The difference a year makes

A year ago, I thought I had all the time in the world. My bag wasn’t packed. I was focusing on Sophie starting school. I was focusing on getting a not-for-profit for PPD/PPMD awareness off the ground. I was focused on loving my new niece and my broken sister-in-law. I had all the time in the world.

And then you happened.

First photo

First photo

I was sleeping in bed. Dreaming of steak, probably, because that’s all I craved with you. STEAK. And PORK. And anything barbecued. I wanted MEAT. Lots and lots of FIRE-KISSED MEAT. In my BELLY. NOW. (By the way, your dad couldn’t have been happier – I craved chocolate milkshakes and chocolate milk and fudgsicles with Sophie, and strawberry milkshakes with Lillian – but MEAT? Barbecued at all hours of the day and night? SOLD.)

First REAL clothes

First REAL clothes

And then, I started peeing the bed. Or at least, that’s what I thought was happening. Lots and lots of pee.

Father and son

Father and son

I got up, trying not to keep peeing, thinking that there was no way at 3:45 a.m. that I could have this much pee in me. I hadn’t been drinking all night long…I had gone pee before bed…and at 7468543 months pregnant, I had a bladder the size of a peanut. There was NO WAY I could be peeing this much.

First official photo as a couple

First official photo as a couple

When I sat on the toilet (TMI? Too bad.) a huge gush of water came out of me. My water water. It broke. I actually had a normal labour phenomena (I suck at birthing babies. Cooking babies, I’m a pro. Birthing, getting them out, not so much.)! Now to wake up my deaf (Ben takes his hearing aid out at night) husband while not spilling my innards (TMI again? Too bad again.) all over our carpet. I shoved towels in between my legs and waddled over to our bed. I poked the sleeping bear husband and got him to put in his hearing aid. He looked at me grumpily. I said, “My water broke.” He jumped out of bed. Correct response.

Official photoshoot courtesy of Close Your Eyes Photography

Official photoshoot courtesy of Close Your Eyes Photography

We called my incredible, favourite, most awesome midwife Cathy. And by we, I mean Ben, because people, I had to PACK A BAG TO TAKE TO THE HOSPITAL. With towels between my legs. Priorities. And then we had to call the mothers (someone has to take care of the current babies while we birth the next baby!).

First bath (aka his favourite!)

First bath (aka his favourite!)

Nana (Ben’s mom) came over and Cathy met us at the hospital. We had done something similar at 31 weeks. I had had contractions all day that wouldn’t go away no matter how many left-sided lie downs I had. They were able to give me the lung-boosting shots and the contractions eventually stopped on their own with two days of bed rest. But this, at 36 weeks, was leaking AND contractions. CRAP.

I love me some snuggly baby.

I love me some snuggly baby.

When we got to the hospital, Cathy told a nurse that my water had broke. The nurse asked if I was sure – sure that it broke and it wasn’t just pee, which apparently is a regular occurrence. Cathy said, “She’s got three towels in her pants (I DID, and I sat on a bunch in the van), so I think she’s serious.” The nurse was suitably impressed. I was suitably leaking.

Baptism day! Heathen no more.

Baptism day! Heathen no more.

I got hooked up to an IV, a fetal heart monitor, and a clicker for contraction tracking. Ben and I both got bracelets. This was the real deal. We had a C-section booked for 8 a.m. on Friday September 13. It was Tuesday August 27. BAH.

He's a suit man. SO CUTE.

He’s a suit man. SO CUTE.

The on-call OB came in, because although it looked like our baby wanted to come out the all-natural way, he was breech, breech, breech and with my super awesome (read: CRAP) history of getting babies out of my belly, a C-section was by far the best answer. I was in the operating room, getting my spinal and chatting with a new round of nurses, holding my breath and praying that everything would be okay, that Ben would be there in time (he had zero reason not to…I’m just a professional worrier), that our babies would be okay, that if anything happened to me everyone would be okay, that my baby would be okay.

First food. Success?

First food. Success?

At 7:11 a.m. on August 27th you were born. Isaac Earl Kenneth Mills. Our son. A boy.

You can see why I was freaked out by the boy thing, right?

You can see why I was freaked out by the boy thing, right?

You weighed 6 pounds, 7.5 ounces. You were in an incubator on monitors because of your early arrival (just days shy of being considered term) and because you were in withdrawal from the antidepressants I had been taking since my bout with PPMD from Lillian (you were jittery, but okay). You were perfect. And I got a nice little break from life since you weren’t in my room and your crazy sisters with hanging out with Aunt Toni and Grammie. It was kind of heaven.

Such a stud

Such a stud

After a few short days, we both got to go home, to reality and crazy and ramping up to Sophie starting school. The first day didn’t go as I had planned (go figure). Instead of walking to Sophie to school as a family, with a giant pregnant belly, we drove to school because I couldn’t walk that far with a new C-section incision or just after giving birth. I stood, against my midwife’s instructions, for 45 minutes, watching your sister get used to her new classroom and all the parents and children marveling at how small and new you were. Exactly one week old.

