Posts tagged ‘mom’

Photo a Day May: Mum – 13.

So naturally the subject of today’s challenge would be mum, or mom as some of us say.  Gosh, what a loaded one really.  Again we have got a tie for today’s photo. I could not only pick one because, well… you will see.

My mom gave me life, breath, and love.  She gave me these things, among so many others but those captivate it all pretty well, and I gave the same to another being.  And he gave these things to me, too. Its such a full and crazy intense cycle of life that it constantly blows me away.  Its pretty normal. But pretty darn fascinating. 

So as you can see, I surely cannot just show a photo of my mom.  And not only that, but she is so much more than just a photo.  She started this whole mom thing for me.  And her mom started it for her and so on. Like I said it blows my mind; its so out of this world and so incredibly beautiful. 

I was supposed to see my mom today, but things did not work out.  I had planned to capture a picturesque photo of my mom with my son and I, but alas, here we are.

Because I am a little bit proud, I have also added a photo of Cade’s first daycare craft, made for me.  It is the loveliest gift ever and I am excited to see what it grows into, which should be a sunflower.  The poem that goes along with it brought me to tears.  It sums the previous choppy fragmented paragraphs I just wrote up very nicely.  xo.

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May 13, 2012 at 9:25 pm Leave a comment

I am my boy’s mommy.

Is there any other job where you are required to start immediately after having run an all-night (or multiple night) marathon?  Nothing comes to mind.  Parenthood is crazy y’all!  Things are always changing, routines are different, and this little one just keeps us going and going.  We’re nearing the 8 month mark, which just totally blows my mind.  I can’t even go there because for one, it means I’ve (ONLY) got 4 months left at home with my boy, and two, because he is growing. so. fast.

I never imagined that I’d ever utter the sentiments “aww, remember when you were just so teeny, I sorta kinda miss those days” because those days were filled with non-stop night screaming and minimal sleep.  But I believe I have uttered that exact statement within the past week.  Am I nuts?  Perhaps.  There’s something addictive about that baby thang, but not when you’re in the midst of it.   Oh hell no.  Don’t know about you, but I wanted to run, oh so fast, oh so far away.

Cade is the most active boy I have ever known.  He’s learning how to crawl, but can’t quite figure out the upper body part of the equation.  Getting there, and as he’s getting closer, we’re fearing more and more for our lives.  He has already pinpointed the cords and everything else that looks fun and unfriendly for children.  He rarely stops, except for when he’s sleeping, and even then he moves and wriggles and squirms right up until the point his eyes shut and he enters the wonderful land of sleep, though he doesn’t quite realize how awesome it is yet.  Not sure if that day will ever come at this rate.  I shouldn’t go there.  You know, he’s a pretty amazing napper.  Consistently naps for usually about 1.5 hours morning and afternoon.  We think we’ve found a pattern to his night-time-sleep-fights.  If he doesn’t get a third nap around suppertime, he is way too exhausted by the time bedtime (8pm) rolls around and he cannot settle and then is up until nearly 10.  We really need to try and squeeze a little nap, even 30-45 minutes, around supper to combat this.  Like I said, he hasn’t quite realized the awesomeness of sleep. While he’s fighting to stay up, I’m fighting to want to sleep.  Oh the days, oh the days.

We’ve also started a new little fun and super cute routine of Cade Pooping & Peeing on the Toilet every morning.  It’s so dang cute, I just can’t help myself.  Plus, we’d change him right when he wakes up in the morning, and then he nearly ALWAYS poops when he sits in his highchair to eat breakfast.   So one day I decided that instead of changing him, then changing a poopy diaper 10 minutes later, we’d just plop him on the toilet and see what happened.  Well, poop is what happened, and then pee!  I can’t tell you how adorable this tiny (‘cept he’s not tiny, he’s 22 lbs!) little boy looks with his butt on the big toilet.  He grunts and I know exactly what’s coming.  Plop.  Cute.  Can pooping ever be cute?  Whatever, it kinda is in those moments.  It’s kind of an offshoot of Elimination Communication, except honestly, we’re not really watching his cues throughout the day.  Sometimes we do for the poos, because they tend to come at consistent times throughout the days.

We’re now full-time cloth diapering and l-o-v-i-n-g it!  We’ve built our stash up to 22 diapers, and I am addicted.  Constantly looking online at different brands, reviews, types, colours, patterns.  The options are seriously endless.  Our go-to diaper seems to be the Charlie Banana one-size pocket diaper.  It’s nice and trim, fits the boy good, and holds in the dirties.  They seem to be a bit smaller than our other one-size diapers, so really hoping they will last until he is potty-trained, or at least close.  Hard to tell.  Cade’s a big boy, but once he starts crawling more and walking, there ain’t no stopping, and so he’ll probably be on some crazy active weight-loss thing.

