How time flies! … Reminiscing about my son’s birth

I wrote this post in February 2014 but then made a few edits after re-reading it.

Last week i decided to take a nap with my little guy instead of laying him in his crib; we went downstairs, turned on the tv and watched treehouse for about 15 minutes before he curled up with his head on my shoulder. i covered us both up with a warm, fuzzy blanket (that has a hole in it from our dog who likes to scissor it with his teeth, but that’s another story) and turned the boob-tube off. after about 5 minutes of finding the right position, he let out a big sigh and was out. as i lay there with him it reminded me of when he was only a few months old and how that used to be our daily routine. we’d get up in the morning, head downstairs and just sleep on and off on the couch all day; sometimes we’d both sleep, both of us in our jammies. as sweet memories of cuddling with him ran through my mind, it made me realize how fast this past year has gone by. on Thursday he had his first birthday, he turned 1 year old, ONE! where has the time gone? it seems like only a few months ago that he was so tiny; breastmilk his only nourishment; not eating solids, not feeding himself, definitely not talking and not crawling and definitely not walking. i remember his birth like it was only a few weeks ago instead of a year ago. i remember last year, early Februrary, my hubby and i trying all the old wives tales of how to induce labour so that our baby would be born on my husband’s birthday (which didn’t work by the way); massage, pressure points, bouncing on a birthing ball (big exercise ball), walking on the treadmill, eating spicy foods, etc etc. … little did we know the little guy wouldn’t arrive for a while yet (but hey, it was worth a shot, right?) …

this is the part where i talk about his birth; if you don’t want to read further, i’m not offended (well maybe a little haha), just wanted to give you a heads up.

my labour was long, and by long, i mean 34 hours long. thankfully i wasn’t experiencing crazy contractions that whole time, but still. i think that was the longest i’ve ever been awake and asleep at the same time.

my water broke while i was in bed on a Tuesday morning. thankfully i had a waterproof pad/blanket that i had been sleeping on for about a month (a very handy thing my mother lent to me that i plan on keeping until she asks for it back, hehe). i remember getting up to go pee around 9am and then crawled back into bed (i wanted to sleep just a little longer). about 15 minutes later i felt a trickle alongside my leg and thought, crap! i wet myself! then i felt whoooooosh! i thought, uh oh! that’s definitely not pee! i stood up as it started trickling down my leg and i ran to the washroom. i remember sitting on the toilet thinking, holy crap, this is the start of it! my hubby was at work on day shift at the time so it was just me and the hound dog at home. i calmly put on some comfy clothes, went downstairs and grabbed a glass of juice. then i thought, well, i should probably call my hubby to tell him what’s going on. i remember calling his supervisor’s cell number and saying, yeah can you please have him call me? about 10 minutes go by and the phone rings, hi. hey! so guess what happened about 15 minutes ago? uh … my water broke. holy crap, what should i do? well, i’m not having contractions so if you wanna stay until noon or whatever it’s ok by me, not much is going on. ok, i’ll see you in a bit … and 15 minutes later he was home, lol. he said he was sitting having his break with a friend of his when the supervisor came by and said, your wife needs you to call her. he said he looked at his buddy, his eyes got big and he thought, uh oh, this must be it, but tried to remain calm, haha. when he got home he looked a little anxious and i said to him, it’s all good, i haven’t had any contractions yet. i’m just running to the washroom a lot as i keep feeling my water trickling down and then a whoosh after (fun times, i know). we called my sister, as she was the other person i wanted in the room with me when our baby was born, to tell her what was happening. she sounded soooo excited! i told her, don’t rush over, we’ll keep you posted. our day went on with not a lot happening except me running to the washroom every half hour or so.

my sis came over mid-afternoon, she was pretty excited when i told her what was going on! after she arrived we figured we should call the midwife to let her know what was going on. she told me she’d come by around 6/6:30 to see how i was doing and we could figure things out from there. she and our student midwife arrived, took my temperature asked me some questions and told me just to relax and wait until my contractions started. very nice and mellow 🙂 … they said if things weren’t really progressing over night then we’d plan to meet at the hospital at 7am.

