Saturday, January 31, 2004

a few things I've been saving to post (dh had a work crisis about 90 minutes after getting home on Friday night and I've only just got my babysitter back...)

first, that I should stop being so pleased with myself and feeling like I'm safe from miscarriage and all the rest of the infertility horrors. A. doesn't have his brother or sister yet.

second, that I've realised why there are so many funny-looking babies around. they grow up to be funny-looking people, of course.

and third, vaguely: what are those things that your parents tell you about? messages from a dream you dreamt but don't remember. as in "you used to ... snort when you pooed/chew your feet/crawl backwards," or whatever. there's a time, several years, of our lives we have no memory of. but we lived them all the same. A. now is A. when he's 40, barring any serious neurological problems. I have no conclusions about this observation, it just struck me.

a nice lady from "TIME" (she used upper case) magazine emailed me re: doing an interview for a story about baby/family sites.

I said OK, sure, but you know I'm in Australia? which disqualifies me, apparently. with all due respect to said nice contributor, it seems "TIME" just doesn't get the concept of "cyberspace" yet, huh?

Friday, January 30, 2004

every now and again, out of adherence to the original spirit of this blog being for me to work through and record important personal milestones of would-be and actual parentage, I am forced to write something that will a) bore and b) gross out anyone who actually bothers to read it.

so here goes: YELLOW POOS!! YEE-HA! BABY'S GUTS IS GETTIN' BETTER, PAW! (insert sound of excited pistol firing, whoops and general hoedown noises)

Thursday, January 29, 2004

well, that pretty much leaves brown rice and water.

if I can get this to clear up, I'm going to try going back on things one at a time. after all, if it's eggs, I don't need to give up milk, and vice versa.

random recipes for later

did I mention how much I love a warm glass of milk? cheese on toast? quiches?

practical info on how to avoid these proteins. it's scary that if I don't crack this, he may develop real allergies to whatever it is. my family has some vicious allergies scattered around.

oh you poor love! yes you, who came here on the search phrase "baby wakes after 10 minutes of sleep"

(current occupation: feeding sultanas to dog in order to stop him from barking at a banging noise on the building site down the road. baby must sleep, baby must sleep...)

so the paed. says it's a reaction to proteins in my diet. meaning I need to cut out: milk and anything milk-based (not sure if goats products are OK, must check), nuts of all kinds, soy, eggs...

wheat is another possible suspect. sigh. double-sigh. I also need to express and chuck the first 10 ml of every feed; another thing to do while A. cries for his yummies. it should take 5-7 days for things - ie, the state of his bowels - to pick up. of course, some people's babies poo 12 times a day. so one should be grateful. off to research this diet now, but it seems like I'm on meat, potatotes and rice milk for a while.

(A. put on a crying show in the paed's office, because I only squeezed a 1/2 hour nap out of him this morning. really have to crack this nap thing; he's so happy when he sleeps well, and so NOT when he doesn't. the sight of the dignified 50-something paed whispering "burned bum, burned bum" to my baby while he examined him would have been funny if it didn't bring home to me how little I know about communicating with babies.)

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

insomnia 1, bb 1.

two hours in bed, 45 minutes of sleep. it's a start.

he's definitely only crying to get me back in there now; he gives himself away by snuggling in and easing off when I pick him up. so does that mean he's ready to be taught that he can't command me to come back? but he's only 11 weeks!

I cracked and popped the dummy in this afternoon. it looks horrid stuck in his face. but it got him to sleep for 15 minutes. when he woke, I was in bed already and dragged him in with me. then the cheeky little creature looked at my breasts, up at me and smiled! as in "whoo hoo, they look good, give us a suck Mum." and I did. weak, yes. but so would you be if your hitherto one-feed-a-night baby had decided 1 am and 5 am were both good times to wake up, two nights running. especially if two nights ago you'd decided to sacrifice a precious 45 minutes to resume conjugal relations with your sweet patient dh.

tomorrow he sees the paediatrician again: the mucousy stools and blood streaks have gone on for a week, and that's what the lactation consultant says I should do. I guess I'll just take the paed's advice; too much coming from all directions otherwise.

did I mention that smile?

