Posts tagged ‘hormones’

2/2 – The 2nd 3





I feel like I am going to put a big jinx on everything that we have accomplished up to this point by saying what I am going to say next, but because I am brave and courageous I am going to say it anyway: months 4, 5 and 6 were easy-peasy in comparison to the first 3.  Oh isn’t that lovely, just after I typed that, I heard a mysterious screaming noise coming from the boy’s room.  Lovely is right.  I have come to dread the evenings again, and we were doing so, so, so well.  Sigh.  And so we march on, and another hurdle we will conquer with our fists held high.

4 months old

I guess I shouldn’t say easy-peasy, as month 4 was still winding down from the chaos of the previous months.  Month 4 saw several 2am car rides as well, which were enjoyed by all, even Lily.  I have never seen someone get as pumped for a late night car ride as her.  Oh my babies.  Basically we spent the month of March attempting to level out the wild crying activeness of the boy, and eventually, they settled down.  Cade had his first ride on a Greyhound bus, which went off pretty smoothly, thankfully.  It was actually quite peaceful, just being able to chill out with him in a vehicle, pick him up if he needed soothing, and feed him as need be.

Month 5 saw big changes in regards to Cade’s motor abilities.   Our little baby who just looked around and took in all the new sights now started to physically take in all the new sights, wanting to grab at them and shove them in his mouth.  This happened more so towards the end of the month, and the middle of month 5 saw a huge milestone in the life of Cadester – he started sleeping in his crib at night and during the day for his naps.  One Saturday eve, when Kyle was at soccer, I was lying in bed with my boy attempting to watch some NetFlix and hopefully have him fall asleep next to me.  After 2 hours of him lying there, calm though, he still had not fallen asleep.  That should have been my cue to try the crib, but intead, we persevered and we both eventually dozed off.  The next night, I suggested to Kyle that we should give the crib a try.  We had tried dozens and dozens of times, but Cade was never ready and would scream bloody murder as soon as his head hit the crib, even if he was fast asleep when we put him down.  So, the night of March 20, we went about our evening routine, nurse, bottle, bath, book and bed.  We aimed for a bedtime of 8PM, hoping earlier would mean better chance of crib sleeping success.  Turns out, it may have.  We laid our little guy down, patted his bum, popped the soother in his mouth, and he drifted off.  An hour passed, and Kyle and I were amazed.  Another hour, and same thing.  Granted, we had to get up several times that night to pop the soother back in, he slept in his crib from 8pm – 8:30am, minus getting up to eat two times.   I was curious what the next day’s napping schedule would bring, but it went off without a hitch.  Our boy was READY!  And mama was sad, because it meant no more naptime cuddles or no more bedtime cuddles.  Well, at least not for a little while until he got used to the crib being his bed.  If he wouldn’t have been ready, we wouldn’t have pushed it, but I truly believe it was just ‘his time’ to sleep on his own.

5 months old

I must say that month 5 was full of big things for this little guy.  First off, he decided that everything he saw, he had to touch, attempt to grab, and then shove in his mouth.  This started earlier than month 5, but was really exacerbated in month 5 and taken to a whole new level, and this has just gotten progressively crazier.  I can barely drink a glass of water without him grabbing it out of my mouth and putting it up to his mouth.  Reason #5328573289572389 why I love my boy, because he is hilarious and persistent.  He fights for what he wants.  Atta boy.

Cade had his first taste of ‘solid’ (read: pureed) food on March 29, which was homemade pureed chicken.  Pretty sure more ended up on the bib, on his face, on his hands, and up his nose, than in his mouth, but it was fun and it went well.  He figured out pretty quickly how to open his mouth for the spoon, and in fact, wanted to do it himself, which I partially obliged to until he nearly shoved the spoon down his throat.  After the introduction of chicken went off without a hitch, we proceeded to make some more food and introduce slowly, allowing for a few days in between so as to notice any adverse reactions.  To date, Cade has tasted avocado (loves), sweet potato (loves), beef (meh), carrots (loves), rice cereal (likes quite a bit), banana (loves), as well as small tastes of apples and peaches from using his ‘safe mesh feeder’ where he just sucks on the fruits through a mesh cover, so he can taste the juices.

Delish

Cade had his first HUGE shopping trip over the Easter weekend in Edmonton.  I did not expect him to be the trooper that he was (I shouldn’t say that, he is an amazing little boy and I thought things would be ok, but I knew we would be going shopping crazy and I can’t even handle that let alone a 6 month old boy who needs naps and down time more than I do!) but he showed us all up and braved the 9 hour shopping day with all of us, Lily included, since she was puking the night before and the morning of, we didn’t want to leave her alone because we were worried.  So in her travel bag she went, and both the sibs got to hang out with us for the day, checkin’ out West Ed Mall, South Commons and Ikea.  Nine pure hours of shopping and Cadester barely fussed once.  I was seriously amazed but moreso I was proud of my little guy for being such a trooper.  He is a shopper at heart, oh yes he is. Kyle, look out, ’cause now you’ve got two of them.

