GETTING BETTER

As I was watching ZGirl winding herself up out of either boredom, exhaustion or hunger, it suddenly occurred to me that her mode of locomotion reminded me of Elaine’s dance on Seinfeld. All hurky-jerky with the spastic leg kicks that come from muscle contractions going off like a year old bag of popcorn.

I’m also quite envious of her ab strength. Can you lay on the floor and without any kind of outward exertion, lift both feet and legs straight up? If you can, good for you and for the record, I hate you.

She’s in the best mood in the morning. A dead give-away that she’s can’t possibly have any biological connection to me. She actually will play very quietly and happily for a while before letting out a sqwak that she wants to be fed, and even then, we can leisurely change her diaper and play for a few minutes as she gets absolutely giddy once she is put on the changing table. Really. GIDDY. To see her at those moments is visual caffeine for us.

The caveat is that those smiles that you can’t help but smile back to? They are not reserved for just Mom, Dad and big brother. I’ve caught her smiling broadly at the ceiling fans, recessed lights, and the pattern of her bassinet fabric.

Bottle feeding is coming along albeit slowly. Mr. DD has the hardest time. I can usually get her to start once she gets distracted by the bathroom fan and the bright lights above the mirror. My husband had the nerve to tell me that daycare won’t be turning on fans or running water to get her to take a bottle. My response? Why the hell not. I’ll even bet the care giver will change her shitty diapers!

In closing, I am reviewing* two items baby-related. One will get a thumbs up, the other, a thumbs down. First the down:

The Kiddopatomus swaddler. Diaper changes are difficult and after you have the baby locked down by all that velcro, once you figure out the schematics of its NASA-like design, getting it back open, especially if you don’t want to disturb the baby encased inside, is difficult. The overly large patches of velcro are noisy and godforbid you accidentally let a patch of hook land on a non-corresponding patch of eye. You’ll end up with a baby sized Chinese finger puzzle.

For the thumbs up? I really love the Halo sleepsack blanket. Since it’s sleeveless, the baby’s arms won’t disappear inside the sack (I use long-sleeved onesies to keep ZGirl’s arms comfortable). The v-neck means no bunching up under the chin, and the zip from the top to the bottom means the zipper tab won’t be under her chin, either. If I had one complaint about it (and to be frank, I have one complaint about everything), it’s that I have never understood why manufacturers put the soft, comfy side on the OUTSIDE of the garment, instead of the inside. Sure I love the pelt-like feel of the Halo, but petting the baby isn’t necessarily conducive to either of us getting much sleep.

* My reviews are a free service of this blog. I guess if you need to shop for either yourself or a friend, you may as well take advantage of my hit and miss nature.

OMG, PLEASE SHUT UP ALREADY

I was more than ready to go back to work after my 12week leave when I had XBoy. I don’t think it had anything to do with how secure I felt as a parent since logically the 2nd child – especially six years later – should be a cake walk. But this time around, I am scared witless to leave ZGirl in the care of strangers. I cannot give the care giver a schedule because she has none. I cannot give them an idea of how much she eats at any one time as I am clueless. I’m even supposed to have each bottle prepared for the day. When I remembered this yesterday, I nearly hyperventilated.

Of course, yesterday would have been a good day to freak out since it was the first time I left ZGirl for a whole day. While it was with someone I trust inexplicably, my mother, I then started to imagine her walking around with ZGirl and having a massive heart attack and no one finding either of them for hours…anti-anxiety meds, anyone? I don’t think it even helped to hear that everything was fine via several phone calls to both the house and my husband. She was perfect. No problems. No complaints. What the hell? Who gave my baby Nyquil?

Apparently forcing my daughter to take a bottle doesn’t work. Who knew? Instead my mom said she just let her play with the bottle’s nipple and then she drank. I wish my Mom lived with us. Strike me now since that has also been a real fear of mine.

I remember not being successful when it came to breastfeeding XBoy. Eventually I got over it and thought, meh, what’s the big deal anyway? Now I’m dealing with a baby who won’t take a bottle. I had a “mini” breakdown (OK, MAXI breakdown) the other night about it after an hour of solid screaming and crying to the point of ZGirl gasping and hiccuping herself into an exhausted and fitful sleep because we were trying to feed her with a bottle, I asked my husband how could something I thought would be the most beneficial for her – breastfeeding – now end up being the bane of my last couple of weeks home with her? Maybe formula isn’t “the” best, if one was to judge what is best  by all the literature that comes with the breastmilk storage bags, but at least she wouldn’t be crying hysterically with each feeding attempt.

Ugh. Does the self-flagellation ever end?

So the reason I left her for the whole day was to go to the Metro for some shopping. I still needed a few things for ZGirl’s transition to her room and my mom thought it’d be good for me to get out of the house. In the past, I’ve just gone to Toysrus since they have a small baby section. I didn’t know until a store rep told me that the Metro now had a Babiesrus. I thought, “cool”, and headed off to the new store.

Thank the almighty lord on high I had never tried that any time during the past four years while going through treatments. It was overwhelming to say the least. The combination of very pregnant women and endless dispays of decorated cribs and 15 foot high shelving just for nipples? Ack! I couldn’t get out of there soon enough (making me forget hangers, dammit).