my contractions started about an hour after the midwives left, about 20-30 mins apart and very mild. i was sitting on our exercise ball (or birth ball, since they’re pretty much the same thing) bouncing around hoping to get things going as i was already tired (i usually would have an afternoon nap but with all the excitement of labour having started i couldn’t really rest). i tried walking on the treadmill to get things going but that didn’t really do much either, lol. my sister went home after a few more hours (to try to snooze). i told her we’d call her to keep her updated. the contractions slowly progressed but i figured we should try to get some sleep considering we’d likely have a big day ahead of us! my hubby had downloaded a contraction timer app for the iPad so he gave it to me so i could hit the start button when i had one, and then stop when it ended. i didn’t sleep much that night as they kept progressing. around 2/2:30am they were 10 minutes apart and about 1-2 minutes long. they felt like achey period cramps, not fun, but tolerable. i basically slept in 10 minute bouts, between contractions. around 5am i called the midwife to let her know what was going on and ask if we should still plan for 7am or if we should head to the hospital sooner. she said if things stayed the same to still meet at 7, but if they changed to call her back. we ended up just meeting her and my sister at 7am. my sis looked like she’d slept about as little as i had, lol.

we checked into our birthing room, the midwives checked me and i was only 1cm dilated but fully effaced! talk about frustrating! LOL … they told us to walk around the hospital for about 3 hours and just relax and then they’d check me again. my sis, hubby and i made our rounds, took breaks, had a few snacks and then made our way back to the room. around 10:30am they checked me again and i was only at 2-3cm, grr!
because my water had been broke for over 24 hours the midwives said they needed to speed things up (as the chance of infection increases the longer your water has broke, especially if things aren’t progressing, which they clearly weren’t) … they started me on pitocin which i really didn’t want because it causes contractions to be SO much more intense than they naturally would be (BOOOOO!) … the dose was increased every hour; my contractions starting getting more intense and they checked me again 3 hours after that and i was only at 4cm! talk about frustrating. i think i needed to relax more at the point, but with it being so long since things had started and with it being our first child it was hard to do just that.

they waited another 3 hours and checked me again and i was still only at 4cm. i pretty much sat on a birth ball with my hands on the edge of the hospital bed the entire time i was having contractions as it was the only position that was somewhat comfortable to handle them. as they increased the levels of pitocin, my nausea increased and i became ill with every contraction. i don’t think i’ve ever thrown up that much in such a short time frame. i am so thankful for my hubby and sister being there, holding the garbage can, rubbing my back, doing whatever was needed.

… around 4:30/5pm my midwife came over to talk to me, she knew i really didn’t want to have an epidural or c-section and that i wanted to go as natural as i could but since things weren’t progressing and since my water had broke so long ago, she suggested me having an epidural … she said that i likely would be able to rest for a few hours and that since i’d been up since 9am the day before i needed to have as much energy as possible for when it was time to push. i was so against having one as i didn’t want to numb my body and basically throw away feeling the experience of birthing a baby.

i didn’t end up resting much, as when she checked me after another hour i was already at 9cm! YAY! … i pushed for only 40 minutes and the little man arrived safe and sound. i know there are a lot of women who wouldn’t necessarily want to go natural, especially during the last stage (where the brunt of the work takes place) but i wouldn’t trade that experience for anything. i remember feeling my whole midsection “heave” downward and i looked at my hubby and said, i didn’t do that! my body did! after that, i heard my midwife say, when you feel the urge to push, go with it, do go against it. i remember laying there with my eyes closed, holding onto the edge of the bedrail and gripping it hard each time i felt a big contraction and the urge to push. i know i pooped on the delivery table, twice. i fully admit it, i’m not embarrassed and i don’t care. it’s a good sign that you’re using all the right muscles 😉

once the baby’s head was out, it wasn’t long after that i felt the most crazy, amazing and beautiful feeling when the little body slipped out. i remember thinking, holy crap! i just pushed out a baby! they placed the baby on top of me, wrapped in a blanket and my midwife said to my husband, well is it a boy or girl? he looked under the blanket and said, it’s a boy! i remember the tears streaming down my face; a wonderful, healthy, perfect little boy. i’m welling up with tears as i type this now. i remember the overwhelming feeling of love as i looked at his tiny little features, dark hair and big, wide eyes, staring up at me. hello baby boy. my baby, my boy. my little man.

