Saturday, January 31, 2009

Days of our lives

The boy has become a perma-latch – he is always on the breast.

Today I got 4 solid hrs sleep after James got up – I had pumped 6oz’s for the occasion. This should have been enough milk for more than 4 hrs but not for Andrew. He was just gulping down his last few sips when I got up!

We had some lunch, Andrew of course fed again, then we got ready and headed outside. It was such a nice day, mild and very sunny. We went to a few stores to run some errands. Safeway was our last stop before home. About 10 mins in, Andrew was hungry. I am comfortable feeding him most public places but Safeway isn’t one of them. There is nowhere to do it and don’t suggest the washroom because the bathrooms there are eery, not to mention a cesspool of germs!

So we quickly dashed through the busy store (I felt a bit frazzled), then James dealt with the groceries while I took the boy outside.

Recorder Man happened to be there and recognized me so he came over to see Andrew and played him a tune to try to calm him down. I think Andrew would have liked the music if not for the fact that he was hungry! And when he’s hungry, if it’s not milk he’s not interested!

James met up with us and we ended up on a school yard bench so I could give the babe a top up! Got him home and fed again – and the cycle continues! Did I mention I am currently typing one-handed while he feeds yet again?!

When we got home we did some chores, ate, watched a few shows, mostly spent time watching, cuddling, changing, feeding Andrew!

Now James has gone to bed and here we are…

Exciting lives we lead, I know!! =P

My sweet babe

Friday, January 30, 2009

Nap time never lasts!

FINALLY Andrew is down for a nap. How long it will last, only he knows.

I love spending time with him – my absolute favourite thing is when he gets all settled on my chest in his fetal position and drifts to sleep cuddling me like that. I cherish those moments most of all because it won’t be long before he no longer goes into that position. It’s the sweetest thing in the world when he’s like that, I can’t explain why I feel that way – I just do! He’s already beginning to stretch his legs out more and more and I know that while we still have TONS of cuddle times left in our future, it’s not going to be quite the same.

So I feel a bit guilty when I feel like I want to be doing something other than spending time with him. I want him near me all the time but sometimes I want to be able to just get up and stretch my legs (being a couch potato isn’t as glorious as it might sound!) or heaven forbid, get something to eat. It’s SO hard finding the time to eat much at all because it always seems to be right when he’s settling that I realize how starving I am and of course if he’s sound asleep on my chest there’s NO WAY I’m going to risk him wailing just so I can get up to find some food. And when I think I DO have time to go make something, he often starts crying part way through the process of getting it together and while it’s fine to let him just cry for a few minutes like that, I can’t exactly sit down and eat and THEN tend to him so my food is usually either cold when it’s supposed to be hot or gulped down and not even tasted just so I can get back to him right away.

For the most part I’m totally happy to spend every second with him but sometimes it would be nice to have a teensy bit of time to myself! My mom and I are planning to go out for a few hours on Sunday when she gets here and I’ll be pumping milk so James can stay home with Andrew, so I guess I will have a bit of a break then.

Which is not to say I really feel the NEED for a break from my baby! But it won’t hurt to get out for a few and not be constantly watching him like I tend to do.

Yesterday morning he discovered his thumb and was sucking away on it in the morning! It was so cute. Made me much happier to see that than him needing to suck on a soother. Though since then he seems to have forgotten he can suck his thumb…Hopefully soon he’ll remember again! He LOVES to suck and it would give my nipples a break if he didn’t feel the need to ALWAYS be latched on to one of them!!

I just can’t believe how fast he’s growing. I won’t know how much he weighs for another few weeks when we see our midwife again but I’d say he’s getting close to 11 pounds by now. And he’s 4 weeks and a day old already – tomorrow is officially one month…Where does the time go?!

He’s awake, gotta go =)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

It was a long day today, at least as of about 3:30 this afternoon…

My aunt was supposed to come over tomorrow but she called this morning and suggested today instead because it was supposed to be sunny today but raining tomorrow. Our plan was to take Andrew for a stroll along the seawall to Stanley Park so it made sense to do so in better weather. So after changing our plans I gave Andrew a bath (he needed it after some massive and very messy poos!) and got us sorted for her visit.

We went for a long walk along the seawall – not long compared to what we’ve done in the past but long enough that we had just enough time to finish our outing without Andrew waking up.

When we got in the door, however, he was more than awake. He was fussy. Nothing pleased him. My aunt tried rocking him and cuddling him, I did the same, I fed him numerous times – nothing satisfied him. My aunt said that when my cousin was his age, he went through a phase for a few weeks where every day between about 4-6pm he was fussy just like Andrew was being. I know it is totally normal for a baby to go through a crying phase…Andrew has never had a fit for any real length of time though so I figured he was just being a bit fussy and would stop soon.

Try hours and hours later…It’s almost 1am and it wasn’t till about 11:30pm that he stopped fussing. I was going crazy from all the crying, given how overtired I was getting. When James got home I went to bed for an hour to get a break from it and to get a teensy bit of rest so I wouldn’t be a complete basket case all evening. I was woken up to yet more crying and James and I took turns doing our best to console the boy all evening.

I think it could have been growing pains or something, who knows. I don’t think he’s sick or anything. Maybe a minor tummy ache but nothing to rush to the hospital over. I think at times he’s crying and forgets why he’s doing it but keeps it up because it seemed like a good idea at the time!!

Now he’s sound asleep on my lap…laying on his tummy which I know isn’t how babies are recommended to sleep these days but he seems so much more content than on his back. When he’s in his bassinet I put him on his back but I’m monitoring him at the moment so I trust that tummy sleeping is safe =P

I want to go to bed but I don’t want to risk waking him and having him throw another fit. After I post this I’ll attempt sleep. I have to or I’ll go insane – I can’t run on nothing anymore! Hopefully I can gently put him into his bassinet without agitating him…

It has been very trying, dealing with all the crying and fussiness. But I know it’s all part of the experience, and will happen from time to time. I just pray he doesn’t end up colicky with hours long crying bouts every day. If he does I’ll have to put up with it but I soooo hope it’s not going to happen!

I love the boy so much, I just want him to be happy – not just for my sake but because I hate to see him in distress. I feel bad that he has to feel sadness at all, which is ridiculous since it’s natural and sometimes babies just cry because that’s what babies do! But I still can’t help but feel bad for the little man. You should see the back of his little head and the way he looks all curled up in his sleep sack, his pink feet sticking out the bottom. He’s such a sweet little guy! If he only knew how much he is loved and adored!!

I have to say, despite how much I love spending time with Andrew, I suddenly realized tonight how much I am missing James right now. We watch a show or two each evening if we can keep Andrew quiet enough to hear the tv…but beyond that we don’t really have any time for each other – and definitely no time without the babe. I just miss spending time with him and the cuddle time we used to have. Don’t get me wrong, cuddling Andrew is my new favourite pastime! But I do miss husband cuddles. Not that we can’t still have that but where’s the time?! I know we’ll find it eventually. I guess it’s just that for 10 years I was used to our little routine of how we spent our time together and while I am celebrating our new life, I am also sort of mourning the loss of our old one. OK, maybe it’s not QUITE that dramatic, but you know what I mean (hopefully!)

It was when we had a quick kiss goodnight while I sat feeding Andrew tonight and James went off to bed, I couldn’t help but cry a little when he closed the bedroom door and I was left sitting out in the living room. Maybe it’s more that I’m jealous he gets to sleep and I don’t (!!!), I don’t know…but I think I just miss him.

Anyway, not wanting to end this on a sad note, I will say that despite the things that are difficult, things are going really, really well and I’m very happy for the most part. My mom is coming over in a few days and then she’s taking me and Andrew back to Nanaimo for a week and James is going to come over for a weekend to be with us. Andrew’s first trip! It’s going to be interesting, and fun to go back ‘home’ and see the dogs and just be in that house again, which I have never gone without visiting for this length of time before (it’ll have been about 3 months by the time I get there – which is so hard to believe! Waaay too long, that’s for sure). It’ll be fun taking Andrew around to visit family in Nanaimo who haven’t got to meet him yet. And I will welcome the change of scenery and the chance to visit with my parents for a bit.