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

nurse in the Australia position

the what? why Australia? oh, upside down ha. ha. not.

this is a more comprehensive article.

I'm completely off dairy foods; on soy, although it might be as bad. it's very hard to get enough fat without cheese, butter, milk, yogurt etc. and I'm making him keep going back to the same breast until he finishes it. the screaming and back arching got worse by Saturday - at least dh got to see it - but has subsided. his poos are still most unsatisfactory in colour and consistency, with the odd spot of blood, though. it can take a while for damage to the bowel to heal, so I'm going to persist for a

emailed a breastfeeding asn. counsellor friday and got no response - though my hotmail may have been full - now awaiting a call back from the hospital's lactation consultant.

at least right now he's sleeping. last night was the dreaded two-feed night. I don't know how mothers who do that every night survive.

Friday, January 23, 2004

actually, it is probably much more like lactose overload. (same site, further down)
he certainly gets lots of nappies per day, and I've been v. miffed to discover that he doesn't do just one poo a week, as some bf babies apparently do.

he had tiny bits of blood in his stools last night, after a couple of days of really unexplained crying/screaming, including waking up crying from a deep sleep. the nurse on the 24-hour maternal health line (a 15 minute wait to speak to someone, how stupid is that for a health support service for new mothers?) said it sounds like lactose intolerance. it's also possible he had a stomach bug - certainly things were, um, green and runny, earlier in the week.

I had a lot of eggs on Sunday/Monday. unfortunately I also had one in a burger last night. but that's the first suspect. two weeks without them, then I'm off dairy. and so on until I identify what's going on. whatever it is, it turns him from a sweet ,developing and mostly happy little boy into a miserable snivelling creature who doesn't seem at all grateful to exist.

and, speaking of diet, this can't go on. I'm still generally the same or gaining weight. I used to ride my bike four or five days a week. when we were on IVF the ride to work from where we were staying varied from 25 to 10 kilometres. one way. I swam twice, thrice a week.

now I'm managing two swims, for sanity, and one or two 7 or 15 k rides every week. it's the riding that must have kept my legs from looking like two chicken drumsticks fashioned out of cottage cheese. I know it's been 12 years since I bought those hotpants I used to wear, and I don't really expect to get around in those clothes any more, but do I have to start wearing ankle-length skirts for the rest of my life at 37?

I have a dress that's made of brown Asian silk, very straight, finishes just above the knees, with a tight bodice and shoestring straps. it used to look fantastic on me with my smallish breasts and straight brown hair. I want to wear it again. for my 40th would be impossible, as I plan/hope to be a few months past my second child then. but for my 38th this year? should be do-able. when I was a teenager I had the usual eating disorders - nothing lifethreatening, but lots of wasted time obsessing about diets and generally working at being very very skinny. I don't want to go there either. and I know I have to eat well to feed and keep up with A. but I am so very not happy just accepting that all my clothes no longer fit and that I have rolls of fat and cellulite now where I used to be firm, if not hard. maybe I do see fatness as a sign of "letting myself go".

and this is after two and a half weeks of 75 situps and 75 pushups (from the knees only) every day. I need walking shoes. I need to jump on the bike more often. I need to stop eating to make me sleep. etc. any woman knows the mental circles I'm walking in now.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

dangerous childhood games, first in an occasional series:


this was basically a horizontal wheel made of iron bars, laced with cyclone fencing like a spider's web.
the whole thing sat on a central axle. you could make it spin by running around the side holding on to it. It was maybe 4-5 metres across. this meant that the outside was the fast bit and the inside was the slow bit. to get on, you had to run alongside, get a grip and clamber on. of course smaller children had to be on the inside, but getting there was the challenge. there was a deep track worn around the outside from kids pushing it. I remember the one by the lake where I grew up as always being crammed with kids getting on and off - getting off could mean stumbling along at speed until you found your feet, and there was always the danger of being flung to the ground.

yes, it was incredibly dangerous. I'm sure there are none left now. but hell, it was fun!

