Doctor Doctor Part 2

Quick update: A and I had our appointment with the new doctor today and wow. That’s all I can say. It was SO much better, I don’t even really have words to describe it.

But I will try because that is what a blog is all about, mmkay?

First things first, never was Google mentioned and this in itself was worth switching for, amiright? In fact, she actually spent time with us, talking about things, asking follow-up questions, writing stuff down. You know, like a doctor should do. I mentioned some things to her that I mentioned to my previous doctor and she actually seemed genuinely interested in the problems.  For example, when I said that I was taking Dom Peridone, she told me they don’t prescribe that anymore for long-term use due to some side-effects that are risky (she didn’t go into details and advised me to remain on it, but I am sure we will be discussing that further). I am getting tested for a number of health issues that run in my family (like diabetes and high cholesterol) whereas even though the previous doctor took down all my family history information, she did nothing about it. Really, it’s like night and day. I am so grateful to have found her (thank-you Jenn!)

Anyway, A made shy though, so we decided that we would do his check-up next week instead just so that his relationship with her didn’t start off on the wrong foot (how do you like them apples? She is thinking long-term AND understands babies. Who would have thunk?). And I kinda can’t wait till the checkup so I can find out how much A weighs now because it feels like he is ripping my arms off when I carry him.

To sum it all up: big sigh of relief. I feel like we are finally in good medical hands. It’s been a long time.


On Sleep Rants

I have to say, after my rant on sleep a couple of days ago, I feel better. It SO helps to just get the frustration out (even if only to the internets). It’s like punching a Bobo doll. Except no one gets punched. And there are no Bobo dolls. So it’s not like that. Whatever.

Anyway, Wednesday night was another crappy sleep night. However, instead of rushing to just nurse him quiet, we tried a few things that ALMOST worked. A woke up at 10 again, but Kevin got him to go back to sleep with the guitar (yay!). We decided then to bring the guitar in the bedroom with us so Kevin could try that again if he woke up. Which he did, at midnight. The guitar worked again, but only for about 1/2 hour. At that point, I pretty much wanted to sleep and needed A to sleep as well so I nursed him. And boy did he eat a lot. I thought for sure that he would sleep until 5 or 6. He didn’t. He woke at 3:30 and so I nursed him again because I didn’t want to make Kevin wake up and play the guitar so early?late?. But even though it wasn’t a good night, I just didn’t feel so bad about it when I woke up. I believe it was the ranting the day before that kept me sane.

Last night was awesome though. We braved going to Kevin’s mom’s campsite (she’s here visiting from Edmonton) for the evening, fully believing that we would have to leave early to get A to bed at a decent time. But he did awesome. No fussing, no whining (he is a really good baby I have to say). We put him in the playpen to sleep in the RV at 7:30ish, and he went to sleep so well! We left at 10, got home at 11, then put him to bed again, but I didn’t nurse him this time. He slept until 3:30! Go Avery!

So, maybe I ranted too soon. I have hope (and my finger’s crossed).

Also, side note, everyone kept gushing about how good A is (and how delicious his cheeks are). He is awesome. Maybe I’m biased, but just sayin’. Also also, Kevin’s family says he’s the spitting image of me. This is progress because a few months ago I had a lady look at me, then at A and say: “Oh, he’s beautiful. He must look like his father.” Hah. That was a blow to my pride. But now, Kevin, move over.




Let’s Talk About Sleep Baby

Sorry I’ve been MIA, but we have had family visiting since this weekend nonstop, and so I have had very little time to work on anything (unless you count diaper changes, because let me tell you A has been on a pooping spree–sorry. But it’s true).

Anyway, I wanted to talk about something personal. I’m not getting any enough. Try as I might, it’s just not happening. Oh there’s hope. There are little glimpses of that lustful glory coming my way, but as soon as it teases me, it’s gone. Sigh. No, I’m not talking about what you might think. Gutter-minds. I am talking about sleep.

