Friday, February 27, 2009

Separation Anxiety

When I was a little girl (I don't remember my exact age) my parents brought me with them to their friends house one evening. I guess it was a dinner/drink get together for the adults and I was expected to play with their daughter who was the same age as me. Except I didn't really like their daughter and thought she was weird (was I cliquey at such a young age??).

Anyways the parents were upstairs doing whatever adults do and I was downstairs trying to tolerate their weird daughter. At some point it got late and I got tired. I fell asleep on the floor of the basement.

As the story goes, when my parents were ready to go home they came downstairs to fetch me and found me sleeping. Their friends insisted that they just leave me there to stay the night. I was sleeping so peacefully after all, it apparently seemed silly to wake me up.

So they did. They left me there and went home.

I woke up in the middle of the night. In the dark. On the floor of some strange basement. TERRIFIED. I ran upstairs (in a house that I'd never even been in before) hoping to find my mom and dad but instead I found everything to be dark and silent. I don't remember if I met with an adult or not but for some reason I believe I was told to go sleep in their daughter's bed with her. And I remember getting into her bed and she wasn't wearing any underwear and I was totally grossed out and uncomfortable that I had to sleep in her bed.

I have never recovered from that incident.

Seriously, I haven't.

From that day on I could NOT be left at a baby sitter's house without me throwing a complete fit. I would have totally consuming anxiety attacks whenever I heard my parents talking about going out for an evening because I was sure I would be left somewhere and never picked up again. Even though they promised me that would never happen again. I would scream and cry and claw at the door in an attempt to not be left behind when they went out. I was fine (felt safe) if the babysitter came to my house but for some reason this rarely happened.

I remember once my mom wanted to go out for a drink with my aunt (my mom was never a big drinker and this wasn't a common occurrence) and I was left in the care of my cousin at their house. The minute my mom walked out the door I freaked out and ran out into the street bawling and grabbed the bumper of the truck as they tried to drive away. My mom and my aunt thought that someone had been killed inside the house. They still went out for drinks after they peeled me off the back of the truck - even though I said I would just wait in the cab of the truck while they went in for a drink (that would have been cute).

I couldn't go to sleepovers anymore. Sometimes I would try (it sounded so fun!). But then I would wake up in the middle of the night terrified and I would have to call my mom to come pick me up. There were many 2am trips made by my mom to come get me.

People made fun of me - adults. They rolled their eyes at the little girl who was too "scared" to spend the night away from her mommy. I'm sure it was irritating to them when I would wake up crying at their house in the middle of the night and ask to use the phone to call my mom. I eventually didn't get invited overnight anymore - which was actually ok with me.

Even if my mom would go to a friend's house for coffee during the day - I would either sit on her lap or keep her within my eyesight to be sure she didn't forget me. People would say, "Why don't you go play in the playroom with the other kids".

Because I can't see my mommy from the playroom.

To this day, I do not enjoy staying overnight at other people's houses. I still wake up in the middle of the night and feel some anxiety. Ridiculous, I know. It's even hard for me to stay at a girlfriend's house if we've had a cocktail night. I will do whatever I need to do (make whatever excuses) to get myself home where I feel safe.

And now... something else is happening that I never expected. I'm completely and utterly paranoid about this happening to Ruby. And this is the root of the reason why I am struggling (really struggling) with the thoughts of transitioning her to sleeping in her crib in her own room.

What if she wakes up in the middle of the night and doesn't have her mommy next to her and she's scared? Yes, I will be in the other room and I will have a monitor on her but still - that first moment of waking up and feeling that terror and fear of abandonment is horrible.

I NEVER, EVER want her to feel that.

There's also the issue of letting her sleepover at grandmas house. I would love a night out with Steve. Get some good sleep. A break would be fantastic. And my mom is dying to have her over night. I know other moms that do this every other weekend.

But I can't.

She would be sleeping in a play yard in her own room (she has her own room at grandma's house). I can't even begin to imagine doing that to her. I don't want her to think I've left her, abandoned her. What if she wakes up in the middle of the night in a strange room and I'm not there and she wants me and she's scared???

