I have this sick need for approval. I think that's part of the biggest problems with me and Trent. Not having a job to go to, not making real connections with people (grown ups) on a daily basis, not receiving feedback that I'm doing a good job as a mom...I look to Trent for fulfilling all of that need. It's craven, really. When I work as an audiologist, for the most part, I feel confident at various parts of the day. . I know that I'm aiming to meet my patients' needs, and gratitude is often expressed. And I get paid.
I yearn for connection, and don't know how to cultivate it. How to truly be intimate with a partner. I'm learning honesty mostly through Kristin, and now Steph and Paul, feeling like I can say things that are really hard to admit to...without just falling into that Shame circle when I feel like I've done something less than honourable/mindful.
I spoke to my mom tonight, and learned about a property that my dad bought in Miami at the height of the market 6 years ago that is now losing money every day. I never knew about it. Trent heard part of the conversation on Skype and I went to talk to him about it after. I was stunned, and yet not. That's the shame response that I learned, right? Hide things that don't go well? But during our conversation, I interrupted him to fill in his sentence (incorrectly) because...well...why do I do it? Maybe to force some sense of connection? To seek that approval? To second guess that I know what he's going to say, therefore doing that whole "false sense of closeness" that my mom pulls? I think that's probably it. Wanting to feel connection so much, just like she does, and not knowing how to attain it. So she perpetuates this false intimacy, hoping that one day it'll be real...maybe that's as simple as it is. I do what I learned. But it sucks. It's one thing to banter with friends, but why do I seem unable to be truly present in a conversation with my partner? Or is it that I'm so eager to PROVE to him that I'm listening that I interject myself into the conversation in any way possible?
Just finished listening to part 4 of the mindfulness series from Kirsten. Talks about 5 of the tenants of Buddhism and most religions--vowing not to harm sentient beings; not to steal; not to slander; to avoid toxin. But his take on it makes sense: I will consider trying to go 24 hours without saying anything that I haven't thought through to make sure it isn't hurtful, basically to endeavour to be mindful of my speech::: and I will consider to go on a media fast as I think that is one of my toxins. Not to mention sugar but media is probably what I use to dull my presence more than anything.
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Eleanor is doing wonderfully. Finally starting to sleep a bit better again, i think we ran into a growth spurt, teething, and learning new skills all at once. I'm trying desperately to be a go-with-the-flow mama, but it's SO not my style. Day by day, she's teaching me that that's just the way it's gotta be now. I still can't believe how much joy I get just playing with her and making her giggle. She has fantastic taste in music (loves The Muppets: Mahna Mahna, and The Turtles: Elinor, and all things Beatles, and we were even rocking out to De La Soul yesterday). Trent entering a room is enough to bring on a huge gummy grin. She's so much more fun now than when she was a cute little lump. :)
So we went outside. But at the door, i realized i still was only in my bra. SO I grabbed a winter coat from the front closet (its 85 degrees, mind you). And of course got to meet 2 new neighbors that way! Classy, huh? But very exciting...
Aside from the occasional projectile milk explosion, Eleanor is a dream baby. I've only thought about shaking her on one day and it was after a marathon eating/hollering session from about 8 am to 4 pm...guess that's what they call a growth spurt. But honestly, the days drift by, and I'm trying to remember every moment, even the spit-covered ones.
Trent is awesome and supportive, and Ellie and I couldn't be luckier.
Milestones: she's starting to track a little bit, and focus on faces more; She's a doll and gives me at least one 4 hour chunk of sleep at nighttime; We're finally into the 0-3 month clothing size and a few of our cloth diapers fit; a whole lot more alert/awake time, which is cool since she's not super-fussy; EC is going well and the majority of her poops and about half of her pees are in the toilet. We have a genius on our hands :)
I am still keeping my fingers crossed that she might have red hair, its a dark blonde right now, what there is of it, but with Trent's family and skin tone it's still an option.
We're adjusting pretty well, I'd say. Initially, Ellie went from 6 lb 10 to 6 lb 2 oz since my milk took 5 days to come in. We had to supplement with formula initially so she didn't get dehydrated but no ill consequences and as soon as milk arrived, we were able to stop the formula. It's really cool to know that my body is doing what it's supposed to do. Mind you, she had such a strong reflex that my boobs were bleeding by day 3. Ick. Our doula, Hayley, recommended Lansinoh and that stuff was a GODSEND.
Subsequently, around day 9, i noticed some whiteness in Ellie's mouth and some itchiness on my part and realized we had the start of thrush. Did a little homework and then called Dr. Yeats, who had us come in. She said it was mild and recommended a homeopathic remedy called Gentian Violet to start, and that if that didn't work, we could fill the Nystatic prescription. Well, gentian violet is, indeed, deep deep purple. Here's little Eleanor, ready for her first Cure concert:
Oh, and she's also a potty-training genius. Trent and I have been attempting EC (Elimination Communication) (see www.Diaperfreebaby.org)
and holding Eleanor over the potty when we know/think she has to go. Right now, it's usually just in coordination with when she wakes up/feeds. Anyway, we've avoided a TON of dirty diaper changes and have about a 90% hit rate of getting her to pee or poop in the toilet. As I said: she's a genius. Her faces are a dead giveaway if something is about to happen and it's SO gratifying!!
