I took a big step in parenting today....I breastfed in public, for real this time! We were at the hospital after seeing our social worker and decided to grab some lunch since we went to visit A and the pizza looked irresistible. As we sat down Bee started to cry, she's been having a rough day due to fighting sleep and I knew the only way we were going to eat in peace was to put a boob in her mouth. I popped open my shirt, threw a blanket over top and let her go at it. It was a success! She ate, we ate and all were happy. I am investing in a good nursing shawl, yes I know it is completely legal for my boob to be out and feeding my baby in public but it makes me uncomfortable so nursing shawl it is, however, most of them just cover the front. I have learned Bee is a grab the blanket and throw kind of baby, exposing my boob. The shawl I am getting is more like a poncho, it covers the back too so even if Bee grabs, my boobs will not be exposed.
I must say I am quite proud I did it and without much hesitation. Stephen was there with me and he said if anyone said anything he'd have a few words for them, so it made me feel better. But now I know I can do it. That's two things this week we've tried and succeeded at (the other was attempting the mall by ourselves) Yah for figuring things out. I always said I'd bf the boys in public but once Bee was here I was just too uncomfortable but I really would like to stay away from formula as much as I can and only use at night if we need to. So we tried, we succeeded and we will do it again!
Other than the pounding migraine I had today (which does not mix well with an infant and bfing since I can't take my meds) it was a good day! My parents are on their way here, dinner out tomorrow (a new venture, dinner at a restaurant, Bee included) then a visit from Bee's great aunt and great grandma on Saturday, Bereaved Families walk on Sunday and sleep all next week to catch up on all the festivities. I may need to go back for another reflexology session!
Loving on my little lady
An outfit for Papa (GG's outfit tomorrow) Though her eyes look dark they are actually bright blue
When I was pregnant with Ty I had an idea of what kind of parent I was going to be. I knew things I would do and things I would not do. I had a lot of work with infants and I felt I knew what I was doing, then he died. Before we had a good amount of time to grieve for Ty we found out we were expecting again, grieving was put on the back burner while we prepared for Jacob. When I was pregnant with Jacob I had an idea of what kind of parent I would be with him, it had changed after Ty died. There were different things I planned on doing and thing I didn't plan on doing, then he died.
At first after the boys died we weren't sure we were going to try again so my idea of parenting live children was put on the back burner. We took time to grieve the boys and start to get back on our feet. 9 months later we gave it ago and Bee was created. I had no idea what kind of parent I was going to be, I had a lot of doubts and everything I had thought before I felt just wasn't right. I was worried I'd be over protective, I was worried I'd be under protective. I had no idea how I would parent but as my pregnancy went by I started to gather ideas of things I would do and things I wouldn't do.
Well, in the 7 weeks that Bee has been home, everything has gone up in the air. No matter how much I prepared before hand, once she was here I adjusted, we adjusted. I'm doing things I swore I never would and there's things I wanted to do but won't do. I mean Bee sleeps in a laundry basket, its the only place she will sleep at night, so for a few nights she is in the basket and in a few more nights we will try the bassinet again. I never thought I'd let my little girl sleep in a laundry basket but we adjusted. I never thought I'd let her sleep in her car seat but when I've been out, come home and have things to put away, if she is sleeping I leave her be so I can get a few things done.
I swore she would not be spoiled, that has been thrown out the window. I find shopping for her is so much fun but even more so because I actually get to shop for her. I get to use things I buy for her so it's hard not to get her things. She has a ton of clothes, shopping for little girl clothes is so different than it was for the boys. They have so many more accessories and things to match with outfits. I've waited 3 years to bring a baby home so she will be dressed to the nines (I never buy anything full priced, I'm a frugal shopper so she has all new clothes for next winter) I even went out and bought her special soft washcloths and yes, I am going to get her her own mp3 player (one of the small cheap ones) I want something I can put all her music on so I can play it without worrying about hearing some of my music, though I guess well she is young it is fine. She doesn't have many toys but I don't think she will, clothes will be her thing! She is spoiled but we aren't going to raise her to think she is. I just want the best for my baby girl, I'm sure she may not notice the difference in regualr wash clothes versus the special soft ones I bought for her, but I do.
