Monday, May 14, 2012

Pump free, and other business

I'm not sure how much I've said here up until now... I haven't been keeping a good blog, I guess, because I think of a lot of things to write about but then I just don't, or I don't remember. Oops! There are a few things to catch you up on!

Over the last couple of weeks, I've been ramping down (is that a phrase? I know you can ramp something up...) my pumping sessions at work. I went from 3 a day (for over a year), to 2, to 1... and this week? I'm at none. I was all excited when I walked out of the house this morning without my pump (and on Friday, when I washed all the pump parts and got them ready to be finally put away, probably forever), but then I walked past the lactation room on my way to the restroom, and I totally started to cry.

What the hell was that all about? I know that the timing is right, I know that my milk will not necessarily just "dry up," I know that I can continue to breastfeed at night and on the weekends and that lots of people do that just fine and that I can probably still meet my self-imposed 2 year goal, I know that I am a good mother, and that lots of people don't make it this long (not to make it sound like I think that people who don't breastfeed or pump at work are not good mothers! Not at all!)... but wow, it hit me surprisingly hard. I can tell this is going to be a long day. I didn't want to cry every time I passed by the restroom. Because that would be weird.

And then... I didn't write about this when it happened because I was freaked out about it for a long time. Only a couple of people know about it, actually. This is a long story, so I suggest you get comfortable.

On Thursday, May 3rd, I got home from flute choir a little later than usual. Patrick was in Jules' room, sitting in the chair, holding him. We just started this month getting him to sleep all night (or as much as possible) in his crib, but Patrick likes to hold him and rock him to sleep when I'm not home. I rushed in to take over: this quarter for flute choir, I haven't been able to leave work early so on Thursdays, I'm back to going to Culver City straight from work. It's a long day, and I miss my boy. When I picked him up, I could feel that he was really hot, so I removed the blanket Patrick had him snuggled up in, and sat down to feed him.

He was still pretty hot, so I took his temperature: 101.5. I took off his clothes and fed him in his diaper only. We gave him a little Tylenol, but it was late, I was tired, and I couldn't remember if I should give him one dropper-ful, or if he had graduated to 2, so I just gave him 1. Then he fell back asleep and we took him to bed with us. I checked his temperature every hour or so and it went down a little. It was 100.5, 100.3 at various times during the night, and I thought, well, that's high, but not super high... I didn't sleep that much.

At 2 he woke up, and I fed him again. His temp was still around 100. Patrick took him to the other room to rock him to sleep, and so I could get some sleep, too.

At 4, Patrick came back into the bedroom, and woke me up. He said that Jules was "staring" and he couldn't snap him out of it. I woke up right away, and said, "What do you mean, staring?" He was holding him and I could see that he was just sort of blankly staring, eyes wide, body kind of limp. He was still hot, at about 100.5. Patrick said he'd been like that for about 5 minutes. He sounded scared. Jules was also kind of breathing funny - I don't really know how to describe it. It was like a tiny hiccup.

I didn't know what to do, so I got a damp washcloth and wiped his face. I took off his little t-shirt. I held him myself. About 30 seconds or maybe a minute passed of us watching him, and then I said, "I think this is a seizure. I'm calling 911."

We didn't discuss it: I made the decision.

The 911 operator was awesome. She told me lay him down, and stop holding him. I put him on the couch, and in a few minutes, I felt him relax a little, and then he woke up, rolled over onto his tummy with his butt in the air, and he fell asleep. The paramedics got to our house in about 6 minutes. By now Jules was sleeping normally, and seemed comfy as can be on the couch. They checked him out and said that everything seemed to be fine. They asked if we wanted to go to the hospital, and I said no. He had an appointment with his pediatrician at 9:15 for his 15 month checkup - by this point, that was only 5 hours away. We gave him some more Tylenol and took him back to bed with us. Patrick seemed to fall asleep, but I didn't, not for a while.

At 6:30, Jules woke me up as usual, by climbing all over me. He was perfectly normal, his usual happy self in the morning, laughing and playing. Patrick was getting ready for work. We were both exhausted. I fed him, and we got up to eat some breakfast and get ready for the doctor. He was a little whinier than usual but he didn't have much of a fever (about 99), and I let him pretty much do whatever he wanted: play, eat, whatever. By 8:30 we left for Kaiser.

Once there, I told the nurse all about our night; I thought that might get the doctor in to see us quicker, but it didn't, really. Once she finally came to see us and I told her my story, she was great. I didn't cry when it was happening but after she told me that these types of seizures are mostly harmless and very common, I kind of lost it. She was so nice, and told me that though in the future, we will have to be very careful when he gets a fever, most likely he will suffer no consequences. We did all the right things, and obviously he was fine now. She said that he was developing great, and was clearly a healthy, happy boy. And I cried through all of this. She instructed me to continue giving him Tylenol every 4 hours for 2 days (2 droppers!), and to keep an eye on his temperature. If he still had a fever on Monday, I was to call right away. She said she saw no signs of any infection or other problems. I wondered if maybe he was teething, but she wasn't sure.

I didn't want my parents to worry, and I had a date with some friends that night (my sister was going to babysit), so I decided to keep my plans. I felt a little weird about it... Patrick's band had a gig that night and I hate to be home all day and night by myself, so I told my mom that Jules was a little sick, and headed up to Culver City anyway. He seemed to enjoy his visit, and when my sister got home, I told her what had happened. The timing was perfect: I gave him his Tylenol before I had to leave to meet my friends. I checked in with her while I was gone, and she said he was acting as he always does: playing with her and my parents, having a fun night. He was just a little hotter than usual.

It was good for me to go out, and I think too, that letting my sister take care of him that night was a good idea. He has so much fun with her.

We kept up all the Tylenol, and he was a pretty good sport about taking it. By 7 p.m. on Saturday night, he was totally fever free.

It's been a couple of weeks since then, and we're not exactly sure what caused the fever. I don't see any new teeth... and he's been fine. I check his temperature all the time, though.

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