Monday, March 31, 2008

Happy Birthday to You: 2 Months Old

Two months?! How did this happen? My tiny chicken has changed and grown so much in these eight short weeks that it makes my head spin. She's gained a whopping 5lbs and on Friday weighed in at 11lbs, 11oz. Just look at her - she's holding the age card! Holding it. With her hands. Clearly she is a brilliant genius. And clearly she knows it. Just check out the smirk. That smirk says, "That's right Bitches, I'm holding it. With my hands. Booya."

Unfortunately when I explained to her what the age card actually meant she didn't take it so well:

It's okay Baby Girl, Mommy cries at every birthday too. Two months ain't shit... just wait until you hit thirty-TWO YEARS. Sheesh. Now that's something to cry about.

This latest month has been full of new developments, some highlights include smiling, laughing, screaming - a LOT of screaming - voice recognition and eye contact. You can now freely flick your gaze from one thing to another and you are so eager to see that new person who walks into the room that you damn near rip my nipple off if you're feeding at the time. Ouch.

You are a funny one, but tricky to figure out. Happy as can be one second and full on rage-aholic the next. Oh, your temper! And patience? Not one of your strong points. But you are developing a little sense of humour and I'm sure you're going to be dry and sharp like your parents. You can scowl just like your Dad and you can pout just like your Mom. You have even developed a little "fake" cry that makes me laugh every time. Sorry. I know that's not the reaction you're hoping for.

I love you little one. Can't wait to see what new amazing things are on the way in month three.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Shot Through the Heart

Could you willingly inflict pain on something that looks like this?

I know, right? Well what if it was for their own health and for the safety of our greater population?

This past Friday I bundled up my little princess and headed out for the pediatrician's office to get her first set of vaccinations. She smiled and goo goo'd on the way there in the car, blissfully unaware of what was to come. I sat in the back seat of the car with her and fought back tears of terror the entire way.

I know it sounds silly, but with the raging vaccination debate going on in the media and elsewhere these days, I was already on edge. I felt uneducated and unsure about the decision to vaccinate, and although I want to trust my doctor and the Canadian health recommendations, I still had an uneasy and not-quite-convinced feeling in the pit of my stomach that six vaccinations at one time for such a young baby was somehow just not right.

Top that off with the knowledge that even if the vaccines are for the best they were going to HURT her and it was almost too much for a protective new mom to bare.

Bella was smiling and playing kicky-kicky as the doctor prepared her needles. Crown told him that I was feeling very nervous and anxious about the shots and his response was, "Why? You aren't getting the needles."

The thing is though? I might as well have been. Not just getting the needles, but getting them stabbed directly into my heart. To watch my sweet, happy baby's face go from all smiles to shock, confusion and finally pain and fear was one of the hardest moments of motherhood yet.

My baby screamed and I cried but we all survived and all-in-all she took it like a champ. In fact she settled quickly enough for Crown and I to enjoy a nice breakfast in the diner downstairs afterwards while she dozed. I'm sure the dose of Tempra I gave her beforehand had a hand in that.

Now that we have the first set under our belts, and we survived without any side effects that I can recognize so far, I hope the next set will be easier. I think I have decided to trust our system and put the health and future safety of my daughter in their hands. They tell me that the benefits greatly outweigh the risks and I am going to believe that they are doing what's best for our babies. It's a big responsibility Canada. Please don't let us down.

Monday, March 17, 2008

A Hard Day's Night

Today I had my six week follow up appointment with my OBGYN. It was a strange feeling to walk out of that office with my clean bill of health with little more than a wave from the doctor who has just seen me through what has, hands down, been the most incredible physical experience of my life. Just like that.

"Bye Mia, take care of yourself. Come back and see us if you decide to have another baby."

It was like coming to the end of a really good book. You're satisfied to have finally finished it, surprised at how fast you got through it, yet sad to see it end. It really has finally dawned on me that my pregnancy is over. My battle scars have heeled, my baby is home, and as the office door closed behind me today I realized that a whole new book sits in front of me, spine barely even cracked. Now I'm really ready to settle in, pick it up and start to read.

