Tuesday, August 23, 2005


I saw a lot of this face last night. In fact, I saw about two hours of this face, followed by the most intense whimpering, chin shaking, and giant gasps of breath. It's been going on like that since this weekend, but last night I finally decided to face up to what it actually is: colic.

It should be renamed "demon" because it possesses a baby's body for a period of time and then suddenly leaves, just as fast. On Sunday, after an hour and half of solid crying, Zac stopped, farted, and fell instantly asleep. Did that one little fart keep him from going to sleep earlier? Could I have saved myself and my parents the stress of listening to a child we care about cry, inconsolably, for hours on end simply by making him fart? It's unfortunate that I don't have the necessary super powers to make human beings fart on command. Think about the possibilities for that! It would definately come in handy during my next staff meeting....

So, last night, we rocked, we sang, we moved his legs, we walked with him, we tried to feed him, we set up down in the cradle to cry it out, we read out of the "What to Expect in the First Year" book, we gave him anti-gas medication. Nothing worked. The book said that the worst of the colic comes between six and twelve weeks. While I'm thankful that there is an end in sight, it's discouraging to think that I have six more weeks of looking at my son's small intenstine through his wailing mouth.

Monday, August 22, 2005


Honestly, people, my son is breaking my heart today. I added this picture to my desktop and everytime I look at it, I just want to have him in my arms.

He has learned how to make eye contact and now he turns his head when he hears my voice or sees me out of the corner of his eye. When he's nursing, he turns his head up to look at me and we stare at each other. It's like he's latched onto a secret that only we share.

When my sister was visiting Zac and I, I told her about the things that I would change in my life if I could. I said, "I wish I had more confidence with Zac, but I don't." I don't need any confidence to make the day-to-day decisions like whether or not to burp him or whether or not he should ride in his carseat. I mean, the big decision, like: "Am I the best person to take care of him?" Me? Really? This little boy gets me? For the first six weeks, I was pretty sure that there was someone that would do a better job of protecting, interacting, playing, and providing for him. It was especially hard when my sister was here because that "someone" was her. She makes much more than me, has a house, a husband, a dog, land, a steady job, and a loving heart. I've got neuroses about stretch marks, a beat-up Honda with rust stains, huge boobs from breast feeding, and almost every form of public assistance that I can get my hands on.

Well, I'm still sure that other people in other places could do it better than I can. The daycare told me today that Zac had a loose bowel movement and I was like: "Aren't all his bowel movements loose? He's breastfed. Don't they have loose bowel movements?" I have to go home and figure out the answer to that question. But, it the meantime, I get to just keep loving the man that suddenly came into life.

Thursday, August 18, 2005


Another very stressful day. Zac and I woke up in the recliner around 8:15am because my stupid alarm didn't go off. I had to leave the house to get to work on time by 8:25am. You can probably imagine what it's like getting a newborn ready, dressed, and fed in ten minutes. Now add on to that trying to get yourself ready, dressed, and fed in that same ten minutes. Crying chaos is how I would describe it.

By the time I got to work, only ten minutes late even though I had passed a three car accident on the way, Zac was crying again, this time because he was hungry. I could feel my heart swell and my eyes tear up as I listened to him cry for fifteen minutes in the backseat of my Mom's Saturn. I was on the freeway - late - I couldn't pull over, whip out the boob and start to feed him. Yet the Mom in me shouted, "Your child is hungry. FEED HIM!!!!" I had never felt so torn before. He calmed down a bit once traffic started moving again.

By the time that I met up with Melissa he was pouting and angry at both of us in his, "I'm not going to open my eyes to look at you, but I want a bottle or nipple in my mouth immediately," kind of way. She fed him a bottle while I rushed upstairs for a 9:30am conference call. It reminded me of the Seinfeld episode where George and Jerry both date the same woman because they figure that two men are better than one. One of them would go on the date and then the other one would leave the nice phone message, etc. Today felt like I was tag-team parenting. Melissa and I had this conversation on my way into work: "OK, meet me downstairs in ten minutes with warm water. I'll bring the bottle, formula, and baby. Then we'll switch items and you'll remind me to tuck in my shirt and wipe the baby spit off me. Ready. GO"