Sorry about that cheese-ball attempt to make you interested in my personal struggles with my dear dear  friend Sleep, but seriously, iamlosingmypatiencealready.

A is a good sleeper in a lot of ways. We got over the 30 minute nap hurdle at 4 months, and since then he’s been a great napper. I’m thankful for that. I really am, because nap time = glory time for moi. He sleeps in his own crib, and he also falls asleep on his own quite well when I put him down for bed. So, yes. We have a lot of pluses here.

BUT BUT BUT. He wakes up 2 (sometimes 3) times a night on a regular basis (a habitual 10:30 and 2:30) and is up for the day at 6. I know this is not TERRIBLE, but it means that I rarely get over 3-3.5 hours of sleep in a row. And I would like to. Very much.

There is hope though. Baby A has given me small glimpses of hope the last couple of weeks. He slept through the night once (from 6:30 – 6:30). And there have been a few nights where he has only woken up once (at 1, which is awesome because then I get FIVE WHOLE HOURS of sleep in a row). So maybe it’s changing.

The thing is, he gives me these little teasers (which I can’t fully enjoy because I wake up constantly out of habit anyway) but then goes back to waking up at the usual times again.  However, I never know which type of night it will be, and this my friends, drives me crazy. I feel like I am playing that board game where you have to guess which ridiculous cartoon character your opponent has by asking questions (is yours wearing glasses/female/senile/a ginger/etc.). And the game sucks and you don’t want to play, but you have to because your opponent has tied you to the table and has you at gunpoint and insists you “Guess Who” till you drop (either from boredom or sleep or…). Only, I don’t know which questions to ask! One thing that seems to be a consistent ‘clue’ is if A can go back to sleep at the first wakening (the 10:30) without the boob, then he usually will just wake at 1ish for a feeding and then sleep right through until 6ish. Sometimes he can do this on his own, but sometimes he can’t. What does help a lot of the time is if Kevin plays a song for him on the guitar (the same melody that I sing to him before bed). A can fall asleep to this tune most of the time, but there are some times that he doesn’t. Maybe he’s just hungry those nights, I don’t know.

"Jenny on the job - Gets her beauty sleep...

I wish this was me (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been contemplating back and forth about trying sleep-training. I’m scared though, because I love my little monturk (stands for part monkey-part turkey) so much hearing him cry just makes me want to rip out my ears and stab a fork in my eyeball (oh, and comfort him, that too). So, I don’t know if I have it in me to do the whole sleep training thing. It’s so much easier to just slap the boob in front of his face.

In other words: HELP!

Please, dearest readers, give me some advice. Tell me what to do. I need to know because last night was a shitty sleep, and I am pretty much at the end of my rope after 9 months of this. And this is not counting the 657842093 trips made to the bathroom during pregnancy. So I pretty much have not had a full night’s sleep for well over a year. And I’m tired.

What do you do when your baby wakes at night? Do you do like I do and just nurse/bottle-feed so you can go to sleep without listening to crying? Are you at the end of your rope too? Am I the only one (I know I’m not and your all probably giving me the side-eye at this point because your sick of my complaining). But, please help.




Through the Eyes of a Mother

I had some bad news today. None of my family is affected, but a close friend has lost her mother in horrific circumstances. Out of respect I won’t go into details, but it is weighing heavily on my mind. I ask you here to pray/keep in your heart my dear friend at this time.

I don’t know what to say. I just feel so incredibly blessed and lucky and grateful to be living in a country that is for the most part safe, free and open. I feel so thankful that I have my family–my baby boy, my loving soul-mate, my parents, my sister–close by. I am blessed to have my friends and extended family safe and sound in their homes.

Having a child has opened my eyes in absolutely new ways. Everything is bigger and even personal. Good, bad, it all seems incredibly big–even the mundane now seems extraordinary. I see things from a new perspective–I am a mother and I cannot help but look at the world with new eyes. I read news stories and am saddened or amazed. I can put myself in others’ shoes more so now than before because now, in my mind I think, ‘YOU HAVE A MOTHER TOO.’  

