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Friday, October 21, 2011

Why oh why

Every time I turn on the news, there is some other horrendous story about a baby, a child, or a mother.

I seriously don't get it. Is it because I am a mum now, that the news just gets to me more? Or is it that crime and violence is on the rise?

I'm not a pro at statistics. Neither am I a pro at guessing what drives things such as violence and crime. But it seriously seems to me that horrible things are happening more frequently. Is it that people are desperate?

I work right down the street from the New Haven, Connecticut, court house. Penalty phase will be beginning next Tuesday in the trial of Joshua Komisarjevsky. The second and last defendant in the Hawke-Petit arson/triple murder case. Obviously, the headlines have been packed with case information, and the news trucks and vans have been camped out on our street for quite some time. To the uninitiated, the Hawke-Petit case is where two guys, Joshua Komisarjevsky and Steven Hayes, broke into a home in Cheshire, Connecticut. They raped and murdered the mother, and the two teenage daughters. The father was beaten almost to death and tied up in the basement until he was able to escape. Then they torched the house. I couldn't even begin to imagine how Mr. Petit feels. His wife and daughters are gone.

I think it's one thing to lose a loved one due to illness or disease, or even to some sort of accident. At least one has some sort of closure. But when you lose someone you love to violence - of any sort - there is no closure. Sure, you can sometimes find out what and how it happened, but you don't know the biggest question of them all: WHY. There is no rhyme or reason to why some people do the things they do.

The other day, there was a story about a lady who chose her unborn child's life over hers. When she was four months pregnant, she was diagnosed with neck and brain cancer. Horrible. Yes. But to chose not to undergo treatment for it (it would have been dangerous to the fetus), knowing that she would die soon, leaving her child parentless, is extremely selfish. I understand the want and the need to have a child, but if it means your child could potentially be left without a parent (the father is not in the picture), then you're a selfish bitch. I'm sorry. That is how I feel. That child will never know her mother, and is being raised by this lady's brother - who already has six children.

Then there is the 10-month old baby, Lisa, who is missing in Missouri. The parents surely have something to do with it. You don't go out and hire the same attorney who represents Joran Van Der Sloot regarding the Natalie Holloway case to represent you if you're not guilty. It's like hiring Johny Cochran when you're not guilty of slaying your ex-wife and her lover.

Then there was the little toddler in China who was run over. Multiple times. And nobody stopped to help her as she lay dying in the middle of a busy marketplace. This one, though, is reminiscent of that time in Hartford, Connecticut, when an old man was hit, and nobody stopped to help. This was all caught on surveillance camera, of course. People just don't care. Period. I think it's a fear of getting involved, as well as just a life philosophy of 'live and let live'. Unfortunately, this old man in Hartford died as a result of his injuries. The little toddler in China, however, is struggling to stay alive (note: as of my last Google search).

Since I work during the day, I come home at night and hold Alec until he tries to shimmy his way out of my arms. I look at him, and I think to myself that Keith and I have created the most beautiful, perfect little human being. I look at him, and ask myself who in their right mind would harm something so small, so peaceful and so full of life? But then I realize that there is no rhyme or reason to they way some people behave.

I know that I cannot and will not be able to shield Alec from everything in life. After all, he has to learn. Of course, he will know that he is loved unconditionally by both Keith and myself. But he will learn that even if he fails, it will make him stronger, and a better person. I can only hope that we can shield him from any dangers life may present to him along the way.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

It's been a while...

It's been a long time since I've posted. I think the last time was for Mothers' Day.


There are rumours going around that Alec is going to be ONE the day after tomorrow.

I don't think they're true - Alec is still my Royal Tininess, and weighs 5 pounds.

OK. I lie. Yes, he's going to be one. I'm not exactly sure how much he's grown in the past year, but I can say that when he was 9 months old, he was weighing 17lbs12oz, and was measuring 27 inches. I'm estimating that's weighing about 20 or 21 pounds, maybe 30 inches. His Well Baby one-year appointment is on October 18th.

