A Personal Adventure Into Parenthood

No WAY It Could Be Worse – Baby A’s Pregnancy August 8, 2015

Now those of you who have been following my blog know that my pregnancy with V was a little rough. Bleeding, early contractions, PPROM (pre-term premature rupture of membranes for those in the know!) and an extended NICU stay for our first little miracle man definitely made for some interesting stories. His pregnancy wasn’t actually too rough on me though. I had a few small kidney stones, and plenty of anxiety, but mostly V just didn’t deal well with being ‘baked’.

When A and I decided to try for Baby #2 we determined that it really couldn’t be any worse than V’s and we were prepared! We thought we’d maybe have to have some hormone injections and perhaps in an extreme case have a cerclage placed. We were prepared for some late-term bedrest and maybe another short stay in the newly updated NICU. We had this!

God must have heard us planning and had himself a pretty good laugh. He probably thought ‘Easy eh? I’ll show them!!’ What followed was probably the worst summer on record followed by the joyous birth of our second son. They say you can’t have a testimony without a test so let me fill you in. Note that I have another post planned with his actual birth story but this is just the condensed ‘highlight’ (low-light?) reel of pregnancy #2.

Spoiler Alert: All's well that ends well.

Spoiler Alert: All’s well that ends well.

Test #1 – Initial Stones

Not even a week after we got the plus sign on the pregnancy test I woke up at 4am, from a dead sleep, literally screaming in pain. I thought for sure I had an ectopic pregnancy and my insides were rupturing into a pile of mush…it hurt that badly. Keep in mind I’m no stranger to kidney stones and this pain made my other experiences look like a stubbed toe. Our first trip to the ER let us know that I had stones in both of my kidneys, but they looked pretty manageable and since the biggest one was only 6mm I would probably pass them on my own. Joy. I was sent home with some T3s and told to sleep it off.

Test #2 – Kidney Infection

About 3 weeks later I was back in the ER with pain AND a kidney infection. The awesome thing about stones in that they tend to horde bacteria in their rough surfaces and if you don’t pass the little bastards they tend to make your kidneys all yucky. Sent home with my first of many rounds of antibiotics and was placed on medical leave from work…at 9 weeks pregnant. Spoiler alert…I never got to go back.

Test #3 – Braxton Hicks/Pre-term Contractions at 15 weeks.

I was sent to the ER again at 15 weeks, this time for early contractions. After spending a good portion of my night freaking out I got to see my OB the next day for the first of many medical interventions.

Back when my family dr first confirmed our 2nd pregnancy they sent off my referral immediately to my High Risk OB from my pregnancy with V. She knew my history and had told me if we ever had another she’d want to see me by 13-14 weeks to make sure we were proactive against anything that could cause another early arrival. Turns out by the time she got my referral at 9 weeks and saw my ER frequent flier miles she had me in for my first appointment at 10 weeks.

Normally High Risk Drs won’t see you until the second trimester due to the risk of miscarriage but Dr. D was taking no chances! She was incredibly upfront with me about what could have cause V to come early and had a game plan in place for Baby #2. In her medical opinion V’s early arrival was most likely the cause of a hormone issue. She thought that my body didn’t do a fabulous job of regulating my progesterone during pregnancy and when the levels dropped low enough it figured pregnancy time was up! For most people, from what I understand, progesterone builds quickly during the first trimester (hello morning sickness!) and maintains a pretty even level once you hit the second trimester onwards until labour. My body seems to drop my progesterone levels once I hit about 15 weeks so I start getting contractions etc which is never a good thing when viability isn’t reached until 24 weeks.

It's okay Baby A! Big bro knows just what a NICU stay is about.

It’s okay Baby A! Big bro knows just what a NICU stay is about.

So…after having cervical length checks done (these are super fun…not!) my OB decided that I would need weekly shots of progesterone to keep my body from going into labour early. I was supposed to start at 16 weeks but after our scare at 15, we got going a week early. We had the option of progesterone given by pill (and nope you don’t swallow it) or through intramuscular injection. I chose injection and picked up my first batch of 4 vials. Progesterone is actually suspended in oil so it is incredibly thick and needs to be administered through a large gauge needle given in one of the largest muscles they can find. Your butt cheek. Yup…we’re all glamourous up in here! So from 15 weeks to 35 weeks I had to visit either the hospital or my family dr and have a nurse jam a giant needle into my backside. Luckily the shot itself had pretty minimal side effects, mostly just a giant bruise for a few days, and the benefits far far outweighed any embarrassment or discomfort I might have had.

Test #4 – Hydronephrosis and Nephrostomy Tubes

Nephrostomy tubes have already been given their own special blog post but my experience with them started at 21 weeks when I was again rushed to Triage with unbelievable pain…again. Ultrasound showed that my right kidney was completely blocked by stones, the largest of which measured 1.5 cm. Doctors can’t do much about all that when you’re 5 months pregnant so I had a tube inserted into my back that drained my urine (sexy I know) into a bag for the next 6 months. Sidenote: You know your husband loves you when he will clean your surgical site every 3 days for 6 months and empty the bag for you when it hurts just too damn much to climb out of bed and drag yourself to the bathroom. Did you know your mattress has a lip on the edge that catches medical tubing at just the right angle to bring you to tears? True story…

Oh I caused how much trouble?? No way!

Oh I caused how much trouble?? No way!

Test #5 – Infections, PICC line and IV Antibiotics

Getting tired of my list yet? Cause it’s been a year and I’m still over it! After the tube was placed I ended up still having some cramping and thought it might just be those pesky early contractions. Turns out it was from my bladder since I had one heck of an infection. When my OB diagnosed it I figured she’d hand me a script for 14 days worth of pills and I’d be on my way. Turns out what I needed was a 4 day hospital stay to set me up with a permanent PICC line and a portable IV pump of 3x daily antibiotics until delivery. I guess sepsis during pregnancy is a pretty scary possibility and they figured high dose antibiotics for the next 3 or so months would do the trick to keep me (mostly) healthy and out of pre-term labour…yet another risk of infection. The PICC will likely get it’s own post later because it was also it’s own new level of suck. Enjoy taking showers? Dressing yourself? Being able to brush your own hair? Too bad!

