Friday, January 13, 2012

10 things I'd forgotten about having a baby

Three months have passed since Addison was born. I was completely naive to think that I would be able to maintain a blog and adjust to a family of four at the same time. When it came to blog or sleep, sleep won -- which we as moms know that those precious moments are few and far between when you have a newborn! Here are the 10 things I'd forgotten about having a baby:

1. The postpartum period is gross. Your once firm round belly transforms into a big marshmallow and those stretchmarks that were hidden from you underneath your belly suddenly become visible from above.

2. The baby sleeps A LOT the first night. You are so jacked up on adrenaline that you DO NOT. Your are fooled into thinking that this new baby is going to be easy because she's such a good sleeper. Which is such a tease because the baby stops sleeping at night the next day and you realize the days of normal sleep as you know it are gone. For a while.

3. The first bowel movement after you give birth is almost as scary as the birth itself.

4. Engorgement. When your milk first comes in and your body hasn't figured out how much milk your baby needs, it feels like you are going to explode. I swear, at one point my boobs were bigger than my baby's head.

5. Leaking. From every orifice. Gross.

6. The Heat, or lack there of. When you are pregnant, you have a little inferno in your belly. You can sleep naked without covers in December and it still feels hot. Once the baby is born, all of a sudden you have to put clothes on again. And turn up the heat.

7. You will go through a phenomenal amount of diapers. Seriously, I'd forgotten how many diapers a new baby uses. Our diaper genie was full after a day and we were running back to the store to buy more diapers after two. A very strong case for (or against; depending on how you see it) using cloth diapers. The worst is when you just finish changing the baby and she lets out a big wet fart; you can't let her sit in her poo but you know she is just going to pee again in 10 mins. What a waste.

8. Nursing bras are dowdy, unflattering and really unpleasant to wear.

9. Brussel Sprouts (and onions, garlic, broccoli, cabbage -- any gassy food) are BAD. Digestive systems are still developing and anything that causes extraneous gas will make your life a living hell. And at 2,3,4 in the morning (see #2) when your baby is retching and screaming at you, you will think twice before ingesting those lethal green vegetables again. I had forgotten this after Thanksgiving. Never again.

10. Newborns are really lovely.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Addison Beverly Cawdell

Ask, and you shall receive.

After my last post, I didn't have to wait very long for as Addison Beverly Cawdell came into this world. That evening, October 6, 2011 -- we headed to the hospital after the Hockey game and Addison Beverly Cawdell was born about an hour later @ 11:03pm. Delivered by Irene Callander (the most amazing midwife) at Lions Gate Hospital, Addison weighed in at 7lbs 8oz, 51cms long after another very short labor. However, this time we were able to get to the hospital a little bit earlier.

Maybe it was the fact that I knew what to expect, or that we had Irene at the birth, or that we felt somewhat more in control because I wasn't about to give birth en route to the hospital, but this birth was COMPLETELY different than my first. The word I use to describe Audrey's birth is "Intense." For Addison's, it was more like "Pleasant." I know, labor is never "pleasant" but that was the first word that came to mind after she was born. No drugs, no drama and no crazy moaning like a cow (well, two moos). When things started to get crazy I remember Irene telling me that this was my job and I needed to focus my energy on getting this job done. That centred me, silenced me and got me through the next few minutes.

So now, we are a family of four. Here is the newest addition to our family:

Just perfect. We fell in love all over again...

This time we remembered to pack some clothes for the kid

Proud Papa and his newest daughter

My two beautiful girls!

It has taken two weeks to be able to sit down and write this -- Going from one to two has been very...busy! What have we gotten ourselves into...LOL.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Confession #3: I HATE WAITING

I hate waiting. Unlike my husband, I thoroughly dislike rushing just to wait. Maybe that is why I am chronically late or just "on time" for everything.

I am now at 39 weeks and 2 days -- 5 days before my due date, but 9 days "over due" by Audrey standards. Mentally, I'd fully expected to have a baby by now so this wait has been agonizing. Especially b/c all signs have pointed to GO since 37 weeks. The only thing holding this little (getting bigger by the day) one back was her position, slightly off center; face not entirely pointed posterior (according to my midwife). However, today seems like things have shifted so *hopefully* this could be the day.

I am at 5 cms right now, and not in labor. A friend asked me if this was normal and I have no idea. At this rate, the baby is just going to fall out. Sigh. I hate waiting.

In an attempt to stir things up, Audrey and I had a dance party yesterday to a little "Dance Mix 95" (Best CD EVER). The neighbors got a good show! LOL. I've been as active as possible, but all that really succeeds in doing is putting me to sleep at 1pm. However, I did manage to get a mani-pedi on Tuesday and that was lovely :)

Fingers crossed -- TBC

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

What is time?

One of the things have learned as a parent is that children like routine & predictability. I honestly think that part of the success we've had with Audrey lies partly in the fact that we have always tried very hard to maintain a predicable daytime routine with her. She feels in control, safe, and we don't have many struggles because we can always fall back on the argument that "we do this everyday."

