Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Brief Rant

I'm up earlier this morning than usual--well, I'm up and about earlier this morning than usual, even though this is usually the  time I start getting ready for class (at the last possible minute), but, and this may be TMI, I went to be partially engorged and have woken up engorged so whether I had time to, I needed to pump. I am still, 20 minutes in, in a lot of pain. It freaking sucks.

Also, I have some sort of abscess in my nose. I know, that's gross. Like any of you want to wake up to my body's problems today.

At least the Magpie is responding rather quickly to the antibiotics for her ear infection, and I did manage to get some sort of sleep last night. I have to confess though, this month has left me more exhausted, hungry, and resentful than ever. Part of me wishes that I had just gone ahead and made the decision to formula feed the Magpie a month ago rather than going through what I've gone through for the last month for the off chance I might get to start nursing her again. I think I might actually be a lot happier, but then I'd regret not having tried.

However, what I regret now is all the time I've missed with her because I've had to go sit in the bedroom and pump. Like this morning. If I hadn't had to go pump, I could have spent a little bit more time with her and gotten to watch her laugh. I could hear her giggling back here and my mom and dad cooing over her and laughing with her. But no, I missed it. I keep missing things like that. And since she's been sick, I relish those really happy moments she has. But no. I'm stuck back her like a cow hooked to a dairy machine. I'm tired. I'm miserable. And I'm starving.

But tomorrow we go to the pediatrician, so we'll see what happens then.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Still moving along.

I believe when I wrote a week ago or so I was not doing so hot.

Meh. We had a couple of good days here, but now poor Magpie has another ear infection which made this weekend horrible and difficult. By the end of the week, we will have had three doctor's appointments. Not to mention my own feelings of resentment when everyone is getting sleep and able to eat yummy things, and I get to partake in neither of those things. Yes, I understand the biological and evolutionary function of my not being able to sleep through Magpie's crying, but for the love of God, when someone else is holding her, how I wish I were able to sleep through them!

All the allergy tests came back negative and negligible. So what does that mean? It means we don't know, still, why she has the problems she does. If I am able to breastfeed her but if it means continuing on a super restrictive diet, then I will throw in the towel and finally give up on trying. I have headaches and stomachaches. I'm highly irritable. And it does affect my sleep. I spend a lot of time annoyed at people and angry. I'm on the verge of hating everyone and everything. And I can have a short temper, too.

One way or another, this has to end with the doctor's appointment on Thursday. And she seems to really be thriving on the formula.

Today I will be in grading jail. I need to be in reading jail, but because of the ear infection, this weekend was a total bust on every single level, that I got nothing done. And I've been sitting on these freshman papers for too long now. They said they don't want them back, so at least they're not complaining about them, so I got that going for me, but I don't want to have them anymore. I want them gone especially since I get peer review drafts from them on Friday and a set of lit analyses tomorrow. Sigh.

I'll get caught up; I'm sure.

I also plan on doing AcWriMo because I feel like I've got to. I've got to get some writing produced before December. And I want to.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Moving along

Well, we're still moving right along over here. A quick update on the Magpie: we seem to be making steady improvement here on the prescription formula, which on the one hand is fantastic. Rarely does she scream in blood curdling gas pain for hours (even for minutes actually). On the other hand, it looks more and more like I will not be breastfeeding her again, and I'm trying to prepare myself for that. She had her first round of blood tests for food allergies on Friday, and we should know something at our dr.'s appointment on Monday. Then I guess by next Thursday we will be able to make a decision, depending on what the blood tests indicate, whether I will get to start breastfeeding her again next weekend in addition to formula, or if it's over. It's very depressing to think that it might be over. It makes me very sad.

Since I've been sad, in part I'm sure to lack of sleep, and to having a sick baby* who has been average 1.5 doctor's appointments a week, and this stoopid elimination diet, I've been trying to figure out ways not to be sad or stressed. One is that I really need to make more of an effort to get to CF, regardless of my energy level or sadness. Because I seem to be getting sadder rather than happier lately. And that is exhausting as well.

In addition to trying to make myself workout (which I do so love, and the fact that I have to make myself do something I normally enjoy concerns me), I made a couple of decisions last week designed to make me happier. One was that since I have another two weeks on that elimination diet which was only designed for people to be on for two weeks, not four (and which I just should not have been on last week in all honesty), I suspended it this weekend and ate copious amounts of forbidden foods like beef (brisket, hamburgers, chili), eggs, oranges, salad, tomatoes, avocados, hot dogs, nuts, and carrots. And I felt good. It felt so good to get some fat and calories back in my diet. I had had a stomach ache for three days because of the diet, so I just decided that I needed to eat.

