Things are definitely progressing. On the second night Arya fell asleep with no crying after 20 minutes of me rubbing and patting her back. Unfortunately, she woke up at midnight and I noticed she had a fever so I had to pick her up to give her tylenol. I put her back to sleep with a bottle and put her back in the crib. She woke up two more times (once i’m pretty sure was due to an earthquake that I didn’t notice) but she put herself back to sleep pretty quickly both times. She was fine in the morning so I’m thinking the fever was due to some teething.
Last night I patted/rubbed her for ten minutes but left the room after she seemed to be getting more riled up from me being there. I let her cry for ten minutes, went in to comfort her for five minutes, and then she cried for ten more minutes. When I went back in the room she almost immediately fell asleep and she slept through the night until 6:30!
I’m thinking this quick success is due to her already being a good sleeper but I won’t count my chickens before they are hatched. I will say it feels great to be getting a more normal night of sleep again!
I’m also completely amazed at how much she seems to be developing these days. She is crawling everywhere and is talking almost constantly with more and more complex sounds. Yesterday she started clapping and today she figured out how to push herself back up to a sitting position from her tummy. She still has little interest in pulling herself up and walking (which is fine by me).
Arya was a bit of a mess when I picked her up from daycare. They said she had been cranky and tired all day and felt a bit warm. They were thinking she was either getting sick or teething.
She was in pretty good spirits for the walk home,babbling and laughing at me. When I got home I remembered I had to move my car (street sweeping) so I had to load her up in her cars eat, move the car, and walk home from the lot (the joys of single parenthood). She was also in a pretty decent mood through this debacle. When we got home I wolfed down some food while giving her one of those food pouch things. Then I got her in pjs/sleepsack and took her temperature. It was slightly elevated at 99.8 but I decided she seemed OK and forged on with my sleep training plan.
I rocked her with a bottle until she was sleepy and put her in her crib. She immediately flipped to her belly and started babbling. I rubbed her back/tummy/head and she would put her head down for a few seconds and pop up. I rolled her onto her side a few times (her preferred sleep position) but she wasn’t having it.
Then the crying started. I continued the rubs and soothing shush’s and told her I loved her. I felt like a monster but trudged on. After an hour, I laid on my bed next to her crib and told her I was still there. Then I went back every 5-10 minutes for rubs and pats. The screaming didn’t stop. When we hit hour two, I was starting to doubt my plan but she did show some tiny signs of slowing down. About thirty minutes later, she rolled onto her side and fell asleep.
I watched a bit of TV, ate some celebratory ice cream, and went to bed early expecting a bunch of wake-ups. But, she slept through the night as wasn’t up until after 6! I’m not sure if she was just so exhausted from screaming (or if my plan is working) but we will see tonight!
My amazing (sleeping all night since six weeks old) baby is backsliding. First I thought it was jetlag from going home to NY. Then I thought it was teething. But I now have to accept that we have a sleep regression in our midst-with 2-3 wake-ups every night. Due to thinking it was jetlag and teething I have gotten into the habit of bringing her into bed with me for a bottle in the middle of the night. She is so cute and snuggly that I’ve kept her with me until we wake up. Now it has definitely turned into a bad habit that she expects.
After talking to friends and a bunch of research I have decided that due to her new found crawling skills, she get really excited when she wakes up and night and doesn’t know how to get herself back to sleep. I have always rocked her to sleep with a bottle and it works great. But now, she is getting a bottle every time she wakes up because its the only way she will sleep causing her diaper to leak because it is way too much liquid for a baby (or an adult) at night.
My plan is to follow this simple schedule that I modified on a friend’s advice (and the website Mommy My Way):
Days 1-3: give her a bottle and rock her until she is sleepy but not asleep. Put her in the crib and stay with her until she falls asleep patting and rubbing her and making singing/shushing noises.
If all goes well..
Day 4-6: do the bottle and rocking until it is done, put her in the crib and hang out for five minutes and leave the room. Go back every 20 minutes for five minutes until she stops crying.
Day 7-9: bottle, rock, put her in crib, say goodnight and immediately leave the room. Go back every 20 minutes for five minutes until she stops crying.
Keep your fingers crossed for me! I’ll try to update with my progress.
I finally took another blood test and i’m (again) officially a pre-diabetic. I should admit that this I have (maybe subconsciously) known this was the case for a while and just didn’t want to deal with it. So, I’m proud of myself for asking my doctor to order another test so I can take steps to address this before it gets out of control. I just read that 70% of people with PCOS have insulin intolerance that leads to pre-diabetes. This makes me feel slightly better but I hate that I feel stigmatized for having a “fat people’s” condition. I definitely feel like I would have dealt with this earlier had I not felt this stigma and body shame and it feels shitty. I definitely identify as a body positive anti-body shaming, proud plus size lady-but I’m still affected by all of this anti-fat BS and I’m worried that having to regulate what I eat will bring these feeling more to the surface. I guess it may be time to start therapy again.
I spent the better part of the morning looking up the glycemic index of different food (yipee!) and now I’m going to dive into a big work project to get my mind off of the lack of pizza I will soon be facing.
