Tuesday, February 26

The Story of Us Part XI

August 6, 2012 marked 11 years together for Ryan and me.

Eleven years together, six of those married.

I love our story.

From the first 18 years of chance meetings and unbelievable coincidences to the last six years of marriage, parenthood and figuring out, well, everything.

I never want to forget how we came to be or all that we've been through to get here.


Catch up with Part IPart IIPart IIIPart IVPart VPart VI Part VIIPart VIII, Part VIIII and Part X.


******

I always thought when I had a baby, there would be the cliche hustle and bustle of family nosing around, bringing me casseroles and ugly baby clothes, maybe even occasionally cleaning my house or taking the baby so Mama could nap or shower.

Reality couldn't have been further from that.

Ryan and I had zero help.

I don't think anyone in Ryan's family EVER visited (other than at the hospital) and when my family visited, they didn't help or do anything.

Despite my mother working in childcare from the time I was 6 or 7 years old, she offered very little useful advice. The few times she tried to help, it just seemed awkward and uncomfortable.

Friends didn't do much either. Other than rather quickly phase themselves out of our lives.

I didn't even have a baby shower.

I remember feeling very, very alone most of the time.

At the same time, I truly did love spending my days curled up on the couch, floor or bed, snuggling or playing with Kadyn. Or napping together. We did A LOT of that.

Two weeks after Kadyn was born, Ryan went back to work.

The first solo day was a shitty one.

Literally.

Being new to this whole parenting gig, I was unaware that a baby's diaper should not be changed IMMEDIATELY after a deposit is made.

Because there may be more than one deposit.

I learned this lesson by 9 am on my first day alone.

Kadyn had pooped so he obviously needed to be changed.

I put the change mat down on the couch and laid Kadyn on it.

I opened his diaper and was cleaning Kadyn up with a wipe when he starting pooping again.

And he didn't stop.

He just. kept. pooping.

And pooping.

And pooping.

And pooping.

Rookie Mama over here tried to catch it in a wipe but the consistency  (chocolate mousse-like) and volume (at least 4 gallons) made that impossible.

There was poop ALL over Kadyn, his diaper, his sleeper, the change mat, the blanket under the change mat and Mama.

There was so much and it was so bad, I had no choice but to scoop the entire lot up and toss it all in the bathtub.

After we were all cleaned up, we called Dad at work to tell him of our adventures. 

Then we took a nap.

Obviously.

Life was pretty sweet for the few few weeks.

Snuggle, sleep, watch trashy TV, eat, sleep some more, snuggle.

The first 6 weeks with Kadyn are some of my favourite times in my entire life.

Just before Kadyn's second month, he started nursing endlessly.

Like, 45 minutes per boob, 30 minute break, repeat, repeat, repeat.

And screaming endlessly.

This went on for a few weeks.

And we were lost. Lost, exhausted and on the brink of insanity.

At least I was.

After an almost 2 hour solid feeding session one Saturday morning, Ryan made a bottle and told me to give it to Kadyn.

I was too exhausted to fight and I knew Ryan was just trying to do the best for us.

Kadyn sucked back the entire 6 ounces like it was nothing.

Ryan made 6 more and Kadyn drank almost all of that, too.

Then he passed out like a drunken sailor.

It was the first time he truly seemed sated.

Truth be told, I nursed Kadyn mainly because Ryan wanted me to.

Even though I was 'doing it for my husband' I was quite reluctant to supplement with formula.

But not after that Saturday.

I had suspected that my milk supply was not enough for Kadyn.

That Saturday sealed the deal.

My boobs, already lazy, gave up completely and dried up entirely.

So formula it was.

I knew it was best for Kadyn.

And myself, I was at my breaking point for the never ending nursing/screaming cycle.

But it was still hard on me.

What a mindfuck motherhood is, eh?

I didn't really want to breastfeed but the reality of NOT being able to feed my child was like a brick to the face.

Putting Kadyn on formula made things better but he was still screaming, inconsolably, for most of the day.

It was then that we discovered colic.

This is where prenatal classes fail miserably.

I don't want to see babies crowning from strange cooters.

I know how to change a diaper.

I know a baby needs a car seat.

What I don't know is how the fuck to deal with a baby who won't stop screaming. EVER.

Colic? What the fuck is that?

AND HOW DO I MAKE IT STOP?!?!?!

So, like any good mother, I took to the internet.

Armed with a World Wide Web of information, we bought Oval and gripe water, we employed a kajillion massage and burping techniques, we ran water, the vacuum  and the hair dryer. We went for midnight car rides almost every night.

Car rides were the only surefire way to calm Kadyn and get him to sleep at night.

Other than that, violent (yet safe!) swinging in his car seat and violent (yet not injury-causing!) 'pats' on the back were our only other solutions.

This boy LOVED to be beat. HARD.

Daddy and his big, strong man hands were the best for this job.

Mama would do in a pinch but Daddy could calm and soothe Kadyn far better (or maybe just easier) than I ever could. 

But, like Daddy, Mama had a secret weapon as well - hysterical crying.

Colic is a BITCH, people. And sometimes it's just too much to take. Sometimes that bitch brought me to tears. For some reason, that stopped Kadyn's tears.

Go figure.

The worst part of colic is that even with Oval, gripe water, car rides, back smacking, and mama tears, you just have to wait it out.

Or in our case, ride the wave.

Kadyn was colicky off and on until he was about 6 months old.

It left as quickly as it came.

The rest of our first year as a family of three was pretty uneventful. Uneventful, yet awesome.

Sure, as new parents, we stumbled a lot, found out a few things the hard way and made mistakes but we all survived. 

For every stumble, there was a snuggle.

For every hard lesson learned, there was a moment of clarity.

And for every mistake there was a milestone.

And sometimes there are kicks in the crotch you just don't see coming.

The story the best sums up our first year as parents began while I was still pregnant.

While browsing through my favourite children's store, a very small child zipped past us, his poor pregnant mother lagging behind. We ended up chatting with Mom while her boy zigged and zagged through the store. We learned that the little speed demon was just barely a year old.

What the what?!?!?!

A fresh one year old, RUNNING!?!?

That's not supposed to happen, is it?

After parting ways, Ryan and I discussed the insanity that a running one year old must be and joked that we would probably be the lucky parents of a zippy one year old.

Guess what?


Those photos were taken at Kadyn's first birthday party.

He started crawling at 4 months and was full out walking solo by 11 months.

So while our first year as parents was uneventful, it certainly was not quiet, calm or peaceful.

Which makes sense given our loud, excitable and often turbulent first born.

******

Next week: More from the boring world of parenting! YAY!

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