Thursday, December 04, 2008

What? Oh, hullo!

November has come and gone and I have barely blogged at all. Happy December!

There were many moments I blogged in my head last month. Two that stand out...

Watching Barack Obama win the presidential election, and weeping with relief and excitement and joy during his acceptance speech. Tinged with the Sad that neither of my grandfathers is alive to see such a momentous event.
Taking the baby to her first pediatrician's appointment, to a pediatrician I had only spoken with over the phone, and realizing once we got there that the practice primarily serves patients on government assistance. The office was tiny, and shabby, and crammed, and although I had an appointment I was on time for, I was told there were 4 sick walk-in kids ahead of us, one of whom was hanging with her germy little hands all over our stroller, with the baby just inches away. "Are you okay with this?" Sweet Dub said in an undertone. I went up to the receptionist and explained that we just brought the baby out of the NICU and that she'd had respiratory difficulty, and perhaps being around a bunch of sick kids was not the best option. And then, a few minutes later after we'd ducked out of there: "What were you thinking?" Dub said, laughing at me and shaking his head.

"I wanted a pediatrician that was closer to our lives right now," I said. "For the baby, I'm going to have to take her to the doctor every month. Dr. S. [Viva's doctor] is so far away, it's a shlep to get over there and back. This doctor is just a few minutes away from work, from Viva's school -- "

"I get it, I get it," he said. "But seriously, you know how we are. We are total snobs. Admit it."

"Okay," I said, laughing. "But I figured people over on this side are also going to demand good-quality health care. There are some well-to-do folks over here. We can't be the only snobs."

"Well, they sure ain't bringing their babies here. GET THEE BACK TO BEVERLY HILLS," Sweet Dub intoned. "Shit, you must be crazy bringing our baby to a clinic. That was basically a clinic. What the hell do I pay for health insurance for? To sit and wait for hours in a clinic?"

Fortunately, we were able to get a rare Saturday appointment with Viva's doctor, and that was all she wrote. Her office is clean and pleasant and uncrammed, and the staff always greet us by name before we even sign in. I guess I'm stuck shlepping to Beverly Hills for the foreseeable future. I am resigned to being a healthcare snob.
In other news, not crazy about the baby's pseudonym (Clu) here. Viva calls the baby/spells her name Cily, so I think I'll switch to that.

Whatever her name is, she is causing some strife around here. I used to call Viva the velociraptor because she had a particularly deadly screech. Cily has been dubbed T-Rex because she is so tyrannical. She does not want to be put down, ever, and she screams like tigers are eating her if you dare to try and give your arms a rest. The sling, the swing, the bouncy seat -- none are acceptable. She also screams for hours in the evening, usually about 5 pm to 7 or 8, takes a break to sleep for a few hours, with a feeding at about 9, and then is up anytime after midnight for at least an hour and a half. Last night she was up from 2:30 to 3:30, then up again at 4:15, and again at 5:15. It is this second, early morning spate of waking and fussing that is breaking me, since Sweet Dub leaves for work at 6:45. He wakes Viva up at 6:30 to ensure that she is up before he leaves. This means that pretty much right after I have fallen back to sleep, I have to get up, get dressed, pack lunch and get Viva off to school, all while trying to keep Cily from blowing a fuse.

"It seems like whenever she is awake, she is not happy," Sweet Dub says. "What are we going to do?!" Out of desperation, yesterday I Googled everything I could find on inconsolable crying in newborns. While it seems Cily does not quite meet the definition for colic, we are evidently not the only parents who have this issue. I found numerous testimonials on a message board that gripe water is a miracle cure, so yesterday I bundled up my screaming meemie and went to my local Albertson's market...and they didn't carry it. Back in the car and on to the local Rite-Aid, which was teeming with a uniquely Angeleno mix of urban hipsters in nerd glasses and pajama pants buying Powerade and poinsettias, Catholic schoolgirls just getting out of school and swarming the magazine section, and tattooed cholas buying Lays Limon potato chips, tampons, and gum. I secured some gripe water and, with Cily refusing all comfort in the back seat, zoomed back home.

Verdict: it kind of works. I gave her less than half a full dose in the afternoon, but made the mistake of giving her a full dose at 11:00 pm, and then didn't want to overdose her by giving it to her at 2:30 am, so I had to suffer the early-morning angst. I won't make that mistake again.

One for the baby book: in the rare quiet moments when Cily is not screaming (before a butterfly flaps its wings in Singapore and disrupts her equilibrium), she does actually occasionally smile at me when I talk to her. She is also beginning to play. Yesterday after the gripe water half-dose, I laid her on a large pillow on the floor and pushed a Tigger car over near where she could see it. She shot her arm out and pushed the car toward her, over and over, and once she got bored with that, she practiced pushing it away. When I told her how fantastic she was, she smiled and then got a determined look on her face and punched the car. My little T-Rex.

Right now she is cuddled on my lap and is at peace. Ah, sweet sweet quiet. Perhaps I can get in some online Christmas shopping...


Cee in SF said...

Cily is a great name! It's great to hear from you. Send my best to the fam.

bridget in oregon said...

Loved the "butterfly in Singapore" line. Ah, I remember those days well. Hang in there.

PS We used to call my oldest a Pteradactyal because of the colicy wailing she emitted.

Mango Mama said...

Our midwife recommended a Nuk when I exhaustedly mentioned Olivia's screaming sessions and although we didn't want to use a pacifier her reasoning convinced us to give it a try. It worked like a charm.

The midwife explained that the baby is working through getting all of her senses under control. Up until this time, the baby's experiences have been muted by the womb and the transition can be overwhelming for the baby. The suckling on the Nuk allows the baby to focus and exert control on one thing. Again, I don't know if this info is scientific, but it worked wonders with both our children and both had no need for the Nuk after a few months (because we were worried about dependency).

I will admit that during the time we used the the Nuks, we wouldn't allow ourselves to be caught without one. We had them stashed in pillowcases, in my pocketbook, in the car... everywhere.

Take good care.

Lisa Blah Blah said...

Hi Cee! I hear you're off to Mexico. Wish I could join you!

Bridget: Oh, yes. It's really a primal screech, isn't it?!

Mango: We have been using a Soothie pacifier, and sometimes it works and sometimes it don't. But yeah, one time I had stashed 2 in the car and 1 in the diaper bag, 1 in the stroller, 2 in the sling -- and I couldn't find 1 in the whole house. I thought I would lose my mind! Your midwife's explanation makes lot of sense. I never wanted to use one either, and Viva would never ever use one. Funny how each kid is different...