Category Archives: Parenting

What An AMAZING Year It Has Been!

The year has flown by since the day we brought our beautiful son home. It’s been a year of elation, nerves, speed-learning (if there is such a thing!), exhaustion and most of all heaps and heaps of love.

We celebrated Alec’s 1st birthday last month and threw an “Alec The Aviator” party with his little friends from his various activities (swimming, workshop and mommy’s group). It was a day filled with a mix of emotions, especially when we sang Happy Birthday. I couldn’t believe this day had come, that we were actually celebrating our child’s first birthday. At the same time remembering our baby girl Stella who we met briefly, but who’s birthday we will never be able to celebrate. Remembering our little surrogate baby boy who also left us all too soon. Remembering how incredibly awesome our surrogate mom was to put herself forward as our surrogate and how amazingly strong and brave she was when we received the unbelievably bad news at the 13 week scan. Through all that we’d been through to create our family, here we were 6 years later since the start of our journey, celebrating our son Alec’s 1st birthday and surrounded by a group of amazing new friends and family.

Looking at the photos from Alec’s party, I really hope that the friends he has now will remain so through his life. Some of them are also adopted, which I’m hoping will ease his way into understanding, when the time is right, that families are made up / brought together in different ways. I want him to understand that although he may not have been born from Mommy’s tummy, he was born from Mommy and Daddy’s hearts and will always be a part of us.

So here we are a month into our second year with our gorgeous little boy and looking forward to more adventures together as a family!

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First Time Parenting … Not For The Faint Hearted!

Being a first time parent is hard. I can honestly say that being a hands-on parent to an alert and very ‘busy’ baby is harder than I ever imagined. For the first 2 months both LH and I had moments when we just wished there was an ‘OFF’ button that we could press for an hour a day. Those moments were typically in between 3 hourly feeds at the deadly hour of about 2am in the morning, when Alec would be in the throws of windy colic and no matter what we did, there was just no calming or soothing him. Any attempt to put him in his cot, would be met with flailing arms, arched back and screams of protest. The only way to lull him to sleep was by cradling him in our arms in the colic hold and taking turns to walk him for hours up and down … up and down … up and down our room …. until the sun would eventually be peaking over the horizon, at which point LH would shower and shoot off to the office and I would be left staring vacantly at a chirpy, well-rested, alert, bubbly bundle that was looking to be entertained all day and only take 3 half hour naps. Yes, that’s what I said … 3 naps of just 30 minutes each. The age old advice of ‘sleep when baby sleeps’ didn’t quite work so well for me! Everyone also kept telling us about the magic number – 12 weeks. That it would all magically get better after 12 weeks. Well, they lied and it didn’t get better after 12 weeks. After 8 weeks, we settled into the zombie-like routine, by 12 weeks we were used to it and into the swing of things – well, kind of anyway. Realistically though, you really only start stepping out of zombie land at around 7 months.

Then there’s the reflux, or in layman’s terms – vomit. Had there been a Reflux Olympics, I’m sure we would have had a wall full of gold medals by now. Who would have thought that such a tiny, cute little cherub could giggle one moment and without any warning, spontaneously projectile vomit what seems like at least half the contents of his bottle all the way across the room? Those books and guides that give you a list of how many vests, onesies, etc you need, don’t tell you about reflux babies. We ended up with double the number of just about everything, including socks – it was either that or spend what few hours were left of my nights washing and drying clothes, in between the 3 hourly feeds and colic bouts. Oh … did I mention that feeds would take over an hour? Feeding a reflux baby is somewhat different to feeding a non-reflux baby we quickly learnt. There’s lots of burping, cleaning and writhing in between actual feeding. Thankfully the reflux has abated considerably and we’re seeing less and less of it, which means Alec’s wardrobe can now start to resemble that of a non-pukey baby – although as an adventurous baby, we seem to have as many changes of clothes during the day as before, but for different reasons! The books also don’t tell you to pack spare changes of clothing for yourself. By the end of each day, what ever I was wearing for the day would have an array of multi-coloured patches and smell like what I would call … “You’re The Reflux” – a mixture of Issey Miyaki and sour milk!

On the subject of bodily fluids, I could write an entire book on the subject of poop. Green-poop, brown-poop, mustard-poop, granular-poop, runny-poop, buck-like-pellet-poop, streaky-poop, acidic-poop, explosive-poop, bulging-eyes-poop, 4-poops-a-day-poops, 1-poop-in-4-days-poop and what it all means. Decoding poops is a fine art and is often a topic of conversation among mothers over coffee.

