5 months and many milestones

Last Thursday, Wyatt turned 5 months old. Holy shit. Time has flown by. 

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We’ve been out of the 4th trimester for a whole month now. Just when life seems like it’s getting easier, new challenges arise. Wyatt has grown developmentally so much this month. He’s keeping me on my toes.

This past month, Wyatt…

  • Learned to roll from front to back and back to front in both directions. He can turn himself around in a circle and shimmies to reach his toys. He’s itching to crawl but hasn’t gotten that bum off the floor consistently enough yet. His upper body strength amazes me though. He is constantly lifting his chest. For not crawling yet, he sure does get around. We are going to have to invest in baby gates very soon!
  • Realized bath time is WAY MORE FUN when he doesn’t just lay on Mom’s tummy. He sits, he stands, he practises swimming on his front and his back, he plays with his rubber ducky, and he even had a few gulps of bath water. :/ Whoops
  • Found his feet and discovered how capable his hands are. He grabs and pulls on everything including Mom’s hair and Dad’s beard.
  • Discovered his love for his dogs and the kitty. He laughs and giggles each time they lick him (which often is more like a french kiss – yuck!)
  • Became ticklish! He giggles and giggles and giggles if you run your hands up and down his sides or under his chin.
  • Loves playing in his exersaucers and started using the jolly jumper.
  • Will take a morning nap without the boob. Bittersweet progress. 
  • is still co-sleeping, exclusively breastfed and 100% in cloth diapers.
  • has no teeth yet.

This past month, Mommy…

  • Regained energy from being sick the previous month and realized (once again) how important self-care is – even if the definition of self-care has changed. Sometimes a day at home with baby snuggles is the best medicine.
  • Is happy with the healing progress of my lady-bits. I can honestly say things are looking good down there (never the same, yet good).
  • Has had really bad post-partum breakouts. Both my acupuncturist and naturopath say it’s hormonally driven. My naturopath also says I am experiencing some adrenal fatigue. I’ve got some supplements and dietary changes to focus on.
  • Felt like the focus has really been on my husband’s social schedule. We’ve both agreed to work towards more balance in upcoming months.
  • is longing for more connection with my online tribe. I haven’t been writing or reading the blogs as much as I’d like to, but I have been able to find purpose and contribute within our local infertility support group.
  • Really reconnected with my brother and sister-in-law. It’s nice to rekindle these relationships.

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Unspoken thoughts on why I choose to parent

I can hold him. Mom can have a break”. 

What if this Mom doesn’t want a break?

Not wanting a break must sound weird to you. I mean it’s not that I don’t need a break sometimes. It’s just that I want it on my own terms.

Nothing about our journey through infertility and pregnancy loss was on our terms. We waited and hoped and prayed for our children to join us, but the timing was beyond our control.

I long to hold my daughter, the one I only held in my womb. So, I hold my son a little longer, a little closer, a little tighter to make up for it… even if nothing can ever make up for never getting to hold your child.

I’m not sure you get how much being with my son means to me. Nothing satisfies me more than cuddles, snuggles, balancing him on one hip, and carrying him close in the Lenny. The arrival of our son is a dream come true. When you’ve spent years wishing and wanting, you don’t always need an escape.

I appreciate every minute of every day I get with him – even the ones when I’m tired or he’s cranky. Especially because I know there’s another woman out there longing and waiting for the same experiences.

Thank you for the offer, but today I don’t need a break. I need to take care of him. I need him close.

Some may call me selfish, but I know how lucky I am. I also know how uncertain life is. So today, I’m taking full advantage of being a mother. Because I can. Because I want to. Because I deserve it.

 

 

A never-ending battle

 

Today, I’m struggling with infertility.

I am looking at my son who is so contently playing in his exersaucer. I know he can sense when Momma is upset. He is my miracle. He is my greatest blessing.

But, he can’t take away the emotions.

Last week, a friend lost her first baby off her first IVF cycle. It was the only embryo to make it, but it only made it so far. ❤

Yesterday, another friend told me she just experienced another loss. It’s her second pregnancy and her second loss since 2016 began. ❤

Today, another friend found out her 3rd baby has also become an Angel. It was her 3rd pregnancy, the one we thought was THE ONE. This pregnancy was the farthest she has ever gotten. ❤

My God. Why is it so hard?

