24 December 2009

Twas the night before Christmas…

And all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring,
Not even the baby!

As my little devil naps away, I’m listening to carols and finding it hard to believe that this Christmas hubby and I will be celebrating as parents. All of a sudden the holidays have taken on a new meaning and joy. I don’t really care about what I get under the tree; I can’t wait to see what goodies Drew amasses. Granted, he’ll have no understanding of what the heck is going on and will probably just stare at the tree with a glazed look in his eyes, but it’s exciting for hubs and I nonetheless.

This year we’ll be making the rounds at both of the Gradparents’ houses – Christmas with my family and Boxing Day at a big shindig at my Father-In-Law’s place. Of course, hubby and I will be continuing our own tradition with a Christmas pancake breakfast, complete with mimosas, while opening our presents at home in the morning.

I don’t think I have been this excited for Christmas for years. It’s the start of many wonderful memories for our little family. Tonight I’ll be keeping with an old family tradition that harkens back to my own childhood; I’ll be reading “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” The only difference is that I’m no longer the child sitting in my mother’s lap, I’m now the mother with her own child on her lap.

Merry Christmas everyone and all the best for 2010!

23 December 2009

Ahh Goo!

No I’m not having a vocabulary regression; I’m simply referring to Drew’s new favourite phrase / noise.

It seems that I have a little chatter on my hands these days. While I swear some days that he’s the devil masquerading as a baby, Drew does like to bestow me with a few smiles and some friendly banter. There’s nothing that brightens my day more than a big drooly smile, flailing limbs and some very enthusiastic “Ahh Goo” greetings.

I often like to think that Drew is trying to say, “I love you Mommy,” and not really “Hey chump, come and change my dirty diaper!” At any rate, it’s nice to get some positive / happy feedback from my little man.

18 December 2009

My BIG oily baby

Intriguing title is it not? Not far from the truth either.

Today hubs and I met another milestone in parenthood; we survived Drew’s first round of vaccinations. He had three shots in total and an oral vaccine for Rotavirus. While he did the customary screaming and hollering for the needles, he calmed down fairly easily once I had him in my arms. (Hooray for Mommy magic) As for the oral vaccine, he would have happily gobbled a full cup of the stuff…my little porker.

Speaking of porkers, guess how much “little” Drew weighs? He’s a whopping 13 lbs 2 oz, which is roughly the average size of a three-month old. Considering Drew is just going on two-months tomorrow, my jaw dropped when the nurse called out his weight. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised as he’s also topping the growth charts for length at 24 1/2 inches. If he keeps up at this rate, he’ll be patting me on the head before I know it.

The rest of our two-month checkup went well; Drew is thriving and in excellent health. The only little issue we have to deal with is trying to clear up some cradle cap that has developed over the past few weeks. The poor little guy has been losing his beautiful red hair due to an increasing number of dry, scaly patches. Tonight we decided to tackle the problem head on (cheesy pun intended) by moisturizing the heck out of his head. As I type out this post, Drew is currently napping in our bed with his head slathered in olive oil. Nothing says fun like spending a Friday night in with hubby, greasing up the baby’s head.

I best be off now as it’s time to throw a sleepy baby into tub and “hopefully” down for a very long sleep tonight. I’m sure it was a very harrowing day for the poor little rascal.

17 December 2009

Case of the catnapper

While I can’t complain about Drew’s nighttime sleeping habits (knocks on closest piece of available wood), day naps are an entirely different story.

It seems like the bulk of my day is spent either (a) fighting to get Drew down for a rest because he’s getting overtired or (b) living out the oh-so-glamorous role of “human bed.” No matter how hard I try, no matter what soothing tactic I use, this kid is a horrible napper. He may have the odd sleepy day, that’s how I get to make blog posts after all, but most of the time my arms are occupied with a very tired little lad that won’t shut his damn eyes.

At two months of age I can’t start any sleep training or the “cry it out” method; right now I’m pretty much at his mercy. I have, however, started to simply put him down while he’s sleepy but awake, let him fuss and go in to sooth without picking him up…God bless the pacifier. Sadly, he hasn’t learnt to keep his paci in his mouth so I have to hold it in until he gets drowsy. Sometimes it takes a few attempts, other times it doesn’t work at all without some extra rocking and holding. My biggest fear is that Drew won’t become a self soother. I don’t mind rocking him a little but I don’t want him to view me as a daybed for his entire infancy. I’ll probably start some form of real training after 4 months, should he be ready for it. I have a feeling that the crying will be harder on me than him.

11 December 2009

Tis’ the season...

Last evening hubby and I reentered the social scene by attending our first holiday party at a friend’s house. Because it was on a work night, neither of our parents could babysit Drew. Rather than missing the fun, we decided to take him with us to “introduce” to folks and then put down to bed in his bassinet. Sadly, Drew had another idea…

After a brief introduction to our screaming baby, who evidently is “not” always soothed into a sleepy state of submission by car rides, hubby whisked Drew off to a quiet room in the basement for a feeding and some shut-eye. Two hours and three attempts later, the little guy still did not want to miss out on the action and kept waking up crying. It turns out that the poor little fellow spat up considerable and was lying in his own mess – a new talent which he, of course, decided to test out while we were away from home. We gave up on all attempts of holiday merrymaking at 9:30 PM, packed up our gear and bade our farewells. Guess what Drew did in the car all the way home…SLEPT!

Lesson of the day = Drew does not do well with too much stimulus; he gets too keyed up by everything.

Looks like we’ll have to find a sitter for him on New Year’s Eve. Are you reading this Mom and Dad? Ahemmm…

08 December 2009

BIG boy

It has recently come to my attention that Andrew is quite the “sturdy” boy for his age. While 13 lbs is supposedly the average for a three-month old, I’m fairly certain that my chunky little monkey has already reached 12 lbs at only seven weeks of age. I wouldn’t call him fat but he certainly is long with a very healthy appetite. He has already outgrown some of the 0-3 sleepers and I have almost been tempted to cut the feet off of several of his cuter outfits. I have a feeling he’ll be taking after the tall men on hubby’s side of the family. Before I know it, Drew will be looking down on his tiny little mother and patting her on the head…sigh.

