My thoughts those long days while she was so terribly sick....
"If she lives I promise to hug her and kiss her every day."
"If she lives I promise to cherish every moment."
"If she lives I promise to be the most caring and compassionate Mom."
"If she lives I promise to let live her life to the fullest."
I was very careful to not promise to give her whatever she wanted. Even when trying to come to terms with fact that she might die I was very careful to not spoil her.
These days all those promises are hard. Some harder than others. On Wednesday I had to put her in her room and shut the door. Tantrums have come to our house. They are full of the tenacity and fire that she showed all those days she was on fighting for her life. I can see it in her eyes when she rolling on the ground screaming. I can see it in her eyes when I tell her no. When I tell her she needs ask nicely and say please she gets this look on her face that is very clearly saying, "Fuck you I survived. Just give me the damn chocolate almonds NOW!"
Then other moments she laughs. She jokes with us. She gives the best hugs that her tiny little body can give. She loves to hold hands. I often wonder if that's because the first month of her life that's all we could do with her. I would sit for hours holding her hand or stroking her shin.
Many times this week I have broke down in tears. When I made all those promises I didn't think about a time when I just wanted her to shut the fuck up and take a nap. I've got a heavy dose guilt to go with the normal issues of parenting a toddler.
I am having serious issues not buying Ruby everything she could possibly want for Christmas. I don't want to raise a spoiled brat. I do think she's been through a bit more than the average 2.5 year old. Why can't she have a Tidmouth Shed and a Scooter? Is it so bad that I want her to have things she enjoys? I have no idea why I'm so weird about this. It's Christmas and she's in the age group where Christmas is magical.
I don't want Ruby to get special treatment (outside of the medical community) because of her story. On the other hand I feel the need to yell at the top of my lungs "She almost died every day for 2 months". The thing is she won't remember that. I do. I think of it every day. Every time she coughs, I lift her shirt to see if she's retracting. I check her coloring. I get so scared. The other day I asked Chris if he was still worried about her dieing. He said he wasn't. He couldn't tell me how he got to the point where he wasn't worried. I worry everyday. So many times I made the promise that if she lived I would cherish every moment. Cherishing every moment is really fucking hard. When she's screaming about Molly or Gordon falling off the track, it's really hard. It's really hard when all I want to do is go to the bathroom alone. It's hard when I need some me time and she needs some Mommy time. There is this little voice in my head that says "She might not be here tomorrow, you need to be with her." Over two years later I still live in fear of having to tell her it's OK if she stops fighting. I don't want to ever have to tell her that again.
I need a class on parenting your miracle child that had after going through infertility.
Now we have Herbie. This cute bundle of love and smiles. He's perfect. I also don't worry about him. That is until I start thinking about how something could go wrong because I'm not worrying enough.
So, in short I feel guilty for worrying to much about one child and not enough about the other.
Also what the hell do you get a 3 month old for Christmas?
Ruby went to bed tonight with no screaming or tears. It's been a rough nine weeks with her going to bed. Wednesday night she cried for 5 hours. Screamed actually. She finally passed out at 1am. If nothing else the girl is STUBBORN. I know the PC term is willful. Screw that my kid with one lung screamed for 5 hours because she didn't want to go to bed. She's stubborn.
Don't get me wrong. We laid down with her. Sang a bunch of Thomas and Sesame Street songs. We hugged. We rubbed her back. We told her she was safe. We tried to help her "calm her body". We encouraged her to "use her words." We even gave her snacks to keep her energy up.
She is two and was pissed off at the world.
Tonight though she gave us all kisses. Made all her engines (Thomas and his friends) go potty and went to sleep.
I am sure the whole big sister not the center of the world thing has a lot to do with it. Chris and I have a little PTSD when it comes to bedtime lately. Really. I'm not kidding. It's been bad.
Morphine withdrawal has nothing on being two and getting a new little brother.
PS I would like to add we have tried everything. We talked to the pediatrician. We talked to a parenting coach. Read some books. Talked to friends. Cut out her nap. Added the nap back in. Changed the bedtime routine. Moved it later. Moved it earlier. We are loving parents. She just looses it at bedtime. The rest of the time she has been great with Herbie coming into our lives. Bedtime is when it all comes out. It's so hard for me as her Mom. We're doing our best. Until this passes I'm going to be drinking lots of wine. If she starts vomiting pee soup all over us, all bets are off.
