Protected: A Year In Review

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Milestone Monday: 51 Weeks

First, a quote that I think you’ll all enjoy:

“such blog many akwards such uuuuhhhhh”

— Adam J. Rinn

On to the post!

I’m starting to lose track of what’s a first and what’s not. At this point, given that she’s almost a year old, I’ll probably stop calling these weekly posts “Milestone Monday” and switch to just making a goal of weekly updates about whatever. Because she’s doing some things that I’m not sure when they started, or if they really count as milestones, or whether I’ve talked about them before.

– Second word? I think she’s saying “Keh” when pointing at the kitties. Not totally sure though, because she says a lot of things that are seemingly random.

– first dentist appointment (or was that last week?). She was fantastic and the dentist said that she was a perfect patient! The dentist also confirmed my suspicion that she has a thick/tight frenulum on her upper lip (aka lip tie) but since it’s not interfering with breastfeeding and doesn’t seem to be causing tooth decay or speech problems, suggested we leave it alone until her permanent teeth come in. Fair enough! I think it’s the cause of the weird white spots on her two front teeth, but the dentist also said they don’t seem damaged, just discolored.

– Oh, the tribulations of the pooping. I swear, before having a baby I never really thought about the fact that my happiness would rest in the bowels of a tiny human whose only word is, “Hi,” randomly applied to trees and walls as much as other people. This Saturday evening, I called the nurse line at the pedatrician’s office because J hadn’t pooped in 8 days and I wanted to see if I could give her a laxative or something. She wasn’t sleeping well because she kept straining to go and not being able to. They told me to take her to the ER. It seemed excessive, but I obeyed. She pooped after we’d been there 3 hours, but it took us another 2 to get out and then another hour to get her settled to sleep. We’ve been feeling the effects for sure, mostly in totally messed up sleep schedules and a fussy baby, but we also left with a prescription for Miralax, so I’ve got high hopes that we’ll get back on track soon. At school today she apparently let loose! The student worker who changed it looked slightly traumatized. Meanwhile, I’m exhausted and unhappy, same as she.

– she’s been sick for 4/7 days in the last week, so there’s not a whole lot to report. Her current favorite book is My First Words and her favorite toy that’s not a toy is the wipes dispenser. Kleenex are even better because she can rip those up and eat them, but I a almost never let her have those.

Milestone errr.. Tuesday: 50 weeks

It’s been a tough week, and yesterday was a particularly hard day. J has a terrible yeast diaper rash that seems to be really bothering her. She’s also not napping well at the new daycare (only taking one nap per day, and it’s a long one but she’s still exhausted by the time I pick her up). She is adjusting to the schedule but very slowly, and clearly she’s been pretty sleep deprived. I keep having to wake her up in the mornings, then she has trouble sleeping at night. So anyway, last night she had a lot of trouble and was very fussy and miserable. I didn’t have a chance to write. Yay.

The yeast rash is a real bummer. We’re treating it with clotrimazole, but we only started that last night. It seemed to sting when we put it on, but that might have just been because I was touching it :(. In addition to the rash, I think she and I are getting thrush. I’ve still got a prescription for APNO so I’ve started using that, and also she and I are starting up probiotics. Hopefully that will be enough, and I won’t have to go down the long road of fighting off thrush in a nursing dyad, which I hear is terrible. But! I think I caught it all pretty early, so I have hope that we can escape without too much trouble. Also, I have a closed system pump which should help prevent constant recurrence.

In other, happier news! We have pointing! Lots of pointing! Pointing at everything! I had gotten pretty good at figuring out what she was looking at, and pointing actually confuses things, because she’ll point at a thing and look at me, instead of looking at the thing so I can see where she’s looking! But it’s cute because her hands are still baby-chubby, and she can’t make a fist like an adult, so the pointing is very uniquely baby.

Not much else going on. She can walk like a real champ now, and is falling much less often! She rarely crawls anywhere. Okay, time to pick up the house a little while she sleeps!



