Thursday, January 31, 2008

Daycare is kicking my butt.

Daycare was tricky to find, since I work afternoons only. I wanted a home daycare and I hoped for something in my neighbourhood. I found both, and the care provider has 17 years experience. She is kind and gentle and caring. BB seems to like the situation just fine.

That is, he seems to like it when I'm not around. The first days he spent there, drop-off was no problem. He happily went to play with the other kids. He cried when I set him down on Day 3. He cried when he saw the care provider on Day 4. He cried when he saw the house on Day 5. He cried when I put him in the car yesterday. Today he started to cry when I pulled his snowsuit out of the closet.

This is not his way of telling me that he is unhappy with the daycare situation. When his dad picks him up at the end of the day he cries because he doesn't want to leave. He kisses his care provider goodbye.

Drop-off is the problem. It is horrible for me. He wants to be with me. And, frankly, I want to be with him. I assure you that I don't exacerbate the problem. Smiling, I kiss BB goodbye and hand him over; no lingering. He doesn't cry long after I leave.

It is heartbreaking crying that he uses to try and convince me not to leave him every day. And it is especially difficult for me because I am not convinced that my job is that important. When it comes right down to it, I guess that I think the best person to raise a child is his parent. Even though BB is only away from us for about 4 hours a day, it often feels so wrong to me when I drop him off.

People scoff at me saying that BB is just manipulating me using guilt as a tool. If he were 3 years old, I might buy that. But he is just a year old. All he knows is that he would rather spend his afternoon with his momma. And his momma pretty much feels the same way. It is incredibly difficult for me to let my baby go.

I suppose we could look at the feasibility of me letting go of my job. It would certainly mean changing our lifestyle quite drastically. Many of the plans we have would have to change. I guess we aren't ready to go that far.

I could also work from home; my skill set would easily allow that. However, I doubt I am quite enough of a self-starter to be particularly successful at such a venture. And then I would have 2 jobs: full-time SAHM, part-time worker. Not really a better situation for creating family time.

What I want is a salary to be a stay-at-home-mom. How do I get one of those?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Weather Report

Well, BB got past whatever it was that was bothering him last night and I got some sleep. I am in a much better place. Oddly enough, I don't function well physically or emotionally when I get only 2 hours of sleep.

I apologize in advance, because I am about to write about a topic that I make every effort to avoid on my blog: the weather. Why do I try to avoid it? Because it is the topic of conversation in my part of the world. And not as a small-talk thing, either. So I am tempted daily to write something here regarding what Mother Nature is doing outside. But I doubt anyone reads this because they are interested in meteorology. So I resist.

Never the less, here I go. It is cold outside. Almost -40 degrees. And since Mr. Fahrenheit and Madame Celsius meet at -40, there is no need for translation. Cold.

These cold days are easy enough to deal with. Stay indoors. Plug in the block heater on the car and start it 15 minutes before you go anywhere. Wear your snowsuit, scarf, and tuque if you need to be outdoors for an extended period of time.

When the temperatures start dropping, I can feel it when I breathe. I have lived here my whole life. I know what -40 feels like when I breathe it into my lungs. It crackles as it passes through your nose. The crystals of snow take on the consistency of baking powder and the sound of the snow beneath my boots takes on a recognizable crunch.

Three Januaries ago, it was cold. It was -30 on the night C. was born. I always laughed that it would be cold on the night my son was born: I was right. That temperature was the excuse my brother-in-law used to avoid coming to the hospital that night. You would be right if you guessed I haven't forgiven him that. The whole rest of our family was there.

When it is this cold, the days are always sunny and bright. A meteorologist would likely explain that the cold Arctic air of the high pressure system clears away the clouds. All I know is that when it is cold, the sun shines.

On those long, cold days three years ago, I sat huddled under the blanket on my couch. My cat sat purring on my lap. And I stared. I stared at the wall for hours. And cried. And stared. And cried.

I used to love winter. I don't hate it now. But I don't love it anymore either.

