I am completely, utterly, head-over-hills in love with my squeaky little bald guy! He’s simply the most adorable, sweetest baby ever. Here are a few Christmas pictures:
I rushed into the office at 2:31 PM and the secretary glanced up before looking back at her computer screen and absently mumbled something about a different appointment. She double-clicked on something, looked confused, and said…”and you are…?”
I quickly explained the events that led me here (2 month check-up, dead car battery, called to cancel, neighbor jumped the car off, the baby sounds congested…and can you please work me in today? First available?)
She stood and went back to ask “Dr. Su”, a cheery little guy from good ole’ Duke, if he would see Nathan for a sick-baby check-up. The great man agreed. After a warning from her about making appointments, she led back to a room to wait for the doc to come.
Nathan started his classic “I’m hungry” protest and out the boob went. Soon after, Dr. Su did a pointless little rap-rap on the door as he simultaneously opened the door, thus the pointlessness, and of course I didn’t have time to cover the boob a bit more. He saw I was nursing, apologized for intruding, and started to shut the door again. I have long since lost my conservative ideals in medical situations-they’ve seen it before- so I told him to come on in and covered up anyways. Nathan didn’t like his mealtime being cut short, and so he started to fuss again.
Dr. Su jumped into action with his stethoscope, distracting Nathan, and asked, “So I hear this little guy is congested?”
Me: Yes, he is
I then go on to give the history of this congestedness. Dr. Su listened, looked, and prodded. He confirmed that yes, Nathan does have “some gook” in there but as long as he doesn’t start wheezing, he should be fine.
Next topic, “So you have a question about his poop and…(he checks his computerized chart)…his penis?”
Naturally, I blushed at his frankness. I’m just not in the habit of discussing penises with strangers. The fact that he’s so cheery when he piped the question just didn’t sound quite right to me. I put on the face of bravado- a mommy on a mission- and first showed him a poopy diaper, saved just for this occasion. “Is this normal?”
He looked at the poopy and said that it looks fine. He gave me a description of non-normal poops and I am proud to say that Nathan’s poop is A-ok.
He quickly moved on, “And the penis?” I blushed again, almost kicking myself while mentally telling myself to “Mommy Up” and get on with it.
“Well…er, um…well it’s just that sometimes, like before his bath for example, I noticed that it seems to, um, change colors.”
He was obviously quite amused by my question. I couldn’t help but to wonder exactly just how many “but doctor, his wee-wee changes color!” questions he’s been asked in his career. I could almost see him entertaining dinner party guest with “Oh-if-you-only-knew-the-things-I-see” type of stories. Colorful wee-wee stories are probably a huge hit.
Anyhow, he wanted to take a look and so I went ahead and removed the diaper. Nathan, who up until this point had been debating on whether or not he wanted to study the stranger or protest his hunger, suddenly burst into a huge smile and squeaked and cooed at him. I was instantly embarrassed at my son’s obvious lack of concern over his nakedness, and mumbled an apology for his “nakey baby joy.” I think Dr. Su was just glad he wasn’t crying. He’d take a smiling baby, even a naked one, over a screaming one any day. I’m just glad Nathan didn’t pee on him. It would have been a direct hit with the way he was aiming.
After his assessment, Dr. Su reassured me that things looked just fine “down there” and gave me some instructions on daily care for the whole diaper area as well as a list of things to watch for.
He asked if I had any other questions (I did not) and off we went.
Thus concludes Nathan’s first sick-baby visit.
It was so hard packing all of my moms belongings- emotionally, mentally, and physically.
Being considerate: Buddy, my step-father, is the sweetest man I know and he really loved her. It was so hard for him to see all of her things being packed up, so I tried to be very sensitive and even discreet whenever I could. If I took a picture down, I put another in its place. The same for decorations. I packed her closet while he was out and quickly moved them into a guest bedroom so he didn’t have to look at bags and bags of her clothes. It’s been hard for him.
