Growing a Critter

We’re growing him on the outside now

Pumping July 21, 2008

Filed under: body weirdness,profession,travel — crittermama @ 9:02 pm

Finally! Someone else out there can hear their breast pump talking to them! I came across the following story earlier today: My breast pump talks to me (

I have heard mine “say” several different things. The most common is “little man little man little man.” First it was pretty creepy, but I came to think of it as a reminder about my baby boy. I’ve also heard it say “over here over here.” Other commenters have heard their pumps saying “wake up wake up” and “kill Bob kill Bob.” So in comparison, mine’s not too bad.

Also not bad was the fact that the Chattanooga Trade & Convention Center appropriated a room for me to pump in during the Society for Conservation Biology conference! It was a glorified closet, but it had a lock on the door, chairs and a sink! I’m very grateful. Here’s the sign that someone put on the outside of the door.

Pumping room at SCB

Ok, so it was maybe not the most subtle sign ever, but still!

I pumped twice a day during the conference, and I plan to do the same this week. For the next two weeks, I’ll pump once a day. My first day of no pumping at work will be August 8th. Happy Birthday to me. I’ll keep breastfeeding the critter morning and evening for a while, but the end of our time is coming. It’s kind of sad, but it’s time. Wish us luck!


You say it’s fine, but really its snot February 22, 2008

Filed under: body weirdness,health — crittermama @ 6:36 pm
Tags: , , ,

A friend and neighbor was checking in with me on how we were all recovering from the icky sickie week we’ve had, and she asked the following question “How’s the mucus factor going at casa de Bailey Eubanks?”

Herewith, my reply:

The mucous around here is THREAT LEVEL SNOTTY. Not as high as it was last weekend (THREAT LEVEL OHMYGOD), nor as much as earlier this week (THREAT LEVEL GEEZEELPETE) but still significant. When you can blow bubbles with your snot, that’s an issue. I’m counting the days until the little guy can blow his nose!

Also, rectal thermometers? Not as scary as you might think. He barely notices. But [I initially wrote “butt” – hee!] the story of our inability to find a single functioning thermometer is epic as well as pricey. The winner was a $5 piece of digital crap that we picked up at the Grocery Store/Co-op. Of course.


Merry Christmas! Have food poisoning! December 19, 2007

Filed under: body weirdness,family,health,holidays — crittermama @ 10:59 pm

Several years ago, a friend and colleague gave me a pair of socks for Christmas, and the tag read, “Merry Christmas! Have socks!” And I still say that every time I pull on a pair of Christmas-themed socks. (Yes, I have more than one pair.) And I’ll maintain for a long time that getting a pair of socks for Christmas is sooooo much better than the case of food poisoning that the deli around the corner gave me on Monday.

In my quest to find a lunch place that I could trust not to put unwanted dairy products into my food, I visited a couple of local delis and such around my office. I wanted to read the labels on the bread, since some bread does have dairy added to it. The first place had no labels on the bread (no labels?!? what’s that all about?!?) and the only writing on the tortilla packages was instructions on how to fold a tortilla. So I moved on to the deli in the liquor store behind my building. They let me read labels on the bread and, triumphant, I ordered a turkey club sandwich.

I will NEVER eat there again. Around 5:00 or so, I started to feel a little funny. I cooked dinner, but couldn’t bring myself to eat any of it, and lay down on the couch to rest while Dave took care of the Critter and put him to bed. I started to vomit around 9:00, and it just kept coming. I’ve never barfed so much in my life, even with morning sickness, even with hangovers, even with migranes. It was at least every 45 minutes for the next 12 hours. I had nothing in me and couldn’t keep anything down at all. I could feel the fluid leaving my body as I fed the Critter overnight, and I got really worried about being able to keep up my milk supply.

We called his pediatrician and my primary doctor, and they both told me to go to the ER to get some fluids if I couldn’t keep any fluids down within the next hour. After hanging up with doctor #2, I threw up immediately. Dave took the Critter to day care, and then we went to the ER. I only barfed once in triage, but it was bad: I was seeing bright lights and thought I would pass out. The upside is that I learned about the handy-dandy barf bags that hospitals have. It’s a plastic ring with a baggie attached to it. Portable and easy! Woot!

Another thing I learned: our closest hospital has three separate waiting areas before you actually get into the ER. In waiting room #3, I couldn’t sit any longer and just had to lay down on the floor. Several people passed by, worried about me, but it wasn’t until a very authoritative woman came by, and called the ER to get a place for me to lay down that I cared that I was laying on the floor. Turns out that she was the director of the ER. Nice timing!

Long story short (too late): I got 2.5 bags of saline, my BP was really low for a long time (sounds familiar), my blood tests came out ok, my urine tests came out ok (including the negative result on a pregnancy test, thank GOD), and an abdominal x-ray came out ok. I was released just in time for us to pick up the Critter from day care.

Since then, I’ve had a gallon of gatorade, a bunch of sprite, some chicken broth, and even a few pieces of bread. I got some good rest last night and felt much better today. Of course all of our Christmas prep is now two days behind and I’m worried about getting our gifts to family before Christmas day, but I’m able to walk, so it all works out in the end.

Yay for IV fluids!