Good times ahead!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Yesterday's news

Yesterday felt like a big day for us, especially since I was running on about 2 hours of sleep.

After the rigmarole of getting ready (which took a few hours, between the MANY feedings and getting the stroller out, changing Andrew, dressing him etc) we first headed to James’ work place to show Andrew to his co-workers. He slept the whole time! I was planning on feeding him at the office there before heading back out but he was so sound asleep there was no way he’d want to feed. So we headed up to Sears as our next stop. I wanted to get a few more receiving blankets for him and ended up also getting him a cute little outfit.

I had to get used to travelling with a stroller – I couldn’t take the escalator so I had to find out where the elevators were. They take FOREVER I quickly found out! But what can you do when you have no other option?! It was fun up in the baby department once I got there though. The saleswoman remembered me shopping there when I was preggers so she was quite excited to meet baby. And a woman in her 6th month of pregnancy was oohing and ahhing in anticipation of her own little one’s arrival. It was kind of nice to be on the other end of that finally – not being the ooher and ahher but having the baby already!! When I asked how far along she was and she said 6 months, I told her it will start feeling like it’s going by faster now (which is true) but in my head I was thinking I sure don’t envy her. I loved being pregnant in some ways and I still sometimes forget I don’t have a baby inside me because I got so used to it! BUT I am so happy to have Andrew now and not be having to deal with all the things pregnancy entails. Although as much as I complained then that I was never sleeping, I sure as heck would be happy to get that much rest now, since I got FAR more than I do these days!!

I also found out where the nursing room is at Sears so I am prepared for next time if need be. All things I never thought about before but are important to me now!

After Sears we started our trek home and stopped by Shoppers to get batteries for Andrew’s little chair. We got home and that’s when he decided to wake up. I couldn’t believe we got through the whole outing without a feed or even much of a stir from him! Usually we have an outing and he sleeps and continues to sleep for a few hours when we get home. But this was a fairly long excursion and I guess by the time we got home he was done with his nap time. He was awake the whole entire time till James got home from work at 7pm. I did everything I could to lull him to sleep but he wasn’t having any of it. It’s not that he was crying the whole time, but he’d start crying if I wasn’t spending time with him. It was hard to get much done, though I did manage to pop some dinner into the oven and finish some laundry. I’m starting to get used to having him in one arm and doing things with the other. I’m considering getting some sort of baby sling or something so I don’t have to be holding him up the whole time when I’m doing that…

Anyway, by the time James got home last night I was completely wiped. As much as it was great to have an outing I think it was a bit too much given how little sleep I’d had the night before. All of a sudden it was like I completely crashed. I started getting a headache and just felt wretched. Luckily I’d pumped a bit of milk the night before so I was able to sleep for an hour and a half and James fed Andrew for me. When I got up we watched some 21 Jump Street while I fed Andrew (the bottle wasn’t enough for him obviously!) and then it was time to call it a night…for James that is! By then it was midnight. I was up till 2 feeding and cuddling the boy…When we went to bed I decided to put him in the bassinet this time. I’m glad I did because I am able to sleep so much better when I’m not worried about squishing him or getting my blankets near his face. He was sleeping so well too. If not for the fact that Moorka decided to start beating at the door at 3:45am, I think I might have been able to sleep well also =S I couldn’t believe it – the one time we’re all sleeping more soundly and the stupid cat goes and wakes me up. I was not impressed to say the least! She ended up doing that twice through the night. I hate to say it but I could have killed her!!!!!!

Andrew woke up a while later so we got up to feed. Back to bed around 5:30 and then I think it was about 7 when he woke up again. James was already up so I put Andrew in the bed with me and fed him there so I was able to sleep off and on with him. He started fussing more throughout the morning but we got a bit of rest and didn’t get up till just after 10. So even though it was sporadic as always, at least I got a lot more sleep last night than the night before! I really needed it. It’s amazing how sleep deprivation can creep up on you and ruin you if you let it, so I’m working on not letting it as much as I can!!

Today we’re staying in. It was snowing earlier but it looks like its stopped. It’s a bit miserable looking out there though. A good day to just be indoors and not worry about what’s happening outside.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

It's all about the boy

Andrew has slept far too long this afternoon/evening – I have a strong feeling it’s going to be another sleepless night. We got out his chair thing that has vibration and music for the first time and he has really taken to it! We put the vibration on but our own music (Jack Johnson) and he was out like a light! He’s such a cutie pie. We watched an episode of 21 Jump Street and throughout I just kept sneaking peaks of his cuteness. He’s the sweetest little thing I’ve ever seen!

Today I managed a few hours sleep in the morning but not much. I felt so zombie like when I got up, a stark contrast to the night before. But oh well, what can ya do. We had some coffee and breakfast, I fed Andrew and we got ourselves sorted to go out. We decided to take him to Urban Fare to see how our stroller would navigate around that store. We walked along the waterfront to get there and he started bawling halfway there. He was trying to suck on his jacket so I knew it was hunger he was crying over. Despite that I fed him just before we left! It was either feed him in public or rush home. There wasn’t anywhere to go really so we ended up finding a somewhat secluded bench and I fed him outside. A bit cold on my breast given it was a temp of zero, but it worked out just fine. He had his top up and went fast to sleep so we were able to do the shopping we needed to. We went to Shopper’s as well, then home. He was asleep the entire time!

When we got home my bro and s-i-l came over to see him. We had a bit of a visit and they both held Andrew. Oh and they brought the cutest present – a pair of baby sized Converse All-Star high tops! They’re so freaking cute!! They’re a bit big for him now but he’ll be wearing them in no time at all. He’s three and a half weeks old and yet he’s already filling out his sleepers that are for three MONTHS! He’s growing so fast. He’s still so little to us but he is a big boy, definitely over 10 pounds already. He’s getting so strong and can already hold his head up on his own. He really is quite the little guy!!

Nothing too much happening here tonight. Right now James is cuddling him and singing Radiohead. Music in general really seems to help put the boy to sleep!

Hopefully we’ll get some rest tonight but if not we can always snooze tomorrow off and on (if he’s sleepy) so whatever…I’m considering taking him on an outing on my own tomorrow to do a bit of shopping maybe. Depends how rested I am whether or not I’ll feel up to it, but that’s the plan so far. I had to pump some milk tonight because I was so full and he wasn’t awake to eat so I can bottle feed him when I’m out if need be. We’ll see how it goes though – I’d prefer to breastfeed. It just depends where I go and where I can comfortably do it!

The only thing I wish is that James didn’t have to go to work tomorrow – it’s so much nicer having him around to help out with Andrew and just to spend time with. But otherwise, we’re doing really well.

There are so many things I want to do but having Andrew has been so good for me already – I have totally calmed down in my ‘need’ to get things done. I am much better at letting things go and realizing what’s important and what’s not. Sure I’d like to get stuff done around here but staring at Andrew’s handsome little face is far higher on my list of priorities!

Window of opportunity

I got more sleep last night than I have in ages. I probably got about 2 hours through the night, then when James got up and took Andrew I got about 5 in a row. So 7 total – and that 5 solid hours was amazing. I actually felt groggy when I got up, which is something I haven’t felt for ages. Usually it’s more of a zombie feeling from not having slept much at all!

I could have slept a bit more but my breasts were so full and I felt desperate to feed Andrew to make them more comfortable! So I realized then that as long as I’m breastfeeding, I’ll never be able to sleep longer than about 5 hours at a time. But oh well, it’s worth it and 5 hours actually feels like a lot to me in a way (not that I wouldn’t enjoy more, but it’s far better than 2 or 3 hours!)

I got up and James was just heating the last bit of milk I’d pumped the night before, so I had him forget about that and I fed Andrew myself. It turns out he drank 3 ounces the first feed James did, then just over 2 ounces and was down to about half an ounce when I got up. So it was good timing I got up when I did – obviously Andrew and I are in sync!

