Thursday, March 25, 2010

U for Unbelief

The weeks seem to be melting away into a sleepy haze. This week E turned one month old. One month down, only two weeks to go, the husband says. What in the world are you talking about, I say shrilly. We have take care of this child for at LEAST the next 18 years and, judging by our respective family histories, most likely for much longer than that! Umm, he says, I was saying just two more weeks until you're six weeks postpartum and, you know, officially healed and all that. Oh, I say, pausing to process (did I mention the sleep deprivation?). Omigosh, I yell, I am much too tired to think about anything at all like that! But then, secretly, when I am awake in the middle of the night, I think how cute, because we all have to celebrate our own milestones, right?

This has been a rough week. First, E has been diagnosed with classic reflux. Until the diagnosis was official, there was just a lot of worry on my part. Because the symptoms are downright scary: massive spit-up through nose and mouth resulting in not breathing, spitting up while lying down, resulting in choking, fussiness, particulalry at night, lack of sleep (for both of us), dramatic, extended, and I can only surmise painful pooping sessions, mostly at 2am, and on and on and on. Now that I know what we're facing, there are a lot of preparations to be done. He now needs a formula enhanced with rice starch. Check, with a deep sigh over the name-brandedness of it all. No more Sam's club bulk cheap formula for us! He needs to sleep in his car seat or a swing to be more upright (or a "nap nanny," a contoured pillow for a mere $130, thank you very much). Check, with an even deeper sigh for my high hopes that this second child would not learn to sleep in a swing but would love his bed instead. He needs to take medication. Check, Zantac on board. I mean, I took it throughout my pregnancy; why shouldn't he get to appreciate its benefits as well? He needs to be kept upright for a half hour to an hour after each feeding (we'll know how long based on how he responds) to prevent aspirating spit up through his nose and mouth). Check, with the deepest sigh of all, since this week was made immeasurably harder because I basically carried him all day long and most of the nights. I have since resurrected my wrap style carrier and am making use of that (he's too little and floppy for the bjorn, sadly), which makes me feel all mamaste, which we all know is such a crock!

The husband has been very supportive and helpful during this time, splitting some nights with me and taking shifts on the couch with our newly fussy baby. J, on the other hand, has responded to all this time spent on E with new heights of insecurity. J won't even go with Becca now, so you know he's feeling completely out of sorts, since such a development is unheard of in his short life. He is clingy, whiny, sad, you name it.

So it was with a great deal of (it turns out well-founded) apprehension that we met J's appointment with the allergist, also this week. Many pricks on his back and screams later, it turns out J has allergies to dust mites and mold/mildew (thanks Mommy!) and maple/box elder pollen and a particular kind of very common grass (thanks Daddy!). He now needs a mattress cover, to have his sheets/blankets washed in hot water once a week, to have his clothes changed immediately upon coming in from playing or gardening outside, to have his room and the house vacuumed very regularly, to have the carpets sprayed with some sort of dust mite control product every three months, to have the air filter changed immediately into a garbage bag once a month, to have his hair washed every night to eliminate pollen, etc etc etc. I have a list of 20 more steps I should take to save him from aggravating his right now relatively mild asthma. Check, check, check, ad infinitum.

Umm, can I get off this merry-go-round now? Thanks!

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