Test #6 – VRE Infection

So one of the side ‘benefits’ to making hospital visits your full time job; including letting a team of medical professional getting their hands (literally) on your kidney once a week is that you open yourself up to a whole new world of infection that isn’t actually otherwise available to you. I picked myself up a lovely ‘vancomysin resistent’ infection during one of my stays so A and I had to learn to disconnect my IV pump and hang our very own gravity IV line. We were super high tech about it too…we hung it from a picture hook in our living room for 30 mins over 7 days to clear that sucker up. I guess that’s what we get when we said that after the PICC line and IV pump that things couldn’t possibly get any worse…

Test #7 – Pre-eclampsia

True story – when your kidneys stop functioning properly your chances of developing high blood pressure go up…and not just because it’s stressful! After I gained a whopping 9 lbs in a week, while not changing my diet in the slightest, my doctor was understandably a little concerned. Turns out that my blood pressure, which for my entire adult life, including during my pregnancy with V, has been a textbook 120/80 had shot up to 140/95….they were not impressed. I tried to sell it as ‘white coat’ induced especially since I’d had no ‘classic’ pre-e signs like headaches, spotted vision etc. No dice. They put me on a drug called Labetalol which honestly made me feel a zillion times worse. My parents even hooked me up with my Babcia’s ‘at-home’ blood pressure cuff which I compulsively used throughout the day. Turns out the drug didn’t work out so well for me and after a month of trying to bring it down my doctor finally called uncle and induced me on Sept 12th…5 weeks before my due date…when my bp reached an astonishing 191/115…beauty.

August-Man has arrived!

August-Man has arrived!

I should also note here that unlike gestational diabetes which, 99% of the time, clears after you deliver, pregnancy induced high blood pressure can take months to go back to normal. For me I took bp meds until Dec…I worried it would never go back to normal!

Test #8 – NICU and Pneumonia

Even after ALL of this drama A decided he wasn’t going to let V be the only high needs baby in this family. He was born making a very odd ‘squeaking/sighing’ noise that almost sounded like a half-hearted cry. Turns out that since he was born just as his lungs were on the point of maturity he’d developed pneumonia and was struggling to push the air out of his lungs. Seriously? After 3 months of in-utero antibiotics? Guess so…

My Glowbug

My Glowbug

16 days later we finally got to bring our second miracle mister home and did our best to settle into a routine while still dealing with 75% of our previous issues. Luckily I was PICC line free and obviously not pregnant after being discharged but it took me another 2.5 months for surgery on my right kidney and to lose the tube, 3 months pp for my bp to regulate and 4 months pp for the surgery on my left kidney. So much for a quiet mat leave full of snuggles!

To recap: I was pregnant for 8 months, had 25 different procedures, 4 hospital stays, saw 4 different specialists, and was on a first name basis with our community nursing team. In the end however, it was obviously 100 million, bazillion percent worth it to complete our little family. A is a joy. He’s a happy, adventurous, beautiful little baby who adores his big brother and is loved to pieces by all three of us. We’re so glad he’s here but it’s probably a good idea we had no idea what was in store for us when we decided to expand our family.

My boys! My heart is full.

My boys! My heart is full.


Prepping A Big Sibling: Only Child Expiring Soon April 13, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — maternalmusing @ 9:00 am
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V is a truly awesome kid. I know, I know…I’m his mom so I’m pretty biased but this past year has really shown me what a fantastic, thoughtful, caring little boy we’ve been blessed with. Last winter, while I was overjoyed to find out we were expecting a sibling for our little man, I was also worried about how to tell V, how it would change our relationship with him, and honestly if I could love another child as much as I loved my miracle baby. For 3.5 years V had had all of our love, attention, resources and focus….how could we possibly divide that with another baby? And how would we help V adjust to sharing all of those things? I’m told these are common concerns for repeat parents-to-be and that it would all come out in the wash, but if you know me and my control-freak self, I wanted to have a solid plan in place to make sure our transition from 1 to 2 went smoothly.

First Hold! V was so careful...and carefully assisted by Daddy.

First Hold! V was so careful…and carefully assisted by Daddy.

First of all we had to decide when to tell V that a little brother/sister was on its way. Because there is a large-ish gap between our children and V is old enough to understand most things I felt like we should wait until I was almost done my first trimester to share our news. V is a sensitive kid and I didn’t want to tell him a sibling was coming if we experienced early complications or a miscarriage. You never know, so I felt it was easier to tell him just before we told other friends/family. Obviously there comes a point, typically when your stomach could block out the sun, that older kids will probably notice there is something unusual going on, but early on it’s pretty easy to keep it to yourself.

My tiny 4 year old...and avg sized 4 month old at the time

My tiny 4 year old…and avg sized 4 month old at the time

One other reason we didn’t share about the baby early on is because I was so sick and we didn’t want V forming any negative connotations in regards to his sibling. Kids are typically pretty sensitive and if we’d told him ‘Well baby is making Mommy sick’ we worried he’d think this baby was a pretty terrible thing. The fun part about all this was that I was brutally sick with Mr. A. Vomiting and nausea, all day, every day, for the first 14 or so weeks. Of course V noticed that I spent most of my time lying in a dark room with a cold cloth on my head trying to keep my breakfast/lunch/dinner down but since he has no concept of ‘morning (ha!) sickness’ he just thought I was plain old sick. We also told him about my kidney issues right away since they involved 3 separate (middle of the night) ER trips before I hit my second trimester.

V getting ready to feed Mr. A his first taste of solids.

V getting ready to feed Mr. A his first taste of solids.

When we did tell V we didn’t make it a big deal. We sat on the couch while he was dancing/playing around the living room and told him he was getting a brother/sister. Of course, V being 3 at the time and not understanding how babies are made, started looking around the room like his sibling was about to magically appear. We explained that baby would grow in Mommy’s ‘tummy’ until after his birthday (well we got close!) and then he’d come out and play. We also put more emphasis on what a great big brother he was going to be, rather than how a new baby was arriving. We sold it like a promotion and everyone with toddlers knows that they love anything that makes them feel important or grown up. Luckily V had had a baby cousin born in Jan of 2014 so he at least understood the concept of what a baby looked/sounded like. V, in his typical way, nodded, took the announcement in stride, and went back to playing. In the toddler mind if it’s not happening right that second, then it’s not really all that exciting.

Bubble Guppies is one heck of a bonding experience.

Bubble Guppies is one heck of a bonding experience.

