My kinda website

June 22, 2009

Go check out Let’s Panic About Babies  right now.

No, I’m serious.  You must click that link.  You must then fall off your office chair because you are trying not to laugh out loud at the “what kind of mom stereotype are you” fake quiz.  And that’s only the beginning.

So cute my ovaries hurt

June 18, 2009

Yes, I realize this confession officially makes me crazy, but Heather over at dooce.com  just had her baby, and while I’ve never met this woman, nor conversed with her (heck, I don’t even comment on her blog, I just lurk), looking at pictures of her newborn baby girl gives me baby fever.

And my kid’s only 7 months old!

Only someone who spends 8 hours a day away from her baby could possibly be so delusional as to even let the thought “I want another one” pass into her brain this soon.  No no ovaries.  Sorry uterus.  You guys are on the bench until at least 2011.

Not exactly a first word, but…

June 16, 2009

Sure, we’ve been hearing the small one babble “dahdahdahdah” and “ma ma ma” for weeks now, but it has always been indiscriminate and varying in the number of “dah”s or “ma”s, so we thought little of it beyond its enduring cuteness.  This weekend, however, were introduced to “guh.”

As in dog, but drop the beginning and only go with the drawn out g sound.

And not just “guh” whenever the small one felt like singing, but only when our beagle-mutt wandered into the room in the that forlorn way that only a creature with bassett hound blood can muster (and Eeyore).  It’s probably because both my husband and I always chorus “is that your dog?” whenever the mutt is in sight, and the small one lunges his body towards the fur ball he so desperately wants to grab. 

We even went to a friend’s house the other evening and when I pointed to their lab and said “that’s a dog, just like Watson” I was greeted with a smile and an assertive “guh” from the small one.

Am I insane to find this completely awesome?

And yes, poor Watty is now officially referred to as “guh” whenever my husband and I want to talk about him without his knowing, as in “you are so walking guh tonight” or “did you feed guh yet?”  As if the poor animal wasn’t neglected enough, he’s now been reduced to a consonant.

Boo for Boobs

June 11, 2009

So it’s been awhile. Sorry ‘bout that. And now onto the post…

The “girls” have been causing problems as of late, so this can officially be categorized as a boob bitch session. You are forewarned.

About two month ago I noticed a pea-sized lump in lefty… no big deal, as I’ve had fibroadenomas before (three, to be exact), so I simply went on with my breastfeeding self. A month later I found its friend on the other side. I called my doc and scheduled a “I’m so not worried about this but so as not to be the chick who was all ‘sure, I felt that thing ages ago, what do you mean it’s malignant?’ I’m coming in anyway” appointment. My doc, despite reassurances that everything felt harmless, scheduled me for an ultrasound “just to be sure.”

This week, I went to said ultrasound. Only the night before said ultrasound, lefty decided it would be an awesome idea to get mastitis mere centimeters away from the very spot where the next morning’s prodding would occur. Yippee for 100+ degree fevers and first trimester like exhaustion. Did I mention how I’m not a real big fan of the girls right now?

And so in I go the very next morning, fever back down to a mere 99 and breast throbbing. I must say, the tech was extremely merciful, and even checked to see if I had an abscess in the mastitis-y part (on that front, I was a-okay). I redressed and sat ready to put this whole inconvenience behind me.

And then the radiologist came in. Almost everything he said should have reassured me, like “the one looks like a textbook fibroadenoma” and “both have smooth edges, which is a great sign.” But out came a stream of qualifying statements said in a tone that put me on edge. Because I’m lactating, apparently it’s difficult to accurately scan my breasts as there’s just so much going on in there. And then there were calcifications on the one lump. Plus, he described the other lump as a complex cyst, and recommended that it be monitored by a breast surgeon (the hormone changes related to breastfeeding could “change things”). I couldn’t tell if his tone of defeat and caution was one of “I wish I could say everything is a-okay but the test was too inconclusive for me to let you off the hook completely” or “oh shit, I am so not going to be the one to tell the 28 year old she may have something to be worried about if I’m not 100% sure.” Yup, panic.

