Friday, December 31, 2010

Two weeks in..

I don't have time to post, but I thought y'all would like to know that Elessar arrived two weeks ago today, safe and sound, no complications. I want to write up her birth story soon, but here're the vital stats until then.

Elinor Lily, born December 17, 2010 at 1:44 am, weighing 7 pounds 6.5 ounces, and measuring 20 inches long. Things are going well, if very busy, juggling Elessar and the Infanta, but we haven't imploded... yet.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Weaning: A Bedtime Story

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful baby girl whom her mother called the Infanta. This little girl loved to nurse. From just moments after she was born, she nursed strongly and well, and she and her mother were fortunate to have none of the problems that so many other mothers and babies have. She loved nursing so much that she had no interest in grown-up food until after her first birthday, and her mother's milk nourished her perfectly.

As time went on, the little girl nursed less, although she never stopped wanting her mother's snuggly arms. Soon after the little girl turned two years old, she stopped nursing altogether; her mother was growing another baby, and had stopped making milk. This was sad for them both, and the Infanta continued to ask to nurse. Although her mother didn't let her nurse, she never stopped offering snuggles. The little girl wanted to be close with her mother, and so although she begged to nurse, she grudgingly accepted the snuggles in place of nursing.

One teary night, after the Infanta went to bed, the mother realized that she needed to figure out how to tell her little girl that she wouldn't get to nurse after the baby was born. So, she had a conversation with a dear friend, and decided to write this story. Nursing is special, and every mother and child who are able to even briefly form a unique bond because of it; but it's not something anyone can do forever. That bond never fades, though, and every mother's arms are always open to her children.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Just a quick note..

For all of you who haven't given up on me completely:

32 weeks and counting! The Infanta was a reassuringly active baby; Elessar is a positive acrobat! When s/he's awake, I never know quite where I'm going to feel kicks/shoves/punches. S/he is, however, beginning to favor a head-down position, which is reassuring. My SPD is a pain in the arse - literally, as my sacrum is tending to be quite sore - but chiropractic care and knowing more about how to not make it worse is helping me to manage it.

A photographer friend and I went out this weekend and did a belly photo shoot. The few shots I saw were absolutely amazing, and as soon as she gets the disk of finished photos to me, I plan to post them, well, everywhere.

Part of the reason posting has been so scant in the last months is that the Infanta has hit 2.5 early and hard. I don't know why it took me so long to realize that, and to remember that her pattern her whole life has been that she hits her half-year disruptions early and hard, but once I did remember, it has made coping a lot easier. It's still difficult, especially as I'm feeling like a beached whale and mostly unable to move without pain, but at least I understand what's going on.

Edited to add: I know I'm not posting often, but I do tweet a fair amount. If you don't already track my twitterstream, I have a gadget that shows it over on the left.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Catching up

How has it been a month since my last post? Pregnancy, knitting, chasing toddlers, trying to get enough rest... it's pretty all-absorbing.

I've been working on a lot of baby knits - surprise, surprise. I've even finished a couple of things! I had a half-assed idea that I would take pictures of my FOs and WIPs, and possibly even a belly pic! but I'm tired and achy after OFFF yesterday. Also, it's raining.. and I'm having a great deal of trouble wanting to do anything but listen to the rain, work on baby knits, and watch TV.

The Infanta permitting, I'm planning to take and post those pictures this week.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

O Hai

Because it's been a horrid week, and this made me smile just now when I really needed it.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Not dead, just busy

Summer has been busy, with visits from family and friends, not to mention our own activities. Plus, there's the whole surviving the heat thing.

Goofy Girl is goofy.

22w 3d

But I figure that it's been six weeks since I posted, so I thought I'd put up a bump shot. Seriously folks, I look like I did at 34ish weeks with the Infanta! Elessar is doing fine; very squirmy, and with all the right parts. I'm not enjoying the summer part of this pregnancy, but it will pass, and I'm good with everything else - especially since I have a lovely chiropractor is working hard on reducing my pelvic pain!

And yes, it was cool enough this morning that I'm wearing a sweater and jeans.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

...And then Buffy staked Edward. The End.

I used to have a button that read that, as my personal protest against the whole Twilight fad. Sadly, it fell off my bag a few months ago, and my friend hasn't made me another.

But then J sent me this video this morning, and it made me very, very happy indeed.