One thing we made sure to NOT do when we told V was start by asking him if he wanted a brother or sister. Let’s be honest, at that point it didn’t really matter if he wanted it or not, so it was better to just tell him what was happening. We also didn’t ask him if he’d prefer a brother or a sister…babies aren’t really the ‘made to order’ type. We had him ‘guess’ what the baby was before our gender ultrasound but he didn’t really seem to care either way. My advice here is essentially don’t let your child feel like they have a choice, when they really don’t. It’s not like asking them if they’d prefer milk or juice with breakfast…

Helping Daddy give Baby A a bath in the NICU.

Helping Daddy give Baby A a bath in the NICU.

Another element A and I discused was how involved with the pregnancy we wanted V to be. He was 3 and a half when we told him about our impending arrival so he was definitely old enough to understand what was happening but still young enough to be impatient or distracted at appointments/ultrasounds etc. We decided that V wouldn’t be attenting any of my pre-natal appointments, tests or ultrasounds. Baby doctor appointments, especially high risk ones, are long and they would have required him to sit still and quietly which is hard to do for any normal 3-4 year old. Some days I would be at the hospital ALL DAY…ultraound for an hour in the am then a 3+ hr wait to see my high risk OB. Not really fun for an active little boy and stressful for me as well. My in-laws were great about watching him while I was at appointments and he had fun hanging out with his cousins all summer!

Oh he's beautiful! - V

Oh he’s beautiful! – V

We, of course, would show him the ultrasound pictures when I got home and he loved looking at them and trying to pick out his brother’s features! He’d ask to see ‘his’ baby sometimes during the day and we’d let him look at the scans as much or as little as he wanted. We also let him touch my belly and feel his brother kick when I got far enough along. This weirded him out honestly and he only did it a couple times. Around 20 weeks when I was getting bigger he started asking me daily if his brother was coming out to play yet which was a little freaky since we’d had one pre-term kiddo already. I took it as a good sign that he was so excited to meet his little sibling. V also got to hear baby A’s heartbeat once during one of my many hospital stays. This was probably the most excited I’d seen him…he loved it! He told us ‘Baby August’ was talking to him.

Helping Daddy feed his baby brother.

Helping Daddy feed his baby brother.

We had also decided that V would not be present when I went into labour. I’m not a big fan of sharing that with anyone other than my husband and we didn’t want family in the waiting room etc this time either. My parents were lifesavers and took V to their house for numerous weeks in the summer when I was so sick with my kidneys and Andrew was at work. They agreed to pick V up when I went into labour (or was being induced as it ended up) and they’d bring him back to visit his sibling when we were ready. This was a hard decision to make since we didn’t want V thinking he’d been ‘replaced’ while he was away, but it ended up being a pretty smooth transition. V has a lifetime to spend with his little brother so waiting an extra day to see him after he was born wasn’t going to make a difference in the grand scheme of things.

My boys in Baby A's second flight..home from FL!

My boys in Baby A’s second flight..home from FL!

I’ll be honest, I spent a lot of my pregnancy randomly in tears about how the whole ‘new baby’ thing would change our family dynamic. We’d had almost 4 years to get into a pretty smooth routine and as happy as I was to welcome a new life into our family I was also worried that we’d be living in chaos for the next 14-18 years. I had all of these plans to savour and celebrate V’s last summer as an only child. We were going to go to Canada’s Wonderland, visit the CN Tower, see many, many Jays games at the Rogers Centre! We were going to spend all summer, just the three of us, enjoying our calm before the storm. And then we didn’t…

Introducing his baby brother to Ace!

Introducing his baby brother to Ace!

At 21 weeks I was admitted to the hospital with devastatingly painful hydronephrosis and had a tube inserted into my kidney. At 26 weeks I had a recurrent infection that required another hospitalization and a permanent PICC line inserted. I’d get to carry a portable IV pump until I delivered. I had another hospitalization in August because my left kidney had blocked (although 2 hrs before my surgery for my second nephrostomy tube it cleared Thank God!). I had my tube changed once a week, met with an Infectious Disease specialist every two weeks, my high risk OB weekly due to blood pressure issues, had weekly progesterone shots in my backside to help keep Mr. A inside longer than his brother, AND monthly meetings with my urologist. I was at risk for septic infection, pre-term labour and strokes/seizures. I was told by all 4 of my departments that I wasn’t allowed to leave the city…I had to be within 30 mins of the hospital at all times. There went all of our summer plans….

Taking a 'picture' of his little brother!

Taking a ‘picture’ of his little brother!

This was incredibly hard, not just on my body, but mentally as well, for me and for A and V. V was shuttled back and forth between my fantastic in-laws and my amazing parents. All in all V was in Niagara over a month last summer when you add up his various trips. He was there so often he called it his ‘Niagara House’. Luckily he adores my parents and vice versa so he had a great time visiting them, playing outside, splashing in his kiddie pool and learning to use the toilet like a big boy. Have I mentioned how much I love my parents? We wouldn’t have gotten through last summer without them. I’m so blessed to have family who loves our child like we do and literally re-arranged their whole lives to help us out. I was so overwhelmed by their love and thoughtfulness that it’s brought me to tears more than once.



When V was back in London he spent his days with my sister-in-law and his cousins. Sometimes being dropped off at 3am when we were rushing back to the hospital with pre-term contractions, blood pressure spikes or kidney issues. Do you know what a relief it is to know you have someone to call when you have a middle of the night emergency? Huge! I also still live in awe that my sister-in-law was able to convince him to nap at her house on a regular basis…

As awesome as all this was for us, imagine how it was for V. He’s not old enough to really understand why all of this shuffling around was going on. All he knew was that some days Mommy was home in bed and he went to Auntie C’s house for the day, then he’d come home and give her a snuggle. Some days Grandma and Grandpa would come pick him up and he’d come home in a week (or more). Other times he’d head to Auntie C’s and then after he’d visit Mommy at the hospital because they’d ‘kept’ her. He started to get anxious when I’d tell him I was going to the doctor, asking me if I’d be home after. He’d cry on Skype asking us if he could come home like he was in some kind of exile. This was absolutely heartbreaking but honestly it was better that he had a stable routine especially during weeks I had multiple procedures.

