Friday, February 27, 2015

My life outside of baby


Next week is my last week on leave and I am not processing this well. In fact I'm having breakdowns daily. K and I have had multiple conversations regarding my return to work and the possibility of me staying home with Bunny. While we think it is feasible, it will drastically change our ability to have the discretionary spending money we currently enjoy. Right now, if we want a new TV, we buy it. If we want to go to a concert, we buy tickets. If we want to go out to eat 5 days in a row, we do (ok, we don't do that but it's the point of it.) It means a budget that we completely have to stick to and work within. 

My tentative plan is to go back to work to see how it is and to get a few more paychecks in the bank. In my head I am going to try to stay until Memorial Day. That doesn't mean I am going to quit after that point - it just means that I think that would be enough time to see how things are progressing at work with my group. I have the issue of the short term disability company and my HR screwing up how my intermittent leave was supposed to go and now I have no idea what I am going to do for care for Bunny on Mondays. My mom is going to be here to watch her Tuesday-Thursday but she can't add another day due to her schedule at home. I was originally going to have 15+ weeks of Mondays off to buy me more time but that is no longer. Daycare facilities up here don't like doing less than three days for part time care and I don't know anyone who can recommend in-home care. 

I thought my boss would be cool with things and just tell me to work from home on Mondays since Fridays are already wfh days but he nixed that. His boss had a meeting with me and him before I left and had pretty much said, "whatever it takes to get you to come back" and she's in town next week so I am trying to schedule a meeting with them to see what my other options are. I'm completely fine going down to 32 hours or so a week to give me more flexibility to be home with her. It would actually be more of a perfect compromise for me. WFH on Mondays, in the office T-Th, off Fridays but I have no idea if it will fly. It's a mess and I'm stressed about it. For the time being I am going to use vacation time for the Mondays in March to get me through to April. 

Outside of work issues, I think about how I had the best of intentions when it came to this maternity leave. I was going to get so much accomplished around the house. Get all the paperwork filed away, organize all the closets... I have gotten caught up on all the random laundry that was sitting down in that room...that counts right? With us contemplating selling the house and wanting to at least show it to the couple that this realtor contacted us about, at least we will be powering through some projects in the very near future. I am hoping that this weekend we can make progress towards the laundry room completion. Once that is done I can move the unnecessary items out of the other side of the utility room that belong in there. That frees up room on the other side to bring the overflow from the rest of the house into. Or you know, purge it!

I also find myself pinning so many things on Pinterest while sitting on the couch nursing and I really wish I had the time - or a schedule for daily going-ons - to do them all. Especially all of the crochet and sewing projects. I do want to work more on things that I can sell in my etsy/facebook shop. I had a little success last year doing some things here and there but with the pregnancy and baby taking my full attention (as it should) it went way back on the back burner.

I did make the crochet props we used in Bunny's newborn photo session so that was a great accomplishment for me. I also made her a Valentine's Day heart hat that was actually made too small because I followed the 0-3 month sizing. I forgot that my little girl has a rather large head (98% at 40cm) and fits more in the 3-6 month hat range already, lol. I had to go back and add rows which means I now have to move the heart further down towards the new brim. The heart is not as "crisp" anymore but I think I can fix this one and any others going forward. Next up is a St. Paddy's Day hat with shamrocks and a bunny hat and diaper cover for Easter. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Dear Bunny 5 (Happy 2 month Birthday)

My dear sweet bunny,

You are the light of my life. There is no doubt about it. I can guarantee people are most likely so nauseous from how much I gush about you and how much my life is consumed by you. Quite honestly, I just cannot get enough of you.

You started really adding more sparkle and shine to your already stellar personality this past month. You smile and it melts my heart when you recognize me when you wake up from your sleeps.

You started to turn over from your tummy to your back frequently already. While it is not consistent or every tummy time session, it was frequent enough to warrant it not being labeled a fluke.

I go back to work soon and I am heartbroken over it. Your daddy and I have frequent conversations about the possibility of me quitting and staying at home with you. Somehow I hope we make it work. I used to think I needed a job to feel like I am providing for the family but now I know I just need to take care of you.

You took your first trip to Chicago over Valentine's Day weekend and you got to meet some great-aunts and uncles along with your aunties, uncle, and cousins on my side. Of course when we got home you had to deal with your first cold :( Mommy was sick right along with you my little boogs bunny.

So here's to month 3. It just keeps getting better and better my miracle baby.

I love you!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

So much on my mind

My head has been spinning for days now. We have so many things going on right now. Some bad, some good, some interesting. All stressful naturally. 

The death of my Bean is hard to comprehend for me. It doesn't seem real and probably never will. 

