11 month update

Ugh, folks… I have an 11 MONTH OLD! We are one month away from toddler status.
This month, Wyatt…

  • Has been going to daycare part-time for 6 weeks
  • Has been sick for 3 out of the past 6 weeks – bad cold, fever, croup. Did I mention I love daycare germs?
  • Loves the swings at the park and reading books
  • Waves goodbye and gives high fives
  • Is (almost) standing on his own unassisted
  • Gets himself down from the bed or the couch
  • Can crawl up and down the stairs
  • Absolutely loves making music! We have daily jam sessions with his shakers, drum and xylophone.
  • Has become a bit of a Daddy’s boy
  • Is still co-sleeping, breastfeeding and in cloth diapers

This past month, Mommy…

  • Has been transitioning back to work – self employed this time! 🙂
  • Is learning that working from home with a baby is HARD – especially when he is sick
  • Is feeling the feels as her baby boy doesn’t need her as much anymore.
  • Participated in a film project about miscarriage. I really hope I can share it with you when it’s done! 

Do you see the real me?

In honour of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day on October 15, I’m dedicating this post to Share’s Walk of Remembrance and the Wave of Light in support of infertility and pregnancy loss and shattering the stigma.


You see me.

I’m at the park pushing my almost one year old son on the swing.

As he squeals in delight, my face lights up with a ginormous smile.

Pure joy. 

You see me.

I’m at the grocery store sporting my usual attire – a Mom bun and leggings.

I look frazzled as I scan back and forth between my grocery list and the aisle shelves while reminding my son over and over again to leave the food in the cart.

He sees a stuffed animal on display and sneakily snags it.

I finally notice his new furry friend has joined him in the cart. My son and I lock eyes and simultaneously burst out laughing.

Pure joy. 

You see me.

I’m at the neighbourhood leisure centre.

My son is taking swimming lessons. He’s a little fish who loves the water.

At the instructor’s request, I dunk him under and quickly bring him back up. As he rises, he takes a gasp of air and looks shocked. I giggle and tell him how proud I am of him. He shakes the water off and smiles back.

Pure joy. 

You see me.

I’m in the waiting room at the doctor’s office.

My son notices you across the room and waves.

You give him an oogley funny face that all little kids enjoy.

He laughs.

You smile at me and I smile back.

To the outside world, I look like a typical new mom – sometimes frantic, sometimes frazzled, but filled with so much happiness and love.

Inside, my heart often aches.

The doctor’s office is a place I don’t like to go.

It reminds me of 4 years of fertility testing and treatments.

It reminds me of negative pregnancy tests, positive pregnancy tests and low rising betas.

It reminds me of phrases I’ll never forget like, “I’m sorry, but you are on ectopic watch” and “Your tube has burst. We need to take you in for emergency surgery.”

Heartache and grief. 

What you don’t see is a little girl.

What you don’t hear are the thoughts that go through my head each time my son experiences a momentous “first” in his life…

Because I often wonder what her first smile, first laugh, first step would have been like.

I’ll always wonder.

What you don’t feel is the grief that still clouds my heart – especially in October and May of each year.

What you don’t feel is the immense love I had for her even if she was only here for a short time. She lived. She is still mine.

My daughter. My child. 

Loved and lost. 

Did you know I am a grieving mother? Did you realize my son is a little brother? Did you sense that my story is deeper than it seems?

1 in 4 women experience pregnancy loss.

1 in 4 women have a child they will never get to see grow up.

1 in 4 women are like me.


I would like to thank my friend Justine Froelker, author, advocate and blogger at Ever Upward for the opportunity to participate in the Footprints Blog Tour which runs until October 15.  Check out Elena’s post from yesterday and continue the tour with Erin tomorrow.

On October 15, post your Walk of Remembrance photos on social media using #ShareWalk2016. Light a candle at 7pm and join in the #WaveofLight for #pregnancyandinfantlossawareness.

We are in this together.

I see you warrior Momma. I know your pain. I know your joy. I know your journey. ❤

A feverish weekend

This weekend, my baby was sick.

He spiked a fever last night.

He wanted his “Dada” over his “Momma”.  That one was hard. 

He tossed and turned and cried all night long.

We gave him Tylenol.

Mike walked him, rocked him and slept on the couch with him.

This morning, he was ready to return to his Momma. He drank and drank, clearly thirsty from fighting whatever his little body had come down with.

His nose was crusted with yellow snot. His eye was poofy and red. His hair was slick with sweat.

He fought the fever on and off all day long.

Late afternoon, it finally broke.

He ate a little. He drank a lot.

Suddenly, he smiled and giggled.

