Everything fit to print

Oh geez. I have thought about updating so many times, but work has been overwhelming most days, and I just can’t get up the energy to pull the damn computer out once I’m home and fed and the smidge is asleep. Which is why most of my interaction is just ‘liking’ posts and writing a slimmed down version of the comment in my head because my fat fingers just can’t handle the whole comment.

Working + Momming has gotten exponentially more exhausting. A large part of that is now being a kind of big boss at work. The new grant means a hefty raise (a full $10K more than I make now, which is basically unheard of in the non profit world) which is lovely, but it also means a holy fuck ton of additional work (yes, that is the standard measurement unit.) It means going from supervising 1 position to 4, interfacing with the federal government (I’m out of practice for sure!) and trying to get an entirely new project off the ground and running. Its a lot, y’all. But I like it.

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My colleague is a hard core knitter and she made this boob hate for us!

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We had our first Nervous Moms visit to the urgent care on Sunday. After a few days of WAY more than usual spit up, and then some hacking/dry heaving accompanied by this weird pteradactyl sound, we decided to call the nurse line. The nurse line said that the amount of puke did, indeed, warrant a trip to urgent care, so off we went to spend $150 to rule out anything serious (and probably be told it was all 100% typical stuff.) We knew what we were doing, but we also had to do it. How do you not? Also, nurse line.

So we took him over and the pediatrician there poked and prodded and asked lots of questions, and ultimately determined that he probably had some reflux. She didn’t have suggestions about why he would have suddenly acquired this at 4 months, or really any other recommendations, other than seeing our regular pediatrician. So, it truly was $150 to rule out the worst case scenario.

La took him to the ped on Tuesday, and she said it was most likely something I ate that bugged him and that we were going to do the ol’ “wait and see” until his 4 month appointment this coming Thursday. We gave him some gripe water which has helped a little, and he seems to be on the up and up now. I’d like to avoid meds for him, but also cannot for the life of me think of what would have given him a sudden bout of the pukes.

Ansel is, in all other ways, adorable, healthy, sweet and lovely. He continues to be easy going and exceptionally charming, smiling much much more than he fusses or cries, and tolerating being taken to all manner of locations and events, being passed around. He is still sleeping in the co-sleeper on a slight wedge and, after a few nights of some extra wake ups and a little more effort to fall asleep, he’s back to sleeping well and fairly easily. He did have a full scale nuclear meltdown yesterday, and a week ago (but that has a lot to do with No Nap Nana, which is another story for another post)

In a week and a half, I have to spend my first night away from my baby. I’ve been freaking out about it for quite a while now. I managed to cut it down from 2 nights to 1, and was trying so very hard to have it not happen at all, but there’s just no way I can do that without being a lousy supervisor and generally bad employee. I’m the only person trained on this particular curriculum, and thus I really do have to deliver the training. My heart is already achey from the thought of being away from him, and I’m dreading the every two hours pumping I need to do to keep my supply up. (As a side note, it’s confirmed I have to keep on the two-hourly pump schedule when yesterday I wasn’t able to get my normal number of pumps in and today I’ve had a small but still noticeable dip. Bummer) But this won’t be the last time, and it’s just a part of this gig. My resentment and rage towards US parental leave policy is unceasing.

I’m struggling with how to dress my post partum body. Now that things seem to have leveled out, at least a little, I’m trying to get used to how I look and what I can wear. Sometimes I feel ok with it, but a lot of the time I don’t. I hate to say that, because I’ve spent a lot of time trying to get my feelings about my body to be positive. I also feel nervous about getting into any sort of serious exercising because of how it might impact my supply, which seems stupid but it kind of legit. I just don’t quite know what to do with these really large hips/love handles, which I’ve never owned before. I signed up for Gwynnie Bee, which is a “wardrobe rental” service – they send you 1-3 pieces of clothing from a ‘closet’ that you select, then you can wear the pieces as much as you want, then send back and get another, so you always have 1-3 pieces of clothing at home, but they rotate out. And then you can buy the pieces you really like. I got my first box and so far like what they sent. I figure it will diversify my work wardrobe (I am further limited by the necessity of having necklines that are nursing/pumping friendly) and maybe help me learn what looks good on me. (and if you want to try it, let me know so I can give you a referral code! they have sizes 10-32, so it’s for those of us who are fat and fabulous!)

At the Birth Without Fear conference during the Love Your Body lecture. We had to take a slefie, then ask a neighbor to take a picture.

At the Birth Without Fear conference during the Love Your Body lecture. We had to take a slefie, then ask a neighbor to take a picture.