I just can't.

Obviously this can't go on forever. She is quickly outgrowing her bassinet and she can't sleep in our room forever (although I have mentally tried to rearrange the furniture to accommodate her crib). And some day she IS going to sleep at grandma's house.

I just wonder if it can wait until she can talk and I can explain to her that I will always be there for her and I will come get her any time she needs me and that I will never abandon her...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Unfair

There is a woman whom I work with who tried to have a baby for many many many years. At some point she and her husband discussed treatment and her husband said no, for whatever reason he didn't want to go through it (can't say I blame him, really). And then when she was 38 she became pregnant totally unexpectedly. She was shocked and thrilled - as most, if not all infertiles would be with such a gift. She had a baby boy and they were so happy.

She was shy and English wasn't her first language but when I was pregnant she used to smile and ask me how I was doing. How baby was doing. If I knew if it was girl or boy. If baby moved a lot. She was a quiet kind woman.

Two weeks ago at work she fainted. First aid attended and found that her heart had stopped. Never the less they worked on her diligently and somewhere between them and the paramedics that attended, they got her heart started again. She was taken to the hospital and has been there recovering ever since. I've been getting updates on a regular basis on her status. A couple of days ago they had her sitting up in a chair although she was still slumping a bit. She was responding to people in her room and was trying to talk. Scans showed no damage to her brain. She was improving and getting better.

And then tragically, this morning she passed away. Apparently she somehow got an infection and her heart couldn't take it and it stopped.

A loving husband doesn't have a wife and a little boy doesn't have a mommy tonight and it's sooo not fair.

My heart breaks.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lately...

I'm kind of exhausted.

*In the past few days, I have beeing putting lot of my time and creative energy into creating a blog for Ruby. I have so many beautiful pictures of her and some cute little video clips that I want to post because I never want to forget anything, and also I want to be able to share it all with my family (and some friends) but my family (hopefully) doesn't know about this blog (and I want to keep it that way) and also I don't want to bombard this blog or my other blog with Ruby, Ruby, Ruby. I love her to bits and think she's the greatest thing in the world but I do realize how obnoxious people can be about their kids. I am one of those obnoxious people but I'd like to keep it hidden from the general public if at all possible. So to make a short story long - I made her a blog that is just filled with her pictures and videos and the odd story. I went all the way back to the day of her conception (bonus of IVF is that I do know the exact day) and filled in the blanks to current times and it took a lot of time and energy and yes, even a few tears. But it's done now and I love it.

*I recently had a peek at my wedding and honeymoon pictures. Damn. I looked good. I was all skinny and tanned and had great skin and hair and I wore short skirts and bikini tops. I have come a considerable way in the 4 1/2 years since then and I have the pounds, rolls, stretch marks, crows feet and hair-that-needs-a-new-style to show for it. (How hot do I sound?) I would do it all over again to get where I am right now, but it did kind of depress me. Ok, it really upset me - which prompted me to get out my old Weight Watchers books. I cried over those for a few days and then figured I would start following the diet again. (They have a program which allows extra calories for nursing mothers.) I started playing along on Monday and have been absolutely ravenous, miserable, cranky, irritated and even a little bit depressed from the hunger. I can't be feeling like that if I'm going to be a good mom so maybe I'm not quite ready for the diet just yet. I have started jogging again though (albeit short distances but still it's a start) so I will keep that up and just try to eat healthier and hope for the best - at least for now.

*Today was my second week at the mommy and baby group and I think I might have found my new BFF. She was outspoken and cool and she loved Ruby and she liked my tattoos (some moms are apparently either offended, afraid or too snobby to talk to me because of my sleeve - when I smiled at one woman and she looked at my sleeve and then looked away. ). My new BFF and another girl and myself went for coffee after the group. Turns out, they also swear like sailors! After my new BFF dropped the F-bomb this conversation happened:

New BFF: Sorry, I have a bad potty mouth.
Me: Me too! I've been trying to curb it lately.
New BFF: I'm not trying to curb it, I'm trying to find more friends who curse as much as I do.

