Monday, January 26, 2009

Day Three of Potty Hell

Ok, no one said it was going to be easy. No one promised it would go smoothly. Infact, everyone said it was going to be hard. But geez!

When I last posted, we had just begun the cold turkey approach and were failing miserably. By 7:30 that night, she had not peed in 6 hours (I hold it in!!) and we had 4 pee stains from the morning on our floor. I escaped to Babies R Us and called Uncle John and "Aunt" Andy for moral support. I really need to keep wine stocked in our house.

But, by the time I got home, Sam and Seren were all smiles. Success!! Finally! I thought I was going to go balistic with joy!

We have had good success since then. She still resists and INSISTS she doesn't have to go but she finally does! (complete with drama and tears). And then we cheer and call our relatives! She is still being stubborn BUT to her credit, she has made it through two whole nights with no puddles and hasn't seen a diaper since early Saturday morning. And we DID take the whole show on the road. We went to my (incredibly understanding) colleagues' house...complete with potty. And she peed there too. (A fact she continues to brag about). So, I am proud of her. I guess we are hanging in there. But she DOES resist and continues to be well....two.

I will consider us "trained" when going doesn't involve tears and the words, "But I don't WANT the pee-pee to come out." Asking "why not" does no good. And she is only slightly motivated by the promise of organic sugarless cookies. :) Her biggest motivation seems to be the underwear itself.

Just as a change of topic, here is a picture that my father in law, Bill, took of Wyeth and I at the Philadelphia Museum of Art when he was 4 weeks old. I like holding hands with my little man.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Managing Expectations

I am one of those people who always has a to-do lists, who struggles to relax lest I miss an opportunity to "do" something, etc. And so for my maternity leave, I made a to-do list. I always have ridiculous expectations of myself and then get sad when I can't meet them.

I was going to:
Do baby and me yoga
Get in shape
Meet new friends (read: great friends) through
Decide our 2009 plan and what we need to do as a family
Do creative and enriching activities with Seren
Decide on a preschool

I have strove to do some of this and I will continue to try to do some of it. But I have put a lot of pressure of myself to be a "perfect" mom while on leave. To focus solely on Seren and Wyeth. To be there for everyone and meet everyone's social, physical and personal needs. Ya know, be the ubermom that I want to be. As if this is the last chance to do it "right".

Ya know what? I can't do it. I can't meet everyone's needs. I can't always do arts and crafts with Seren while breastfeeding Wyeth. The tub needs to be cleaned. The bills are out of order. On some days, I haven't showered until noon.

Wednesday Wyeth turned 6 weeks which means I only have 6 weeks until I return to work. I don't want to waste one more minute worrying about what goal isn't being met or what pile of laundry I should fold. I don't even want to worry about the baby book.

I have a brand new goal for the rest of my maternity leave. Ready? It is complex so pay attention.


That's it. Nothing else. See friends that are around. Enjoy my husband. See my parents. Breathe in my newborn. Play with my toddler. Allow myself to SUCK at being a mom every now and again because you know what? It is HARD WORK , I am up all night and I am TIRED.

That's it. I am all about trying to simplify 2009. Be organized. Be focused. But live with intention! I want to have fun much more often in this new year! And I have the perfect people around to help me do that: my family.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

"Going to get worse before it gets better"

These were the words I heard as I carried Wyeth and Seren out of the pediatrians. Worse? But let me back up.

Wyeth had a scheduled 5 week (!) appointment. Seren was with me for the day and came along. All morning she was a complete grump head. No smiling. Lots of whining. Being a sad sack. I tried everything- singing the fun version of "No more monkeys jumping on the bed", etc. Really! Nothing worked.

We get to the doctors' office and then into the examination room. Then, all of a sudden, I knew why my Seren wasn't smiling: she puked. Right on Wyeth's baby seat and all over her pants. Oy! Poor little thing. She was white as a sheet and just really sad about the "mess".

When the doctor arrived, Seren was on my lap clinging to me to dear life, Wyeth was on the boob and I was half dressed. Red faced I welcomed the doctor.

The good news is that Wyeth weighed a ton- 75% for weight at 10 lbs 14 oz. (Are you kidding me!?) And he is doing well. He also grew half an inch. The doctors continue to tell me how strong he is- able to pick up his head and move a bit. So I was very pleased about that. But my heart was focused on my puking, pale girl.

She continued to puke in the office. Suddenly I felt very alone. No one was with me. And to go from an office enviornment to being a stay at home mom to two, I have struggled with loneliness. And now this situation. SEren needed to be carried out she was so tired and Wyeth was so little. In the end, the nurse carried Wyeth to the car, I carried SEren and her puke bucket. Lord. I felt so frazzled and overwhelmed.

But that was nothing.

I got us all set up at home. Cleaned up Seren and her clothing, got her set up on the couch with trash bags, her pook bucket (as she called it) and lots of towels. I was ready for round 2 and 3. She was so tired that she went to nap early. An hour later, she called crying from her bed. More puke. More cleaning. I brought her down and she dozed on me off and on. She felt warm and had a fever. So I called the doctor about the fever. They advised not to give her anything because she would puke it up. I needed to wait an hour.