After a few feedings and James and I ate and got ourselves ready, which all combined took a couple of hours, we got Andrew into his stroller and off we went for an outing. We returned some movies, then went to Safeway to get a few things that we could store in the bottom of the stroller for the rest of the outing. Then we took Andrew on his first adventure to Lost Lagoon! We didn’t stay long because it was very cold but we took a few pics of him there (even though he was sound asleep in his stroller!) and then walked home along the waterfront. It was nice to get out for some fresh air, even if it was a little cooler than we’d have liked. Oh and we met up with the chef from our wedding cruise and chatted with him a bit and introduced him to Andrew!

When we got home James went for a bit of a nap, I talked to my mom while I fed Andrew, then when James got up I passed the babe to him and did a little rearranging in the living room. Maybe it’s because I’m so cooped up in the apartment all the time but I felt like a bit of a change was needed. And I wanted the chaise part of the couch moved to the other side to make more room in here so we can properly do tummy time with Andrew in this room and that sort of thing. I ended up making quite a few changes, as many as this small space allows, and I feel much better about it. I didn’t get it all done since I only generally get a small window of time before Andrew needs me again, but it’s getting there. I’ll do it in stages and get a bit more done tomorrow. It feels good to have things more organized and a bit different so I’m not always staring at the same thing!

Speaking of small windows of time, Andrew is waking up so I’d best go tend to him. Diaper change, feed, and cuddle is the order things are going to go in =) It’s late and I hope to sleep soon-ish but I’m content at the moment to get some cuddles in!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

In reply...

First of all, thank you for all your comments lately. Sorry I haven’t been replying to them – it’s not that I haven’t read them and taken them all in, I just haven’t had a chance to properly respond!

To comment on a few things though…

We did end up getting a pacifier for Andrew, though it’s not really recommended at this young an age. We’re only going to use it occasionally. I have always been dead set against the use of them – I didn’t have one as a child and I was fine without it. I don’t like the idea of having to wean a child off it when they’ve become ‘addicted’ so to speak. So he’ll only get to use it on occasion, but my god does it ever do wonders! He was bawling and I was feeding him to make him calm but after a while he was just latched on to suck but not for the milk – I knew he was just sucking for comfort. So instead of me being glued to the couch for him to just suck like that, we gave him the soother and he was calm as could be and I was even able to go have a bath while James watched him. In fact, it was the first bath I`ve had since we brought him home where he didn`t start wailing before I got in it or right after I got in it, making me rush back out. I was actually able to ENJOY my bath! It was still only for a few minutes but that`s my usual bath length anyway so it was quite nice!

I can`t believe someone would compare breastfeeding in public to urinating or masturbating in public – that`s ludicrous!! Breasts are actually there for the function of feeding, I think it`s wonderful to actually be using my breasts for what their natural purpose is!! Not that I enjoy the public `display` but it really shouldn`t be such a shock to people. I do think it`s OK practice to cover-up to some degree rather than just whipping them out but I don`t think it should be frowned upon if a bit of breast is showing! Today I found when I was doing it for the first time in a public place, I was pretty good at covering up enough and I don`t think anyone would have been uncomfortable with it but if you really looked I`m sure you`d be able to see a part of my breast. Before Andrew arrived I never would have DREAMED that a single bit of my breast would ever be flashed in public (I`m not that kind of girl, lol) but everything seems to change when you become a mom. It`s really bizarre how much changes actually! I`m still trying to wrap my head around it. I was pumping some milk tonight (between 2 times of pumping I managed 6 ounces so I`ll be able to get some GOOD sleep when I decide to wake James up and let him take over all baby duties for me!!) and James looked over and said, `Wow, you`re really getting the hang of it now!`and we watched as the milk sprayed out of my nipple in about 6 different directions into the pump and I looked at him and said, `Things sure are different when you become a mom!` It just seemed like a strange thing, us sitting there watching me milk myself – yet it`s natural (or perhaps necessary is a better word!) Things I just never imagined myself having to do, I now welcome! I actually produce so much milk that my midwife suggested I donate some (I had no idea you could do that but apparently there is a donation place at BC Women and Children`s Hospital – who knew?!) I don’t want to donate it though – it hurts my nipples to pump and I’d rather just feed my own baby. Call me selfish but I’m just not up for the work I’d have to do to donate it, plus I don’t know why but I don’t REALLY like the idea of feeding someone else’s baby with my breast milk, it seems a bit…odd somehow. But I do feel the actual NEED sometimes to pump because my breasts fill up so much and then they leak and if I can see Andrew in a deep sleep and know he’s not going to need it any time soon, there’s no point being so uncomfortable!

Anyway…as for James getting to enjoy my breasts…LOL…Well first of all, yes they’re bigger but bigger in a saggy way. They were humongous jugs for about a day or two and were so uncomfortable at that stage of engorgement that I could have died so of course there was NO WAY I’d have let him touch them at that point! And they were leaking so badly he probably wouldn’t have wanted to anyway! But now they’re just big and hang there practically down to my knees it seems. He would like to touch them from what I gather but I kind of deny him access…For one, at the moment I see them as Andrew’s food source and I don’t really enjoy the idea of mixing my baby’s food with my husband’s idea that my breasts serve a sexual purpose. WEIRD. And even more so than that, my nipples are fairly sensitive given how often they’re used between Andrew and the pumping so I don’t want ANYTHING touching them if they don’t have to be touched! Even my shirt sometimes bothers them. So James is plum out of luck I’m afraid!! But maybe later I’ll change my mind, who knows =) It’s early days yet!

Yes, doing the parent thing on top of everything else is totally exhausting. I think I took all my spare time to putter about and just relax and do whatever for granted because now I would LOVE to have some time to just do whatever without any obligations but I don’t think I’ll have that luxury for years now! I understand the saying, ‘You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone’ now more than ever! I pretty much just focus all my attention and energy on Andrew and getting to do anything else in a day is secondary. I just thank my lucky stars that Andrew was planned and I love him more than anything in the world. Because of that, I never resent him or feel angry that I can’t have my own life so to speak. It can seem overwhelming at times, for sure, but I always remind myself how desperate I was to have a baby and how he’s all I could think about for so long. It’s absolutely mind boggling how different having a baby is than what I ‘imagined’ it to be like (since we always paint a perfect picture where we forget things like being tired, not having enough hours in the day, etc)…It takes over literally EVERY aspect of your life and even though people tell you that beforehand it still doesn’t prepare you for it – at least it didn’t seem to for me. It doesn’t seem to sink in till you’re living it. I still can’t believe all that goes into dealing with a baby, even though it’s all very simple for the most part – it’s just so time consuming and tiring when you aren’t getting any rest. BUT it’s also the most incredible thing in the world. I look in the mirror with Andrew in my arms and I have to tell myself LOOK, you’re a MOM! I still can’t believe what an absolute MIRACLE Andrew is. He’s so amazingly special and he’s mine! And James’! We actually had a baby together – I still can’t believe we’re parents even though we’re going through all the motions of being his mom and dad. It’s just so surreal!

We decided on the name Andrew for several reasons. One, it was the only name we actually both agreed we liked! LOL We tossed a number of names around but nothing stuck till we came to Andrew. We both just liked the name and felt it sounded strong and classic and not a trendy sort of name that we might regret. I’m more into traditional types of names than the trendy ones, and luckily James is too (though he did suggest some absolutely ridiculous names when we were making our list – perhaps he was joking but I’m not entirely sure!) The name Andrew also runs in my family, on my dad’s side. It hasn’t been used for many generations but there was a somewhat well-known ancestor on my dad’s side named Andrew that I learned a lot about through genealogy so it’s kind of a special name in that regard. But ultimately the decision was made because we both like the sound of the name. And thankfully as soon as he came out, I knew he was an Andrew. He looked like an Andrew, if that makes any sense! I’ve heard of people coming up with THE name but then when they saw their baby they just didn’t think the name fit – but Andrew was Andrew all along =)

And now that he’s fed and sound asleep beside me, I should be thinking about getting some shut eye myself…

Friday, January 23, 2009

Andrew's first 'playdate'

Andrew is feeding and I’m typing with both hands. I’m making progress!

Mind you, my back is starting to feel jarred from the way I’m having to sit to do it…6 of one thing, half a dozen of another I guess.

Anyway, I had a rough night in terms of waaay too little sleep. If I catch this little guy snoozing in a bit I might sterilize a bottle and do some pumping so James can feed him tonight while I get a bit of sleep. Just a nap for a few hours though – James’ cold is far worse than mine so I don’t want him up all night and not resting either.

