Thursday, October 27, 2005

No visit from Aunt Flo

I just talked to Doc about my pills. I'm switching to my old ones when this current pack runs out this weekend. I had been trying to hold off because apparently regular birth control pills dry up your milk. There was no mention in any of the preggo and baby lit about how to quit nursing. Everything is so focused on starting nursing. I would have no idea how to step down gradually. I mean, I've been trying to wean however seems logical to me. But I'm just winging it. Since Kirk has always been such a crappy nurser, and I'm back to work, this seems like as good a time as any to quit. As much as I like nursing him when he's doing it right, it's just been such a fight to keep it up. Half the time he'd rather have a bottle. And when he does want some boob, like when I first get home from work, I'm so starving that I'm sitting there with him, wishing he'd hurry up so I could have some dinner. And if he gets up in the middle of the night, it sure goes a lot faster to just give him a bottle and then let us both get back to sleep. Not that I'm trying to justify this. I made the decision several weeks ago and have just been waiting patiently for the end of this pill pack.

I'm also sick of not knowing if I should be paranoid about getting pregnant again. I have never been this terrified of getting knocked up before in my life. I know what it entails now. I'm not ready to do it again. But abortion would not be an option for me. I don't think any woman could possibly terminate a pregnancy (excepting extenuating circumstances of course) after already giving birth. I know first hand that it's a life in there. So for my choice, it would be, "Holy crap, I'm having another kid already. This sucks ass. I'm just getting to know my baby." I was very glad when Doc reiterated that she's never had a patient get pregnant while on the nursing mother version of the pill. I asked her if I was supposed to get my period and she said that most of the time you just spot irregularly or have nothing at all. I've had nothing at all for 6 weeks, and just spotting prior. Apparently that will continue for the first month or so after I switch to my normal pills. So no need to freak out any time soon. Thank the gods.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

It's good to be back home again.

Kirk did even better on the return flight on Monday. It was an afternoon so I was worried that he might be up and fussy. He was talking really loudly when we first boarded (much to our amusement but I suspect strangers don't find it nearly as cute) but quieted down after lift off. He fell asleep for the remainder of the flight. Unfortunately, it was a much smaller plane so we didn't have a seat between us to lay him on and everything was much more cramped and uncomfortable.

I even changed a diaper on the plane! Kirk pooped in the airport just as the plane was boarding. We got on right away and I went straight to the tiny bathroom. Then I discovered I had forgotten to refill the diaper bag butt wipes container. There was one left so I just had to use airplane bathroom paper towels for the majority of the poo and save the wipe for the final cleansing pass.

Kirk was extra bitchy in the car on the way home from the airport. Not that I blamed him. But the second we walked in the door, he quieted down. I pulled him out of his seat and he started grinning. He saw his best friend, Mr. Ceiling Fan, and he starting smiling and laughing. He *knew* he was home. He was in a fantastic mood for the rest of the night. Then in the morning he was all smiles still. My sister said that yesterday was the most fun she's ever had with him. He was talking and smiling and giggling and just generally sunny and great the whole day. He's obviously happy to be home and back to his regular routine.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Deep in the Heart of Texas

Basically my in-laws flew us down to Houston for the priveledge of babysitting. So Kirk, along with his cousins, stayed with Grandma and Grandpa while Mr. b, his brother, his brother's wife, and I all went to NASA for the day on Saturday. Of course we bought Kirk a "My Little Rocket Scientist" onesie and a rubber duckie in a space shuttle! Then we went out for very expensive dinner on the Kemah boardwalk. By this time, with the cool breeze coming in off Galveston Bay, my boobs hurt. Stiff nipples are extremely unpleasant when you're a nursing mother. And we had been gone so long that Grandma was putting Kirk to bed. I had to pump when we finally got back. It was the first time we had been out so late that Kirk was already asleep for the night.

There was another unfortunate first while we were down there. Sunday morning we were laying in bed, catching up on our Kirk time missed out on the previous night. Then Mr. b totally clocked the baby in the head with his elbow. The howling shriek of pain was unlike anything I've ever heard. It was even worse than when he got shots. I've been expecting something like this for a while now. Kirk gets his flailyness from his father. I can attest, through much personal experience, that it hurts like a bitch when you're on the receiving end of one of Mr. b's limbs. Of course he felt so awful I couldn't rub it in much. I did reiterate that that was why I don't let him sleep with the baby, however.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Leavin' on a jet plane

