Hypothyroidism

I’ve been seeing an internist since December of 2016.  I’ve been feeling rundown, sluggish, excessively tired, and no matter what I do, I can’t seem to lose weight (1400 calories or less and the scale won’t move!).  So, I went to the doctor.  I’ve had bloodwork done several times since then, and my labs that I had done in June came back as hypothyroid, and I’ve been prescribed synthroid.  I started taking synthroid on June 21, 2017 at 50 mcg.  I went back for bloodwork on July 18, and they doubled my dosage to 100 mcg daily.  However, starting on Monday July 17, I’ve been having the WORST headaches I’ve ever had.  The pain is almost tension headache like, and severe enough to cause nausea.I’ve been reading that it can be a reaction to the medication, and that basically my body doesn’t know yet what to do with this extra hormone that’s floating around.  Once I’ve been taking it for a while longer, my body will get used to it.  So, I’m hoping these headaches go away soon because this shit is seriously painful.  I have noticed my appetite decrease, so I’m hoping that the numbers on the scale will start to go down.  I guess we’ll see how it goes.

5 Years Old

Dear Henry,

I always love this time of year.  Your dad and I are inundated with photos of you from when you were a baby, through last year when you became a brother.  It’s amazing to watch you grow and compare you from one year to the next.  Every year I look back and think to myself how amazing you are, and you really and truly are amazing.


This past year you started school at The Burlington School in their PreK program, and you loved every moment of it.  There wasn’t a single day when you didn’t want to go to school.  You were motivated and raring to go every day, which made me beyond happy.   You’ll be going back to The Burlington School this year in their TK (transitional kindergarten) program.  I know that you’re excited to be in the same class as your best friend Amare, but you’re sad and a little scared because you have a new teacher.  I know that you’ll end up loving her as much as you love your PreK teacher.


We’ve spent the summer going to the Aquatic Center here in Burlington.  You love to go and play in the water.  You’re a little intimidated from it all, and I really want to get you some swimming lessons so that you’ll be super confident in the water.  You love playing with me and your dad in the water, and we love being in there with you!


Your birthday party was at the Splash Park this year, and you shared the party with your brother.  I made you a chocolate cake, with chocolate frosting, and a Superman logo on it, per your request.  We invited your entire class to your party, and it felt like most of them showed up!  You were running around, playing with friends, trying to put ice water in your water gun to shoot at your dad (which was incredibly funny).  It warms my heart to see you have such a great time!


For your actual birthday, I took your to Chuck E. Cheese’s, which is where you were dying to go!  So, you and I went, and we played all of the games until we ran out of tokens, and then you took your tickets and bought some candy and a few other trinkets.  You and I had a marvelous time!  After the games, I took you to the Cheesecake Factory for lunch.  I had a wonderful time hanging out and talking with you.


The only downside to the year has been that I believe you’re developing some anxiety.  You seem to constantly worry about things that are out of your control.  You worry about car accidents, and robbers coming into the house.  You worry about being separated from your family or things changing.  Sometimes it gets so severe that I worry about you, and starting thinking that I might need to find a child psychologist to work with you.  For now, I’m keeping an eye on things, but if it gets much worse, we’ll seek professional help for you.


Henry, you are such a sweet child.  You’re continually curious, wanting to know and learn more and more.  You’re as silly as can be, and no one can make me laugh like you do!  I also find that you’re the most loving child imaginable.  You tell me 50 thousand times a day that you love me.  Whenever you go and spend the night at your grandparent’s house, or your Uncle and Aunt’s house you tell them 50 thousand times that you love me and that you miss me.  It warms my heart that I’m in your thoughts so much, because you certainly are in mine.


You light up my life and you always have.  I will love you forever and always, no matter what.  You are my child, you are linked to me and I always want what’s best for you and what will make you happy.


Keep growing, loving and learning.  I love you,

Momma

Month 12/ Year One

Dear Benjamin,

You are now a year old!  I seriously feel like I just wrote your 6 month letter, and I can’t believe that you just had your birthday.  You turned one on June 19, but on the 18th, I found myself super emotional, to the point of tearing up several times.  I just kept thinking that, a year ago on the 18th I was in labor with you.  I started having regular, but FAR apart contractions around 4:00 in the afternoon.  I realized that I was in fact in labor at about 10:00 pm.  We got to the hospital around 2:00 in the morning and I was 8 cm dilated.  You were then born at 4:23 in the morning, in a tub of warm water.


You are talking and babbling all the time right now!  You can say:

  • mama
  • dada
  • stop (dop)
  • no
  • night night (nye nye)
  • cat (tat)
  • hello/hi

You are starting to really use the baby sign language.  You can sign:

  • milk (although, we think you do this for “food”)
  • all done (but you don’t do this that regularly
  • water

We’re working on a few others, and I’m sure that you’ll pick those up soon as well.


You’re doing so well in your PT!  So well in fact that they’ve dropped you down to just twice a month, instead of once a week.  You’re crawling, and cruising, and getting into everything that you can possibly try and get into.  Right now you love to take the sheet trays out of the cabinet, and push them around on the kitchen floor.


