The end of the first year

I must admit it. I’ve been horrible at writing since I returned to work. Being a mompreneur means that – for now – my blog has dropped in priority. Here I am for a long overdue update.

I can hardly believe that Wyatt is 14 months old. We successfully made it through the first year. He’s developed into such a caring, inquisitive, intelligent, affectionate toddler. His personality is so strong. I often joke he’s way more of an extrovert than I am, but he still loves his snuggles and down time when we are alone at home.

He’s really thriving at daycare; although, he’s barely been there this month. We went to Florida for a week earlier in December with my brother and his family. Then, my husband and I both took some time off over the Christmas holidays.

I hosted Christmas supper this year with my in-laws which was better than I expected. I really made an effort to focus on the kids. Wyatt (kinda) learned to open presents, but was way more excited to watch his cousins open theirs.

I really realized this holiday season that I miss my family. Tremendously. I wish my parents could have seen more of my son throughout the first year of his life. We’ve started facetime-ing with them a bit more often. My Mom works crazy hours though and she doesn’t get to see Wyatt as often as my Dad does. He made strange with her on Christmas morning and it just broke my heart.

We really enjoyed vacation with my brother though. I want to make an effort to visit my family more often each year.

Guess what? Come on this is an easy one… we are still breastfeeding, co-sleeping and cloth diapering. We might try to transition Wyatt onto milk at daycare and his toddler bed for naps (he hated the crib, so we converted it the other day). We aren’t really in a rush. We keep chatting about it, but haven’t actively pursued either yet.

As for me, I’m still working on getting clear as to what it is I’m destined to do for my career. I’ve been successfully freelancing and consulting since September. I have a few opportunities in front of me. I’m trying my best to listen to my intuition on which one lights me up and fits our family needs.

Going through infertility, loosing a baby, birthing a beautiful rainbow baby and watching him grow over this past year has given me a new perspective on life. I spent so many years angry, resentful, ashamed, hurt, grieving and feeling guilty. Infertility and loss will always be a part of our life – a part of our story – but I’m not willing to let the darkness overcome me. I will go with the ebbs and the flows of my feelings, but my son deserves to live in a home full of light.

I’ve decided my word for the year 2017 is CREATE… and I plan to create a life full of happiness, love, joy, and passion.

Happy Holidays & all the best to you in 2017.

XOXO

Lindsey

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12 month update

Well… since Wyatt is 13 months old in 5 days, I’d say this update is LONG OVERDUE!

I’ve been so disconnected from WordPress lately. For those of you who I have on Facebook or Instagram, I try to keep up on there. Turns out, chasing after a toddler and running my own business take up WAY MORE time than I anticipated.

I considered whether it was the end of Awaiting Autumn, but I don’t feel like I’m ready to make that decision. I still have A LOT to say about infertility and pregnancy loss. I’d like to keep this going… for now, at least.

Wyatt’s now been in daycare for well over 2 months. Some days he’s there for a full 8 hours, other days it’s only a half day or so. I try to keep him home with me one day a week if I can fit it in. He absolutely loves daycare and all his friends. He’s adjusted so well.

Turns out, my kid is WAY MORE extroverted than both my husband and I. We joke that we can’t believe how much energy he has sometimes. Mike is quickly learning that coming home from work no longer means downtime.

My social butterfly is doing well with other kids. I noticed how much daycare has changed him when his one little friend came over for a playdate. Wyatt basically went up to him and gave him a hug. Before starting daycare, he was much more apprehensive about other kids.  He totally loves being around people, but sometimes needs his quiet time too. The daycare ladies have told me that he doesn’t like it when other kids are upset or if it’s too loud after his nap time. I joke this is his sensitive nature coming out.

The sickness trend continues. Wyatt’s been sick every other week since starting daycare. Last week was pink eye. I’ve never been so sick myself. I know I need to focus on self care a bit more (translation: not working late nights) to ensure I keep us both healthy.

Wyatt started taking steps about a month ago. He’s not walking all the time yet, but he definitely is walking unassisted. He’s so proud of himself for learning how to do it.

He’s also turned into a major bookworm. His favourite activity is reading. He has books in our bedroom, the living room, the kitchen, the bathroom, the car – basically everywhere. The first thing he does every morning is reach for a book. It warms my heart to see him  so engaged in reading. He would rather read a book than watch tv.  If he’s having a bad day or I REALLY need to get something done, I’ll sometimes stream Sesame Street for him.

