Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Here We Go Again!

I am so excited!!! :)

Believe it or not, we conceived naturally this time, while breastfeeding, on our very first cycle trying! No fertility meds or procedures necessary.   Other than Prometrium, that is.  I had my progesterone tested before we started to TTC and not surprisingly, it was low again.  Thank goodness there are supplements for that!

I am 4 weeks, 5 days along as of today!

Betas look good, with a 39 hour doubling time.  I have an ultrasound scheduled for next Thursday.

I am trying very hard to stay relaxed about this whole thing, and to not obsess over my past losses and the potential for miscarriage now, especially given my age.  I'm doing better than I thought I would in this regard - probably only because I just don't have the time I used to have, to sit around worrying and thinking so much.

Which is probably a good thing, because something tells me that if I really thought about how difficult it will be to have two (barely) under two, I might just panic.  :)

Sunday, 16 March 2014

A Letter to Samuel (12 Months)

Hello, my sweet little Bug.

I am writing this letter to you on the eve of your first birthday.  I can’t believe that you are a year old already.  Where did that time go?  You are about to become a toddler.  An infant no more.  You will always, ALWAYS be my baby though Darling.  No matter how old you get, how independent you become.  My love will always be there with you. And you will always be my sweet, sweet Bug.

It has been a long time since I have written a letter to you. I apologize for that. You have just kept me so busy my Darling! You are always on the move. You are so inquisitive, so energetic, and so very determined. If you can see it, you are convinced that you can get to it, and that it should go into your mouth (where else?).  

You have been crawling in one form or another since you were just over eight months old. You started with a movement that resembled a cross between an inchworm and an army crawl. It was very cute. :)  You eventually figured out that you could move faster if you pushed up on all fours, at which point there was no looking back. You are very quick my dear.  And you love to be chased! You will crawl away, stop, sit up and turn to look at me. I will smile at you or say your name, and you will then break into a little fit of giggles, and turn and crawl as fast as you can. You keep looking back at me. Once you see that I am indeed following you, you squeal with delight, and keep going. This ends with me catching up with you, and tickling you. It is one of your favourite games.

Some of your other favourite things include: playing with light switches (you are very good at turning them off, and get excited every time we walk past one), hanging out in your baby carrier (this is one of your very favourite places to be), playing with your red ball (you love to throw it and watch it bounce), chasing the cats (they are still faster than you - for now), playing peekaboo with your security blanket, playing with the kitchen doors (open, shut! open, shut! open…you get the idea), bath time, and eating. You love to eat my dear! Current favourites are salmon, cheese (especially havarti), peaches, strawberries, whole grain toast or crackers, and blueberry pancakes.  If you see any of these things on your plate, you will refuse to eat anything else.

We have a leisurely breakfast together at least once every weekend. I make pancakes, french toast, or eggs, etc for you. Daddy doesn't eat breakfast, so it is a special time that we share, just the two of us.  We then spend the better part of at least one day every weekend in our pajamas.  We just play, eat and nap all day.  It is lovely.

You aren’t quite walking yet, but I think you are close. You have been pulling up and “cruising” for 4 months.  You will often let go for a few minutes, smile, then plop down on your bum.  You sometimes start to “walk” away, taking as many as four or five steps before falling.  You just need to work on your balance.  :)

You are so full of personality. You are quick to smile, but equally quick to let me know that you are not happy.  You hate to have your diaper or clothes changed. You react as if it is the end of the world! I just keep being gentle with you, and talking to you soothingly - eventually, I hope, you will realize that I am not trying to hurt you, and that if you cooperate, it will be over before you know it. 

Everyone who meets you says that you are the most beautiful baby they have ever seen. I realize that I am biased, but I have to agree.  You are so adorable, with your big blue eyes and blonde hair. Your smile melts my heart.  It is your personality and “spark” that really draw people in though. You flirt with every girl you meet, and reach out for and smile at elderly people, especially if they are alone (which is the sweetest thing ever).  You try to act shy, burying your face into my neck, peeking out and smiling at strangers. We all see right through you, though my dear. You love people, and attention. And they all seem to love you too.

You are spending your days in daycare now. I miss you so very, very much.  It makes my heart hurt to be away from you so much.  You are my very favourite person, my favourite part of this world. I would love nothing more than to spend all of my time with you.  Sadly though, that is not an option right now.  So, I try to look on the bright side and focus on the positive aspects of this arrangement.  You seem to genuinely enjoy daycare, and like the women who care for you there. You are constantly stimulated with new experiences, new people, and interactions.  I do love my job and believe that I am setting a positive example for you by remaining independent and engaged.  Not an hour goes by that I don’t think about you though, my sweet Darling.  I very much doubt that that will ever change.