It may sound like I’m having a good old moan, but I’m not. I’ve come to realise that the only thing that remains constant when it comes to parenting, is change. It’s really quite amazing, watching Alec’s daily progress and transformation! With each day our emotions grow stronger than we ever thought possible. The absolute joy we experience, the immeasurable pride we have, the intense love we feel for our beautiful son Alec has made every bit of our tough journey and crash course into parenting so incredibly worthwhile. And if you thought that the early days were enough to scare us off doing this again … We are a family of 3, hoping to become a family of 4 (or perhaps 5 if twins) through either surrogacy (we still have our 6 embryos from donor eggs on ice) or through adoption again. What the future holds for us – only time will reveal. In an ideal world, we wouldn’t want too big an age gap between Alec and his sibling(s). The reality however is that we don’t live in an ideal world and our situation leaves us much at the mercy and in the hands of others when it comes to growing our little family. As always however we live in hope and I don’t give up easily!

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First Time Parenting … Who Would Have Guessed?

If someone … anyone … had said in July last year … “This time next year you will be a changed woman … you will be witnessing your 9 month old son’s first words and start thinking about his first Birthday” … I would have said something along the lines of … “No way! Are you on drugs or something?? Have you read my blog?”

Well … I now know for a fact that dreams do come true. If you put your mind to it, you can actually make your dreams come true. The pieces might not fall into place quite the way you think they should or as planned, but somehow the universe has a way of saying … “OK, we’ve dished you up a whole heap of crappy heartache and enough tears to sink a battleship in the last 5 years, so now lets bring you some sunshine.”

And sunshine is what LH and I got. Our bundle of pure joy who turned our lives upside down overnight. Who showed me what it’s like to love someone with such intensity that my heart stops at just the thought of him not being in our lives. A little being who has totally consumed my thoughts – day and night. A beautiful baby boy, who is all too soon rapidly becoming a toddler with a twinkle in his eye.

Time to start putting the wheels in motion for number 2 … no easy task for us, but one I’m ready than ever to take on.

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First Time Parenting … Mother’s Day Eve

It feels kind of surreal knowing that tomorrow is Mother’s Day. For the first time since we lost our daughter Stella and I lost my uterus 4 years ago (after a very long struggle to conceive), I’m not dreading the day. This time last year … who would have known that within the year I would at long last become a mother. A mother to the most wonderful little boy. I’ll be celebrating tomorrow being mother to my gorgeous and most precious son Alec.

My message to all women who may be reading this and who’s desire for a family has not yet been fulfilled … Don’t give up on your hopes, your dreams, your yearning for a family of your own. I know that tomorrow is probably going to be a bit of a crappy one for you. Just know that things may not be working out the way you had initially planned, but with determination, inner strength and an open mind to stepping out of norm, you can make your dreams come true. I know this having walked a long and very painful journey … but I refused to give up. As I listen to the sound of my son’s breathing from his cot, I now know that anything is possible.

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First Time Parenting … At 40+

With all of our milestones (60 and 90 days) behind us, the bottle of Dom Perinon popped, and with our adoption papers submitted to the courts, I’m starting to really get into the flow of motherhood. Up until the lapse of the 90 days, my title of “mom” hung in the balance, as it could have been stripped from me at any moment … but no more. It’s now officially official … I’m a mother! Mother to the most beautiful and delicious little boy in the world … at the ripe age of 41 … going on 42 years old.

For someone who swore to never be an older mother and to have completed her family in her 30′s … I can safely say that starting a family later than most has it’s challenges and it’s benefits. The challenges are minor in that one tends to be set in one’s ways and perhaps a little selfish when reaching 40 with no little feet in tow. Enter newborn cherub … and your life is instantly turned on it’s head, but all in a magical and strangely wonderful way. I’ve found the benefits of being an ‘older’ mother to be enormous. Perhaps it’s my life experiences that have made me a calmer and more confident mother? As one of the ‘older’ mothers in a mommies group I’m part of, I notice a lot of anxiety and uncertainty with some of the younger moms, who are often second guessing themselves instead of following their instincts. Perhaps my hours and long nights of nursing sick and ailing rescued kittens and puppies over the years, non of whom could ‘speak’ for themselves, tapped into my inner voice which told me to listen to my instincts and given me better insight when ‘listening’ to my son’s needs? … Or perhaps I just don’t get it and have missed the plot completely! Maybe I’m the one who’s back is turned towards the erupting volcano and can’t quite understand what all the panic around me is about. LOL!! Who knows? What I do know is that I’m thoroughly enjoying being a mother and would do this all over again in a heartbeat given another chance or opportunity, despite the lack of sleep and it taking me 3 days to do something simple like paint my toenails! ROFL!!!

With Alec’s half year birthday coming up on 20th, it seems like just yesterday that he was a tiny little bundle. Time has flown by so incredibly quickly and he’s growing so fast. I’m glad I’ve documented and continue to document almost everything in photos. I’m a little paparazzi crazy … but then who could blame me?

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