Thursday, February 27, 2014

Cleanse Update: The Chicken and the Egg

Day 11 here.  As of the morning of Day 10 I was still going strong.  I'd been completely meat-free, dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan for 9 days.  Yesterday morning I broke the vegan part of that by eating a scrambled egg for breakfast because low and behold, my milk supply began to plummet.  This could be because a certain little mister has started sleeping through the night (hallelujah!!!!) or it could be because I'm not eating enough protein.  Or maybe it's a combination of the two.  Whatever the cause, I started popping Fenugreek pills again and I ate an egg.  Soon I'll be smelling like maple syrup (thanks to the Fenugreek) and hopefully producing more milk.  9 ounces is not enough to feed my little man while I'm away at work all day (for you non-baby readers, I typically send a total of 18 ounces for the day).  And while I'm OK giving him formula, apparently I'm not OK with the idea of my boobs drying up like a prune and stopping nursing completely.  Hence, the egg.

And then a funny thing happened.  I started craving chicken.  Chicken, yes chicken.  So we went out to eat last night to my fave chicken place in Atlanta (Bantam + Biddy) and I ate some rotisserie chicken.  And it was good.  I also had a side of beets with goat cheese (oops, again breaking the vegan thing, well and the dairy thing, sort of - is goat dairy considered "dairy dairy"?) and collards (again breaking the vegan thing by accident...I didn't realize until I was eating that there was some bacon hanging out with my collards, which I happily ate).  But I didn't eat my cornbread muffin.  I did however eat the gluten free no-bake cookie the boys bought.  Chocolate isn't on the cleanse, but do I get points for the gluten free part?

So if you want to be all technical about it, I didn't finish the cleanse.  But I'm back on the wagon today - homemade granola with almond milk and berries for lunch, a green smoothie (kale, coconut water, kiwi, apple, avocado) for snack and my vegan quinoa salad for lunch with raspberries and pepitas to follow for a snack.  I'm totally off my coffee addiction (and am now wondering if there is a link between my elimination of caffeine and Julian's sleeping through the night?).  And generally I feel good.  I'm thinking that this "cleanse", even though I'm not following it to a T for the full 21 days, is a sort of fresh start and new way of eating for me.  I've been a big fan of clean eating for some time, but this has brought it to a new level.  I've eating better than I ever have and I'm feeling great.  And what's more, I LOVE the food.  It tastes good and is satisfying.

My weight had been consistently dropping each day the first week of the cleanse.  I started this cleanse at 156 (yup, I just put that out there).  I dropped down to 149.6 as of Tuesday (cue super happy dance for being in the 140s again...130s here I come), but then, THEN, even with all the clean, vegan eating, before my chicken and egg day, I gained 2 WHOLE POUNDS.  Yesterday morning I weighed 151.6.  And today I'm up to 152.2 again.  What. the. fuck.  I'm trying to stay calm and be happy that my clothes definitely feel looser and I look like I've lost weight, but for the love, if I can't keep weight off eating practically only fruits and vegetables, how am I going to lose this baby weight for good?  It is so infuriating.  And so it goes.  I know the number on the scale isn't an indicator of overall health.  Yada yada yada.  When you have gained 40+ pounds from having a baby, the number on the scale does matter because it tells you whether or not you have lost the weight.  I have not. 

I know I need to start exercising regularly again and hopefully then the weight will come off, but I feel so overextended as it is that I'm really not sure where to find the time.  Last night I was up until almost 11 preparing bottles for today, folding laundry, making healthy food for today and doing all the other boring life things that must get done every day.  I need another hour in my day, stat.

I know I'm being hard on myself.  I know I need to give myself grace and remember that my body likes to hold on to at least 5 pounds while I'm nursing. I know these new eating habits will eventually get the weight off.  I know all of this.  I'd just really like to be able to wear the clothes in my closet again.  And I'd like to do that soon.  Sigh.