I wish I could explain how I am feeling better than I am. I ramble because my heart rambles. All I know is this: when I see people who are living in dire circumstances (on the streets, for example), or are sad, or are hurting, my heart breaks a little bit because I think–‘Where is your mother? How is she feeling about this? Does she know? Is she in your life?’ And then I hold my baby boy closer because I need to. I need to feel him in my heart and arms. And I smell his sweet baby smell, and kiss his little nose and count his fingers and tickle his feet. And I feel love and safe.

Doctor Doctor Pants on Fire

Doctors. Can’t live with them, can’t, well. You get the idea. Since having A, my whole perspective of the health-care industry (especially doctors) has changed. I used to be one of those “the doctor is always right, any doctor will do,” laissez faire types. You know, the person who always went to a nearby medi-clinic, and barely ever the same one twice. The person who never even thought to book important appointments ahead of time. The person who waltzed in to the clinic expecting an appointment RIGHTNOW only to be surprised at the receptionist’s eye-roll and droll “it will be 2 hours before the doctor can see you.” And the person who took it as a personal insult when the 2 hours turned into 3. Yes, that was me.

However, as soon as I became pregnant with A, I knew this feather-in-the-wind attitude towards my healthcare had to change. And it did. I got online to BC’s “Find a Physician” website and searched for a family practitioner that was accepting patients. My criteria was that I wanted someone fairly young (as I thought they would be open to new ideas and research, and that they would still have that ‘passion’ for medical care that comes with those starting out in their careers), and someone fairly close by (within walking distance or a quick bus ride).

I thought I found the perfect fit. She graduated from UBC in 2003 (so I guessed on the younger side), and her office was a 10 minute bus ride away. I made an appointment with her to do an intake. My first impression: kind of cool, nice, but a bit brisk. She told me that she could be my family doctor, but she did not see maternity patients. Ok, fine. She referred me to a maternity clinic at the BC Women’s Hospital, and sent me on my way.

After my first set of blood-work was ordered, my family doctor’s office called me to make an appointment because my doctor wanted to discuss my blood-work. I did, even though I knew the blood-work would be examined by the maternity doctor as well. However, when I saw the doctor, she looked at me with a blank face, and asked me what I was there for. I kind of gave her the side-eye, and said, “well you called me in, so I don’t know.” It ended up being just an iron deficiency, and she said that it didn’t matter since I was taking prenatal vitamins anyway. WTF???

Now, I’m no expert. But it seems to me that if a clinic calls YOU in to make an appointment, your doctor should probably know enough to look at your charts or whatever it is they do ahead of time. I’m sure on my charts it would have said something along the lines of “Called Jenny re: blood-work” and “pregnant” and “referred to maternity clinic”–SOMETHING. Really, there should be good enough reason to force someone to crate their growing pregnant ass and belly–on the bus even–to the clinic for an appointment. An appointment that was scheduled for 5 but actually started at 5:30. I was pretty pissed to say the least.

So, you might think that I, like any reasonable, at least somewhat intelligent person would do, might take my newborn son elsewhere for healthcare. Somewhere practical maybe. Somewhere that didn’t make silly, unnecessary appointments. Nope. Not me. Since I had never been that great at finding healthcare services for myself, I thought that this was normal. So, I asked the clinic if my doctor would take on my son, but apparently she was going away or something and they told me that they had a new young male doctor who was taking patients. Great! Sign me up!

