Thursday, July 26, 2012

Beach 2012

This summer, we took our first vacation since July 2010, when I was very pregnant with Adelyn.  It was much needed, but of course it didn't come without stress and issues.  First of all, my husband went back and forth about going, or staying the whole week, because he is super busy at work.  Unfortunately, summer is his busiest time.  He was thinking about leaving on Wednesday, but then we would have had to drive two cars, or we all could have left then, but we paid for a whole week and I'm off work anyway, so it was silly for me to not stay the whole week.  He ended up staying the whole week, and only time will tell how that affects him.  So far, not looking so good, as he is already majorly stressed after 3 days back.  I wish there was something I could do to help him, but short of me making about double what I make, he is kind of stuck at his job.  I could write an entire post about that, as it's a major issue in our house right now......

Of course he was almost caught up with work the week before we left, but then woke up with a migraine one day and had to stay home.  So, Saturday he did some work from home and we didn't leave until 2.  Which wasn't too bad, because neither of us are morning people and we get up and out of the house all year when I work, so we aren't good at doing it for other occasions!  However, it made the 6.5 hour drive seem longer.   The kids did really well, but Sierra was getting bored.  We stopped to eat dinner, use the bathroom, walk around - and drove more.  Right as we were going through downtown Philadelphia, where there was nowhere to pull over, Sierra says, "Mommy, I don't think  I feel very good" and then threw up all over herself without much warning.  I thought Trevor was going to lose it.  The smell of puke makes him gag (is that a guy thing or what?!) and he was getting all stressed.  Meanwhile, I am almost in tears because I feel so bad for Sierra.  Hmmm, another guy thing - I worry about the kid, he worries about himself?  Anyway, I tried to clean her up but didn't do a very good job.  We thought about stopping, but really getting her out wasn't going to do much good, it was all over her car seat.  I think getting out then getting back in a stinky, puked all over car seat, would have been worse.  So we drove 3 more hours with puke all over her.  I felt so bad, but she didn't complain and fell asleep.  When we got there, it was chaos, as my mom put Sierra immediately in the tub, I had to rush inside to feed Coen and get him to bed because it was after 9, and Trevor had to clean out the car.  I think he got the worst job, poor daddy.

I did not realize that Coen had never slept anywhere but his own crib overnight, but he made me well aware after the first night.  He wouldn't fall asleep and it wasn't a good night.  It was like this off and on all week, and we were all in the same room.  After this experience, I am not sure how anyone can cosleep with their kids.  I could hear their every move and couldn't fall asleep myself.  Then Coen got a runny nose and that made it worse.

As for the beach, we spent my parents' 40th wedding anniversary there and got some family pictures done.  They turned out good.  I had really wanted to get a family picture with the 4 of us and Adelyn's name written in the sand in front of us, but things were crazy and it didn't happen.  I'm lucky I got a few pictures with me in them, since I am always the one taking the pictures.  I am happy with these pictures I took though:

Looking at those 3 pictures next to each other, clearly shows that hole, the empty space where Adelyn should be.  Sigh.  I thought about her a lot when we were on vacation.  One day we were at the pool and there was another family there.  Sierra and my niece were playing with some girls, and at some point the topic of siblings came up.  It was the mother of those girls who asked Sierra how many brothers and sisters she had.  I heard it and got anxious.  Such a simple question, is not so simple for someone whose baby died.  I worried how Sierra would answer, but I guess she didn't hear her because she said nothing.  Relief.... Later my sister-in-law brought that up.  She heard it too and mentioned that I must have been thinking about what Sierra would say.  I'm glad that some people never forget.  In fact, when we were trying to coordinate outfits for the family pictures, I had my  heart set on a white dress with butterflies on it for Sierra.  My sister-in-law asked for a picture of it to try to coordinate her daughter's outfit.....long story short, without me mentioning it, she said she liked the butterflies for Adelyn. That made me happy!  But it ended up being easier to just wear white tops and khaki bottoms.

We actually spent quite a bit of time on the beach and in the pool and didn't do much else. Getting away is nice, because it forces you to relax - well as much as you can with 4 kids in a small condo.  But, I couldn't get distracted by all the things that need done around my house.  It was good to get away, but it was also good to come home to my own bed and get back in the routine.  Thankfully, the drive home was puke free. We left at 5:30 pm so it was long and we were tired from not sleeping well, but we made it home safely.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

9 Months

Coen was 9 months old yesterday.  How did the 9  months I was pregnant seem to last forever, yet the 9 months since he was born have flown by?  Well, I am sure the pregnancy seemed to drag because I felt like I was pregnant forever, since there were only 4 months between the two.