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

that Temazepan? I know, from reading the warnings, that I'm not going to take it. not until he's on formula. it warns about breathing difficulties for Gawd'ssake! I don't care how often they give it to other mothers. I don't want anything like that anywhere near him. not with the SIDS thing still hanging over my frightened little ex-IVF mum paranoid head.

Once I became a mother, I realized (albeit very, very slowly) that from that moment on, no matter where I went or what I did, there was someone else tethered to me in an incredibly delicate and important way.
....Anyone who willingly dons that mantle will never, ever be described by me as fat, dull, spotty, ignored or worthy of being ignored, bored or boring. Anyone who takes on that honor and that responsibility will have my everlasting respect, honor, and gratitude, and be accepted into my heart as Sister.

ps: dr's appt has resulted in a prescription for Temazepan and instructions to express his night feed, and then express on the night I take it and chuck that.
so as well as the below, I had my first encounter with the breast pump, complete with boiling up the components etc. milk is down due to tiredness so I only took out 20ml; good thing to as he was having no truck with that nasty latex teat thingy when my yummy warm breast was there for the taking. will get dh to try.

today's agenda:
go to dr's appt with dh.
go to market.
rest early.
go to child care centre in my street at 3.30 pm (latest appt I could get)
cook dinner

as of 3.46, actual achievement:

fail to get baby to take morning feed.
put him back to bed.
go to dr's appt alone.
rush home to relieve dh, who has had baby awake since 20 minutes after I left and said baby is now desperate for food.
get dh to cancel the water company person who was going to check why our toilets are backing up.
forget about market.
try to get to nap stage early
feed baby for goodness knows how long.
doze during feeding.
baby goes to sleep at 2.30.
cancel 3.30 appt indefinitely - he's on the waiting list now at least, who knows if the place is suitable.
drink tea and eat choc. biscuits in desperate attempt to become conscious.
prepare to rebook water company for this evening.
wonder if I can make it to the shops to get food or if it's takeaway again.

baby, though, is sleeping the sleep of angels.

Monday, January 19, 2004

next year's goal: too hard for a new mum? that's the point.

suspenseful's M is laughing.
A is sort of laughing. he gurgles in an amazed, clunky way when I blow raspberries on his belly. I think it'll be a while before he gets Seinfeld, though.

ps: a wonderful one hour nap has made it worth skipping the first session of the new mothers' group. what sort of time is 1.30pm to run that stuff anyway? I had to feed him in bed and sleep curled up to him to get it, but that's small stuff. I'd do just about anything to get to sleep right now.

baby here soon!

latest trick: almost, but not quite rolling: he throws his legs and bottom to the side that only his big head anchors him.

sleep report: dismal. have appt with hypotherapist, but not for another three weeks.

through my brain-dead fog this morning, as he chewed blindly on me like a baby kangaroo, I realised something; all 5.5 kilograms of him, every gram (bar a couple of drops of wind treatment), came from my body. once he was 16 cells or so on the screen in the clinic. now he's a little human. and all of it came directly from me.

(not that there's any evidence of 5.5 kg of anything coming off me: now 139 lb, 4 lb up on last week and about 3 up on what I weighed afte he was born. sigh. if I could sleep, I could stop eating bread and honey and drinking milk to help me sleep and maybe we'd get somewhere.)

