Posts tagged ‘lily’

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

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May 3, 2011 at 10:42 pm 2 comments

1/2 – The 1st 3



The first three months of Cade’s life were probably the hardest, most emotionally and physically draining months of my life.  I can’t imagine they were a walk in the park for Cade, either.  I think he struggled immensely with the 4th trimester, and I don’t think my little monkey really loved being apart from this mama.  I don’t blame him, would you?  Cozy, warm, serene, aquatic, and constant nourishment vs. cold, noisy, bright, and a fight to feed.  Take your pick.

Not even 24 hours old

Month 1 was full of excitement and disappointment.  As I’ve been very open about my breastfeeding struggles, that’s where the disappointment enters the picture.  We struggled and struggled, and we tried and tried.  We also persevered, despite an extreme amount of tears, anxiety, and at times, stress.  We battled with silly nursing aids, tubes, syringes, herbs, and medication.  We fought sleep so we could feed constantly.  We had wars with the breast pump that was just oh so mechanical.  In the end, it was far too much, and we switched to a new routine of a nursing session and then a bottle session.  It worked and it’s still working, though my sadness is again coming back for a visit as I sense my boy self-weaning.  That’s another story for another day, though.  Don’t want to get too sad all up in here.

The first 4 days were rough.  My boy was being starved and we didn’t even know it.  Well we did, we knew something was up, and eventually pinpointed it after my boy had lost a ton of weight, did not produce the appropriate wet and dirty diapers, and came down with a nasty case of jaundice.  At that point we had to introduce formula, which was my worst enemy turned… simply just enemy.  We have a love/hate relationship.  My boy was losing weight and was extremely hungry despite constant feeding, so formula was the better option out of starve or formula.  Once he began an appropriate intake of calories, he was happier and did not scream for all hours of the night, every night.  Thank goodness.  I really should have kept track of how much sleep we actually got in those first few days (or weeks, months, even), because I know it was minimal.  There were days where I wondered how we’d survive, and looking back, I’m so proud of all of us for making it through, but mostly Cade.  My little boy persevered, grew, and has kept on growing into such a very content and happy, though sometimes very serious, little man.

Cade loved being swaddled in the first couple of months.  It came down to being the only way he’d sleep, and eventually, one of the only ways he’d sleep.  The other way?  In The Arms.  He was an arms sleeper for probably close to 3 months.  An arms napper and an arms night sleeper.  This made for a very tied down mama and a very tied down daddy.  But even better, it made for a very happy and very secure and loving little boy.  And that’s what really matters when it all comes down to it.  We co-slept from the time Cade was about 6 weeks old up until March 30, so just over 4 months old.  It worked for us – it wasn’t our first plan, but now, I am so glad we did it, and I miss the days of snuggling with my boy.  (Since he’s come down with another cold, the first of which he caught when he was a tiny 5 weeks old, we’ve been doing a lot more snuggling in this household, of which none of us mind one bit.)

1 month old

Cade’s first smile came on December 2, the day before he was 1 month old.  It was not even 7am, and Cade was lying happily in his crib after a feed and a change.  My mom and I were talking to him and he flashed us the most precious little smile ever, he just beamed, which of course made us extremely giddy with delight.  I quickly ran and woke Kyle up, but of course, as Murphy’s Law always wins, when he came to wait for another smile from our little monkey, Cade decided smile time was over.  Sigh.

Cade’s first ‘roll-over’ from tummy to back was on December 27.  Kyle and I witnessed it and of course cheered like it was the greatest thing that we had just witnessed (which at the time, it certainly was.)  After that, he didn’t roll over for a really long time, probably until about 4 months old when he started rolling over lots.  Another milestone for the boy was when he started to ‘talk’ a lot, which was at about 3 months old.  He coo’ed and “yelled”, particularly when he was hungry or tired, he was sure to let us know.  He also would smile tons at his polka dot decals that were above his change table.  He LOVED them and was always looking at them, smiling at them, and occasionally he would “give them a talking to.”

