There’s no real way to start this post without the cliched “Holy crap, a year? HOW?!”. I imagine it’s part loving being home, part exhaustion and part being in constant flux that makes the time go by so quickly. A lot has changed in our lives this year. First, let’s do the stats on L
Stats for One-Year
25lbs, 31″ tall.
Diaper Size: Pampers Swaddlers 4, CD Mediums
Clothing Size: 18-24 months or 2T
Nicknames: Monkey, Baby, Little Man
Teeth: 4 1/2 (both sets of central incisors and half of a bottom right lateral incisor) by his birthday. He has something around 9 now.
Had first trip to CHEO (He was sick for about 3 weeks with a bad viral infection. He lost a few pounds and had constant diarrhea)
Took first steps in March, started walking right after his birthday
His first swear word: Shit. He likes to wander around the house saying “Oh, Shit.”
He loves tormenting the cats and playing fetch with the dog
We hang out with his pals Gus, Isla and Wesley at least once a week these days.
When he’s not teething, he loves to eat chicken, rice, potatoes, french fries, bagels, carrots, yogurt, cottage cheese, toast, apples, and cucumbers. My boy inherited his father’s picky taste buds
His birthday party was small and the theme was “Little Man”
He took his first trip with me, right after his birthday, to visit my sister in Calgary. Planes do not make Liam happy
He attended his first Comic convention a couple weeks ago, dressed as a tiny Dr. Who
It’s been a rollercoaster of a year. He’s such a brilliant, charming and funny little man. He’s still very cautious about new people. He doesn’t give his love away to just anyone. He’s adventurous and dives into everything headfirst (so many bruises and cuts to prove it). He’s musically inclined and loves to dance and play with instruments. He adores being around other kids, especially big kids. He loves animals. He loves to touch everything (just like me).
We are bedsharing still, and I love it. I’m going to miss it very much. His nanny and grammy are having a custom made montessori bed built for his birthday, so soon he’ll be moving into his own bed in his own room (weep!). He does not sleep through the night and we have no plans on sleep training. I am still breastfeeding and have no plans to stop any time soon. I’ll let him decide when he’s ready to stop. We babywear as much as I can (which is less than I’d like. My poor back can’t take his 25+lbs these days).
He has pretty much outgrown the Beco Gemini, so we are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our new Tula Toddler (in Ikat for those who are curious). We are also dabbling in wrapping (we have a gauze wrap and a beautiful Girasol Amitola wrap). Amusingly, and typical of me to be behind on the trend, we’ve just started cloth diapering at 13 months. We’re doing it part time, and I love it. (a separate post on that to come!)
I am now working part time at a fantastic baby and maternity boutique, called Belly Laughs. It’s only 6 hours a week, but it brings in a bit of money (now that my Mat Leave is done), while still allowing me to be at home with him during the day.
We try to attend meetups for a local baby wearing group when they come up. We love to hang out with some of our fave moms and babies from our April Mommy group, at least once a week.
Liam is incredibly mobile these days and hates sitting at home, so we go for walks daily, and try to hit a park as often as we can.
One of my girlfriends recently shared a great post in a group we both belong to online. It was a peek into her life with her beautiful baby girl. I loved it and decided it would be fun to document one of our days with Liam, so here it is!
A Day in My Life
7am Baby wakes up. I nurse, change, and dress him. I Bring him downstairs and put him in the bouncer so that I can have toast and tea. Treehouse keeps his attention long enough for me to finish. He has a poopsplosion, so I change him and his outfit
8am Time to play on the floor. Maddie, our dog, is chased around the room. Liam tries to play with our subwoofer and gets annoyed when I keep saying no.
8:15 I realize the dog tracked in a bunch of dirt and cedar from the backyard (Liam tried to eat a bit of cedar hedge) so I do a quick vacuum and then we’re back to playing on the floor. FB until L gets annoyed and wants my attention.
8:40 little man is hungry so I nurse him.
8:45 It was only a little snack. We sing and dance for a bit and practice our clapping.
9:00 L goes in the jolly jumper but is unhappy. Going to try for first nap. Takes about 7 minutes of bouncing and “you are my sunshine” and he’s out. I work on some laundry and clean the kitchen. I finish putting together my WB April moms Christmas exchange gift. I then take out all of our scarves, hats and mitts from basement storage.
9:50 Liam wakes up. I nurse him and then put him in the jolly jumper. We watch Ellen while I make my grocery shopping list.
10:15 DH calls. We chat for a bit on speaker phone while L jumps. He’s happy to jump and hear his Dad
10:40 I strip down the guest bed and bring the linens down for laundry. I empty the vacuum canister
11:00 Tv goes off and music comes on. I change L and then put him in the Gemini to do some vacuuming and cleaning.
11:15 mail lady arrives with more Christmas gifts
11:17 begin dancing, singing and mopping in the kitchen.
