As is my way... paranoia kicked in... and I Googled.

Last night in bed, I started scratching my left hand and right arm. Vigorously. I turned on my handy little flashlight app and saw that I indeed had two new bug bites. Mosquitoes? Spiders? I tend to have pretty significant reactions to both.

In any case, I was pretty sure they were mosquito bites - and after a rather lengthy session of scratching, (yes, I know you're not supposed to), I finally fell back asleep.

Cut to a few hours later, when I awoke from a strange dream - and something occurred to me:

Wait a minute... Can the Zika virus be passed through breast milk?

Shit. It probably can. What if I was bitten by an infected mosquito? Crap.

So, I googled, as is my way. I found this article on Kelly Mom, which states the following:

"To date, there are no reports of infants getting Zika virus through breastfeeding.Because of the benefits of breastfeeding, mothers are encouraged to breastfeed even in areas where Zika virus is found. 

Hmm. No reports eh? Well, Zika is relatively new here in the United States and they just discovered/reported that it can be transmitted through blood and semen. It was also just reported today that  279 pregnant women in the U.S. and its territories have the illness. (157 women in the 50 states and 122 in the U.S. territories).

I conferred with John, who basically thinks I'm being insane - and he's probably right. I have a tendency - but the thing is, better safe than sorry!

I'm down to one feeding a day with her - and I think now might be a really fantastic time to just cut it out. She doesn't even seem that interested anyway and derives a great deal of joy from holding a bottle on her own. She gets crazy distracted while breastfeeding - and frankly, I'm kind-of over it.

Our pediatrician said anything past 6 months is bonus territory - and that the 6 months is really for immunity-building purposes and so she's covered, seeing as how she's 7.5 months now.

Part of me can't help but be concerned about her last feeding now.

And part of me can't help but think this is a sign. It's time to cut her off. Nobody seems to know what the deal is with this virus - and I just don't want to take any chances.

I'm sure that some will interpret this as some kind of lame excuse to cut the baby off from the milk bar prematurely - but I can assure you, it's not. I'm paranoid. If something happened to my baby that could've been prevented, I think I'd pretty much want to die.

So, I think this is it. I think she's done.

We will see how it goes.


Not Surprisingly, I'm Way More Into Mother's Day Now

I realize this makes me sound like a bit of an asshole - the implication being that I don't love my own mother enough to appreciate Mother's Day more. The reality though, is that until I had my own child, I really couldn't even begin to comprehend the intensity of a mother's love. Now, I am overwhelmed by it - literally consumed. I think about Gypsy all the time. Every decision I make now involves her and I love that. I adore being a mommy - more than I ever thought possible. So, when I called my own mom on Mother's Day, it was different this time, because I finally understood how she felt - and I appreciated her even more than ever. See? Not a complete asshole after all.

Mother's Day, or as we're calling it in our house, Mommy Day, (because really - other than Norman Bates, who calls their mom, mother)? - couldn't have been better as a true 'first' for me.

Gypsy woke me up around 5:00 a.m. She slept through the night, which she's starting to do more. (YAY). I was still tired though, because when she doesn't wake me up in the middle of the night, I get nervous and check on her - and then it takes me a while to go back to sleep. Anyway, I fed her and didn't want to let go of her, so I just kept her in my lap. She started chatting for a bit - and then dozed off... on my chest. I was over the moon. She hasn't done that since she was a newborn. She passed out, as did I not long thereafter, and the two of us cuddled and slept for three full hours. It was blissful.

Then, my husband posts his card for me on my Facebook page. He literally drew me up on a pedestal, made me look hotter than I actually am, (but I'll take it), and while I was slightly embarrassed by the thought of being put up on a pedestal like that, I love knowing that's how he sees me.
Again, I'll take it - especially since I'm one of the last people that belong on a pedestal. I can be a challenge - a real handful even, but I won't go into too much more detail for now.