2 months old

Cade and I spent most of our days chilling out at home, since it was often too cold to go for walks.  You know, Saskatchewan winters and all.  We did a lot of playing, a lot of cuddling, and a lot of talking.  We also listened to music every single day, because who wants to watch crappy daytime TV when you can listen to shitty hip hop?  Does it get any better than that?  Oh, I also should mention we did a lot of socializing, and still do.  Being that I’ve got… 2 hands full of mama friends on maternity leave with me, we’re kept busy.  We’ve done lunch dates, coffee dates, “play” (read: mamas talk and babies chill out, mostly sleep) dates, and we also took a ‘Stroller Fitness’ class at the Field House in January, which was super fun, despite Cade’s consistent screaming fits, which resulted in me using our trusty and awesome wrap to participate that way.  We were both much, much happier.  And I was able to keep my sanity!

Starting in January, shortly after Cade was 2 months old, we started a ritual of super late night car rides.  Like, I’m talking at times, 2am car rides.  It was sometimes our only break from screaming, our only chance to talk to one another without Cade crying in between us.  We’d grab a tea and a hot chocolate from TH’s and cruise the quiet city.  It was relaxing, though I have no idea how Kyle managed to do that and get up at 7am for work (luckily since Cade was up all hours, he’d sleep in, and so I did too).  We tried everything to try and combat cryfest 2011.  We switched to lactose free formula and a lactose-free diet for yours truly, we used probiotic drops (BioGaia, I think it actually may have helped), and we also did a nice swaddle-soother-side position-shh’ing white noise-swinging/rocking combination for sleep, which also helped our little one not get so riled up.

January was a tough one, as it often is in terms of anxiety and depression due to horrid temperatures, however, that was coupled with a colicy babe, and a perineum that didn’t want to heal.  It made for a sad and emotionally fragile mama, though with a lot of talking, reading, and writing, those days are mostly behind us.  I cannot believe my little boy is so happy and content.  There were days where I thought, alright, I’ve got a miserable little guy forever, let’s do this.  Fortunately and thankfully I was so wrong and I’m so glad for that.  I have got nothing but a happy little guy.  Heck, he smiles and jumps even when he’s sick.  I can’t top that.  The 5th trimester (‘cept, not really, because it was much smoother) was just that – progressively got easier, less cry-y, and happier overall.  We even got a chance to breathe a couple times!

3 months old

Cade and I are super thankful to our friends and family because they are amazing and helped us to trudge through some of the roughness of the first three months.  We probably only would have scraped by if not for them, but instead, we passed with flying colours.  A support system is a must, people.  I really am clueless how single folks do it, or folks who’ve got simply, no one.  I mean, they do it, and I really ought to give credit where credit is due – PARENTS ARE AWESOME PEOPLE!  They (we) are amazing and we can learn so much and thrive in times of madness, who would’ve thought?

These are a few of Cade’s favourite things…

Month 1:

  • Swaddling, warmth and cuddles
  • Sleeping and eating
  • Music, car rides, and movement
  • Following objects with his eyes

8 lbs 3 ounces

Month 2

  • Sleeping with mommy and daddy
  • The froggy position against mommy or daddy’s chest
  • Car rides, rocking, movement and cuddles
  • The decals on his walls, Lily, and his play mat

12 lbs 13 ounces and 23 inches long

Month 3

  • Strong neck and head support
  • Looking around and checking everything out
  • Eating, eating and more eating
  • 2am car rides to combat non-stop cry fest 2011
  • Sleep Sheep white noise ‘machine’
  • 70’s music station on Galaxie
  • Sleeping only with mama or dad, and napping only with mama or dad

14 lbs

Besties from day 1 (this picture was taken at about 5am)

May 2, 2011 at 11:55 pm Leave a comment

A Boy & His Bestie.

I’ve written about Lily and I’ve written about Cade, but I haven’t really touched on the two of them together, as a team, a unit, a companionship.  It is absolutely precious and sweet and I need to write about it because tonight really clarified in my mind what their relationship is about, or has been about up to this point.

These two little monkeys have a very special effect on one another.  That effect is the Calming Effect.  Just like soothing, swaddling, swaying, and shh’ing noises are said to activate the calming reflex in babies, I do believe that Lily and Cade activate that calming reflex in each other. 

Tonight, as usual, we were all eating together at the table as a family (typical picture: Kyle and I across from each other, Cade in his high chair at the ‘head’ of the table, and Lily somewhere on the floor waiting for any food that may fall, particularly Cade’s pureed chicken).  Cade started to get irritated (tired, annoyed, wanting to move around I think) and so Kyle got up to start the bath.  Cade was fussing about, making noises, and just seeming really annoyed.  Lily hopped up on Kyle’s chair (because she is a person, clearly) and the moment Cade caught sight of her, he basically froze, stopped making any fussing noises, and just watched her and stared at her, with the calmest most content look on his face ever. 