Here's the exciting part. Alec is now crawling around. I mean, errr...speed-crawling. He loves to 'chase' me all over the apartment, and he looks for Apollo. It's adorable...until he decides to pull Apollo's tail, ears and/or hair. Apollo isn't a big fan of it - he just gets up and walks away. Alec is cruising around the furniture, and pulling himself up on anything that will support him - or not. That's when he falls and hits his head....IN THE VERY SAME SPOT EVERY TIME. He has a perpetual bruise on the right side of his forehead.

The Smallness has 5 teeth. Two on the bottom, and 3 on the top. He now bites feet.

Another milestone: Alec fell out of our bed for the first time. EVER. He was nursing in bed (because we all know it's easier than actually waking up and sitting on the couch in the nursery), we both happened to fall asleep. I woke up when I felt him moving, and then BOOM! And then scream. Needless to say, I still feel horrible.

Oh. Speaking of nursing.

We're still going strong. After the battles I went through with getting Alec to latch, and then with my supply issues, Alec still enjoys nursing, and I love it, too. I figure I'll stop when he pushes me away - maybe through college?

I kid. I kid. I guess he'll wean himself little by little. When he does, though, it will make me a sad pickle. It's such a beautiful, easy and convenient way to feed him. I love our bonding time, and he likes being so close to mommy.

I've been back in the workforce now since June. I am enjoying working, being around other adults and feeling as though I'm contributing something to our household. Not to mention that my salary pays for daycare, as well putting money into savings so we can buy a house sometime in the near future.

The hubby has promised me that when we have a certain amount of money in savings, then we can start looking at houses. I can't wait! I told him I have two requirements: Central Air and a big kitchen. I'd love to have at least 3 bedrooms. I would like to have a large porch or a decent yard to be able sit and entertain outside. Apollo needs a good-sized yard. I'd also like to have 2 more kids, so 3-4 bedrooms is a must. Keith, on the other hand, only thinks about the size of the lot - he wants at least an acre. Oh well. He would do the yard work anyway.

Anyway, back to work, and I'll try to post more often.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Starting Tomorrow....

...I become an official Working Mum.

50% of the time, I'm excited that I'll be able to use my brain before it turns completely into mush. The other 50% of the time, I'm dreading taking Alec to daycare, and missing out on the many, many milestones he's starting to hit these after another.

Oh - and before I forget - I have an 8-month of yesterday!

A few things have gone down in the past few weeks: we now have a peepee-toucher. He touches himself with glee at every diaper change, and pulls it - HARD. It makes me wonder if he's numb down there. Alec can now say "Dada" very well, thankyouverymuch. Ever so often, he says "Mama", but most of the time, he babbles on and on about "Dada" and "A-dah". I think he's trying to say "a doggie", since he absolutely frigging adores Apollo. He also loves standing on his feet, and 'walking', while we hold his hands. Both Keith and I think he's going to skip crawling, and just start walking at some point - he despises tummy-time with a passion (still), and as soon as you stick him on his tummy, he rolls onto his back. Oh well. I've read in my countless books that crawling is something that so many babies don't do, that the AAP has actually taken it out of the "List of Milestones". I could honestly care less whether or not he crawls. If he does, awesome. If he doesn't, and he just goes into walking or creeping, awesome. One way or the other, as long as he becomes mobile, Keith and I are happy.

I have had an awesome almost-eight months here at home with Alec. I've done my very best to give him the love and bond with him over this time. With the exception of a temp job I took a few months ago that lasted a month, I have spent every waking minute with Alec. I've loved it. There have been happy times, not-so-happy times, and downright stressful times...especially when I realized that I was suffering from post-partum depression.

For those of you in the know, I was also home, not working, since I was about 4 months pregnant. I spent my entire pregnancy doing pregnancy and baby-related research. Even our pediatrician is amazed by what I've learned and everything.

But? It's time for this mummie to go back into the workplace. The timing works out pretty well, also; Alec will go to his daycare (which I LOVE...and he adores!) until June 23rd, until which time Keith will get out on summer holiday, which will be nice for him. He will now witness the milestones Alec hits over the summer, and will be able to tell me all about them when I come home from work. Haha...and he'll also realize that being Mr. Mom isn't the easiest thing in the world.