In terms of the extra laundry from the diapers, it’s really not a big deal.  Right now, we’ve been line drying the diapers, and not only does the sun make an excellent natural bleach agent, it saves on energy, and dries the diapers really quickly.  We were using the bumGenius laundry detergent, however we recently purchased some natural detergent (cloth-diaper friendly of course) from CleanB.  The bonus to this stuff, as far as I’m concerned, is that the smell sticks with the diapers.  Usually if this is the case, it means there is buildup, but not with this stuff!  I’m pretty pumped about it, because some light lavender scented diapers are totally cool in my books.  Check out all the other scents, she’s got a million of them and I want them ALL. We haven’t tried it yet, but once we do, I’ll report back.

The other bonus about cloth, is that the boy’s bum is not rashy like it used to be in disposables.  This is a huge huge perk.  Cade’s skin is so sensitive and the chemicals and materials in disposables were just not jiving with his little bottom.  We switched to cloth wipes early on in his life for that reason as well.  Back to basics baby.  Homemade cloth solution (olive oil, water, and baby wash) smells a heck of a lot better to me than traditional baby wipes anyway.   And the diapers.  Oh, the smell.  The odd time we put him in disposables now, I can’t stand how they smell once he’s peed or pooped in them, but especially pee.  It’s a chemical-urine smell that I like to avoid, now that we’ve done so for the past 2 months.

Brief photo-montage-story-documentation – this is the story of how Cade quickly spotted my cell phone and proceeded to claim it for himself:

So close, SO close.  love the determination face.  precious and priceless.

it’s mine. victory. is. MINE!

SUCCESS!  so proud, and so nonchalant and oblivious to anything else going on.

I can sense the boy waking up soon, so I best end this little Cade recap.  With… an exciting update?  It IS exciting, it just creates anxiety for me, slightly, so excitement topped with a little sprinkle of anxiety.  We found daycare.  It’s confirmed, the deposit has been submitted, and it’s a go.  I’ll start taking him in October a couple times a week so he can get used to her and the kids, and vice versa.  I’m excited that we found someone who I think will be really great.  I get nothing but good vibes.  My mama spidey senses are telling me great things.   Found her via Kijiji, but then a couple days later, Kyle came home with a phone number and name of a daycare provider someone he works with recommended.  Turns out it was the same one!   Talk about meant to be?  I’m thinkin’ so.

So as perfect timing goes, I can hear little noises coming from the bedroom down the hall.  They’re ‘puu’ ‘p’ noises.  That’s his favourite.  He’s telling me he’s up, and he’s telling me to get off my arse and go and get him, so that is exactly what I am going to do.  The post-nap and morning wakeup smiles are the best and get me charged up and ready to go for the day.  So sweet, so perfect, so cute.

June 27, 2011 at 12:01 pm Leave a comment

Mom, mama, mommy, mother.

When I was pregnant, on one hand, I had no idea of what to expect once the growing bean decided to make its entrance into the out-of-my-body world.  On the other hand, my head was filled with loads of expectations and fluffy, idealistic images of what life would be like.  I had no idea what parenting was all about, yet I had ideas in my head of what my life with my baby would be like. Because obviously I was going to be able to navigate parenthood oh so smoothly and direct my days Spielberg-style, effortlessly and flawlessly.  Of course I was never going to have my children sleep in bed with me; bad habits are for suckers.  FAIL.  Desperation calls for desperate measures, and co-sleep we did, for nearly 3 months.  Would I do it again?  Absolutely I would.  I miss the cuddles, but am happy and ecstatic that the little one feels secure enough to sleep on his own.  And obviously I was going to breastfeed exclusively, of course I was, all my dreams of my baby featured a foggy, dream-like glow to them, with me cradling my child to my breast.  FAIL.  Written about incessantly, we’ll skip it for this post.  Oh, and we probably don’t want to go the pacifier route, because that only creates addiction, and what good is an addicted baby?  FAIL.  Got a bit of a sucker on our hands, and a sucker who does not necessarily always only want my nipple.  Clearly my child will be sleeping in his crib by about 2 (if we’re going to push it, 3) months, and if my child cries a little bit, that’s okay, because I know he is safe, fed, dry and warm.  FAIL.  The sound of Cade’s cry makes me cry and makes me hurt deep within the depths of my heart, all the way down to my toes.  It breaks my heart, it really does.  Even if I know he is safe, fed, dry and warm, I just can’ t let him cry and cry.  I am not a fan of the cry it out method and am glad thus far we have been able to avoid that having to be an option.

