Monday, May 31, 2010

Waiting and Waiting Lists

We have been really lucky so far.  From my midwife team, to my OB, to the SB team, and his paediatrician, we have encountered only fabulous people and services. I know that at any time I have a number on my fridge that will connect me to someone who will answer any questions or help me with any concerns regarding Kingsley.  So far, we have gotten everything we need before we even know we need it.

But now, there are two services I suddenly want and can't have and it's making me crazy! The first is to finally meet the developmental paediatrician with the SB clinic. We've had 2 appointments cancelled so far and the third is on a day that we'll be out of town for Jeff's birthday.  I know that when I call to get the next available date, they'll tell me it's the week we're at the cottage this summer. I just feel like we're never going to get in with her and it's frustrating me.

The second is the Home Visiting Program for Infants that we've been on the waitlist for since King was born.  It wasn't a big deal at first.  I haven't had a need for any regular help. I was confident that his needs have been met through all of the other services. His development has been fine and until now the only PT he's needed has been on his foot.

The reason I want these services now is because I'm suddenly worried about his development. His torso seems weak, he doesn't hold his head up that well, he is not improving with the dreaded tummy time. I need someone to come in and tell me whether I need to be concerned or not. What's the spectrum? Is he on it? Is he way off? What can I do with him to get things going? I feel like there has to be exercises that I can be doing with him to strengthen his torso, but I have no idea what they are.  Baby yoga only gets me so far ;)

As far as HVPI is concerned, I'm not upset about being on the waitlist. I work in the autism field, so to say that I have experience with waitlists would be an understatement. It is odd being on this end of things: the waiting instead of the waited for. I know it's coming.  I know it will be worth the wait. I know there's absolutely nothing that can be done about the wait. But I hate waiting!!

Come on, look at this face. You going to keep making him wait?

To be honest, I think he really needs the excercises because he's getting a bit chubby. Don't you think?  This boy needs to get in shape!

;) 

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Night Time Woes

Lately, at night when everything is quiet and I'm done changing Kingsley and he's fed and I've just put him in his bassinet so I can have a few hours of stretched out sleep before he begs me to snuggle, I get scared.  I have a few moments of panic.  I'm afraid of....

SIDS.

Yep, SIDS. I go through the checklist in my head: good birth weight, breastfed, fan on, non-smoker, back sleeping, etc. etc. and try to convince myself that he'll be fine tonight.

Mostly unremarkable, because I'm sure I'm not the only mom with these thoughts late at night, right? Except it's not what I am worrying about that is interesting, it's what I'm not worrying about. I'm not worrying about his shunt. At all. I hardly ever think about it and not in that denial-mode sort of way either. He's just doing so well right now and it's fabulous. I'm not thinking about his shunt, his legs, his bowel/bladder stuff, his childhood, his school years, his teen years, what his adult life will be like... All the thoughts that haunted me for months all seem irrelevant right now. All that matters is that he's happy and thriving right now.  All that makes me scared are the things that made me scared with the girls: SIDS, solid food, sunburns...

So... everyone go knock on wood really quick, okay? ;) 

I'm off to bed. Must go snuggle my little boy so we're ready for another day of swimming and sun tomorrow!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Backyard Paradise

It's not often that a May 2-4 weekend is as amazing as you plan for it to be.  This weekend has been the best one since I was 17 years old! For quite different reasons, although the perfect weather helped both times.
Friday, Sunday and Monday have been spent outside (Saturday, it rained, but I was inside for Cordelia's birthday party anyway).  How perfect!! What made it the most amazing was that my backyard is finally ready for summer and it's like Mother Nature knew that and sent us a good dose of it.  Here is what makes my yard the best:
Drinking water from the new sprinklers
Swings and
monkey bars!
Sandbox
Water table - which used to be the favourite, but the pool now wins that honour
Shady haven for King and I
the clothesline
the adored $10 kiddie pool (with added on slide from our old neighbours curb)

Rachel's birdfeeder and water (the birds were hungry)
my vegetable garden
baby laughs
and naps outside.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Kingsley Shacklebolt


Here is where you all become divided into two groups: the first is now wondering if Shacklebolt is Kingsley's last name; the second is now chuckling and wondering if that really is where I got Kingsley's name from. For the second group - yes, it is! For the first group - it's time to read Harry Potter, folks.