The saddest part of going back to work is the fact that Alec won't be nursing during the day anymore. I'll have to pump at work at least 3 times a day to maintain my supply, and Alec will nurse at night. I feel as though we've finally gotten to a point in my 'nursing career', that my supply has leveled out some, and we both love nursing. I just hope it stays this way until Alec pushes the boob away.

Alec has also just had his very first cold. Ahhh...milestones. of June 1, 2011, this mummie will be a working mummie. Exciting times, no?

At the very least, I'll be around adults. For so long, I've kind of been a bit a hermit, going out ever so often to meet up with friends, a few of them coming over here - but the majority of the time, I've stayed home alone with Alec and Apollo. Having tried time and time again to get my sister in law involved, I've officially given up. My mother in law has been working for quite some time, and I obviously have no family in the area. Maybe being surrounded by other adults, and using my brain will help me fight this battle that post-partum depression has been. The other plus side to me working, is that we'll be able to put money in savings again. I'd REALLY like to build our home. I mean...really like to. I feel as though the market has yet to bottom out, and we're holding out for something we both really love, at a price we can afford. Or build something that would be the equivalent to the home of our dreams - a home we can call home, the place where our children will be raised, and will come to visit us in after they move out and we're both old and decrepit. Regardless of whether we build or buy, it will be our nest egg for our future, and for our children.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Irrational Fears

Lately, it seems my imagination is running away with me.

It's not as though I've been reading terrible news stories on bad things happening on a daily basis, or anything.

I just think my medication has to be adjusted; or it could be that my post partum depression is morphing into post partum anxiety.

I have these horribly vivid thoughts running through my head about waking up to weird noises on the baby monitor, turning on the video, and seeing hands reaching into the crib...I subsequently run into the nursery to find my baby gone.

The most disturbing of all, though, are the foreboding thoughts of Keith coming home to find me dead or severely injured, and Alec gone.

I'm guessing these are all a part of my depression and/or anxiety, and I plan on addressing them at my next visit with the psychiatrist. The sad part is, I realize I'm not alone with these feelings - countless of other women are in my shoes, some of them worse. I'm lucky that at the very least, I can talk to Keith about these fears. I'm lucky that I'm able to get the help that I need, and the medication to stabilize me. So many women don't have that.

And I'm so very, very lucky that when I wake up in the mornings, Alec is still in his crib.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Dear Mum

In honour of Mother's Day, which is just around the corner, I have decided to devote an entry to Mothers.

Dear Mum:

I know I wasn't the easiest of daughters to have. I know it was pure luck that you didn't kill me and have me for brekkie over and over again while I was a boy-crazy teenager.

I know I was born a teenager, and I never knew what you meant until just recently.

I know that I was too independent, too strong-willed and too much of a know-it-all.

I guess now is my time. I guess now I understand why you did what you did. I understand now why it was so important to be the person you wanted me to be.

Now I am a mother. At times, I am nostalgic for the times when I didn't have a care in the world, and now I realize there is somebody else who depends on me to make the right decisions, to soothe him when he is hurt, to teach him life's valuable lessons and to make sure he keeps his nose out of trouble. For I realize now that this is what you strove to do. You wanted me to be a strong, independent and resourceful woman, somebody who could hold her own regardless of the circumstance and hurdles to overcome.

You taught me respect to myself and towards others. To always put others before me. To work towards the greater good of the community. You taught me that hard work pays off. You taught me the value and importance of a home and family unit, even though most of the time, it was just you and me.

You taught me to always think of the repercussions to my actions - even though I never listened. You taught me consequences for my actions, even though they were not always good. But I learned from them. And those consequences turned me into the strong adult that I am now.

I remember when you probably stayed up all night worried about me because I failed to come home or call. I remember your disappointment in me when I turned into the boy-crazy teenager I was. I know I was a tough teenager, and I can only hope my children don't put me through that torture one day, although they probably will.

I am 30 years old, and a mother now. I understand now your decisions to be strong with me, for I want to be strong with my children. I want them to grow up to be morally and ethically strong individuals with their own opinions, respect for themselves and others, and a thirst for knowledge; the way you did with me.

I love you, mum, for you raised me to be the way that I am.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Decisions are a part of life. As adults, we must make decisions that could potentially make or break the present or the future. As parents, this responsibility is even harder, as our decisions now could have repercussions years and decades from now.

