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.