I wanted to blog about it so I wouldn’t forget it.

How Could I Ever Love Someone This Much Again?

I feel like I’m not here enough, and when I am it’s just to give you a boring rundown of my child’s sleep and poop. I’m real sorry about that. I don’t want to be that blogger. I really do want to be more. I went back and read some of my old posts and I think maybe I used to be funny?

Anyway, tonight’s post is not funny. Because I’ve been sitting here crying while looking at pictures of Charlie as a newborn. I went back and looked at those first pictures, read the comments of congratulations, tried to feel that hazy glow of happiness again. When Charlie woke up (after only being asleep for three hours-UGH SLEEP REGRESSION) to nurse I rushed in with teary eyes and picked up my squirming almost ten month old. She rarely curls into me like she did back then. She has her own agenda these days. I nursed her for 4.5 minutes (we’re starting the slow process of night weaning) and then got her to sort of doze on my chest. She’s changed so much even in the last month or so. Now she doesn’t want to cuddle me after nursing-she just wants to get back in bed. The girl likes her space-I can respect that.

I can count on one hand the amount of times she’s fallen asleep nursing in the last month-twice, and once just barely. This is good. she’s growing, she’s developing. She’s learning to be a bit independent. Do you know what she’s doing now? She’s trying to stand. She started crawling at exactly nine months, and about a week later she was learning how to get on her feet. She does it all day long in a downward facing dog sort of way, but I know it’s only a matter of time before she’s upright.

I love my child so much. I love my child so. much. I always thought that when people said they would die for someone they were just being dramatic, but I would die for my child. I would give her any body part she needed to survive. I worry about her constantly. I worry about everything she puts in her body. I worry about if she’s being ruined by having the TV on in the background.

I worry about what climate change is going to do to her future. I worry about what the state of American colleges will be in 18 years. I worry about the public schools she’ll be going to in just a few years. I worry about how I will handle discipline when it comes time. I worry about her because I love her. She is my most cherished gift, followed closely by her father.

And something I find myself worrying about with increasing intensity and frequency is the thought of having another baby.

For the sake of this post, let’s pretend like I don’t have major infertility issues and I’ll be able to get pregnant fairly quickly when/if we so choose to try again. To a certain extent, it makes sense to try soonish, because I’m already not working full time, so I could have another baby, stay out of work just one extra year or so, and then go back to my career like I planned. If we wait to try again then I’ll probably go back to work and have to make the decision that either a) I’m going to quit working again or b) the second kid just has to go to daycare.

I don’t even HAVE this second kid, and I already hate option b), if only because I want for second kid to have everything Charlie has had. But also then there’s the issue of raising two YOUNG children. Close together. That’s scary. Having a baby as Charlie is entering terrible twos and threenager stages? That’s really scary.

And what’s downright terrifying is the extreme fear I have of a) not being able to love a child as much as I have loved Charlie. I know that people say love is not finite, and that it just expands in a new and amazing way when you have a second child. But my heart just doesn’t feel that. Charlie is the most amazing child. I know we all feel that way about our kids, and I’ll tell you this-I look at all your kids and I smile, and I think they’re precious, and sweet, and I LOVE seeing their pictures. But you know I don’t think your kid is the best, I think MY kid is the best. I know you feel the same. That’s just the way it is.

So it’s hard for me to even conceptualize that another child of my own could be the best too. Does that make sense? Probably not? Chief and I have always wanted two kids. And in an abstract way I feel like that is still true. I’m just really terrified of the reality of it. You know my situation with my sister and mother wasn’t great growing up and very often isn’t great right now. I am terrified of screwing my kid(s) up just because I wanted a second.

I’m still nursing through the night so it’s not like this is really even a thing right now. I haven’t had a period yet, no rumblings of one either. I had some strange cramping a few months ago so I took an OPK and it was positive, but then I took one a week later and it was positive too, and then I remembered that I have PCOS and that having a baby didn’t cure me like I wish it had. This could all be moot. There’s a good chance I’ll never get pregnant again.

And maybe the fact that that makes me cry answers all of these questions and fears for me.