Tag Archives: baby

It’s not a tumor

Or a gallstone.

After 36 hours of resting and detoxing, Epsom baths and super-clean minimal eating, I was better enough to do a half day of work. Or so I thought.

I went in and after an hour, my headache and body pain flared again. I was exasperated.

I worked 6 hours and went home to rest and detox some more. I even did cupping to pull out toxins. My body really needed that.

After all of the rounds of cupping (both shoulders and back), I ended up with big dark circles and blisters from severe muscle congestion, all over my upper body. I looked like a giant octopus had attacked me, but I felt so much better.

I was certain at that point I must have accidentally ingested too much actual pepper.

I knew the dinner theater trip I took with residents had served veggies with red peppers in them, but thought I’d picked all the bits out. I must not have, or there was something else I missed, because several of my allergens cause body pain like that. However, this round was super intense because I haven’t experienced the burning in my chest, shoulders, and arms before.

Needless to say, I’m back to the brain-mouth argument over foods in my environment. My brain knowing that the reaction sucks enough to say no, but my mouth knowing how tasty everything is. It’s a never ending battle that my will-power wins when I’m pregnant, but often loses when I’m the only one to suffer.

So to reset, my goal is to stay clean from here on out, a monumental challenge in the environment I work in. I just can’t afford the reaction and resulting pain and time off it causes.

On the up side Katherine is still doing great. Still a few days from being a year old, and she’s climbing stairs on playground equipment (family went out while I was predisposed with my few hours of work).

She is intent on catching up with Ian as quickly as possible. She even takes his trucks and plays with them just like him. I hope she sticks to the good things and ignores his bad behavior. I’m also very grateful that she enjoys being outside so much, we’ll get lots of miles out of that.

May all of you enjoy sunshine, outdoors, progress, self-care and calm immune systems.

Good nite and be well.

Moving… breaking… playing

So we’re plugging along at moving. Thinning the herd again. Every time we move our load gets lighter and lighter. I’m happy for it, as at one point we had way more than 2 people should. Now we have what a normal family of 5 would, and we’re one step closer to living lighter.

In the process this time, I was working on lowering the massage table that had been be Ian’s “loft”, so that it could maximize space in the move and…. I sat it down on my foot. Initially I said ouch and kept moving. About an hour later my foot was still throbbing enough that I told Nathan I needed to look at it. As soon as my shoe came off, the pressure backed off, but I knew I would not be getting it back on. My foot had swelled immensely.

This is what it looked like initially.

It was hard to tell other than the intense swelling, but I went around showing everyone that it was what a freshly broken bone looks like. I explained I had broken a bone in my foot, probably hairline fracture as it was tolerable to walk on. Also, compared to the last time I broke a toe, this was actually less painful.

Now after I’ve had a few days of healing, having kept it wrapped in an ace bandage, the swelling is much less, but the bruise is much more noticeable. It has also reinforced my prior estimation of which bone I’d broken, based on the epicenter of pain. I had estimated it was my 2nd metatarsal, and the bruise has mostly settled into my 2nd and 3rd toes, which fits with that theory.

This is what it looks like now.

Really each morning I find that it feels better and better. However even with the ace bandage, each evening brings burning sensations in my toes from limping all day at work. This evening may be the worst so far as I spent nearly 12 hours in constant motion, mostly up on my feet. It was a rough day.

That being said I’m very grateful that I’m still able to work and help with the moving process. A little discomfort for a few weeks is far better than needing surgery or something worse.

__________________

Another thing I’m grateful for is my now fully mobile 5.5 month old baby. She’s so smart and so strong that she’s crawling, pulling herself up to standing and holding onto furniture to walk. She’s even getting the balance thing down enough to stand one-handed, and occasionally she lets go for a few seconds. She has enough confidence that if she makes it about 5 seconds hands free, she tries to take a step, though at this point every time that happens she falls. Yesterday she had a great time demonstrating that for me several times over, smiling and giggling the whole way.

This morning she played with shoes and one of Ian’s trucks, and Nathan had the sense to capture some video I can share. The other moments have been so enthralling that we’ve lapsed on videos a bit. Next time she gets moving I’ll do my best to capture a clip to share.

May you enjoy the zest for life and learning all babies bring to this world, and find your moments of less discomfort and hidden blessings. Aho.

