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Saturday, August 31st, 2013
I must have really pissed off the vomit gods in my past life. I was a child puker because, like my daughter, I battled carsickness. I also threw up a decent amount in my college drinking days. But apparently that–and the many times Fia has barfed during the worst possible scenarios–are still not enough to give me a free pass. The gods continue to punish me.
We are still in our rental house while our new home is being renovated. The whole first floor here has no air-conditioning. It is 100+ degrees today. I have no sitter and a 3 1/2 year old and an 18-month old to entertain.
I decided to take them to the Natural History Museum, here in Los Angeles. It’s not too far, it’s a straight shot on the highway, and it has two super huge, dark, cold rooms. In this heat I have dreamt about these rooms. Specifically, I’ve dreamt about re-creating myself as a giant stuffed elephant.
We left early because I wanted to make sure I got them back in time to nap. The upstairs, where all the bedrooms are, is air-conditioned. At that time of day, it’s about the only place you can be in the sweltering heat.
We were cruising down the highway when Fia started complaining that her throat hurt. You know where this is going…. But, hear me out. Lately this has been her tactic to get a lollipop. She knows I usually have some on me. They are my crutch when I really do think she needs to barf. As we were leaving, she saw me put two in my pocket and wouldn’t stop talking about them. So I figured it was a ploy. I ignored.
Just as we exited off the highway and into the museum parking lot, the barf began to pour out. Copious amounts. It was awful. Especially because it stank so badly, I was forced to roll down the windows. It was that awful that I needed smog filled, 102-degree air to keep me from barfing too.
My hyper-but-laid-back-Emmett didn’t seem fazed. And honestly, at this point, I wasn’t really either. Except…except… I needed a Laundromat. I had no change of clothes for her and she was sitting in a bowl of barf. Problem was, we were in a neighborhood where crime rates are high. In fact, there was an armed robbery a week ago at the Lavenderia that Yelp guided me to. But doing a quick risk/benefit analysis, I decided that I’d rather be robbed than drive around smelling like vomit.
I actually carried Fia in her huge car seat. (Thank god I do bootcamp.) I wanted to contain the barf as much as possible. I stripped her down and threw my sweatshirt on her. An hour later, dripping in sweat and exhausted from entertaining two kids by watching machines spin, and sucking on the lollipops I should have used in the first place, (at 103 degrees the vacant lot didn’t seem like a suitable play space anyway) I lugged my now-clean car seat back to the car. I really wanted to go home. It was nearly nap time at this point. I was a mess. You can trick an 18-month into thinking the Laundromat was the day’s adventure. It’s not so easy with a 3 1/2 year old. As I started the engine, Fia says:
“Mommy, are we going to the museum now?”
So you can guess how I spent the rest of my afternoon…
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baby barf, barf, car seat, car sickness, crime, detergent, getting barf out of car seat, heat, heat wave, laundromat, laundry, Lavenderia, Los Angeles, nauseous | Categories:
Fearless Feisty Mama, Mom Situations, Mom Tricks and Tips, Moving to Los Angeles, Must Read
Friday, July 13th, 2012
I wrote about our bad vacation decision the other day. So I figured I should add the good parts, as the barf-badness was the only hiccup in an otherwise flawless getaway. You can’t even grasp from the picture how giant these trees are in Sequoia State Park. Unreal. But real, actually.
Even the pinecones are giant!
A freshwater swimming hole. Too cold to get in, so we picnicked on a rock.
This is the ghost town (Silver City) that led to the bad road, which led to the barf.
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barf, Bodfish, California, carsick, ghost town, Sequoia, Sequoia State Park, silver city, vacation | Categories:
Fia Friday, Have Baby, Will Travel
Thursday, May 31st, 2012
Okay. It’s worse than it sounds. Emmett hasn’t actually lost weight. But he’s gone off his curve a bit.
When he was diagnosed with reflux about a month ago, we put him on Zantac. At that point his weight was in the 30th percentile. Two weeks later, at a follow up appointment, he had jumped into the 50th percentile. So it came with great surprise today at his 4-month check up that he has dropped into the 28th percentile and fallen off his curve.
