Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A loss is a loss no matter how small

For my first pregnancy I found out at 8 weeks I was pregnant with twins. It was an incredibly exciting, scary, fun thing to find out. I had an early ultrasound to date the pregnancy and there on the screen were two little blobs with two strong heartbeats around 150/155. My mom was with me because BT couldn't make it. I was suppose to go straight back to work but I drove across town and threw the ultrasound photo on the counter at his work. He was shocked and excited. We called everyone. Everyone was thrilled. Twins!

We got a pregnancy book on twins. And in the book it mentioned Vanishing Twin Syndrome, when one fetus doesn't make it and suddenly "disappears" or is miscarried and reabsorbed. Suddenly I was afraid and obsessed with this. They both had good heartbeats so BT keep reassuring me. But at 10 weeks one day I was spotting and cramping lightly. This is often normal in pregnancy but I worried. We went out of town for the weekend and when we came back it had continued so I called the doctor and went in for an ultrasound to check. I called BT to go but it took him too long to come so I did the ultrasound alone. There was one strong heartbeat but two blobs still on the screen. One was gone. I cried so hard. I apologized. I was just so so sorry. It was nobody's fault and no way to prevent it. It didn't make it any easier.

So I went home. BT called our moms. I tried to tell my mom but there was no way. I stayed home an extra day. It should have been longer but I still had one to take care of, one that I would have to go on maternity leave for later. Everyone was sorry for me but still the circulation supervisor said the stupidest thing. She said she was sorry but at least I still had one. It's true that I was lucky to still have one baby. Maybe I was being greedy but I wanted them both. Maybe that's just not something you say to someone who has just experienced a loss.

I still think about this from time to time. I look at Bub and I think that there could have been two of him. I think I'm the only one who remembers the little lost twin. Most days I do feel lucky. I have a beautiful healthy boy. If I had twins, I never would have gotten Button. Things work out how that should. It doesn't make it less painful at the time. While I've never experience a total miscarriage, I can say that it is hard to lose that potential, that hope for the future. Loss is hard in any form, even when it is a small one.

Monday, October 29, 2012

MOOOOOOOOOO

A co-worker asked if I was still doing that while I cleaned the parts to my breast pump. "Yep," I said enthusiastically. "Going to for as long as I can," I said cheerfully. I don't think that is the reaction she were looking for. Because if she was looking for me to admit I am getting tired of it, she can keep looking. Yes, I get tired of hooking myself to a machine and feeling like a dairy cow, but I do it for baby girl because I want her to have the best. So MOOOOOOO and no I'm not ready to quit.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Beat out by the damn dog

Bub's first word was "Dada" as it most often it is with babies. His second word was "Java" and then "Mama" came third. I like to joke that I grew him, birthed him and nurtured him but he still said the dog's name first. It is actually fitting given how much he loves the dog. I'm sure if we had Kona then his name would have been up in there.

So Button is beginning to say words. Her first word was "Hi" complete with the arm motion for a wave. Then came "Dada" while looking directly at BT. And then just the other night she was sitting in her highchair when she said "Java" so clearly that he got up out of his bed and went to her. Yet no "Mamas." There goes my chance at ever being a first word. Beat out by the damn dog again!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

8 years

Today is our 8th wedding anniversary. And as of yesterday we have been together for 14 years altogether. I feel like this is quite an accomplishment. It hasn't been easy and there were some extremely rough points throughout. But there was never really an option of not being together. Well, I guess there was the option but neither one of us wanted to take it. From almost the minute I meet BT we just were. And I like to think that we will always just be.

My father-in-law likes to say that I can't count the first 6 years. I guess in his head the clock starts over when you say "I do." But those 6 years were important. We figured out a lot of things between us in those 6 years and got through some of our hardest times. So those years were important and I will always count them.

One of our hardest times after we were married came when we became parents for the first time. That is a difficult stage, maybe not for everyone, but it was for us. It was one of the few times I wasn't sure we were going to make it. But we did and we learned how to be good parents for Bub and how to do it together as a team and, in the end, that too made us a better couple.

