Monday, 25 July 2016

Dear Ada- life at 2 and a half

Dear Ada,

I am writing you this letter as you play independently and quietly (the best kind of playing ;) ), while I sit on the couch in the sun.

I'm heavily pregnant with your baby brother, and because of that I've been thinking a lot about you recently, about how life is going to change for you, about how I want to treasure and soak up these last moments of you as my only child.

So far, I have loved seeing you as a two year old. You have more sass and attitude for sure, but along with that comes a lot more language and understanding.

The other day the groceries arrived, I exclaimed 'oh that's so annoying!' 
'What's wrong mummy?' you said, with concern written all over your face.
'Two of the eggs are smashed!' I said
'Oh no mummy, I sorry,' you said.

Or when I wince and twinge from pregnancy pains. 'What's wrong mummy?'
'Oh, my tummy is a wee bit sore.'
So you kiss it better, 'all better mummy!'

Those tiny moments of sweetness melt my heart.

I love seeing you being compassionate. And I love the joy in your face when you exclaim 'I fix it!' or 'Ada did it!,' with such pride. You are learning new skills and rightfully proud of yourself for it.

You can sing ABC's and twinkle twinkle with conviction. You can count to 10 (although you often miss six), and you love to draw, sing and dance.

You do struggle to share your toys with others, something which is probably very normal for your age and your only child status. We try and guide you to be kind and considerate and we see wee glimmers of understanding and empathy. I know the next few months might be rough for you as you lose your place as our only child, and I hope we can guide you through it well. I know in the long run you will absolutely love having a brother.

You can be stubborn and cheeky sometimes. You don't throw epic tantrums like you used to, however you do know how to act the drama queen sometimes, with a furrowed brow and wily look. Your Dad and I are secretly laughing although we try not to show it.

I love that we understand your language now (well most of the time!). We are working on your often demanding tone, and manners, and seeing you learn these skills is very rewarding. I can now sit you down and explain things to you, and you seem to get it. Being able to communicate like this makes life a lot easier!

We tried you in a bed, but you liked to come up the stairs many times during the night. So we put the cot back up. You love being back in your cot, and insist the sides stay up. You must feel very safe snuggled in your wee coccoon. Perhaps it reminds you of the incubator in NICU and the feeling of safety you got there? Either way, you've taught us that you're not ready for that big move yet, that what makes you feel safe is important too.

There is so much more I could write about you Ada, but I will stop there because you are bringing me ALL the books to read. And after that it will be nap time.

You're such a sweet and clever toddler, full of life.

Your Daddy and I love you so much <3 <3

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Baby Update

So it appears I posted a rather vague update on Facebook last week (whoops!) and since have had people messaging me to see if baby and I are ok.

We are!

Last week I had a scan which showed that baby is not growing quite as well as he has been. Phrases like IUGR (Inter-uterine growth restriction- Ada had this) and SGA (small for gestational age) were thrown around, along with the possibility of baby coming a little earlier than he might want to. At the time I was quite upset about this possibility. A 35/36 weeker is nothing compared to Ada's birth at 30 weeks, however it could mean baby needs time in Special Care, which would mean being separated from my baby at birth- something I feel quite strongly about NOT experiencing this time.

However, by talking it through with my lovely friends and family, as well as praying and mulling it all over, I have been able to process and come to grips with this possibility. The appointment also gave me the motivation to finish all the last baby bits and pieces, so we are ready for his arrival whenever that might be.

I have also decided to take maternity leave. My line of work is freelance, so it would be easy for me to keep accepting work here and there when I feel up to it. However, mentally deciding to officially stop working from next week, to spend some time resting and with Ada, has been a good decision for me. I never got any leave before Ada was born (I worked on the day I went into hospital!), so it will be nice to do things a little differently.

I had another scan this week, and they can't compare baby's growth from last week to this one (it's too soon to compare) but they did check other bits and pieces such as the blood flow from me to him, and this is all fine! Therefore he should be grand to stick around another week, till next week when I am 36 weeks and we have the big growth scan- from there we will make a plan around his birth.

I think I'm now at peace with whatever may happen. Even though medical phrases were thrown around in todays appointment, in a quite unlike me fashion, I decided not to ask for more expansion on the terms, or explanation of their consequences. Unlike with Ada, who was labelled and diagnosed with lots of things, I feel comfortable at this point to not think too far ahead. We will know diagnoses and plans in full when we need to. I also feel confident and competent in my knowledge around birth and neonatal stages to advocate for myself and baby when we need it.

He might need to come next week, he might stick around a few more weeks. I may go into labour, I may be induced, I may need a ceserean.  I'm feeling very 'what will be will be,' about things now.

We've made it so much further than Ada's birth gestation, and I know whatever happens, it will be a very different experience to last time. I'm excited to see what will happen, and very excited to meet my son.
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