Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Clingy... like cling film...

No idea where this has come from, but Little O has officially decided he's a Mama's Boy.  Well... yes, actually I do know where it's come from because I spend almost 24 hours a day with the chap, but this latest desire to be-with-you-Mama-all-the-time-where-are-you-going-don't-leave-me-waaaaaaaaaaaaah! is somewhat unexpected nonetheless.

Little O has never shown any signs of being clingy towards either me or Mike until recently.  I have always attributed this good fortune to several factors: a) he was in the NICU for three and a half weeks, so apart from the 10-12 hours a day I was up there by his bedside, he had to get used to not being around his parents pretty quickly; b) he spends a lot of time with therapists, doctors, nurses, and other 'important' people, so being handled by strangers seems very normal to him; and c) I'm always with him!  He has never HAD to be clingy, because he's always been assured that even when I leave him to shower or make some lunch, I'll be back very quickly.

I've been a member of the local gym for two weeks now and I'm starting to get a bit fitter.  One of the reasons I keep going back (been six times in ten days so far) is not that I'm immune to being lazy or sore, but that you have to book childcare 24 hours in advance.  They organise their staffing ratios around how many kids will be there, so if you fail to show up they charge you anyway.  It's only $1 a time, but it's MY $1 and I want to make use of it!  So I've started scheduling gym sessions for 10am fairly often, and Owen has been attending childcare every time.  Recently he's begun to cry... not when I leave him... but when I return.  It's as though he's just figured out I've left him for a period of time and he wants to let me know he's annoyed at me.  He's also started crying when I leave the room he's in at home, even if it's only for a few seconds.  I think being separated from me at the gym is started to affect him, and he's getting concerned that I'll be leaving him for longer and longer.

While I think it's rather nice to be needed (and I do enjoy the fact that a kiss and a cuddle from me can calm him instantly), this has had a rather unpleasant side-effect.  Little O has started to nap during his lunch, which means he's tube fed for a few hours while he sleeps.  Now, putting him in to his bed at nighttime is never usually an issue, because he's tired and it's dark, and I sing to him and talk to him before closing the door and going downstairs.  It's exactly the same routine, every night, and he's reassured and comforted enough to just lay his head down and send himself off to sleep.  Naptimes, however, are sporadic and stressful, and he's awake enough to think, "She's not coming back.  It's daylight and I don't want to be alone", so he's started a pattern of sleeping for ten minutes, then waking up and yelling, then being soothed back to sleep by me, then sleeping for ten minutes, then waking up and yelling, then... you get the picture.

I swear upon my bar of Cadbury's Dairy Milk lurking in J's suitcase that this is all, ALL, to do with putting him in childcare.  But the kid has to get used to me not being there at SOME point.  It might as well be for a few hours a week while I'm getting healthier not 30 feet away.  I do wish he'd start napping properly though.  It's very hard to keep his lunch inside him at the moment, because he usually yells hard enough to make himself throw up, but I can't just stop the pump running and let him go without.  I just hope the extra few mls we're adding to his overnight feed are enough to compensate for all this nonsense and he starts gaining weight again soon.

In fact, he can gain all the weight I'm losing!  That would be awesome.  Freaky, but awesome.


Monday, June 28, 2010

Baby steps

Sometimes you ask for a miracle, and God delivers.

Little O has taken his first steps.  :)  He requires quite a bit of assistance, involving supporting his trunk and helping him to bear weight on each side, but the kid's lifting and placing his feet ALL BY HIMSELF.  This is possibly one of the most wonderful things I've ever seen him do, and I couldn't be any prouder of my Pookie Bear.  We bought him one of those baby walkers so he can practice when we're not holding him, and he's been scooting around the kitchen like he's driving his first car.  Lol.  The walker has friction pads on the bottom to prevent it moving on carpet, so Little O's been practicing standing up independently in the living room, which is also pretty cool.