As I put the pregnant me away and move onto the mothering me, I thought I'd share a few things that I've already learned about raising a newborn that all the books in the world can not prepare you for.

1. Someone needs to invent a new word for "tired."
"Tired" is for pussies. I used to be "tired" all the time. I said the words, "I'm tired" so many times that my husband would actually call me on it. "You don't have to say it," he'd tell me, "It's a given at this point." The lack of sleep that you endure with a newborn in the house is not adequately described by the word "tired." You are completely, emotionally and physically overwhelmed by it. With a newborn in the house, even when you "sleep," you do not sleep.

2. Someone needs to invent a new word for "sleep."
I have now gone almost SEVEN weeks without really "sleeping." Oh sure, I close my eyes for a few hours at a time each night. That is not sleeping. You know what kind of "sleep" that is? It's a dirty little teasing whore of a sleep. Just when you almost settle into something kind of close to real sleep, that little squeaking, grunting person you just made reminds you that "sleeping" is no longer part of your life. Get over it.

3. Babies are squeaking, grunting little people.
Babies make a lot of noise and it's not all cute cooing and gurgling and crying. I was definitely not prepared for the amount of noise that a newborn makes, particularly the noises they make when they have gas, when they sleep, when they are awake, when they are happy and when they are sad. Yes, that's right. It's basically noise all the time. And it is most definitely not always all that cute. Especially not in the middle of the night when you are "tired" and trying to "sleep."

4. Sometimes you will not like your baby very much.
I do not have postpartum depression. In fact, I'm not even sure that I ever even had the subtler version commonly called, "The Baby Blues," however, there have been moments when I look at my beautiful, perfect, miracle of a baby and think to myself, "I'm not sure that I like you all that much." Usually it happens when I am extremely "tired," trying very hard to get some "sleep," and the beautiful baby is doing nothing more that being her squeaking, grunting little self. Don't call in the shrinks just yet. I love my baby very much, more than I have ever loved anything in my life, but I think we all know that "love" and "like" are not always one and the same thing.

5. Babies are very cute but sometimes they will look like this:

And when they look like this? You still have to love them. Even when they look like this for a really long time for seemingly no reason what-so-ever. This is a little something that around my house we like to call, "The Purple Cry." If you think you can figure it out and come up with a solution to "The Purple Cry", write a book. You'll make millions. The Baby Whisperer my ass.

I guess what I am trying to say here is that even though you hear it and read it over and over again during your pregnancy, "having a baby is hard," you simply can't be prepared for what that really means. Yes, it's amazing. Yes, it's life changing. Yes, it's a love like no other. And yes, yes, yes, sometimes it is really, really hard. In fact, you know what? Someone needs to invent a new word for "hard."

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

That's What Friends Are For

Friends are for getting pregnant at the exact same time as you, even though you weren't even planning it that way.
Friends are for surviving nine long months together, cheering each other up... and cheering each other on.
Friends are for a thousand and one text messages saying everything from, "Chin up Sister, only 6 more months to go. You can't keep on puking forever!" to "Swollen ankles are ass."
Friends are for weekly trips to the local diner, pigging out on club sandwiches and chocolate shakes and never once mentioning what effect it is having on your ever expanding ass.
Friends are on the phone with you while you are in labour, trying their best to convince you that it will all be over quickly, painlessly and reminding you to focus on the outcome.
Friends are for bringing snacks to the hospital once your little miracle arrives and for crying more than you did!

This is for my friend Dings, and her beautiful, little newborn daughter Olivia Jane. I mean it so much when I say that I could not have gone through this journey without you and guess what? It's only just begun.

Congratulations to my best friend and welcome, welcome, welcome to my new little niece. I love you both.

The First Time Ever I... Part 3

Perhaps not the most important of developmental milestones, but very exciting none-the-less. I give you, the first time Anabella wore one of her beautiful, frilly, girlie-girl dresses. This one is a hand-me-down from Auntie Scarb and Luce the Goose. We busted it out in celebration of Auntie Chops' 28th birthday. Granted, Bella was not as excited about the whole thing as I was. But Holy Mother of cuteness... isn't she pretty?