Cade had his first swimming adventure at the beginning of April, when we went to the Shaw Centre with our little munchkin.  It was super fun, and so nice to be in water with my boys.  Water is so relaxing and so natural, and Cade seemed so comfortable being in it.  He loves his baths, so it only made sense.  He wasn’t a huge fan of the kiddie pool, I think because it was a bit chilly, but he absolutely loved the family hot tub, which was set to bath water temperature, and had jets.   What can I say, I loved it too.

Waterbaby

The relationship between Cade and Lily has just continued to grow and grow.  He watches her everywhere she goes, every move she makes, and she is pretty actively into what he’s doing too, but mostly I think because she knows that his spit up makes for good treats for her.  Yup, I know, its not the most pleasant thing ever, but it’s pretty funny.  Lily has come to recognize when we start burping him, that his burps often mean spit up will come, and she is on her toes.  He gives her treats and and he doesn’t even know it.  However, while she loves his spit up, she is not the biggest fan of his grab & ingest behaviours.  She has figured out how to dodge his flailing arms and legs so she doesn’t get booted or grabbed.  The other day, Cade actually got a good grab of Lily’s fur, and while she frantically tried to get away, he pulled tighter, and the menace-like grin and laugh on his face got brighter.  It was quite hilarious, though I felt bad for the little gal.  Once Cade is an appropraite age, I’m excited to teach him how to treat animals and what the correct way to engage with them is.

Besties

In April, we made the decision to switch to cloth diapers, based on environmental impact, chemicals in the diapers, as well as finances.  We’re still using disposables as we’re building up our stash of pocket diapers (we’re at 16 now, woo, with 2 diapers from eBay enroute).  Soon, we’ll be able to mostly use cloth, with a few disposables here and there, and do laundry every 2 or 3 days.  We purchased a couple different brands to try, and have purchased a few of one particular brand that we like.  They are so darn cute, and we really feel a lot better about having our babe’s bum draped in chemical-less cloth diapers, and in turn, not throwing out a bajillion diapers that will sit in the landfills.  We’re leaving a legacy behind for our little boy and his grandchildren and so on, I guess you could say.

                                                                                    

Clothbum

6 months old

Month 6 has seen Cade develop a growing disinterest in nursing, except for his middle of the night feeds where when Kyle is prepping a bottle, I breast feed my boy.  I am not sure what it is, actually scratch that, I am the mama, I am pretty sure I know what it is, but can’t quite pinpoint exactly what it is.  I think it’s more of a combo deal, he knows he gets the bulk of his nourishment via the bottle, which comes out faster, he gets distracted when nursing, and since it’s not constant, fast flow of milk, he is more likely to turn into wandering eyes. 

So 6 months, eh?  Where did the time go, I have no idea.  I couldn’t tell you.  I guess we were busy, though some days I feel like we just did the same thing as the previous thousand days.  It’s all good though, because if I had to choose between doing the same thing over and over by myself or with my babies, I would obviously choose with my babies.  I cannot even verbalize how much I love my boy and how much he has changed my life for the better.  The photo above is one of my favourites, taken today.  It speaks so clearly about our family.  There you have Kyle and I smiling at our boy, who is grabbing for my glasses and Lily, simultaneously, while Lily is barely hanging on, trying to escape from the Wrath of Cade.  I love us and I love what tomorrow will bring.  Happy 6 months, my boy, you are beautiful.  xoxo.

These are a few of Cade’s favourite things…

Month 4

  • Sucking thumb and fingers
  • Rolling over from tummy to back
  • Chillin’ out in my Ergo baby carrier

16 lbs 8 ounces

Month 5

  • Chewing his feet, fingers, toes, and virtually anything he can get his hands on
  • Sofie the Giraffe and Lily are probably his besties
  • Loves his Lamby lovey and Sleep Sheep, they are his sleep companions that replaced mama and dad
  • Solid foods!  Chicken, avocado, rice cereal, sweet potato…

18ish lbs

Month 6

  • Solid foods, more n more… beef, carrots, banana
  • Being busy and never ever sitting still, that is my boy’s main motive right  now
  • Jumping jumping and jumping in his ‘jumperoo’, related to the need to mov
  • Non-stop til-you-drop shopping (okay, maybe not his favourite thing, but he was a trooper, so it kinda counts)

19 lbs 8 ounces and 26 inches

May 3, 2011 at 10:42 pm 2 comments

Mamabear.

I am planning a big whoppin’ six month summary post of my boy’s first half of a year journey into Tangible Life.  I’m thinking it may be an emotional one for me to write and reflect on, because I simply cannot believe this little monkey is growing into a boy who responds to goofiness, totally knows who mama and daddy are and again, responds accordingly, and also, who has such clearly defined likes and dislikes.  He is being shaped, he is constantly developing as an individual, and while he is still a baby, he is not a teeny, fragile newborn who needs his head supported.  You try supportin’ my boy’s head and he contorts and twists and squirms because he just wants to GO.

Almost every day I remind myself that I am a mom.  It’s not that I forget, but it’s that I have to remind myself because, at least to some extent, I am still in shock that we created a beautiful life, a life who has thrived from day one, a life who has made me proud, who has played a part in shaping me into the woman I am today.  No one could have prepared me for what pregnancy, birthing, and subsequently becoming a parent have been about, and I appreciate that.

