Thursday, August 07, 2014

Blessings



I realize every day how lucky we are that Silas is with us. Forever grateful and blessed. I follow a number of people who have either lost babies at birth or in utero. Life is so previous and fragile. I will never take this little life for granted. 

My heart.....




Wednesday, August 06, 2014

8 Weeks and Counting

My little monkey is 8 weeks and 1 day today. He has changed so much in the past 8 weeks, he's almost unrecognizable as the tiny infant they pulled from my tummy on June 10. 

I have no idea what he weighs or how long he is since his last check up on July 25. But I do know he's growing up and that is both thrilling and heartbreaking. I want him to stay my little cuddly bear, but yet I am excited for him to develop and grow and astound us with each new skill. I dream of the days when we three can go on adventures together and converse, and yet I know I'll always miss these days. 

Even the sleep deprived ones. 

I thought I had struck a note of genius on Saturday night. I expressed some milk and topped Silas up before his 9 pm bedtime and he slept for nearly FIVE HOURS. I did the same at 2 am and got another three hours. I thought I'd found the solution....however it has not been as successful the following two nights, last night being the worst....up every two hours......zzzzz. His "schedule" was way off yesterday and he didn't get a good long afternoon nap, so I believe he was overtired, plus I didn't have as much milk. The moral of the story is, just when you think you've got it figured out, things change. It keeps you on your toes! Your tired, little toes. 

I get some pretty big smiles from him at 5 am though and it's all worth it. So, I'm going to keep trying to top him up and see how we go. It's all one big around the clock adventure and learning. For both of us. 

I had to take Silas to the clinic yesterday because he developed a watery left eye with some yellow discharge. Googling it told me it was either a clogged tear duct, or a form of pink eye. You don't take chances with vision, so we took a swab and we'll know by tomorrow if we need a course of antibiotics. As of today it looks MUCH better....I've been keeping it clean with warm washcloths and sterile drops (and a few squirts of breast milk). It looks like whatever it is, it's resolving on it's own. First medical crisis averted! 

To celebrate his 8th week, Silas enjoyed a delightful game of peekaboo with his dad after work. ADORABLE. I tried it a couple weeks back and was met with confused skeptisim, but it was all smiles and coos for his dad and the BESR GAME EVER! 

My favorite times of the day are mornings....smiles everywhere. 



Next week we go to the cabin! I can't wait! 

xh 


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Celebrating 7 Weeks in Silas Style


Life has changed, but life is good. Our hearts have never been fuller! 
xh


Monday, July 28, 2014

7 Weeks In

Tomorrow Silas will be 7 weeks young. Whaaaaat? 

He's now, as of Friday July 25th, 10 lb 7 oz. He's 57 cm long. With these stats, he is in the 49th percentile. One of the only times in your life when being average is good! This means we have successfully gained just over 3 lbs since losing nearly a lb after birth. Not too shabby! The doctor is happy with his growth and his little pot belly. He's been exclusively breastfeeding for the past three weeks, so this is all me, no formula! That's exciting! And exhausting. 

Breastfeeding is exhausting. It's so full on, 24/7. It's what's best for him right now though, so even though it means less sleep and freedom for me, I'm happy to be able to do this! 

I'm getting a 90 minute Swedish massage on Friday, thanks to my mom (the best!), and I plan on using the pool and hot tub to relax prior. Which means from now until then, I will be pumping milk every chance I get so I can leave James with at least 4 oz. Because mama is planning on a 2.5 hour respite. Don't get me wrong, I love being home with my kid, but I think it's really important to get a break know and then (yesterday I grocery shopped alone for 40 minutes....tres exciting). 

Silas is smiling soooo much these days. It's incredible! I see both myself and James in these twinkly little smiles. He's still a really relaxed and happy baby, except when he's trying to push out a fart or two. Then it's grunt town until he can fart....which is hilarious because they are LOUD. He's also not super patient if I make him wait to eat (like when we're driving or walking home). THEN the angry bear comes out to play, but is easily pacified by the monkey soother (temporarily) or the actual boob. Magic.