Milestone Monday: 49 weeks

On Thursday, J started at her new daycare. I was able to take a half day on Wednesday and bring her over for a few hours to visit, and I’m so glad I did. That first day (Wednesday), she stuck really close to me for about an hour. She gradually got more comfortable with the room, and even let Ms. Olga change her diaper with only a minimum of freaking out (I stood right there so she could see me). We were there about 3 hours, and by the end of the visit she was going up to the teachers and grabbing the books they were reading, offering them her toys, and generally acting pretty content and secure. Thursday morning I stayed for about an hour with her, and when I left she was all smiles as she played with one of the pushing toys. Honestly, the new daycare is simply amazing. There is such a variety of stuff to do in the room! The old place seems very very austere by comparison. That’s probably a Montessori thing, but after watching J in the new place, I’m excited for the learning/playing opportunities she has there. She seemed to really embrace it all!

Walking is continuing to advance. On Wednesday, she walked about 30 feet! There isn’t really a space that large for her to walk in at home, but the new school has lots of room. She has definitely started to get fussy about walking though. There are lots of times where she could easily get where she’s trying to go by crawling, but instead she stands up, tries to walk, falls over, rinse repeat. She gets very frustrated.

Using a spoon! She’s having some luck with eating from a spoon. She definitely understands what it’s for. The dexterity is not quite there, and she gets distracted easily and does things like dump the food out. But she is (slightly) less apt to take the spoon then try to pick up the yogurt that I’ve put in the spoon for her.

Words? I swear she says, “Hi!” and “Dad” or “Dada.” Does she use them appropriately is more difficult. Mostly? But sometimes she says hi randomly. And she often says, “aahhh-dah!” so I don’t know. But we might have a first word :).

Milestone Monday: 48 Weeks

– A big one! We have walking! She’s still prone to falling but she can consistently walk 5-15 feet! With a giant proud look on her face the whole time.

– standing up by herself. She no longer needs to pull up on something. Combined with walking this is powerful indeed.

– kissing! Oh my god it’s so cute. If you make kissing noises at her she will make them back. So far it’s totally her cutest skill

– she also makes other noises to communicate. She will smack her lips when she’s hungry or when she likes a food. I’m pretty sure she says, “na na na” whe she wants to nurse.

This isn’t really a new thing but for the last week she’s been having middle of the night wake ups that last about 2-3 hours. Dad has been really good about sharing that time watching her but it’s still tiring.

There was something else but I forgot it. Sigh.

Growth charts!

I’ll definitely post these again after her first birthday, but I just figured out how to export them from my tracking app. So here they are!

… If I can figure out how to insert them from my WP app. Nope, I sure can’t. I’ll have to do it later. Bah.


Edit: now it’s later so here they are!

J's length chart. The pediatrician thinks they mismeasured at 6 months

J’s length chart. The pediatrician thinks they mismeasured at 6 months

J's head circumference chart

J’s head circumference chart

J's weight chart

J’s weight chart

Milestone Monday: 47 Weeks

It’s been a crazy, crazy week. We are still reeling from last week’s seizure. Here’s a brief rundown of the medical issues we had this week, all of which were new and most of which were terrifying.

So last Monday was the seizure. Tuesday she was refusing all food and drink except nursing. We both stayed home with her.

Wednesday her fever was down. I worked from home and nursed as needed, while dad watched her the rest of the time. She was still refusing food and had started refusing to nurse on one side so we took her to the doctor for a followup. The doctor checked her out and noticed a slight ear infection on the side she wouldn’t nurse on. We got her started on amoxicillin :(.

Thursday she went to daycare. They called me around 10:30am in a panic because she had a nosebleed. Both “pouring” and “gushing” were used to describe it. I took her to the doctor again, who said it was a normal nosebleed and gave me a printout for the daycare on seizures and one on how to stop nosebleeds.