my sister took the first pics of him with her cell phone and the first short video. it’s so fantastic that we have that. i watch it all the time and it all comes back. every little moment. the laughter between contractions talking with the midwives about what kind of booze we like to drink (well, what kind i used to drink, lol), wearing my own gown for the birth, having my hubby and sister by my side throughout the whole experience. holding my little boy for the first time.

once the cord finished pulsing, my hubby cut it and we cuddled with our little man for about an hour before the rest of the family came in to meet him. my midwife said i’d be an ideal candidate for a home birth if we have another baby, so i told her i’d think about it. i’m honestly not sure if i’d go that route or not, but it’s something to think about if we decide to have another one. it’d be wonderful to be at home.   after the family gave their hugs, love and blessings. i got to have a shower! it wasn’t an amazing shower (the midwife basically hosed me down as i stood leaning agains the wall, lol) but i was wonderful none the less! after that, i got dressed, sat in the wheelchair and i was able to go home with my perfect little baby boy, only 2.5 hours after he was born. it was amazing! i remember coming home, laying down in our bed and saying to my hubby, just put him right here in my arms, and we’ll go to sleep. i didn’t move until he stirred to be fed. i nursed him and we both fell right back asleep. it was the most relaxing sleep i’d had in months. and it was even better because i had our little baby to cuddle with.

the next day when the midwife came to the house to check on us she said that basically i just had an “hour break” with the epidural … she said that normally if you have one you can’t feel anything on your lower half (waist down into your thighs), your legs are somewhat numb/wobbly etc … she said that it all worked out in the end for me with having a natural birth and that was why i was able to go home so soon after.

i loved having a midwife. i loved that she came to see us the day after the birth, 3 days after, 5 days after and 7 days after. we didn’t have to go anywhere until his first 2 week check up. (although we did go to have his hearing tested on day 5). it was so nice to have the care and attentiveness that the midwives provide; and to have it for the first 6 weeks postpartum was incredible! (i’ll post more about that another time).

our little baby boy is now a little toddler, who’s walking around at an alarming rate now. walking, talking (babbling), squealing, laughing, growing and learning more and more every day. i always wondered what it’d be like to be a mom, what it would feel like being pregnant, giving birth and caring for a baby. i no longer wonder, but now lovingly remember and cherish my experience with the pregnancy and birth, and eagerly anticipate the life ahead of my precious little boy.

toddler life.

i have oh-so-many intentions of blogging more often than i actually do it. i am constantly thinking about situations and topics that would make for a good post and then by the time i sit down at my computer i end up doing design work instead. and, of course, the design work needs to be done but, really, when i have so much on my mind i’d rather be writing a blog! well today, i decided to put some of that design work aside and do just that (YAY!).

now, what am i going to write about …

for 10-ish days we’re dog-sitting my parents’ doberman Lola, so things are a little hectic around here. having her, plus our hound, plus a wild toddler (with a little too much energy) equals a crazy house! it’s definitely a change from when we watched her last fall when they went away. both the dogs are the same but i’m working more and my son has grown and changed so much since then, oh, and my hubby is on midnights (happy happy joy joy, right?) … she’s only been here 3 days and i think i’ve swept 10 times (not exaggerating) and vacuumed at least twice (and the dog hair still appears to be everywhere). our hound sheds more than any dog i’ve ever had and Lola is a close second.

oh, and add to that the fact that little man has been having a sort of nighttime sleeping hiatus (the fun we have around here, eh?). the past two and a half weeks have been rough. every few months he seems to go through something like this – whether it be from teething, a new developmental milestone or just being a toddler, it’s hard. on all of us. and of course, this all happens when hubby is working overnight. i now know how single parents feel at nighttime when their children just won’t sleep and they have to work in the morning. patience wears thin. very thin. especially when you’re going on only 4 hours of broken sleep from the night before. doing that more than 2 days in a row makes you go a little nutso, and by a little, i mean a LOT. the middle of the night seems to be when my patience is at it’s lowest. i think it’s even worse when i’ve literally *JUST* fallen asleep and all of a sudden the monitor clicks on and i hear a soft little voice calling out to me, “moooooom, mooooommmy, mom”. i love that little man of mine but my sleep is a close runner-up for things i love most.