Now, I don’t need to get into the details of A’s lack of weight gain, as I already dug into that topic here. However I will reiterate (sorry) and add on a few points:

– He took my word for it that A was constipated rather than doing his doctor tricks to discover the cause of A’s discomfort (hello weight scale and questions about consistency of the poop, are you there? knock knock)

– When I went on Dom Peridone to increase my breast-milk supply, I asked him how many a day and he kind of looked confused, then said “let me google that for you.” I then warily asked him for how long I should be on the pills once my milk came in, and he kind of shrugged his shoulders and said, “I guess a week.” Needless to say I asked the pharmacist, and she told me that I would have to be on the pills for as long as I continued to breast-feed A. Hah!

– When I asked him what type of sunscreen I should use with A, he said “That’s a good question, let me google that.”

Now, I have NO PROBLEMS with someone not knowing the answer to something. In fact, I do think it is great when someone can admit that they don’t know, as this tends to mean they are honest and won’t just feed you BS. But still. The word ‘google’ as a verb in the doctor’s office? Come on. Also, I pretty much think that he has not had a lot of babies as patients.

BUT BUT BUT!! I have good news. My poor health-care habits die here. I have an appointment to see a doctor who came HIGHLY recommended to me by a friend. In fact when I told my friend about the “iron appointment incident” she laughed and said that her doctor’s office also called her about an iron deficiency, but that instead of forcing her to make an appointment, they just told her the specific type of supplement she was to take. Hello practicality, how you doin’?

how you doin?

Flirting with Practicality

So I called, and the receptionist said they were only accepting maternity patients (nope, not me, not pregnant) and I said something along the lines of “myfriendsaidthedrwasamazingandshe’smovingcanwetakeherspot” so the receptionist took both A’s and my information (also my friends information in case I was scamming) and said that she would talk to the doctor. And they called the next day. AND both A and I are patients with this new doctor. August 21st baby! So excited!! (But sad that my friend had to move).

Anyway, here ends my rant on healthcare. And my own disorganization. And the word “google” as a verb. Although I will probably revisit this topic again (healthcare, not google) to discuss my pregnancy and complications. No eye-rolls please.

What have been your experiences with healthcare thus far? Do you like your doctor? Do you have a doctor? Does your doctor use the word “google” in his office with you? Tell me please.

Also, a bit of cuteness to brighten your day. And mine.

bumbo chair

Apple cheeks

Stuff I Like: Baby Gear

So, after the last post, I thought I would write about something a bit more, shall we say, ‘light-hearted.’ And what is more light-hearted than material goods? Because, you know, we are living in a material world…I won’t go there. Don’t worry.

Baby gear is super expensive, and I remember being pregnant and overwhelmed, and nauseous at the thought of even looking at strollers (seriously, I got nauseous when I looked at strollers.) I perused many sites with lists of “essential” items for baby. However, looking back, I realize no item is really essential (not even diapers apparently). BUT some are quite handy, and I thought I would share what we have used and liked in our 81/2 months experience.

1. BECO Gemini

This carrier is awesome. I use it ALL the time, especially when A was less than a million pounds. But it is super comfortable, even now in his heftier days. It faces inward and outward, and can be carried on the hip and the back as well. AND when A was going through a “I don’t nap for more than 30 minutes” phase, I would strap him in the Beco and he would sleep like, well, a baby.

Beco Gemini Fun

2. Bugaboo Frog

I know this stroller is no longer on the market (they switched to the chameleon) AND I know it is really expensive. We got ours used on Craigslist for a really good price, and we got our car-seat given to us from Kevin’s older sister, so we didn’t have to buy both.

It’s just such a great stroller. It has both a bassinet (for when the babies are still teeny tiny) and a regular seat. The seat has three positions (laying down and two different reclining positions), and you can switch the direction your baby faces. Also, the fabric comes off so easily for washing. AND it is such a SMOOTH ride. It basically glides. It’s a bit heavy now that A weighs almost 20 pounds, but still, in my opinion, lightweight enough, and it folds down fairly easily (although I do still sometimes struggle with that one–BUT I am a huge clutz and not graceful at all, so I blame myself and not the stroller).  I believe the new chameleons even let you customize the colours to your taste as well (for example if you wanted a pink sun canopy but a black base).

