February 24, 2012

Where O Where Has My Baby Gone?

...Where o where can he be?

Of all the odd things to hit me tonight, it was while reading the blog of someone who had recently photographed three brothers in their home. As I looked at the pictures of these boys with their arms around each other, it occurred to me that one day Rowan was going to grow up into someone as tall and robust as them.

And that he might have a brother (or brothers! Or even a sister...!) one day and that he would be the oldest. As I watch Rowan toddling around, piece of toast firmly clasped in one hand and making lopsided grins, how is this even possible.

Oh god, he's going to be turning ONE in six weeks. Where's my baby gone?! o_O

(video from this morning)

February 22, 2012

This Week in Scrapbooking

More like a fortnight in scrapbooking! I've been madly digiscrapping lately, and thoroughly enjoying using recently-released products as well as new discoveries and older favourites. Here are some of my layouts, click the captions to see a list of full credits:

Kit: Online - by Captivated Visions & Jenn Barrette [RETIRED]
Kit: Baked with Love - by Faith True Originals

Kits: Silly Nilly - by Secret Stash / Made with Love - by Designs by Kat
(I've been wanting to scrap about our baby-led weaning journey for a while now, I'll be makign a separate post about it soon)

Kit: Animal Attraction - by Faith True Originals & mLE Card

Kits: Free Your Mind & Groovy Kinda Love - both by Designs by Kat

Kits: Colour Me Boyish and Girlish Bundle - by Lyndsay Riches / A Helping Hand - by Designs by Kat

Kit: Captivating 2012: JAN - by Captivated Visions
(yes, I'm still working on my pregnancy album!!)

And that's about it for the time being... there are many other pages in progress, that's just a taste of what I've been working on. My creative mojo is happening at the moment. ;)

February 13, 2012

Menstrual Cycles & Fertility After Baby

I’m in the process of returning to so-called ‘normal’ menstrual cycles following the birth of my baby.
After my post-partum (PP) bleeding (called lochia; it lasted 5-6 weeks for me) I didn’t have a period for seven months but begun to feel familiar stirrings in my uterus from about five months PP. I bled for a couple of days when my son was 7.5 months, and then again when he was 9 months old. Yesterday, out of nowhere (26 days after my previous bleeding; my son is 10 months old) my first proper period started... and boy, I wasn’t ready for that! I had forgotten how heavy they can be.

Lulled into a false sense of security, I thought that I might be one of those women who continues to bleed lightly during periods while breastfeeding their baby. Evidently this is not the case (my son has four breastfeeds a day, and 1-2 in the night, and has three solid meals). It was painful, though not as excruciating as I remembered. Perhaps natural childhood has changed my scales of pain now (or again, lulled into a false sense of security...!).

I’d been doing some research into whether you can take targeted pain relief medications while breastfeeding and most of my findings tend to be inconclusive. In the past I have taken naproxen for period pain relief, though the manufacturers don’t recommend it for breastfeeding mothers. A very small amount of the drug passes through your milk into the baby, but it is very small – about 1%. And in large doses (certainly not typical use) it can have effects on the baby’s digestive and intestinal tracts. Some women may not feel comfortable taking such a risk, but for me –with a history of endometriosis and very painful periods – these little blue pills have been my saviour through recent years. So I have decided to take them for pain relief even while breastfeeding. Now I’m not silly and don’t go above the recommended dosage (I have never really needed to in the past), but I think that’s more important now than it ever was. If pain relief over a 36 hour period (excuse the pun!) allows me to function throughout the day and look after my baby, then that’s something I’m definitely continuing. :)
So am I returning to pseudo-fertility? (remember that my son's birth was the result of IVF after endometrial scarring on the fallopian tubes made natural conception a very low possibility) Who knows, time will tell.
And I guess that's another thing too - if I was fertile and capable of becoming pregnant without the help of reproductive technologies - would we be ready for another child now? I hear many other infertile women (yes, I still consider myself infertile despite having had a child) say that they would be thankful for any successful conception and birth that came their way, but honestly... would I truly be ready now - with a 10 month old - to fall pregnant again now? No, I wouldn't be. If I did, I'd cry, laugh and get on with it. Would we consider IVF again right this second to increase the size of our family? Of course not. Yet I know women who would. Or women who are trying to conceive another baby when their babies are 18, 12 or even 6 months old!
We will have another child someday, but not in the near future if we lived in an ideal world where all our wishes were answered. And that's the truth.

February 9, 2012

Day in the Life: Feb 8th, 2012

I wrote a long post about my reasons for doing a Day in the Life (DITL) project, unfortunately I accidentally hit backspace and deleted it all without saving... rookie mistake! In summary, I enjoy looking back at snapshots from my life in past six years of doing these projects - and now that our family has grown this is no exception.

I used my iPhone to take and process all pictures yesterday, so there's a bit of motion blur/bright flash in some of the photos. For anyone interested, I used the following apps: Camera+ and Hipstamatic (taking the photos), PicFrame (collages) and Labelbox (journalling).

Here we go, A Day in the Life - February 8th, 2012 edition! Click on any image to see it bigger.

Here are links to two other DITL projects I have done in recent years:

February 7, 2012

10 Months Old Today

... and with it comes a new milestone:

Yes... he is starting to walk!

Rowan took his first steps a week or so ago and since then he's been gaining confidence in letting go of objects/people and trying to walk... although 1-2 steps is all he can manage at this point (usually into someone's arms or onto another object). I can see the wheels turning in his brain as he sizes up whether or not to let go of something, it's quite endearing. ;)

He still much prefers to crawl, stand and/or cruise around (he's very quick with cruising!), I wonder when he'll have the balance to walk more regularly? Another skill he's gained recently - again, in the past week - is climbing. I didn't believe him when Matt told me he climbed up our couch on the weekend, then I got to see it for myself... seriously, this baby is keeping me on my toes!

Last month I mentioned about Rowan's nap times and whether he was attempting to drop from two naps to one. It looks as though my hunch was correct - about 75% of the time, Rowan is having one sleep during the day (which has taken some getting used to on my part). It makes it a bit trickier to do things over lunchtime - ie, being out and about - but it does free up our mornings and mid-afternoons... so it's a pretty good trade-off. Mornings have been progressively getting earlier too, which means by late afternoon he's in need of a short nap (just an hour or so), I've been having a bit of success with that.

Other interesting discoveries from the last month have been:

* Tapping objects together regularly (this has almost replaced gumming objects as #1 pasttime)
* Beginning to understand a few words we say - book, sippy (cup), Weetbix, milks
* Rowan will bring you a book when he wants to be read to (which is very sweet!)
* More outwardly signs of affection - cuddles, crawling into your lap, kisses on the cheek (with and without teeth! :P)

Pictures to mark reaching double-digits for the first time. ;)

Waiting patiently for breaskfast (Weetbix) this morning

Looking way too much like a toddler for my liking!

Very typical Rowan at the moment, always having a Bunny or two in his mouth.

Walking with Daddy at the park

Family picture from the weekend (plus children's-sized hat)

Rowan's first artwork

Yes... there was plenty of mess to be had! (I took paper prints of his highchair tray painting too, since he decided early on that paper belonged on the floor, not the tray)

Painting with Rowan. ;)