But let’s take another look at this and try to be positive, shall we.  They are not fails.  They are simply decisions we made based on what we had to do at the time, and so, I think I can see them as successes.  I think.   Being a parent is about so much more than whether something is a fail or a success.  I don’t want to call our decisions mistakes, because that they are not.  They have helped shape our parenting styles, they have helped us to raise our son in a way that is appropriate for him, and in a way that meets his needs, rather than what we think his needs might be, based on a certain belief we researched, read about, or created within ourselves.

So even if these can be considered fails, by some standard which is a shitty standard to base things on to begin with, we’ve learned from them and they have benefited our family in one way or another, and that is really the only thing that counts.  Everything we do, we do for the boy.  If it suits him and is going to create happiness, security, attachment and confidence within him, then I’m game, and I’m all over that.  Momma guilt is the worst thing to have, ever, and I am guilty (sorry) for experiencing it.  Other than needing to slightly loosen up and place just a tiny bit more trust in my abilities and decisions as a parent, I haven’t quite figured out how to whisk myself away from the confines of that whole Feeling My Every Move Is Being Judged thing.  Like I’ve told Kyle countless times, basically every time we have to give the boy a bottle in public, I wish I could pass a copy around of this or this to detail my struggles and justify why I wasn’t breastfeeding.  I already know it’s ridiculous but can’t shake the nasty feelings.  It’s these moments where I need to proudly tighten up my mama shoes, hike up my mama jeans, and walk proudly knowing that bottom line, my son is healthy, thriving really, and happy, and there is nothing more to it.

To me, being a mom is so much more than the decisions I have made, and foolishly felt judged on.  It is about love, first and foremost.  And budding from that love, it is about an unreal connection, a joining of souls, a creation of a family.  It is about feeling a truly unconditional type of love, a love that will never go away, a love that is not dependent on actions or words, a love that only grows and grows, to become something so unreal, so profound.

It is about detaching part of my heart, and gluing it on to the outside of my body, where the other part of my heart lies within.  It is about the sacrifices we make, but more than that, it is not even considering them as ‘sacrifices being made’, rather, a responsibility of a mother, of a parent, that is made altruistically.

The birth of a parent comes internally and not externally.  For one, parental birth may be from the moment of conception, for another, it may be the last final push, when your child is placed on your chest, and for another, it might be the welcoming of a sibling group of 2 into your foster home, a place which will be their safe haven as need be.  It is about children, it is about expressing love and nurturing towards a child, be it in whichever way makes the most sense at that time.  It is about creating safe spaces, allowing children to grow up and be the individuals that will blossom within them.

I might have had expectations about who I was going to be as a parent.  I might have even beat myself up for making decisions that went against those expectations.  Perhaps I shed a tear, or maybe even several.  But when it comes down to it, I am going to make so many more decisions that I may question.  There will be many more moments where I will question whether I did the right thing or not.   And with every decision that I have questioned, there are a hundred more that have provided my son with a generous tool kit of life lessons, of skills, and most importantly, of values he will live his life based on.  There are little gifts that are greater than that, giving my child a beautiful start in life, and him knowing that I will be behind him the whole way, and more. 

May 8, 2011 at 10:09 pm Leave a comment

Mama Day.

Dear Mom:

Thank you for helping me to make decisions in my life, be it super simple ones or more complex baby-rearing WTF do I do now ones.

Thank you for not judging me (at least to my face) when I’ve called you crying because I was at a loss.

Thank you for teaching me not to dwell on the past, but rather, to let it guide my future decisions and my future interactions.

Thank you for being so generous, and I don’t mean just material wise.  Your thoughtfulness has been passed on down to me, and there really is no better gift I can give my children than teaching them to think of others.

Thanks for supporting me, even if you have thought some of my ideas are wacky.


Thank you for being present and strong on the most amazing and life-changing day of my life, the birth of my son, of your grandson.

Thank you for teaching me to laugh at everything, and to create jokes and humour out of the most ridiculous of moments ever.

Thank you for spending so much time in our home, with our family, helping out, and giving us some space to breathe while we navigate parenthood.

Thank you for teaching me to not just think of others, but to think of myself and to take care of me, because without that, I can’t take care of others.

