Wednesday, October 15, 2014

October 15th

I wasn't planning on blogging today. I don't plan on blogging most days. But, after seeing what today was a whole bunch of times, I felt like I needed to.
Today is October 15th, National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.
If you have been following along for awhile, which most of you have because the blog is private right now and there's like 3 of you who still have access, then you know that our journey to have Baby J was a little bit harder than initially anticipated.
I know that we were lucky in the sense that we only dealt with one lost, and it didn't take us that much longer to get pregnant again. But it crushed us. I don't think it was even a blip on our radar that we would get pregnant the first month, and we definitely never expected to ever face a loss. I mean, that stuff happens to other people, not you, right?

20 months later, I have hundreds of pictures of my sweet, almost, 7 month baby boy. We are one of the lucky ones. But I don't think we will ever forget that feeling. I think it will always be in the back of our heads and in our hearts.
With a shitty statistic like 1 in 4, chances are either you or someone you know has experienced a pregnancy loss. And it's terrible. There are so many different websites out there that help. I found a lot of solace in some online support groups for awhile. Just talking about it helped. Just know that you're not alone. I found that it was a lot more common than I thought. It helped to talk to people who had been through it.
If you know someone who has been through it, or been through it, talk about it. Reach out. It gets easier, I promise. You never forget. It's never fully OK. But it gets easier.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Motherhood: Perception vs Reality

I once thought that every night I would bathe my sweet little baby, get him ready for bed, read him a book, feed him a bottle, and rock him gently to sleep. Breathing in his sweet freshly bathed smell. Listening to him breathe.  Thinking of all of our blessings.  And some days it's like that. Some nights the stars align and everything is timed perfectly and we all float through bedtime like a dream. Other nights...those real nights that really give you your Mama card...he loses his shit the second the soap touches his body, but he's thrown up on himself ALL day so he has to have a bath. He screams bloody murder the entire time, I rush through it, forgetting to wash most parts and attempt to wrestle him into his pjs while he attempts to dive bomb off the changing table.
I can never figure out what kind of night it is going to be, so it is hard to prepare for the chaos. The reality is that I never know what each day, night, and overnight are going to be.
Will he be happy today? Will he eat? Will he nap well? Will the bath be a struggle? Will he go right to sleep or will it be a battle ending more in my tears than his?
There have been many times where I have taken my sweet baby, kissed his soft chubby cheeks, handed him to my husband, and walked away to go have a good cry. There definitely are those time where I have my shit together, but there are also those moments when I feel like the ultimate failure. Oh, the joys of motherhood. I never thought I would experience those ultimate highs and those terrible, crushing lows.
And I have a good baby.
This kid is really good compared to most of the babies I have come into contact with in my various years of child care.
I don't know how people do it with babies with colic, who don't sleep, who don't eat, who are just generally fussy babies. I keep reminding Alex that we need to keep it together because this is nothing. I'm secretly petrified that if we act too exasperated now, we will be reminded how good we had it with our next child. Which honestly makes me questions whether or not we should have a next child... but that's a whole other post.
I guess I didn't expect it to all be sunshine and roses, but I also didn't expect it to be so absolutely  gut-wrenchingly exhausting. It gets easier, sure. I started writing this post I don't know how many months ago, but now things are already different than that first paragraph.
We got past the bath battle. Now he loves it. Unless he has reached his last straw of the day, bath time has become quiet enjoyable. He plays, and splashes, and knows exactly where to find his rubber duck every single time. It's part of the day that I cherish. The same baby who acted like that the Johnson & Johnson "no tears" soap was really some sort of flesh melting acid, actually enjoys it now. Things change.
I try to remind myself that this is a season. Just when I think I have my mommy shit together something changes. Always. I get his naps down, and he changes them. I start counting on them, and he drops one. The baby that slept through the night, now wakes up and wants to play for two hours. He's already grown out of that one. Everything is a season. That's what helps me get through the days.
Except... after his sweet eyes have closed for the night, and his breathing had slowed, his little hand still holding tightly to my thumb... I think... it's only a season. These days are fleeting.
I remember those nights where the only way to get him to sleep was to sleep with him on my chest while lying on the couch. I would have paid big money to be able to sleep in my own bed. He doesn't do that anymore. And I would pay big money for him to sleep on me like that. Now that we worked so hard to get him to sleep on his own, teach him to fall asleep by himself, like the books tell you to do, those snuggle times are so few and far between.
This kid is on the go. If he's sitting still, he's exhausted. That's the only time. And it's usually only for a second until his gets his twelfth wind and then he's off crawling to try and flip the dog's food bowl.
Now I treasure those moments that he falls asleep during his last bottle. It happens more often then not, but I know if he is still awake after I need to put him in his crib, or else he thinks it is play time. But those times when he falls asleep. Snuggled right into me like he used to. Easily three times the size that he was when we first brought him home from the hospital. But still my baby boy. I look at his little face. I brush his hair with my hand. I kiss those chubby cheeks. And breathe in the smell of him. For this is only just a season.
And that's the crazy part about motherhood. A post you started months ago because you were so absolutely exasperated. That you continued one night because you found yourself feeling the same thing. You sit and write your heart out, talking about how hard it is, how it is always changing, exhausting. And just like that, you are remembering those crazy nights holding your brand new baby, and those nights holding your not-so-new baby, and the tears are already flowing because you can't even begin to feel a tiny thimble amount of the love that you have for that little guy.
That's motherhood. It's a season. Always changing. Exhausting. Stressful. Exasperating. Raw. Emotional. All-consuming. Amazing. Exhilarating. Loving. Magical. All in one. All in a moment. All in a season.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Baby J: Four Months