At least my boobs are still big for the time being.  Which is good because they're helping to balance out my ass. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Cleanse Day 5

I'm on day 5 of the cleanse.  To date I've lost 4.8 pounds.  I'm not going to lie, the weight loss is probably the only thing keeping me going.  It's not that I don't like the food - some has been amazing.  I've cooked some foods that I'd never probably make on my own - carrot and ginger soup, sweet beet soup and sweet potatoes topped with kale, cabbage and carrots have all been delicious.  But I find that by mid-afternoon my mind decides that I should stop.  It tells me that this is silly and there's no good reason to continue.  I'm not sure how else to explain it, but each afternoon while I'm sitting at work, I decided that I'm not going to continue the cleanse the next day. 
But I do.  So far I've been able to get over my mental speed bump and continue, even when the boys' school sent home a free large cheese pizza last night.  I made it for the boys and didn't even take one bite.  I ate my cauliflower steaks instead, which admittedly weren't good. 
I'm trying to stick with this.  I'm not very good at following through with things I start.  I only got to day 5 or 6 of Tracy Anderson's 90 day metamorphosis program.  I've started writing numerous things only to stop before I get going.  I reach out to make plans with friends and then drop the ball on the follow through.  I start laundry and then realize 3 days later that it's sitting, wet in the wash.  I don't know why this is but it's not a trait I like about myself.  So I'd really like to see this thing out.
And the truth is, I feel good.  I have energy.  Now that I've made it through the coffee withdrawal headaches and sluggishness of day 2, I'm feeling good.  I'm sleeping well (and thankfully so has Julian the past 2 nights!).  And I didn't even miss the pizza last night, and resisting the cheese, cupcakes, brownies and bagels that were in my offices' breakroom wasn't that hard.  So I'm not really sure why every afternoon I decide that I want to stop.
I suppose on the one hand, I know that I'm not going to come out of this a vegan.  I love red meat too much to ever jump to the other side.  I also like chicken and fish and pork. So I think maybe my desire to stop is because I don't really know what the point of going vegan for 3 weeks is if I know I will not continue.  But there are benefits to this.  My body does feel good.  I know I am feeding it well. This week has also made me wonder if I should try to cut down the bread/pasta/carb products when this is all said and done.  I don't feel bloated like I normally do and I'm starting to think that is directly related to the lack of gluten/carbs.
So we'll see.  So far I'm still going strong.  I have good friends coming in town next weekend for a reunion of sorts and a girls night has already been planned for Friday night.  I've already decided I'm going off cleanse for that meal to at least be able to enjoy a glass of wine with my girls!  It's one thing to stick to something, it's another to be so anal that you don't know the important things in life like enjoying a good bottle of wine with the friends who keep me sane.  I'm hoping that I don't let the whole weekend derail me and that I'll actually pick the cleanse back up on Sunday afternoon.  And who knows, by the time everyone gets here next Friday, I'll be on day 12 of the cleanse and might end up making better food choices than I think!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Frest Start 21: Cleanse

