Friday, April 23, 2010

I'm Losing It...

From April 2010
My hair that is. It's like I'm pregnant again. I have been pulling out piles of hair recently. There must be a hormonal shift going on and my biggest fear is that there is some immaculate conception that occurred because I don't quite remember this with Miles. (But that might be because he pulled out my hair for me). The worst part is that the hair that is jumping ship from my scalp is a) deciding to take chunks of my scalp with each strand, and b) leave the grey hairs rooted-grey hairs that are kinky and coarse. I'm convinced that the grey hairs have somehow burrowed their root bulbs past my skull and lodged themselves deep within my temporal lobe. And they are probably injecting my brain with poison and causing me to suffer from Wernicke's aphasia as I am completely inarticulate now.

To dye or not to dye. I have an old box of clearanced Natural Instincts hair "dye" that was the least toxic box of the at home jobbers I could find a few years ago when my scalp was just sprouting grey. I'm not worried about expiration; those dates are for wimps. I'm more worried about toxins. Trying so hard to eliminate all environmental toxic exposures in our house, especially since Eric's cancer, has caused me to go a little batty (yet, I am on the hunt for an OPI pedicure...I cannot give that up). So, for the time being, the box will sit in the closet and I'll continue to hold little funerals for the handfuls of hairs I discard every day as the ratio of brown to grey is tipping NOT in my favor.

The worst part of losing my hair that they keep resurfacing, reminding me of the fact that they are supposed to be in my head, but have left, leaving more room for greys to emerge from my crippling brain. Somehow they lift themselves out of the trash can and end up in Felix's diaper or Eric's underwear. No, seriously. I just wonder what the ladies at childcare think when they open diapers and see piles of my hair. Perhaps that we are some crazy family who uses hair for wipes.

And it's not just my hair I'm losing. I'm also losing my milk supply. Ah, for the first time I am opting not to hemorrhage my panic on the blog. I have a feeling the stress will just work against this already uphill battle. And who the heck said breastfeeding was always easier second time around? Anyone have a good lactation consultant to talk to? Felix just doesn't comfort suck at all. He's on a boob strike. They are not that bad, babe! I mean, they look pretty good for breastfeeding for 18 months with the first. Perhaps his standards are too high. But we have some work to do.

And weight. Both the supply and weight drops happened with Miles, but much closer to a year than four months! In part because I am picking up exercise, but I know I am teetering on the edge as I am pretty consistently down  one to two pounds below the twenty-five I had to lose from preggo days.

But with a diet void of milk (save the week I had ice cream twice), and rife with oatmeal, tea and now dark beer, my palate is hard to satisfy and a lot of the time I know I am barely scraping by in the calorie department. Add it to my list of self-improvements. More calories.

And patience. I've lost it a few times this week. I cannot completely blame sleep deprivation because Felix has been sleeping so much better. And there you go--it's like breaking a mirror and having bad luck for 7 years. I just jinxed his sleep by admitting it, but Felix only gets up twice. Usually down by 9pm, up at 2am and 5-6am. And if you are the Heintz family, 5am isn't "up in the middle of the night" it is breakfast time #1 for Miles!

Don't get me wrong, things overall are great, but this week was a doozy. In talking with CD and expectant MBMPHPA over ice cream this week, I was able to articulate how having two kids isn't about everything being doubly hard. In fact, I contend that having your first child, at times, is harder than having two. I think it is harder on the emotions--the fear, the unsubstantiated panic (is my barely 5lb baby going to learn to roll over in his first week home off of the queen size bed in the time I go to the bathroom and fall on the floor and break? Or perhaps he'll try to roll and get stuck in a random crease of the comforter and suffocate in T-minus 3 seconds!), and with the second, the logistics are harder (who do I get out of the car first? How do I put a toddler to bed with a colicky baby who won't let me put him down? Is it possible to stand while nursing so I can flip a grilled cheese AND monitor a toddler doing "dishes" at the sink on a big boy chair?). I mean, you've heard I put Felix in the Bjorn bouncy chair on top of the table at dinner. And then 20 minutes later when I'm throwing Miles into the bath and Eric asks, "where's Felix?" And I have no idea...and he's found in the bouncy, smiling at the overhead light that is illuminating the HUGE warning sticker that says "never place on a table."

How can I do anything when I have one who is a perpetual exhibitionist and somehow found the stroller bug netting and runs around the house like Casper.
From April 2010
And the other one starts fussing when you finally have a shirt on your streaker.
From April 2010
Oops! That was Miles. Below is Felix.
From April 2010
(I haven't lost my sense of humor!)