I finally feel like I have his schedule down, now that I have been home with him for a month.  I LOVE being home!  But it took awhile to adjust.  The first two weeks were a waste because he was sick and then I got it and was really sick for about a week.  Then I was playing catch up.  Frustrating!  Now I have it down pat - he wakes up at about 8 and nurses, then Sierra and I eat our breakfast.  After that I drink my coffee while the kids play.  Sierra usually gets sucked into the TV so I am going to try to turn the channel to news so she won't.  Coen crawls around and I attempt to do dishes or clean up something.  At about 9:30 I give him his cereal and then he takes a nap.  Most of the time, I put something on TV for Sierra and take a shower while he naps.  Sierra is fine while I shower, but he isn't.  If we aren't going anywhere or go to the pool, I shower later.  When he wakes up from his nap, I nurse him again.  Then Sierra and I eat lunch and I then give him some fruit or veggies.  If we have an errand to run, we do it then because that is the only time in between naps.  I try to get both kids down for a nap at about 2-4, sometimes it ends up being 2:30.  If we are out, sometimes Coen falls asleep in the car and Sierra too, so then there is no nap.  Which  means I get no time to get anything done!  When Coen wakes up from his nap, I nurse him again.  Then I cook dinner while attempting to keep 2 kids occupied, because Trevor doesn't usually get home till 5:30 or later.  Coen gets fed his dinner first, then we give him puffs or baby mum mums while we eat.  After dinner, we go outside for awhile.  If it's a bath night, we come in around 8.  If not, we can stay out a bit later.  Coen nurses again before bed and then sleeps all night.

Coen had his check up yesterday, he weighs 19 lbs 12 oz and is 27.25 inches tall.  He really isn't big, in fact he is below average for both, but he seems so big to me.  Sierra was probably 14 months before she weighed that much!  She was so tiny!  He checked out great, but had to get a finger prick to test his blood.  The dr. said his levels were a bit low so I have to switch him to a vitamin with iron because that is usually the cause.  It makes me nervous, like I am not feeding him enough or my  milk isn't good enough.  But he is definitely gaining on it, so......

Coen started crawling about 2 weeks ago, and he is into everything. His favorite places to crawl to are the fireplace-which has little rocks for him to grab, the dog dishes-water to splash in and he actually put a piece of food into his mouth, and the garbage can-the part you step on to open the lid comes off and he tries to eat it. He is on the go constantly, which has made it hard to get anything done around here. He also really likes to open and close doors. Thankfully my mom found the Laugh and Learn House at a consignment store for cheap and it has a door to crawl through. He has really enjoyed it, and Sierra actually plays with it too.

In other big news,  Coen got his 2 bottom teeth this month.  I was surprised, given Sierra was 16 months before she cut her first one.  And he wasn't fussy at all!  I hope that trend continues.  I am very scared about getting bit now though, but until he has his top teeth I think I will be ok.  So far, so good.

Coen started pulling up, but only to his knees.  I am sure it won't be long so I have to find a new coffee table because ours is too dangerous.  When I go in to get him up in the morning or after naps, he is often sitting up in his crib now.  Too cute!  He has become very vocal, and often screams or yells "da da da".  I keep trying to teach him "ma ma ma". 

New foods this month included prunes, apricots, zucchini, puffs and Baby mum mums, wheat cereal, cantaloupe, carrots, and blueberries.  He wasn't a huge fan of carrots at first, but seems to like them now.  I tried to give him cantaloupe cut into tiny pieces, and he did try to chew them but made funny faces and took forever so I pureed it.  We will try again later on!

Some pictures of our little man at 9 months:

Mommy's attempt at a mohawk - his hair is a little too long!


His hair on a normal day, but he sure needs a haircut!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

4th of July Vent

Once again, this holiday has shown just how far I have come since last year, but also reminded me that I'm still not the person I once was.  Even though things are better, they are not "normal" and it still hurts.

Our neighbors always have a big backyard party on the 4th, or the 3rd, with food, talking, drinks and lots of fireworks.  The year I was pregnant with Adelyn we went, and Sierra had a blast running around with all the kids.  Last year, I wanted nothing to do with it.  I didn't want to be social or be around people.  I was miserable, heavily missing my girl, thinking of the matching onesie I had bought for her to wear - the one that matched the shirt that Sierra did wear.  My family also has a big picnic on the 4th, with swimming and lots of food.  We have a tradition where we dress up and march in a parade around the block.  Last year, I just didn't want to go.  I was pregnant and grieving, and feeling guilty about it all.  I hated talking about being pregnant, and I hated being fussed over.  I was happy to be given the chance for another baby, but I felt guilty and let's face it, I was scared.  After all, I learned the hardest way possible that there are no guarantees in life.  Everyone else seemed so sure that it couldn't possible happen twice to one person - but I know it can.