You have regressed a bit with your sleep since starting daycare, in that you are again refusing to nap anywhere but in my arms when I am home. I can’t even pretend to mind.  I treasure those moments, and know that the day will come when you no longer want me to hold you at all, let alone for hours at a time while you doze peacefully in my arms.  I am taking the snuggles while I can get them.  

A year already. I feel as if time is slipping away from me too quickly. Before I know it, you won’t need me anymore. My voice will not make you smile so quickly, my arms will not provide all the comfort and security that you need.  

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want time to stop. I want more than anything in the world for you to grow up, and to live a long, happy and healthy life. I want you to die a very old man, content with the knowledge that you lived the best life that you could, and that you were, and always will be, loved.  I want you to spread your wings someday, to exert your independence, and to create a life over which you can claim authorship.  I can only hope that you will think of me now and then, and that you will know that I loved you more fiercely, and more completely than any person has ever loved another, in the history of time.  And that that love will follow you everywhere, always, long after I am gone.

No, I do not want time to stop.  I just wish that it would slow down.

I love you, my sweet Darling.  More than anything in the whole wide world.  And I always will, no matter what.


Saturday, 21 September 2013

Six Months - a Letter to Bug

Hello, my sweet little Bug.

You are now six months old. I can't believe that half a year has passed already!  It seems like such a short amount of time, and yet it encompasses your entire life to date.  It is truly amazing to think about how much you have changed since you entered this world just six short months ago. You have grown from a tiny, relatively unresponsive bundle of cuteness into a sweet, funny, and engaging little boy.  Your eyes, once unfocused, are now bright and alert, taking in the world around you. Your movements, once seemingly random and uncoordinated, are becoming more focused and intentional. You reach for things now, grasp them and study them - and then invariably try to eat them. You are so keen to interact with everyone and everything that you encounter.
You have changed so much in the past month alone.  You have been sitting up unassisted for the past couple of weeks. I was so surprised and proud of you when you did it for the first time! I was sitting behind you in your bedroom, holding you up while you played with your toys.  You reached forward to grab something, and then just sat straight up by yourself! I started clapping and cheering you on, and you just looked at me as if to say, "What? So I'm sitting up. You do it all the time - what's the big deal?" Daddy works from home, so he was able to come in and share this "first" with you too. He was (and always is) so proud of you my little Darling. We both are.

You have graduated from a diet of breast milk only to one that so far consists of rice cereal, sweet potatoes, peas and butternut squash. I introduce a new food to you every 4 or 5 days. You LOVE to eat! You didn't quite know what to make of your first bite, which was of a homemade sweet potato puree. It didn't take you long though to decide that food was the best thing since, well, milk. After a few bites, you started to literally vibrate with excitement every time the spoon approached your mouth. Two weeks later, you are still doing this! It is the cutest thing. I put you in your highchair while I prepare your food. As soon as you see me take your little bowl out of the cupboard, you smile and start to bounce. You bang the table between bites, as if to say, "Come on Mom, hurry up!" You even seemed to enjoy peas, although you were a bit put off by the grainy texture.  Sorry kid. It's a result of the food being homemade, rather than coming from a jar. You'll get used to it.

You have made great progress in the nap department.  You have finally started to sleep other than in my arms! I admit, this development is very bittersweet. I know that it is necessary, as I will be going back to work soon, and will not be here to hold you while you slumber. I didn't want you to have to suffer through the transition while at daycare, without me being there to comfort you and help you adjust. So, I had to force the issue. While I am relieved and proud that you are doing so well, I am also sad. I love holding you while you sleep.  It is one of my very favorite things to do in this world. I now often find myself staring at your sweet face on the video monitor, wishing that you still needed me to hold you, if only for a little while longer. I know that this is better for you, and of course that's ultimately all that matters. I will get used to it.  I will never stop missing those moments with you though.

I imagine that I will feel something very similar on many occasions in the years to come. I am torn between two very powerful emotions when it comes to you, my love.  On the one hand, I want time to stop - or at least slow to a snail's pace. I love everything about this time in our lives, and I don't want it to end. I don't want to go back to go back to work, and leave you to the care of strangers. I don't want you to stop needing me. I don't want you to stop being my sweet little baby boy. I don't want you to grow up.
On the other hand, I can't wait to watch you grow up! I am so looking forward to raising you my Darling. I can't wait until you can talk to me. I am excited to hear the sound of your voice, and to know and share your thoughts, dreams, hopes and fears.  I am looking forward to building sand castles with you, teaching you how to ride a bike, baking cookies with you, and helping you with your homework. I can't wait to meet the man that you will become.
Ultimately, it is this latter wish that trumps all else.  I want you to grow up. I want to be the best mother that I can be to you in that process, and to help you become the best (and happiest) possible version of yourself.  
I can't tell what the future holds, my sweet Bug, but I can promise you this.  I will always be there beside you, ready to take your hand. I will always put your interests above all else. I will always strive to be the best mother that I can.  And I will always, always love you my Darling. More than anything. No matter what.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Please Don't Let Me Forget...