Taking care of Baby A once we came home

Taking care of Baby A once we came home

As much as I wanted to spend all of my time with him I was physically unable to. Between all of these appointments I was on bedrest for my blood pressure, or recovering from having my tube replaced. I couldn’t lift him, bend down or chase after him. I couldn’t bathe myself so how was I supposed to help him? I felt useless and awful that I’d ruined his ‘last’ summer. And then I realized I was being stupid. All in all, V had a great summer! He was the number one guy for a lot of people last year! Our whole family pulled together to make sure he had a pretty awesome summer despite the chaos happening at home. He got to travel, see Blue Jays games, swim and run around outside. Sadly I wasn’t able to really participate but the summer was supposed to be all about him…and it was.

After all the chaos, to be honest, A’s arrival was pretty anti-climatic. He really does deserve his own post on that so I’ll skip to our first meet and greet! V was with my parents during my labour and delivery and was finally able to come visit his new sibling on his 4th birthday! Our b-day gift to him was a doctor’s appointment for vaccines so he could get into the NICU. Andrew got to tell V that Baby August had arrived the day after he was born, but V didn’t come down to London until the Monday evening to meet him. My parents brought V up to the NICU and we helped him sanitize his hands and walked him down to Baby A’s private suite (The ‘new’ NICU is pretty freakin’ swanky let me tell you!). On our quick walk we explained to him what he was about to see. Baby A was in a special crib to help keep him warm, he had a mask on his face to help him breathe (like Bane) and was on a special blanket that made him glow! He was too little to hold right now but he’s so excited to meet his awesome big brother! V skipped down the hallway, anxious to meet this little person who’d been hiding in Mommy’s belly!

What followed made me sob like a baby. V was the sweetest, most loving big brother I’ve ever seen. He sighed when he saw his ‘beautiful baby’ and whispered to him that everything would be okay now, Vaughan was here. He blew kisses into the isolette and kept telling us how amazing his baby brother was. It was such a special moment for the 4 of us and I’ll carry those memories with me forever. V was so sad that Baby A had to stay at the hospital until he was big and strong but he promised his little brother he’d come visit him again. Heartbreakingly beautiful…that’s my boy!

Aww I love him! - V

Aww I love him! – V

August was in the NICU for 16 days and V was able to come for several visits after he arrived back home. When we brought him for visits we encouraged him to give his brother kisses on the forehead, ‘help’ give him a bath and even help us hold his bottle. He loved being so hands-on! One thing we never pushed though was contact with his brother. If he didn’t want to give him a kiss then that was his choice. We explained that it would be nice if he did it, and his brother loved his kisses, but if he wasn’t feeling it I wasn’t about to hold a screaming toddler over a 4 lb something infant forcing them to snuggle. We tried very hard not to create any negative emotions surrounding our new addition. When V visited the NICU it was all about what he could do to help!

It's okay Baby August...Vaughan's here!

It’s okay Baby August…Vaughan’s here!

When we finally brought Baby A home, V was over the moon! He wanted to help with everything and we still try to keep him very involved. He would sit next to him and rock his chair, replace a dropped soother, and sing him songs when he was sad. He was everything we’d imagined he’d be as a big brother and now, 7 months in, he’s exactly the same. V will shush us when he see his little brother sleeping, pick up dropped toys and come find us if he thinks Baby A is hungry or sad.

The one thing V doesn’t do is hold his brother. Not that he doesn’t want to, but let’s be honest. Baby A is considerably bigger than V was as a baby…and quickly gaining on how big V is as a 4.5 year old. V weighs a whopping 27 lbs…and August is quickly approaching 17 lbs at 7 months (delightfully average for the most part!). V just can’t hold that much squirming baby safely, so we keep the snuggles to the bed or playmat.

V is a very protective older brother, he worries if Baby A isn’t with us. He doesn’t like when I take him for doctors appointments and makes me promise that I won’t let the doctors keep him because August is ‘big’ now. He gives me a stern talking to if Baby A doesn’t come with me to pick him up from school. If we’re going somewhere he wants to make sure Baby A can come too. He’s eagerly awaiting the day that Baby A can play with him and they can have sleepovers. He tells people that Baby A is his best friend. Oh…and he also asks me not to swallow Baby August anymore…he didn’t like it in my belly apparently.

Snuggles before V heads to school for the day.

Snuggles before V heads to school for the day.

I did have someone ask how we ‘made’ the boys get along. The answer is ‘We don’t’. Kids are just like everyone else…sometimes you just want time alone, you aren’t feeling affectionate, or they’re just plain getting on your nerves. We respect V’s personal space and if he wants to play by himself, away from his brother, for an hour or so, he’s free to do that. I don’t believe you can force anyone to get along, even siblings, and there will be a lot less resentment, if you just let things unfold organically. I should also probably mention, on the other side of the spectrum, Baby A is obsessed with V…No-one else can get a smile or laugh quite as quickly as V can when it comes to our August-man.

We are so glad Baby A came into our lives and it’s also nice to know that he and V will always have each other. Siblings are for life, and good or bad, they’ll be each other’s rocks when they’re older. Now to get prepared for when August starts grabbing V’s toys….wish me luck!

Oh the attitude...

Oh the attitude…


Introducing August! March 9, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — maternalmusing @ 2:54 pm
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I’m a little behind the blogging but for a very good reason! We did it again! Our second beautiful son arrived 5 weeks before his due date on Sept 12th 2014 and has been keeping us pretty busy.

Naively I thought that V’s pregnancy took the cake and that there was no way a second one could be any worse… God must have laughed hysterically at that one and proceeded to challenge us every step of the way as we fought to keep A on the inside long enough to have a fighting chance! They do say you can’t have a testimony without a test and we definitely had a few of those. It was all worth it in the end, especially when he gives me a big slobbery grin.

Baby A just moments after his arrival before he checked into his suite in the NICU.

Baby A just moments after his arrival before he checked into his suite in the NICU.

I’m going to sidetrack a bit at first to put up an informational blog about one of the biggest challeneges we had with baby A’s pregnancy but I will definitely fill you in on his exciting arrival in due time!


The Big Question November 8, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — maternalmusing @ 6:41 pm
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This is a blog post that I’ve been thinking about writing, but it’s probably one of the more difficult ones for me since it’s not quite as much about V and more about me as his mother and previous human incubator.

This is me. Hi! (All photos for this post courtesy of Grace Barnhart Photography)

This is me. Hi!
(All photos for this post courtesy of Grace Barnhart Photography)

As soon as I left the safe cocoon of my mat leave and started interacting with other adults the most common question I get after telling them I have a child is, “So when are you guys having another?” Now let’s be honest for a second, this isn’t really anyone’s business besides me and my husband but I can understand why it gets thrown out so often to us moms.

