Monday, March 31, 2014

too fast

It has really hit me the past few days how fast time is passing by.
I never really thought this realization would come.  Up until now, time simply moved forward. Sometimes fast, and other times miserably slow.
This new discovery has turned me into an emotional puddle of mush.  With each smile, giggle and new milestone, I find myself choking back tears as I desperately try to avoid a complete meltdown.

Since having Octavian, there have been some incredibly long days.  Days that, while consumed by those moments, seemed to never end.  But, somehow, they were each over too fast and without warning.
And now, the days that move fast, well, it seems like they never happened at all.
I guess this is what happens when you have kids.
I was warned, but the realization has hit me like a ton of bricks.

Octavian is nearly 5 months old and sometimes I feel like the rushing of time will kill me.
He is at such an incredible age.  Every day he learns something new and is still lucky enough to see the world with fresh new eyes.
I knew I would love my baby, but you never really understand how overwhelming this love is until you have your own.
My love for him physically hurts-
and my new awareness of time just twists the knife a little deeper.

I try to savoir each and every moment as much as I can, since I know that is all I can do.
This can be hard for a person like me- a person that likes structure, order and predictability.
...That's another thing with having kids, all those things no longer exist, and if they did it will change next week.

Motherhood is like a roller-coaster. 
It brings you up. It brings you down.
It makes you cry, and it makes you laugh (sometimes harder than you ever thought possible).
But no matter what, it's over too fast, and unfortunately you can't get back in line and re-live the ride.

Despite this harsh reality of time, I am so thankful for each day and will take whatever I can get.

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Thursday, March 6, 2014

The day that changed my life forever

One year ago today yesterday, I took a little test that would change my life forever...

After months of trying, my wish came true,
and now March 5th will forever be one of my favorite days of the year.

I remember taking one of those cheap Dollar Store pregnancy tests expecting to see just one little lone blue line.  The same lonely line that I had seen over and over in months past.  Mentally, I had stopped trying to get pregnant-  Emotionally, the waiting game had become too painful.
I took the test and saw the faintest little second line- my heart nearly burst through my chest.
Was I imagining it?
I slowly walked out to the living room where Aaron sat and said with a shaking voice,
"So, ummm, does this look like a second line to you?"
I was so scared my eyes were playing tricks on me I thought I was going to throw up.
A smile spread across his face from ear to ear even before he took a look.
Thankfully, he saw the line too
...but, it was so faint.  Was I really pregnant?
My first thought was to call my mom, so that's what I did.
(I may have also gone on google and typed in "faint line pregnant")
My Mom said it sounded like I could be pregnant, but to be sure take another test the next morning.
After the longest night of my life, I had my proof in plain writing,

I was overjoyed.

Looking back at this picture, it boggles my mind that the little boy I now hold in my arms was just a speck of cells.  I don't know how I got so lucky to be his Mom.  I couldn't have dreamed up a more perfect, healthy and handsome little person.

Thank you Biology for giving me the baby of my dreams.

20 week sonogram

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Octavian Avery, 4 Months

This handsome little guy turned 4 months yesterday...

15 pounds 5 ounces (March 3rd)

Schedule:  we don't really have a set schedule.  My day revolves around his feeding and sleeping.  At this point, I still feel like it's early and unnecessary to force any sort of rigid timeline on him. Plus, I'm learning that things really do change weekly when it comes to babies.  Up until this month he was sleeping until 10am almost every morning.  This month, every day is different- some days it's 7am and then other rare days he'll last until 9:30am.  To be honest, I have no idea what i'm doing- my priority each day is making sure he gets enough to eat and sleeps enough.  The one consistent part of our day, is I generally feed him every two hours.  