I said to Kyle, “come look at this, they have such a calming effect on each other.”  And of course, he agreed, because they totally do.  From when we brought Cade home from the hospital, Lily has been in love with him.  Before we brought him home, we had my mom bring back a little hat that Cade had worn when he was first born.  It had his scent on it, and we wanted Lily to get used to this new little person’s scent.  I never saw how Lily reacted to the hat, but my mom and Kyle did, and she was enthralled with it.  She didn’t rough house it, but she was sniffing it and pawing at it constantly.  When it was put up on the table, she was crying at the table, because she knew it was up there and she wanted it.  When Kyle and I came home from the hospital, we had a strategic plan to introduce Lily and Cade to one another.  We had picked up special treats for Lily and a special bone, and we gave her lots of affection, praise and treats when she would come by Cade and be a ‘good girl.’  When we brought Cade in the house and he was still in his car seat, Lily was a little bit skeptical.  Every time he flinched, she had a bit of a freak out and backed up quickly, growling as she did this.  It didn’t take long though, and she was wanting to be near him all the time.  In the first couple weeks, she would constantly jump up to be by us while I was breast feeding him, and she often would sit on the nursing pillow, or right beside us.  It was too precious for words.

As Cade has grown, Lily has become that much more accustomed to having him around.  She spends a lot of time in front of the heater in his room, and if I am changing him or playing with him in his crib, she is jumping up on my leg and scratching at me, because she wants to come up and see him.  That sometimes doesn’t last long, as he has started to grab for her fur and face, and kick and flail his legs around, and if she is in the crib with him or on his change table, she is likely to get booted in the face, at which point she looks at me as if to say, “what the hell did you bring me up here for, GET ME DOWN.”   Not only that, but I think Lily loves having Cade and I at home with her all day long.  We’re good company, and now that it’s nice out, we’re good walking partners for her, too, and her for us. 

Cade has become so much more interested in Lily as he is getting older.  If we’re playing or chattering away and Lily walks by (which she typically does because wherever Cade and I are, she is right there, proof is in the pictures – she’s either right there or lurking in the background), Cade just watches her every move, and starts to reach for her.  It is so very sweet and it makes me so excited for him to grow up with a puppy and for her to grow up with a baby-toddler-child.   Lily has just become this super obedient pooch (most of the time, except when she goes into stubborn mode, which is often actually seeing as she totally as a mind of her own, love my babes to be assertive).  And don’t get me wrong, she has always been a really good dog, but she’s just calm, and part of that could be that she is getting older, but still she is a youngun, full of energy and spunk.  I really truly do think that Cade’s spirit is so wonderful and positive, that it calms her right down and keeps her in check.  And I think that the same goes for Lily’s effect on Cade.  It works both ways and I love it.

I cannot wait for these two stinkerbums to grow old together.  I never grew up with a pet and so I think this is a very special bond that I am very excited to see develop more and more.  Lily is protective but not over-protective.  When Cade was colicky and cried a lot, Lily would always look at me when he was having a crying spell, all like, “DO SOMETHING!”  I think that she ‘gets it’ to the degree that she can, as a dog, one who does not speak english but understands it to a point.  I think that she does see Cade was a pack leader, at least partially.  I am looking forward to teaching Cade how to treat animals, and what better way to teach him than to have a built-in guinea pig who will be such a very good teacher as well?  I am looking forward to the days when Lily will likely bed-hop from our bed, to Cade’s little toddler bed, snuggled up with him until she has to go out to pee and will hopefully know best to wake us rather than Cadester.  I am excited for Cade to be sooo excited to see HIS puppy Lily, and maybe not be able to quite pronounce the tricky “Lily” sound at first.  I can’t wait for the puppy hugs and kisses that Lily will give to Cade, and Cade will graciously receive.  I am so excited to see these two grow up together, to see the lessons that Cade and Lily learn from each other, and the lessons that Kyle and I learn from having a little boy grow up with his best friend.

April 6, 2011 at 9:55 pm 2 comments

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

Fussy Gussy Wussy Woo.