I appreciate that it has been at times a rough journey, at times a journey that I never thought I would make it through.

I appreciate that this has helped me to become a survivor of my own story and experiences no matter what they are.

I appreciate that I have shed an amazing amount of tears, an amount that I didn’t think my body could create.

I appreciate that my muscles have grown as my boy grows and never thought lifting 20 lbs could be so easy.

I appreciate that I have never felt closer to my family or my friends and truly feel an indescribable connection to them.

I appreciate that while I may not have been able to fully breastfeed the boy, I have been able to provide him with as much of my breast milk that has been physiologically possible, and that we have created a routine, a breastfeeding relationship, based on what my body can and has given him up until this point, and also, that as a result of establishing and coming to terms with a routine that works for us, my boy no longer has to deal with a crying and emotionally drained mama at each feed.

I appreciate that I am now a pregnancy and birth junkie and am slightly addicted to reading birth and mama blogs and envisioning how my next birth experience will go.

I appreciate how while there are certain aspects of my birth story that, looking back on, I would know to do differently next time, I would not change a thing, because everything that happened resulted in the birth of my amazing and beautiful boy, and the flowering and growing of my relationship with my husband.

I appreciate that on top of all the rough moments, the non-stop 4am crying sessions, the nursing troubles, my boy is healthy as can be, and at nearly 6 months old and nearly 20 lbs, that speaks for itself.

I appreciate that I was able to feel comfortable with my body to do what it needed to do, and, albeit needing a little bit of, er, medical assistance what with the induction and all, I trusted myself and I felt comfortable in my body to labour and experience intense rushes and waves which resulted in the amazing birth of the boy.

I appreciate that I have never felt as assertive as I do now, but not so much so that I have crossed the line of being able to be respectful, because I think respect is one of the most important lessons I can teach my son.

I appreciate that Kyle and I are individuals and have our own beliefs and personalities and as a result, will be genuine role models to Cade, in hopes that he too will express himself in such a way.

To sum up the past 6 months before I properly reflect, it has been the most trying, sleepless, tearful, emotional, happy and beautiful months of my life.  I have never experienced such highs or lows, and I have never been so happy to say the same.

April 28, 2011 at 11:09 pm 1 comment

The Post-Partum Pantry.

… if there was such a thing, this is what would be in mine (inspired by the top 10 at The Birthing Site):

1. Prunes, Fruits, Vegetables & Whole Grains: Basically any high-fibre, go-poop foods, really, to help combat the terrifying and almost trauma-inducing first post-partum poo.  It is not fun and you feel like you are going to tear to shreds.  Again.  Also, it makes it even more difficult to go than it already is, when you’ve got a crying baby in the background.  Just picture it, you’re sitting there on the dreaded porcelain thing, trying to relax your sphincter muscles so you can try to poo with as little tragedy as possible, and then all of a sudden you hear your baby starting to wail and wail.  Then my mind starts wandering and I think, why am I trying to relax?   OH YEAH, because I had a baby, and that baby came out of my vagina, and now I’m sore and my perineum is insanely painful and that’s why I’m trying to relax.  But in order to not be one of those people who tries to scare every pregnant woman, it’s not that bad once you actually go.  And once you go once, typically it just gets better and better.   However, do make sure you have prunes, fruits and veggies on hand to help with the post-partum constipation, which I did not know would occur for a couple months post-partum.  Which brings me to…

2. Stool Softener: I used Colace.  When I was in the hospital, they gave me a stool softener with my meals, but it didn’t do shit (oops, not even trying to make a stupid joke there) because do you really think I was going to feel relaxed enough in the hospital for the softener to take full effect?  Nope.  Not even for days after being at home did I feel okay enough to attempt It.  Prior to leaving the hospital I asked if I should continue with a stool softener at home, and the nurse said I didn’t need to.  And I listened to them, until two days later then I thought, uhmm, screw this.  Colace and I became really great friends for a few days, probably almost a couple weeks, just to ease my nerves.

3. Peri-Bottle + A Comfy Bath: I can only speak from the perspective of a vaginal delivery, but I made the Peri-Bottle and the bathtub two of my greatest, most trusted friends for a couple weeks.  Actually, because of my granulation tissue, I ended up using the peri-bottle for several weeks, until I realized something wasn’t right and the peri-bottle was not helping.  PEE BURNS, people!  And you do not want your urine irritating your already irritated perineum and bottom.  Use the peri-bottle and use it to its full advantage, whatever that may be.  Just douse your perineum with warm water as you pee, it will help things and at least relieve some of the discomfort.   And take advantage of those baths, too.  I was ordered to have 2 a day, and I did and it was great.  It is so important to rest in order to promote healing, and sometimes it is hard to do so when you’re in the midst of learning how to care for a baby, try to catch up on sleep, and deal with those crazy post-partum hormones.  At least in the bath you are by yourself and can use this time to re-energize and work on healing.  Plus, it feels really, really good.

