Take it Back

Last week, I wrote about Punkie’s first cold.  He still has it, and I am still suctioning snot from his nose at regular intervals.  Good times.

In that post, I said, “If I had the cold, I’d take as much Sudafed as allowed plus one and power through (not regular Sudafed, the good stuff you have to go to pharmacy counter and show your drivers’ license to buy).”

I take it back.  What I apparently meant is that was true, as in past tense.  I’m evolving here, dear blog readers.

What I’m saying is that I have the cold now too and I’m not going to take those pills.  I have the package of sinus decongestant pills in my hand – they expired in 2013.  I could work with that.

The active ingredient, pseudoephedrine, is what I lovingly refer to as the good stuff because, when I have a cold, it clears my sinus and keeps me awake so I can be productive at work.  I’m sure the guys on “Breaking Bad” call it by some kicky little nickname, like pseudazzle or something (actually, I think they just call it pseudo).

I did a Google search to see if I can take the pills while breastfeeding Punkie and the internet says that, while the pills won’t hurt Punkie directly, they may or may not reduce breast milk supply.*  It boils down to a cost/benefit analysis – do I make myself comfortable and productive and take the risk that Punkie will have less milk to drink tomorrow?  Nah.

Since I don’t have a blue bulb  with which to suction out my own snot, I’ll just tough it out.  (That was a joke – I don’t want you to send me a blue bulb sucker thing)

*I am not a doctor or any kind of medical professional. DO NOT RELY ON MY GOOGLING.

 

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Day Care is Snotty

Punkie has been in day care for 4 full days now and he is already sick. He was congested yesterday and didn’t sleep well the night before because of congestion – he sounds like he’s snorting when he breathes. This morning, he started coughing.

This is officially his first cold. I hope it’s a cold, anyway.

I mentioned that he’s congested to his care giver and she said she has it and most of the kids have had it too. Everyone says this is par for the course with day care – they all get the same colds.

I expected to be more fazed or distressed when he got sick for the first time. Really, I’m more tired than anything, and I’m girding my loins against anticipated fussiness and more not sleeping. Work has been difficult this week, but I remind myself that things are always more difficult when you’re tired.

That’s not to say that I didn’t call my husband in the middle of the night to ask him how to do the saline sinus drop and suction thing that he was telling me about before he left for his trip and before Punkie got sick. My worst-case-scenario-generator was telling me that Punkie could suffocate if he doesn’t breath well in his crib. My rational brain kind of knew I was overreacting, but:

Ring, Ring

Hi sweetie, can you tell me how to do that saline thing you were talking about yesterday?

It’s midnight – is everyone okay?

Um, midnight you say? . . .

I called our pediatrician’s office this morning because I honestly don’t know what to do for a 4 ½ month old baby with a cold. If I had the cold, I’d take as much Sudafed as allowed plus one and power through (not regular Sudafed, the good stuff you have to go to pharmacy counter and show your drivers’ license to buy). Punkie isn’t going to be on board with that approach, I imagine.  I explained to the nurse that I don’t know anything about babies and that Punkie has been in day care for one hot minute but is now sick.

The nurse recommended that I do the following things:

  • use a cool vaporizer in Punkie’s room (not a warm one because someone can get burned);
  • take Punkie’s temperature and call them if it’s over 100.4 degrees (take the temp rectally, of course?) ;
  • elevate one end of Punkie’s mattress by putting a rolled up towel underneath one end (so he can breathe better while lying down – I’m sure he won’t just roll to the far end); and
  • do the saline thing that my husband was talking about, which is to put some drops of salt water in his nose and then suction with the bulbous blue thing the hospital sent us home with (hold on to your brain, Punkie, mommy is going to suction now).

What do you think of these recommendations? Any more thoughts?

The Greatest Store on Earth

I preface this blog entry by saying that I am not currently employed by Wegmans (i.e., the greatest store on Earth) and I am not compensated by them in any way for this blog or anything else. Quite the contrary, I spend a lot of money at this store.

Can I just tell you that I love Wegmans so much. I’ve lived in places without a Wegmans store and I don’t care to do that again. They have everything you could ever want in a grocery store. I just love going there.

