Sunday, July 22, 2012

3 Months of how it's supposed to be

Today marks 3 whole months since our rainbow baby Mason was born. I.can' They say time flies when you are having fun and "they" are right. I can honestly say I have enjoyed every second of him. Even all the seconds filled with screaming, crying, projectile vomiting, and blow out diapers. I LOVE IT ALL. It's what we have worked so hard for and I knew exactly what I was signing up for. There is a lot you can expect, but you never know what you will get. There are several types of baby, M is in the mid to difficult category, but to me he is easy peazy because he is alive and healthy and that's all I freaking care about.

It was my intention to write a monthly update about M and then the unthinkable happened and our fellow BLM Becky lost her perfect, precious rainbow Evelynn. Her sweet girl was born on the SAME day as Mason and I just couldn't write about him each month knowing that my words could be hurtful. Now I would like to write each month and include Evelynn. After we lost Addi, it was (and still is) so nice when people would remember the day she was born each month. I would like to encourage you all to show Becky some love today by reminding her that you haven't forgotten her girl, that you're still here thinking about them and sending support. Send her an email, leave her a comment or even better make a donation here. How amazing would it be if each month the donation page got a surge visitors on Evelynn's day. Even if you have already donated, please consider donating again. If you are unfamiliar with Evelynn's story you can read about it here. No parent deserves to lose one child, but losing two plus your ability to carry more children...there are no words. We love you Becky, even if you aren't reading, we are here and we remember both of your sweet babies.

April 22, 2012, will always be a day I remember forever. A day that brought two perfect little rainbows into the world and how I wish they both could have stayed.

I am so incredibly grateful for M. He fills my life with joy and love. He has not healed my broken heart, but that was never his job. What he has done is give me new reasons to smile and fill my arms and my time. I'm busy, tired and smell like baby puke 95% of the time and I wouldn't have it any other way.

I have been reflecting on what the first 3 months after Addi was born and the last 3 months with Mason...such a difference. For one I don't dread the 22nd like I used to dread the 5th of each month. Actually it sneaks up on me and I only think about it because it marks another month older my son is. We went into the hospital on a Saturday and M was born on a Sunday just like his sister, but this time I don't have any feeling towards those two days. I remember how hard they were after Addi, it was months before a weekend didn't bring me to my knees. Especially when the 4th and 5th landed on the Sat/Sun combo. This 3 month mark lands on the same days as it did when he was born and it didn't occur to me until just now!

I wrote this post when we were 3 months out from Addi. It's difficult to go back and read it as I remember how hurt and broken I was when I wrote it. All the expectations I had for where things would be for a 3 month old. I will never know the answer to the questions for Addison, but for Mason I am lucky enough to know the answers. For anyone that is interested, here is what's up with Mason.

As of 7/22/12

He weighs: 13 pounds 2 ounces

His length: exactly 24 inches long

He wears: very little of his 0-3 month clothing. Most of it is pretty tight so just a few days ago I took almost all of it out of his drawers and replaced it with 3-6 month clothing. It was harder than I expected. I love that he is growing, but it's hard to see that time gone in a physical way. We have also moved him up to the size 2 diaper. He can still fit in a 1, but he is in that mid point where they both fit so we might as well go up the size.

He smiles: Just this week he has been smiling a little more as he is hurting a little less. It's so wonderful to see his personality shine through. I wouldn't say we have a full on laugh, but there is lots of "talking" aka cooing. I swear it sounds like he says "hi" or more like highhhhhh. He squeals in delight after he really gets going and of course we know he has great lungs because his screaming is top notch!

I wasn't going to write Mason a letter on this blog as it feels like one of the few things I get to do only for Addi. Instead I was going to keep M's letters in his journal, but I have failed miserably at that so here is an attempt at keeping things going here. I have to remind myself that it's okay to do some of the same things even if he already gets more than his fair share.

Dear Mason,
You are an amazing little boy and I love you so much. You make me smile in ways I thought I would never smile again. I love that you need me, but the truth is that I need you even more. The last 3 months with you have been what I have longed for. I love everything about you from the top of your head to the bottom of your toes. I could kiss you all day long and sometimes do. I find myself just taking you in as much as possible. Just last night I was staring at the creases in your ankles and the hairs on your shoulders. I drink you in as much as possible.