So we waited.

And then she had a major seizure.

Seren had one other febrile seizure last February. This one lasted longer. Her eyes roll back in her head, and her mouth "chatters" uncontrollably. Everything twitches and she is unresponsive.

I called 9-1-1 as it was happening. THey were very good and calmly instructed me what to do. What was the scariest for me was that after the seizure, she remained unresponsive. The 911 operator told me to pinch her, to strip her down, to poke her. I did all of this and she did not respond- she was limp. But she was breathing. I held the phone up to her mouth and the 911 operator agreed she was breathing. The police and paramedics soon arrived.

She had opened one eye when the police arrived so I felt better. But Lord!

So the three of us rode to the hospital in the ambulance. The paramedics moved toward Seren to move her and get her ready for the ambulance. She let out a MOMMY!!!! like you wouldn't believe. They looked at each other and said, "We will deal with the little guy." So they went about opening my car, getting the base out of the car, getting him strapped into the ambulance while I collected a bag of diapers and got Seren's pants.

By this point, my neighbors had gathered to offer help. One neighbor gave me his coat and we were off.

Seren was such a big girl in the ambulance- brave and strong. The doctors took great care of her and made her feel better. She is going to be suspectible to these grand mal febrile seizures until about age 6 or 7.

We got to the hospital room and the nurse took one look at me and said, "Wow, Mom, you have your hands full."

Let me give you a visual of the three of us at this point in time. Wyeth is sleeping soundly in his carrier but doesn't have the full cozy snuggly thing because Seren had puked on it. Seren has a shirt on but no pants (in my efforts to cool her down, the 911 operator advised stripping her). She is clinging to me for dear life. And then there is me. My hair needed a haircut, I have red pj pants on, my shirt is inside out and I have concentric breast milk circles on my shirt due to lack of absorbing breast pads.

Good times. This is why there is such a thing as Mothers Day, right? For harrowing days like last Thursday.

Motrin in my new best friend. I am telling anyone who takes care of her to give her it at the first sign of any fever. Her fever this time was 103.3 post seizure. But clearly if we can avoid all of this, we will.

So yes, it "Got worse" before it got better.

I surprised myself by my own calmness and strength. I think that two tough pregnancies and motherhood has taught me that I am an incredibly strong person. I cried tears when all were safe and sound and Sam was there to relieve me but in the moment, I focused on what needed to be done. I am more of a figher than I realize. I turned 32 on Saturday and in my quest to examine who I really am, I am going to add "fighter" to the list of attributes about myself.

So praise God for quick EMTs, great neighbors and motrin!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Where to start?

I write blog posts in my mind as I nurse Wyeth at 1 am, 4am, 5:30am. But those posts never make it to the computer. I now have lists of blog posts in a notebook by my bedside but somehow just being with my children takes top priority. That being said, I DO want to capture what has been going on for the past 5 weeks. Afterall, we celebrated Christmas! And I have a birth story to share!

But first: Milestones. Wyeth smiled for the first time at exactly week 4. We work HARD to get more smiles out of him. It is wonderful to see his little face smile. We hope to get more of them as he matures!

He is sleeping ok- as to be expected for a newborn. He gives me one 3-4 hour stretch at the beginning of the night but basically needs to feed from 7 pm until whenever he goes down. Sometimes he goes down at 8. Most often around 10. One night he didn't settle until 1 am at which point Mommy was in tears of exhaustion. He generally eats every 2-3 hours. His "Schedule" if there is one at 5 weeks, is to get up around 8 am and party with his loud sister until 11:30ish and then take a long nap. Then he is up in the evening cluster feeding.

He continues to bring me great joy. But the 2 weeks of euphoria I experienced gave way at week 4 to exhaustion. Christmas was over, the long wait for his arrival was over. It just got tiring. But I am taking one day at a time and we are hanging in there!

He is SO much easier to feed than my preemie. And I pinch myself with joy that we made it full term. I still can't get over it. With Seren each feeding was 1.5 hours and involved Sam in the process. Wyeth takes about 45 minutes to eat, burp and settle down. Sometimes we are up chatting for longer but in general, MUCH easier than the ordeal we went through with Seren.

Seren seems to have adjusted a bit better. Christmas excitement is enough for any 2.5 year old but to have a new brother on top of it? Oh my! There were a few evenings that I am not proud of- I snapped one evening in frustration. I felt that we really screwed up having two children and there was NO WAY I was ready for this. But Sam and I have a great way of seeing each others' frustration, taking over for the person and letting the other one cool down. Parenting is not easy!

But while I have my meltdowns and tear fests, I really want to focus on the positive and make the most of my leave. I have too many high expectations of all I'm going to do on leave. I want to be present. Just present in the moment. Present with BOTH children. I have TWO children! I just can't believe it!

I hope I can get back into the blogging saddle again soon.

Happy 2009!