I need my ducts cleaned

Bo slept a nice long stretch last night.  7.5 hours.  There’s nothing better than a good night’s sleep.  Except for when you wake up in pain.

You see, Bo only eats from one breast at each feed, so that 7.5 hours of sleep meant that my left breast was neglected for 11 hours.  The result?  PAIN.

At first I just thought it was a little engorged and uncomfortable, but after a couple of feeds on that side, I realized that I likely have a plugged duct.  Shit.  I had that happen a few times when Littleman was a baby and it was horrible.  It’s so painful and, truly, all you can think about.

On top of the breast pain, I’m feeling generally a bit off today (overall tired, sore, etc.) and I really, really don’t want this to be mastitis.  I’ve been pretty hard on my body lately, with all the running, fitness classes, walking and still waking to feed Bo multiple times in the night, so I’m hoping the general body pain and fatigue is due to that.

I spent most of the day today trying every trick I can think of to unclog the duct: hot shower, massage, heating pad, frequent feeding, feeding in different positions (including the terribly awkward dangle-from-above, which caused my baby to look up at me like I’d lost my marbles).  I nursed Bo so often, that he barfed (thanks for taking one for the team, kiddo!)

As I lie here with a heating pad on my chest, I think (hope!) that it’s getting a little better.  I’m not feeling a hard spot, so I’m hoping the pain is just from all the squeezing and rubbing I’ve been doing all day.

I’m exhausted and really feel like I need a good night’s sleep.  But I’m terrified of having a good night’s sleep.  How the hell is that fair?

Experimenting with solids (even a little bit of Baby Led Weaning!)

We are a couple of weeks into the process of introducing “solids” to Baby Bo.  When Littleman was a baby (and I was a first time mom) I was excited to start feeding him.  I started at 4.5 months on the recommendation of our paediatrician.  It didn’t end up being as enjoyable as I’d hoped.

With a little more experience under my belt, I was much less anxious to start solids this time around.  I knew Bo was getting everything he needed from breastfeeding, so we waiting a bit longer.  But it started to become pretty clear that he was ready for food.

I wrote about feeding Bo his first “meal” – brown rice cereal – a couple of weeks ago.  It went OK, and continued to go OK, but he certainly didn’t love it.  And why should he?  It’s kind of gross.

After that, I decided to look into some other food options.  Josey suggested Baby Led Weaning.  I’ll be honest here: I read about it a bit when I started feeding Littleman but it all seemed a bit too “crunchy” for me at the time.  Everyone I knew fed their babies purees.  That made sense to me.  But, as seems to be the case with a lot of baby-related things the second time around, I feel a little more open to trying alternative methods.  When my husband suggested we hand our baby a piece of steamed asparagus the other night when we were eating dinner, I thought, why not?

I think we’ve kind of settled somewhere in between when it comes to feeding Bo.  He’s still eating some purees (although not much cereal).  I made him some butternut squash and some zucchini purees, both of which he seemed to like.  But we’ve also let him play around with banana pieces, asparagus spears and baked sweet potato “fries.”  Not much has made it into his mouth.  In fact, most got squished between his fingers and tossed on the floor.  However, I feel a lot more relaxed about where we are when it comes to feeding Bo than I did at this stage with Littleman.  The best part about letting him feed himself sometimes?  The fact that all four of us can sit at the table together for dinner.  We did that for the first time the other night – Bo in his high chair, Littleman in a booster seat – and my heart was bursting with happiness.

I know that this whole feeding thing is a process and some foods will go over better than others (we’ve definitely experienced a fair amount of gagging and puking already!) but I’m glad that I’m able to enjoy it all a bit more now.  Stressing about kids and food is just no fun at all.

If anyone has any suggestions for foods that their baby liked to eat when first starting out, please pass them along.  My baby is still not sleeping through the night (a different post altogether!) so my brain isn’t terribly creative these days!

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When did life get so busy?

I have so many updates that I want to write about but I don’t seem to get any time to myself these days.  By the time everyone is settled in bed at night, I’m way too tired to write! Some of the things swirling through my head include:

  • our first plane trip and hotel stay as a family of four
  • the first couple of weeks of feeding my baby solids
  • my running progress
  • packing away the too small baby clothes, knowing that we won’t be using them again…

I’m going to dedicate some time to write about all of these things, even if only to help myself process my feelings.  Don’t get me wrong – these things aren’t all negative – but they all impact me in different ways.