Thank you for teaching me to become my own person, an individual, even though sometimes I wonder if I am some bizarre miraculous replica of you, or rather, you’re a replica of me.  (I know that you want to be like me and sometimes I wonder if that’s what this mother-daughter sameness is all about, you trying to copy me so you can be as cool!)

Thank you for teaching me the ins and outs of life, you know, how long to boil an egg, how to make the best Caesar salad dressing ever, how to clean toilets, how to do yard work, how to be respectful of those around you, and how to be a mother.

Thank you for going through labour and delivering me, au natural, you are an inspiration in not only that way, but in so many ways.

Thank you for dealing with me when I was an infant and decided that it was in my best interests to rip my diaper off and smear poop all over my walls, crib, face, as well as in my mouth.  Oh, and thanks for still kissing me after the fact, and not thinking I was the sickest human being ever, though I’m sure you did for at least a little while.

Thank you for being a super awesome and super fun grandmother.  Cade is sure lucky.

Thank you for being my best friend, my truth serum, and my idea board.  You have helped me to create, to live, and to love.

Mom, I know you are not a fan of Mother’s Day, and I know you miss your mama everyday but on this day especially, but know that you are loved and appreciated so much.  It feels silly to do this post on such a “cliche” day, but what the heck, right?  It’s an important one, and if we can have one day where we are just gonna honour the shit out of some of the most important people in our lives, then I’ll take that.  Though really, it probably should be done every day.  Grandma passed her legacy on down to you, and you have started to pass it on down to me.  I am blown away to have a mother like you to learn from, and cannot wait to pass this legacy on down to my children.  I wuv you mommy!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the amazing mamas and mamas-to-be in my life, this includes mother-inlaws, step-mamas, foster mamas, adoptive mamas, and honourary mamas, whomever you may be, in my life.  You are amazing and deserve the world.  Love love love you all!  xoxoxoxo!

May 8, 2011 at 9:05 pm 1 comment

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

The 4th Trimester – Part II.

It took a few days but here I am with an update on the 4th trimester.  Er, not so much of an update as a continuation I s’pose.  I saved the ‘heavier’ section for this part, mostly because I needed time to process how I was going to translate my brain-stuff into actual word-stuff.  I still really don’t think I have mastered it because (and I’m not trying to sound all elitist up and uppity) it’s complex, and even I am still trying to figure it all out.  Also, the other post was just getting too long and I’m always searching for new post material so might as well split one post into two.  Yup.And of course what would a legit post be without photos of Your Favourite 3 Month Old.  He’s a growing boy, tipping the scale at approximately 15 lbs.  I have so many things to write about him, about our life together, about how he’s changed me.  I totally ‘get’ parenting blogs now.  Cade has consumed my last 3 months in the best way possible.  I’m still trying to make time for myself because I need to make sure I’m in tip-top shape (holistically) to be able to be the best momma I can be for my little dude.  However, the ‘me’ time is not exactly the same.  Granted we’re only 3 months in to the best ride of our life, so things obviously are not the same and will never be.  So it’s that I don’t have other things to write about or talk about, though sometimes it feels like that!  It’s just that this is the most important thing in my life right now, being a mom to Cade, being a partner to Kyle, being a family with Kyle, Cade & Lily.  It’s great, really.

So now where we get down to the nitty gritty.

I feel like I should combine the last two sections – spiritual and emotional.  They essentially go hand in hand for me, things that affect me spiritually in turn effect me emotionally and vice versa.  I really don’t know if I could write about one without writing about the other.  We’ll give it a combination whirl.  Aaannnd post-partum healing journey take 2:

Spiritual + Emotional:

Hormones are running marathons around my body, and I don’t feel the same.  I’m not a huge pile of depression or anything, but I have my off days.  The first week home after being blessed with this little boy was crazyemotionalridehormonalhighhormonallowrushnosleepcrazycrazymanic!  I could not have loved Kyle more, he was the greatest person ever.  It was such a weird and amazing feeling.  It still comes from time to time.  Oh my god that sounds terrible, obviously I think he is wonderful and amazing (and he really really is, such a fantastic father and partner, I could not ask for more, well I could but…) – but there’s just this euphoric rush that I experienced after giving birth.  God.  I bawled walking out of the hospital.  On the car ride home.  Pulling up to our house.  Walking into our house.  Changing his first diaper at home.  Having my first bath at home.  You name it, I cried during it.

