Monday, November 25, 2013

A baby changes everything

I am not a morning person. Never have been and never will be. Even as a baby, i wanted to stay up until midnight and sleep most of the morning. I just do not function like a normal person before 10 am. No matter how many Mountain Dews I have, I am sleepy, groggy and grumpy. This is a bit problematic as my son thinks 8am is sleeping late. Usually he is up around 6:30 or 7. I always let him cry for just a few minutes, begging the gods that he will quiet himself down and go back to sleep. So far, this has worked 0 times, but I'm still trying. 

But I'll reluctantly go pick him up, pouting the whole way to the crib, praying that he will have my sleeping habits as he gets older. I'm bleary eyed and quiet as I look into Wilson's crib, but he senses its me. It's his mama, his favorite person in the whole world. He sees me and gives me a big, gummy baby smile and coo. And in that moment, no matter how sleepy I am, I am thankful to be awake with my sweet boy. The grump fades, I smile back at him, scoop him up and give him 10,000 morning kisses. (Maybe not 10,00 but its a whole bunch) 

They say that having a baby changes you. And I knew in some ways, my life would change. But I never would have imagined just how much life would change; how much I would change as a person. How little things like waking up in the mornings would change my whole mindset. This little person I made is growing and changing every day, but he is also helping me grow and change. Being a mom, just for 12 weeks has already fundamentally changed me. And it is for the better. Motherhood makes me better. Wilson makes me better. And with each day, I only hope I can grow and change more, change into the best mama that I can be. He deserves nothing less. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Sometimes spit up happens at the right moment

Sometime I find myself getting ahead of myself. I start thinking about Wilson's first day of kindergarten and then sending him off to college and then him getting married. Imagining what all these life events will hold for him and me as his mom. And while I am so excited for him to grow and learn, I often get really sad. I don't want him to grow. If he grows, he will be more independent and need me less. I need my baby to need me. 

Yesterday I was talking to Caleb and Wilson. I was telling Wilson that he better marry a woman (or man) that I get along with, that I most certainly wasn't going to give away my baby boy to just anyone. I started to tear up when I reminded Wilson that no one will ever EVER love him as much as I do. And I full on started crying when I realized that one day, Wilson may love his wife (or husband) more than me. 

So I'm sobbing at the notion of my baby boy being grown and leaving me when Wilson gets this huge grin and then spits up everywhere!

And all I could do was laugh (and clean him up, of course). He brought me out of that scene 25 years down the road and very abruptly brought me back to the present. The present where Wilson is an itty bitty baby who still needs me wholeheartedly. He reminded me he is a two month old, and won't be grown for a long time. 

I don't need to worry and cry about what will happen one day. What matters is right now. I don't want to be so caught up in the future that I forget to enjoy the here and now. 

So here is to trying to enjoy these fleeting baby moments. To trying not to worry about the future. And to praying that when Wilson does get married, that his wife understands who was here first. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

These last few days via Instagram

We had a pretty boring weekend of cleaning and packing up for our move, which is happening in just two weeks! So excited!!!! 

Nothing planned for this week either, really. Just hanging out with my main dudes. We will probably go to Kroger at some point. Big living in these parts, folks. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

When it gets hard

O man, being a mom is hard. Hard on your body. Hard on your mind. And especially hard on your heart. I love my baby so incredibly much, it feels like I might explode. 

But you know that. What they don't tell you about motherhood is that sometimes, when you've barely slept and the baby refuses to take his bottle even though you know he is hungry and he fights and fusses with you, sometimes you get frustrated. Frustrated, angry, upset. Not at your baby specifically but just overwhelmed at this whole motherhood thing. That even though you love your baby more than life itself, sometimes you just want to tell him to shut up. Sometimes you just want to have two hours to take a nap without worrying if the baby will wake you up. Sometimes you want to go out with friends. Sometimes you want down time with your husband, Netflix, and a bottle of wine (the whole bottle, not just one glass). 

It's hard. You get selfish. You cry. You even yell sometimes. And then you feel absolutely terrible for feeling any of these things. Which doesn't help the anger or crying. 

But you take a deep breath. You look down at that sweet baby (who finally went to sleep) and remember he is so innocent and he loves and needs you so much right now. You remember that you are so incredibly blessed that you even have this amazing boy at all. That so many women can't have babies or lose their babies. 

And suddenly, being a mom isn't such a burden anymore. Sure, it's still hard, but you remember it is all so so so worth it. Even the hard parts. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The C Word

I had aCaesarian section. And you know what? It wasn't that bad. Really, not bad at all as far as expelling a human from my body goes. 