Here are some amazing pictures from our trip to Buffalo that my super-talented friend took at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery:
Almost everyone I see asks me how I feel being back to work and I’m finding it hard to answer. I’m so so proud I’m making this work and it seems do-able. And if I’m being honest, Arya being such a chill and easy baby is probably 95% of why this feels so manageable. She still mostly sleeps through the night so I’m getting about 7 hours of sleep a night, she goes to bed around 7-7:30 so I have a few hours at night to myself, she is perfectly content hanging out with most people, and she is able to entertain herself for decent stretches of time. And yes, I am fully aware of how lucky I am and I tell Arya every day how grateful I am for her.
But I have a constant fear of money hanging over me. We are just barely squeaking by. We are completely living check to check and we would be completely screwed if I were to ever lose my job (or our rent controlled apartment). Not only is this terrifying but it also makes me so angry. I’m an attorney and I make almost six figures. And while this pales in comparison to what many of my classmates (who chose much more lucrative legal careers) it shouldn’t be this hard..right? So fuck capitalism and can we please get universal free childcare, healthcare, and education already?
On a very unrelated note, I had the weirdest interaction with Arya’s daycare yesterday. When I dropped her off she was wearing a onesie and baby leg warmers. The outfit looked a lot like this:
One of the teachers was like: “look at you today!” I assumed she thought the outfit was cute. Later, when I picked Arya up the same teacher was like: “today we called her sexy girl!.” Um what? I didn’t ask her to elaborate and just responded “oh haha.” I’m thinking she thought the legwarmers looked like women’s thigh high stockings or something. It was so weird and a bit gross and I know this wouldn’t have happened if she was a boy. Can you please not sexualize my six month old?
Despite the weirdness, I decided not to say anything. I have been super, duper happy with how they are taking care of Arya and she is so happy when I drop her off and pick her up. I have to pick and choose my battles and this just isn’t worth it. But WTF?
This is the start of my fourth week of work. It’s been surprisingly nice being back and having a routine with Arya. I know it sounds awful but I thought I would miss her more than I do. Not to say I don’t miss her, but its been great to have some balance. I also love how I’m actually excited when I pick her up from daycare when her smile seriously melts me.
But this post isn’t about Arya, its about work. On one hand, its so refreshing to use my brain for more abstract things and to be working on issues related to social justice (especially during this dumpster fire period in my county’s history). But, I’m also feeling like I need to “prove myself” and my “worth” to my organization. To be clear, no one has said anything to me to to suggest this is the case (actually they have all been super sweet and welcoming). But, I was pretty checked out when I went on maternity leave. As I’ve discussed on this blog, I had an absolutely awful pregnancy. I was sick the entire time. This made it really hard to work and keep on top of everything. I’ll be the first to admit that my work suffered. I had a review with our executive director before I left on leave. While it was mainly positive he did mention that I need to pay better attention to detail and be more meticulous about what I put out. I completely owned it because it was true. I vowed to up my game when I came back and I was serious.
I’ve made a huge effort to be really efficient and on top of things since i’ve returned. I’ve taken a lot of initiative to jump right back in and I feel good where things are at. At my first meeting back with my boss she asked how things were going. I mentioned how much “more on my game” I feel now and I admitted that I was having a hard time with the pregnancy sickness and lack of energy. She seemed happy I mentioned the elephant in the room and we continued our conversation. I think she has a hard time having difficult conversations with me because we were friends before she became my supervisor and we hang out socially outside of work, But I just wanted her to know that I’m committed to doing a good job.
Also, they are letting me work a modified schedule because Arya’s daycare is only open 8:30 to 5:30 so i can only be physically in the office 9:30-4:30. I’ve been super focused while in the office and have worked straight through (not taking a lunch) so I can be as productive as possible. I’ve also been putting in (some) hours on nights/weekends to make up for the time i’m out of the office. I’m honestly feeling like I’m pulling my weight and it feels great.
So on Friday I asked my boss if she would be amenable to me working from home once a week. This isn’t unheard of-many people in my office do this. Almost all of our work can be done remotely. I explained that with the additional time I would gain not commuting (because daycare is like 2 blocks away) I could work more (i would gain about an additional 1.5 hours). I expected her to be cool with my request but she wasn’t as enthusiastic as I expected. She basically said she wanted to think on it and ask our executive director. She expressed concern about me being out of the office more (which was definitely valid). And then she asked me how I was making up my missing hours. I told her I was doing nights and weekends here and there. Then the conversation ended and I left feeling very uneasy.
Now that I’m writing this, I’m thinking maybe I asked for too much. Maybe I should have waited a few months into this transition back to ask for this? I can seriously see both sides of this issue so i’m on so pins and needles until I get a final decision. In the meantime I’m trying to not get too spun out on this. I did a bunch of hours this weekend (thank god Arya is amazing at entertaining herself). But I can’t help but feel a bit judged.
This outfit isn’t particularly cute ( and Arya spit up on it) but it made me really emotional to see her in it this morning. It’s the outfit I bought while I was doing IVF and didn’t know whether it would work. Everyone tells you not to do this but I needed to do something hopeful after 2 years of surgeries, appointments, giving myself hundreds of injections in my belly, and spending tons of $$$$. I bought this when I had just transferred my one “ good” embryo- whittled down from 35 others with genetic abnormalities. This was my only shot and I wanted a baby more than anything. When I brought this outfit home I remember looking at it and not being able to imagine I would ever have a baby to wear it. I stuffed it deep inside a drawer thinking it would make it even harder when the embryo transfer didn’t work.
And now I have this amazing tiny human and I can’t even express how grateful I am for her and her loud belly laughs and smiles.