Monday, 24 June 2013

An Answer

I had my postpartum check up on Friday.  I was 8 1/2 weeks postpartum.

It felt so good to bring Theo there.  He had been there so many times in another form as I had weekly appointments and bio physicals... it didn't feel like his first time there.

I definitely felt different.  Looking at all the pregnant bellies, I felt way less threatened by the assumed safe arrival of all these little beings being carried around by their confident mothers.  I wasn't completely out of the woods with my emotional state.. but having Theodore with me, in my arms, alive - it did make me feel like I can play this pregnancy/having a baby game too.

My appointment was pretty quick... she didn't examine me "down there" as I had a really good delivery and didn't require any stitches.  I had been concerned about crazy amounts of cramping and spotting at 6-7 weeks PP.  A few days there was fresh looking blood... and I was sure I didn't heal properly, or that a piece of the placenta was still stuck up here (thank you google for letting me entertain that possibility), but at 8 and a half weeks, I wasn't spotting.  My OB told me that up until 10 weeks... spotting is still considered normal.  And the cramping, well, she feels safe in assuming it's all due to breastfeeding. 

She finished the appointment with asking me how my mind, heart and soul were feeling.  And that's where things got interesting.  I broke wide open with everything I've been feeling.  The on and off feelings of extreme agitation and frustration followed by slaps in the face of grief and GUILT.  The overwhelming feeling of defeat and at a loss in what to do with my loss.  I cried, and Daniel held and shushed Theo, and my OB listened. 

She assured me I was and am NORMAL.  Considering my history, she suspects everything to be a little more magnified.  She tried to convince me that these transient feelings don't have a lasting affect on Theo.  "He won't remember, he won't hold it against you".  I strongly believe that we as human beings are super absorbent in our emotional atmosphere starting at a very young age.  Coming from a somewhat of a "broken" household (parents separating when I was 5, but with things not working long before a single baby was born) with lots of yelling and fights (behind closed doors...), I can attest that even if you don't have vivid memories of how things were exactly - you still feel it.  It still hangs on to you, and then surfaces in other areas on your adulthood. 

But she said if I didn't feel like I was going to lose my mind some days... then she'd consider me NOT normal.

Anyway... she wanted me to see one of the grief counselors to rule out any postpartum depression. 

"As long as you're not having any thoughts of harm towards yourself, your baby or others, I don't think this is postpartum depression.  Well.. you're allowed to have appropriate thoughts of harm towards the baby and others, so don't worry..."  She's funny sometimes.  That's why I like her.

I had to get my thyroid tested too as it's been up and down since my pregnancy with Alexander.  I've been instructed to do so many different things by all the doctors that have cared for me.  I told my OB during my pregnancy with Theo that I wanted to get it looked at once and for all, and determine if I actually have hypothyroidism, or if it's just caused by pregnancies.  When I was pregnant with Alexander, by OB at the time told me I needed a low dose... and I think she retested and increased in in the beginning of my third trimester... or I could be wrong.  I do remember she tested it when I was 35ish weeks, and she told me to stop the medication cold turkey so my thyroid could get itself back to normal when I'm postpartum.  I've since learned that that was a very wrong thing to do, and I should have continued on the supplement as there's a huge demand on the thyroid in the third trimester.  My current OB has a background in endocrinology, and let me know that in most cases, if on thyroid meds during pregnancy, they should be INCREASED in the third trimester. 

Yet another factoid in my pregnancy with Alexander that could have been a contributor towards his death.  I'll never know.

My thyroid went a little hyperactive when I was postpartum after Alexander,.. but by the time 4-5 months rolled around, it was super low again, and it was probably the reason I miscarried the extremely short pregnancy I had in July '12.

So I voiced to my OB that I wanted to get this shit figured out, because I know it can MESS YOU UP if something is wrong and goes untreated.  She told me that she'd refer me off to a specialist after I delivered Theo, and that gave me a lot of peace of mind.

At the visit, I told her that I only had 3 tablets left of my current synthroid (which treats LOW thyroid - or hypothyroidism).  She was the one that instructed me to continue taking the same does I had taken BEFORE my pregnancy with THEO.  I told her that I wasn't on any meds before my first pregnancy... and when I called to book my postpartum back in early May... the receptionist told me that Dr. W instructions were to be on whatever it was I was taking before THIS pregnancy.  So I stopped the increased dose which was prescribed in my third trimester with Theo, and went back on the dose I was one while trying to conceive back in August '12.

