Archive for the ‘Work’ Category
This is what it’s like to have a sick toddler with two parents who work outside the home:
It started last night. Little Prince wasn’t interested in eating his dinner. He seemed a bit extra tired. He finally ate an apple. Being that that was all we could get in him and he’s a toddler, we figured any food was a win. Since he was so tired, we decided to skip bath and go straight to bed. He seemed active and lively, but something was slightly off. We took his temperature, but he seemed fine. We know that is 2nd year molars are coming in, so we thought, maybe it’s just teething. We gave him a bit of children’s Tylenol before bedtime.
This morning Darius left for work early as he always does (he starts work at 6am!). LP had come into our room around 4am for milk and then fell back asleep, which is normal. I got up to take a shower around 6am. After my shower I was brushing my teeth when I heard him at the door to the bathroom. He usually comes in if he wakes up, but he didn’t. When I was done brushing my teeth, I opened the door and found him asleep on the floor right in the corner of the bedroom in front of the bathroom door. Not normal, but super adorable. I wanted to take a picture, but I didn’t want to wake him up. So I left him there and continued my morning.
Little Prince woke up and came to the top of the stairs and cried a bit while I was finishing breakfast. I scooped him up and brought him back to bed as I usually do. He started doing that sort of belly heave thing that comes before throwing up. I got him to the trash can at the edge of the bed but it was only a bit glob of spit-up that came up. I nursed him to see if that would help his stomach. I started thinking to myself, “He’s not sick. He’s fine. Just a bit of extra teething spit in his stomach. He’ll be fine in a moment and can go to school. I have three meetings and a lot of project work to get done this morning. I have to go to work.” He gets up after the alarm goes off and he seems fine, mostly. At least I’m pretending that he’s mostly fine, just woke up early so is tired and a bit clingy.
I get him changed and dressed and downstairs. Get him his vitamins. He holds on to me and doesn’t let me put him down. I have him on my lap and he starts to throw up again, some gets on the floor, but I get him to the sink and most of it gets in there. It’s all clear, with a bit of snot looking bits (didn’t you want to know that?). Reassure him, clean him up, clean up floor and sink. Tell myself that that’s it. Now that he’s gotten that’s out he must be better. Because I have three meetings and a chiropractor appointment and reports that must be done before 10am.
I skip his morning banana. While getting shoes and jacket on, Little Prince alternates telling me that he’s fine and telling me his belly hurts. I focus on believing he’s fine and that the belly hurting is still left over from just throwing up a bit.
Get him in the car. He dances to En Vogue and Offspring. Figure that means he’s feeling better. Start heading to daycare. Get 5 minutes from home when he throws up a bit on his jacket and car seat. Hand him a napkin to help with it. Change course from his normal daycare to the Get Well Place daycare. Pull into a parking lot on way to text Darius and let him know what’s going on.
Drive to the Get Well Place. I am so flustered that I take the long way instead of the short way. So what started off being a promising leaving time from home just gets later and later. Little Prince falls asleep in car on way to daycare. I think that if he falls asleep so quickly again he must be sick and maybe I could have just stayed home with him and he would have slept in the morning. Feel like an awful parent for not being able to stay home with him when he’s sick. Especially when he’s throwing up since I know how good breastmilk can be for vomiting babies and toddlers.
Get to the Get Well Place. Little Prince wakes up as soon as I try to get him out of car seat. He doesn’t want to go to “special school.” I feel guilty that he recognizes it. I carry him in carefully as to not to mess up my clothing too much. The nurse at Get Well Place greets him by name. I’m impressed that she remembers him and feel guilty that she knows his name. She tells me they are closing at 2pm today. I feel guilty that I don’t have a change of clothing for him and that I have to leave him there. I clean up his car seat, while trying to think what I have to do after 2pm today and how I can work it out with Darius. Go back in and get a good-bye kiss from my sick boy.
Drive toward work. I’m thankful that my car has blue-tooth so I can call Little Prince’s normal daycare to tell them he won’t be in and cancel the chiropractor appointment. I have to stop by an ATM since the Get Well Place only takes cash or check (so we get to pay two different daycares for today, even though Little Prince will only be at one of them). In my distraction and planning I drive past two different bank/credit union ATMs but remember to stop at the gas station at the way to work that also has an ATM.
