The anxiety of uncertainty

My anxiety has been sky high the last few days. It’s to do with my health.

I’ve been on antibiotics for 3 weeks now. There was a notable improvement within the first few days and basically no change after that. Except for I think my symptoms have been getting worse the last few days. I’ve been over analyzing the why to death. Like I’m 12 years old and that cute boy I’m crushing on said, “Hi”, but not enthusiastically enough.

Really, there could be a lot of reasons for it. But you know the one I’m latching onto, right? The antibiotics aren’t working. They stopped working. And then what? I’m limited to this particular antibiotic because it’s safe while breastfeeding. And Ollie will not take a bottle. Many hours of sweat and tears have been spent trying to get her to take one, but she just WILL. NOT. Believe me.

So, of course, this means my symptoms are going to get worse and worse until I end up in the hospital. What we will do about Ollie?? Maybe I’ll be released, but it will still take YEARS to resolve. I’ll be one of those people. (This is where my head goes.) And the whole time I won’t know when I’ll be okay. If I’ll be okay.

That’s the worst part. The not knowing. I hate it when plans change. Let’s say I’m expecting Jason home at 5:00, but something comes up and he doesn’t get home until 6:30. I don’t handle THAT well. So you can imagine the kind of wreck that I am when there’s no real plan at all.

I’m a ball of nerves right now. My anxiety is physical, most notably in my stomach. Exactly where I don’t need ANY EXTRA drama. I can’t focus. I feel like I’m letting Ruby down because I don’t really have the capacity to listen to her right now. I started crying on the way to breakfast this morning, and she got really quiet and serious and started tearing up a little. So now I also feel guilty that she has to deal with the scariness of mom’s emotions at the same time as she’s adjusting to a new baby and no more grandma living with us.

BLAAAH. This is probably one of those posts I shouldn’t post. Ah, fuck it.

What a body can take

It’s 1:30 am. I can’t sleep. My sickness (that I won’t describe) woke me and then Ruby called. And then Ruby called again. And I’m noticing that my breast is hurting more and more. I’m worried this is another breast infection. And I really don’t want another breast infection because I am already, currently, sick for the third time in three weeks. I don’t need a fourth.

I’ve really been trying to be optimistic these last couple days. To remind myself of things I should be grateful for. At least Ollie’s not sick. Or Ruby. Or Jason or my mom. At least my mom is still here to help. At least I don’t feel nauseated. At least I’ve been able to keep my fever down with Tylenol. At least we have good health insurance. At least my milk supply hasn’t dropped off as it could with sickness. At least it’s the weekend now and Jason is home.

Still, I’m not grateful for this sickness. I can’t stop fantasizing about running off to a hotel by myself. I miss the days when sick meant lots of sleep and lying on the couch watching TV. I want to rest. Without having to wake multiple times in the night to breastfeed. Without having to breastfeed at all. Without a toddler tantruming, or touching me or, really, talking at all. I just want to rest. PRIVATELY.

I need to rest. And I can’t sleep. Here I am, all alone in my silent living room writing this blog post. Oh the irony. I thought it fitting that I take care of one to-do while up with my, apparently, deteriorating body.

Big-Sur-Registration

I have no idea how I will make this happen if I get in. But I do know this is the first step.

Ollie’s almost 7 weeks FAQ

I started a rather detailed and, therefore, quite painfully long post a few weeks ago that I will never finish. So I’m going to try a different approach here. Ollie will be 7 weeks old on Monday, and these are the questions people tend to ask.

1. How are things going?

Such an open-ended question this is… Overall, good I guess. It’s been challenging, as things tend to be with a newborn baby. Particularly in the breastfeeding department (see Question 4). Also that time when Jason got sick and ran off to a hotel when Ollie was 1 week old. But I haven’t *yet* totally lost my mind so I think that means things are basically good.

2. Easier the second time around?

Ollie doesn’t cry nearly as much as Ruby did. So that’s pretty awesome. And makes everything feel much easier, while definitely not EASY.

3. How is Ollie sleeping?

Why do people love to ask this so much? To answer- well enough. This means she’ll generally go to sleep if we put forth some effort and she won’t scream the ENTIRE time we’re working on it. She typically wakes up twice during the night and the whole diaper change/feeding/rock back to sleep routine takes about 30-45 min each time. So she’s like a normal newborn baby. And we’re like normal parents of a newborn. Tired.

4. How’s breastfeeding going?

It’s been rough. I very quickly nicknamed Ollie the Nipple Destroyer. And thus began what I am now calling the lactation tour. This culminated in a referral to a pediatrician specializing in mouth and tongue stuff. (I’m pretty sure that’s what it says on her business card.) Ollie had a posterior tongue tie clipped and it bled way more than I would have cared for. All this while Jason was at the hotel (see Question 1). So that sucked. Fortunately, it at least helped get us to a sustainable breastfeeding situation.

After a few weeks of uneventful breastfeeding I came down with the most hellacious breast infection. This consisted of about 3 days with a 103 F fever, a few more days of a lesser fever, crazy intense breast pain and somehow (what??) another round of nipple damage. I then caught a cold on the last day of the second round of antibiotics. (Because the first round didn’t work.)

My two high-level takeaways from this whole ordeal are:

1. I know it’s too soon to make any decisions, but I’m not enjoying breastfeeding. I don’t see this lasting 2.5 years as it did with Ruby.

2. My body clearly needs more sleep.

Oh, and Ollie won’t take a bottle.

5. How was labor/delivery?

About as ideal as labor and delivery can be. Which is to say it was short and without complications. I will at some point write a whole post about this.

6. How’s the transition to two kids?

My mom has been here since Ollie was born, taking direction from “the boss” (i.e. Ruby). So it doesn’t feel like we’ve really gone through this transition yet. I’m sort of thinking of the whole transition as a three staged process. The first stage was the birth and that went well enough. The second stage will come when my mom goes back to Colorado at the end of July. The third and most dreaded stage will come when Jason starts working 12 hour shifts, 6 days/week beginning in October (through roughly December). So if you would like to come visit me or get together or whatever during this period the answer is YES!!!

7. How’s Ruby adjusting?

The transition to having a perma-playmate in Grandma and getting more attention than before Ollie was born has been pretty easy for Ruby. She did mention a couple times very early on that she wanted Ollie to go back into my tummy. But now she mostly just goes on about how cute she is. We’ll see how this changes come stage two.

8. Maternity leave benefit stuff going smoothly?

Nobody actually asks this question, but I want a paragraph or two to bitch about it. My case manager is shitty and has not once actually answered her phone. The Kaiser policies for releasing medical records are overly complicated, and all but one person I’ve talked to has been willing to do anything more than the absolute bare minimum. I ended up in tears at the medical secretaries office one morning when I tried to hand deliver paperwork.

Ollie’s tongue-tie was clipped about an hour after that. Remember: lots of bleeding. Remember: Jason at a hotel. That day sucked. I suppose I should remind myself that it’s in the past. Today was a better day. We caught some smiles on camera.

baby-smile