He hopped down and started playing with his toy.

Our baby had returned.

It is such an amazing feeling to know your little one is feeling better.

It’s only been 3 weeks since Wyatt started regularly going to daycare… and he’s been sick twice. This time was the worst of his life.

I hope he builds his immunity fast. It’s so hard when you let your little one into the world and have to trust that what they face they will overcome.

 

 

A mindful lesson in being present

Tonight, I held my baby and I cried.

You see, I’ve been resentful lately.

I’ve been angry when he won’t take a nap.

I’ve been annoyed when he wants to sit on my lap while I’m trying to work on the computer.

I’ve been aggravated that he gets into E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.

I’ve wished that he would go back to the smaller, less mobile version of himself.

I struggle with his independence.

I always thought watching a little human – my little human – grow up would be fascinating, but my son is strong-willed and curious.

He doesn’t want to sit idly in front of the TV.

He’d rather cruise around the furniture testing how far he can reach items that he isn’t supposed to have or explore his toy box by taking each and every toy out of it.

Once his adventures have curbed his curiosity, he crawls back over to me and insists on being my sidekick. Even though he’s independent, he craves human contact. He likes being close.

And me, I’ve been needing space.

My mind is caught up in a million other places. I feel like time is of the essence, yet it seems like there’s never enough…. especially when your mini-me is constantly distracting you.

We’ve had a rough week. Wyatt was sick with a cold and decided that a sleep strike would be his medicine of choice. He spent a few days home with me being extra snuggley and extra cranky.

Today, he went to daycare. The daycare says he’s handling the transition really well, but I see it in his eyes that’s he’s upset with us. He’d rather be home with Mom or Dad where he always gets cuddles whenever he wants. Attachment parenting has gotten the best of us.

Tonight, my little man fought bedtime hard. I can’t get angry at him for being a nighthawk like me. He takes after me so much sometimes that it scares me. In fact, I worry what I will face as his personality seems so much more powerful than my own.

As I rocked my son to sleep, his tear stained cheek rested against my shoulder. I could feel his tiny breaths begin to get shallower as he gave in and drifted off to sleep. He felt so warm against me – so soft, so gentle. He’s little still – even if it seems like he’s getting so big.

Tonight, I cried.

Because each and every day, my son shows me what really matters. His refusal to go to bed forced me to slow down and clear my mind. I allowed myself to give in and feel the depths of the present moment.

Then, I felt guilt – for all of the anger, resentment, annoyance and struggles I’ve been facing. Because if I would just take a few more minutes to pause, take a deep breath and pay attention to my son, I wouldn’t be feeling so disconnected.

His needs actually mirror my needs. Isn’t that a fascinating concept?

The allergy verdict

Yup, Wyatt has a moderate egg allergy. Our doctor said no eggs for another year until we retest. We can try baked goods, but need to be cautious in case he does react. We have to carry an epipen now. 

I officially feel like I want to put my kid in a bubble. I know most kids outgrow an egg allergy. I’m hopeful that will happen for Wyatt too. 

But…. 
Our doc also mentioned that his red blood cell count is high. Immediately, I began asking questions. You see, my dad has a genetic blood disorder – polycythemia vera – which is essentially, elevated red blood cells. 

The doctor didn’t seem overly concerned. She said it could have been from the difficulty they had taking his blood or from the recent allergic reaction. She gave us a requisition to retest in 3 months.

I wanted to believe her, but I had to validate it. The second we got in the truck I googled,”elevated red blood cells babies”. And what do you think came up? Polycythemia. 

Fuck. 

I had a hard time keeping it together. Tears rolled down my face as my mind raced to worst case scenario: he is diagnosed with the disorder. It progresses to leukemia like my Dad. I lose my child. 

My husband attempted to talk me down from the ledge of what if scenarios. 

I messaged a nurse friend who reassured me it was most likely due to the recent allergic reaction. 
Sigh. 

The morale of this story is: The amount of love I have for my son – and how much of a journey it was to get him here –  makes the thought of losing him THAT much harder. 

My mother instinct is strong. All I want to do is protect and nuture him.  I don’t want him to suffer. And I’m terrified of what it may mean if 3 months from now those levels are still elevated. 

But for now, there’s nothing I can do but TRUST that it will be alright. 

Please, please let my biggest worry be the eggs! 