when he was younger it was easier to be awoke in the night by his faint little cries. i wasn’t working at the time and he was still nursing so a little milk sometimes solved the problem and if that wasn’t the case, i didn’t mind sitting with him to help him relax again. the fact that he now has oh-so-much energy and enthusiasm (and tantrums, did i mention tantrums?) during the day likely adds to the frustration i feel at night; i’m much more exhausted than i was when he was a wee babe! but, alas, you do what you have to do to help your child feel safe, comforted and loved.

the amount of pure, raw energy that my son possesses never ceases to surprise me. he is a little ball of crazy! he’s always running (and i mean constantly), jumping, screaming and squealing. ALL. DAY. LONG. i’ve spoke to friends, colleagues and parents of toddler boys and i know that his behaviour is (fairly) normal. he does not sit and colour for more than 3 minutes. the crayons become a toy and then dumping them in and out of the container is the new thing to play. or peeling off the wrappers, or trying to eat them, or hide them, or colour on the floor with them. he does not sit and read a book for more than 5 minutes. the stories are changed to a short version with words left out so that we actually can finish “reading” one or two (two, ha!). the only time he’ll sit and listen to a story is at naptime or bedtime, otherwise, pffft, why would he sit down when there’s things to do?! he does not sit and watch an entire movie. he’ll sit for (maybe) 10-15 mins and then get up and play with his toys, but don’t you dare turn that movie off because he’ll tell you he’s watching it. and meal times? forget about sitting for more than a few minutes unless the iPad is on with one of his “shows”. it’s he only way i can get him to eat anything lately, and honestly, i don’t care because he’s actually eating something. i know this too shall pass and one day i’ll be able to sit down and do a fun activity or craft with my son, but until that time comes, i’ll let him be the wild, crazy, funny and loveable little man that he is.

work. wait, what?

yesterday I went back to work. WORK! a real job. something i haven’t really had in a little over 2 years. to be honest, i wasn’t really sure how i was going to feel. i’ve been fortunate to be able to stay home with our little guy since the moment he arrived but felt that perhaps i should venture out there into the world again and get out of the house for something other than grocery shopping (not that that’s a bad thing either).

shortly before i found out i was pregnant (back in 2012) i was told i had a choice to take a severance or relocate to Barrie. i chose to take the severance and have been at home ever since. it’s hard to believe that 2 years have gone by since i was working (in an office no less). i’ve been keeping busy chasing around my amazing, smart, curious and (very) adorable 18 month old son as well as designing wedding albums for my extremely talented photographer friends over at renaissance studios  and also doing some freelance design work (www.facebook.com/sweetlittlemama) but not making as much money as i’d like. it’d be nice to have some extra cash for hubby and i to play with (or perhaps pay a few things off, but playing is much, MUCH more fun). with me having a part time job it will also (hopefully) free hubby up from working overtime as much as he was (because, really, who wants to do that!). oh, AND, i think it will be good for me to socialize with other people and have the opportunity to promote products that i truly love and believe in!

i was lucky enough to land a part time job at a local maternity, baby & toddler store (http://www.cheekymonkey.ca/) where i just happened to be a loyal customer prior to landing the job (score!). not only do they sell cloth diapers (yay!) they also sell baby carriers, nursing supplies and all natural mama & baby products! the job is only part time, about 12-15 hours per week which, i think, should work out. between my sister, mom and mom-in-law the little guy will always have someone he loves watching over him (when hubby isn’t home and i’m away).

today was my second day working; i felt more comfortable than yesterday and i’m sure as each day goes by it will become easier but i don’t think i’ll miss my son any less. although i was only away for about 4 hours (each day), i felt like i was gone forever! after spending almost every waking moment with him, i feel like a part of me is missing when he’s not by my side. although it’s only been 2 days, when i’m gone i miss his little hugs and squeezes when he grabs my face and gives me a big, sloppy and rough kiss saying “muah” … i miss him running through the house yelling mom! mom! and squealing with excitement. i know these years will go by quickly and i want to be able to cherish every moment.

while rocking him to sleep tonight (with stories & songs) he pulled my head in close so that my lips were on his forehead and held me there until he fell asleep.

coming home to his sweet face makes my heart happy. oh how i love my little boy.

busy busy, fun fun.

