My lovely nights of sleeping have returned. It might have been a growth spurt or it may have just been a fluke, but Kieran is sleeping through the night again. I'm not going to assume that it will stay this way but as long as it is here, I'm appreciating it to the fullest!
One of my main concerns about having a baby in the winter was being stuck in the house for months. I had visions of a crying baby waiting for me to shovel the driveway so that I can put him in the car to go places. I thought that the only time I could walk around with him would be inside of a mall. Luckily for me (and possibly unlucky for the Earth), we have had a very mild winter. It has even been so warm some days that I've been able to get out for walks with Kieran.
My first walk with him was in mid-December when he was just 2 weeks old. It was so warm out that I didn't even need a toque! I started the walks by going just around the block. But as I got more confident in my abilities to calm a baby I ventured farther and farther away, taking nice long walks. I can't wait until the really nice weather in spring hits so that I can strap on the Baby Bjorn and hit some hiking trails with the little man.
You will never appreciate sleep until it is taken away from you suddenly and violently. Okay, I don't know how it was violently taken away but it was definitely here one day and gone the next. Just when I was completely fine with the lack of sleep and I had forgotten what it was like to get more than a couple hours at a time, the boy starts sleeping 6-7 hours at a time. He was sleeping through the night! AMAZING! SO AMAZING! It was glorious. The return of my sleep at night and the day time was not needed for naps. I could actually do things while they boy napped during the day. My life was returning to something entirely normal. And just like that, it ended.
This week he started waking every 2 hours. I'm hoping it's a growth spurt. It was cruel to give me a taste of that lovely sleep for so long to just take it away. But, once I get used to this new sleep routine again, I'll stop being annoyed with this guy.
I still love the little jerk.
I'm a mother. It's been 7 weeks and that word still looks like it shouldn't be used to describe me. Mother. It's not a word that I ever really thought would apply to me. It's not a job that I ever thought I would be able to manage. But, seven weeks in I'm managing just fine. In fact, this is a job that I've had the least training and experience with but out of all jobs I've had, I'm enjoying the most. And I think I'm actually excelling at it. Instinct and intuition are weird.
I'm not saying it's easy. In fact, in those first two sleep deprived, hormone filled postpartum weeks I wanted to go back to work and give this job to someone else almost every hour. Parenting has a really steep learning curve. You have to learn on the job at something you've never done before and you hold a tiny little life in the balance. There are no do-overs. No Ctrl-Z. I don't want to be too over dramatic here though. I'm sure I'm not doing everything right. I'm just making sure the essentials are taken care of for him. Feed him. Burp him. Bathe him. Change him. Put him to sleep.
At first the little guy didn't do too much. He just slept and ate, slept and ate. But now, he is much more interactive. He recognizes me, studies my face, smiles and coos and stares at himself in his play gym mirror. He makes me laugh constantly. He only cries when he needs something, be it food, a change or a cuddle. But enough bragging...
I love seeing other people enjoy him. I have such a sense of pride that I can honestly say I have never felt about anything else in my entire life. I imagine that it will only get better from here.
On Saturday, December 3rd at 5am I started feeling what I thought might possibly be the beginning of labour. By that afternoon, I was sure it was labour. And by that night...oh mama, the labour. That afternoon we put up our Christmas tree and went to the store to find replacement lights. That night, we had a nap and watched a movie. At around midnight we decided to go to bed but there was no way I could sleep. I would start to drift off but then the pain would wake me up every few minutes. After trying to convince me to head to the hospital many times, at about 2am I agreed. I didn't want to head there too early since if you are less than 4cm dilated, they will just send you home.
The car ride there was exciting, scary and felt like it lasted forever. When we got to the hospital, we went up to labour and delivery. Sean said to the nurse at the desk "We think she's in labour", to which I replied, "No, we know I'm in labour, we just don't know if I should be here yet". They put us in a waiting room and after a few more contractions, they took me to a room to check me. There was a television on in the room that was airing "1000 Ways to Die" and Sean and I exchanged looks. As if this day wasn't surreal enough. I'm in a hospital, having a nurse tell me I will probably have a baby that day and it's all to the soundtrack of "1000 Ways to Die".