Just this morning we were having a conversation about how different people are when they are 20 versus 34. How when you are 20 it's easy to take things for granted and to not know the value of something. How BT takes his schoolwork more seriously now than he did when he was 20. It's amazing really to me to think about who he was when we first meet compared to him now. 20 really is awfully young to find the person you are going to spend the rest of your life with but that is what happened. We've grown up together and make plenty of mistakes together. We've also made 2 babies and bought a house and keep 2 dogs and made so many happy memories together. I hope that we continue to find more happiness in each other. I cannot imagine it any other way.

Monday, October 22, 2012

TMI: Pumping routine

You can file this under TMI if you want, but the other day I was reading a blog post about essential equipment for pumping. Luckily this isn't my first rodeo for pumping. I pumped in a supply closet at my old work for 8 months for Bub and I do it all over again for Button but thankfully I have my own office this time around. It took a while to establish a good and fast routine the first time and for the most part I've kept to the same routine this time around. I was and am always interested in how other women handle this routine so I thought I'd share.

I only pumped at work twice, around 10 and 2. But, at this point, I have about an hour window either way if I have a meeting or can't stop what I am doing. 2:00 works best because that way I have milk for Button when I get home but I'm not full to the brim. I still have the pump I bought for Bub, a Medela Pump-in-Style, the first generation, not an Advanced. So it's not the most high tech on the market but it has held up really well, only giving me a few problems lately that have been fixable. I'd recommend Medela because of this. This pump is well over 6 years old and should serve me the next 6 months (*fingers crossed*).  I kept in my closet all these years so I think that contributed to its extended life. I also invested in a hands-free bra, something I did not have the first time and wished I did. It is a must have and it has makes things much easier.

My day starts at 5:45 a.m. I get Button and nurse her but she almost always only does one side. Just enough to put something in her belly and make her sleep a little longer for her dad. Then while I get ready for work I pump the other side. I have enough parts to have a work set and a home set so that makes it easier too. I keep my work parts in a little bag that fits right inside my pump bag. Another convenience is having my own mini-fridge in my office. I didn't have that at my old work so I just used a drawer in the fridge in the break room. Anyway.

At work, after I pump the first time, I wipe down the parts with the Medela Quick Clean Breastpump & Accessory Wipes and store the connectors, valves, and membranes in the little bag in the fridge and the breastshields in my cabinet. The milk I combine into one bottle and that goes in the fridge as well. For the afternoon session, I reuse the empty bottle from the morning and a new one. That milk gets combined into one bottle and I wash the other bottle so it's one less thing to do at night. Everything gets steamed cleaned in the Quick Clean Micro-Steam bags and left to dry in my cabinet until work is done and it is put back in the bag. At the end of the day, the milk goes in the cooler that came with the pump along with an ice pack for the drive home. It would be fine without it but I get paranoid about my breastmilk.

After afternoon cleaning


At home I use Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags. I've honestly tried about 3 or 4 brands of storage bags and these are the ones that have held up every time. They feel secure and not cheap like some brands and they double seal. And the people who warm up the milk (aka her dad, my mom and sister) have never had a problem with them. She gets the fresh milk from the day before and some of the frozen I have saved up. And lately I've been using some baby food jars (that a friend gave me) to save the 2 to 3 ounces I pump in the mornings for her sippy cups so I don't have to use a bag for an amount she doesn't drink from a bottle anymore.

So in summary:
Things I need are the pump (obviously) and micro-steam bags and the Lansinoh breastmilk storage bags. A roll of paper towels and tissue are also handy to keep around for clean up any leakage.

Things I like having: the Quick Clean wipes - I can rinse out the parts or just put in the bag fridge without wiping them down if need be. I just feel like they are cleaner with the wipes though. And the hands-free bra is not a necessity but it makes things that much easier for me.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The line in the sand

Today my co-worker made a thoughtless comment today about how her husband didn't want to sit next to my son at a football game. And I have to say it made me mad and it hurt my feelings. It wasn't that he didn't want to sit next to Bub. That is fine. But she said she sat between them to be the "buffer" and that is where I got mad. Not everyone has to like my kid. I get that he can be a lot. He is an endless talker and extremely energetic. I get tired of it sometimes myself. It's that she apparently felt like she had to protect her grown-up husband from the kid. Just whatever. Honestly if you are going to say negative things about my child, maybe not do it in front of his mother. I basically just shut down on her at that point and that was the end of that. Because my line in the sand will always always be my children. You don't have to like them, just kept your opinions to yourself.