11:30 play in living room while kitchen dries. Nurse
11:45 Accidentally bonk L in the head while moving a chair back to the kitchen. Snuggles and apologies :(
11:50 I have a quick shower and then take L to our room to have his next nap. I bounce and sing but he resists. I nurse and then try again
12:30 L falls asleep. I continue working on laundry. I clean out the fridge and prep our stuff for going out. I put my hair up and put on a bit of makeup. I drink my last bit of caffeine for the day (Dr. Pepper) and put some food on for lunch.
1:20 Liam wakes up. I put him in the bouncer and eat my lunch. I then nurse him an then Change him into warmer clothes and head out for groceries.
3:30 get home from groceries and the post office. Liam goes into the jolly jumper. I put the groceries away
4:15 nursed L and then put him down for his last nap of the day.
5:30 Liam wakes up and pat arrives home. I nurse L and change him. I play with him while Pat cleans
6:30 I start dinner while Pat plays with Liam. We eat while Liam plays in the bouncer. After we eat we put him on the floor and play with him
7:10 bath time!
7:30 bed time! We change him and read two stories (the Very hungry caterpillar and Lullaby Moon) we then give him snuggles and kisses. Pat preps our bed and turns out the light while I nurse Liam. Pat then takes Liam and burps him, then walks and pats him to sleep.
Asleep by around 8
8:40 Liam stirs. I nurse him down and go to bed myself at 9. Liam wakes up 6 more times during the night. Each time I get up, nurse him and he falls right back down. We get up for the day at 6:30am
Month 6 was rough. Sleep still was not going well and all of us were fighting colds and bad moods. Right at the beginning of Month 6, Liam popped his second tooth. Not sure if it’s teething or just all the crazy developing and learning he’s doing, but Liam is veeeeery moody and cranky this month. We started feeding him purees more regularly. Orange foods are a big hit, especially carrots and sweet potato. Banana is awful. L hates it with a fiery passion.
I finally got myself to my doctor and started taking medication for my Post Partum Depression. To cheer myself up, I went out and dyed my hair purple and blue. Woo! I also tried to get out as much as possible. We started seeing the April Ottawa Moms more regularly and tried to meet up with Liam’s auntie J and his cousins, E and W. Playgroup is every Tuesday and we’re starting to make some new friends there too. I won a stroller and a carrier, neither of which we need and are planning on selling. (Here and here if you’re interested)
Stats for Month 6
20.8lbs, 28″ tall Our big boy!
Diaper Size: Pampers Swaddlers 3
Clothing Size: 9-12 and 12-18 Months
Favourite Clothes: Old Navy long sleeved onesies, jeans. R2D2 Robeez, Old Navy Hat, sweaters
Nicknames: Monkey, Baby, Little Man, Duder
Can stay seated on his own now
Scooting backwards and going in circles
Got his 2nd tooth on the 16th of October
Lots of biting, so we think tooth #3 is on its way
Ordered a glider (FINALLY)
Celebrated his first Halloween (Went as Capt’n Picard and a Dragon)
This post was started several months ago. Life has a funny way of taking over. So, I’ll pick things up where I left off.
3-4 Months (July and August)
It’s been a crazy month. We saw so much change and growth in Liam during this time.
The month started with my first trip to the Well Baby drop-ins. It was a bit awkward, bringing him in at 3 months as that’s usually the cut off point for the service. The ladies there assured me it was fine and told me I was welcome to bring him back again. Unfortunately, I also had my first real dose of Guilting. Right outside of the drop-ins is a family cafe. They have a play room on site and supposedly welcome families of all kinds, with babies of all ages. I ordered an ice coffee for myself and was immediately asked if I meant decaf. I said no. They then clarified with me 3 more times. Ugh.
The beginning of Month 3 started with some big time fussiness. He was clingy and moody. According to the extremely helpful “Wonder Weeks” app, he was right in the middle of a development routine. Unfortunately, it seems like our little dude was hit by a lot all at once. We think he started teething, had some growing pains, bad gas, and was going through a lot of development stuff. It was not a fun time and it lasted for weeks. We tried all sorts of things to help – every trick we could think of for teething relief, including some homeopathic meds that were recommended to us, amber necklace, cold washcloths, chewing toys, tempra, advil, etc… etc… Nothing seems to be helping.
Meanwhile, to deal with his gas, I decided to majorly cut down on milk and milk products (Normally, I have 2-3 glasses a day, cereal, tea, and tons of cheese). We haven’t seen any major difference so far in Liam, but I’ve definitely noticed my belly is much happier with limited dairy, and I can really feel it when I give in to cheesy temptation. It’s been hard,
Stats for Month 3
Started out Month 3 at 16 lbs, 9oz.