Anyone willing to become a nanny for ZGirl? I keep Baileys Irish Cream and some kind of fancy scotch and ice cream on hand. Of course, that would double as payment as well as off hours recreational enjoyment. (Speaking of which, yes I do have a couple of packages to send out – I haven’t forgot.)

I have more serious things to share with you about XBoy, but that will have to wait until after his doctor’s appointment Wednesday. That post will be protected so just a head up to any newbies. I am both hopeful about the possible results since we may finally be able to know what’s going on and dreading what lies ahead.

Thanks again for joining me for yet another schizophrenic post. Yikes.

TIPSTER

I seem to be racking up drafts in my blog file. When I open them, they all have one or two sentences of random crap. It’s all because booby duty calls.

Getting ZGirl converted to bottle feeding has been aggravating to say the least. I read suggestions aloud on all kinds of boards and sites on making the transition to my husband who promptly ignores me and tries to sit down on the couch and watch football/baseball with one eye on ZGirl. I have had much better luck feeding her myself by going into the bathroom, turning on the fan and running water into the sink and bouncing her in my arms like mad.

White noise is our friend.

While it works in the long haul, my carpal tunnel which is now just finally subsiding, flares painfully. Almost nine weeks post-pregnancy and there is still a constant tingle in my fingers, can you believe it? Two to three weeks, they said. Bah.

Here’s a tip from our house to yours: if you are trying to put down the baby to sleep after a late night feeding and as soon as his/her head hits the mattress they wake up? Try putting a heating pad down to warm up their spot, but make sure to both shut it off and take it out just before putting down the baby. You don’t want to wake up to a crispy critter now do you?

Didn’t want the visual? Well, I don’t want you to do something stupid and forget either.

While ZGirl’s sleep habits are “improving”, I qualify that statement with the quotations. When she finally hits the deep sleep (any time between 9:30 and 12:30), she’ll sleep four to six hours. Then she wakes up for about an hour to eat and give me googly eyes. After that, we’re lucky if she sleeps for another two. It’s frustrating. She’s consistently inconsistent.

I mentioned how I love having home-made wipes on twitter and was asked how to make them, so I’ll share that with you as well.

Supplies:

  • 10 cup container with lid
  • Select a size Bounty paper towels (yes, use these specifically or experiment and rue your choice)
  • Baby oil
  • Aveeno gentle wash (or a baby wash)

Cut your roll of paper towels in half. Make sure your container is tall and wide enough to hold one of the half rolls. Mix 1 cup water, 1 tspn oil and 1 tspn wash together and put into container. Add your paper towels, still with the cardboard center. Mix another 1 cup water, 1 tspn oil and 1 tspn wash and pour over the paper towels. Put on the lid and set overnight so that the towels are soaked evenly. You can then remove the cardboard center, which will help start your roll as you will take the wipes from the center.

While it’s not as “convenient” as the commercial wipes, with how they are individual and pop up sequentially, once you plan ahead (is the diaper full of poop before you take it off so you can pull off four or five pieces – which is why you use the select a size type of wipes), it’s great. No matter how “gentle” commercial wipes say they are, once your baby gets a diaper rash, the chemicals in those wipes will burn her butt. Homemade wipes won’t. Plus the oil helps create a nice barrier in case you hate to use butt cream with each change, as I do. I do keep a pack of commercial wipes in my diaper bag for on the go.

So, uh, yeah…

OOooh. I just came up from another tip from me to you. If you buy a bag of M&Ms, do NOT lay them next to the vent of your lap top. Unless you like them really, REALLY soft.

Today, ZGirl is two months old. How in the world can each single day drag on but two months fly by?

OPEN WOUNDS AND SALT

Many of you probably saw this postcard through Postsecret. Would you believe that even now, the sentiment is still true for me?

It was through our baptimsal classes that those feelings really came to a head. Here we were, participating in these classes out of necessity and tradition, not those of faith, sitting amongst several couples, many who were still pregnant and wanting to crawl out of my skin.

One of the exercises presented during the class was to think of a moment or event that completely shifted the dynamic of our marriage; something that made us closer. Mr. DD whispered to me that we should share our miscarriages and treatment with the group. I shook my head no. One, with the church frowning on IVF, I didn’t think it was a good idea to open that can of worms; and two, after the couple who were sponsoring the classes shared their miscarriage story, I just couldn’t.

Her story started like so many others: a heart beat that was too slow; a follow-up ultrasound to see what was happening to the baby, which was on her birthday; an immediate D&C. My heart went out to her knowing that the date she lost her son would never be forgotten. But then she said something that I just couldn’t relate to, that made me grit my teeth and curl my nails into my palm: There was a reason – a purpose – that her son died. Knowing he was in the Holy Mother’s arms gave meaning to his death.

Her announcement made me angry…and envious.

I wish I could have that kind of faith so I wouldn’t feel my heart constrict in jealousy when I see other pregnant women. I don’t even give them the benefit of the doubt, that it might have been difficult for them, too. I am not just jealous of how easy it probably was for them, but of how they get to complain about the pregnancy without guilt or judgement.