Taking the Bugaboo for a beach stroll, cuz we’re smart like that

At San Josef Bay, in Cape Scott Provincial Park

Having a picnic

3. Ikea Antilop High Chair

Because it’s only 20$, and doesn’t take up an acre of space. Also it doesn’t have a whole bunch of toys and crap attached to it that would make cleaning it worse than getting run over by a bunch of school girls on their way to a Justin Bieber concert. Or would it now be One Direction? I’m so behind the times.

Sorry, I hate orange-food-faced baby pictures too. But he is SO cute.

4. Danica Studio Diaper Bag

It’s waterproof, pretty comfortable to carry, and this brand offers a lot of really cool prints. Also, it’s more affordable than a lot of other options.

love the horse print!

5. An exersaucer (any one will be fine. We like ours, it’s the Baby Einstein Neptune Activity Saucer).

They give you yet another spot to put baby while you fold laundry/cook dinner/clean spit up off the floor/put away the dishes/etc. Also it stimulates the baby’s brain, or something like that.

Avery enjoying his exersaucer

And that’s all for now folks! There are a lot of other things we like, and I COULD tell you all about them. But that would be boring. And unnecessary. These are the top 5 in our house, the ones we get the most use out of.

What are your essential baby gear items? Anything I am missing here that you especially love? I would really like to hear about your favourites!

Guilt and Other Things

I have a confession to make: I sometimes succumb to ‘mompetition’ and baby-comparing with my other mom-friends. I know, I shouldn’t do this. I also shouldn’t watch The Bachelor Pad, but what can you do? It’s out of my control.

I mentioned before that I was with several other moms the other day, and we had our babies on the blankets outside, and were chatting and catching up. But I kept looking at A and getting worried because, unlike many of the other babies (all different ages, mind you), he’s not crawling, he doesn’t stand flat on his feet (he’s a ‘toe-walker’ apparently, and his achilles heel may be short? iamworriedabit), he doesn’t say “mama” or “dada,” etc.

This comparing of course made me feel TERRIBLE because why should I worry? He’s amazing: he rolls like the wind, so he’s surely just thinking, ‘why crawl?;’ he probably just wants to be a ballerina, hence the toe-walking; he screeches in a pterodactyl-esque voice when he wants something, so what’s the point of “mama” and “dada” anyway?

It’s just that aside from my overly-anxious personality (thanks for that one, mom!), we did go through some unexpected challenges in the early stages of infancy. Challenges that I worry might have had an effect on his development. Around 2 months old, A was extremely fussy and squirmy, especially when he was eating. And he would go a week or so between poops. When he was nursing, he would cry and cry, and it was so frustrating. I remember a time when I was at the parenting group where I met a lot of my friends, all the other moms were sitting with their (in my mind, at least) serene, happy babies, while I was trying to feed A who was screaming and crying. I finally gave up, left the group and immediately called Kevin and bawled my eyes out on the phone. I just didn’t know what was wrong.

The next  day, I made an appointment with A’s doctor to see what was going on. In my mind, I thought he was constipated and was having tummy troubles since he wasn’t pooping as often as he used to. I mentioned this to the doctor, who basically took my word for it, without doing much of his own investigation (another post on this soon to come), and told me to cut out dairy.  And so I did.

But there was no change.

I don’t know why exactly, but something clicked in me. One night, while nursing him, I just sort of thought, ‘maybe he’s not getting enough to eat.’ And so, I remembered the formula I got in the mail (I must have signed up for a points card at a maternity store or something), and made a bottle. HE DRANK THE WHOLE THING! Even after nursing for, like, 20 minutes. He was HUNGRY!!! This happened when he was 3.5 months old. and I wish to God that I did this sooner. So, for the next week, I continued to top off his nursing with formula at night, and he seemed happier.