Things have been going better as the days go by. Drew certainly has his bad moments but either (a) he’s getting slightly better or (b) I’m becoming more confident and in tune with his cues. It seems like we’re falling into some sort of routine and rhythm. It’s nice to get the odd smile and coo from him now; it warms the heart and makes me feel like a good Mommy. Honestly, the best part of my day is during diaper changes, post feedings. I got into the habit of turning diaper time into “fun time” with silly songs and rituals. In a matter of a week I went from having a baby that screamed on the change table to one that smiles and interacts with me. Suddenly I find myself looking forward to poop!

02 December 2009

Return to sender

Just Kidding!

Thankfully, after a long talk with Drew and many threats that he wouldn’t make Santa’s “Good” list, he decided to grant me a lovely calm day.
To reward him for his efforts, I dressed him in a ridiculous outfit and dumped him in a box. There’s nothing that screams “Happy Holidays” more than shoving your newborn baby boy into a wrapped parcel for a gratuitous Christmas card photo. Are we mean parents?

Oddly enough, this experiment yielded some interesting results.
Not only is Drew a big fan of kicking cardboard boxes, he also LOVES to crinkle tissue paper. Had I known that my boy would be pleased by something so simplistic, I wouldn’t have bothered buying his bouncer…swing…rattles…you get the point…

01 December 2009

The new equation

I will teach you a new mathematical equation that I stumbled upon at dinnertime this evening. I think that all new parents, especially those with fussy and coliky babies, should learn this…

Bouncer seat + dishwasher + swaddle + soother = Happy dinner with husband

That is all!

27 November 2009

A BIG reward for Mom

So I may have jinxed myself because yesterday didn’t go as well as the two previous days. Drew was back to his old tricks – hard to settle, over-tired, fussy and insatiable during feed times….damn! I’m leery about feeding him more because he is already taking a good 4-5 oz every 3-4 hours, which should be more than enough at his age. I don’t want to overfeed and then have to scale back because he would be even more of a devil then.

All complaints aside, I am happy to report that my little dude does bestow me with a smile and a coo from time to time. This was the result of me acting like an idiot this morning, making funny faces and noises – amazing what a parent will do to make their kid smile! It reminds me that there is a happy boy in there and that there is light at the end of the colicky tunnel.

26 November 2009

Fingers crossed

By writing this post I hope that I’m not totally jinxing myself!

Drew has been behaving really well for the past two days. All of a sudden he is very eager to take naps during the day and his disposition has improved quite a bit, probably because he isn’t overtired. So far three out of six days on the soy formula have gone very well. While it still takes some coaxing and cuddling to get the little guy down for a nap, I’m able to transfer him off of me once he’s drowsy enough. So long as he’s not crying or screaming, I’m not going to complain.

I still don’t want to read too much into the soy formula switch because he could still have a case of the “Mondays”. I’m wondering if he is simply going through a growth spurt – acting like a madman one day and snoozing for the next few days. Keep those fingers crossed folks! I feel much more human when I can actually catch a little bit of downtime during the day. The fact that I am even able to blog right now seems like a miracle.

24 November 2009

Eau de bébé

You know the sad part about having Drew on soy formula…other than the poop issues? Not only does he smell, but I also go around with the distinct odor of veggie burger on me. I have pretty much given up on looking decent for the foreseeable future because Drew has gotten into the habit of ripping the burp cloth from my shoulder and conveniently spitting up down my cleavage. By the end of the day I’m a stinky, sticky mess!

Yesterday was an absolute nightmare. Andrew decided that it was going to be a grumpy day and was bound and determined to lower my spirits (because newborns are clearly smart enough to be conniving). Poor hubby returned home to two basket cases. Last evening was one of those nights that I just had to take a deep breath, walk away and let Dan get things under control.

I am still undecided as to whether the soy is making a difference on Drew’s demeanor or not. He was beyond fantastic on Sunday and slept most of the day and evening too but yesterday was pure hell…one of his very worst. Today I have a sleepy boy again that has been very easy to settle. I don’t think I’ve enjoyed this much “me” time since before he was born.

This flip flop in attitude makes the formula decision a bit tricky. I’m running out and only have enough soy formula for one more day. I don’t’ want to buy another expensive can if it doesn’t make a difference. I could start him on a hypoallergenic formula that got from my pediatrician to see if things become consistently better. I’m reluctant to switch again and risk hurting his little tummy. Right now I still have to give Drew sugar water to help soften his stools. Maybe the hypoallergenic stuff will make him a little more “regular”. It’s all about trial and error right now. Perhaps he is simply one of those little guys that really misses the womb and hasn’t adjusted well to the world; maybe it’s more psychological than physical. It’s a shame that there aren’t instruction manuals for babies.

For now, I’ll continue to play the guessing game in my quest to “fix” my little guy. Either way, I know that I’ll be wearing some rank form of “Eau de bébé” no matter what he eats.

22 November 2009

Finding the right mix

It has been a while since I’ve posted and, to reward you for your patience and understanding, today’s long-awaited update will be on the topic of POOP…aren’t you glad to checked in?

Last week I brought Drew to the pediatrician for his 1-month checkup. Because he has been acting like psycho baby for several weeks now I decided to mention his fussiness to the doctor. In short, she suggested that I try switching him over to soy-based formula because hubby had a bad allergy to cow’s milk protein when he was a baby and could only take soy. Of course, as luck would have it, I also had a tummy that wouldn’t settle as a newborn; my poor mother must have tried every formula on the market to no avail. It looks like history may be about to repeat itself.

We are now starting day two of the soy trial and it’s difficult to say whether this will be the solution to Drew’s colic. I have noticed that he is far less gassy after feedings however yesterday he was whining and crying due to constipation…I’ve seen my guinea pigs produce heartier poops. While things softened up did a bit better today (thanks to the help of sugar water), he’s letting out a pained high-pitched squeal and seems generally fussy. I have to give the new formula a try for at least a week to determine whether it will help us but I’m not holding out much hope.