He's making cute little "aahs" and "oohs" now, finding his voice. One day these will be words, so we practice words like "mama", "Silas", "nose", etc....I talk to him like a human because I figure baby talk is stupid and babies are smarter than we give them credit for. Next week, mathematics. (WINK). 

This is the best job. It's 24/7, and it pays in smiles, cuddles and knowing how lucky we are to have our son safe and healthy and thriving here with us. 







 


Monday, July 21, 2014

Silas Bear

Silas turns 6 weeks old tomorrow! 

In honor of this, I have created a list. A top 10 list of the most awesome things about my son! In no particular order.....

1. He is smiling real smiles now. For sure real, not just windy ones. He smiled at us all weekend. I did not get a single one on camera, but that's okay because it's all about relishing the moment! In fact, he is smiling in his sleep right now :)

2. I love that I can settle him with a hug. I laid down next to to my fussy baby last night and he fell asleep right away. That's pretty precious. And convenient. 

3. He has this little chuckle that sounds like. "Heh heh heh heh" and it's AWESOME. He does it in his sleep too. We love it. 

4. I love how he looks at me in the wee morning hours. These little bright eyes shining in the dark melt my heart. It makes the tiredness face away (almost). 

5. He appreciates the importance of fine dining. We took him to Il Terazzo on Saturday night and were astonished (concerned) when he didn't fall asleep in the car on the way there! He could not have been better behaved though! He looked around a bunch, then fell asleep despite the noise of a busy establishment and slept until we got home. We (and the other diners) appreciated these fine manners. 

6. He spends 30 minutes in his crib each morning looking at his aquarium and making adorable noises while mom showers and has breakfast. It's a good time for him to learn how to entertain himself a little. 

7. He plays with the hair on the back of his head. I don't know yet if this signifies tiredness or if it's just damn cute, but it's dammmmmnnnnn cute! 

8. I looooove how he looks in the mirror when I change his diapers. We make eye contact, and lately he has been rewarding me and this neat trick with BIG smiles. It's so bless. Also...so genius of me to use this dresser and mirror combo. 

9. He's grown 6 inches since birth! This one is all legs. He hasn't been weighed since his last check up on July 3 (8 lb 9 oz!), so I have no idea how much he weighs, but we will find out Friday at his 6 week check up! Guesses? I say....9 lbs, 7 oz. 

10. His sweet neck strength! He's able to hold his head up for several seconds at a time. It's amazing watching these milestones and noticing the changes. It's going by so fast though! My little baby is not going to be little for too long!!! (Sniff sniff) 


I could go on, but I won't. Just know...Silas is super awesome. 

Some snaps from the past week.....








Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Silas At Five Weeks

I can't believe it's already been five weeks. Time is going crazy fast. My days are spent in a haze of feeding, diaper changes, long walks, visits, and staring at him in disbelief that he is mine. 

We're a busy twosome during the week while dad is at work. We have "play dates" with Melissa and Felix, meet friends for coffee, head out on long walks (logged 25 km last week!), do laundry and try to make dinner (50% of the time it works every time). And sometimes we watch a lot of Netflix while cluster feeding. The days are just packed. 

Silas is working on his sweet neck strength and is much better at holding up his head. He sometimes enjoys tummy time, and is learning to play with some basic colourful toys. He is very alert in the mornings, and likes to spend 30 minutes or so in his crib watching his aquarium while I shower and scarf down breakfast. 

He falls asleep in the car, and seems to enjoy being in his car seat during walks more than in his bassinet. I think it's because he likes to sit up and check out the world. When het gets fussy, he'll take his money pacifier, but we use that sparingly. 

I have been peed on several times now, and the other day I got spit up in my hair. I actually got peed on in a restaurant today and it looked like I had wet myself. I don't even care, it's all part of the fun. 

I'd love for him to sleep a little longer at night. We're still on the every 1.5 - 2.5 wake ups, which is exhausting  it necessary for a breastfed baby. Again, It's all part of the fun. And it won't last forever (right?! RIGHT!?). And he's just SO SWEET. His wee face in the darkness, his sparkling eyes searching me out. It's heart melting. 

