Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Jig Is Up

Lincoln had his tests and urologist appointment yesterday. 

He does not have kidney reflux.  In fact, his little urinary tract works beautifully.  Everything is in the right place, everything flows in the right direction.  He does have phimosis but the urologist thought it didn't look too bad.  He feels that with the continued use of cortisone, he should outgrow it within a month or so.  He does not want to circumcise Lincoln, and would only do that as an absolute last resort (I am so glad). He also felt that Lincoln's second UTI may not have been a full blown UTI.  That there was such a small amount of bacteria detected that it likely just some bacteria from his foreskin and he probably didn't need to be treated.  So it's not as bad as we all thought.

They did take a urine sample to see if he has a current UTI and will call me by Friday if he does.

As an added bonus, the urologist examined Lincoln when he found out about Steve's fertility problems due to his undecended testicle and hernia surgeries.  Lincoln's testicles are right where they are supposed to be and his little body is perfect. 

I am so grateful and thankful and happy.

But... this means that the little bugger has been stringing me along all this time with his crying and screaming fits and his constant nursing throughout the night and his fussiness through the day.

He has been only taking two 30 minute naps a day.  Then up nursing all night and awake at 4:30am for an hour or so and up for the day usually around 6am or 6:30am. He becomes a delirious, screaming lunatic each evening, and sometimes is a fussy cranky little shit all day long. He can NOT fall asleep without my boob in his mouth. I thought he was needing the comfort for his discomfort but if he's not in any discomfort then perhaps his sleeping habits have just gotten out of control and I need to take control in order to save this family from it's misery.

I am now full on doing research into sleep problems and sleep training and all that goes along with it.  A girlfriend used Helen Sands for her son when he had similar problems and she swears by her.  I read the plan and I'm worried it's too harsh.  Or is that what it takes?  Anyone use that method?  Anyone have success with any other methods?  Any good books I should read?  Any techniques or suggestions?

Bring it on. Send me all your wisdom and advice!  I want it all - good, bad or otherwise.  I want all the info I can get so I am confident in the path I choose.  I want to end Lincoln's misery. And mine.  And Ruby's and Steve's.  (And everyone else who comes in contact with us).

I also wanted to say that I love you all.  Thank you for all your kind comments and emails in regards to my last post.  You sent me your great wisdom and concern and caring and it meant so much to me.  I felt a little less alone and a little less scared and a little more supported.  I do not know what I would do without you all.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I am ready to lose my shit. 

Lincoln no longer eats every two hours through the night.  He's now eating every hour or less.  Which means I am barely getting back to sleep before he wakes up again. One night of that would suck and then you'd recover and get on with life but it's been going for almost a week or more like that.  My patience is so fucking thin I feel like I could snap.  I am so close to snapping. 

Ok, maybe I have snapped once or twice.  Screaming at the top of my lungs and punching the wall.  In front of my kids.  I'm a fucking loser. 

Ruby is repeating repeating repeating repeating herself in a high pitched voice.  She wants to wash her hands or brush her teeth over and over and over and I am trying to put Lincoln down for a nap and/or make him stop crying/screaming. She gets frustrated when she can't have my immediate attention and she just stood in front of me and pour out her water onto the carpet - one of her favorite tricks. She wants to smash the computer or my blackberry or the telephone - because she knows it rattles me. I feel sorry for her because I am so frazzled and short with her sometimes.  I hate myself for that.  It's not her fault. 

I put him in the bassinet two nights ago because I thought he could maybe smell my milk or maybe we were waking him up every time one of us rolled over in bed or whatever.  He was still up every hour or less and I thought maybe it was because he is grossly too big for the bassinet and he couldn't move around.  Yesterday I drove an hour to my parents house to pick up the pack'n'play.  Tried that last night will even less luck.

I'm constantly, desperately trying to search for an answer

 I tried starting him with some formula to get him to go longer between feeds at night. Two nights ago I gave him a bottle of formula before bed and he didn't wake up for 3.5 hours which I thought was a HUGE success.  Too bad the rest of the night he was up every 45 minutes.  Last night, tired of breastfeeding all night, I gave him a big bottle of formula which he finished at 4am. At 4:55am he was up again and wanting more food from me.

I don't think it's hunger. I think he doesn't know how to sooth himself and needs me to sooth him back to sleep every time he wakes.  I also don't know if he's in pain or not with another UTI.  I'm so tired of guessing what's wrong.