Andrew’s cold got worse through the night and he was having a hard time breathing unless I held him upright so needless to say I couldn’t get much sleep myself. Then he was in his bassinet but by morning when James got up he was so stuffed up that he started crying, which of course just adds up to being more stuffed! Poor thing. After James and I had a bite of breakfast together, I got Andrew into the bed with me and he fed and slept off and on for a few hours like that. So I got a bit of rest then. We got up just before 11 and I got us sorted…He was really having a hard time feeding because of his nose. I tried again to suction the mucous out but it wasn’t working. He ended up sneezing and I was able to pull out the biggest baby booger ever. It was so big, it’s no wonder he was crying and feeling so uncomfortable. After that he quieted down a bit and the cold doesn’t seem as bad at the moment.

We were meant to get together with 3 other new moms and their babies from our prenatal class today at noon but I had decided we shouldn’t go based on our colds. I didn’t want to spread the germs. But then around 12:30 I thought what the heck, let’s just stop in and see if they’re still at the meeting spot and I’ll just take a quick peek at the babies and we’ll leave.

Well they didn’t seem concerned at all about the cold so I ended up staying and we spent a couple of hours there chatting, while feeding and staring at our babies!

It was great to get out for a bit of fresh air and meet with other women in my same situation. Andrew is the youngest of the 4 babies. There were 2 boys and 2 girls – all very cute! But of course Andrew being the cutest =) Tee hee. Anyway, it was such a nice little ‘getaway’ for the afternoon and I actually think Andrew and I are both feeling better for having got out for a bit. That fresh air can work wonders. He was an angel while we were out too. I didn’t take any supplies with me because I was planning to only stay a few minutes. But he didn’t need a change while we were there and although I hadn’t brought a cover-up for breastfeeding in public, I just took my sweater off and put that over and it worked just fine. It was my first ever public breastfeed (well I’ve fed in front of more people than I’d like to admit in my own apartment but it’s different when it’s not family!) and I think it went well – especially given I had a few other ladies there doing the same thing!! No one seemed to mind, it was all very discreet.

We’re going to try to start getting together every 2 weeks. It’ll work great if we use the location we did today, since it’s so close to where we live. But if we get together at different spots I’ll also get more comfortable with travelling with Andrew on my own.

I hope I can get rid of this cough soon, but beyond that I’m feeling pretty happy at the moment. And TGIF – thank goodness James can be home the next few days to help me out!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Life with baby

I feel like I’m slowly managing to get things accomplished in a day, beyond just the basics for Andrew. I would say at least 90% of my time, if not more, (ok, definitely more!) is spent with the boy, which is only natural and the way it should be! But I’ve had a list going in my mind of things that needed done and I feel like now I’m finally working on it.

When it comes to household chores not a whole lot happens (my dad was kind enough to do a major clean for us when he was over last weekend, so that helped out a lot!) But I’m talking things like writing out thank you cards for the gifts people got for Andrew and printing pictures to send along with the thank you’s. Seemingly simple tasks but it’s not always easy to find the time to do them. We got more photo paper when we were out yesterday so I’ve finally got the pics all printed. I just need James to sign the cards and I have to decide who’s getting what pics. Then they just have to be put in the envelopes, addressed, and sent! Still a long ways to go when I only have a few moments here and there to work on it all, but at least I’m well under way!

We’re still battling our colds. Last night I was up most of the night with Andrew because he couldn’t sleep properly with not understanding why his breathing was inhibited. Poor little guy! I feel so bad for him. Hopefully it won’t last much longer. He shouldn’t have to be under the weather ever, but especially when he’s such a little baby.

I even managed to put a frozen lasagna in the oven so we’ve got supper for tonight! Sounds like a really simple thing, doesn’t it, throwing a frozen entrée into the oven to cook?! But it’s not when you factor in that you might suddenly have to start feeding or rocking baby and then what if the timer goes off telling you it’s ready but you’re not in a position to be getting up to take it out?! Things I will get used to doing of course, but it seems a bit complicated still at this point. Luckily Andrew slept through most of the cooking and I was able to give him a feed before the timer went =)

I knew being a new mom would be tiring but I had no idea the rigmarole of it! It’s wonderful, the best ‘job’ in the world but I’d say it’s also the hardest. At least I did get a bit more sleep last night – well mostly this morning. I was up most of the night but slept off and on with Andrew on the couch. He is the sweetest thing in the entire world when he’s curled up in his fetal position on my chest. Sometimes I am absolutely exhausted and want so badly to just crawl into bed and sleep the night away but when he’s curled up on me like that nothing can pry him from my arms! I just hold him and rub his back and kiss the top of his head and enjoy every second because I know one day soon enough he will never be in that position again and I wish so much that I could keep him like that forever! There is nothing else like it.

But this morning once James was up I got Andrew into the bed with me and he slept off and on quite nicely so I think I managed at least 5 hours total last night/this morning, which is probably more sleep than I’ve had in quite some time.

I’m feeling pretty good right now, despite the sniffles. I think I’ll go get started on sorting the pictures so I can get our thank you’s sent out. Then I’m sure it’ll be time for Andrew’s next feed!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Poor baby's got the sniffles

Andrew has his first case of the sniffles at just 3 weeks old. I feel so bad for him. His nose is so stuffed up but I can’t tell him how to blow it! I tried using a little aspirator thing to suction the mucous out but he got so upset with that, I had to stop trying. Poor little guy. It’s one thing that James and I are both sick – it’s not pleasant both having colds when we’re not used to getting sick at all, and on top of it trying to look after Andrew. But I feel worse for him since we know what we’ve got and that it will be gone soon, whereas for him, he’s probably wondering what the heck is going on – why can’t he breathe properly? He’s not eating much either because he can’t breathe well when he’s on the breast. So he’s been sleeping a lot and then later at night gets restless and upset.

He started getting the cold last night but it seems worse now. I feel like I should let him sleep cuddled up on my chest tonight so he’s upright and might be able to breathe a bit better. We’ll see how it goes.

Today Andrew had his biggest outing so far. We had to bus up West Broadway to take him for a mandatory hearing test (which he passed with flying colours I might add!), then we went to Babies R Us and Staples before bussing to take him to the midwife’s office. There we found out he has gained far more than the average and is now a whopping 9lbs 13oz! He’s growing like a weed. The midwife said that’s great though, the more he gains the healthier he is at this point! He’s a big boy though, I can’t believe how much bigger he is after only 3 weeks.

He’s fussing so I’m going to go try to soothe him now. He’s so cute to look at, I just hope he feels better soon.

Monday, January 19, 2009

It's hard work being a new mom!

Now I think I have a cold/flu. Can’t I ever get a break?! It has felt like one thing after the other lately. My very first day completely on my own with Andrew and what does my body do? Get sick. Why, WHY??! I would be doing just fine if it weren’t for this. I’m in a routine with him and thought we’d be able to snooze together this afternoon so I could catch up on my sleep while he sleeps. Instead, I am lying there coughing and every time I do his arms flail up because I’m startling him awake. It’s so frustrating. I am desperate for rest and obviously it’s the only way I’m going to feel better but I still can’t seem to do it.

And I doubt there’s even anything I can take for it. No pill popping when breastfeeding! James is going to the pharmacy on his way home to see if there’s anything that’s safe. Even if just some cough drops for my raw throat.

I’m just so frustrated. I really do think I’d be managing just fine if it wasn’t for this nagging feeling in my chest. And I threw up a little while ago, which I hope was a one off because when Andrew wakes up and wants fed I can’t be needing to run to the bathroom due to sickness. How do mothers manage being sick at the same time as caring for a baby?! And what if HE gets it? That’s what I’m afraid of more than anything. I can’t exactly stay away from him till I’m better so he’s going to be breathing in all my terrible germs.

Anyway, I’m going to TRY to go get some rest. I put Andrew in our bed, which is his favourite place to sleep it seems. So I’ll lay there beside him and try to sleep while he’s still got his eyes closed – you never know when he might decide it’s time to get up again!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

No time to think up a title!