I think I'm in love.

*I've been starting to think about putting Ruby to sleep in her own room in her crib soon. Currently she sleeps in a bassinet beside my bed. With her right next to me I'm able to pop a soother in her mouth and prolong her sleep sometimes. Also I sometimes nurse her to sleep in my bed and then plop her over in the bassinet and it's so convenient. (Also I will have a bit of separation anxiety when she's not beside my bed anymore.) But she's going to be 3 months old in a few weeks and also she's starting to outgrow the bassinet. When she moves around in it she punches and kicks the sides. So I've been thinking about the best way to go about this that will cause the least amount of anxiety for her (ok, for me).

With all this going on in my head or my body, plus continuing to take care of a baby and also run a household - it's draining my brain.

My shoulders are aching and my head is tired and I am heading to bed now.

That is all.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sexy

At no point in my life have I ever felt more sexy than two days ago when I was sick with a bad cold, sitting on the couch in my pyjamas, shirt hiked up to my neck, stretch-marks and flobby belly all on display, breast pump suctioned on to my boobs, sweating like a pig (feeling like a pig), my nose red and running - and to have Steve bring me Kleenex and then offer to hold the breast pump horns to my boobs so that I can blow my nose at the same time so I can avoid having to stop mid-pump (and me taking him up on the offer).

Go ahead, picture it.

I can't imagine a time when he could have ever been more attracted to me than at that very moment.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Question

If Ruby is awake and content to lay in her crib or on a blanket on the floor or swinging in her swing - should I feel guilty for leaving her (with the monitor on) and vacuuming, or cleaning the kitchen or preparing dinner or, say... reading blogs and drinking a cup of tea? Should I feel guilty for not spending that time with her and interacting with her?

Should I wait until she is napping to go about my business?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Immune

Ruby had her first set of immunization shots yesterday.

I had some pretty bad anxiety about it. I hate it when she cries. I hate it when she's sad. I didn't want her to feel pain and look at me and think I was the cause of it. I was afraid she'd be inconsolable. I was pretty sure I was going to break down and cry when it all went down.

Sitting in the waiting room at the health office, I could hear horrific baby screams periodically coming from behind different closed doors. I saw mom's carrying their babies out from those torture chambers and the babies faces were all red and wet and they looked bewildered and they were either whimpering or still crying.

When the nurse came out and called for Ruby I felt my heart speed up.

Ruby was sleeping when we got there and she stayed asleep when I undressed her chubby little thighs. The nurse warned me that she would cry - and cry harder with each needle (there were 3 in total). That bitch made me hold her leg out while she jabbed her with 3 different needles that I was pretty sure were going to skewer her legs.

Ruby woke up - looked at the nurse and said, "Lady, is that all you've got? Pfft! Please! Don't waste my time with this shit!", and then went back to sleep.

Seriously.

Ok, maybe she didn't say those words exactly - but she did wake up for the first needle, cry out, fall back asleep. Wake up for second and third needle, cry a little louder - and then fall right back to sleep. Slept for the 15 minutes we had to stay in the waiting room afterwards. Slept all the way home. Continued to sleep when we got home.

When she woke up about an hour later and fussed a little, I thought that I was going to be in for trouble then. But no, Ruby just wanted to lay on the floor and watch Ellen and giggle - she heard the Jonas Brothers were going to be on and she wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

Here's proof of a happy Ruby after her needles:


video

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Child's Play

Ruby got this neat toy in the mail from her Great Aunt and Uncle the other day. It's an educational toy - it talks and sings and teaches colors and numbers and body parts:
She is still a few months too young to play with it yet so I put it away in her room for now. Up high on top of a cabinet. Where nobody, not dog nor human could reach it.

It's pretty cute, huh?

Yeah, I thought it was cute too - until 4 am yesterday when I woke up to it singing in Ruby's room. In the dark. All by itself.

See those cute, innocent eyes? Well they seem to take on a demonic stare at 4am. Suddenly not so cute anymore.