But while I’m frowning at my own body fat, I’m crowing over Ansel’s. We walked into our nephew’s 2nd birthday party on Saturday and my sister in law shouted out, “OMG he’s so FAT!” And he is, in the most adorably chunky way (side note: My SIL really has no room to sound shocked, since my nephew has been in the 99th %ile since birth and is wearing 3T at 24 months old. I mean, none of this is good or bad just, you know, it was weird!) At the urgent care, he weighed in at 15lbs 8oz – 5 pounds heavier than at his 2 month check up. That puts him in the 50-75 %ile range – he’s been steadily inching up in percentiles since birth, so I’m curious where he’s going to level out. He is deliciously juicy and full of rolls, though! And of this, I am so very proud. Somehow, growing a baby didn’t feel like an accomplishment, but feeding one solely off of breast milk for four and a half months definitely does!

Let's be honest, these are his boobs

Let’s be honest, these are his boobs

We have been talking about plans for #2. I would say it might seem soon, but it would appear I’m in good company amongst my blog friends! A lot depends on what might happen with La’s job. She has a few interviews at schools (one in Boston, the other in Washington state) and if she gets one of those jobs and we move, then it might be me who goes next. Since I very much want to keep nursing for a year and our clinic won’t do a transfer while nursing, that would mean late next Spring for a FET. If La doesn’t get one of those jobs and we stay in CO, then she gets to go next! In which case, we’d likely start trying with ICI/IUI in January. A will be 10 months at that point, which actually seems like a nice little gap to me. In any case, I’m actually really excited to be an NGP and get to share pregnancy with my most favorite person from this side of it all!

It took all four of my pumping breaks to get this done, but I did it! I’m so over apologizing for not updating my blog cause probably y’all don’t care (and you shouldn’t) but I am bummed because I was thinking of how this is the closest thing we have to a baby book for the boy. So . . .

  • He rolled over for the first time on 7/11
  • He can definitely grab things with both of his hands and get them to his mouth
  • He squeels and growls and crows now
  • He is thisclose to sitting unassisted
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And he is enduringly adorable: 

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Like sand through the hourglass. . .

So go the days of my life, slipping through my fingers so very quickly.

I’m on my phone, so I don’t have the spoons to give you a full update but:

1. The smidgen is 4 months old!

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2. We were terrified of transferring him from the rock’n’play to his co sleeper after reading many horror stories. But we did it! And we are on night 3 with no significant sleep complications!

3. I’m so busy at work I can barely manage to keep my head on straight. This is good and bad.

4. One more picture because this baby slays me:

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Big Jobs and Big Fights and New Cars and Hold ON!

Oh friends! So much has happened in my tiny world since last I wrote you, only a week ago! But that’s how life goes, eh? We spent our Independence Day in the mountains at the wedding of some dear friends. It was totally lovely,  and Ansel did shockingly well staying in the very un-air conditioned condo and powering through a LOT of social interaction. He did not enjoy riding in the car in holiday mountain-bound traffic and made no qualms about letting us know for the entire 4 hour standstill ride. I may or may not have nursed him in a moving car when we were going really slowly. Don’t call anyone, ok? Luckily, the ride home was much quicker and smoother. Ansel does not like traffic. 11717431_845424608838823_8843053917467744225_o 10443248_10153008355001864_681322469635043324_o 11705544_10153007241641864_3447088196798070897_o 887368_10153005208856864_1358797404296242928_o (it’s my beer, ok? I swear we aren’t the parents this post is making us out to be. But can’t you just imagine Ansel drunkenly talking to his Ducky? “Ducky . . .Imma tell you sumthin’ I love you. NO! NO! I looooove you!”) Just before we left, my organization got word that we were awarded the federal funding we applied for in April.

The funding award more than doubles our organizational budget annually, which is, you know, fucking awesome. It will also mean a LOT of work. I was written in as the project director, which means it will be more than a lot of work for me, but also a golden opportunity for me to gain a lot of new skills, manage a huge grant, make national contacts, and do new, exciting work. It also means a raise. A fairly significant one, it’s looking like. Although we are still ironing out the details (like how many additional staff we will hire, if we’ll move, how we’ll keep up with the work we are already doing) the salary in the budget is $7K more than I make now, and even though it went against every grain of socialization in my body, I asked for even more.

So, I’m getting a new job, just not the new job I thought I’d be getting. And I am so incredibly relieved. I get to keep the things I love about my job – the flexible culture, the field, my amazing colleagues – and get some of the other stuff I wanted, like a salary that might let my family finally breathe easy when it comes to money. Or, easier anyway.

That was the good news from the last week. There was bad news too, of course. The flooding from the week prior did some significant damage to La’s car, which we are still figuring out. Our insurance deductible is $1000, so any way you slice it we are going to be out some serious cash. It’s also unclear if the car will be totaled or not – initially we heard that it definitely would not, and then we heard it probably would, and now we have no idea. More on this later.

The other stress is with my mom. The mom issues just keep’a comin’.