Julian turned 7 months old last Friday.  This means that I have not been pregnant for exactly 7 months and five days (hello math!).  So clearly that means I've lost all my pregnancy weight.  Ha. As if.  That's funny.  You could say I have stalled.  You could also say I haven't really tried and have no motivation or energy to work out.  (It would help if Julian started consistently sleeping through the night.)  But something's gotta give. 
I gained over 65 pounds with Lukas and lost it all within a year. I gained far less with Julian - roughly 40 pounds - so I thought my postpartum weight loss would be much easier this time around.  I mean, I was already starting out 25+ pounds down from last time!  But no.  I am about 7-10 pounds heavier now than I was 7 months postpatrum with Lukas. Sigh. And as of this weekend I had about 20 pounds to lose to get down to my pre-pregnancy weight.  Double sigh.
I joined weight watchers months ago, but every time I try to follow it my milk supply plummets and until recently Julian was only drinking milk so my vanity and waist size did not win.  Making milk for my little man won.  As it should have.  But Julian started eating food around Christmas and is up to 3 baby food meals a day in addition to his milk.  And he'll drink formula if I give it to him and I'm OK with that.  He is also too busy to nurse most days and we've been having some breastfeeding issues, so it's possible the end of our nursing days are near anyway.  So I decided it was OK if my supply dipped - I can just up the amount of formula he gets.  No biggie.  So, it is time to lose some weight.
Rather than start a normal exercise/diet plan, I decided to try something new.  Something I've never done before.  I signed up for a 21 day vegan cleanse.  I'm on day 3.  I absolutely love it, although parts have been rough, mainly the caffeine-withdrawal headache of yesterday.  (But check in with me in a week and we'll chat.)
So here's how this happened.  In January I did a 30 day green smoothie challenge via Simple Green Smoothies.  It was free and helped me come up with new green smoothie recipes.  A few weeks later I received an email about a cleanse, The Fresh Start 21 Cleanse, that the same folks put on.  And if I signed up that day, I'd get 20 or 50% off (I don't recall).  So on a whim I signed up. 
I wasn't sure what I was in for, but figure that it can't hurt my overall health to go vegan for three weeks.  In fact, it could help - you see, back in college I had some serious digestive issues and after seeing doctor after doctor who just diagnosed me with IBS, I went to a naturopath.  He did some tests and we found out I have intolerance to eggs and casein, the protein in dairy.  So for a few years I cut out eggs and all dairy products - the easiest way to do this was to follow a vegan plus meat diet (it seems contradictory, I know, it was, but by following vegan recipes, I knew I wouldn't be using ingredients with eggs or dairy). This did help relieve many of my issues.  Fast forward a few more years when I got off birth control and all of my stomach issues went away.  So thinking the pill was mostly to blame, I upped my diary and eggs over time. And I have mild stomach issues now. And I generally feel bloated all. the. time. I've never been tested for a gluten intolerance but wouldn't be surprised if that was an issue too because I notice I eat a lot of bread products.  I'm a carb-aholic.  Always have been.  But I eat them and I feel weighed down.  So I was excited to learn the cleanse was also process-food free.  Meaning, no bread, crackers, cookies, pasta or any of the things that make me feel blah.  I was also nervous, what in the hell was I going to eat?
Well, the Cleanse is very regimented in the sense that it tells you EXACTLY what to eat morning, noon and night. Plus snacks and what to drink.  So there is ZERO guesswork.  I love this.  One of my least favorite activities each week is meal planning.  This has been done for me for the next three weeks.  And the food just happens to be vegan. 
There is also no alcohol or caffeine allowed on the cleanse.  I'm not sure which I'll miss more, my red wine or my coffee.  So far my headache from yesterday is telling me its the coffee!
And in a strange turn of events, my milk supply has INCREASED over the past three days.  I definitely was not expecting that, but am super excited about it because I really do love nursing and hope to continue breastfeeding Julian until he is at least a year old, but I fear his plans won't mesh with that goal!  The only thing I can think of as to why my supply has gone up is becuase I'm actually eating a LOT of food, it's just very clean and unprocessed food.  So I don't think my calorie count has gone down, which is good for making milk.  I'm also drinking a TON of water.
Check back to see how I do.  As of this morning I was down 3.8 pounds in two+ days!  (I know, I know, it's probalby all water weight, but don't rain on my parade.) Oh and did I mention that the husband is doing the cleanse with me! 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

What's up with the Helmet?

It occurred to me the other day that I haven't written about Julian's helmet experience and some folks may not know why he is wearing it.  So let me tell you all about plagiocephaly and torticollis, which are Julian's two diagnoses.

