Thursday, October 13, 2011


Dear Charlotte,

Today you are one.  One entire year old. How can 365 days have passed since I held you for the first time? In some ways I feel like this moment was just yesterday and in some ways I feel as though I have known you and loved you my entire life.

I haven't been writing here in some time mainly because I have been having so much fun with you this past summer.

Here we are one year later, no longer a baby by the tradtional definition, but a toddler.
A one year old who loves to clap her hands and who squeals in delight while exclaiming "Doggy" upon seeing our 4 legged friend Molly. A one year old who eats vegetables and knows the actions to songs and can cruise around a coffee table faster than I can snap my fingers. A one year old who loves to climb (everything!), who always shares her toys and loves to be read to. A one year old who makes my eyes swell with tears whenever I think about how much I love you.

We have both grown so much over the last year and come through good times (too many to count) and bad (remember those 5-7pm cry fests last december ;) 
Part of learning is making mistakes and I am sure that I made many in my first year of being your mommy. I have no regrets though because we figured things out along the way...together.

Some of my friends are having their first babies soon and perhaps so are some people who are reading this. Many people give advice to first time moms and I too received my fair share. As it turns out, the best advice i got was from a random stranger at the grocery store. You know the kind moms...they peer into your baby's car seat as she JUST feel asleep after cruising the produce aisle 30 times and then speaks in a loud voice to tell you how cute your baby is!

She told me to take many pictures..."you know real ones because it goes so fast and you will forget".

At first I didn't know what she meant by "real" pictures but I thought about how quick I am to use my cell phone and take a somewhat blurred picture because it is so convenient. From that moment on, I started to use our good camera more often. Taking it to the park, on playdates or when sitting around the house.

I couldn't imagine that I would forget all of our moments together but sadly it's true. The days turn into weeks and months and then all of a sudden a year.

So my beautiful Charlotte  I have perhaps a couple thousand photos of our first year together. I wish we could stop time some days and just keep you little for a while longer but you have so much more growing and learning to do. Who am I to stop you? And definitions will always be my baby. Happy 1st Birthday my love.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Musical Memories

Don't you love how a song can instantly transport you to a time and place in your past?

My Ipod shuffled to City and Colour the other day and it brought me back to October. For whatever reason, my husband and I would often play this album as nice quiet music when guests came over.

Watching the leaves fall from the trees, sipping coffee and staring at our brand new baby girl.
City and Colour

The Joys and Challenges of Breastfeeding

The nurses at the hospital kept telling me that I was textbook at breastfeeding.She latches on perfectly they said. You have no troubles here.They were right. I was SO first.

I soon found out that I was dealing with an oversupply of milk and a monster let down. To my friends who were supplementing with formula and could not seem to get their milk supply up, my problem seemed like a blessing.

It really is true that you can have too much a good thing though.  My breasts constantly leaked milk and a slight squeeze would send milk spraying in all directions.  Charlotte could not keep up. She began gagging, choking, pulling on and off the breast and spitting up all the time.

A few weeks later, I found myself alone for the first night while my husband was away. She was doing her regular screaming at the boob, pulling off and on to get the flow adjusted when suddenly her eyes glassed over and she vomited what seemed like a pint of milk across the room. I was trembling. Sure she was constantly spitting up but this was something I had never experienced. The projectile vomit. I tried to calmly wipe her face, change her clothes, clean the floor, clean myself and then in between sobs called my mother in law to ask if she was sick. She assured me that babies sometimes just vomit.

I remember crying so much that night. The baby books certainly didn't help. One glance at projectile vomiting and the words  Pyloric Stenosis appear-a disorder in which the muscle in the lower part of the stomach, called the pylorus, builds up and blocks the flow of food into the small intestine requiring surgery.

I would soon find out that Charlotte was a puker. Not a happy spit up baby but full on projectile vomiting every 2-3 days. I started block feeding which is when you feed only from one breast per feed in order to slow down my milk production. I also started feeding her lying down so she had to work against gravity.

She eventually slowed down (to be exact her last puke was 2 weeks ago. Just watch I am jinxing myself and she will vomit tomorrow!). There really is no climax to this story but just to say that it is so easy to become overwhelmed and worried as a first time mom. I never regret a single time I do become overly concerned though. It is a mother's job to worry!

Breastfeeding has been incredibly rewarding for me but very demanding too. Charlotte refuses to take a bottle of expressed milk. The books and nurses will have you worried silly about the dreaded nipple confusion. They warned me that if I gave my baby a bottle she will not know how to suck from my breast again ! The challenge with waiting too long is that you end up in my situation with a baby who flat out refuses anything but boob.

I often feel conflicted about this problem. People tell me constantly that I need to get her on a bottle otherwise I will resent her for never having any freedom. Part of me understand this. I would love to have a night out with my husband or even go out with the girls and have someone else give her a bottle of milk.

On the other hand, there are moments where I just accept that it is what it is. It is my own fault for not getting her to accustomed to a bottle early on. More importantly, she is only going to be this little for such a short period in my life.

 In 20 years from now will I look back and think to myself that these 6 months were hell? That I wish  I could have had time out with my friends?

Or will I look back with fondness on those quiet winter nights where my little munchkin was snuggled against me in bed?