Diaper Size: Pampers Swaddlers 3
Clothing Size: 6-9 Months, and just a couple of his bigger 3-6 months
Favourite Clothes: Rompers from Carters continue to be winners, as well as some really cute summer wear from Children’s Place (specifically, his plaid shorts)
Nicknames: Monkey, Baby, Goober, L, Little Man
Went to Cousin E’s first birthday party
Grasped an object for the first time
Loves playing with his feet and is drooling a lot
I was diagnosed with PPD
Went to see Ted with us during Stars and Strollers
Went for a day trip to the Arboretum
Wore his first kilt! Attended the Glengarry Highland Games with Auntie S, Uncle K, his cousins and us. Ran into the Sutherlands.
Celebrated Nanny’s Birthday
Fell in LOVE with his Jumperoo
Sat in highchair for the first time
Started swim classes
And now, for the more recent update that I’ve been meaning to write forever.
4-5 Months Old (August and September)
Liam’s fourth month started with us trying to find a way to get more sleep. Night times were not going well, and as much as I loved the idea of cosleeping, it just wasn’t a good fit for us in our Queen sized bed. We moved his crib from the nursery into our room and had great success moving him out of our bed into his own.
I also started taking my PPD more seriously. I made more plans with friends and Pat and I went on our longest date night yet – Dinner and Batman. Pat went out with his sister and I had my first whole day and night with Liam, which showed me I could handle being a Mom without backup. Midway through the month, despite L having a cold, things seemed like they were finally turning around for us. He slept 6 hours straight one night and really seemed to be heading in the direction of “Sleeping through the night”.
Teething took off at full force. Liam started chewing on EVERYTHING and seemed very sore and suddenly unhappy so we started trying Camilia and Advil. All of our progress with sleep took a dive and he went back to a max of 2hrs at a time.
We got our little man a Jolly Jumper and he totally fell in love. Closer to the end of the month we tried rice cereal in the evening to see if it would help him sleep longer, at the recommendation and encouragement of friends and family. Unfortunately, it just seemed to make him more gassy and uncomfortable.
Stats for Month 4
Started out Month 4 at 17 lbs, 12oz. 67cm tall
Diaper Size: Pampers Swaddlers 3
Clothing Size: 6-9 Months
Favourite Clothes: Rompers from Carters continue to be winners, as well as some really cute summer wear from Children’s Place (specifically, his plaid shorts)
Nicknames: Monkey, Baby, Goober, L, Little Man, Dude, Jumpin’ Jelly Bean, Silly Boy
Got his first real cold
Moved into his crib and slept through the night for a few nights
Cousin Cassidy was born
Hung out with some of my online forum friends – 14 babies and 14 moms!
Rolled back to front
Finished swim classes and started Mommy and Baby yoga
I won a Pamper’s contest and got vouchers for diapers and wipes
Fell in love with the Jolly Jumper
Went to L&M’s birthday party
Day trip to Orleans to hang out with my highschool friend, Steph, and her two girls and her husband.
Visited Pat at work
Auntie Stacie came by for a visit
Went downtown with friends from University and their kids
Went to a restaurant to celebrate Auntie K’s 30th Birthday
5-6 Months Old (September and October)
Month 5 was a crazy one. Loooots of development! With the lack of sleep, I started looking into development milestones with the Wonder Weeks book, as well as sleep training. Lots going on in Liam’s little body. He started rolling both ways, he got his first tooth, he started babbling Dadadadadaaaaaa. We had him trying solid foods, as an attempt at BLW (Baby Led Weaning), which isn’t going well. He also started playing strange. On a date night, Pat and I returned from an advanced screening of Looper to find out that Liam had spent the whole evening crying for us.
In an attempt to make new friends, I also started attending the local playgroups at the Early Years Center and I continued to attend events held by the WB Ottawa Moms.We continued to visit with friends and family and stay active by getting out for walks and shopping trips.
Unfortunately, this is the month that sleep got even worse, which led to my PPD getting ve, ry bad. I started seeing a therapist, which has started to help.
Stats for Month 5
Unsure on weight – Didn’t get weighed or measured this month
Diaper Size: Pampers Swaddlers 3
Clothing Size: 6-9 Months
Favourite Clothes: Moving away from summer wear – Sleepers, jeans, and long sleeved onesies,
Nicknames: Monkey, MonkeyRoo, Baby, Goober, L, Little Man, Dude, Jumpin’ Jelly Bean, Silly Boy
Rolled front to back, and started rolling in his sleep (which made for some bad nights)
Was able to stay seated on his own, briefly
Grasped at toys
Got first and second tooth
Went apple picking
Tried frozen banana (yuck), avacado (yuck), carrot (yuck), potato (yuck), jello (long story, and yuck), apple (yuuum) and sweet potato puree (yuuuum! We have a winner)
Drank water from a sippy cup and loved it
Thanksgiving with my in laws.
His one and true love is named JJ – The jolly jumper. He is truly at his happiest when he’s jumping.
FINALLY! Definitely not the way I’d prefer to update this, but I am proud to have gotten caught up. It’s been a crazy three months. I love how much personality he has. We’re now about halfway through 6 months and I can’t believe how big and active he is. He’s a blast and growing like a weed. Hopefully he’ll give me a bit of time to keep y’all informed on our adventures. Here’s hoping!