I don’t know how much time I have to write – Andrew has opened his inquisitive little eyes and is looking around. (Probably hoping to spy a nipple!) He’s such a cutie pie! I can’t get over his perfection!

My parents just left to go back to the island. When I went down to the parking garage to say goodbye, my mom started to cry and then I did too. I never cry around people, I am a very private crier and even at that rarely cry (save for lately what with the hormones and all!) My mom said, “Look what motherhood has done to you!” and it’s true – I tend to cry easier now. Of course, it is possible that it IS just the hormones and will taper off but truthfully I don’t know. I feel like I get more sentimental now and I don’t know if that’s going to change!

I am going to miss my parents immensely, especially my mom given how much time we’ve spent together lately. I’m going to feel so lonely without her company throughout the day.

Though I know I’ve got my little guy to keep me occupied, and no doubt he will do just that!

A few of us ladies from our prenatal class are getting together this week with our babies. I’m looking forward to that – getting out and socializing with people in my same position.

I think it’s time for Andrew’s next feeding so I’d better sign off now…Wish I had time for more, but maybe tomorrow…

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A little sleep goes a long way...

Andrew is sleeping - part on me, part on the boomerang pillow on my lap. He’s being slightly fussy – sleeps for a few minutes, then cries for a top up of milk. Always with the topping up!! I think he needs a diaper change too. It really never ends! It’s true what they say, “There’s no tired like a mother’s tired.”

However, thanks to James (and my breast pump) I was able to get nearly 4 solid hours of sleep. That’s the most sleep I’ve had in a row since before Andrew arrived so it feels significant. Which is not to say I wouldn’t welcome another 4 hours…But I’ll take what I can get! It’s interesting because James said he was hoping I’d be asleep for a good 8 hours and I said I had a feeling I’d be lucky to get in the 4 hour range. I know my baby!!

I pumped milk in hopes Andrew would take to the bottle (not something we plan on doing regularly at this point but it was necessary if I wanted to catch up a bit on sleep). It took some trying but James managed with it. Unfortunately I only had about 3 ounces of milk in the bottle though – since Andrew was on a feeding FRENZY tonight, it was hard to pump a decent supply to save for later. So of course he guzzled what was saved up for him and then needed more – hence the 4 hour nap as opposed to 8 hour sleep!

I’m getting used to this sleep issue though, as much as I’d LOVE to be getting more of it. I also love spending so much time with my baby. Andrew is just so expressive and adorable and cuddly and smells so darn good (love that ‘new baby’ smell!) I have grown used to being with him pretty much all the time. When I went to bed without him there with me I felt lost at first and was tempted to just get up again and hold him but I resisted since I do need to take advantage of being able to rest when I can.

I’m feeling very positive at the moment. I’m sure I’ll have a bit of a meltdown when my parents leave on Sunday since I grew so used to having them around as they were here off and on (but mostly on) since the middle of last month. Their support and companionship has meant SO MUCH to me lately. But I do also have more confidence in my abilities as a mother. It’ll be tough and of course not without it’s challenges, but I am doing pretty well at least taking care of all his basic needs, and mine. Everything else at this point is secondary. It’s exhausting, yes, but manageable.

He is just too cute for words! I can’t stop staring at his cuteness. For someone so little, he’s sure a lot loveable!!

Today my mom and I hung out as we’ve been doing lately. In the afternoon she left me so I could nap for a bit, though Andrew only gave me 15 minutes before he wanted fed again. Like I said, he was on a feeding frenzy…Then we went out to introduce Andrew to someone at the hotel who had been waiting for ages to meet him…Only Andrew threw a tantrum and it was a very short-lived excursion! For the most part he was really good but then my cell phone started ringing and vibrating in my pocket and I guess he heard/felt it and didn’t like it so he acted up. His first public tantrum! Luckily he’s newborn and adorable so no one seemed to mind =) And I was able to bounce and rock him back into sleep mode fairly quickly, so all was well.

When we got home we had some supper – James was home from work by this point. Then we collected up all Andrew’s million things that he needs to see him through a few hours (diapers, wipes, blankets, pillow for nursing (more for me than him!) burp cloths, etc) and I went upstairs to my mom’s suite so we could watch some tv while Andrew fed, slept, pooped, fed again, pooped again, slept, and so forth. This was also when I pumped milk for the bottle – which nearly had my left nipple falling off, or so it felt like. It was SO painful for some reason! Ugh. But at least I was able to pump some…

Then James came up and collected us and we came home and that’s when I went to bed.

And now here I am…

It’s amazing how much your perceptions change when you become a mother. At least for me, so much of what once would have bothered me no longer does. So many things I was anal about or thought was important no longer is. It’s bizarre how many people have seen my bare breasts and giant nipples hanging out. So many family members I never imagined would see my bare chest like that! It’s strange but it doesn’t bother me like I thought it would. I used to keep our blinds closed all the time because I hated the idea of people being able to see in from buildings nearby or from the street – even though I really never had anything to hide. Now I pump milk on the couch with the blinds wide open, breast feed, just let it all hang out with the blinds pulled back. Who cares?! If someone wants to watch me doing such things then so be it. I just don’t care so much what people think anymore. About so many things.

I’m sure this one will change – body image. I mean, I’m sure there will come a time where I’ll be like, OK, it’s been a while since I gave birth and I want to get rid of this flab I didn’t have before I was pregnant. But right now I am also quite comfortable with the changes in my body. I am actually surprised by how quickly my tummy is going back down, closer to it’s ‘normal’ size. I have already lost over 20 pounds – although I gained about 40 total so I still have a ways to go. But I think I have lost quite a lot in a very short period of time and there isn’t so much sagging in my mid-section like I thought there would be. I do have a little bulge there but there’s nothing that can be done about that, it’s what happens after giving birth! But it doesn’t bother me because it’s all part of being a mom and having a baby and I feel pretty good about where I’m at. And if people look at me when I’m out and think I look fat or ew gross look at her bulge there or whatever, I honestly could care less. Things like that just seem so trivial to me right now.

I think I am much more open right now to the fact that everyone has their stuff going on in their lives and you just never know what someone is going through or has gone through or what have you. I feel more mature somehow, although I’m not meaning to say that in a way that is snobby or like I’m somehow better than I once was, or than anyone else for that matter. I can’t quite explain it. I just feel different somehow now that I’m a mom and have this little guy in my life to care for. It’s only natural that having a baby would change a person! I’m just finding all these transitions so interesting. I’m so relieved that I’m feeling so much better now than I was at first. The sudden change of hormones and newness of everything and painful breast engorgement left me hanging by a thread for a few days there, wondering if I was going to be able to cope, truthfully. I honestly thought I wasn’t going to be able to and I felt a bit desperate. And I’m sure there are going to be plenty more of those moments in the future for me since all of this is a learning process as we go along…but right now I have this level of calm and I feel so much better emotionally, more like ‘myself’ again.

I just love loving Andrew! He is such a little gem. He is the little person I was waiting for all those months. Pining for, desperate to meet. It was him all along! And I know that now, and it explains so much! When he punches and kicks and moves about in particular ways I think OMG I felt those jabs, yep those where the movements! He’s so freaking cute. He is the perfect son and I feel like he’s so meant to be for us, he’s our little man! He’s sweeter than I ever could have dreamed.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Cutesy Wutesy Baby!

With Andrew currently feeding, I'm having to type with only one hand...so it's easier to post pics than to write much! I will say that tonight after N&M left, Andrew and I went up to my mom's suite to chat and watch tv (and stare at baby!) It was fun. Honestly at this point in time I wish my parents actually DID live that close by! I love our time together.

Ugh, Andrew just let one rip. One of his fave things to do: poop in a fresh diaper that he's had on for about 2 minutes. I keep telling him he's lucky he's so cute! Oh and he does adult sized farts now too, so big for such a seemingly little man!

Oh, and if I hear one more person say he looks JUST like James as if I'm not his mother I am going to blow a gasket. Yes, he most definitely resembles his dad. But surely he looks like me too, the person who did ALL the work in getting him here?!!

Anyway, here are the pics, in no particular order:








Thursday, January 15, 2009

Finally time to post...