When I was looking for a name for Kingsley, I had decided that I wanted something strong and powerful. A warriors name, because my little boy was going to be a fighter and needed a name to match.  I won't take credit for thinking of Kingsley, a HP-loving friend of mine suggested it (and I'm forever indebted, Bri!). I also toyed with Griffin but it made me think of Party of Five more than Gryffindor so it was cut from my list.

For those that aren't familiar with Harry Potter (and I can't imagine why not because it's the best book series in the history of books, seriously), Kingsley Shacklebolt is a tall, black man with a soothing calm voice. Perfect match for a little baby boy, right? ;)  What I love about his character is that he's one of those strong, silent types. He is a well thought-of man who is respected by everyone who meets him in the series.  Throughout the last 3 books you hear about what a strong wizard he is and at the end of it all, he is chosen as the leader (the Minister for Magic) as the wizarding world picks itself up from war and terror. 

When I was googling for references to the name Kingsley before deciding for sure that it would be Kingsley's name, I found this quote: "We're all human, aren't we? Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving."  Kingsley Shacklebolt says it in reference to defending the non-wizards (Muggles) during Voldemorts occupation of the wizarding world.  It coincided with my first encounter with someone (other than the doctors that first told us about Kingsley's SB) who essentially told me that Kingsley would have a poor quality of life and perhaps one not worth having. When I read the quote I forgot all about wizards and muggles and only thought of the assumption that a disability or diagnosis of some kind means that a person's life will not necessarily be as good or worth as much. Well, I took that as a sign. Kingsley it was, because my boys life was worth as much as anyone's and it was going to be a fabulous one, SB or not.  The fact that his name comes from Harry Potter is just natural, really, since I spent all three of my pregnancies listening to Jim Dale read the books over and over and over as I commuted to and from work.  One of these kids were going to be a Potterbaby!
It's received mixed reactions.  I've mentioned before that every clinic or doctors receptionist somehow thinks it's a girls name.  My parents aren't fans of it, but they didn't love Cordelia either and now that's grown on them. A lot of people have never even heard of it. 

I hope one day my Kingsley reads about the other Kingsley and loves his name as much as I do.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Birth Days

Tomorrow is my baby girl's second birthday. I can't believe she's going to be TWO! And if you ask her, she'll happily tell you she's 'DO!' and hold up 5 fingers, wiggling them like she knows they aren't all supposed to be up but can't yet figure out which ones she should put down.

Not only is it the anniversary of her birth, but it's the anniversary of when we found out I was pregnant with Kingsley. I can still see the pregnancy test balancing on the bathroom counter, studying it with the light on, the light off, in the window, in the bedroom. Yep, there were 2 lines there. I felt like I had the biggest secret and I remember whispering to Cordelia that her big birthday gift would be a brother or sister coming next January. Maybe that's why Cordelia is so enamored with him. 

I've been having some trouble the last week thinking about Kingsley's birth again.  The scar/incision has been hurting a lot, I'm not sure if it's because I've been aggrevating it with all the gardening or what's going on. I hate that it won't just heal, that there is a constant reminder of it. There are whole websites devoted to healing from a c-section, not just physically but emotionally. I feel a lot of guilt sometimes about how much I hated having to have the surgery, when Kingsley went through so much more and when it was all for him that I had it; like I must be a pretty lousy mother if I want to have given birth any other way.

I've been trying to remember Cordelia's birth and remind myself that I am not actually missing out on anything. I have had a natural birth. I had her all on my own, with Jeff beside me (... and some horribly annoying nurse, but I'm blocking that part out).  I know I can do it, because I have. I felt every contraction, felt every movement. And WOW the feeling of her being born... There just aren't words for that kind of miracle. And as disappointed as I am that I didn't get to experience that again, her birth is something no one can take from me. 

The one redeeming thing about Kingsley's birth is that he did get to choose his birth day. It really bothered me that the entire thing was going to be orchestrated and planned without any input from him or I, and in the end I went into labour and there he was.  Those contractions were something I wanted so badly to be able to feel and I'm glad I got that. 

Sunday, May 16, 2010

4 Month Check Up


On Friday, Kingsley saw his paediatrician for his usual check up stuff. He is doing fabulous. He's checking in at 16lbs, 10oz which is up almost 3lbs in 2 months and over twice his birth weight. Despite starting out smaller than both girls (8lb6oz, 8lb13oz and King was 7lb13oz), he is now bigger than either of them were at his age. Healthy? I think so.