J was born in July and all was well.  A week before his two month pediatrician appointment my mom asked me if I'd noticed the flat spot on Julian's head.  I brushed her off (and admittedly was annoyed that she even mentioned it - my child was perfect in my mind and I thought she didn't know what she was talking about).  I took a good look at the back of his head and realized that it was a tad flat but figured it would work out on its own.  Fast forward a week to his pediatrician appointment.  I didn't mention the flat spot (since I didn't think it was an "issue"), but sure enough, the pediatrician did.  She said it was a little concerning, and asked me if he looked both left and right or if he favored one side.  I hadn't noticed.  But from that moment forward, I realized that he ONLY looked to the left.  He was always favoring the left side and I couldn't get him to look all the way to the right.  Sigh.  Why is it that we don't notice things until someone points them out and then that is all we notice? How was it possible that I hadn't realized that he was doing this? Well the pediatrician gave us some simple exercises to do daily and said we'd reevaluate his head at his 4 month well visit.

2 months later and I knew that his head hadn't improved.  If anything, the flat spot was getting worse and his forehead was bulging out on one side a bit (that sounds worse that it looked like he had a bump on his forehead., ok, so maybe it was bad).  So I wasn't exactly surprised when our pediatrician referred us to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta to see an orthotist for his plagiocephaly (fancy name for flat head syndrome) to see if Julian was a good fit for Cranial Remolding.   

We went to CHOA a week later for Julian's initial scans which measure the diagonal length difference of his head as well as his ear position.  The normal range for the diagonal length is 0-6mm.  His measurement was 13.6mm which put him in the "moderate to severe" category.  We also learned that his ears were very asymmetrical, with one being further forward than the other. (Again, how had I not noticed this?!?) So they recommended we order a helmet and go forward with the cranial remolding.  We were told that we could wait and see if the flat spot corrected itself as he started sleeping on his stomach and spending less time on his back, but that they see the best results the earlier you begin and his time in the helmet should be minimized the earlier we begin.  I hesitated for a moment (to cry), but Mr. Cob and I decided to go ahead and proceed.  CHOA uses the Star Band brand of helmets, so we were able to choose a fun design for his helmet.  We decided that Julian's big brother would think the spaceships were neat so we went with the outer space themed helmet.

About to get scanned!
2 weeks later Julian's custom made helmet arrived and we met with Sara our orthotist to have it fitted (his head grew in the 2 weeks between the scans and the arrival of the helmet so they had to make adjustments).  He gradually worked up to wearing the helmet 23 hours a day over 4 days.  The first day I think he wore it for 2 hours, the next for 4, the next for 8, and then 16.  So now he wears it all day, every day, except for one hour in the evening when we give him a bath and clean the helmet.  So yes, he sleeps in the helmet.  He wasn't a great sleeper to begin with, so I'm not sure the helmet has made his sleep worse, but it certainly hasn't helped.

We go every 2 weeks for adjustments.  They make sure he doesn't have any "hot spots" and that his skin is not getting irritated from the helmet.  It keeps his head pretty hot and sweaty so we've had some issues with rashes, but it's nothing a little diaper cream won't fix.  They also told us to rub his head down in coconut oil to prevent any yeast infections from growing, so he often smells of coconut, which is better than the sweaty smell (and the diaper cream smell for that matter).  I'm told that we should be thankful that he's not wearing the helmet in the summer, because then he'd always be sweating and no amount of cleaning gets rid of that smell!  We clean the helmet every night with rubbing alcohol or his baby shampoo and a toothbrush (we were told we could try witchhazel which might help the smell even more, but haven't tried it yet).  It's a pain, but it's become part of our nightly routine.  I won't miss it when we're done though.