He’s also talking quite a bit more. His vocabulary includes, “Mama, Dada, Max, Bella, Buh-bye, Uh-oh, What, Yeah..” and he makes a few animal sounds, like “Baaa, Mooo, Eeekeek (monkey).” He also blows kisses which is something daycare taught him. ❤

Guess what? We are still co-sleeping, cloth diapering and breastfeeding (bet you didn’t see that one coming – haha!). I am doing good at keeping up with pumped bottles for daycare, so we haven’t done any transition to milk yet.

I miss my little baby. I often look at photos of Wyatt when he was fresh and wish I could hold him like that again. But, I’m amazed at the smart, caring and sensitive little boy he’s becoming.

As for me, I’m good. Life is crazy right now. I’m working on finding balance. It’s been an enlightening process running my own business.These days I’m focused on clarity, intention and boundaries. I’m learning a lot – especially how to trust in the flow of life . That sense of trust is definitely something I acquired after facing infertility.  My type A personality has shifted.

I’m also living more in the moment. We spent so long – so many years – focused on trying to get our baby here. I want to soak up these moments before we blink and he’s all grown up. We booked a family vacation next month to Florida. We’re meeting my brother and his family there. Wyatt will get to play with his cousins and we can visit with some of my husband’s family who live nearby as well. I’ve never taken a trip like this – especially not one that was booked so spontaneously. It feels great to know I can do this and that I can set my own schedule to make it happen.

Life is good. I am so blessed. ❤

 

 

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! 

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! 🙂

    You don’t need to be supermom

    It’s about a week and a half since I broke my ankle. My radiology report said that I have a small displaced fracture in the joint between the talus and the cuboid. The doctor I saw at the cast clinic didn’t really give me any more info besides, “Boot her and we will see you in 3 weeks“.

    I used crutches the first 4 days. Once my husband had to go back to work, I ditched the crutches, because, well… I have a 9 month old to take care of. I thought it was going ok. My initial reaction was that it hurt WAY LESS than my previous sprains.

    That quickly changed.

    I’ve had A LOT of nerve pain this week along with some numbness in my toes. The pain kinda feels like someone is holding fire on your foot and it shoots down over my toes. I saw my acupuncturist for a treatment and she said I could potentially need surgery if the displaced bone is affecting the nerves.

    SAY WHHHHHAAT?

    I spent one morning playing a lovely game of phone tag with a variety of health professionals. I had tried to call my ortho doctor (multiple times), but turns out he’s on vacation… until my 3 week follow up (which is another week away). I finally spoke with a cast technician and he told me to stay off of it until I am able to see the doctor.

    Yup, I’m back on the crutches.

    Since breaking my ankle, I’ve spent lots of time just “being” with Wyatt – playing on the floor, laying together, reading books, enjoying simple games and simple moments.

    One of my good friends reminded me yesterday that, “You don’t need to be supermom“.

    My son is only 9.5 months old. We will make memories while I heal. And healing is most important right now.

     

    And then I broke my ankle…

    Sometimes the universe smacks you with a sign you can’t ignore. Last week, Wyatt and I had lunch with a friend. I told her that I needed to slow down – to take all of life in, to not force decisions, to go with a natural flow.

    The next morning, I broke my ankle.

    I was on my way out the front door with the diaper bag over my left shoulder, Wyatt on my left hip and our 2 chihuahuas in their crate in my right hand. I’m not 100% sure what happened. I think the dogs shifted in their crate as I stepped off our last step onto the lawn. My left ankle gave out. I heard a loud pop and went down. The Mom in me was focused on making sure Wyatt didn’t fall. He was fine. I sat up and knew that my ankle wasn’t. I called my husband and we sat on the lawn until he got home to rescue us.

    I didn’t want to be doing what I was headed out to do that day. Wyatt was supposed to spend his 2nd time at daycare while I ran the dogs to the vet. I had asked my husband to take the time off to take the dogs, but he couldn’t get it off. Isn’t it ironic that he ended up home anyway? 