You love to be held and lucky for you there is always someone who wants to hold you. Everyone can't get enough of you. Most families there would be at least one person who wouldn't want the screaming baby around, but your family wants you no matter what. Your Uncle Alex, your Auntie Alisa, Papa, Daddy, they all want you. Your Grandma steals you the most, she might even think you are better than a cruise and that is saying something! We also have tons of wonderful friends lining up to love on you, but at the end of the day it's your mama who wants to get her hands on you.

I love the way your face lights up when I kiss your perfect lips and how you relax in my arms. I still don't enjoy nursing, but I do enjoy the way it soothes you. I think you would nurse all day if I would let you. I think your two favorite things are the boob and your swing...with an honorable mention going to the ceiling fan.

I am constantly resting my hand on your chest just to feel it move up and down with each breath you take. I rarely listen to the radio in the car just so I can hear a breathe, a movement or any sound you might make. I hope someday you will cut me a break for holding you so close. I just need you to be okay. Forgive me for hovering, smothering and kissing you in public, just know that I'll try my best to give you space. Remember that I CAN imagine what it would be like to lose you and that's why I am so protective.

I have so many hopes and dreams for you, but most of all I just want you to be a good person who loves life. I can't wait for you to be old enough to understand that you have a big sister. I hate that she will never teach you how to tie your shoe or read to you, but I just know she is watching out for you in any way she can.

I love you my boy.

3 months old today! (Last size one diaper)
Very interested in our feet this morning...much to mom's disappointment...just wanted one smile! 

Seriously, these things are awesome!

OMG you can put extra things on them...BETTER!!!!

The only shot I could get with him looking at me...why does he have such a guilty look on his face...wonder what's in his diaper...hmmm

Saturday, July 21, 2012

X, Y & Z...a little bit of everything

Tonight I was mistaken for one of them you know the "normal mom out in public with her baby who other moms think they can just come up to and strike up a conversation with". There I was minding my own business waiting to be seated at the Olive Garden and the mom seated on the other side of the waiting area actually gets up out of her seat and comes over to talk to me...the nerve! Okay I know this is probably something I totally would have been into pre-Addison, but now I find it odd and uncomfortable that other moms gravitate to me just because I have a baby they can see. This lady meant well and just wanted to "bond" over the fact that we both had little boys. The only thing that really stung was that her older daughter came over with her to see Mason too...ugh. Of course she had an older girl.

This friendly little encounter made me really uncomfortable. It actually really surprised me at how uncomfortable. If I could have closed my eyes and pretended she wasn't there I think it would have made me feel better (although that would make me super crazy)! Thankfully she didn't ask if he was my first and I was able to answer all her questions, but I wasn't able to ask her about HER baby. I just didn't care...that sounds awful, but I really didn't. I could tell Brian felt bad for her as she was getting nothing from me so he was the polite one and started asking her questions about her baby. In my head I was thinking how stupid it was that I couldn't just get over myself and have a conversation with her, but I just couldn't. Thankfully after a few very uncomfortable minutes our little pager went off to be seated and I couldn't have jumped out of the seat any faster. Poor lady...she was probably very confused or just thought I was rude. I just don't feel like a normal mom and it is crazy to me that strangers can't sense that...I feel like it is so obvious about me, how broken and lost I am. Often times I feel like there is a giant flashing sign above my head, but there isn't and I can just blend in as if I am one of them. It's so odd to me.

I had another instance this week were I ran into an old friend...actually an old boyfriend. It was a rare occasion in which I didn't have M with me (he was having some grandma time), but I was able to show off his picture and gush about my baby boy. In my head I was screaming Addison's name, I wanted to gush about her too. It's probably been 10 years since I have seen this's amazing how much has changed. Life was so much simpler when we had dated. So much is good, but so much sad. It made me wonder what things he had gone through in his own life that you just don't talk about in a chance encounter. It was really nice to see him, but even nicer to leave hand in hand with my husband. I'm a lucky girl to have chosen such a wonderful partner.

Things have been going great with M. I am soaking up every minute even all the minutes filled with screaming and crying. I can't believe we are so close to 3 months. It really doesn't seem possible that we have been lucky enough to have him for this long. During the moments that his tummy isn't hurting him I always have my phone ready to take a picture of his wonderful smile. Here is a picture from this week (if you follow me on Instagram then you have already seen it), but it's one of my new favorites :)

Since I rarely get time on the laptop anything I can do on my phone is key. Since I am exclusively breastfeeding I have lots of time to be on my phone. My top favorites have become Instagram and Pinterest. It's a win win for everyone because Brian has gotten several new recipes for dinner and my friends have gotten to see more pictures of Mason. I still really struggle posting his picture on FB. I know people must think we are all happy and normal now and that really bothers me. I know it is my own issue, but I like that Instagram is a little more intimate and that the people I have on there know that we have more than one child and acknowledge it. The truth is that we are happy, but we are still sad too.