Hot spot - time for adjustments!
Every 6 weeks we go for progress scans.  He's almost had the helmet for 10 weeks, so we've gone for one progress scan so far (our next is February 28!).  His measurement went from 13.6mm to 6.4mm!  So we are 0.4mm away from being in the normal range!!!  You could tell the head shape was improving just by looking at his head when the helmet is off, but the scans confirmed this!  We're hoping he only has 2.5 more weeks in the helmet, but our orthotist didn't make any promises - it's possible he'll need to wear it longer, but maybe only at night while he sleeps rather than all day.  I'll be glad when we can say good bye to the helmet, but I'm so glad we went forward with it and didn't wait until he was any older.  If anyone else gets referred to an orthotist for cranial remolding, I would definitely recommend it, despite the cost and the fact that many insurances won't cover the expense.  Julian's head is almost round now and I am so surprised how quickly we've seen an improvement.  Apparently when they are so young, they grow quickly which causes the head to remold quickly as well. 

6 week scans - IMPROVEMENT!
While it was scary at first, this has been a very positive experience, and very few people have made comments about the helmet.  A man working at Costco is the only person who stopped me and asked why the baby was wearing a helmet.  He was very nice, but he honestly had no earthly idea why J was wearing the helmet.  Most people just stare and smile.  Some people just stare.  And that's OK.  I think they're just curious.  Little kids are the best - they come right out and ask about the helmet and ask me all about it.  Lukas' 3 year old classmates ask me all the time why Julian is wearing the helmet, it's very cute.  And I don't mind at all if people ask me about it - I'd rather you ask than wonder!  You can read more about cranial remolding here.

So that's half the story.  The other half is the torticollis, which often accompanies plagiocephaly but doesn't always and can occur without the flat head.  Torticollis "is a condition in which an infant's neck muscle is shortened causing the neck to twist."  More on torticollis here.  So we were referred to physical therapy to help stretch Julian's neck and correct his head tilt.  (Again, I never noticed the head tilt, but the physical therapist assured me his head tilted.  Great.).  So we were given 3 different stretch exercises to do with Julian 3 times a day - we fit this in in the morning before school/work, right when we got home from school and right before bed.  We were very strict about doing the exercises each day and within a week noticed a difference.  Within a month we could tell he was looking both ways and moving his neck with more ease.  At his follow up PT appointment a month ago, we were told his neck was doing great and that we didn't need to keep doing the exercises.  So thankfully that corrected quickly.

So what caused the flat head and tight neck?  No one has come out and said for sure - it's possible it started in the womb if he was in a tight position where his head was kinked.  There has been a rise in flat heads with the "back to sleep campaign" - SIDS has gone done (good), but flat heads have gone up (not great, but better than SIDS...) because babies are spending so much time on their backs.  I may not have done enough tummy time with Julian when he was first born and admittedly he was in his car seat often as we went about our day (he's a second child after all, so I wasn't nervous about getting out and about while he was little).  I've not dwelled on the why.  Thankfully it's nothing permanent and before long will be a thing of the past and J won't ever remember this time in his life.  So that's the deal with the helmet!  If you have any questions, don't be shy!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

J Bird @ 6.5 months

JULIAN @ 6 months, 3 weeks & 1 day

Weight: roughly 15 pounds or so.  At his 4 month appointment he was only 13.34 pounds and at his 6 month appt he was just shy of the 15 pound mark and only in the 5th-10th percentile for weight.  He's a tiny lil thing, just like Lukas was at that age.

Height: No clue, but I think he's on the taller side...

Head size:  No clue, but it's less flat than it was 8 weeks ago when he started wearing the helmet!   Again, no clue how many inches it is

Drinks: He's averaging 3 5-6 ounce bottles at school and then I nurse him 2-3 more times a day.  And since we're back to co-sleeping this week he's also eating all night long.  Oh and he gets formula sometimes, and I'm 100% OK with that.  I refused to give Lukas formula and totally stressed myself out trying to produce/pump enough milk for him but this time I decided that some formula won't hurt Julian and it helps reduce my stress level, so we're going with that when need be.  I'm still pumping 3x a day at work, but I usually only pump between 10-12 ounces total over the course of the day so often he gets one full formula bottle.  La Leche League be damned.