4. Glamourmom Nursing Tanks: I splurged on two of these tanks (brown and black) at Cravings Maternity & Baby Boutique and I am in love.  Still.  They’re practical, super easy to “use” with one hand, and they claim to have a ‘belly-flattening’ effect for those darn post-partum bellies.  I do think they do have a bit of a flattening/slimming effect though, and I’m not complaining.  These tanks run at about $60 but are so comfy.  You can get ones with a built-in full bra, or ones with just a built-in elastic “shelf bra”.  The bra part just flips down and flips back up easily.  They’re great for layering and will be awesome in the summer, methinks.

5. Pre-Made Frozen Meals: The weekend before I was induced, I went into major nesting cooking housewife mode.  I whipped up a couple spinach and feta quiches to freeze, and several batches of frozen meat sauce, stew, chili, and soup.  They all came in super handy, especially when it came time to Kyle being back at work.  It was so nice to just reach in the freezer, grab a meal, thaw it, and eat.  Minimal preparation or cooking utensils to wash, either.  When you’re majorly sleep deprived, learning to breastfeed and care for an infant, and trying to take care of yourself and heal, composing a meal and cooking is the last thing you want to be doing.

6. Ibuprofen: I’ll admit, when I was in the hospital I popped Advil like no one’s business.  If it was an hour past the time when I was ‘due’ for my next dose, I was the annoying one buzzing the nurses to drug me up with another dose.  Ibuprofen was another one of my good, trustworthy friends during the post-partum period.  The liqui-gels seem to be more quickly effective too, so I’d suggest picking up that type.  I’m sure acetaminophen would work well also, I’m just a fan of ibuprofen in general.

7. Lansinoh Lanolin Cream: When rubbing a little bit of expressed breast milk or colostrum on your nipples to combat nipple soreness just won’t cut it, use a cream of some sorts.  The stuff I chose, based on recommendations, was the Lansinoh brand, but I do believe they are all similarly composed.  I used this stuff religiously after every feed.  It helped with the nipple soreness during the beginning weeks of breastfeeding.  The bonus is that it is safe for mama and baby and does not need to be washed off prior to breastfeeding.  I say bonus because I mean it, when your nipples are hella sore, the thought of washing off this life-saving cream is dreadful and awful.  The one weird thing is it is very sticky, and so you only have to use a little bit.  It’s kind of a pain trying to get this off your fingers too.

8. A Support System: SO IMPORTANT!  Be it your partner, your friends, your pet, your children, the lactation consultants, your doctor, your midwife, your doula.  Make sure you’ve got people in place who’ve got your back.   This is especially helpful if you are having some struggles.  I am pretty certain I cried to every single Healthy & Home nurse that came to our house.  And they were all so kind and caring, just the type of people you want around you in those early post-partum days.  I don’t know if I would have been so persistent with continuing to breastfeed had it not been for them helping me remain calm, supported, and educated.  Of course, all of the other awesomeness in my life helped as well.  There were days I thought I would not survive.  I thought I would go crazy.  I thought I didn’t know what I was doing.  But every important person in my life reassured me that a) I would survive b) I would not go crazy and if I did it was okay, just get help and c) I was doing what I knew and it was working and my baby was thriving.  The baby blues can be nasty, and the mild to very serious post-partum depression that may follow, can also be raunchy, and you want to be as prepared as possible, in the event that you need to seek out extra support, or just somebody to tell you that you are doing a good job.

9. Some type of pads that don’t feel like ginormous diapers: When I was pregnant, so many people told me I might as well just go buy the Poise ‘disposable underwear’ type pads because the lochia was going to be that intense.   I’m not a big fan of pads, so I was kind of dreading having to wear the semi-truck of pads, that is, Poise.  I decided to just purchase some ‘Overnight’ style Always pads, the ‘Infinity‘ version (gotta love pad branding) and I didn’t look back.  In the hospital, they give you gigantic diaper-like pads and some sexy mesh underwear.  It totally works and does the trick, but unfortunately they don’t let you take the mesh undies home, though you can take some of their pads, if you choose to.  I took a couple, but once I got home I realized that if I was going to be bleeding and in a fair amount of discomfort, I at least wanted to sort of feel at least kind of comfortable, read: not wearing a bigger pad than necessary.  I suppose some women may require the Poise-style, but if you don’t need to, I highly recommend the Infinity – they’re apparently more absorbent than even the normal Always style overnight, but thinner, which is a plus in my books.

10. A Comfortable Wardrobe: Especially pants!  You’ll want something stretchy so you can maximize comfort in any area possible.  You’ll also want something probably not too super expensive, in case the aforementioned lochia decides to visit your pantaloons.  Whenever I’m at home, I typically live in my lounge-wear, so this was an absolute must for me anyway.  And while it may not fit into this category, maybe have something on hand you can make into a make-shift donut, in case it’s not comfortable to sit.  Since you’ll likely be doing a lot of sitting, this is critical.  I took some towels, rolled them up, and made myself a donut on the glider chair where I pretty much glued my ass to for a couple weeks.  It worked fairly well, and it also worked well for claiming the chair as my own!

