Hello April!

I’m not really the type that has a deep hatred for winter, snow or cold, but even I am getting to the point where I’m so ready for the nicer Spring / Summer weather to get here…. Austin and I are  suffering from a bit of cabin fever and it will be so nice to get outside a little bit more as the weather gets nicer.

As per usual, it’s been a busy several weeks for all of us over here, and as per usual, Austin is a completely different baby from the last time that I updated!

Sleep

Oh boy.

It serves us right really; we were feeling pretty cocky that we had a good little sleeper on our hands with no sleep training or really any effort at all on our part….but alllll that has gone straight out the window in the past month. The free fall really started with teething about 2 – 3 weeks ago. We noticed that Austin’s cheeks were getting super rosy red (I said that he looked like he was constantly drinking brandy…ha), and when we felt along his bottom gums, there were two little teeth very noticeable under the surface! We were super excited about that at first…until we realized what it meant.

Dear sweet baby Jesus, it was like our happy little dude had been possessed.

It really was heart breaking to watch Austin suffer with the pain in his mouth; I can’t imagine what it would be like to be in pain like that and not understand why or really be able to do anything to help yourself except cry. Once teething really kicked in, we had a couple vicious weeks of sleep (or lack thereof) where Austin was awake literally every hour on the hour, all night long. We tried everything: Tylenol, feeding, rocking, walking, music….you name it…. and nothing really helped. Every time we would finally get him back to sleep, he would be up screaming  again an hour or so later every time.

We had a small reprieve of a few days once the teeth had broken through…but now for some reason, Austin is still stuck in a really bad sleep pattern where he doesn’t sleep through the night anymore, is awake usually at least 2, if not more, times a night and sometimes will only go back to sleep with a full feed in the middle of the night. Naps have been a joke too, and if he doesn’t skip / refuse his naps altogether, they only last 30 minutes at the very most.

BIG siiiiiiiggghhhhhhhh.

I won’t lie, it’s been really tough operating on such sleep deprivation. We haven’t had to  function with this lack of sleep since Austin was a newborn, and man it’s tough. In general I’ve been really tense and short-tempered with everyone the past several weeks, and I have to assume that it’s largely in part due to the lack of sleep. Part of me wants to explore some options for sleep training, but I don’t know that I have it in me to let him cry, even for a few minutes… give me a few more weeks of this, and maybe my attitude will change, but for now, I guess we are just going to keep on trudging through day by day and praying for sleep! We are also right in the middle of Leap 5 right now, so maybe once this is over, our sunny little guy will come back around and we can all get some much needed shut-eye!

Milestones

Eeeeek, it’s been such a big couple of weeks for Austin developmentally!

The biggest differences that we’ve seen in him the past few weeks are firstly that he regularly rolls from his back to his front now (he’s been able to do this for a while, but only did it a handful of times). Now, when you put him on his back (especially in his crib), he rolls over to his tummy almost immediately! He’s also learned how to string rolls together, so he can actually kind of travel across the floor by rolling haha I still get such a kick out of when I turn my back to him for 20 seconds and look back at him and he’s in a different spot then where I put him. He always has this cheeky little grin when this happens and looks at me like “Look what I did!”. So funny.

We’ve been working hard at sitting up unassisted, but still have a ways to go. He is definitely getting much stronger, and sometimes we can get a couple of seconds of sitting unassisted, but then he topples over every time haha….I’m trying not to stress out too much about this, considering he’s not even 6 months yet, and I know all babies are different. We’ll just keep working at it!

Feeding / Solids

I guess it’s time to reinstate the “feeding” section of these posts, because here we go into the terrifying world of introducing solid foods…..

*cue horror movie music*

I am SO not looking forward to solid foods….funny how that worked out, isn’t it?! I can remember in this god awful early days of attempting to breast feed / pump & feed lamenting how I wished that we could just feed him baby food because it would be so much easier….and now I would be quite content to bottle feed him breastmilk for the next 5 years!!

Well…actually…if I’m being completely honest with you, pumping three times a day is getting really old, and I would love dearly to stop pumping soon…but I know how good breastmilk is for babies, and I really don’t have a valid reason for stopping except that it is a minor inconvenience for me, so I’ll keep rolling on as long as I can. I set the bar at a year though….I’m putting my foot down! Lol

SO when it comes to solids….we are planning to start with an iron fortified infant oat cereal sometime after he turns 6 months (which is in 5 days….OMG). I think we are going to use some of our frozen breastmilk to mix in with the cereal and will start with it really runny at first, and gradually add more and more cereal to it until he gets the hang of it. From there, I think we start with green vegetables, then orange vegetables and then fruit purees.

I’ve put my foot down and said that I am not going to be making my own baby food (unless it happens to be SUPER easy and we happen to be making single vegetables for our own dinner…but we don’t really eat vegetables like that in our house, so I doubt very much that we will end up doing this). My mom was talking about wanting to make some baby food for us, and I’m happy to accept that, but honestly, with all of the work that has gone into exclusively pumping for the past 6 months (and for another 6 months to come), I’m reeeeeeaaallllyyyyy really not ready to accept another entire set of equipment to use and clean and sterilize 4+ times a day. I’ve poured my blood, sweat and tears into making sure that Austin is exclusively breastfed, and at this point, as long as I’m confident in the quality of the baby food and the ingredients are top notch ….then I am fine to trust the experts at Gerber to help us through this transition and make my life one iota simpler.