    It’s only a small fracture. I joke that it hurts way less than my major sprain from 4 years ago. The physical pain isn’t what’s getting to me though. It’s the guilt from not being able to 100% take care of my son.

    Until I got my walking boot the next day, I had to be completely off my ankle. That first day my husband did everything for Wyatt and handed him to me when it was time to nurse. We dropped him at daycare when we went to the hospital to get the walking cast. Wyatt had an absolute meltdown when we picked him up. It was a combo of being up way earlier than he usually is and a case of missing Mom. We normally do everything together and now he has to get used to being with Dad way more.

    It’s been 3 days since I broke it. I’m getting around much better today, but I’m still not stable enough to walk on the boot while holding my son. We live in a 4-level split home with 6 stairs between the main floor and the bedrooms. I’m worried about how to get Wyatt downstairs in the mornings once Mike returns to work on Tuesday (we have a holiday here in Canada tomorrow). I’m thinking it may be easiest to go down on my bum with him on my lap. Right now, it seems like it would have been much easier if he wasn’t mobile or was walking on his own. Crawling has it’s limitations.

    Mom guilt is totally taking over. I wanted to enjoy the rest of my maternity leave. Now, I’m going to spend it hobbling around unable to do all of the activities that Wyatt and I had been enjoying so far this summer – swimming, spray parks and our daily walks. I’m just going to have to find a way to be more present in a slower pace. I have had friends tell me that I should have a better idea of what I can accomplish with the boot on at the one-week post injury mark.

    My husband deserves a gold star. He finally gets what it’s like to have the baby full-time… except now he needs to stop bitching about it.

    I miss my boy though. I mean I still get him. I’m still here. But, my husband has taken over many of my Mom duties and it’s making me sad. I can’t get to him as fast. I can’t hold him on that knee for as long. I can’t take him for a stroller walk. But, I can still make the most of it. Tonight, we sat on the floor playing together. I have a feeling this incident will encourage me to get down to Wyatt’s level and enjoy life from his perspective a bit more.


     

     

     

    How we have handled teething

    As I mentioned in our 9 month update, Wyatt currently has 6 teeth. I ordered how they came in on the chart below. The 7th is not far behind and has almost broken through. It’s the one indicated by the orange star.

    tooth-chart-wyatt.jpg

    When he’s teething, Wyatt shows some obvious signs – crankiness, pulling at ears, biting, chewing, clinginess – but overall, he’s been a very good teether. We’ve dealt with the bad days by giving him Camilia “teething juice” as I call it, or Hyland teething tablets. Many friends told me that the tablets work better than the drops, but I find the drops way easier as there’s no mixing involved when we are out and about. We’ve only used Infant Tylenol a few times at night.  Teethers – especially the chewellery ones – have also worked wonders for us.

    After taking Wyatt for acupuncture last week, I’m 100% convinced that it’s a viable option for teething relief. We saw an Acupuncturist who specializes in Pediatrics. When kids get acupuncture, the needles don’t stay put. It’s simply a prick and done. Wyatt didn’t cry and the difference in his demeanor was almost immediate.

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    4 out of 6 chompers on my smiley baby.

    We’ve had such a good breastfeeding experience until the teething phase. A few weeks ago, Wyatt bit me so hard that my nipple was dripping blood. For the first time, I could relate to women who have had sore, bleeding nipples earlier in their breastfeeding journeys. A grin and bear it attitude helped me get through it until it healed up.

    I still love breastfeeding, but I cringe each time he latches when I know he’s about to get another tooth. It’s a hard situation to deal with. I feel like he bites because the counter pressure gives him some relief. In that case, I don’t want to get angry at him.

    Other times, I feel like he’s biting simply to be naughty (i.e. when he’s goofing around instead of going to sleep). I’ve used a stern “NO WYATT!”, but he  always bites down harder. I slowly unlatch him and he always just laughs at me. When this happens, I put the boob away until he’s calmed down or shown signs that he’s ready to try again in a gentler manner. My feelings are hurt on top of my sore nipples. It’s been the weirdest emotion of motherhood to date. You know your child doesn’t understand that they are hurting you, but they are. You question why. You wonder what motivates them. You don’t want to upset them, but you don’t know how to enforce the boundary.

    Do you have any advice for the biting? How do you stop them from chomping your precious nips? I’d love to hear what worked for you.

    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