Eats: 3 "solid" food meals a day.  And by solid I mean baby food.  We started with rice cereal around Christmas mixed with formula (because I wasn't wasting that precious liquid gold breastmilk, no sir).  Then we moved to Oatmeal and a little later to baby food.  Sweet potatoes, carrots, green beans, peas (which he hates), bananas, mangos and maybe blueberries too.  I have made some of his food myself but for the most part he's eating Gerber.  Again, just trying to keep the stress to a minimum.  Ain't nobody got time for making baby food when store bought will do.

Sleeps: 2-3 naps a day.  Sometimes these naps are long, other times they are short.  His night time sleep is all over the place.  We had sleep trained him and he was sleeping all night long but then he got sick about a week ago and is back to waking up between 12-3am, at which point he comes in bed with me and nurses on and off until morning.  We need to have round 2 of sleep training now that he's feeling better.  He goes to bed around 8pm every night and gets up between 6:30-7:30.  He also sleeps with a lovey - a lion blanket - that Miss Katie gave him.  And J takes a pacifier in his crib - we leave a few in his crib and he finds them when he wants one.

Other stuff that only family will find interesting: He rolls from front to back and back to front.  He loves tummy time and pretty much always rolls onto his stomach immediately if you lay him on his back.  He loves to stand up either in his exersaucer, doorway jumper or just on mommy or daddy.  He can lift himself up onto all fours and is good at scooting backwards, but not so much forwards.  He seems very interested in the cat and dog - petting Wrigley when she's close by and staring at the cat in awe.  He's a very smiley guy and has a generally happy disposition.  [THIS IS THE EXACT THING I WROTE ABOUT LUKAS AT THIS AGE, AND IT ALL APPLIES, EXCEPT FOR THE GETTING ON ALL FOURS THING.  THEY REALLY ARE VERY MUCH ALIKE!]  Julian does roll across the room and can get wherever he needs to go via the roll and rotate method. 

Oh, and Julian LOVES his big brother Lukas.  He lights up when Lukas talks.  He cranes his neck to watch him.  If we're nursing and Lukas enters the room, Julian immediately pulls off and looks to see what his big bro is up to.  It's really quite adorable.

Talks: J is a loud one!  He is often blowing raspberries or muttering about something. It's cute.

Teeth: His two bottom center teeth are starting to poke through as of today!!!

Hair: Blondish-red.  I think he'll end up being blonde, but it looks to have a red tint in certain light.

Eyes:  Blue/grey. Sometimes they look hazel like his daddy.

Clothes: He's wearing size 6 month - he doesn't fill them out width wise, but he's almost busting through the seams length wise.  He can fit in a lot of 9 month clothes as well.

Personality:  Happy and social!  He loves the ladies and is a big flirt.  He likes to cuddle, but is also a busy boy.  I thought Lukas was a cheerful baby but Julian has him beat.  He really is such a little love.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Back to Oversharing