Get to work over 15 min later than my current normal time, hoping that I don’t smell too much of kid vomit. Whip out the reports that are due with minutes to spare before first meeting. Email person with whom I have a meeting at 3pm to ask for a time change. Turns out her kids are sick too so we move the meeting to tomorrow. Good. Message manager to let her know what is going on. Try to focus on meetings and work without worrying about kiddo too much/checking phone to make sure haven’t missed any calls from Get Well Place that Little Prince is getting worse. Worry about a 2pm pick-up time and what that means for his nap. Text with Darius about him getting home as quickly as possible from his job so that I might be able to get some work done this afternoon/this evening. Be thankful that I have sick time, an understanding manager, and a job that is flexible enough where I can work from home and during non-standard hours to make up time.
Am currently eating lunch at my desk to minimize lunch break-time and maximize work time so I don’t have to make up as much later. I feel like I ran a marathon this morning.
This morning when I woke up it had snowed (or something, well it had certainly weathered) overnight.
I checked and found out that all schools, and thus Little Prince’s daycare, were closed. I’d already informed my boss that this might happen. So we had a snow day. Darius had already gone into work, was only working a half day. I went back to bed and snuggled with Little Prince. We had a nice leisurely wake up. Little Prince told me he had to use the potty as I was brushing my teeth, so I missed getting him onto the potty in time (but he still wears diapers). When I did his diaper change, we agreed that we’d both say in pajamas all day. And we did.
We went downstairs and had cereal, bananas, and juice for breakfast. He put his vitamins at the bottom of his bowl of cereal and we had to find them. After we ate some, I let him take the rest of his cereal upstairs and I put on Lilo and Stitch so I could get some work done. It was his first time seeing it and he liked it a lot. I did my best not to quote the whole thing while watching it. The he asked to do his yoga DVD with me, which he actually did for about 10 minutes until there was a “bear” and he freaked out and just wanted to watch it with me.
After that we decided to make cupcakes. I took out the butter and eggs to soften, but realized there wasn’t the right kind of milk in the house and we were low on sugars. I asked Darius to pick up the milk and sugars on his way home. So Little Prince played by himself for a while while I got more work done. He even worked from home too.
We got to video chat with Tante for a little bit. Next thing I knew it was lunch time and Darius was home. Luckily Little Prince had some of a left over turkey sandwich from last night so I didn’t have to worry about making lunch for him. After lunch time, it was nap time. Little Prince actually peed in the potty, standing up no less, during his pre-nap diaper change. He fell asleep fairly quickly and I was able to get a lot more work done. Then he woke up. Darius tried to comfort him, but he only wanted mommy. So I went back into his room and we snuggled and he napped a bit more.
After nap, as promised, we made one giant cupcake. Okay, actually it was a cupcake shaped cake. And it took double batter, which I didn’t realize until we’d already made only one and put it in. LP was quite a help getting ingredients out of the pantry, mixing, and eating the batter.
And he helped me clean up too.
After washing dishes, his pajamas were soaked, so he switched to Superman pajamas.
Darius and LP watched My Little Pony together while I got more work done. Then they played for a while until I finally got to a good stopping point in my work.
By that time the cake was cool enough to decorate and even though I hadn’t used enough cake batter, it turned out that both sides were about the same size so it worked out okay in the end. Darius made dinner while I decorated and LP watched me. He picked the color for the “wrapper” part. I was done at the same time that dinner was.
Dinner was homemade chicken parmesan with pasta and broccoli and cauliflower. Little Prince chowed down on the broccoli (eventually the whole pieces, not just the stems) and the pasta and sauce. Toward the end of the meal he ask for some of the chicken. He NEVER asks for chicken. He declared it “yummy yummy in my tummy” and had several more pieces of chicken after that. Then we each had a small piece of the giant cupcake. LP thought it was so good that he licked his plate clean.
It was way past bath time by this point, so we just did a diaper change, washed LP’s face and hands, and brushed his teeth. I read him some of the Richard Scary book we’re reading and nursed him for a while with the lights off. Then Darius took over to put him to sleep. He recently came out of the bedroom and is now playing Assassins Creed 3. I’m going to go do some yoga.
Yesterday I washed two bottles and a sippy cup that had had breastmilk in it and thought, “This is it.”
Remember how in March I said I was going to stop pumping at work around Little Prince’s second birthday (which is at the end of this month)? Well, it happened last Thursday.
At daycare, Little Prince had started asking for milk less and less. In March I started sending only 5-6 oz. As he wasn’t drinking all of that, I started sending only 3-4 oz. I dropped my pumping time at work to only 10 minutes.
In April I nervously asked his daycare teachers to always offer water first but to give him milk if he asked for it. Some days he did, and some days he didn’t. Toward the end of April his sippy cup that I sent with milk was always coming home as full as I sent it. About two weeks ago we started hiding the cup of milk in the big fridge at daycare so he wouldn’t even see it. Since then, he’s never asked for it.