Sunday, January 18, 2004

baby nap time: 3 hours and counting
mine: 2 hours in bed and NO SLEEP!

was enraged by an idiot while we were out for coffee this morning - can't be bothered with details. and that stressed me and suddenly the "off" switch stopped working.
so looking forward to my dr's appt on Tuesday, even though I know I just need to find a way to relax. but I tried everything this afternoon. getting mini-bouts of insomnia at night still - half an hour to an hour. and sleep loss is cumulative.

aargh. so no apologies for bad syntax and typos; gotta be quick b4 he wakes.

anyway, here's the scenario:

you're asleep
you stir.
you look up.
there's someone, or something, there.
suddenly you're flying through the air.
then your clothes are removed.
then things are happening to your most private parts.
then you're transported to another place. there are sounds, like language, but you don't understand them.
then a feeling of warmth and comfort floods over you.
soon you find yourself back in your bed.

an alien abduction? no, just your standard nappy change. and of course the alien itself is the baby: big head, huge dark eyes in the dimmed lights, small floppy limbs.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

one of the inoculations has a side effect of making them "drowsy".
after a fairly normal night last night, he's just had a 3.5 hour morning nap and went back down after 90 minutes - so far 90 more minutes in this sleep. sometimes his eyes are half open and he's just out of it. but his temperature is normal and his fontanelle isn't different, so I'm assuming he's OK, just feeling a bit down from all those nasty things in his system.

mentally, I'm fine with it. emotionally, I hate myself.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

1st inoculations today - "hold your baby while we stick this sharp needle in him please, and the other leg too, and never mind the 1/2.5 million chance of paralysis from the oral vaccine." now I don't know if his poor afternoon nap is a side effect or just part of the grand plan to kill me by exhaustion. actually think my milk supply is down.

( he's asleep on my arm; wish I could use only letters from the rhs of the keyboard, like milk and only)

the room was full of parents waiting out the 15 min you have to stay after shots - funny how small other 2-mth olds are. a ? vietnamese? cambodian? woman who seemed not to speak English tied his bootie up for me.

then we got to see my ivf dr, who grabbed him and cuddled him for 10 minutes while we talked. did I mention I adore her?

and a weight update - 5.5kg on Monday. what a good porky baby.

OK, so I told him I'd be short of temper by last night. he knew I'd had not enough sleep and was feeling very fragile. I asked him, nicely, if I could possibly have half an hour at bedtime for a bath so I could try to tune out and SLEEP. and yes, he did cook dinner (while I did other housework).

so when he a) took a 25 minute phone call from his mother at 9pm that seemed to be mostly about the weather where she is and while he was doing that, b) sent a text msg inviting his SIL, whom he knows I have personal boundary issues with, over to pick up her holiday photos, and went on to keep talking to his mother while SIL got in my face, literally (why was it necessary to squat next to my chair, face 2 ft from my exposed breast??), so that I found it necessary to tell her I couldn't talk to her and so that the dishes and general dinner preparation hadn't happened by 9.30 pm, was it unreasonable of me to object?

was it in fact unreasonable of me, at 11:30 pm, after doing said dishes, getting my own goddam hot drink, turning the hoses off and changing the final nappy, to completely lose it in ways I won't describe here? and was it fair of him to tell me (after I'd said I needed to be in control of who got in my face in my own home), that this was his house too and he'd invite his sister over when he like?

and this morning, after 1.5 hours of sleep followed by two more blocks of same, should I have been a ray of sunshine? no, I am a walking zombie. I have nothing to give him, or his family. I barely have enough to raise a smile at A.

these are rhetorical q's, you understand. my comments seem to be broken anyway.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

and all I can find on Valerian says I shouldn't be doing that either.

and again last night: 6.5 hours, an hour up, followed by 3 more of sleep. what a good baby. and my total? about 4.5, only the first three consecutive.