We’re all doing well, but I’ve been sooooo tired lately, I haven’t been able to write a single thing. I want to be documenting every little thing Andrew does and what we’re up to each day (although feeding, burping, changing, cuddling, Andrew sleeping and me not pretty much sums it up in a nutshell!) I wish I could find the time to write but with time I know I’ll be able to start fitting it into the day a little better. Once I get more used to being a zombie and being able to function as such…

Andrew is such a little darling! And I’ve been doing better – I haven’t cried in 3 days!! It’s been amazing. Part of that is probably because my mom is here helping me (now that James is back to work) out so I don’t feel totally isolated and alone. Although she’s staying in the guest suite in our building so she’s been good about making sure I’m doing things on my own to ‘prepare’ for what’s to come and is helping me out more when I ask. I’ve really been enjoying her company through the day and I know I’ll be really missing her a lot when she has to leave this weekend. My dad is coming over for Sat/Sun so it will be a grandparents weekend with Andrew. I wish they lived closer so they could see him all the time, which I know is what they want more than anything.

I’m slowly adjusting to my new life with baby and trying to stay positive despite the total sleep deprivation. That’s the hardest part of all. Andrew is a big boy so he eats A LOT. He was 9lbs already as of Tuesday so I bet he’s at least 9lbs 2oz by today, probably more. He’s gaining over an ounce a day when half an ounce to one ounce a day is the ‘norm’! Like I said, he’s a big boy, so he requires a lot! He feeds so much that on average through the night I sleep about an hour at a time, sometimes less. Often less. And he’ll feed for an hour, sometimes longer, going back and forth to each breast.

But we’re plugging along and we need each other, really, so it all works out. He needs to eat and I need him to empty my jugs!!

Today I went for my first actual ‘outing’ without Andrew. It was hard but it had to be done. I had to get my driver’s license renewed (tell me this, WHY can you not smile in a DL photo anymore?! I hate the ‘neutral’ expression thing they require!) so I thought it made sense to do it with my mom here looking after Andrew while I’d dash out and get that done. I also had to pick something up at the post office and wanted to go to The Bay for a quick sec. I was gone close to 2 hours total. And I think I called 5 times to check on how things were going! LOL I couldn’t help it. I didn’t like being away from my little man for so long! On the way home I could feel my breasts really filling up and as soon as I got in the door Andrew was ready for his next big meal. Like I said, we need each other!

After his feed and a little nap (for both of us, though I only got about half an hour of rest) I gave him a bath. The first time I did it on my own. My mom was there if I needed her but I managed to do it, and lucky for me he seems to love being in his tub so it worked out quite nicely. He smells so baby fresh now and has been snoozing in his Baby Roots robe for a good hour now. Too bad I can’t sleep too since we’re having N&M over – they’ll be here any minute so I should sign off for now. One day I’ll sleep again…at least that’s the hope. But for the time being I have my precious baby to love and admire every second, and I’m taking full advantage of that =)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

There isn't time for much

From Jan 9…

Baby on one side of my lap, computer on the other. Ah, the life of a modern mommy! LOL

I’ve been pretty weepy today, but I’m plugging along. I’d be insane if not for the support of my wonderful husband. He truly is a gem! I don’t know what I’d do without his help. He is already such a great daddy and has done so much for me without complaining for a second. I’m really lucky to have him. I’ve talked to so many women who say their husbands were total deadbeats and wouldn’t even change a diaper, as if the whole job of caring for baby is up to the woman. Thankfully James doesn’t see it that way!

Right now Andrew is sleeping and we’re hoping to eat some homemade pizza James prepared and watch an episode of Heroes…let’s see if it can actually happen.

Jan 10…

We did manage to watch Heroes but afterwards I was up pretty much all night feeding…I’m exhausted and Andrew is sleeping at the moment so I’m going to take advantage and go try to have a nap before I go completely insane from being so overtired. I just wanted to be able to post what I’d written yesterday. I know it’s not much but it’s all I had time for unfortunately!

Friday, January 09, 2009

2 posts in 1

Written on Jan 7:

It’s strange how the outside world seems so foreign to me now. There’s this whole world outside our apartment but in some ways it feels like it’s not even there. As I was going to bed this morning around 7:30 (weird hours being kept these days) I heard the construction starting down the street and it reminded me that there are so many other things happening right now! I’m lost in my own little world at the moment. I imagine it will take some time to snap out of that. Especially given that we’re not too keen on venturing outside with baby for the first few weeks, given the terrible weather we’ve been having and not wanting to risk him getting infected with too many germs.

I’m feeling much better since last night so I’m hoping I am on the mend with my infection. If only Andrew would feed more – my breasts are so freaking full, they are killing me. It is NOT fun when the milk comes in, let me tell you. The engorgement phase sucks. No pun intended, haha! It’s like you’ve just got semi-used to your baby drinking the colostrum and you have what you think is a routine going and your nipples are sore but your breasts feel pretty well normal…then all of a sudden they’re giant jugs of milk that are so heavy, weighing in at about 10,000 pounds (each) and you look in the mirror and think good lord those are NOT my breasts are they?! They ache and you can barely hold them up and they leak – it’s not pleasant let me tell you! I am starting to get past the engorgement phase except for the fact that in the past 24 hours baby has decided to sleep more than eat so I’m getting way too full again. Last night I had to pump, as recommended by my midwife due to our situation, and she said it’s usually hard to get much pumped when you first start trying so not to be disappointed if not much came out. Well I had 2 ounces in about 5 minutes and I could have probably got to 4 if I’d kept it up – only the more you let out the more your breast thinks it needs to produce so I didn’t want to go overboard! We definitely are not dealing with a short milk supply here!

Everything you never wanted to know about me all in a matter of a few posts! LOL

Anyway, another day begins. We’ll see what Andrew has in store for us today.

Oh and a tip if you’re trying to stop a baby from crying – it won’t necessarily work every time, but Andrew LOVES to be blowdried! Sounds bizarre right? But he loves the sound and he loves the warmth!

Jan 9…

Well it’s been 2 days and I never had a chance to finish up that post or write anything else. I wish I had time to document a little bit each day but some days it’s just not possible. I have to choose my priorities carefully.

The past 2 days Andrew fed CONSTANTLY. (And when I say constantly I mean it, at one point it was for 5 hours straight going back and forth without stopping, and then he was wide awake after and started up again about 20 minutes later, leaving me enough time to go to the bathroom, gulp some food down and set myself up again for the next feed). The good thing is, my infection is gone and my breasts are no longer totally painful from engorgement, since he’s emptied them both a few times over. The bad part is how glued I am to the couch all the time just feeding him. It leaves little time for anything else, including sleep. Last night I got about 3 hours, but not all in a row. I think James got a full 8 hours sleep last night! I find it quite frustrating that the dad is able to get all the sleep when it’s the mother who actually NEEDS it – I mean come on, all that labouring and I can’t get a single night’s sleep to recuperate! BUT at least he’s well rested so he can help me out a lot during the day, and I can hopefully get some nap time in at some point while he watches Andrew.

Things are going quite well but I’ve been feeling weepy. Off and on, it’s not a constant thing, but it does sort of nag at me at times. I feel so overwhelmed. I am in love with Andrew, he is the most precious and perfect baby I could imagine. I feel so attached to him and sometimes I get weepy because I think how I just wish we could go back to our first night together there in the hospital and live it over and over again forever. Not the labour part of course, but the part where I cuddled him all night. The part where he laid in fetal position on my chest all night so contently and we enjoyed hours of cuddle time together. I cry because I know he’s only getting bigger and we’ll never have that moment back. Tears are streaming down my face just from writing that, that’s how easily upset I am! I know I still have this phase to enjoy – although he’s above birth weight already (he had dropped to 8lbs 1oz a few days after birth, then went to 8lbs 3oz, and as of yesterday was 8lbs 10oz!) he’s still very tiny and still loves to cuddle me in his fetal position. It’s not like all of that is gone already. But I just know that each moment is precious because it won’t last and I wish he could stay like this forever! (Just without all the crying, constant poops, and endless feeds! LOL)

I get really weepy at times wondering how I’m going to be able to manage. I feel so overwhelmed by the idea of leaving the house with him on my own. Figuring out the stroller, making sure I have everything he might need while we’re out, and wondering how I’ll breastfeed him in public. How will I manage getting him into a taxi on my own when we need to get somewhere quickly, and what if we’re on the bus and he starts wailing? I worry about how I’m going to manage to keep house while I’m nursing and trying to just keep up with his needs…And I’m not even talking about the basics like cleaning the bathroom or dusting – who has time for any of that?! I’m talking getting his laundry done since he has so much of it, or cooking meals. When will I be able to make my own breakfast when he’s usually nursing all morning? Right now James has been doing so much of these things – the laundry, getting meals ready – so I haven’t had to concern myself with it. I know millions of women have managed before me, but for some reason it all seems like too much and I wonder how it is that they coped with it all?