Last Friday I was really busy at work and totally forgot to pump. I didn’t even notice, which any breastfeeding mom can tell you is a big deal, because if you need to empty a breast, you notice. So this week I decided to stop pumping and stop sending milk. I was really scared that on Monday Little Prince would randomly ask for milk again, but he hasn’t. And it’s so liberating not to have to pump, esepcially since I got to stop two weeks “ahead of schedule.” After about 9 months of pumping twice a day and almost a whole year of pumping once a day, it’s amazing to get the time back. And I’m really proud of myself for being as committed as I was and doing it for as long as I did.
We still have a small freezer stash (just in case) and if I’m away from Little Prince for a significant amount of time, I may need to pump a bit, but in general, I am DONE PUMPING! Hurray!
And now, in honor of the new Star Trek movie coming out this week, here’s Little Prince yelling “Khaaan”:
My little prince is 14 weeks old! He’s hit the three month mark. He continues to delight and amaze Darius and I.
He’s getting so much bigger. On Friday he went in for some shots ( ) and he weighed in at almost 13lbs! That’s about half a pound from doubling his birth weight.
He’s started to giggle. Especially if I give him kisses all over his belly. It’s just about the cutest, most awesomest noise in the world.
He is also, for the most part, a very calm baby. They say that he is “self-contained” at daycare. This was really good when both Darius and I got sick last weekend and LP was calm and happy and took it all in stride.
He’s started to be able to sit up more (still supported), reach for things, and grab them. He’s started the “I want to put everything in my mouth” stage, which I hear lasts for a loooong time.
His green poop has mostly cleared up (finally) although it still has a smell to it. And we’re still having problems with him taking a bottle both at daycare and from Darius. We’re in the process of trying other bottles to see if they work. I also go in at lunch when I can and nurse him. I did come home the other day to this adorable sight:
I’m adjusting to being back at work. It’s not always easy, but I’m doing my best.
Lots has happened in the past three weeks.
The first week of August was National Breastfeeding Week. I was going to go to a Latch On, but LP was asleep when it was time to go and I didn’t want to awaken him.
Also that week, my father came into town and spent just under 2 weeks with us. It was really nice to have him around as he helped around the house and with LP. He also worked on making sure that LP and I got out of the house on occasion, even though it’s been so damn hot out.
I was really glad he was here the second week because I came down with a minor cold for a few days and totally lost my voice. LP also go the cold, but it was even less for him (yay breastfeeding). Still, it was his first cold and he was not thrilled, especially when he was having a bit of trouble with a stuffy nose and trying to nurse. But we both made it through it.
On August 4, all four of us went to a Marian Call concert. LP was amazing throughout almost the whole thing. He tended to either be asleep or staring at the pretty redhead on stage singing. The concert was being webcast. When Marian went to put on her Jayne hat, we put LP in his. She saw and had the camera focus on him. Here is the moment of my baby becoming Internet famous:
We also ventured into the realm of cloth diapering without the Diaper Service. But that’s a post all to itself.
Last week was my first week back at work and LP’s first week of daycare. We were both only doing half days. Things are going pretty well; LP is even starting to take to the bottle better. They keep telling me what an awesome and chill baby LP is. They also told Darius when he picked up LP on Friday what a calm mother I am.
LP has been spending his time discovering his hands. He’s a fan of sucking on his right fingers. He’s getting better at reaching and grabbing for things. Lately he’s started to clasp his hands together in what Darius calls his Evil Mastermind pose. Also we’ve had some, but inconsistent, flipping from belly to back.
However, this last week, LP started to have green runny poop, instead of the nice mustardy yellow poop he usually has. As far as I can tell, this is a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance. I’m guessing that this was brought on by the pumped milk, as I was pumping for only 5-10 minutes and then putting the resulting milk together into one bottle, so the bottle would have a lot of foremilk and not much hindmilk in it. I’m going to work on making sure to pump for at least 15 minutes while at work and not combine them. Hopefully, if I do that and continue to nurse normally and on demand at home, it will clear up all on it’s own.
Today was my first day back in the office. I’d worked from home a bit last Thursday and Friday while my father took care of LP, but this was the first time I was away from him for work.
It was hard. I’m glad that the daycare we chose is really nice and let us sit in the classroom for 30-45 minutes twice last week, so everything wasn’t totally new for him. It also gave me confidence to leave him there. But it was still hard for me.