A chance for closure: I got a chance to talk to my brother about my mom. He was by her side the whole time and he shared the details and photos with me. The pictures of her after her stroke were awful to see. They said she was not in any pain, but still. Her 2nd stroke (the one that put her in the hospice) paralyzed her esophageal muscles. She could not control what went into her stomach or her lungs. As a result, she had a feeding tube. She also kept filling her lungs with fluid. The paralysis would have killed her if the brain tumors did not. After learning all of this, I came to see that her death due to a 3rd stroke was definitely one of the more peaceful ways to go. I feel like I have some closure knowing that she went peacefully and without pain.
The inevitable void: I miss her a lot. It was hard being in her house just as she left it. While packing, I found myself hoping to feel her presence somehow, but it didn’t happen. All I felt was an emptiness where her presence should have been.
Memories: It’s quite an adjustment to live with feeling such a huge void. While packing, I found pictures of her and I when we were younger. The pictures were the hardest of all. I saw a picture of her before her cancer diagnosis. She was nicely dressed- whole, healthy, and very beautiful. The cancer took it all away, leaving in its place a shell of her former self. If I had only known…
Before things went downhill for us, I was a total mommy’s girl. I worshiped the ground that she walked on and made it my mission to be her shadow everywhere she went. When I was around 8 years old, I had a dream that she passed away from cancer. I sobbed uncontrollably because I felt then that this dream was almost prophetic in nature. Little did I know that it would actually come true.
This reminds me of a strange incident. One morning I felt Chris crawl into bed with me and put his arm across me. I reached behind me, eyes still closed, for his hand so I could tuck his arm under mine. All I felt was air where his arm should have been. No one was there. Yet I clearly felt someone crawl into bed and drape their arm across me. I felt the warmth and love and there was an indention in the covers. I went ahead and got up for the morning. I saw numerous missed phone calls on my phone from my family trying to let me know that my mom had passed away overnight.
It is the little things that is hard to deal with. Like her purse for example. It is filled with paper and a small fortune in coins- just like all of the purses prior to that one. Little notes on the backs of receipts were plentiful. I can almost see her on the phone, digging for a pen to scribble an illegible reminder for whatever she deemed important at the moment. I, of course, also found numerous reading glasses and several white tic-tac containers in there as well. I couldn’t help but to shake my head and smile at this. The things that I found annoying in life became endearing in death. These are the things that made her, “her.”
The guest bedroom also serves as a playroom for Valery, my niece, and my Mom’s grandchild. Valery saw a monogram duffle bag of my mom’s. She asked, in her innocent 4-year old way, “Where are you going with my granny’s bag?”
There was a lot to take in while I was down there. It was information overload and I have not even begun to process it all yet. Sometimes, when I least expect it, a memory will break through the numbness I feel and I will feel an overwhelming sadness and urge to cry. I hate it. I hate that she gone. I hate that she had cancer and had to fight like she did through all sorts of medical torture only to die anyways. I wanted so badly for her to see my son, my pride and joy. I just want to hug her again. I want to hear her voice. I am scared that I will forget what it sounds like one day. I don’t want to forget a single thing about her.
For now, her belongings are stashed away in the downstairs family room. I need to start going through them, but I’m scared of the repercussions of doing so. Right now I am content in the numbness that I feel, at least it is not painful this way. I am simply not ready to revisit the memories right now.
Right before out trip South, I tried a nipple shield in one last desperate attempt to breastfeed Nathan. He had already had his tongue-tie clipped for the second time, but still couldn’t latch on efficiently. He liked the shield, and was able to latch onto it, but he still wasn’t able to get enough milk out. So I started to pump less in order to wean off of breastfeeding.
The night we got to Baton Rouge, he was fussy and refused the bottle. I put him to the breast. Lo and behold- the boy finally figured out how to nurse! Not only did he latch on and empty the breast, but he was able to relatch after his (frequent) “breaks” from nursing. It was fabulous.
While down there, I nursed him a lot more and my milk supply came back with a vengeance. Now that we are home, I am in the process of building my supply enough to meet his current needs.