We flew to Texas this morning. Kirk did a great job. We got shepherded through security because of having a baby with us. He had still been asleep until that jostling. I was trying to keep from feeding him until we were taking off so he'd have sucking and swallowing to help with his ears popping. He was too hungry though so I nursed him in public for the first time. The gate on the opposite side of the terminal was closed so I just went and sat in the back so I wasn't too conspicuous. When we were boarding the plane I kept wondering if we were getting dirty looks from our fellow passengers. "Oh crap, sure hope I don't have to sit next to the baby." A co-worker had suggested giving him some Tylenol while on the taxi-way so I had it in the diaper bag but decided against using it. I gave Kirk a bottle as we started lifting off and by the time we reached cruising altitude, he was passed out again. He slept on the seat in-between us for pretty much the entire flight. He started waking as we were on our descent so I gave him his pacifier. He only fussed a little bit as we were going down. My ears always hurt more on the way down, too. One of the ladies sitting in front of us said that she was really impressed with how well he did. It was quite an eventful day.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Auntie Daycare

I really dislike driving. I hate driving during rush hour. Sometimes I like to blame it on my high school friends, who didn't bother to get their licenses and so were driven around by little ol' me. My sister lives across town but thankfully I've found a decent opposite-of-commuter-traffic route to take on the mornings when I drop off Kirk. There is no such route in the afternoons. And while I know that my sister is charging us a ridiculously low rate, holy crap we're going through gasoline like never before.

I'm sure at some point the inconvenience will outweigh the advantages and we'll have to find a closer daycare. But right now, I can't even imagine that. Kirk loves his auntie and his cousins and is loved in return. There is nothing better than that for childcare. My sister spoils her nephew--because she can--and also takes requests. For instance, I've asked her to make sure that he gets some Tummy Time everyday. She takes him with when running errands or picking up her girls from school, so it's more like regular life than institutional care.

We can also totally fuck with the schedule. Mr. b works different hours from week to week, day to day. My sister has no problem with us dropping off and picking up at different times. We also have to work around her soccer coaching schedule and so sometimes she'll just drop Kirk off with us. You can't get that kind of service from a fancy daycare center! Or at least, not one that's in my price range.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I'm so tired right now I feel insane. Kirk had a very sleepy day yesterday. Even his cousins effing with him wasn't enough to keep him awake. And he went to bed at 8:30, about an hour earlier than his current average. So, as I was expecting, he woke up at 3:00. He fell back to sleep but could I? No. Of course not. I'm so exhausted my legs ache from lack of sleep. I guess Kirk just didn't want me to take his sleeping throught the night for granted.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Rule of Acquisition 59

Even more annoying than unsolicited advice about pregnancy is advice about breast feeding. Once again, people seem to forget that every human and every situation is unique. Instead of just sharing their experience, they demand you try it their way. And the strangest thing is, it's not just women! No amount of explaining how difficult it was to get Kirk to do even the little bit of nursing that he is doing will get these Nipple Nazis (I stole that one from womba) off your case. Thankfully, since I've been back to work, I'm finally encountering women that didn't even bother to nurse. Or those that were fully weaned by the time they finished their leave.

Naturally, now that I'm planning to quit nursing him by the end of the month, Kirk is finally latching on without the shield. Figures.

Even more annoying than unwanted advice about breast feeding is advice about baby care. Once again, the individual nature of the situation is ignored. We went to a wedding on Friday. Kirk was a hit in his Darth Vader suit. And there was this old Eastern European man at the table next to us that kept harassing Mr. b and I about holding Kirk's head. Even though Kirk can hold his head up on his own. This old guy dogged us all night long about how we weren't giving him enough support. He was convinced Kirk was going to snap his neck or bash his head against something. What, since he was always being held by someone, I have no idea. The crank wouldn't be swayed by logical arguments, about how the baby's age doesn't matter only his development, how our doctor isn't concerned. He was right and we were wrong. Tellingly, however, when his wife was holding Kirk, and not supporting his head because he doesn't need it, he didn't say anything.

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Look close, there's Diablo and Jon!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

What an incredible smell you've discovered!

When Kirk was in the Level II nursery we had to use this foam hand cleanser before even setting foot in the place. It had a very particular, though not unpleasant, smell which I came to associate with my new baby. When we went to visit the nurses the other night, Mr. b started playing with the foam since it was right there. Smell really is so evocative. As soon as the scent hit my nose I was right back to that awful first week when we couldn't even take our son out of the nursery.

Currently I associate the smell of Dreft--and dried on spit up--with Kirk. I bought a box when I was washing all his clothes in preparation for his arrival. I'm still using the same box and don't plan to buy another one. If he was sensitive to regular laundry detergent we would have noticed by now. It's not like I wash my own stuff in Dreft. But I know that I'll still think of babies whenever I smell Dreft-washed clothing.