Being in the office was so strange. So many little things have changed and I have to get use to a routine of doing work and fitting in pumping sessions. Mostly I felt very emotionally numb, just going through the motions of the day. Then I found out they took away the Mother’s Room on my side of the building and I almost broke down because now it’s a much further walk to go pump and it changed how things were going to work in my head. People kept seeing me around and saying, “Welcome Back.” I would just smile or say a quiet “Thank You” because it hurt every time. I wanted to say to them, “I don’t want to be back. This is ridiculous. I want to be with my son.” But nobody wants to hear that. But I made it through the day. I even started to feel somewhat like my work self again about half way through my weekly team meeting when I was able to offer suggestions about the big project we have going on. Still, I couldn’t wait until my 4 hours were done.
LP had a fine time at daycare. Apparently he is totally chill and awesome and spent most of the day just watching everything. However, he had some trouble taking a bottle and only took two oz. This is my fault as I meant to make sure someone was feeding him a bottle once a day every day last week, but I got so wrapped up in my father’s visit and emotionally prepping to return to work that I let it slide. He also only did two 30-45 minute cat-naps instead of having at least one long morning nap. So when we got home, he nursed for a long time, fell asleep for an hour and a half, then we nursed again, we both took an hour and a half nap and he’s still sleeping.
I’m really glad that I’m easing back into work with half days for the next two weeks, with the exception of taking Wednesday off and starting full time next Friday. But ultimately I still think it sucks, especially when I look at what the rest of the world gets.
Week two was really hard for me. My postpartum anemia was worse than we were all prepared to deal with or aware of. I think that if we’d known just how bad it was, my mother probably would have stayed an extra week. But we made it through the week. There were really rough times, like Tuesday afternoon and Thursday night, when I almost called my mother and begged her to come back. But there were also great moments, like holding him and watching him sleep. And getting to start to know his myriad expressions. And we’ve been really lucky, most nights we can get at least one 4-5 hour stretch of uninterrupted sleep.
My days mostly look like this: Wake up for a nurse when Darius leaves for work. Go back to sleep. Either wake up before or with/after the LP. If before, get a chance to eat breakfast first (hopefully…before he wakes up), then morning diaper change and nurse. If with/after, morning diaper change and nurse and then hopefully be able to put baby down long enough to get food myself. Hold the little prince while he sleeps for a few hours. Watch a movie or something on the DVR or On Demand. Midday diaper change and feed. Try to get lunch into my body (hopefully baby is asleep…otherwise use bouncing chair). Hold baby more. Watch more random stuff on tv or try to play with computer and/or phone. Afternoon diaper change. Side nurse turn into afternoon nap. Then Darius is hopefully home and the little prince can get some daddy time while mommy showers or gets some time to herself.
Nursing has been going well. For week two, we were mostly on the nipple shields the whole time. But after reading some articles written by other mothers who had to use them on the La Leche League site, I felt better about doing so myself. Also, he started taking to the left breast often without the shield. And in the cradle hold almost didn’t need it ever. This Tuesday evening, he started not wanting to use it with the right breast either and hasn’t wanted it since. But we’re still figuring out how to get a good latch on the right (the football hold seems to work somewhat), so it’s a work in progress, but a positive one.
Over the weekend we had our first trip to the grocery store and he slept through the entire thing!
We’re definitely into the “I’m in my 3rd week of life and I’ve learned how to cry loudly when I want things” stage. We had two nights earlier this week where it took me 2 hours of nursing and diaper changes and rocking before he finally fell asleep. Also, yesterday we had friends over for a bit and after they left I tried to nurse him a bit, but he started screaming. I put him down for a moment and he fell right asleep. It was amazing. Of course today we had some random screaming, but it didn’t last long. He has been staying awake in between some feedings. I’m not totally sure what to do with him in those cases, but we’re both learning.
Week three has also been about learning to ask friends for help. I think we’ve had someone over either at lunch or around/after dinner time almost every day. Just having someone else to talk to/help out around the house/hold the baby for a little bit has been great.
Lastly, I want to report that we had our two week check-up on Monday. DJ weighed in at 7lbs, 12.5oz. He’s up almost a whole pound from his birth weight, which is amazingly good progress. The midwife said that he was “perfect.” Also, she said that I look to be healing well. We took my blood and my iron count came back at 10.1 (up from 7.5!). I knew I was feeling somewhat better, and it was nice to have confirmation of it. So I’m still anemic and I still get tired a lot and have to take it slow, but I’m recovering.
Last week I taught my last class and had my last full day in the office. Starting yesterday I’m mostly working from home, unless I need to go in. This is really helpful for me and I’m super thankful that my job is flexible enough to let me do this.