I can’t believe that another month has already passed since my last post. I really did intend to post more often, but Liam has turned into Velcro Baby. Hopefully this coming month will give me a bit more freedom to get back into blogging. While 3 months doesn’t actually hit until tomorrow, I’m going to post this while I can.
So, this past month has been busy. With my recovery being almost complete, I’ve been getting out and doing more, as much as I can. Unfortunately, we’ve also noticed that Liam has become more and more fussy this month. Ovol and Tempra have saved us a number of times. Poor little man had some really miserable days. Luckily, it was also month two in which Liam started laughing out loud. Here’s a video I shot for my sister of him giggling a bit while we play (I’m repeating “Hajimemashite”, which is Japanese for something similar to “Pleased to meet you”):
We had some really fun events this month too! On the 22nd of June, I drove out to Kanata to meet up with 13 of the mommas from the forums that I frequented during my pregnancy (Used to be Babybells, but has since been moved to Canadian Family. This move was not well received so most of the posters I knew have moved on to Buzzle). With these 13 moms came their 13 babies,
It was AWESOME. It was my first Mommy Date and I had a great time. it was so nice to be out with a bunch of ladies in the same place as me, who have been there for me online for 9 months. Since then, I’ve been to the movies with a couple of them again to go see Brave with our little ones.
Pat and I also celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary. We left Liam with his Nanna and Gammy for a few hours while we went out to The Keg for dinner. It was amazing and just what we needed. Amazing what a short break can do to renew your energy,
We then celebrated Liam’s first Canada Day, first by visiting my in-laws and finally meeting the new addition to the family. After that, we went out to see S, K and their beautiful kids. We also took Liam to a restaurant for the first time to celebrate his Great Aunty Pony’s birthday. I was really nervous about it, but it went really well. Of course, we’ve been seeing Nanny and Gammy as much as possible.
This past week has been incredible. He’s rolled front to back with a bit of help from me. He’s slept through the night once. He had a 2 1/2 hour day time nap. He’s growing up!
We’ve noticed that Liam’s become much more of a little person. He’s developing a personality. We interact way more. He has toy preferences (Jacque the Peacock and Rusty the Robot, both by Lamaze) and now shows us when he’s tired by getting really cranky all of a sudden.
I’ve changed a lot too. I’m a lot more relaxed and confident in my ability to handle him. I still have some rough days (on my birthday, Pat left work early because I called him in tears after a specifically terrible day), but overall, Liam and I have started to develop a really good relationship and rhythm. We get up in the morning, I feed and change him. I then bring him downstairs where we play for a bit and I eat. I then feed him again, and then he naps. I watch a bit of TV (I’ve been catching up on Criminal Minds and chef Michael Smith’s Chef Abroad and Chef at Home) or read (my last read was Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by the incredible Jenny Lawson), The cycle of play and nap then continues til about 5:30-6pm or so when Pat gets home. At one point, usually around 2pm, I take Liam upstairs for some tummy time and to read some books.
Once Pat’s home, I hand off baby and start on dinner. Once we’re done eating, which either happens during a nap or while L is on the activity mat (if we’re lucky. If we’re not, then one of us holds him while the other eats and then we switch). We then usually hang out until about 8pm when it’s time for a walk around the neighbourhood. Then it’s either bath or book time. Between 10-11:30, Liam goes down for his first real chunk of sleep. He then usually sleeps between 2-4 hours. Then he wakes every 2hrs or so to eat until about 6:30, when Pat gets up. Then he eats and sleeps for maybe another hour, hour and a half. We get up at 8am and the routine starts over.
Stats for the end of Month 2
We’re not sure on measurements, but we’ll know soon. I’m taking him in to a Well Baby drop in to get weighed on Monday.
Diaper Size: Pampers Swaddlers 2
Clothing Size: 3-6 Months, and some of those are too short now.
Favourite Clothes: Rompers from Carters, sleeveless onesies from Old Navy and BABYLEGS (seriously the cutest things ever)
Nicknames: Monkey, Baby, Goober, Pooper
First Father’s Day! Daddy gets a T-shirt to match Liam’s onesie (still need to photograph this), and a GC to go pick up a tool of his choice from Home Depot (he’s currently debating between a Dewalt drill or a power washer).
First shopping trip to Bayshore mall, Sobeys and Walmart.
Started laughing and giggling
Found his feet and hands
Babysat by Gammy and Nanny for the first and second time! Did really well.
Really really fussy. Most likely due to early teething and major development leaps
Slept through the night for the first time. 7 hours!
First restaurant visit!
Grabbed Mum’s hair for the first time during tummy tickles
Played outside for the first time. A big fan of grass
Started grasping toys
Got a new carrier which is AWESOME. It’s a Beco Gemini.
Grasping, punching and wiggling a big development. Needs to spend some energy before sleeping.
