Ten things I never expected about being a mom

There were things I knew to expect when becoming a mom. I knew about the sacrifices and lack of sleep. I knew that it would be E-X-P-E-N-S-I-V-E. I knew my heart would burst with love (although you really can never prepare for the hormones and just how raw you feel all the time). But there were some things I totally didn’t see coming:

1) That you can totally still hear the TV when the volume is almost off. Anything more than a whisper at this point is just loud to me now.

2) You can sing “Itsy Bitsy Spider” 5,654 times in a row and halfway through the 5,655th time, you completely forget the words. Not that it matters. “Itsy Bitsy Spider” could be “Happy Little Hotdog.” All the same to
Henry.

3) Going to the bathroom alone is a luxury.

4) How much babies change over night. One day, they’re completely immobile. The next, you leave him on the couch for a second while you make a bottle and he almost rolls off.

5) How things that are usually disgusting are now cute or celebrated. Like, “good job, you pooped! Yay!” Or “awww, he just cleared the room with that gas. Hahah, funny baby!” You can’t get away with any of that as an adult.

6) I never thought about germs more than I do now. I was a clean person before, but now it’s in overdrive. Clorox wipes are my friend.

7) Zippers > snaps when it comes to jammies. Snaps are just stupid. Why do they need to go down both legs? Just give me snaps on one side! Or better yet, no more snaps!

8) I never expected other moms to be so judgmental. Women are really mean to other women. As long as your kid is being taken care of and loved, then whatever. Do what works for you and leave me the hell alone. K? Thanks. (If I see you feeding your newborn Cheetos, I might say something though.)

9) I never knew how many meals I would eat one-handed. A lot is the answer.

10) Accepting help when offered, and asking for it when needed, is not only ok but absolutely necessary to stay sane. I’m one of those martyrs that likes to do it all myself but complain that I did it all myself. I don’t do that anymore. I’m lucky that I have my husband who lets me sleep in on the weekends and parents who watch Henry whenever is requested. I’ll never say no to help again.

I also never expected to give birth to such a cute, funny little creature who makes me laugh all day. Look at this face!

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Dear Henry

Dear Henry,

You’re 8 weeks old today. I can hardly believe it. Time is going by too fast. Part of me wants to press pause and just enjoy you at this sweet age forever. Another part of me can’t wait to see you grow and continue to change — to see you crawl, talk, walk, use a toilet.

henrymat

Yesterday, I put away a lot of your newborn clothes. I stopped at the outfit you wore home from the hospital, the outfit I nervously bought when I first found out I was pregnant, and just stared at it. A flood of emotions came over me. I looked at that outfit a lot during the 9 months you were in my belly, just praying everyday that everything would work out and I’d get to see you in it. Of course, I did, several times. Now that you’ve outgrown it…well, it just tugs at my heart a little. Or a lot. I’m keeping that outfit forever, by the way.

You finally graduated into size 1 diapers and now wear some of your size 3 month clothing, which makes me very happy. You grew slowly at first, thanks to reasons beyond our control, but I swallowed my pride and did what I had to do to get you caught up. Looking at you everyday, and just how happy and sweet natured you are, I know I’ve made the right decisions so far. The big parenting F ups are yet to come, I’m sure.

Grandma Suzanne can’t get enough of you. She’s got Henry fever and the only cure is more Henry. I am so thankful for this because when she’s here I get to do things like clean and take a shower. After a while  you start fussing for your mama and I’m glad to take you back. There is nothing that makes me more happy than holding you.

Sleep is getting better. You sleep about 5-6 hours straight for the first half (as I call it). Then you wake up hungry and usually go back to sleep quickly. However you treat the second half more like a daytime nap. So that’s when I put you in bed with me and you do much better. I love waking up next to you but I will not cry when you start sleeping through the night.

You’re hitting some milestones: holding your head up (even sitting nicely in your Bumbo chair), grabbing and holding things, smiling and cooing a lot, and other baby stuff. To be honest, I think you’re a baby genius, but you’re probably just right on track. Not that you won’t be a genius later, I am almost 100% positive you will.