While I was pregnant, I was terrified of having a c section. I was scared of the surgery itself. I was scared of the recovery. But most of all, I was afraid that having a c section meant I failed at giving birth; that I wasn't a strong enough woman to have my baby "naturally". 

Yikes. Just reading over that makes me cringe. I'm not sure where I got such convoluted notions about what it means to be a woman but I was so wrong. I grew and sustained a new life for 41 weeks and then I safely (with some help from my doctor) brought him into the world. Does it really matter how he came out? Those few moments of his birth do not define me as a mother or as a woman. And even if they did, I made the best decision for my baby's health and safety. So I'm really proud of myself for having the birth experience I did. 

On a less emotional note, let me just say that the c section definitely had some major perks. C sections get such a bad rap, which is why I was so scared, no doubt. But let me give you 5 reasons c sections are pretty awesome. 

1.  Pain is pretty minimal. I was in the unique situation that I never actually felt any contractions or labor pains. I have heard these suck pretty bad but I have no personal experience. So when I was plopped on the operating table, my pain level was around a 2. I got the spinal during and then a dose of morphine and Demerol right after the surgery. I felt nothing waist down between the spinal and 12 hours later. Pain level was maybe a 1. After the heavy duty meds stopped, I could have Tylenol #3 every four hours. For the next couple of days, I was sore and tender, but not in pain. Uncomfortable, yes, but not hurting. Pain level in the hospital never got above a 4.5 and the only reason I started hurting at home was because I was a dummy and thought I didn't need pain meds. As long as you keep your medicine up and move around some, the recovery process isn't bad at all.

2. You bleed less. I don't know why I was so worried about post partum bleeding while I was pregnant, but I was. But since they kind of vacuum you out during surgery, my bleeding was nothing more than a mild/moderate period for less than 2 weeks. Not a big deal at all. 

3.  You can schedule your next birth. If I decide to have another baby (the jury is still out on this) then I will most likely have to have a repeat c section. Which gives me the opportunity to somewhat plan when I will have my baby. C sections can be planned anytime after you hit full term. I absolutely hated waiting around wonder if/when I would go into labor with Wilson. Next time around, the over planner in me can pick a day that works for me and the hospital. No more nervous waiting! 

4.  You get a cool scar. I realize some may not like the scar, which btw is much smaller than I expected. Mine is maybe 4 inches. But I think it looks pretty cool and bad ass. 

5.  Your lady parts stay intact and unharmed. Need I say more? 

So I fully realize that c sections are not the ideal way to give birth. But shit happens while you're giving birth and sometimes they are necessary. There is absolutely no shame in having a c section. In fact, as I listed, it has its advantages. Just embrace whatever birth experience is thrown your way. You are giving life to your baby! It is beautiful no matter what. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Missing the belly

Man, I miss being pregnant. Overall, I was very lucky and had an easy and stress free pregnancy. And any complaints I might have had were easily outweighed by the awesomeness that was my baby growing inside me. Those kicks and flutters were the absolute best. I loved having Wilson close to me and knowing he was always ok.  

Caleb and I are seriously thinking that Wilson may be our only baby, so I think that's part of the reason I miss the belly. It was such a sweet, special time for us. I really wish I would have documented it better so I could look back over the years. 

Anyway, just for fun and because I miss my huge belly, here are some pictures. I gained a whopping 40!!! pounds but it was so worth it.

33 weeks

35 weeks

33, 35, 37, and 39 weeks 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Thoughts on marriage

So there are a lot of blog posts floating around about how to do marriage "right". Not to be condescending, but these blog posts have been blowing up my Facebook feed, shared by people who aren't even married. Now I know everyone, especially the un-married, want to know all the secrets for a happy marriage, but I can't help but roll my eyes.  

These blogs all essentially say the same things: loving your spouse is hard work. Put your spouse before yourself. "Date" your spouse. Husbands protect your wives and wives respect your husband. 

But really, I just don't buy into any of that. I love my husband and our marriage but I don't comply with any of this advice. Our marriage isn't work, It's the easiest part of my life. I don't have to work to love my husband, even on his worst days. I think if you have to work to love your spouse, then you married the wrong person. 

I don't have to remind myself to be kind or forgive. Because I love my husband, it comes naturally. Not to say that we don't fight, but it never lasts and we both always apologize, forgive, and move forward. And it's not that we "make" each other apologize, we both come to it on our own because we love each other. It's simple and honest. 

