What you don’t see in pictures

We sat on the back deck last night, in the dark, soaking in the last night of summer.  I sipped a glass of wine, my husband smoking a cigar, the baby monitor on the table between us.

I had that pressure building in my chest all day.  It started with those memory photos that Facebook so kindly shows you.  It showed me, two years ago, smiling in front of hot air balloons with my sister and Rebecca.  If anyone looked at that photo you would just see a couple of happy, smiling, girls.  That is how Facebook can make you look to the world, like nothing is wrong. If you were to know the truth, I was standing there forcing that smile, hiding my baby bump behind that sweatshirt, feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders, no make-up on my face because I cried constantly.

I was pregnant in that photo and many others from that day.  Pregnant and carrying a baby whose heartbeat, we had just learned and saw, had stopped.  We went on with our weekend because that is what happens, life goes on and we had to do something to fill the space before surgery was scheduled.

It was just two years ago but the end of summer and change to a fresh season will forever be marked by the loss of our first little girl.  It is hard to just let the day go by.  Several days of pain and waiting, marked in my memories.

So there we sat last night, my husband and I, suddenly I let the tears go.  For him, it is harder to understand.  For him, he looks at the sleeping baby on the monitor and knows everything worked out and it all happened for a reason.  For him, as he said, he didn’t have the physical attachment.  It isn’t that he doesn’t care, he does, but I think for him it is easier to look at Cora and just be okay with it.

For me, I wish I could move on from it and not let it bother me.  I wish it wasn’t such a painful reminder that comes around once a year.  I want to look at Cora and say that she erases that painful time.  But it did happen and from time to time my heart strings get tugged and I’m right back at that place.  It is such a fucked up thing to think if our first little girl made it to this world, we wouldn’t have Cora.  So I can’t wish for one over another.  I feel bad wondering what one would be like today when there is a healthy, little girl, sleeping away in her crib.

There is a baby book at the top of Cora’s closet that was started.  It holds words that I wrote, several ultrasound photos and I bet if you closed your eyes, you can hear the conversations my husband and I already had about that little girls life. Cora’s holds the same starting words, the same ultrasound photo’s but hers keeps going.  The babies that make it and the ones that don’t for reasons we don’t always understand.  For the mamma’s that carry them around in their hearts, wondering what they would be like.

I dried my tears last night, sitting there in the dark.  My husband slowly easing the conversation to something less heavy.  The life we lead because life does move on.  We are looking at swim lessons, planning a first birthday party and easing our family into fall.  I finished my drink, he finished his cigar, we blew out the candles and he gave me a hug.  Grateful for the baby here on earth and the baby in our hearts, the memories will always be there.

 

 

Building an immunity

One of the pros to putting Cora in daycare was for her to build her immune system up.  To literally have my kid pick up a few colds and other germs so that her little body could learn to fight these things off.  We have manage the flu bug, HFM disease and a few colds.  Nothing we couldn’t get through and I feel like she has been sick less than what I anticipated.

What I didn’t anticipate was how sick the Hubs and I would be.  Seriously.  Apparently we are also building our immune systems back up.  I used to work in daycare.  I used to have the immune system of a steel box.  I haven’t had a flu shot in 10+ years and never had the flu during the time.  The only thing I managed to contact was a sinus infection due to my allergies.

But then I went and put my baby in daycare. I have never been so sick.  Apparently wine doesn’t kill all germs?  Flu, colds, and now bronchitis.  To be fair, the flu would have happened with or without that stupid flu shot, as it was July when it hit our house.  The Hubs and I are sick more often than the baby which means she drags home the germs, licks us and then we are dying the next day.

So, so gross.

No one warned me of this.

Just to be clear, I’m on my third week of bronchitis and have made two trips to the doctor while begging for all the drugs. I have spent no less than $200 on this sort of fun.

So back to the pros of daycare.  The baby builds an immune system and so do Mom and Dad. #blessed #eyeroll

Kicking the Bottle

When we went in for our 9 month appointment our pediatrician talked to us about getting rid of the bottle by the time Cora turned 1.  Not that she pressured us about it but did help us understand how much more difficult it will be after age 1.  Quite frankly, I was totally on board with the idea because the sooner we can be done with that hassle, the better.

That being said, I struggled with taking away the bottle when she was struggling so much with eating food.  I was looking more at making sure she was still getting the nutrients she needed and getting her tummy full.  So I started with that, getting better at the food thing and that has been consuming our time the past two months instead.  With her two little teeth, we are finally getting to a better place with real and jar food.

Cora has been using a sippy since she was 5 months old but it has never been something we forced.  Mainly just at the high chair.  She has also been drinking her bottle on her own for a couple of months now.  Sometimes she will sit on our laps and drink it or lay on the floor with it.  We rock her with it before each nap and before bed.  I will say neither are things we let her go to bed with, walk around with or hold onto for comfort which I think has only helped us.