We’re getting out of the house more as a family and just the two of us. It’s nice to get back to a normal routine. You’re a great shopping buddy.

henrystore

Favorite song: Itsy Bitsy Spider (you love all the hand action happening)

My favorite song to sing to you today: Sea of Love

Favorite toy: Still love that play mat. Actually, I think you love it more and more each day. There’s just so much to discover. The monkey bouncer is growing on you though.

henry bouncer

You’re beautiful and I love you.

Forever,

Mom

Jinx.

Immediately after I pressed “publish” on yesterday’s post on routines, I realized that I forgot to mention a couple things:

  1. Henry is just shy of 8 weeks old, and I know our routines will go through many incarnations over the months and years; and
  2. Now that I’ve put the routine down in writing, it will change

It hasn’t changed overnight, but I’m noticing it’s beginning the shift, especially in the evenings. The past couple nights, Henry is particularly fussy. I chalked it up to being close to bedtime and having a sleepy baby on my hands. After all, the night before last he slept from 9 pm – 2 am, then 2:30 am – 7 am. I had a feeling last night was going to be different. I don’t know how many hours of sleep I got. Probably 4 or 5 broken up into 1 hour spurts.

I’m trying not to jump up with every sound he makes. So, I wake up when he’s in his bassinet just grunting or whatever, and I listen. Most times, he’ll go back to sleep. If he starts crying, I pick him up, change the diaper, wrap him back up and sing him back to sleep. Last night, as soon (AND I MEAN AS SOON) as I put my head back down on the pillow, he’d be grunting again. Then it would turn into crying. So, I fed him, I cuddled him, changed another diaper. Put him back down. I stood over his bassinet until he was out cold. If I was standing, he was sleeping. I laid down and felt my heavy eyelids finally begin to close.

“WAHH!”

Either I’m just good natured (hardly) or sleep deprived, but I had to find humor in the situation. I couldn’t stop laughing. I got up and looked in his bassinet and he gave me the biggest, gummiest smile.  Is it possible for a baby to mess with you? Finally, I put him in bed with me and I think we got a good 2 hours of uninterrupted sleep.

During the day, he is turning into the Mohammed Ali of fighting sleep now, which is awesome. I had to take him for a walk today to get him to really sleep. Even his swing wasn’t cutting it this morning. He is currently parked in the living room, fast asleep.

henrystroller

 

Nope. Spoke too soon. I’m being beckoned.

Quickie

Some noteworthy happenings:

  • Got my hair cut and colored for the first time since I found out I was bearing a child. I feel like a new person and now I won’t have to spend the 8 seconds of spare time I have in front of the mirror obsessing over all of the gray hairs before throwing it up into a messy bun type thing and leaving it that way for a couple days before I decide to wash it and start all over again.
  • Henry is already holding his head up pretty great. His fave position is sitting up on our laps, with no support on his neck. If you try to support his neck, he gets very annoyed. And tummy time should be called “scoot across the floor time.” This kid wants to move.
  • We no longer have a newborn. We have a baby now. A babbling, giggling, alert, smiley, funny baby. I had to put some of his newborn clothes up this morning and he’s filling out his 0-3’s nicely. I love watching him grow, but it also tugs at my heart.
  • I’ve been doing more and walking. It’s been nice weather and I have the cutest little walking buddy. It knocks him out, though. Even after we get home, he continues to sleep for hours. Not that I’m complaining. An overtired Henry is no bueno. A growing boy needs his rest.
  • Chris continues to be amazing. Even when I’m stressed over stupid stuff, he’s calm and patient and talks me down. I’m lucky that I married a guy who tries to empathize with a new mom and all the stresses that come along with that. He also knows how hard it is to have a 24/7 baby-raising job and is a really good support. I have to brag on him because he deserves it. He puts up with a lot from my hormonal ass.

henrygoesforawalk

 

What he’s wearing:

Hat: knit by someone and given to Henry by a nurse at the hospital. First placed on his head when he was minutes old.

Sweater: Baby Gap (on sale)

Overalls: Old Navy (on sale)

Socks: Trumpette Skater Boy (not on sale)

Pacifier: Nuk

 

And I’m feeling good.