Friday she was off for Good Friday, and Dad had already scheduled time with the babysitter, but he worked from home as well so she had lots of care. She developed a bad case of diarrhea from the antibiotics, and a terrible diaper rash from the diarrhea (we assume). Then Friday night, right at bedtime, she slipped and hit her head very badly. She got a huge egg! We called the nurse line to see if we could just let her go to bed or whether we would need to bring her in yet again. Thankfully, they didn’t seem to think that she had a concussion.

So that was this week. New things:

– First ear infection
– First nosebleed
– First bout of antibiotics
– First severe diaper rash
– First case of diarrhea
– First bad crack on the head

More fun new things!

– Tooth #5 popped through on Wednesday! Upper right lateral incisor. The left one will be here any day.

– Dancing! She dances when you sing a song she likes, or one is on the stereo! Oh man it’s cute. I need to get a video.

I think that’s all. Like it’s not enough!

The Seizure

I’m going to dig a little into the seizure in hopes that writing it all down will help me recognize possible future seizure triggers and also to get it out. Last Monday i was way too emotionally fried to write much about it.

So last Sunday she slept pretty well for naps. I was expecting her to be up until 7 or so. Around 5, she started getting fussy and wanting to nurse. I would nurse her and she’d act like she wasn’t hungry, popping off and trying to climb around. So I tried solids. She threw everything on the floor and didn’t want any of it. By 5:30 she was incredibly fussy and I decided to skip the dinner F had spent most of the day cooking and put her to bed. She continued to whimper in her sleep and started running a slight temperature. We gave her some Advil. In the morning (Monday) she seemed fine. She refused all food at school and most of the milk they tried to give her. At 12:20 they called and said she had a fever of 101 and we should come get her. It was F’s turn, so he went and got her and brought her home. She was still feverish and fussy so he called the nurse line and got an appointment for 2pm. At 1:45 he was texting me anxiously. He couldn’t find his wallet and he wasn’t sure what to do. I told him there was no copay for sick visits, and if there was they could just bill us. So at 2:05, when I saw the doctor’s office calling, I reached for my wallet. I figured they needed a credit card number right now. The conversation seemed to take a long time to get there.

“Is this Mama Triumphant?”
“J’s mom, right?”
“Yes, that’s right”
“This is SoAndSo from the pediatrician’s.”
“Hi, how are you?”
“Oh I’m fine. We have your husband and J here today, and I wanted to call you and let you know” as I’m reaching for my wallet and preparing to explain, “J has had a seizure.”

My hand dropped from my pocket. “Oh my god” I said, unable to even form a useful sentence. Her words echoed around in my head, setting off fireworks of fear and sending hot tears burbling down my cheeks without my permission. “Oh my god” I said again, bringing the full bore of my intelligence to the conversation. The nurse kept talking as while I packed my pumping gear with hands that were shaking so badly I kept missing getting the pieces into my bag. “Dad’s here with her and we’ve got doctors Someone and SomeoneElse taking good care of her. EMS is here and they’ll be going to the hospital shortly.” “Is she okay??” I finally manage to ask. The nurse assures me that they’re taking good care of her. She asks if I need directions to the hospital and I tell her just the address. I scribble it on my hand in barely legible sharpie and finally have my stuff together and can leave my office. I stop by my boss’s office, just long enough to interrupt her in a meeting and tell her I have to go because J just had a seizure. She’s waving me out the door before I finish my sentence. I stop by the freezer to grab my milk (on autopilot, or I would have left it there) and run to my car.

Before driving to the hospital, I stop and take a couple deep breaths. I’m proud to say that before I got on the road I reminded myself that I wouldn’t do anyone any favors if I wrecked my car in the way, so I might as well drive safely. I managed to actually drive safely only because I was terrified of anything slowing me down (accident, getting pulled over, missing a turn, anything). All I wanted in the whole world was to get to J and hold her and see with my own eyes that she was okay.

