Hello from the other side

Today I found out that a friend lost her twins. She was about 12 weeks along.

I was in my car when I read her email. My heart sunk and my eyes welled with tears.

The song “Hello” by Adele came on the radio and took on a whole new meaning to me.

“…When we were younger and free… I’ve forgotten how it felt before the world fell at our feet…”

Just last week, I was talking about cloth diapering with my friend. I bet cloth diapering is the last thing she wants to hear about now.

Transformed.

It’s the best word to describe life after loss.

You can’t erase it. It doesn’t go away.

And you are never the same.

As the song kept playing, it made me wonder if the lyrics were my current self – the mother to an Angel – speaking to the naive, hopeful and heart-ful me from before our loss.

“….I’m sorry for breaking your heart…”

Or maybe it was the opposite? Was my former self apologizing for something she had no control over?

Maybe it was my Angel? No, it couldn’t be. I put no responsibility onto that special little soul. She maintains her innocence.

“…They say that time’s supposed to heal ya… But I ain’t done much healing”

I came home and nursed my son. He smiled up at me.

Having him brings me immense joy, but he doesn’t erase the knowing.

Grief hurts.

The pieces of my broken heart are still fragile.

Please keep my friend in your hearts this week. ❤

 

 

Lasting Hearts Card Drive

As you know, I’m a big fan of the “You are the Mother of All Mothers” book by Angela Miller. Today, a gal shared with me that there is a fundraiser taking place in the USA to get this book in OB/GYN offices. Women facing miscarriage will be given a copy along with cards from caring individuals who understand.

If you are interesting in creating a card to be given to these parents when they get a book, here is the info. It is simple:

  • You can send as many cards as you would like.
  • Please use a sentiment such as: thinking of you, in my prayers, in my thoughts, sending hugs, sorry for your loss.
  • For the inside of the card, you can either leave it blank or hand-write a simple message. Not much – just simple and kind. The message can be something listed above, along with your first name and hometown. (Such as: “Sending lots of prayers from Jennifer in Cincinnati.”)
  • Please send cards in unsealed envelopes to:
          Lasting Hearts Card Drive
          2892 N Bellflower Blvd Ste 216
          Long Beach Ca 90815
  • Include a post-it note on the card(s) with your name and email address so you can be eligible for a prize!
  • If you would like to include a donation via mail, you are welcome to but not required to.

Creating cards is something we can do easily and a great way to share kindness.

If you are looking for more details or way to donate, visit this website: http://www.jennifermcguireink.com/2016/01/lasting-hearts-card-drive-giveaway.html

Note: If anyone has any ideas on how we can set something up like this in Canada – let me know! I’d love to help get it going. 

Who’s so big?

Tomorrow Wyatt turns 3 months old… Well actually today as it’s past midnight. As usual, I’m writing this in the dark on my cell phone while my boys sleep beside me.

We’ve made huge strides these past few weeks. I feel like I know my son better and better each day. Then, he surprises me with a new milestone and I’m shocked at how fast he learns and changes each day.

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We started Mommy and Baby yoga two weeks ago. Our first afternoon class coincided with nap time. Although it wasn’t an epic fail, it did mean a few minor meltdowns. This week we switched to the morning class and Wyatt was happy the entire time. I successfully managed to do a few poses and stretches with him glued to my boob. It’s funny what you consider a major success as a Mother.

In this week’s yoga class, we practised pulling the babies up to a sitting position and proclaiming, ”Who’s so big!?!?”. Well, my little man must enjoy the encouragement because that evening upon receiving my hands he pulled himself up. He’s consistently done it each time I offer my hands to him since then. Yeah, he’s so big now.

Today,  we ventured out to a local babywearing group meet up. I am very happy that my friend encouraged me to attend. It’s really nice to meet other Moms. We visited our local museum which I had never been to. I carried Wyatt in my brand new Girasol ring sling – a rainbow sling for a rainbow baby. I just received it this week. So far, it works well. The museum visit was our longest stretch in the ring sling and even he fell asleep in it.