I'm grateful for the meals that my mom has made and dropped off for us. And the food that friends have simply left on our doorstep with a text message and no expectations of a visit (wonderful). Meals and nourishment are signs that they really get it. I'm grateful for the massage my mom got for me, and I look forward to using it because I could really really use one. And the gifts! Good lord, people are generous and thoughtful. It's incredible. 

We arer so loved, and so cared for by others. Our village is the best. 

x



Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Motherhood

People always told me "no one ever tells you how hard it is". One month in, I now know what they were really talking about. Below are my somewhat unorganized, sleep deprived thoughts on parenthood, one month in. 

I was nervous before Silas was born. I had enjoyed pregnancy so much, and I KNEW that what lay before me was a much harder task than dealing with heartburn and cankles. I was excited to meet him, but I was already mourning the loss of my spare time. I was also questioning my abilities - would I be a good mom? How on earth does one care for a newborn 24/7? 

I'm happy to report that it has all felt pretty natural. I care for my son because it's what mothers do. My heart and whole being are here to nurture and love him and that has come easily for me. I laid eyes on him in the OR and claimed him as my own. My flesh and blood. Mine. Ours. 

Bringing him home has been a joy, and Silas is, so far, an easy and lovely baby. If he cries, it's because he wants to eat, or he has a dirty diaper, or he just wants a cuddle (if I am not already holding him). He is all about mommy right now because I am the primary caregiver and his arms and eyes have begun to search me out. It's heart melting. One day in the near future, he will think dad is pretty good too, but right now his needs are basic: boobs. It's both incredible and exhausting to be needed so. There's no one like your mommy. 

So what has surprised me most so far? 

1): The intensity of breastfeeding. It is time consuming and I feel like I am constantly attached to him because he wants to feed 90% of the time he is awake. That's okay because I love the snuggles, but it does mean I have had to let go of the idea of being on a schedule of any kind for now. It's feed on demand and while I thought that would mean every three hours, it's more like every hour. Or two hours. Or every 15 minutes. It's here at home, or on the go. I've had to rethink my stance on modesty and punctuality because when you are downtown and your baby is hungry, you find a shady spot and hope for a good latch. And then you carry on. 

2): Sleep. I am looking forward to the day that he starts sleeping in four hour increments, with only one feeding a night. Right now, that sounds like Heaven. My sleep is very interrupted and all over the place, but it's okay because I know it's temporary (hopefully!). We have our quiet moments in his nursery, and I rock him and soothe him and feed him back to sleep. And as for me? As soon as my head hits the pillow I am OUT. This kind of tiredness you can't fight. I don't really nap though. I figure if I get anywhere from 5-7 hours of sleep, I can deal with that. And rest when I need to, with my baby laying on my chest.

3): How fast the days pass. We cuddle and snooze in bed from 6 - 9 am. Then we get up and it's feed,  crib time (getting him used to spending time in there) while I shower and try to eat, then more feeding, laundry, lunch, feeding, get out for whatever we have decided to do that day (whether it's a 5 km walk or simply a trip to the village, we get out), feed, nap, feed, and all of a sudden it's time for James to come home and I wonder where the day has gone. At this rate, I will be back at work before I know it. Yikes!

4): How much I want and need a massage. I would probably fall asleep and miss the whole damn thing. And who has time for a massage? Not me anymore!

5): My post baby body a month in has not exactly bounced back. Sure, I'm down 30 lbs or so, but I have this weird ridge above my csection scar that I am wondering if it will ever go away. I have some stretch marks that appeared in very late pregnancy that aren't too pretty to look at. And yet...I don't care. I am proud my body was able to carry my son to full term, and the marks are reminders of the strength if womanhood. So I'll keep breast feeding and walking and eating healthy and maybe I will need to kick it up a notch in the fall, but I'm not going to punish myself. I'm happy with my body, even though my tummy is soft and stretched. 

Silas has changed so much in the last month....so have I.......what will the next month bring?

xh 




Four Weeks Old!