For some reason, society seems to think that children couldn’t possibly be happy, well adjusted or well behaved without siblings. FYI all of those assumptions are a bunch of crap, and this isn’t based on my biased opinion as V’s mom, it’s based on my adult friends who grew up as only children and still managed to survive and succeed into adulthood. Shocking I know! Anyways, end of that rant but let’s examine this question a little more closely shall we? I also want to point out that this post reflects my opinions entirely, if you want A’s you’ll have to ask him! It also covers some topics related to a woman’s baby-making parts so for the easily squeamish please come back for future updates.

A and I are the happy, proud and lucky parents of a fantastic, healthy and energetic three year old boy. When I first went back to work V had yet to sleep through the night; 18 months was our magic marker. I am still a little bitter at all those mom’s who had night sleepers at 6 weeks. At this point I knew my limitations as a mother and was aware that although each child is blessing I wouldn’t be the happiest camper balancing an active toddler and another sleepless infant. I have so much respect for those mommies with kids close together but I know that it’s not something I would win any awards for. I love my sleep!

Active little man!

Active little man!

A and I had also discussed V’s development when the conversation of more kids came up. We were sure that we didn’t want any more until we knew that V was developing normally, didn’t need any therapies or surgery and that we would be free to dedicate time to two children without having V suffer should anything come up as a result of his dramatic entrance. We knew that V would be followed very closely for 3 years to make sure he was on track with other kids his age and there are such a wide variety of things that can result due to prematurity, resuscitation, oxygen tubes, etc that we wanted to make sure V would have 100% of our time, money and attention should anything come up.

The BIG decision for us in regards to more children involved me though. My body was my enemy during my pregnancy with V and I can’t tell you how upsetting it is to your self confidence as a woman when the one thing you can’t do properly is (from a biological perspective at least) your one purpose for existence! I mean, all of these other women get pregnant, sail through, and deliver without a care in the world, why not me! The big wake-up happened at my 6 week follow up with my high risk OB. I went in hoping for some answers on why V made his early entrance and although we definitely weren’t thinking of more babies at the time, find out what the future would hold ‘just in case’. I left greatly disappointed. I was told that they had absolutely no idea why V was early. There are just so many reasons that some babies make their way into the world earlier than others that they couldn’t even guess. What my Dr was able to tell me though was what our lives would look like should we decide to have any more children and trust me when I tell you that it’s no picnic.

First I will need to be referred to my high risk OB by 16 weeks of any subsequent pregnancies for weekly appointments to follow on the fetus’ progress and the length of my cervix. This means being subject to ‘trans-vaginal ultrasounds’ on a weekly/biweekly basis to see how tightly my body will hold onto any pregnancy. I can’t tell you how much fun it is to load up your bladder, have someone insert a bizarre looking wand into your lady parts and wait to see a specialist on a weekly basis. I might as well move in to the hospital…

OH WAIT! That’s what will likely happen should we decide to take this leap of faith again. I will likely be admitted for observation and strict bed rest by 30 weeks of pregnancy, depending on what my ultrasound results show. They can’t continue the trans-vaginal ones in the third trimester because it’s too dangerous to the fetus, so you get to sit/lie around and wait. And having been there before I can’t tell you how much that idea thrills me. Weeks away from my family at home, alone, lying on a hospital bed and crossing your legs? Good times.

Did I mention the stitch they may put in? One thing every pregnant lady looks forward to is surgery early into her pregnancy. Again, based on the results of any future ultrasounds, I may have to have a circlage put in to hold my cervix closed as the fetus gains weight. My Dr believes that the most likely cause for my water breaking early with V is an incompetent cervix. Essentially when V gained weight my body became incapable of supporting it and he, for all intents and purposes, ‘fell out’. The surgery in and of itself presents possible pregnancy ending complications but without it we may run the risk of going into labour before the viability marker (24 weeks). Prior to that point no life-saving efforts will be undertaken and we will be left dealing with the terrifying spector of infant loss.

The other concern my OB had for me was the fact that my contractions started with frequency and pain at 19 weeks. This indicates low hormone levels which can stimulate my body to trigger labour early. The only way to try and prevent them going forward will be to obtain weekly injections of synthetic progesterone to trick my body into behaving as it should. This will be along with my rH negative vaccines since I’m one of the 5% of the population that carries a negative blood type. Now I don’t mind needles but the prospect of weekly shots in my behind doesn’t exactly fill me with glee.

Watching my boys! Life is always better as a participant.

Watching my boys! Life is always better as a participant.

Even with all of these precautions that they would be willing to undertake for me there is no guarantee that they will work and A and I have to face the reality that any future pregnancies could have devastating outcomes around the 21-24 week mark. I don’t know if I’m strong enough to bury a child. Any parent knows that regardless of how your child comes into this world as soon as you’re aware that you’re going to be responsible for that precious tiny life there isn’t much you won’t do to protect it. How would I be able to deal with forming an emotional bond to a child I wouldn’t be able to bring home? Another question is how we would deal with another preemie. We have a very high likelihood of having another early arrival because I unfortunately experienced both forms of premature labour with early contractions and early water breakage. What if a second child did experience complications and subsequent physical and developmental delays. Are we in a good position to dedicate the time and attention to a child with special needs as well as V? We know that love would never be an issue but do we live in a area that provides good services, what do our benefits cover etc.

Daddy always makes it all better.

Daddy always makes it all better.

This would also have HUGE implications on our day to day life for the duration of the pregnancy. I would be on bed-rest and off work, likely from 16 weeks onwards and A would have to take over pretty much all home and work responsibilities. He would be responsible for all of V’s care and most of mine as well, and I do struggle as to whether that’s a fair burden to put on him when he does so much for us already.

Along with all of these concerns that apply to our personal situation we also deal with the normal questions parents ask themselves when considering adding to their family regarding time, attention, finances etc. It really is one heck of a process isn’t it?

Loving my baby boy!

Loving my baby boy!

That being said, A and I have not made the final call in expanding our family. I, personally, would love to have another but I would also love a ‘Magic 8 Ball’ to predict what the outcome to another pregnancy would be for me. I know each expecting mama experiences uncertainty but having come so close to losing something so precious I just don’t know if I’d be able to survive. I do know several of the NICU mommies I met have had amazingly successful, full term, subsequent pregnancies, but I just worry that that won’t be me. I think an important aspect of any possible future pregnancy would be to head in thinking that it will be normal and roll with the punches if and when they come up but with the intervention I’d need I think pretending would be difficult.

