Wednesday, July 29, 2009

She won't be framed

"I have to tell you this about Willa," the teacher looked at me with a hint of a smile, but sad eyes.
"You know the 'who stole the cookie from the cookie jar' song?"

I nodded.

"We sang that in circle for the first time today. Everyone had a turn, and then it was Willa's turn, so one of the friends said 'Willa stole the cookie!' She had been singing and clapping along until this. Your daughter stood up, put her hands on her hips and shouted, 'I did NOTTTTT.' And then she started crying. So, we quickly changed it to someone else, and she was fine."

I teared up and laughed a the same time.

My sensitive, earnest, soulful Willa.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My sister, Lisa

There has been a lot of talk lately about what characteristics make a hero. Pals, here's an example of an honest to goodness hero.

A year ago, my sister called me from Tampa. Her shaky voice more than the words told me that her world was shattered even more than we expected. The twin girls that had been growing inside of her had died that morning. The pregnancy had been complicated. Their growth had been complicated.

Missing them, Nadilynn and Samatha, who - so beautifully ironic - only Lisa and Ken got to physically touch, has been complicated. I saw their photos. So teeny, frustrating close to perfect. A chin from one relative, the nose of another, 20 fingers and 20 toes. And, thankfully, they looked so at peace.

A lot of you at that time offered so much support and generous words of healing and thoughtfulness. And some of you still ask how she is doing.

I want to tell you about my sister now.

She is doing "okay."

She has good days and terrific days, and she has some pretty shitty days. She is healing.
I want to share that I have learned about strength and resiliency from her. I'm so impressed by, and proud of, her. Her ability to mourn with honesty and grace, and her will to get out of bed and keep moving make her a hero in my eyes.

Tomorrow morning, she and her husband will mark the one year point of when their sweet babies were stillborn. Please say a prayer, if you're so inclined.

Monday, July 27, 2009

... and now a word from our Henry

Officially, his first word is duck. Just like his sister. Just like his cousin. He was in the tub on Saturday, and picked up the rubber duck, held it out for me and rightly proclaimed it to be "duck." And the next day when I showed him another duck, he repeated it. He only uses it for that particular item.

Jim wants, I suspect, the history blog to read that da-da was Henry's first word. But he calls a lot of people and things da-da, though he's becoming more discerning.

In related, though not at all competitive news...
Yesterday was a weird day. I woke up feeling claustrophobic, and the feeling continued through the afternoon. Jim and I were picking at each other. The dogs were bugging me. I tried to get outside to get a second to myself, and the second I opened the door, it started to pour.
I was upset, and feeling off (possibly related to most recent older post). Actually, I was feeling more than off. Truth be told, I was feeling doomed.

And then I took Henry to change his diaper. When I reached to pick him up, he smiled, reached both arms out and said, "mamama."

Kid's got good timing.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Laughter proof that I don't need medicine?

I've been quietly processing life and not really writing about it.

Last week, I stopped taking my medication for post partum depression. Bad timing, as Jim and I were apart, I worked a ton, and we were not even home. But, I think my brain chemistry needs to get itself back in order itself, and I'm ready to give it a shot without the aide of pharmaceuticals.

Jim, a few times, used the phrase "off your meds" which made me cringe. But, it's the truth, my body needed some assistance in dealing with balancing out hormones with stress and anxiety and "ohmygosh! We're out of vinegar! I can not clean the countertop without vinegar, so clearly, I must sit on the floor in tears."

That was November. Now this is me, off my meds. I'm doing okay, and we're stocked up on vinegar.

Now, I will share with you two things that make me smile broadly.

At the corner of Diamond and Fulton, there is a liquor store. Go there, and look at the ad on the exterior wall that faces Diamond. Yes, friends, it's an add for the Kidney Foundation. On a liquor store.

And check this out. Those zany Catholics and their wacky humor put St. Anthony, patron saint of "where the heck did I leave my...." right next to their seach function. If there's a patron saint of wry humor, I'd like to give her/him a shout out for that one.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Straighten up and... listen

Willa likes listening to Diana Krall's cover of "Straighten Up and Fly Right" (click here to hear Nat King Cole sing his song. Don't bother watching the video part). At first, I thought it was only because there's a monkey in the song. But this morning, I heard her humming and then she stopped while listening. "Mommy, there are drums in this song!" And then she noticed the piano. We talked about how a string bass sounds, and now she knows about a jazz trio.