After all of my Google research (fail), I realized we finally just had to jump into ditching the bottle because like most things, I think it is the parents that make something harder, not the kids.  I know it is easier for me to hand her a bottle, when we are out and about, than finding her a snack, that she will actually eat, and that won’t require a bath directly afterwards.  Parenting fail but parenting truth.

So over the weekend we I went for it.  No bottles unless she was going to sleep.  Cold turkey, just like that.  If you ask how many bottles she has a day, I don’t know…a lot.  Because she would only have about 3oz at a time.  She definitely goes through more at daycare because provider fail, kinda like parenting fail, it was easier for the provider to toss a bottle her way.

Let me tell you, easy as pie.  If she wanted a bottle, she got her Nuk sippy with milk.  I could tell she treasured those nap time bottles a little more because she was more cuddly and drank them dry.  So we are down to three 4oz bottles during the day.  (2 nap bottles and 1 at bedtime.)  That is, until I dropped her at daycare this morning with explicit instructions, loads of snacks, extra sippy’s and a good pep talk.  She looked scared…the provider, not Cora.  It could all be going to hell as we speak.

As she hit the 11 month mark today (and with the recommendation from our pediatrician) we will also start, slowly, transitioning her to whole milk.  I want to be completely off formula by the first birthday.

Our next goal is getting rid of the nap bottles and then we will move on to the night wakings and bottles.  I know that is going to be a tougher hurdle.  She still wakes 1-2 times a night and has a bottle both times.

I feel like month 11 is one huge transition for us but I really don’t want to rush her. If she isn’t ready for something, I don’t want to push it. I am not trying to rush her into growing up or not being a baby because she is still a baby.  A baby I can still cuddle at night and let her lay curled against me, sound asleep after that bottle.  That can’t be wished away because that will be gone soon as well.

What recommendations do you have for kicking night feedings and kicking the bottle?  What worked and didn’t work for you mamma?

 

 

What Did I Do Before Baby?

Before I had Cora, I would constantly hear parents, of little ones, say I don’t even remember what life was like before I had my baby! What did I do with all my free time?

First of all, I want to punch people who say that.  Secondly, you remember.  Thirdly, quit saying that.

I remember exactly what my life was like before I had a baby.

I went to the gym much more often and didn’t have to rely on such a fucked up work out schedule.  I could go to a class without finding a babysitter.  I didn’t have to dreadmill it, at 9pm, in my basement.  I didn’t have to stop mid-plank to stop the baby from dumping her bottle on my head.  I didn’t have to quit mid yoga session due to someone waking from a nap.

I drank more wine, then went to bed.  Whether it was wine night with the girls or wine night with my dog or Wednesday.  There was no thought to hey, I should quit drinking now because I will have to get up in the middle of the night/morning/in an hour/at some point with the baby.  Babies don’t care how much you drank the night before and they don’t know what a hangover is.  They will wake up and maybe like to play with every toy that makes stupid noise.

I stayed up way later.

There was more money.  Formula, diapers, wipes, I have no control over ALL the clothes I buy for her, lotion, jar food…the list is endless.  Kids aren’t cheap and mamma likes to travel.

My Husband and I had more sex.  Now we have to be creative, not tired, put the baby down for a nap or not share a hotel room with her.

I read more books. It isn’t like I couldn’t read now but see aforementioned crazy workout schedule that takes precedence.

I went shopping/got manicures/got pedicures/went golfing.  You know, all the fun “out of the house stuff” that now requires a babysitter, child in tow, planning ahead.

There was one less.  Each time you add another person to your tribe, that is one more to work around, worry about, pay for, haul with you, pray for, plan for and everything else.  It takes up brain space, like woah.

Oh, I knew all this was coming.  I wasn’t one of those who didn’t think that.  I’m not complaining, well maybe a little but again, I knew what I was getting myself into.  But to those who exclaim that their child free, former self somehow is now unimaginable-well that is crap.  You think about her when you are wondering just how you are going to wipe up all the poop and keep it from covering both you and the baby.

What free time adventures do you miss Mamma?   

 

This is 10 months

(I forgot to write about 9 months, but it did happen!)

Here we are in the middle of 10 months having just celebrated a nice Labor day weekend.  I spent the past two years, at this time, being pregnant, so it was an odd feeling to look back on.

We entered the 10th month while on our trip to New York.  The actual day may have been spent going to a couple of wineries and a wedding because we are good parents like that. I’m certain she learned a few things about wine for her 21st birthday.  On this trip we also learned that sharing a hotel rom with her is zero fun.  Because when someone should be asleep and you suddenly hear Mamma? Dada? …. Ruins all the fun.

We are slowly getting better at the eating thing.  She is loving jars of veges 90% of the time.  She actually prefers fruit in the real form and not in a jar.  Some days she prefers none of it and will just have puffs.  I pick my fights is what I’m saying.

We are still at 3-4oz of a bottle of formula at a time, except the middle of the night she takes a 6oz.  While she has been using a sippy cup for months now, with water, we have started giving her the formula in it now.  I’m working on weeding out the day time bottles and then we will work on those nighttime bottles.  I would love to be done with bottles by her birthday but I’m realistic and will just say that I would like to be done with daytime bottles by then.