As you may have noticed, I took a bit of a hiatus from the blog.  I didn't intentionally turn away from it, it just sort of happened.  Julian was born in July.  I had 12 weeks of maternity leave.  I have been back to work full time since early October.  And since about mid-October I've been on this nonstop rollercoaster of failing and sailing (you like what I did there?).
Post-partum hormones are for real y'all!  I mean, like whoa.  I can go from laughing and happy to sobbing and feeling pitiful in 2.2 seconds flat.  The husband is wondering where his wife went and when she's coming back.  But in all seriousness, I had a depressive spell that started around month 3 and lasted for a while (and is still hanging around on occasion).  It felt similar to my post-weaning depression I experienced with Lukas, only I was still breastfeeding, so I thought it might be postpartum.  It might have been.  I'm not sure. 
What I do know is that I started seeing a therapist again and I love her. I have decided that everyone should be in therapy, even if nothing is "wrong" with your life.  She didn't give me any sort of label (which is why I'm not sure if it was or was not PPD) and she didn't prescribe any meds (honestly, I was sort of hoping she'd say, here's your zoloft prescription, now be off on your merry way).  What she did do was listen.  And offer unbiased advice on how to navigate what I was feeling and experiencing. It helps that she's a working mom of 3, who also breastfed her kids, so she really can relate. I think I cried the first 30-45 minutes of our first visit as I told her what was going on in my life.  But the next week (yes, I went weekly for a while), I maybe only cried for 5 mintues when talking about how hard it is to leave a little itty bitty baby every day to go to a job. 
And it is hard to leave an itty bitty baby.  Period.
Julian still isn't consistently sleeping through the night.  So I'm sleep deprived.  I went 6 months with no more than 4 hours of sleep at any given time.  This alone didn't help the crying.  We eventually resorted to crying it out (Julian, not me), which did work after 3 nights.  Night one consisted of 2 solid hours of screaming and my getting very drunk.  It was awful, but it did work.  For a week.  And then J got sick and he's back to co-sleeping with us and nursing on and off all night long.  On the plus side, my milk supply has gone back up and I love waking up to his sweet face every morning.  And I even smile when I wake up in the middle of the night to his little hands searching for me.  But I'm tired.  Very tired.
So the depression has lifted and the sleep has slightly improved but I'm still having a hard time.  I'm trying to figure out how to be a good mom to these two little boys who mean the world to me.  I struggle daily with fears that I'm yet again making a bad decision by working rather than being a stay-at-home-mom for them.  I think this is a normal fear when you have an itty bitty baby.  It lessons when your child gets a little older, at least it has for me with Lukas.  But it's hard.  And I'm not 100% confident in the decision I've currently made (i.e. to continue practicing law). 
But I have made one change that has been hugely helpful (and which has allowed me the freedom to write about this issue on the blog): I'm no longer pretending to anyone like this isn't really, really hard.  It sort of happened by accident.  In December we were really busy at work and I was working a lot.  I was still crying a lot too.  And one day my boss stopped by to see how I was doing and I just lost it.  I was completely honest with him and told him that I was struggling with working this much and being a mom and even said that at this time I wasn't willing to put in the hours necessary.  I am not willing to give up the little time I have with the boys at night and on the weekends to work.  I refuse to do it.  I said all this very uneloquently in between huge sobs and tears.  It was not pretty.  I'm confident he thought I was going to quit.  I was seriously considered quitting.  And then a weight sort of lifted.  My worst work fear had happened.  I had had the complete and total meltdown in front of my male boss.  And nothing bad happened because of it.  (At least not yet.  If I'm going to be penalized because I admit that being a working mom is hard, well then my firm isn't the firm I think it is, nor is it somewhere I want to continue my career.)  So far, being honest about the struggle has only helped.  I've been told that it's OK to flex my time and that there is no problem with my schedule as long as I'm getting my work done.  Who'd have thunk?
It's still hard, but it feels more manageable now that I'm proceeding in an honest way.  I'm not having to fake a happy face every single day or act like I don't have kids where work is concerned.  The fact of the matter is that I am a mother. I am also a lawyer.  And I am not the same lawyer now that I am a mom.  It took me two kids to fully realize this.  I am not going to worry about what people think when I leave the office a 4:30 to pick up my children.  I'm going to say I am taking my son to his orthotist appointment or his physical therapy appointment (oh yea, did I mention that Julian has torticollis and plagiocephaly and has been wearing a helmet for 8+ weeks?) rather than tell my colleagues I have "an appointment".  And when daycare is closed, I am going to take the day off rather than plunk my kids in front of the TV for 8 hours while I continue working.  Work can wait.  My kids cannot.  End of story.
So that's what I've been up to. Life is beautiful and motherhood is amazing.  I love these boys with all my heart.  But I'm also a complete mess and struggle every day to figure out what the hell I'm doing.  And it would help if I could zip up my old jeans, which I can't.  (Not even close).  At least I'm honest about it all.