If anyone has any advice for dealing with an egg allergy, feel free to share! 😊 




10 month update

This month, Wyatt…

  • Has a BIG personality. Who knew a 10 month old could show so much attitude? He throws mini temper tantrums.
  • Loves to mimic sounds and talk to himself. He’s really experimenting with his vocal range.
  • Throws EVERYTHING
  • Is starting to show pickiness with what he eats – meaning if he decides he doesn’t want to eat it, he throws it on the floor. Tonight, the squash was tossed.
  • Has 8 teeth – 4 up and 4 down. One of his upper eye teeth have been bugging him lately too. Poor guy. 
  • Has been very patient with Mom having a broken ankle. He enjoyed watching the Olympics – especially diving where he would clap when they hit the water.
  • Took over Dad’s side of the bed! Mom laughs at this one. Dad’s not too impressed when Wyatt hogs his space.
  • Spent 3 half days at daycare this week.
  • Showed signs of an egg allergy! We got blood work done and will find out more on Saturday.
  • Is still co-sleeping, breastfeeding and in cloth diapers

This past month, Mommy…

  • Broke her ankle
  • Cancelled the trip to Ontario
  • Has been stuck inside WAY TOO MUCH
  • Started focusing on her business (more to come on that)
  • Enjoyed lots of cuddles with her little man. If you can’t get out, might as well cuddle! 🙂

    9 month update

    This month, Wyatt…

    • Has majorly found his voice. He screeches whenever he’s excited…  especially in places that are typically quiet – the bookstore, waiting rooms, etc. :/
    • Crawls faster and faster
    • Has (almost) 7 teeth – 3 top, 3 bottom with another 1 top attempting to poke through. The latest bottom tooth surprised me.
    • Had his first acupuncture appointment. Seriously, it was amazing! Wyatt reacted so well that we didn’t even realize it until after he latest tooth poked through. He was totally chilled out after his treatment.
    • Loves swimming and reading books!
    • Is learning to share when we have play dates
    • Had his first 2 hour experience at daycare while Mommy was at the dentist
    • Is still co-sleeping, breastfeeding and in cloth diapers.

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    This past month, Mommy…

    • Has been walking between 2-5km per day for the past 2 weeks. I’m loving this new habit. It’s given me energy, a tan and something to look forward to each day.
    • Got out of the house for 2 Paint Nites and a long overdue pedicure and lunch with her local IVF gals
    • Is focusing on being more present and really enjoying the one-on-one time with Wyatt as my maternity leave draws closer to the end.
    • Booked another trip back to Ontario to spend a few more days at the cottage and meet our new niece
    • Turned another year older

    My baby fell out of bed

    I never thought I would say this but…

    Wyatt fell out of bed – as in our big queen sized bed – because we are still cosleeping. :/

    Now, let me preface this by saying, it sounds MUCH worse than it actually was.

    My little monkey is super active. Whenever he wakes up, he flips himself onto all fours and be-lines it for the side of the bed. He’s usually searching for our cat Oliver. If I’m lucky the cat is curled up on the bed and distracts Wyatt long enough for me to get to him. Poor Kitty. We are working on the concept of gentle petting. 

    Anyway…

    I awoke to Wyatt making an “ugh, ugh” sound. I opened my eyes and screamed, “OMG where is the baby?!?!” My husband does not have the reaction time that I do as he mumbled and lay there half asleep not seeming concerned at all.

    I looked over the side of the bed and there was my child slowly sliding towards the floor. Yes, I’m now accepting nominations for Mom of the Year. *head smack*

    Since I had been anticipating this day, I had previously lined the floor on my side of the bed with a 3 high stack of pillows. Along the top of the bed had been a body pillow with another pillow on top of that. Wyatt must have rolled around and gone overboard with the pillows from the top of the bed.

    He did not touch the floor. He was laying on top of a minimum of 5 pillows.

    I picked him up. He snuggled into my chest and went immediately back to sleep.

    See, I told you. It sounded MUCH worse than it actually was.

    In fact, the worst part about the situation was that it was 5am and I couldn’t go back to sleep after running all of the worst case scenarios through my head. Anxiety is lovely – isn’t it? 

    The next day I ordered a BabyHome Side Rail. It came. I assembled and installed it. It works awesome.

    I WISH I had listened to my gut months ago and ordered it instead of listening to my husband who wanted to wait “just a little longer”. The irony is he is the one who insists that Wyatt stay in our bed even though he complains non-stop about having no room. The bed rail has given us what feels like 2 feet of space back! I love it!

    Moral of the story: Get a bed rail. They work. They make everyone more comfortable. Mom has less worries…. except… he loves to use it to stand up now. OIE!

    Almost 9 months in, I still love cosleeping. I get to sleep. I get to snuggle. I can easily feed him. I’d like to transition him to crib naps before we transition night time. He’s had 2 crib naps so far. Hopefully we can build up to more before the end of the summer.