I am still only getting up once per night, sometimes two, to nurse.  He never really wakes up demanding food, but if he wakes up and doesn't fall back to sleep quickly, I'll usually just feed him.  His bed time varies anywhere from 7:30-9pm and he'll wake up between 7-9:30am.  Many times his early wake ups are due to gas or pooping and by that point he just won't go back to sleep.  Unfortunately, he is still sleeping in his swing at night.  I tried transitioning him to the co-sleeper, but he was losing too much sleep and clearly wasn't ready.  Also, I refuse to cry-it-out at all until he is at least 6-7 months.  Getting him out of his swing will probably require some tears.  I have been turning down the speed as low as it will go, and I've been putting him down awake so that he does fall asleep independently.  I really struggled with the fact that he was sleeping in a swing for a few weeks and felt like I was a terrible mother because of it.  However, if he is happy and comfortable (and it helps his reflux!), then i'll let it be for now.  Since day one he has refused sleeping in a bassinet or crib and always needed some kind of rocking or swinging.  For baby #2, however, I may keep swing time to naps only.  Speaking of naps, he loves them!  Unfortunately, they last for only 45 minutes, four times a day.  His short, but frequent, naps make going anywhere a challenge.  He naps in the rock n play (and sometimes crib).  I've tried just about everything to help his fall back asleep when napping, but nothing has worked so far.  

Although he is still a great eater, little distractions (noises in the kitchen, TV, Daddy talking, etc.) prevent him from eating as much as he used to.  He eats 7-9 times per day and I will have to guess 3-4 ounces each feed (with exception for late night and morning feeds where he probably eats more because my breasts are fuller).  Since he hates when i'm not borderline engorged (he's a lazy eater), it makes late afternoon and night times feeds especially difficult.  I've started pumping to help increase supply (and hopefully fullness), but I've noticed little change.  I can only hope that he adjusts to my changing fullness since he also refuses the bottle.  Knowing that he has probably been eating less stresses me out- I've been crazy obsessed about making sure he eats enough since day one (i'll save that topic for a separate post).  For the most part, however, he still seems satisfied and is producing plenty of wet/poopy diapers.  

New Skills:
It seems like he is discovering something new every day!  This month, his major discovery were his feet!  Since then, they are always in his hands. An added bonus of feet finding is it's helped him when he is really gassy (all the time).  He is also much more entertained when I lay him on his back to play.  He also rolled from belly to back on Daddy's birthday.  He has also started to giggle!  It has only happened a few times- mostly when Daddy is being silly, or when I tickle his belly!  He also discovered that someone (usually Mommy or Daddy) is carrying him around and that he doesn't just float around magically.  He still loves his hands and is talking up a storm.  Each morning I wake up to him babbling to himself- it's the cutest thing.  I always put him in bed with us and just listen to him chat to the fan and his hands (and secretly hope he'll fall asleep). Overall, this month was full of fun discoveries for my little man.  

This boy loves to be naked.  If he is ever sad, all I need to do is take off his diaper and he is a happy boy.  It's not surprising that bath time is his favorite part of his day!  He also loves his bouncer, when Mommy sings, tickles, Mr. Seahorse and just about anything else that he can get in his mouth.  He is also so in love with his Dad.  Every time Daddy walks in the room he lights up and gives us a big gummy smile.  

He hates sitting still- I should I say, when I sit still.  Other than that, I can't think of anything he hates.  Oh wait, he hates bottles.

//This month Octavian also got to see lots of family!  Grandpa Jeff, Auntie Jen and his Uncle Jordan all came to visit him from southern CA.  We also made lots of visits to Grandma Lorna's house.  
//He still hasn't figured out that he smiles for the camera.  Whenever I pull out my phone or camera he instantly puts his frown face on.  I have to be pretty sneaky to get a smile.
//He is starting to teeth.  I'm sure i'll have lots to say about this next month.
//Gripe water is still our best friend.
//He still spits up like crazy, but he's getting so heavy that I can't hold him for an hour after he eats anymore (I like to keep him upright to help his little belly digest his food).