I had blood work done, and my doctor put a "stat" on the results as she wanted to make sure if I needed to stay taking any dose of synthroid, she could write me a script.

I went off to see the counselor, and she was super nice and super supportive.  She too told me I sounded very normal, and a huge contributor of PPD is sleep deprivation.  I told her that if she asked anyone, they'd tell you I'm very passionate and at times over the top with my emotional approach.. but I'm not a loose cannon.  But lately, I feel like one!  I told her I don't feel myself at all, and that I was VERY surprised with how I was managing my temper and overall emotional state.  I told her I was getting to the point where even when I have the opportunity to sleep (LIKE RIGHT NOW AS THEO HAS BEEN NAPPING PERFECTLY FOR 2 HOURS =D!!), I cant.  I cant shut down.  I feel like I'm over the edge with catching up... that if I get my 4-6 broken hours at night,... then it's enough to keep me going without a nap during the day.  It's not healthy, mind you, and I don't feel good.  I USED to be able to nap a few weeks back and felt A LOT better when I was able to recharge during the day.  But ever since his sleeping during the day has been so random... I cant sleep.  I get anxious that he'll wake any second, and I can't get myself in that zone.  I'll feel my body get warm, and my mind start to let go.. and then POW, I lose it, and I'm awake.  And it's piling up, and I can feel REAL sleep deprivation setting in. 

She talked about making plans to have someone over a few times a week to help with me Theo.  Just to take him off my hands after a feed, and then I go upstairs and try to check out as long as possible.  She asked if Daniel was able to take an extra day off a week just until I catch up.  But I feel like it's a losing battle.  I expressed that the pressure to sleep is almost worse.  If I know someone is coming to help... and I DON'T sleep.. or Theo doesn't settle to the point where I cant hear him through the house... it's like we lost.  We all lost.  The helper loses, and I lose.  And then I feel worse. 

Anyway, we went back and forth on how to get me more rested more frequently... and I told her I'd work on a solution with Daniel's family as they're the closest in vicinity. 

She asked me to call her back and make an appointment in a month or so to touch base.  I really liked her... so I probably will.

After our session, I went back to my doctors receptionist and asked if my results were in.  She pulled up my file, and printed the results and told me she'd grab Dr. W in between patients and get her to review the results.

I sat in the jam packed waiting area and was so freaking thankful I was no longer pregnant and needed to be part of this mess of a long wait to see her and saw Maria snag Dr. W.  I saw her look at the print out.  I saw her look up for me in the sea of people.  I saw her march over, locking eyes with me.. and knew something was up.

"Ok, those 3 tablets you have ... flush them!  get right of them... don't dare take another pill.  Your thyroid is extremely high.  The normal range is 3-7.. and the highest acceptable is 12.  Yours is at 31!"

"31?!? what the hell?? is that why I have trouble falling asleep during the day when I'm so OVER TIRED??"

"I'm surprised you've slept at all!  This explains so much, especially the agitation and short temper."

And that's it folks.  Well, it's not IT it.. but it's a bit of it.  A big contributor.  I stopped cold turkey on Friday... it's going to take up to 2-4 weeks for the synthroid to completely leave my system, but I'm so looking forward to more normal feelings.  My doc told me to come back and retest in 2 weeks, and if my levels haven't shown signs of returning to normal.. she's going to send me off to a specialist.

This new found information has lifted a lot of the guilt, and I was breathing easier when I went home.  

And now here comes the part where I immediately felt completely ripped off in experiencing pure, unbridled joy upon the arrival of my rainbow baby because my hormones were truly fucked up to no fault of my own, and how my feelings of having a "do over" were coming back into play...

We'll see how I'm feeling in 2 weeks.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