Regardless of our decision however, A and I are so blessed to be as lucky as we are. If V remains an only child his whole life then we’re happy with that. How can you be disappointed when you’ve already hit the parent jackpot?! I sure do love that little man! I mean all of these ‘what-ifs’ only really come into play if pregnancy does even happen for us in the future. All of those couples who deal with infertility and miscarriages are a testament to the fact that pregnancy is never ever a sure thing no matter where your heart lies.

To wrap up though, I guess going back to the original question my answer for the time being needs to be, “We haven’t quite decided yet, thank you.” and then do my darnedest to change the subject back to the awesome little kid we already have in our life!

Family <3

Family ❤


V and Pooh Bear – A Love Story November 6, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — maternalmusing @ 4:41 pm
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If you’ve been reading my previous blogs then you’ll already know the story (and have seen pictures) of when V received his first toy: his Pooh Bear layette! When we first brought it for him in the NICU we figured it would keep him company until he got home and saw all of the other awesome toys and blankets awaiting him, not the cheap little thing we picked up at Walmart on a frantic afternoon away. Little did we know that it was the start of a beautiful and serious relationship between one tiny little boy and his comfort blanket.

V's newborn pictures, with Pooh Bear

V’s newborn pictures, with Pooh Bear

I know that most of us, as children, had a stuff animal, or lovie blanket that we carried around day after day, night after night, keeping our secrets, snuggling and chasing monsters away when we were tucked up tight in bed. I know even as adults, some of us, myself included, have one or two that we keep to remind us of easier times and maybe give us comfort when we’ve just had one of those days/weeks/months. The thing with stuff animals is that they never give you any judgement or attitude, they just lie there and take the tears, hugs, or punches, whatever you need at the time. As a parent I assumed my child would have a toy that spoke to him but I didn’t really think about how that toy would be chosen or understand just how much he would love it. I think every parent of a small child understands the absolute world ending panic that occurs, both for your child AND yourself when you’re unable to find that ONE toy they can’t do without. Its like the apocalypse happening in slow motion…

As for Pooh’s beginnings, when V was in the NICU, he was so tiny that the nurses actually used Pooh Bear as a blanket, resting him onto of V’s swaddle for a little extra warmth. Sometimes Pooh would migrate up to V’s head and they’d participate in some tete-a-tete snuggles, but they wouldn’t last for long since it was dangerous to keep anything near V;s tubes, wires and face while he was in the isolette.

Pooh Bear and V chillin in the NICU

Pooh Bear and V chillin’ in the NICU

When we got home V kept Pooh Bear close as he moved into his bassinet and crib. We noticed, especially when he had colic, that it was one of the only things that helped soothe him. Our nighttime routine was swaddle, soother, music, Pooh Bear. Pooh Bear also hung out with V on his playmat and during tummy time to make it less traumatic on our little drama king. When V was starting to reach out for things, Pooh Bear was right at hand for those first tentative grasps, and when he was learning to focus his eyes on objects and hold his little head up Pooh Bear was a great focal point.

Learning to focus his eyes and hold up his little head.

Learning to focus his eyes and hold up his little head.

As V grew into toddlerhood, Pooh Bear took on new roles. He was a great teether for when V’s gums were giving him issues and around 6 months totally replaced the soother when V ditched the plastic in favour of sucking on Pooh Bears arms. Pooh Bear still travels to all of V’s doctors appointments and takes the sting out of those ouchie vaccinations. When our little guy started to walk he used to try and trade Pooh Bear to people for things he also saw as valuable. Most memorably he tried offering Pooh Bear to his Uncle S in return for a sip of his beer…no dice little man! He just couldn’t understand why everyone wasn’t as overjoyed as himself to have Pooh Bear by his side.

Nothing says Xmas photo shoot like Pooh Bear!

Nothing says Xmas photo shoot like Pooh Bear!

Pooh has been through more car rides than we can count and even two trip to Florida! He’s a well travelled stuffie who doesn’t mind being sogged to death when V decides to take a nap while he waits to get wherever we’re headed, Pooh Bear hanging out of his mouth. Pooh has also sadly made several trips to the ER and tagged along for V’s week long stay at Children’t Hospital last year.

4 hour delay at the airport? Good thing for Pooh Bear!

4 hour delay at the airport? Good thing for Pooh Bear!

One of the most important roles that Pooh Bear fills though is as emotional support and confidant. As V starts to work his way around all these big emotions swirling in his tiny body he needs an anchor when everything else seems to be all messed up. No matter how V is feeling; happy, sad, scared, angry, Pooh Bear is there to help him through. V will take a few minutes to pull himself together, suck on Pooh’s arm, stroke his head, occasionally cover his face with the blanket portion and get himself back on track to being a functioning kiddo.

Recovering from the trauma of his first haircut with Pooh Bear.

Recovering from the trauma of his first haircut with Pooh Bear.

I know that a lot of parents are in a hurry to distance their child from their comfort object be it a blanket, soother, toy etc but as parents A and I are really going with the flow. Pooh makes V happy so I’m happy for V to have Pooh, when and where he needs him.

The most common rebuttal we hear when we send him out with his Pooh is ‘What are you going to do when he goes to school? Other kids will make fun of him!’. All I feel like saying is ‘WHOA! Slow down there buddy! This kid has JUST turned three, this toy keeps him happy during travel, naps and long outings, and it’s not hurting anyone, least of all you!’

Nothing helps you get ready for a good night's sleep like a Pooh Bear (and Daddy) snuggle.

Nothing helps you get ready for a good night’s sleep like a Pooh Bear (and Daddy) snuggle.

I know that he won’t take it to kindergarten with him but I don’t see a reason to rush him away from what is his main coping mechanism at the moment. Kindergarten will be the start to a whole new routine, and Pooh Bear just won’t even come into the picture, but as his life is right now, Pooh Bear is a member of our family and where we go, he goes. It’s also great to have such a loved constant in V’s life. We know that wherever he is right now; home, grandparents, car, vacation, he’ll have Pooh Bear with him when he’s trying to adjust to new or different environments. We value constants as adults so why would we deny them to our kids who don’t have the life experience or maturity to know how to work through all of those conflicting emotions.