ETA: For a knitterly take, look here.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thoughts of a Thursday

* I've made it to the second trimester! By some definitions, anyway. Others say it's not til next week. Either way, I've made it past 12 weeks, when the chances for miscarriage drop to nigh-miniscule.

* I'm trying to make myself believe that I really am pregnant, and that I really will be having a baby at the end of this year. I'm oddly detached still. With the Infanta I was so excited, so in love with my baby; this time, while I want it so much (I think ;) ), my innocence is lost and I'm a lot more reserved about bonding. I'm really looking forward to my next appointment, and the reassurance of hearing the heartbeat. I really want to feel movement... but it's too soon for that.

* The Infanta is 2. How did that happen?! She's still very sweet, bright, and usually well-behaved, but she does throw a fit every now and then. I find that the fits happen less if I give her some warning about a change that's going to happen - we're leaving the park, it's time to get dressed, time for bed, etc. That way she gets to process her reaction and is often leading the way by the time it's actually time to go! I need to remember her transition process more often; it's how I work, after all.

* Well, we're still nursing. Sort of. The Infanta has begun asking to nurse at times that we haven't at nursed in months, and the bedtime nursing is often either hard-fought (on my part) or a delay tactic (on hers). Between her lazy toddler latch and my pregnancy-sore breasts, as well as my bare trickle of a supply, nursing is very painful for me and pretty unsatisfying for her. I'm very close to calling it quits for good, but I can't quite bring myself to yet. I'm pretty sure I don't want to tandem nurse (I don't anymore, anyway), but I'm just not quite there on stopping with my darling girl.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sugar and Spice and Puppy Dog's Tails

* The Infanta's going to be two in a week. Where did the time go?!

* I'm still pregnant - 10 weeks tomorrow! Morning sickness held off while I had a ferocious cold, but came roaring in when the cold left. It's not as bad as I remember from the Infanta's pregnancy... or maybe I know more about coping? I do keep having thoughts about "why did I think this was a good idea again?"

* My SPD is kicking in. Not so much in front, although I've had a few itchy twinges there, but more in my left sacro-iliac joint. If I didn't know better I might say it was sciatica, but I do know better. I really hope it doesn't get any more painful than it is right now, but again, I know better. I guess I'd better get a form for a temp handicapped placard for my midwife to fill out sooner rather than later. Maybe when we go by the DMV to renew my permit?

* Having no (or almost no) knitting mojo thanks to first trimester exhaustion is really frustrating. Okay, first trimester exhaustion is frustrating all on its own, but not being able to knit much really sucks. So many things I want to work on, so little energy to do it with... so I'm focusing on J's father's day socks, and hoping I'll be able to get them done in time.

* I'm liking doing the Wordless Wednesday thing, because it means I'm actually actively taking pictures, *and* getting them off my camera.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Just by the by, all the pictures I post that look awesome were probably taken by Josh. All the others I probably took. I have my gifts, but genius in graphic arts isn't among them.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Elessar: 8 weeks

I would tend to guess that most folks might look at me and think "too much Taco Bell", but I know that's scarcely the case. No, my belly has officially popped out! Already... how big am I going to get this time?! Only time will tell.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Mother's Day Musings

Last year was my first Mother's Day with a child outside my body (the year before the Infanta still had three weeks to cook). I was also miscarrying, and knew it (though I hoped very much that I wasn't). So I think Mother's Day will always be tinged by the sadness of remembering a child that was not to be.

However, this year I'm almost eight weeks pregnant, with every sign, including morning sickness and an almost complete lack of knitting mojo, that this one's going to go all the way. I'm even starting to show! (Although if you didn't know me well you might just think I've had too many sodas; I'll try to get a picture up in the next couple of days.) After so many losses in the last year, I'm still anxious about whether Elessar will stay with us, but I'm cautiously excited that I'll have a new baby by the year's end. Mostly right now I'm just tired and sick (I have a cold on top of the morning sickness); those two don't leave much room for anything else between them.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

In the interest of soothing certain grandmotherly desires for more posts, I'm succumbing to a meme. :)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Introducing Elessar

At six weeks, she/he/it looks more like one of my earrings than anything else, but that should, I trust, improve with time.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Snapshots in time

I'm sitting playing a computer game while dinner cooks, and listening to L read to herself. She's sitting on her bed, paging through books we've read to her, narrating the stories, identifying animals when she knows them, and even making the right noise from time to time. We can always tell when she's reading her Thomas book, from the exclamations of "Thoma'" and "Moo! Moo!" (there's a cow on the tracks at one point that Thomas must wait for).

