Thursday, August 30, 2007

We're batty

We have a small bat living on our deck. Hopefully he is eating all the nasty buggers.

I'm back!

So I haven't been posting too much due to my need to share a computer with the hubby. I've been updating Claire's blog when I have time.

The countdown has begun. Claire and I went to lunch with two of my coworkers today and I learned that my boss is counting down the days until I return. 20 days. While that should make me feel like a valuable player on the team it made me feel overwhelmed. How am I going to get back into the swing of things? Claire isn't even sleeping for more than 6 hours at night and has been going through some serious meltdowns as of late. Not that her dad can't handle the meltdowns, but as her mohter I feel I have a special knack (getting cocky aren't I?) for getting her to settle down. I will sing and hum and rock and walk and do whatever it takes. I am afraid of what will happen when I am not here. And I have all these ideas of things I want her to be a part of and activities... I wasn't sure how I would feel. I thought going back would be a relief.

I just got my laptop back from my coworker and I have over 150 emails to get through. I can't imagine what the number would have been had I not had the chance to screen some early on in my leave and going forward.

Going back to work does not sound inviting at all.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Mom reality moment #2

I have no problem talking about poop and breast feeding with other mothers while walking around Lake Calhoun. I joined a couple girlfriends on Saturday for a walk around the lake with our babes. Claire, Emerson (7 months) and Jonas (21 months) were troopers as we ambled along discussing things like how long to breastfeed, what brand/type of iron the kids are taking, allergies and how that impacts breastfeeding and Claire's loose stool issue (which I think I have found the answer to!). It was very natural to discuss this with the gals and I appreciate that there are other women out there who feel OK talking about these matters as well. Sometimes it is nice to talk to someone other than the doctor about poop.

As I mentioned, I think I have discovered the source of Claire's loose stool issue. I can't believe it took me this long to realize it. Since I was on iron for six weeks I was also taking a umm... well... stool softener (side effect of iron is constipation). Since the doctor's and the nurses in the NICU never expressed any concern regarding its effect on Claire I never gave it a second thought. As an experiment, I switched from using the milk pumped during that time period to freshly pumped milk. What do you know. Claire's poop looks more like it did when she was in the NICU. Whew. My guess is that, combined with the hot, hot, hot weather we are having (despite having the air on) it has whacked out her gentle system. Now I am wondering if I should keep going on the 'old' milk and get through the rest of the bags with the softgel or keep on with the fresh milk. Ahh.. the questions. This is clearly a sign that I have far, far too much time on my hands.

Claire and I have been taking more excursions out of the house as of late. We can't be gone for too long (unless I can bring the pump!) but it helps break up the day. However, I have to learn not to go places where I will spend money. As of last week I have used up all my paid disability, vacation and personal holidays. The rest of the time off will be without pay and we just received the bill for Claire's stay at the hospital (thank God for deductibles).

I am working to limit my spending at Target to just the essentials (diapers) but when I am having trouble fitting into my pre-preggers clothing and don't want to wear the now enormous pregger clothing I am tempted to buy new shirts and pants. I keep telling myself I need to stop so I have the incentive to put down the candy bar and go for a walk!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Mom reality moment #1

Well, perhaps it isn't the first time I have realized I am really a mother but it's close.

Ms. Claire is having some more digestive issues. For those who read her blog you know that a few weeks ago she had a bout of extremely loose stool. That hasn't really gone away but because she isn't dehydrated the doctors aren't overly concerned. I (and her father), however have some concerns. Last night she was screaming her head off, in what we can only assume, is gas pain. Or perhaps burning. She was also rooting like crazy and had eaten not too long ago. This morning she was acting along hte same lines, not nearly as severe as last night but crying and hard to console. The last 12 hours have really made my heart hurt. I can't find a way to soothe her. I can't make the pain go away. All I want is for my little girl to be calm and comfortable.

I have been known to be a bit of a hypochondriac and have already taken Claire to the ER (and was told to wait and see what happened) once in her life. I am not sure if I should take her to the doctor or not. Never having had a child I am unsure when one makes the call and turns care over to the doctor. Perhaps I had a big salad that day and she doesn't respond well to that type of food (FYI, since I am pumping and have a lead on her it is hard to determine what was eaten prior to that bag of milk). Or could it be the formula mix? Or the iron suppliment? Urgh. It is so hard to hear your baby wail and not know what to do to help her.

I highly doubt this will be the last time I feel my heart break because of pain she experiences, that is part of being a parent, I know. I just didn't realize how much it would make my heart hurt and how hard it is to not be able to do anything to take away the pain.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Bridge Thoughts

I used to live about three blocks from the north end of the collapse. My family and friends have driven over the bridge thousands of times - it was our way to the dome for Gopher Football games. I can't bring myself to watch a lot of coverage - I'd rather listen to MPR for information so I don't have to really see the images. I'm not trying to stick my head in the sand, I just am having a hard time seeing the bridge and thinking about the fact that my sister was on the bridge on Saturday and I was on it on Sunday. I am blessed with the fact that no one in my immediate circle was on the bridge.

My friend J works for a government entity involved in the recovery efforts. Her inability to talk about what she has seen makes me think about how devastating this is to the people having to work the recovery. God bless them and the strength they have to do this job.

I am proud of the first responders. Because of J's exposure to the field I know they all have gone through extensive training and have worked hard to create communication between the state and local agencies. I think the rapid response and continued effective work is a direct result of the training and open lines of communication. Who knows if this would have been the case prior to the training.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

New Freezer!

We're getting a new freezer today (hopefully), thank goodness. My milk has been flowing since the Saturday after Claire was born and we have no more room in the freezer. As you can see, we have a plentiful supply. I am about 20 days ahead of Claire and can pump 40 ounces a day while she is only taking 20-24. This way I can stop pumping a bit earlier and she will still get the benefit of mom's milk. We finally bit the bullet and bought an upright freezer to move said milk into for the time being. After that we will likely use it for other things like my frozen lunches for work and ice cream.