It’s been the hardest almost 3 months of my life, but the best.  Being a momma is hard!  Duh, right?  I wasn’t prepared for a lot of things.  You cannot really prepare.  I suppose that is the beauty of it.  I put on my Facebook status that I wish birthing went: baby, placenta, instruction manual.  Obviously it would be so nice if someone told me exactly what my on sweet babe needed at any given moment, however, I guess it is kind of nice (and I will realize this more in a year+ I’m sure… right?) not knowing and figuring things out as we go.  “You live, you learn.”   I Google too much, I worry too much, I doubt too much.   People tell me to do what feels right, and I do, but then I doubt if it feels right because it is right for us, or if it feels right because I read that one article yesterday that said it was right. 

We’re currently co-sleeping, not necessarily due to choice, either.  It’s basically the only way he’ll sleep solid and sound!  Don’t get me wrong, I love cuddling with my babe and having him next to me, and in fact, I’m quite apprehensive about having him sleep in a crib and far away from me (such a sap), but I know we will probably sleep better once we can make that transition and feel okay about it.  It amazes me how well Cade sleeps when he is cuddled up to us, or at least right by us.  And believe you me, it makes the whole nap thing difficult, and this little guy in turn will take cat naps.  It’s almost like he realizes that mom or dad are not near by when he is in the middle of sleep, and then wakes up in the middle of a nap.  I feel bad when he is screaming and crying due to being overtired.  It makes me sad that he gets sooooo tired that he has to lose his mind over it!  The sleep issue is the hardest one for me, I’d say.  Though it’s got a close competitor – the issue of him always needing to be held.  Some days are better than others – some days we can put him in his chair and rock him or bounce him around in it for awhile and he will be fine.  This little dude definitely is attached to us and definitely needs tons of loving and cuddles.  I’ve read articles (I know, I know) and most say that you cannot really ‘spoil’ a baby or create set habits until 6 months old.  Babies need love, babies need cuddles, babies need physical touch.  Some more than others, Cade being one of them!  He just doesn’t seem content unless he is in our arms or at least touching us in some way.  It’s kind of heartwarming actually, and I obviously don’t mind lovin’ up my most favouritest little guy ever, it just makes the days hard when I am alone at home with him and can barely grab lunch.  I know I need to take care of myself because ‘happy mom = happy babe’ right? Right.  Mostly it’s easier to have him attached to me at all times than to listen to his heart wrenching cry, which is actually a scream.  When he was born, the doctor and nurse commented about how he had such a set of lungs on him, and I remember thinking oooooh dear, is this what we are in for.  Turns out I was right.  A mother’s intuition never lies.

We’re still giving him the probiotic drops, and they seem to have helped in the nighttime colicy fuss department.  He settles easier at night and does not cry for hours.  THANK GOD.  We tried the chiropractic route as I’ve heard good things in terms of helping babies feel calmer.  Spinal trauma or misalignments of the bones can happen during birth, so we tried it out.  We went to two different chiropractors, and the first one mildly adjusted his neck and back, and the second one mildly adjusted his neck and pelvis.  Other than that, they said he looks great.

I’ve said it before, but I must have been naive.  I must have thought that once we got into a swing of things it would be so easy and we could figure it out, just following baby’s leads.  And maybe I’m not doing enough of that, and maybe I should stop berating myself for things I should be or should not be doing because it does not help anyone!  Guilt is terrible and I have a lot of it, sometimes.  I know that’s weird to say, a lot of it sometimes, but there’s no better way to put it.  I second guess myself constantly, however the next day I feel fantastic and like I am figuring it out and might as well throw another newborn into the mix because I can DO this shiz.  Then other days Kyle calls me from work and I break down, tears pouring, because I am clueless and feel like I am doing every single thing wrong and I am messing Cade up and this is going to affect every aspect of his well-being.  It’s ridiculous and I am assuming partially hormones can be blamed.  I am pretty confident it’s not to the extent of Post-Partum Depression.  I like to think I’d be seeking help if it was that bad.  I don’t have ‘bad thoughts’ though I do sometimes lie awake at night for no good reason other than the what ifs.  Tiredness bombards me but yet I lie there awake.  It’s so lame.  I did that last night, for a couple hours.  I was so tired and so needing sleep, but then when I needed it it wasn’t there.  How does that work? 