Of course, there are times that Life itself makes decisions for you. Like this:

Keith and I obviously weren't planning for this, but, it happened, and I'd say we've dealt beautifully.

I think our first joint decision was when we decided not to find out the sex of the baby. Throughout my pregnancy, we dealt with people telling us that we were crazy for not finding out, how could we not know, or the accusations of not wanting to be prepared.

We were prepared. Boy, were we prepared. We don't particularly believe in gender roles, or gender-specific items. We both agreed that boy or girl, we would try to keep the larger items neutral for future children. We both agreed that Lentil's (what we called the Alec while he was in my tummy) room would be a nice, sunny yellow. Prepared to us did not mean picking out pink or blue clothing or bedding sets that were gender-specific that weren't going to be used anyway. We did all of our research that we needed. We toured the hospital's labour and delivery unit. We prepared financially....well, somewhat - to an extent. We prepared ourselves, as individuals and as a team, to be just that - a team...a unit.

This first decision that we made had a great payoff in the end. When I delivered Alec, the OB asked Keith to look at the baby and to announce the sex. That's when Keith said, "I see balls!"

So it began. Our decisions at times were easy. Others...not so much. Like choosing our pediatrician. We met with only one, and liked him right off the bat. So far so good. He gives advice that not only is sound, but is in line with our parenting approach.

The hardest decision we've had to make so far, is in regard to sleep. It's been a rough road, this sleep-training thing. Alec is now sleeping far better than he used to, but we still hit bumps. When we talked about how we wanted to go about training him, we both agreed we didn't want to just 'let him cry'. But yet we both needed sleep. We knew the habits that we create and enforce from now on will have a bearing on Alec for the rest of his life.

We know that the toughest decisions lie ahead. We obviously want what's best for us as individuals, as a couple, as a family. We obviously want Alec and any other kids we may have, to grow up into human beings with a sense of community, morals and ethics, with respect towards themselves and others.

I look around myself, and I see examples of what sort of child I want to raise, as well as examples of the sort of child I definitely do not want to raise. I have absolute faith in our ability to parent to the best of our abilities...

...and sometimes, that's the best one can do. But for the time being, I pride myself (and Keith) on succeeding at creating a good sleeper.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hi there!

Time is definitely flying in our house. It seems as though just yesterday, we brought Alec home from the hospital and were doing our best to adapt, learn and deal with our new lifestyle as parents. One of my best friends just had baby almost three weeks ago, and even though she's larger than Alec was at this age, it's still hard to imagine him being so tiny! I mean, he's such a chunker, that his arms and legs are jam-packed with rolls!

I do think that we need to put a screeching halt to the clock. Alec is now eating solids; replacing a meal or two of breastmilk or formula with 'big-boy' food. This entirely still depends on his mood and temperament, since if his teeth are bothering him, he's too hungry or too tired, he will just sit in his highchair and scream. We're still at the point, though, where we're not pushing the solids. If he wants to eat, he eats - if he doesn't, he doesn't. Sometimes, he just wants to nurse, nurse, nurse. He's quite capable of munching on me for hours on end...especially when he just wants to be soothed.

Speaking of which, we all know that he's had this one tooth trying to come in for about four months. The damn thing receded into his gums again! For a long time, we could see a little white spot on his gum...but now, no more! Oh well. It will probably sprout completely overnight one of these nights. Not too worried.

Anyway, more to come in the next few days....there's a lot of stuff I want to write about, and pictures to post....I need a few hours to get this done!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Random musings

Alec has been growing like a weed these days, and is getting so chunky, I can barely believe that he was born so small. I mean, his thighs? They're thunder thighs! MASSIVE. I He's just all around a chunky little chunker. At his 6-month check-up, he was 25 inches long (he was 25" at his 4-month), 15 lbs and 12 oz. The pediatrician was delighted at how happy Alec seemed, and said he was going to be a politician. Ummm, I'm not sure about that.

The pediatrician also gave the green light for solid foods of a more 'big people' nature, as well as to start replacing meals little by little. This means Alec gets nursed in the morning, then I take Apollo out. After that, I stick Alec into the highchair, stick a bib on him (actually, I think I need a full-body one for myself, too), and give him 'brekkie'. Mainly, it's mommy-milk (breastmilk for the uninitiated) that I've frozen into 1/2 ounce cubes; mixed with a little bit of cereal, and a pouch or jar of some sort of fruit. He loves bananas, mangos, apples, prunes and blueberries so far.