And it's voice. In daylight it's a cute, fun, child's voice. In the night it sounds like Satan mimicking a child.

And see that heart on it's chest? Well it lights up. It was just a little more than creepy to peer into Ruby's room to see that red heart glowing away while the toy sings about how much it loves me, in that voice... Hey, I don't care how much that fucking thing loves me. I don't want to hear about it at 4am.

To make matters worse? I tried to take the batteries out of it the next morning. (In the daylight after I had laid awake in bed all night staring at my bedroom door waiting for it to walk in with a butcher knife in it's hand.) And as soon as I touched it, it went berserk! It started singing one song, then cut into another, then it told me it loved me again, then it told me I was touching it's yellow foot... I'm pretty sure it tried to squirm out of my hands too. Then I realized that it requires a screwdriver to take the batteries out. How "convenient" for the toy that I did not have one handy.

Could I be be over reacting? Maybe the sleep deprivation is taking it toll on me, making me more concerned about this than I should be. But then again I think we all remember another certain toy that started doing things spontaneously, and we all remember how that turned out:

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Visit

I particularly love it when an old girlfriend sends many, many, many emails, text messages and phone messages saying that she really NEEDS to come over to see Baby Ruby. She can't wait to meet Baby Ruby. She would love to visit with Baby Ruby.

And then after two or three cancellations, she is finally able to make it over to my house for a visit. And as soon as she walks through the door she gives me the once over - as if to assess my post pregnancy figure, clothing and hairstyle. She then proceeds to scratch Ruby's belly with her long, talon-like, jewel adorned acrylic nails (not unlike how she greets Quincy) and says, "Awww... Aren't you cute." She then sits on my couch for three hours and acts completely oblivious of Ruby while she talks incessantly about the Mediterranean cruise that she's going on in a few days. And then before she leaves she scolds me about my use of the eff word and tells me that if I don't cut back on it now, Ruby will grow up to have a foul mouth. She then slips back into her 6" stiletto heels and drives away in her black convertible.

Those are just my absolute favorite kinds of visits.

Friday, February 13, 2009

2 Months

Ruby is two months old today.























And just in case I haven't mentioned it, yes - my favorite color is red...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

How did she know...

Just when I'm feeling a bit unappreciated, frustrated (with home life, not with baby), tired, alone - I get a call from a nurse from the local health unit. Asking if there was anything I needed from them.

I said, "What have you got?"

They offer support to moms who have PPD, they answer questions about baby's heath, answer questions about mom's health (seriously, about this tear that's not healing...) and they have drop in sessions for new moms.

I bit on the drop in sessions.

They're every Wednesday, not far from my place for two hours in the afternoon. She says that it's very popular in my area and lots of moms go. She said that moms get to talk and visit and relate to each other and the things we are going though. And lots of moms stay friends long after the drop-ins. There is also a guest speaker every week who talks about different topics.

I'm sold. At least to try it out. I'm just bummed that she called too late in the day and I have to wait a week.

It's like she knew I needed that call. Or is it at the 2 month mark that everyone starts to struggle with feeling a bit shitty inside and out?

Good morning...

Steve: *blissfully getting ready for work, opening and closing doors, showering with the bathroom door open, waiting to let the dog out so she comes and begs on my side of the bed, and talking to me while I have the covers pulled over my head* Ruby slept well last night, heh?

Me: *bleary eyed, exhausted, miserable, trying to hold on to the "nap" that I'm currently having while Ruby tosses and turns and talks in her sleep - and seething with irritation and rage forhis complete ignorance* NO. Ruby did NOT sleep well last night. But obviously you did.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Looks are not important, but...

When Ruby was born, I was a little bit surprised at how much she didn't look like me. She had so many characteristics of her father's side of the family, it was amazing. I'd be lying if I didn't say I was a little bit disapointed - NOT because I didn't think she was the most beautiful baby in the world, I was just hoping to see a little bit of myself in her and I couldn't see it.

This past weekend my mom brought over my baby picture album.

Turns out I was wrong about her not looking like me.

