Archive for April, 2011

Toothless Wonder

My daughter is toothless. Not completely, but her first baby tooth fell out. Considering she was born just days ago, I’m baffled by this turn of events. It was yesterday that we snuggled her into that fuzzy white polar bear suit and took pictures of her snoozing in the car seat the entire way home from the hospital. That tooth just grew in! That proud toothless grin, that little lisp when she says tooth is incomprehensible. I keep staring at her sweet freckled face, trying to figure out how she grew 5 years over night.

It was on Easter that my husband and I hit Walgreens after brunch, buying and then taking 2 pregnancy tests. Not believing our luck, I insisted on a visit to the urgent care for a real test. The permagrin began that day. Don’t get me wrong, we have had our moments and I fully plan to have that painful teenage relationship every mother dreads. But, as we move closer to bringing another daughter into our world, I am feeling especially sentimental. She graduates from preschool this spring, performs in her first dance recital and finds a new way to be independent every day.  I never thought we’d get through the first 6 weeks of breast feeding, I have no idea where this clever, thoughtful kid came from.

The Tooth Fairy spoiled her: $2 + a chapter book about horses. Might be over-the-top, but cut me some slack. I am squeezing every last drop of childhood out of this, and seeing that toothless grin this morning made me swoon. Can’t wait for the Easter Bunny.

Sober House

I never imagined I would have something in common with the inhabitants of Sober House, but these last few months have been a sympathy inducing experience.  I have considered myself incredible lucky to have somehow avoided the addiction gene, I truly cannot imagine battling a cruel disease like that along with chronic pain. However, after 5 years on relatively low doses of pain killer, I am certainly dependent. The fine line, for those playing along at home, is that I can take my prescribed medication for its purpose without having the urge to take more for that feel good hit. My body has become accustom to a certain level of med, just like your hit of Starbucks every morning.

It is considered inhuman to test these medications on pregnant women, for obvious reasons. Some have been tested on mice and their babies, but even those studies seem to be pretty inconclusive. What doctors do know is that babies also become dependent on the meds  in utero and some suffer withdrawal at birth. There is also some speculation about addiction issues for these children later in life, but again, my docs haven’t been able to produce actual results.  Studies have, however, shown that the stress hormone caused by pain can have undesirable effects on a fetus as well. Chronic pain moms find themselves in a serious quandary – we are asked to remove as much med from our system as possible, without crossing the line to insanity on the pain front.

So, I find myself watching Dr. Drew at 4am, detoxing. Having failed my first attempt three weeks ago, the feeling of a letter opener jammed in my ribcage forcing me to re-evaluate my weaning process, I am back at it with supplemental Tyenol PM. I have dropped 25% of my medication and am basically only treating the pain while at work.  Two things about this process consume you, the first is just the basic uncomfortably – even after 2 sleep aids I wake-up at 3:30am with my legs crawling, cold symptoms & headache. My body is doing everything it can to convince me to take that evening dose. The second is fear, you question every minute, hoping to do the right thing for this baby who is counting on you. Sitting in the tub in the middle of the night, trying to decide what level of withdrawal hell or pain is reasonable, you realize that no one else can do this. No one can tell you when enough is enough.

For now I am slogging through, as all moms do. Late night TV with my cat, dreaming of  midnight  feedings that no longer seem so excruciating.

Plain as Day

My husband and I never wanted to find out the gender of our first child early. Why would anyone want to ruin one of the last big surprises life has to offer? It seemed almost cynical, like finding out would ruin the magic somehow. Discovering that we had a daughter just added to the euphoria of seeing our infant for the first time.

Early into this pregnancy it was clear that our daughter was quite set on a sister. Five year olds do not necessarily have the tact or coping skills to handle this sort of disappointment gracefully, so we decided it was in her best interest to find out the gender. This baby and pregnancy has been as much hers as it has been ours  as she plans how to redecorate her soon-to-be-shared bedroom and counts down the months until she will be a big sister. It was surprisingly easy to let go of the old notion that early discovery would somehow effect our excitement. In fact, I think it became a bigger deal, now there was one day set aside for this detail alone. It was like Santa offering to bring your Christmas gifts in September.

I’m impressed that I slept at all, felt like a kid the night before her birthday. And, there were, of course, those lingering fears that the tech would find something wrong after these 19 weeks of elation.  We got to the part where he says, lets check out the gender and I was crawling out of my skin. He says that it is plain as day and I am immediately certain it is a boy – girls are just harder to call. “It’s a girl,” he says. My daughter pumps her fist and says “YES!” and I watch as he explains what we are seeing, my tears clouding the screen, dripping down my face.

And there it is, a little girl, my companion, dancing around in my belly, as healthy and loved as can be.  Somehow, knowing has made this time together even more precious to me. Watching my eldest grow so quickly before me, I treasure this time with my second daughter, while she is as close to me as we wish our children could be always.

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