Sunday, December 5, 2010

My maternity leave: a reflection

Because today is the last day of my maternity leave, I thought I'd share a few Top Five lists. I'll start with the bad stuff so we can end on a positive note.

The Top Five Crappy Events (of the past 4.5 weeks)
5. I mentioned the snowstorm from mid-November; I forgot to mention the power outtage. We lost power Sunday morning and it was out for about 24 hours. No light, no heat. So we had to pack a bag and head unannounced to my dad's house who was out of town for the week. Chason stayed until Romelie went to bed, but he went home since he had to work in the morning and didn't want to sit in traffic for an hour. So I had me, Romelie and Cori all sleeping in the same room. Magically, everyone slept pretty well, but it was a huge pain in everyone's butt.

4. Cori sometimes stops breathing for up to 10 seconds. I've read that this is normal, but it doesn't make it any less scary. She usually does it while she's nursing; she'll suddenly unlatch and strain her head and neck like she's trying to get air but can't. After a few seconds/a year, she'll gasp in once or twice, but then a few more seconds/an eternity will go by before she can breathe out. Scares me every time.

3. The nursing problems. They've resolved themselves for now, but I wasn't expecting it to be so difficult and painful again, so it warrants a place in the top five.

2. Barfing baby. Cori occasionally throws up. It's hard to know if she's sick or if it's because she ate too much or if she choked a little while eating or what the cause is, but it's definitely not just spit up. It's so forceful it comes pouring out of her mouth and nose, and it's horrible to watch. She started doing this last Wednesday and generally barfs once every other day or so. I've washed three pillows and more clothes/bedsheets than I could count, and while I feel much more sympathy for Cori than for myself, I am tired of being barfed upon. Which leads me to the number one sucky thing of the past 4.5 weeks...

1. The past 72 hours. Romelie has been alternating between diarrhea and loose stools since Thanksgiving. Thursday at daycare, I got a call from Jen that her poo was liquid (gross, and it's just going to get grosser, so deal with it or skip this paragraph). After a second one in the afternoon, she was officially excluded from daycare for Friday. Overnight, she threw up in bed twice. Friday morning she peed around 8am...and then didn't pee again for 24 hours. She did, however, have 12 liquid poopies. Yesterday, she peed again in the morning - thankfully or we would have been headed into urgent care - and then did not go to the bathroom all day. Somewhat concerning. Meanwhile, Cori vomited 4 times in 24 hours starting around 5 am.

As of this morning, Romelie has peed once - again, just avoiding an urgent care trip - and pooped twice, not totally normal but definitely better. Cori last threw up at 1 am and seems to be keeping everything down and has plenty of filled diapers, but now has a low fever (99.5-ish). So I'm keeping an eye on that. She's supposed to start daycare tomorrow but can't go if she barfs again or if her fever gets above 100.3 (which would ALSO warrant a trip to urgent care), so we'll see what happens. My mom's coming into town tonight, which is good, cause Chason and I are seriously sleep deprived and in need of a break. Thank you in advance, mom.

Now, on to...

The Top Five Awesome Events
5. Cori's faces. I already mentioned this, but her smiles, wide eyed looks, big mouthed stares, and of course Blue Steel make me grin every time.

4. The food! Yes, I'm lame enough to list food in my top five, but we've eaten seriously well. Between delicious dinners prepared or purchased by family, dinners given to us by friends and co-workers, the food I prepared and froze ahead of time on my own or at Let's Dish, and of course Thanksgiving and its subsequent leftovers, we've eaten better in the last month than I can remember. So thanks to everyone who contributed to our amazing cuisine! Our bellies thank you.

3. Romelie's acceptance of her sister. She had one jealous moment about a week ago...Cori was on my lap and Rom wanted to sit there but couldn't. She put on a genuinely angry/sad face (not just the kind she does to get attention) and muttered "I don't like Cori." So that was sad. But Rom went over and sat on Chason's lap instead, and after a while we switched kids so Rom cuddled with me and Chason hugged Cori. And the next day, Romelie said that she loved Cori. And I believe that she does.

2 Cori's and my afternoon nap. I am looking forward to returning to work (adult time is good), but this I will miss. She naps most afternoons for about 2.5-3 hours. If I'm tired, we'll nap in bed together, but if I'm awake enough, I usually like on the couch on my back with Cori sleeping on her tummy on my tummy with her head right over my heart. I usually put on a movie I've never seen (Date Night and An Education=good, Hot Tub Time Machine=ridiculous) and just relax. I will still be able to do this on weekends, but it's harder with Romelie there, so I'll miss our mommy-baby bonding time.

1. Visits from our family. Paul's unexpected trip into town so he could meet Cori in her first few hours of wonderful patient mom who took care of our whole family for a dad and his amazing way with babies which I love to just watch and smile...Diane giving us breaks by taking Romelie out, making meals, and getting me out of the house...and Steve and Angel braving the cold (not to mention the mall crowds) to meet their granddaughter and spend time with Romelie for her birthday. We love and appreciate you all more than I can say, and we can't wait for the rest of you to meet Cori and see how much Romelie has grown.

And because I promised to share some of Romelie's choice sound bites, here are...

The Top Five Funny Things Romelie's Said Recently
5. Romelie (in a whiny voice this morning): Milk...
Me: No, no milk right now.
Romelie (even whinier): Milk...
Me: Romelie, no milk, and no whining about it.
Romelie (after a pause): I didn't say milk.
Me: What did you say?
Romelie (after another pause): I said meow. I'm saying meow, like a cat...meow.

4. Romelie (pulling up her shirt and pointing to her chest): I have little boobies.

3. Romelie (walking through Target and noticing the decorations; with absolute awe in her voice): Look at all these beautiful things! (Maybe you had to be there, but the tone in her voice was priceless.)

2. Romelie (having decided that the words "poopie" and "butt" are the funniest words ever; singing): Old MacDonald had a poopie. (Giggling hysterically)

1. Chason: Do you need help putting on your shirt?
Romelie: It's okay, dada. My arms are really strong.


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