I had refrained from wearing perfume while I was on leave. I wanted Kirk to be able to learn the smell of his mommy, not Chanel No 5. I didn't know if he would be confused or repulsed or something when I started wearing it again but so far he doesn't seem to care at all.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

I am now An Expert

Last night was our birth class reunion. Hardly anyone showed up. We were one of 3 only. Which is too bad because it was a lot of fun to see their babies and hear their birth stories. We also learned that we need to be hardasses about Tummy Time. Kirk hates it--HATES it--so we've been slacking off. But it affects other development, like fine motor skills, and not just head/neck control, which he's great at, so we have to force him. And deal with the crying.

Kirk is finally noticing other babies so he had a great time flirting with the two baby girls.

Since we were at the hospital anyway we stopped up at the Level II nursery. They finished the remodel (everything was all tore up while we were "living there"). Luckily, one of the two nurses that we connected with most was on duty. I figured that they didn't get a chance to see their "graduates" that often. She was thrilled to get to see Kirk and happy that he's doing so great.

Teacher was just finishing up with her latest birth class as we were leaving. (And my brother and sister-in-law are in her Wednesday class!) Suddenly we were the night's Guest Speakers. It was very interesting to see the fear, excitement, exhaustion, everything on the faces of all these pregnant women and their menfolk. It's amazing to remember just how terrified I was of giving birth. I felt very cool and confident, holding my sleeping son and giving the extremely short version of his birth story. It was an awesome feeling.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Some Random Observations

Baby Yawns are contagious to mommies. However, Mommy Yawns are not contagious to babies.

Oftentimes, when I have Kirk up on my shoulder to pound out a burp, I'll burp instead.

It's very strange, and kind of neat, when my stomach growls and at the same time Kirk's stomach growls and our bellies are pressed up against each other because he's nursing.

All my life I've always enjoyed having "conversations" with my cats. She'll meow and I'll meow back. She'll mrrup and I'll mrrup back. It's even more fun to do with a baby. He'll ling loo and I'll ling loo back. He'll aheai and I'll aheai back.

Friday, October 07, 2005

1 week down....

My sister mentioned that Kirk smiles broadly when he sees her. I was hit with intense jealousy when I heard that. It's not like I want him to hate going to his auntie's. I certainly don't want him to pitch screaming fits when I drop him off. But it made me sad to hear. Because that means that Mr. b and I are no longer his only primary caregivers. My sister is, too. I'm not home with him all day. There are huge chunks of his life from this point forward that I won't witness firsthand. And that's rather heartbreaking to me.

I had to return the breast pump yesterday. I've got a line on a Craig's List buy but today I had to use the handpump. There are "sick lounges" here I can use for pumping. But holy god hand pumping sucks. And I don't get emptied out as completely so now I'm really feeling full.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

One Day at a Time

There is definitely some fuckery involved with being a One Car Family when Auntie Daycare is across town and the person that drops off the kid is different than the one that picks him up. Normally it won't be a big deal because Mr. b just rides his bike to/from where the car is. But it's been like Ferenginar here for the past two days.

It's very odd getting to work after I've already been up for 3 or 4 hours. But I'm glad to have time with my Peepers Pie in the morning. So far he either wakes up in the middle of the night to eat, or sleeps until 5am and then eats. I'm fine with either way frankly. The nights he doesn't sleep through he is regularly sleeping for at least 5 and half or 6 hours. So I'm certainly not dying of sleep deprivation or anything.

Monday, October 03, 2005

A Case of the Mondays

Both Mr. b and I went to drop off Kirk this morning. We were glad we could both do it on this first morning. Kirk's little cousins were so thrilled to finally have him there! I got some tears in my eyes while walking out. But mostly I've been trying to be stoic, like Bree in Desperate Housewives or Zoe in Serenity. I called my sister about Noon and the little man was napping. He had had a good morning and was already very taken with his younger cousin, A2. (A1 is in first grade so he won't get to see as much of her.)

It'll be interesting to see how he reacts this afternoon. Will he be pissed when he realizes he was left for the day? Will he be happy to see his Mommy and Daddy? I think he *knew* something was up last night. He was crabbier than he has ever been before bed. Even worse than his first night in the crib.

I pumped this morning but my boobs are already feeling full. Which is pretty ridiculous considering that Kirk has actually gotten worse at nursing. But he does just enough to keep the milk production going. I had weaned myself down to pumping only once a day. But I would still nurse a bit during business hours so this is my first try at no relief all day. I'm going to have to return the electric pump (can't afford it and insurance won't continue to pay for it) and so I guess I'll just bring the hand pump to work.

Sitting in a desk chair all day hurts my ass. I guess I'm really not used to cubicle life anymore.