I’m likely forgetting something important, but those are the major things.  I also had on hand: easy snacks to grab, magazines and light reading (for in the tub), TV series to watch while rocking baby to sleep or breastfeeding (though of course there is nothing quite like looking into your little one’s eyes as he or she munches away!), slippers, kleenex for my ridiculous amount of tears, a cordless phone, and the Internet, just to satisfy my harmful Google addiction.  I’d love to get my shit together and make up post-partum gift packages for all the new parents in my life.  To me, that would be a super fun business venture.  Going to happen?  Likely not.

One of the most important non-material post-partum things that I need to have, looking back, is some form of coping skills and self-care.  That can be super hard to attain when you’re a new parent, but it is critical.  Calmness is key, and while it is normal to get frustrated, upset, sad, angry, you’ve got to figure out a way to deal with this in a healthy manner.  Your baby needs you, and your baby feels your energy, so you want to ensure to reflect a good balance.  I know there were times where I was crazy, and thankfully, Cade has an amazing dad, who not only ‘stepped in,’ he took hold of the reigns and ran with them, he ran really fast, and there were days I would have crashed hard had it not been for him supporting me, loving me, and ensuring I had at least a little chunk of me-time to recuperate, heal, and get back on the track to being the best parent I could be for mister Cadester.

What were your post-partum essentials?

March 23, 2011 at 2:19 pm 4 comments

Reflections on Pregnancy and Post-Partum.

Hello, hi, it’s me, mamabear blogger!  I’ve become one and I love it.  Of course it’s not all I talk about, but it’s a huge chunk of what goes in my life, so it’s a huge chunk of what goes on in blogworld for me.  Live it, breathe it, read it, write it.  I’m also slightly addicted to reading about all things baby, all things mama, all things birthing.  I’ve downloaded a whack of pregnancy/birthing/baby podcasts for Cade and I’s Greyhound bus ride tomorrow.  Found this survey on Cristin’s blog, who is one of the creators of TheBirthingSite which you should check out.  Thought the survey was great so I stole it am doing it myself, but not without credit of course!
Part 1: Pregnancy – Recall the following from your pregnancy or if you are pregnant right now, tell me how you feel.
List 5 things you love about being pregnant.

  1. Prior to looking pregnant and having really told anyone about it, it was pretty fun having this little secret between Kyle and I (and some family and close friends) though extremely hard not to burst out and tell everyone!
  2. Feeling my baby move, kick, punch, and hiccup (though the hiccups made me sad sometimes!).  That is one of the most amazing feelings ever.
  3. While sometimes it was hard not knowing if we were going to be parents to a boy or girl, it was super fun not knowing and playing the guessing game.
  4. Being absolutely blown away that Kyle and I had created life, and that life was being nurtured by my body, growing, living, and surviving.  So, so natural but absolutely mind-blowing.
  5. Belonging to the pregnancy club and having that special unspoken bond with so many pregnant women that I didn’t even know.   At work, since there were so many of us pregnant, it was an ongoing fun little thing between us all that I loved, and now that we’re all moms (or almost!) that club is now a mama-bear ‘club’ which is awesome.
List 5 things you don’t love so much about being pregnant.
  1. Always wondering if certain feelings were normal and healthy for my baby and I.
  2. I was always so warm!
  3. The tiredness – though I really shouldn’t complain, because over all, I had a very amazing pregnancy.
  4. Your body is now everyone’s business and people are free to make any sort of comments they want.  I realize most people do not do it out of maliciousness, but sometimes things come across like, whoa?  Really?
  5. Having anxieties about how I would be as a parent, and freaked out that I knew nothing.  Turns out I knew more than I thought I did.
List 5 feelings you have about the birth.
  1. I was so scared of tearing and while I wasn’t generally nervous to go through labour or delivery, I had a hard time believing I could push a baby out of my vagina!
  2. I didn’t have a ‘birth plan’ necessarily, but just really wanted to have a positive, good experience that would result in a healthy, thriving baby.
  3. I was a bit nervous to be in the hospital, since I had never really had a hospital stay.  Though I must say, it went over well, and the nurses and doctors were all pretty wonderful.
  4. I was nervous that I would have to get a C-Section.
  5. Since my blood pressure had been creeping up towards the end of my pregnancy, I was scared once the word ‘induction’ was tossed into the picture that I would have to be induced early and not go into labour naturally.   I was induced after all, but turned out to be alright, for the most part.
List 5 feelings about becoming a mom.
  1. How the heck do I take care of a baby?  I know nothing, NO-THING!  I am going to suck at this mom thing.
  2. How will I deal with crying?  I have a hard time listening to crying, what if my baby is colicky (he kinda was, but we trudged on through!)
  3. Nervous about the ‘right’ way to raise a child to be healthy and secure.
  4. So excited that our child would grow up with a lovely little doggy, and our doggy would grow up with a lovely little child, and we would get to parent both of them.
  5. Absolutely ecstatic to see how Kyle and I’s relationship would handle this new, intense, beautiful curve ball.  (4 months in and our relationship and bond with each other is stronger than other, we have come together quite nicely to form a little parenting team!)

