Posts Tagged 'magic'

We Can Work It Out

Work.

It was bound to come up sooner or later. K started back to work a month ago, and it’s been brutal. We’ve figured out that it takes at least 3 adults to take care of 1 infant. On the days K is gone for 8 hours, I’ve tried to wrangle friends to hang out with me and Josie. Sometimes it’s great; Josie is all smiles and naps. Other times she acts like these friends (sometimes the same ones!) are there to torture her and cries to look at them (which she can’t help doing over and over). I’ve tried going to “groups” but am often more exhausted from wearing and bouncing her the whole time than if we’d stayed home where I could be worn out in private (and cry if I want to).

I recently had the opportunity to take on a small freelance editing job. It was right up my alley. But then I had one of those days with Josie (actually two in a row); I was a wreck physically and emotionally (there’s nothing quite like when a baby finds her angry scream!). I ended up turning it down even though we could for sure use the money and I need to get back to doing what I like for work, rather than what I’ve been doing for 3 years (teaching online). The person said she’d be happy to work with me in the future, when I’m ready. But, of course, I still felt like a failure for turning down one little job and feel like it’s crazy to imagine there will be a time when Josie will “let” me work.

You see, our daughter will not nap, and now she’s gotten to waking up every, I don’t know, half hour to scream until I put I boob in it. If she could find it on her own and I could sleep through, that’d be great. But she can’t and neither can I. It’s constant waking…to the point of sleep deprivation torture. I know it could just be a stage or teething or who knows what. But it soooks! As I say often to K (it’s my postpartum mantra), this is unsustainable!

We’ve talked books and theories and timing and routines and swaddling and dangling from the ceiling, etc., whatever it would take to get her to sleep for longer stretches (even the old 2-hour ones we used to curse!). Nothing works, and I am sick of trying. We resorted to giving her the dreaded formula last night, thinking it would fill her tummy and help her sleep longer. Oh, no. She was on the boob right after. And on and off as usual throughout the night. So much for corn syrup! My mom being here right now is my only saving grace. And thinking that maybe, some month, Josie will change.

One piece of advice I’ve gotten recently that I do appreciate (however fantastical it is) is to do more self care and that this will somehow via magic unicorns and confetti translate to an easier go. So I got a massage last week. And another today. I’ve been in so much pain (just the regular body pain of having a baby, in addition to, of course, the special sliced and diced down-under kind), I have a hard time sleeping even when she is. Sometimes the pain killers help, but mostly I lie there thinking at the pain, “If I was really tired I could sleep through you!” I’m sure that’s it; I just haven’t hit rock bottom yet. Luckily, the massages have felt really good. The one yesterday was a sliding-scale Thai massage where the practitioner makes you into a pretzel and stretches out the tight spots. Hurts so god — a bit like fighting fire with fire.

Today I went to work on rebuilding my pelvic floor muscles and reconnecting my abdominals. I’ve been going once a week for over a month, and my diastasis has improved quite a bit. It’s still three fingers wide around the belly button area, but it’s much shallower all the way from top to bottom. I was expressing a little frustration to the pilates instructor I’m working with who said that as long as I’m nursing Josie, the relaxin in my system will keep things loose and my body won’t be able to “come back together” all the way. It was kind of good and bad to hear that. At first I thought, “Well, what’s all this working out for? How can I, or anyone, take care of a growing baby without certain muscles intact?” Then I thought, “Phew! I don’t have to get it perfect yet.”

Before I sign off, I want to introduce a new blog feature called FOG (Funny or Gross). When Josie was smaller and K and I were new to sleep deprivation, we thought we were the funniest people in the world. We’d make things up or just say (whisper) them on accident and crack up while trying not to disturb the almost-sleeping baby. As Josie is growing and doing more things with her body, I have to wonder: is that funny or gross? For example, Josie has been getting very good with her hands. I was leaning over and kissing her belly area when she hooked my nostrils with two of her fingers, bowling ball style, and pulled my face up to hers so she could eat it (my face). I thought it was hysterical. Later, when I was in bed, I moved my face muscles and felt my skin crack where the entire day’s saliva had dried. Again, I laughed. Am I still suffering from the sleep deprivation sense of humor? More FOG to come…

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ch ch ch…

Josie is four months old. What?! I have a four-month-old daughter? Since when? Who is it? Is she related to the newborn I had?

There is a really tall baby that lives with K and I, and more often than not I find her sleeping in bed with us at night. She doesn’t sleep in the swing, and she doesn’t need all 500 Fleetwood Mac songs sung to her to get her there. Once in a while, I see a smile that I used to get my baby to make at the smallest provocation; this kid needs a lot more entertainment.

Unlike newborn sleepyhead, this Josie will not go quietly into a good nap. There is much crying, and often for little result. We can easily dance or swing her for over an hour just to get 10 minutes of unconsciousness out of her. The two ways we can get her to nap any longer than that is if K wears her in the Moby wrap and never stops moving, or if I lie down and nurse her to sleep.

