Wednesday, December 31, 2008

It wasn't a fluke!

Connor was in bed by 9pm. He woke at 3am but I put his paci and his mouth and he went back to sleep. Then I decided that since I was so engorged I should just go ahead and feed him. I did so, and put him back down. He slept till 7am. It was very nice.

I think it's obvious that he is able to sleep better since we're not co-sleeping anymore. In the long run it is better for both of us. I only miss it a little...and I DO prefer sleeping in my bed rather than in the recliner. I get a lot more sleep that way.

AH responded to my email asking if there was a history of Café au lait spots in his family. His response was that there wasn't AND that he had already given me his entire medical history when we went to Connor's first doctor appointment. I guess he is indicating that I have no reason to ask any more questions of that nature, but honestly, I wouldn't have put benign spots in Connor's medical history, I would never have thought about it. It was a reasonable question to ask. AH is ass hat. **sigh** not that I didn't already know that.


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

At Laaaaaaaaaaaaast....

I'm celebrating, even though it was likely a fluke. Connor slept through the night last night! I started him on a sleep schedule this week because I am on vacation AND I started putting him in his crib to sleep. Every night at 9pm he is in his crib. If he isn't ready to go to sleep (even though he usually is) I let him cry a little, pick him up if he won't soothe, rock him and sing him a little and put him down. Rinse and repeate as necessary. Last night I didn't even have to rock him, he was out by 9, although he fell asleep in my arms after feeding rather than in the crib. I held him for a little while and then put him down. He only stirred a little as he hit the sheets. At 11pm he woke fussing a little and I put his paci back in his mouth and he went back to sleep and was out until 5am. It was great! Except I woke several times and snuck in his room to check to see if he was still breathing. Still, all in all, it was pretty great. Now I can only hope it happens again tonight! However, with the teething and the shots he got today I'm not going to be terribly surprised or upset if it doesn't.

The only news I have from Connor's 4 month check up that can even be considered close to bad is that he has 4 Café au lait spots on his body, that I showed to his Doctor. I was embarrassed to even mention them because I was sure they were nothing, but she told me if he had more than 6 it might indicate a genetic disorder. She told me it was good that I showed them to her and I should keep an eye out to see if more crop up. Of course I got on the internet to see what disease might present with Café au lait spots and thoroughly terrified myself. I'm not going to read anymore about it, but I probably WILL go over the little one with a bright light and see if there are any more spots I hadn't noticed yet. The spots are very faint and with his tanned skin-tone they are hard to see. Since the weather has been cold he almost always has a long sleeved footed onsie on, so I don't actually see his body under good lighting a lot. (the lighting over his changing table is poor, although Mom got me a stick up light for Christmas that should fix that) I know it is way too soon to panic, but it is inherent in a mother's nature to worry.

I did send an email to AH to see if he has anyone in his family who has any genetic issues that presented with Café au lait spots. I don't know if he will respond, but since I know it's not on MY side of the family, it would be good to know.

Wish us luck everyone!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

To Seek, or Not To Seek - That Is The Question

Ok, so I have been debating whether to seek child support for a while now. My family has been pressuring me to go that route since we learned that it would be pretty much impossible for AH (Ass Hat) to legally and permanently terminate his parental rights.

One of my concerns has been how a court battle would affect my job. I've read where several women ended up losing their jobs because they missed so much work going to court. So I broached the subject with my boss today over IM. This is how it went:

[09:17] Me: Do you know anyone who's gone through a court battle for child support and visitation?
[09:20] Boss: no
[09:20] Boss: why?
[09:21] Me: Just wondering. Weighing my options on whether I should go to court for CS. One of my (many) concerns is that I would have to miss a lot of work to make court dates. I am not sure how involved the process is
[09:22] Boss: well it can take some time from understanding of it
[09:22] Boss: but its not that much missed work
[09:23] Boss: and I am of the firm belief that even if 2 parents can't support each other...they should BOTH support their child no matter what
[09:23] Boss: missed work would probably end up being somewhere in the ballpark of 1 day every 2 weeks until a decision is made
[09:23] Boss: but I am willing to work out something with you to ensure that you can do this[09:23] Boss: maybe if you know the court date in advance
[09:24] Boss: we can work out a "work day from home swap" like we did before you gave birth
[09:25] Me: OK...I could do that. Thank really means a lot knowing you'll be supportive. I've asked other moms and some I knew ended up losing their jobs trying for C/S payments that took them years to get
[09:25] Boss: well it may take years
[09:26] Boss: but on average the court dates are always in advance...they always take no more than 1 whole day and you will always know when that’s going to be
[09:26] Boss: but we can definitely work things out
[09:26] Boss: I just need your commitment to work from home on those day swaps
[09:27] Boss: especially if it ends up being a weekend day
[09:27] Me: Right...Absolutely. You'll get the very best I can give. I could do no less when you've been so generous
[09:27] Boss: that’s all I ask for in return
[09:28] Boss: and besides the work effort you put forth is always excellent, I just wish I could pay you more
[09:28] Boss: however I think we can get you some certifications and training that would help me get you more
[09:28] Boss: we just need to work on that together too
[09:28] Me: That would be awesome
[09:28] Boss: but I will always be supportive especially if you need to go after child support
[09:29] Me: I am always willing to learn, and it WOULD be nice to have some paper to back up what I know
[09:29] Boss: excellent
[09:29] Me: I have a sudden urge to hug you, but that would probably be weird

So this makes me feel a lot better. At least I know that going that route won't cost me my job.