I can't believe our little man is already four weeks old! Was it really a month ago today, RIGHT NOW, that he was in my arms, less than an hour old? That shit cray.

We've come a long way already, baby! I'm exclusively breastfeeding now - no more pumping and no more formula for the time being. At his last doctor's checkup, he was 8 lb 9 oz, so he had exceeded his birth weight. We are on the right track! He makes these cute little sounds when he is getting lots of milk....kind of like a Nomnomnom mmmmmmmmm noise. It makes me feel wonderful :) We nurse on demand, which ideally would be every two hours during the day and every three to four at night, but at this point there is no rhyme or reason to his patterns. He smiles a lot when he has a boob in his mouth. 

He's so much more alert now - he looks around, and follows my voice. He is very awake in the mornings. Sometimes at 5 am I look down and see these bright little eyes looking up at me and I think my heart might explode. He sleeps from around 8-10:30 pm, then from 11 - 1:30 or 2ish if I am lucky, and then one or two little wake ups somewhere between 3 and 6, and then again at 6ish. So yeah. Our sleep is a little crazy right now, but he's growing and it's not too bad. My FAVORITE part of this routine is after his last early morning feed....I bring him into bed with me for snuggles and we get a great couple of hours of sleep with him safe in the crook of my arm. I can't tell you how much I like co-sleeping. It makes James nervous that we are starting a bad habit, but since he spends the majority of his night in his own bed, and you can't spoil a newborn, I am going to enjoy this time. It's THE BEST. I can now totally see why parents choose to co-sleep entirely. It's easier. It's lovely. Everyone sleeps better..............hmmmmm ..............no, no, no. We said we wouldn't go there, didn't we? 

He's starting to lift his head, and his neck strength is forever improving. He makes these little laughing noises, and is starting to experiment with sounds. I can put him in his crib for 20-30 minutes at a time on his own, and he loves looking at his aquarium. This gives me time to shower and eat breakfast. He let's me know when he's done. 

He seems to like it when I sing to him and calms when we talk him through a diapers change. He pees through his diapers sometimes due to the stupidity of their design and sometimes I pay for that by also having to change MY outfit. Like today, when he peed into my crotch and I had to change my dress and underwear less than 10 minutes after having a shower ;) 

He brings me so much joy on a daily basis. His dad is enamored by him. Our lives have been forever changed and enriched by his presence. Every little thing he does is magic. Even his farts, which DELIGHT us. 

To celebrate, I took some pictures. 

Take One: 


Take Two: 



xh

Monday, July 07, 2014

Our Weekend :)



Sleep wasn't a priority for one Mr. Silas William James Oliver. Mom and dad were suuuuuper tired, but managed to make a weekend of it anyways! We spent lots of time together as a family, and went on adventures a'plenty! As usual, I took a lot of photos. There were a lot of "firsts" to be captured, after all. 

Silas's first time at Canoe and he slept through it! Celebratory sparkling cocktails were had. 

Silas's first time in the Ergo! Heading to Family Fun Day at St. Ann's (which was laaaaaame)! We quickly ditched it for Ska Fest. 

They be skankin'.

Silas's first shower with dad! Not tooooo sure. 

Silas's first Pride Parade! 

It's a damn good time. 

It's true. They love me, they REALLY love me! 

A pretty great weekend. The only thing that could have made it better, would have been more if this:

Specifically, between the hours of 11pm and 8am.

Let's work on that, okay son? 

xh






Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Three Weeks Old!



First, a thoughtfully pensive pose.

Next.......over it! 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Silas at 18 Days Old.....Moments to Remember

The way his newborn clothes are just a little too big still in the arms, even at 18 days old.

The way his ears are slightly pointy, almost elfin. I hope that never changes. Silas means "of the forest"....my little forest elf. 

The sounds he makes when he is gulping back milk from my breast - music to a mother's ears who just wants so badly to be able to nourish her child in this way (it's improving!) 

The myriad of facial expressions he is capable of, all of which melt my heart into a giant gooey puddle. 

