Thursday, August 31, 2006

To cloth or not to cloth....

For the majority of Jackson's first 9 or 10 months I diapered his bottom in classic, soft, simple cotton cloth diapers. I didn't mind washing them, even pre-rinsing the poop kind. I felt good about the choice and enjoyed being a cloth diaper mom.

Then at about 9 months, at the same time he decided he wouldn't sit still to nurse anymore, he also became too wiggly to diaper most of the time. Wiggly actually doesn't come close to the twists, turns and maneuvers that this boy executes while I try to diaper or dress him. He is downright combative and I have seriously had to restrain him to get a diaper on him. It became almost impossible to get a cloth diaper - with safety pins, mind you - onto his butt. So I gradually began using more and more disposables. You can get one on a resistant child in about 30 seconds with one hand if you are good. This is not possible with a cotton square and diaper cover. I have been almost exclusively using disposable for almost three months.

And I feel bad each time I put one on him. And each time I throw one away. Sigh.

I made a commitment to myself today to try to get him back to cloth. This will be a challenge. He was a cloth boy again today. I managed to wrestle him into his diapers, sans pins. I am using a Snappi fastener now. A snappi is the same idea as one of the closures you get with an ace bandage. Neat invention. It takes away the risk of poking the baby with a sharp pin, at least.

But there are those damned cloth diaper drawbacks. First, his clothes don't fit him, or fit him well, in cloth. This wasn't a problem when he was younger. But it seems that the clothing companies cut the seat area of the clothes way too small for a cloth diaper. They are bulkier than disposables and require room. So half his clothes are now outgrown. And it is hard to know that they would still fit perfectly if I just put him in a disposable. Grrr.

Second, the boy eats a lot more solid food now than he did a few months ago when I was still using cloth. This means that messy pants needing rinsed are that much more heinous than they used to be. This once unpleasant task has doubled in odor and the nasty factor is huge. Yay. It is so easy to think about those disposables while I rinse the radioactive-green paste from the cloth diaper.

I almost wish I had never started using the disposables. Before I got into this terrible habit of disposables, I was so content with the cloth. I didn't know the seductive power of poop you can throw out without ever touching.

Good things to remember are the money savings and the environmental impact. There is also the fact that cloth diapered kids tend to potty train sooner because they can feel it when they are wet and learn to associate the need to go potty with the consequence of being wet.

Also, I get to feel virtuous. And I like to feel virtuous. I am holier than thou. Really, I am.....Sigh.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A Jackson Nap Triad...

On weekdays Jackson goes to work with me to the Palace Theatre. I work 12ish to 4 p.m. in the office and Jackson takes his afternoon nap in the handicapped bathroom that I tricked out for him. He has a pack & play crib, a fan for white noise and a cool night light that turns 4 different colors. I put him in his bed at about 1 p.m. and he sleeps till 3:00 or 3:30. This is our routine and it works well.

Well, yesterday Jackson had a rough afternoon naptime. I put him down as usual and heard him in there talking for a bit before he was quiet. Not unusual. Then a new Sun City couple came in to learn about the Palace and sign up to volunteer and usher. We gave them a tour of the theater and Sonja talked them through the ins and outs of volunteering. About the time they were leaving, the lady excused herself to the restroom. I assumed that she went into the ladies room because we had just toured her and showed her the restrooms.

She didn't. She apparently discovered we were out of toilet paper in the ladies room and decided to use the handicapped bathroom. The room where Jackson was sleeping. The tiny room set up with a crib and a nightlight and fan. Unbeknownst to us, this lady opened the door, turned on the light and upon seeing the crib and baby, did not falter in her quest to urinate. She proceeded into the room locked the door behind her and used the toilet. Jackson woke up at some point and stood up in his bed crying. I heard him crying and wondered what the problem was. When I went to the door, the lady was just coming out. She left the light on, let the door close and happily asked me "Is that your little boy in there?"

"Uh, yeah," I said. I was nearly speechless. "He was crying just a minute ago." She said as she left with her husband. If I had been capable of speaking at that point I would have replied "Yeah, he woke up from a sound sleep to find an old woman with her pants around her ankles peeing not a foot from his crib. He may be scarred for life."

Ok. Maybe I wouldn't have told her that but I sure wanted to. WTF? I cannot fathom how oblivious she must be to have done such a thing. The only thing that I can think of is that she saw the crib, but didn't see the sleeping boy inside it. Somehow she missed the sleeping baby and didn't know he was there until she was already peeing. Ha! Imagine her horror when the boy jumped up and started yelling. It must have literally scared the piss out of her!!!

The boy survived the incident. I turned the light off and left him alone. He settled back to sleep; he probably registered the peeing woman as a nightmare and not a true event. But then came the cleaning crew. As usual I told the 3 ladies that he was sleeping and they could skip cleaning that bathroom. We go through this every week. Except there was a new girl and since they often don't speak English, she didn't get the message. I caught her opening the door and hurried to stop her. However, this young immigrant, unlike the Sun City Lady, was savvy enough to see that crib + fan + nighlight may just = sleeping baby. She eased the door closed and little nap damage was done.

To complete the anti-nap triad, his fan and nightlight got unplugged on him. There isn't an outlet in the bathroom, so I run an extension cord to the outlet right outside the door. The third cleaning lady came by and unplugged his fan and nightlight to plug in the vacuum instead of using the open outlet right below it. It was at least 15 minutes till I noticed it. Sigh.