This is the point at which I begin to kick myself for only have $150K in life insurance, as that probably won’t even cover books by the time the small one goes to college.

The next day I spoke with my doc, who said, based on the notes, she’s not worried. She still has no idea why these lumps would have appeared, but she is not in the least bit concerned about the c-word. And then my shoulders removed themselves from my ears.

I’ll be seeing the surgeon in two weeks. My fear is that I’ll be told to stop breastfeeding. Or that I’ll have to get the lumps removed (been there, done that, rather not do it again). I’m not even contemplating the other option. Seriously. That would be melodramatic, which is so outside of my personality, right? (I love me somes denial.)

Oh and did I mention that, post bout with mastitis, lefty has decided she no longer needs to perform (she’s “recovering”), and now Lady Lactates A Lot (read: me) has only one back up bag of milk left in the freezer? After all that, I now have to work on upping my supply? Fuck you, boobs.

No really, I didn’t mean it. Just work with me, ladies. I’ll even buy you something pretty.

So how have you been?

First Mother’s Day, First Cold

May 12, 2009

On Tuesday, the small one awoke congested, resulting in a rough day in terms of not much appetite and his having a hard time going down for naps, but really nothing more to speak of.  No fever.  Still a giggly, good natured boy.  Still slept through the night.  By Thursday, the snot had begun to subside and we were excited to have almost survived the first sickness unscathed.

And then I awoke on Friday morning with a sore throat.  And by the time I came home from work, I looked like a certain famous reindeer and I was a big sack of miserable.  Saturday proved much of the same and was the first day since the small one’s arrival where I thought “if my mother lived in town, I would so call her right now so I could tag out and go to sleep.”  I even contemplated “borrowing” the babe’s bulb syringe (ie booger sucker-outer), but thought better of the notion. 

On Sunday morning, while nursing the small one, my husband stood in the doorway and said “so you had a sore throat first, right?”  It was official – the whole family was taken down by a single rhinovirus. 

Despite the copious amount of tissues, we had a lovely first Mother’s Day.  My husband made crepes, we sat in the backyard to enjoy the first rainless day in weeks and I spent all day holding my wonderful baby boy, both of us with matching trails of snot running down our faces.

Date Night Revisited

May 12, 2009

My husband called me today and said “Guess what?  My dad wants to babysit tonight.”  To which I responded “But we’re both sick, and I kinda told the neighbor we’d watch the season finale of Fringe tonight.”  To which my husband responded something which amounted to “Woman, when you are offered free babysitting, you go out!  I don’t care if neither of us can breathe through our noses and I’ve already gone to the midnight opening of every movie worth seeing right now, we are going OUT.”

So it looks like date night tonight.

Might I add that the last date night we took involved my insisting we stay and wait for a table at a hip bar and my husband grumbling about the wait and my responding “I’ll leave if you can come up with a better option” and his still grumbling despite a complete lack of anywhere else to go, which is to say that it went poorly.  But at least my cocktail was tasty, despite having been consumed through moderately clenched teeth.

Maybe the greatest mommyblog post of all time

May 8, 2009

… no, it’s not something I wrote.  It is so so so so so much smarter/snarkier/better spelled than anything my angst could muster.  And I love it.

The Most Popular Zombie on the Block, by Amy Myers

Enjoy!

6 Month Postpartum Checkup

May 1, 2009

My checkup with the OB was a success (if you can ever really say that about anything involving stirrups).  I’m actually two pounds lighter than I was when I got pregnant (only proving the adage “muscle weighs more than fat,” as I still don’t fit in a lot of my clothing and I no longer have abs, I have a tummy), and my uterus is “back to normal size” which I’m assuming is good news.

I asked the doc about my chances for attempting a VBAC with No. 2, and he sounded optimistic.  He said that I was a good candidate and that it would really come down to how the next pregnancy goes and how the baby appears to be fitting in my pelvis when we’re closing in on go time.  He’s performed 4 VBACs in the last two months, so I’m confident he’s not just giving me lip service about this only to ask me when we’d like to schedule surgery once we hit the 9th month marker.