5 months and mobile…

That’s my baby.

I’m doing better, still stressed and worried, but doing my best to ignore my doubts.

It helps that baby Katherine is turning 5 months and a sneeze from both full crawling and walking. She’s already dismounted from our bed a couple of times. Having crawled backwards from the middle to the edge- that’s huge. She is still having trouble with forward motion and balance, but she knows she’s so close that she doesn’t want to give up and sleep at night. She wants to just push until she gets it, and I have to keep reminding her that really, ultimately sleep helps more. She’s so my daughter.

It’s so amazing that my heart swells every time I’m near her, but I have to admit that knowing she’s about 4 months ahead of Ian makes me acknowledge that she’s ultimately going to be an even more challenging handful.

I hope I’m ready.

I also hope I’m ready for life the next couple of months. I know big changes are inbound, but not sure how things are going to play out. All I know is I’m working nearly every waking moment in hopes to be able to pay for everything in the process.

Also, because I updated our budget to reflect inflated prices and costs for a family of 5. It was a bit disheartening, but Nathan says he knows things are getting better. I trust him with my life, so I’m trusting him on this one too.

What I do know is that Nathan is the one love in my life that has done his level best to support me through thick and thin, and though health concerns impeded that, neither of us has given up.

I love you honey. May our 9 years married and 14 together, turn into multiple decades of prosperity.

Awe & wonder…

So I just thought that Ian was smart and doing super well. It seems baby Katherine is one step ahead. I am in such awe and wonder at how amazingly well she is doing. I couldn’t help but share.

Initially I was just going to throw up a short clip, but I confess I couldn’t pick just one, so I condensed nearly 15 min of walking into a not quite 5min home video.

I hope you enjoy and find it as amazing as I do. Enjoy your kids, they grow up too fast.

Meew… is for comfy.

That’s Missy, she’s comfy, very comfy.

This week has brought a lot of things. Mostly neutral to okay, but I’m doing my best to ignore the few negatives and focus positively.

The best part of this week was having a couple of days that I could sleep in and spend with children. It was very nice, even if it meant I couldn’t move much. A king sized bed is useless if 4 littles keep you trapped in a one foot section of it! Priss, Buddy, and Missy are great at strategically stationing themselves where Katherine isn’t, to ensure I won’t be moving. See:

I was able to spend time with little Ian playing with trains and Lego’s, we went to the park and dog park and took walks.

Zen puppy has gotten good at keeping his herd of people from wandering too far apart. It’s very adorable.

We were privileged to see Big Ian in his performance as part of a Coterie Theatres teen camp production of “Spamalot”, which was very funny, and amazingly well done, especially considering it was a handful of teens with only 2 weeks of learning and rehersing.

It also turned into a pseudo date waking around the Plaza area since we were dressed up for the occasion.

And baby is doing great still too. 3 months old, perfect health, growing great, and learning fast. She’s now able to walk at a normal pace for a toddler, as long as she’s got hands to hold and either naked or disposable diaper. When she figures out balance, we’re screwed, in the best possible way! … I didn’t help matters, in that respect, by finding a baby walker at the thrift store. Now she can even practice without help. Oh my.

And yes she has; she took a few steps in the store, and today she worked on figuring out it goes other directions than just forward.

She’s also started laughing, though it’s more of a giggle so far, and kitties are now fascinating to her.

All in all its been a good week and I’m mostly enjoying life again. More mantras definitely helped, but mostly I think it’s my concerted efforts to focus on positives and find quiet mind periodically.

May all of you have comfy pleasant weeks.

I’m in soooo much trouble…

My 2 month and 5 days old daughter is taking bonofied baby steps.

My day started slow & droopy, feeling like I wanted to cry for no apparent reason. I worked most of the day and was able to find some emotional stability along the way.

After work I returned home to have a nibble for dinner and spend time with family.

I was watching Grace & Frankie… (Pretty much the only show I get to see on occasion)… Nathan was giving Ian a bath. She got fussy on me, and knowing she’d already nursed and had a diaper change recently, I let her stand up, to have fussing immediately cease. She took a few steps & I had the idea to prop my phone to record her steps.

First clip she realized she could see herself. And we walked very wobbly, just about 5 feet, from the chair to the phone.

2nd clip was interrupted by discouraging info on puppy that will necessitate a trip to the vet tomorrow, but nothing that can’t get handled. In that clip we did a round trip of the same 5 foot stretch.