At the genetics clinic last week I was given some two leaflets  - one on children with 16p duplications and another on 3p25 deletions.  Little O's condition is unique to him (so far - there may be other children out there with his exact karotype, but they're not registered with Unique's database), so the information in the leaflets is only partially accurate and descriptive of him, but they're useful general guidelines.  For example, children with 16p duplications are often born with severe reflux - check!  Children with 3p25 deletions often have heart conditions - check!  Both leaflets also said that children with these genetic issues are very slow to develop, and often don't walk at all - or if they do, it's between the ages of two and four.  Well, Little O is thirteen months old and attempting to take independent steps.  I think he might be walking properly by eighteen months, although if he takes a bit longer that's okay too.

I have a theory on Little O.  Firstly, that because the 'p' arms of his affected chromosomes are not as damaged as other children's, that he is actually more able than we realise.  And secondly, that he is actually a very smart little boy.  Any developmental issues he has are being overcome (albeit slowly, slowly), because his intelligence is pushing him harder and harder to succeed.  Both Mike and I are smart; it's a fact and I'm not apologising for it.  I think that if our IQs were lower, Little O would be having a tougher time learning all the wonderful things he's been doing lately.  I hope this turns out to be the case, and that even if he cannot go to a mainstream school, or if he does go to one but he learns at a much slower pace than other children, that he is aware enough to push himself to do his best.

For now, I'll take these small miracles for what they are: baby steps.  What a superstar.


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Continuing my rant, followed by birthday fun

Right.  Got a bit sidetracked the other night and forgot to finish my post, so I'll do my best to finish up what I can remember.

I was all angsty after Thursday's SS appointment, and one of the reasons was the fact I was up there for THREE HOURS.  I obviously hadn't accounted for this and so I hadn't brought any of Little O's food with me.  I'd fed him at 8am that morning, and didn't leave the clinic until 1.30pm, which meant he didn't start his lunch until 2.30pm.  He's also developed this incredibly annoying habit of wanting to nap at EXACTLY the wrong moment, so that instead of being hungry and wanting to enjoy some PediaSure (mmm, banana flavour-y), he basically yelled the whole way home until I put him in his crib.  I figured I'd just hook up his feeding pump and let him get as much as he could while he was asleep, but Little O is having none of that at the moment and as soon as he starts to feel something entering his tummy, he wakes up again and yells.  Yells until he chokes and throws up anything I've just spent the last half an hour trying to put in to him.  It's completely maddening, and I just get so frustrated sometimes.

All I ever try to do is keep my son healthy, happy and growing.  I do my best to make time for appointments and specialists, but it's infuriating to have to reschedule Little O's life around THEIR office times.  It's worse when an appointment takes three sodding hours, Little O won't sleep, and then basically misses an entire feed because he's all out of sorts.  I hate other people sometimes.  They make our lives very difficult.

Today was a better day.  I was utterly exhausted last night (it was Friday, after all, but let's not go down the ol' Spoons route again.  I don't have the va va voom for that right now), and started falling asleep on the couch at 6pm.  Mike ordered me to bed, and in bed I stayed... until 9.30am this morning.  I was so startled when I woke up and the clock said 9.30 but it was light outside.  It felt WONDERFUL to get that much sleep and really recharged my batteries.  We even had sex to celebrate.  :) 

Feckin' miracle, that is.

We took Little O to his friend's first birthday party this afternoon at the zoo.  She is such an adorable little princess, but that child LOVES to get messy!  She had a massive pink giraffe birthday cake, and when she was given a slice she tore in to that thing like she'd never eaten before in her short little life.  She was absolutely covered in cake, crumbs, and icing, and I think I wasn't the only one who found it hysterically funny when she pressed her sticky pink hands against her mother's clean white shorts.  I'm still chuckling about it now.  I got some beautiful shots of Little O and his birthday-girl friend sitting on the grass together, but I think Facebook is as far as they'll be going.  Sorry about that.  Of course, you can always befriend me on FB and share in Little O's gorgeousness instead.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

And repeat!

