Wednesday, April 25, 2007

To my baby boy at 3 months

Dear Caden,

Its hard to believe that it has been over three months since I first held you in my arms, since I first heard your tiny little cry, since I first looked into your beautiful eyes. Mommy and Daddy love you so much and every day of the past 3 months have been nothing short of amazing. Every day is wonderful simply because you are in our life.
You are such an amazing little baby, our little miracle. You love to smile and coo, and Mommy and Daddy love when you do those things! Everyone does - your little smile has the ability to brighten every room and you have touched the lives of everyone around you. In your third month here there are so many things you are doing and enjoy now. You love to sit on Mommy and Daddy's lap and look around, you love when Daddy gives you little airplane rides and gives you your bath every night. We play a lot and you always squeal and coo in delight - it melts Mommy's heart every time. You love to snuggle up and take a nap or just look in our eyes. We love every thing about you.
Daddy is so proud of you, his little man. I don't think there is anyone on earth so in love and so proud as your Daddy is of you. Not a night has gone by that your Daddy hasn't looked down at you in his arms, smiled the biggest smile, and gone on and on about how cute and perfect and awesome you are.

Everyone is in love with you! Your grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins... Before you were even born Mommy had a great big shower and everyone brought you lots of presents and was already so excited to meet you. The other weekend you got to meet all of Daddy's relatives at your "Meet the Baby" shower. Again, you got lots and lots of presents but you stole the show. Everyone said what a good and beautiful baby you are (some even said you should be a girl you're so pretty, hehe). You had a lot of fun and so many snuggles. When it was time to go home everyone was already so excited to see you again and were talking about next time.
Over this past weekend we took you for a day out window shopping. You slept most of the time but everyone who passed smiled at you. Lots of people stopped and said hello, even other mommies stopped to say how cute you were. I love that about you - that not only do you bring joy to every day of our life, but you put a smile on the face of anyone and everyone you encounter.
Mommy and Daddy already bought you your 1st birthday present! Early, yes, but we know you are going to love it. You also came with us to pick out some flowers for our yard - We are going to plant a flower for you so we can watch it grow as you do.

I'm sorry I am a day late in this letter, I meant to write it to you on your exact 3 month birthday but we had a big day yesterday. You and I went to visit Grandma and play with your little cousin Riley. Riley came to visit you in the hospital with Uncle Neil and Auntie Becky but he didn't know what to think of you. In the months since he has still been a little weary of your presence but now he loves you just as much as the rest of our world. Riley is 20 months old and is looking forward to playing with you when you are older. He loves to give you lots of kisses - to him you are known as "baby!". When you would nap he would peer over to see you. Then the three of us (you, Mommy, and Riley) played outside in the grass for a little bit. You even got to cuddle and play with your Uncle Neil before we went home. You were all smiles all day and love when we go to Grandma’s, and she loves when you come to visit.

Mommy and Daddy still can't believe how fast the time has passed. We are so excited for all the days to come and the plans we have to do together. You are such a special, amazing little baby and I want you to always know how much you are loved. All those around you have loved you since the day you were conceived, and that will never change. Happy 3 month birthday my beautiful baby boy.

Love always (and then some!),

Mommy and Daddy

Friday, April 20, 2007

In the end

During the first trimester of my pregnancy I knew things could go wrong. I didn't let it inhibit my excitement over being pregnant and I didn't dwell on that but I knew nothing was promised. When I entered my second trimester I breathed a sigh of relief and when I hit 20 weeks I felt great. We had our ultrasound, baby was doing great, mom was doing great, things couldn't be better. Everything was perfect and I was so happy and so in love with my pregnancy (and my baby of course!). Not that I wasn't before but at this point everything was just wonderful - no more morning sickness, I felt great, and I was truly enjoying every aspect of my pregnancy.

Then 2 weeks later it all came crashing down.

When my blood pressure shot up I thought to myself "okay, I can deal with this". They had me do the 24 hour urine collection and I thought everything would be okay. I've always been healthy, I'm young, in shape, things will be fine. When the call came the next day that my kidneys were spilling a significant amount of protein (503) I felt like I was punched in the stomach. Then everything was just a whirlwind... bed rest, blood tests, extra appointments, at home blood pressure monitoring, etc. And every time a blood test or urine collection or whatever came back "bad" it was another slap in the face with how my body is failing me. How my body failed at this pregnancy.

I spent the last 4 months of my pregnancy on bed rest. Every extra appointment, test, collection, blood pressure reading - all of it was a reminder of how my body was failing me and my unborn son. When I was told to expect my baby premature it devastated me for about a day - then I was determined to make sure I did everything possible (not that I wasn't already), no matter the sacrifice, for the sake of my little boy. This is something I've kept up to this day and will continue to for the rest of my life, no matter what happens beyond my control.

The “bad” days were always brightened by a kick and a wiggle. I talked to my unborn son daily and marveled at how much I could love this little person who had not even been born. How he had the ability to turn a bad day good, to put a smile on my face, and to make all right with the world when he hadn't even taken his first breath. But even so the reminders of how my body failed us were still there in the background. Even though I was still carrying my son, he was doing well, and things could be so much worse, the thoughts were there.

When we made it to term those feelings let up slightly. Despite every obstacle placed before us, I - my body, still carried my beautiful little boy to 39 weeks. Then when Caden crashed during labor, I thought I was going to lose him and needed an emergency c-section the thoughts of failure came flooding back. When the quite of that sterile operation room was broken by the sound of my son crying nothing mattered. The stress, worry, tests, surgery, everything was worth it and has been ever since.