Well, other than that, Kingsley was once again called a girl by the receptionist. And he got his shots, which he did fuss a bit for. Funny how I was happy that he didn't like getting needles in his thighs.  Last time when he didn't react at all I got all freaked out about whether or not he could even feel his legs. Sometimes, I wish we could just fast forward to knowing what he can and cannot feel/do so I can just rewind back to now and relax about it all. 

His doctor wasn't concerned with his head control. She watched him on his tummy and said he is trying to roll over from a neurological standpoint, but his legs are slowing him down a bit. I took that to mean he was trying, but couldn't do the final kick to get his lower body over. He'll get there in his own time, she said. Both of the girls had randomly rolled from their front to back by this age, but neither were doing it consistently and it was another few weeks before either pushed up onto their forearms. I know I'm not supposed to compare, but it helps me put things in perspective.

He's also starting to lose his hair. Poor guy, he is going to be his Daddy's clone before you know it.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Differences

A couple weeks ago I got a facebook message that made me one happy Mama. My local Moksha yoga studio was adding Mom and Baby Yoga. Heaven.  Moksha studios are mostly for hot yoga, which I've been going to since before I was pregnant with Rachel, but our studio also has a non-heated room. I love our studio and the people there and I go into a little bit of a withdrawal phase when I get pregnant and have to stop going, so I was super psyched to go and with Kingsley!

... side note: I actually went to hot yoga through the first two months of my pregnancies with Rachel and Cordelia, but was so wrapped up with going back to work that I didn't go at all for weeks before Kinglsey was a little glimmer. One of the 'supposed' causes of SB is an increased internal body temperature around the time of the neural tube developing, which filled me with huge guilt until I pulled out my calendar and realized the dates didn't come close.

Anyway, my sweet mom agreed to take the girls Wednesday and off we went to our first yoga class. It was glorious. Oh, how I needed that class. It was a little overwhelming at the start, yoga seems to bring out a lot of emotions for me and being there sharing it with my little boy was a lot to take in. I'm such a nerd.

There were 5 boys in the class, plus the instructors son. They ranged in ages from 6 weeks to 8 months. King and I were between a 4.5 month old and a 2 month old. I spent a lot of time staring at the other boys. I know, it's my third child, I should be sort of familiar with normal by now but I couldn't for the life of me figure out how Kingsley is delayed in terms of his physical movement stuff. I get it now. I couldn't believe the movement these boys had in their legs. Ridiculous, right? Kingsley moves his arms like it's going out of style - just waving and flapping and grabbing. These boys did that with their legs. Their feet just kept going and going and kicking and flailing.  Kingsley moves his legs, but not with the same frequency and his feet don't flex and point like theirs did. He also isn't that hot with the tummy time. The 4.5 month old (16 days older than Kingsley - I asked ;)) was right up on his forearms.  I guess the girls were lousy at the tummy time stuff too, but everything is amplified when it comes to Kingsley. 

Now, aside from the legs and the tummy time, Kingsley appears (to me!) to be right on track. He follows toys and noises and is so bright! His face just lights up when you talk to him, full of smiles and goo's. He is a champion talker. Sometimes I catch Cordelia listening to him like she actually understands his babbling. Is that possible? LOL! He has even started with the 'Maaaamma!!' whining when he's tired. I love his little voice.

Tomorrow we go for his 4 month check up with the paediatrician. More shots, a weigh in to see how much my chubber is now, and all that other stuff. I'll see what she says about hitting the milestones.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

I have been having the most unexpectedly lovely day.  Jeff was up with the girls before I even heard a peep out of any of them, leaving me in bed to get extra snuggles with my favourite little boy.   I was woken up by Cordelia crying at around 9am - she didn't want to put the toys away so Jeff could vacuum. Yes, that's right, I used the words JEFF and VACUUM in the same sentence without inserting NEVER in between ;)  He even put the dishes away and cleaned the bathrooms! It was a Mother's Day miracle.

All of this amazingness left me with some time to blog surf.  I was reading the latest post by one of my faves who has a daughter exactly one week younger than Kingsley when I realized that I just hit the first of my one-year anniversaries for Kingsey.

One year ago this weekend, I was pregnant with Kingsley, but didn't know it. I was in the middle of that dreadful 2WW (2 week wait) between, well, making a baby and finding out that you made a baby. We got together with Jeff's family, as we always do, and his cousin had just announced that she was expecting her third child.  Her first daughter is 2.5 months younger than Rachel, her son is 5 days older than Cordelia, and so naturally everyone turned to me and asked if there was anything we wanted to announce. Haha. I felt pregnant. I hoped wildly that I was pregnant. But I was in no mood to be sharing any of that information.

