Tag Archives: colic

Mommy Lies: Speaking the Truth about Motherhood

29 Apr

When I was pregnant, I counted down the days to my maternity leave. I thought, “Three glorious months where I just get to focus on me and my family.” I had all these visions of taking naps with baby, going on picnics as a family, not speaking one word of work talk and just really reveling in this stay-at-home mommy mode.

Enter child. Reece had a different plan for us. Instead of spending time napping together, we spent time bouncing … and bouncing … and bouncing. Reece’s acid reflux meant he hated to lay down, screaming at the top of his little lungs when we changed his diaper or switched his clothes. So, the baby carrier became our best friend. I would literally wear Reece around the house for hours, bouncing and swaying every which way until he found comfort. I am now completely skilled at cooking dinner and folding laundry with a baby strapped to my front side.

Bouncing at a Baby Shower

Bouncing at a Baby Shower

And instead of going on picnics as a family, PoppaNut and I spent time driving around Tampa Bay together, getting Reece to settle down and take a much-needed nap. Sometimes, the car ride was the only way he would sleep. We’d let the road take us, sometimes to the beach, sometimes on an old country road, anything to put him to sleep. One afternoon, we drove to the Skyway Bridge and back, allowing the two of us to strategize our next plan of attack against the alien in the backseat.

Planning Our Attack

Planning Our Attack

People would ask how maternity leave was … “Don’t you just love not having to go to work?” they’d gush. Sometimes I would tell the truth … “this stay-at-home mommy thing is a lot harder than I thought! And my maternity leave is nothing like I thought it would be. We are in doctor’s offices all the time, I swear our baby hates us and all I talk about is poop and puke. HELP ME!” But people started to look at me crazy, and this is when I learned that all mommies lie to each other.

Well, most mommies lie to each other. I have some really close mommy friends who I can talk to, and I certainly tell PoppaNut the real truth! But I learned that most moms tell each other a whole host of lies about perfect children, blissful rest and spotless homes, and I was the oddball revealing the dirty truths of motherhood (at least for me). In fact, I started to think I shouldn’t go to certain things like baby showers. I mean, who am I to freak out a new mom with tales of acid reflux and colic? Shouldn’t I just play along?

And this is when I realized the true meaning behind, “The truth will set you free.” And it certainly did. My first moment of truth was over Long Island Iced Teas with PoppaNut. Maybe it was the liquor or maybe it was the warm breeze at the outdoor café, but I revealed my deepest, darkest secrets about motherhood and waited for PoppaNut to gasp in horror. I told him how hard it was, how I didn’t know what I was doing, how my maternity leave was never what I expected and so on. But instead of judgment, PoppaNut kissed me and told me he felt the same way. He grabbed my hand and reminded me we were team and we would get through it together.

Long Islands = Truth-Telling

Long Islands = Truth-Telling

And so the sharing continued. To new mommies and experienced mommies and everyone in between, I stopped sugar-coating it all. Now, I’m not staying I told only the bad parts; I just decided to tell the whole parts: the good, the bad, the ugly. I spoke MY truth, letting everyone take what pieces they wanted from my story and using it in their own life. And when I did speak that truth, I found that I made closer bonds with my friends, stronger connections with PoppaNut and found a new appreciation for the crazy land of motherhood. After all, there’s a ton of us going through the exact same thing at the exact same time.

I say those first few months helped me earn my motherhood stripes. And the memories of that time are starting to fade, and I’m left feeling a bit nostalgic of it all. Wow, we really did make it through it together and we are at the point where we can (almost) laugh at it all. And that’s life in a nutshell.

MommaNut

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Hell on Earth: Coping with Acid Reflux and Getting Insurance to Pay for Your Formula

14 Apr

I shared last week that my little one had terrible colic, acid reflux and milk-protein intolerance, which all started shortly after we brought him home from the hospital. He would scream all the time, for long stretches of time. PoppaNut and I were beyond frustrated — what could we do to help our little angel? He was clearly in a lot of pain and nothing we tried seemed to help.