So my decision hinges upon this. I am going to do a little bit more research, talk to Child Services, and hopefully a lawyer. If I can't get AH's rights terminated and he can come back at ANY time in the next 18 years and demand visitation, I might as well get C/S. He told me he wouldn't seek visitation, but then he ALSO told me he would never cheat on me, and when I got pregnant he told me he was NOT going to abandon me....well, if I kept going on about all the lies he's told and promises he's broken, I'd be forced to write a book. So I'll avoid doing that and we'll leave it at that.

I'll keep you guys updated on what I find out and how things are going.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sometimes When The World Has You Beaten, A Little Light Shows Through.

Sometimes, a little light is all you need...

I won't lie. It's been a rough week. It has been one of those days where I just wanted to sit down for a good long cry. I'm tired in a deep down bone-weary way where it feels like a struggle just to lift my head. More than anything, I just want to stay in bed for a while...but as lovely, dark and deeps these woods are, I have promises to keep and sooo many miles left to go.

This morning when I earned my "Bad Mommy" card. Despite already being completely exhausted, I didn't get to bed until after midnight, dreading that 5am alarm clock. The baby woke twice during the night so I mayyyybe got 2-3 hours of broken sleep overall. I wasn't all together this morning and while juggling Connor, the diaper bag, my pump bag, purse, and laptop, I accidently hit the lock button on my keys. I put the baby in the car seat base, threw the keys in the front seat and arranged all the other bags I was carrying....and shut the door. It only took me a second to realize I had locked my keys and MY CHILD in the car. I looked around in a panic. My phone was in the car, my house key was in the car, and my house-mate is in Sweden. Fortunately, at that moment my neighbor walked out of her house and I begged her phone from her so I could call 911 to come rescue my child from the idiotic mistake of his mother.

While I waited I mentally kicked myself for making such a stupid mistake, for not having mom make a spare key for my car when she was making a spare house key, and for.....a lot of things really. Connor was awake and so I tapped on the car window and told him through the glass that everything would be ok. He smiled at me.

In minutes the rescue guys arrived and they had my car door opened quickly. They made me sign a paper stating that I was ok with them damaging my car. It was humiliating. When I finally got to work, half an hour late, I realized I had left my breakfast AND lunch at home. It was at that moment I wanted to put my head down on my head and cry.

Before the tears could start, my boss and a co-worker entered the room eating cookies. Cookies? The only reason they'd both be eating cookies is if there were some in the breakroom. I went to investigate and there was an entire table covered in sweet-treat goodness. A fellow employee's Christmas gift to her co-workers. I comforted myself with a giant warm cookie and decided I needed a complimentary beverage. It looked like the box of hot chocolate was empty, but as I fished around inside it I discovered that I got the last one. Score! When I got back to my desk with my Hot Chocolate and my cookie there was a card laying on my laptop. I open it to discover a $5 gift card from a co-worker for Chic-Fil-A and a thank you note for some recent work I had done. Wow...breakfast AND lunch taken care of!

Feeling a little better but still not great I logged on here to whine about how hard it is to be a single parent, when I noticed one of the regular blogs I read had been updated. I read it a little:

And in case you don't want to, the gist of the blog is that the little premie girl the blog centers on is dying. One thing the author wrote really hit me:

"She is our daughter who we will; never bring home to her perfectly painted pink
and brown bedroom, never be woken to screaming and crying in the middle of the
night, never change those stinkiest of diapers, never learn whose personality
she gets, never find out whether she has brown or blond hair, never hear what
her first words will be, never see her crawl, walk or ride a bike for the first
time, never take her to her first kindergarten class, never show off her "battle
wound" scars and tell the stories behind them, never kiss her goodnight every
night or read her a story before bedtime, and I will never get to walk her down
the aisle. Aimee and I will never hear her say "I love you Mommy and Daddy"

And I realized that, no matter how HARD it is, I am so very FORTUNATE to have my little guy and get to see his smile every day, and all the ways he changes and grows EVERY DAY...and just, everything about him. When he is screaming at 3am and I am so tired that I am starting to SMELL COLORS and there isn't a soul there to just hold him for a minute so I can go to the bathroom in peace....I am still lucky that he is healthy enough to scream and spit up in my hair, and pee on my clothes, and keep me up night after night.