Like I’ve said over and over, it’s been an amazing rough 3 months.  I don’t even like saying ‘mom’ things that are not gushy-gooey because I fear people will think bad things about me, but I kinda don’t care because I’m sure most of you get it, especially if you are a parent.  We’ve been through a list of things that are not fun – diaper rash early on, colic, breast feeding struggles, jaundice, a cold 5 weeks in, fussyness, healing issues.  But we’re alive!  We made it almost 3 months, we can make it 3 more, and 3 more after that, and so on.  And it can only get easier from here on in, or so I am led to believe.  I am so thankful I have so many amazing people in my life who I can talk to, on a daily basis if need be.  People who will just listen, people who will offer up stories or their own advice, people who will make me laugh, people who will listen to me cry.  Friends, family, KYLE KYLE KYLE, furry friends!  The whole shebang.  Y’all know who you are, I am not about to name names MOM.

Oohh and to end this I should update you all on the status of my perineum because I know you are just DYING to know and I don’t have a filter nor do I feel the need for one.  This is natural schtuff.  The beauty of childbirth, if you will.  I hadn’t been healing properly, or didn’t think so anyway, so I had the doc ‘take a look.’  She did the silver nitrate solution which I talked about previously then had me bath daily for a couple weeks and see how it went.  No dice, so I went back to the doctor and she took yet another look.  Turns out my perineum looks great (oh the language) but there is a piece of scar/granulation tissue that does not need to be there that is red and irritated.  Yes, it is red and irritated, I LOOKED.  I was scared of what I was going to see, but I wanted to know what was going on.  Because I am a doctor and can diagnose these sorts of things.  She suggested that we freeze it and cut it off (we, ha, as if I am going to be of great assistance) and that it will heal nicely and feel a lot better.  I hope by feel a lot better she means that I will be able to pee without leaning drastically forward so the pee does not trickle over the tissue and burn.  So, she had me book an excision (oh the language) and she will just do it in the treatment room at the office (THE LANGUAGE!).  Treatment room.  Excision.  Freezing.  Cut.  Not words I want to become besties with.  So January 31 is the big day.  She assured me that the freezing will hurt a bit, but it’s such a minor cut that it will heal nicely.  How do they know these things, I always wonder.

So that is that in the life of us.  My babesies are cuddling right now.  One wearing the Moby wrap and one in the Moby wrap.  Can you guess which is where?  So cute.  The smiles are coming a mile a minute now and that totally helps those rough days.  I just vibrate my lips together and make that bzzzzzzzzz noise (you know the one!) and he goes silly for it.  I love him I love him I love him I love him!   And geez, even Lily is needy these days!  I have the laptop on my lap, what a place for it if you can imagine, and since my legs were not up on the table, she stood there, growled at me, and pawed at my leg, Lily-language for “Put your GOD DAMN legs up on the table so I can jump up and sleep on them, DAMNIT, don’t you know how this works and no I will not say PLEASE.”

 

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January 22, 2011 at 12:15 am 1 comment

Why Lily is Cooler Than a Lot of People.

So I’m going to do it.  I’m going to fawn and fawn over my pooch-pal Lily like I’ve never fawned over her before.  And all you non-pet-loving humans can back off, because I don’t want to hear it.  This is the post to love!  To love our furry friends.  To love the compassion and awesomeness they toss into our lives.  To love ourselves because they’ve made us better human beings.

Why my Maltese Yorkshire Terrier cross is awesome and probably cooler than a lot of people I’ve known in my life

She loves exercising and never complains about it.  Her exercising doesn’t even have to be super-exciting team oriented type exercise that makes it feel like you’re not exercising at all.  Walk?  Yes please, and I will wag my tail until we go, the whole time we’re gone, and as I cool down when we get back.

Every day is truly a new adventure, a new piece of her life that she is going to explore, even though she’s explored it a bajillion times before.  This bone, omiGOD.  It’s amazing.  I’m going to chew on it really fast and hold on to it with my paws so that I don’t lose it, because it’s not like I haven’t been chewing on it several hours a day, several days a month.

