Archive for September, 2009

Provigil going generic and the ensuing push for Nuvigil
September 27, 2009

I’ve been curious to why  Cephalon has been so eager to get people switched onto Nuvigil.  It hasn’t been out long–just since June–so I haven’t really gotten a good feel for what people think about it, although it does seem to work longer (being a delayed release pill) and with less depressive side effects.

But Provigil’s patent will be up soon, so Cephalon is trying to avoid the generic-hurt by getting most their users on Nuvigil.  Interesting.

But mostly, I’m psyched.  Provigil going generic means good things for my checking account.

Thank you
September 20, 2009

Thank you all so much for your kind words and support.  I know that this transition would be impossible without you all.  I’m now in a place where I can occasionally see bits of good things about weaning.  No more worrying about supply!  No more pumping!  Pretty bras!  But I’m still grieving some for our nursing relationship.  Maybe I’m just a clingy mom or maybe it’s the oxytocin withdrawl, but when I realized that I had only nursed Noah once today, I started crying a little bit.  Luckily, my husband was right there to rub my shoulders and remind me that Noah will love me, booby or no booby.

Noah has been dealing with this significantly better.  Today, he guzzled almost twenty ounces of the cream top organic whole milk, and when we were nursing and the bottle was on the bed next to us, he actually pulled off, crawled out of my lap, and grabbed the bottle.  So he doesn’t really seem to notice that much has changed.  Who knows?  Maybe he would have self-weaned in a few months anyways.

In the meantime, thinking positive thoughts.  No more leaking!  Limitless caffeine!  Pretty bras!

My Heart is Breaking…
September 13, 2009

I have a friend who posted a blog with the same name.  I can’t even remember what it was about now, only that as soon as I read the title, my heart broke along with hers.  Something about the present tense, maybe, or the ellipses, but it made the pain seem so much more lingering, something that was ongoing and wouldn’t heal for a long time.

I am going to give you a little scene.  My son and I are at our doctor’s, waiting for him to get his ears checked (he had an ear infection a few weeks ago.)  I sit down with him on the floor, pull out a toy from his diaper bag and begin playing with him.  I feel so tired and exhausted and I start running the nap-numbers like I always do: just one more hour until his nap, then I’ll nap with him and he’ll probably nap for a good two hours this afternoon since his morning nap was short and I wonder if I turn the AC down if he’ll sleep longer—

I jerk awake.  I don’t know how long I’ve been asleep, but Noah has crawled out of the empty waiting area and is gleefully crawling toward the patient’s rooms.  I run to scoop him up as my cheeks blush in shame.  What kind of mother am I?  What if this had happened and a kidnapper was in the room?  What if this had happened outside and he’d crawled into the street?  What if–?  What if–?

I wish I could say this is the first time something like this has happened.  But it’s not.  I routinely wake from a nap to find Noah crawling back onto the bed after God knows what adventures around the bedroom.  The last month, I’ve had some trouble carrying him because I’ve felt so physically weak.  Some days, I just lay on the floor and let him climb on me like a jungle gym, because I’m too tired to sit up.

And the worst-case scenario has finally happened.  I’ve fallen asleep while driving and woken up in a wrecked car.

I believe in God, but, like most humans, I am a pretty selfish person and most of my prayers revolve around things I want.  I ask for things.  Lots of things.  Sometimes they are good things, like please help people in Africa find clean water and please stop those awful people killing dolphins in The Cove.  Sometimes they are things I know God won’t answer with anything but a headshake–could you please stop ACOG from needlessly slandering homebirth, midwives and evidence-based medical care?  Could you please tell Kings of Leon that they’ve hurt our ears enough with Anthony Followill’s voice?

But after my wreck, my prayers have constantly been

Thank you

Thank you

Thank you

Because what if Noah had been in there with me?  What if, instead of a country ditch, I hit another person, another car, a child?  I’ve transformed into a sleepy girl into a near-murderer. 

Whenever I think of Noah being in the car when I doze off behind the wheel, I already hate myself.  I can already see myself at his bedside in the hospital, trying to explain to doctors why I was driving without medicine during the morning, which I’ve known for years to be my weakest part of the day.  I can’t forgive myself for the things that I could have done.

I tell you all this story so I can tell you this story: I have decided (with the help of my doctor) to try some medicine to manage my disorder.  This medicine is an L 4 rating, which means it is risky to use while breast-feeding.  This means that I must wean Noah after a year of nursing.