I’m beyond frustrated and wish I could find a way to make my boy happy. I could try some other formulas but that would also put his poor little tummy through an uncomfortable adjustment period. My heart truly goes out to any parent that has had to deal with colic; it really is hell.

Please cross your fingers for this tired Momma and for little Drew. If we can’t find a “fix” through new formula, let’s hope he at least outgrows this soon. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again – he has far too much of his mother in him!

15 November 2009

Yummy Mummy

I used to laugh at the term “yummy mummy;” now I find myself aspiring to be one. With my c-section scar, flabby belly and extra pounds, I feel about as attractive and appealing as a bucket these days. I’m chomping at the bit to get back to the gym and start whipping my large butt into gear but I still have two more weeks until I can meet with the OB for a post-operative follow-up. Some days I feel ready to run a marathon but, after a few hours spent walking around the mall on the weekend, it’s clear that I’m not even close to healed on the inside.

In an effort to regain at least piece of the “old me,” I had my hair cut in a funky, choppy bob with dark brown lowlights this weekend. I also treated myself to a new outfit which, I am sad to admit, is a good three to four sizes larger than my pre-pregnancy body. I know that it has only been a month since delivery but patience never was my virtue; I want results now!

Despite my less than favourable body image, I did manage to doll myself up this weekend to head out on my first dinner date with hubby since Drew was born. Mom and Dad watched the little “monster” while Dan and I went out to the Byward Market for some yummy Italian food, desert and some early Christmas shopping. It was nice to get out, have adult conversation and split some decent wine. However, despite my best intentions, my mind always kept wandering back to Drew and wondering how he was faring. Of course, he turned out to be a perfect angel for Mom and Dad…just after I have been telling everyone how colicky he is - go figure!

All in all, it was a decent weekend. Despite a few cranky periods with Drew, I also realized that hubs and I can get out and live some of the old life from time to time. Having a baby really does make you appreciate your spouse and quality time together that much more. I also look forward to the age where Drew is a little more settled and calmer to start bringing out with us to enjoy family activities.

13 November 2009

The ladies man

Yesterday Drew had some very special visitors come over – two sweet little gals that are five and six months old. While I was hoping to present a polite little gentleman, sadly he was going through one of his afternoon cranky spells and spent the entire time in my arms with a pacifier. It was wonderful having some adult company during the day and being able to talk to other Moms who have already gone through the confusing newborn stage. I have a feeling I’m going to have to get out more to avoid going stir crazy. Sadly the lack of car in the winter makes getting around a little complicated but hopefully I’ll work something out. Once Drew is three months old and has adjusted to his first round of immunizations I want to start getting him a little more socialized.

I am certainly starting to notice a few trends in our daily activities, although I’m sure these can change on a dime. Right now, as I’m typing, Drew in sitting in swing waving his arms and crossing his eyes. He tends to have a very active period in the morning after he wakes from his nap, he also has regular hiccups during this time which makes it near impossible to settle him back to sleep. It’s only in the past few days that I realized that I should probably introduce playtime while he’s bright eyed and bushy tailed. Yesterday I tried him out on his playmat and he seemed to have a blast…at least I think that’s what the flailing arms and pumping legs mean. As a general rule of thumb, if he isn’t crying than I assume that he’s doing just fine. I don’t want to over-stimulate him at an early age, but I want to make sure that he discovers the world around him and has time to develop. This parenting thing is certainly a work in progress; like Drew, I’m learning and growing each week.

It’s hard to believe that Andrew will be a whole month old on Monday. In some ways I feel like he’s been here much longer as I can’t really remember what life was like before he arrived. The fact that I had two whole weeks off from work before he arrived probably makes the time seem longer. People keep telling me how quickly kids grow and I’m certain I’ll probably feel the same way when I’m heading back to work next year. As he becomes a little more ‘exciting’ I’m sure that time will speed up…go figure. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could simply select how long each stage of our child’s life would last? I think the key is trying to find the good in every stage, even on those days where you think you’ll go bonkers. All Drew has to do is smile at me and I’m a goner.

12 November 2009

My high maintenance man…

I thought women were supposed to be high maintenance, but boys?!?

This week has been a bit of a rollercoaster. Monday and Tuesday could only be described as hell! I was convinced that Andrew has colic as he wailed like a banshee from about 11:00 AM to 9:30 PM. We tried to head out to the mall on Tuesday evening to do a little early Christmas shopping and the excursion ended with both Drew and I in tears. Despite the fact that I managed to successfully feed him at the mall, all thanks to a super duper parenting room, he would not settle afterwards and kept screaming in his stroller. I was so embarrassed as I got those pitying looks from other parents and, I’m sure, eye rolls from others. No folks I don’t hit my baby, he’s just unhappy for no apparent reason.

Yesterday was a complete 180º. Drew slept for most of the day after some pro swaddling, shushing and rocking from Mom. My day pretty much ran on a perfect 3-4 hour cycle: feed for 20 minutes, burp and change for 10 minutes, sooth to sleep for 30 minutes and “me time” for 2 hours. I kept holding my breath and waiting for storm to arrive but it never really did. It’s amazing how a good day makes you feel on top of the world. I was calm, happy and rested. I even managed to go out to dinner at my parents’ place and Andrew was a complete angel, albeit one that still needed soothing and attention. Anything is great in my books, so long as I don’t have to listen to the pained wailing of Monday and Tuesday.

So far today Andrew has had a near carbon copy schedule of yesterday but I don’t want to jinx myself by getting too optimistic. I’d be thrilled if this turns into his actual temperament, however I know that newborns can change on a dime. I’m really hoping that this week’s earlier psycho behavior might be linked to a growth-spurt rather than the onset of colic. For now I’ll simply enjoy the quiet and hope it lasts a while longer. Andrew and I are expecting a visit from some friends and their babies early this afternoon. I’m hoping he behaves like a gentleman for these two little ladies; might as well start early and make a good impression on the gals while he’s young. I’m bound and determined to make him the perfect catch – the quintessential role of all meddling mothers. Some day he’ll be some other woman’s baby ; )

09 November 2009

Does this hazmat suit make me look fat?