This week has been rather lovely for me and Owen because all three of his therapists have gone dun a bunk and he hasn't had any Speech, PT or OT.  Which means I haven't had to clean the house in preparation for their visits (because, let's face it: if I didn't HAVE to clean the house, I WOULDN'T clean the house), and we've had some more free time than usual.


Because this is the sixth month of the year, and because I am a diligent, organised parent, a lot of Owen's routine appointments have cropped up and I have chosen to attend them instead of buggering off on holiday for a week or seven.  This has meant that two appointments, genetics and Stepping Stones, have occurred back-to-back in the same week.  And neither of them are up at CHOW or at my own house, so it's kind of a bitch to get to them and remember how long they're going to take.  Anyway, genetics was yesterday and aside from it being a colossal waste of time, it was rather nice to present my son to them and go, "SEE? Isn't he MARVELLOUS?", and for them to go, "Oh yes!  What a lovely little boy you have there, and what a REMARKABLE job you're doing with him!" in return.  Which is what always happens at these types of appointments.  Honestly, I think there must be some real douchebag parents out there, because whenever I see any of Little O's specialists I'm always commended on my parenting skills - particularly my ability to remember which medications he takes, which doctors he sees, dates, times, and past medical history, all without referring to something I've written down.

The trick to remembering it all is quite simple: repeat.  Often.  At least once a week.  Tell every doctor, therapist, nurse, specialist, interested friend, and family members as often as possible, because chances are they won't have remembered a single sodding thing from the last time they saw Little O, and haven't bothered to look at his chart before they entered the room.  Trust me, you can get a reputation as an outstanding parent very quickly if you are forced to repeat, repeat, and repeat again your son's medical history every time he sees someone.

The thing is, I'm usually a wreck.  Emotionally and physically, I'm a wreck.  Because attending appointments means adhering to someone else's schedule, I always arrive looking and feeling completely frazzled.  I can't remember the last time I bothered to dry my hair instead of sticking it up in a mess, and as for make-up or checking to see if my clothes are baby-fluid-free ... well ... let's just say they're low on my list of priorities.  I turn up at least five minutes early, because to me "on-time" is late, and I have always, always busted a gut to get out of the house with a semi-clean Little O and chewy toys, wipes, diapers, special butt cream, clean t-shirts, clean trousers/shorts, several burp cloths, wallet, diary (planner), phone, car keys, and feeding supplies if they're needed (milk, water, bottles, extension tubing, 60cc syringe, 10ml syringe, bib, sippy cup, semi-solid food, bowl, spoon, plastic baggies, freezer pack, insulated bag).  And it always takes me an hour to get to most of our appointments, so I have to shift Little O's feeds around to make sure he's done puking by the time I sit him in his car seat.  It isn't fun pulling over on to the hard shoulder to mop him up; oh no, it isn't.  Today for example, I was up at 6am just to make sure we arrived at our 10.30am Stepping Stones (SS) clinic appointment on time.

That, quite frankly, is ridiculous.

It's also ridiculous to ask me to add a single sodding thing to my already scheduled-to-death life.  The therapists we see at SS all make very helpful suggestions whenever we go, and I'm always pleased to see them, but they make it sound SO simple and they need to know it isn't.  Asking me to prepare fresh baby food instead of shop-bought is just not an option right now.  I don't have the time to dry my hair, let alone mash some vegetables up!  It's completely maddening and today I was kind of at the end of my tether.  I sobbed quite a lot this morning before I left the house and I just didn't have the patience to sit through another "helpful suggestion", so I told them quite honestly the things I was, and wasn't, prepared to do.  And making fresh food for a child who will not eat anything at all, is so low on my list of priorities that it doesn't even register.

Wait one sec ... this post is nowhere near finished, but Little O has a stinky bottom and the phone's ringing.

To be continued ...


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mmm... thanks for that, Bob

After all the drama at the weekend, I'd like to present to you some more... normal... stuff.