I thought we'd never leave her alone for the first year but I have left her with my parents and with Stephen for a bit. I thought I would sit all day with her sleeping on me and though we do that a lot there are moments I put her down, usually for tummy time or to get a few things done. We have adjusted, we continue to learn how to be parents. We are doing things we never thought we would but they work for us and some things we thought we would do, do not work for us. Parenting changes all the time and though I had ideas of how I thought I would be it is changing. I do know there are things we will do and not do because we've been through the death of Ty and Jacob, but things are changing. We even booked tickets for the Canada Day Blue Jays game, I didn't think we'd travel very far other than to my parents but we will be.
So many things are going on, we are learning new things everyday, we are making plans for our future, with our little girl. She is incredibly loved and though I know no matter how many clothes she has, that has nothing to do with love, its just moms addiction to make her as cute as can be because I can! Because I have waited so long....my idea and thoughts as a parent will forever change with the time, with Bee, with what is going on with her. I now know I will do things I swore I never would because I didn't want to be one of "those" parents but the truth is, some things work for us, some things work for Bee and we are rolling with it.
Bee trying on one of her new headbands, I swore I'd never be the parent who puts bows and headbands on their babies but I couldn't resist, another change I have made and a big one because girl has quite the collection
For all the mothers to be out there, just a warning for the sake of anything within 10 feet of the change table. While in the midst of a diaper change beware, babies have this amazing ability to squirt poop at a rather fast and distant rate. We had blow out number 2 on the change table last night which in turn ended our short 20 minute feed and back to bed routine and ended up taking over 1 1/2 to clean everything up (Bee,table, wall, everything else it hit, myself) As gross as it is, it still cracks me up! Baby farts are hilarious as well.
And now that I have talked about a very gross subject, onto church related news (the two couldn't be further apart) We went back to church for the first time today, I should say a church service because we did manage to get out to the pancake supper (evenings are our best time to get out) It felt so incredibly good to be back at church and see everyone. My goal was to make it to either church or vestry meeting (annual budget meeting for our church) well, Bee was so good we made it to both! Last night was not a good night, she seems to be getting up even more at night so we are trying a few new things to see if they help. Anyways, I woke up at 9:45 and by 10:50 we were at church. Now this may not seem like a lot to the normal person, but for those with a wee little one this is truly a miracle! In that time I woke up, showered, got myself ready, ate breakfast, fed Bee (nursed) got her changed and ready, in the car seat and to church. We were only 20 minutes late but we made it and I'm so happy we did. Not only we're we finally able to take us off the prayer list (because our prayer of bringing Bee home healthy and alive came true) but we were acknowledged as a family, including Ty and Jacob. Though most people at our church know what we have been through, it was nice our rector chose to mention a very short version of it while welcoming us back.
I can't explain how good it felt to be there, standing, holding Bee, singing Hyms....I waited so long to be the mom with the new baby, the mom who has to leave because her baby is crying (though Bee didn't but still, it will happen) I waited so long to be the mom who everyone wanted to come talk to and see the baby. So many things about today I had waited and prayed for and it finally happened. At the same time, I grieve I did not get that chance with the boys, I finally had it with Bee and she was warmly welcome by all while still remembering the long journey to get her here. It was hard to hold back the tears, happy tears, but I did. To not hear her on the prayer list anymore, that meant so much, to know we accomplished that long tough journey.
In between church service and vestry I also had the chance to breastfeed in public. Given it was upstairs while everyone else was downstairs but babysteps! Society has made me feel horrible about breastfeeding in public so it is something I need to work on. I know it should not bother me at all but it does. Oddly enough, when I see other moms doing it I just want to tell them good job because they are doing something totally normal that every mom should be able to do but I'm not there yet. Bee and I are still working on the whole breastfeeding thing and we have some more things to learn before we dare try in public with people around! Though I was proud, it was also the first time I fed with no pillow support, which is a must for being in public. I also decided to order a special nursing cover to help make me feel more comfortable. I know we'll get it down one day and I hope I'll be one of those moms people look at and think that their boobs shouldn't be out in public. Women have every right to breastfeed in public and I find it quite amusing sometimes when girls walk around the mall with barely anything on showing more boob and skin then a breastfeeding mother, yet society is okay with that? Not right! Babysteps....