Part 2: Your Birth Experience (if you haven’t had your baby yet, you can skip this part)
List 5 things you most liked about the birth.
  1. Having Cade placed on my chest the second he was born.  It was the most amazing feeling ever and I was absolutely beside myself.  I could not believe that this little boy was mine to love and nurture, and I could not believe how darn CUTE and healthy he was!  I made sure to have those around me aware of this as well, I don’t think I shut up about how amazing, how beautiful, how cute, how much I loved him!
  2. That I was able to be in good spirits and joke around and be happy throughout my labour.
  3. I was so glad to have my mom and Kyle in the delivery room with me, as well as a really great nurse (nurses – but the one who was there for the delivery was fabulous) and my own doctor.  Such a great support team.
  4. Having John Mayer playing throughout my labour.  We picked John Mayer because I listened to a lot of his stuff when I was pregnant, and so it just seemed appropriate.  It totally was.
  5. Doing what I felt I had to do at each moment and at the time feeling like it was the right decision for us.
List 5 things you wish had been different.
  1. I wish I never had to be induced.  Induction with Cervidil led to Pitocin.  When the word Pitocin came up, I decided to get the epidural as I had read too much and heard too much about the extremely excruciating and intense contractions that were brought on by Pitocin.  There is a part of me that wonders how much my low milk supply has been affected by the oxytocin/epidural/ton of IV fluids given to me.
  2. I wish I would have demanded to start breastfeeding Cade immediately after he was born.
  3. I wish I could have stayed home longer, labouring there where I was most comfortable, before going to the hospital.
  4. I wish that I would not have torn so bad.  I had third degree tearing, and then granulation tissue after that, so it was nearly 3 and a half months before my perineum was feeling half decent again.
  5. I wish I would have educated myself more on a natural birth and how best to achieve this.  I realize it is not a competition and that there are no medals or trophies given out for women who do it naturally, but that’s not what natural (or should I say unmedicated) childbirth is about, oh no no no.
Part 3: I am a Mom!!! (If you haven’t had your baby yet, you can skip this part)
List 5 of your greatest joys of being a mom.
  1. Watching Cade grow.  While sometimes I think he is growing too fast, sometimes I cannot wait to get to the next milestone.  It is amazing watching him develop and all the new little things he does every day.  His latest is wanting to shove my hands (and his hands, or anything he is holding, or anything I am holding…) into his cute little mouth.
  2. The relationship between Kyle and his son is amazing and I love to watch Kyle be a dad.  He is fabulous, is such a good father, and while I had no doubts he would be, I absolutely love it.   This might be dorky, but I love watching Cade and Lily’s relationship grow too.  Cade is starting to be more interested and watching her more, and Lily is just so good with him.  She is gentle, always has to be near him, or always has to be on his blankets, toys or chair.
  3. The surges of love I get for my little guy.  So incredible.  I love his reactions to me, seeing him smile at things I say, and he gets sort of ‘coy’ or flirty, which is so priceless and adorable.
  4. Snuggles and kisses with Cade.  There is nothing like it at all!
  5. Feeling such a huge attachment and bond that is just growing by the day.  The amount of love I feel for my son is amazing amazing amazing.

List 5 of your biggest challenges of being a mom.
  1. I Google too much!  I read about this theory, this parenting method, this approach, and am always second guessing my instincts.
  2. Having to let things go (such as the dirty dishes, or the filthy bathroom).  They can’t always get done in a day’s work, and I have to become more accepting of that.
  3. Always wondering if I am doing a good job, if I am raising Cade to be healthy, secure, assertive, and confident.  I want the absolute best for my son and sometimes on those really dark days, I question if I am giving him the very best.
  4. Finding ‘couple time’ for Kyle and I.  While I find that our relationship is stronger and more solid than ever, it is different, and sometimes I feel like we have not talked about anything other than Cade for weeks.
  5. Dealing with the pesky, pesky hormones.  They creep up and they can be mean sometimes.  They have resulted in many a crying fests, sleep deprivation (moreso than the norm, I’d say – some nights I just cannot fall asleep, no matter how tired I am), and some mild depressed feelings.  Overall I am doing okay, but they were and can be tricky to deal with, especially on top of sleep deprivation ANYWAY, and healing from physical changes post-partum.  Sometimes makes even just changing a diaper extremely hard.

So, if y’all have blogs, please do this. It’s fun and helps you reflect.  If you don’t blog, do it on your Facebook or something.  or better yet, get a blog, git ‘er done.

goodnight and sweet dreams. signing off, yours truly. xo!

March 7, 2011 at 11:22 pm Leave a comment

Let’s have a chat, shall we.

Can we talk about birth control again?  (Since you all threw yourselves at me, full of ideas, last time I brought it up…)  It’s something I don’t really want to talk about or think about, because it makes me a wee bit high anxiety, but obviously I can’t avoid unless I want to be With Child a lot sooner than what our new plan of action is.  And we don’t want that, oh no no.  Cade doesn’t need a little sibling just quite yet.