Today I’m getting ready for our trip South. I promised to head down as soon as I could in order to take care of my mom’s belongings, so I am. Nathan is 7 weeks old, weighs less than 10 pounds, yet I’m having to pack twice as much for him as I am for myself. It’s insane how much stuff one tiny little baby needs for a week! Since I’m flying by myself down there, and C i will meet me on day 3 of the trip, I’m just packing enough for the next 3 days and he will bring the rest with him.
C is also bringing Haley, our dog. It costs a fortune to board her, so doing so will save us a lot of money on an already expensive trip. My friend Jeanie usually keeps her free of charge, but Haley transforms into a trouble child the minute you turn away (she actually checks) and I just can’t torture my friend like that. The last time she kept her, she sent me frantic texts at a ridiculous morning hour with a play-by-play of her time with Haley. It went something like this:
4;45am: Jenn, I love ya, but your mutt is the devil incarnate
4:47am: Jenn! Your DOG CHEWED through my CHAIN-LINKED FENCE! Who the hell does that? It’s METAL!!!
4:51 am: OMG- she’s GONE! I tied her up outside and she somehow got out of it and escaped through the hole she chewed in my fence…
4:59am: This is stupid- STUPID I tell you! I’ve NEVER had this happen to me! I’m running around the street like a madwoman with a flashlight in my flannel pajamas screaming your dogs name at the top of my lungs!!!
….and so it went.
Jeanie actually offered to keep Haley again for us, but I informed her that good friends do not let other friends be masochistic. So the Herculean devil-mutt is coming along with us and she’ll just have to deal with it.
The fertility clinic held their annual Christmas party last night. It provides us with a chance to all come together and celebrate our little miracles. I can’t imagine how rewarding it must be for the IVF clinic’s doctors, nurses, and staff to see a ballroom filled with all the families that they helped to create. Here are some pictures of the event:
|Make a Smilebox slideshow|
I absolutely love this little child of mine, but I must say that yesterday he was being a little stinker. I’m not sure exactly why, but he’s going through a wierd phase right now with his feedings. If I give him a bottle, he wants the breast, and vice versa. Sometimes he’ll fall asleep after he eats and then gets mad if I try to lay him down. If I lay him down, he’ll fuss if I pick him up. One time, he randomly started fussing (loudly) so I scurried about trying to get everything I needed so I could sit down and feed him. I picked him up, he took two swallows, smiled, and promptly fell asleep until his dad got home. Let me add that I have a rotten cold right now and do not feel so great. Also throw into the picture that he only behaves this way while his dad is at work, so dad has no idea why I’m slightly frazzled by the time he gets home (aside from being sick with a cold, I mean).
Today he has been a little better. I am starting to think that maybe he is catching this cold of mine and so that is why he is acting differently. Or, maybe he is just responding to the fact that I am a little “off” because I am not feeling well. Either way, I’m just going to do my best in the meantime to be his mommy.
I think this cold virus is messing with my brain. Seriously, this is in addition to the fact that pregnancy lowered my IQ significantly. I’m just a tad bit unappreciative of these two biological “perks.” I’m sure it’s just temporary…I hope…
I felt really bad about not warning my brother-in-law and his girlfriend of my current mental status prior to their visit. I was completely worthless as a conversationalist, to say the least. His poor girlfriend, who is sharp as a tack and very easy to talk to, got stuck with more than her fair share of amiable silence from my end. I constantly found myself struggling (and failing) to put a decent sentence or two together in a serious effort to contribute to whatever chatter happened to be going on at the moment. I was tenacious about my efforts at first, but eventually gave up within a day or two of their arrival. I wanted so badly to fill my silence, but my fuzzy brain just couldn’t do it. So I accepted my predicament and settled for expressing my fondness of them through smiles, deeds, and sometimes just my presence. I did, however, explain to them later on that I was experiencing “fuzzy brain syndrome” and that my amiable silence was just that- amiable. Hopefully my brain will be slightly more useful the next time we visit with them.