Archive for the ‘Motherhood’ category

Discipline(d) breakdown

March 11, 2011

It’s Friday – my favorite day of the week because I get to spend it with my little guy. I usually take advantage of my day off by doing all of those little things around the house that just keep needing to be done … laundry, dishes, bathrooms,  kitchen … the list goes on forever.

But today I have been especially undisciplined. Lukas has been sleeping for a record-breaking two and a half hours now and I’ve spent the majority of that time reading blogs, watching TV, and listening to the never-ending rain. I even took a nap (gasp).

My diabetes care gets a little sloppy on days like this, too. This morning, I absent-mindedly munched away at a half a box of Dots while watching meaningless TV before I realized what I’d done. Afterwards, I quickly over-bolused, which resulted in a 219 an hour later and a 40 just a half hour ago.

I realize it’s not the end of the world that this happens every now and then, but I struggle to allow myself such luxuries. Because I fear that one day of indulgence will lead to a downward spiral of sloppy eating habits, poor testing routines, piles of dirty laundry, toothpaste-spattered bathrooms, and crusty kitchen countertops.

Hopefully tomorrow will be a more productive day. But in the meantime,  what do you do to stay motivated in the face of never-ending BG checks … or mounds of dirty laundry? I could use some advice.

I might go wash the dishes now. Or watch Ellen. We’ll just have to see how it goes.

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On returning to work

February 16, 2011

So this post is pretty late, but better late than never, right? I have had mixed emotions about returning to work. In fact, they started before I even left for maternity leave. With all of the stresses of a diabetic pregnancy and full-time work, I was just completely exhausted by the time those nine months were up. I was so ready to get out of the office.

And I don’t really write about this much here, but my job is not as challenging or rewarding as I would like it to be. In fact, the company culture is downright stifling. I am miserable a good deal of the time. The stress of my struggle to fit into a role that is not at all like me leaves me with spiking BGs, stress-induced hunger, and a general sense of dismay.

As a reminder, I am a technical writer, and don’t get me wrong – I actually love my field. I have this weird passion for bringing structure and order to chaos, especially highly technical chaos. It makes my day when I’m able to reorder a collection of confusing sentences and make a useful piece of information. And it’s even more rewarding when someone is able to use this new piece of information to improve their life, or even just to complete a task faster and with less frustration. I’m sure it sounds fairly lame to people who enjoy more exciting occupations, but it is the perfect fit for me.

So it was with some trepidation that I returned to work after four months of leave. It was September, and I worked three days a week. And while those first few days away from Lukas were just pure torture, I have to admit that it was nice to be back in an environment with adults again. And the three-days-a-week gig still gave me the majority of my week at home with my sweetie.

But the return was not without its stresses, including the fact that my boss had promoted my (so-called temporary) replacement above me while I was out on full-time leave. Into a position that he had earmarked for me. And he did not even have the decency to tell me about it (I found out quite by accident from a co-worker).

Luckily my new boss (aka, the temporary replacement that I personally chose and trained) is a great guy. And it’s not his fault that he was placed in such a difficult position, so I try not to let this mess interfere with our working relationship. But it really sucks, you know?

At the first of the year, I was supposed to move back into a full-time role, but my heart just wasn’t in it. Still feeling slighted by my previous boss and still dealing with the stifling corporate culture, I decided it wasn’t worth it. My husband recently started a new, higher-paying job, so I no longer had a financial reason to return full-time. So instead, I negotiated for another part-time schedule. I now work four days a week. I’ve lost some benefits as a result of this change, but I still get my insurance benefits and a pro-rated vacation schedule. And I get Lukas all to myself on Fridays.

It’s not exactly my dream job, but when I get home at night, and my little guy smiles up at me, all of that work drama just melts away. I’m still keeping my eyes open for “greener pastures”, but for now this gig is paying the bills and providing me with a little extra time for my little one. It could be a whole lot worse.

Just in case

January 28, 2011

My colleagues at work ask, “So, when will Lukas get a little brother or sister?”

Strangers at the grocery store ask, “Are you ready for baby number two yet?”

Family members ask, “When will we meet grand baby/niece/nephew number two?”

Even doctors comment, “When you’re ready to have another baby, come back and see me.”

Usually I smile and shrug, or say something non-committal like “I guess we’ll just have to wait and see” or “Oh, I don’t know.” But inside, I’m thinking, “Are you kidding me?”