I can't believe that my tiny sweet baby is four months old (or at least he was when I originally started writing this). You are 18 lbs 3 ounces, and 26 inches long. You are in the 95% for weight and the 82% for height. At a whopping 44.5 cm, you're in the 98.99% for your big dome. It must be from all of those brains you got from your Mama.
We are slowly, but surely getting the hang of things here. I feel like I gain a little bit of myself back every single day and that has allowed me to relax a little. In relaxing, we've had a lot more fun!
Month 4 was a big month. As they all have been (and I'm sure all will be). Here are some of the recaps:
* The dreaded sleep regression. In true "you" fashion, you like to hit your milestones early. You hit the 4 month sleep regression right after you turned 3 months. That's one we probably could have waited for. Thankfully, it only lasted a couple weeks and you were back to your sweet self when we went on vacation. I don't know if I could have taken any more of it. It was a ROUGH time.
* On June 28th, you had your first dip in the pool. You like water, but this was a little cold. You squirmed and fussed for a minute, but then you loved it. As long as you were moving that is. As with everything, you have a need for speed. Standing still is NOT tolerated.
* You had your first 4th of July! And we learned that you can NOT sleep through fireworks. Hmm...
* On July 7th, you took your first trip to Martha's Vineyard. You were amazing! Daddy and I were worried about a vacation with a baby, but you took it all in stride. As usual.
* On July 9th, you had your first trip to the beach! You were tired and hungry and not quite sure of the waves, especially when they came crashing at you. Maybe next year kid. Haha.
* After trying and trying and trying all week long on vacation, you FINALLY rolled from your back to your belly on July 13th. And then gave your poor Mother a heart attack for days because you now liked to sleep on your belly with your face smooshed down. You slept fantastic...I on the other hand... was up all night every night making sure you were breathing.
* On July 20th you tried your first solids (other than the cereal that made you miserable), sweet potatoes. You LOVED it and never looked back!
You smile a lot in your sleep. It's so sweet to watch. I'd like to think it's because you're happy, and not just an involuntary reaction. You are also starting to find your voice. You realized that if you yell we pay attention, so you yell all the time. All. the. time. You are really enjoying reading, which I love. We read a couple books every single night and you sit so well for them. Your favorites right now are "Goodnight Martha's Vineyard" (from your great aunt Margie) and "SnugglePuppy". I'd LOVE to find out who gave you SnugglePuppy because it is your absolute FAVORITE. Any time you are upset, we just sing it to you and you are immediately all smiles.
You're getting so big so quick Little Man. We just need you to slow down, just a little bit. Daddy and I love you so very much!
What happened to my teenie tiny baby?

Friday, October 3, 2014

What Do I Want to Be When I Grow Up?

You ever have one of those times where you are facing decisions in
 your life and there is this huge inner turmoil in your brain?
Welcome to my brain.
So, as you know I started this whole BeachBody Coach thing. I was so excited to get it all going, worked so hard on all of my pages, and then crickets. I mean, I wasn't expecting people to knock down my door with orders, but I expected some questions.
So, I posted a little more, and people liked or commented, but still nothing.
Then, Katie asked me if this blog was donezo. Well... actually she asked me if "Crackle Creek" was donezo, but that's a whole different story, haha. And I was all, "No, but the other one is so much easier to do and I'm liking blogging again so I hope that I get back to it too.
And then I got to thinking, I don't LIKE this. I don't like posting a bunch of random shit to get people's attention (and money). I don't like putting all of my effort into another blog when I haven't even had the time to post my baby's 4 month update and he's 6 1/2 months. Why the hell am I spending all of my time on this "business" that isn't fun.
Anyone with children knows that spare time is rare. So, why am I spending it on something that I am dragging my feet on? Obviously, the extra money would be nice. And I'm enjoying doing the BeachBody programs myself. But I don't want to post a bunch of inspirational fitness quotes (while eating Halloween Oreos... not that that's what happened or anything) and do all this mumbo jumbo. Not knocking anyone who does, but those people "want" to, they "enjoy" it. I don't.
I want to make pretty things. I want to spend my free time talking about my sweet boy and painting pretty things. And doing fun, creative stuff. And I don't have time for that AND BeachBody.
So, I might be hanging up my BeachBody hat, before I really even started.
What I HAVE done though, is ordered 36 glasses to paint. And opened up an Etsy shop called "Fraggle Creations". There's nothing there, but it's a start. And I'm SOOOO excited. I mean, maybe ADD will kick in again (or life will smack me in the face) and this will be a pipe dream too. BUT, the difference is that I'm EXCITED.
So... maybe you will see some fun things to buy soon. Or see my chunky hunky little man. But you probably won't see any BeachBody stuff. Life's too short to do something your heart isn't into 100%. I mean... I'm still going to work on getting a smokin' body... and you'll probably hear about it. But, I don't think I'll be making a career out of it.