as much as i love blogging (a.k.a. venting, mostly) life has been über busy lately. our little man will be 17 months old as of this weekend. holy crapola, where has the time gone?! i’ll tell you where; to late night nursing and cuddles, to walks with our hound dog, visits with friends and family, learning to sit up, crawling, standing, feeding himself, walking (and now running), talking, playing and learning. and the list goes on. it’s hard to remember what it felt like when he first came into our lives; a tiny little bundle of love; a little babe who it seemed would stay young and sweet forever. i didn’t realize how fast time truly goes by until i had a baby. i fondly remember sitting in the rocking chair in his room nursing him and just staring at those big, beautiful blue eyes (and ridiculously long lashes) and touching his amazingly soft skin. just sitting and cuddling on the couch not caring about anything but this perfect little man … but now, oh boy, now is different! good, but different. constantly running after him, wondering what he could possibly get into while i try run to the bathroom and pee as fast as humanly possible before those sweet little hands of his open the bathroom door and he peeks in to say “pee!”  … keeping up with the laundry, dishes and sweeping (urgh, the sweeping!) picktwo_parentingthat comes with owning a coonhound, not to mention the regular things around the house that need to get done, and that i’d like to get done (say, tidying the kitchen? bedroom? basement?). most of those things get left on the backburner until hubby gets home from work to help parent. which reminds me, i saw this awesome cartoon the other day that perfectly depicted how things are at our house right now (most of the time anyway) with a toddler on the loose … if you have young children you’ll understand why this is so great.

i really should be working on photobooks (for my awesome friends over at Renaissance Studios) and my freelance design right now (check out my facebook page here) while hubby puts the little guy to bed but, i felt the need to blog, vent, etc. i enjoy writing about our son and what’s going on in our lives. i plan to (one day, not sure how soon) print out my blogs and save them in a little notebook/binder etc so that i can look back and remember the good, the bad and the, sometimes, ugly. there are so many things i still want and plan to write about, like last week when our little guy pooped in his kiddie pool, not one, but two days in a row, and one of the days daddy wasn’t home to help clean up, good times i tell ya. about how he runs around the house yelling mom! mom! how he randomly will yell Da! daaaaaddy! while out grocery shopping (and his dad is not with us, but at work) and how he calls grandpa “bap ba” and grandma “mah ma”. how he hoots like an owl whenever he sees any bird (owl or otherwise). and how so many things you never imagined could be “dut” (stuck) or dirty or “dot” (hot).

and one day, i hope my son will read some of these ramblings and be able to get a sneak peek of how things were growing up, the good, the bad, and the, sometimes, ugly.

frazzled, exhausted, and did i mention, tired?

it’s been a while since i’ve blogged, but i have some pretty good reasons (i think anyway). i’ve been keeping busy with a little freelance design work, wedding photobooks for photographer friends, and my son, who doesn’t want to sleep without my arms around him.

as i write this, my fingers, toes, and any other extremity that could possibly be crossed, are crossed, in hopes that my 15 month old son doesn’t awake from his slumber (as i watch him toss & turn on the video monitor). these past few months have been tiring for all of us. our awesome little sleeper has turned bedtime into something we’ve all come to dread (mostly). i used to look forward to the peaceful few hours that we had to ourselves, but now i start to worry in advance; how long will it take to get him to sleep? how long until he wakes up? will he wake up 2, 3, 6 times tonight? will he soak through everything and need a bed and bum change at the crack of stupid? will i fall back asleep? will my hubby have the mental and physical capacity to function properly at work without an adequate amount of zzz’s?

little man was always a great sleeper, right from the get go. yes, he was! i know people will say this about their child when it isn’t necessarily true, but he really was. around 6 weeks old he started to sleep in 6-7 hour bouts, wake to nurse and then fall back to sleep for 2-3 hours. it was pure bliss because i knew that when he finished nursing we could all get a little more shut eye. man, those were the days: stick a boob in the baby’s mouth, he was relaxed, full, content and wouldn’t you know it, sleepy. and then he started to grow, and change, and learn more and more each day. and he started to eat people food! not just his beloved breastmilk. around 8 months old (ish) he started waking at least once a night and wouldn’t go back to sleep without being rocked (insert very big thank you to my husband who has always taken his role as daddy very seriously and believes that i need breaks to keep my sanity! go hubby!). looking back, that wasn’t so bad. in fact, i’d take the once a night wakings if it meant that we could all get a little more sleep.