I only have 3 weeks left of maternity leave and I am not happy about that. I really don't want to go back. I dread it. But I know that I have to. I have to at least try it out and see what is going to work for our family. Also, because of some promises made to me by my bosses, I want to see how things work out.....Actually I had started writing this blog post two days ago and even more crap has happened regarding my job. So originally I had planned on taking 8 weeks of FML time, a week of my 2015 vacation, and then using the balance of FML in 8 hour increments each week to be off on Mondays for 15-20 weeks. I had talked with my in house HR rep as well as verifying with the company that does our STD/FML approvals and it was all set to take incremental leave. Until I found out yesterday that my company doesn't allow it. It must have at some point because I had a coworker do it three years ago. Whoever verified the info read the policy incorrectly. My local HR rep is honestly good for nothing so I'm not shocked she gave me incorrect information to begin with. She only tells you to "go to this website/call this phone number" - she does nothing. And my boss (well all the managers there) really don't schedule your leaves with you. You basically set it up and let them know. Gotta love giant clusterfuck companies, eh? There's nothing in writing saying for me personally incremental leave was approved so there is nothing I can do. I'm so pissed off. 

My mom is only going to be up here Tuesday-Thursday to watch bunny. I was going to be working from home on Fridays and off on Mondays. I had hoped that once my incremental leave was up I would be allowed to work from home on Mondays as well. I told my boss about the situation yesterday and asked him what my options were and he said that working from home on Mondays was not going to fly. So yeah. Now I'm waiting for a phone call from local HR (shocker - she didn't get back to me today) to see if I can go to 32 hours a week. I have no idea if this will fly but I hope it will. There will be some weeks where I will end up putting in more than 32 hours I'm sure but for the sake of simplicity I will just plan on that amount. Fingers crossed it is approved. I really don't want to be scrambling right now to find a caregiver for one day a week. It's just getting too complicated.

So that's part one of the many things happening in this household. The other part has to do with our house. As I am already a day late in posting this and it's late right now and we are hitting the road in the morning to head down to Chicago, I am going to end this now and (hopefully) pick up part two on the drive down.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

RIP Shelby

I can't even believe I am writing this post. 

I am heartbroken, devastated and beside myself with the loss of my little shadow kitty. She has been my best friend for the last 6+ years. 

She started to lose weight drastically enough that we knew she had to go into the vet about a two weeks ago. Before that she had lost a little weight but we chalked it up to bunny coming and her food being moved to a new location - basically her just being stubborn. Which is not unheard of for her.

I got her into the vet on Monday evening and they only thing they did that day was give her an IV and took blood to be sent out the next day. On Tuesday the bloodwork came back showing all of her liver panels elevated. The vet was not surprised as she suspected fatty liver disease. She said that the main goal was to get food in her so she recommended a feeding tube and to do a biopsy while they were in there. By the time we got done playing phone tag on Tuesday, it was too late for them to do it that day. Wednesday they did the feeding tube around noon and it went well. I asked if I could come in to visit and they suggested the next day at noon for one of her feedings. On Thursday I got there a bit early and spent some time with her. She didn't look like herself. I felt so bad for her. I spent about an hour with her and saw her feeding. We talked over the road ahead of her. The vet told me that her situation was very precarious and that at any point her other organs could decide to stop working and she would pass away. The vet did say that we were doing the best treatment we could and that she has seen other cats make full recoveries. I left feeling like it would be a long road but it would be ok. 

After our morning feed on Friday I noticed I had missed a call from the vet. The voicemail said that she would like for me to call back as soon as I was able. When I got a hold of her she informed me that at some point in the overnight hours Shelby had passed away. She was alive when she left for the evening but when they got there in the morning, she was gone. 

I can't even fully process this to be honest. 

I blame myself in a huge way. They say that this disease can be a fast onset disease and can be caused by social stress. 

I haven't spent even a fraction of the amount of time I normally had with her. I yelled at her often because she was trying to be all over me when I was either with the baby or trying to get something done. I yelled at her when she was doing her super loud "play with me" calls and the baby was sleeping. I haven't been sleeping in our bed because I've been sleeping in the living room with bunny so she has been sleeping with K. I just didn't have, or rather make, the time I used to have for her. The other two cats and the dog have been fine but that's because the dog is the dog. He gets attention simply because he has to go out and be fed. The two other cats, Crank and Salem, are best buddies so they had each other. 

But she was always attached to my hip. If I took a bath or a shower, Bean was in there with me. She loved to steal our socks and drag them around our house meowing for us to play fetch with her. Every single morning as I brush my teeth she would climb into my arms to be held. Ever brush your teeth with one hand, hold a cat draped over your shoulder with the other all the while 9 months pregnant? Yup, I have. 

I used to give her all of my attention. Every single day. I cannot even imagine how she must have been feeling the last month or so. I feel like I broke her heart. Like I rejected her - or at least made her feel rejected. I feel so much guilt over not handling the transition better for her. I failed her. K keeps telling me to stop beating myself up but I can't. I know that it wasn't a long term illness. It was brought on by her stress. I just know it. 

