Looking Back. Looking Ahead.

In four weeks my “baby” will be 1 year old.  This last year seems like such a blur, for various reasons.  That thing called “life” happened, I blinked, and here I am.
Now, 10 months ago time was crawling, my exhaustion had gotten the best of me, the 5-6 hours of screaming drove Michael and I nearly mad, and I honestly didn’t think I would survive.
Here I am in the present, I’m sitting on my sofa at the moment and if I glance to my left I have a flashback of myself (or Michael, depending on whose turn it was) sleeping on the sofa with a tiny baby Blake laying in front in the baby swing, rocking back and forth in an attempt to calm an unhappy infant.  At 3 in the morning, of course.  In front of me there was once a permanent home for the blue yoga ball, that rested between the television and the bookshelf when it wasn’t being used bouncing Blake for 5 hours a day. (No, I’m not exaggerating.)  That yoga ball is now deflated upstairs laying in a closet, collecting dust.
Friends assured me “this too shall pass”.
And it did.  I totally didn’t believe you guys at the time, because I couldn’t see past the 5 minutes that were slithering by. Hey, WE MADE IT!
Michael and I were reminiscing (hm, probably wrong word usage…)…recalling that hardship and were honestly smiling that we’d come out of it. And we didn’t kill each other! (Oh, you other first time parents know what I mean.)  These days, we have our strong marriage back, just like before Blake came along.  Thankfully! Yes, we made it. The 3 of us. Together.

Today we have a happy boy in our midst. He seriously smiles and laughs all the time!  He’s standing on his own and is just so close to walking.  In 3 weeks he will be transitioning to the toddler room in daycare, which his teachers tell me is a good thing because they say he’s getting very bored in his infant room and is not interested in the other “infant” children, or the toys.  He spends his days rearranging the classroom by pushing baby cribs around, doing somersaults over furniture, pushing the walker around the room, and dancing to the music.  He isn’t mean at all to other children, but also doesn’t want much to do with them.
At home he loves to walk around the house with mommy and daddy (hand holding), climb up the stairs (with our supervision of course), and is very interested in all the cool, shiny things on daddy’s police uniform.  Books are his “toys” of choice, or any thing that he can push around.  Changing his clothes or diaper means WWIII is happening in our house. I’ve tried everything, but you would think I am burning my kid with acid diapers when changing him! Oy.
Bathtime is a favorite, though he is learning a lesson of not to stand in the tub.  This came across quite clear yesterday when I gave him 3 chances where he stood and I plopped him back down explaining no, and by the 4th time he stood bath time was over and he lost his play time.  (Oh, I’m such a mean mommy….)
His favorite foods are bananas and cheese.
Least favorite foods are carrots, mangos and beans.
He’s crazy about food and I’m convinced he’d probably eat the whole refrigerator if we let him.  Yet, he’s in the average-low range for weight percentile. Funny how that works.
Tonight was the first night he had a huge dinner and went to bed without a bottle.  I knew the time was coming to transition him off his night time bottle, but tonight wasn’t going to be that night.  I was going to wait.  I gave him the bottle and he refused it.  So he went to bed with a full tummy of big boy food (chicken, sweet potatoes, cheese, and apples with cinnamon), and now he’s sleeping soundly in his bed.

What a difference a year makes.

Almost a year ago we had made trips to the ER due to severe projectile vomiting and full bouts of screaming from a dairy and soy allergy, and a diagnoses of GERD.

On the health end, currently, we are still on the Zantac.  Every time I back off from the medication we’ve had issues…spitting up, fussiness, severe cold symptoms.  His current dosage is 2.5mL twice a day, down from three times a day, so that’s an improvement.
He’s still on the Nutramigen formula, as we tried to make a switch but it didn’t go so well.  Allergy in full swing.
I’m convinced Blake still has a dairy allergy, but he can seem to handle dairy in moderation.  If he’s given too much dairy consecutively with meals, or days then he breaks out in hives or suddenly develops severe cold-like symptoms.  I’m assuming it’s the dairy as it’s been the constant.
I also believe he has a tomato allergy but I can’t confirm this.

Two weeks ago we had a lovely battle with Hand, Food, and Mouth. After an initial wrong diagnoses from the doctor,  we had to go back for a second visit because daycare wouldnt let him return until we got the all-clear.  Second visit, different doctor, confirmed Hand, Foot, and Mouth.  It was something I’d suspected but dismissed after we were told no the first time, being told it was a severe food allergy.  Eh, it happens. Boy does it take a long time for those bumps to go away! He’s still got leftover bumps on his legs.