No longer fits in any of the bassinets. Went out and bought a Pack and Play/Playard. it has been worth EVERY penny. He sleeps so well in it! Best nap times ever.
Where has the time gone? I remember sitting on my ugly orange chair, the one I inherited from Mum’s best friend in high school, the one that I camped out in during all-nighter essay writing sessions when I was in University, holding you, staring at you and thinking “I can’t do this. What have I done? I’ll never survive the six weeks of recovery” simultaneously as I felt more love than I’ve ever felt before.
The first month was hard. So very hard. And wonderful. It was one of those times in life that were so balanced between absolutely awful and amazingly beautiful that I was able to get through. After my very difficult labour, I spent a few days in the hospital with Pat and Liam. Gradually, I got to the point that I could walk on my own and began eating again (though I still hadn’t slept), so I was discharged. I’d like to point out that sleep deprivation is a method of torture, and for good reason. The combination of my hormone drop, my hard recovery, terror over being a new parent, and the trauma of the birth left me in a really bad mind space.
I was absolutely and totally engulfed in extreme post-partum depression. I considered suicide. I considered running away. I thought about how I had ruined our lives with this baby, that the baby deserved so much better than me, that I could NOT be trusted to care for him. I couldn’t sleep because the moment I closed my eyes I would immediately have a flashback nightmare to the worst parts of the labour (to the point that I cried out and flailed, as though in the moment again). Later, once the flashbacks faded, I had managed to stress myself out so badly with the mantra of “Sleep when he sleeps” that I was having breakdowns over failing even at the most simple task – sleep. I would have full panic attacks when I would try to nap, because of the pressure I was putting on myself to sleep while the baby slept. I couldn’t eat but I was so hungry all the time, and so nauseated as a result (no one had told me this would be a side effect of the spinal block and the surgery. I thought it was my fault). I think I survived one minute a time. I ate a lot of fruit, oatmeal and Special K bars. I cried all the time.
I was told, no, I was promised that it would get better. I didn’t believe it, but it was true. Jan, Tracy, and, of course, Pat carried me through this time. They were my cheerleaders, my nurses, my family.. They held me at 3am when I sobbed over my nursing baby. They gave me things to look forward to. They fed me, they let me shower and get away. I had no idea that I would be emotionally, mentally and spiritually damaged by birth, and they helped me heal in every way, I discovered friends in places I had neglected or forgotten. A co-worker of mine from years ago texted me through the night and talked me through rough times. She made us meals and assured me that we would not only get through it, but thrive. One of Pat’s co-workers cooked for us, one of my friends from the old Knit Nights and now LSGP kept the LSGP community updated on my state.
Through this healing, I decided to step away from the internet for a while, as I was finding I was only focusing on the hard and awful. That decision made a huge difference for me. Jan told me, instead of stressing about napping, rest and find peace in doing things I enjoy. I’ll sleep when I sleep. Suddenly, I was able to see the good again. There was so much good, how had I missed it?
By the end of week 2, I started watching movies with Tracy, spending real time with her again. We loved dressing Liam up and playing with him. I started laughing again. Breastfeeding was going really well. My little man latched like a champ and my boobs no longer hurt like hell. Once Tracy had returned home, Pat and I started spending quality time with our boy. We marvelled at his beauty, his strength. He was ours and he was perfect. We started feeling more confident. We were sleeping in our own bed again (previously, we were on the couches, because I couldn’t handle the stairs and needed to be propped up. Liam slept with me, on my chest).
We had a bit of a scare, with some lumps we found on his neck. We took you to see a pediatrician at the hospital and she said he was healthy and perfect. It was a scary time, but we are so happy to know that he is fine!
Pat went back to work on the 7th, and I was terrified. Somehow, despite being so sure that I would fail just a couple of weeks before, I had a great week at home with Liam. We played, we sang. He started to smile and my heart burst with joy. His first month ended with my very first Mother’s Day, which was so perfect.
– Favourite Clothes: Sleepers from Children’s Place and onesie’s from Carter’s
– Nicknames – Jumping Jelly Bean, Jelly Bean, Bean, Bug, Grenouille, Froggie, Little Man, Dude, L.
– First Movie (in basement) – Captain America
– Met friends and family, including Auntie Tracy, Aunt Jodie, Uncle Colin, Cousin Elliot, Auntie Sarah, Uncle Kyle, Cousins Annabelle and Eamonn, Aunt Kina, Uncle Rick, Aunt Stacie, Nanny Jan, Gammy Cathy, Aunties Megan, Katie, Rachael, and Brenda, Nanny Mila, Auntie Leigh.
– Started Smiling at 2 weeks
– Started “chatting” at the end of the month
– Tries to hold head up on his own
– First Road Trip – April 30, to visit Auntie Sarah, Uncle Kyle and Cousins.
– First photoshoot – May 3, Newborn photos.
– First Mother’s Day – May 13
One Month Old
My baby is now a month old. Such an important milestone. We did it. We got through the first month. I’m feeling much stronger at this point. I can do stairs, I can do minor housework. I started taking Liam out for walks in the stroller and for drives in the car (even if it was just to get a latte at Starbucks, it was a big deal for me).