Whoever came up with the old “luck of the Irish” adage must have been talking blarney. Maybe I just have a target on my back but I seem to have encountered one annoying setback after another ever since little Andrew came into the world.

This week’s “fun” involved having to be taken care of by my mother on Friday due to either (a) a horrible reaction to the H1N1 vaccination or (b) the possible onset of mastitis. Twenty-four hours after I woke up on Friday, I felt like I had been hit by a truck. I ran a temperature the entire day, accompanied by chills, sweats, shakes, dizziness and fatigue. I could barely take care of myself let alone poor little Drew. Just to make the diagnosis a little more complicated (because I can never keep things simple), I also had a very sore right breast. I knew that mastitis could also cause flu-like symptoms, so it was hard to know whether I was reaction to the previous night’s vaccination or the onset of infection. After 24 hours in bed I thankfully started to feel a little more human, albeit still very rundown. I was terrified of going to a clinic to be assessed due to the big flu scare; instead I called Tele-Health and spent a few hours on the phone only to be told to go to a clinic – sadly my physician’s office had closed for the day by then.

This morning I awoke feeling slightly better than yesterday, although my breast remained sore. I also started to feel a slight tightness or wheezing in my chest. Off to the clinic I went to wait 45 minutes to see doctor for a total of 5 minutes. I was terrified of catching anything from the other patients so I sat like a loner in the corner feeling slightly Darth Vader-esque with my surgical mask on. As I predicted, the doctor simply wrote me out a prescription for some antibiotics and seemed generally apathetic towards my other symptoms or tight chest; he didn’t even listen to my breathing. I also had to persist in asking for the second set of results from a thyroid ultrasound that was taken over a month ago. He totally forgot that I even had been diagnosed with thyroid nodules before my pregnancy….grumble.

While I’m not one to typically knock the medical profession, I’m getting the distinct impression that my doctor just doesn’t have enough time for his patients anymore. It’s not like I’m a hypochondriac either; having a Mom as a nurse I’d like to think that I’m somewhat better informed than the average Joe. I don’t enjoy going to the Doctor, especially in the height of the H1N1 scare; at least take the time to hear my concerns rather than letting me simply self-diagnose and throwing drugs at me….double grumble.

Here’s hoping that this is the last medical setback I encounter for a loooooong time. I’m tired of feeling like a rundown piece of junk! On a more positive note – I’m getting my hair cut and highlighted next Saturday and hubby and I are heading out on the town while Andrew gets babysat. I’m excited as hell for a night off but I’ll probably end up thinking about the little stinker the whole time I’m away.

05 November 2009

The things we do for our children…

Hubby lined up for 90 minutes this morning to get our bracelets for the H1N1 vaccine. It’s sad that he actually had to take time off work to get this accomplished but people have really given in to media fear mongering in Ottawa. Despite the fact that the clinics were “supposed” to only administer the first wave of vaccines to priority groups, they didn’t bother to turn away low-risk candidates. Once the word got out, everyone and their dog was waiting in line to receive their shot.

I am very leery about getting this shot as I tend to react poorly to certain vaccines and some previous flu shots. My only reason for biting the bullet is Andrew. Because he is so little and his immune system isn’t developed, hubs and I are doing this to protect him from coming into contact with the flu. Being that I am also under four weeks post-natal, I am also at increased risk; my body is still trying to heal from the cesarian and I’m running on little sleep.

Please cross your fingers for me. I hope my arm isn’t so sore and swollen that I won’t be able to pick up Drew tomorrow. I already find that the weight of him is starting to put more strain on my body; he’s turning into quite the chunky monkey and can’t seem to eat enough these days.

02 November 2009

Baptism by fire

Dan is back to work today and I have to admit that I was feeling slightly nervous this morning. While I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to stay home for a year with Andrew, the newborn phase isn’t exactly my forte. I find it difficult not always knowing what he wants or rather the fact that he seems to view me as his eternal dance partner. I’ve gotten into the habit of putting on Bob Marley and dancing around the nursery with him which he seems to enjoy – the only problem, now he wants to dance with Mommy all the time! I suppose I should enjoy it while it lasts because one day he won’t want to dance with me anymore and the thought actually breaks my heart.

My first day at home alone has not been without its difficulties. Of course, Andrew decided to play “psycho baby” while Dad is away and has been fussing, crying and demanding more food on an hourly basis. I don’t want to overfeed, so I’m trying every trick in the book to get him to settle and hold out until the two-hour mark. The sheet for Ottawa Public Health suggests feeding formula every 3-4 hours but Andrew is having none of that today; I’m starting to think he’s going through an early growth spurt but I was under the impression that was supposed to happen at three weeks of age, not two. My little piggy is already eating about eight to ten 3 oz feedings in a 24 hour period…got to go now, he is crying...again!


And here I am about six hours later completing my post; this should give you some indication of just how challenging Drew has been today. M little angel tuned into the bloody devil! I have never been so happy to see Dan home from work. I survived but it certainly was a lesson in patience. I’ve got to just keep lovin' on the little guy and I hope that this uber bad mood is just a passing phase or growth spurt and not the onset of colic.

P.S. The above picture is of happier happier days (AKA yesterday) when Andrew went for his first spin in the stroller. Sadly, I look far less serene today!

01 November 2009

Wine time!

Tonight I have decided to return to my long-anticipated treat – drinking wine!

One of the benefits of being on formula now is that I can actually enjoy a glass of the good stuff without having to worry about it leeching into my breast milk. While I hope Andrew can one day appreciate wine as much as his father and I do but I’m certainly not willing to give him his first taste just yet!

For roughly 10 months I have been staring at my wine rack and whimpering over an old bottle of Chianti. As luck would have it, hubby and I received a few very nice bottles only a few weeks before I got pregnant. To add insult to injury, my brother, not really thinking, purchased a $50 LCBO gift certificate for my birthday…sigh.

So tonight I will make my triumphant return to the world of vino, provided that Andrew lets me have some down time. I’m sure that one glass will have me feeling tipsy after my long hiatus; it will undoubtedly be the best darn glass of wine I have ever tasted!