We've had some issues with our domain starling.cx which hosts one of my email addresses. I'm not going to pretend to understand it nor do I care to. I finally had enough brain power (sleep) to figure out how to look up stored passwords on fire fox. Long story short I fixed my live journal account.
So at 5:30 this morning Herbie woke us up. Which is a normal waking time. I turned to Chris and asked if I slept through another waking. Nope. Herbie slept from 9pm to 5am. I have just jinxed it though. He now will NEVER sleep for more than 2 hours at a time, I know it.
I hope to be back in this space more often. I've missed it. For now though I need to pack a diaper bag for two kids. Load up the huge double running stroller. Get the kids dressed and fed. Then head out for a low key 5K run at a friends house. It's an hour of prep for a 30 minute run these days.
We are supplementing and I'm perfectly OK with it. Herbie only gained 3 ounces this week. Which is the bare minimum that is healthy. To do this I had to feed him EVERY two hours around the clock. The clock startes when you start a feed. So if he takes 45 minues to eat that leaves me one hour and fifteen minutes to sleep, eat, go to the bathroom, and care for Ruby. It's not possible with Chris going back to work. It's also not possible for my sanity. We tried. I fed him every two hours for almost three weeks. I'm not making enough milk. He is hungry at times when my boobs are empty. So then I have a cranky baby. Last night I broke down and gave him some formula. He wouldn't calm down and I had nothing left. The formula satisfied him. I got to sleep from 10pm to 2 am.
The truth is I was struggling. As in Chris was worried and thought my lexapro needed to be updated. Seriously, I was not functioning. Thought of him going back to work had me so upset and scared. I can't really describe it other than that I was in a downward spiral and the lack of sleep wasn't helping.
We are taking the "some breast milk is better than none" approach. We're going to give formula when I can't satisfy him and then one full feed at night. Chris will be able to take a night time feed now.
I've accepted this as my reality and I'm ready to move on. Plus I get a bit more sleep.
Herbie's not gaining weight. Why? Big fucking surprise, I'm not making enough milk. Why the hell would my body work now. It's like the final fuck you from my reproductive system.
My lactation consultant told me to pump 8 times a day. This is along with feeding Herbie 12 times a day. Apparently LC's can't do math. It's not happening. If Herbie isn't up to birth weight on Friday when we go back to the Dr. we will supplement with formula. Which I am completely OK with. Really. I am actually looking forward to it. It means I'm off the hook. I can enjoy the breast feeding and know that he isn't starving.
These first few weeks have really made think about how sick Ruby was. How much we missed. How hard it was. Having a new born at home is SO MUCH EASIER than having one on life support in the NICU hundreds of miles from home. I can nap without code blue's waking me up. I can pump and not have an audience of 12 Doctors during rounds. I can change my baby's diaper. I can even pick him up when he's upset. He can cry when he's upset. I don't have monitors telling when he's upset. It's a complete different world.
Back to pumping. I've been pumping 4-5 times a day. Then feeding him the extra milk I get. I'm not sure it's boosting my supply all that much. It's only a couple ounces. I hate it. I fight back tears every time I hook myself up. Pumping represents just one more way my body has failed at this whole baby making thing. So, I say bring on the formula.
We're having latch problems that are getting better. I'm not getting enough sleep. We have new born at home.
Basically I'm in heaven and I've got everything I ever wanted.
Herbie is already the neglected second child. We do have some, but most of them are me in the background with a blurry Ruby in front. We have some from the beach, but well I have rules about me in a swim suit on the internet even when I'm not pregnant.
Plus I am not happy about the weight gain this time around. Not happy at all. It's not out of control, but it's gonna take some work. Work I am ready to get started on.