Those first post-partum weepy days dwindled – thankfully.  There was a point where I thought they never would.  Couple the post-partum hormones with dealing with physical post-partum pain and you’ve got yourself a fantastic cocktail.  Not fun.  Having a sore bottom made every single thing a hundred times more difficult.  Some days I attempted to tell myself I could not get out of bed.  I think there was one night at 3am where I cried and cried, and told Kyle that I could just not do it, I could not wake up.  Sleep deprivation is absolutely insane and does mean, terrible, nasty things to your brain.

Looking back on those first rough weeks (breastfeeding struggles, pain, a HUGE life adjustment that you cannot prepare for, hormones) I wonder how we survived.  I remember thinking that I wouldn’t get through it, how?  It was not possible.  Obviously it was because here I am today.  That gives me such relief because I have days now, albeit different struggles, where I wonder how we will make it.  There’s always a way.  There’s been days where I’ve felt like my heart has been grabbed out of my chest and mangled with.  I mean that in a good way, if that is even possible?  I can’t accurately explain myself here.  Somebody came and took my heart, rewired it to give me all these ooey-gooey feelings and put it back in and here I am, all lovin’ up and everything.  In simpler terms, I cannot believe how much love and nurturing and protection I have in me.  I’ve always been a kind soul, generous, genuine, a good friend.  I’ve always had lots of love to go around and I’ve always been a peacemaker.  But I wish I could step back from my body and watch me in mom-mode, because it’s pretty cool.  When I was pregnant I was terrified that I knew nothing and how would I be a parent if I knew nothing?  Turns out I knew at least something, because we’ve made it this far, and clearly my boy is thriving.

So as good as I feel there is still some negativity, some ‘hardness’ floating about in me.  I have things on my mind and they keep poking and prodding at my mind, confusing it, telling it that it is okay, and then telling it that it is bothered.  I’ve done reading about birth trauma and convinced myself that I don’t have birth trauma.  I had an amazing labour and delivery experience, such great supports, was in wonderful spirits, and no life-threatening complications.  I tore pretty bad (3rd degree – can I talk about my perineum any MORE than I have these last couple weeks?) and the stitches was the worst part, the part I still think about and I think that is somewhat traumatic for me.  My doctor did not stitch me up – she had an OB who was in the hospital do it.  Him and a student.  It took forever, or at least it felt like it.  The doctor was not sensitive and at that point my emotions were running amok, I just wanted to spend time with my son and my family, and I was in pain.  So much for freezing, because I don’t feel like it helped.  Even the epidural wasn’t helping.  The stitching was the most painful part of my journey and like I said, I still think about it.  I think about the awful parts, of how I was in pain and so sensitive at that point and asked him if he was almost done.  His reply?  “No, it will be awhile yet.”  Really?  Can you not have been a tad bit more sensitive?  Like say, maybe… “We’ve still got awhile to go, I know it’s probably painful but I want to make sure that we can do this right so you don’t have complications from it.”  And I must have been tense and squirmy – not I must have, I WAS – because I remember him saying “do you want me to fix you up or not?”  and telling me to relax and what not.  REALLY!?   I thought he was joking but I really don’t know now.  I did not get good vibes from him or his insensitivity.  I wish that some of those doctors could realize things.  (I should also give a shout out to my doc – she is amazing and the best doctor I have ever had.  She is calm, caring, nurturing and respectful of my family and I.  We give her two thumbs up!  The OB and some of the other hospital docs though…..?  I just don’t know…) He was fixing my most sacred, intimate, personal area of my body.  An area that had just been traumatized.  (I should clarify that I have a hard time seeing it as trauma.  I have a hard time acknowledging that this was possibly traumatizing to me, because I see trauma as totally life-changing AWFULNESS.  However, it was an injury that I sustained, and people often struggle with trauma after injuries.)   And then I can remember him saying “I just have to put a finger in your rectum” I don’t remember the reason, but I’m thinking to feel the muscles/tear and to establish how it was going to be repaired.  And then I remember him doing that a couple times.  I know it’s something he had to do but it’s just all these no-fun things rolled into one ball of plain and simple NO-FUN.

And of course, I already wrote about my issues with healing afterwards.  I finally am starting to feel normal, but not 100 %.  I’ve still got weird sensations in my perineum at times.  Will it ever feel ‘normal?’  I have no idea.  Will I ever feel normal about it?  I have no idea either.  At this point I am terrified to give birth again.  I can’t imagine tearing again, I can’t imagine healing again.  I feel like I just want to ignore that ever so special sacred part of me at times.  That is an awful thing to feel and I don’t think I really mean it, but it sort of feels easier than the alternative – dealing with it and getting on with my life.  I don’t want to even attempt sex, I don’t want to attempt tampon usage.  It freaks me out and I’m sorry if this is too much information, but I’m kind of not sorry because it is my reality and hopefully that is what you’re here to read.