I have also noticed that pregnant women still bother me. You would think it would be no big deal now that we have M, but the truth is that I am still envious of how easy it seems to be for them and their (seemingly) blissful ignorance is still hard. I think another part has to do with the fact that I know so many BLM's who I wish could be pregnant too and it sucs that it is so easy for some and not for others. Also little girls are still incredibly painful. I have enough to say on that for it's very own post...another day I suppose.

I probably should have just bulleted this post because I have so many things just jumping around my brain. I'm too tired and lazy to go back over and start again so it's another jumbled post for you all. Sorry.

I'm reading all the blogs, but before I would check for new posts a million times a day and now I find I am checking less and less. Still reading everyday, but just not as "hungry" for them as I used to be. Maybe this is progress?!? I don't know. I do know that I have been trying to live in the land where babies live a little more than in the land where babies die. I know I will always have one foot in both worlds, but it's a struggle to find exactly where I fit.

Last thing. I have been referring to Mason a lot by just "M". It occurred to me that the reason I do that is because I get to say his name ALL the time. I don't think I would refer to Addison on a daily basis as "A" because I don't get to say her name nearly enough, but Mason I say multiple times a day, people say his name to me, his name is printed on the mail and on his prescriptions and well everything else you can think of. I can write M all the time over and over because at the end of the day it's probably the name I say more times than anyone else. Kind of interesting...or maybe not, it's just been on my mind.

Okay, that's all I have for now. I have a whole post about being in the hospital with M and coming home with him just waiting for me to hit publish, but for some reason I just keep thinking it's missing something. I'll try getting on that!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Nineteen Months

Decorated for the 4th
It's been nineteen months. Nineteen whole long months since our lives changed forever. I had to think about it this month and then double check to see if that was really right. I'm not sure if I am having a hard time remembering the exact month age because it is getting so much bigger or because I just can't believe it's really been this long.

It's been a hard few days for me. I have been extra tired even though Mason let's me sleep for at least 5 hours a night. My body still thinks it needs more than 5 hours per night...imagine that! I have been feeling like a grief storm is coming, like at any moment something little will happen and I will burst into a million tears. Since the tears have not come yet the grief seems to fester leaving me to turn my grief into anger and making me snappy and short with the people I love. I think part of that is also attributed to the fact that I have never ending patience with Mason and ALL of his crying, but since I use up all that patience for M, there is none left for anyone else.

Last year the 4th of July was so sad and difficult because we didn't have our then 7 month old and we weren't pregnant and hope was feeling further and further away. That day was supposed to go a certain way and it didn' couldn't and we could only hope for 2012's 4th to be different and lucky for us it was, but it still fell short.

The fact that we even were able to have our sweet boy with us for this years 4th made it the best 4th yet, but I couldn't help the "should have beens". This year I was 'stuck' inside breastfeeding and when I wasn't doing that I was making sure M had all the rest of his needs meet. Yes, I have great family and lots of help, but I still make sure to be close too him just in case. As much as I am so thankful to have M to cater to, I was wishing I was splish splashing in the water, building sand castles and picking Grandma Karen's raspberries with my girl. I was just plain missing her and all that could have been.

There was a moment when the fireworks started and M was crying and we were walking and bouncing and patting his back (oh my) and I just took a moment to stand alone and hold him tight and be thankful for him and that he was at the lake house with me on his very first 4th of July, the same place where I spent my very first one and every single one since then. I thought about how special it was to share this spot and this day with him and how I hope there are many more to come. And then mixed with those same happy nostalgic thoughts I let myself be sad for the little girl who would never spend her first or any 4th of July with us. Because that's okay to be happy and sad all in the same moment.

Some pictures from the 4th.
First 4th outfit

Loving our boy and missing our girl

Sporting his big sister's bib

This picture has no real meaning, I just thought it was hilarious. 4th of July was also Addi's Great-Grandpa's 83rd birthday and I would like to caption this picture with "You think YOU are pretty gangsta?!?" In reality the sun was on that side and he was just keeping his ear covered, but still cracked me up!

Dear Addi,
I can't think of a way to start this letter off that is different than any other time I have written you. I love you and I miss you...are you tired of hearing that...I hope not because I cannot imagine a time where those words won't be the first things I think about when I think of you.

