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Archive for February, 2014

Medical Expenses Possibly

February 26th, 2014 at 11:51 pm

Checking in. Things are going ok. Trying to get in an update before the baby gets bored of whatever toys have been placed in front of her.

So husbands truck broke down yesterday. The brakes went out. $600 to fix. What else is new. We have put in more money to fix that truck than we paid for it. And we paid $15k for it. Husband keeps telling me "There is NOTHING left to break except the engine." But about a month ago the starter needed to be replaced. And now the brakes. Whats next? Whatever. I know husband bought a dud truck. He knows it. And at some point the damn thing will be full of brand new parts and should run forever.

Good news. Husband got a phone call from an Illinois woman looking for an apartment for her college aged daughter. She called out of the blue- we don't have any vacancies. When husband asked how she got his number- she said the local college has a Facebook page for parents looking for housing and we have had 5 good reviews on it! That was a pleasant surprise! We have a lease ending about the time the student needs a place- so we might be able to work it out. Or maybe our tenants will continue to stay. To be determined.

Also GREAT NEWS-Husband's Dr gave husband a tip on an out of state Dr doing a research study on stem cells and helping people with my husband's medical condition. Basically- it's not FDA approved- no insurance will cover this treatment- but our Dr had a patient in the study and they had AMAZING results. So our Dr has passed the information on to us. The Dr made it clear shew didn't prescribe it as a DR- but as a friend. Since its not FDA approved- as a Dr it cant be medically advised. But a person talking to a person- we got the contact information. Since it's a research study, a grant is covering a lot of expenses- so the cost for treatment is only a few thousand dollars- supposedly. There are a lot of loose variables yet to be determined- but husband is getting an MRI as we speak so he can send it to this Dr to maybe be included in the study. There is a possibility that husband can get real medical help! No pills. No technology and batteries being inserted in him! No sleeping through the day from being so drugged up. Wow. Imagining a future with a healthy or even somewhat healthy husband is so exciting. We both had resigned ourselves to his current condition. Getting this glimpse of hope is so tantalizing. So the money we have earmarked for our next and last rental property is now on hold to be used for this treatment if we go through with it. Supposedly the treatment will be less than $5k- but I'm holding ALL money in case. In case the treatment costs more. In case the treatment goes badly and more medical treatments are consequently needed. In case this treatment has short term effects and needs to be repeated at various intervals. Getting husband even a fraction more comfortable in his day to day life is worth whatever money we can afford to help him. It will pay off in quality of life for the whole family. I am kind of holding my breath on this one. Just waiting for the bad news to break.

So that's about it- I'll update more when I have time.

Drum Roll...Baby Slept in Her Crib Last Night

February 15th, 2014 at 03:22 pm

After all the support I received yesterday, of course I need to provide an update of how the baby slept last night!

It was her first full night in her crib in her own bedroom. She did...better than expected, room for improvement.

She took about 2 hrs to fall asleep (standard),I tried to put her down 3x and she would instantly awake and cry to be picked back up. Finally on the 4th attempt to put her down she slept from 9-11pm. Then she & I fell asleep in the twin bed until 3am (not my intention). Then she slept in the crib 3-6am. At that point she was awake for the day.

So overall not bad. Still sleeping in short stretches. But I can handle this, I feel like we are making progress.

I used my sweatshirt as her blanket so my smell would be near her. I think that might have kept her from waking panicky.

We'll keep at it. I kind of like sleeping in her room with her. I decorated the nursery to be all girly and soothing. I like spending time in there. And I'm not fighting for blankets with the dogs. Or listening to my husband start snoring. It feels like a little shared moment with just her and I sleeping in the nursery. I'm sure the novelty will wear off, but for now- it's kind of nice.

No Sleep...ever again?

February 14th, 2014 at 01:53 pm

I'm not looking for advice on this one, I need to vent and try to mentally prepare for the next few days. The sleep patterns of my baby is getting worse. Her eating is getting worse. Pretty much the misery in my life is mounting and she is smiling, wiggling and happily causing it, as babies tend to do.

She is 3.5 months old. I am a breastfeeding mom. She sleeps in a cradle beside our bed.

At her best point around 2.5-3 months old she was sleeping in 4 hr stretches. She would give me a 4 hr stretch and then a 2 or 3 hr stretch. I was excited, she was slowly increasing her night time sleep stretches. Husband and I decided that once she was sleeping through the night we would transition her to the crib in her bedroom.

Then the week before I started work, so at 3 months- her sleep steadily deteriorated. She was waking more constantly, and her longest sleep stretch would be 3 hrs max. I knew it could be work related and knew we would get through it. But it's been almost 3 weeks now and it has not improved.

Lately she has been waking to feed at night and she will eat for HOURS. Previously she would wake and feed for 30 mins- 1 hr. The last few nights she has nursed for 2 -3 hrs straight in the middle of the night. On top of nursing for 2-3 hrs before going to bed. It's miserable. But I think it is related to problem #2.

Problem #2: Eating
She's a breastfed baby, but at 1 month we introduced her to the bottle and she took it like a champ. Husband would feed her from the bottle while I would be away from the house. The only problem we had was him running out of milk because she took the bottle so well.

The day I started work- baby REFUSED the bottle. All day long. She would play with it in her mouth, but act like she had no clue what it was. Eventually she would tire of husband trying to get her to take it and she would cry, push it away. Apparently the sight of the bottle now sometimes makes her get hysterical.

Its been 2 weeks of me working and baby has not taken the bottle. She would just scream from hunger during my 8 hr shifts, but refuse the bottle.

We tried reheated milk, fresh milk, daddy giving her bottle, mommy giving her bottle, different feeding positions, different bottle brands.