My body image has been toyed with as well.  The last couple of years I have done my own personal healing and inner work to come to terms with who I am, and to attempt a sort of ‘love’ with myself that I never thought possible.  Not that that has gone down the drain, but that ‘love’ is not as prominent as it used to be.  I feel like I’ve taken a few giant steps backwards and I’m not sure how to go forward again.  I’ve got a soft and squishy belly that I poke at regularly, almost in disdain.  I am constantly asking Kyle if I look ok, if this shirt is alright, etc.  I am way more sensitive to how I look and how I present myself.  I look at my stomach and feel sad, but excited that it held this little being who is brightening my every day.  It’s a weird dichotomy and I’m not really sure how to come to terms with it.

I still feel (fill in choice word here, I can’t quite thing of the perfect word to capture how I feel) about my breastfeeding struggles.  I tried to hard.  Sometimes I wonder if I could have done more, but I know in my heart that I did everything I could.  I did so much.  I’m still breastfeeding, but we do have to top up with formula.  Mostly he gets formula, I think?  It’s hard to tell, but he takes 2-4 ounces of formula per feed, though some morning feeds he won’t take more than an ounce of formula.   I wish it could have worked out completely, but it didn’t.  There is nothing I can do about it.  Hell, I even tried making ‘lactation cookies’ last night.  I’ve tried the herbs. Pumping. Frequent feeding. Waking Cade to feed. Warm compresses. Medication (which I am still on).  Cookies.  SNS tube at the breast to stimulate the breasts. Switch nursing. Lactation consultants.  Doctor consultation.  Message board.  Tons of research on my own.  Breast compressions.  I constantly feel (not because anyone makes me feel like this, but because of my own insecurities around the issue) that I need to defend myself, that I need to explain this to everybody – why I am giving my son a bottle.  When I pull out a bottle of formula in public, it often will cross my mind that somebody is likely judging me.  But why do I even care?  Why does it matter to ANYBODY else how he is being fed?  He is at least being fed, he is growing. That is what should count.  There are so many issues around breastfeeding/formula feeding and the ‘lactivists’ that I could write about but won’t, at least not now.  Simply put, I couldn’t and can’t exclusively breastfeed, at least not with this child.

I am scared of discrediting anyone’s stories or experiences by saying that I feel ‘traumatized’ by something that probably seems super minor.  Sometimes I feel like I am overreacting, and since I can pinpoint what my issues are, I feel like I should just deal with it, move on, and smile.  Maybe once I do that I can feel okay about things.  When Kyle and I were talking about this a week ago and when I was really bringing everything to the table for the first time, I found myself in tears, having to end the conversation because we were having supper out in public.

I’m sure a lot of this is hormonal related.  I’ve never been this sensitive really, and I know my body has gone through a big change – an amazing change at that.  I don’t think I have ‘diagnosable’ postpartum depression, but I’m keeping an eye on myself and how I feel.  On a day-to-day basis I feel typically fine, good even.  Cade is a lovely and needy (let’s just say, spirited :) little guy, so I don’t get much me time during the day until Kyle is home.   Then when Kyle is home, our interactions mainly revolve around the little guy, so when we were able to get out, all of these feelings and thoughts poured right on out.

A woman on a message board I frequent mentioned that her therapist suggested all women who have given birth should talk to a therapist or someone in a ‘caregiver’ position, as birth changes women and it is helpful and positive for women to talk about their experiences.  I’m deeply considering this, it’s just a matter of finding someone with experience in working with post-partum women.  I think it would be helpful, and honestly?  I’ve always wanted to go to counselling.  There’s things I could hash out – for instance, the fact that I have stuff I could hash out but choose not to because I feel like I can handle it on my own.  That’s mostly it.  Then I trudge along dealing with people’s baggage.  So true though – the life of a person in a caring profession.  We’re all going to burnt out, strung out if we continue on this path that I am choosing!

I’m all over the map with this one, and I should go back and read this over but it’s late and I’d rather just sleep.  Hopefully when I decide to proof this in a day or two it will make sense and it will do justice to everything that I’m feeling and thinking.  Thank you for letting me share my story and thank you for supporting me by reading this, even if you think I’m out to lunch.  I’m doing my best and this is it!


February 11, 2011 at 1:07 am 1 comment

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

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