It's cold.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Today I hate my job

Last night I got 2 hours sleep. I kid you not. Well, perhaps you could call it 3 hours (if you added all the times I nodded off and jerked awake in the rocking chair). Poor little dude is probably cutting some major teeth. He has never had this much discomfort before. Maybe eye teeth or molars.

So instead of napping while the baby napped, like a sane person would, I had no choice but to get into the shower, wash my hair, dry off, do my makeup and get ready for work. And we were still late. I was finishing the Powerpoint presentation for my 1:30 at 1:32. Anyone spot the problem?

My husband was up with us, too. Here is the problem. Since we are both working, we are both getting up in the night, and we are both exhausted. Perhaps we should consider taking turns with crushing exhaustion....

Stop it. I cannot entertain thoughts of giving up my job. Because it isn't likely to ever happen. Maybe we need to invest more in the 6-49.

And amidst all of this normal life with a one-year-old, my whole physical being continues to scream out C.'s name. There is no answer.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

I bet you thought I was just busy (or lazy)...

...but actually, we were away to Toronto this weekend. It was really a lot of fun, if you ignore the 3 hour delay by Air Canada that saw us arriving at our hotel at 4:30 a.m. instead of 11:00 p.m. We had a half day of sightseeing (going here and here) on Friday, then I went to my convocation on Saturday, then home today. I so wish we could have stayed longer. Already, I am scheming about returning. After all, I didn't get to see this.

Thank you, everyone for all the support (regarding the previous post). I am not feeling particularly sad; I am just in a place of memory right now. Nonetheless, every comment makes me feel as if C.'s life mattered. Or rather, that C.'s existence was and is important - and not just to me. I suppose that you can expect more reminiscences following the same vein.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

It began on a Thursday.

We had ham that night, cooked in the slow cooker. It was a decent enough meal, but I didn't have the energy to clean it all up. The slow cooker pot went into the sink, to "soak" until morning.

I snoozed on the couch, half-watching TV. My husband did some overtime in the basement. It had been a long and somewhat disappointing week. We had a few little thrills of worry - the Thursday before had brought us a questionable BPP (no breathing movements). But maybe the baby was just a late bloomer, no big deal, really. We saw the OB on Monday, another questionable BPP. Long NST. All good. No reason to induce. We saw the high risk OB on Tuesday. His tech saw the breathing movements. No worries. Go home for birthday cake.

My day had been long. We saw our GP in the morning, nice FHR around 150. No dilation - so disappointing. I "worked", which meant cleaning out my office for my replacement. Went for long coffee breaks and gleefully answered "no baby yet?" questions. So, so, SO normal.

I went to sleep for the night in the nursery, where we had set up an air mattress that was easier on my SI joint while I slept. Before I closed my eyes, I read my mom's 25 year old copy of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. So dull, really.

I awoke to an odd sensation around midnight. I tossed and turned for a while. I didn't know I was going into labour. I didn't know the turn my life was going to take.

I didn't know.

It's so hard to think about those days - those few days before the world exploded. And yet I have been living with those what ifs as I dealt with these anniversary days. These birth/death days.

I have to write it here: what if I had pushed the OB to induce on that Monday night those 3 years ago? would she have listened? would she have cared what I said? what if my opportunity was there and I let it slip by so unknowingly?

Those questions don't rip me apart with pain anymore. But they are there. I don't know if they will ever leave. They are always there.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

So far...

...not so good. Things have NOT improved on the time-management front. I know what I need to do to accomplish all of my to-do items in a day: curtail my "enjoying the baby" time to the bare minimum and completely give up all leisure activities.

I am not very good at doing either.

Something I learned when C. was born: nothing makes you feel like a guilt-riddled failure quite like becoming a mother. The sensation has only grown exponentially since then.

Speaking of failing, I made the mistake of reading about all the wonderful teaching moments that I have let slip by in BB's life. One year old and I have already coddled him too much. He's not walking yet and doesn't really eat much on his own and can only handle pureed (not mashed, etc.) food that I feed him in small bites (though large portions). Here's the thing, though. I don't feel guilt over those things. I won't push him; he is the most amazing child (everyone says so) and he can move at his own pace. But then I do feel like crap that I haven't managed to teach him a handful of words, that he is an individual person, and to communicate in full American Sign Language sentences.