Andrew was acting a little cranky during dinner so I did what any other desperate new Mom would do...multitask! Nothing litle a good snuggle and some wine at the same time.

31 October 2009

Happy Halloween

It’s a cold and gloomy Halloween but we’re getting right into the spirit in our household.

This morning the lovely Sheri came over to take some newborn photos of Andrew in all his scrunchy newborn glory. I was anticipating an absolute meltdown from our little man, especially because I woke him from a nice slumber, but he was an absolute ham for the camera for the most-part. I was especially impressed that we managed to get him into a pumpkin that I hollowed out.

I’m hoping that this morning’s activity will be enough to make the little fella sleep for a few hours this afternoon. We’re in for a busy night with trick-or-treaters. While we’re not doing our usual huge display on the lawn, we still have a fair bit of decorations up. No matter how busy life gets I vow to keep Halloween going. While we’re a little too tired to throw or attend any parties this year, I’ll be handing out candy to all the little sweeties that come to our door. Kids have to grow up so fast these days; there's nothing quite like giving them a happy memory. I can’t wait until Andrew is old enough to really get into the spirit. For now though, I’d say he’s been an absolute trooper!

29 October 2009

I was baptized this morning

This morning I “enjoyed” every parent’s right of passage – I was baptized during the morning diaper change.

I thought I was too clever for little Andrew. He tried to pee on me yesterday but I quickly threw down a facecloth over his man bits and boasted about my quick thinking. Turns out my bragging rights wouldn’t last long as the little stinker outsmarted me this morning. He was pumping his legs so furiously that he managed to work the facecloth off his bits and, I swear to God, he pointed the thing right at me…you get the rest of the picture. He also managed to get a bit on the carpet, although I bore the brunt of the assault. Not only was the peeing enough, he also decided to poop in tandem. In my shock, I ended up letting go of one of his heels which he promptly decided to drag through the poop. And what was my reaction to all this? Surprisingly, I couldn’t stop laughing! I looked a fright and I’m sure I smelt it too but it was still hilarious. The funny part – hubby never gets these types of poops. He is slower at diaper changes and doesn’t take care to cover the “pee pee cannon” and yet little Andrew has yet to bestow that same gift upon his father…men stick together I guess.

To end Andrew’s “show” for the morning, he also decided to burp up some milk on my neck. It was clear what my plans were once I got him back to sleep – SHOWER TIME!

Mom will be watching the little monster for a few hours this afternoon while Dan and I head out for some much needed fresh air – AKA Costco run. I hope to God he behaves! I have only left the house one other time without him and I spent the bulk of my time wondering whether he was behaving or not. So far, he has saved the bulk of his fussiness for hubs and I.

28 October 2009

Night Owl

It turns out yesterday’s fears were confirmed last evening. A day-sleepy baby = a howler at night. Poor hubs and I subsisted on very little sleep last night. While Dan was up and dealing with Andrew in an attempt to let me rest and heal, I still couldn’t cobble together a decent night’s sleep because of the intermittent crying and fussing. I’m actually starting to wonder if Andrew prefers his crib to the bassinette that we keep in our room at nights. He day sleeps quite well in his crib and seems to go down for longer periods of time. While I didn’t plan to move him out of our room so early, I may try it one evening this week to see how we all fare. I can still hear the slightest whimper from my room even when he’s in the nursery and I’ll make sure to blast the baby monitor all night…preferably next to hubby’s ear…

While hubs and I are still trying to figure out the enigma that is Andrew, we have a sneaking suspicion that the little mite could be going through a growth spurt.
All of a sudden he is crying for food earlier than every three hours. We have been going through the mental checklist: diaper, play, rocking, gas? If he is still not appeased and appears to be rooting and acting fussy then we’ll allow him another bottle. So far he has gulped down everything we have given him. I’m a little concerned about overfeeding as this guy loves the bottle; whether it is formula, pumped milk or both combined, he is an absolute chow hound. Because we have ramped him up with a few “bonus” feeds today, I’m really hoping this will help him sleep a little longer at night. I actually tried to keep him up after his feeds this afternoon but he was having none of it. I’m starting to think it’s next to impossible to get any sort of schedule down this early in the game. For now we are simply surviving from day to day and making sure to laugh our way through the more trying times. As my mother used to say to me as a babe, “It’s a good thing you’re cute!” Funny that I now find myself repeating the same mantra to my own child. Having children of your own truly makes you appreciate the work your own parents had to endure.

27 October 2009

Feeling more human

After a decent night’s sleep and a calm morning, I’m feeling a little more like the old me today. I’ve pumped twice already, even though I loath it and I managed to get in a little quality time with hubby just playing around on the computer and watching T.V. I’m hoping that Andrew won’t be wild this afternoon and evening because he’s power sleeping during the day…fingers crossed!

No big plans today other than whatever our little guy decides to throw at us. I am still determined to decorate for Halloween although we will be scaling back this year – no fog machine and no dead body hanging from the spare room window (seeing as it’s the nursery now). If things keep running smoothly, perhaps hubs and I will tackle a few pumpkins this evening. Andrew doesn’t really have a costume because he won’t be trick-or-treating just yet, but he does have a Halloween sleeper and pumpkin hat. I think next year he’ll be a dinosaur.

Nothing else exciting to report. I finally managed to upload more photos from the delivery and Andrew’s first week in the world. Friends and family can check it out: CLICK HERE.

26 October 2009

One week old

Today hubby and I took Andrew for his first appointment with the pediatrician at Mom’s office. It was an emotional experience because he is now seeing the same pediatrician who tended to me as a child. I remember countless visits while growing up and spending time helping out with filing of tidying the emanation rooms. Back then I certainly never imagine having my own child, let alone the fact that I would be fortunate enough to provide him with the same great care that I received. It was fun to see all the nurses and staff fawn over him; it also helps that he was an absolute angel the entire time. Andrew did his parents proud and I’m glad he didn’t go into total meltdown mode….sadly he saved that for home.