I decided to think of Reece as my Rubik’s cube. “I will master you before my maternity leave is over,” I proclaimed, as I scoured the internet for hours each day. I’d make a list of products to try, products that other mothers were swearing by, and I’d head right to Walgreen’s.

We tried Colic Calm, Mylanta, gas drops, gripe water, fennel seeds … you get the idea. I’d hear a mention of something I hadn’t tried, and I’d run right to the store to buy it. With each purchase, I’d come home all excited to give a whirl. And I’d notice some relief, and the happy dance would start. Then, four hours later, I’d retire that product to my collection of “didn’t work after all” buys. We reached out to all of our friends who had similar experiences for sanity tips and home remedies, but we couldn’t quite figure out that right mix for Reece.

One of Our Many Trips to the Doctor's with Reece

One of Our Many Trips to the Doctor’s with Reece

We also played the formula rotation, trying to find that perfect mix. Reece was terrible during feedings, frantically moving his head from side to side in pain. His belly would rumble, and you could just tell this wasn’t working for him. So, we tried every formula known to man … again, excited each time we tried one, thinking we were closer to a solution, and then it would end in disappointment when the screaming would start again.

A very good friend said, “Once you figure out the right combination for him, this will all go away.” I’m no doctor, but that’s exactly what happened. Reece needed a combination of medication and specialized formula with gas drops, and he was a happy baby again! It didn’t happen before my maternity leave was over, but it was pretty darn close.

But, as you can guess, that specialized formula isn’t cheap. My insurance wouldn’t pay for the $45-a-can formula, and while I considering selling my non-vital organs to the black market for formula funds, I luckily found an alternative means. A found a blog that outlined the process — find a durable medical equipment supply company (DMEs) that carries your formula (ours was EleCare) and takes your insurance, and you’re golden.

Elecare

You’d think your insurance company would just give you a DME list, but why would they be that nice? I started Googling DMEs and my insurance company, and I found an excel spreadsheet. Then, I took to the phone lines, calling each one tirelessly. I finally found one, and I had Reece’s GI doctor submit a prescription … and just like that, they sent me out two cases of formula! When I got the call confirming my address, I jumped up and down like I won the lottery … and I did — at least the formula lottery!

I learned two really important things through all this. One, you are your own health-care advocate, and that’s true for your child as well. PoppaNut and I were told so many times that everything was fine with Reece but we knew there was something wrong. We had to keep pushing for answers until we got them. I encourage you to do the same when it comes to your health or your child’s health. Two, insurance doesn’t make it easy. You have to fight for it. I’m still talking to insurance about reimbursement for Reece’s medication, filled nearly five months ago. But I think they know now I won’t give up now!

And that’s life in a nutshell.

MommaNut

And Baby Makes Three: Welcoming Our Son

10 Apr

Since my last post, we’ve welcomed a beautiful son into our crazy nuthouse, making it all the more crazier each day but filled with more love than I ever thought possible.

Our Little One at 3 Weeks

Our Little One at 3 Weeks

Our knucklehead is five months old now, learning to roll and belly-giggling at nearly everything around … including Peanut and Cashew. And now that PoppaNut and I have found a good routine in parenthood, I’ve had some time to reflect on all of it. What would I tell my pregnant, swollen-feet wobbly self about what I’ve learned so far?

1. You might be scared of needles but you’ll love how you feel after the epidural, even after they hit a nerve in the process. You’ll play Words with Friends, sing to “Drop It Like It’s Hot” and even take a nap while you wait for your labor to progress.

2. You’ll be sad when you don’t get that “beautiful made-for-Facebook” photo of you, your hubby and your new son following an unexpected C-section. Have a good cry and move on. You’ll experience more love in those four hospital walls than you ever thought possible and that’s what matters. The photo your old high school friends see online doesn’t.

