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becoming momma

19 Dec

Motherhood is a strange thing…for 9 months I tried to prepare for what I thought motherhood would be like…but words can’t really describe how life has changed or the emotions that have run through me that I never knew existed until becoming a momma.

There have been amazing, beautiful and indescribable moments, and then there have been rough, ugly and messy moments. But somehow God eases us into being a momma with 9 months of sacrificing your body to grow a little baby, and then…after the baby is born, they sleep nearly all the time to help easing into the whole momma gig even more. For me, some of the hard moments came unexpectedly. I was adjusting to taking care of a little human, and I had to work at balancing my new life of being a momma, wife, friend, etc…

I expected not to get a lot of sleep, but I assumed the result of minimal sleep would just make me tired during the day. I figured I’d be tired, so I could just take naps to remedy the sleep I lost at night. But, what caught me off guard was how the lack of sleep took a toll on me emotionally. I felt like I was on an emotional rollercoaster that I couldn’t get off of, I would over-react to things I normally wouldn’t care about. I became weepy, and sort of felt like I was living in a tunnel, a constant circle of feed, sleep, poop, feed, sleep, poop. I love taking care of Lucia, but I felt overwhelmed at night-time, almost dreading it because I knew how little sleep I’d get. Everyone told me that the sleepless nights of waking up every 2-3 hours wouldn’t last for long, but while in the middle of it, it felt like an eternity. Slowly the nights got better, and Lucia started to sleep for longer stretches. Now she wakes up about two times a night, some nights more, some nights less, but overall I feel like we’ve made it through the worst of sleepless nights.

There were two things I researched endlessly before Lucia was born, breastfeeding and sleep schedules. I read books about this stuff, read blogs and talked endlessly with other mommas…I wanted to breastfeed my baby, and I set my goal for 1 year of breastfeeding. Thankfully, nursing has gone really well, and we had very little trouble getting Lucia to latch on, and my milk came in really quickly, and I haven’t had problems with not producing enough milk. I’ve thanked God over and over again for this blessing of being able to nurse Lucia. We haven’t had to use formula at all, she has only ever had momma’s milk, and I’m so grateful that it has worked out for us. I know that every baby is different, and that sometimes breastfeeding just doesn’t work, so I’m that much more thankful that this hasn’t been an issue for us.

The other struggle for me was how I tried to control her sleeping schedule. The first couple weeks Lucia slept almost all the time, then as she started to become awake for longer stretches, then I got ahead of myself and started thinking she was supposed to be on a strict schedule. I started treating her like she was a 4 month old, when in reality she was just a newborn. I expected her to be on a set schedule, all day, every day, and it just wasn’t realistic for her at that time. I overwhelmed myself even more by reading too many blogs and books, and started to feel like we were ‘behind’ in sleep training and that I was doing a crappy job at this whole momma-thing. I began obsessing over it, and it was all I could think about, constantly looking at the clock.  My sister gave me some really good advice…stop reading the blogs and books, and just watch for the signs and cue’s Lucia gives you. I stopped watching the clock, and started watching Lucia…if she showed me she was tired by yawning, having droopy eyes or becoming fussy-I started to soothe her and put her to sleep. If she woke up from a nap and was content, I didn’t feed her right away, but waited until she showed me she was hungry. I stopped feeling guilty for letting her nurse herself to sleep or sleep in bed with us at times. I eased up on myself and started to change the way I thought…I started to think more in generalities than specifics…knowing she usually wouldn’t stay awake for more than an hour or two-I keep an eye on the clock and remembered what time she woke up. It’s been freeing to let go of such a strict mindset. We like to go out on the weekends, which means her naps aren’t the best, but I want her to be able to roll with it and adapt…sometimes after a busy weekend, Mondays are a little hard for her to nap, but by Tuesdays she’s back on track with sleeping.  I know what our long-term goal is for her and her sleep schedule, and I’ve stopped thinking there is one narrow road to get there. I’ve realized that I need to ease up and not put so much pressure on myself, or on her-she’s a baby, and we’ll eventually get to more of a schedule with naps, and we’ll eventually get to her sleeping in her own room in her crib. But for now, we are content with where we are.

It’s all a learning process, and I’m sure-just when I think we’ve got one thing under control, another challenge will arrise…but I’m loving it!

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Little Miss

18 Dec

Things are going well with the Little Missy. She’s sleeping well and has mellowed out over the past few weeks. Gone are her nighttime fussies…we are so thankful for such a chill and easygoing baby. Her only demise is her car seat, she hates car-rides and she lets us know of her hatred every time we put her in the car seat.