Let's see...the past 12 days are just a bit of a blur...Oh! After our visit with Dr. Yeats, Ellie and I went to Milkface and got a much needed lesson on baby-wraps, so now I can actually function "hands free" and get stuff done around the house, which is huge.
And my current favorite photo of Trent and Ellie:
Feb 26: 6 am. I woke up thinking I had peed just a little bit...felt a bit wet. Ran to the bathroom and peed, and a little tiny rush at the start. Back to bed. 6:30...repeat. 7 am: repeat again. OK, so now I am clued in that something might be happening. Went downstairs in my bathrobe and sat on a towel while using the computer...no more "leaks"...til I moved to stand up...by 8 am I had gotten in touch with Jenn and my doula. Was advised to call the hospital and they told me to take my time, but to come in and get checked out. By noon, Trent and I were at the Civic and it was confirmed that Yes, it was, indeed my "waters". But since there were no contractions and I wasn't the least bit dilated, they sent us home. We were told that generally speaking, 75% of the time, labour would start naturally in 24 hours. We picked up some lunch and went home. Stayed up til about midnight watching the quarter finals of Olympic hockey. Still nothin. Went to bed, only to be woken up by my first contraction around 3:30 am (am officially an idiot for not going to be earlier). Contractions were erratic and not too terrible: 10 minutes, 6 min, 12, 8, 10, 6...
Feb 27: woke Trent up around 5:45, saying, OK, don't panic, but it's time to go...We were at the hospital by around 7:30. We were checked right into a "birthing suite", complete with jacuzzi tub, yoga ball, etc. By around 10, the docs had made their rounds and the OB said OK, time to induce and started me on an Oxytocin drip through an IV. Contractions intensified over the next few hours, and Hayley, our doula, arrived around 1:15pm. I was only about 2 cm dilated at that point, but contractions were already 2-3 min apart and getting stronger and less tolerable. On to the yoga ball, standing, sitting, bathroom breaks, water breaks and then into the tub. By 3:30 pm I was in a lot of pain for each contraction, and very little respite in between. I looked at Trent and Hayley and realized that it was only going to get worse and that I was going to have to get over my initial stoicism about having an "all natural" childbirth, and get an epidural. I voiced this, and the anesthesiologist was in my room by 4 pm ready to go. After he found a spot between my tattoo to put the needle in, i had 3 more bad contractions and then things became much more civilized (Trent's word).
I was able to hold a conversation, rest, maybe not SLEEP, but certainly relax. Trent decided to go check on Cady and take her to Petsmart so we didn't have to count on the neighbors (realizing it was going to be a longer haul than we thought). So off he went. By 6pm, they came in to check on my and i was 10 cm (fully) dilated!! Hayley called Trent but we weren't sure how fast things were going to move along from this point. Trent rushed back without being able to take Cady to PS bc he didn't want to miss anything...turns out it was another 2 hours before they told me to start pushing...
By 8 pm, i was pushing with very little movement...The OB told me we'd push for 2 hours and see where we were at (with her checking on my periodically). At the 2 hour mark, i was starting to lose some steam but was determined to avoid a c-section if possible. Trent said he could see me fading, but I really wanted to keep trying... By 2.5 hours, she got out the vacuum, and at 10:31pm, Eleanor came out hollering, cone-head and all.
I apparently tore pretty badly (3rd degree, with 4th being the worst tear), but that was the least of the drama. Eleanor (who was as of yet still unnamed), gave her first big scream and then clammed right up. The doc/nurses seemed a bit concerned, and took her across the room to check on her. Her initial Apgars were 9/9, but she ended up being a "lazy" breather. Just had a hard time converting from liquid to air. Nostrils flaring, pale in color. Trent stood by her the whole time, and I was so tired and hungry that I was in a sort of twilight...I knew I wanted to hold her, breastfeed, bond...but I saw them giving her oxygen (only for about 2 minutes) and they called the ICU doc in...but within about 75 mintues, they determined that she was fine, and had gotten the hang of things, no fluid in her lungs, etc...
By 1 am we were in our semi-private room and Trent headed home to check on Cady. Ellie and I got some rest and the pain killers started to wear off...but Eleanor was doing find and was so beautiful that nothing else really mattered. SHe had a big purple bruise with a cut on the back of her head from the vacuum, but no other lasting repercussions from our ordeal.
Feb 28: A very exciting first day, Angie came to visit in time for us all to watch Canada win Gold in hockey in the hospital lounge. We were up every few hours in the nighttime for feeding but she was a great latcher-onner, in spite of the fact that my milk wasn't in yet.
March 1: Trent's birthday, and Eleanor passed her hearing screening and any other tests they had to do on her. After several hours, we finally figured out her name, and were able to start the going-home process. We were all home by about 4 pm, Trent picked up Cady, and our family was complete.
In terms of where I'm at with 38+ weeks, I'm really glad to be off work now. The sarcoidosis has mostly just been affecting my joints, and it's mostly my hands and worst in the morning. I've gained a remarkable amount of weight in the last 2 weeks and am not up to +36lb. Sleeping is a chore, moving is tough and involves a bit of grunting...yea...i'm done.
On another note, my dad is out of his surgery (gastric bypass). Mom said it went OK and he'll be in a room for recovery soon.