Pooh was also great for self soothing when we were ready to move V into his crib from our room. We just stressed that he had his own room now and things would be okay since Pooh Bear was there. We only had a couple of night of issues before everything settled into our current routine. However if Pooh Bear, that sneaky devil, makes his way off the bed or under the pillow during the night and V can’t find him immediately during his half asleep fumbling then we definitely hear about it. A mad run to the room and a Pooh Bear search will usually result in all parties returning to sleep within 3 minutes flat.

Sleeping with his Pooh Bear

Sleeping with his Pooh Bear

The best thing V does with Pooh Bear though is this sound he makes when you first hand him over after he hasn’t seen him in a while. He immediately puts Pooh Bear into his mouth and moans like an addict getting his fix for the first time, closing his eyes to savour the moment. I ask you, when as an adult was the last time you were that happy? How simple it is to be a kid!

One word of advise to parents who find their kids with a strong emotional attachment to a toy, BUY MULTIPLES! Seriously….buy ALL of them! There will never be enough! We have 7 Pooh Bears and we rotate them because with all of the sucking they get pretty gross and we swap them out for a ‘bath’ every day. This kind of wear and tear is pretty hard on a cheap stuffie or blanket so you want to be prepared. I really try to not think about the first day our kid has to go to bed without Pooh. I imagine a lot of tears and very little sleep will be had. We had our first ‘accident’ last week when Pooh’s head came off but Daddy can fix anything (just ask V) and sewed his head on good as new. Hang in there Pooh Bear…you’ve got a few more good years in you yet!

Recent family photo session! We love you Pooh Bear!

Recent family photo session! We love you Pooh Bear!


The ‘B’ Words: Breastfeeding and Bonding August 9, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — maternalmusing @ 7:58 pm
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I’m pretty sure I’ve said it before but as soon as we’d found out we were pregnant, one thing that A and I both agreed on was that we wanted to at least attempt to breastfeed; give it the ‘old college try’ if you will. Not only did we feel that it was the healthiest start we could give our baby, but it was also significantly cheaper than formula. Formula feeding also opened the doors for confusion over the insane amounts of brands and choices, potential food allergies, lactose intolerance, stomach upset, etc, and we figured the less variables we introduced the better we’d feel as first-time parents.

Now this being said I was aware that breastfeeding isn’t necessarily an option available to all mommies and I’d never take anything away from any mother that did what they had to to feed their baby. Sometimes milk just doesn’t come in, or at least not in adequate amounts to feed tiny, angry, growing bodies and other times there are physical difficulties with a good latch, lactation support, colic or a host of other small things that stand in the way. Breastfeeding should be a positive experience and if it’s causing nervous breakdowns or panic attacks, a trip to the Walmart formula aisle might be just the ticket to restored sanity!

I’ve already posted about my personal relationship with my pump and the good luck I had with my production, but figured I’d dedicate some time to reliving our first attempts at natural nursing, although we ended up, unfortunately, abandoning the concept later on in favour of getting V home with us as soon as possible.

Once we reached the NPCU (aka the feeding and growing room), one of the things I started to bug our nurses about was breastfeeding V naturally as opposed to syringing it through his nifty little gastro tube. Since they had introduced a bottle that same week it seemed to reason that he would also be awake enough to try and nurse. We set up a meeting with our LC for the first attempt so I could be taught how to properly hold, adjust and latch the baby onto my ‘lovely lady lumps’ (am I showing my age by quoting ‘old school’ Black Eyed Peas?). The nurse set up a privacy screen, handed me a nursing pillow, and told me to strip down my top half while she weighed V.

The NICU is absolutely fanatical about weighing the babies before and after any breastfeeding attempts. Since the amount of milk swallowed can’t be tracked like a syringe or a bottle the baby is weighed before and after each feed with each gram gained equal to one mL of milk swallowed. V was up to 35 mL every three hours so we were hoping for a 35 gram gain!

Starting the breastfeeding session prep: Baby stripdown!

I eventually had to learn the art of weighing a newborn since we did attempt nursing every visit after the first experience. This is hands-down the scariest thing I’ve ever had to do as a parent! Imagine holding a 3lb baby covered in monitors and tubes, stark naked, squirming and screaming, all while trying to reset a scale, lay down a cloth so you don’t freeze their tiny buns off and then cap it all off with this crazy flip to rest them on their tummies which the nurses seem to be able to do in their sleep for the most accurate measure you can get. The first time I tried to weigh V I literally stared at him, then the scale, then him again and then asked for help. For some reason my brain could not send the message to my hands on how exactly to get my face up, in my arms baby to end up face down on the scale without dropping him, or his head falling off, or some other scenario my hormone filled and sleep deprived brain was flashing through my consciousness. I eventually got the hang of it, but was never something I was truly comfortable with and gladly pawned the chore off on Daddy when he arrived for his evening visits.

Anyways, back to the first attempt. After I was sitting half naked , mostly shielded by the screen, in the middle of a room full of other parents (have I mentioned having a newborn rids you of any modest, inhibitions or shame?) the nurse handed me my diaper-clad baby and helped me get the hand of the nursing hold. For anyone who has never nursed, or attempted it, it is this slightly awkward one handed grip when you hold your infant across your chest and use the other hand to mash their face into your cleavage. Due to my post-baby voluptuousness this whole concept made me very nervous as I was sure he was not going to be able to breathe! The LC assured me that infants will tip their nose to make sure they are able to get enough oxygen and then went to help me get V to latch properly.

Well much our surprise V didn’t need any help at all, he just hooked right on and went to town. I about hit the ceiling since the sensation is like nothing you can describe. Weird definitely covers it, but natural at the same time. The LC would only give me 20 minutes to get all I could into him and then we had to call it quits since breastfeeding is very energy intensive for little babies. V actually stayed latched the whole time until we had to pry his tiny self right off! The nurse went to weigh him and I had high hopes, he stayed on the whole time right? Well, yes…but he’d apparently been using me as a soother since he only went up 4 mL. Ugh… This was followed by a lesson in observation so that I was better able to determine if he was actually swallowing or just sucking…tricky on a tiny infant and in V’s case swallowing was actually a rare occurrence.

Step 2: Untangle cords and head for the scale – no pics of that since there was no way I was juggling a camera on top of that whole hot mess of a production!