In the months since Caden's birth everything "bad" has melted away from daily life... but far back in my mind, hiding in a dark corner were the feelings of how my body failed me both during my pregnancy and the issues I face now. I regret that I wasn't able to enjoy my pregnancy 100%, that I failed at a vaginal delivery, that I failed at a healthy pregnancy.

Yesterday as I nursed my son I once again marveled at our love for each other, his ability to make me smile, to make the bad days good, and to make everything right with the world. His smile warms my heart in a way words cannot describe. I looked at his little hand as it grasped my finger and stared in his eyes. I can't believe how perfect he is and that he is mine. His 10 perfect fingers, his 10 perfect toes, his beautiful face, his amazing smile. I gazed at my healthy, happy baby boy and knew... my body didn't fail me and it didn't fail my son. Sure I might not have had the prefect pregnancy and I might not have had the perfect labor and delivery but here is my little boy, perfect as can be, and he is mine.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Becoming Mommy

Thats all the world needs - another Mommy blog. I've been meaning to start this blog for sometime now but the 2 months and 2 weeks since the birth of my son have been hectic to say the least. But I love to write and can do quite well with it when I want to so the return to the blog world was inevitable. I've kept a blog in the past regarding my pregnancy but I'd like to keep that private and the birth of my son brought a new chapter.
My pregnancy was labeled high risk due to pre-eclampsia and while I never for even a minute doubted that I would hold my beautiful baby boy in my arms, there was worry and stress. Complications with me, my son, premature birth... all were expected. But on January 24, 2007, after 26 hours of labor, fetal distress, and an emergency c-section, my son was welcomed into this world full term and perfectly healthy. Caden Michael weighed in at 7lbs, 6oz and 19inces long. He was greeted by his loving and proud Mommy and Daddy, adoring Grandparents, and a host of Aunts and Uncles. Every day since I wake in the morning and think to myself - How lucky are we? Steve (my husband) and I have our perfect little boy, our cute little house, 3 funky cats, a loving family, and are finally our beautiful little family of three.

Caden is a healthy, happy baby - he is gaining well and growing and hitting all the milestones expected. He's already rolled over, holds his head up, smiles and coos all the time, is showing interest in toys and loves his Mommy and Daddy most of all.
Becoming Mommy hasn't been the easiest thing I've done in my life by far. I knew the day I found out I was pregnant that this would be hard - the most difficult I could imagine. But even so I had no idea just how hard becoming mommy would be. Nothing is the same - even the most tiny detail of everyday life is forever changed. Welcoming Caden into the world and bringing him home with us required us to re-organize or entire life. We've had to learn how to do even the simplest task again - and differently now that we had a baby. We've had to rethink how we do everything and discover how to live this new life with our son. It is an ongoing process and we learn something new every day but so far I think we have done quite well! The first few weeks were tough but slowly we are learning and settling into our new life. Projects around the house have started up again, outings have been planned, things get done, and laughter and love fill our house. There are still the hard days, tummy aches and sleepless nights - and while I dream of a good nights sleep, calm my child through his fussy moments and tummy aches, and some days accomplish nothing at all beyond baby, not a moment goes by that I don't realize how worth it everything is. The complications of my pregnancy, the worry and stress, a complicated delivery, all that disappeared the moment I heard my son cry the first time and looked into his tiny eyes. And the stress of those "bad" days and sleepless nights melt away the second my little boy looks up at me, smiles, and lets out a little coo. Nothing compares to those first smiles your child gives that are only for you... except every smile afterwards. The way his eyes light up when he sees me is amazing. He is amazing. Steve and I still look at him and can't believe that we made this perfect little person - that one day on our honeymoon led to him and that he is ours.
Yesterday I was talking with my Mother. I was telling her how late at night after I finish nursing Caden and lay him back in his crib to sleep… no matter how exhausted I am and no matter how much I just want to go back to bed I can't resist when he looks up at me and smiles. I stand there in the dim light of his nursery looking at him as he gazes up and we smile at each other. She looked at me with a little grin and said "It's amazing how much you can love them - you never know just how much you can love until they are here". And she is right. I loved Caden the moment I knew he was inside me. I fell more in love with him every day that passed. With every wiggle, every kick, every hiccup, my love grew. I was amazed at how much I could love a person I'd never even seen. But that was nothing compared to the first moment I held him in my arms and every day since. The love you have for you child is like nothing I'd even known. I love my son with all of my heart and a thousand more and there is nothing I wouldn't do for him. The challenges of becoming mommy are many - but the rewards are so much more.

Beyond our little bundle of joy there are 2 more that make up our family of three. My husband and I were married on April 29, 2006 and are getting ready to celebrate our first anniversary. Caden was conceived on our honeymoon and while he was a very welcomed surprise, it isn't like we didn't know what we were doing. Our wedding was amazing and its still hard to believe its almost been a year - and even more how far we've come in such a short time. Prior to finding out I was pregnant we were planning a big trip for our first anniversary and we were getting ready to book when those 2 pink lines appeared. Now things have changed but we are still planning a great night, even though it will be a little more quiet.

I don't know what will happen with this blog. I don't know who will read it if anyone, I don't know who I might pass the address along to. Perhaps it will die out like previous ones, or maybe I'll do better at maintaining it. But this is me and my life - while not the choice of all and not the most exciting to some, its everything to me and my family of three.

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