Not that No. 2 is anywhere near happening.  I just like to know my options.

6 Month Sanity Check

April 28, 2009

This morning I looked at my husband and said, “You know, for having been at this whole parenting thing for six months, I think we’ve done pretty well.” And so, I decided it was time to go through the list of things we thought we wanted to do as parents before the small one arrived, and see how many things had fallen by the wayside (i.e. how many of our friends with kids could now officially say “I told you so” after rolling their eyes at our grandiose plans for how we were going to do things differently).

What We’ve Stuck With

Cloth Diapers – still easy (but we’re still not eating solids… yet), still what we use at home. We do use disposables when we’re out of the house, but that was always assumed to be the plan.

Breastfeeding – Yippee, I’ve officially breastfed the small one exclusively for 6 months. Now where’s that medal from the American Academy of Pediatrics? No really, I’ve been lucky – as I’ve never had a supply problem, the small one is a champion feeder, and I have the pumping thing down to a science, it’s been easier to breastfeed than it would be to run to the store and buy formula. If things keep up like this, I don’t think I’ll have a problem hitting the one year mark. I hope.

As Little Plastic as Possible – Sure, a couple of toys have snuck through, but by and large we’ve held our ground. We’re still using glass bottles, most of the small one’s toys are wooden or fabric, and we’ve avoided contraptions like the Diaper Genie which basically wrap plastic diapers in more plastic, hidden in a plastic bucket. In fact, my husband is so committed to the no plastic thing, he just sent what is very likely a highly offensive email to his entire family asking them to only buy natural material, made in America toys for the small one whenever possible. I expect sacks full of crap from Walmart as retribution.

The Schedule – The small one has been on a self enforced three hour routine since practically day one, and he seems to love it. When we try to run errands and can’t get him down for his nap in time, he’s even so amicable as to warn us of our neglect by turning up the fussiness so that we never let things get to melt down mode. Honestly, this kid is so committed to his schedule that if I tried to nurse him just for comfort, he’d arch his back and stare at me like “woman, don’t you know we don’t eat for another hour?” So for as much as I bitched about reading Babywise, the whole eat play sleep routine has been perfect for us.

Division of Labor – It’s now been three months of me working full time and my husband doing the stay at home dad thing, and we are as committed to it as ever. We’re just so fortunate that he has the sort of job he can do from home, as adding daycare to the mix would be a financial and emotional stress that both of us are so grateful to avoid.

What We’ve Eased Up On

Organic Everything – While I was pregnant, nearly every single thing I purchased for the small one was made of organic cotton (and I felt guilty about the few items that weren’t). After he was born and the baby clothing started pouring in, I found myself avoiding those outfits people gave us that were decidedly not organic (i.e. the plethora of fleece pants). And then the small one outgrew everything and we started to dress him in what we had (because let’s face it, Carter’s sizes clothing knowing that parents want to use something more than once, unlike the organic, boutique-y stuff which runs like designer, boutique-y adult clothing – small and highly shrinkable). And guess what? The kid didn’t get a horrible rash and die – in fact, he looked really adorable in all those overalls. So now I try to buy organic whenever I’m shopping for the small one, but I happily dress him in the clothing we’re given (it helps to have a sister in law who works for Ralph Lauren – my child now owns more Polo than I do).

Constant Fear of SIDS – We still put the small one down for naps and bedtime on his back, but we have been tucking him in with a light blanket for a few months now instead of using a sleep sack. We started with the blanket once we stopped swaddling, as he would wake up from the cold otherwise, and I’ve never come in his room to find the blanket anywhere near his face (if anything, he now scootches out from under it).

What We’ve Dropped Completely

French – Yes, my husband used to read to the child in French. I’ve not just talking The Little Prince, I’m talking Voltaire. As he’s gotten better at doing more work from home, the daily language lesson was the first thing to go.