She blows bubbles constantly, smiles non-stop, and has started following us with her eyes as we walk around the room. She falls asleep fairly well and quick, and wakes up once or twice a night. She takes bottles during the day, and that helps cut down on the blow out diapers. She’s still sleeping in her pack and play in our room, but we have started putting her in her crib every so often for naps. I didn’t think it was possible for my love to grow even stronger for her, but somehow each day it does. At two and a half months, we are even more in love with her than the day she was born.

All this love has us talking about having more kids….

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life lately

14 Dec

Thanksgiving came and went, and Christmas is just around the corner. We have still yet to get our tree, we are hoping to do that this week, and I’ve yet to purchase any Christmas gifts. But, we have had some pretty big happenings around here as of late. Dan is officially one semester away from having his degree, He’s just finished up this semester with nearly all A’s-I’m so proud!

Lucia had her 2 month doctor appointment last week, ad she is still doing great, in the 90% percentile for height and weight. She is sleeping really well as of late, and we are slowly working towards getting her on a schedule. The other morning we went out to breakfast at one of our old spots and then went to the mall afterwards…and for the first time in a long time it felt like old times…but in a new way. Adjusting to life with a new member in our family has been hard at times, but our breakfast date was so perfect, just what I needed.

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up all night

1 Nov

Last night was a bit rough…Little miss Lulu decided to rise and shine from 3am-5am before falling back asleep. As hard as it can be to wake every 2 to 3 to 4 hours depending on the night, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I cherish those sweet moments I share with her in the late night and early morning  hours. She is a cuddler and doesn’t like to be away from momma for very long at night. And so last night from 3-5am, I quietly listened to her grunts (how can that loud of a grunt come from such a petite little girl?!), coo’s and squeaks as she fed. Those little baby sounds melt me, it never gets old to watch her expressions, nor do I tire of hearing her sweet little whimpers. Having a new baby is hard, and it’s challenging me personally, and challenging my relationship with the Mr., but I wouldn’t trade those sweet moments I have with her in all hours of the morning/night for anything. Love you Lulu!

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Her Room

18 Oct

Her Story

15 Oct

The day that my daughter was born will forever be one of the happiest days of my life. I keep telling people, why didn’t anyone tell me how incredibly amazing and beautiful it is to have a child…and then I realize, you can’t put it into words that would accurately describe the connection and abounding love we feel for our daughter. She came 9 days earlier than her scheduled due date, and it was God’s absolute perfect timing for her to enter our lives.

It started on Thursday morning, October 4th. I woke up at 2am to go to the bathroom and that’s when it happened. My water broke. I knew it was happening, I tried to fall back asleep and there it came again…I jumped out of bed and Dan instantly woke up thinking I was having a bad dream. I ran over to his side of the bed and told him my water broke. He shot out of bed and asked what we do next…I told him we could wait until morning to call the Doctor. He ever so sweetly went right back to bed and fell asleep within minutes. I on the other hand could do anything but sleep. My mind was racing, it was really happening, 9 days before my due date, all I could think of was everything I needed to do that morning before we got to the Hospital. I naively thought I’d be able to go into work for a couple of hours, run a few last-minute arrends…all very wishful thinking on my part. I lay in bed until about 4am, I couldn’t take it any longer, so I got up, started cleaning, doing dishes and then went to the grocery store to get doughnuts and coffee for us.

After showering, cleaning and eating a doughnut, I called the Doctor at 7am and they told me I needed to go to the hospital right away. I woke Dan up, told him we were having a baby today and he we started to get ready for the day. We made a quick stop to buy a stroller from Craigslist (it HAD to get done…) and we were off to the Hospital. We checked in, went to our room and I changed into the gown. Up until this point I wasn’t having any contractions, so I was in zero pain. It all felt somewhat surreal since I wasn’t feeling any contractions, but I was running on adrenalin and extreme excitement. After a couple of hours they started me on Pitocin to get the labor moving along, and we started taking laps around the hallways. The contractions started coming on more strongly, and after another hour or so, my nurse asked if I was ready for the epidural. I told her I wanted to wait until I was a little further along, I was only 2 cm dilated at this point, and wanted to try to wait until I was around 3 cm dilated so that the epidural wouldn’t slow things down. But, the contractions were getting more intense, and I was trying to breathe through them, but I realized I was fighting my body and tensing up with every contraction. This is when I told my nurse that I was ready for the epidural.