Oh the humour.  She can make us laugh and she can’t even talk to be able to tell dry, inappropriate jokes.  Which also means she isn’t one of those funny individuals who is funny, but uhhh, can go overboard with trying to be the bearer of all things laughable.  I can be anything!  I can do anything!  I can chase my tail around really super fast, but still never catch it!  I can beat-box-style scratch at my bed and then tackle drag the cushion to the opposite end of the house!  Just ’cause I’m bored!  I can pretend I’m 50 lbs when I’m really only 6 lbs, and NO ONE WILL EVEN NOTICE.

Dignity?  Not even a word.  Even if dogs had a real and not just human-infused vocabulary, she wouldn’t give a bother.  The thing is, she earns her respect and status in other ways.  Like walking good on a leash, obeying her leaders, and flipping over for submissive belly rubs.  But dignity?  I’m going to march right up to this other furry … whatever it is, stick my moist, little, black nose into its butt and sniff away.  Oh, it’s starting to pee?  Better get in there.  And then when it’s done, it can come stick it’s nose in MY bum and I’ll even lift my leg up.  No, not to pee.  So it can get a better sniff.  Oh and I want to PLAY! PLAY! PLAY!  And maybe be a tease?  Perhaps…  we’ll see what’s in the cards for this play sesh’.

PS: My verbal musings on Lily the bully are simply out of love and sarcasm.  I love my bully cowardly dog, who is not a bully cowardly dog at all.  <3 xo!

Smart.  Genius.  Intelligent.  Brilliant.  Bright.  There have been many a time where I have thought to myself, alright, this dog knows more than I do and is WAY more on the ball than I am.  There is no wonder she stares at the ground the whole time I am chopping up her favourite vegetables, or eating her favourite (so she assumes) meal.  Because you’re so damn SLOW and NOT paying attention, even though you try to trick me into thinking you are watching me like a hawk, I saw that piece of carrot fall off the table, along with the cheese, the celery, and the chicken.  And you best believe I am going to dive in and snatch it up.  And sometimes I can even do it without making my collar necklaces jingle!  Ohhh snap.

For some reason, she never engages in any of the little things that pester me and drive me crazy, particularly if I am tired, pre-menstrual, or in my sensitive and randomly hormonal pregnancy state.  How does this work?  She is a miracle worker, a miracle I says!  And even if she does do annoying things, the mild feeling of irritability that is instilled within me lasts for all of two minutes and then I look at her squishy face (and that damn little moist nose!) and all is well in the world, rainbows are sprouting up all over, and little babies are coo’ing and goo’ing at their parentals.  Uuummm…. so, I realize you just got home and DITCHED ME ALL DAY… but still took me for a walk.  However… I was just wondering if we could go downstairs and you could pretend to chase me, and then throw my ball, and then pretend to chase me, and then throw my ball, and then I will chase you, oh! bark time, bark bark bark, CHASE ME, no no, throw my ball.  Okay, ready for my belly snugglies.

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July 21, 2010 at 11:14 pm 4 comments

Where have I been?

Vegas.  That’s where.  And thinking about to write … of course, that is truly always one of my priorities, is keeping the blog-reading-world entertained, whoever may be in that blog-reading world.

Back to Vegas.  A quick ramble, as I know not everyone can talk on and on for days about Sin City just because I can.  As a Hooray, Justin Turned 21! celebration, mom, Carter, Justin, Kyle and I packed up and headed to Vegas from May 15 – 19.  Kyle and Justin were previously Vegas Virgins however are NO LONGER, mwha.  And now that that has been stolen from their dignity, I’m pretty sure they’re lifers, already speaking of the infamous “Next Time.”  We did a lot of schtuff, including walking around for 100 miles every day, shopping and spending money on clothes that will fit me once Kiwi gets bigger, spending money on clothes that will fit Kiwi once Kiwi gets bigger (and emerges from my uterus into the world in non-fetus form), watching Justin and Kyle go on daredevil rides atop an 850 foot building, including a controlled free-fall OFF of said building, titillating our senses with a Cirque du Soleil show – Beatles LOVE, and of course devouring 326 lbs of food at the deadly Vegas buffets.   I can’t say it enough – SO glad I am past the nausea stage of my preggo and could actually enjoy the buffets.  And of course Vegas.