She got tired after all that walking & fell right asleep as soon as I cuddled her in her softy blanket.

I’m so amazingly in awe and grateful for my super healthy and super smart baby. I’m hoping all this get up and go will soon equate occupying her bother in endless chasing.

Bad mom award…

Despite having a good dose of my thyroid meds, I’m still struggling. A friend pointed out yesterday that my verbal-vomit was hurtful, especially to my son. I removed myself and went home to cry alone, sending the following messages.

Obviously my shit is no better than it ever has been, so why does god bother to show me messages? I don’t know.

I don’t know why, but I’m definitely feeling that analogy from what seems so long ago. Of being trapped on the 13th floor of a burning building, with no rescue in sight. Where leaping to death (suicide) is a sure but finite end, but remaining where I am could lead to slowly painfully burning to death (never really healing my brain). I told Nathan I’m not a celebrity with unending supply of money and unlimited resources, so if they keep losing their wars, what chance do I have.

I know the news of late isn’t helping. I know I’ve had hormone swings still from post birth. I know my puzzle is non-existant: rare exercise, no sun after waking, very irregular sleep schedule, positive social interactions disappeared weeks ago, meditation is sparatic at best, and I was already feeling like a crappy parent (ruminating on my failures) before getting told I was, then pile on overwhelmed from the demands of breastfeeding a baby while trying to go back to work. The only thing I’ve maintained is my diet & fish oil, and that’s miserable little help, especially since labs indicated I’m still reacting to something.

I’m at a loss and feeling it daily. I’ve even found myself repeating it’s a good thing the boy dropped me, no one would want me and my shit. No one can help me, so why bother being around me.

Nathan says he sees my good, my love, and the depression times, though hard, are worth sticking through. Hannah seconded that last night and this morning. Right now I’m having trouble seeing and believing it.

All I know is they wanted me to post how well the baby is doing, saying its amazing. They say it’s proof I’m not a horrible parent.

I think it just means I cared enough to do my best while pregnant.

I learned in my CEU class in May that research shows massages during pregnancy help with motor skill development. So baby is doing so well because my constant working necessitated regular trades with my massage therapist. Sometimes the things I do right are accidental.

So here’s what they wanted to show, with keeping in mind that these are from a not quite 2 month old (born 4/23, & these photos/videos have been taken over the last 2 weeks):

Sitting alone for long periods:

She finally fell over after about 3 minutes of sitting:

Standing & figuring out leg movements:

Progress in crawling:

I’m glad that baby is doing well. If only I could figure out how to get myself back on track with the demands of life right now.

“Nobody said it was easy…

No one ever said it would be this hard.” – Coldplay

That’s us.

I’m still waiting to find out if the birth is going to be covered by the insurance I was required to take (per government regulations in December). Insurance that cost me nearly a thousand dollars and my employer over three thousand. By that means alone I think they should have to, being the premium charges are greater than medical services provided to me during eligibility. My birth costs if rejected will be $3200 (that’s about 3 grand less than a hospital birth with no complications), and to-date the insurance has covered $35 of chiropractic and about $200 in labs. I’m still crossing my fingers they cover at least the thousand dollars worth of premiums taken out of my paycheck.

Anyway, I’m doing my best to stay positive, and not having complete success.

I wish life were like college, or school in general. I did great in academics, school was easy. Follow the rules, do your work, and poof you’re done. I Graduated in 4 years with honors, and 2 semesters of double load. I am that person that set/busted test curves and slept through classes to still get A’s.

Life is not that.

What do I mean? It’s a jumbled confusing mess of “wants to’s” vs “have to’s” vs societal dictations vs expectations of/by myself and others.

My baby wants me, just me. Nathan is OK at times, Hannah gets by for a while too, but ultimately, she just wants mommy. All day, and all night, every day.

The problem is, Ian has gotten jealous of her getting all the attention and has started making the same demands, acting out to a very obnoxious and frustrating level.

It’s impossible for me to do the same thing for both children, I must share my time.

Beyond that I’ve been contemplatinging myself, my needs and desires.

Even if I had the luxury of being able to stay home indefinitely, be it working at home or simply retiring due to money plenty, I couldn’t solely devote all of my time to two children. It would drive me insane, my brain requires variety, and lack of variety literally stifles me.