So basically, I am clueless and have no idea where I want to go with contraception.  I guess, while I beg and plead with you to give me some direction, no one can give me direction but myself.  And Kyle.  I’m still wanting to read about the Fertility Awareness Method – just reminded me to check online and see if the library has it in – they do but it’s out right now.  I think I’ll start there, read the book and see how I feel after that.  I want to trust my body, and I need to trust my body.  It’s been doing it’s thing, I’ve been learning about it, longer than any hormonal method has been learning about my particular body and the workings of it.  Why do I feel so compelled to rely on something external, why do I trust it more?  I guess because it is tangible, whereas my own instincts and trust are not exactly so.  I’ve also recently started to hear and read about the Billings method for natural family planning and avoiding pregnancy.  I don’t know what the differences are between these two methods, but from what I can gather, they’re pretty closely connected, and the basic idea of natural contraception, using your own body as a cue for when you are fertile and infertile, is there.

I know what I want in terms of contraception.  Somewhat.  I want something that is extremely reliable, inexpensive, and harmless.  Obviously each of those terms can mean something completely different to each of us.  I want something I don’t have to feel anxious about, though now that I have given birth, pregnancy is no longer something that is a pipe dream – it CAN happen and it WILL happen.  I don’t want to have to pay much, if anything, just to avoid pregnancy.  I want to either rely on my own body to achieve this, or pay very little for something that will interfere as minimally as possible with my body’s hormonal and chemical make-up.  I’d like to steer clear of synthetic hormones, although my mind has lightly tossed around the idea of the Mirena IUD, which releases hormones.  Part of me did not want another IUD because I feel like I’ve lost trust in it, but another part of me thinks if I’m going to get an IUD, I might as well get the Flexi-T copper IUD (no hormones) since the reason I got it in the first place was that it was hormone-free.

I do not want to go on the pill again, I have pretty much decided at least that much.  I think.  It’s the hormones thing.  I do not want hormones messing with my body’s natural rhythms.  I do not want to risk weight gain or other health consequences – since hypertension is common in my family, I do not want to run the risk of having my blood pressure skyrocket.  I’ve done the pill thing, I’ve bid farewell to the pill thing.  Not my cup o’ tea.

I am totally leaning towards the more natural methods, but I need to absolutely learn more, read more, and research more about how these methods work and how they are going to be effective and work for myself and my family.  Kyle is basically cool with whatever I decide, and while he realizes and understands that it is a family decision, it is ultimately up to what I am going to be comfortable with as it is my body, essentially, that is going to be working through most of these contraception issues, along with his support of course.

Right now, our method of birth control is sleep deprivation and Cade.  I’m cool with that for now, but obviously things in that department are going to resume, at some point or another, likely later rather than sooner.  It buys me time to figure some things out, anyway.  But let’s talk about this!  Tell me about your experiences.  I’d love to especially hear from anyone who uses or has used natural family planning methods to avoid pregnancy.  What were the positives and negatives?  Was it reliable for you?

March 6, 2011 at 2:28 am 1 comment

My heart lives on the outside of my body.

You always hear about parents talking about how they now ‘wear their heart on their sleeve.’  I get that.  I feel like my heart is constantly hanging out, chillin’, outside of my body, making sure to take good loving care of my little Cade and my little Lily.  My heart is more apt to tear up and release anger and emotions outwardly rather than bottling it up.  It’s more likely to do this in front of people, too.  And for silly reasons, though not so much anymore.  Sleep makes this more likely to happen, too.  Sleep, or therefore a lack of, is a nasty, nasty thing, if I do say so myself.

Can we talk about something else heart and sensitivity related?  Maybe this doesn’t happen to the masses and I’m just crazytown, but let’s just go there for a minute, and tell me if you can relate, and if not, at least sort of pretend?

Since having Cade, there are sooo many things and places that are sentimental to me now!  I feel like it is a weird phenomenon but the more I think about it, I think it makes sense, somewhat?   Because we had an overall good labour and birthing experience (for the most part, anyway), there are so many associations with that whole journey that I feel connected to on this weird level.  Because it’s late and my brain feels frantically disorganized, I’m going to point form this bad boy up:

1) The strip-mall area of Extra Foods at Clarence & Taylor.  After I got induced and they sent us home to labour there, we stopped by the Extra Foods to get a few grocery type items for my mom and Carter and brother, who would be staying with us.  It was at this point that I was starting to get mildly uncomfortable (what I later realized was the start of contractions), and made phone calls to several people to fill them in on what was happening.  Kyle ran to the KFC there to participate in Toonie Tuesday and I grabbed Subway at the Mac store.  The woman who made my sub saw my pregnant belly and asked me when I was due, to which my excited response was, “I just got induced!  I’m having this baby soooon!”  I just remember being in that area, talking to people, being excited, knowing that this baby was probably well on its way.

2) Doctor’s office.  Sitting in that waiting room for all of our prenatal appointments brings back memories of not knowing what was about to come at the end of this pregnancy, but knowing it would be something very amazing and beautiful.  Sitting there waiting for the appointment where we would get to hear baby’s first heart beat.  Sitting there, feeling anxious and white-coat-syndromey and then having my blood pressure skyrocket.  Looking back, I can’t believe I got so worked up about having them take my blood pressure, but I did and that probably won’t change.  I felt (and still do feel, but this was especially within the first few weeks after having Cade) so connected and grateful for our doctor.  Part of the reason is obviously because she helped to bring my son into this world, my beautiful, amazing son.  And she was such a strong, positive, caring and humorous support person to have on board.  The other reason is because I haven’t had a doctor in so long, and now the first doctor I connect with is amazing and has been a part of a very life-changing journey for us.  Amazing stuff.