mid-march is when things started to go awry. the little guy went to sleep with his usual routine; jammies, snack and cartoons, then upstairs for teeth, bum change, sleep sack, stories and then cuddles in the rocking chair in his room until he fell into a peaceful slumber. and then he decided to wake up less than an hour later. we tried everything we could think of but no luck. he didn’t fall back asleep until the crack of stupid a.k.a. really super early in the morning, the time when usually you’re coming home from a fun night out of drinking and dancing, wait what? (see my post “sleep, what’s that again?”). basically things have been kinda off since then. the frustrating thing is he’s pretty good about going down for naps. we cuddle and rock in his room, he falls asleep and i lay him down, no complaints, no fuss, no crying. just sleep, usually for 1-3 hours.

over the past few weeks things escalated. he decided that he would not sleep at bedtime unless he was being held. this honestly came out of nowhere, or so it seemed. perhaps this was coming and we just didn’t realize it, i’m not sure. one Saturday the little guy decided to wake up every 2 hours and then stay awake for 1-2 hours. urgh. and at this point i have no liquid gold (a.k.a. breastmilk) to offer him, but boy, i wish i did. Sunday night was pretty much a repeat of Saturday. not fun.

my patience level was at 10% and quickly decreasing. i was ready to break. don’t get me wrong, i love spending all day with my son, but there comes a time, usually at the end of the day, that i need a little “mama” time and he was not co-operating.

i began reading books, articles and anything i could find in hopes that someone could give us a some guidance (and maybe teach me a little more patience) but the only things i kept finding were about letting my child cry it out (CIO). i am not a fan of this method. i have my reasons, which you may or may not agree with, to each their own. here are a few good articles to read 10 Alternatives to Crying It Out, Science Says: Excessive Crying Could Be Harmful, and ‘Cry it out’ isn’t more effective than ‘no cry’.

i finally found something helpful in The No Cry Sleep Solution book by Elizabeth Pantley. (buy it here). it was close to the end of the book (pages 207-213), for those of us parents, who are “at their wits end”, who are ready to snap and who really don’t want to use the CIO method. it didn’t solve our problems but shed a little light on the situation. i also found another great article or two online (and of course i can’t find them now to add links!) that talked about babies who were nursed and rocked at bedtime and a few different suggestions on how to get them to fall asleep on their own.

a lot of what i found was frustrating because they talked about creating a routine and sticking to it being one of the biggest things to establish. well, we have a routine. a damn good one if i do say so. and we’ve had a routine since little man was probably 4-6 months old (which we’ve changed as necessary as time goes by and his needs change). the articles & books that finally helped me to understand really what was going on basically explained that the reason our son may have decided he doesn’t want to be put down is that he only knows how to fall asleep by being held/nursed/cuddled etc. it made sense when i thought about it, and honestly, i don’t know why i didn’t think of it before! of course: 95% of his entire life he fell asleep in my arms (the other 5% belongs to his dad but it’s now closer to 70-30 as my hubby has been amazing with giving me “breaks” from mama duty). i started reading more about different ways to try to get my son to fall asleep on his own because this new “don’t you dare put me down” attitude was becoming mentally and physically exhausting for us.

we decided to try one method that suggested rocking him until he was drowsy but not quite out and then laying him down to fall asleep on his own in the crib. sitting beside his bed, letting him touch us, hug us, etc, whatever it took to make him feel comforted and know that mom & dad were still there for him and not leaving him when he felt he needed our “touch”, just not holding him. the first night took 3 hours to get him to bed. 3 HOURS. we put his glow worm beside him and the soothing sounds seemed to help lull him to sleep. and so we thought, ok! the glowworm might be the trick up our sleeve that we need to help little man fall asleep on his own! along came the next night … one hour till sleepy time! the third night, one again! when we first put him in the crib, he whined and cried but only for less than 5 minutes. as each night went by the crying and whining stopped! we thought we may have figured things out and then the 4th night came along: 2 hours to get him down. the same for the 5th and 6th, etc … he would start out very sleepy and relaxed in my arms, i’d lay him down and he’d immediately sit up and then stand up at the edge of the crib reaching for me. i ignored him and started the glow worm in hopes of distracting him. this worked, sort of. and then he’d play with the glow worm, then stand up. then play with Mr. Owl (his cute little owl/blankie toy). then lay down. and repeat.