At his 4 month check-up, the doctor did a routine weigh-in. A did not gain a SINGLE pound, not even half a pound for two months. He dropped from the 50th to the 15th percentile in weight, and seeing the doctor make a pencil-dot on the 15th percentile in A’s growth chart made my heart break. And it still breaks. The doctor prescribed me Dom Peridone to up my supply, and I have been on it since. A’s weight is great now, and has been back at the 50th percentile since he was 5 months old. AND he went from the 15th percentile in height to the 85th!!

But since then, I feel so worried that because of my late-intuition (why the hell did it take me over 1 month to try giving him more food!!), and because my doctor didn’t think to weigh him when I brought him in the first time, rather than just agreeing with my uneducated diagnosis of constipation, maybe the lack of weight-gain those 2 months affected him somehow. God, I hope I’m wrong.

BUT, in my heart of hearts, I look at my beautiful little boy and know that he is okay. He’s just like every baby, in that he is doing things on his own schedule. They all do. And while he’s not crawling, he is doing some other amazing things. He knows his name. He knows my dog’s names. He laughs and smiles when I get him from his naps. He bangs toys together (this is a milestone, apparently) and is just pretty awesome. So he is okay.

Say What?

Ahhh. Nothing like this: baby in bed, glass of wine in hand, and the rest of the evening to myself. It feels good after a long day of, what, everything? Nothing? That’s what it feels like to spend a whole day caring for a baby. Because you can’t really explain to others what you do all day. Words just don’t capture it. It’s like when you take a trip to the mountains, or the ocean, or anywhere and you grab your cheap crappy Nokia cell-phone (wait, no one else has one anymore? just me?) and try to take a picture. But the mountains look tiny, the waves look kind and gentle but you could have SWORN ON YOUR LIFE that in reality, those mountains were enormous and the waves pretty terrifying. Your camera cannot really show what it was like to actually be THERE.

This is how I feel when I try to explain to people who ask what my day was like and how it was.

My answer usually goes something like this: Oh, it was good. We did stuff around the house and then went for a walk with a few friends.

Reality is different. “Stuff around the house” is a euphemism for omgamillionlittlethingstokeepthebabyclean/comfortable/fed/happy/notscreaming. But that’s not even how it is, because I somehow remember laughing, and smiling somewhere in there too. So.

BUT I did meet with some friends today, and had to say goodbye to one in particular who is moving to a new country. I am sad but wish her and her family well in their new home.

Anyway, moving on, Baby A is really funny lately. He just cracks me up. He has this fierce energy, and already seems to have intense likes and dislikes.

For example:

Ferry rides, good.

Peaches, baaaaaaaad. Check it out:

unaware of the horrors that will soon come

not gonna like this mom!!

Oh the horror! The HORROR!

Haha. What a guy.

Lions, Tigers and Babies! Oh My!

17 months ago, I got that BFP. 2 pink lines. PREGNANT! It was like that old AOL alert, “you’ve got mail,” only 123435348750 times more scary, exciting and joyful (no denial, getting mail was pretty fantastic then too). But there you have it. One woman, one man, 2 mutts, and now. One baby. You can say life changed a bit.

But. They don’t tell you HOW much it changes. Oh, you can read all the books, and all the blogs, and all the brochures and pamphlets from doctor’s offices. You can read all the forums and magazines. You still won’t know.

Another ‘but’. It’s good change. Hard, yes. Frightening, yes. Like, a million times more challenging than any university class I ever attended (hmmm…gotta wonder about that education I have, eh?). But also amazing and beautiful.

This blog follows me and my family (human and fur) as we navigate this new world of parenthood. Of FAMILY, all capitals. You won’t find tips or tricks here, as we are just figuring it all out too. You will find our story, good, bad and ugly. I want to share with others my experiences, because motherhood can feel so isolating at times. And it’s nice to have a community to share this journey with (yes, I know, I hate the word journey too). So there you have it.