I am so tired in the night and I get so fucking frustrated when I'm up so often when I need sleep so bad.  Bad thoughts go through my head.  I have considered (however briefly and not lucidly) leaving.  I thought I could just go get in my van and drive away. Leave Steve with the kids.  Everyone would be fine I'm sure.  When he cries in the night I want so hit something.  I want to punch Steve in his sleeping, fucking face.
I feel alone.  Nobody can help me.  I am afraid to show my frustration and exhaustion to Steve because it seems to annoy him.  He just wants things to be happy and great and when *I* am the cause of it not being happy and great he becomes quiet and distant with me.  When I am reduced to a crumpled pile of sobs and tears on the side of the couch at the end of the day he completely and utterly ignores me - either browsing Facebook or watching TV - on the other side of the couch. 

Lincoln's urologist appt is on Monday and it can't come soon enough.  I want things to be better. Once I know what is wrong with him maybe I can figure the rest out.  I am so afraid of where I'm at right now. I'm scared and tired and depressed and fragile and can not seem to solve this problem on my own no matter how hard I try.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Not Today

Going to Ikea on a Saturday isn't something I usually care to attempt with a toddler and a baby but since my mom wanted to have a little day out shopping, I managed to get the kids dressed and fed and diapers changed and loaded in the van and at Ikea by 10:30am despite being up every 45 minutes to feed Lincoln last night. 

As I drove to Ikea I was dreading a little that I would have to spend the day listening to my mom whine and complain and cry about how awful and annoying and terrible my dad is.  Not that she's wrong - I'm just really sick of hearing about it.

When I was walking towards the entrance of Ikea I soon realized that I wouldn't have to hear about my dad all day from my mom because he was with her. 

Normally... whatever. I don't let him get to me.  Or her for that matter.  But today?  Today I'm tired and my patience is low and I'm still thinking about how to dry the duvet on my bed that Ruby poured an entire bottle of water on.  And the first thing out of my dad's mouth is how Ruby should be wearing a hat in this weather. 

Not today, Dad.

And then as I look at my mom she rolls her eyes in the direction of my dad.

Not today, Mom.

And then for some reason my parents think that this is going to be an all day event in Ikea and they are taking their sweet mother fucking time looking at every single thing and taking forever to make a decision on whether to purchase one package of spice jars or two.  They seem to have forgotten that I am on a limited budget as far as time goes and before long both kids are going to need to eat and nap and it will get ugly if they don't. 

My mom asks why I seem to be in such a hurry.  I remind her of the kids.  Oh yeah.

So she tries to go faster but my dad is still lagging.  Taking out his spectacles to read what scent this package of tea light candles is. 

They're red.  It's Christmas time.  Probably cranberry or cinnamon.  Stick your nose in and have a sniff.  Move along. 

There are the typical, "See what I have to deal with".  And "Ugghhhh". And "I feel like I'm being smothered, why can't I have a day out by myself." from my mom. 

I don't know mom.  But guess what?  Not today.

My dad offers to buy me breakfast because it's only .99 cents.  Not today, Dad.

My one purpose for going there was to find a wooden table and chair set for Ruby and Lincoln for Christmas.  The only one I liked was pretty beaten up which means it would end up that way in my house too.  No big deal. I'll find a set somewhere else.

But my dad has to come over and say, "What about that table?" I say, "no".  He points to another one (with giant pink chairs and bright green table." I say, "I'd rather have something that doesn't look like a circus puked in my kitchen".  He rolls his eyes.  "What about that one..." I explain that while I can clearly see ALL the tables and chairs, none are what I want so pointing to each different one doesn't really help me.  My dad explains to me that the one I like is only beat up because it is on display.  I have to explain to him that the wood it is made of is too soft and it would eventually get destroyed in my house too.  Thanks for ALL your advice though.

He won't leave Ruby alone.  He's over the top with her.  He's pushing her in an Ikea cart and spinning her and letting the cart go.  I allow it once.  Twice.  I tell him to STOP when he narrowly misses some other shoppers and the cart crashes into a display.  He whispers something to Ruby about Mommy being mean or wrecking their fun or something.  For fuck sakes not today, Dad!