You see, a diabetic pregnancy is hard. And postpartum is no walk in the park, either. Whether you’re thinking about the 16 BG tests a day or the three doctor appointments a week, or the three-day labor that ended in a c-section, it was all just plain hard. And then there’s the grueling newborn feeding schedule. And the ricochetting BGs as your hormones readjust. And the ricochetting moods. And the c-section recovery. And the exhaustion. I can remember standing in the shower one day when Lukas was just a couple of weeks old. I was not standing there because I was still showering. I was standing there because I was simply too tired to step out, dry off, and get dressed. And I thought, “Who would ever do this again?”

I think everyone has these thoughts during those first few months. They just don’t talk about it or share it with prospective parents. Because if they did, they  might scare you away from experiencing parenthood for yourself.

And that would be a shame, because while you do have these thoughts, these moments of complete and total exhaustion, you also have these moments of absolute bliss. When he smiles at you as he dozes off. when he erupts in laughter at your silly face. When he FINALLY rolls over. When he discovers his feet. When he reaches for you to pick him up. When his face lights up at the site of you after a long day at work.

For the most part, we are past the sleepless nights and never-ending feedings in my house. We’ve hit a stride of sorts. But I’m still in the “I don’t even want to think about it” frame of mind when it comes to another pregnancy.

I was cleaning out the closet the other day and I came across my maternity jeans. I held them up and wondered at the fact that my belly was actually that big. Then I folded them neatly and put them into the donation bag.

But a few days later I returned to the donation bag and pulled the maternity jeans back out. I unfolded them and looked at them again, and then placed them on the highest shelf in my closet, in the back where I can’t even see them.

I’m watching Lukas nap right now in his favorite bouncy chair. And I am so content. Just the thought of another diabetic pregnancy is enough to wear me out. But I’ve still got those maternity jeans. Just in case.

The other kind of pumping

January 18, 2011

I met some other moms this weekend for a couple of hours of scrapbooking. Yes, I know, I don’t really seem like the scrapbooking type, do I? But motherhood has done weird things to me. I suddenly have this unquenchable urge to capture every waking moment of my child’s life on film. And then to arrange that film in a book … decorated with witty quotes cut from extravagant papers and elaborate stickers, jewels, and decals. I think I might have finally lost it.

But that’s not the point of this post. You see, while I was happily snipping and arranging and sticking, we were chatting about this and that. One of the moms is a nurse and we had been discussing how I had forgotten my meter and that I might need to run to the drugstore to pick up a cheap one for the day. Then she asked me, “So, are you still pumping?”

I replied, “Oh, yeah. I’ve been pumping since college.” And then I looked up from my pile of scraps and noticed the incredulous look on her face.

We stared at each other for a moment before she said with a nervous laugh, “Oh, no,I meant milk. Are you still pumping breast milk for Lukas?”

“Oh.” I could feel the heat rising in my cheeks. I stammered a bit before sputtering, “Uh … No. We are strictly formula-feeding now.”

She nodded and I scoured my brain for a witty comment to save this awkward moment. Nothing came to me, though, so we just smiled nervously and then returned to snipping and sticking.

Diabetes might have stolen my islet cells, and my gastric nerve-endings, and maybe even my youth. But it’s motherhood that stole my brain.

Mommy’s First Christmas

January 14, 2011

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Lukas is seven months old now and I just can’t believe it. On the one hand, it seems like we have been through so much together already … reflux and colic, breastfeeding and formula, checkups and shots, teething and real food. But on the other hand, it seems like just yesterday I was crawling out of bed every two to three hours to soothe, comfort, and feed. Like just yesterday he could barely lift his head.

And today? He has TWO teeth! And he rolls and lifts and pulls himself up with the best of them. He loves to sit and play with his toys … as long as he thinks you are behind him. If he notices that you are not there to catch him, he topples over. Silly guy! His seemingly endless cries have turned to mostly giggles and guffaws. He laughs hysterically when I kiss his tummy and when daddy makes funny faces. He still loves bath time. And his activity center. And his playmat. He babbles and talks to anyone (or anything) that will listen. Da-da-da-da is a common phrase, but sadly, we’re still working on ma-ma.

So I guess you would not be surprised to hear that baby’s first Christmas was a joy for all of us. Lukas enjoyed opening gifts … and eating the wrapping paper. Mommy spent a fair amount of time picking soggy bits of paper out of his mouth, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

It is strange how his addition to our little family has changed our lives. I can’t say that we felt incomplete, or like our lives were missing something before he was here, but there is a definite sense of “whole” since he has joined us. When he is playing, engrossed in the fine details of a special toy, I sometimes take a minute just to look at him. Wow. I can’t believe that he’s here and he’s healthy and he’s so perfect. It sure was a lot of work, but it was all worth it.

And then he spits up all over his onesie, or poops down the leg of his sleeper and I am no longer free to daydream. But as I’m changing his diaper, or his sleeper, or his shirt, I’m still content. It’s still worth it.