I love my little man with every fiber of my body.  There really is no other love quite like the love for your child.  He brings me so much joy each and every day.  While I often wish time would slow down, I am so excited to watch him grow into his own little person.  I can already tell that Daddy and I are going to have our hands full.
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Sunday, March 2, 2014

Postpartum- the first two weeks

I am putting these less than fairytale memories down in writing because I think it is something many new mom's experience, but are too ashamed to talk about...

Before Octavian was born, I thought we were prepared.
The nursery was set up with all the diapers, blankets and onesies any one baby could ask for.  We had a freezer and refrigerator stocked with easy meals.  The house was clean.
The only thing missing was the baby.

I soon learned that this was not enough.
The day we drove home with our little bundle of joy, I had only slept 4 hours in 4 days and had just experienced one of the most emotionally and physically taxing things a person could imagine.
Emotionally, mentally and physically I was an absolute wreck.
Exhausted was an understatement, and I could hardly sit or use the toilet without crying in pain.

side note- no one really talks about how painful it is to recover from pushing a baby through your lady parts.  it should go without saying, I guess, but just in case there is any confusion- recovery after delivery was often unbearable.  basically, everything is a swollen mess for at least a week.  That said,  no need to worry, everything recovers completely.  some may even say it's better than before.

Physical recovery and crippling exhaustion aside, the hardest part (in my case) was postpartum blues (oh, and breastfeeding, but i'll save that post for another day).
I had read lots about depression after having a baby, and knew that based on my personality and history, it would not be at all surprising if it were something I experienced.
Once again, however, I was not prepared for how hard it would hit.
The first two weeks were hard.  Probably two of the hardest weeks of my entire life.
While I was filled with tremendous joy and love for my new baby boy,  the saddness was stronger.
I cried a lot.  I cried all the time.  I often had no idea what else to do so I just cried.
I lost complete control of my emotions.

The exhaustion and sadness made it impossible for me to sleep. 
made it impossible to eat.
By the end of that first week I added up the total hours of sleep I got and it was less than 10.
Even when I could sleep, I couldn't.
Things were hardest at night.  There was something about the darkness that I just couldn't handle.
It was too quiet and so lonely.  I couldn't wait for the sun to come up.
I recall being unable to sleep with the lights completely off- for some reason, they needed to be on, even when it was just me in the room taking a nap.
I couldn't sleep with Octavian in the room and I couldn't sleep with him in his own room.
The only time I slept was when he was in the other room with Aaron and Aaron was awake.
Otherwise, every little noise he made sent me running to his side.
I worried about his temperature- was he too hot? too cold?
Was he swaddled too tight?
Was he breathing?
Had it been too long since he last ate?
I was literally sick with worry...and sleep deprivation. 

The saddest part for me was that I didn't feel like I bonded with Octavian until he was about two weeks old.
Those first days I waited for the magical bond that I heard so many mom's talk about.
I wanted it so badly.
I felt like the worst mother in the world because although I loved him, I knew I was missing something.
because of this, I was not only sick with exhaustion, but I was sick with guilt.
I wanted to have a baby for years, so what was wrong with me?
I was ashamed and angry.
It really was some of the most conflicting days of my life.

Thankfully, Aaron was so supportive and so patient.
Through all my tears, he was always there to tell me he understood and to reassure me that I was a wonderful mother.
I don't know what I would have done if I hadn't had his support during those weeks- and still, months later.

Thankfully, after about two weeks, the darkness began to lift.
Although it wasn't until about two months post-partum that I started to feel a bit more like myself- the worst was over.
I finally experienced that magical bond with my baby boy and it is like nothing else in this world.  I had no idea a love so powerful could possibly exist. 
This love for my child makes me crazy in the most raw and beautiful way possible.

I still have my daily struggles with sleep deprivation, boredom that comes with a lack of adult interaction, and feeling of not being good enough.
I have a feeling these struggles will stick around for a while.
However, life is so good. and I am so lucky.  
I wouldn't trade how things are for anything in the world.

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