I don’t think work-cation is a word

The child slept through the night, for the first time in longer than I can actually recall!  (She slept through for about 3 months there, and the regression happened around time of the weight plunge, but I’m very tired most of the time and no longer use the baby tracking app and simply don’t remember any more.)

Which is especially good news, as I’m planning going to site for work in the next month or so, and 2 nights is the shortest trip I can swing and get any value out of the trip.  (And there aren’t a ton of flight options in to the wilds of northern BC.)  I’m like, really really excited by this.  Not that I think sitting in an Atco trailer all day sounds like amazing, but on the other hand, sitting and watching a frac actually sounds pretty interesting, given that frac data is a huge part of my job.  And flying in tiny planes!  Am I the only person who wants to fly in a airplane with only a handful of seats and no bathrooms?  (Probably.)  And because they’re private planes, the security is giving your name to the guy with a clipboard.  And helicopters!  Helicopters are cool. And camp food! Camp food is good, you guys. All of our camps are dry (ie no booze or drugs) and so use generous portions of good food to keep people happy.  And I’m tying my trip in with at least one of my favourite coworkers, so we can hang out and that’ll be nice.  And hey, my ego can probably use getting hit on by dozens of men.  (Sad, but true.)  Hell, most of my vacations (which I love) revolved around food (which I love), planes (which I love), expensive hotel rooms (which I love, though usually expensive because they are nice, not because they’re super remote), hanging out with people I like (which I love) and doing something nerdy (which I love).  So if you can just, like, overlook the fact that I’ll be going practically to the Arctic Circle for work, this sounds like not a bad couple of days, to me.

Oh, right, yes, the leaving of the baby thing.  Well.  Please don’t revoke my mom card, but I’m kind of looking forwards to it.  I love my kid, obviously.  I like my kid.  But I’m finding that this toddler phase is, perhaps, not so much my forte.  And stepping out for a little work-cation sounds nice.  I’m sure I’ll miss her like crazy, and will of course have the daycare cam set up on a laptop.  But two days of grown up time, free from nursing and clinging and diapers? Right this day, that doesn’t sound like the worst week ever.

Another thing that is true

I wrote a few months ago about how many of the messages I was told about parenting were lies, but a few were true, like the amount of mental space occupied by poop.  I have realized another one, lately.

I’ve gone from a latte a week and a couple of daily cups of tea, prepregnancy, to a latte or two a day, plus tea, plus the occaisional black coffee.  I got an Nespresso espresso machine for my birthday, and now make a coffee for our commute in to work.  I go for coffee with coworkers regularly, sometimes for my beloved Starbucks lactaid lattes, and sometime for the better free coffee found in our cafeteria.  I drink a lot of tea.  I sometimes have a diet coke in the afternoon.

And I’m still tired, a lot of the time.  I totally am using caffeine as a crutch, because the baby’s still waking once a night to eat, and on bad nights, another time because she’s soaked through the cloth diaper.  (I’m going to experiment with a disposable at night, to see if that can last for 12 hours.)

But in the mean time, I keep sucking back the tasty black stuff and acknowledge that this part of parenting I’d been warn about is true.*

* For me.  David refuses to drink hot beverages.  He does drink a lot of pop though, but he’s always done that, so who knows.

Babies be stressful

It’s always something, you know?  Just this weekend J fell off the couch while cruising, and while I caught her halfway down, there was an unfortunately placed toddler chair that caught her temple, leaving her with a surprisingly-pretty purple black eye.  (And of course, the panicked call to the nurse line, and the half hour wake-up-the-baby concussion checks, and did I mention this was on the same day as her 12 months shots?)  Despite the scare, and the swelling, she’s totally fine, and I’m sure this won’t be the last injury she sustains.  The kid is physically ambitious, and fearless.  At a playdate this weekend, she went straight for the toddler sized rocking chair, climbed up on the seat, stood up, grabbed the back and started rocking it, all gleeful.  Given a chance, she’ll scale the back of the leather couch and try to climb across the computer desk.  She thinks desk chairs are the best walking toys, but that they’re even better if you put her in the seat and spin her until she’s dizzy. So I expect that she’ll be hurt again, and I’ll worry, but I also have faith in the strength of the baby skull and her resilience in bouncing back.

But other things are harder to deal with.  Things with less clear cause and effect.  (Fall = scary = bruise.  No mystery there!)  J’s weight has been an issue since birth – it’s been all over the map, and often not for clear reasons, and it’s really scary. She’s now 13 months old, and we’re just climbing out of the 3rd weight crisis of her short life.  She lost 11% of her weight post-birth, and it took two separate tongue tie snips to correct her latch and another couple of weeks to get her weight on track.  The next she was around 5 months old, where, unbeknownst to me, my milk had mostly dried up, and she was starving.  This was only discovered when she’d dropped from 75th percentile to 30th percentile in weight, and I talked to my doctor about the PPD returning due to the sleep deprivation from comforting what turned out to be a screamingly hungry baby all night long.  I was put on Domperindone (the same drug my father took for chemo side effects!) and within a week she was plumping back up and only waking once at night to feed.  Then, at a year, I went back to work (thanks, Canada!) and she started daycare and her first teeth actually arrived and she became totally mobile, all at the same time.  She dropped to the 5st percentile in weight, and then went on an illness caused hunger-strike, and dropped down to the 1st percentile.  She adjusted to daycare and got over that round of colds, and is back up to 15th percentile, but she’s still a tiny peanut.  In a year, she’s gone from the 90th percentile (incorrectly) to the 1st (scarily).

