Happy birthdanniversary to us

It’s the end of April & the month of May is around the corner. More specifically, May the 2nd. The day our baby boy turns one. And the closer this day comes, the more emotional I’m feeling about it. You see this celebration is not only a wonderful & happy period celebrating our boy’s first year of life, it also brings forth some very painful memories of the past 12 months for me. And in addition to all these memories, the day itself is extremely bittersweet as my baby is growing up & given I’m not having any more, this period & phase of my life is over. Just like that. Like a snap of the fingers, pregnancies, newborns, newborn cuddles & tiny clothes are now part of my lifes memories.

Even though it’s a conscious decision to not have any more kids it doesn’t mean I can’t allow myself to grieve this decision or period of my life. Each time Flynny grows out of a size, I fold up the clothes ever so delicately & gently imagining the little boy in them who used to fill them, but knowing also, that he nor anybody else of mine will fill up those sleeves & pants. And it’s not like he’s grown out of his clothes so quickly either – he’s still wearing 0-3mth tops & I just moved him up to crawler sized nappies – it matters not. The clothes are too small for him & they’re put away with bigger ones put in their place. (Some days I think it’s natures way of providing me with a mini boy so it would give me a ‘baby’ for longer & ease me into the realisation that there will be no more).

I often wonder where the days went as the past year has gone so very quickly since Flynn came into our lives. Sometimes however, I feel each & every waking minute, like when he’s up in the middle of the night in pain or sick & time stands still & the days following until he gets better go ever so slowly. Thinking about him as a newborn sometimes feels like years ago & often feels just like yesterday.

I know the feelings I’m having leading up to Flynnys birthday are extremely common with those mums (or even parents) that have decided not to have any more kids, but I have a few additional things to celebrate, deal with & work through during this period.

September 2010 the wee stick went positive & in January 2011 my 20 weeks scan revealed I had a bipartite placenta, placenta previa & vasa previa the latter giving my baby a 20% chance of survival. I was prepared by my OB that I was going to be admitted to hospital early (as Orli came unexpectedly at 36 weeks & my membranes weren’t able to rupture at all with the baby) & was also told that if I bled at all at any time to get to hospital immediately as the baby had to be taken out asap in order to survive. To say I was anxious from 20 weeks until 34.5 weeks until my early admission would be an understatement. I felt responsible for my placenta not protecting or giving my baby the best chance & start to life. I also knew that if I didn’t get to theatre in time for the baby to come out alive, I would be responsible for it not surviving. I had ongoing internal scans to assess the baby’s growth & see how the placenta was holding up & where it decided to be on any given day. I had very low amniotic fluid intake (AFI) so each leak was a worry that the babes health would be compromised. Each leak was also checked in case it was blood so there were many times I would leave my groceries mid aisle to check myself in the nearest toilet. By 34 weeks I was a mess & we went to the hospital for CTG & obs late one night. I asked the midwives if I could stay there & be admitted a few days earlier but the nurses had no reason to keep me…. they obviously had enough anxious mums on the ward already!

After a week & a half in hospital, we made it to 36 weeks & on May 2, just after 3pm, we met Flynn Jack Rozenblum. He came into the world weighing in at 2.165kgs & not requiring an urgent blood transfusion which was something we had been warned about many times over. After a few minutes of gazing at him & being relieved he was alright, he was taken to special care for observation.

Fast forward to a week of being home & we were readmitted as Flynn was having issues with feeding & was considered ‘failure to thrive’ only gaining 50g since discharge. The nine week admission consisted of Flynny being fed nasal-gastrically (having the tube changed each week & each time he pulled it out by accident which happened quite often), having x-rays, a barium swallow, urine & blood tests, a brain ultrasound, an ECG, an Echo, trying nine different formulas, having chronic constipation (& the many suppositories he had to help) & the violent reflux which was so very painful for him & made me feeding him completely disheartening & heartbreaking. At ten weeks of age (six week corrected), he was diagnosed with Laryngomalacia & started drinking enough to not lose any weight & we were discharged the next week. I found an amazing group of mums with beautiful Malacia kids who have provided us with advice & support as we embarked on a journey of having a son with LM & all the concerns associated with the condition. Thankfully Flynny’s condition is mild but we’re still having a few issues with his feeding 12 months down the track which remains one of my main anxieties.

There were days during that nine week admission that I thought I was losing it & that we would never be going home. I just could not see past being in hospital & us ever going home to Seon & Orli. In that time, I managed to keep my head above water & also dodged any PPD/PND demons that came chasing me. As I’ve said before, there were times I thought I was slipping, however with the help of Seon, close friends & The #PPDChatArmy I managed to keep it together despite everything going on. The difference this time round was that I knew I had bonded & loved my baby boy. No one in the world knew him better than me & our connection was forever forged. Given the circumstances, I had to continuously remind myself that I was having a normal experience in an abnormal situation & that is was the circumstances not my mental state that was affecting my mood this time round.

When I look at Flynn today I marvel at his strength & at his nature. I adore him so much that I often find myself staring at him with tears running down my cheeks. His face is so familiar (he’s looking more & more like Orli), so happy, so inquisitive, so engaging & takes my breath away many times over. His smile in infectious, his nature is beautiful & he gives me joy each & every day. He is just the happiest little boy.