This is the deal. Having two kids (under two and working full time) is EXHAUSTING! It's crazy, fun, trying, wild, and precious all at the same time. You know those days of panic with your first where everything takes so much brain space and work and thought because everything is so new..and then you have some time with the baby asleep (either on your chest or in a crib of some sort) and you take a breath and...dare I say RELAX? Well, you don't have that with two. That's the trouble. When one settles, the other one gears up. The moment Miles is asleep, Felix is like "HEY! PAY ATTENTION TO ME!" And then it is his bath time, cuddle time, soothe time...and somehow, the moment I am ready to breathe, Miles is up for breakfast #1. Rinse and repeat.

And you wonder why I have no time to eat. And you wonder why I have no pictures this time around. Self-improvement #2: take more pictures.

How do people with more than 2 kids do it? I certainly know a mini-van is involved. And lots of prayers. And possibly a shot of vodka each night.

From April 2010
From April 2010

Link to album here.


  1. Hang in there darling! I totally admire you for the amount that you have on your plate right now. You are doing an amazing job. Try to sneak out when you can here and there for a massage to keep sane. Have you ever considered using Henna to dye your hair?

  2. Okay, now I am scared about what is coming our way in the next few weeks. As for the hair loss and grays and weight loss, you have been through more super-stressful events in the the past months than most people go through in a decade. I know it sounds cliche, but you really do need to take care of yourself in order to take care of your family. You need and deserve a little time for that pedicure. Throw in a massage if you can! And make yourself a huge batch of those fantastic nursing balls.

  3. A couple of thoughts... I contend that laundry increases geometrically rather than arithmetically with each additional child...and when you get to the third, you run out of hands with which to hold them and have more instances of realizing you are not sure just where everybody is at all times...
    Stress has a huge impact on one's life, and I think that when the worst of it is over and the adrenalin wears off, there is finally time for your body to reflect the stress in various ways. Now's the time to eat as well as you can and get as much sleep as you can, and be kind to yourself.

  4. Oh, very cute photos of everyone, including Eric the triumphant! It's fun to see the boys in the same outfit. They are different from one another for sure!

  5. Just an idea; I have had the hair-falling-out-like-crazy for about a year now, and a premature baby, and trouble with milk supply -- and I'm in the middle of trying to figure out if this could be related to a wonky thyroid, as these are some of the symptoms. From what I've been reading, it seems that stress can cause the thyroid to go wonky -- including the stress of pregnancy itself. Have been reading Just an idea. It could also be just the stress itself. Lots of hugs to you! --Tamara

  6. Let me know if you were serious about the whole lactation consultant thing....I work with several and there is one in particular that I love and could get you in touch with! Hang in there. It sounds like you are a great mama!!

  7. Alison,

    You are doing it and doing it well.

    Our third was a pleasant (I can say that now) surprise and came into our family when his older brothers were 4 1/2 and 20 months. He cried all the time, napped for 45 mintues a day and didn't sleep through the night until 7 months old. I understood those parents who shook their babies to get them to shut up (I was mature enough to leave the room 1st), but I also felt that I am losing it and my kids are going to be scarred for life b/c I am overwhelmed.

    But I got through it by taking deep breaths, walking out of the room and letting them cry (safely in a crib), crying A LOT, and focusing on each day. When the day was over, it was over, there was no looking back w/ regret. I would try to do better the next day - sometimes I did, sometimes I didn't and I tried not to beat myself up (easier said than done).

    Point is - you are doing a fine job! Don't be so hard on yourself. It gets easier, I promise.

  8. Hey Alison
    I wish I could jump through the computer and give you a great big hug! You sound so amped up; but hopefully this is just some residual anxiety which run its course quickly. Rest, eat, sleep and be gentle with yourself.

    It helps me when I try to stand clear of all that "SHOULD". talk.....Heck, in a given day there is alot that I "should" do; but most days I am lucky if I get through the "musts".....

    Hang in there. You are an amazing mommy, a dedicated wife and great friend! XOXO from Boston

  9. Hey great mama and giver of love to the family! You are doing a great job with or without hair, gray or brown. Not to worry about the follicles and milk ducts. Life does what it may and you will look great as a "mature" gray haired lady or even one with a chrome dome! This is how wisdom and wrinkles are obtained.

    But do take care to eat and no doubt that pedi would be a wonderful addition to your day.

    Loved the photos and the boys look similar enough that you can later pass off Miles' photos as Felix's so don't worry a bit about that.