It’s a good thing I didn’t hurry. When I walked in to the ER, they said she hadn’t arrived yet. I was much closer to the hospital than the pediatrician, and she was stable so the ambulance didn’t turn on their lights. As I was sitting in the waiting room, I gradually started to lose the calm that I’d carefully collected during my drive. I was chatting with my sister on IM and she was helping me stay calm, but waves of panic and tears kept washing over me. Eventually another woman who was in the waiting room with her little boy gave me a pep talk about how mamas are strong and when my little girl does arrive I need to be calm for her, so pull it together. And she was right. And somehow I pulled myself together. 30 minutes later I went to ask again about her arrival. She’d just been checked in.

They led me to her room, and I found her with a bunch or wires coming off her, sitting in dad’s lap on a hospital bed. She smiled when she saw me but it wasn’t her usual rambunctious grin/wave/crawl to mama that she usually does. That was okay. I went over and took her up and held her and rocked her and felt for the first time that we, all three of us, would be okay.

The hospital visit was pretty uneventful. I brought some toys with me (I had the diaper bag) and waited for the doctor with J while Dad, who hadn’t eaten yet that day, found the cafeteria. The doctor came in right as he got back. She had no ear infection, no rashes, nothing to explain her fever. She didn’t need a spinal tap to check for meningitis because she was up on her vaccinations, but because her fever was unexplained, he wanted a urine sample. I jokingly asked if they could just take her diaper. No such luck, but he did say I could nurse her while waiting for the nurses to come get the sample. She nursed for a few minutes then fell asleep in my lap.

The nurses came in about 20 minutes later, finished checking her in, gave her an ankle band, and asked me to hold her still while they catheterized her. One nurse held her bottom half while I held her arms and talked soothingly to her. The other nurse was quick and good. He got the catheter in the first try, and said she didn’t even twitch. She was screaming the whole time but I think much of it was that she was tired and wanted to nurse/sleep and was frightened of strangers touching her. Her cry didn’t change noticeably with the catheter, so I don’t think it was too painful.

After the quick test for bladder/kidney infection came back negative, they hustled us out before the shift change. At the time I was a little annoyed at how quickly they tried to get us out of there, but in retrospect and remembering her birth, I’m grateful and glad. We took the back way home because it was 5:30 at that point and rush hour was in full swing. I dropped dad off at his car then we went home and put J to bed.

We alternated Advil and Tylenol all night and through part of the next day.

And that was J’s seizure.

We don’t know yet why she had it, but everyone is hoping/thinking it was a febrile seizure.

A brief overview of dad’s experience: he was pulling to the pediatrician’s office when he heard J breathing strangely. He looked behind him to back out nds straighten his parking job when he saw her arm twitching and stiff. He parked where he was and ran around to the back seat to get her. Both arms were bent and her whole body was completely stiff and trembling. Her eyes were rolled back into her head and to the left and she was having a lot of trouble breathing. He ran with her into the office and shouted, “Please help me, my daughter is having a seizure!” They got her on oxygen and albuterol and there was not much room in the exam room where they were treating her so he got out of the way. He heard a nurse say, “there you are” and then heard J’s voice. He estimates the whole thing took about 5-7 minutes.

Milestone Monday: 46 weeks

– Social smiling is here in force! She will smile at anyone and everyone, and it often seems like she will smile at someone just to see if they will smile back. She’ll stare and stare until she catches their eye, and then give a big grin! When it’s not returned (infrequent, it’s a darned cute smile) you can see her brain processing: “Okay, why didn’t that guy smile at me? Hmmm, maybe I’ll smile again at him.. Nope, nothing! Does mom still smi– yes, hi mom, SMILE! Ok so I guess it’s okay that the guy didn’t smile at me because mom still is. Where’s that toy I had?”