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This week,  we also used the Ergo for a winter walk. I didn’t think my stroller would make it after a snowfall with unshovelled sidewalks. Wyatt was so calm, yet curious of everything to see in the neighbourhood. I enjoyed some time outside since the weather was closer to 0 degrees and sunny. I never saw myself as a babywearing Momma, but so far, I’m loving it. The closeness is what makes it so special.

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We reached another major milestone tonight. I left Wyatt for 4 hours at home with his Dad to attend my monthly Splurge group. To date,  he’s always attended with me. Mike successfully gave him 2 pumped bottles with a bit of resistance. He takes it, but with a bit of a fight to get him started. What are your thoughts? Should we continue with the Calma nipple until he gets used to it? Or try another kind?

I did better than I thought I would with leaving him. I texted Mike a few times to check in, but I wasn’t really worried. This actually surprised me, but I guess it shows that I trust my husband as a capable father.

I arrived home to find both of them asleep. I pumped my right boob to make up for the bottle feed and managed to get 4oz in about 10 mins. I hate pumping, but I usually can pump a decent amount. I still hope to primarily breastfeed, but it’s nice to know that pumping for the occasional night out is an option.

Once Wyatt realized I was home, he had a cry and a big feed, then easily went back to sleep.

My favourite moments over the past few weeks have simply been interacting with him. He truly is such a happy baby. He loves to babble on and on. He constantly smiles back at you. He even started baby talking when I’m singing to him –  makes me think he wants to sing too! 🙂 Breastfeeding has given us a strong bond. I often find myself putting my phone down or turning the tv off just  to be in the moment with him –  our eyes locked and holding hands. There’s so much peace and joy to be found in those moments.

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Hear my story on the Beat Infertility Podcast

The Beat Infertility Podcast is hosted by Heather Huhman, a fellow infertility warrior. Each episode features a success story and an update from a woman who is currently undergoing treatment.

Back in December, I met with Heather to share my own success story. It aired on today’s episode. Listen to it here.

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Today I cried

My baby was in my arms nursing and I cried. He looked up at me and gave a confused grimace. I told him I loved him and it wasn’t because of him.

It started out as a few tears silently cascading down my face and transformed into full blown sobs.

My son kept his little hand on mine, peaceful and asleep.

Today I cried.

I cried because of..

The burden of infertility. The heaviness still weighs me down. I long for another child. I want to be a mother of two.

The missed chance of conception without treatment. I’m down one tube. Our odds are even lower than when we started.

The pain and heartache.

The scars and surgeries.

The Angel watching down on us.

The birth that wasn’t what I desired, how my son was forced to enter this world – even if we agreed to the approach.

My completely transformed vagina. Learning to unfold yourself as a sexual goddess and a new mother is a challenging feat. I’m not ready yet.

The resentment within me that has boiled up and over many times on this journey.

The wondering and questioning.

The struggle to balance between masculine and feminine energies.

The fact that this era allows women so much freedom, yet so much constraint.

When my husband just doesn’t get it,  even though he does. He just doesn’t like to show it.

PTSD.

Every other woman longing for a child or facing the decision to have another.

Labels. Blame. Misrepresentation.

Unnecessary silence. Unsaid thoughts.

Gratefulness. I know we are blessed.

Tears of joy washed away what felt like soot stains from grief, anger, jealousy, and sadness.

Relief.

Sometimes I just need to cry.

Baby’s got a bottle

I’m WAY behind on my blog reading. My adorable son is teaching his Momma a lesson in mindfulness. His new fav gig is to hold hands while he’s feeding or napping on me. Translation: significant decrease in time spent on phone, yet significant increase in time spent watching Netflix.

I’m embracing these moments though as I know they won’t last forever especially since…

We attempted our first bottle.

Earlier this week, I don’t know what my kid’s deal was, but he was against eating from my left boob. After a few failed attempts, I decide to pump it off and get Daddy to try to bottle feed him.

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Although this first attempt looks successful, in reality Wyatt only drained about 0.25 oz of which half was probably on his face. We tried again the next night using the Medela Calma nipple and he ate 1oz before falling asleep.

I’m not ready to start a pumping and bottle feeding schedule, but it was a relief to know our attempts weren’t a complete failure.