I have found that baby will take a liquid eye dropper and swallow milk inserted in her mouth. Husband thinks that method is ridiculous and time consuming and refuses to do it.

He has been driving her the 30 minutes each way to my work so I can feed her on my lunch break. Not very cost effective.

We thought maybe she is eating so much at night because she is not eating enough during the day. But I was off from work Wed/Thurs/Fri this week and she has been fed plenty during the day- still waking up every 2-3 hrs at night to feed for hours.

So last night I decided maybe she has outgrown the cradle. She can still fit in it fine but its a tighter fit. Maybe its waking her up often because she can not stretch out.

So last night at 3am I made the decision to move her into her crib. I decided this because she has never been fond of the cradle. She will scream and scream if she wakes in it. And often transitioning her from my bed to the cradle makes her wake and instantly cry to be returned back to the bed. Last night after nursing her for 2 hrs and putting her sleeping self into the cradle only to have her instantly awaken and cry to be picked back up- I decided it's crib time.

I nursed her and put her sleeping- into the crib. She slept for 3 hrs and woke. I nursed her again and put her back in the crib. She slept for 10 minutes and woke. And has not fallen back asleep since. It's like she is onto my game and refuses to sleep so she wont be transferred to the crib.

She's not afraid of the crib. She plays in the crib every morning as part of our routine. She is placed in the crib and all her toys are given to her to hold and put in her mouth. She enjoys that time.

So basically I have a baby that is:
Sleeping in shorter stretches.
Nursing for much longer between the stretches.
Refusing to eat from a bottle even if it means she goes for over 8 hrs without eating.

And now I'm putting her in the crib in the hopes that she will sleep through the night because she has room to stretch out.

This is not good. I don't know how long it will take for her to adjust to the crib. A week? Longer?

And once she is adjusted then maybe she will sleep in longer stretches or nurse for shorter periods between sleep stretches. Or worse case- maybe she wont and I am dooming myself to sleeping in the nursery on an uncomfortable twin bed for eternity, getting up every 2 hrs to feed the baby for 2 hrs at a time.

Or much worse case- maybe she will make the association between falling asleep in my arms at night and waking in her crib- and refuse to fall asleep at night completely. She's already nursing for 2 hrs straight- I imagine she can do it for 5 or 6 hrs if she became determined.

I just thought her sleeping would get better and better and better. Not worse. I never even got the luxury of 1 full nights sleep! I feel so jilted and deprived. Especially knowing that the crib transition is going to make it worse before it might get better.

And whats up with the $350 electric pump I bought to give her bottled milk? Was that a total waste of money or will she eventually take a bottle again?

That's it. This is the biggest problem in my life. This is what is (literally) keeping me awake at night.

Nothing New

February 13th, 2014 at 04:35 pm

Not much to report financially. Things are kind of quiet right now.

My new job is going well. Very physically demanding. I'm exhausted on my days off. I actually got a $50 massage yesterday to try and feel better. I'm not a massage type of girl (this was my second one in my life). But since Charlotte was born- my body has not been quite right. My back feels tight- riding and lifting things often feels like something is pinched. And the circulation in my legs has decreased where I have a lot of pain in my feet after resting. So I was hoping the massage could re-align things a bit. It helped. I don't think I'll be getting another though. The massage was SO NICE that I could easily get hooked. Not an addiction I can afford to feed.

ok, gonna log off now. Its my day off and I'm too tired to type.

Equestrian Job Going Great

February 3rd, 2014 at 10:30 am

I have had one shift at my equestrian job so far. It went great! Physically demanding as expected but I know I'll get faster and stronger in no time. Getting physically fit has been a low priority goal of mine so the job has an added benefit.

After my shift finished I talked with my employer. She was happy with me and told me she has a small budget to invest in the riding progression for her employees. So she asked if I would be interested in riding and clinics later on! She told me she wants to get me at my peak riding level soon (since I took 11 months off to have a baby) so I am to bring my riding clothes on my next shift! That was unexpected and awesome.

Husband had no problems with the baby while I was away for 9 hours. She took her bottle and slept for most of the time I was gone. I "facetimed" with her (where the phone camera allows me to see & talk to her- and she can see & talk to me). She was making all sorts of excited noises during our facetime. Husband told me she had a mini-fit after the camera turned off when we ended the session. She never has that reaction after facetimes with her grandparents- so it is endearing that she recognizes and loves me. Though husband said he's not sure he wants to do facetime with me very often given how upset she is afterward. (heart melt)

And I went out to my old barn to get in a ride yesterday to try and get in shape before my employer watches me ride. I met up with a casual riding friend. She is an older woman who is very successful. She has a high paying corporate job- beach house, horse farm, several horses. She said she was jealous of my horse job and has been running numbers for a few months trying to figure out how she can get out of corporate life. She wants to be in an outdoor job with a relaxed atmosphere. I told her the trade off in pay and she said it was to be expected but at some point the corporate job isn't worth it no matter what the pay is. She had been thinking of going to work at Home Depot and working in their gardening center! She asked me for the contact info of my employer so she can get her resume on file in case they hire more help in the future.

That conversation made me feel really good. She was the first person (besides several of you guys) to understand the benefits of my job and make me feel good about taking a significant pay cut. She echoed my sentiment that at some point (if you can afford it)- taking a pay cut but highly satisfying job can be rewarding and provide non financial riches to your life. She - with all her expensive "toys" and admirable job title wanted my job! It feels so good to have someone share my mindset after so much negativity coming from my husband and friends.

That's it. Just wanted to report that so far- so good on the job. I made the right decision for me to pursue this job.