However, on a weekly basis Audrey does not have a consistent routine. My husband works shift work and we have been fortunate to find a daycare provider that will work around our schedule. This saves us in childcare expenses and allows Audrey to spend quality time with her dad sans momma. Audrey loves playing with her daddy. I love their relationship and admittedly get jealous over the amount of time that they can spend together. The downside is that daycare days are always different days of the week and I am learning that this causes Audrey some anxiety. She has made it no secret that she would much rather stay at home with momma or dadda than go to daycare. A year and a half later I still have difficulty dropping her off in the AM and hate fielding "Do I have to go to XX's house tomorrow?"

Audrey understands that Momma doesn't work on Saturdays or Sundays so she gets to stay home. She knows some of the days of the week, and knows the words "tomorrow, yesterday, next week" but I'm not sure she knows the concepts. Which got me to thinking, how to you explain time to a child? Why do we bother giving a "5 minute warning" when a child has no concept of what "5 minutes" is? When she asked when the baby was coming I didn't really have an answer b/c to tell her in 6 months didn't mean anything to her.

At preschool, the teacher has this brilliant timer (like an analogue clock) that marks the chunk of time in red -- the red disappears as the time counts down and so "5 more minutes" also means "when the red is gone." This is a concept that I can understand. It gave me an idea. In an effort to help Audrey understand time and curb her anxiety, I made a calendar that we follow along with together each night. I color coded the calendar with days for daycare, days for preschool and days at home. We put stickers on important days, such as birthdays. I explain to her how the days of the week work and what months are, but the purpose of the calendar is that at the end of each day Audrey helps me put a line through the current day and is able to see what color the next day is so she can mentally prepare herself.

It is an experiment that we've just started the month of October, but it seems to have really helped. Children are such amazing beings and understanding how they learn has been fascinating to me. And if I can get a happier little girl out of it -- that is the icing.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Confession #2: Childbirth wasn't so bad...

As I alluded to before, the birth of our first child was like a made for TV movie. There was drama, suspense, action and a happy ending. All within about an hour. And thank-gawd, b/c if it had lasted any longer I would have rather gouged my eyeballs out. Ok, maybe not :)

I think one of the blessings of Audrey's birth was my naivety. Through the whole process I remember that the dominant thought in my head was "I don't want embarrass myself and be the person who is told to go home b/c I wasn't far enough along." When my water broke, I "had to be sure" and re-read my books and looked stuff up on the internet (FYI, if you've never been pregnant, waters don't break like they do on TV. There was no big gush, no panic, no definitive moment. I've been told that everyone is different; mine was a "pop" trickle trickle, easily mistaken for pregnancy incontinence) -- my husband thought I was crazy, and a girl friend I called told me to get my ?!#@ to the hospital but I wasn't feeling any sort of contraction so in my mind I was going to get induced in 24 hrs.

My husband dropped me off at the hospital on the way to night shift (at my insistence, not his) and I assured him that even if I went into labor in the middle of the night I'd probably labor for 16 hours so he would have more than enough time to come home in the AM and catch the ending. My midwife confirmed that it was my waters that broke; however, I had not dilated anymore than I had been for the past 3 weeks. The plan was to induce in the AM if things hadn't started throughout the night. So, I walked out to the main drag, did some errands and met a friend for dinner.

Looking back, I was having mild contractions during this time but didn't pay attention b/c they were not painful nor did I feel them to be consistent or for any length of time. I remember being uncomfortable towards the end of dinner but as soon as I got home and layed on the couch everything felt normal again. I made some phone calls to tell friends that I would be induced in the morning and then got ready for bed.

I will spare you more details, but let you know that by about 8:45pm a good friend of mine convinced me to call my husband and get him to come home. Good thing b/c by 9:00pm the "big one" hit. BUT instead of having a contraction and waiting 10 mins for the next one, they just kept coming one after the other after the other. I started to hear these awful noises like a moaning cow; and then I realized it was me?!! Unreal. We live 2 1/2 blocks from the hospital. Husband made it home shortly after 9, it took me 1/2 an hour to crawl to the door, by some miracle the contractions paused for about 15 seconds when I ran to the car...we made it to the hospital by 9:45pm.

And you know what? This whole time all I could think about was "I CANNOT DO THIS FOR 16 HOURS; I NEED DRUGS!!!" so you can imagine my surprise when I got to the hospital and my midwife stated "OK, you are fully dilated and I see some hair, so with your next contraction you need to push..." SERIOUSLY?! WHAT ABOUT MY DRUGS?!! And the (very nice) nurse stated "this is even better than drugs, you're going to have a baby!" OMG, I couldn't have slapped her -- she ACTUALLY said that to me.

Audrey was born at 10:03pm. 2 hrs short of 38 weeks.

And then the chaos stopped. There was silence. And we got our happy ending.

