Life Update - A New Family Member

Monday, June 25, 2018

It's been well over a year since I visited this space. On the day of my last post (April 5), we found out we were expecting a new member in our family. Extreme nausea and exhaustion took over, as well as a few other events, and then before we knew it our little man was here. 

{ 2 weeks }

It's been almost 8 months and I can't believe my baby is growing up so fast. I thought I would share some of the questions I'm continually asked on how we are adjusting.

Are you all getting any sleep?

For the most part. He was born six weeks early and needed to catch up with his weight, so up until he was 4 months old we were waking him up at 3 am to eat. Then at around 7 months we were cleared to finally cut out his 10 pm feed. So for the last month we have been putting him to bed around 8:30 or 9 pm and then he typically sleeps until 7 am. Sometimes he will get up at 6 am and I will bring him into bed with me to snuggle until I get up at 6:30. Snuggling in bed are some of my favorite moments because our mornings can be so chaotic trying to get us both ready in the morning.

The last few weeks he has been waking up a few times a night, but we can quickly get him back to sleep by either rubbing his back or picking him up and rocking him for a few minutes. I'm not sure if he is going through a sleep regression, or if we just need to sleep train, but some nights it's only 1 time and some nights it's every hour...woof!

{ Memorial Day @ 7 months }

How are the dogs adjusting?

The first 7 months they stayed with Rick's family on the farm. Between spending extra time in the hospital due to the boy's early arrival, and then going into a very cold Winter, we wanted to make sure they were getting the attention they needed and we had the time we needed to adjust. Since they have been back all seems to be ok for the moment. At first the pups kept their distance, but they are slowing starting to get interested in the baby and I think once they realize he is going to be their new source for table scraps, they will become the best of friends. Our little man loves them and we got our first belly laugh from him laughing at the dogs playing with Rick.

Is he moving?

Yes...all over the place! He has been rolling over, army crawling and pushing himself backwards for a few weeks now. If he wants to get somewhere, or get something, he will find a way to get it. He is a very motivated baby. Two weeks ago he learned how to get on his hands and knees, and he has been rocking back and forth, but he hasn't figured out how to move his knees forward. He seems super close and everyone seems to think he will be crawling soon. I'm kind of excited about it, but it also makes me sad my baby is just growing up so fast.

He definitely likes to play and play hard. He is obsessed with his toys and has to have something in his hands at all times. The majority of the time they go straight into his mouth. It's so cute because he tends to fall asleep with at least one toy in his hand every time. Sometimes he even has a toy in each hand.

{ Mother's Day weekend @ 6 months }

How are we adjusting to work and daycare?

We are adjusting. Part of me enjoys a reason to get dressed and out of the house, and I enjoy interacting with other adults and stimulating my brain. I was really feeling brain dead with the monotony of diaper changes and feedings and being stuck inside, but that was also likely due to my maternity leaving being in the middle of Winter. We all got a little cabin fever this Winter. The other part of me misses watching my baby grow up and I just want to spend as much time with him as possible.

He absolutely loves going to daycare and loves all of his teachers. There have been a few times when he gets more excited to see his teachers than me. Although it's reassuring that he is in a good place with good people, it's also a little heartbreaking when he doesn't miss me. I might feel differently when he starts to go through stranger anxiety, but so far we don't seem to be experiencing any of that as he loves to flirt with all of his teachers. I think daycare has also helped him so much developmentally. His school has a good curriculum, but I think also being around other kids his age has helped him so much! Being a preemie, he is expected to be about 6 weeks  behind developmentally, but I think he has totally caught up to where he should be at almost 8 months, which is very reassuring.

What is the biggest challenge so far as a Mama?

The first 6-8 weeks were tough dealing with sleep deprivation. I was extremely lucky that Rick was able to take about a month off work. The first few weeks Little Man had his nights and days mixed up and would scream all night long if we put him down. So Rick and I took shifts and I would stay up for 4 hours holding the baby and he would then stay up for 4 hours holding the baby. Luckily around 6 weeks we started to get this all straightened out, just as Rick was going back to work, but I had many days where anxiety would set in around 10 pm knowing that we would have such a rough night ahead. I really don't know how mothers with a toddler and a newborn do it, but props you you!

Now the biggest challenge is getting everything done. Between trying to keep up with housework, laundry, dishes, fixing dinner, preparing everything for daycare the next day, pumping and taking care of the boy (oh and myself!), there never seems to be enough hours in the day to do it all. And Rick helps out a lot, but I still feel like we need at least a third person to help us out. With the boy going to bed a little earlier, it does help out by giving me a little time in the evening to catch up, but then I feel guilty I'm not getting to spend much time with him every night. The Mom guilt is real y'all!

We are all adjusting and learning how to parent a little more every day. Hopefully we will have it all figured out by the time he goes to college.

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