She grows and changes, as does our hair. Mostly the result of many months away from a barber shop and lots of mother's milk.

She still cries at this, but once she’s asleep, I can keep her that way for almost two hours — as long as her arms are wrapped very possessively around the breast and I do not move one muscle the entire time. The whole operation’s awash if I adjust to relieve hip pain. I have spent 16 hours lying on my side some days. I would let her stay up all day and night if she’d be happy, but she kvetches all day when she’s tired.

I do not like to complain about her because it is clearly a parenting fault. Some of it is teething, too. Her breastfeeding issues largely cleared up after her frenotomy, but I don’t think there’s any minor surgery that makes a baby nap! We’ve bought the No Cry Sleep Solution, but of course we haven’t had time to read it. We’ve been told over and over that we have to make the call, and soon: either we let her cry it out a few nights in a row or we have a kid in our bed till 2020. We talk about it a lot, but neither of us are up for letting her cry for hours on end. I don’t know if it’s because of post-traumatic-birth syndrome or because we’re just wusses.

In spite of the fussy sleepiness, Josie is quite an amazing, silly, fun, and delicious kid. We love playing call-and-response cooing with her. She loves making us jump in surprise by suddenly wiggling her entire body on the changing table. She cuddles us really sweetly right before bed — if I put my head over her torso, she’ll wrap her arms around it (and then proceed to pull my hair). There’s so much more to say about our patootie, but there may be only seconds left of this miracle nap K snuck her into.

Seal Said It Best

We’re never gonna survive, unless…

Pretty much this having a newborn — a colicky one — is making me feel a tad nutter. Seriously, I’m completely out of my mind freaked out one day and elated the next. For example, the day I wrote my previous post I was coming off of three days of screaming. I am overjoyed to report that I am writing to you from day two of happy eating baby. She is sleeping and nursing (albeit only side-lying, but still) and only fussing a bit with each transition (i.e., from playing to eating, sleeping to waking, awake to sleeping, etc.).

Does it help an insane amount that it’s been sunny and gorgeous here the past two days? You betcha! I am not NOT meant to live in the Pacific Northwest. And yet.

Today we even got out of the house to go somewhere other than the grocery store! This photo depicts K and Josie at our walking-distance eatery — a capitulation to Josie’s desire for a cornmeal blueberry pancake.

See what I mean about the swingin’ mood? I should just be grateful for the great hours and days as they happen and not worry about the crap ones to come, right?

A shout out to Mama Universe for the spring weather and to our friends who have reached out to us during these first months with comfort and support. Thanks for knowing what we need even when we don’t.

Yes I Am

Magic Seahorse - 6 Wks

…nauseated, …tired, …girthy, …repulsed by food, …spacey, …hypersensitive to odor, …busty, …tired, …living on rice crackers

and…pregnant!

We did it! We found out two weeks ago today, but we wanted to see it for ourselves in order to believe it and then tell others. We thought for that whole time it might be twins (a very high HcG count on day 14 and a friend’s premonition of a boy and a girl), but today we saw and heard one beautiful, perfect heartbeat.

I never thought I could feel like puking so many hours of the day. I never thought my boobs could get so big. And the tiredness…it’s not like sleepiness or exhaustion. It’s an entirely different animal. But I’m so friggin’ happy (and in shock).

We’re still not “out of the woods”—I guess we have another 6 weeks before the all-clear whistle blows. In the meantime, a strong heartbeat is a great sign, and we’ve graduated from the fertility clinic! I know there are a ton of things I need to write about, but I’m trying to keep the eggs I finally got in me down. Distraction can be a lifesaver, but unconsciousness is best.

Thanks for y’all’s good wishes and prayers and stuff. I really believe this finally worked because of it.

Post-Surgical Update (From: The Wife)

Hello, dear readers. I wanted to let you know that Basted’s protagonist is doing well after this morning’s egg retrieval. She was very nervous by the time we arrived at the fertility clinic, especially when the procedure was delayed for a last-minute platelet check (her platelets tend toward the lower end of normal). Luckily it took all of 20 minutes to get the news back that we were good to go.

My sweetie was hooked up to an IV, a nasal cannula for some extra oxygen, and HR, BP and O2 monitors, and then she got pumped full of fluids, an antibiotic, a pain med and a sedative. Our doctor—and I!—watched on the inter-vaginal ultrasound screen as he inserted a long needle through the wall of the vagina, through the ovarian wall, and right into the follicle. Our doc/nurse team repeatedly flushed the follicle full of fluid, then aspirated all of the fluid (and the egg!) down through the needle and some tubing into a vial. Next, the vial was handed through a little window into the adjacent room, where the andrology lab techs located the eggs and transferred them into a petri dish. This was repeated six times for a total of 6 oocytes. Yeehaw!