Each time, my heart just breaks.

It’s

NOT

fair.

With each blink of your eyes – whether there’s tears streaming from them or not – you are surviving. And some days, surviving is all you can do.

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What does beating infertility mean to you? Read this post about Beating Infertility from my friend Sondra at a Calm Persistence. 

 

 

The tale of two boobs

At almost 5 months, I am still going strong with exclusively breastfeeding Wyatt. He only gets a bottle if I’m not home which isn’t very often. So far, his Daddy is also the only one to bottle feed him. I’ve got ball season coming up, so I’ve been wanting to get him more used to the bottle.

Last week when I went to our local infertility support group meeting, Wyatt drank 4 oz which is the most he’s ever taken from a bottle.

Tonight, I had a massage followed by a meeting with my softball team. I was planning on being gone for 3.5 hours. To avoid a hangry milk monster, I planned to leave at least 4oz of fresh milk, knowing that there would be extra in the freezer.

Yesterday afternoon, I tried to pump my right boob and only got 2oz.

Say whattttt???

I freaked.

Is my supply was lowering?

Wyatt has been super distracted lately.

Am I dehydrated?

My ta-tas did seem slightly deflated.

This can’t be happening!

I chugged a ton of water.

I baked a batch of lactation cookies.

This afternoon, I tried to pump the right boob again… 

And only another 2oz!!!!?!?! 

I drank way more water.

I ate a few more cookies.

I even had a beer while I was out.

When I got home tonight, I pumped the LEFT boob and got a solid 5oz!!!!!

Conclusion: my right boob is a dud.

I don’t know why it took me 5 months to realize my left boob magically pumps way more milk. It makes sense when I look back and reflect on the time Wyatt was struggling with the down flow on that side.

I only pump when I need to and I rarely pump both breasts at once. I guess I didn’t realize that I tend to always pump the left.

Lesson learned.

I’m glad to say: this Momma’s milk is still in full production. 🙂

Wyatt drank 6oz of pumped milk tonight and even held his own bottle. His progress is amazing, yet bittersweet.

I’m just grateful we can continue on.

The one thing that has gone right

I recently realized that breastfeeding is the only part of having a child that I have easily mastered.

Trying to conceive naturally = epic disaster requiring serious medical intervention (IVF + ISCI)

Birth experience = 100% deviation from my desired plan  (Induction, Epidural, Episiotomy, Forecep Delivery)

Breastfeeding = NAILED IT! Whohoo!

I attribute my success to:

  1. My milk monster who came out of the womb already pursing his lips ready to suckle
  2. The lactation cookies my friend brought me which helped my supply and also provided a major source of nutrition during those first weeks with my newborn
  3. A balanced hormonal system due to supplements and acupuncture
  4. Pure luck 🙂

I always hoped to breastfeed, but I was open to whatever had to happen. Breastfeeding came naturally. It wasn’t forced. It didn’t bring me any stress or cause for concern. Maybe that’s why it worked out? I had a clear picture of how I hoped it would go, but I didn’t put any pressure on myself in case I couldn’t achieve that goal. Hmm… this is a very intriguing mind-body connection.

Either way, I am very grateful to have been able to exclusively breastfeed my son. I love our breastfeeding sessions (even now when he’s in the highly distracted phase). ❤

What part of your journey has surprisingly come easy to you? 

 

 

 

 

 

The next child debate

Will we try for a second living child?

This question has been weighing heavily on my heart and my mind since a few days after Wyatt joined us outside the womb. While I sat in the bathtub soaking my still swollen and heavily stitched up vagina, I declared to my husband, “Awwww I want another baby!“. He told me I was crazy and needed to wait a while.

As the months have passed and my vagina has healed, my urge to reproduce has lessened.

Fear resides in it’s place.