Oh, and I think he might stop nursing soon, of his own accord. That is going to hurt my heart, it is. I fully intended to nurse until the summertime, albeit only morning and bedtime. He just isn't interested anymore.

I am too freakin' sleep deprived to make sense (we have all been very sick). OK. I have no idea what I am saying here.

I need a fairy godmother or a robot to come along and take some work off my list of things to do.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


...that my new lifestyle, wherein I am a stay-at-home-mom in the mornings/evenings and sell my soul working for The Man in the afternoons, will be the death of me. Seriously. Who thought working a 70% position in 50% time was going to be a good idea?

Playing Scrabulous with my sister on Facebook will definitely help this problem.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Happy Birthday, my very sweet little boy. I wanted to write long posts for you and for your big brother on these special days. But you are so miserable with your head cold, all we are doing is snuggling and trying to make you feel a little better.

I love you. You adorable, goofy little boy.

Monday, January 14, 2008


Happy Birthday, my little love.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

It's okay, I guess

So I have managed 2 days of work. BB seems to be okay at daycare and, frankly, I don't have the time in my work day to even worry about him. I am glad that I found such a trust-worthy care provider (though I am certain that she lets him CIO for naps, which I am not thrilled about, but realize that she really doesn't have much choice).

I was very nervous the night before - silly really. My contract gives me 8 weeks holidays in the summer and I am never nervous when I return after that. I guess 12 months is different.

I am trying very hard to process everything that is happening in my life. I know I am going to struggle to keep up with work. It will ebb and flow, but generally I will have to deal with overtime several nights a week.

C. and BB's birthdays are coming up. I am trying to plan a couple of parties for BB and trying to plan a couple of memorial things for C. I am so glad that they don't share a birthday, but having them one day after another is kind of hard, too. It would have been nice to have a buffer day between them... but, oh well. Nothing I can do about it.

We had BB in for his 12 month check. He is in the high percentiles for all measurements. He is tall, heavy, and has a big head. He made our doctor coo and smile, which I think is a nice gift for her, having been there for us through both pregnancies.

I feel like this year I should devote some more time and energy and emotion into memorializing C. I really feel like he got short-changed on his birthday last year, what with me being in labour and all. I keep thinking this will be his second birthday. Nope. I should have a three year old.

I have this weird expectation that everyone around me should recognize what a miracle BB is, in the intense way that I do. In the sense that he has survived my uterus and spent nearly a year as a living and breathing part of the family. But, no. To the world at large, he is just another one year old. Drooling and teething and covered in dimply smiles. It irritates me, in some small way. I guess I want people to gush and carry on every time they see him. Is that normal, or is that a grief thing? Don't know.

There has been major improvements on the sleep-front. BB now falls asleep on my lap, not rocking or nursing. He squirms around and cuddles in and falls asleep without intervention from me. So not "falling asleep alone" but rather "falling asleep on his own", if you can appreciate the difference. It resulted in 10 days of sleeping through the night (though teething and daycare-related separation anxiety have made for waking the last few nights...). Things are so much better, though, I don't dare to really complain.

This working mommy thing is going to be tiring.

Sunday, January 06, 2008


Tomorrow I return to work. I know most of you live in places where maternity leaves are substantially shorter than the year that we get in Canada, however, it still feels too short. I knew that I would feel this way, but it doesn't make it any easier.

Thankfully, I will only work afternoons, though I am moving into a 70% position (meaning I will have a lot of overtime work that I will have to do in evenings). It is a salaried position, so I am expected to get my work done, no matter how many overtime hours it means. Unfortunately, my husband does similar work with similar expectations, so I have to admit I am worried how we are going to balance family and work.

My resolution for this year, blogging-wise, is to post more. My stats tell me that I am getting half the visits I used to. I don't blame anyone - this is getting to be a really boring blog.