Thus, this month has held the most challenges in just attempting to appease my brain. Too many days inside watching and feeding children has left me stir crazy, but then going out leaves me shaking my head in confusion. I don’t want to spend any more money than necessary to keep savings in case the birth doesn’t get covered, but I still want to have fun. Then I find myself not knowing what fun looks likes anymore. Everything seems like too much work to accommodate two littles and my special diet, & some things just seem plain impossible. I find myself saying I’m not sure what to do, because the old me and the new me (with 2 babies) are 2 different people.

I’ve been attempting to stick to Abraham processes, and my success is still minimal. I work myself up to just fall again. Figuratively and literally.

Figuratively: I have moments where I feel like a naive fool, a wishful idiot, having let myself get hurt. Then I beat myself up for letting it continue to dog me, but have to acknowledge all of the external reminders that contribute to remembering.

I have other moments where I’m overwhelmed with all of the things I’ve yet to finish from before birth, knowing its simply more difficult to get them done when the baby wants to cling to me. I have to stop and acknowledge that I have managed to still accomplish some of them, just not all.

Then I have moments where I panic because it’s time to return to work, and on one hand I want to-finances and variety are needed; but not wanting to on the other-because a large part of me has really been enjoying cuddling with baby and playing with Ian so much.

Those figurative moments have started manifesting literally physically. I’ve fallen 3 times in a little over a week, and I never fall. Previously, my only fall in the last five years was during an attempt at ice skating.

Yet, I’ve fallen tripping over baby’s bouncy seat, luckily I fell sideways and baby didn’t even stir. Then I missed the last 2 steps going downstairs, and fell hard. Baby did notice that one, but was okay more startled and scared than hurt. Hell, that one scared me. I’m still feeling the hurt with several bruises, but it scares me fiercely that I could have really hurt baby. My third fall was on our outdoor swing. It’s one of those bench style with cushions, and I have no idea how, but I hit the ground going to sit on it and knocked the swing off it’s hooks. That after having fallen on the stairs, so baby cried, but again was just startled, as she was snug and safe in the moby.

However, at this point I don’t trust myself, pretty much at all. I’m now to the point that if I have to do something that might cause a fall I either go very slow with baby in a snug sling or I pass baby to someone else. I’ve even stayed upstairs and talked from a distance and tossed things down to avoid going up and down stairs too often. This week has scared me immensely.

So, time to focus, ground, and find some balance.

I want to make my kids happy while still meeting my needs and desires, and meeting necessities of life in a big family. I want enough rest, exercise, and enough variety to keep my brain happy. I want to feel like a productive member of society and be helpful to other humans in need. I want to enjoy my daily activities. I want to feel loved and supported. I want to see my manifestations take shape in wonderful ways. And I acknowledge that the universe knows the solutions for all of these requests and more, so ultimately I want to be in the best receiving mode I can be. I want to allow the divine to assist me with these and all of my requests. My asking is already done.

Relax. Breathe. Believe & Know. Allow. (That’s the hard part!)

Postpartum contrast playground.

So the bliss of birth adrenaline & endorphins only lasted me about 2 days this time, and the crash afterward was pretty harsh. My hormones fell off almost the exact same time I started having excruciating pain from nursing. However, my woes with my body are not all that’s happened in the last 2 weeks.

Long story short, I got the short straw genetically speaking when it came to having babies and in nursing too.

In the not so short story, Ian was tongue tied, so we thought pain was related to that and I dealt as best as I could, knowing his mild tongue-tie would grow out; that is until thyroid shutdown happened and I quit producing milk at all.

This time I went in doing my best to tackle both preemptively. However, the diet dictated that some of the milk production tools were off limits third trimester. Then baby was born and she had no tongue-tie at all. She latched just fine straight away, or it appeared so from outside. I started taking milk boosters right away, but immediately discovered nutritional intake & hydration seemed to play a more important role. I also wondered if one or more of the milk boosters was giving little Katherine gas and making her very uncomfortable. Then the pain started.

Initially I thought it was all for having gotten plugged up on a poor hydration day right after birth. So we started doing things I did with Ian: hot compresses, painful massages to force milk flow, hot showers, and very intense pumping. At one point I cranked the strength of the pump up to maximum and in drawing out a plugged spot, I bled. Not good, and so not fun, it scabbed and pain got very severe. Right side was so sore that I favored left and within hours the left hurt even more.