Baby Tara on the left, Baby Ruby on the right:






































Sunday, February 8, 2009

This just isn't right

Yesterday my mom and dad came over and spent the day and then the night. I went out for the afternoon with a girlfriend and did some shopping and then lunch. Except lunch was two Bud Light and some chicken wings at a pub. First time I've done that in a very long time. It felt good and it was fun - but I missed my girl while I was out and was secretly very excited to get home.

My mom also kept Ruby with her during the night and got up and did the feedings. I was so excited about this and thought I would feel like a million bucks today. But I don't. In fact I don't feel well at all. I feel super tired and I have a headache. And food just doesn't taste good right now. That's not fair! I actually feel a bit crampy in the tummy too. Could I be getting my period??? I suppose it's possible since I cut out the 2/3am pump. (Milk is well established - fridge and both freezers are bursting full of it). Or am I getting the flu...? Please no.

Anyways, I just want to snuggle up on the couch with a pillow and blanket and watch a movie. I wonder if I can talk Ruby into this...

Friday, February 6, 2009

Goodbye Midwife

Yesterday we had our very last appointment with the midwife.

*sniff* *sniff*

Ruby was weighed, measured, and checked over. She's 11lbs now (a far cry from that skinny newborn), and she's 24 inches long (I tell ya, this girl is going to be tall), and she's a healthy little girl.

I was given a pap, (bonus that I don't have to ask a new doctor for one). The midwife also examined me because I have had a bit of stinging down there when I pee. It turns out I have a little "cut" that hasn't healed yet and I need to be careful right now to try to "keep my legs closed" (ha, no problem with that stinging pain) and try not to agitate the area so it can heal faster. I think my constant sneezing certainly doesn't help. Surprisingly the pap didn't hurt at all (I thought it would because of the cut) - and that's just one more reason why I love my midwife.

We also discussed my recent sleep issues. I think I might have saved myself a $110 therapist visit because I felt better after I left and I had a decent sleep last night. We discussed SIDS and I learned a little more about it which made me feel a little less worried about it. We also discussed this being an infertility related issue. How I waited so long for Ruby and now I'm afraid she'll be taken away from me. My midwife told me that good things DO happen to good people and that I am a good person. And that Ruby is mine to keep.

She also suggested that I might try a nightcap to relax me.
Oh how I love this woman.

She did also say that if it doesn't stop or gets worse in the next few weeks, that I might want to consider taking an anti-depressant. Good advise, yes - but I have a feeling I won't need it.

Also discussed was... birth control. She warned me that even though we have fertility problems, that I will have a much higher chance of becoming pregnant since I've now had a baby....
Yeah, I'm not so sure I'm buying this theory. How can my becoming pregnant and having a baby make Steve have more than 1 or 2% viable sperm?? I just don't see it happening. So I advised her that I would not be taking any precautions to prevent any further pregnancies. IF a pregnancy did occur naturally, I would be totally ok with it. She then warned that I could be pregnant again in 6 weeks, and what then???
It is a risk I am willing to take. A very very very small risk after all.
(Besides, this little cut has been all the birth control I need lately anyway).

I was given two copies of my health records while under her care. One for my new doctor (whomever s/he may be) and one for Ruby. So that when she grows up and has questions about how she was born, I'll have all the info on paper. Kinda cool.

And that was about it. We hugged and said goodbye.

I can say that overall it was a really good experience for me and I would do it all over again, if... I could do it all over again. I was so pleased with the level of care that both myself and Ruby received.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Sleep problems, for me

Just when we are starting to get a bit of a routine in the sleep department... I have a new issue that is preventing me from getting a good rest.

Ruby has been going about 4 hours between feeds during the night. And usually if it's the first sleep of the night, she'll go a little longer, like 5 hours sometimes. And one time she went 6 1/2 (I may or may not have had a beer or two and gave her a little nip off the old boobie).