Owen woke up at 4.45am to cry, throw up, and generally annoy both himself and us.  All the commotion woke up our cat, Bob, who decided that this was the perfect time to bring us a 'present'.  As we settled back down to get another few minutes of kip, Bob was out hunting.  And catching.  And mauling.  At about 5am, I was just nodding off again when the rather alarming sound of a bird twittering and tweeting very close to me brought me to my senses.  Now, we had an amazing thunderstorm last night, so my first thought was that we had a hole in our roof and a bird had somehow managed to get inside the attic and couldn't find a way out again.  Anyway, it stopped shortly after and as there was no water dripping on to the bed, I figured I'd just deal with it when I got up.

The alarm went off at 5.30am and Mike got up.  Now, yesterday he had some minor surgery on his toe (more on that later), so he was kinda hobbling about and knocking shit over in an attempt to re-dress the bandage.  So he turned on the light to see all the shit he'd knocked over.  And saw instead, horror of horrors, that Bob had not only brought a live bird in to our home, but that he had chosen the spot just outside our bedroom door to play with it and kill it.  There was blood and feathers and dead bird carnage EVERYWHERE.  Bob, meanwhile, was nowhere to be found.  He was obviously very pleased with his offering and had gone off to bother some more of Wisconsin's wildlife, and we were so mad at him that we closed his cat flap and locked him outside for a bit.

That poor, poor birdie.  It's Bob's fourth present snce we've allowed him outside: three birds and a baby bunny rabbit.  The rabbit was very sad, but at least it was a swift, clean kill.  This latest one was obviously very distressing for the birdie because I could hear all its twittering as it died.  I have no idea if, had I gone to investigate the noise, I could have saved the birdie, but I think it would have been even worse.  Bob would have probably released it, and then we would have had a flying, twittering bird in our house with severe injuries.  Poor little birdie.

Stupid cat.

So, Mike's toe surgery was to FINALLY fix a problem he's had for eighteen months.  Christmas 2008 he went out in the snow to get something from the car, and decided flip flops were the sensible footwear of choice.  As the snow was coming down thick and fast, he ran back up the steps to our (then) flat, and slipped on some ice, slamming his big toe into heavy-duty concrete.  It's never been right since, and all attempts to help it heal haven't worked.  Until yesterday he had a pretty serious ingrowing toenail, and an infected site that oozed pus every day.  Well, the doctor whipped that sucker out and GOUGED OUT THE OVERGROWN FLESH that was trying to compensate for a poorly toenail, so that Mike is now left with two-thirds of a big toenail, and two open wounds on each side of the nail.  He's pretty miserable and hobbling around with one toe stuck straight up in the air.  Also, he can't wear open-toed shoes to work (oh, that he were a woman!), so he's planning some covert operation where he slides his shoes off under his desk and goes barefoot all day.  Lol.  We'll see how well that goes...

I've also joined a gym where childcare is only $1, but the free weights instructor completely kicked my arse today and I can't be bothered to type any more.  Besides, there's still some blood on the carpet upstairs and it's not like I can ask Bob to clean it up.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Let's set some stuff straight.

Apparently I've caused quite a stir.

Thankfully, because I'm not obsessed with Twitter I have managed to avoid the 'discussion' (read: people telling me off like a naughty child) about my previous post.  And I don't WANT to know what people are saying about me, because a) they do not know me, and b) only three of them have bothered to start a real 'discussion' with me about it on my own sodding blog.

This whole thing started off with this headline: Spoons aren't just for sick people.  Apparently this has been deemed EXTREMELY inappropriate in the blogosphere (and I thank my only positive commentator, Jemimaaslana, for bringing this to my attention), EVEN THOUGH the author of the article I linked to (here) uses the word 'sick' herself!  Imagine my dismay when I find out people haven't even bothered to look at the original article and explore the rhetoric for themselves.  I'd say that's almost as bad as judging me and my blog without engaging me in debate.