Imagine if you will an ice pick being jabbed into the center of your breast while an infant sucks on it, that’s pretty much what it felt like. I cried through multiple feedings. Because I was struggling with nursing, the midwife’s assistant came and did a weight check, & discovered baby was gaining just fine, great in fact.

They then offered suggestions: nipple shield to help heal, use more nipple butter and more frequently, lecithin supplement to help encourage free flow of milk, and pump milk to dropper feed if necessary (to avoid bottle attachment).

I did all, but wasn’t noticing improvement. 2 days later I took to actually bandaging my nipples with a mixture of nipple butter, lavender essential oil, triple antibiotic, and colloidal silver gel. I made sure to do that in between every nursing, and would pump after nursing to try to keep ducts clear. Eventually the scabbing fell off to reveal large deep cracks & holes in my nipples. 2 more days of the bandaging and the pain finally started to back off.

I’m now in the still painful, but not to the point of tears range. Improvement.

In all of that mess I was drowning in Advil hoping to help the pain, but I ended up reacting to the Red40 coating so much that I spent 2 days with flu-like symptoms including full body aches and severe chills, without a fever.

After consulting with midwife again, she said some moms just get the chills from postpartum shifts in hormones and fluids, but she did say the body aches was an addition that might just be me. I pulled up enough out of the pit of sucky to put two and two together and switched pain relievers to acetaminophen (red free), and amazingly within 12 hours the depression, body aches, and chills ceased. I wasn’t up to rose colored glasses yet, but I wasn’t wanting to give up either, a big improvement.

At this point, with breast healing started, and pain mostly under control, I’m maybe 80% to figuring out what all happened.

So far I’ve figured out:

The baby having gas so bad does seem to correlate to either my milk tea blend of one of the supplements, so I have some more adjustments to figure out which.

I am having to stay strict on my diet, but it seems I can and should be consuming more sugar/carbs to keep my milk supply tasty for baby’s desires. So far that’s mostly manifested in nuts, chocolate, and fruit. Side note: I’ve lost about 45 pounds this pregnancy, & I’m back to where I was when I gave birth to Ian, 100 pounds lighter than my heaviest. Healthy baby too.

And the cracking & holes in my nipples that induced such horrific pain seems to be less about baby’s latch, and more about me having “flat nipples”. I put it in quotations because they’re not literally flat, the description that got us to that decision essentially said flat nipples are nipples that don’t stretch easily or as far as is normally expected, and thus damage is caused to the nipple during nursing. So wonderful, right?! To that end my efforts will eventually work, but I’ll have to be diligent with goo & shields until I’m fully healed.

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In other news….

We’ve been wearing baby a lot, especially with the gas troubles & nursing troubles, wearing her has soothed her nerves. We wore both Ian and Anya when they were littles, and have found 3 slings from previous, a Moby and 2 4-strap slings. I wanted to find the ring slings that I’d made and saved, but we have yet to find those, so we’ve used scarves and sarongs as substitutes. It works. Really, the difference is: moby style slings are best for long snuggle front wearing, 4-strap slings are better for kids that can hold their head up to be hauled backpack style, and ring slings or scarves/sarongs are good for impromptu short front or side wearing. The bonus of a ring sling over scarves is they’re easily adjustable and have a tail that doubles as a nursing hood, some even have pockets in the tail for small items like phone, keys, Binki, etc. They’re really convenient, and I love them. Today I chose one of my purple scarves though and it worked pretty well.

She’s so beautiful that complete strangers have stopped & commented the couple of times we’ve been out with her. I also can’t get over her black hair & eyes, neither Nathan or I have black. His is very dark brown, but still very much brown. How she got black only god or science can explain.

I’ve also enjoyed snuggling baby & kitties, all our cats are doing well with baby.

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We also did get another step of basement work done. The wall at the end of the furnace went up & was trimmed out, & since big things were done we cleaned up the space to be our multipurpose room. It’s coming along nicely.

We even started to pull out electronics & organize our belongings. I don’t know if the TV will stay where it is (on top of the Ikea cubby shelves seperating Ian’s room), but it works for now.

I’m glad there’s progress happening, especially in the realm of pain relief. Even if it’s been a hard could of weeks, it’s still been worth it.