So, back to the one year mark.  That means his first birthday party! We aren’t doing anything extravagant.  I can’t justify shelling out a ton of money on a birthday that he isn’t going to remember.  (Not that there’s anything wrong with those who do it.  I’ve been to some awesome 1st birthday parties, it’s just not what we want to do personally.) We are having close friends and family over for a little get together to celebrate our little guy.  I do look forward to the day when he’s old enough to really enjoy the time!

Blake is definitely at my favorite age so far, minus the diaper and clothes changing sessions, but I can deal.  This stage kinda makes me long for another one.  Having been raised an only child, I always wanted another sibling to play with.  So many of our friends have more than one and I see how cute they are together and I want that for us.  Well, truthfully I go back and forth on it. I mean, I have my days. But, for the most part I’m all in.  My husband isn’t so much just because of what happened during my delivery. (Rather than retell, you can read about it here.)
He told me that if I went to my doctor and had a conversation about the likelihood of it all happening again then he would consider it.  Michael and I have talked about a 2nd child extensively and it boils down to the fact that he says he’s afraid he’ll lose me.  My argument was that this isn’t the 1900’s anymore and medicine has advanced.  His rebuttal: “Right, but if it WAS the 1900s you would’ve died.”  To him, that’s all he can think about.  Stubborn, that man. I feel like I can’t argue because he’s genuinely worried.
I visited my doctor last week to ask her if it could all happen again.
Her short answer was that it could, or it couldn’t.  She said it’s hard to know because in her 25 years of being an OBGYN she’s only had 5 cases of this happen, with me being one of them.  If I were to get pregnant again I would immediately be placed on the high risk pregnancy radar and would have weekly appointments from the beginning to monitor.  They would have the blood transfusion ready at delivery, which wasn’t ready last time since no one knew. Next time could result in a full hysterectomy after delivery if things go the same way or worse.
As a recap, everything that happened was caused from fibroids, placental abruption, placenta accrete, and my cervix ripping.
In two weeks I have an appointment for an ultrasound to see if the fibroids are still there and if there will need to be any extra steps beyond that.
After returning home and giving Michael the doctor recap, well, his mind didn’t really change about having a 2nd child.

Pretty certain Blake is going to be an only child.  Nothing wrong with that. I can certainly respect Michael’s reasoning.  My doctor was very understanding of Michael’s feelings and said she understood him not wanting to have more, but said she would take every precaution if we changed our minds.

Who knows what the future holds.
On one hand, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t saddened that this may be it for us.  As it stands, I have all my woman parts in tact and there’s always the possibility for more. To me that just means something. But if we have another and she has to do a full hysterectomy then that’s it. The 3rd possibility is out.  Not that I’m saying I want a 3rd, but there’s just something about that being taken away from you and feeling like that’s your end. Like someone dangling a candy bar in your face. You don’t really want it because you’re full, but the moment the candy bar is snatched from your sight then you’re suddenly hungry for it.
At least at the present I still feel like that inkling of the big family I used to want is still a twinkle just because all the parts are there…

On another hand, I don’t know how I’d do it with a 2nd (or 3rd) child because I’m constantly juggling.  And just when I feel like I’ve caught up on everything I need to catch up on (laundry, dishes, answering emails, Master’s degree shenanigans, lesson plans, photography editing) I stand in a corner and juggle air because these days I’m so used to going, going, going, that I don’t know what to do with myself when I’ve caught up. (But, yes, here I am writing a blog entry. This has been my only downtime in weeks.  And I’m drinking coffee writing this. At 10:00 at night.  Oooops.  So much for catching up on sleep! HA!) Of course times are rare that I’m caught up on chores, or sleep, or life.
Translation: I need a rest.

Oh but that is SO a different blog entry!

In closing, the year has flown. Life is so different. Things went from
Oh my gosh, I’m pregnant. How did that happen? (Duh!)
Pregnancy is the best!
This is the hardest thing EVER
This is still the hardest thing EVER. Am I going to make it?
Oh, mommy hood is the BEST thing EVER.
Every day is wonderful and I can’t believe how much my heart grows for Blake every second.  Just when I think my heart is full, he looks at me.

Happy (almost) 1 year my sweet, smiley boy!


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