Liam started to have gas issues, which resulted in much crying and fussing during feedings and at night. Ovol is a lifesaver for us.
It was a major adjustment, trying to handle all the night feeds and diaper changes on my own so that Pat could sleep. We are still adjusting to our new roles and schedules. I started recognizing Liam’s routines and started integrating play and song into our day. Mornings are my favourite time, as they have been since he was born. He’s just so happy and alert in the morning. Night time stresses me out, and it took until midway through this month for me to calm down and let Pat help at night, which has let us all relax a bit.
Late in the month I start seeing that Liam loves wiggle time, so I pull out the activity mat we got from Pat’s aunt and uncle and Liam LOVES it. Near the end of the month he’s grabbing and pushing the dangly toys. He’s even grasped and held a rattle!
He’s starting to enjoy baths a bit more, but they are still a chore. We did have our first run in with diaper rash, as well as Liam’s first cold and trip to our family doctor.
The weather turned quite hot here and we discovered that Liam HATES the heat. He gets really fussy and refuses to eat, which wasn’t great when we visited Nanny Jan’s when she didn’t have A/C.
Liam is still sleeping with us, which while not recommended, works best for our family. That said, he did sleep in his cradle for his first night time sleep chunk all on his own. Pat and I, of course, couldn’t sleep at all with him out of our bed, but it was still a huge victory for us. Also, he now naps in his bassinet during the day.
Liam now has a favourite song – You Are My Sunshine. Pat sings it to him all the time and now its one of the things that calm him down when he’s upset. Diaper changes are his favourite time. He smiles and plays and is a dream while he’s on his back. We play and I tickle him while cleaning him up.He’s gone up two diaper sizes! He’s growing so fast. We’ve had to pack away from of his newborn onesies because they don’t fit anymore, making me so proud and a little sad. He’s making so many more noises and sounds. We love it! His expressions continue to change and now he looks more like his Dad than me.
At the end of his 1st month, he weighs, 13lbs and is about 25 inches.
– Diaper Size: Pampers Swaddlers 2
– Clothing Size: A mix of 3 month and 6 month.
– Favourite Clothes: Owl onesie from Tracy, new clothes from Old Navy.
– Nicknames: Monkey, Baby Monkey, Little Man, Dude.
– First shopping trip to Bayshore mall, Sobeys and Walmart.
– First Movie (in a theatre) – What to Expect When Your Expecting
-Started babywearing, mostly in a snugli (which is what we use when we’re out and about) and have tried a Moby.
– Cousin Wesley born, June 4th.
– Grasping, punching and wiggling a big development. Needs to spend some energy before sleeping.
On Sunday, my little man turned 5 weeks old. I can’t believe how fast the time has gone, and yet, I can hardly believe that there was a time that he wasn’t a part of our lives. They mean it when they say that this year is a blur. Days meld in to each other and I rarely know what day of the week it is, unless I have my phone or an appointment to remind me.
This is long overdue, but until now, I haven’t had the time to sit down and write this out. As it stands, I’ll probably have to walk away from this several times, so who knows when it’ll be posted. I am going to be honest and raw here. If you are squeamish or want a sunny version of the labour, this is not the post for you. I might write a happy summery afterwards, but this specific entry is the raw “how it went down” version.
edited: Tracy has posted about her experience on her blog here
As my due date approached, Pat and I discussed using natural methods to induce labour. I had read about a bunch of them so I gave them a shot – hot sauce on my food, taking Evening Primrose Oil capsules orally and vaginally, enjoying some sexy time, and nipple stimulation. So far, I hadn’t even been having any Braxton Hicks.
On Wednesday April 11th, Liam’s due date, I had a midwife appointment. My sister, Tracy, came along with me. There, I asked about ways to get labour started, as Tracy was going to be leaving on the 26th and I wanted her to get as much time with Liam as possible. The midwife offered to check me and do a Stretch and Sweep aka an S&S if I wanted. I agreed. An S&S is basically the midwife using her fingers to stretch and sweep the cervix open. First, she started with a check – I was 2 cm dilated, and my cervix was “as soft as warm butter”. I was definitely going to be having him within the week! So, she did the S&S and off I went home.
At home, I started to feel “off”. I can’t really describe it. I just felt different. I called Pat to let him know. Then, rather than sit around and focus on it, Tracy and I decided to go out and distract ourselves. We went to a local family-friendly cafe. There I had a sinfully awesome latte and cinnamon bun, and sent all the texts and emails to my close friends about what was going on.
Nothing else happened that night. Or, really, the next. It was Friday evening, while watching Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta, with Tracy (while Pat played video games nearby), that I started to get contractions. They were really mild and I could barely classify them as anything, but we all decided it was time for bed, just in case things happened. We doubled checked the labour bags, texted out peeps and went to sleep. That night I got a bit of sleep, but was woken up occasionally by uncomfortable cramps and back pain. By the time Saturday morning came, I was definitely feeling contractions.