I tell them privately about Ruby dumping water on my bed.  He brings it up to her and asks her about it, trying to shame her.  I tell him we don't do that.  He asks, does she not need some scolding for it? I explain that the scolding was done when the act of dumping water was done.  Then we move on.  We don't talk about it in front of her and we don't keep bringing it up to her.  We don't want her to think it's cool so she might think about doing it again, nor do we want her to be made to feel bad repeatedly after it's long over.  He says sarcastically, "Oh, that's a good way to handle it" and rolls his eyes. Because, you know, he's an expert on raising kids?  He certainly wasn't involved in raising any...

So for the love of God... not today, Dad.

We get to the checkout and I do the self serve thing because it's super quick and I just want to escape.  My mom chooses the longest/slowest lineup because she "doesn't know how the self serve thing works".  So I wait.  And I wait.  And I wait.

And my dad offers to buy me "lunch" because he can get two hotdogs for $1.  I decline. He sits and eats them himself.  While I wait.

I tell them it was nice seeing them and bye-bye but they want to walk me to my van.  They kindly help me load the kids up while being obnoxious with poor Ruby who just wants to go home to bed (she actually asked to go night-night).  My mom says she would like us all to go for coffee somewhere.... 

Not today, Mom.

I am clearly in no position nor mood to sit in a coffee shop with the two of them who so obviously hate each other, while Ruby is exhausted and struggling to behave herself and Lincoln who has pooped in his diaper and is 15 minutes away from having a screaming fit because he needs to be breastfed - which I do not want to do in a coffee shop. 

Uhhh, not today.

Instead.  I said goodbye and cut the day short and headed home where I ate too much lunch because I was feeling emotional and frustrated and tired and if I didn't stuff food in my mouth, I would be crying instead. 

Today is not my day.

No, not today.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Plan

Before Lincoln got his first UTI he was, what I would consider to be, a "good" baby.  He was happy and content and he occasionally slept through the night.  And the nights that he didn't, he was only up once between 3 and 4am - giving me lots of rest. (Well, I probably didn't think it was lots at the time but looking back...)

And then just before he turned 3 months old he got that first damned UTI and it's been downhill since then.  He's fussy and he cries and SCREAMS a lot. He's got chronic diarrhea (I rarely change a pee only diaper, but we are on that change table every couple of hours).  And the eating... the eating feels like it's non-stop. Generally he eats every two hours - around the clock.

Because of the constant feeding, he's been sleeping with me in my bed (as previously mentioned).  I did try to get him back in the bassinet but discovered that he's seriously outgrown it.  So if I want any sleep, he stays in my bed.  I don't even bother sitting up to feed him during the night anymore, I just roll over and stick a boob in his mouth.

I'm afraid that... I'm creating a monster. 

I think he's seriously attached to me - which is a good thing.  But can also be a bad thing.  He seems to get quite upset when I'm not around.  I left him and Ruby with my mom for an hour on Monday and when I returned he was screaming. I left him with Steve for one hour this week and when I came home he was screaming.  I am afraid to go too far from him and nobody (including Steve) wants to be left alone with him.

I do pump once a day and give him one bottle a day so that he's used to a bottle.  So technically someone else could feed him if I was "unavailable". (And as I type that I realize that I need to get Steve to be giving him his one bottle a day - so that they both get used to each other a little more.) 

I've decided that I will not try to change anything until after we have an official diagnosis from the urologist and then have done whatever needs to be done to prevent him from getting any more UTIs.  And once that is done and he is healthy I am going to start giving him a little bit of formula in a bottle once a day or so.  And he's likely going to be ready for solids at that point so we'll give that a go.  I'm hoping that since he'll be feeling better and he'll have a little bit of the higher caloric food in his belly, he might sleep a little longer and eventually I will get him in his crib in his own room. My big fear about putting him in his crib is that he's going to be so used to being in our bed with our warmth that he is going to feel like he's sleeping on a cold slab in his crib and  he's not going to be happy about it. (I'm open to any suggestions on how to fix that problem.)

And if I can get all that to happen then maybe, just maybe I will get a little more sleep.  And I might even regain a very small bit of personal time.  And perhaps... just a little bit of my sanity.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Lately

Last week I had to take Lincoln back to the doctor because the medication he was on for his third UTI was making him very very sick.  He had explosive diarrhea, severe gas and I also assume from his screaming and back arching and kicking his legs that he had the bad stomach cramps that is also associate with that particular medication. My doctor told me that he had sent the pediatric urologist another referral telling him that Lincoln was an emergency and we need him seen before November 29th. 

Then on Thursday I saw what my boy would be like if he wasn't sick with a UTI or having his insides explode from medication.  Oh he was sweet, and happy, and laughing and not fussy and NOT screaming in pain.  It was pure bliss.  I had the best day on Thursday. 

