Happy birthday, baby boy!
Hard to believe you’re a whole year old. 365 days have passed since you came into this world. Crazy sauce. The one constant? You started life with your first day in a hospital, and you’re spending your 365th in a hospital.
Yep, sadly we are currently sitting in the Alberta Children’s Hospital while you recover from bronchiolitis. Despite being in fairly good spirits, your breathing isn’t so hot, you keep spiking fevers and that cough makes my heart hurt every time you hack your lungs out. Poor kid.
That said, we are absolutely in the best place possible, and I’m so grateful. I’m grateful for the volunteers who give out activity kits in emerg, popsicles to sick kids, sing carols down the hallway or run the hospital gift shop (all proceeds go back to the hospital). I’m grateful that we’ve had such fabulous nurses looking after you. I’m grateful that despite it all, things could be so much worse. I see parents in this building with harrowing looks on their faces, and I count my blessings that you’ll be okay and I know it.
So, a year in review, hey? First off, my apologies for not writing an 11-month update. It’s the only one that I’ve missed! I had every intention of doing it, but with you being sick, you being sick again, your dad being sick, me being sick and you finally being sick again… forgive me if I’ve been short on time and brain capacity of late.
Anywho, onto the year.
You had colic…
Yep, this pretty much sums up our first 3-4 months together. Crying. All. Day. Long. Or so it felt like. For any parents that haven’t experienced colic, I urge you never to judge a parent going through it. So many people say colic doesn’t exist, but they obviously haven’t lived with a colicky baby. They haven’t tried everything under the sun to stop their child from crying and still come up short. Other parents with colicky children, you are my comrades in arm and I salute you. Stay strong!
Be it our first road trip outside of Calgary or your first overseas trip to Scotland, we’ve certainly hit the road, you, your Dad and I. You’ve been sung to by Bobby Watt, climbed to hidden Scottish lochs, walked the waterways of Henley-on-Thames and toured a distillery (you were nicknamed Jack Daniels by the German tour group). You slept in a yurt, took your first ferry ride and toured you around my favourite places on the Isle of Arran.
We’ve been to Waterton, TWICE, climbed to Bertha Lake and Grassi Lakes, and did our best to share the Rocky Mountains with you this summer, schedules permitting.
We’ve made friends…
I didn’t know what to expect from Birth and Babies classes, but it has definitely brought a couple new friends into my life, and as a result, to yours! You have little buddies. You also love playing with your cousins! And all of a sudden, friends that I hadn’t necessarily been as close to became that much closer. We had the most important thing in our lives in common – our little monkeys.
You’ve got little buddies at day home who love to feed you, and you have taken on the role of security guard for your day home provider. Wherever she goes, you’re watching!
I had postpartum…
This was tough. It was far more difficult than I expected, and it gave me great appreciation for how I intend to support fellow moms with their postpartum experiences in future. Postpartum depression and anxiety hit me like a speeding train, I didn’t expect to feel the way I felt or think the things I thought, but with some support, counselling and medication, we’re on the road to recovery.
You learned a lot…
It’s incredible watching you. You pick things up and examine them, looking at all angles, placing things in your mouth or seeing what kind of sound they make when they hit something else. You’ve learned to roll, crawl, pull yourself up, cruise around furniture, say “Mama”, “Dada” and the newest addition, “uh oh!”
Fun fact: if you drop the toy on purpose… it’s not “uh oh”.
Your little mind goes a mile a minute and I love watching you experience new things.
I learned a lot…
I learned that breastfeeding wasn’t for me and that’s OK! I learned that you need to get a point where you stop trying to overwhelm yourself with a to-do list or the comparison game and simply feel like you are enough. I’ve had time to reflect and realize that I actually regret nothing, but going forward, I intend to enjoy the journey as much as possible. Every moment is fleeting and you’re too precious to miss out on.
I’ve learned that I had a bigger and better support system than I realized. The number of offers I’ve had for help have been astounding and, considering that I struggle to ask for help, I so appreciate people reaching out first. There are too many people to name here, but know that if you’ve at all been a part of my life this past year, you’ve played a role and I appreciate it more than words can express.
I’ve learned that I picked the perfect partner. Despite moments of exhaustion and hormonal freakouts that the bottles haven’t been cleaned or the house is a pigsty (sorry, David!), we’ve been a great team. Your Dad has supported me through postpartum, we’ve navigated a new baby (ahem, you), moving into our first home, our first overseas trip, new jobs (for both of us), and now your first hospital stay. Your Dad is my rock, my best friend, and I think you’re going to love spending time with him as you grow up.
So, Baby J, a very Happy Birthday. We’re no longer going to be doing monthly posts on the blog for each month, but I do intend to do an annual wrap up. For now, let’s take a trip down memory lane and see how much you’ve grown since this time last year (except 11 months… I forgot 11 months – sorry!).