I miss her. I don't know how to really be without her anymore. Which is why I am hurting so much - I hope she knew that I loved her. I hate that she felt so alone and ignored at the end. I never meant for this to happen. I cried into her fur so many times. She got me through all of this infertility and everything else that has happened the last 6 years. She was my original baby girl. 

This hurts so much. I can't believe she's gone.


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A simple thought

I just love my kid. There really isn't much more to say other than that tonight. I have a much longer post to write but I just don't have the energy tonight.

My other "baby girl," my cat Shelby has been at the vet for the last two days and will probably be there for another 3-4. She has a feeding tube in place now and had a biopsy of her liver done. Any thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery (they say the tube will be in for 6-8 weeks!! :::insert bug eyes here:::) are much appreciated.

So to keep it short and sweet, I will focus on the fact that I simply am head over heels in love with my little bunny. I enjoy every single second I spend with her and I never want to leave her side.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Settling in

Caroline is doing so much better now that she's had the Zantac for a few weeks now. We even began to wonder if she still needed it but when we missed a dose yesterday morning (because I have been battling a sinus infection and was out of it) we heard it fire up by mid-afternoon. Poor little bugger. We gave her just a teeny tiny dose to hold her through until her nighttime dosage and that helped her out. I actually wonder if I should be talking to the pediatrician about increasing the dosage. I know it is determined by weight and she's much bigger than she used to be...I can add that to my always growing mommy to-do list :-)

She's also now at the point where she has stopped pooping every day and gone to the more normal breastfeeding routine of every couple days. Yikes. I wasn't aware that happened. Oops. I thought something was wrong because she had always been our champion pooper - almost every diaper change had poop. Well, let me tell you about Friday's epic diaper blowout - because I haven't completely crossed over into gross mommy topics or anything - this kid had such a mess in her pants that it was straight to the tub for her. It was all up her back and stomach. Poor kid! Of course I'm totally gross so I took pictures of it and sent it off to K and shared with some family as well. lol. Poor bunny again. 

I was so afraid that I was going to get her sick this past week. I started to feel like shit on Wednesday so I started chugging my hot water/lemon/honey mixture all day to stay ahead of it. It wasn't a cold, thankfully, but a sinus infection so I think we are in the clear for her coming down with anything. Today I am just having fun hacking up all the crap that has dripped down into my throat. Glorious. Ugh. I hate being sick! I hate being sick with a baby to take care of even more. Poor bunny - I didn't want to hug or kiss for fear of her getting sick. I miss all my loving I give her. 

On Friday I also had my 6 week postpartum ob/gyn check up. I got the full physical and pap smear since I was about due for my annual anyway. Oh joy. I was cleared to resume all normal activities no problem. He laughed and asked me if we needed to talk about birth control. I said, um no...hopefully it happens right away and out of nowhere doc. Which, we are seriously hoping for. We already started "trying" lol ;-) 

But seriously, if it does happen, I can't even begin to say how excited we would be. We talk about getting pregnant again all the time. I miss carrying bunny so much. It was the best experience. Nothing made me more excited. The worst part was the crippling fear and the bloodwork results that kept me on the PIO train for those first 20 weeks. Other than that, any of the "bad" I miss. We want to be able to give bunny a little sibling to play with - and soon. Hopefully we won't have to wait too long. 

I am only a month away from going back to work and I am dreading it. Extremely. I don't know how I will be able to do it. We've even started talking about the possibility of me not returning. At the same time, we do enjoy the financial perks of me working. I don't know. I plan to go back. I need to see how it will be for at least a little bit before I can make that decision. If I got to make an "in a perfect world" life plan, I would return to work only to find out in a few short months that I am pregnant again, work until baby #2 comes and then quit. In a perfect world. We know that doesn't happen over here in my world, lol.

There has been a very cool upside to not being pregnant anymore - the weight loss. I was never really overly concerned with getting the pregnancy weight off. I thought about it and was a little nervous, but not to an extreme amount. I figured, "hey I got 40 off me, I can get these off too." It only took me 3.5 weeks to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight and now at 6 weeks past, I am actually down 6 lbs from pre-preg weight! Very cool. I might not be a huge fan of breastfeeding but I will take this little added benefit (so they say). I think part of the issue is that I simply don't have time to snack during the day! The little booger always seems to wake as soon as I have finished making my meal, no matter the time of day. Good thing she's adorable and I love her ;-)

I continue to take a million pictures of her every day. I don't want to forget one moment of this experience. She brings her daddy and me so much joy. It's amazing. I didn't know that it could be this good. 
Our 1 month family photo
 My little cutie...who mommy dressed like a boy
My English Rose