Friday he started being fussy again and I phoned the urologist office myself leaving a message begging for him to be seen ASAP as I know he is going to get sick again and it's only a matter of time.  I phoned two more times on Friday only to get voice mail and have yet to hear back.

Saturday the screaming started again so I packed him up and made the drive to Children's Hospital. Two separate pediatricians looked at him and both immediately said he has phimosis (foreskin too tight) and they felt that was likely the reason for the infections.  I saw him pee and his penis ballooned up with urine before the pee came out so I could see how that would force urine back up into his plumbing - causing infections. 

The good news is that it may not be kidney reflux.  The bad news is that he may need to be circumcised - which I know is a touchy, opinionated subject for some people. I'm not particularly interested in where you stand on that issue either, I didn't want my son circumcised.  End.

The pediatricians told me that having an appointment with the urologist on the 29th is already really soon and there is pretty much no chance that we would be getting in any earlier (which explains why the pediatric urologist's office hasn't returned my calls). In the meantime I have some cortisone to apply a few times a day in hopes of loosening up the skin, and giving him a slight chance of avoiding circumcision.

And it turns out he didn't have another UTI.  But maybe you can understand why at the first sign of pain I threw him in the van and headed to the emergency room.  3 UTIs in 7 or 8 weeks is too many.  And I'm pretty stressy.  I'm on edge waiting for the next UTI to materialize. 

It's taking a fairly substantial toll on this household.  Steve and I are at each other's throats too much. Steve is afraid of being left alone with Lincoln in case he has one of his screaming fits - which means that I don't get time alone to do... much of anything.  Taking 10 minutes for a shower sometimes seems like I'm asking for the world.  Steve's life goes on relatively unaffected and I feel resentful and unappreciated.  Ruby is acting out and cries "Mommy up!" every time Lincoln squeaks because she doesn't want me to go to him.  I'm exhausted from all that and other issues that are pressing - such as my parents marriage (why is that being dumped on me anyways?), my dad's alcoholism / drug addiction / personality deterioration (he is a wreck and destroying any joy of spending family time together), my own self esteem (WHY won't my weight come off???), my loneliness (having a social life was hard with one baby - it's nonexistent with two - especially when one is sick), my job (have I posted about that disaster? I can't remember) and so on...

I know I'm the mom and it's my job to care for my kids no matter what sacrifices it takes and I'm fully on board with that. I also appreciate all that I have in the world and I know how fortunate I am.  I have been really working hard on being positive and being a good person and putting good karma out into the world. 

Some days, though? Some days I wonder if I'm going to make it through.  Yes, I know I will.  I'm tough and I'm resiliant and I love my kids so much and that gives me more strength than I could have ever imagined. But some days... some days just make me question everything. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Good and Bad

The Good: My vertigo appears to be GONE!!! I am so bloody happy I could shout from the rooftops!!!  I felt like the treatment I had a week ago took care of it but was still getting some weird... wobbles(?) in my head.  They've slowed down considerably but I went in to see my physiotherapist yesterday anyways.  He tested me on both sides and both were NEGATIVE.  Oh I was so fucking happy I hugged him.  I feel so much better - and people have noticed.  Saw the inlaws and my parents this weekend and both commented to Steve how much better I seemed and how my eyes were more clear and how much happier I was.  No shit. Try being dizzy and have room spins for 7 weeks and see how cheerful you feel.  I'm thrilled to be feeling better.  And it's a good thing because...

The Bad: Lincoln finished a 7 day regime of antibiotics last Thursday for his second UTI.  I got a call on Friday from the pediatric urologist saying he had an appointment for November 29th.  A MONTH away.  Then Saturday, Sunday, Monday he was super cranky and the inconsolable SCREAMING was back in full swing.  I brought him in to see the doctor yesterday, was told to get another urine sample - which I brought in for testing today and guess what? Yep, he's got his THIRD UTI. 


My family doctor said that he is going to personally phone the ped urologist and get him in sooner.  I mean, clearly something is very wrong.  He wrote me ANOTHER prescription for Lincoln but I'm not to get it filled until I hear from the doc as they want him to grow the bacteria a little more so they can test it for something or other.  In the meantime the children's Advil is now officially free flowing in this house.  My poor little guy. 

I am so glad that my head is clear so that I can be on my game for whatever is to come in the next few weeks.