...and even if this is awful, and makes me a terrible person, someone else's pain and loss has made me feel a lot better about my own situation and it just doesn't seem as bleak as it did this morning. Maybe it has just helped me appreciate all the things I still have instead of groaning about the things I don't.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Living By The Ounce - Talking Pump and Confused Co-Workers

I was in a stall in the ladies' restroom at work for one of my twice daily pumping sessions. In the silence of the room all that could be heard was the "whompclickwhirrr, whompclickwhirr" of my battery powered pump. It had been a long night with the baby, he had woken up at 2am and didn't get back to sleep until it was an hour before my alarm would go off. My eyes were drifting closed and my head was bobbing. My sleep deprived brain interpreted the rhythmic mechanical noises from my pump into words. It seemed like the pump was saying "It's Ok, It's Ok", which was comforting in a way, and certainly an unexpected bit of support from a device I typically dread seeing.

As I was pumping, the door opened and a woman entered. "Effie? That MUST be you" she said. It was a co-worker I was familiar enough with that I recognized her voice. "I heard that noise and thought, that can only be Effie pumping" I laughed....but it certainly brought to light something I have been concerned about.

Almost every time I pump, at least one woman will come in during the session. Some have commented when they heard my pump. Things like "I will never forget THAT sound." or "Effie's doing her mommy thing" or of course "Effie, that MUST be you" So the women that know me and that I am breastfeeding and pumping, or those that are just familiar with the process are generally unfazed when they enter the bathroom and hear someone running a machine in the stall next to them. There are a lot of new employees in the office now, especially since we acquired one of our competitors in a buy-out. For those that don't know me, or aren't familiar with breast pump noises, what must be running through their minds when they walk into the ladies' room and hear those sounds? What might they suspect? I know what *I* would think if I had heard those noises before I had a baby. Which is why, whenever someone comes in as I am finishing up, I always wait before they leave before coming out of my stall.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Things Have Changed

Kids keep you on your toes. Constantly changing, growing, doing new things. It is a wonderful thing to watch....and at the same time, completely terrifying.

I bought Connor a new toy...brightly colored textured plastic rings that can be linked together, hooked on things, etc. I hung a few links from the handle of his carrier and was pleased to see that not only did he stare at them raptly, he grabbed them, pulled them, and put them in his mouth. This was a big developmental milestone for him, because before this he wasn't really grabbing and holding things so much as occassionally swinging an arm at them as though he didn't like having them in his personal space. To not only grab, but put in his mouth too? It means he's figured out what those little hands are for! Yay! You think this might have alarmed as well as delighted me...but nope. I was just happy.

Later I had him laying on the dryer while I was did the laundry clothes. It is a safe enough place for my little non-roller. I had the links dangling from the door of a cabinet above the dryer for him to look at and play with. They weren't directly over his head like they are with the carrier and as I was folding clothes I saw him twist his torso up so he was almost on his side in order to give him better access to the links. "Oh...he may start rolling soon now afterall!" I thought with pride. "My little guy is driving a truck through those milestones!"

Was I alarmed? Nope, not at all...not until I saw this:

I had put him in his Bumbo seat and while I was watching him he just sat there contentedly observing his surroundings, seeming completely innocent. I walked around the corner to grab a dish cloth and when I returned I see Mr. Don't-Mind-Me-I'm-Just-Sitting-Here getting into my oranges.

That is when I started to freak out.

It is one thing for him to happily grab at the perfectly safe, non-choking hazard toys I give him, and another thing entirely for him to be GETTING INTO THINGS. He's only three months old! I thought I had another couple of months at least of having a nice, calm baby who would still be where I put him when I set him down. Now I have a baby who is approaching mobility in a semi, and I have to think about where I put him and what might be in range of those curious little fingers.

Wasn't it enough that I had to worry about SIDS, reflux, RSV, daycare, and other people? Now I gotta worry about choking hazards, falling hazards, poisions, and whatever stuff the dog has managed to drag around. I need to baby proof...and to be entirely honest, I am not ready. I don't own a single baby-proofing item. I'm not even entirely sure where I need to start.

Connor, can't you stay the way you are just a little while longer? No? ...**sigh** that's what I thought....

Friday, December 5, 2008

Is There A Such Thing As Too Cute?

This morning Connor was feeding and he popped off, looked up at me, and gave me this adorable, mischievous grin. At that moment I realized something that he will soon figure is going to be HARD for me to be the mommy spank him when he smiles at me like that. The other thing I realized, this kid is going to be TROUBLE...and a total charmer. I see a future of teachers and daycare workers who will be completely exasperated with him and totally in love with him at the same time...and the girls...oh the girls. One of my first goals is going to have to be to teach him to respect women!

And for an example of almost too darn cute, here's video evidence!