So this year, I looked forward to going to both parties.  However, a conversation just completely rubbed me the wrong way and made me angry.  I do realize that no, people do not think before they speak, and no, they don't mean to upset me.  BUT....that doesn't make it hurt less.  It just makes me feel like people already forget what I went through.  And it makes me so mad.

I was talking to someone who is due in 3 weeks or so, someone who was actually a very good support to me after Adelyn died.  However, I do feel like since Coen was born, she seems to have "forgot" that I still hurt.  She has made comments about the birth of her other 2 kids in front of me, something to the effect of how worried her mom was because of all the things that "could go wrong."  That just hurt my feelings, and made me feel uncomfortable.  I don't like talking about birth complications, obviously. Then she went on and on to ME about what she was going to do if this baby was another girl.  Um, really - to ME?  Do you know what I would give for my other girl?  Thankfully, she is having a boy so I thought I was in the clear.

Wrong.  At the party, she was talking about how her other daughter keeps saying she wishes the baby was a girl instead of a boy and how bad she feels now.  Not that she wanted double the drama with 2 girls, but she maybe would like her to have a sister but there are no guarantees if she had another baby, that it would be a girl. 

Something about this comment made my blood boil.  She was really going to sit there and tell me how sorry she feels for HER daughter?  I was livid.....I said nothing except that if I could be guaranteed another girl, I would want to have another baby also.  But inside I was angry.  Did she forget already what MY daughter went through?  My daughter thought she was getting a sister for 5 months, and then her sister died.  She watched her parents grieve and didn't understand.  She was 2 and a half at the time.  No toddler should have to experience that.  Then she watched her friends' baby sisters come home, and asked why did they get to keep their babies.  Then I got pregnant again, and she was confused.  I think she thought Adelyn was going to come back.  We told her the baby could be a boy this time, and she would get angry and say that she didn't like baby boys and that we were supposed to have a girl baby.  Once she met her brother, she didn't seem to care.  But, to this day, sometimes she STILL asks why we have a boy baby here and a girl baby in the sky and why can't we have a girl baby here too.  It literally breaks my heart.

Yet, I should feel sorry for the other little girl?  I'm sorry, I just can't.  I understand that she in no way meant to hurt my feelings, and probably doesn't even realize she did.  I didn't say anything, and I probably should have.  But I was afraid I would come off as rude, because I was really mad.  And I didn't want to make things awkward because this is someone I can't avoid.  However, it's the 3rd time she has said things that have upset me, and I don't think I will be able to let it go if it happens again.  I just hope she doesn't complain to me about how hard it is to have 3 kids.....because I may lose it.

Maybe I overreacted, but my husband and I had a long talk about it.  He didn't think I did.  He says when people complain to him, he will make comments about how it's better than having a baby die.  He doesn't care about making others feel uncomfortable, nor does he care what others think or if he comes off as rude.  I need to gather my strength and start standing up for myself, because unfortunately, these kinds of situations and feelings are never going to go away.  When you live after losing a baby, this is just how your life is.

Ok...vent over.  Today I was able to put that conversation behind me for the most part.  However, I swear that Sierra reads my mind because it never fails for her to bring up Adelyn when I am missing her.  And she did just that today at breakfast.  I'm not sure how it came up, but she was talking about the order my babies were born and knew that Adelyn came after her and then went up to the sky.  Then she wondered out loud what she was doing up there, and we talked about how we were sure she could see the fireworks from up there.  She wanted to know why she had to live in a different place than us, and doesn't really understand that we don't know the answer to that question either.

We did go to the family picnic, it was ridiculously hot when we got there.  After I got the kids ready for the pool,  I got my bathing suit and sunblock on, and then it was thundering and lightning so I couldn't go in!  Frustrating!!  It started raining so we were stuck in the garage for a bit.  The best part of the day was introducing Coen to extended family.  I will NEVER tire of hearing how cute my baby is, and seeing people gush over him.  It is something I waited for 2 years to do, and it makes me so happy to have a baby to show off!

I wasn't able to get any good pictures.....Coen doesn't sit still for a second.  Plus it was so hot that we all looked sweaty and had crazy hair!  That's ok, I will take the bad pictures, because I really am thankful to just have a living baby to photograph.

Happy 4th of July!  I have always loved fireworks, but now they are even more special because I feel like it's something that just maybe we can send up to heaven for everyone to enjoy.