So the heading of my post enraged 'Annoymous' (and Anji, I'm totally calling you out on this one.  I know it was you and I'm gobsmacked a woman of your drive and passion didn't have the guts to put their name to that comment), and that started a small snowball of anger, judgement and (hee hee) visits to my and Anthea's little innocuous blog about parenting, health and lifestyle choices.  People with disabilities (I looked this up in the Guardian Style Guide to be certain, and this is the correct term, so don't you dare shoot me down for any terminology I'm about to use) are apparently very upset that: a) I wrote about a theory which they, and ONLY they are allowed to claim for themselves; b) that I myself am not disabled; and c) that I have the audacity to use the word 'sick' instead of 'disabled', even though (as I mentioned earlier) that is the phrase the author of the original article used herself.

The whole thing has surprised me, to be honest.  Readers of my blog posts will know my history of managing a mental illness, looking after a disabled child, and growing up with another.  I am not claiming to be disabled myself; I think that's rather stretching it a little, to be honest.  What I AM claiming, however, is that I can EMPATHISE with the author of the original article (and if you look back, you'll see that's exactly what I wrote), and use her theory in my own situation.  I have been criticised for not 'checking my privilege' and trying to claim words and devices people with disabilities claim for themselves, and themselves only.  To me, I can see both sides of the debate.  I can understand why a woman would not want a man to claim certain words as his, and I can understand why a man claiming 'female' words for his own is also important to the development of equality.  Apply this to any other dichotomy and you'll come up with the same.  But no, I do not pretend, or claim, or anything else, to be disabled.  I do not qualify for Medicaid, which my son does as he has chronic conditions that cost him, his family, and the state money - so we are assisted.  But I do receive treatment for an adjustment disorder with depression and anxiety.  It certainly doesn't ENABLE me in any way, but it doesn't DISABLE me, either.   I consider it to be neither.

Not that it's anyone else's Goddam business, but I do know a little something of disability.  I grew up with it, for a start, and very rarely, if ever, discuss my younger sister's conditions because she is not able to grant me permission to do so.  But she has had such a massive impact on my and Anthea's life that for people to fling around comments that I know nothing about disability, is just rude.  I also have a son with various health issues, and being a mother to him has caused my mental health to suffer.  So again, saying I know nothing is just plain rude.  And wrong.  And irritating.  YOU, on the other hand, know nothing about V, or Little O, or my mental health, because you haven't bothered to ask.

I'm going to keep my previous post up because I stand by what I've said.  I also apologise to anyone I've upset or offended, because that was not my intention (and you must see that, if you're honest with yourselves).  Perhaps I'll use the Spoon Theory again to illustrate a point, and perhaps I won't.  I haven't decided yet.  But next Friday, when I'm so exhausted that I cannot lift my head of the floor, I will think about you lot.  And I will think about how closed-minded YOU'RE being that you cannot believe a young mother with a mental health issue can ever feel as tired, challenged, or frustrated as you.  Because believe me, it isn't the case.

Please, engage with me in a sensible, adult debate on MY blog, where I can respond to you.  Don't be cowards and hide your Twitter posts.  If you feel that strongly, you shouldn't be afraid of the challenge.

With respect,


Friday, June 18, 2010

Spoons aren't just for sick people

Came across this today: Spoon Theory.

It's definitely worth a read if you have the time.

As I was reading it, I was struck by how much I could relate to this woman.  No, I'm not sick in the traditional sense, but I do have a mental health issue and I do take care of a chronically sick child.  I too feel as though I only have a certain number of spoons in my hand at any given time, but for me they're weekly allowances, not daily.