Poor boy managed to get in a little shut-eye, I think. But he was cranky in the evening. Whether that was due to the interrupted nap or to flashbacks of urinating grandma, I don't know.
Tumorlessness feels good...

I got the call from the doc telling me that my MRI is 'normal'. Well, not quite normal, but acceptable for a migraine patient. It seems I have several (less than 10) randomized hyperintensities that showed up on the MRI. Apparently these are spots that appear bright or white on the scan. The doc says they show up a lot in patients with classic migraines -the ones that start with an aura, like mine. They said it isn't anything to worry about. So I guess I won't worry about it.

Ok, I will worry about it. I just won't obsess about it. Of course the first thing I did with this info is Google it. Most of the pages I found were just too medically oriented for me to understand as they were written for docs, not patients. But the lowdown is this -

"Patients with migraine are at increased risk for white matter hyperintensities detected on magnetic resonance imaging. The presence of nonspecific white matter hyperintensities may cause uncertainty for physicians and anxiety for patients. The pathophysiology and long-term consequences of these lesions are unknown. Occasionally, white matter lesions in a migraineur may indicate an underlying disease such as cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL), mitochondrial encephalopathy with lactic acidosis and stroke-like episodes (MELAS), or central nervous system vasculitis. The ability to distinguish between nonspecific and disease-specific patterns of white matter hyperintensities in migraine sufferers is important for the practicing clinician."

So there you have it. It is probably nothing. The fact that my spots are random means that they aren't in a recognizable disease pattern. Or so they told me. Ug. Just thinking about this gives me a headache. And this is all supposed to be curing my headaches. Heh.

Good news is that the drug I am taking at bedtime now seems to be working. I am cautiously optimistic. The drug makes me feel funny, kinda high like on a huge dose of cold medicine. But I have not had a bone crushing headache in a few days. I did have a mild headache yesterday, but it was so run-of-the-mill, comparatively, I just ignored it. So things seem to be improving. Yay!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

How do you know if you are sick?.....

I am going in for an MRI tomorrow to see if my constant headaches and increasing number of migraines are due to anything significant. Like I dunno - a brain tumor. I seriously doubt that is the case. But the headache specialist says they have to look. So there you have it. I am going in to rule out a brain tumor, it says so right on the order sheet.

It just got me thinking. If you were sick, really seriously sick like that, would you know it? Would you have an inkling way down deep that there was something wrong? I kind of felt like that on Friday after yet another migraine sent me to bed for the afternoon. I really scared myself by thinking that maybe there is really something wrong with me. How can you have a headache nearly every day and not have a brain tumor or lesion?

But then I got in to see the best headache Doc in Austin. She was Lady Bird Johnson's Neurologist when she had a stroke a few years ago. And it was just a stroke (ha ha) of luck that I got in right away. They had a cancellation the phone call before me. So when I visited the Headache Center they put my mind at ease (ha ha). They said that most headaches are chemical and/or hormonal and not due to tumors etc. I am going to go on a regimen of medications taken at bedtime to try to correct the chemical balance in my brain so maybe I won't go thru every day with a mild to excruciating headache.

And I hope it really works because my friends and family are really noticing a change in my personality. People are continually asking me if I am ok, if I am feeling well or am unhappy. I am fine, I tell them. I am not depressed or unhappy, just in a constant state of trying to ignore the fact that I have a headache. I am just trying to keep moving, keep living. But I guess I am letting people down somehow. My own husband told me that I seem unhappy and am not as vital as I was.

Sigh. I am ready to get all my tests done so I can start the meds to stop these headaches. Can't believe I actually want to take meds. Not something I normally volunteer for - natural childbirth and all that. But I don't want to walk around 'not myself' anymore. Funny how you can subtly morph into another personality without noticing it till someone points it out to you.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Daddy talk...
Last night around 2:00 a.m. I woke up hearing Jackson cough a kind of gaggy little cough. I was just about to get up and check on him when David, beside me in the bed, jumped up faster than I have ever seen him move and bolted to the nursery, turning on every light as he ran. I heard him talking in soft tones to the baby, "Are you ok, buddy?" He said. My heart simply melted, for the millionth time since the baby was born. David came back to bed, but went back in a few minutes later to double check that everything was fine. He was worried about his boy.

When Jackson was born, I was totally prepared for the overwhelming, all-encompassing love I would have for him. I knew that was how moms and dads feel. But I wasn't really aware of how much I would enjoy watching my husband be a dad; how much my love for him would grow each time he washes the baby's hair or kisses his knees to get a baby belly laugh. I am amazed how deep my respect for him runs now and increases every day. My husband's love for Jackson makes me feel loved, too. And his bolting to the nursery in the middle of the night makes me love him more than I did the day we were married. I didn't think that was possible.

We may not have the crazy, carefree, newlywed sex life we had pre-Jackson. But I don't mourn it...much. I just feel lucky to know that I have married not only a great husband, but a great daddy.
Since I am turning 30 years old on Sunday, (8/13) I have decided that I may be, just may be too old to be blogging on Myspace like a teenager. So in honor of my 30th, I am moving my fledgling blog to a real, grown up blog space. So now all my grown up friends who wouldn't be caught dead on Myspace can become sometimes voyeurs into my mind. I will move over the 14 some posts there so I can continue without starting over. Enjoy!