Sunday, January 6, 2013

Holiday travels, losing weight, and my sweet baby boy

A month has passed since my last post. It's been a busy month.

Little Man and I came back from Puerto Vallarta with colds, but by the 20th of December it looked like we'd kicked them. Then the cold virus caught a second wind and we were both feeling lousy again, just in time for the trip to Canada.

It was below zero on both the C and the F temperature scales in Winnipeg. I wore Little Man in the Baby Bjorn most of the time, with my coat pulled around us both. He stayed warm, though his poor face got chafed from rubbing against my sweaters. Most of the fabrics I wear are soft and light so they don't bother his skin, but fabrics I can wear year-round in California can only be worn there in the summertime.

The change in climate really created sinus issues for the Little Man -- saline drops weren't working to clear him up so I ended up giving him benedryl so he could drink his milk. To make things even more interesting, my breastmilk dried up shortly after we got back from Mexico, so the poor little guy was on formula. Stinky coming out, formula is.

The visit with M's family was great. Little Man is blessed with an easy disposition so he didn't seem to mind being passed around between the 20+ people at the gathering on Christmas Day. He just needed to spend a few minutes with me every hour to re-charge and he was good. His great-grandmothers were over-joyed to see him. I'm a bit of a sap and cried when they held him.

We were inundated with gifts for the Little Man. Fortunately, we had a second suitcase that was lightly packed so we could bring most of it back with us. Lots of toys and cute little outfits. We were there a week and nearly every day we were off somewhere doing something -- Boxing Day at the Mall, seeing The Hobbit, dinner with Cousins, making sure M's mother got her fair share of time with her grandchild, etc. The nice thing about all the spare adults around was that I got some baby-free time and much-needed naps. Best of all, M's father is even better with the Little Man than he is, so I felt comfortable leaving the baby with him for a couple of hours while M showed me some of his old stomping grounds and tourist sights. I told him he was very fortunate to have grown up in a population center rather than in some small town on the Plains. The capitol of Manitoba had the financial resources to fund the education of a child prodigy, and he had access to universities and college-educated people in far larger numbers than he otherwise would have.

Thankfully, the trip home was a lot less eventful than the leg to Canada was. No cancelled / redirected flights that meant hours waiting for standby and then traveling a day later -- no, just a plane that wouldn't start because it was too cold outside. We left Winnipeg an hour late and had to run to catch our connecting flight in Denver: 40 gates wearing a baby and two shoulder bags! M waited to get the baby seat and the rollaway bag. Fortunately, the airline held the flight for 15 minutes so that we and 40 other people wouldn't be stranded. Little Man was an angel on the flights. Once again he charmed everyone around us, and he fussed very little.

It was nice to get home. My old friend Dato and his partner took advantage of the house-sitting offer which got them away from the rain and cold along the Oregon coast. It was mostly sunny and dry here, so they got to spend a couple of days exploring San Francisco. The weather in SF is always better in winter than in summer. Funny how that works :)

Now that we're home, I want to start working on getting my milk production going again, but before we do that, I need to tackle the intra-abdominal pressure that is giving me both acid reflux and constipation. It really sucks that I'd never had a problem with either until Little Man was born and now the problems are big enough to affect how I sleep, how I eat, and what medications and supplements I take. I'm pretty anemic these days, but I can't take iron or even just a multi-vitamin with iron because it really binds me up and even stool softeners and milk of magnesia can take 3 days to produce a bowel movement. I saw the doctor and we're trying a week of really upping the fiber in my diet to see if that produces desired changes, otherwise, it is on to scanning or scoping. I've a feeling something is going on in my colon -- literally -- whenever I bend over I can feel something move inside me, like the kick of a baby or the snick of a ligament being pulled and then settling back into place.

That, and I've dropped nearly 15# since Thanksgiving, without trying, and much of that time with reduced or no breastmilk production. Call me silly, but I think the milk drying up is a sign something is going on.

With regards to weightloss, I've been really good about watching my portion sizes. I ate my fair share of Christmas treats -- but not too many. A sweet-tooth was never my problem, nor was junk-food. No, I was a gourmand with portion-control issues and a serious hormonal imbalance.  Lovely enough, having Little Man seems to have balanced out a lot of the hormonal weirdness of PCOS, which has made losing weight the past 7 months much easier than the prior few years. So I'm down 70# from my pre-pregnancy weight. My goal is to drop another 30# in 2013. That should put me solidly in the size 12 to 14 range and my BMI in the 20s, where it belongs, and down 160# from my highest weight in 2007. After that, it's all maintenance. I've three very good reasons to keep my weight down and be healthy and fit: me, Little Man, and M. I want to be around to see Little Man grow up and help M raise him, and given that I'll be 45 in a couple of months, its important that I take my health very seriously. I'm not 30 anymore :)

Once Little Man is over his cold I'm going to get us both on a sleep-play-feeding schedule. He's dabbling with solid foods, but I'd like to get him eating more. He's not crawling yet, but he does wriggle himself around pretty well on his belly. He's getting close to cutting a bottom tooth, I think, and he's chewing on everything he can get his hands on. He's passing things from hand-to-hand now. He knows his name. He's babbling more, and he's getting good at vocalizing when he's unhappy (grumbling) as well as laughing and cooing when he's happy. He's a fun, sweet baby, and most days I feel incredibly blessed.

2012 was an amazing year for me. Lots of changes. I've got high hopes for 2013.

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