There will be no new posts…

Dear Readers

Thank you for all of the support I’ve received over the years.  However, my blogging career has taken me in a different direction, and I will not be updating this blog going forward.  I’ve also closed comments on all entries so that I don’t have to moderate them.

I’m choosing to leave the blog active as I think my story (particularly that of my miscarriage and the trouble I had accepting my second pregnancy) may be helpful.  I’m also choosing to keep it live because I truly love the letters to my children that are shared here.

Where are we now?

As of March 2014, we are living in Singapore.  Elanor is 5 and Rhiannon is 2.  They’re both healthy and happy little girls.

IMG_2602Rhiannon

IMG_2606Ellie

If you’d like to know more about our life in Singapore, come and read Expat Bostonians.

If you want to geek out over reading with me, come and read Be Quiet!  Mommy’s Reading…

Again, thanks for being part of my journey.

-Crystal

Posted in Miscarriage

Wordless Wednesday-she asked to be swaddled

Posted in Elanor, Pictures

Dear Rhiannon 1 month old

Dear Rhi

I can’t believe you’re a month (and 5 days) old already!

This month has been interesting.

After the first 24 hours, you have been breastfed exclusively, which is an achievement I am beyond proud of (well, except for the 2 days you were fed via iv-see below).    At first I was worried because although you never lost more than the allowed 10% of your body weight, it took you almost 3 weeks to get back to your birthweight (and the standard is 2).  For a while I was breastfeeding, and then pumping and giving you whatever I’d pumped via syringe to help you gain weight, which was a little frustrating, but understandable, given that you were undercooked and needed some extra supports from us.

Your dad was home for almost 2 weeks.  He loved being able to be around you, spending time with all of us, and some special daddy/daughter time with your older sister while you and I nursed and slept.

Unfortunately, the day that your dad went back to work, your older sister got sick with a stomach flu that you came down with 2 days later.  Unlike E, you were admitted to the hospital.  Like E, you tried to eat your IV, but were deterred from doing so once we put a sock over it.  Very unfortunately, I came down with the same bug 24 hours after you did and also had to be hospitalized…luckily you’re so small you were just in a newborn bed, so they could fit an adult bed into your room and we were only apart for the 5-6 hours I was in the emergency room.

You were still in the hospital on your actual one month birthday–but got released the next morning.

I am proud to tell you that as of yesterday you were 2.98 Kg (or 6lbs 9oz), 50 cm tall (19.7 inches) and your head circumference was 34.5 cm (13.6 inches).

In terms of “developmental milestones”–we are starting to see flickers of a smile, and you are staying awake for longer periods of time.  Your eyes are gorgeous, and I love staring into them.

Your daddy and I finally figured out your nickname…pufferfish.  You constantly are pulling your mouth into a teeny “o” and you have super chubby cheeks (I can’t stop kissing them!).

Your sister adores you.  She’s always asking where you are, and she wants you to give her high fives and listen to bedtime stories with her.  She loves to give you kisses and “help” with you.  She was really upset when you were in the hospital, and wouldn’t let Daddy read her the “Big sister” book because you weren’t there.

Yesterday you and I went to the Titanic artifact exhibit at the Art Science Museum.  It was our first major solo outing, and I loved hanging out with you, even if you got fussy right at the start and wouldn’t let me put you down…I really wish I had tossed the sling into the stroller.

What we know about you so far.

You LOVE to be held.  The easiest way to wake you up or make you upset is to put you down.  So for the most part we co-sleep with you in my arms.  Sometimes I’m able to put you in the crib (which we’ve set up like a co-sleeper next to my side of the bed), or the pack n play in the living room (or the swing).

Thus far you’re not a fan of tummy time, but we’re working on it.

I’m so in love with you, Rhiannon and I can’t wait to see what new things you’ll do in the next month!

Love

Mommy

Posted in Miscarriage | 2 Comments

The making of a lactivist

I don’t generally care for the lactivist community.  LLL generally leaves me cold.  I’ve been given the stink eye for giving Elanor expressed breast milk.  I’ve been told I’m a horrid mom for not attempting to bf E post hospitalization to the point of starving her, regardless of what my evil formula paid off conspiracy participating doctors told me to do for her health.