I dearly hope that she retains her sweet, intelligent charm as she grows older.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Notes from the Trenches: End of March Updates

How did it get to the end of the month already?! Oh, I know: chasing a busy toddler around.

For the year's goals:

1. How do I forget about this one? The Infanta has become a smidge less frustrating, though, so it's a little easier to appreciate her. More on that in a bit.

2. With A's help I made myself a nightie a couple of weeks ago! It's super comfy, and we're plotting a day to work on jammies for the girls - with, I hope, someone to watch the girls so we can concentrate on sewing.

3. Not much relaxation on the pregnancy issue here, but I'm at about three weeks on no soda. It's still not easy, and I don't really like that I've taken to coffee in the mornings, but I do feel better. I think. On the other hand, my cycle has been doing weird things for a few months, and I'm still trying to figure out what and why.

4. Not doing so great on the housework, but I have at least gotten to a place where I'll be in the kitchen waiting for something to cook, and will realize that I have a few minutes in which to, say, load the dishwasher. It's not consistent, but it does happen. Also, it's fairly easy to get frustrated and pick up the Infanta's bedroom (more on that below).

5. Again, not doing to great on this... but I at least think about it. Last week we had some truly gorgeous weather, and all three of us got out to enjoy it. I even got out to the garden, which I weeded, and then planted sugar peas and onions. I think I might still be sore from that... This week is promising to be stormy; March going out like a lion this year, so getting out will be problematic. Still, I'm thinking about it, and that's a start!

The Infanta is finally coming out of 18-21 month hell. She's sweet, cheerful, social, mischievous, and turning into a proper little geek. Around the beginning of this month I got tired of watching Thomas the Tank Engine all the time, and instead started watching the new Doctor Who series. As a result, the Infanta will ask to see "Thoma'?" as well as "Doctie?". But the we watched The Goblet of Fire the other night... and during the scene in which Barty Crouch Jr is unmasked, she was pointing at David Tennant on the screen and saying "Doctie? Doctie? Doctie!" One of my worst trials with her right now is that when she's playing with the Quiet One, she's more likely than not to pull hair and shove. So to deal with that and teach the Infanta that that's not acceptable while simultaneously not feeding the Quiet One's incipient dramatic tendencies is... a challenge.

Weaning is actually going surprisingly well, and thank you all for your supportive comments on the subject. It does help to know that you all are out there and caring! At the beginning of Josh's Spring Break we turned my office into the Infanta's bedroom. To all appearances so far, she loves having her own room, and will ask to go play in it (we have it gated off still). With the time change she began sleeping almost all night, and with her own room she's started sleeping all night! So I haven't had to worry about night weaning, the Infanta has done that herself. I had tried to drop our morning nursing session at first, and that wasn't going so well, but after a day on which she napped easily without nursing I decided to drop that session instead. So we're down to only bedtime and morning, which suits me fine. The Infanta does seem to have finally picked up that I deliberately stopped, as she's been asking to "nuss" more in the last couple of days, and is very eager when it is time, but she accepts more or less gracefully when I say no.

That's the highlights from the trenches right now.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Hard Choices

It's funny how writing things out makes them easier to cope with. Since I wrote my last post, I've been doing ok again.

But... I've come to a hard realization about nursing. I'd been saying that if I couldn't get a pregnancy to stick by the time the Infanta turns two, I would wean her... and it seems my subconscious has decided that I should wean her by then, anyway.

I'm pretty sure it's the right decision for myself, but I'm still feeling pretty ambivalent about it. I didn't ever have a time I wanted to wean by, but always said at least two years, because of the WHO's recommendations (which say at least two years, and then as long as mother and child wish to continue). I figured I'd probably go longer than that... but it's looking like I won't now.

You see, I think the reason I'm having trouble staying pregnant is that for me, nursing is disrupting my hormonal balance just enough. Many, even most, women don't have that issue, but I think I do; I think I have low progesterone anyway, and nursing is disrupting that even more. And while I want to breastfeed the Infanta as long as I can, I also need to balance that with my desire for more children. She is certainly old enough that she doesn't *need* breast milk for nutrition, and she is well able to ask for (and receive) other kinds of nurturing.