– Oh, the throwing up. I’m not sure if it feels neat, or if she’s having teething pain, or what, but she regularly sticks her fingers far enough into the back of her mouth that she pukes. Gag! Gag! Gag! Puuuuke! I stop her when I can, but she seems to do it most when she wants to nurse or eat, so it’s a frequent occurrence on the way home from daycare. I called the nurse advice line at my pediatrician’s office, and was told it’s not uncommon, probably teething, and don’t worry about it unless you think she’s not keeping enough food down. She was 27 pounds 4 oz at her visit this week (ring wormy looking rash that turned out to be nothing) so clearly nutrition is not a problem.

– Row your boat! I honestly don’t know how long she’s been doing this, since her daycare doesn’t like to tell me what she does at school (*grumble*). The other day I discovered that if you sit facing her, and her facing you, then hold out your hands for her to grab and sing, “Row row row your boat” she will rock back and forth like she’s rowing! She loves it! It’s such a short song that as soon as it’s over she’ll grab your hands again and rock back, waiting for you to start singing again.

– This one is way, way less fun. J had her first, and with any luck only, febrile seizure today. Last night she had a fever and rapid breathing but I gave her ibuprofen and it went down. Then she was refusing all food this morning and had a fever again by 11am. We got a pediatrician appointment for 2pm. As Papa T. was pulling in to the parking lot (I was at work), she started having a seizure. He rushed her into the doctor’s office and they got her on oxygen and albuterol pretty quickly. Apparently she was also having a lot of trouble breathing. They called me on my cell and gave me the address for the hospital EMS would be taking her to. I beat them there by about 30 minutes. While I was sitting alone in the waiting room flipping completely out, a woman with a child J’s age told me that everything would be okay, that they’d take good care of her, that mamas were strong and I was 100% when I walked in the door so breathe deep and get back to 100 so I could be calm for my baby when I saw her. It was very touching, very true, and very much needed. By the time they had arrived and entered J into the computer so they could tell me where to go, I was calm. J smiled a huge smile when she saw me, and as soon as they let me I nursed her to calm us both down and get some nutrients into her. She fell asleep in my lap. Then we (sadly) had to wake her for a urine collection which sucked for everyone, but at least I was there to tell her it would be okay. They sent us home with a diagnosis of febrile seizure and recommended overlapping ibuprofen and Tylenol for the evening. In a few days we will follow up with her regular pediatrician. I hope this is the only one she ever has, but I’ll sure be researching more about what to do and what the dangers are.

A brief check-in

It’s been crazy, I’ve been crazy, this whole adventure is crazy and wonderful and beautiful and terrifying. While I’ve been writing my birth story, it’s slow going because I only write while she nurses, and I do it on my iPad (slow typing). So here’s some self-reflection to break the monotony of weekly updates.

She brings me such intense joy every single day. Sometimes I feel like the rest of my life was just waiting for my daughter to arrive. I’ve finally reached the point where I can do more than think about her. For a long time I felt like every beat of my heart whispered her name, and nothing else mattered. But I’ve finally started to be me again rather than just J’s mother. Just as important, I’ve started to reconnect with Papa T. I used to tell him every day that I loved him with all my heart. When J came along, that got thrown into such disarray. How could I tell him I loved him with all my heart when so much of my heart was consumed with the searing love of fresh motherhood? I struggled to give him an honest statement of my love every day, which often sounded (I’m sure) lackluster and unconvincing. Of course I still loved him, but all I could think about was her.

The answer is, of course, that one love does not displace the other. I love them both with everything that I am, and those two loves live with all the rest of the love I have, for my family and friends and pets and everyone. Perhaps strangest of all has been reconfiguring my love for myself. Always a rather spotty thing, it has been drastically revised by the addition of breastfeeding mother to the list of attributes that comprise “Me.” For the better, I think. I know I’m not a perfect mother, but I also know that there is no such thing anyway. I also know that J knows how much I love her, and that every day I do my best for her. I’m okay with being my best rather than perfect. Who is this woman I’ve become??

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