But 4 hours is not bad, right? And I've gotten our feeding routine pretty down pat. So the feeding, burping, changing, pumping takes only about 45 minutes. And then even if she hasn't gone back to sleep by the end of the routine I can still (usually) put her in her bassinet awake and she'll just entertain herself until she falls asleep again. And usually Steve will get up and do one of the feeds during the night or early morning.

So I really have not much to complain about.

Except I am struggling to actually fall asleep when she first goes down to sleep at night. Why? Well... I get all fucking emotional. Sometimes I will hold her to my chest while she sleeps and I'll cry my pathetic eyes out.

My mind gets carried away when it's bedtime. A million different terrible scenarios start going through my head. Right now I am terribly afraid of crib death. And the fear of losing Ruby consumes me when my head hits the pillow. I'm afraid I will fall asleep and she'll be gone when I wake up. And a million other terrible things run through my head until I've made myself a little bit crazy and I'm too afraid to close my eyes. I feel like I must stay awake and watch her to make sure she's ok. I know it's irrational. I KNOW. But I'm really struggling with it. I've even been sleeping with the lamp or TV on so I can see her whenever I need to.

It doesn't help that when I try to talk to Steve about it, he just snorts and says, "Shut the light off" and then falls back asleep.

In the meantime, the clock ticks on and my opportunity to sleep is dwindling by the minute.

Now it's starting to take it's toll on me. I HAD been starting to feel pretty decent since we'd been in a bit of a decent routine. Now I'm getting a bit cranky during the day. And I feel hungry more (or I think I feel hungry but it's probably just tired masquerading as hungry). I panic a bit lately and have felt a bit of anxiety. I know it's from not enough sleep.

I don't know how to make this better. My love/fear for Ruby is making me loonie.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Mommy time

I had a visit from a dear friend today who has an almost-six-month-old. She brought lunch and cookies and we ate and visited and drank tea and got puked on together.

We talked about everything baby. About giving birth. About our recoveries. About breastfeeding. About how much life has changed. About our husbands. About our daughters and the things they do, the things they like, the things they dislike. The good, the bad, the ugly and of course, the incredibly cute.

This was my first actual face to face visit with another mom (that didn't give birth over 10 years ago) and I had no idea how really good, really comfortable, and actually really enjoyable it could be.

I've had visits from other friends since Ruby was born. But not from anyone who has kids. And while I've enjoyed most visits - there is something to be said for sitting down with someone who is living the same life as you and can relate.

I think many of my non-mommy friends have been curious to see how I would fare as a mother. I've never been the overly maternal type (until Ruby was born). So during those visits I've kinda felt like I've been under a microscope. And so I like to at least appear that I've got this motherhood gig in the bag. And that I totally know what I'm doing and am able to keep things on the level while still being able to hold up my end of a normal conversation that doesn't include topics such as baby acne or bottles or what type of diapers that I prefer. Instead I try to keep up with who's got what new job, who's moved into what new neighborhood, who's dating, who's going on what trip and so on. And when I'm asked about baby stuff, I try not to pounce with excitement that someone is interested, because they're usually really not. They're just trying to be polite. You can see it when they glaze over when you get just a little too detailed about the puking phase that baby is currently going through.

And honestly, I can pull this shit off. No problem. I still have that other side of me, after all.

But sometimes, like today, it's just nice to be able to talk freely about that baby acne and diaper preferences without feeling like you're boring someone to death - and instead to actually have that person tell you what they used for the baby acne or what diapers work best for them (and where to find them on sale!!!).

So while I cherish any visit with a good friend, today was a first of it's kind and I found it particularly enjoyable.


Ruby with her playdate

Monday, February 2, 2009

"mystery" solved

The great mystery of how Ruby fell off the couch has now been solved.

Steve was in the middle of a diaper change on the ottoman (I think that's what you'd call it) when he yelled for me to come into the room.

Here's what was going on:


She's rolling herself over from her back to her side. Makes perfect sense in regards to the "couch incident" since she was laying on her back on the couch and a minute later was laying on her tummy on the floor.



Note: You can also see how much hair she actally has. Too bad it's only on half of her head - it all fell out around the front so in most of her pictures she looks bald.