I think this is approaching actual insomnia. no, I'm not depressed. yes, I was weepy this morning. it's called exhaustion.

can't find anything on the Web that is safe to take. am babysitting him with his mobile while I ring for dr's appts: one can't see me until next week, the other is away for two weeks. don't know if it's bad enough to try an entirely new gp. it probably is, but I don't feel up to all that. I want sympathy and (safe) drugs dammit, from one of the drs I know and trust.

meanwhile, I may punt that a little Valerian won't damage him for life. I don't even know how long various drugs stay in my milk, so I can't really pump some and take a pill for a night. he's not had bottle feeds yet, so all that requires some gearing up. and some nights are OK, so I can't predict when to do it. aaargh!!!

Monday, January 12, 2004

(ps: but he did sleep for 8 hours last night - 10-6 - so really I have nuttin' to complain about.

hah. nurse says I have to start regulating his feed/sleep/play cycle. meaning I have to put off his feeds, make him sleep when he's woken up and so on. I'm torn between the It Will Work theory - that you can run these things by formulas - and just doing what A wants. but if what A wants is 5 minute feeds every hour, I guess some regulation is in order.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

it's not until you have a baby sleeping in a chest carrier that you really appreciate having learned to touch type...

Friday, January 09, 2004

I went to Google looking for something I saw on the news. I typed in "miscarriage cure monash medical centre" and it asked me "Did you mean: miscarriage cause monash medical centre".

the first time it's ever corrected me on anything other than simple spelling.

but in the spirit of getupgrrl I'd like to ask: excuse me? so it's a protein deficiency? or there is some woman-related cause? so you LIED to all those women when you said "it's just that the emby would never have developed properly anyway?" (translation: you needn't grieve over a defective baby, it would never have worked out).

the more I know about this stuff, the more I think implantation and maintaining pregnancy has been neglected somewhat and needs a better focus. getting pregnant's one thing. staying that way can be damn hard work too.

reading that article, it looks like it's all about the immune system again. I wonder if I can thank baby aspirin for my baby?

(a friend of a friend is on her second, last cycle in her early 40s. her "dh" (not so d, I think) put off kids until it came to this. last cycle was a fizzer. send her sticky thoughts via me.) then again, the other day I met on the phone a woman who got pg accidentally at 46 and now has a 2-year-old. don't you hate that?

the ob/gyn at first said I wouldn't be needing to worry about contraception, then agreed that heaps of women get surprise babies after ivf. or was he referring to my admission that we have not had intercourse yet? though he replied "no sex" and I didn't correct him. we've actually had sex twice, just not in any potentially babymaking way.

hmm. have got some comments code from blogspeak, but nothing's showing up. will try more when babytime allows.

(edit: that's because I had to put in a second lot of code. blogspeak only allows 7500 users. guess I got lucky)

hadn't checked Junegirl's blog lately: she has a gorgeous brand new boy.

just idly looking at my hit stats, I noticed that I got nearly twice as many hits in November as December or October. does that mean that those people were actually coming back to check on me around the due date, not just random link following or search engine referrals?

if they are, they never say hello. or almost never.

quick one - should be napping

followup with ob/gyn today. surprise visit to the table - pap smear, scar check, internal and breast check. ook. and I forgot to do a wee stop before I got there.

all is well, of course. A. was admired by staff, but my favourite nurse wasn't there - shall have to return.

have now got gripe water and a thing called infacol. supposed to give the infacol before feeds, so don't know if it will work yet. no idea how to use the gripe water...

he is a beautiful thing though, my baby. even when he screams.

(can you tell I got a total 7 hours sleep last night? feeling quite OK)

new thing: putting fruits under his nose. he notices the scents as surely as a new toy makes his eyes widen.

thought: this child is not so much a way to transcend or fight off age and death, as a way of making them irrelevant. and to think I still have time to see this 5kg wailing creature grow into a man makes me feel young, at the very start of life.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

I think I'm channelling Elizabeth Hunter - someone from work I don't have much in common with (apart from a new baby) rang and wanted to visit. I rang back and said I was just so tired and had been putting other people off and snowed under with visitors - all of which is true - and we left it at that. I'm kind of proud of myself that I didn't just say "sure, come over" and then feel annoyed through the whole visit. what's the point?

