Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Sad, Sick Birthday

Today is the day after Baby Bird's first birthday.  Baby Bird felt the wrath of his very first stomach bug starting Monday morning.

Babies with colds are sad.

Babies who are teething are sad.

Babies who are throwing up and don't understand what is happening to them are VERY VERY sad. Like, the saddest thing I've ever had to deal with. We just got through 48 hours of stomach bug with Baby Bird, and although my fingers are crossed that he's over it, I am not optimistic.

Thank goodness I am still breastfeeding. Nothing solid stayed down so we gave up trying after he ate four tiny bites of toast and then puked them up ten minutes later. The next morning we tried banana, but it came back up seconds later. At least he has been keeping small, frequent nursing sessions down.

We've had laundry on the go all day because each time we put a load in, the poor little man throws up again.  Mama, Daddy, and Bird have each gone through several outfits, bedding, a series of receiving blankets, and various other little things. Luckily I had enough sense to cover our couch in sheets and towels - you never know exactly why you keep all those old blankets and sheets around until your child gets the stomach flu. Then it becomes crystal clear.

I am hovering over each diaper change to determine if and how much he has peed. I'm so afraid of dehydration. The first day was particularly rough in terms of pee-scoping, but yesterday was much better and so far today is even better.

The saddest part is that yesterday was his first birthday. K had taken Monday and Tuesday off to celebrate with the family, and we had planned some sweet fun for Bird such as playing at the local indoor play place and shopping for a new book. Instead we were at home surrounded by mountains of laundry, and our trip out was to the doctor. No special birthday meal, no treats, no fun trips out.  Not the kind of memories we were keen to make. I take some solace that Bird wouldn't remember his birthday this year, anyway,  and he didn't understand. Around 5pm yesterday, K said, "Oh! We haven't sung him Happy Birthday yet," to which I promptly burst into tears. The day wrapped up post-bedtime with me crying after realizing that I never again get to hold my sweet first baby during that first year.

His first birthday party is this weekend, and this stomach big is hanging on longer than I am comfortable with. I personally am still feeling nauseated and I have no appetite, so I'm not optimistic that we're completely out of the woods with Bird yet. I am going to be heartbroken if we have to cancel his birthday party. Please send some major get-well wishes that he recovers in time for me to disinfect the house for Saturday.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Year Passed Too Quickly

It's been so long since my last post! Turns out, as busy as I thought I was before Avery started being mobile, I'm about ten times more busy now.

So here baby is a year old.

Officially, not until Tuesday. But soon enough. While the panicky edge is gone from his first birthday, it's still an extremely bittersweet occasion.

The only reason I'm not a bigger mess is because somehow, though he is more mobile and independent than ever before, he's also more and more affectionate each day. He gives hugs and kisses, and he brings favourite things to us to play with him or just to hug. I learned just the other day that when your tiny little boy finds and brings you a stuffed animal, you will never want to stop cuddling that stuffed animal. I cuddled Mr. Hooty the Owl all night after Baby Bird went to sleep.

I'm also learning that your baby is ALWAYS your baby, no matter if they are toddlers, children, teens or adults.
A year ago Tuesday
A few days old

Okay, so let's talk about Baby Bird:

  • He has a sparkling personality. He is so goofy and cheerful. He is affectionate. He is sensitive to the world around him (especially how mama and daddy are feeling). He walks around with either a big goofy grin or a little sly grin on his face at all times.
  • He is *almost* walking. He has taken 3-4 unassisted steps at a time, but he much prefers having some support in the form of a hand from Mama or Dad, or to push items around the house. He has a push toy, but he will push anything: laundry basket, file box, high chair, dining room chair.
  • He has three teeth (maybe four - I'll have to check the fourth to see if it cut this last day or two). He is not a gentle teether. It's been a rough three weeks, and my sympathy factor for how much it must hurt is through the roof.
  • He still nurses avidly, and he loves food, too.
  • He will steal your heart in an instant.
  • He loves to show off for people, but he is not a fan of loud, crowded rooms (as we discover frequently at a crowded playgroup we attend weekly).
  • He's very talkative. He's now starting to try to mimic words (he especially loves 'B' words: "Bump!" "Boom!" "Button"). And he chatters all the time.
11 months or so
First time on a swing last week

Let's talk about motherhood a year in. I'm definitely going to start crying part way through this:

  • It's been the fastest year of my life. I once heard someone say, "The days are long but the years are short" in reference to parenthood, and I couldn't agree more. Often, by bedtime, I am dying for some respite or a hot shower. But overall, the time flies by and it can be so very difficult to take it all in. On the whole, though, I think I'm doing an excellent job of living in the moment and being fully present with Bird.
  • I have not slept a full night since before Bird was born. People ask me why don't I sleep train. The short answer is that I just don't believe it's necessary for us. We are tired some days, but overall we believe babies have needs and that he will end up being a better sleeper who is more secure in the long run.
  • I still marvel at the change in myself. I went from not maternal, not sure about breastfeeding, *need* to be a working person, etc., to a complete mother hen. 
  • I am still about 20 lbs over my pre-pregnancy weight. I did not plan to be anything but fit and thin by now, but I'm finding the weight is not a priority. As for fitness, my best laid plans have been interrupted by a medical issue (nothing serious, but something that needs healing before I can so much as walk) and I'm hoping to have a resolution for that soon so I can run my 5km in June.
  • The amount of love in my life is immense. There are days (er, daily) that I just stare at Bird and my eyes well up with such pride and love that I just cannot put into words. My child, my husband, my family - they are perfect. And in that utter perfection (even in times of discord and chaos), I have found that I love myself more than ever, too. That doesn't mean I don't feel like I'm failing at the mom thing from time to time - I do have terrible-awful-not-very-good days sometimes, but they pass quickly.
Favourite Photo - 4 months old

So that's it - onto toddlerhood.