Luckily my mom is coming over for a week when James goes back to work on Monday. There’s a guest suite in our building so she’ll be staying there since she’d get zero sleep if she stayed with us! It’ll be great having her so close by and spending the whole day with Andrew and me, helping me work on getting adjusted to being on my own. It’s going to be so hard when she leaves though and I really truly am on my own. How is James going to manage work all day and then helping me with the baby in the evening? He’s going to get as burnt out as I feel and then what?

I have a lot of concerns but I also feel so blessed to have Andrew and I’m really very happy in a lot of ways. He’s such a sweet little guy, he has the cutest expressions and I know I said this already but he’s the perfect baby! I love everything about him.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The labour story...


It’s hard to find the time to sit down and write these days. Baby takes up pretty much all of my time! I’m basically a milk machine now, at the beck and call of my little guy!

But it’s all worth it. He’s such a sweet baby! I just sit and stare at him in awe.

Before anything else, I want to record how my labour went…

Through the night Dec 31st (starting around 4:30am) I had a few contractions that were strong enough to wake me up. They were definitely mild in comparison to what was to come, but stronger than anything I’d felt before. I was meant to drink the Labour Cocktail at 7am that morning to try to help get labour going. I don’t think I actually needed to, given the contractions I’d had through the night. But given how anxious I was for baby’s arrival, I decided to take the concoction anyway. I was worried that the contractions would taper off and baby STILL wouldn’t arrive so I went for it. I drank it down and we waited.

I started feeling nauseous not too long after I finished the drink. I was having mild contractions already by that time (between 7-8am). I went and laid in bed feeling sick and kept trying to tell myself to not throw up. I kept having contractions, about every 10-15 minutes. After about an hour I couldn’t take it anymore and I threw up the entire concoction. It was disgusting but it felt so much better to relieve myself of it!

We called our midwife in this time frame to give her the heads up that I was most likely in labour. She told us to wait until the contractions were very regular – about every 3-5 minutes and lasting about a minute for an hour. She figured it would probably be a number of hours before we’d be calling her back.

James called my parents to let them know I was having contractions and they came over after a little while, by which time the contractions were coming on very regularly – starting at every 2, 4 and 6 minutes, then suddenly every 2-3 minutes and always lasting a minute to a minute and a half. I was doubled over in pain constantly and couldn’t do anything. They were such strong contractions early on that I couldn’t talk through them, I had to just breathe and try to psych myself out enough to endure them. I felt best on my hands and knees through the contractions. I couldn’t sit down, that position seemed to hurt a lot more.

Anyway, it was probably around 10:30-11:00am that our midwife came to the apartment to see where I was at. I don’t know for sure since I had no sense of time whatsoever but that’s what James tells me! She had to check my cervix – which was difficult because my contractions were coming with such regularity and she had to check it when I wasn’t having one. She did so and told me I was 5cms dilated. I kept having more contractions and she suggested I get into the bathtub, since the warm water can often give some relief. I said OK but quickly changed my mind – I tried to take my clothes off and started contracting again so I couldn’t. I just couldn’t foresee myself getting into the tub, then later drying off and getting dressed to go to the hospital.

It was very shortly after that I said I thought we should go to the hospital. Our midwife called ahead so they could get our room ready and it’s a good thing she did, because she got us the very last available room in the maternity ward. Apparently that same day, at least 5 people were diverted to other hospitals due to lack of availability there, and the other hospitals were turning people away as well. Too many people giving birth on the same day!

I was a bit freaked out by the idea of having to get to the hospital. We got into the elevator to go down to the car (my parents were driving us) and I had a contraction, and when we got to the car I was having another one. I had to put the front seat back a bit and lay partly on my side during the car ride, through which I had probably another 3-4 strong contractions.

We had to check in first in Emergency. As soon as I walked into the doorway, I started having another contraction and I literally just threw myself to the floor on all fours, breathing heavily. I must have been quite a sight for all the people sitting in the waiting area but I couldn’t help it! When you’re in that state you just do what you have to do and it no longer matters what anyone thinks of you!

The attendants were very good, and brought me a wheelchair right away and someone took me up to the Maternity Ward. We were going to be turned away, till they realized we were the ones who had called ahead, so we were taken to Room 14. Thank goodness – our own private room with a bathroom that had a soaker tub. Our midwife met us there and got me set up on the bed, on my side. I was in agony though. The contractions were coming so hard and with hardly any space between.

After a little while I was just beside myself, the pain was so bad. Our midwife suggested I try the laughing gas (of course it has a proper name but I can’t remember it – and let me tell you it did NOT make me laugh!!), which I did. It basically made me feel a bit woozy, and it helped enough through the contractions that they were slightly more tolerable. It’s not a pain medication but it sort of helped to take the edge off for a little while.

Then our midwife suggested I get into the tub, so I did. The warm water felt good when I first got in, but almost immediately I was contracting again. I would lay on my side during the contractions and just grip the side of the tub and breathe and moan. I kept yelling out I CAN’T DO THIS! And THIS IS KILLING ME! Our midwife suggested I try to take the opposite approach and say such things as I CAN DO THIS and I agreed that would probably be a better way, but I was unsuccessful at it! The next one came and I said I’M SORRY BUT I REALLY CAAAN’T DO THIS! I CAN’T! lol. It was pretty intense. Finally it was just getting so bad in the tub I was begging and pleading for some other kind of drug and our midwife said we’d get me out of the bath and talk about what my options were.

She knew I didn’t want an epidural and she doesn’t recommend them if they’re not REALLY needed, but it didn’t much matter because by that time I was too far gone to be able to get one anyway. Basically my only option was Phentonyl, which is a Narcotic but leaves your system fairly quickly. At that point I was in such dire straights from the pain that I didn’t care anymore and just wanted some relief. Again, it’s not a pain relief drug but it’s meant to make you more calm, which I felt was something I needed.

I ended up having a mild dose of it – by this time the midwife checked my cervix and I was already 8cms dilated. So I couldn’t even get the full dose of the drug because I was too far along.

Our midwife said I had a few options. My waters hadn’t broken on their own but could burst at any time. Or, she said, it could take a lot longer to break. It’s different for everyone. So we could either leave it and let it break on its own or she could break it for me. The thing was, if she broke it for me the contractions would become that much more intense. So I could either have a more drawn out labour or speed things up somewhat but with more pain. Neither option sounded all that great to me, really, but I opted to have my waters broken so I could get things rolling faster. I was already feeling like I was done so I thought I might as well get it all over with as quickly as I could!

So my waters were broken and within moments of feeling the warm gush of that, I started feeling the urge to push. The contractions had started overlapping, one into the next without a break in between. I said I needed to push and our midwife and the attending nurse said I should.

I wasn’t in the ideal position – my midwife suggested I get on all fours holding onto the back of the bed, but the problem was that the contractions were so constant that I didn’t feel I’d be able to get up and move like that. So I was on my back, which isn’t considered the best position for giving birth. However, it seemed to work for me! I had my legs held up and I just pushed and pushed into the pain.

Fairly quickly into the pushing, I heard the nurse telling the midwife I was very strong with my pushes and seemed like a natural. I didn’t FEEL like a natural, but I was relieved in some way to think I must be making some progress. Still, it felt like there was no way I could possibly get through that stage. As much as it felt better to actually be able to push and ‘do something’ with the pain, it was just so unbelievably intense. And when I started feeling baby’s head going through, well I pretty much thought I could die from the intensity of it all!