Also, I have been trying to stay up-to-date on my blog reading but am finding that some of my favourite blogs aren’t always showing up in my reader (WTF) and for some reason, I can’t always comment and/or “like” from my phone (again, WTF?)  So, please know that I’m still here, following, reading, thinking about you.  I just don’t get much time in front of an actual computer.

The lost one

It was a beautiful morning.  I put the baby down for his nap and his big brother was busy playing outside with my husband.  I set out for another run, feeling behind on my 5k training after a few days out-of-town.

I started down the street and I felt good.  The sun was out and it was warm, but not too hot.  After some pretty cold September days, it felt amazing.  As I ran, I thought to myself, how is it already late September?

All of a sudden, it felt like someone had punched me in the gut.  Late September.

My baby – the lost one – would have turned one this month.  If he, or she, had lived, my baby would be a year old.

I felt a bit shaky as I gasped to catch my breath.  I had forgotten.  That dreaded date had come and gone… and I had forgotten.

I wondered, what does this mean?  I still think about the miscarriage often.  But I don’t think about it everyday.  I see my friend’s twins who were born at the same time that I was due and I don’t feel horrible anymore.  I look at my six-month-old baby and I know he was the one who was meant to be part of our family.

But it’s September.

Last year, September was a month I looked forward to with all my heart and then dreaded to my very core.  Even when I found out I was expecting again, I knew September would be a tough month.  Earlier this summer, I realized that I could have had an almost-one-year-old.  So then how did this September manage to creep up on me?

As I ran on, I decided this means that I’m healing.  I’m not a horrible mom for having forgotten that awful due date.  Yes, I still have moments of sadness for the baby I never got to meet.  But I have many more moments of gladness for the family I do have.  I’m not as sad or as scared as I was this time last year.  I’ve learned that bad things can happen and that good things can come out of it.  I am able to think about the baby we lost and the baby we got to meet, knowing that I love them both.

I didn’t see any of this coming when I laced up my running shoes and stepped out my front door this morning, but I see it much more clearly now.  I am healing.

Out of town (and out of our minds!)

Oh dear me. I’m currently lying in the semi-dark in a hotel room. My three-year-old is in the other bed with my husband and WON’T STOP TALKING. My baby is in a hotel-issued playpen (shudder – so gross – at least I brought a clean sheet!) tossing and turning. I’m drinking wine.

Why are we doing this, you ask? We decided to bring the boys to visit my mother-in-law. She lives in another province and is not very mobile. My husband isn’t close with her (she’s had some issues) but we felt it was important to introduce Bo to her.

We flew here this morning, which went pretty well. Littleman was very excited about the plane ride and looked super-cute carrying his own backpack. After the flight, he got to go into the cockpit to meet the pilots. Lucky!

My MIL’s apartment is not suitable for guests so we find ourselves in this current predicament. I figured getting the boys to sleep would be tough but now I’m questioning our sanity. I have a feeling this is going to be a long night.

We have a couple of crazy days ahead of us but luckily this is just a short visit.

And now, since we can’t risk turning on and light or the TV, I will sit back with my wine and catch up on my blog reading.

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Run #4 and #5: digging my fitbit one

This week was tricky because of D’s work schedule, but I managed to squeeze in my fourth and fifth runs.  I tried taking an antihistamine before the runs to combat the itch I’ve been experiencing.  The first time, about 5 minutes into my run, I started feeling the itch around my mid-back.  It was as intense as the time before and I was able to ignore it.  My legs never got itchy, so that was a relief.  The second time, I didn’t experience any itchiness at all.  I’ll keep taking the antihistamines on run days to see if it’s actually helping or just a fluke.

My new favourite thing these days is my fitbit one!  I used the fitbit flex (the wrist version) from May until the end of August.  I really enjoyed it until I realized how many steps it wasn’t counting.  When I would go out for walks with my mom, who also had a flex, our step counts would be hugely different.  I realized pretty quickly that it was pushing the stroller that was interfering with the accuracy.