My brother’s visit was a wake up call for me. Seeing my (almost) 2 year old nephew interact with his cousin was touching, but seeing my nephew’s jealously was eye-opening. He was confused about his cousin’s role. My sister-in-law was surprised that he didn’t seem excited when she talked about “his baby” in her tummy. As the week went on, he started mimicking the baby in the hopes of getting more attention. He had realized that his life was about to change.

I don’t remember exactly what this moment was like for me. My sister and brother were born when I was just over 2.5 years old. As with many twin pregnancies, my Mom was on bed rest, then hospitalized leading up to their delivery. I spent lots of time at my Grandparents while Dad was at work. I do remember one trip that  Dad and I took to Toys R Us to pick up stuff for the babies. Mom was already in the hospital. Dad let me pick out a toy – except he wouldn’t let me get the one I wanted. I love the significance behind what we recall as children. 

Seeing my nephew with Wyatt actually made me realize that I would prefer a larger age gap between siblings. The thought of making my son feel “second best”, “left out” or potentially even “unwanted” makes me shutter. I would want Wyatt to be able to fully understand the situation if he is to ever have a sibling join him.

On top of it all, the thought of emotionally investing in another round of IVF is too much right now. I can’t fathom dealing with such extreme emotions around my son -especially the anticipation and potential heartache. I want to protect and shelter him from all of that… for now. 

So, my big realization is that we don’t need to make a decision. We don’t have to put the stress and pressure on ourselves. We don’t have to plan when we will try again.

Instead, we will go with the flow.

I want to get back to a place of enjoying my sexual relationship with my husband before I left infertility take it away again.

I want to whole heartedly watch my son learn and grow without the worry and distraction of hormone levels, injections, follicle counts and fertilization reports.

When the time is right, I will know when I am ready to decide whether we try again or not.

Right now, we have a son. He’s beautiful. He’s smart. He’s my world.

And he’s more than enough.

 

This post was inspired by an article I read on Pregnant Chicken called, “Just One”

 

Hello… Mom? Dad? Are you there?

There’s been something on my mind lately.

My parents don’t seem to really embrace their role as grandparents.

Or maybe it’s that they don’t act like typical grandparents?

Or maybe I need to adjust my expectations of them as grandparents?

Either way, it’s weird.

My parents live in Ontario. We live in Saskatchewan.  I recently asked both my parents if we could do video calls. They have iPhones. My sister has an iPhone. My brother, his wife, my husband and I have Android phones. The best options would be Skype or Google Hangouts since my brother and I can’t Facetime. It’s really not difficult to set one or the other up especially since everyone already has Gmail accounts.

My Mom has yet to respond to any of the messages I’ve sent in regards to video calling (and I’ve sent multiple). My Dad initially told me to just upload videos and email them. Then, he told me if I want to video chat I’ll need to get an iPhone.

It hurts to know that they won’t take 5 minutes to download an app and set it up so that they could actually see their Grandson on a regular basis.

It’s not a matter of being tech savvy. They both know how to use their phones and the laptop very well. I could blame it on my Dad being lazy or my Mom being too busy, but really are those valid excuses?

Just to drive it in a little deeper, my Mom does Facetime with my sister. Of course she would. 

My brother and I talked a lot about it when he visited last week. He only lives 3.5 hours away from my parents, but they haven’t seen them in 8 months (that’s a whole other can of worms though).

They just seem really disengaged as Grandparents and with today’s technology, I don’t really think that location is a limitation.

I’m not really sure what to do about it. It hurts each time they don’t respond to or refute my request. And we all know there’s no logic in repeating something and expecting a different response each time.

I’m not sure opening up about my feelings will get me anywhere. I’ve opened up multiple times on our infertility/pregnancy loss journey and it just seems to push they away further.

I used to joke that my relationship with my Mother-in-law was solely based on what she saw on my social media accounts, but I’m beginning to feel the same way about my own Mother. My Mom commented on my Instagram that she can’t wait to see Wyatt when we visit in June… yes, I said on my Instagram. I haven’t spoken to her on the phone in weeks and I’ve tried to call multiple times.

I’m feeling like I’m holding a tin can with a burnt up string and no one on the other end.

Is this a wake up call? What lesson do I need to learn here?

Hey Universe, I’m ready for the answer.