The smiles. Which are supposedly not "real" ones yet, but they look real to me and I know with my mother heart it's because he is feeling loved and happy. 

The grunts and snorts and sighs and "chuckles" ....all the sounds he makes in his sleep, even when they keep me awake. 

His precious head of hair. Highlighted and perfectly gossamer. 

His beautiful dark blue eyes, looking up at me as I feed him or hug him close. 

His long fingers curled around my thumb. 

His "angry" cry, which can be so quickly soothed by a booby snack or a cuddle. 

The way I can see his big eyes shining up at me in the dark of the early morning, alert, and taking me in. 

How he catches a glimpse of himself in the mirror next to his change table and becomes entranced. 

The way my whole heart fills when I see him held by his father, gazing into each others eyes. 

The bittersweet knowledge that even though I find the nights tiring, that this time we have together in the darkness of the morning, rocking, holding my sweet baby, is fleeting and I am here to savor these moments in time with him. 

A love so big it's not even describable. I am so lucky I get to spend my days with this little human. 










Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Silas William James Oliver

He's here! And he's two weeks old today. 

Time has flown by in a completely surreal fashion. It was two weeks ago today, RIGHT NOW, as I was walking from the Mother Babe unit to Labor and Delivery to get prepped for delivery. 

I've been meaning to write this little story for ages, but guess what? Parenthood is busy times. Especially when our milk doesn't come in fast enough and you are constantly attached to a baby, an industrial grade breast pump, or sterilizing bottles to make formula to top him up to make sure he's gaining weight and winning the fight against the wee spot of jaundice we came home with. It's exhausting work, but you do it with a smile on your face (mostly), and joy in your heart (always). 

So here's our Silas's birth story....

James and I were at the hospital at 6 am on Tuesday, June 10th. We were ushered into a room, and I was hooked up to an IV. And then....we waited. Our delivery was scheduled for 9:30 am, which means we had three hours to kill. Which meant we had three hours to get excited, get apprehensive, dream about breakfast sandwiches (me. I was hungry), and try and rest. We had gotten very little sleep the night before, so we just tried to relax as much as we could. I was, however, feeling a teensy bit anxious about what was to come. Because, you know, at some point that morning, they were going to CUT MY BABY OUT OF ME. 

At 10 am they finally came to collect us, and we walked to the OR. James left me to get into scrubs while I was getting prepped for surgery. I was given a spinal, which takes effect almost immediately, and before you knew it, I couldn't move my legs. Weird. I could still feel things at this point, but sensation was fading fast. At this point, they put in a catheter, and the anesthesiologist was telling me to let him know if I was feeling nauseated (yes. Yes I was, so he gave me some stuff). 

< Side note: a good portion of the pre-op conversation revolved around how awesome my eyelashes looked. YES! EYELASH EXTENSIONS FTW! >

At some point, they placed a sheet up, blocking my view of my lower half, and James was brought into the room. I was so happy to see him, because even though I am pretty sure they had given me something to keep me calm, it was nice to be able to look into his eyes and acknowledge the weirdness of what was about to happen. Because it is weird. 

The OB casually mentioned that he had made the first few cuts, and I was like...whaaattt? Can't feel it. Strangely felt like it wasn't my body below the sheet, just my head floating near this other person's body. They were amazing at explaining what was going on, keeping me reassured that it was going fantastically, and then all of a sudden I heard crying and it was my baby, entering this world at 11:04 am with gusty, angry cries, pretty pissex off to have been pulled so rudely from his little home. James managed to capture this moment on camera, and even though it's a little blurry, it's pretty amazing. 

He was placed on a table to my right, and in was able to get my first view of him while the pediatrician checked him over. He was still crying, and as a result was able to clear his lungs on his own (something csection babies often have trouble with as they were not pushed through a birth canal). Go lungs! He was deemed perfect, and soon after James was able to cut the umbilical cord, which I was unable to see. 

They wrapped the baby up and brought him over to me, awkwardly holding him to my head, as I was busy being stitched up and oh yeah, my arms were velcroed to the table, soooo. The stitch up job took about 25 mins or so, then I was transferred to the recovery room with James and our baby and I was able to hold him skin to skin and breastfeed him for the first time. It was incredible. 