Physically things are going okay. I’m still in a lot of pelvis pain, especially when I move wrong. There’s also this spot in my right shoulder blade that likes to hurt after a little while. I thought it was just being at work all day, but it did it yesterday too when I spent the day on the couch. I’ll just have to figure out the right position to be in or switch it around a bunch. I’m tired a lot these days too. And last week my right foot decided that it would be fun to swell up randomly. Yet another reason I’m glad to be working at home with my feet up.
Mentally I’m doing well most of the time. I’m still nervous about the whole birth/labor experience because it’s so outside of the realm of anything I’ve ever experienced before. But I think that I’m pretty ready to be a mommy, which is something that I had trouble saying just the other week.
Stree is doing well. He has periods where he squiggles and wiggles around a whole lot and periods where he just likes to stretch his foot or his butt into my ribs (so much fun, let me tell you). He really liked last week’s episode of Glee.
At my prenatal appointment on Friday, I was measuring 37 weeks instead of 38 but I’m not really concerned because I think all of those things are estimates anyway. The really exciting thing was that she did a quick ultrasound to double check the baby’s position. It was the first time I’d “seen” him since the ultrasound at 18 weeks (right before Christmas). He is 100% head down (hurray!) and has hair. You could see the little spikes coming off the back of his head. So amazing. Unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures and we couldn’t get a clear profile shot of his face because he was being shy and covering part of his face with his hand.
The to-do-before-the-baby-is-born list is coming along nicely. Over the weekend we rearranged the baby’s room. I got the last of the stuff that needed to be washed and put away washed and put away. I even put together the awesome Monkey Bouncer all by myself (with only one easily fixable mistake). The nursing pillows and baby carriers are mostly ready. The last of the things the baby needs are in the bag to go to the Birthing Center and the list for the last minute stuff is on top of the bag. And I installed the car seat base into my car all by myself yesterday. The only thing I really don’t know where it should go yet is the “Whale of a Tub”.
There are tons more pictures of baby things on the Pictures page. For some reason I’m obsessed with taking pictures of everything.
I wasn’t sure if I was going to get to celebrate Mother’s Day this year since I’m not-quite-but-almost a mother. But we did. Darius surprised me with a PajamaGram. It’s a pair of superhero style pajamas that say “Super Mom” and have a CAPE! Then he made me eggs for breakfast. We also went out to dinner to our favorite hibachi place with B and the place gave me a rose because I count as a mom. All of it made me really happy.
Told the bossman I was pregnant last Thursday. We were swapping photos over IM of our trips to Chicago while on the phone. I told him that I had one more picture to send him and then waited nervously while he opened it. But he’s really excited for me. He’s never had anyone under him take maternity leave before, so this will be an experience for both of us. At least my work is very good at handling this sort of thing. I believe there were something like 14 or 15 people out for maternity leave this year.
Told the rest of the team (one had already guessed) on Friday afternoon at our team meeting. We were discussing the training schedule for next year. One of my coworkers was teaching, so once he finally showed up and we caught him up on what was going on, I mentioned that I did have one concern about next year. Then I turned my laptop around so they could all see the picture of the ultrasound from the other week. They were surprised :). Bossman had to put the picture up on the screen so everyone could see it (my team is all over the US, so we use video conferencing).
Today was my first appointment at the Austin Area Birthing Center. Filled out miles of paperwork. Right now we’re on a pay for it all ourselves plan. We’re trying to get this GAP coverage thing going on so that insurance will cover some of it (the Dr is in network, the facility is out of network…it’s all very confusing to me). Had an apprentice midwife with the regular midwife for my visit. They asked me some basic questions and already had a good knowledge of my chart and my paperwork from my original OB was there already. When they went to go feel for the uterus, they had a little bit of trouble finding it because I have good abdominal muscles and a little bit of padding over them. Also, based on the exam they were figuring that I probably had a tipped uterus (which I now remember is something the ultrasound tech from week 7 said too). They then had trouble using the hand-held thing to hear the heartbeat. OMG, I was definitely a little scared when they couldn’t find the heartbeat at first. So we went over to the ultrasound room and the ultrasound tech found the baby and the heartbeat with no problem at all and confirmed that my uterus is tipped backwards. This is actually very common and usually fixes itself right up when the uterus raises. It also explains why I’m not showing at all yet (but the pants are getting tighter) and why I have to pee all the damn time. And and and… I got to see Stree again. It looks more like a human now. It has a head with a face and a body and legs. I could see the legs moving and the heart beating. Stree’s heartbeat is VERY strong, 160 BPM :). Probably another 2 months until we find out sex. I tried to scan the ultrasound at work, but the scan sucked, so I’ll do it from home tonight.
Update: Pic from ultrasound