Dinner-time is his dinner. While Keith and I eat dinner, we give Alec some 'big people' food. This is the meal that's replaced a nursing. He LOVES Earth's Best chicken apple compote. He does NOT like beef with spinach (it's nasty). He absolutely loves the turkey cranberry made by Earth's Best. I think I'm going to try to just mixing some stuff.

We've tried keeping busy. My temp job is over with, as the trial started and there's nothing for me to do at this point. I loved it. I wish they would have offered me something permanent - but, unfortunately, there was no work for me. So, Alec and I try to stay busy. One day a week, we go to the library for story time, and Alec loves watching all the big kids play, and playing with whatever I hand him. He's so quiet and pensive sometimes. Other days, we try to have playdates with friends I've made who have babies around his age.

Speaking of babies his age, regardless of his chunks, Alec is so small! I look at my friends' babies who are his age, and they are huge compared to Smallness!

And speaking of babies, one of my best friends just gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, and I can't wait to meet her!

We decided it was time to begin sleep training Alec. He was beginning to wake up 5 times a night, and Keith and I were zombies. So, after a gigantic amount of research, we decided to do Dr. Ferber's method of progressive waiting. AMAZING. This man is amazing. The first few nights were horrendous. I mean, listening to your child crying at 3am while you sit there and count the minutes since you last went in to check on him? Heartwrenching. Keith could barely take it.

So Alec is now falling asleep by his very own self without being nursed to sleep. I nurse him, Keith tops him off with a bottle, and we change his diaper, and off to bed we go. He's drowsy, but awake. He knows his surroundings are changing. He will wake up about 7 hours later to eat again, so we feed him. The next few wakings are for about 3 to 5 minutes, and he manages to calm himself and fall back asleep. I'm so proud of him, and of ourselves for having the strength and determination to do it.

Oh. And he is sleeping in his crib, in his nursery now. I miss having my Smallness in the bassinet next to me at night, but we all get so much sleep.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

It's been a while...

Yup. It's definitely been a long time since I've posted. I think the last time I posted was around my birthday, back in January.
A lot has happened during this time.

1. I turned 30. And with that, a lot of thinking and soul searching transpired. Of course, I also got diagnosed with post-partum depression on my birthday. But with the beginning of a new era - oops, decade...I decided to make some changes. Realizing that I was slowly wasting my precious time "bumping", I stopped - pretty much cold turkey. I lurk ever so often, but the dynamics of the boards have changed so much, and I'm not sure I like it. Also, I was bumping all night long, while Keith watched tellie. Not good. I found myself bumping while nursing. Obviously a great way to pass the time when Alec is glued to my boobs, but when I allow it to take time away from housework while Alec is sleeping, that's no good! I also felt as though I was being sucked into this surreal world of women who I most likely will never meet, and who won't hesitate to stab you in the back in favour of someone else. I've seen it done.

2. I'm working. Yup. You read right. I'm actually working! Granted, it's a temp job, and will be over sooner than that I'd wish it for, but it's gotten me out of the house, Alec into daycare, and is basically putting my brain to use. I honestly felt a disconnect from my own self that I'd never felt before, so when the temp agency I had signed up for, called with an assignment, I jumped on it.

3. As you may have guessed from the above, Alec is FINALLY nursing like a pro! All of my hard work and struggles with dealing with the low milk supply and Alec not latching and/or wanting to nurse? They paid off.

Caveat to working? Alec won't nurse for the first few hours that I'm home from work, but he'll nurse at night. All night. Yup. All.night.long. He will wake up at midnight. He will wake up 1am, 2am, 3am, 4am and 5am. Sometimes he'll go a few hours, but lately he's been waking up quite a few times a night. It's driving us nuts! But when he wakes up in the morning, he's all smiles. So we love it. It makes it all better.