I’m feeling great lately. Like, really and truly great. I’m not as tired (the lack of tears helps), I’m getting out of the house more, I’m not in any pain, and I have the sweetest baby, most awesome husband, and terrific family. I’m being for real. I’m so happy.

After a few rough, emotional days, I perked up and got my act together. I have this beautiful baby that I get to raise, and that’s my focus. Everything else is secondary. Coming to that realization has been freeing. I am now just enjoying every second I have with him instead of obsessing over what I can’t control.

I’ve said it before, but I am so lucky to have my mom nearby. She only works two days a week, so the rest of the time she is eager to come over and see her grand baby. Chris and I were able to go to the mall Sunday AM alone. We sampled fro yo, shopped for Henry (of course), and bought a smoothie. It was so nice to just be with him like we were BH (before Henry). But we couldn’t wait to get home to our baby. Especially because grandma got the diaper explosion on her watch. Grandma also pops around sporadically to give me a break and watch Downton Abbey. During her visit yesterday, I was able to take a long bath. When I got out, she’d fed the baby and started making me a meatloaf. I’m getting (even more) spoiled.

Another upside to feeling more human: more stuff is getting done around the house. The other night, I was able to tackle the giant pile of clean laundry that we never put away (basically everything we own was in this pile) and fold and put up. I felt so accomplished. Honestly, I think I slept better the last few nights because of it. That pile haunted me.

On Monday I had a couple hilarious friends stop by with food. I didn’t want them to leave. Adult conversation during business hours is rare for me lately. If I’m not singing a song or talking baby speak to Henry, then I’m not talking. After, I got to go to my OB for my annual exam. Yay! Ok, not yay. I must have been craving more adult convo time, because most of the appointment was spent yapping to both the doctor and the nurse about anything and everything. The doc shares my same affinity for cheese, so that’s good. Then she stuck a speculum up there and I didn’t like her as much anymore.

Oblig baby photo:

babybrowneyes

I’m placing my bets that those peepers are gonna be brown.

Sleep (or the lack thereof)

Ya know what I miss?

sleepTHAT.

I haven’t really slept since I was induced at the hospital on December 16. Yes, I remember the last day I felt rested. It’s all worth it, of course, but the exhaustion is kind of shocking.

I love Shan’s recent blog post about how she sleeps on the floor just so she can get some consecutive sleep. I’ll admit — if it worked for me, I’d do it too. The other night, Henry slept from 10 – 6. Straight. I freaked out, then I jumped for joy! Then he didn’t do that again last night. I got up, changed his diaper, fed him, and laid down. He was still fussy, so I placed him next to me in the bed. He passed out immediately. I am going try to not make that a habit.

Alright, I know that new mom’s are supposed to be tired. I’ll stop complaining about it (today).

Here’s something interesting: I got to leave my house yesterday sans baby! My mom lives very nearby and practically begs to babysit for me. She really wants to have him spend the night and when I remind her that he’s not sleeping through the night yet, she changes her tune for the moment. Anyway, she came over and watched the Mouse while I went to lunch with some friends of mine that I used to work with. When I came home, Henry was still asleep and she was baking cookies. She told me to go take a nap while she baked and watched Downton Abbey. I was so shocked that I got maybe about 10 minutes of actual sleep. It was still really great, not gonna lie.

Next week, I am getting my hair done thanks to my babysitter. I have not had it dyed since before I found out I was pregnant. The gray hairs are out of control and need to be covered with chemicals immediately. Hopefully it will help me feel like less of a frumpy housewife. My self esteem hasn’t been at its highest lately.

I need a major pick me up. I don’t know if it’s the beginnings of postpartum depression (I really hope not) or what, but I’m really hard on myself these days. I need to take a chill pill, or a real pill perhaps, and cut myself some slack. Any ideas from other mommies on how to do that?

henrycouchRelax, mom. I’m fine. 

 

Catching up.