It's good to have friends.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


This is my second day back at work. The first day was so crazy that I couldn't have planned a worse day if I had tried. Zac is being watched by my friend Melissa, who worked with me in Houston. Unfortunately, Melissa lives up in north Houston, while I live in south Houston. This wouldn't be such a big deal if Houston weren't the fourth largest city in America with the worst traffic. Houston's transit system seems analogous to Bush's foreign policy: go in aggressively and try to clean up the mess later. Huge churches, strip malls, super Wal-Marts, and housing developments (check out the website kb homes suck for an interesting perspective on housing from people that live in the hastily built "communities" that are popping up all over) have all been built without any thought to traffic patterns or the lack of mass transit. A block from Melissa's house my front tire fell off the road and exploded. Basically, the concrete (they don't use asphalt in the older neighborhoods) had broken away on the side of the road, leaving a jagged hole where my front tire should have gone. I had to go and buy a new tire after work. Zac was tired. I was tired. I think even the tire guy looked tired. He was trying to explain to me the difference between tires when Zac started fussing in my arms. By the time the child had gotten to the full-on scream, I was like, "I'll take any tire under $80. Stop looking on your damn computer for the ZL873qo**@ model and find something round and rubber to install on my car."

However, today I got a phone call that lessened some of my overall negativity. I was told that I have a right to say "NO" at work. Amazingly, this phone call was not from my therapist, it was from one of my supervisors in another city. Let's review, after a couple months of banging my head on my cubicle wall and leaving work feeling frustrated and devalued because I keep getting asked to do things that I don't want to do, I received support from someone that wants to stand up for my opinions and beliefs. Whoa. This heady feeling has left me walking around the office smiling at everyone and commenting on their good use of accessories. I suppose that part of the lightness comes from recently expressing ten ounces of breast milk, but let's not diminish this occasion. It's back to work I go.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


I haven't stopped breast feeding for longer than fifteen minutes in the past three hours. Is this what a growth spurt is like? I'm a walking, talking dairy factory. Fortunately, the new Boppy pillow that Aunt Jen got for us is really coming in handy. Unfortunately, I'm getting tired of my handsome little man being attached to my breast. Where is my breast double when I need her? We need to bring back the tradition of a wet nurse.

Monday, August 01, 2005


I hadn't intended to leave that last post up there for so long without updating. I didn't want all of you to think that I had gone all Brooke Shields v. Tom Cruise on you. While I'm thankful that more people in the mainstream public are talking about postpartum depression, the downside of more awareness is that everyone is suddenly hyperaware. It's sometimes hard to express how I feel about motherhood without people jumping to the conclusion that I must have a serious depression problem that puts both myself and my child at risk. I had a significant depression once. I don't now.

But, on the positive side, things are starting to smooth out a little in this southeast Texan home. Zac sleeps for 3-4 in the beginning of the night and then progressively wakes up more and more as dawn breaks. I've watched more local news in the past three weeks than I thought was possible. I don't even like local news, but it's hard to find anything else on at 4am. I find myself silently pleading with him to give me just one more two hour chunk of sleep before we both get up for the day. My favorite time with him is usually between 9:30-11am. Zac and I watch the end of the Today show and most of the Ellen DeGeneres show, he nurses intermittently, and then we both take naps.

Medically, however, my body is once again rebelling (does it sometimes seem like I shouldn't have anymore children? If bodies could speak, mine might say, "What the hell are you doing to me?") I woke up Saturday morning with an unbelievably sore right breast and the chills. It's hard to get the chills in Houston. It's 85 degrees here by 9am, but I still had to cover myself with blankets and shivered until my parents got home from their running practice. I knew that if they didn't come home soon, that I wouldn't be able to take care of Zac by myself. That was such a scary feeling...to know that I was too sick to sit upright and nurse him. I don't know what I will do if I get sick when my parents aren't around.

With a temperature of 101.9 my Mom and I went back to the hospital, this time the emergency room, where I was diagnosed with mastitis. It took them four hours to diagnose what I already knew that I had, but I was desperate for some antibiotics and not willing to leave until I got some. For those of you unfamiliar with mastitis, it is an infection of the breast caused by germs transmitted from baby to mom through breast feeding. No, Zac isn't sick. Nor is he particularly germy (I reserve the right to change this opinion if he keeps peeing on me every time I change his diaper AND consistently peeing in the bathtub), but it's something that just happens. Now I have a clogged milk duct from the infection and a low-grade fever. Sucks.

If you want to imagine what a clogged milk duct feels like, tie a rubberband around your finger and watch your finger get swollen and turn purple. Now imagine that someone has done that on the inside of your body in a very sensitive part. There you have mastitis.


"Why did I drink so much bourbon? WHY?" Actually, this is what happens after Zac spends an afternoon with Grandpa when I'm in the ER. Posted by Picasa


New Great-Grandma holding the little one. Booties by Aunt Jen. Posted by Picasa