My birth plan included staying home and labouring there as long as possible, so Tracy, Pat and I did just that. They kept me fed and hydrated as the day went on. The contractions got stronger and stronger. I kept my discomfort (and I mean discomfort. It wasn’t really painful, per se) by pacing up and down the hallways. Eventually, I felt like I was going to be sick and barely made it to the bathroom. I remember thinking “This is it! I remember reading that you throw up once you get near 6cm!” Ha! Silly me. When the midwife came to check me, I was only at 4cm. I was so disappointed! The contractions were so intense, I started to worry about getting to 10cm without meds. I think, in total, we called the midwife to the house several times, though they only came, in total, twice. I remember moaning and groaning and Pat calling the midwife saying “Remember those noises you told me to listen for? Well, she’s making them!”. I remember grasping on to the banister in the hallway to ground myself during really strong contractions. I tried staying hydrated with water and coconut water, but I kept throwing up. We tried using the TENS machine, but I didn’t find it did anything for me, so I kept taking it off.
After getting checked again, I walk talking to the midwives in the dining room when I felt a gush of fluid. We were all sure my water had broken, so the midwives gave me the option: Did I want to stay at home, or get to the hospital? We opted for the hospital, because I still wasn’t sure if I wanted to stick to my “No Drugs”.
The drive to the Montfort was NOT fun. They had hooked me up to the TENS machine again, and while it helped a bit, I was still incredibly uncomfortable on the drive. Luckily, we had just missed some crazy traffic on the highway (there had been an accident), so we got to the hospital as quickly as we could. I remember thinking “This is the only time in my life that I won’t care at all about being in my PJs, with my hair unbrushed and no makeup on my face, out in public”.
Once we got me inside, they brought me to my room. For the next few hours I paced around the room in figure eights. The midwives recommended I try the tub. For the rest of the night I was in and out of there. We tried all sorts of comfort methods, but the only ones that really worked for me were walking, swaying and the tub.
I remember thinking I had to be so far along now, but when they checked me, I was only about 6cm. I think it was around then that I was asked if I wanted to try the gas. I said yes, but warned them that at the birth I attended, I had been nauseated when the woman in labour used it around me (I had breathed in the off gas). Well, let’s just say that wasn’t an issue (probably because i had already been puking for the whole day). The gas was my very best friend. To the point that it had to be taken away from me at times because I wasn’t giving it up. I had an impression around my face of the mask, because I was holding it so firmly against my mouth. It made a world of difference in my labour.
I can’t remember when things started to shift, but I know I was in the tub when Brianna, the midwifery student, told me I could try pushing. It didn’t feel good, so we backed off of that for a bit and I got checked again. It was then they realized that my water hadn’t broken and that it must have been my plug finally letting go. They broke my water and within half an hour I felt the urge the push and couldn’t help myself.
I’d like to say, here, that thus far my labour was great. Baby was healthy, I was healthy, our heart rates were good, my blood pressure was perfect. I was managing my pain well and everyone thought that we would have a great delivery. Despite feeling like it took forever, I was actually progressing really well. Before I knew it, I was at 10cm with only a slight lip. I was getting incredible support from Pat, Tracy and my midwifery student, Brianna. They got me through the worst of it.
It must have been the middle of the night at this point, so technically Sunday, when the pushing got intense. I tried every position you could think of. Kneeling, squatting, on my side, on my back, my legs supported, my legs unsupported, in the tub, standing, etc…etc…. but no matter how hard I pushed and no matter what position I was in, baby wasn’t coming. I pushed for 5 hours, which included one hour of “free pushing” and the single most painful experience of my life before I was sent for an emergency c-section. So, what happened?
The big issue was that Liam’s head was tilted back and to the side, essentially making his head stuck and in a position that the skull couldn’t do its natural plate-squish or whatever you want to call it to get through the birth canal. We didn’t know this until he was seen by the OB during the c-section.
So, When they noticed I wasn’t progressing, they put me on pitocin. This ramped up my contractions like crazy. Like, they were CONSTANT. And extremely intense. To the point that I couldn’t stop pushing and my heart rate was going a little nuts, so they turned it off. During the pushing, baby went tachycardic (though we were never told this. Pat knew because he was watching the monitors) and it was obvious that things weren’t going as planned, so my midwife, S, went to go find a nurse to ask for an OB consult. She discovered that all of the nurses were in a meeting. Yes, a meeting. They couldn’t spare one to help us. Also, the OB? Busy with an emergency. She was told that another OB was being brought in to help. Hours passed. That second OB? Another emergency. Basically, the hospital couldn’t provide us with the people we needed to get me checked out, so, I was left to push for 5 hours straight while my baby’s heart rate raced and I developed a fever and my blood pressure started to drop.