It's been so rough without you. Knowing things can never be the way I had imagined and that you will always be missing. I struggle to share your little brother with acquaintances and strangers as they just don't get how bittersweet our lives are. I ran into a friend from school the other day when I was with your dad and brother. I introduced them both to her and she probably assumed Mason was our first and only child. She didn't ask if he was and it would have been awkward of be to throw in an "oh by the way, I have a daughter too" so I just left it, but it made me feel so sad that I wasn't able to introduce you too.

This month also brought you a new neighbor at the cemetery. It makes me so incredibly sad each time I see a new baby added, but this one was even more difficult because it was added in the vacant spot next to yours. It is my hope that we never EVER need another plot for any of your siblings, but it felt a little like insurance to have it open and it gives me crazy anxiety now that it is filled. It also made me crazy that the people who placed the new casket made such a mess and left your stone COVERED in dirt. Lucky for me grandma found it first and cleaned up your spot. Lots of people look out for you little one.

Today we (and by we I mean your daddy) set up the pack and play grandma and papa bought for you so many many months ago. It matches your car seat and stroller and I'm pretty sure your brother is thrilled (or will be one day) that we didn't go with pink! It was bittersweet (there's that word again) to set it up knowing it wasn't for you, but so so nice to see your brother making good use of it. I have to say it must be the Cadillac of pack and plays...there doesn't seem to be anything it doesn't do! I think you would be happy knowing your brother is able to use all of his big sister's gear.

I don't know what this next month will bring, but one thing I will promise you is that I will still be missing you and loving you. Wish you were here.

The picture doesn't do it justice. Kudos Graco, awesome product!

Using the handy changing station

Little brother enjoying what was passed down from his big sister

It's not a pink bikini, but still a pretty cute swim suit!

Dad says the hat is dorky, mom says it's cute...what say you?

Monday, July 2, 2012

A little Mason update

Since I suuuuuuuucccccckkkkkkkkk....kkkkk at blogging (yes I suck so much I had to add even more k's to emphasize). I wanted to at least share some Mason with you since I know people are wondering how he is doing. So here is a Mason update. No deep thoughts or real blog material. Just Mason.

Mason turned TWO months old on June 22nd (where in the hell has time gone?!?) I seriously can't believe how lucky we have been to have gotten this much time with him so far...hoping for more, but oh my have I soaked up what we have been given.

At his 2 month appointment his stats were:
Weight 12lbs 3oz
Height 23 inches
and head circumference....39.6cm!

So height and weight are in the 50% range, but his giant head is in the 70th! No wonder he is such a bobble head! He actually does pretty well holding it up considering!

Mason has something called Tracheomalacia, basically his little flipper flapper in his throat (yeah I know I'm super technical) doesn't work right quite yet. He is a super noisy breather because of it and spits up a lot for a breast fed baby. The noisy breathing is AWESOME because I can always hear him breathing, but the rest of it really sucks for him.

Turns out part of my problem with breastfeeding was that I was over feeding him. So now that I am not doing it as often it is not hurting quite as much. Still not enjoyable, but we are figuring this out!

Mason cries quite a bit. My pediatrician called him a "difficult child".I kind of laughed. I was like well he could cry 24/7 and I would still love the crap out of him! He just wanted me to know that his discomfort will pass and this crankiness will not last forever. Um okay! Crying/screaming=alive...I'll take it!

Even thought he is a cranky little guy he does have some amazingly sweet moments and is happy. My IPhone is always near by to catch these smiles!

He is sleeping an average of 5-6 hours a night and one time only he slept for 8 hours and 19 minutes!

He loves:
white noise
being massaged
bath time
staring at lights/ceiling fan
being outside
to stand as we hold him
and when I stroke his head

He hates:
waking up...almost always screaming from the second he opens his eyes...if not before!
diaper changes
being put in the car seat
and of course the dreaded tummy time

We can't get enough of him. Poor guy doesn't get put down much because there are always arms to hold him...what a life. Some how he did manage to roll over some time ago from his tummy to his back.

Here is some of the cuteness


Just spent FOREVER looking for 7 and 9 week pictures...I will have to look another day!

PS These pictures were taken next to Addi's bear made by Molly Bears! And yes, that blue stripe on his diaper means it's time to change it. I DO change my child's diaper, but if we do diaper change before pictures he is screaming even more than some of these pictures show. So we do diaper change AFTER pictures :)