Monday, July 29, 2013

Struggles of a new mom

This is going to be a really honest blog.  I never want to complain about being a mother because I ADORE Emerson with everything inside of me; however, I do want to share my journey into motherhood over the last 9 months.  I sat down to write this blog over 3 months ago and I never finished it.  I actually just erased most of it and started fresh.  I'm glad that I never finished it.  I was still in a really big fog at that point in my life and even though the fog is still there, it has lifted tremendously.  Today I read another mom's blog and it encouraged me to tell my story and to put down into words what I've learned so far about being a new mom.

I was very idealistic about becoming a mother.  I will definitely admit that a lot of this was my fault; however, I also think that our society breeds this into us.  I believe that through movies, tv, and social media (Facebook, Instagram, etc) that our society tells us that we should have it all together.  It is very easy to portray the good parts of your life through social media.  I believe that our society tell us that we should look fully put together when our husbands come home from work.  That our houses should remain clean.  That we should want to have sex as soon as the doctor clears us, even though we're running on 4 hours of sleep that were not consecutive.  That our babies should sleep through the night right from the start.  That we should have the time and energy to have a 6 pack after only a few months.  That we should absolutely love every single second of being a mother.  That if we can't or don't breastfeed that we are a bad mom.  That if we don't cloth diaper we are ruining our earth. That we shouldn't in some ways mourn the loss of our pre-baby self.  That we should never have a need ever again.  That we should feel fully content leaving behind a career to become a stay at home mom.  That we should love getting up multiple times in the middle of the night and not care about not ever getting a full night's sleep for months.  That we shouldn't sometimes want to just go out on a long date with our husbands without yawning and being exhausted the entire time.  That we shouldn't want others to ask us how we are doing, instead of always asking about the baby.  That we shouldn't feel like we are often failing at being a mom.  That we shouldn't care about feeling invisible, run down, and tired all of the time.

I have felt a lot of these things and most of the time I felt like I was the only new mom out there that was feeling this way.  That something was wrong with me because I didn't feel like being a new mom was all rainbows and unicorns.  I felt like I wasn't cut out to be a mom and that I was a huge failure at it.

There...I said it...feel free to judge me because I said that I didn't absolutely love every second of being a mom.  But I think that more moms out there need to start talking about how they feel.  I really feel like the ideals that our society places on us to be a super human mom really contributed to the fact that I have been suffering from Post Partum Depression ever since having Emerson.  It seems like when you ask a lot of new moms how they are doing they say, "Oh, I'm great!  Everything about being a mother is perfect."  When inside they are thinking about how they cried while rocking their baby in the middle of the night because they were so tired.  Or how they'd love to just take a shower that lasted longer than 5 minutes without a crying baby in the next room.  Or how they'd love to go sit in a salon for a few hours and be taken care of.

It seems like as moms get 10, 20, 30 years outside of being a new mom that they forget just what it was like.  It's freaking HARD!   And I realize that this is part of being a mom, but it is still freaking HARD! I haven't had a child reach the ages of 10, or 20, or 30 yet; however, I am going to go out there on a limb and say this is probably one of the most difficult times of being a mother because you don't know what you're doing, you are running on fumes, and your hormones are really out of whack!  I pray that when Emerson is 10 and 20 and 30, etc. that I will not forget my journey into being a new mom.  That when a new mom tells me that she's having a hard time, I will respond with a loving and understanding ear.  That I will offer to give her a few hours to go get her nails done.  I pray that I will not tell her to suck it up because it's just part of being a mom, but that I will remember how difficult it is to get no sleep.  To feel like you have no time for yourself anymore and in essence to lose part of yourself for awhile because every part of you is devoted to taking care of that little helpless baby.  I pray that I will contact that new mom to ask her how she is doing and not wait for her to contact me, because I'll remember that overwhelming feeling of just trying to stay afloat with your head above water.

I've been part of a PPD support group for the last few months and it has helped me tremendously.  It is so freeing to be able to talk about the "taboos" of motherhood with other moms that are going through similar things.  I can finally feel the "fog" lifting slightly and I can see a little bit of sunshine through that fog.  It is such a joy to be the mother of Emerson and I thank God every day that He felt like was capable of raising and nurturing this perfect little human. The last 9 months of motherhood has taught me so much and I pray that I will never forget the lessons that I have learned.  I hope that I can bless and help other new moms that are struggling and that are feeling like they are alone in those struggles.

It does get better.  It does get a little easier.  You will start feeling like yourself again, actually you'll probably start feeling like a better self, because you are now that you're a mom.  And you will starting occasionally thinking, "Hey, maybe I can do this!"

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

9 months of Emerson

I think that this has been my favorite month so far with you.  Your personality is really starting to shine and thank God every day that I have such a happy baby.  You can find a reason to laugh at anything and I pray that you keep that tremendous trait throughout your life and into adulthood.  You rarely ever cry, so when you do I know that something is wrong.  You are such a curious little boy and love adventure.  

You like:
* Sucking on your lovey.  Lately that thing DOES NOT leave your sight.
* Saying hi to all of the dogs that we encounter on our walks.  I love seeing your face light up when I stop the stroller so you can look at the dogs that walk by us.
* "Helping" take your diaper off.  Even when mama or daddy is trying to put it on you.
* Watching the dogs play "fight" with each other.  This usually gets a good belly laugh out of you.  Sometimes you even throw your little hands in the air and cheer them on!
* Opening the cupboards and drawers in the kitchen.  Daddy had to put locks on everything!