I would go so far as to say that sometimes I wish I were a Wegman, meaning a member of the Wegman family. I want them to adopt me. Last summer, I was very pregnant and I was parking in a special “reserved for expectant mothers” spot when I recognized Danny Wegman walking through the parking lot. It was like I saw a celebrity – like if I had seen Oprah and Gayle King hanging out and talking about their favorite books by the cart return rack. My heart rate increased and I was giddy. I took a photo of him and texted it to my husband.

Now that I’m a new mom, I appreciate Wegmans even more. Every Friday night, they have a kids’ movie night in the dining area, and parents can be served a glass of wine or beer. I fully intend to partake when Punkie gets a little older. And you can take cooking classes for kids there, which makes me think that someday, when Punkie is a sullen teenager, he will be cooking dinner for his long-suffering parents. Thank you, Wegmans.

Every restroom at Wegmans is fully stocked. By “every,” I mean every – both men and women. By “fully stocked,” I mean each bathroom has a big, clean changing table below a wall of free (Wegmans brand) diapers, wipes, and hand sanitizer. Yes, ladies, you can ask your husband to change the diaper because the men’s room is equally tricked out. Thank you, Wegmans.

Also, I mentioned this already, but my favorite perk is that they have reserved parking spaces for expectant mothers and people with small children. These Doris Day parking spaces are so great, sometimes I regret stopping in when I don’t have Punkie with me because I have to park with everyone else. Thank you again, Wegmans.

EDITED TO ADD:

Not that I needed the affirmation, but I am not at all surprised to see that MSN agrees with me:  http://money.msn.com/investing/the-14-best-supermarkets-in-america

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Modesty, You Waste My Time

I work outside of the home full time and Punkie enjoys a good bottle of milk, so I use my electric breast pump three times a day while at the office. Sometimes, if he’s had a big day of playing, I will pump again after he’s gone to bed because, on those big days, he will fall asleep during our evening nursing session.

Pumping is a hassle. Since I spend a total of one hour during the work day pumping, I come to work early and I skip lunch. Even though I make up the time, I still feel like the regular pumping interruptions are difficult – my door is shut more often and it seems to never fail that I will have to take a break just as I get on a roll with a project.

I would love to be able to take phone calls or schedule conference calls during my pumping sessions. The problem is that a caller will hear the pump. WHOOSH . . . WHOOSH . . . WHOOSH.  I’ve used the phone to talk to my husband several times while pumping and he always asks, “what is that terrible noise?” I called my parents one time while pumping and they were actually quite irritated by the noise. I had to explain to each of them what the noise was, at an elevated volume because they apparently couldn’t hear me over the whooshing.  You haven’t lived life to the fullest until you’ve yelled out “I’m using my breast pump” at the office (twice).

I could never take a professional call while pumping. Actually, I couldn’t take any other call while pumping. How do I explain to a work colleague that, while I’m advising them on the wording of a liability provision of a contract, I have an electric pump milking me like I’m a dairy cow? Unprofessional, right? And, in all honesty, kind of embarrassing.

I would waste less time if only I were less modest.

 WHOOSH . . . WHOOSH . . . WHOOSH . . .

What noise? I don’t hear any noise. Maybe it’s a bad phone connection.

Home Alone

My husband is out of town for the next four days and I’m home alone with Punkie. I know how to take care of the kid and I’m a fairly capable person, so my rational brain knows it’s not a problem. I’ve got this covered.

But there is also a part of my brain that is busy generating worst case scenario thoughts all day. I’ve been wondering, what if I leave for work and forget about him at home? What if I drive to work and leave him in the backseat all day? After all, I am a little forgetful when I have something on my mind.

I’m a very sound sleeper. The thought I’ve been having since he was born is, what if I’m in a deep sleep and don’t hear him cry at night? Everyone I’ve confided in has said that’s nonsense – you’ll hear him. It’s instinctual! But I won’t know if that’s true unless I fail to hear him. And even then, I won’t really know because I slept through whatever the problem is. In truth, I won’t know unless something terrible happens.

Basically, I’m suffering from not having a chaperone . . . or maybe the better word is supervisor. That’s kind of pathetic, if I’m being honest with myself.

When we left the hospital with Punkie for the first time after his birth, I kept looking around the corridor and thinking, are they really going to let me leave with this tiny, fragile human? I didn’t even know how to hold him, much less keep him alive. But they just let us take him.

That’s how I feel here too. My husband left for his trip this morning and I thought, is he really going to just leave me with the kid? He knows better than anyone that I screw up at least one thing every day.