And I want to wean SO BADLY that it’s making me weepy.  But I can’t, the doctor says, at least until she gets back on a healthy growth curve.  I’ve been breastfeeding for 13.5 months, quasi on demand, quasi on schedule, because she’s never hunger cued very well.  I’ve been on the pills for 8 months.  I’m tired of them.  I’m tired of them decimating my libido, and making my hair fall out.  I’m tired being too cheap to buy the 36H cup bra I need, because I keep thinking I’ll be able to wean soon, and of none of my work clothes fitting my chest.  I’m tired of waking every night to feed her, after months of her sleeping through the night.  I’m so very tired, and then stay up all night worrying about her.  But I can’t not feed the baby, and I don’t know if I want to try feeding her like, muffins or fruit packs at 3 am.  So nursing it is.

She’s a great eater.  J’ll eat almost anything off my plate, from chickpea curry to broccoli to sashimi.  I worked diligently to introduce her to fruits and veg, but may have neglected to give her enough fats or whole grains in the 10-12 month period, and therefore kind of blame myself for the weight issues.  But I didn’t know!  I was so smug about my green bean and aged cheese devouring baby that maybe I wasn’t pushing enough rich food on her?  Or my anti-refined sugar stance?  I was kind of relying on breastfeeding to fill any nutritional gaps?  And it didn’t work, and here I have this amazing eater with no detectible medical problems (we’ve done blood tests, which was awful) who, during the day, does not give off any real hunger or satiety cues.

She doesn’t like drinking milk (cow or goat) or juice.  She eats the highest fat yogurt I can find, and cheese, and the occasional ice cream, now that I’ve broken my no-refined-sugar stance.  We’ve never had any real food issues, other than that one week of illness, and the few foods she rejects (peaches, millet, berries about half the time) are done politely, and don’t interfere with her eating the rest of the meal. I read a pretty helpful book that was highly recommend, and it was great for hopefully setting up healthy boundaries about food, but didn’t quite answer what to do if your kid is failing to thrive despite enjoying all the food.  Because of the illness, we’ve fallen out of my previous 4 meals and 2-4 breastfeeding sessions a day routine, and now feed her from basically dinner time to bedtime in the hope that she’ll sleep through the night.  (It never works.)  I don’t know if I should be cutting off snacking, or allow her to keep eating dried berries in the hour between dinner and bedtime, or what.  I just don’t know.

I know, like all the other mini crisises, that this will pass and I’ll look back with relief that we got through another one, but it doesn’t make it any less stressful to live through.  There are no right answers, or at least, none than anyone can give me.We just keep muddling through, and offering the baby green Thai coconut curry with chicken and peas, and marveling that she’ll eat it, while hoping that it’s enough.  While hoping that I can wean soon.  That she’ll start sleeping through the night again.  That sleeping through the night again will happen before I need a caffeine IV to get through the work day…

Feeling the fever

So everyone is pregnant, as far as I can tell.  Everyone!  But, uh, not me.  Not trying, even.  Due to the pills I’m on, probably couldn’t be even if I tried.  I just, like, have eyes and can’t help but notice that everyone is pregnant.

I’m sure it’s hyperbole, but today, for example, I went through the +15 to the next building to grab some lunch, and saw, I swear, 7 very pregnant ladies.  Two were standing in front of me in line.  Walking from my office to J’s daycare?  It’s a 10 minute walk though the +15s, and I have never seen less than 4 pregnant women.  (Okay, sure, they could be the same ones everyday, but I still see them.)  I work in a group of 30 people, 13 of whom are female (not bad for a STEM field), and 2 of them are pregnant.  I’m back downtown, working in a very corporate world, and I’m surrounded by lush, fertile women who are gloriously, roundly pregnant.

And I’m so jealous I’m practically salivating.

I’ve said it before, I was never really baby hungry before I  had Baby J.  It was a cerebral decision, more than anything.  I never had baby fever, or heard a ticking clock, or whatever other cliche that can be used to describe the longing for a baby.  But now?  Holy fuck, you guys.  WANT.  NEEEED.  It’s the strangest feeling.  It feels like a walking cliche, to be so eager, but here we are.

And while we are totally planning a second, not yet.  I’d rather have them +2 years instead of -2 years apart .  I *just* got back to work, and I owe it to myself to give this a serious go.  I’m still on the domperidone, and that’s done insane things to my cycle.  It’s not fair to J to do anything until we figure out what’s wrong with her.  (She’s down to 17 pounds – 1 pound over her 5 month weight.)  I refuse to wean until she stops losing weight or at the very least starts drinking any form of calorie, and I want to have my body to myself for a few months before I get pregnant again.  I’m simply not ready to try again yet, and neither is David.  Mentally, I get it.  In fact, mentally, I have no desire to start trying right now.

But viscerally?  WANT SO MUCH.

At the end of the day, we’re all just animals, right?  It’s stuff like this – this crazy longing – that really brings that home to me.

34 weeks along, looking like I ate the world.  Why do I miss this so much?

34 weeks along, looking like I ate the world. Why do I miss this so much?