I asked her to double check the numbers. He gained a pound in a month but he should have gained more I guess. He is 13 pounds, 12 ounces. He is super happy and incredibly active. So much so, she did say that he might be burning up more calories than the average 4-month old, thus not keeping his weight up with the curve. Nevertheless, because of his reflux issue, she was a bit concerned.
She also put him on his stomach and said he should be lifting his head up more. This is a boy who was ahead of his game at 2 months on his tummy. But then he developed the reflux and tummy time kind of went out the window. Apparently it shows. Thing is, he’s uncomfortable on his stomach and he barfs.
All this to say, I got quite discouraged. Between the visit and my angst over reading Bringing Up Bebe, I am doubting my mom instincts. We have no schedule–day or night. He isn’t staying on the curve. Yet he seems so damn lively. He rarely cries. He coos constantly. I mean, to what extent do I worry? She suggested I try a little rice cereal on a spoon to see if he is ready for solids. Perhaps that way he can put on some weight and keep the milk down. Okay, I can try that. But she also suggested an occupational therapist to see if he is sucking properly. Perhaps he is sucking down too much air, she said. Honestly, I am rolling my eyes. Does that seem a bit extreme? Seriously? I think he is doing just fine. As for the lack of schedule, she also said not to worry too much. Sleep training? Don’t think about it until 6 months or so. I should be relieved that the pressure is off. But I’m not.
This is why I hate going to the pediatrician. All the information is contradictory.
With Fia, my Brooklyn doctor said no rice cereal. It’s bland and boring. Introduce flavors. I did and she is an adventurous eater, though not a big one. Her weight gains are small, though they are on the curve. They said sleep train between 2-4 months. We did it at 4 1/2 months and she sleeps like a champ. They said get on a schedule (though I never really mastered that until 18 months). However, they refused to give her Zantac and I know she had reflux. I was so frustrated in becoming a human burp cloth that I gave up breastfeeding with her at 4 months. So who to believe?
In the end, I know Emmett will gain weight, stop barfing, sleep through the night and get on a schedule. Especially if I commit to making those latter two happen and experiment with his feedings a little more. But I’m still sitting here debating if I really need an occupational therapist. I mean, the kid sucks like a champ. It sounds like a giant waste of time.
This all seems more complicated than it needs to be. I am a veteran at this. It shouldn’t be this difficult.
Have I made your head spin? Mine too.
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barf, curve, Ferber, naps, occupational therapist, pediatricans, reflux, schedule, sleep, sleep training, sucking, tummy time, weight, weight gain, weight loss, zantac | Categories:
Fearless Feisty Mama, Mom Situations, Mom Tricks and Tips
Tuesday, May 8th, 2012
My boobs have become a secret weapon in survival. And not just because they feed my child.
When Fia came, it was all me all the time. I was drowning in her barf and tortured from lack of sleep. I became resentful that everything was put on me, even though yes, I am the mom.
Flash forward to Emmett. I am the picture of calm. That’s not an adjective you would typically use to describe me. But between hypnotherapy and the beauty of the boob, it’s a totally different scenario the second time around. Phil on the other hand seems to have postpartum frustration. He stomps around; I sit in lotus. He’s angry; I meditate. Here’s what shifted:
Fia’s melting down at dinnertime? Sorry honey, I gotta go feed Emmett.
Fia’s awake at 5:51 every morning? Sorry honey, Emmett’s hungry.
When you have the second baby, the parenting of the toddler falls more on the dad. Or at least in our house. I’m not kidding when I say that I get an extra hour-plus of sleep every morning because of this. AN HOUR. PLUS. Do you understand what that means? That’s like winning the lottery every day. I lay in bed with my little man as he nurses and we drift off to sleep. It’s heaven.
Cut to Phil downstairs with Fia screaming for Elmo, spilling orange juice and crying for eggs (Phil hates eggs and can’t make them. He claims he will barf. And we have enough barfing in our family with Em’s reflux).
At around 7 or 7:30 (the latter if I’m feeling greedy), I serenely float down and take over. Phil goes back to bed for an hour. I cook eggs, clean up the OJ and read the paper. I hold Emmett and Fia watches Sesame. Or we all play. It’s great. And to be fair, Phil wakes back up refreshed. Don’t feel too sorry for him–I’m not killing the guy.