I’ve been wanting to write a blog for a few days now, but couldn’t remember my password. The “forget password” feature is great…if you remember which email you used to sign up. Which I don’t. Anyway, I finally got in.  Also, Henry is very attached to his mama, so as soon as I decide to do anything non-baby related, he reminds me of his precious existence and demands I pay attention to him. He’s sleeping in his swing now. Let’s see how far I can get.

So much going on, not enough time to blog about it.

  1. Henry is 1 month old this week. I feel like I’m finally getting this motherhood thing down and becoming more comfortable doing things like clipping his nails (I go old school and chew them off myself. Like a monkey in the wild), giving him a bath, and sucking boogers out of his nose (thank you, saline drops!) 
  2. I still worry about things like feeding him. My breast milk is still not fully in and at this point, it probably won’t ever be.  Not for lack of trying! I feel like a freaking dairy cow. I nurse him CONSTANTLY and then pump. But, I’m going to boob him until I can’t boob no more. And supplement with formula. A growing boy has got to eat, and as long as he’s getting some of the liquid gold at every meal, I’m ok with that. I was NOT ok with that for a long time and spent a fair amount of time crying/feeling extremely guilty, but I’m over that now. The act of nursing in of itself, I love, and so does Henry. He just doesn’t get a full meal unfortunately. I’m also pumping and supplementing that way, so my guilt levels are slowly dwindling. And who knows, it could all turn around and I could nurse exclusively. I ain’t giving up yet. **Oh, and please no breastfeeding advice. I’ve talked to lactation consultants, borderline harassed my pediatrician for reassurance and guidance, and read everything you can read on it. I can’t take anymore advice. I get it.**
  3. THANK YOU LORD FOR MY HUSBAND. I get the weekends to catch up on sleep thanks for my wonderful husband. He’ll stay up late and let me get a head start on bedtime. I will get like 6-7 hours sleep on the weekends, which are like, amazing. He also changes all diapers when he’s home. That’s invaluable. He’s a great emotional support too, and doesn’t make me feel crazy for being crazy.
  4. I am also thankful to the Lord for having such a good baby. He’s so easy going and such a deep sleeper. Actually, his deep sleepiness scares the crap out of me. I’m always checking to see if he’s breathing. I have to tickle him to get him to very slightly move. Then I lay down. And check on him again in 10 minutes. It’s eerie how deep he sleeps! You’d do it too, you know it.
  5. Some sad news: Quincy (my beloved fur baby) was staying at my mom’s house while I healed from the c-section. We brought her home and after a couple days, she was miserable and I was miserable because she was so miserable. Everything around here had changed and I wasn’t exclusively paying attention to her. Her anxiety levels were through the roof. When I was nursing Henry, she would shake so hard that the whole couch would move. When he cried, she would start shaking and crying. No matter how many methods we used to try to soothe her, it didn’t work. On top of that, my mom’s miniature schnauzer, Benny, went into a deep doggy depression after Quincy left. He wouldn’t eat or go outside. So, I had to make a heart breaking decision, for Quincy’s sake and ours, and let her go back to my mom’s. I just couldn’t stand her being so miserable and anxious. It was really hard to watch. Over at my mom’s, she thrives. She has a yard to play in, my step dad lets her sleep next to him in bed, and she has her friend Benny. She also gets a treat for everything. It’s doggy paradise over there. Hopefully this is not permanent, because we miss her terribly, but I couldn’t stand seeing her so anxious and miserable. Change is not easy. Not for us and not for Quincy. Oh great, now I’m crying again.
  6. I cry a lot.
  7. I have great friends who make/bring me food all the time. Thank you, friends. I probably wouldn’t eat some days if it weren’t for you.

So that pretty much catches us up. We cancelled cable, and put Apple TV’s and HD digital receivers in both rooms. So we get the networks and all kinds of shows. I’ve been watching Revenge on Netflix. It’s kind of a stupid show, which means I can’t stop watching it.

Baby is stirring now. I made it through a whole blog post!

Obligatory baby photos:

henry couchJust hanging with the ‘rents in my jammies.

henry momWith grandma Suzanne. She is nutso about this baby. He’s…sleepy.

henry angelBasically? He’s an angel. Basically.