You absolutely love the pool!  We got a membership there for the summer, and you love to cruise around the edge of the pool, and you’re pretty fast too!  You’ll also crawl up and down the ramp into the pool, and we have to really watch you because you’ll crawl until you’re almost under water – you just don’t seem to know when to stop.


You are also really trying to be more and more independent.  You want to do things yourself and you don’t want anyone or anything to stand in your way.  For example: you’re trying to put your food on a fork and feed yourself with it.  It’s adorable to watch you pick a piece of food and place it on your fork, and then try to turn and maneuver your fork into your mouth.  The down side to your newfound independent streak is that it also applies to you wanting to crawling into the dishwasher; to pulling the childproof plugs out of outlets; to chewing and pulling on electrical cords….and when we try to get you away from those things, your temper checks in.   And you have a TEMPER.  When you get upset or angry you scream, cry, throw things, collapse on the floor and kick and your legs….you have perfected the 2 year old tantrum a year early….


You’re still nursing!  We’re down to just three times a day.  Once before I go to work, when I get home from work, and at bedtime.  You still love it, and ask for it all the time.  You’ll pull at my shirt, or stand in front of me and sign for milk.  I don’t want to say no to you, so any time you want to nurse, I will cuddle you and nurse you.


I’m not sure if I mentioned before, but you LOVE to dance!  If music comes on, you start moving to it.  You’ll bounce in place to the beat, clap your hands, twist side to side, throw your hands in the air (like you just don’t care).  It’s adorable.  I hope you keep it up!


You and your brother had a joint birthday party this year at the Splash Park.  It was amazing!  You had such a great time playing in the water and watching all the big kids run around.  You were crawling all through the splash pad, and getting soaked, and you were loving every moment of it.  I made a cake for you, and a separate one for Henry.  Yours was a chocolate cake with strawberry buttercream frosting and a batman logo on the cake.  You loved that cake, and happily gobbled up your dessert as fast as you could.


This past year has been amazing!  It really and truly has.  I cannot believe how fast it has gone by, and how much you have grown and changed.  You are an incredible boy.  You bring so much joy and laughter into my life.  I’m trying to soak up every moment and savor everything that I can.  You make me laugh and smile every day.  You warm my heart, and have taught me how to be a better mother.  I love you with all of my being, and I always will.


Keep growing, and dancing!

Love,

Momma

Europe Trip From Hell

I know that I need to write Benjamin’s one year letter, and Henry’s five year letter, but I just can’t bring myself to do it at the moment.  There are too many other conflicting emotions swirling in my head for me to bring the concentration and sincerity to those letters.

Two years ago J was asked to be a conductor on a European band trip.  He told me that it was a 10 day trip, 100% paid for.  So, two years ago, before we had two kids, I agreed to J going on this trip.  I’d semi forgotten about it in the mean time, and then it popped up again in January.
So, J and I start to prepare for this trip, and we came to discover that it does indeed cost us money.  Only two meals a day are paid for – you are responsible for your own dinner…
Then J had to renew his passport (should have been a given, but I didn’t think about it at the time).
The night before he left, he dropped a bomb that he need a check for $125 (he knew this for a few days, but “forgot” to tell me).
Beyond paying for a trip that we don’t have the money for (literally, we have no extra money right now and are having to skrimp and pinch pennies so he can go), the thing that really bothers me is that I found out it wasn’t a 10 day trip about 6 weeks ago.  J never told me, I don’t think he had the balls for it.  Instead, he just put the days into the calendar, and left it at that.  I discovered how many days the trip was when I went to the calendar and was counting up the days, because it looked wrong to me.  When I confronted him about it, he told me that he put the information in our shared calendar, and doesn’t feel like he was deceptive.  I call bullshit.
This went from a 10 day trip, to an 18 day trip.  8 more fucking days that just appeared out of nowhere.  He left at 6:00 am on June 23 (Henry’s birthday), and comes back on the middle of the night on July 10.
I feel deceived and lied to.  I feel like my husband didn’t have the balls to tell me that the initial information he received was wrong and the trip was a lot longer than either of us anticipated.  He didn’t have the courage to tell me that this is going to cost us hundreds of dollars.  Every bit of misinformation that came up, he waited until the very last minute to tell me about for fear of my reaction.  This all makes me sound like I’m an angry shrewish bitch, but I’m really not.  I just want to know all the facts upfront so I can prepare myself, and our bank account.
Anothe thing that really bothers me is that he keeps calling this a “work trip.”  This trip has nothing to do with work.  “Work” implies that he’s getting paid for it,  because you know…work.  Instead he’s a glorified chaperone, on a European trip.  Yes, he has some responsibilities while over there, keeping track of a few 17 year olds, and managing instruments, and conducting 2 pieces on a concert every so often.  But, that’s about it.  He’s a fucking chaperone.
This whole trip grates on my nerves.  Everything about it now makes me angry.  I wish he would have told me things as they came in.  I wish that he would have showed that he was as upset with these changes as I was.  That way we could have commiserated about this fucking trip together, instead of me being angry and hurt, and him excited to leave his family for nearly 3 weeks.
So, now I’m having to learn to do everything myself, when I’m used to having a partner.  I have little help, and all the responsibility, while he’s off exploring 8-10 countries.  There are at least 6 times a day when I want to cry.  And, on top of everything, I’m not sleeping at night.  I’m having a lot of time to think about how upset I am.  I almost want to unfollow him on snapchat so that I don’t have to look at him having a great time, while I’m struggling to put dinner on the table at home.