As I said in my last post, infertility has shadowed my views on just about everything around me. I don’t get the rose-colored glasses. Mine are peuce-green. Maybe now I’m just trying to excorcise all the infertilty demons and that’s why I’ve been writing about them again. I want to enjoy being a new mom as the days and weeks are floating away from me like the seeds of cotton trees. ZGirl turned 8 weeks on Wednesday. I go back to work in just three more. I don’t want to find myself so preoccupied with what could have been that I forget to stop and enjoy more of this:

THE WHITE GLOVE TEST

Just because I now have a baby girl and a school-aged son, does not mean this blog is no longer infertility related.

How’s that for just jumping to the crux of a post?

I started a blog over three years ago. I actually missed my anniversary, which was back in August. You can read last year’s recognition of my illustrious start, if you are so inclined. When I take into account the blogs I have been reading during these three years, it’s not a long time. However, when I look over Mel’s list of blogs over at Stirrup Queens, I’m a veteran.

It bothers me that this blog may no longer be perceived as falling under the topic of infertility. If someone new stops by they may read all my posts about my pregnancy with ZGirl, if they can even get past the most recent posts about breastfeeding and exhaustion as related to a new baby. Then there’s the posts about my son; and work; and my in-laws. And every once in a while, one will stumble into a post dedicated exclusively to infertility.

Here’s the thing, though. Just because many of my posts do not contain the details of a consult with my RE, or the internal dialogue for choosing a sperm donor, or my feelings when all my frozen embryos died, does not mean that infertility was shuffled unceremoniously to the back burner.

When we lost our second pregnancy in November 2004, every moment from that point became tainted. Here’s an analogy for you in case I’m being obtuse, if not just too damned wordy: we are living in a new home (coincidentally, construction started in 2004). It’s a gorgeous house. If you stopped by, I’m sure you would think we were very lucky to have such a lovely space to raise a family. It still has that new home smell to it. But what you wouldn’t realize is there is a fine layer of dust that has infiltrated every surface of the house due to the fact we are surrounded by sand, and no matter how many times I vacuum and dust and mop, the dust remains. It just takes a few days to build back up again. You may not see it, but I do. I see it every. goddamn. day.

That’s infertility. It may look to you as if my life as far as having the my son and now my daughter, is now “perfect”. But no matter how large my heart swells in my chest when I see ZGirl grin at me excitedly from her bassinet, or when my son hugs me tight and tells me he loves me, there will always be a fine dusting of infertility that I will have to work at to keep at bay.

My blogging began as a result of infertility. That was three years ago. Having a new baby at home for two months will never discount those three years. Maybe in three years, I’ll feel a little differently. Maybe then this blog will finally be something else, but I will guarantee if you run your white-gloved finger over the surface, you’ll still find a little dust.

CRAZY SUMSOFBITCHES

Here’s what is crazy to me:

The men in the credit consolidating commercials all seem to be sporting hair plugs. What is wrong with a receding hairline anyway? I think balding men are kind of handsome. I also think if you were going to go with an “actor portrayal” you would use regular looking Joes and Janes, not some idiot who spent way to much money to look as if someone used a sharpie to draw in his hair. 

Couples who either do the family bed or co-sleeping thing. To each their own and all that jazz, but just from the few times Mr. DD has put ZGirl down where he was sleeping to calm her down, it’s about as relaxing to me as if someone had stuffed a raccoon and weasel into a pillow case next to me – what with all that snuffling, snorting and flailing. And that’s while she’s sleeping.

Packaging on baby bottle nipples. “Most like Mother’s breast.” Interesting, since I’m sure my nipples are not a strange shade of green, or clear, or hard, or cold. You can bring evidence of the contrary upon my death.

My father-in-law’s political opinions. I’m not sure even where to start but for him to have to even contemplate that our next president may be (shhhhhhh) black, or the VP may be a (gasp!) woman must make his brain spin. Last night he told us that he was talking with a friend of ours who this year decided the private school tuition was too high so he put his girls into the public school. This father then complained that it seemed as if the kids spent 2/3 of their class time reading, to which my FIL responded, “It’s because of that bullshit about the ‘no children left behind’ (an act signed by Bush in 2001).” What an ignorant ass.

Related to above, schools that are anal about the supplies kids are to bring with them. You want me to put my son’s name on each individual crayon and pencils, and not his initials since if the item is found by another student they won’t know who the initials belong to?…Right. I know for a fact that the crayons my son brought home at the end of his kindergarten year were not all his. And the pencils? Cripes, with so many parents giving out pencils instead of candy for Valentine’s or Birthday’s, I have enough pencils to side my house with.

Lastly, I admit that I am also one of the crazy sumsofbitches. I finally downloaded the BookSmart program by Blurb and I have found a new diversion. I’m making ZGirl’s baby book. I will make one for XBoy. I think I’ll even make a book for each year he’s in school and download pictures of his crafts and homework to it instead of saving paper that will eventually end up as nesting material for mice (I speak from personal experience). It’s better than scrapbooking! Wait, I don’t scrapbook because that’s C.R.A.Z.Y., too (no offense).