Mommy and Reece's First Photo

Mommy and Reece’s First Photo

3. Stop reading every baby book. It’s okay to not know what you’re doing. When your son is five months, you still won’t have a clue but you’ll be okay with it. You learn as you go. Instead of keeping your nose in a book, look up and live your life. Stare at his eyelashes and feel his breath on your chest. These are the moments you’ll miss later. Read when he sleeps.

4. Accept help. You are gonna need it. Don’t be too proud to say, “Can you come over and just hold my baby for a moment so I can shower?” My best friend Ashley gave me some great advice just days before Reece arrived: “When someone asks, just say yes. If they want to drop off food, just say yes. When they want to do your laundry, just say yes.” And so, you need to learn to say “yes” to help, followed by a huge “THANK YOU!”

5. Remember that your family started out as a twosome. You and PoppaNut are a team in all this, and remember to be a wife and not just Reece’s mother. You two have to master the craziness together! And you’ll be closer for it. And when he starts “Boys Breakfast” on Saturday mornings, which allows you to sleep in and have “alone” time, be sure to thank him. Not all husbands are as thoughtful!

Daddy and Reece, Snuggled Together at the Hospital

Daddy and Reece, Snuggled Together at the Hospital

6. You’ll have issues with your new body. You’ll want to have your old body back with those small little feet and skinny waistline. You’ll want to get in your old clothes as soon as you get home from the hospital, but they won’t fit. You’ll want to be scar-free, but you need to learn to wear that C-section scar with pride … along with the extra pounds for a little longer. Your body went through a lot and you have a beautiful son as proof. The weight will come off eventually, but give yourself time. Be understanding and compassionate with yourself.

7. When that sweet little boy goes to the dark side at three weeks old, crying for six hour stretches at a time and you can’t figure out why, know that you will get through it. You’ll want to rip your hair out, you’ll be beyond frustrated, you’ll give your baby to your hubby so you can go cry in the bathroom for five minutes, and you’ll wonder what you and PoppaNut were ever thinking when you decided to have a baby. This is NORMAL! And with the right formula and medicine, you’ll get Reece’s acid reflux and milk-protein intolerance under control. You will have a happy, healthy baby in the end!

You Will Look Back and Laugh at This

You Will Look Back and Laugh at This

8. You’ll worry a lot in the beginning if you are going to be a good mother. You’ve never been the type of woman who was dying to have a baby, so you wonder how you’ll do. But, Ms. Professional, you’ll actually love your title as “mother” most. You’ll love the way he wraps his small hand around your finger when you feed him a bottle, you’ll cherish the way he smiles when he sees you across the room, you’ll run to his room to get him his “lambie” when he starts to cry, and you’ll cherish saying prayers together each night. And when you see your husband hold your son, your heart will break with overwhelming love. So, stop worrying. You’ll get the hang of it.

9. You’ll forget a lot. No one told you how hard those first few months would be … or maybe you didn’t listen. The first month, you’ll say “how could anyone ever have another baby?? This is ridiculous!!” But your memory will start to fade, and you’ll start boxing up those cute newborn outfits and you’ll realize the time as already flown by. The hours of endless crying have stopped and your home will be blissfully wonderful with your new addition.

Our Happy Baby

Our Happy Baby

10. You’re joining a club! You won’t think of it that way at first, but once you start needing help with recommendations or tips, you’ll find a whole community of mothers out there ready to give your advice. Find those people who you can be completely honest with and confide in them. Accept the advice that makes sense to you and pass on those tidbits that don’t work for your family. You’ll know what right for you three. You’ll feel judged at times, but you’ll learn to brush it off. You’ll also learn that your “say it like it is” mentality spills over to motherhood … and you’ll speak your mind whether people like it or not. And you’ve decided that an admirable quality!

And that’s life in a nutshell … motherhood isn’t exactly as I expected … it’s better!

MommaNut

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