Wyatt’s boycott of the left boob was short lived. I’m still not sure if it was a teething issue or if he had a slight cold and his nose was more stuffy on that side. Either way, it’s nice to have my milk monster back.

A clean start to a new year

My nesting instinct hasn’t really disappeared since having Wyatt.  That or maybe I just prefer organization when life is constantly changing these days? Either way, I’ve been on a mission to organize when I’m able to find the time (which usually means on weekends when Daddy is home to watch Wyatt between feedings).

During our babywearing spree last week, I decided to bake cookies. But, it was quite difficult to lean over and get my baking supplies out of the bottom corner cupboard where I’ve stored them since we moved into this house 5 years ago. I love baking, but haven’t done much of it in this house. I’ve always wanted to turn our kitchen closet into more of a pantry. I finally convinced my husband to help me with this on Sunday .

We replaced the previous shelving and hooks with a large metal storage rack that we purchased at Home Depot. I am a big Tupperware fan and had most of my baking goods in Modular Mates (particularly due to a mouse problem one winter, but that’s another story). Anyway, I’m super happy with the end result.

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I’m not done organizing the kitchen. I will move things around since I’ve got so much more cupboard space now, but it definitely feels like an easier space to work with.

My goal is to move onto my home office next. It’s kinda been the random dumping room since we had the baby. I’d like to turn it back into the sacred space it was before I started working from home. I will use it as my sanctuary during my time off work – where I can escape for a few minutes to write and create.

I also have the urge to continuously purge and lessen the load of items within our home. Since Wyatt has already outgrown all his newborn and size 0-3 clothes, I packed away what we will keep and posted a few different lots for sale on our local classifieds. I’ve also ditched a few pregnancy or Mommy items – like the Hooter hider. 😉 In retrospect, it’s been really quite interesting to see how many baby items they market to new parents and what you actually need. We would definitely do things differently if we are blessed to have a second child.

I am working through a program right now about healing after birth. I think my decluttering and organizing and purging of materialistic items also relates to all of the emotional baggage I’ve been releasing since we started this fertility journey. My spiritual midwife, who is an absolutely wonderful woman, has encouraged me to not feel guilty about releasing or letting go of items. Each and every item we bring into our life, much like people, holds energy. If I don’t feel like an item is serving it’s purpose or it doesn’t resonate with me any more, I have every  right to let it go.

Organization brings me joy. I love order, but having a new baby can be chaotic. Taking part in these small rituals helps me to maintain some control when life is so unpredictable right now. Each time I purge, I feel lighter. I can breath easier. My thoughts are clearer. If it feels right, it must be doing some good. I’m reclaiming my space as I work on reclaiming this new body, new identity and new life of mine.

It’s a fresh and clean start to a new year. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Intentions for 2016

Last year, I set my intentions for 2015 using Leonie Dawson’s Create Your Shining Year workbooks. I was introduced to Leonie’s books and her work through my fertility coach, Zahra.

I highly recommend these books if you are someone – like me! – who loves setting intentions, being creative, writing down your goals and reflecting back on them.

This year, I pre-ordered the set (both life and biz books) in the summer. I reviewed my 2015 intentions and progress, but I haven’t quite finished my 2016 intentions.

For 2015, I defined my word of the year as PEACE. Throughout my pregnancy, peace really was an apparent theme. I distanced myself from people who cause drama and spent a lot of time alone finding my inner peace. I also worked at finding peace in pregnancy after loss – which is not an easy feat! At the end of my pregnancy, I had to make peace with the lack of control I had over the timing of Wyatt’s arrival. We also had an overwhelming sense of peace once he finally joined us. ❤

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My theme for 2016 is JOY. I want every day to be filled with joy. I want to experience so much happiness in this first year of my son’s life. I  want to only commit to activities, people, and items that bring joy into my world. This would be the reason I’ve registered for Mommy + Baby yoga; not bootcamp. 😀 (haha) 

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I will complete the 2016 book, but I’m not putting a timeline on myself. That’s been another big lesson since having a baby: going with the flow sometimes means that timelines aren’t as important. My intentions will organically unfold as they are meant to. Besides, I’m not experiencing joy if I’m experiencing  unnecessary stress. 🙂

What’s your word of the year? 