In the weeks leading up to Vegas, my mind was preoccupied with thoughts of the lights, the music, the drinks (obviously not alcoholic so I just spent more, oh let’s say 7$ or so… on delicious non-boozey drinks), the food, the shopping, the sights, the fun.  I think it goes without saying but in case it doesn’t, of course my mind is ALWAYS focused on my little Kiwi, it’s just that it had something else to think about too.  Now that Vegas has come and gone (sigh double sigh) all my thoughts, energies and good vibes get to be directed to Kiwi!  I love having things to look forward to, don’t we all, and it’s lovely that in approximately 6 months – well we’ll say just under 6 months as I’m pretty sure Kiwi is entering this world earlier than November 16th – we get to welcome our little wee one to our already fabulous family.

It’s neat because in some of our pregnancy books we’ve been reading there’s been a lot of mention about nesting and wanting to have everything organized, in place and just right for when baby is born.  I’ve definitely been in this state of mind as all I can think is CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN, ORGANIZE ORGANIZE ORGANIZE.  I haven’t done anything major about it aside from EXTRA keeping up with the home/car/life maintenance, which is definitely a bonus and I know Kyle is thankful for it.  I am ecstatic to clean every bit of our house from top to bottom, to devour the yard and try and make it look decent (because the dandelions just don’t do it justice) and to rid of useless things that take up needed space.  Secretly I want to drop a ton of cash on new furniture and household supplies, however obviously that is me being hormonal-manic rather than hormonal-practical.  We’re shooting for practical here folks!  Practical and financially realistic.

I’ve been trying to figure out how to write what goes through my head sometimes and I often struggle.  I used to be way better at it and I can only guess it’s because I wrote more and concentrated more on getting those thoughts written down and mapped out.  In a lot of conversations/blog reading/etc I have noticed the whole pattern of growing up as being career-marriage-children.  Some kind of formula that when you follow you are conforming to a traditionalist, conservative lifestyle.  And when you don’t follow it, you’re independent, living life for yourself, and exercising a right to freedom and choice.  I’m jumping to conclusions here obviously based on my observations so just roll with it please and thank you.  So what I’ve been wanting to rebuttal is that I consider myself to be independent, strong and smart.  I feel like I have a choice and I have never once felt like my freedom to live my life and be who I want to be was in jeopardy.  I consider myself a strong feminist woman with strong values.  Did I follow the formula of career-marriage-children – yes I certainly did.  Does that mean I am givin’ it all up to the man and sucking into giving up my values, dreams, goals just to be in a relationship and settle down?  Nope, it doesn’t, not for me.  I do not feel pressured to be in a relationship and follow a pattern, a formula.  I am absolutely (still!) ecstatic to be in a partnership with a man who I love, respect and cherish daily.  A man who lets me explore my goals, encourages me to look further and deeper and to try different things.  I’ve never felt tied down – I wouldn’t be here if I did.  In some sense we have planned our lives out together, clearly.  In other ways, we’ve down our own thing.  And yet in other ways, we have let nature take its course (ha – how convenient, given my last post) and we have thus far been extremely pleasantly excited and happy with how things have been going and will continue to go.  I can say with all my heart and soul that this is the man I want to be with.  This is the man I want to start a family with, to father my children, to be with me side by side every step of every way.  I am not saying we have not had our road blocks because we most absolutely have and we will have more of them.  What is important to us is that we can cross them together and problem-solve through them as a strong, healthy team.   As poor communication was a central aspect in my parents’ divorce, it is clearly a very important quality to both Kyle and I.  We will never stop talking and we will never stop listening and that I think is so extremely important. When the communication is gone, a slow death of what’s left is surely to come.  I think of the Little Britain episode when I think of communication, and most definitely that is a perfect example of what I don’t want:

I really ought to try and post more, because when I write I enjoy it and I feel connected to myself and to whoever is reading.  I really should be journalling my pregnancy more in-depth.  Not should, but want to, just haven’t got around to it yet.  I wish this nesting phase would transpire to other areas of my life aside from cleaning and organizing.  Perhaps that phase is yet to come?  I can’t imagine a pregnancy journal for the last trimester is very awesome.  Not that it wouldn’t be great, just not all encompassing.  Though I can’t imagine every single person wants to read about a growing belly and an aching uterus (apparently the feeling of being kicked in the genitals is yet to come).  There’s really just so much to look forward to.  The great and the gruesome.  I’m a fan of hearing people’s war stories so if you’ve got ’em put ’em out there.

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May 25, 2010 at 11:35 pm 1 comment

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