4. I had my first night out without Keith and Alec. Last week. Yup. It took me six (yes...6....SIX!!!) months to feel comfortable enough to do this. I went out to dinner with the BFF and her friends for her birthday, and I left Alec at home with daddy. They probably just had a blast. I had fun. I did miss Alec. It's tough enough to be away from him during the day. And I'm about to do it again tomorrow night, except Daddy is going out, too, so my mother in law is watching him. Not my first choice, but Keith asked her first.

5. I bought the Power90 workout videos. I've done it once.

6. I got my iPhone!

OK. No more numbers.

And last but not least, my other BFF is about t o give birth to Alec's future girlfriend We are so excited and can't wait to meet Sienna!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Saturday musings...

I don't really know what to talk about. I just know that after I posted my last entry, I felt so much better having let out some of my feelings.

Alec is taking one of his nice, long naps (I usually get one GOOD nap out of him per day), and Keith is out at the grocery store.

We had an odd week. My car decided to leave me (and Alec) stranded at the Babies 'R Us in Danbury (thank goodness it wasn't the Waterbury one!!). Keith came to the rescue, and then my best friend's husband came to rescue with tools. Turns out, it wasn't even the battery (duh...jumping it wasn't working!), but the starter. Yay. We paid more money to have it towed to the family mechanic's place, than to actually have the damn thing fixed. It cost us $160.00 to get the Jeep towed from Danbury to Seymour (roughly 23 miles), and it cost us $155.00 to get a new starter put in - labour included. Of course, this guy doesn't charge us storage fees, and gives us a really good break on the labour. Which is why we trust him to not gouge us with fees, and to do a good job.

Since the Jeep was out of commission from Saturday through Wednesday, I did go a bit stir-crazy. I went out, but very little. I had Keith's car Monday night, having gone to a job interview (no, I haven't heard anything), and Wednesday, my friend Dina came by for a little bit with her little girl; and we went to get the Jeep that night, and had dinner at my father in law's house. Thursday was a tough day. I really didn't want to do anything, after that horrible dream I had on Wednesday night. Yesterday, we had a busy day, Alec and I. We had a playdate with my friend Dina again, and then booked it to my physical (where I got two shots, ouchies!), and then to visit our other friend, Lindsay, to bring her some birthday cookies.

I guess it did feel good to externalize my feelings. Maybe that dream was a wake-up call that I needed to get myself out there.

This weekend, we're seeing two sets of dear friends, and during my down-time, I plan on looking for a playgroup or two in my area, as well as signing Keith and me for AAA. That tow job was highway robbery!

In more normal, and happier matters, Alec has his 4 month check-up on February 3. Where did time go? He's definitely getting bigger, catching up to all of his contemporaries (i.e. my Bumpie friends' babies). He fits into all of 0-3 clothing, as well as most of 3-6 months. I am totally addicted to cloth diapering. I'm so glad we made the decision to cloth diaper. Not only are they cute as hell on Alec's little butt, but we're not contributing to landfills anymore than we have to. I mean, we still use disposable diapers at night at this point, since we still need to get more hemp inserts, as well as more diapers that can do the 'night shift'. We also use disposables when out and about. We do, however, use the Earth's Best diapers, which are chlorine-free, so they're a bit better. On average, we use maybe 10 disposable diapers a week. Far better than the 50 we would be using. I will also be attempting to make some diapers. Yup. You heard me. MAKE the sewing them...!

Anyway, I'm trying maintain some sanity here. Maybe keeping myself busy with some playdates, playgroup activities, and some sewing and knitting will help me stay busy. I mean, Keith is an amazing husband, and father. He is supportive, patient with me and awesome with Alec. I think there is only so much he can do, though....He has a lot on his plate. But that's a story for another post.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I had a dream...

Last night, I dreamed a dream that was so disturbing, both in its content, as well as my own ability to dream up such madness. I think about it, and I begin to cry.

Now, lately, I've been having a rough time keeping up with life in general. It is tough with an infant, but I would never, ever, place my own child in harm's way. Never. I can't stress that enough [to myself]. This dream disturbed me so much that when Alec woke up for his nightly feeding at around 5:00a.m., this morning, I held him after he was done eating. I squeezed him as though it was the last time I was to be able to hold him. And I cried out of sheer fear.