i basically was fed up and starting reading again. reaching for something and then i thought, he’s so young. he just wants to be held. what on earth do i have to do that’s more important than cuddling with my son and making him feel relaxed, comfortable, safe and loved? i decided to forget everything i had read and try going back to a modified version of what i was doing before. i rocked my son until he fell asleep and when i laid him down in his crib he stayed asleep! i tried again the next night and he fussed when i transitioned him from my arms to his crib, so i started the glow worm and patted his back; he relaxed and passed out again. we’ve been going strong since (knock on wood).

my son needs me. he’s my baby. the most important thing in my life. he’s my world.  i’m his support, his lifeline, his comfort, his safety and most of all, his mama. this cuddle time will only last for so long and before i know it he won’t want to be rocked. he won’t want to have so many hugs and kisses. he won’t need me like he does now. i think we, as parents, need to stop wanting our kids to grow up so fast, because when they do, we’ll miss these days more than we realize. xo.

weaning, not what i thought it would be

i’ve been meaning to blog lately but over the last few days it’s been busy around here! we had some friends over on the weekend for a sleepover with their 14 month old daughter on Saturday night, then headed to pick up the dog from my parents house on Sunday and that night, was the last time my little man nursed. i honestly didn’t think that when the time came to bring his nursing to a close, that i would be as emotional as i was. i don’t think either of us were really ready for him to wean, however, with hubby and i having a few evenings out planned, it was kind of necessary. i tried pumping, but didn’t have much luck. since our son only nurses at bedtime, trying to pump during the day got me about 1 oz which definitely wouldn’t be enough to give him at bedtime. i’d like to think that maybe he was only drinking a little and mostly suckling for comfort and relaxation, which made it a bit easier for me. my  sister is coming over in about 2 weeks to watch the little man while hubby and i have a night out: dinner and a comedy show here in town (Danny Bhoy at Centennial Hall, woo hoo!) so we figured that if we started a new bedtime routine, minus nursing, that it might give him enough time to settle into things. i was going to change things up last week when hubby was on days but i honestly didn’t want to. i decided that i’d do it when he was back on afternoons, that way it would be just me and the little man, pretty much same as usual, only minus the boobmilk. i figured that since his bedtime routine had consisted of nursing to sleep for over 95% of his one year of life, that it would be best if it was me putting him to sleep without the milk. that way when the time comes for daddy to try, he won’t be crying to nurse … we headed upstairs around 7:30 and he grabbed a few toys from his room to play with. i set up the gate at the top of the stairs and got out his jammies & sleepsack, turned on the white noise on the radio and clicked on the monitor. i found him playing in the hallway and said, alright little guy, time to brush your teeth! this too was a new thing. for about 6 months he only had 2 little teeth (the bottom front two) but over the past 3 weeks, 6 more have come in. SIX! i figured that since there are 8 now, we probably could switch from tooth wipes to a toothbrush and a baby-safe paste. he was so good about it. he came into the bathroom, i sat him on my lap and i brushed his little teeth, all 8 of them. then i gave him a sip of water and he seemed fairly content. after watching me brush my teeth numerous times, and using his little baby silicone brush to brush his gums etc (from when he was younger) he appeared to be ok with this new thing. we then went to his room, changed him into his nighttime diaper and jammies and sat down in the rocking chair to read a story. we read two books and i told him that it was time to go to sleep now. i turned the lamp down low and we rocked in the chair, like every other night, just minus nursing. at first, he seemed fine; nuzzling his nose into my arm and fidgeting to find just the right spot to fall asleep. after maybe 5 minutes he started to whimper, and that little whimper broke my heart. on and off for about 20 minutes he’d sit back and look at me, cry and then rest his head on my shoulder. i knew it was going to be hard, but i didn’t anticipate the tears that were streaming down my cheeks as i rocked him and told him it was ok and that it was time to go to sleep. as i wiped each one from my cheek i explained that this is how things had to be and it wasn’t that mommy didn’t want to, but rather, she had to, in order for him to be a big boy and be able to be put to bed by someone else. i tried singing and humming our usual nighttime songs but found myself choking up each time i tried; i decided to just rock him in silence for a few minutes to gather my thoughts and after that began to hum. he seemed to relax and fall asleep so i laid him down in his bed and crept out of the room. i wasn’t gone 5 minutes when i looked at the monitor and saw him squirm, sit up and begin to cry. i went back in to soothe my little man; gave him a hug and told him it was ok and it was time to sleep now. i rubbed his back, sang a few more songs and tried to slip out again. this time i decided to sit in our room (across the hall) and watch the monitor to see how he’d do. maybe 10 minutes went by and he was up again. i knew it was going to be hard getting him to sleep this first night, without nursing, but i wasn’t really sure what to expect. i went back into the room and picked up my, then sobbing, son. i sat in the rocking chair, hugged him, kissed him and told him it was ok. i could see from the glow of the clock that his eyes were open, just slightly, looking up at me. we sat like that for another 40 minutes until he passed out, again. i quietly laid him in the crib and slipped out the door. waiting in our room, it took about 15 minutes for him to wake up again, and again i went in to soothe him. i hugged him and told him it was ok, and that mommy would just be downstairs if he needed her and that it was time to sleep now. he let out a big sigh and fell back asleep. by this point i had about 20 minutes before my husband would be home from work. i normally would take advantage of the few hours of time between our son going to bed and him coming home, to do laundry, check email, write a blog, etc. but last night i just sat in the kitchen and ate a bowl of cereal, trying to relax. hubby and i went to bed a few hours later and the little man woke up around 3am. my amazing husband went to tend to him to give me a little break (which i appreciate so much and feel i don’t tell him often enough). i could hear our son whimpering and crying as my hubby tried to rock him back to sleep. after a quick bum change and a little rocking he was out. it only lasted about 10-15 minutes and he was up again, sad. i went in, hugged and kissed him and told him to lay back down and go to sleep. he let out a big sigh and as i rubbed his back i told him that mommy and daddy needed to sleep too and that we’d be just across the hall if he needed us. he fell back asleep and i snuck out of the room. thankfully he slept until we had to wake him up to take him to a doctor’s appointment. i felt bad waking him up, but it was better than him waking us up again in the wee hours of the morning … bedtime today went much smoother and he took about 15 minutes to fall asleep after our new routine. fingers crossed things he sleeps better tonight. it breaks my heart to see him so sad when i know what could make him happy but can’t give in. ahh well. i know this too shall pass.