3) John Mayer.  The night before I got induced, Kyle and I made up a CD of John Mayer songs to take with us into the birthing room.  The reason I chose John Mayer was because the past few months, my office partner and I listened to her satellite radio, and the station that was on often played the Mayer.  I thought it was super appropriate, and also because one of the first songs I played for Cade when he was a baby was John Mayer’s “Say.”   Having that particular music there was great.  We should have actually brought loads and loads of CD’s because we were in there for so long we just played the same CD over and over, but it worked, and eventually when it stopped in the middle of my pushing, we didn’t even notice anyway.

4) RUH.  I will probably never be able to go to that hospital, walk down the long hallway into the main foyer, without feeling a bit of sentimentality. Goodness, sometimes even driving by I feel a bit soft.  My little guy started his life there!  I remember walking out of the hospital when we were going home, bawling and crying and not knowing why, but having somewhat of an idea.  I kept saying to Kyle, 2 days ago we were walking down this hallway and we did not have this little guy with us, now we have this amazing little boy in our lives, blah blahhh wahhhh wahhhhhhhh.  I was crying, Cade was screaming (WTF is this seat thing I am IN!), we were quite the prize that’s definitely for sure.  I’m sure people were looking at us, probably thinking, good god, what a lucky man to be taking these two messes home!  ‘Cept Cade was a cute mess.  Me?  Not so much, unless you’re into the whole IV-induced swollen and puffy look, tossed with a side of I Haven’t Slept In Three Days.

5) Friends, family, puppy.  Everyone that is important to me and in my life, I love you I love you I love you.  I feel so happy to be surrounded with all these amazing people who are going to be a part of Cade’s life.  He sure is a lucky little guy.  I am soooo very ecstatic at the fact that Cade will grow up with a fabulous little doggy as well.   And did I mention that Cade has the best dad ever?  He so does.  Kyle is amazing with him.  He has more patience than I do sometimes, which I am jealous of.  Not that I am not patient, because I am, but sometimes my emotions and frustrations get the best of me and I shut down and cry.  Kyle steps in no problem.  And not even just steps in.  Kyle is at the forefront of Cade’s life ALL the time and I love it.  I could not ask for a better partner or dad for my son.

6) Other pregnant women and mommas.  It’s the secret club!  I know it sounds super lame and dorky and pathetic but it is sooooo true.  When I was pregnant, all of us pregnant women at work were like besties, talking about all things pregnancy-related (from the cravings to the anal swab), and about our future mom & babe socializing sessions.  Then, I became part of the mom & babe club, which I love.  It means I get to hang out with awesome people and their babies super often because we’re all on leave!  Very awesome.  Even women I don’t know that I see out in public, there’s usually a ‘knowing look’ that goes on, or a conversation about how they’re sleeping.  Good times, good times.  It is so silly and so fun.  There has to be a parent collective for us all to survive.  People gots shit to talk about!

I thought there was more to the list but my brain has shut off for the night already, so unfortunately I cannot retrieve them.  So much for being sentimental eh?

Alright.  It’s past midnight and I really ought to treat myself to an early bedtime.  One of these nights, I swear, it’ll happen.  But on that note, I’m going to go snuggle with World’s Best Dad and Cutest Boy Ever Who is 4 Months Old Today.  (Would include Craziest Cute Ball of Fur to that list, but she’s curled up in her bed at the moment.)  G’night!

Happy 4 months sweet little one!

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March 3, 2011 at 11:17 am Leave a comment

I Give Gifts.

Tonight, because yours truly is such a thoughtful, kind, caring and sharing mother, partner, lover, friend, what have you, I left Kyle a little surprise present in the shower, to, you know, brighten up his Thursday morning get clean regime.

Courtesy of post-partum hormonal hair loss (and I suppose I should give a little shout out to the post-partum crazies for this little ditty as well):

Creepy?  Pretty much.  Sweet, loving and so very romantic?  That’s for you to decide. (Note: the ! at the end of the statement is actually a line with a heart, instead of a line with a dot. Commence awww!)

Since I had an emotional upset when last week Kyle suggested that I am not losing that much hair, but due to the fact that since I didn’t lose much when I was pregnant it is just that now I am merely going back to how my normal hair loss used to be.  Sleep deprivation + having your heart constantly outside of your body + post-partum hormones = snapfest.  Not entirely a snapfest though but it could have turned into one had I not been composed and maintained self-control.  I just took a deep breath and said, “Dear.  I am upset that you are diminishing the fact that I know my own body and you are trying to tell me how my body works.  Clearly mama knows best.”   Probably wasn’t that polite but you get the jist.
So, you knock the hair loss, you get a surprise, I guess is how it goes.  ‘Cept this is just me being polite.  Not out of vengeance, but rather, sweet loving kindness.

March 1, 2011 at 11:59 am 1 comment

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