A few random things that I want to remember, forever:

  1. The way you look when you are sleeping in my arms;
  2. The way you sometimes keep "sucking" after I de-latch you when you are asleep;
  3. The way you reach out and explore my face with your little hands - and the look of wonder on your face when you do so;
  4. The way your face lights up when I laugh;
  5. How excited you get when I cheer you on (after you do something new for example), and how you then try to repeat whatever it was that got the cheer, over and over;
  6. How you giggle when I shake my head over you so that my hair brushes your face;
  7. The way you reach out and play with (or try to eat?) your books now when I read to you at night;
  8. The way you sometimes "talk" to me now, very insistently, and in a voice that is almost whisper quiet;
  9. The way you smile as soon as you see me, after being held by someone else;
  10. The weight of your little head resting against my chest, on my shoulder, or on my arm, after you have fallen asleep;
  11. The look on your face when you see or experience something new and exciting for the first time - a mixture of wonder, confusion, and amazement;
  12. Your tiny, chubby little  feet;
  13. Your sweet gummy smile;
  14. Your adorable belly laughs (which are most common when I pull a onesie over your head, strap you into the jolly jumper, or tickle your belly and chest); and
  15. The way you look at me sometimes....I just know that in that moment, you are trying to tell me how much you love me. It melts my heart.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

A Letter to my Sweet Samuel

Hello, my sweet little Darling.

As I write this letter to you, you are lying in my arms, fast asleep.   This is how you take most of your naps at this point. You fall asleep while I am feeding you. If I try to move you to your crib or swing once you have fallen asleep, you wake up and protest, even if your position was hardly disturbed in the process. It is as if you can immediately sense the change in temperature, the sudden absence of my heartbeat against you.

People keep telling me that I should not let you nap in my arms anymore, and that I should insist that you start sleeping in your crib during the day.  I know that at some point soon, I will have to listen to them.  You need to learn to nap independently of me at some point, as I will be returning to work in January and will therefore no longer be able to hold you as you fall asleep every afternoon.  I should also really be using the time that you are asleep during the day to get things done around the house. Your Daddy has been very patient with the current state of affairs, but really, I do need to keep this place a little cleaner.  

 I know that they are right, and yet, I can’t bring myself to push the issue too much just yet.  Holding you in my arms, feeling your chest rise and fall against me, staring at your sweet face while you dream – there are no words to describe how content and at peace I am in these moments.  I wish that I could capture them somehow, and bottle them up, so that I could relive them over and over again.

You often smile while you are sleeping.  My heart melts every single time.  Last week, you actually had a laughing fit in your sleep.  You suddenly starting cracking up – big, loud belly laughs – but you did not open your eyes. You kept sleeping, and smiling.   I hope that your dreams always bring you that much joy.  

To be sure, you are not always quite that happy when you are awake.  Like both of your parents, you have a very strong personality, and you insist on making your opinions and feelings known. The problem, of course, is that you cannot yet speak, and therefore, we do not always understand what you are trying to tell us.  This leads to certain frustration for you. I am actually starting to teach you sign language, so that you can hopefully begin to communicate effectively with us about some things before you develop the ability to speak.  You already smile when I make the sign for milk. I’m not sure if you understand the association yet, or if you just like watching me move my hands around and smile at you. It really makes no difference to me at this point. Anything that brings a smile to your face makes me happy.

Your Daddy and I spent the day with you today.  We make a point of spending at least one full day together as a family every single week.  Because it is summer right now, we generally spend it outside.  We take you to the zoo, for walks down on the boardwalk, and to the park in the valley by our home.  Today we took you to a different park, where you got to play in a swing for the first time. You weren’t quite big enough for it yet, so I kept my hand on your back while we swung you carefully, and your daddy took photos. Daddy is as persistent in attempting to capture as many of our moments together as I am. 

You loved the swing! You smiled and laughed the entire time.

You are still a little small to play with much of the other playground equipment. Daddy did take you over to sit on the slides though. 

                                               (I couldn't get you to look at me or the camera for the life of me!)

 We also took you swimming for the first time today! We had a feeling that you would like it, as you love your baths, and always have.  We were not wrong.  You were adorable, as always.  The look on your face when your toes touched the water for the first time was priceless. Thankfully, Daddy was there with his video camera to capture the entire thing!