There were moments where I was yelling WHY AREN’T YOU HELPING ME?! lol, even though they WERE, just not in the way I might have wanted (i.e., pull this thing out for me!!) Mostly I just started to scream – literally I have never screamed and yelled and made so much noise in all of my life. I couldn’t refrain, I just screamed and groaned and pushed into the pain.

I asked my midwife HOW MUCH LONGER IS THIS GOING TO TAKE?! She said it was hard to say, but probably about another hour.

Hearing that nearly killed me. A whole HOUR?! I couldn’t do that! So I pushed and pushed even harder. And everyone there (the midwife, nurse, James, and my mom) started oohing and ahhing practically, because they could see baby’s head coming out more and more. There was a big tuft of hair on baby’s head that they were marvelling at! I was asked if a mirror would help me so I could see the progress but I declined – at that point I was in so much pain and just concentrating on the pushing that I didn’t even want to see what was happening – I just wanted to DO it!

Soon they were saying it would probably only be another half hour instead of an hour. In actual fact, it was 10 minutes after I initially asked HOW MUCH LONGER that little baby Andrew was born! I was determined to get him out and he cooperated fully =)

He was immediately brought up to my chest and we were told we had a little baby boy! We were over the moon. I was just so relieved that it was over. All I had to do was push out the placenta, which ended up happening almost immediately for me and it wasn’t painful at all. If anything it felt like a major relief, just to have everything out!

Andrew was just too precious for words, right from his first moment. He was so ready to come into the world that we actually heard him cry BEFORE he was out of me, just his head was out and he was already making noise, which apparently isn’t entirely common. A lot of babies have to be poked and slapped at to get them started but when Andrew arrived he was more than ready. After all, he’d waited an extra 8 days to make his debut!

James and my mom were both great supports throughout the entire labour. James was by my side at all times and constantly got me water when I needed it, and held my hand and let me clutch onto him when I needed to. I never once yelled at him or even got annoyed by him, which most women say they do with their husbands! And it was nice having my mom there – it wasn’t planned that way but just sort of happened and I’m glad it did. It was special to be able to share that time with her as well, and she was good at talking me through some of the pain since she’s been through it.

After the labour I was just so thrilled to have my baby in my arms! It was so amazing to see him, to finally meet him and know who it was I’d been pining for all those months during pregnancy.

Baby weighed in at 8lbs 9oz and did wonderfully on the Apgar test (first scoring an 8, then a 9 out of 10). I had to get stitched up and whatnot after the labour, and it was a bit uncomfortable but not too bad, since I had Andrew to focus on. Afterwards they got me started on breastfeeding and then we had my dad come in to meet his first grandchild, and eventually my brother and s-i-l came in to say hello.

From there it’s all a bit of a blur. James and I were left on our own with our new baby. We got settled, just enjoyed cuddling him, I worked on breastfeeding some more. We were taught how to give baby a bath. Otherwise, we were pretty much left on our own for the night unless we requested a nurse, which we did once for help with feeding.

James slept off and on through the night, but I only got about 1 hour of sleep because I could not put Andrew in the bassinet! I wanted to cuddle him all night – it was his first day in the world and it just didn’t feel right leaving him to his own devices like that. I held him close all night and just stared at him and kissed him and loved him.

In the middle of the night I heard another woman going through the same thing as I had a few hours previous. It was kind of hard to listen to. I didn’t want to be reliving the experience so soon after having gone through it myself!

In the morning we just enjoyed some time together as a family and then our midwife came to check in on us. It turned out they needed the bed desperately so she asked if we’d be ok with leaving soon. We ended up being in the hospital for less than 24 hours total. Before noon, my parents picked us up, we got Andrew set up in his car seat, and home we came.

Andrew cried almost the whole car ride home, he really didn’t seem to like travelling. He stopped crying when we got home though. The cats were very curious as to who this little guy was who was taking over their home! For the first while they steered clear of him, Fifi even hissed at him, but now after a number of days it seems they’re starting to get used to him being here. They’re not happy about it and I do think they’re a bit starved for attention but they haven’t bugged at him, which is good.

Anyway…

That’s my labour story. I started writing this probably 3 days ago but didn’t have time to finish because I never know when Andrew might suddenly wake up and want a feed, or a change, or SOMETHING!

James has been AMAZING and has done most of the diaper changes and has been doing so much for me. Yesterday I came down with a pretty bad fever and had chills and sweats and felt achy all over…We called the midwife and she said it was most likely the start of a breast infection, which it turns out it is because now my right breast is quite sore. Luckily I’ve lost the fever as of this afternoon, and the midwife came for a visit and we’ve got an ointment for me to use. If the infection gets worse I’ll have to take antibiotics, which I’d really rather not have to do given they would get transferred to baby through my milk. So hopefully it clears up on its own with the ointment I’m using over the next few days. It’s pretty tough though – it’s enough just to be home with a new baby trying to figure out his wants and needs, let alone trying to do all of that with a fever and infection. I’m at a bit of a weepy stage as well. I’m really happy and I love Andrew SO much but omg what a life adjustment all of this is! No one could prepare us for what this was all going to be like, despite how much we were anticipating everything. It’s crazy, it’s like one moment it’s just the two of us living our lives the way we always have and the very next moment we have a completely different life where it’s all about someone else. A fragile little someone else. Don’t have kids until you’re 100% sure you’re ready and want that lifestyle change, that’s all I can say! I wanted this more than anything but it’s still very overwhelming.

I know we’ll get into a routine eventually, we just have to remember that Andrew is going to go through phases and every day is likely to be a bit different. He’s such a sweetie though. He has the cutest little expressions and when he opens his eyes and looks around, he’s just so priceless!

I’m not sure how often I’ll be updating my blog over the next while since I’m supposed to be resting as much as possible and that means if Andrew is sleeping, I should be taking advantage of the time to sleep as well. But I’ll post when I can!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

We're parents!

Andrew James was born at 3:50pm on Wednesday, December 31st, 2008 at St. Paul’s Hospital.

He weighed 8lbs 9 oz. He’s a big boy! To us he is tiny but anyone who knows babies says he’s quite a big guy. He’s got the Michelin tire arms and has some rolls on his legs too! He’s the cutest thing I have ever laid my eyes on in my life. I love him more than words could say!
The labour was the most intense thing I have ever gone through. I’m going to write more about it when I have more energy and time but trust me, it is forever etched in my brain. NOTHING can prepare you for the intensity of that kind of pain. Having gone through that, I honestly feel that I could do anything in this world – nothing could compare to that. No amount of torture, nothing. It was crazy intense! My labour was considered short – at about 7 hours or so, with only about 15-20 minutes of pushing at the end. I was so eager to meet Andrew that I pushed so hard, I heard one of the nurses say I was a pro! Well let me tell you, I’m no pro – I can’t honestly see myself doing that ever again!! BUT it’s true that in the end it’s all worth it for the prize. Andrew is the most incredible little guy and I already couldn’t imagine life without him!

James was an amazing support, and as it turns out so was my mom, who ended up staying for the duration though that hadn’t been planned. My midwife was wonderful and so were the nurses. I thought I was going to die through the whole thing but that’s beside the point now!

We have a son! And he’s beautiful! And healthy, which is the main thing. Currently his favourite pastimes are feeding, pooping and sleeping. I think those will be his favourite things for some time! He’s really taken to latching on already though, which is great. But apparently he already poops more than the average newborn – aw, gotta love him!!
There’s nothing I don’t love about him, from the tuft of hair on top of his head, all the way down to his wiggly toes!

I can’t believe he’s here. All that waiting and finally our precious bundle has arrived! We couldn’t be happier =)
We are home already - less than 24 hours in the hospital! Apparently lots of ppl are having babies these days and they needed the bed, so we came home. We're happy to be home though, it's more comfortable and we can get Andrew settled.

More soon, when I have the time and energy…might be a little while since we have a lot of people coming and going and it’s quite busy with a little one to tend to! I also need to catch up on sleep where I can…I got 1 hour last night – Andrew was sleeping soundly but I just couldn’t take my eyes off him!

Happy New Year!! =)


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