We were in recovery for about two hours, as I could not feel or move my legs for quite some time. It was rather lovely though, just me and James and Silas, getting to know each other. I recall feeling very peaceful. 

We were wheeled back to our temporary room, and eventually we welcomed our parents to meet their new grandson. The rest of the day is a bit if a blur. All I know is we were in love. 

Pain wise, day two was the worst it got for me. They took out my catheter that morning and so I had to get in and out of bed to pee. The effects of the spinal wear off after about 18 hours, and OH MY GOD did it hurt. I couldn't take the meds they normally prescribe (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories are bad for Crohn's), so I was on Tylenol every 6 hours, and either morphine or dilaudud every 4 hours. However, it was in such small doses, it barely took the edge off the pain. It sucked balls. I thought this was going to be a rough few weeks, but then came 6 am on day three and I found myself refusing any more pain meds because all of a sudden, it was manageable. And it has totally not been an issue. C-sections are a breeze! I still gave minor incision pain, but by the time we left the hospital, I knew I had it under control. 

Our hospital stay was good. We got our private room (THANK GOD), and James was my sanity and savior. He was (is) incredible with Silas. Such a natural dad. I would have been lost without him, as he did everything for the first few days thanks to my surgery. I fell more in love with him with ever passing minute. 

We ended up having to stay one more night because Silas lost just over 10% of his birth weight, thanks to my sucky milk supply (due to the c-section? Who knows). He was also low/intermediate jaundiced. I spent hours hand expressing colostrum to feed him via a syringe, and then finally got a breast pump on the final night so I could fatten him up so they would let us go home. I was trying to avoid having to use formula, and it did appear to be working as he gained overnight, and they let us go. 

I fed him by breast only at home for the next two days, but sadly, still not enough milk. When we weighed him Monday at the doctor's, he had lost weight again. So it was off to the drug store to rent a hospital grade pump. And when I saw how little I was able to pump (at that point, less than half an oz, both breasts combined, after 15 mins), I gave in and had James mix up the formula. And then cried about it. Because formula. 

However, by the next day, he had gained 16 grams, so I got over feeling sad about having to supplement with formula, and realized my job was to feed and fatten this kid, no matter what the source. Still, breast is best, and formula is second best, and a week in, I still feel guilty every time I feed him the second rate stuff. However, by the time he was weighed again two days later, he had gained 65 grams, so I knew I was doing the best for my baby. He gets weighed again tomorrow, so I hope we're on the right track. Jaundice is no longer a concern, as by Friday is bilirubin was down to 200, so there's that! 

I'm not 100% sure I will ever be able to exclusively breastfeed without formula. I HOPE to, and my milk supply is definitely increasing, but I am not sure what the future holds. If I have to continue to top him up, I'll be in the market for organic formula. This free stuff the doctor gave us is good quality, but I'll be shopping around if I need to. I'm able to pump just under two oz now in 30 mins, a few times a day. I hope this extra stimulation will help things along so I can get him off the other stuff ASAP. 

Small feeding issues aside, these last two weeks have been wonderful! Yes, I am sleep deprived, and a little tired of that damn pump, but I am enthralled with this little person who I spend my days and nights with. We've totally got this. I have been able to get out for walks, appointments, and welcomed visitors. We've gone to a BBQ, and on a Father's Day outing, and to get bloodwork. I shower and dress every day, manage to remember to eat, and do loads of laundry. James went back to work early to save holiday time for the lake, because I got this so covered. I don't even know what I was worried about. Being Mommy feels so natural. 

We miss daddy when he's gone though. And there are some days when me and Silas don't leave the house at all. We cuddle and rest. And that's okay too. 

Happy two weeks, Silas bear! We love you with everything we have. 

And now....a montage:

Moments before leaving to delivery....

In recovery with our brand new baby!...... 

Me and my brand new son.....

The little details....

A family photo shoot....

Home....

These hands!

Two weeks old!!! 


Love. So much love.

xh












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