At night, as Phil is trying to get Fia to eat, I’m sitting in the living room, a glass of wine in hand, watching the news, nursing my boy. Ahhhh… this is the life!
I’m lucky to have such a hands-on husband. I don’t know what I would do if he weren’t. But I wouldn’t have married someone who didn’t look at our relationship as a partnership of equals. I will admit that the scale is tipping a bit more in my favor lately. I’m taking it–guilt free. I carried these babies for 10 months. I endured another c-section. And I know that eventually everything circles back to the mom. This is a temporary reprieve.
When Emmett’s reflux started to increase last week I panicked. Not only because I want to breastfeed him for health reasons, but for my own personal Zen. Hell, if I keep getting these kinds of breaks, I might breastfeed him until he’s 4. Or 14.
So for all you moms out there expecting baby #2, this is my big secret—use the boob. It’s survival for us. And justified because it’s also survival for your baby. Nothing wrong with that.
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babies, barf, bottle, breastfeed, breastfeeding, formula, hypnotherapy, reflux, sesame, spit up, toddler meltdown, toddlers, wine, zantac | Categories:
Mom Situations, Mom Tricks and Tips, Must Read
Thursday, May 3rd, 2012
I was afraid of this. Emmett is becoming a barfer. AARRRGGGGHHHH. Fia had the worst reflux. But I thought I dodged the bullet with Emmett. Reflux usually shows up around 2-3 weeks. Each week that passed with Emmett I felt more and more hopeful. I mean, he was a spitter. But not a barfer. There’s a difference.
Then, about 2 weeks ago, just shy of his 3 month birthday, more and more milk kept coming up. I knew I was in trouble when Cleo, our nanny, walked in with 3 changes of clothes. Damn.
Here is the weird thing. He only barfs up my breast milk. Not formula. Fia was the exact same way. I took her to 3 different pediatricians. I even took a saturated barf cloth to one. “Here, feel this. This is from one feed!” I sobbed. We’re talking cups of barf. They all told me the same thing: since she was gaining weight, it wasn’t technically reflux. Therefore, they wouldn’t treat it as such. But wait, the reason she’s gaining is because I have to feed her all the time. She is also in terrible pain, constantly scrunching her body up. And all the barfing certainly can’t feel good on her throat.
Their stance was to keep her on the boob and deal with it. I’m still resentful.
I ordered some herbal concoction that–no kidding–was black as tar. It is supposed to help reflux. Um, okay, well, if it doesn’t, guess what you get? Black stains all over your furniture. Genius. That lasted all of one feed. I experimented with other things too, but I finally just gave up.
At 4 months, overwrought with lack of sleep and full of misery, I gave up breast feeding. I drove to the store and bought formula. It was an instant game-changer. I had a freezer full of breast milk that I would try to get down week after week. Same thing every time. Copious amounts of barf. I don’t think it was an allergy either. I had experimented with eliminating dairy, citrus, eggs–you name it–from my diet. Nothing worked. My mom said I was the same way.
With Emmett, I am determined to not give up breast feeding so early. I took him to our doctor here and explained what was happening. (I picked a specific doctor at the practice because she’s not old school like some of them.) After hearing my story, she theorized that maybe since breast milk isn’t as heavy as formula, both he and Fia needed something with more weight–or less acidic. It’s exactly what my mom and I had talked about 2 years before.
This pediatrician, unlike others I’ve had, prescribed Zantac. She also gave me some probiotics. Instead of discounting me, she listened. For that, I am incredibly grateful. She believes that it is worth staying on the boob with a little medicine rather than switching to formula. Or at least trying to see if it makes a difference. Whew.
We are on day 5 of Zantac and so far his spitting up has greatly diminished. I’m holding my breath and crossing my fingers. He also isn’t crunching up in pain as often. My goal is to boob feed him for at least 6 months, maybe a year. He’s my last baby. Plus, there are some major advantages (besides the medical aspect) to breastfeeding. I’ll save that for another blog.
I wrote earlier this week about trusting your mom instinct when it comes to studies and diagnoses and all that jazz. I’m glad I get a second chance on this one with my little guy.
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acidophillus, baby barf, barf, boob, breastfeeding, formula, pediatricians, probiotic, reflux, spit up, zantac | Categories:
Fearless Feisty Mama, Mom Situations, Newborn Care