     

     

     

     

    The daycare solution

    A few months ago, I wrote about my daycare dilemma. I had many options to ponder – part-time nanny, nanny share, home daycare, daycare centre – but I wasn’t sure which was the best for us.

    After 3 home daycare interviews and a tour of the daycare centre that offered us a spot, I’m very happy to announce that we’ve chosen the daycare centre.

    We made our decision back in June, just before we left to visit my family. We literally had 48 hours to decide after taking the tour.

    Reasons we chose a daycare centre over home daycare

    • Reliability – open Mon-Fri 7am to 6pm except stat holidays
    • Flexibility – we can take our family vacation whenever we want, not based on someone else’s schedule
    • Regulated and Secure – Safety plans, log in/out sheets, communication books. I really like the process of how a daycare centre is run.
    • Experience – All staff have mandatory education levels, first aid courses, etc.
    • Kid-friendly building –  Built in 2011, it’s new and designed for kids in mind (little toilets and all!)
    • Fits our lifestyle – cloth diaper friendly, breast milk bottle friendly, flexible nap schedules. They are willing to work with us to make it work for Wyatt.
    • Long-term potential – Wyatt can stay in the centre until he reaches school-age, potentially longer depending which school he attends.

    Downfalls to going with a daycare centre

    • Less personal – Wyatt will not always be taken care of by the same person, but that also means he’s adapting. On the flip side, I was worried about a day home being too personal. I mean if you have an issue with a single care provider, it becomes personal.
    • Busier atmosphere – even though Wyatt will be in the infant room, there is lots of activity going on in the centre. I found it overwhelming. I just hope my little man adjusts ok and isn’t too overstimulated. Wyatt is so curious and loves bigger kids. I’m sure this downfall will end up being a positive in the end.

    The current situation

    Now…here’s the biggest catch: We had to take the spot for July 1st. We are already paying for daycare even though Wyatt won’t be attending full-time until October.

    This may sound crazy, but the odds of us getting another centre spot in our city before October 1st were slim to none. We figured the financial output is worth the long-term gain.

    They also told me I am free to do drop-in care as I need it. Basically, we are paying for the spot and we are free to use it as we please. They are always staffed to accommodate him as if he is there full-time.  I’m going to drop him off Thursday morning for an hour while I have a dentist appointment.

    I’m not going to deny it. The whole concept of dropping him at daycare is heartbreaking. I worry whenever he’s not with me or his Dad. Will they catch onto his queues? Will he be upset the whole time? 

    The plan is to phase Wyatt in gradually until I return to work. The Daycare Director was awesome and very encouraging. She actually suggested the gradual transition. I plan to drop him off for appointments over July/August, and put him in 1-2 days a week in September building up to my full-time return to work.

    As for my work situation, I can’t spill the beans just yet on what’s happening. I will when I am able to. I feel like the Universe has answered many of the requests I’ve put out there. Finding a daycare we are comfortable with was just the start.

     

     

    8 month update

    Well, this update is long overdue as we are fast approaching the 8.5 month mark.

     This month, Wyatt…

    • Is STILL in the majorly distracted phase
    • Is still co-sleeping, breastfeeding and in cloth diapers. We took disposables on our trip to Ontario and found the Seventh Generation brand worked for us.
    • Started crawling on all fours, pulling himself to standing without assistance and even climbed up a few stairs
    • Is eating like a champ
    • has 4 teeth – 2 top, 2 bottom with another 2 top attempting to poke through. Yes, he got 3 teeth in 1.5 months. 
    • Started using his “big boy” car seat. He hates it less than the bucket seat. We have the Clek Fllo.
    • Took his first plane ride to Toronto to see Grandma and Grandpa
    • Went to a Blue Jay’s game
    • Had his first swim in Lake of the Bays, Ontario
    • Spent 3 hours with a babysitter that wasn’t a relative

    This past month, Mommy…

    • Has been struggling with anxiety. It’s been a month of reflection, contemplation, deciding what I want in life – all things that cause my brain to go into overdrive. Walking remains very therapeutic, along with ensuring I get some “me” time after Wyatt goes to sleep.
    • Thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Grandma and Grandpa’s cottage. It truly felt like a much needed vacation.  We even got to take our first “date” without Wyatt – a kayak ride on the lake
    • Reunited with her bestie after way too much time apart
    • Realized that the “mobility” phase – crawling, standing, walking – is much harder for me than the newborn phase. It’s forced me to refocus my attention on Wyatt and re-prioritize what really needs to get done when he’s awake.
    • Received some major career news (which I will share more about when the time is right)
    • Chose a daycare for Wyatt – again, more details to come…
    • Spent too much time away from her blog…  but I’M BACK! 🙂