 

Baby wearing for the win!

Wyatt has been a bit off this week. Not necessarily bad, just a bit cranky and clingy. He doesn’t want to be put down, left alone or play much. As crazy as it sounds, we think his teeth may be bothering him. He’s been putting his whole fist in his mouth and rubbing it on the bottom gum. He also started drooling. My Mom said I had 4 teeth by my 4th month. I guess there’s a possibility that he could be an early teether like his Momma.

On top of Wyatt’s moodiness, I’m feeling a bit stir crazy. After such a nice and late Fall, we are starting to get our typical Canadian winter weather (-20 with snow). I feel guilty taking the little man out if I don’t really have to. Plus, I’m avoiding the stores to pull back on my spending.

The many days at home with little social contact and a baby who hates to be put down leaves me anxious and over thinking. I found myself contemplating major life decisions with mixed feelings.

Do I really want to go back to work? Could I manage to freelance and quit my full time job? How long do I want to stay off? Would I feel fulfilled as a stay at home Mom? Could we even financially afford it? What if I can’t find suitable childcare? What if my job is way more stressful and requires additional travel due to my new position? Will I be able to be away from Wyatt? How could I travel if we are still breastfeeding then?

Since I plan on being off until at least the summer, these thoughts are clearly premature. I need to enjoy these moments with Wyatt instead of looking so far ahead. So, I took a deep breath  and figured out how to keep myself busy to quiet my mind.

The solution: baby wearing.

I’ve been wearing him in the Ergo to get my ass off the couch while still keeping him happy. I managed to bake 2 batches of cookies, do a load of laundry, wash dishes and tidy the kitchen with him in the Ergo. I also tried to feed him which resulted in 2 sucks before baby was fast asleep. I’d say that was a success.

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Seriously, I do not know what I would do without a baby carrier. It’s the only thing keeping me sane. I’m feeling much more grounded, much less anxious, much more satisfied with my productivity.

I guess this week’s lesson continued to be how to slow down, but also how to do things differently to accommodate both my needs and the baby’s. Because you know, being couped up calls for homemade cookies!

Hey time! Can you slow down please?

It’s ironic that while trying to conceive you wish and hope and pray for each cycle to progress. You anticipate getting to the end of that 2ww and testing for your BFP. When you are finally pregnant,  you anxiously await your baby’s arrival 9 months later. Pregnancy can drag on and on especially that last month. Then,  your baby arrives and before you know it they are talking their baby talk, smiling, giggling, rolling around and…

Wearing size 6 month clothes!!!!

Say what!?!?!

Yes, Wyatt has outgrown size 3. He is now wearing size 3-6 or 6 depending on the brand. He’s only (just about) 10 weeks old.

I spent an hour this evening reorganizing his dresser and closet. I have an entire Rubbermaid bin of clothes that are practically brand new –  washed but never worn – and now packed away with the hopes of using them for another child. We got good use out of the sleepers, but that’s it. I have half of another Rubbermaid bin that I’ve decided to sell or donate.

Luckily, we have a good selection of the next size up due to hand me downs and gifts. I’m so glad I asked people to buy us bigger sizes.

Wyatt had his 2 month immunizations last week. At that appointment he was 23.5 inches long and 13.5 lbs (the doctors office measured his length wrong the week before as the nurse just kind of eye balled it). Clearly my baby boy is thriving. He’s in the 85th percentile for both weight and height.

I wish that time would slow down a bit. Wyatt seems so advanced already. It’s amazing to watch him grow and learn, but shocking how quickly it happens.

I typically like to watch for sales and bargain shop when I can. At the rate this kid is growing, I’ve got no clue what he size he will be in for upcoming seasons.

As for clothes, I find fluffy bums harder to dress. We have been cloth diapering even when we go out these days. I ordered a pair of jeans designed specifically for cloth, so I’ll let you know how they fit once they arrive. I also just bought a pair of Maxaloones to see how that style works.

As for future clothing purchases, what brands do you find fit bigger? What pants are particularly good for fluffy cloth diaper bums?