The rest of the day went well, Bee has a new fussy time, between 6-10pm she is just beside herself usually and not much calms her down but snuggles (darn right?) We are also trying to get her into a better bedtime routine and morning routine to hopefully help her start to distinguish night and day so I can get some sleep. Her sleeping through the night seems to have stopped. Most nights we go to bed at 10 or 11 and up up about 4-5 times until we finally get up around 9 or 10am, little sleep for me since I have a heck of a time falling back asleep. Most of the time I have no problem getting up, I find the first wake after we go to bed the hardest, followed by 3am. The other times I feel pretty energized and ready to go. I know we'll figure it out eventually like everything else and it will take time, plus I kind of like my midnight snuggles.
Not much else is going on here. I bought her Easter outfit and St. Pat's outfit along with her Christening gown the other day because for the first year I am going all out with every holiday! No more letting it pass by.
There will also be some nicer new photos of Bee in the near future, another thing I regret not having that I will not let pass by, good photos! We had a very nice tax return this year due to me not working very much last year so we decided to invest in a decent camera, I am excited! I may even get into some more photography, pick up a new hobby since I doubt I will go back to any of my old ones.
And to end the night on a good note, here's the little cutie getting bigger everyday (I'm guessing she has hit or is close to hitting 8 lbs, we'll find out on the 5th)
Bee HATES that chair, in fact she hates anything besides a warm body.
I have successfully found a way to keep Bee happy and still write my blog....baby wearing! I LOVE baby wearing and Bee loves her BabyHawk wrap so it works out well for both of us.
What have we been up to lately? Not much. As all of you know, Thursday was Valentines Day. You know how we celebrated? We did nothing, no cards, no candy, no dinner, no dressing Bee up, nothing and I have a tremendous amount of guilt for that. To be honest, I'm beyond exhausted and as much as I wouldn't have it any other way, it takes time to adjust to it. I was use to getting 10 hours of sleep a night and now I get about 6 so its a change for me. I don't know if my tiredness is the normal amount of a new parent or something else so blood work is getting done. I had intentions to go out and get Bee a Valentines Day outfit but I just couldn't find the time. We've had some rough nights which lead to some very lazy days and she doesn't want anyone but me some days so I can't even leave her home with Daddy (some days she lets me get out and enjoys her Daddy time but not lately). So I never got out, I never bought an outfit, not a card for either her or Stephen and I feel horrible about it. I will never get that day back for her, it was her first and I let it slip by.
I didn't mind much until I saw all my friends posting their babies first Valentines' Day pictures and then it hit me that I should have done something. I know it's just a day and I know it doesn't mean much because love in this house happens everyday and we don't need a special day to show it but that does not decrease my guilt. From now on, no matter the holiday, she will have pictures and outfits and cards. I don't ever want to feel like this again so I have made a deal that I will get out, even if I have no energy, I will get out, even if I have to bring her.
I think another large part of my guilt has to do with the boys. Before Valentines Day was here I was thinking about all the things we have planned this year to do with Bee, all the holidays, baseball games, hiking, apple picking, etc....we had all those hopes and dreams with the boys but we never got to enjoy them and it hit me that every time we do something new with Bee, every time she does something new, I am going to feel grief. I'm going to feel a bit sad at the same time I am excited for her, for us but sad that we never had these chances with the boys. We never celebrated Valentine's Day with the boys so I think not celebrating it with her hit me extra hard because we had the chance and we didn't do anything. We have so many chances now and I feel horrendously guilty so from now on I will do something for every holiday, I will cherish those special times we looked forward to with the boys but we never got. We have the chance with Bee and I'll be damned if I let them pass by like she isn't here.
Bee is doing well otherwise. She is now at 7.1lbs and 21inches long. She had a huge growth spurt in a matter of two weeks so her newborn clothes are starting to get tight, which is fine because I have a lot more outfits in bigger sizes. Still waking about every two hours during the night to feed but no longer waking her, letting her wake me instead in hopes of her sleeping a bit longer but no dice yet. Sorry for the quick update but motherhood calls and I don't want to miss a minute, even if it is loud!
I promise we are all still alive here, this having a tiny human to take care of is exhausting and requires all of my time! But of course, I would not trade it for anything and I love every minute of it. I'll update sometime soon if Bee learns to nap during the day. I have the need to blog about the lack of Valentines day and my grief. But in the mean time....enjoy!