8 weeks of Theodore

Sleep deprivation is real.  When I'm under slept, my world can fall apart.  And I don't mean under slept like a night will go by and I didn't get my 8 hours.  I mean, 3-4 nights and days where I'm only getting 4 broken hours in a 24 hour period.  And this is while I'm already trying to catch up on the sleep I didn't get when Theo first came home.  So when a few days go by, and I don't get at least 3-4 hours solid straight SOMEWHERE SOMEHOW, I get pretty rattled. 
And that's where I was the other day.  We broke Theo's schedule last week.. and we paid for it over the weekend and the start of this week.  When I'm in a state of sleep deprivation, I feel like Theo never sleeps, and he always cries.  And truthfully, that's not the case.  He is a good baby.  But when I'm at my worst with sleep and emotions... he can come across as an overwhelming terror.  And he is!  But on days and weeks where my sleep is up to par, it doesn't seem all that bad.  I actually like my day-to-day with him when I'm refreshed and feeling somewhat well rested.
I started recording his naps and night time stretches of sleep because I was convinced that he wasn't sleeping enough for his age.. or was sleeping too much... or I don't know.  I was paranoid, and it's a habit I picked up after reading that after 1 month old, babies can sleep 5-6 hours at night, and start feeding every 3-4 hours instead of 2-3.  Well, Theo is getting appox. 12-16 hours in a 24 hour period most days.  I just didn't believe it because >>>>I<<<< wasn't get such glorious amounts of sleep too.
Anyway... I want to thank you all for the support and love after my last post.  It truly was Right Where I Was on that day, in that moment in time.  And there are many days like that.  But I know things have to get better as he grows and adapts to the world around him.
So, I feel super behind in keeping this growing child up-to-date on this blog.  I really wanted to blog every week, and show cute pictures of Theo.  But getting to the computer in those first weeks out was pretty impossible.  We took of this kid... I really don't know what I'm going to do with them all. 

Be prepared to be PHOTO BOMBED with 8 weeks of Theodore!!
I dated every single picture.  So if you catch yourself asking, "oh, how cute, I wonder how old he is in this picture...?"  Well, he was born on April 23, 2013... and you can do the math from there! 

You're welcome :)

not even 24 hours old.  I could post about 100 pictures from him in the hospital (because that's just about the number we took of him!) from our 2 1/2 day stay.. but I have to pace myself....
 Oh, 27, how you tug at my heart.  When I took this photo, I didn't realize it was the 27th to be honest.  Theo was just 4 days old... and I was in a sleepless, paranoid haze.  But as I compose this post, I think this picture was perfectly taken on the 27th.  One boy next to him, and one in his heart and hopefully in his dreams.
still has his chubby cheeks at 4 days old

4/30/13 Theodore @ 1 weeks old!
what a sleepy lookin' fella
What a funny looking jaundice little boy.  Thank goodness as you scroll down it only gets better!!

First time sitting in his chair.  It was still a little early to pop him in this thing for longer than a few seconds as his head would easily slouch into his chest... but still a cute photo op

still skinny faced and new

5/7/13 Theodore @ 2 weeks old!

A little early for eye contact (or so I was told..) but he'd lock eyes with the camera every now and again.  Oh my little old man child :)

I'm assuming all newborn babies make the "crying" face in their sleep... because he's SO OUT in this picture.. but you'd never know from his expression

5/14/13 Theodore @ 3 weeks old!

I just think he's super funny looking in this picture!

Practicing martial arts in his sleep

he was up at 6am (FOR GOOD) on this morning.  And he was looking at me - like REALLY looking at me - all like, "What are we out of bed and off the boob for?"

such a little peanut

he used to nap like a superstar in the evenings (not so much now... sigh)
I so wish to find out what is always so damn funny!
It looked to me like he was raising his hand in class.  My goodness, he's so small and delicious.

 showing him newborn stimulation video's on the iPad for the first time
 the forever changing black and white shapes were pretty trippy!!
 showing us lots of developmental milestones and followed the iPad where ever we moved it
5/21/13 Theodore @ 4 weeks old!
 unfortunately, this is the only picture I have from this day.  And Daniel took it, and didn't button his onesie... and I can see his diaper is full of pee.  Wonderful.
We have a video from that day... but I it's only exciting to us. 
I love his hair

5/23/13 - 1 month exactly
 On his way to the doctor's for his 1 month check up
I didn't notice it then, but he was still pretty jaundice.  wow.
Here are some shots from (our attempt at) his 1 month "photo shoot", May 23rd 2013

 This bear was a gift from Daniel's family on Theodore's birth day.
 however, we couldn't get Theo or the bear to cooperate for a good shot...