On the other hand, nursing the one thing I can do for her that no one else can, and I find that that is a very big part of my identity as a mother. I have no doubts that I can shift its place - "I nursed her for two years" instead of "we're still nursing" - but it's not going to be painless. Nursing is a very special relationship, and once it's over, it's over. I don't want to nurse forever, but am I really ready to be done?

If I turn up pregnant, though, we're done, cold turkey.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Checking in about checking out

February was a difficult month for me. March looks like it's going to be harder.

There has been a lot going on; visits with friends and the Olympics to name a couple. A brought Baby J home, and we've spent a good deal of time hanging out, and I've gotten to enjoy her teeny sweetness a lot. A swears that Baby J needs me to hold her in order to poop, and so far we haven't seen anything to disprove that. (oh, darn, I have to snuggle the tiny one?) I also decided that for the sake of my own sanity, I needed to cut down how much the Infanta was nursing; she's down to about three times a day (plus whatever during the night, which has become usually not all that much), and has taken it pretty well. She still asks, but accepts when I say no, because it's not time.

The Infanta also dove straight into a huge developmental and physical growth leap in the last couple of weeks. Her clothes are getting short, and her language sophistication increases by the day. As the natural flip side, she's also become prone to ginormous tantrums, as incidents insignificant to us trigger huge emotions that she doesn't know how to cope with yet... not to mention the further development of her contrary side. (I wonder where she got that?) It's very difficult and frustrating for us to cope with, but nothing anyone who's parented a toddler hasn't dealt with. Still, it's new to us, and J and I are struggling to figure out our compromises in parenting style at the same time the Infanta's changing so rapidly.

Trouble is, I'm beginning to not do so well all on my lonesome. I was able to almost forget about the baby (babies) I should have been carrying for a little while, but I have become aware again, and the grief is triggering my depression. I've found myself dissociating a lot in the last few days, and beginning to lose interest in pursuits I'd been enjoying. It's like that last pregnancy was more real to me, because I was so aware of it and had it confirmed so clearly, and had allowed myself to hope... and then those hopes were dashed as I knew the moment I passed what baby there was. And now I know exactly how far along I'd be, because the due date would have been the same as the Infanta's... It's not that I'm dwelling on it. It's that I'm trying to go about my life, but it's reaching up and dragging me away from that life - I had gotten so far behind on dishes, for example, that I ran two loads today and still couldn't get them all. and I won't talk about how long some of this laundry's been waiting to be folded. But... I don't cry easily, not for myself, and had forgotten until a week and a half ago that I hadn't cried about this last miscarriage. At that time, I was able to squeeze out a little moisture, because I was at a memorial... and a couple of nights ago someone said something that made me tear up a little... but I still haven't *really* cried, and I can feel something like a tidal wave building up, and I don't know how to let it out.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Cuteness of the day

A, the Quiet One, and the new one are here for a few hours. Since they arrived at lunchtime, we all sat at the table and ate. The Infanta was in her high chair, but since we only have one, the Quiet One was bouncing around, doing things on a regular chair fit to give me a heart attack.

At almost the end of the meal, the Infanta (who been listening to a chorus of this the whole time) said, "Quiet One* sit down!" When the Quiet One sat(!), the Infanta followed with "Thank you!"

*Herself actually used the real name here.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Out and about

In pursuit of my resolution to get out of the house more, and in celebration of the recent occasionally nice weather, we've gotten to some fun places recently.

Here we are with the Quiet One* and her aunt and uncle at Gilbert House:

Gilbert House

Friday and today (Sunday) were gorgeous sunny days, and we ended up at the park with some of my knitting friends and their kids. For a change, I remembered my camera - again! That's three times in a week!

At the Park

* I've decided to call the Infanta's friend K by this pseudonym. She very quiet in comparison to the Infanta and the Hurricane, and it's also something of an homage to my younger brother, who maintained a cartoon involving a bunny with a sledgehammer and the caption "No one suspects the quiet ones!" on our refrigerator growing up. If you'd grown up with him, you'd keep an eye on the quiet ones, too!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Birth link

I haven't posted anything birthy in a while, but I saw this post today and thought, yes!!!

I've been thinking about the Infant's birth lately. I remember labor as not painless, but intense and overwhelming; there was pain, but it was the good feeling of muscles working hard. The one time I remember thinking "the e word"*, it wasn't because I hurt so badly, it was because the sensations were so overwhelming I was having trouble coping with them anymore. Because of my training, the small portion of my analytical brain that still worked at that point told me that that meant I was almost done. Also, my doula helped me let go, to surrender to the waves. I might have done it without her, but it wold have been tremendously more difficult!