today I: fed my baby. designed a Web site. I can have a life as well as a baby, I know I can. it's the most basic, hand-coded site, but it will do the job. yay me. (now to sort out the frames for the associated blog, and get some images up there...)

bloody jackhammer. he's woken up again. I'll have to sleep with him this afternoon, my arm across him, literally holding him under in sleep.

desperation dept: took a Valerian tablet last night and slept better, ie only woke 3 times between 10:30 and 5 and managed to go back to sleep each time.

feeling surprisingly better for it, too.

now if i can only get them to stop using a massive machine-mounted jackhammer next door, and to get next door's dog to stop barking, I could see about the afternoon nap.

a friend has suggested I use gripe water for A's problems staying on the nipple, and his apparent wind or stomach pain. but he's never had anything but my milk. nearly went to see the nurse today; will wait until Monday's appt and see how it goes. but this morning I did about 10 five-minute feeds. he's a little yoyo.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

new weight loss plan: stop eating, drink lots of water and let the fat dissolve into breast milk.

hah. today's pathetic attempt at an afternoon nap took 2 doses of bread and honey and milk to get even 45 minutes asleep. if this keeps up I'll have to see a dr; how long can you survive on 4 hours a night?

and I know my baby isn't Jesus b/c he does not lie there meekly forgiving me my mothering sins. that Mary must have had it good: the only mother ever without guilt.

Monday, January 05, 2004

I am the most righthanded person I know.

but it feels right to carry him over my right shoulder when I've wrapped him and am waiting for him to go to sleep for the morning nap.

so I'm learning to do everything with the left - even write. so what if I can't read my notes afterwards?

last night's sleep total: 5 hours (3 and 2).

can't imagine why I'm not achieving all my goals toot-sweet.

Saturday, January 03, 2004

last night's sleep disaster doesn't bear talking about.

OK, it does. A to sleep: 9.30
me to bed after an upsetting discussion with dh: 10.30
me to sleep: 11.30
me awake: 1.00
A awake: 2.30:
A back to sleep: 4 am
me back to sleep: 4.30
A awake: 6
prodded dh and got him to take A, then got another half hour.

the worst bit of insomnia is counting the minutes of sleep you lost. and the fact that this morning would have been ideal to grab a bike ride in the cool of the am at 6, but there was no way. (did ride new years' eve. even remembered how to do it!)

feeling: shattered.

oh, and this man? does NOT deserve to have children. idiot. I couldn't look at the photo, and had to go give A a kiss. the images it conjures up are very upsetting; don't go there if you're easily freaked out by danger to babies.

Friday, January 02, 2004

and then he suddenly takes a new interest in his mobile; smiling and half-cooing at the sheep, pig, duck and cow as they turn around to a bastardised version of a Brahms lullaby, and I nearly cry from happiness at the delighted look on his little face.

(but he still won't feed properly; the other girls on my bulletin board say it's either wind, or reflux (my suspicions), or fast letdown (maybe), or "a stage". aren't they all?)

Thursday, January 01, 2004

one minute I'm looking in the mirror and vowing to get new clothes so I can stop getting around the house in sarongs and old t-shirts.

the next I'm not bothering to change a t-shirt with several baby dribbles down the front because it'll only get dirty again.

the cloths in use on and around my bed at 3 am the night before last: a cloth nappy for little chucks, a muslin wrap, a sarong (for me), a small muslin wrap for the ice pack for my exhaustion headache, his sheet, a couple of stretchy wraps over the cot, a blanket not in use because it's been the hottest December ever.

exhaustion is it. dh doesn't seem to understand that while I can physically run around getting the housework done, my mental state is incredibly fragile and that maybe he should cut me some slack if he finds me a bit short with him or if I don't communicate very well. hence another fight last night, well a kind of despairing exchange of words. pride and small babies just don't mix.

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