Luckily, I had my yearly check-up this morning with my ob-gyn. I told him about my dream, and how I have had, in past few weeks, several dreams that were slightly disturbing in nature, such as the one I had last night. I am sure that I would have called for help had I not had this appointment today.

After I answered a few questions, he told me "Monica, I'm afraid you are an ideal example of post-partum depression (PPD), and I'd like you to contact a psychiatrist so that we can get you the therapy and medication you need."

This blew me away, I knew I have been hormonal - obviously...I had a baby almost 4 months ago, and my body and mind are still adapting. But I never realized that what I have been feeling were symptoms of depression.

I can't hold it in anymore at this point. I have tried so very hard to be the strong woman that Keith fell in love with; not to show how I feel, how isolated and lonely I feel 99% of the time and I struggle to maintain a happy face so he doesn't worry about me. I have to admit to myself, to Keith and to Alec, that I am not perfect, that I have my weak points and limitations as to what I can withstand as a human being.

This dream that I had last night, was so real, and so vivid; that when I first woke up, I bolted upright to make sure Alec was still safe and sound in his bassinet. I am still thinking of that image of opening a locker door, and finding my almost-4 month old lying face-down on the cold, hard floor of the locker, still crying, with tears running down his face, having been abandoned by me. I still can't believe that I would be capable of even just dreaming of placing my baby in a locker.

On one hand, I can't get the dream out of my head, but I am glad I had it on one hand. It made me realize that I had to talk to someone.

Never in my wildest dreams, would I have ever thought that new motherhood could be such a painful, isolating phase of my life. Throughout my pregnancy, I always imagined that it would come so easily to me. I sometimes feel as though I am failing miserably - hell, I can't even nurse my child adequately without taking a boatload of herbs and medication to help me lactate so that I can make almost enough milk. I never realized that I would feel so isolated from the world, so lonely most of the time. I barely know what day it is anymore, unless I look at the calendar, and although I have my dear friends whom I see on a semi-regular basis, Alec and I stay at home most of the time. I talk on the phone a lot to some of my friends, and this helps me somewhat, but something always suffers when I do that. Either the floors don't get swept, laundry doesn't get done, or the bed doesn't get made. Alec is always well taken care of, but sometimes I forget to shower and brush my teeth.

I love it when Keith has snow days from school, or when he's home, because I can feel human again, having another adult to talk to. I know he wants the best for me, for us, his family. I know he wants me to speak to somebody about how I feel...I'm proud of myself for admitting that I'm not made of steel, or invincible, and making an appointment to speak to a psychiatrist.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Dear 2010, I shall miss thee

It's January 3, 2011, and I can't believe how much my life has changed in the past year. It took one year to get pregnant and have a baby, lose a job, get married, and gain a larger family.

On February 9, 2010, I took a test to which the results were to be life-altering.

On April 26, 2010, I lost my job for [known] reasons still unknown to me.

On August 15, 2010, I married the person who completes me.

On September 30, 2010, I gave birth to the most beautiful, most perfect tiny human being I've ever had the grace of knowing.

It was a life-changing, name-changing and humbling year for me. For the better, of course. Although I can honestly say that a pregnant woman with no job, is a disaster waiting to happen. Asides from going on countless interviews, submitting hundreds of resumes and cover letters, and scouring the internet looking for a company who might hire a pregnant lady; I read, blogged and bumped a lot. I met a few women who have turned into some great friends. I read countless pregnancy books, watched hundreds of birthing videos, and basically...freaked myself out, as well as worry my now-hubby, with my 'fountain of knowledge', as I like to call it. Oh...and the stories of drama on The Bump.

When Keith and I found out that I was pregnant, our first reaction was "holy shit, what are we going to do?!" and "how the hell did this happen?" Well, we knew 'how' it happened...we were just stupified that it happened while on birth control. We went from debating on whether or not to get married, to deciding that we didn't care about what society considered 'normal', to saying we would tie the knot after the baby was born, to worrying about money and preparation, etc., etc.

Fast forward to April, when I lost my job. I'm still relatively sure that I was fired because I was pregnant, and new on the job (I had only started in October 2009). But...who knows? It sucked royally for the remainder of my pregnancy trying to find a job. I landed countless interviews, but as soon as they realized I was pregnant (how can you hide that?!?!), they would kind of shoo me and in and out, and not even call me back. We worried a bit about how we were going to survive on one income, but things have worked out - we just have to be careful.

