Archive for the ‘ Moving Mid Pregnancy ’ Category

Sleep Training: Will It Ever End?

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

Unhappy in Crib

Ugh. Fia is waking up in the night….again. With baby Leroy just 2 weeks away, we gotta figure this out. I can’t have both of them up all night. I’ll lose my mind. Or at least more so than I already will with a newborn.

We sleep-trained her at 4.5 months. From then until this fall (so like 18 months) she was a consistent sleeper: Down at 7, up at 6:30-7. Never woke up in the night.

Then, right when we were packing/moving to LA, she began to wake up in the night. And getting up earlier, like 6:15-6:30. I figured it was all part of the chaos of the move.

But now we’ve been settled here for nearly 4 months, and instead of getting better, she’s regressing. Not only is she now waking up in the night, but she also gets up between 5 and 5:45. For good. Unless. Unless. Unless…we (ack) put her in bed with us. Then she sleeps until 6:30-7. I don’t sleep, but she does.

I have tried cracking the code. We got her this “bunny” alarm clock. When the light on the bottom is on, it shows the bunny sleeping and the moon. When the light on top shines, bunny is awake and the sun is shining. We’ve set it for 6:30 a.m., and explained to her when bunny wakes up, she can wake us up. I really do think she understands. I also think she chooses to ignore.

And now I’m finding that this middle of the night thing is getting out of control. She doesn’t go back down on her own. We have to go in and hold her. Sometimes it’s up to 4 times a night. Add to that, over the weekend she was up at 4:45. For good. I tried to “referber”. Went in at 5 ,10, 15 minute intervals. Can you believe she screamed straight until 6 a.m.?? No tears, just whining/screaming/squawking. Maddening. Phil and I were zombies all day Saturday and Sunday.

I enlisted the help of some of my friends who have all the books on sleep training. I even wrote my old Pediatrician in Brooklyn, Dr. Gold, this weekend asking for her insight/advice. Here is the consensus:


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Moving Mid-Pregnancy: Getting Close!

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Author’s Note: Join me every Tuesday or Wednesday for “Moving Mid Pregnancy,” to read about my ongoing search for a new “everything” (from nannies to mom friends to health providers) while pregnant and living in a new city.

Me and My HUGE Belly

Last night I had stomach cramps. Bad ones. I also just felt “off.” I was thinking maybe labor was imminent. As uncomfortable and miserable as I am right now, I’m like the boy who cried wolf. When it comes down to it, I’m not ready for the new baby. I mean, for god’s sakes: I still have wall decals to put up!! Not to mention a wax to schedule (it’s all about the timing of it, right?) and lexapro to wean off. I’ve started the process with the lexapro, but it will take about 3 weeks to complete.

BTW–I decided to wean off the last few weeks based on the conversation I had with the reproductive psychiatrist (I wrote a blog about this). She said there is a 10-30% chance of the baby having some sort of withdrawal. Just general fussiness, but I think newborns are already ass kicking enough. I want my guy to be happy when he gets pulled out. So I’m going to wean off. I did this same thing with Fia and was glad I did.

I went to my OB today and they put a monitor on to see if I was contracting. Turns out, I wasn’t imagining the stomach tightening. There were a few contractions, though nothing regular. I’m also so thirsty lately. So the doc just told me to go home, hydrate a lot and take it easy. I asked if I could go for hikes still. He said yes, but just not to push it. He wants to keep that baby in as long as possible. I guess I sort of do…. it’s such a catch 22. Being so uncomfortable right now, but also needing more time before baby Leroy rocks our world.

By the way, I do love my new OB out here. He came recommended from a few friends. It wasn’t that hard making the transition from my NYC OB-GYN to this one. I knew I wanted to deliver at Cedars Sinai, even though it’s a bit of trek from our house. It’s kind of the celeb/famous hospital, but the way I looked at it is this: if anything should go wrong, you want to be at the place with the best medical and neonatal care. Especially in my, ahem, AMA (Advanced Maternal Age). And UCLA and Cedars are two of the best.

Also had my iron re-tested today. Hoping the pills and the 8 hamburgers I eat a day help get my levels back up.

More to report but it’s 9:30 pm, which means bedtime. I’ll add more to this tomorrow when Fia’s at preschool. Night night.

Follow up: it’s the next morning. Fia’s at preschool. Right before bed, the cramps got pretty bad. But then once I laid down, they subsided. I ended up sleeping really well. So I guess the doctor knows what he’s talking about when he says to get off your feet. He told me if I lay down and they continue, or become more regular, to let him know. So far so good. I’m going to make a conscious effort to sit more, and nap when Fia naps (I’ve been doing that on and off lately and it makes a huge difference in the rest of my day).

Oh, and we just found out my C-section time got moved up. This is great news. It was scheduled January 25th at 4:30 pm. and you can’t eat for 8 hours prior. I didn’t know how I’d do it. Now we just got in for a 7:30 a.m. C-section. So I can wake up and just go to the hospital. That is, if this baby doesn’t come sooner!

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Irrational Pregnancy Fears

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

They're Lurking Everywhere. I Just Know It.

The other day while Fia and I were at the playground, I got the following voicemail from Phil:

“Um, why the f—k is Pest Control here? They said you booked them to spray for black widows.  I told them to leave. Call me.”

I called him back with dread. He picked up on the first ring:

“What is going on?”