Some women report feeling amazing empowerment after giving birth; I can't say that I did. I think perhaps that's because I don't generally feel disempowered. Birth was amazing, and wonderful, and I want to do it again, but I didn't have that "if I can do this, I can do anything" feeling so many women express.

Mothering a toddler - now that's giving me that feeling!


Saturday, January 30, 2010

Goal check-in

It's the end of the month, and I feel like checking in on the goals I made for myself for this year.

1. I'd like to think I'm doing a little better at actively appreciating the lovely people I live with. The Infanta is working very hard on some more of those developmental leaps (she's figuring out counting! at least, the beginning of it... and more words... and just today she's started actively playing with a baby doll...), so her sleep is very irregular, but I'm finding that if I slow down and just *be* with her, I don't get so frustrated. J has been his usual wonderful supportive self through the stresses of the last couple weeks, and I'm trying to show my appreciation; for example, I took Herself with me to knitting Saturday so that he could have an afternoon all by his lonesome for a change.

2. Well, I got a good start on this... I had promised a friend that I would make her a baby carrier, and I got it cut out and half-sewn... and then the friend that was helping me with toddler distraction went and had her baby 6 weeks early. So my momentum on that has yet again been derailed. But it's derailed in such a way that given a couple of hours, I can have the carrier pretty well done.

I've been thinking about further sewing projects, as well. I promised J that I would make him a kimono some time back... and while that's not going yet, it's definitely on my mind. I also decided that I want to make nightgowns for me and the Infanta, and went so far as to buy patterns for the purpose Saturday. Go me!

3. My last couple of cycles have been weirdly short, so I decided to start actively charting again. You could make a case that this isn't doing anything to relax about the pregnancy thing, but for me it is; it's something I can *do*, something that will let me see more of what's actually going on than just enduring the same symptoms every month which are so very much the same as very early pregnancy symptoms and which drive me and the people around me crazy with hope.

4. I'm not running dishes *every* night... but I'm not letting them pile up over my head, either. It feels good. It also feels good that the dining room table is clear enough to eat at whenever we feel like it, which we have been fairly often! Clear it and they will come, I guess. Alongside this refocusing on my domestic space, I've resolved to get back to cloth diapering.

5. There's been a fair amount of sunshine this last week, so the Infanta and I and sometimes other friends have been getting out and walking to nearby parks, playing for a while, and then walking home. I think it's good for both (all) of us.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Drinking game!

Because I can't do anything for my friend and client A, who's in the hospital right now dealing with preterm labor, I'm going to rough out a drinking game based on Thomas the Tank Engine.

Essentially, take a drink every time one of the following occurs: any of the characters exclaims (cinders and ashes, flatten my funnel, etc.); any time the words "useful" or "reliable" are mentioned; any time Sir Toppham Hatt is pompous. Following these guidelines, you should be nicely tipsy by the end of a single episode!

On a completely different note, all you Jane Austen nuts should go read this. Now. Swallow first, and if you don't, don't say I didn't warn you.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

New Year, Old Frustrations

I don't like how long it's been since I last posted. For the five of you still paying attention, I apologize. It's not at all that I've had nothing to post; rather the issue is that I've had entirely too much I want to write about, and it gets overwhelming. Then there's the part where I don't have time, and on top of all that, I've been incredibly inarticulate of late.

Goals for this year:

1. Love my family, no matter how much hair they make me want to tear out. More than that, enjoy them! J is a really great guy, and I don't pay enough attention to him. The Infanta is in a frustrating stage, but she's a sweet-natured, bright, beautiful little girl, and it's easy to lose sight of that in the day-to-day (or the all-nighters).

2. Sew more.

3. Relax about getting pregnant again. (Much easier said than done!)

4. Get better at household maintenance - by which I mean trying to keep the floor more or less picked up, the table clear (for dining or for sewing, which will help with #2), the dishes done more or less daily, etc. It's so easy to slack a day, and then it's overwhelming. Speaking of which, I should go run dishes once this is posted.

5. Get outside! I spend entirely too much time sitting here, dinking on the lappy. The Infanta needs to get out and run more, and I would do better with more outside air as well.

Now to get on some of those chores, while J has the Infanta off at church with him!