The latter part of this afternoon and evening was nothing short of miserable. Our little man was NOT a happy camper and I think it’s all because his visit to the doctor threw off his feeding a little. He was alert and crying for the rest of the day . We ended up topping him off with an extra feed this evening and that seems to have done the trick (fingers crossed as he slumbers peacefully right now). If there is anything I have learned over the past week – it’s very hard to put a newborn on a schedule straight away. From now on, I’m simply going to feed on cue and ramp him up for longer sleeps at night, if possible.

I still continue to struggle with feeding. After many tears of frustration and pain, I decided to abandon breast feeding and start formula feeding almost exclusively. I have been trying to pump a few times each day to get some breast milk into my little duffer, but I feel as though I spend all my time being a milk cow rather than hands-on Mommy. I met with a lactation consultant this evening because I thought I was coming down with Mastitis and was running a low-grade fever with chills. She tried to give me some pointers on increasing my milk production to ease the pain; a surprise $168 later all I had to show was less dignity (from having a complete stranger rub my breasts for an hour) and a pump rental for one week. I was more than a little peeved because the Ottawa Public Health Nurse that recommended the LC led me to believe that the consultation would be free.

I have been told to pump every three hours to keep up my supply; this includes evening. I wake every 3 hours as it is to formula feed and I can’t see myself waking even earlier now to pump in anticipation of his next feeding. At least with the formula, it is already pre-mixed and ready to go. I’m quickly running out of patience and steam; I’m putting way too much focus on this and, quite frankly, I’m miserable. This is the totally unglamorous part of motherhood that nobody tells you about. I’m done with feeling guilty, lamenting my terrible delivery and doubting my mothering skills – I want to move on. If it takes formula to keep me and baby happy – than formula it shall be. For now I’ll keep up the pumping and see if things get any better, at least I can say I tried.

A week ago today I was wheeled into the recovery room and my life as mother began. I can’t say that either hubby or I have enjoyed the experience of parenthood thus far. We love Andrew, it’s evident every time we look into his eyes or enjoy a snuggle, but saying that this first week has been blissful would be an absolute lie. I look forward to watching him grow and becoming his own little person; this is just a difficult step we have to get through on the way. I have a newfound respect for all parents out there in the world, especially single mothers who have no help or support. No wonder parents take such joy and pride in their children; it takes so much hard work and dedication to raise them from day one. I know it will only get better over time and there will be plenty more laughter, tears and challenges along the way - welcome to parenthood!

24 October 2009

Andrew Wade is here!

We’ve all heard the infamous old adage, “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.” After 24 hours of labour and a C-Section, I can honestly say that I couldn’t agree more! I may be bruised and battered and my body may feel like a piece of meat, but somehow I’ve come out of this a stronger person and more importantly, a mother!

Andrew Wade
was born on 19 October 2009 at 6:48 PM weighing 7 lbs. 14 oz and measuring 52.5 cms long. He has reddish-blonde hair and, sadly, inherited his mother’s lusty cry and bleach-blonde devil eyebrows. I see so much of myself in him it’s almost eerie!

Sunday, October 18

16:30 – Get up from nap and go to bathroom; feel a small gush of liquid and call the hospital to inform them. They tell me to monitor it and see if I have any contractions.

17:00 – More gushes of liquid.
I won’t go into the graphic details but I knew something was definitely up. Tried to call Mom and Dad to tell them that I might not make it to family dinner but they had the phone off the hook – go figure!

17:30 – Still no contractions so I go to Mom and Dad’s for dinner

18:00 – Lots more liquid so off to the triage we go…just in case.

18:30 – Examined at triage and am told that I am 1 cm and 100 % effaced. They say the liquid isn’t amniotic fluid but I’m totally not convinced.
They hook me up to a fetal monitor and start picking up contractions. The nurse recommends I start walking the halls for a few hours to see if anything happens.

21:00 – Re-examined by doctor and now I’m 3 cm and starting to have more regular contractions. We have an ultrasound to make sure baby is alright and all seems well.
I continue to pace the halls as I am better able to cope with the pain walking and swaying. I could have gone home but I just had a feeling that I’d be turning around and coming back to the hospital.

Monday, October 19

12:00 – 4 cm dilated and the pain starts to get a bit worse. Because I’m very tired and need to rest, the nurse gives me a shot of Nubane to take the edge off. Hubby and I try to sleep in some recliners in the early labour lounge. I nap for 3 minutes and then wake for a contraction…this goes on for hours.

4:00 – Re-examined and told that I would be admitted as soon as they could find me a birthing suite (very busy night). By this point I’m ready for an epidural but still breathing pretty well through contractions.

6:00 – Finally a room!

7:00 – Finally, an epidural! It took better on my left half than my right. I think I was about 6 cm at this point.

13:30 – 10 cm and ready to push. I pushed like a champ for 3 hours but baby was looking up at the sun rather than tucking his head down, which prevented me from pushing him past my pubic bone.
The doctor hoped he would turn but he was still too far up to be aided by forceps or vacuum. Had he been looking the right way, I was told that my pushing would have had him out within 30 minutes.

16:30 – I am told that it will have to be a c-section – my biggest fear. They tell me to stop pushing and it’s sooo hard to stop. I basically fall apart at this point, the epidural isn’t working as well, I start crying and feeling 100 % tired and defeated.

18:00 – After waiting for another few c-sections to end, I am finally wheeled into the OR as a completely emotional mess.
I am given a spinal and almost fall asleep during the procedure. I hated the feeling of being paralyzed and almost preferred a bit of the earlier pain. Hubby almost missed the delivery because nobody went to get him from my room. Thank God for my vigilant orderly, André (Andrew, coincidently), that went to fetch him.

18:48 – Andrew is born looking rather blue but screaming loudly nonetheless. He had lots of mucus and had to go to the nursery to have his blood oxygen levels monitored.
He wasn’t there long and passed his APGAR tests with flying colours. I got to give him a quick kiss and off he went with Daddy. I didn’t even cry or feel particularly happy because I was too tired and shaking quite badly from the spinal.

20:30 – I am finally reunited with my family in our room. I got to nurse Andrew while in recovery but the nurse pretty much had to do all the work because I was so exhausted.