“What do you mean?” I say.

“I’m really trying hard not to get pissed here, but what the f—k?”


Then, “Because of the spiders,” I said meekly.

“Jill—have you ever seen a black widow anywhere on our property?”

“No, but they exist!” I said, trying to defend myself. “There are cobwebs on all the lawn furniture.”

He cut me right off. “You are being ridiculous. We are not going to live in fear. We are not going to make Fia afraid of spiders. And we’re sure as s–t not spraying a bunch of toxins all over everything.”


He continued: “Did you know what they told me? That spiders hold their breath. So in order to kill them, they have to literally drench everything with chemicals.”

More silence.

“I am going to assume this is one of your stupid pregnancy things and I’m going to get over it. But seriously, you need to get a grip.”

I had irrational pregnancy fears with Fia before and after birth. And now, well, I guess they’re baaaccck.

Thing is, I knew he was right. I mean I’m the one who insists on using the Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent (even though he insists his clothes aren’t as clean) because I don’t like the chemicals. Most of my cleaning products, toiletries, etc. are “green.”  We live in a beautiful setting with blackbirds and doves who flock to our yard every morning. So dousing it with chemicals goes against everything I am typically about. But as we all know in pregnancy, nothing that is typical remains so. All fears and anxieties seem to take on a heightened world of their own.

Part of me blames my friend Jenn for the spider fiasco. She moved here from Brooklyn a while back and told me she found a family of black widows on her porch. She has an 8-year old and called pest control. After hearing her tale, I decided to be proactive.

Think it kind of backfired…

Two days after Phil’s irate phone call, I picked flowers from our garden and brought them in. The next day there was a spider on the curtain. And a web in the flowers. I assume I brought in the creature. I thought, I swear to god if that’s a black widow, I will march into Phil’s office and freak the f—k out. Then march out smugly.  I took this picture and googled it.

Red Back Jumping Spider

It’s a Redback Jumping Spider. They bite and have venom, but nothing too severe. Definitely not fatal. Nevertheless, I made Phil get rid of it. He didn’t kill it. He put it back outside, so it’s sure to come haunt me again.

I’m also getting worse on my cleaning issues. If I find a few crumbs on the counter—or god forbid a hair– it makes me crazy. I could puke just thinking about it.  I don’t want company because I don’t want the mess.

I guess with Baby Boy just 3 weeks away, these fears and obsessions may get worse. What should I do? Try and get hypnotized to get over them? Or just wait until I can take Xanax again? Any advice? Any good tales of your own? HHHEEEELLLLLPPPP!

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Moving Mid-Pregnancy: Traffic School

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

Author’s Note: Join me every Tuesday or Wednesday for “Moving Mid Pregnancy,” to read about my ongoing search for a new “everything” (from nannies to mom friends to health providers) while pregnant and living in a new city.


Looks like I get to go to Traffic School. What’s that you ask? It’s like detention in the movie, The Breakfast Club—but for traffic violations.  I guess I have found the downside to driving.  And I was so enjoying traffic here. Damn.

Last week Fia and I were leaving Griffith Park. I had taken her to this lame-o exhibit called Travel Town. Complete with trains that kids can’t climb on and a toy train track with no train (maybe it’s BYOT? Bring Your Own Train?). We were heading home and I must not have stopped completely at a stop sign. Cue the sirens.  My huge belly didn’t help at all. The officer didn’t care. C’mom Little Leroy. Do your magic rather than just kicking me constantly.

In California a violation like this can literally double your car insurance. Which is why they offer Traffic School–an 8-hour day where you get a lesson in proper road rules. Painful. Followed by a Driver’s Test. Doubly Painful. In exchange: you still pay the fine, but the points are erased.

My traffic school date happens to fall on my C-section date. Hmmm…I wrote in my controversial homebirth article that I’m pro-choice. So now I get another choice: Traffic School or Birthing Baby?

I called the LA Superior Court today to see about moving the date. Their recording says, “Due to budget cuts we no longer have operator assistance.” I went online, but the system couldn’t find my citation. So now I’m going to have to waddle in there and change the date.

Maybe I can bring Fia to Traffic School. She could climb on the tables and disrupt the class until they kick us out—as long as I still get my points erased. Hell, I could bring Wayne Sanchez too. Not a bad idea…


Stop Sign pic via Shutterstock

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34 Weeks, 5 Days and Counting

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

He's the size of a Cantaloupe

Had my doctor appointment today. Not much to report, except that Little Leroy has his foot in his mouth. Literally. He’s a contortionist with his toes jammed up against his mouth and a hand behind his neck. And judging from his constant movement, he’s an acrobat too. He never sits still.

They estimate his weight to be 5 pounds, 11 ounces. So I’m on target to have around an 8-8 1/2 pound baby. I seriously don’t know how my stomach is going to stretch much more. I am really feeling the weight of this pregnancy. And the exhaustion. This is like the final stretch of a marathon–but one that as soon as you finish, you dive into a triathlon. It’s hard to know what to wish for: not being pregnant anymore or a few more precious weeks of decent sleep sans burp clothes and feedings.

I wish I could scan in the ultrasound picture, as it’s in 4-D and really pretty cool. But our scanner doesn’t work.

This may be the most uninteresting blog I’ve ever written. But I feel like a bowling ball and it’s the best I can do. Will post a pic of my huge belly later. Cheers.

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