In general, I’ve distanced myself from the community apart from campaigning to create the breastfeeding law in MA that my state senator introduced.

But that’s in the US, where breastfeeding is common, doctors are supportive, and it’s so popular that it’s practically forcefed to new moms and pregnant women.

 

In Singapore, it’s different.  It’s not common, people are uninformed, and I find myself constantly advocating for MORE education.

 

1-The nurses who, when my baby had gone 4 hours (due to their error–keeping her down in the nursery an HOUR after I’d said she could go down for a 5 second blood test) without food and I was engorged…wanted to give her formula.

2-The doctor who, when I was hospitalized with gastroenteritis told me I had to dump my milk (I didn’t).

3-The lack of legal protection (although I’ve not had any issues publicly breastfeeding…but I worry) for me when breastfeeding in public.

Here I am hesitantly becoming a lactivist.  With concern, with caution to NOT become a mom I would hate in the US.  With respect for every woman’s right to choose what the best way to feed her baby.  But a lactivist.

I feel very conflicted about this….but as long as I don’t become a woman I wouldn’t respect back home, I’m probably fine.

Posted in Breastfeeding | 2 Comments

Balancing two when one is sick

I was baptized by fire about 36 hours ago.

Ellie had a runny nose all day…no big deal.

We put her to bed at the normal time.  She’s been coming into our bed somewhere between 3 and 6 am, so when she came in at 1am, Ravi and my own first response (before we got a look at her) was irritation.  We’re not getting a ton of time together alone and Rhiannon had just finished nursing…it was OUR time.

Then we realized she was covered in vomit.  Poor baby.

We asked B to change her bed, and I gave her a shower (it was in her hair) while Ravi kept an eye on Rhiannon and checked stuffed animals for splatter.  We did another round of books, and gave her some water.

Which she promptly threw up.

Instinctively I knew this was going to be an issue, so I decided we needed to go to the doctor.  She was burning up, she couldn’t keep anything down, and with an unvaccinated 3 week old in the house, I didn’t want to take chances.

So I packed B and Rhiannon (Rhi had to come because she neither knows how to drink from a bottle, nor do I have adequate stock on hand in the fridge/freezer) and Elanor up and we went to the hospital.  Where E kept throwing up.

We were there until 6am.  Finally we were able to come home, vomiting staunched, and we collapsed on the couch (which can covert to a reasonable bed).  E and I and Rhi spent the day there.

But the truth is that Rhi got very little direct attention.  She got breastfed, she got changed, and she did some napping with me, but I was very focused on Elanor.

This was the first time I’ve really felt torn between the girls…and I hated it.

However, as others have told me…it could be worse…they could both be sick.

Instead they seem to be taking turns…E is better today…and Rhi has a stuffy nose.  Oy.

 

Mama needs some sleep.

Posted in Elanor, Medical, Rhiannon

Dear Rhiannon, Day 18

Dear Rhiannon

I have to confess, I’ve been nervous about this breastfeeding thing.  I like knowing how much you’re eating, which is obviously not doable with breastfeeding, as my breasts do not have a visible gauge on them, telling me how much you’ve drank.  The usual barometer (among others) is that a baby regain their birth weight in the first 10-14 days.

Considering you have jaundice and are a preemie, it’s taken you a bit longer to hit this milestone, which also had me privately second guessing myself.

BUT

Today you hit your birth weight.  We are exclusively breastfeeding, and have been since day 2 of your life.  We are succeeding.

Love

Mama

Posted in Letters to Wheelie | 2 Comments

Rhiannon Arcardia

I don’t want to double post, so I’ll link from Expat Bostonians

Last Thursday I went into my appointment and found out I was having a baby…that afternoon.

That night, we welcomed Rhiannon Arcadia into the world.

I shared her birth story with my readership.  It was a C section because my blood pressure made a vaginal induction potentially dangerous for me.

We brought Rhiannon home on Tuesday, but the post I put up was mostly just random photos and some video of the girls meeting.

Today I shared how things have been going since the birth.

Enjoy those posts.  I have a lot to say here that isn’t really Expat Bostonians material.

Posted in Breastfeeding, Elanor, Fatherhood, Medical, Pictures, Pregnancy, Rhiannon, Siblings, Video