So as May the 2nd gets closer, I’m not only grieving that I won’t be having another baby & feeling nostalgic about my baby growing up, I will also be celebrating the fact that the PPD/PND demon that robbed me of my first experience of motherhood didn’t appear second time round & nothing got in the way of me bonding with & loving my son. I was able to have a better experience with my baby despite the circumstances which is a direct result of  lots of hard work, hours of therapy & plenty of planning. I am also so very proud of myself for not allowing my PMD to impact our decision to not have another baby. It would have been the most tragic outcome of my PMD had it convinced me not to provide Orli with the gift of a sibling & it would have been even more heartbreaking had I allowed my PMD to rob me of the experience of enjoying & loving my baby. Not a day goes by, that I’m not reminded of just how far I’ve come & just how very blessed we are.

As I sit here & reminisce, reflect, gather & share my thoughts, I’m overcome with emotion about the week ahead. Many tears will flow, many memories will be revisited but I will also be constantly telling myself just how lucky & blessed we are. I’m going to allow myself to grieve the fact that my baby is growing up & won’t be an older brother & I’m not going to block out any painful memories of the first three months we had together. I’m going to try really hard to live in the moment & enjoy the celebrations that come our way. I cannot imagine our lives without Mr Flynnstone nor my Flynny Floo Floo & will never ever take for granted the best birthday gift I ever got.

 


Comments

  1. story says:

    Huge hugs to you mama. The first birthday is always hard, and you have a lot of extra hard thrown in here too. It’s amazing how far you and F have come in one year, and you should be so proud. So hugs for the hard and huge high fives for the wins.

  2. Leah Lefler says:

    Yuz, you are a wonderful writer. Every time I pack away Nolan’s clothes, I feel a twinge of sadness. Of course, we don’t pack away clothes very often at this stage of life, but I know that his entrance to school this year is going to be very bittersweet. Sending growing thoughts to Flynny, as always, but also lots of hugs to you.

  3. Sandy says:

    Happy birthday to your little man and congrats to you for making it through that unimaginably tough first year! Your words strike home to me as we continue selling off and giving away baby things. Logic says a second is not a good idea and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that my fear of getting PPD again is a factor in that decision. You’re story is an inspirational one that will keep me from saying “never again” too soon. Enjoy your celebrations! You and your family deserve it.

  4. Rebecca says:

    Simply beautiful written I had tears streaming down my face.

  5. Frelle says:

    Hugging you gently, and so grateful that youve poured your heart out and that I can learn more of your story and the events that led up to his birth, and the weeks afterward. You are a strong and amazing mum and woman and Im so grateful to know you. *HUG*

  6. Sending you so much love. Of course this is hard, but I’m glad you’re acknowledging it. You have had quite a ride in the last year and you’ve done so well. I remember Flynn’s early days – it was a rough time. Holding your hand this week.

  7. Seon says:

    Lets also not forget that May 2nd is Yuzzy’s birthday too! Happy birthday to Yuzzy and Flynny!

  8. Fiona says:

    I cried the whole story and feel your pain. Hope Flynn has a wonderful birthday! I havent fully made the decision to not have another and Dylan’s baby toys and clothes are still in bags. I know I shouldn’t incase the next is worse than my first, the first boy isn’t as bad as the second. But when you think your having a 3rd till you find out all there health issues is hard. I still want a third. It see the neuro in aug and might get answers.

  9. Dearest Yuz, I’m sending you much love and light from my part of the world. I know it’s hard but I also love that you’re celebrating that you survived and thrived and so did your little boy.

    Happy Birthday Flynny, and you too Yuz!

  10. Shus says:

    Yuz
    Such honest,beautiful words, you have had such a life experience with both your bubs but that you have stepped up to share these moments in such an honest way is amazing….and will hopefully encourage more mums to speak up & reach out for help. Its about time we get rid of all these taboos & with mums like yourself we get one step closer. Enjoy your big celebration day with your little miracles xxx

  11. Yuz says:

    Thanks so much everyone. It felt so cathartic putting all my feelings to paper as it helped me work out & work through just why I’m feeling the way I am about the upcoming week. The emotions have already started rolling in like ocean waves & I’m trying really hard to stay afloat. Your support is so appreciated & I’ll be wearing you all like a halo as the week goes by. Love to you all.

  12. Kimberly says:

    Oh friend.
    You have every right to feel these emotions and they are scary.
    I know that you’ll get through this. Just think of all the wonderful milestones you are going to witness from here on out.
    Together.
    So on the second celebrate too.
    You deserve it.
    Xoxox

  13. Susan says:

    My amazing friend,
    Every time we skype, your love for Flynn just shines from you. You have fought for that happiness every step of the way and I’m so proud of you. I’m so glad you shared Flynns story with us. It honestly makes me even more in awe of you – and so glad I have you in my life.

  14. Hugs, and Happy Birthday! What an amazing journey!

  15. Jenny says:

    Yuz thank you for sharing Flynn’s story. I have so much admiration for your candor and your courage. Sending you love & hugs.

  16. Hugs to you as you’re about to celebrate Flynn’s 1st bday! It’s an emotional day to begin with, and then you have all of the emotions of this past year to throw into it. Hope that it’s a good day.

  17. Amy B says:

    Oh happy birthday to your little boy! Can’t believe he’s a year old already! May is a hard month for me too – Ella turns 5 on the 31st. It’s hard cause I know that I am not doing to do it again – have a baby and some days, it’s just hard to grasp. There is comfort in knowing that I am not the only one who thinks like that though! Thanks for writing such an great post! Blessings to you!

  18. Jaime says:

    I remember “meeting” you on Twitter (via #ppdchat) while you were pregnant with Flynn. I’m so grateful I did!
    Thanks for sharing this post with us. It’s beautiful and honest and inspiring. Just like you.

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