The beginning of the end

The beginning of the end

Things have changed a lot since then. I broke again and Aunt Toni and therapists (or super heroes, as Sophie calls them) Colleen and Victoria put me back together. I was in love with you from the start, which was different than the earned love I had with your sisters. I learned a lot about penis care, which is VERY different from vagina care (HOLY SCHAMOLY, who knew morning wood began this early in life?!). And I learned to love a son, which really is no different than loving a daughter at this point, but I’m told it will change, will become something unique to the love I have for your sisters.

Our almost-one-year old boy, eating dirt and taking names

Our almost-one-year old boy, eating dirt and taking names

You will be one on Wednesday. It’s been a year since we met you, a year since your punkish ways disrupted any semblance of plan we had for the transition from summer to fall, from no school to school. A whole year. And we are so blessed that you are ours and that you’re here.

Happy, happy birthday, mister. We love you.

~ Love, Mama (a.k.a. Julia)

Advertisements

Overtime: A survival guide

These past couple of weeks have been nutso at work with the launch of our upgraded system! I was so very lucky to be a part of the team in the launch, but with this came overtime… hours spent with the team rather than cuddled up with my pups and Cody. It was so nutso that I have hardly made dinner and the laundry and the dishes are mounting…  However I made it through the wilderness, oh ya I made it throughhhhhhhhhhhOHHHH… And how, do you ask, did I make it through?

1. CAFFEINE

Coffee

I used to avoid caffeine because after all it stunts growth, and with how deficient I am in that department, I couldn’t chance shrinking! But then I became a grownup, one that gets up in the morning, packs a “proper lunch” and skips off to work with my second cup of joe in my hand. That’s right. I said second. This is a marathon, not a sprint people! When you have 12 maybe dare I say 14 hours ahead of you staring a computer screen, wanting to rip your hair, her hair and everyone’s hair out because you are so confused and tired, caffeine is your BEST FRIEND! It’s a warm cup of WAKE UP, and also is a good distraction to that very loud grumble coming from your stomach…which leads me to my next point!

2. Food for fuel

Hangry

Our team and our whole office consists of mostly women, and when women get hungry…we get hangry, which by definition is the emotion of anger coming from the lack-o-food in one’s belly. When you are hungry and working until the wee hours of the morning, there is no diet, or logical reasoning behind your cravings – just give in! You want bananas, string cheese, and Skittles, you get the damn things! Because if you miss something that one of your co-workers requested, you best believe that you are going to hear about it for the rest of the night.

3. Laughter

Laughter

No matter what it is that is tickling your fancy, laugh! If it makes you laugh till you cry, and it’s not even that funny, laugh. Laugh at a mispronounced name, or the way that your boss is slurping up her grapefruit while trying to be serious about the project you are working on. You are going to go CRAZY if you take everything seriously! Laugh – trust me…it makes it all better.

4. Caffeine

Caffeine

Yes, I am repeating myself, but it needs to be repeated. This is the mid-afternoon, 3-p.m.-we-gotta-make-it-till-1-a.m. coffee. Whether it’s iced coffee, black coffee, triple-triple, medium roast, non-fat, all the fat whole milk with whip, WHAT EVER IT IS… just keep the caffeine coming…I mean it. Caffeine makes the world a better place…I may need to get help…

5. Mirror avoidance

Mirror

When you go to the bathroom mid-afternoon (this is inevitable after 1 and 4; it’s just science), keep your head down. The mirror will only remind you of how many hours of sleep you missed out on last night…and the night before that, and the night before that, and what day of the week is it? Seriously – when you look in the mirror it’s not going to be pretty, all the mirror is going to do is show you the mustard stain that is on your shirt…even though you didn’t have anything with mustard today…and you may be wearing the same outfit as yesterday. But hey! You brushed your teeth this morning… so, go get yourself a cookie! And more coffee…

6. Goal setting

Goals

Whether it is those super cute shoes you saw in the window, a boob job, or your wedding… make you the reason that the overtime is worth it. And constantly remind yourself why you look the way and feel the way you do. That there is a point to this madness!  Just like when you are sweating your balls off while working out, you are doing it for something!

7. Clock avoidance

Time

Just like mirrors, clocks are also something to avoid! It will remind you that you are normally in bed at this hour, or your kiddies are just finishing up bedtime routine, or that you forgot to feed your cat, thus increasing the likelihood of them wanting to eat you when you go home at night and fall asleep before forgetting to feed them, while you are standing up pretending to brush your teeth. Trust me…just as long as there is a rough estimate, and you can look up from the basement windows of your office, and realize that you have no life right now…then refer to numbers 1-6 and keep pushing through!

8. Support

Teamwork

Whether it looks like a fellow co-worker, who HATES human contact, giving you a hug because you look like you are going to cry, which in turn makes you cry, make sure you have support. I could not have gotten through the insanity of this project without the INSANE women who I was working with. I saw their mugs a hell of a lot more than I did my own (see #5). But they made me go to bed when I was having a mental break down from lack-o-sleep. We listened to each other snap, crackle and pop throughout the entire project. There was also support from home, where Cody would send me sweet and encouraging messages to remind me of how far we came… and that quitting now would be pointless.

We did it ladies…we got through that hell…and we will get through the next bout of insane work hours as well. If I can do it…you can do it…but I am not responsible for the caffeine jitters that are to ensue.

~ Jacqui