Speaking of nighttime, she still gets up once a night around 1am.  Okay, sometimes twice.  In the past few weeks she has been in a weird habit of getting up around 10:30pm for a cuddle.  It’s like she knows we are heading to bed and needs to make herself known. Can she just please sleep through the night now?

This past weekend we were at my parents home and hanging out in the living room with everyone.  My brother said Wouldn’t it be funny if she just took off walking? My sister then puts Cora between her and I and off she goes.  Right there, she took her first few steps.  We hollered for my Mom and Husband to come in and watch.  Thankfully Cora obliged and did it again and again.  Then went back to crawling like nothing happened.  So we will be working on that.

Other things to note:

  • We are finally down to just two naps a day.  Morning and afternoon.
  • I think she may have finally hit 18lbs and is still in 9 month clothing.
  • Still only has the two bottom teeth.
  • Finally clapped.
  • Says mamma, dada, ball, hi, bye.  Since she loves to repeat words I’m pretty sure she also said shit the other day.
  • Still is super attached and has stranger danger like crazy.
  • She is really into climbing everything.  She moves her toys around to climb on them to climb up on the window ledges, couch, ottoman, or whatever sounds good.  Lord, we will have a broken something by the time she is 2 at this rate.

I hate to admit this but we are slowly moving into Fall.  Over the weekend we picked the first apples from my mother’s apple tree.  In the evenings the air held that crispness that tells you the seasons are changing.  I’m still holding a death grip to these last warm days of summer.  (Which technically, per the calendar, it is.) What is even more strange is that at this time last year, I was willing the calendar to move out of summer for the first time, in well, ever.  I was willing my due date to get here.  I was willing October.  I was willing the end of pregnancy.  Now, I can say, I am asking it to slow down even more than normal.  Now it is the end of summer and closing in on her first birthday.  A birthday we I have started planning for. (I have no self control on Etsy)

I’m holding tight to this last bit of her first year.  I’ve indulged in it all.  I have no regrets.  But as they say, the time flies.

Ups and Downs of Marriage

Forget parenting.

Forget work decisions and career options.

Forget trying to figure out a household budget.

You know what is hard and sometimes just fucking weird?  Marriage.

You can literally want to love someone so hard and smother them to death all in one day.  Or one hour. Sometimes you just have to take it all minute by minute.

This past weekend, while away at my Mom’s, I didn’t sleep.  The room we were sleeping in, with the tiny bed, was too hot.  The baby was sharing a room with us and not sleeping.  My Husband was once again snoring.  I was coming down with bronchitis.  My Husband was zero fucking help.  Could he not get up off his ass to play with the baby? Could he not realize she needs lunch?  Could he not see that she was ready to start the house on fire or run away with the dog? Why am I the only parenting?  Oh my God, did he just fall asleep again? I hear him snoring somewhere within this house.  Does he not know I am SICK?  I feel like hell!

I snapped at him a few times. Won’t lie.

We drove home.  I think he knew I was pissed.  I try to not have “talks” in front of my sister or anyone else.  So we drove in silence.

We got home and he unloaded the truck, immediately unpacked everyone’s suitcases, mowed the yard, took my truck and thoroughly cleaned it, inside and out.  He became super helpful.  Took over every baby duty.  Entertained her.  Kept her from hanging on me as I coughed up a couple of lungs.

Apparently we didn’t need to communicate what happened over our weekend.  He knew.  I knew.  We didn’t need to hash it out.  He was now trying to fix it.  Because sometimes in marriage, words aren’t needed.  Actions do speak louder than words.

And yet we choose one human, out of all the humans, to cough on, snore next to, raise kids with, yell at, love with, and everything in between.  Some moments are good, some are shit, but I wouldn’t trade him for anything.

Life of a fertile

A few weeks ago my day care provider told me she was pregnant with her second child and quickly followed it up with her social media announcements.  To be fair, she wasn’t joking, she shows very early and it is hard to keep that a secret on her.  Personally, I still would have kept it off social media for a bit but that is a different story.  Either way I am happy for her and her family.

This morning I walked into her home and she tells me she has been bleeding and cramping for the past two days.  She is at 12 weeks now and just had an appointment a week ago where everything looked good.  She mentioned that she called her doctor but isn’t going to go in because, in her words, If I miscarry, oh well, we will just try again. 

I was slightly startled.  I stood there trying to find words.  I went from feeling horrible for her to being slightly horrified.  How could she be so dismissive about it?  I asked her how she honestly felt, thinking she was just hiding her feelings.  It happens and what is meant to be will be.  I can just get pregnant again. 

Everyone is different.  Everyone has a different perspective.  We all have different paths.  She is able to get pregnant easily.  She can accept things differently than me.

I still wanted to puke a bit.

I just walked out in a bit of shock.  Her final words I’ll call ya if something happens.

Like she will call when she decides what she is making for dinner.  Okie dokie.

Apparently the life of a fertile is a little different.