two thousand hork-teen

exciting night last night. ramona cuddled up to jared in bed…& then ralphed everywhere. while i changed her outfit & wiped the puke out of her hair, jared stripped the bed & huffed around demanding to know what he was going to use as a blanket now. i was like, “um, the huge quilt i made for us that is just laying on the floor?” as soon as ramona was in clean pajamas, she was all smiles again, but we gave her a bit of baby tylenol & benadryl anyway. the last time this happened, it was the first hurrah of an ear infection & she threw up two more times in the night. but last night she fell right back to sleep, stayed asleep, & woke up looking perfectly fine. no feverishness, no pain as far as we can tell.

we spent the week of christmas in boston visiting with jared’s family & other folks we know out there. jared’s brother, david, arranged a house-sitting situation for us, & it was pretty awesome. the apartment had two stories (!!!), so we were able to put ramona to bed in a borrowed pack n’ play upstairs & then go back downstairs to hang out with david & alana (david’s partner) until it was time for adults to go to bed. there were skylights throughout the bedroom upstairs & every time i woke up in the night, i looked out the skylight, saw the blurry outline of the chimney (since i wasn’t wearing my glasses), & panicked because i thought it was a guy on the roof, watching us sleep through the skylight.

highlights from the week included taking ramona to a toy store in inman square that has a ball pit in the back room (at first she hated it, then she liked it, then she hated it again), & going to the children’s museum with a friend who has twin girls just two weeks older than ramona. the boston children’s museum has an entire room just for kids under three. there were a million cool things for them to play with–a train set, a playhouse, a pretend kitchen, soft stacking blocks…ramona is usually a bit shy in new situations & around new babies & likes to take some time to look around before she starts partying. but she dove right in to the children’s museum. at one point, she crawled right over to a small staircase, crawled right to the top, & then turned around & crawled back down. she had never been on stairs before. i was very impressed!

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we dropped ramona off with jared’s parents two days after christmas so we could have our “baby-free weekend”. we had booked a room at a bed & breakfast in cambridge, as had our friend bart & his girlfriend. we had all kinds of big plans: go out to the bar & drink like adults do, window whop, maybe even have dinner in the north end! we went for coffee & pastries at a coffeeshop near the B&B, but we were very tired & headed back to the room before long. bart came by to make dinner plans & i told jared, “why don’t you just head out without me? i think i’ll take a little nap & then catch up with you.”

but instead…within an hour, i had a full-blown stomach flu. it seriously hit maybe two hours after we dropped ramona off. i spent the next ten hours dozing for fifteen minutes at a time, in between bouts of puking into a trash can. jared brought me pepto bismol & gatorade, but i couldn’t keep any of it down. he talked to the front desk & they loaned him a freebie room for the night in the interest of him avoiding my sickness (irving house in cambridge! they’re the best!), but when i finally woke up at around 2am feeling like i was keeping fluids down at last, i heard jared vomiting a few rooms away. he didn’t get it quite as bad as i did, but both of us spent our entire baby-free weekend sick in bed. & when we went back to newton to catch up with ramona, we discovered that david, alana, & jared’s mom had also all caught the bug. what fun!

i got really dehydrated from all the puking & my milk supply took a hit. usually i pump ten to twelve ounces per session, but i was only getting three or four. while decanting milk at jared’s parents’ house, i found a ten-ounce bottle that was just plain spoiled. i dumped it with a pang, but was like, “eh, we still have more than enough for her.” but thirty more ounces spoiled on the plane ride back to kansas. i blame southwest for setting their airplane thermostat to like 175 degrees. it was so fucking hot on that plane. i was like, “okay, i think we still have enough, but barely. i’m not sick anymore, i have access to my favorite snacks, i’ll just double down on rehydrating & we should be all right.”

but after ramona finished her bedtime bottle last night, i only had four ounces left in the fridge. ramona usually eats about thirty ounces a day. i’m still only pumping maybe 20 or 25 ounces a day thanks to being sick. so i had to take a bag of frozen milk out of the freezer to defrost. i have never, ever had to dip into the frozen stash before. i’m not even 100% sure how to fix a bottle made with frozen milk. jared wants to flash-heat it for at-home pasteurization.

i know this is a dumb non-problem to have. i mean, ramona is 13 months old. she eats table food. she doesn’t NEED breast milk anymore. i do still have a supply & it’s beginning to rebound (i just pumped nine ounces–pretty close to my average), & i have several hundred ounces of milk stashed in the freezer. & running out of fresh milk is less because of supply issues than because of rogue spoiling. but i still feel kind of crappy about it. i guess combined with the fact that jared has been under the weather ever since we flew home (some kind of cold? a major cough) & ramona’s puking episode, i feel like it’s up to me to keep us from falling apart, but i’m not even managing to do this one thing that only i can do, & that i’ve done successfully for over a year. i feel especially bad because i had an appointment to donate my frozen stash to another mom (a pregnant one, even! her baby is younger than ramona & she’s already knocked up again & not feeling great), & i had to cancel in case i need the frozen milk for ramona.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. andrea says:

    I hated feeling like I was going to run out of milk. That was basically how it was for me constantly, except during a 5 week period when my supply kept pace with Emmett’s demand. Even worse, when he was little he’d vomit if formula and breastmilk combined in his stomach, so I was always freaking out that we’d run out of milk and he’d still be hungry and we’d have to make our poor crying baby wait… After awhile he didn’t seem to have any problem having formula right after breastmilk. It’s amazing that you’ve been able to give her breastmilk for so long, and not just her either! I’m sure your supply will rebound soon!

    1. ciara says:

      yeah, my supply rebounded like the day after i wrote this. i always feel bad complaining about any aspect of feeding ramona because i know so many women have supply issues. i’m really looking forward to weaning her though. i think the lunch bottle is officially a thing of the past, & i’ve been working with jared to get him to do her morning bottle in a sippy cup. day #1: he forgot until he was halfway through the bottle & then he put the milk into a sippy she doesn’t know how to use. (she did great once i put it in the sippy she has figured out.) day #2: he put it in the right sippy but then tried to feed it to her bottle-style, which kind of defeats the purpose. it just made her mad. hopefully tomorrow he will put it in the right sippy & then just hand it to her & we’ll see how that works out. i just really want to stop pumping so i can sleep through the night. i get weird insomnia so i get up to pump & then can’t get back to sleep for three hours. so i got to bed at 10pm but can’t drag myself out of bed until 9am. it sucks.

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