Dan, Andrew and I spent a total 3 nights recovering at the hospital.
It was quite a challenge because I was in no condition to get up and care for my son. Hubs had to be a single-parent for the most part and I’m so proud of him for grabbing hold of the reigns. I almost feel leagues behind him as a parent as I am just starting to interact with Andrew more now and become involved in his day-to-day care.

Our “family” came home on 22 October.
At first I was terrified about how I would manage without the help of the wonderful nurses and staff at the Montfort – they were beyond kind and wonderful. Now that I’m here, however, it feels fantastic to be back in my own space. I’m starting to reenter the world and it feels less like the twilight zone. I’m still quite stiff and it will be a while before I feel better both physically and emotionally. I’m still grieving the delivery that I had hoped for.

It has been difficult not being able to simply hop out of bed and care for my son the way that I would like to.
I didn’t get that instant bond that I had always dreamed of but it grows day-by-day. I did a lot of crying and berating myself, which sounds illogical, but it is apparently completely normal for those that had a difficult labour or unexpected c-section.

I have had to put Andrew on formula for the time being as I heal and I simply can’t keep up with his demands for milk.
I gave breastfeeding a go and met with a lactation consultant but it wasn’t working out to well and I was too sore and frustrated. Andrew seems far more content on the bottle right now and we’ll see what happens when my milk comes in. For now I try to pump and give him “the good stuff” every second feeding. This has been, by far, the greatest challenge and frustration of motherhood thus far. Right now I feel like I spend more time trying to pump than I do holding or taking care of my baby.

While things did not go as planned, I still have a happy and healthy little boy.
I adore my little “bean” and he IS worth all the pain and frustration. Our initiation into parenthood hasn’t been that enjoyable yet but the worst is over and I know things will only get better as we all figure each other out.

Andrew is a sweet little boy with his Mommy's red hair and a lusty cry, but he's also a total snuggle bum and a decent sleeper "for now". I’m amazed every time I look at him. I did get my happy ending, just not the way I imagined.

Look at that giant "cone head" - proof of how hard Mommy pushed

My little October pumpkin

Happy but tired family

Post bath skin-to-skin with Mom

I just want to be held

18 October 2009


Not a damn thing! Well...no baby at least.

This pregnancy thing is really starting to get long in the tooth. I was near tears this morning as I kept waking every 45 minutes due to pain in my fingers and numbness in my hands and arms. The carpal tunnel syndrome has kicked it up a notch this week and it always seems to hit me hardest at night when I should be catching up on as many Zzzzs as possible. I eventually reach a point, typically around 6:00 or 7:00 AM, where I abandon all hope and haul myself out of bed. I can't help but shake my fist as hubby lets out a contented little sigh, steals my body pillow and continues to slumber on peacefully; some mornings it takes all my willpower not to thump him on the head.

No big plans for today other than the usual - try to stay occupied without using my hands too much. I've come to the realization that I would probably go crazy without the use of my hands; I can never seem to let them rest idle (blogging = case and point). I see my legs as my primary source of exercise - one of my great passions in life that has since been hindered by swollen feet and ankles. On the other hand (pardon the cheesy pun), my hands are my portal to creativity - writing, cooking, crafting - my other great passions in life. Needless to say, when the doctor tells me to rest both my feet and hands, I feel more than a little surly and trapped...very trapped. While I would like to heed the doctor's suggestion, boredom is far more detrimental to my health and sanity.

Today I'm fighting back - I'm going to break down and purchase some wrist splints to see if that will give me some form of pain relief. I was trying to avoid making the purchase seeing as I'm so close to my due date, but I'm getting a little desperate.

16 October 2009

All quiet on the Western front

Only five days until Momma gets angry and issues Bean his real eviction notice. Despite that fact that most of the other Ottawa ladies in my WB October Momma’s forum have already had their little ones (several were early I might add), I’m still sitting here with zero signs of labour. I’m really hoping that my lack of contractions isn’t a sign that this little man is going to stay past due; my mother never had any signs either, just her water breaking in one dramatic “sploosh.” I seem to have inherited Mom’s easy pregnancy and zero stretch mark genes, so I’m hoping I also have her luck with good/ quick labour. The fact that I want to meet this kiddo so much, probably means that he’ll make me suffer for as long as he can…sorry, but I’m not a “glass half full” gal at this point.

Nothing overly exciting to report today. Once again I tried to put gravity to work by cleaning the entire house from top to bottom: dusting, vacuuming, washing the floors, laundry, and climbing the stairs countless times. I also spent a good hour sterilizing bottles and figuring out how to assemble a breast pump for my inevitable task as dairy cow. After all that time spent standing and rushing around, all I have succeeded in doing is making my left foot look a little more bulgy and purple.

I am happy to report that the topic of yesterday’s post wasn’t merely a passing fancy. Mom took me out to Michael’s in the afternoon and I walked away with two knitting needles, some yarn and literally zero knowledge about knitting. After a few quick tutorials on YouTube and several botched attempts, I am now the proud owner of a very “ghetto” scarf-in-progress - basically ten rows of straight knitting and no pattern, but I’m absurdly proud of myself all the same. I think I heard my Mother-In-Law let out a victory cry from heaven; I’m finally going somewhere other than an unused ball of yarn and lots of swearing. (Poor Patty quickly discovered that I wasn’t exactly the most patient learner). Sadly, however, I have chosen to take up knitting at what could easily be dubbed “the worst possible time” – right when I’m suffering from pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel syndrome. I may have ten rows of a scarf completed, but I also haven’t felt my fingers in 24 hours.

Pray for my folks. I think I need all the help and labour vibes I can get…before I find new cruel and unusual ways to punish myself out of boredom.

15 October 2009

In stitches

Being off work is bizarre. What is even more unnerving, however, is the fact that I’m basically sitting around waiting to produce a human - what will only be the most monumental and significant change in my life. Is it any wonder that I can’t relax?

Because I have the attention span of a toddler, I find myself trying to come up with a myriad of different activities to fill my days. I tend to have the frustrating habit of measuring everything I do in little quadrants of time, a freakish side-effect from a Microsoft Outlook “organization” workshop that I took last year….it’s like having a day planner ingrained in my brain. Something tells me that I’m going to have to get over this particular quirk once “Bean” gets here.