The sedative messed with my beloved’s vision, making everyone look like they were pinned to a rapidly spinning Price is Right wheel (her words), so she kept her eyes closed during the surgery. She developed some CRAZY itching from the painkiller that started at the bridge of her nose, then slowly spread down her face to her chest and belly. The anesthesiologist pushed some Benadryl into her IV line, which helped decrease the itching. Despite her now doubly sedated state, she labored to stay awake and express her gratitude to her nurse and both physicians (later remembering her desire to tell everyone how much she loved them, but feeling just alert enough to recognize stoner talk).

As the sedation and painkiller wore off post-surgery, stabbing cramps that went from pelvic floor to diaphragm set in and our protagonist’s face went white as a sheet. 500 mg of Oxycodone, one painful vaginal ultrasound and 45 long minutes later, our lovely nurse wheeled my girl out of the clinic, down the two elevators to the parking garage, and into the passenger seat of our car. She was given hugs, a shoulder rub, and many words of comfort and encouragement along the way.

Every little bump on our way home sent a spasm of pain up through her abdomen—I think my shoulders were glued to my ears with worry! My sweet girl was desperate to sleep when we finally got home, and she stumbled across the backyard and down the hall into bed, relief spreading across her face as her body settled into a familiar bed in a warm, dark room. She’s been napping (sometimes just lying still while her thoughts circle round and round) most of the day, waking up to eat, drink water, and take Vicodin. We’ve been able to stay ahead of this morning’s stabbing cramps, but she’s still in a lot of pain. She assures me that when she’s not moving, breathing deeply, or peeing, it’s manageable. On the upside, our nurse told us that she might not feel like eating much today, but to try to get some toast down with the painkillers—yet, our brave author ate her toast and jam and still desired a very specific cornmeal blueberry pancake from a nearby diner. Two angels (who happen to be just a week away from their own egg retrieval) helped her vision come to pass early this afternoon, and when she woke up from her last nap, she was disappointed to learn that I had not put together the slow-cooked apricot chicken Shabbos dinner she’d planned out yesterday. The course of the day has altered the menu to fish sticks for tonight.

So now what? E2’s sperm was injected into my girl’s eggs today, and tomorrow morning the doc will call and let us know how many of the eggs were mature and fertilized properly. Then the next evening brings the inter-muscular progesterone injections into my poor little blueberry muffin, but this time we’re working with the hindquarters. Meanwhile, the magicians in the andrology lab will keep an eye on the little embryos’ develop over the next 3-5 days, at which point an embryo/embryos will be transferred into a very nice new home. Ten days after that comes the pregnancy blood test. Please send your positive thoughts our way over the next couple of weeks; we could sure use them. I send my love out to all of you following along and supporting us through this long, trying experience—we appreciate you more than you can imagine.

Ready, Set, No!

Just when you thought you’d heard the last from me for a while, I come back with more proof of how my terrible world view is actually quite realistic if you look at my life’s track record.

We went in this morning for my suppression check to make sure that the birth control pills have been doing their job these past couple of weeks. Surprise! There was a big fat follicle screaming, “Pick me! Pick me!” totally unaware that she was so not invited to the party. I don’t get it. I have such strong estrogen that my ovaries want to produce in spite of birth control, but when I’ve needed them to work in the past, they’re all like, “Oh, sorry. You snooze, you lose. We were all spent in your early 20s. Too bad you had to be a big ol’ lezzie and couldn’t sleep with one single guy in your teens!” My ovaries star in the new Mean Girls.

What this means for me is possible cancellation of the IVF for this cycle. But because my estradiol test came back with a decent number, we’re going to try keeping me on the birth control another week and adding in another suppression drug (this would be a prequel injection I had no idea to fear). If the follicle magically shrinks? or disappears?, we’ll move ahead. You know where I’m going with this.

I spoke to my sister today, and I asked her why she thought I can’t take the hint. Do I need an anvil to fall on my head? She said that I’m very “thick skulled” (which I suppose would preclude said anvil from working anyway), and that knowing what I want and being so determined aren’t always the happiest personality traits to deal with. I also asked her why, since today’s our dad’s birthday, dad couldn’t lend a spirit hand. She finally got me to laugh when she said that he couldn’t hear my crying over the Spanish music he can now listen to whenever he wants and at whatever volume he wants. I should definitely know better than to ask for miracles during a fiesta.

No Joking Matter?

I just never think of clowns when I think of Israelis. Or IVF.

Goes to show I could learn a few things. Check out this article.

Even with this study as evidence, I’m pretty sure a clown in the room after my IVF will only be funny if I’m put way under. Maybe I could call Bill Murray’s agent and see if I can get him to just stand at the foot of the bed; he wouldn’t even have to say anything. I’d laugh… hard.


(Disclaimer: No men were harmed in the making of this blog.)

The Family

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