The next few attempts we tried all sorts of tricks to get him to take more than he was getting. This first attempt had been post-pump, so the next time we tried before I pumped. Well V almost drowned! He just wasn’t able to deal with  the letdown, breathe and swallow at the same time so he started to choke. From then on we went back to the post-pump timeframe and tried to see where we got. Unfortunately due to his size V wasn’t capable of putting out great suction and my letdown just wasn’t quick enough for him. We spent a solid 3 weeks with him using nursing as self-soothing and bonding time, but not for any actual nutrition. Frustrating to say the least.

He would also fall asleep while nursing and because we were on a strict time limit we had a whole bag of trick to try and wake him up. I guess cuddling skin to skin with his mommy was nice and cozy! We tried keeping him uncovered so that he’d stay a bit cooler, and theoretically awake, but that didn’t work. We tried tapping his cheeks and the bottom of his feet, re-latching him, switching sides and even putting him down on the couch/chair/bassinet to wake himself up…no dice! This kid sure was one deep sleeper.

Step 3: I apologize for the terrible picture but please feel free to focus on the adorable, completely asleep baby in my arms. This is heading into a private room to try and wake the kiddo up and get some milk into him!

The one plus to nursing was definitely the bonding time I got alone with V and the immense pride I felt as a mother and woman that I was fortunate enough to be able to ( or at least attempting to) provide nutrition for my son. We got to snuggle, the two of us, skin to skin and just enjoy the time we had together. I can definitely understand why a lot of modern mamas try to keep up nursing as long as possible, although don’t get me started on that crazy Time magazing cover…

In the end, V’s inability to take a full feeding from the breast (the most we ever got to was 20mL over the 8 months we attempted – you can’t say we didn’t try!) most of our experience with breastfeeding was frustrating. We were hoping to take him home completely breastfeeding but the nurses wouldn’t let you piggyback a nurse, then bottle then tube if all else failed. V had to get his meals either with breast/tube or bottle/tube, not a combination of the three since it was both exhausting and confusing for him. Double Ugh! Being that our whole criteria for getting V home was that he had to eat tube-free for 48 hours we definitely had some hard decisions to make….

On a random sidenote at the end of this post: Sometimes I wonder what V will think of this blog when he’s old enough to understand. I may keep it for blackmail purposes when he’s trying to be ‘cool’ in front of his little 13-year old buddies…


So We Get To Go Home Soon…Right??? May 2, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — maternalmusing @ 9:07 pm
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So V had graduated to the NPCU, was respirator and umbilical line free, had kicked jaundice’s butt, and was growing slowly but steadily…we were headed home any day now right?


This type of thinking just went to show that we’d fallen into the giant mental sink-hole experienced by many NICU parents. This tends to happen when your child is out of the immediate danger zone, but not yet a master of the necessary newborn skills. Despite the doctors and nurses repeatedly telling you not to expect your happy homecoming before your calculated due date, it’s hard not to get your hopes up when you see the amazing progress your kiddo has been making.As a NICU parent your perception of time becomes very distorted…as does your appreciation for your preemie’s milestones, especially as a first time parent.

When you are first admitted to the NICU, or even in your pre-delivery tour and consultation, one of the questions I can guarantee every single parent has asked is ‘So when do I get to bring (insert baby’s name here) home?’. I’m surprised the doctors don’t heave a giant sigh, roll their eyes and move to the next topic, but I do appreciate their patience. We were told that V ‘should’ be home by November 7th (my original due date) if we didn’t experience any crazy complications. When we first saw him in the NICU, we were totally okay with this time frame, given how fragile he was, but as time passed, and we saw him getting stronger you start to think; ‘Well, he’s doing so well…maybe we’ll be home by the end of Oct….or even Thanksgiving!’. Oh how naive we were!

As soon as we crossed the NPCU threshold I began grilling the nurses on what we needed to do to get V home with us as soon as possible. I found out that there was no minimum weight requirement for discharge (|Woohoo!), but they did need to maintain a stable body temp, be oxygen/respirator free, and feed themselves without a feeding tube for 48 straight hours. No problem! I thought to myself.

This idea only became more entrenched in my mind when, during his first week in the NPCU, V was moved out of his isolette and into his very own plastic bassinet. This is the best way to tell that your child can now regulate and maintain their own temp. One item off the list! We already know he was off oxygen and his respirator…Two down, one to go! I foolishly thought that the next milestone; feeding himself, was only days away and we’d be a happy family in a matter of a few short weeks. This is when reality gave me a big old ‘shoulda had a V8’ slap upside the head.

Big boy finally sleeping in his own plastic basinette! Super exciting day!!

At this point, V was only tipping the scales at just under 4 lbs and was nowhere near strong enough to suck a whole feeding from breast or bottle. That type of energy would only come from spending more time in the NPCU sleeping and fattening up. This was a bitter pill to swallow when you’ve spent all this time getting your hopes up, through no fault of the doctors or nurses. As a preemie parent, especially when you’ve mastered the art of sucking it up, you deal and just keep repeating your mantra about how this is all what’s best for your child.

We did get some positive news, however, in the form of a phone call from V’s primary care nurse later one evening. I’ve told you before what seeing ‘Private Number’ on my caller ID did to my heart-rate but some calls just need to be answered. L immediately set our minds at ease and let us know that V was so alert they were wondering if they could try a bottle with him. I couldn’t get the words ‘Yes Ma’am’ out of my throat fast enough and did my own ecstatic happy dance in the privacy of my own living room. We may not be walking out the doors of the NICU but any teeny tiny, itty bitty steps towards a self-feeding infant were a huge deal.

V took about half of a bottle that night and kept it down like a champ. When we were visiting the next day, after A was done work, we received another great surprise. V had done so well again that day, the nurses asked if we wanted to be the ones to give him his next bottle! After a brief discussion it was decided that Daddy would be the one to give it a try and A got himself settled to try and coax as much of a 25 mL bottle into his tiny 3 lbs son as he could. The feeding was less of a success content wise but made a world of difference in the bonding between father and son. From that point on, Mommy got her Kangaroo Care and Daddy took over the bottle feeding and loved every second of it. I admit to this day that Andrew was the better bottle feeder; always getting V to drink more than I could and helping him get those burps out in no time flat. I bow down to his superior baby feeding skills!

Hitting the bottle with Daddy! This pic really shows how tiny he still was at that point. As Grandma pointed out…he was all blanket!

So now that V was in his basinette, started to feed on his own, and spent most of his time sleeping and growing, what did we do now? Wait…and wait…and wait…..