Yoga – Before the small one was born, I thought that I’d be back at yoga by week 6 and that I would get back into shape while still on maternity leave by handing the small one to my husband after he returned from work and getting some daily “me time” at the studio every afternoon. And then we had a C-section and the doc was all “no yoga for 12 weeks,” which happens to be the length of maternity leave. Once I was back to work, the thought of losing any of my precious non-work time to yoga instead of spending it with my baby seemed incomprehensible, which is to say that I have not been to yoga even once post partum. Oh well. I’ve lost the baby weight, but this belly is definitely worse for the wear.

Overall, I’m rather proud of how much we’ve stuck to our guns, although I freely admit that had the small one been a more difficult baby, this sanity check would be dramatically different. My husband and I constantly talk about how screwed we’ll be when the next kid acts like a normal baby (doesn’t sleep through the night at 10 weeks, has reflux, is a fussy eater, gets sick, cries). So the small one gets all the credit here.

Backlash on Breastfeeding, or just (more) Judgmental Parenting

April 27, 2009

Let’s face it – we all do it. You see the eczema on my boy’s stomach and blame me for using wool diaper covers. I hear about your kid’s reflux that kicked in after your wife stopped breastfeeding and I blame the formula. Neither of us is saying “you’re a bad parent,” heck, neither of us even really think it, we’re just both feeling slightly more justified about the choices we’ve made as parents.

Now take that to the next level and you get the recent and much discussed Atlantic article, The Case Against Breastfeeding. Written by Hanna Rosin, who is breastfeeding her third child… well, let’s just copy the abstract directly lest I misrepresent:

In certain overachieving circles, breast-feeding is no longer a choice—it’s a no-exceptions requirement, the ultimate badge of responsible parenting. Yet the actual health benefits of breast-feeding are surprisingly thin, far thinner than most popular literature indicates. Is breast-feeding right for every family? Or is it this generation’s vacuum cleaner—an instrument of misery that mostly just keeps women down?

My reading of this article boiled down to “breastfeeding can be a pain, and I don’t want to have society make me feel guilty for not wanting to do it anymore. And since I’m a woman and society is forming an opinion about what I should do with my body, it is anti-feminist to comply with this social norm.” Yes, I’m being hyperbolic. And yet…

“No-exceptions requirement”? Even Rosin states that only 17% of women are breastfeeding at 6 months – and this is despite the fact that the American Academy of Pediatrics encourages exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months. Clearly we aren’t talking about America in this article, we’re talking about the “certain overachieving circles” she both mocks and admits to being a part of:

In my playground set, the urban moms in their tight jeans and oversize sunglasses size each other up using a whole range of signifiers: organic content of snacks, sleekness of stroller, ratio of tasteful wooden toys to plastic. But breast-feeding is the real ticket into the club.

 So we are now making a case against something as far reaching as breastfeeding because it feels as pressure-filled and shallow as owning a Bugaboo? Really? That’s like deciding that we shouldn’t promote healthy eating because the upper east side-er’s are making me feel guilty about have the occasional side of fries. This whole “backlash” against Breast is Best to me sounds like “Formula’s not poison so quit making me feel bad.” To which I have to ask the question – who’s making who feel bad? Are we so PC these days that this is really an argument? To me, it sounds like yet another symptom of the competitive parenting disease, with maybe a dash of F**k You for the occasional, over-zealous lactivist.

I guess what I’m getting at is, go ahead Hanna – stop breastfeeding if you don’t want to do it anymore. Sure, somebody at your posh playground may snicker, but somebody at the coffee shop across the street would be equally horrified at your breastfeeding in public.

I just don’t see how this was worthy of an Atlantic Monthly article, but that’s just me (and it sure has increased their web traffic, says the cynic in me). I’d say it’s more worthy of, I don’t know, maybe a blog post?

***

I’m not going to touch her “survey” of the scientific literature, as enough people have taken her to task on that already. Just google it, folks.