Red, white and blue, blue, blue…

It’s the first 4th of July in years that is calm and mellow. Mom just landed and at least we are home from the hospital and our little girl is doing better. Her grandma “momo” says it was the worst flight ever, full of worry, even worse than when I was on bed rest. We’ve sure had some rough months, now we are just happy baby is back to eating again. She almost re-gained her pre-procedure appetite and is hanging by my breasts at all times, other than that she is pale, tired and her mouth seems really sore. She is crying a lot and she hates all her medications, every six hours and every four hours for pain control, twice a day antibiotics to prevent infection and inflammation as well as the AMICAR for her bleeding. There still some blood under her tongue and from what I can see under there it looks nasty, the lip I won’t even touch. I’m extremely careful while feeding her, other than that we mostly lay around in bed, the medicine schedule written out next to us.

But today is the 4th and we are supposed to celebrate. I’m a true American (citizen) this year after all! I dress my son in the American flag head to toe and we all wear variations of red, white and blue (I have even ordered a “flag sweater” for myself). Baby is wearing the cutest red and white tunica over blue leggings. In the late afternoon we BBQ like only Americans do, we even grill some “dogs”.

Since my baby now needs my milk more than ever being her only food source, still refusing bottles, too young for solids AND because of the recovery factor, I worry about my milk. She is still eating around the clock and it never seems like she has enough. Her mouth is slowly healing but we still don’t sleep more than an hour and a half “in a row” at night due to her constant “snacking”. I join a couple of social media breast feeding support groups but even if I get some support, I still don’t get more sleep at night. I’m still a walking, talking zombie and probably not the easiest to be around. I recent my husband’s long hours and busy work schedule just a little bit and wasn’t it for my mom yet again, I would probably topple over and not ever get up. I find this lactation guru in one of the online groups who makes cookies that supposedly will make you so filled with milk, it will spray everywhere (yes, this is meant to be a good thing… in case you were wondering). Thinking the problem might be a low supply, I’m desperate enough to try anything. I order some delicious “milk cookies” and can’t wait for them to arrive and fix everything!

My son doesn’t seem to have the best time at his summer school. He is struggling with potty training and finding friends. The teachers complain about him being too loud, getting “too rough” when he gets excited and not being able to sleep at nap time. I struggle with him struggling, and the drop offs and pick-ups and the annoyed teachers. I still leave him at the gate and he sometimes feel sad. I feel like a bad mommy, a bad, fat, tired mommy. We talk about keeping him home instead but it would just be so hard with both of them alone, besides he loves to be active and socialize and he would go nuts in the house with just baby and I. Baby need to at least give me some hours of sleep at night. Until then, I fear I’m a worse option than summer school. He is doing okay with potty training at home with the occasional accident, but I take him every hour. He also stopped napping a long time ago at home and trying to introduce nap time again does not go over well. I try to talk to him about being gentle, “inside voice” and “walking feet”, but it just feels like he is too young to really comprehend what I am saying. I call his main teacher explaining that he has never really been in a daycare or preschool environment before and she agrees “he will get there”. I also call the director reminding her that his baby’s sister’s doctor really wants us to continue with the “drop off/pick up routine” so she won’t get in contact with any kids just yet.

A week later my “lactation check” is cashed but no cookies have arrived. At least we have baby’s baptism to look forward to. It will be such a nice break from everything and it will feel so great to celebrate our favorite baby girl. I have nothing to wear of course because I’m still as big as a whale (3 months+ after giving birth, there is really no excuse) and I don’t even feel up for looking for something new. The stores are filled with germs, and probably sick people everywhere, I have tons of nice dresses in my closet and how defeated do you feel when you are forced to buy a size up!?

I’m such a Debby Downer I even make myself depressed but my family is a big help. My mom pushes me to take a trip to “Steinmart” (who wouldn’t feel better after that?) and I actually find a dress for little girl’s baptism and in it I don’t feel like (or at least don’t closely resemble) Shamu (the huge killer whale). My son is doing better at school, slowly getting rid of his pull ups and making friends (just when we were going to pull him out of that summer program). My husband tries his hardest to take more evenings off, come home sooner and spend more time with our son. He even takes him to his speech class, where our boy graduates with flying colors. But the best part of the week is; “ta da”, with or without “milk cookies”, baby’s latch is improving and it actually no longer feels like she is chewing on me with her mouth full of broken glass!

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Mom and I take baby to her hematology follow up appointment the next week. It is truly the saddest, scariest appointment ever…

About jennym

A doctor of psychology and a mother of four writing about the struggles and joys and the ups and downs of motherhood, marriage, pregnancies, deliveries and her absolute love for her children in a humoristic yet down to earth weekly blog!

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