I also really resent advice that advocates men "protecting" or "leading" women. Or encourages women to "submit" to their men. It's such stereotypical, sexist nonsense. No one is the leader in a marriage. It is an equal partnership. There are so many diverse roles and situations that arise in marriage, but I don't see how marriage can be expected to work if one leads and one submits. 

Caleb and I are partners.  We are more than friends or lovers. He is my absolute favorite person and there is no one else I would rather spend any time with. I am 100% comfortable with him. We talk about everything. We are honest with each other. 

There is no "magic" to our love. It is not, nor has it ever been, like a fairy tale. Those expectations lead to failure because real life, and real love, are not showy or flashy. Love is not fireworks or big grand gestures. Love is quiet contentment in everyday life. 

I can't speak for anyone except myself, but I really wish that our society could move past building up "big" love. I wish we could stop prescribing roles for marriage. It's so damaging when love and marriage are built up ( I blame movies and religion). Reality can't compete with that of fairy tales. So if you're searching for that kind of love, it's easy to see why/how marriages fall apart when they can't live up to these absurd standards. Love is so simple, quiet, and steadfast. 

I'm really not trying to give advice. I just hate to see so many young people believe something I know to be so false. I want everyone to be happy and to be in love. It's an amazing experience. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Five on Friday!

ONE. Wilson took his first trip to Ole Miss yesterday! He had to get his hearing screening there because the hospital didn't give him one when he was born. We didn't get to walk around or look but I told him all about how mommy and daddy fell in love there. I also let him know that in 18 years, I'd be more than happy to drop him off at daddy's old dorm and he could be a second generation Rebel. 

TWO. I am obsessed with The Voice again this year. It came on three nights this week, so the husband was a little annoyed I hogged the tv. 

THREE. Wilson hates tummy time. Like a lot. He never tries to use his shoulders or his neck but tries to poke his butt in the air and kick his legs. I read he is supposed to be able to lift his head off the ground by three months but I don't see that happening. Anyone have any advice on how to encourage him during tummy time? 

FOUR. We are moving into a new house December 1st! I am so excited to finally have our own home and not share walls. And don't even get me started about how excited I am to decorate for Christmas. O man, I can't wait. 

FIVE. I have a lot of baby Wilson post floating around in my head. I love talking about him and I probably get on everyone's nerves but whatever. It's my blog and I'll blog if I want to. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

My breast feeding journey

I'm going to start off by saying that this is not a "successful" breast feeding story. I am, despite my best intentions and efforts, not breast feeding Wilson. So this is breast feeding story that ends with bottles and formula. 

While I was pregnant, my breasts never leaked. A lot if women say that they start making colostrum and leak as early as 25 weeks. This was not me. I tried hand expressing and my pump a couple of times and nothing. So I really believe my body started out behind. 

Wilson was born via C Section because he just refused to move down into my pelvis. I was given a sedative as soon as his cord was cut (because I was having a panic attack) so we didn't get any initial time to try to nurse. When I finally came to, I was still on morphine and Demerol, so I was pretty out of it. Wilson was brought to me 3 hours after he was born but between all the visitors and me being high essentially, attempting to nurse was just not a priority. 

The next day after the drugs wore off and I was more comfortable, we decided to attempt to breast feed. To my surprise, Wilson had a great latch right away. It was an extremely strange feeling, but in a good way knowing I was feeding my baby. But my milk had not come in and I still had no colostrum. So Wilson got angry. Very very angry. He would scream and turn purple. And if there is anything a brand new mom does not want to see, it's her new baby unhappy. His cry of hunger and frustration absolutely broke my heart.

 So of course, I started crying. I cried because I didn't know what to do. I cried because my baby was hungry. I cried because I felt like a failure. I cried because I felt guilty. I felt helpless. 

Still, we tried to power through it thinking when my milk came in, it would get better. Every time I put Wilson to my breast he would get very upset and on turn, I would get extremely upset. 

After a week of daily break downs, Caleb gently asked me if I wanted to stop trying. And that's when I completely lost it. I have never felt like such a failure as I did in that moment. I felt like the worst mother ever. Because, deep down, I knew it wasn't working and I doubted if it ever would. My milk still wasn't coming in over a week after Wilson's birthday. I don't know why I didn't produce, but I was so angry at my body. I wanted so much to feed my baby, but my body just wasn't up to it. 

I had the horrible idea in my head that if I were a "real" woman, I would be able to birth and feed my baby. And in a week, I had failed at both of those things. I felt useless, like Wilson didn't even need me. It was hard and there were so many dark thoughts. 

So I quit trying. Physically and emotionally, it was not working. I felt horrible about it for a few more days. But slowly, as Wilson started to grow and thrive, I started feeling better about my decision. 