I got the epidural and within minutes I was feeling better, more relaxed and at ease. It was just a matter of a couple short hours before the nurse checked me again and asked if I was ready to push. I was so shocked that I had progressed so quickly, I could barely believe it was happening so fast. The doctors and nurses piled in the room, and before I knew it everyone was counting to 10 and I was pushing. I have never felt that sort of focus, it was like my body had one thing to think about and do when that moment came, and nothing else mattered. Dan was to my right, and helping me count as I pushed. I didn’t feel any pain, but just sheer focus on pushing. After exactly 16 minutes, on my last push I felt her come out, and instantly she started crying. As I looked at my new daughter, I couldn’t help but laugh and cry all at the same time. I think I kept saying “Oh my gosh!” over and over as I laughed and cried. It was all happening so quickly, they put her on my chest and I stared at her in disbelief that she was finally here. After carrying her inside my tummy for 9 months, I had a hard time believing she was finally born. They wiped her off while she was on my stomach, and then shortly after they took her to clean her off.

After we all were cleaned up and back in bed we spent the next few hours staring at our new daughter and soaking in her sounds and how she felt. One of my favorite moments was when Dan held her for the first time. I had carried her for 9 months, constantly feeling her kicks, and now Dan finally was able to hold his daughter and bond with her. We were in Lulu heaven that night, in awe of how blessed we were to finally be holding our healthy baby girl in our arms and for the delivery to go as well as it did. The next morning I brought little Lulu in bed with me while the sun was rising and just stared at her sweet little face. It was so quiet in our room, Dan was still sleeping, and it was just her and I spending our first morning together. I couldn’t believe she was finally here, and that she was our daughter…later that day our family and friends came to meet her, she was a very popular girl as we had visitors from 9am to nearly 9pm, all completely smitten with love for our daughter.

I am surprised at how well the entire labor and delivery process went, and I’m so glad I chose to have an epidural, it helped me relax, focus, be present with Dan in the moment of pure joy as our daughter was born, and I even remember saying afterwards, “That was awesome, I could do that again right now!”. All that to say, my experience being pregnant and in labor makes me want to have more kids…very soon! But for now we are enjoying every minute of our daughter, and each day growing more and more in love with her.

life as we know it

15 Oct

Life as we know it has changed…everyone said having a baby is the biggest life change we would ever experience, and it is…but somehow at the same time it feels like this is the way it’s always been.
Lulu is almost 2 weeks old and she is still sleeping and eating like a rock star. Last night she slept 3 hours at a time, and she’s been a lot more vocal and expressive than just a week ago. She doesn’t cry, but instead grunts, coo’s, and squeaks non-stop when she’s awake…which isn’t very often.
Dan had to go back to the daily grind today. Lulu and I slept in, had breakfast and then did a quick impromptu photo-shoot, and then it was back to napping for her.

Firsts

14 Oct

This past week has been a blur of cuddling, sleeping and enjoying our new little girl. She melts our hearts and I can’t seem to pull myself away from her to do much of anything. This past week we had her first doctors appointment. She measured in great, in the 86% for weight, and 92% for height. We also took our first family walk around the block. Here’s to hoping the weather stays somewhat warm for another few weeks so that we can repeat our walks with little Lulu.

Lucia Liza

11 Oct

She came 10 days earlier than expected, and is more perfect than I could have imagined. After a roller coaster of emotions and a whirlwind of activity, she was born on Thursday, October 4th at 6:26pm, weighing 8 lb. 7 oz., and measuring 20 1/4 inches long.

We are head over heels in love with her, and loving being a family of 3. She has the most adorable facial expressions, and is a stellar eater and sleeper, only crying when we change her diaper. We are over the moon in love with her, life couldn’t be any more perfect for our little family of three right now.

numbers

26 Sep

2.5 weeks left until d-day.
4 weddings down.
hundreds of photos edited.
1 hospital bag nearly finished packing.
2 parents who can hardly contain their excitement to meet this little girl.
19 credits.
2-10 page papers to work on before this little missy arrives.
37 weeks along.
7 years of marriage celebrated.

We awoke on our anniversary not to flowers, cards, gifts or even breakfast in bead…but to the sun peeking through the blinds, and with the Mr. leaning over to kiss my forehead and whisper “happy anniversary”. I replied sweetly with…”I forgot it’s our anniversary!”. Ok, so I didn’t totally forget, but it sorta slipped my mind enough that neither of us got eachother gifts or even a card to celebrate. But we didn’t mind, nor were we offended by eachother’s lack of gifts. I guess after a certain number of years you don’t need gifts to show if you really mean it when you say “happy anniversary” to eachother. It was a sweet and calm day, much needed after a few previous weekends of anything but calm or relaxation. We went to church, then went to Dan’s soccer games, and inbetween his two games we grabbed pannini’s and warm pumpkin spice latte’s for lunch. We talked about how much we’ve grown in 7 years, how God has blessed our marriage beyond what we ever could have dreamed, through good times and the tough trials.
We ended the day with watching movies & eating pizza in bed while cozying up in our new flanel sheets (it’s the little things that make me happy).