I hope that we have many, many more days like today my darling.  Your Daddy and I both love you more than you will ever know.  We are both so very, very grateful for every day, night, hour and moment that we have with you. Even when you are a total fussbutt. J  You are the light of our lives – our sunshine.  The moment that you were born, you became our reason for waking up in the morning, for eating, and for breathing.  You are our world.

And with that my love, I will leave you for now. You are beginning to stir.  It is time to play with you, to talk to you, and to listen to you as you “talk” to me. To return your smiles, and try to elicit your laughter. It is time for more of those moments that I will forever wish that I could relive.

I love you my sweet darling, my little Bug.  More than anything. I always will, no matter what.


Wednesday, 14 August 2013

I'm Back!

I'm back!

To running, that is. :).

I reached a personal milestone a couple of weeks ago, running just under 6k for the first time in more than a year. I've been running similar distances consistently several times a week since then.

I know that 6k is not much for many runners, but it is still a major milestone for me, after not having run at all for well over a year.  It feels so great to finally be getting back into it!

Running is one of my favorite things to do. There are the obvious physical and health benefits that come along with it. More important for me though is the way that running makes me feel. After I finish a good run, I feel like I am on top of the world. It is such a great, natural high. Running also clears my mind, and allows me to work out any stress or anxiety (which I am prone to).  It feels almost as if I have taken a shower on the inside, if that makes any sense.  I feel refreshed, energized, and at peace.

Given how I feel about running, you can imagine how disappointed I was to have to stop running when I started fertility treatments last spring.  It probably would have been fine to keep up with it through that process, but a then-recent loss had made me very paranoid. I just couldn't go through that again. So, I stopped running.  I might have picked it up again once I became pregnant, but as you know from reading this blog, my pregnancy ended up being very complicated and high risk. I wasn't able to walk around much, let alone run.

The fact that my pregnancy was complicated and stressful made me miss the release and calming effect of running that much more.  You know how some women miss coffee, wine, sushi, etc., while pregnant? I missed running. (And beer. Lol)

I was so, so happy to be able to get back into it postpartum.  Because I hadn't run at all for so long though, I had to start slowly, roughly following a popular couch to 5k training program.

And now, finally, I'm back. :)

My distances will obviously increase from here on in, as will my pace.  But it just feels so damned good to get in good runs again on a regular basis, even if I'm still a ways away from my personal bests.

That's it. That was the only point of this post.

So much of what I think, do and write about now is about my sweet Samuel. This post was all about me. And I'm okay with that. :)

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

These are the Days...

It has been a while since I posted an update - sorry for that! Time just gets away from me so much more easily now I guess. I am almost always either busy entertaining and interacting with Bug, or enjoying some much needed downtime, which usually involves a baby sleeping in my arms (yeah, I still haven't pushed the nap issue yet). I often think about this blog, and lament my failure to keep it updated. I want to keep a record of this time - of what he was doing, and how I felt in these early days. I want to do everything that I can to help me remember every little detail, as I am quite certain that these are the best days of my life. I'm doing a very poor job so far, I know. I'm finally starting to really feel like myself again though, and am therefore hopeful that I will do better from this point forward.

Samuel is almost 4 and 1/2 months old. This has to be my favorite period with him so far. He is so alert, and keen on discovering and interacting with the world around him.  He grasps and plays with his toys now, and is always looking around for me if I am not in his line of sight.  He is quick with his smiles, and is pretty determined to make his opinions known, either by cooing, babbling, or (less frequently) crying.  He loves "standing", and will often fuss until I help him up.  He supports his own weight - I just help him balance.  He is a hyper little character. I am convinced he will be an early mover.  We will see I guess!

Although he is definitely still not a fan of being on his belly, he does seem to hate tummy time a little less now.  He will still cry after a few minutes, unless he's naked. Then he is fine for a while.  Strange, I know.

To be honest, I wasn't sure how I'd take to being at home all day with a little one, after being focused on my education and career for so long.  But, I am happy to say that I absolutely love it so far.  He is my favorite person, and I treasure our days together.  I try to get out of the house with him at least once a day, even if only to run an errand or two.  More often, I take him down for a walk in the valley near our home, or over to a nearby park.  He seems to like the bus and subway, and so I am taking him downtown more and more often.  We have also been out to a few mommy group meet ups, and out for lunch with a few women and babies who we have met through those groups and online.
My husband is still very busy with work, so we are on our own most days during the week. However, he makes sure to set aside at least one full day a week for family time (in addition to most evenings). We've been to the zoo a few times, the park, and for walks down on the boardwalk along the waterfront. We are also often out to friends' houses for barbecues, etc. But it's the days that we spend alone together as a family that I really love.

  I love those days. I believe that Samuel does too.  I think that his daddy is already his hero. :).
He is still a mommy's boy though.
I hope that he always will be, no matter how big his world becomes.