In July, we decided that - or better yet, I decided for us - that this child was NOT going to come out into this world to an unmarried mother. I just decided that there was too much stigma surrounding an unwed mother, that Lentil (as he was then known as) was going to stay in my tummy until we were hitched. So we planned a smallish wedding for August. To this day, we're still dealing with a few upset friends and family who weren't invited and are now offended.

So, on August 15, 2010, Keith and I were married by a Justice of the Peace. My parents flew in from San Francisco and St. Louis, his parents and step-mom were there, as well as his sister, and step-siblings. I had my two best friends and their families. We also invited one of his aunts, and one of his uncles. It was a perfect day, with the exception of the humidity.

Fast forward to September. My [surprise] baby shower was on September 19th. My best friend put it together with my mother-in-law and step-mother-in-law. I think my mum had a hand in it, too - but unfortunately couldn't make it. She had already come here to visit back in June, and then again for the wedding, and knew she wanted to come when Lentil arrived. I was beginning to freak out, because I didn't know about the shower, and knew Lentil's due date was fast approaching. Little did we know...little did we know.

A week after the shower, I was induced. Lentil was born on September 30, 2010 at 6:19 a.m. Alec Keith Maciog was born 3 weeks early via induction due to 3 factors: (a) almost no fluid in my amniotic sac, (b) poor circulation through his cord, and (c) smallish measurements. It took our OB thinking that my tummy was measuring small and ordering an ultrasound to find this out. I thank my stars every day for this. Had he not seen this, the technician wouldn't have seen it, we would not have been sent to labour and delivery and then sent to a perinatologist for an in-depth ultrasound.

My induction took 36 hours. As soon as I realized I was being induced, I realized I was not going to be able to go med-free. To be honest, I had no clue what I was up against, and I was more worried about having to undergo a C-section, then begging for an epidural...which I did. With contractions coming one minute apart, and peaking off the monitor, for about 4 hours, I realized I couldn't do it. I was shaking when I screamed for an epidural, and the anesthesiologist was in my room within 20 minutes.

Alec was born 9 hours later. No C-section needed. I thank the hospital staff for handling my labour so perfectly. I went in at 37 weeks gestation, without a single iota of progression towards natural delivery. I was not favourable, and in fact, the OB later told me he was worried I would end up in a section. Yay for me!

When people tell you that motherhood is the toughest job in the world, they're not joking.

Alec is 3 months old. I have just gone through the most humbling experience of my life. I have had to depend on Keith as my rock, my shoulder to cry on. I have held my child in arms, trying to make him stop crying. I have struggled with breastfeeding. I'm still struggling. Each day gets better, and Alec is more patient with my low supply. We still supplement, and I have a feeling we always will.

I look at Alec, and I see myself, as well as Keith. I see yesterday, today and tomorrow in his eyes. I see this tiny little human being, someone Keith and I created....from scratch! How can a few cells grow into something so perfect?

Every day, Alec learns something new. Or we learn something new. He is a morning baby. He wakes me up in the mornings by cooing and talking to himself from inside his bassinet...which is still next to my side of the bed. We're all set up for him to go in his crib in his nursery - but yet I can't bring myself to do that just yet. He recently just started raising his arms when he knows he's going to be picked up. I love that. He smiles when we talk to him.

My body is not back to normal yet. I can fit into a few pairs of jeans, but I have to use a hair-band to hold them up. I can't wait to start running again. I would love to be able to wear my clothes boobs got bigger about a month ago, I think when my milk supply went up a little bit. So my shirts are definitely too short right now. But hey, I live in yoga pants and t-shirts.

Now...if only I can stop buying all these cloth diapers, we'll be good.

2010 also brought some loss to a few people I care a lot about. A dear 'bumpie' friend of mine gave birth to a stillborn at 37 weeks. Another dear person lost her baby at 15 weeks gestation. Someone else I hold dear to my heart almost left her newborn son without a mommy right after delivery.

So, my resolution for this New Year, is absolutely no resolution. It's to live life one day at a time, and enjoy Alec while he's still small.