And now, I'm proud of myself for trying so hard but also realizing that stopping made me a better mom. Yes, not breast feeding Wilson made me a better mom to him. It took so much stress and burden off of me, therefore I could better address his needs. 

So in the end, I am sad that for some reason, my milk never properly came in and we couldn't breast feed. But I've come to realize that it is NOT the end of the world. Wilson is growing great and we have a wonderful bond. We are both happy and healthy and that is what is important. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Wilson--2 Months

Wilson turns two months old today! He is such a great baby and so sweet. I can't wait to watch him grow and develop more and more. 

-Wilson weighs 14 pounds! He is already 6 pounds over his birth weight when normal babies his age are expected to be about 3. What a little chunk I have. 

-He is 24 inches long. 

- He usually eats 4 ounces at 7, 10, 1, and 5. From 5 to bed time, he likes to snack an ounce at a time. Because of his acid reflux, he has 5-7 teaspoons of rice cereal added to his formula. 

- His reflux is so much better now that he is on Zantac. He still spits up a lot and coughs/chokes some, but he doesn't cry or wake himself up anymore. 

- He usually take a 2 hour morning nap, a 3 hour afternoon nap, and then a couple of cat naps in the evening. Wilson refuses to sleep in his bouncy seat or swing during the day, so I hold him. I may be spoiling him, but we both get much needed rest this way. I'm not worried right now and I'm hoping he will grow out of it on his own. 

- Bed time is between 10-12, usually around 11. I stay up and rock him to sleep. He sleeps in his swing which is in our room right now. He uses a sound app on our phones. Usually, he only wakes up once between 3-5, eats and goes right back to sleep until 7-8. He has slept from 11-6 a couple of nights, which was wonderful. 

-He learned to smile this month. He loves to look at faces and tries to mimic your expression. He ha also started to coo and make noises while smiling. 

- He is wearing a mix of 3 month, 3/6 month, and 6 month size clothes. His 0/3 month things are just too short and tight on him. Such a big boy. 

- He is in size 1 diapers but really needs size 2. I'm trying to use up our stock of 1's but I can only clean so many blow outs. 

- Wilson hates tummy time and we only do it for about 10 minutes every other day. He is way more interested in kicking his legs and pushing up on them than holding his shoulders up. 

- He is great at holding his head up while sitting. He loves to sit in his high chair or propped in a chair with his boppy. 

- Likes: mr. Giraffe, grocery shopping in his baby wrap, talks with mom and dad, eating

- Dislikes : tummy time, being snuggled when not sleepy, loud noises like sneezes 

Monday, November 4, 2013

A new mother's love

As I type this, I have a sleeping baby sprawled across my lap. Not just any baby but my baby. And it's quiet times like these, when he tired from the day and sleeping peacefully, that I just stare at him. Stare at this beautiful boy who made me a mama, who completed our family, who fulfilled my greatest wish. He is amazing and my heart swells with love for this boy. I never knew it was possible to love so much. 

It feels so so so good to hold him. to watch him grow and learn. To feel his baby skin and kiss his slobbery baby mouth. To learn his personality. And his sweet smile and voice are my favorites. 

What I'm trying to say is, this little guy makes my heart go mushy. He is my everything. He has made my life so meaningful and full. There are no words to explain how deep and powerful my love is for him. It is a beautiful, encompassing, and unending love that grows by the second. And I want to make sure that I have written just how amazing this point in life is with my baby son. 

I had a baby. He is pretty awesome.

As I detailed in my last post, I had baby Wilson. And in two days, my baby will be two months old. I don't even know how that is possible. I know every mom says that time flies, but I never knew it would go by THIS fast. He isn't a newborn anymore, he is a growing, learning baby. He smiles and coos. He can hold his head up and always wants to look around. He has slept from 11-6 aka all night several times.  While he is still so little, he just isn't an itsy bitsy baby anymore. He is becoming his own person. While I absolutely love seeing him grow, it also makes me so sad to see his independence emerge. I want to be able to shelter him, protect him, and give him everything he needs. And as he grows, my ability to do those things gets smaller and smaller. He will need me less and less. It's a double edge sword that I'm still learning to navigate. 

I've got so much to share about my two month journey into motherhood. I hope to be able to post more regularly. I stay home with Wilson right now, so I need connection to the outside world. Being a stay at home mom is wonderful, but it is also a job. I miss being out in the world, so hopefully I can "talk" here and reconnect. 

Anyway, here's some adorable pictures of Wilson. He is the best ever.