In an attempt to keep my mind clear and my feet up, I have found myself returning to my childhood roots – crafting. I can’t seem to keep my hands idle these days and have been mass producing Christmas decorations. With six cross-stitch ornaments already complete, I’m anxious to find a new way to occupy my hands (that and my eyes aren’t so great with the intricate small stitches anymore). Suddenly, it dawned on me that perhaps I could take up knitting – what I consider to be one of my greatest artistic downfalls in life. My grandmother tried to teach me when I was a child and my mother-in-law tried to pass the craft on before she died; it was the one thing that I couldn’t seem to find the patience for. Secretly, however, all these years I have harbored a desire to knit myself a beautiful green winter scarf – one simple solitary piece of knitting that I could wear with pride. I have no idea why, but that darn scarf is suddenly of paramount importance – I MUST knit and I MUST succeed at it.

14 October 2009

39 weeks!

I had some strange twinges and pains last night after waking up several times to use the bathroom. I’m still not sure I’d call them contractions, at least not as I know them to be, but hubby had to apply some firm pressure to my lower back to help me out. Today I see my OB for “hopefully” my last prenatal appointment. While he won’t do any internals until week 40, I’m hoping that he may “check things out” given the odd pains I had yesterday; I’m anxious to know if I have dilated at all. I realize I could be stuck like this for another two weeks before induction, but any small indication of progress would be nice.

It’s gearing up to be another lazy day so I really don’t have anything exciting to report.
I got my remaining maternity pictures back from Sheri yesterday so I’ll leave you with a few. I’m very glad I had this done! While I don’t feel particularly attractive these days, the photos are beautiful!

13 October 2009

Out you come!

As you can guess, I have finally reached that infamous brick wall - the point where I rather get the show on the road than have to spend yet another day being pregnant. I’ve had an easy ride but I’m still done. Waking every two hours because of pain and numbness in my hands and arms has really put a damper on enjoying, what I hope will be, the final days of pregnancy.

Now that Thanksgiving has passed and I’ve had my fill of baking and turkey, I am more than ready to leap into parenthood. Am I terrified? Yes! Am I eager? Yes! But please Lord, if you have any mercy in your heart, bring it on!

10 October 2009

Week one – done

I’m proud to say that I survived my first week of leave without going completely batty. It’s nice to sit here on a Saturday morning, sipping my java in a spotless home. Typically hubby and I spend a good chunk of our weekends running errands and cleaning the house but I decided to treat him by going at the entire place yesterday. I think another spurt of “nesting” energy must have hit me…I still have the swollen ankle to prove it.

Plans for the weekend involve resting, relaxing and eating the annual Thanksgiving Gobbler. I decided to throw down the pregnancy card this year by relinquished the reigns of hostessing to my Mother. It actually pains me not to be serving the big family spread; it’s exhausting but I love entertaining and feel a little sad knowing that out little home has already seen its last Thanksgiving. On the plus side, I did volunteer to do the cranberry sauce and dessert baking; I still get to enjoy my time in the kitchen, without the monumental cleanup.

Speaking of baking, hubby and I have consumed so much sugar in the past 24 hours that I’m surprised were not in a coma. On top of cleaning the house yesterday, I baked two batches of chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies, followed by a YUMMY chocolate pumpkin loaf! One of my old high school girlfriends is back in town this weekend for her birthday and the holidays, so I had her and a few folks over for dessert last night. Per usual, I went a little too far and now have a truckload of leftovers – not that hubby seems to mind.

I’m really hoping that “Bean” decides to wait until Tuesday to make his appearance. I’m looking forward to spending a quiet weekend with family and then I think I’ll be more than ready to get the show on the road. Hubby and I have box seats to tonight’s Sen’s hockey game and I’m crossing my fingers that my water doesn’t break in front of his colleagues.

07 October 2009

I’m soooooo cool!

As I sit here listening to old Allanah Myles and Billy Ocean songs, I’ve come to the sad realization that I will probably be a big source of embarrassment to my children some day. I can already picture the patent eye rolls now and the infamous, “Oh my God, my mom is so lame,” comments that will undoubtedly follow. Oddly enough, I look forward to dropping kids off at parties with the windows rolled down and my childhood tunes blaring out the window. I can also rest assured that my own kids will turn into some version of their parents in the future and look forward to embarrassing their own children – it’s the perverse cycle of life.

06 October 2009

Day two...

So far I am surviving captivity, although I must admit that it’s a little boring being alone. I find myself absent-mindedly rubbing my belly and having some pretty in-depth conversations with “Bean”. It will be nice to have him out, then I can talk as much as I like without looking like a crazy lady.

I still don’t have anything exciting to report with zero signs of impending labour. Either this little fells is going to (a) take me by complete surprise or (b) hold onto my uterus for dear life until he is forced out. Something tells me baby is stubborn like his Momma.

Today was fairly productive. I organized about three year’s worth of typed out recipes into a binder and was finally able to get rid of the myriad of cooking magazines that were cluttering my office shelves – a HUGE accomplishment! I rewarded my efforts by kicking back and watching one of several movies that I rented last night – Easy Virtue (Colin Firth & Jessica Biel). It was “okay” but nothing I’d recommend rushing out to find.

Hubs and I are keeping things lazy tonight. We’re treating ourselves to shawarma (I know, I know…I caved) and then we’ll probably go for another long walk, followed by movie night. We rented “Monsters vs. Aliens.” We’re almost parents now, so we figured it was cool to brush up on all the popular animated movies these days; truth be told, I think they are just as geared towards adults nowadays – I especially love anything done by Pixar.

In closing, I’m leaving you with some “teaser” photos from my maternity shoot at 36 weeks and change. I can’t believe how rotund I look, but I’m still very happy that I decided to quit my complaining and capture this special moment in life. A special thanks and shout out goes to the fabulous Sheri Slater, who managed to somehow make this Momma-To-Be look serene. I can’t wait to get the full CD of shots

All hail Buddah!

This really is beautiful!

Bean in the belly!

Happy Momma

Just keeps on growing!