 He ran out of patience pretty fast - and if anyone uses pampers "wet indicator", you can see the blue line on his diaper, and he used to get pretty pissed off when he was wet :(
 Daddy changed his diaper, and tried to console him...
 This might be the best shot we got...
 but ultimately he just wanted to be back with mom
keeping track of his "home coming" outfit.  I'll be kinda sad the day he doesn't fit into it any longer.  We bought that outfit a few weeks/days (I don't remember right now exactly when we took that leap of good faith) before Theo was born.  It was such an awesome feeling to see him wear it the day we brought him home - and I still get that same feeling every time I see him wear it.

such long arms and big hands!
remember this post when I posted a picture of him in this outfit at 4 days old?  He's really filling out his car seat now :)

 First time meeting his new friends on his activity mat!
 big stretches when I unwrap the swaddle
 Sometimes we let the cats look after Theo...
 ...this was purely a coincidence
 Roller coaster dreams
5/28/13 Theodore @ 5 weeks!
 his favorite place to be.. (well, about 6-8 inches lower, to be exact)
definitely outgrowing his bassinet
hanging out in his chair... enjoying some iPad vision
Theo realizing he actually LIKES bath time.  This is him in anticipation. 
starting to look more and more like me
"Bath time rocks!"
and is my baby abnormally hairy?!  I think so... he's got hairy upper arms and back.
 6/4/13 Theodore @6 weeks old!!
somehow he managed to inch down, and get his foot out of the crib.  Whenever we manage to successfully have him unswaddled for night time sleeping.. we're gonna have to get our mesh "bumper" pad up.  
 a smile.  he was A-DORABLE while I was obsessively taking his pictures as he was waking up from his morning nap.
I was trying to get a good shot in his "home coming" outfit to show how much he's grown.  "One second baby, mommy's almost got it..."
 "one more second... the flash is too high.. "
 "ok, I got the flash just right..."  "ok, ok, ok, no more pictures!!"
chilling out in his chair
lots of love from dad in the evening
I only ever stomach sleep him when he's 100% supervised (and it only started a few weeks ago).  I really wish he didn't love sleeping on his stomach so much... because he stopped tolerating sleeping on his back unless swaddled, and somehow we have to stop swaddling all together.. and we'll be completely at his mercy at night
Snug as a bug
but... he grunts and squirms until he breaks free, hits the sides and wakes himself up
 6/11/13 Theodore @ 7 weeks old
Cute.  All I have to say about this.  Cute, cute, cute
graduated out of the bassinet to a playpen
going out for a walk with mommy.  It's been cold lately.. and Theodore DOES NOT like hats.
already filling out the playpen
We were adventurous this past weekend, and attended our first birthday part with Theo in tow.  This boy was turning 1, and we are his godparents, so we really wanted to make the effort and show up.  Even though the party was at 10am, and would disturb Theo's nap time entirely... we made it.  I didn't want to forever be bound to his routine, and at almost 8 weeks old, I figured he has to start to venture out into big crowds filled with children and relatives carrying germs and snot that insist on touching his face and hands at some point in his life. 

4 Generations.  Theodore with his daddy Daniel, Daniel's dad and grandfather
We tried to put him down when we got home, but he was kinda wired and overtired.
snuggled up with mommy
 starting to find the camera when mommy calls him
 more eye contact to daddy while I gave him a bath

 So we've seen a few pictures in his chair.  But we've been calling it his "poo chair" lately, because like magic... we put him in, sing a song, or play a video... and pow, he'll blow out his diaper.  Sometimes it's at night, and sometimes it's during our morning play... but it's a pretty safe bet that he'll poo for us if his bowels are full if placed in that chair.

And yesterday afternoon, for your viewing pleasure, I caught him in action.  I was putting him down quickly so I could dash to the restroom... and he got himself geared up...

feeling the rumble..
...bearing down...
state of my diaper = blown out
aaaand I'm done.
He always has this shark fin, or as my aunt called it, "rooster comb" (she said I had it too at this age).  But last night, Daniel said, "I got it!  I know who he reminds me of..."
And he took this next picture....

"Astro Boy!!"
6/18/13 Theodore @ 8 weeks old!
Ok, ok, ok
I must sleep.
I've been working on this post through out the day.  Theo finally went down for his 3-4 hour nap this morning (after three days of NOT NAPPING ROUTINELY SO I COULD SLEEP TOO) and I uploaded all the pix... and I've been working on dating and commenting for the past hour and a half while Theo has been down for the night.  Silly silly me... complaining about not getting sleep, and I'm NOT sleeping when my baby sleep. 
But I've got to have some balance. 
Enjoy, and good night!
I am not spell checking or proof reading.  yikes!