I had just gone back to work a week earlier. Going back the second time was hard. I can't say how much I absolutley love having a one year maternity leave and I feel awful for other countries who are not given at least the option of a year off. But leaving your baby after having a year together is no picnic. I think the second time it was harder because I knew how incrdible the second year of life is and how much fun Rachel had been at 1 year old, and now I had to leave Cordelia as well right when she was entering this phase.

So, I did what every crazy, hormonal, panicked mom would do.  As the date for my return to work was looming and my maternity leave started to approach the finish line, I told Jeff, it was time for number 3. The idea of a third baby was nothing new. We knew we'd be having at least 3 babies. Jeff wanted 4, but said we could stop after 3, so long as he had at least 1 boy.  I pretended that he actually had a say in any of it.  As much as I adore babies, I loathe pregnancy and the thought of doing that over and over and over... ugh. But when you weigh pregnancy versus leaving my girlies at home without me... I was good to go.

I counted months and decided that we had to aim for a January baby, or later. I didn't want a December baby.  I know, I'm neurotic about these things. Either way, we waited and aimed for January and I got my way.

So many times though, after we found out about Kingsley, I wondered WHAT IF. What if we had waited another month? What if we hadn't waited that first month and just had a stinkin December baby? Would he be the same? Would it be Kingsley in a body without SB? Or would I have a different child altogether? Would I do it differently? And what did I do a year ago, exactly one year ago today or this week or next week that could've changed things? What made him have SB? Did I do something without knowing it, or was he already predetermined to have it even a year ago when he was a tiny bundle of cells? It can make a mama crazy thinking these thoughts.

I don't even know how to answer some of those questions right now. If I knew then what I know now, would I do it the same way?  Would I still get pregnant?  I think I would. Absolutely. As much as I don't wish this on Kingsley and I'm afraid of what unpleasantness he may face, I can't imagine life without him, just as he is. And the trials of the last 8 months have only made me appreciate life and my children so much more.  Give me a magic wand to take away the SB right now and I will gladly wave it, so long as it leaves my sweet little boy here. I used to think that having Kingsley hadn't changed me, but it has. I don't take anything for granted.  Not a minute, not a smile or a hug or the ability I have to do whatever I can do. I'm so much more appreciative of life and of the people I have in mine. I am soaking up every second of this maternity leave. :)

Two years ago today, I was pleading with my body to pick that day as Cordelia's birth day.  At 8.5 months pregnant, I wanted nothing more than to be not pregnant. A year ago, I was pleading with my body to be pregnant again. This year, I'm good. I know that I'll go through a lot of these one year anniversaries in the next 8 months, but I think it'll be much easier to go through them with my little boy in my arms where I can squeeze him and kiss him and look him in the eyes when I tell him how perfect he is and how proud I am to be his Mommy.

Mama's Boy

Have I said it before? Kingsley has the goofiest smile! His whole face erupts in this big open mouth grin that just makes me melt and laugh at the same time. It's like he's experiencing pure joy and I love it.

I've also realized that he is a mama's boy right now. When he was first born and in the hospital, my mom commented on my ability to calm him down. When the nurses were doing stuff to him, I'd reach through the little circles of his incubator and rub his head, whisper to him and somehow get him to settle without picking him up. I figured he just needed anyone doing that, but they insisted it was just me. Now, he's the same way. When he's upset, he wants me. If I'm slow to get to him (or someone else tries to settle him and gives it a valiant effort before passing him over) he will almost yell at me as if saying: "Where were you, Mommy? I wanted you!" He won't even start to nurse until he's done yelling and getting his point across. Then he settles in and gives me some love. Oh, the love that boy can give you with his snuggles and coo's and gazes.  Melt my heart, what more does a Mama need?

One of his favourite times to yell at me is when I make him do tummy time for too long. He'll tough it out for a bit, then glare at me, then get mad. He'll never roll at this rate.


Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

What do Babies with SB Need?

I remember wondering this and I've seen so many pregnant moms ask this. Usually the answer is: "Same things any baby needs!" But I've figured out something special that they do need! Sleepers that have snaps all the way down the middle and down both legs.

Here's why. When Kingsley first came home and started wearing clothes, they had to be one piece outfits (i.e. sleepers) that allowed his back to be exposed to the air. So we just put his sleepers on backwards and left a few snaps undone in the middle. You can't do this if they have a zipper and you can't do this if the snaps go down the side of the sleeper.