sleepless (babe) in London

i decided to crack open a cider tonight to celebrate me finally getting my son to sleep. a delicious, cold, Magners cider. i would prefer to have one of their pear flavoured ones, but alas, we don’t have any of those in the house, boooo. the reason i’m celebrating is because i finally got my son to sleep after 1 hour  and 45 minutes,  after he finished nursing. i think that’s a record. he usually falls asleep within 20ish minutes after he has his milk; i have no idea what was going on tonight. he was fidgety and kept tossing and turning while i was holding him, so i tried just laying him in his crib and leaving the room. that didn’t work; he stood up and started bawling. i went back in, picked him up and sat back down in the rocking chair where he proceeded to do the same thing, except this time he was smacking and biting! what the?! where is this coming from?! after numerous times of telling him to stop and that it’s not nice to hit or bite i tried putting him in his crib and again, and ended with the same results as the first time. i came back into the room and gave him his sea turtle that lights up the ceiling with stars and moons and set him in the crib with that. he was entertained for maybe 10 minutes and got mad again. i picked him up a third time and sat in the rocking chair to try again. it likely sounds like all this didn’t take that long, but trust me, it took forever and felt like even longer. he started fidgeting again and i held him away from me and said, listen! you need to be nice to mommy if you want her to stay in the room! i love you very much but you can’t hit or bite or i’m going to leave again and not come back in! he put his head back on my shoulder and settled a little more than before … after about 10-15 minutes like that he finally drifted off. 9:50pm. urgh. and of course he decides to have nights like this when my hubby is working afternoon shift and can’t be here to take a turn. i don’t know how single moms do it because i’d go batshit crazy if i didn’t have a little time to myself every now and then. heck, i’m almost there now.