The other thing I decided was to stop spending all of my spare time grading and focusing on teaching prep. I have been seriously missing research and reading novels in my field, so last week, rather than grade every spare moment I had, I read. And I took notes. And I wrote down ideas. And I felt better. The result was that I had to spend a couple of hours on Sunday grading (though I'm trying not to grade or work at home), but I got more done in those two hours than I would have spending the two hours I spent on Thursday reading. Why? Because they had to get done, so I was moving with a purpose. Generally I don't sit on things that need to be graded. Generally I grade them when they come in. But I've been so tired and have had so much grading with the comp class that just felt like every day I was grading or worrying about grading, so I've decided that since the grading will get done because it needs to get done that Tuesdays and Thursdays I will spend at least 2 hours working on my research in some way. And it felt good on Thursday to do so. And mostly I've been trying to read while I've been pumping (which can get a little awkward when trying to take notes and underline things).

It bothers me that I'm not happy. I should be happy. I love being a mom, but even the time I carve out for myself is fraught with guilt to the point that I don't like to leave the house still. But I have found that getting back to some sort of research activity does make me happier. And I really need to foster that.

And I am looking forward to sitting and reading for a couple of uninterrupted hours today.

*look, I know there are people out there with actually sick and ill babies to whom my "plight" doesn't even compare, and I know I have much more support than the majority of parents out there. However, minor and fixable as her issues may be, they nonetheless require constant attention, which in and of itself is draining on every level.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

I'm still plugging along here. Finally got the peer review drafts from last Wednesday graded. I made great progress yesterday on them. A bit of a slower start this morning though.

Last night I didn't get any sleep at all, and it wasn't the baby's fault! I had coffee way too late in the day, and our A/C went out. We couldn't open the windows because it got down to the 40s last night, and that would have been way too cold for little miss, so the room was too hot for me, plus the caffeine, and ugh, I'm tired today. I hope she sleeps well tonight so I can get some sleep too.

The problem with the lack of sleep is that it makes me so much more depressed than well just normal. It really just sucks.

I wish I could figure out some sort of balance, but that is going to be the struggle really from here on out isn't it?

One day I may write something meaningful on this blog again. And one day I may write something meaningful and scholarly again.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

I've started like two or three posts here already, and well, I just feel like I keep saying the same thing: sick baby, want to work, totally depressed. I hope this blog becomes more than this one day.

A quick update on the Magpie: She continues to do well on the new formula. It's hard to tell exactly how well because the new antibiotics for her ear seem to affecting her digestion. We go to the allergist on Wednesday to begin testing. I think we are improving though.

I've been on this elimination diet, right, I think I mentioned it. I have to be on it at least two weeks in order to make sure all the allergens are out of my system in the hopes that I will be able to begin breastfeeding her again once we identify her allergies and then identify foods that aggravate her little system, though there's no guarantee at the end of this that I'll get to continue breastfeeding. But the pediatrician is going out of town and she wants me to wait until she gets back before I start breastfeeding and stay on the diet. That means that I'm on this for another two and a half weeks.

Folks, I'm exhausted. There is not enough of the foods on this diet to fill me up. Because I'm starving and not getting a lot of sleep, I am so off on my teaching. I'm depressed. And while I know it's worth it, I question whether it's worth it at this moment because I'm tired. I was doing just fine on the Whole Life Challenge, satisfied and not missing anything, but this diet, because it's nothing but deprivation really makes me just want to gorge and binge.

Midterms are this week. I will have to spend the week grading. I hope the Magpie has a good week so I do not feel guilty about leaving her with the parents because I will need to leave the house everyday this week to work. Because honestly, come hell or high water, I've got to start carving out time for my research starting on the 15th. Hopefully we won't have any dr.'s appointments next week (two this coming week).

Because I feel so overwhelmed right now, I'm starting to get antsy. Like I have this fantasy that if I went on the job market and got a different job or moved to a different city then everything would magically be different and Magpie wouldn't be sick and my life would feel less cluttered. I know. It's crazy. Something as dramatic as that would not make my life easier but really quite difficult. What I need to do is clean and get a haircut and go through my closets and start getting rid of stuff. I need to get rid of some books and do some shredding and pare some things down. And I need to pay off debts so we can buy a house and have more room than what we have now. I know a lot of this is coming from the stress that is my life right now, but I feel like I need a fresh start. I mean, I've already lost 43.2 pounds of maternity weight. I've got 12.2 pounds to go to hit pre-pregnancy weight. Even though I'm loathe to continue to spend money on clothes, I think, honestly, this is what I need. I had to buy a new wardrobe before school started, and I think what I'd like to do is have a new look. Lots of my clothes are clothes that I have been wearing for years. I know it's very superficial, but sometimes that's all it takes, right? I would just like to start over.

Perhaps I'll start with a haircut this week.

And I think right now I'm going to go lay down or something. Meh. It's almost time for dinner. Or to start working on dinner.

I don't think this post makes any sense at all.