They admitted me to a nice, large delivery room that had a shower in the attached washroom. It was the room I wanted when we did the hospital tour. Things were looking up. It was now after 3am on December 4th and we were both dead tired. It was a perfect chance to get some sleep. The only problem was, with my contractions getting closer and stronger, there was no sleeping. Sean tried to catch a bit of sleep, however, so that he wasn't falling asleep when I needed him most.
I don't really remember many details about that day as it progressed. The nurses were awesome. I sat on an exercise ball for a while, I walked around for a while and then after they had to break my water, I was bed ridden for the rest of the labour.
They couldn't get the information they wanted on the monitors using belts across my stomach so they had to palpate my belly during each contraction. I must say, this was the most annoying part about my labour. I really just wanted to not be touched and to have people squeezing my belly during the worst pain I've ever felt drove me insane.
During the delivery, there were about 4 or 5 nurses in the room along with a midwife in training, who wanted to observe. It was a full house. The one nurse I will never forget sat on the end of my bed screaming words of encouragement the whole time. I will remember her voice forever, yelling "Come on girl, push your baby out, come on!". If I wasn't in intense pain, I would have found it funny.
At 4:44pm on December 4th, 2012, we welcomed to the world Kieran Oliver. They put him on my chest, skin against skin, and my first thought was that he was the softest thing I'd ever felt. His skin was so soft and smooth, it was like touching something liquid. He was so new, so tiny, and all mine.
We sold our house and bought a new one finally but the closing dates would be 6 weeks apart from each other. We would be in limbo. Sean was still working long hours and since my sister lives in Toronto, he was offered a bed there. Since I was still working in Niagara Falls, the plan was for me to stay with my parents in St. Catharines. We would live apart during the week and meet up for the weekends. It wasn't ideal, but it would work temporarily.
Sean moved in with my sister and brother-in-law in Toronto. He was able to walk to the Go Station and it was only one stop away from his work. By the time he got back to their place after work, they would be on their way to bed, if not in bed already and he had the run of the house. He was living the bachelor life that he had never experienced and it was probably good for him since in about 5 months he would be living an entirely different life. I moved in with my parents, into the spare room that was once my bedroom.
Moving back in with my parents after living on my own for over 8 years was not as difficult as I thought. I really enjoyed being able to hang out with my parents and their dog and just take some time in the summer to relax. I didn't have to clean or cook or worry about a mortgage. If Sean were living with me, it would have really been quite perfect. But, he wasn't living in the same city, let alone the same house. He was living in Toronto and no longer working long hours. What the hell? The last few months of living together he was only home to sleep and then had to head off to work again, but once he's 15 minutes from work overtime is cut back? Just my luck.
Our New Life
We moved into our new house with the immense help of our friends. It would have been a nightmare had it not been for them. But, luckily, tons of people came out to lend their hands. The former owners left us with a pile of garbage, a ton of "furniture" that they didn't want and other miscellaneous things. It was annoying. They also left us with a dishwasher that didn't work. And still doesn't. They are supposed to fix it but I have really lost all faith in that possibility.
tion , they would be on their way to bed, if not in bed already and he had the run of the
The unpacking, painting and organizing has taken some time. We are almost done with settling into this house and soon we will be sharing it with a new member of our family.
I started writing this post a long time ago and am just now getting back to finishing it so I can publish it.
My due date is officially here and it seems as though I have no signs of going into labour any time soon. I'm hoping this all happens on its own but if I don't have this baby by next week, my doctor will be talking about induction.
I have enjoyed being pregnant immensely. The first 4 months were rough, but I can hardly remember it now. I was throwing up constantly. If I wasn't throwing up, I was sleeping. It worked out well that Sean was commuting and working long hours by this time. He didn't have to see me in such a gross state and I didn't have to feel like I was missing anything if I came home from work, puked and then slept for 4 hours. Aside from the rocky start, the rest of this pregnancy has been easy. I haven't had cravings or aversions, I haven't been "eating for 2", I have lots of energy, I am keeping busy and other than the distended belly, you wouldn't know I was even pregnant.
I feel as though I'm as ready as I will ever be to have a baby. That isn't to say I'm completely prepared but just that I doubt anyone feels so confident with their first child that they would say they are 100% ready. I have the nursery stocked, I've read all the books I could read and I have a clean house. Let's do this thing.