Activities 

Austin and I have been a little busier during the days getting out to a few more drop-ins and classes!

We signed up for an art class called “Baby Picasso” which has been pretty fun so far, although I think Austin may be a little young for some of the things that we do in the class. I think it will be much easier for him to participate in everything fully once he can sit up on his own. This week we were doing body painting, which Austin totally HATED haha, I’m thinking that he may be a little like his mama and not like getting dirty (much to his daddy’s dismay ;)).

We’ve also done two swimming lessons now, and that’s been a bit challenging for sure. Austin is still a bit unsure in the water, and it’s really important to me that he feels comfortable and learns to love being in the water. Our 15 year old instructor got a little sassy with me last week (oh no she DIDN’T *snap*)and insisted that I should dunk his head under the water because “it was really important”, but I just didn’t feel comfortable doing that to him when he’s already so unsure and clearly uncomfortable. We had a minor stand-off and I basically had to pull rank and tell her that we wouldn’t be doing it at this point, period. I have a feeling we are going to have the same conversation this week LOL….oh dear.  Guess I won’t be making any friends at swimming lessons… 😛

My Recovery

Things have continued to improve by leaps and bounds, and slowly, very slowly, I’m starting to feel more like my pre-baby self every day.

I’ve seen my physiotherapist a couple more times since last update, and she’s reassured me that everything looks and feels really good, and that my pelvic floor system is functioning as it should. This has given me the confidence to take the leap back into teaching BodyPump in the past week and a half!! Ahh!! I still have a few little twinges here and there when doing the class, but my physio has assured me that this is normal and to be expected with getting back into more movement, and that it should gradually fade away the more that I do it.

I’m feeling really overwhelmed with gratitude for where I am now vs. where I was 6 months ago. In fact, I’ve decided that I am going to do an entirely separate post about this whole ordeal, and what the journey has been like from start to finish, because I would really like some poor new mom who has just found out that she has suffered from 4th degree tearing to stumble across my story on the Internet, and take some solace in the fact that although it will take time, recovery is possible. I remember those early days  (and even many days not so early on) sobbing and sobbing and sobbing, thinking that recovery just wasn’t possible for me, and that my body had been changed and damaged forever. While I won’t lie, some aspects of my body really have been changed / damaged forever, I’m getting back to a point where I can see myself functioning normally every day again, and living the active life that I want to live. And that has to be good enough for me.

It’s become very frustrating for me that these types of serious injuries during childbirth aren’t talked about, or acknowledged just because it’s a messy, embarrassing topic. Enough women suffering in silence. I’d really like to open the conversation on this. Stay tuned.

Onwards & Upwards

One last update from our family before I sign off for this week….Matt and I have some exciting news!!

(Dear god, we aren’t pregnant again lol no way, not yet)

About 2 months ago, we floated the idea that if we did want to have our kids relatively close together, and we wanted to be moved into our “forever” house before our next child was born…then in theory, we really didn’t have all THAT much time to shop around for a new house and find the perfect one for us to raise our family in. We started working with our family friend real estate agent just keeping an eye on the listings in our desired neighbourhoods (not far from where we currently are).

Matt and I thought that we wanted a big, grand house located right in the heart of town, close to the highway for easy access, but as we saw more and more of those type of houses, it became clear to us that something was just not clicking. I just couldn’t picture raising my babies on these narrow, crowded streets with houses so close you can touch the neighbours house from yours. I found myself craving a little bit more quiet, a little more of an escape, somewhere that I could send our kids out the door to ride their bikes and not worry about them being hit by a car cruising down a through street. I found myself craving green space, and trees, and character.

Who ammmmmmmmmmmmm I???????? Seriously!! Anyone who knows me knows that this is so NOT me!!!

Anyways, our real estate agent recommended one particular street that he said was his very favourite street in the whole city. The neighbourhood wasn’t exactly where we wanted to be, but feeling a bit frustrated with the houses that we had seen where we DID want to be, we agreed to take a look.

I’m sure you can guess how this story ends.

The street was to die for, just like our agent told us it was. It’s a circle actually, a closed circle with no through-traffic and the most gorgeous, mature trees that nearly meet over top of the road. Every house on the street looks different, so lots of character, and the very best part of all, the circle surrounds a huge, green park with a huge play structure and a softball field!!

There was one house for sale on the circle, and it just so happened to be our house. It’s a quirky, 5 level back split house that has been completely (and very beautifully) renovated on the first 3 levels, leaving us some creative license to renovate and finish the bottom two levels to meet our needs. We got the house at a price that we were comfortable with  (below asking!) and are launching into a huge renovation project as soon as we take possession in June!

It will be really sad to leave our little townhouse; we’ve been through so much within these 4 walls, but at the same time, both Matt and I are so excited to have the extra space, and we so can’t wait to spend time with our kids in the park, or out on their deck in the backyard barbecuing, or trick or treating around the circle. We just can’t wait to get started on the renovations and get into it!

Anyways, that’s all from us for now, here’s hoping for Spring and for warmer weather to bring with it a fresh start for all!

-Sara xo

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