Mike was late getting home today because we had extremely violent thunderstorms which knocked out some traffic lights down by his workplace.  Plus, people always drive bananas when the rain comes and it takes you three times as long to get anywhere.  Anyway, he called me while he was stuck in a traffic jam and to me it was the last straw.  By Friday, I'm absolutely exhausted.  I have no energy to feed my son, to cook (or even think about) dinner, to tidy up the house, or to run errands in the evening.  I feel bone-tired, even though Fridays are usually my least-busy day of the week, and sometimes I just don't have the energy to get off the floor - which is usually where I am on a Friday afternoon.  When Mike calls me at the end of the week, he's always so excited to be done with work, and every single time I manage to crush his buoyancy like a particularly annoying mosquito.  I just can't bear it when he's so energetic and ... just ... MAD.  He's like a small child on Fridays, and after an entire week of taking care of one of those, I just can't face another.

When I'm tired I can't make decisions.  I find it hard to function normally, and as my 'normal' involves feeding Little O, I'm often driven to the point of desperation when Mike is late and can't do his Friday 5pm feed.  Today I nearly cried when England drew against Algeria because Owen REFUSED to sleep at his usual time, which meant he cried and cried and cried, which meant his stomach muscles contracted like mad, which meant I couldn't get his feeding tube to drain properly, which meant I couldn't get his lunch inside him, which meant he didn't eat his entire lunch, which meant I felt extremely guilty, which meant I was exhausted after two hours of battling reflux and guilt, which meant when England didn't secure a win I was VERY upset.  And very, very tired.  I could NOT face another round in the ring for Little O's dinner, and I was almost catatonic on the floor when Mike told me he would be late.  He came home to me still on the floor, propping Little O up on my arm while his automatic feeding pump whirred in the background.  Sure, it takes three times as long to get a meal in him, but when you just don't have the spoons left to fight another battle, it sure as hell makes do.

Today, my spoons are all gone.  But tomorrow, thank God, I get a fresh supply.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

F*ckitty f*ck f*ck f*ck

So, I finished a copyediting project at the beginning of the week (a day early, I might add) and in my e-mail to the sub-editor, I casually mentioned that I hadn't yet been given a brief for Baby Names 2011 (US edition), and seeing as she had told me the manuscript needed to be finished by July, I wanted more information pretty sharpish.  I mean, leaving me two and a half weeks to re-write an entire book wasn't really good enough.  So she replied by thanking me for my copyedit, and told me that she hadn't yet been given the go-ahead for Baby Names 2011 (US), but she'd let me know as soon as she had.

Then today, I received an e-mail telling me it's no longer going ahead!  Ahhhhhh!!  Apparently their acquisitions department has royally screwed up, and they have to delay the title by another year ... which means it'll be Baby Names 2012 (US), and I'll start work next May.  NEXT MAY!!  Honey, I need that cheque THIS year, not next!  And let me remind you, YOU approached ME about this title, not the other way around.  I was quite content to just mooch along with the UK edition, but the second you told me Crimson was planning a US edition, I got all excited and essentially cleared some time so I could work on it.  Now I have nothing.  Nada.  Zilch.  I am at your mercy, and it's not something I'm remotely comfortabe with.

The other balls-up was that Mike forgot to put the bins out this morning. They collect recycling every other week, and now Little O's formula comes in handy-dandy pre-mixed cans, we have A LOT of recycling to get rid of.  It's now going to stink up the garage for two weeks and multiply.  And I am going to yell at Mike, because it was his fault.

Little O still has an upset stomach, and I've already changed him four times this morning (it's 9.20am).  The GI clinic called me back yesterday and they're putting him on some kind of bacteria-bustin' medication because they reckon his digestive tract is still trying to figure out the new formula and is working overtime, producing too much bacteria and whipping food through him too quickly.  He's hasn't gained any weight in over a month (hasn't lost any either though, which I suppose is something) and just seems pretty miserable these days.  His poor little bottom is absolutely COVERED in a rash, too, because sometimes his poop doesn't smell and I don't catch it in time, so he has to sit in it for a while.  The rash has been bleeding the last couple of days, so the GI clinic has also prescribed some fancy-schmancy cream to help clear things up.  Poor little baby.  I feel very helpless and sorry for him.