Finally, an OB was found and brought in. I was given the following options: Try forceps and get a natural birth or go straight to C-Section. I was exhausted at this point. I hadn’t slept well in days, I hadn’t eaten, I was done. Like with everything else, all of those positions, all of that pushing, I said “Let’s give it a shot”.
***If you don’t want to read about what I found traumatic in my delivery, please stop here. I’ll let you know when to pick back up, ok?****
I know forceps have been a great tool and have delivered a great many babies over the years. I know that they are a good option for those who are set on “natural” childbirth. Having said that, I will never recommend them to anyone. Ever. Maybe my experience was not the norm, so take this with a grain of salt, but it was the most traumatizing and horrific experience I’ve ever had.
Firstly, I’d like to restate that I was done. Physically, I had almost no strength left. Emotionally and mentally, I was in survival mode. I just wanted Liam out and safe, so I would have agreed to anything. We were not really told what “trying forceps” entailed or what it would be like for me. All I knew is that it was a possible alternative to being cut open. I went for it. I was by no means a “Natural or Nothing” kind of girl. We had discussed our stance on birth without midwives and thought they understood that we were “Natural if possible, but open to all options”, especially in the case of emergencies. I made it clear I was not willing to suffer for the sake of bragging rights. Or, at least, I thought I had made it clear.
So, when they offered forceps, I figured they understood me. I agreed, thinking that this was an option that would help, rather than hinder or hurt. They put me back on pitocin, to help get me pushing stronger again. Unfortunately, my body just couldn’t get things sorted out. It took almost 10 minutes for the contractions to start again and even then, they were slow and I was too weak to do anything with them. The OB told me she was going to give me 2 shots, to numb me. I remember thinking “This is going to be bad, if they have to numb me”. What I didn’t know is that the numbing didn’t help for crap AND that the needles were about a foot long. Getting them sucked really badly, but luckily, I was so far gone that I barely cried out. I will say that seeing me get them was pretty awful for my sister and Pat. It would only get worse. Next, she inserted the forceps and I thought I was going to be stretched apart. It was incredibly painful. I sobbed and begged her to stop. When the next contraction came, I was told to push with all my might. I tried, I really did. The OB pulled so hard that I was dragged down the bed, despite being held by my entire labour team (which included two midwives, the OB, two nurses, Pat and Tracy). The pain was incredible. In fact, it crossed my mind that I was dying, but could only think that it would be worth it if Liam was born safe and sound. This continued with every contraction. At one point, the forceps caught on something (it felt like my pelvic bone) and I remember thinking “She is tearing me apart”. Eventually, the OB realized and unsnagged it. I can’t remember how many times we tried (Pat tells me it was only maybe 3 times, but it felt like a million to me) eventually I was told that I needed a C-Section. I was so relieved to have the forceps out, I think I cried. I know I was weeping on the inside.
***OK, you can start reading again***
It happened so quickly that we barely had time to adjust. Tracy and I snuggled and kissed. I told her I loved her a few times (remember, I thought it was possible that I was going to die. I wanted her to know how much she meant to me), did the same with Pat, and then we were whisked away. Tracy was abandoned to our room, where I was later told she had a break down in the bathroom.
I was taken to the surgical room and prepped. The trip there was terrible, as I was still getting intense contractions (I had just been taken off the Pitocin) and was told I wasn’t allowed to push anymore. They gave me the spinal and my world became right again. The relief was immediate. I think I even fell asleep. Pat came in and they got started. I tried to stay awake, to talk to him. I wasn’t scared anymore. I was too tired. Not too long later, we heard the scream of our baby boy. He was brought over to us and we both fell in love. I felt so numb, so shocked, that he was mine. My first thought was “God, he’s so big. He can’t be mine!”.
We were told later that he was screaming in me before they even got him out. When he was handed to the nurse, he peed on her twice. He had pooped and had breathed it in while he was inside me, so after we saw him and he was checked out by the pediatrician, we were told he had to go to the NICU. I sent Pat with him. I was whisked off to Recovery at the same time. Unfortunately, it was at this time that my sister, Tracy, was forgotten. I had told a nurse to let her know where I was and what had happened, but nothing came of it. She was left, for 2 hours, by herself worrying about what was going on and where we were, in the bloody mess of a room that we had left behind. It wasn’t until the cleaning crew had come in to flip the room for the next patient that they found her and brought her to me in my new room.
While I was in recovery, I tried to rest, but they had to check me every 30 minutes. I passed out a couple of times, due to exhaustion, but never really slept. Finally, around 8am, I was brought to my room (where I would spend the next couple of days) and Tracy was brought to me. We had barely had time to talk about what had happened before Pat walked in the room with a nurse and Liam. He brought Liam over to me. I held my son for the first time, and held him, skin to skin and breastfed him for the first time. There were a lot of things that happened, that we’ve talked about and wished that we had known better, wished that we had said something to the midwives, wished that the midwives had done better or that the hospital staff had been there. In that moment? It didn’t matter how he got to me, just that he did.