My new best friend, the snot sucker December 9, 2007

Filed under: body weirdness,health,profession — crittermama @ 4:50 pm

All hail the bulb syringe! We’ve got three of them, but the only one worth it’s salt is the one we stole from the hospital. The little guy and I both started getting stuffy last week, and I had hoped that it was just a side effect from the cold weather.

And snow! We had snow! Here’s the critter with his Pa:

sNoah and Pa

And with me:

sNoah and Mama

Sorry for the crappy cell phone pictures, but of course our GOOD camera had a dead battery. Bother!

Anyway! Back to my baby’s nose and nasal discharge! We’ve used a humidifier in the room for a couple of months now, since he’s always been a little snurffly, and we’ve had to clear his nose a time or two in the past. But wow. We’ve never gotten anything like what we’re seeing now. It is SO SATISFYING to clear his nose. And he can tell a difference, too. At first, he’d cry and scream, but this morning, he actually SMILED at me as I went after him with the bulb syringe. Crazy kid.

We’re keeping him home from day care tomorrow, which means that we’re each giving up a half day of work. I’ll take him to the pediatrician tomorrow morning, and Dave’s going to come home in the afternoon so I can get some work done. It’s not a whole lot of fun for the little guy to be all stoppered up, and we want to make sure that we’re doing the right things. It’s probably just a regular old cold, but we just want to be sure.

On another front, we’ve found the Sleep Lady’s book, and we’re both making our way through it. I hope this one helps!


Parenting Hurts December 3, 2007

Filed under: body weirdness,health,holidays — crittermama @ 6:19 pm

I knew about the lack of sleep that would come with being a new parent, and the possibility that many days would come and go without my benefitting from a shower. I knew that there would be late nights worrying about something or other. I knew that we’d struggle with setting the right boundaries, and that someday, we’d be up all night waiting for the teenaged critter to come home. What I didn’t realize is that parenting is one big repetitive stress injury waiting to happen.

Both Dave and I have tennis elbow and creaking knees and NOW I’ve got some sort of strange tendon thing in the first knuckle of my left index finger. What is THAT?!? And how did that happen? When I rotate my left wrist, I can feel a popping in my left elbow. I know this is because of how I’ve held the critter while nursing him and that I tend to hold him in my left arm when we’re bouncing, dancing or swaying. But what the heck is going on in that joint and how do I get it to go away? I suspect that the critter will continue to require food, comfort and mama-induced motion, so… now what?

In his (HIM!) health news, we had our follow up with the pediatric GI doc today. I’m to continue with the dairy restrictions, especially since we saw a spot or two of blood last week in his diaper following my inadvertent consumption of some whey-containing bread. But the doc said that I should “challenge” it again before we come back for our next follow up in 3-4 months. He also said I could probably have a piece of cake if I were at a birthday party but… yeah, I’m not going to do that. So no buttery, creamy holiday goodies for me! Unless they’re vegan. Got any vegan goodies for me?

Of course you all want to know about his stats, right? Here you go:
Head circumference: 16.75 inches
Length: 24.5 inches
Weight: 16.5 pounds

Oh yeah!


8 weeks old! October 17, 2007

Filed under: body weirdness,development — crittermama @ 8:25 am

The Critter has hit the 8 week mark and is still doing well. We’ve had appointments with a pediatric GI specialist and our regular pediatrician, and both say that his blood-in-the-stool problems have pretty much abated. So I’m due to stay away from dairy and soy at least until the follow up with the GI specialist in early December. If it makes him happier, I’m very happy to do it.

I know I report this every time, but he really is HUGE. When he was weighed last Thursday, he came in at FOURTEEN pounds. He’s gaining about a pound a week. His cousin the Mooselet is 16 pounds, but he’s nearly six months old! A friend down the street calls the Critter the “neighborhood buddha baby.” He’s outgrown all of his 3 month clothes and is solidly in his 6 month clothes.

Here’s a picture that I love for several reasons:


First, he’s smiling. Yay! We spend a lot of time practicing that particular skill. Love it!
Second, he’s wearing a gorgeous t-shirt that his Aunt Melisa picked out.
Third, you can see the multiple chins this little guy has.

But mostly, it’s because he’s smiling. Hooray!


I blame my iPod – a return to running October 12, 2007

Filed under: body weirdness,running — crittermama @ 8:32 am

On Thursday, autumn finally arrived. I was looking forward to my solo time even more so than normal, given the weather. Since Dave is home on Thursdays, and takes a break from running that day, it’s a perfect day for me to go for a walk by myself – no stroller! I can go around the lake, which has a gravel path not well-suited for your basic stroller, and enjoy a little time to myself. I took my iPod with me, as I usually do, and set it to “shuffle.”

Roughly 17 minutes into the walk, one of my running songs came on: Alec Eiffel by the Pixies. I had to fight my reflex response to start running. But I only fought it for a few seconds – I gave in and picked up the pace. It was great! I ran for five minutes, walked for 10 and then ran another 6 minutes. I checked my running log (yes, nerd, I have a running log) and the last time I actually ran was back in late March/early April. SIX months ago! I felt a charge running through me that I hadn’t felt in a long time. For the rest of the day, I felt awake in a way that I remembered from pre-pregnancy. On Thursday, I didn’t run fast, and I felt slow and heavy, but man, was it good to be back out there.