Ruby is sick. I kept her home on Tuesday because she woke-up covered in vomit. She vomited at some point in the night. She didn't wake-up and neither did we. It was gross. It took two separate hair washes and wiping down of walls to get everything cleaned up. Then Wednesday she woke-up almost normal. As in eating no vomiting and no diarrhea. Sure she got tired easy, but I figured she was still on the mend. We went to gymnastics and swimming lessons. She was a bit cranky, but otherwise fine. Then yesterday morning happened. 5:30 am wake-up. Diarrhea and vomiting. Listless and pitiful little girl. Finally around 1pm she felt good enough to start complaining and to ask for chocolate almonds. So far she's kept down toast and water. She's peeing. What is up with the second attack of this virus. Does it not know I am due any day now?
As for the whole labor thing. Contractions are happening, just not regularly or close enough together. All though Wednesday night I had two that had me remembering why epidurals are nice. That was it TWO and then they stopped. My low back hurts. According to the midwife he has dropped, but can move back up again. I am crampy and have been for days. My head hurts. I can't sleep. Heartburn sucks.
Oh and as of today at 4:31pm I will have been pregnant longer than I have ever been before. 39 weeks. This is by no means as bad as my first trimesters, but I'm still not a fan. The miracle of life bullshit can suck it.
I am terrified of going into labor and having to leave a sick Ruby at home. Today she got upset when I went to the bathroom. Try sitting on the couch for 10 hours holding a sick toddler while 38 weeks and 6 days pregnant. Not fun. I ended up carrying her to the bathroom and holding her while I peed several times. Mom of year award for that one.
Notice the time? Guess who is on call? Guess who's pager woke me up and not him?
Today was a hard hard day. I feel like crap. I'm cramping. My back hurts. I'm haveing some contractions. Nothing regular or any even close enough to be considered labor. I'm tired. Ruby had gymnastics and swimming.
So when I told Chris to make Ruby some Nachos for dinner and he asked what cheese to use, as if Swiss cheese is an option on nachos. He then gave her edamame instead of the normal beans, avocado, and and sour cream. Yes my husband thought Swiss cheese and edamame nachos would make a two year old happy. I kinda lost it. I was crying and so upset that even Ruby was trying to cheer me up. She kept grabbing my hand so I could go look at the "funny squirrels". Seriously EDAMAME and SWISS CHEESE.
We are about to have a baby. A baby which will require a lot of my attention. Which means for the first few weeks Chris will have to focus on Ruby. Imagine how stressed it makes me when he can't even make some fucking nachos.
In Chris's defense he is out getting me some frozen yogurt with "something crunchy on the top." So help me if he puts Swiss cheese on my frozen yogurt.
I am almost 39 weeks pregnant. 38 weeks and 4 days to be exact. My having contractions is not rushing anything. It's what is supposed to be happening. Seriously, if I have one more person tell me how far they went over I'm going to scream. Really you went over, did you have a confirmed ovulation date? By confirmed I mean blood work and pictures of your damn follicles?
Where you in my appointments where I've been told I will probably go around 40 weeks if not before based on my first birth. Yes I was induced. It was a 6 hour induction. Pitocin was started at 10 and Ruby was born at 4:31pm. So it was quick. Plus I know I my body.
Seriously I know my body. I know how I feel. I'm not an idiot. I know what contractions feel like. Even if I didn't I know how I'm supposed to feel and I don't feel like I feel good.
I am also really fucking tired of being pregnant, trying to get pregnant, worrying about being pregnant, and just in general this reproduction stage. Fucking tired of it. It's not a joy for me. My goal was to be a parent and this was the best way for our family. So here I am.
I'm getting off topic. My point is. I am pregnant. I am full term. If I say I'm having contractions. DO NOT TELL ME I MIGHT BE PREGNANT FOR ANOTHER 3 WEEKS. Seriously. I am well aware of how things go. I am well educated and in general not an idiot. I also want to shut the door on a horrible part of my life and move on. Move on with fun part. The part where I get to watch and help my children grow up.
Did I mention that I am still wearing the vomit covered PJ's I slept in last night. Ruby puked on me early this morning. It's been one of those days. Also I've had several contractions that never get closer than 6 minutes or last longer than 45 seconds. God bless my running watch.
Oh, and my husband is acting like a child. He didn't like where I placed the baby monitor so he threw it on the floor behind the crib. Seriously. I am not kidding. I watched him do it. Happy times at our house tonight. Ruby might have learned a new word or two.