Stephens favourite pic
Beautiful little lady
Bee with her guardian angels
My snugly little bunny
Tired but fighting sleep
Well hello there
Love this little girl so much, she has truly brightened our lives!
Our pediatrician said something to me the other day that has been on my mind since he said it. A bit of background on the story, we have a Snuza Hero monitor for Bee. It is a small clip that goes on her diaper and monitors her breathing, a handy aide in letting us know that she is indeed breathing. It's my neurotic calmer because it really does give me peace of mind to know she is breathing. Even before Ty died we had the angel care monitor for the crib and the one Bee has is a step up. I was always concerned about sids, it's something as a new parent you do worry about, little did I know I had a lot more to worry about before we even got to the risk of sids. Anyways, she wears the monitor 24/7 and it has gone off a few times but it's gone off while people have been holding her so I know she's fine and has not caused me any additional stress. If anything, it has helped me sleep, it has helped me nap, it has helped me drive places with her without fear because I know if she ever stops breathing I will be notified in a timely manner.
Now that I am totally off track, so we went to our first appointment and I had to undress Bee (which she HATES, girl does NOT like to be naked, good thing for us, let's hope it stays that way) and as I did our Ped saw the monitor and asked what it was so I told him and then he told me he didn't want us using a monitor at all. I was already an emotional mess that day so I just let it slide and was like fine whatever.
Fast forward to her 3rd visit and he asked if I had stopped using it and I honestly told him no, I told him it was non-negotiable she would be wearing it because it gave me peace of mind. He followed my response with, but you do understand why I don't want you to use it, I want to normalize her as much as possible.
That sentence has stuck with me since he said it. It has got me thinking what is normal? I mean to begin, everyones view of normal is different, it varies person to person but when you have faced the death of a child your normal is not what society's main view of "normal" is. Bee will never be "normal", her life will never be normal. She comes after burying our first two children, she has brothers already in Heaven, she will not have a normal life. Going to the cemetery every Sunday after church as a family to visit the boys, actively being involved with bereaved families, talking about the boys, having the boys pictures around, that is not a normal life but it is our life. It is the reality of infant loss. I do understand he wants to normalize her as much as he can due to my neurotic state of mind but the reality is, Bee will never live a normal life, you just don't live a normal life when you have two brothers who were born and died before you. The life she lives, the things we do will be normal to her, but for an outsider they don't seem normal. But to an outsider, they truly do not understand.
I feel a bit guilty that she will grow up living a much different life then those of her fellow future classmates and friends. The boys will always be apart of our life but is that fair to Bee? I mean we have the boys shadow boxes in our living room and always will, is it fair to Bee that when her friends come over they are subjected to death? How will those friends parents feel? Will it make her an outcast? Will she grow to regret us because she has a different life? Will she lose friends over it? Will we not be able to have birthday parties at our house because people feel uncomfortable? How will we balance giving Bee somewhat of a "normal" life but honoring and respecting the boys at the same time? I don't ever want to hide the boys but is it fair to Bee that she may grow up with somewhat of a label around her because of us? Will she be known as the girl who has two dead brothers?
The way we live our life now is normal to us, it's our new normal. We've had to adjust over and over again to a new normal over the last 3 years and we still are adjusting. But the things we do are normal for us, they are normal for grieving parents, I just don't know how that will affect Bee's life, I can only pray it has a positive impact on her.
I do understand he wants her to grow up like most children but what I think he doesn't understand is that our normal is not his definition of normal and it never will be. She will never fit into society's definition of normal because our lives are so vastly different from the mainstream "normal" standards. I do have guilt about it but I can't change reality. This is our normal, Bee wearing a monitor to help my nerves is our normal. Going to visit the boys is our normal. Having the boys pictures up and blowing them kisses at night is our normal. Sure, it may not be fair to Bee to raise her with death surrounding her but we would never hide the boys, we don't want her to fear death. We want her to know about her brothers as a way for them to live on. It's also our way of continuing to live on in memory of our boys. That is Bee's life and sure she may regret it but we will raise her as best we can surrounded by so much love that hopefully she feels it is just a part of her life as is anything.
So here's to our normal, many may not understand it but it is our way of life.
And because she is so cute...here is another picture of Bee