Confession #2: Childbirth wasn't so bad. An hour of hard labor? I can do that again...LOL.

It's because of this that I am a bit nervous about the birth of this child. I am 37 1/2 weeks. Everyone expects labor will be about the same, possibly faster (I can't even imagine how that would be possible) but what if it isn't? and I'm gouging my eyeballs out? Or, what if it is and I miss the signs and end up giving birth on the sidewalk? I have a feeling that this baby will be arriving very soon and I am paranoid about being more than 10kms for the hospital...good times!

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Week of Firsts

This was a week of firsts for our little family:

1. It was Audrey's first day of preschool

2. Audrey spent her first night in her big girl bed

3. We had our first Garage Sale

1. I can't believe that my baby is turning three this year. Preschool was something that my husband and I had wanted Audrey to experience but was going to forgo due to the logistical challenges that come with working full time. However, once we got preggers and mat leave coincided with the school year we decided to give it a go.

As mentioned before, we chose a Parent Participation Preschool and really liked the fact that it seemed like a gentle approach to school. Ours is lovely; wonderful environment, nurturing teacher, small class size. Audrey can be extremely shy so it was really important for us to pick a school that would build her confidence and independence.

In preparation for the big day, we bought Audrey some new Dora slippers for her "inside shoes" and I made her a little gym bag to keep her things in. I remember when I was small my mom did the same so I thought I'd cary on the tradtion. She was so excited to bring it school it was totally worth dragging out the old Singer. But you can be the judge:

2. Audrey's first night in her big girl bed was bitter sweet as well. Up until now she had been sleeping in her crib -- she's never tried to climb out, she treats it like her little haven and we have had a lot of success with her sleep in the crib. So, why rock the boat??

Well, we should have rocked it sooner b/c Audrey absolutely LOVES her big girl bed. All the fears I had about her waking up multiple times, or wandering into our room in the middle of the night, or waking us up earlier in the AM b/c she would be so mobile were completely misguided. She played in her bed all afternoon and only woke up once in the night. In the AM, she kept herself entertained until I went in to say good morning -- and she was so proud of herself for having slept in her "big girl bed."

The most unexpected surprise was in the afternoon when Audrey got upset over something. She went into her room, crawled into bed with her soother & blanket, cried for a while and then played for a bit. She emerged about 15 mins later all better and we proceeded to have a great afternoon. The independene of being able to self soothe in a comfy place of her own was something I was depriving her by relying on me to put her into the crib. So, here's to baby growing up!

3. The Garage Sale -- this was our first garage sale, and I think that it will be our last. There was something really unsettling about watching all my stuff get taken away for pennies. Craigs list would have been a much better option for the big ticket items, and then donating all the small stuff to charity would have been way easier (which is what we did at the end). Which leads me to my first confession: I think I have borderline "hoarder mentality" disorder :) I don't throw very much out. Rather, I am a very creative "hider" of things. With baby #2 coming, it is definately time to purge but it was EXTREMELY difficult for me to see our things go. When we watch hoarders on TV, I am totally disgusted with their lifestyle yet when they talk to the therapist about their fears and why they do it, it doesn't seem that unreasonable to me. I actually identify with some of them! Anyways, I couldn't stand out there and watch my stuff go away for nothing so I went inside and left my husband and sister to run the show. It sucked.

Oh, one last first: Our first days of rain all month! It was welcome for me, who has a little inferno growing in my bellly and about to burst any minute. Our vegetables appreciated it too. And with all the $$ we just spent on drain tile, it was good to see it going to good use!

Thursday, September 8, 2011


It has been over two years and I've decided to put pen to paper (or rather, fingers to keyboard) and resurrect this blog again. Inspired by the birth of my first Daughter, my attempt at blogging was thwarted by the responsibilities and day-to-day business of our new little family.

However, with the impending birth of our second child I have been re-inspired to chronicle my thoughts of this new chapter of our lives. Some very exciting things are on the horizon that I think could be blog worthy:

Baby #2 is due Oct 11, 2011 -- the birth of my first daughter was a like a made for tv movie, so it will be interesting to see how this one arrives to this world! I already feel like she's bigger and ready to pop at any time...

Audrey will start preschool next week! I can't believe that my baby is turning 3 this year and that she is old enough for preschool. Unreal. Time really does fly by quickly. We chose a Parent Participation Preschool and I intend to blog about my thoughts on this model and the pros/cons of choosing this type of preschool for our daughter. We had our first new parent orientation last night and I already love the teacher, her philosophy and the classroom. But it will be a lot of work. Stay tuned...

Growing to a family of four -- definite anxiety there!

Some self exploration that I'm doing...stay tuned.

I just found out that a dear friend of mine is pregnant again with her second child as well. I love that all my close friends and I are having babies again at the same time. I grew up in a tight circle of friends the same age and I hope that Audrey and Baby #2 can experience that closeness in their childhoods too.

When did time start moving so quickly? Enjoy these last few days of summer!