I dropped Punkie off at day care this morning and he was happy. He smiled at me when I left, which is a great relief for me. I still feel like I need to show up at random times to check on him, but I have the feeling that he’s resilient. I respect resiliency. I’m going to tell him that this evening, assuming I remember to pick him up from day care.

Creed Thoughts

If you were a fan of the US version of “The Office,” you might relate to this. As I was writing my first blog post yesterday, I sort of felt like Creed. If you recall, in one episode, Ryan set up a “blog” for Creed to use. The “blog” was just a Word document and Creed didn’t know the difference so he kept posting to it. I think the hope was that they’d protect the world from Creed’s brain.

I’m Fazed

I’ve been a lawyer for 15 years. At the age of 40, I had a baby, and now I’m a new mother and a lawyer.

 

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I lived a life before I had my son, who I’ll refer to in this blog as Punkie. “Punkie” is obviously not his real name, but he is kind of a punk sometimes. I hit the big, red “reset” button of life several times before, so I generally feel confident in new situations or during times of change. I’m rarely surprised. Things don’t faze me.

So, when my husband and I decided to have a kid, I didn’t think it would faze me at all. How hard could it be to have one kid? I’ve put myself through law school, passed 2 bar exams, worked 100 hours a week at a law firm, survived a divorce, moved to NYC, and moved back to my hometown to start over again. These things were difficult, and anyone can have a child – it’s biology.

Well, lesson learned and cockiness banished. It turns out that this coffee-swilling, 40-year old, stress monster needed a lot of medical assistance to get pregnant. Apparently, I have a disease called “advanced maternal age.” There were two years of early morning appointments with a fertility doctor and her many, many nurses. There were intra-vaginal ultrasounds, blood tests, insanely potent injectable drugs, and medical procedures – I lost track of how many. It wasn’t fun.

Finally, we were pregnant and, after all that, I was surprised. It was difficult to believe the nurse when she called to tell me the good news. It was really great news and wholly unbelievable.

Punkie is 4 ½ months old now. His toothless grin makes my heart swell up, and, when he cries, my heart aches. I was lucky to be able to stay at home from work with him for 3 months after he was born. My employer has been really great with my pregnancy and maternity leave. This is a much bigger topic for another day, but I can’t believe that some women go through a pregnancy and birth and are forced to return to work immediately, or after 6 weeks. Three months is far too short. But I digress.

I was even more lucky that my husband wanted to take leave to stay with Punkie for 8 weeks after I returned to work. His willingness to do this means Punkie didn’t have to start child care until yesterday.

This brings be back to the idea that I’m not easily fazed. Dropping Punkie off at day care fazed me. I’m totally fazed.

We brought him into the child care center and into his “classroom” and he began to cry. He somehow knew that this was not just a visit. He continued to cry. When we left, I tiptoed back to the room to check on him one last time by peeking around the corner, and he was puffy eyed and angry.

I never felt so horrible in my life. The guilt that I feel for leaving him at day care is overwhelming. I’m at work at this very moment, taking a 20-minute break to pump breast milk for Punkie to drink at day care tomorrow, feeling like shit. (Typing while pumping is not easy, so please excuse the typos and run-on sentences.)

I stopped into the child care center mid-morning yesterday to check on Punkie. He was still upset.

When I walked in, the care-giver, who seems like a warm and kind woman, was on the floor snuggling Punkie and trying to get him to take his bottle of milk. He was refusing the bottle, which he had never done before. Until yesterday, he had always done a happy little kicking and grunting dance when he saw his bottle. Yesterday, in stark contrast, his eyes were red and he was frowning and not eating.

At the end of the day, when my husband picked him up, the report was that the afternoon was a lot better than the morning. I wonder if it was, because I wasn’t there to see him myself and, to be frank, the child care center is incentivized to tell us that Punkie loves it there. They said he slept for 2 hours in the afternoon, which my husband (a trusting optimist) took as a positive sign. In my mind, the most likely scenario is that he passed out unconscious after crying all morning.

So I’ll be using a few more hours of my precious little PTO time from work to drive over to the child care center today and visit them. I feel like if I show up at random times, maybe they’ll take better care of Punkie. I hope they think to themselves, “don’t let Punkie cry alone in the bouncy seat because his mom might show up.”

These are dark thoughts and I’m not happy to have them. Like I said, I’m fazed.