The music nerd in me is pretty excited about this. We'll be listening to more jazz in the car now. And then - deliberately - move onto other genres.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

T&A. My Ts, Henry's A.

I pump. I dump. I tear up a little.
Turns out it is indeed the breastmilk (w/ antibiotics) that have caused Henry's diaper rash.
In 7th grade, Mr. Prevost taught us the scientific method. We followed it. Henry's rash cleared up after 30 hours of only formula. But maybe that was a fluke, you say? We reintroduced, and hours later - woosh! Bottom on fire.
I have about 2 gallons saved in the fridge downstairs from last week. I can't bring myself to dump that. But for the next 2 days, my pumping is all about maintaing supply for when my body is free of the medicine.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


In the backyard this evening with Willa and Henry:

"Mom, I waannnnttt that."
"Willa, that's Henry's special popcicle*. It's going to help him get better quick."
"But I wannnnnttt that."
"You can have your own popcicle after dinner."
a minute later while I'm talking with Jim:
"Mom, I want a popcicle."
"After dinner. If you eat your vegetables."
"But we got to share. I want some. Henry wants to share."

"Willa, I have to go inside for a minute. While daddy's watering the grass, can you be my assistant and keep mosquitoes off of Henry?"
"Okay. I'll be your insistent."

*Popcicle chock full of electrolytes

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Lots of nipple discussion to follow

Dear medical community, please grow a pair. Also, study up on breastfeeding.

On Thursday, I woke up with what can only be described as a feeling that the 7 dwarfs had escaped from Snow White, had shrunk to even dwarfier, and were using their mining axes on the inside of my left breast. Bastards. Off to the doctor I went.

I saw a great substitute doctor because my own doc wasn't available. She examined me and declared my breast to be infected. She sent me on my way with sympathy, a prescription of antibiotics, rest and a warm compress.

Over the weekend, I spent a lot of time sleeping. And feeling warm, when I was awake. I also spent a lot of time nursing Henry in an effort to unclog any pipes that might be causing the infection.

Over the weekend, poor Henry developed diarrhea (no, family, not the same as MaKenna's new book that we're not allowed to look in - quick awwwww and tee hee for the 5 year old who has given the wrong name to her diary). And quickly his poor bottom a diaper rash that made up for all of the other diaper rashes he never got.

He cried. I cried.

We got home late from up north and he screamed from pain and I cried from feeling that the milk my body was producing was hurting my little pal. We found the can of formula we left the hospital with when he was born and cracked it open. Through tears, I started mentally composing a blog entry titled "when Breast is not best..."

The next morning I pumped and left a message for the doctor through a nurse. And then pumped while leaving a message for the hospital's lactation consultant. And then pumped while leaving a message at Baby Beloved, a local lactation organization.

Slowly calls came back.
"It sounds like thrush to me, you both need to be treated." Except there are no white patches in his mouth and my nipples are not red or painful, it's inside.

"You'll have to pump and dump." this means work really hard at expressing breastmilk and then... pouring it down the drain.

"No, I don't think you'll have to dump, it's just teething that's causing this rash." Except the timing?

"I can't tell you about probiotics, you should call your OB/GYN." Thanks pharmacist.

We took Henry to the doctor, another substitute because our doctor doesn't work on Mondays. She was the one who blamed the rash on teething. And then told us we needed to change his diapers more often. And said there were no contraindications for the antibiotic I was on; despite the red, blistered contraindication naked right in front of her. She would not listen to my real issues. We left with a script for magic butt paste in Jim's hand and the wrath of a mother wronged in my (feeling better by then) chest.

Finally, the lactation consultant at Baby Beloved gave me the time to voice my concerns and suspicions. She listened. She asked probing questions. She told me I wouldn't have to throw my milk away. She was supportive and smart and knew about breastfeeding. And wasn't too afraid of liability to give me input. And I love her.

Next time that's my first stop.