Breastfeeding Judgement

Over Memorial Day weekend, we went to my in-laws for dinner and to hang out with family.  Our original plan was to hang out there during the day and then for the boys to spend the night there, and for J and I to have some nice adult time together that evening.

In all of our haste to get out the door on time, we forgot to pack the cooler of breast milk for Benjamin.  So, J ended up driving 45 minutes home to pack it up, and then driving 45 minutes back to his parent’s house.  When we realized we forgot it, several people tried to tell us that Benjamin didn’t need it, and we shouldn’t worry about.  J and I ignored those comments, and J headed home to get the milk.

During the time that he was gone I was asked by 5 different people (mother-in-law, father-in-law, paternal grandfather and grandmother in-law, maternal grandmother-in-law) how long I was going to breastfeed Benjamin.  Each time, I gave the same answer: “well, I nursed Henry until he was two, so I think I’ll try to do the same thing for Ben.”  Each time I’d get a “harrumph” in response.

A little while later, while J was still gone, I overheard my FIL, and GFIL talking about how it’s wrong of me to continue to breastfeed my son this long.  That it’s gross, that I should get over myself and just stop.  That I’m doing it more for me than for my son.   They even went so far to say that I was having a “junior moment,” whatever that means.  Best I can tell, I think they meant that my arrogance and shortsightedness are getting in the way of me seeing what the “right” choice is.  They were talking about me and my choices across the table from me, and never once thought to include me in the discussion.  I knew that if I piped in, that it would only end up in an argument.  But as I sat there, feeling ostracized and judged, I seriously thought about packing both my boys up and leaving.  If J and the car had been there, I might have.

I comprehend that they don’t understand my choice, but they damn well should respect it, and me.  I don’t understand why they can’t see how well Henry is doing, and how healthy and strong he is.  I’m not saying it’s all from breastfeeding, but I think it played a part.  Why can’t they see how well Benjamin is doing, and factor the same things in?  Why can’t they do a modicum of research to see that breastfeeding can make a difference in Crohn’s Disease, which runs rampant on that side of my family.  Why do they continue to judge me and find my decisions lacking?

Career Change

I’ve been contemplating a career change for a while now.  I love my current job, but the pay is ridiculous – as in your could not support yourself on it, and forget about supporting a family on it.

I feel like I want a unicorn when it comes to a job.  I want to still be able to spend a good deal of my time with my family, not have to take work home with me, and but also have a livable income….J and I are exhausted from living month to month.

One thing I’ve been thinking about it becoming a certified birth doula.  A doula is a woman who advocates and supports a woman during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum.

I had a doula for both of my births and I found her invaluable.  Not only was she helping me with different positions to labor in to help move my babies out, she was able to help J help me as well.  During Henry’s birth, since it was a LONG one, she and J were able to take turns doing things so that they could each be helpful to me and they didn’t reach the exhaustion point so soon.  She also has her own birthing pools that she rented out to us, so we didn’t have to worry about transporting and or buying one ourselves.  She knows so many of the hospital guidelines and will remind nurses/ midwives/ and OBs of them when they forget or try to skirt things. She makes sure all support staff adhere to birth wishes, and also help remind women of their birth wishes.`

There are doulas who also help with postpartum care, and will help do light cleaning, do cooking and laundry, so that all mom has to worry about is cuddling, bonding and feeding her baby.  I’m not immediately looking to work as a postpartum doula, but if I see a demand for it, I’ll eventually get certified for that as well.

I contacted my local YWCA, which has a doula training program.  In exchange for sending you to the certification classes, they require that you be a doula for 3 births for free for them.  These are usually teens or homeless woman that are going through the YWCA courses.  I’m currently waiting to hear back.

I’m hoping that eventually, I can make enough money doing this that it will be my full time job, and I can essentially go into business for myself.

Psoriasis???

A few weeks ago, I broke out in a rash on my stomach. It looked like a bunch of scabs: some teeny tiny, some as large as quarters. It didn’t itch, and wasn’t painful, it just looked bad.  
About a week or so after that, I got more scab like bumps on my arms, legs, chest and back. Again, they don’t itch, and don’t hurt…

These are on my forearm, but again much larger one on my stomach


I’ve been trying to self diagnose what they are, and as best I can tell, it’s psoriasis. I have a doctor appointment in about two weeks to check to be sure what it is exactly. If it is psoriasis, then that means I have an autoimmune disorder….and I’ll have to figure out what triggers it.


I have been reading that celiac disease is very common among people with psoriasis, and after doing a Whole 30 two years ago I noticed that I have a sensitivity to gluten and grains. So, I’m now really wondering about celiac or a gluten sensitivity as well.
Hopefully I’ll get some answers soon.