What can I say, other than my heart is breaking?  The doctor handed me the precription, I carried Noah out to the car and cried in the parking lot.  I’m not ready.  He’s not ready.  Nursing was one of the biggest challenges of my life, something that I fought tooth and nail for, and now I have to stop for this thing, this mutation in my DNA.  I picture my hypocretin-producing neurons taking naps in my brain, stumbling around drunk, and I want to hit them, bruise them until they wake up and do their job.

I cried off and on for the rest of the day, and made everyone around me miserable by being a maudlin mope-head.  When Noah nurses, I cradle the back of his head and twirl the little curls at the nape of his neck, asking myself if I can give it up. 

When you’re pregnant, this little being hijacks your life utterly.  No booze, no sushi, no sex (for me with Placenta Previa.)  After a while, you get used to it.  Even though you’re sweaty and fat and swollen and exhausted, it’s okay because they’re right there with you, swirling around in your womb, sleepy and content. 

You belong to each other as much as two human beings can belong to each other.

And when they’re born—it’s this intense magic.  They still need you almost just as much.  Those early days of cradling Noah to my skin, snuggling in the glider while he nursed for hours on end—they were delirium.  For the first time, I felt the fierce animal-feeling of protecting and nourishing my little nursling.  That love is so unreal and unlike anything words can relay.  Suffice it to say, that to me, mothering and nursing were and are very tied together.  It is millions of years of evolution that shouldn’t be denied.  And it is this intensely spiritual thing that has brought my entire family closer to God.

It must end now.  In my heart of hearts, I’m terrified that it will alter mine and Noah’s relationship somehow.  That suddenly I’ll just shrink into an ordinary woman, and he won’t be as securely attatched, and I’ll just be another lady who watches him, like Grammy or Aunt Ashley.  I know that A Mother Is Not Just a Breast, and every generation since the Twenties has managed just fine with mother-baby bonding on a non-breastfeedng basis, but I still can’t banish these fears.  I’ve never been a mother without breast-feeding.  Logically, I know it will be fine, and that a year is a damn good run for breast-feeding in our culture.  I also know that it might be a rough month, but that he won’t really miss it that much.  He’s too busy crawling, rolling, giggling, chasing, babbling to notice if he misses a feeding even now.  The fact that I’ll be in this mire of emotional pain while he’ll be occupied with other things make’s me a little sad.  He’s so grown up 😦

But what is parenting but watching your child need you less and less?  And while they thrill in the newfound independence, you are left holding the slack end of the tether, wondering how it flew by so fast.  How you finally managed to rearrange your identity and your Google calendar around the little guy, but they are running, not walking, down the road to separate from you.

What can I say other than my heart is breaking?

It’s been a while
September 8, 2009

But I’m finding out how hard it is to be back in school full time.  And then I went on vacation, and came back to the usual pile of work that awaits one after a vacation.  And of course, there is work with all of its workiness.

I’ve also been wrestling with Big Decisions.  Namely, when to wean my son.  In a few weeks, he’ll be a year old (I can’t believe it,) which is an age that I feel theoretically comfortable with weaning.  I commute on the highway anywhere from two to four hours a day, and I really feel that it’s time that I consider some medicine to keep me going.  A year of breast-feeding is amazing, considering mine and Noah’s rough start at it, and I’m so happy that I’ve been able to give him the superior nutrition and comfort for this long.

It seems so clear cut on the screen.  A year old is when many women who are still nursing wean, it is the age range given by the AAP, and I need medicine.

But the thought of losing those sweet nap-times, where he nurses to sleep and I doze off patting his bottom; of the random, upside-down puppy-style feedings on the living room floor; of the calming cuddles after a scary fall or loud noise…

What can I do?  End this sweet, sweet time before I’m ready?  Or continue to play the odds that I won’t catastrophically crash my car and cause serious injury to myself or a stranger?  Or my baby?

Reading this post over, the answer seems simple once again.  Why would I risk even the smallest chance of harm to my precious Noah?  But when I’m nursing him, snuggled in bed, with his large hazel eyes blinking up at me, the danger seems so remote, unlikely.  The next few weeks are arranged so I don’t have to make a decision right away.  Fingers crossed that the doctor will have some answers.