D finally convinced me to replace my flex with the fitbit one.  He was curious about the number of steps he was taking everyday, so he took my flex.  After a week of use, I can say that it is making a huge difference for me!  I used to struggle to hit 10,000 steps, even with walking a couple of hours a day.  Last week, on my third day of using it, I got 19,000.  And one day this week I got more than 21,000 steps!!  Both those days consisted of more than one walk and a run, but even on a “slow” day, I’m seeing many more steps captured.  I also really enjoy the fact that it counts stairs because I run up and down our stairs many times a day.

It’s funny how competitive I get with myself now that I have it.  I also get competitive with my (very few) friends who are also using fitbits.  (Haha, I had to type that word five times before it stopped autocorrecting to “titbits!”)  I love seeing myself at the top of the leaderboard and I get extra-annoyed when my husband starts catching up to me.  It’s funny how much this little gadget can push me to move more.

So, it appears that I’ve pretty much survived my first two weeks of running training.  Aside from some minor muscle aches, I’m feeling pretty good.  My next goal is to work harder at stretching.  I’m a terrible stretcher and my muscles are always tight.  My flexibility sucks.  I know that stretching is super important and I don’t want to end up injuring myself so I need to commit to doing this.  Starting tomorrow, I swear.

The stressful life of a mom on maternity leave

Sometimes I forget that my life is so good.  When that happens, I accidentally let the little stupid things build up into stressful events that are actually, in the grand scheme of things, no big deal.

This morning was the perfect example.

5:30am – D’s alarm goes off for work.  I wake up but stay in bed, feeling a bit stressed because I know online registration for Littleman’s swimming lessons starts at 6:30am today and I hope that my alarm will go off.

6:00am – Bo wakes up and wants to be fed.  Crap.  Shuffle to his room and feed him.  He falls asleep so I stumble back to bed, grabbing the laptop on the way.

6:15am – Lying in bed but getting nervous about swimming registration.  Although I’ve always succeeded in getting the classes we’ve wanted, I know it can be cutthroat.

6:29am – Sitting up in bed with the laptop.  I’m all logged in and the screen is on my “activity wish list”.  Am waiting for registration to go live.

6:30am – It doesn’t go live.  What?  Screen says “do not refresh”.

6:31am – Should I refresh??  The screen says no.  But I do.  SHIT.  Registration is open.  I try to enrol but the class we want for Littleman is full.  SHIT AGAIN!  I try a couple of other evening classes.  ALL FULL.  DAMMIT.  Get on the wait list but am 7th.  Shitballs.

6:33am – Call D in a panic.  WTF should we do?  Panic some more and enrol him in a different level for 3-5 year olds.

6:35am – All enrolled, but then read about the level I signed him up for and realize he’s totally not skilled enough.  Crap.

6:40am – Call D again.  Should we do a daytime class?  We could keep him home from daycare.  OK.  Let’s do that.

6:41am – Try to sign up.  Registration for the class I want doesn’t open until 7am.  Good lord.

6:45am – Littleman wakes up and comes stumbling in.

7:00am – Refresh, refresh.  It’s live!  And it’s FULL.  WTF?

7:01am – Find another daytime class on a day when I have my own exercise class.  Argh.  Book it anyways.  Email the organizers to cancel my earlier registration in the wrong level.

By this point I’m a hot mess.  I feel sick to my stomach.  Why?  This is not a big deal.  Yes, I want Littleman to take swimming lessons.  It’s important to us.  And evening classes would have worked better for us.  But, this is not the worst thing in the world.  We can handle this minor setback.

I take a deep breath and get breakfast for Littleman.  Bo is still asleep.  My brain is still swirling and I start thinking about Bo’s baptism, which is coming up on Sunday.  My mom is hosting afternoon tea following the ceremony.  The food is all under control.  But then I think…party favours for the kids!!  Eek, I should totally have party favours.

Bo and I drop Littleman and daycare and boot it over to the local bulk food store.  We have some cute little clear boxes, so I’ll fill them with candy.  Oh, but what candy to get???  Jelly beans.  I’ll get jelly beans.  Perfect.  But I get home and realize the black jelly beans make it look ugly.  So I pick them all out.  Party favour crisis averted.

It is not quite noon and I finally just sat down on the couch to have a good laugh at myself.  It is clear that I’ve been living with my crazy mom brain for too long… I have forgotten what real stress is!  I take some deep breaths and remind myself how lucky I am.  I have two happy healthy boys. They may have to take swimming lessons at an inconvenient time or eat jelly beans that aren’t the perfect colour.  Life could be worse.

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