Then we went to brunch at one of our local haunts, where I basically couldn't choose between sweet or savory and so yes, I ordered two entrees: Avocado toast with roasted tomato, corn, pickled red onions and a fried egg and the most decadent, delicious pancakes on the planet with ricotta and herbs. I put a healthy dent in both. It was awesome. (This was a big deal because I never eat like this). I'm sure I gained back the 5 lbs I just lost, but oh well.

John brought me stunning parrot tulips and a bottle of my favorite chardonnay and that was it. A somewhat lazy, but entirely blissful Sunday with my fambly. It was a perfect first Mommy Day. John and I have been through a lot together. There have been some serious trials - and friends have asked us how we managed to pull through. I'm not really sure, but I am all the more thankful for every single one of our experiences to date... the good, the bad and the ugly, because they brought us here... to where we are now, with Gypsy. I can't imagine a life without her. I never thought I'd sit here reminiscing about the fairly banal aspects of a typical Mother's Day... food, flowers, cards, sleeping infants... but here I am, happier than ever. The simplicity and beauty of it all is just stunning.


Friends... May the 4th be with You

Friends are pretty great -- the loyal ones, the ones who stick by you no matter what... they're invaluable. I consider myself blessed to have a small handful of friends who I could have a veritable nervous breakdown in front of that wouldn't abandon me in my time of need. In fact, it has happened... more than once.

These are my true friends. I think they know who they are. 

Some I speak with or see regularly. Others, I can go a year or so without hearing from and when we reconnect, it's like nothing has really changed. 

Now that I'm a mom in New York City however, I've begun to see the benefit in having other mommy friends. I had a few, but unfortunately, they moved to greener pastures, (literally... Michigan and Colorado). 

I recently reconnected with a friend who I hadn't seen in a handful of years, and guess what?!? She had a baby in that time. In fact, she beat me to the punch by about a year. Her little one is 18 months old and she happens to live in one of the neighborhoods we're contemplating moving to this summer. 

My friends back in California have lots of other mommy friends. And they have cars, so it's fairly easy to do the whole play date thing. In NYC, it's not so easy, especially if those friends live in other boroughs and you have to pack up the baby and all of the crap you need to have on-hand for baby and either use a carrier or a giant stroller to get a baby up and down subway stairs, etc. etc. 

I've done it. It's one of many reasons I'm an even bigger proponent of lightweight, highly compact, old-school strollers, (which I'll be purchasing this week). I've got an 18-lb baby girl and carrying her around on my chest is lovely - until I've done it for almost an hour and my lower back starts telling you that it's time pack it in and go home. 


Late one night not that long ago, I figured I'd google apps for meeting other mommies in the area. They must exist, right? I can't be the only one with a new baby who doesn't know any other mothers. I found a few - but none of the mommies were in my 'hood. I think those apps might all still be in their infancy and I quickly abandoned them. I realize I'm not helping their cause. Then I ran across a few stories about new apps for women meeting other women to hang with. 

It wasn't specifically for mommies, but I figured there are bound to be a few on there... so I signed up. In swiping through profiles, I quickly discovered that the vast majority of participants are 20-something college students or recent grads. Not for me. But, I'd stumble across a profile or two here-and-there of someone in their 30s. I said 'hi' to a few of them. They said hi back. I also found exactly one other mother in Brooklyn. 

We have plans on Friday. 

It's a little weird. I'm aware. It's like dating for friends. And so it's weird. But it's hard making new friends as you get older - even in a city as densely populated as this one.

I met my husband online back in 2004 when everyone thought I was insane for having to 'resort' to internet dating to find the one. In fact, I'd tried as far back as 2000 when I was more or less 'assigned' to look into it for work. I immediately loved it. You're opening your world up to an entirely different set of people you'd probably otherwise never, ever meet. 

And guess what? It fucking worked. I have a kick-ass husband and now we have a kick-ass baby - and we need some kick-ass fellow parent friends to hang with here in Brooklyn. 

So I'm willing to experiment with tech again, to track down some good peeps. Wish me luck.