You dislike:
* Bonking your head.  And this is happening quite a bit lately due to your newfound skill of standing up.  You haven't quite mastered the skill of getting back down to the ground gracefully.
* When someone shuts a door.  I think you cry because you want to go through it.
* When bath time is over.
* When mama doesn't let you get into the dog food each morning.  We play the same game every morning and you still haven't learned that when the dogs are eating they are off limits.
* When the cupboard slam on you since there are now child locks on them :)

Our favorite things about you are:
* How you laugh ALL OF THE TIME.  I am so grateful that God gave me such a happy and joyous baby!
* How you look like a snake when you rub your tongue along your top tooth.  I think you like the way it feels.
* How friendly you are.  The people who work in Trader Joe's are starting to remember you.  They call you "Mr. Smile." And when we go to restaurants you like to talk to the people around us.
* How you "hump" the ground when you get excited.  
* How you roll your tongue.  I think you may be a great Spanish speaker someday!

Weight: 17 pounds 4 oz

Length: 28 3/4 inches

Clothing Size: In shirts you wear 6-12 months and 9 months. In pants you wear 6 & 9 months.  In jam jams you wear 9 & 12 months.   

Diaper Size: You are officially in size 3 diapers now. 

Feeding:  You nurse about every 3-4 hours now during the day.  You eat breakfast, lunch and dinner also.  For breakfast you typically have organic whole wheat blueberry waffles with some fruit.  For lunch and dinner you'll have some kind of meat (chicken, turkey, organic ground beef) along with a fruit and vegetable.    

Sleep: You no longer have a dream feed at 10:00pm!  Yay!  Which means mama can go to bed at 9:30 and get 7-8 hours of sleep.  You go to bed anywhere around 7-7:30 and you wake up to eat anywhere around 5-6 am.  That means you are sleeping a good 9-10 hours straight each night.  Our new problem with your sleep though is that most of the time when you wake up to eat in the morning you do not want to go back to sleep.  That means on most days you are awake at 5-6 am!!  I don't get you out of bed at this time though.  I usually go back in 2 times and try to get you back to sleep.  If around 6:30 you are still talking and playing in your crib then we start our morning.  

Milestones:  You have started pulling up to stand!  You like to stand at the couch and try and get the dogs or stand and play at your music table.  You pretty much like to pull up and stand at anything - the gate at the stairs, your high chair, the chairs at the kitchen table, etc.  Your third tooth also came in.  It is your top left tooth.

Adventures: We took you to San Francisco for the first time.  You had so much fun looking at all of the people and pigeons.  You went on your first carousel ride and loved it!

Mama and Daddy could not get through this month without: Tylenol.  That top tooth was a whopper!

We love you to the moon and back kid. We think you're pretty awesome!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

8 months photo dump

8 months of Emerson

I am actually planning your 1st birthday party!  I cannot believe that it is already time.  It seems like each day that goes by you get happier and sillier.  You are constantly finding something to laugh at.  You make me laugh every single day with your easy going spirit.

You like:
* Feeding yourself
* Climbing on anyone who is sitting on the ground
* When mommy says, "Bless you child" after you've sneezed
* When anyone sneezes or coughs

You dislike:
* Having purees fed to you.  You started refusing to open your mouth and hitting the spoon out of my hand.
* Laying still to have your diaper changed
* Having your face and hands wiped after you've eaten
* Your sippy cup.  You throw it on the ground and only want to drink out of mama's water bottle.

Our favorite things about you are:
* The silly click and clacks that you can make with your tongue
* How you love to chase the dogs around.  They are now allowed on the couch because that's the only place they can get away from you.
* How curious and smart you are.  You are constantly exploring and doing things with you hands.
* How you love drinking out of mama's water bottle.

Weight: I really don't have a clue.  It's been months since you've been in to the doctor.  My best guess is anywhere between 17.5-18 pounds. 

Length: My best guess would be around 30-31 inches.

Clothing Size: You wear anything between 6-12 months.  

Diaper Size: We tried putting a size 3 on you and you are just too long and lean.  You leak anytime you're wearing a 3, so for now you're still in a size 2.

Feeding:  You nurse about every 3-4 hours now during the day.  You eat breakfast, lunch and dinner also.  For breakfast you typically have organic whole wheat blueberry waffles with some fruit.  For lunch and dinner you'll have some kind of meat (chicken, turkey, organic ground beef) along with a fruit and vegetable.    

Sleep: We had to put your "dream feed" back in because you started waking up too early.  So you go down for bed around 7-7:30 and I'll "dream feed" you at 10.  You then will sleep until around 5-6:30, eat again and hopefully go back to sleep until 7-7:30.  Somedays you decide that our day should start around 5:30 though.   

Milestones:  You are now officially saying "mama, dada, dog (you say "d") and all done (you say "ah d").  

Adventures: We went on our first family hike in Point Reyes.  You sat in your back pack carrier on daddy's back and we enjoyed a picnic together.  You were very good boy and you really enjoyed yourself.  We also went to Bodega Bay and you saw sand and the ocean for the first time. Of course you ate the sand! You got in the pool for the 1st time at Gabby & Papa's.

Mama and Daddy could not get through this month without: Child proof tools!

We love you to the moon and back kid.  We think you're pretty awesome!