Immunology appointment this afternoon.  Fingers crossed things aren't THAT bad and he dosn't need transfusions or a bone marrow transplant ...  I'll post more once we've seen the docs.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

VBAC birth story

You HAVE to read this:

I've been reading The Feminist Breeder for a few weeks now, but I've never read her incredible story about the birth of her second son.  Even if you're not the slightest bit interested in birth and babies, I do recommend you take a peek.  What that woman faced from doctors and nurses while in the throws of advanced labour just makes my uterus shrivel up and refuse to bear another child.  But she stood her ground and point-blank REFUSED to give up her beliefs, and... well... read it and see...

Read it.  It's phenomenal.

Friday, June 11, 2010

New Look!

No, not the clothing company...

Our blog has a new look!  That MASSIVE picture of Little O's feet was driving me nuts, because I couldn't either get it smaller or the blog title bigger and centered.  So I scrapped it in favour of a smaller, neater picture to one side, and a new colour scheme to match.

Because let's face it: we're classy.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Our (not so) secret plan

We're going to have another baby!  Well, not RIGHT now, but at some point before this year is up we're going to start trying to have another child.

We love Owen, and one of the reasons we've reached this decision is to benefit him.  He doesn't attend a nursery or day care centre, so the amount of interaction he has with other children who are of the same age as him is very limited.  It would therefore be lovely if we could provide him with a playmate, and, given Owen's developmental delays, the differences between their ages would be extremely small.  We also feel that each child would benefit dramatically from having a sibling so developmentally different from themselves.  After all, my younger sister is extremely delayed, but Anthea and I have nothing but good things to say about our experiences growing up with her.  She has also benefitted from having us 'normal' siblings around: you can tell she loves us and remembers us each time we see her.

For a very long time, Mike was prepared to have another baby and I said a definite 'no'.  I was (and to some extent, still am) extremely nervous about taking care of two small children by myself during the day.  Owen's feedings have been so traumatic for me that the thought of mopping up sick with one hand and breastfeeding a newborn in the other just made me break out in a cold sweat.  Owen also has so many appointments that my concerns about spending adequate time with each child, and just being able to MAKE all those appointments, has seemed very daunting.  My mental health has already suffered in the past year; what's to say it won't spiral even further out of control with the responsibility of another baby?

Well... in the last month or so, life has started to slowly, slowly... creepingly... improve.  We changed Owen's formula recently and his feeds have not only been more successful, they've also been quicker.  It has meant I have more time to devote to playing with him, doing my own work, and taking care of jobs around the house.  Also, now he's turned one, his appointments are starting to ease off a little.  He's had as many surgeries as doctors initially anticipated he would when he was born, which means that although we still need to attend yearly appointments, things won't be on the same scale as they have been over the last twelve months.  It's true that we have to start dental care visits, and some appointments won't ease off at all, but Owen's body has responded so incredibly well to a growing and healing heart, eyes, head, and brain, that most of the specialists we see are already scaling things back.  These changes have been so small, so incremental, that to anyone else they're barely visible, but to ME, they're the difference between health and misery.

For the last six weeks I've been seeing another therapist, and Mike and Owen attended a session with me last week.  I feel very good about this course of therapy, as she really listens to what I want, and allows that input to guide my treatment.  For example, I think deep-breathing and listening to whale music will do jack, and I smirk loudly whenever people talk about it.  Reading a book she's lent me called Coping with Infinite Loss and Grief, however, allows me to analyse my thoughts and behaviour from an analytical standpoint - which is much more up my alley.  I also love the fact she has evening hours.  It makes such a difference to not have to bring Owen along, and to return to him fresh and allieved of dark thoughts, just in time to put him to bed.

So, the upshot of all this is that I have an appointment to get my last shot of Depo Provera tomorrow, and that will be it.  It will wear off in September, and Mike and I will allow nature to take its course from that point on.  Apparently the hormones in Depo can take several months to wear off, so I'm not anticipating a baby arriving next May, but it's kind of nice to have a timeframe in mind.  Maybe by Christmas I'll have some good news.