So, my mom watches A on Wednesdays when both La and I work, from about 9-9:30am to 3ish when La picks him up, so 6 hours in total. I pump, and provide for the next day, an average of 10 oz (sometimes up to 12, but 10 is pretty standard.) On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, La has no issues with this amount of milk adequately feeding A from 9-6, which is the total time I’m away – 9 hours. Each time my mom has had A, she has expressed intense anxiety about having enough milk and fed him all 10oz before La arrives to pick him up at 3.

The result of this is that La has to calm my moms fears and then is usually dealing with a VERY hungry/fussy/cranky A by the time I get home at 6pm. She can (and has) dipped into the freezer stash, but I always get nervous both because I don’t have a lot in there and I want to encourage him to nurse as well as possible when I get home. It’s already a struggle when I get home because he has gotten used to the flow of a bottle and gets mad at my boobs for not spouting milk like he’d want. I also have a sneaking suspicion that in a few more weeks, her anxiety over having enough milk will turn into requests for more, and my fear with this is that she would feed him whatever amount I sent – 10, 12, 15 ounces. And I can’t keep up with that.

So, I’ve asked her to hold off on the last bottle, tried to explain the complexities of pumping, encouraged her to rock or walk or snuggle or pacify in any other way. I am also suspicious that he is not napping as well as he could be because she tends to hold him instead of putting him in the swing, so my guess is that he is crying/fussing because he is sleepy, but she feeds him because its easier than getting him to sleep. When I’ve talked to her about it, she says that she can ‘tell that he’s hungry.’

The stress of trying to make pumping arithmetic work is rough on any given day, but knowing that he was eating so much more AND still super hungry or eating from the stash was too much. So last Wednesday I decided I was going to say something.

Which I did, last night. And it erupted into a horrible argument. She went into an intense guilt trip (“I am such a horrible grandmother, I’m not fit to watch him”) and which devolved into statements like “well if its so difficult for you to pump enough, maybe he needs a supplement” and “I’m sorry I can’t do it like LA!” I asked her to just wait to give him his last bottle until 3pm – she said, “well I can try but I’m not going to let him just cry in hunger!”

It was a mess. So, I hung up the phone and sent a text to my dad, hoping he’d have my back. No such luck. Instead, he said I was being ridiculous, that ‘it’s just a few ounces of milk! just give her more milk!’ and that it would be horrible for me to “drive a wedge through our family” over something “so silly.” He said we needed to find a compromise, that they’d try it my way, but if it didn’t work I’d have to ‘just send more milk.’ And why couldn’t I just appreciate the favor my mother was doing for us?

Y’all. Y’ALL. Am I being totally irrational to want someone who is watching my kid to feed him like I ask them to? If she’s like this about the breastmilk, what will she do about the requests I make regarding solid foods? Or anything else? I 100% believe that she is trying her best, but I also think she doesn’t have the energy to rock him to sleep the way he needs to be rocked, that she’s uncomfortable with him crying so she feeds him. And it’s not a favor to me to be stressed out. I can pay someone to watch my kid and feed him the way I ask. The money would be worth not having to freak out or feel like I have to sacrifice my parenting to make my mom feel good.

I am begrudgingly taking him over there tomorrow. With 10 oz, in 3 bags, labeled for the times he is to eat them. And if she freaks out, I will reiterate what  have said before. He eats 10 oz or less in the 9 hours he’s with La, he can eat 10oz in 6 hours and be fine. I’m not waking up in the middle of the night to pump more, I’m not going to sacrifice what little sanity I have to pacify my mom.

Ugh. That was long.

So. The car. Things are still up in the air, but we are looking into trading the car in when we get it back (it’s a lease, which is up in about 5 months) and getting a CRV (the current car is a civic and the regular little car set fills the entire back seat, let alone the big baby one!) So last night we went and test drove one. And it’s beautiful and roomy and would totally be wonderful. And it would pump our car payment up much higher than I’d like. And our monthly income is going up even more. So. What to do, what to do? The fact is, we will likely need to either get a new lease or take over payments on the civic come December, so we might as well have the car we really want and need, instead of one that isn’t ultimately meeting our needs. But car payments, especially big ones, suck. So. Luckily, we have to wait to find out what’s up with the civic anyway, because man are those cars pretty.

That’s what’s going on, y’all. Life is a solid mix of awesome and really hard. Working full time and momming full time continues to be hard. my baby continues to be magical. I continue to not get enough sleep both because my baby continues to wake up and because I cannot convince myself to go to bed before 11pm no matter how hard I try. I have decided to become a more regular beer-a-night drinker, because it takes the edge off the day. I have NEVER been a beer-a-night drinker. Or really much of a drinker. But I was a smoker and I don’t want to go back to that, so a beer a night seems like a good compromise. Life is good and hard and exhausting and wonderful. And next week my baby will be 4 months old!