Also, we have to catheterize Kingsley four times a day and because he is such a great sleeper :) we have to do his last cath after he's gone to sleep already. If his sleepers have snaps down both legs, I can undo just the bottom, get it done and get him dressed without waking him up. When they have zippers or just go down one leg, I have to either strip him or wrestle to get the one leg out, which usually wakes him up. So frustrating!

So, there you go.  That's my 2 cents on what you need.

Retail Update

I finally got some decent pictures of my Mei Tai (forgot to credit her again! Natural Mother Productions) and a couple not so decent pictures of the diapers. A friend of mine came over to try out my MT with her daughter and Rachel watched and is now wanting to be worn in it all the time. Which, of course, means that Cordelia does as well.


And these are my new Kawaii pocket diapers. The night diapers have animals, the day diapers are solid. I even took the inserts out and used the day diapers as swim diapers today and they kept Kingsley's messy stuff in just fine!

Hair

This doesn't have much to do with Kingsley, but 2 days ago my darling long-haired girl who was bald for so long I swore I'd never cut her hair... cut all her hair off.

OMG!!!

This was so unRachel-like, I was completely thrown. One minute I was running around dealing with a climbing Cordelia, feeding Kingsley, getting dinner going, the next I was staring into a garbage bag full of hair trying to wrap my head around what I was staring at. She gave herself a mullet.  I took her yesterday to get it fixed and voila! Summer haircut. It looks like she cut her own hair.

AFTER: here is her new short 'do.  It does look cute, if not a little choppy. She also has very short bangs because she chopped them on one side. We have had some serious 'chats' and if she ever dares to snip so much as a hair on Cordelia or Kingsley's heads I will not be so understanding!

(Mommy!! Don't let Rachel near me!)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Retail Therapy

So, during my grouchy phase last month, I treated myself to some retail therapy and Kingsley and I are now benefiting from it.

I started off with new running shoes and an iPod Shuffle for me. The running thing has to happen and I needed some financial motivation. If I have paid the big bucks for the fancy kicks and stuff, I would have major guilt for not following through. It's working. I'm done week 4 of the Couch to 5K program and I'm down about 6lbs. I still hate running though. I don't have pictures of my gear, but everytime I see the shoes by my front door I think my mom is here hiding somewhere. I'm not used to associating fancy running shoes with myself.

Then I got Kingsley and I a new mei tai carrier. It's made by a local mom and it's gorgeous. I don't have any good pictures of us in it, but here's a look at the fabric, and a lousy picture of King from the top. It's so comfy and is sturdier behind his head than my last one, which makes it completely hands free. Because he's little age-wise, but not little size-wise, I found that when he was in my old one I always had to have one hand on his head/neck to make sure he wasn't flopping everywhere when I was walking. Now, I don't have to worry about that. He can fall asleep or stay awake and look around and either way I don't have to hang onto him.

I also got a whole new stash of diapers! I have switched from cheap All-in-Ones to shmancier pockets and Kingsley is officially in cloth diapers now. I was nervous about him wearing them because of his incision being so low and directly into his bum crack, but these are great for pulling away the wet stuff. And they're cute. Whoa, is it ever different having 2 kids in cloth diapers! I don't have a single picture of them, but they are cute and Kingsley's bum is huge so I'll get some soon.

The kids also all got new bathing suits. I'm so excited to be home all summer. We're going to be spending a lot of time at the splash pad, the wading pools, and in the backyard turtle pool! And Rachel will be starting swimming lessons!  http://www.pleasemum.ca/ has awesome rashguard suits on for 50% off. How do I turn that down?  They sort of all match. Actually, I found out Kingsley and Cordelia will even be matching my nieces when they come visit in June! Same same!

Lastly, I bought The Princess and the Frog DVD because I'm just about done with watching Toy Story I and II.  Treehouse annoys me and I like that some of these movies have jokes for adults, too.  It's a cute movie, but not my favourite. At least I don't have it memorized yet. ;)

And now for a gratuitous picture ...

Saturday, May 1, 2010

What?


Kinglsey hates tummy time. You'd think after spending over half his life on his tummy, he'd be used to it. Nope. Seems he's had enough tummy time to last a lifetime. He pushes up a bit and looks around, whines, and then gets fed up and just lies there blowing bubbles until you flip him back over.


I think it's his cheeks. Poor kid as a disadvantage since his face must weigh about 4lbs more than the average.
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