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Life’s journey

Overwhelmed with thoughts and emotions as I rock my baby in my childhood room.

I remember sitting in my room looking out my window just wondering where my life would take me. It doesn’t seem like that long ago yet it seems like it’s been forever. It is just an extremely emotional thing looking out the same window I did as a child and teenager so many nights but now as a married woman with my baby in my arms.

I remember wondering who I would eventually marry. Would he be someone I went to school with, college? I remember wondering what I would do for a profession? Where would I live? Would I have children? Would I find happiness?

I also remember feeling like I would never grow up. Why does time seem to move so slow as a child and teenager yet moves at lightning speed as an adult. I wish life would slow down now so I could have so much more time with those I love so much.

I don’t know if anyone else has had the opportunity to experience that moment for themselves but it’s amazing.

I wish there was a way to go back in time and tell myself that everything would work out beautifully. That your husband is incredible, hard working, loyal, funny, just a great friend above all. I would tell myself not to overly stress about work. Life is just too short and spend extra time with granny while she’s alive. I would tell myself that your daughter will be the most amazing thing that will ever happen to you!

But I guess if I knew then what I do now I don’t know if I’d be able to appreciate my life like I do.

I love evenings like this. I like coming back home… It reminds me how far I’ve come. It also helps me remember who I was and I appreciate that just as much.

I am truly blessed!!

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The importance of consistency

I haven’t written anything in a few days not because I haven’t had anything on my mind or things I wanted to write about; but because I’ve had a very long and exhausting week and a half.

After bragging and going on about how well my daughter was sleeping at night and seemingly sleeping longer and longer each week she did a complete 180 on me. (All the moms out there are probably laughing because you know how it goes). Once your child gets on a schedule they change it.

My daughter was sleeping from 900pm-500am and did so for about a month. I thought at 3 months old my child is amazing because my fellow mom frienda have scared me thinking that she wouldn’t sleep all night until she was a year or two. I remember thinking that wasn’t so bad and now we can get settled in. Well then September 6th happened! It was a normal day… A good day. I put her to bed as I always have. She woke up screaming at the top of her lungs a couple hours later. Boy does that girl have a set of pipes. She screamed for hours. When I finally got her back to sleep I laid back down and boom she as back up. This went on all night… Every night… for almost 2 weeks.

Of course it was hard. It was hard for many reasons.
1. Hearing your child cry so helplessly is heartbreaking. Incredibly heartbreaking.
2. Not sleeping for more than a couple hours at a time makes a person more like a zombie. I didn’t clean my house, showering was even a second thought. All I did was nap when she napped because I never knew when the next time I could sleep would happen.
3. It was hard to ignoring my husband but even my relationship is strong and wonderful when you’re tired beyond tired you find that things that never bugged or annoyed you now bugs and annoys the crap out of you. I think he understood but it doesn’t make it fun.

Last Sunday I was able to take a step back and get back to the basics. I read a lot about baby sleep schedules and helpful tips. I used all the information as a guideline while I worked to get my daughter back on a regular schedule. As of Tuesday night she has slept from 830pm-700am. She woke up briefly each night but I gave her a pacifier and she fell back to sleep in a couple minutes. Wahoooooo I have slept both nights and actually feel like a human. I know this won’t last too long so I’m appreciating it for now.

Basically here is what I did:
1. Bumped up her bed time to 8-830. I think I was keeping her up too long. I read that a baby will generally get sleepy between 730-830. She took to this change immediately so I believe that to be true.
2. I make sure we do the exact same thing for maps and bedtime routines. For maps when she starts to get sleepy I take her to her room rock her or away with her while playing a lullaby. At bedtime she gets a bath, massage, quiet time, bottle, rocked to lullaby and then put down. Each time I put her down I make sure she is still awake a little bit.
3. Gave her an ounce more at each feeding. She gets approx. 28-30 oz a day.
4. Stuck strictly to a nap schedule. If she woke up early I left her in her crib for quiet time.
5. At night I have to just let her cry it out. Fortunately it only has taken her a few minutes to fall back to sleep!

Now I think it’s important to note I did these things all before but when she started sleeping better I got a little lax with her schedule. Lesson I learned is that she needs to keep her schedule very consistent.

Speaking of consistency it’s time her to get up from her nap!! Till next time….

3

Eat.. Sleep… Wake. Easy right?!?

At first thought you would think getting on a schedule to eat, sleep, and be awake wouldn’t be so complicated….. New mommy reality moment IT IS DIFFICULT!! I must admit little miss Carolina has always had a seemingly good understanding of daytime and nighttime. With that said for the first 6-8 weeks she was ready to feed every 2-3 but I started early on that for nighttime feedings past 9pm it was quiet time; no talking, playing, lights, loud noises. Eat then right back to sleep. I think this helped a lot. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to continue breastfeeding which is still something I’m very upset about (and could be a whole entry in itself); but on the bright side of formula feeding once we switched to formula we started seeing her go 3 hours between feedings and now were close to 4 hour feedings.

One thing that has been extremely challenging is our daily schedule with naps and so forth. I’ve read books and articles about EWS cycles for babies what’s recommended and what’s not so I feel I have a lot of information in my head. I have taken all the information in with the belief I would use it more as a guideline and I would mainly use Carolina’s cues to help develop her schedule. I’m that crazy mom who has logged everyday since she had been born her feeding and sleeping schedule. This has been very helpful because as all new moms can relate I was a delirious, happy zombie for the first several weeks so I would have forgotten what I did a few hours ago let alone the previous days.

The time of day that is the hardest for us is between 4p-9p she is often cranky for a least two hours, her ‘witching hour’. We get through it knowing that someday this will pass She fights going down for a nap around 430 and I know she’s tired. Gladly it’s starting to work out as I’m starting to adjust her schedule to be ready for bed around 9pm instead of 10pm.

I’ve tried dream feeds, cluster feeding and both have their benefits and downfalls. It didn’t change Carolina’s sleeping schedule enough to continue it. Our pediatrician suggested that we give her her last feeding of the day between 10-11pm and this worked for the first two months and she started sleeping from 1030p-3a (this was amazing to sleep 4 hours in a row after 9weeks of not sleeping more than 3 hours at any one time. Over the last month she falls asleep between 9-930pm so I haven’t been feeding her that last feeding and she’s been sleeping from 9pm to somewhere between 3-5am (imagine my happiness about this). So even though her nighttime schedule is really good that time from 4p-8p is still crazy and a little chaotic and I think it’s because she gets overly tired.

Listed below is the schedule we have been on over the past 7-10 days and it’s helped minimize some of that ‘witching hour’.

(The times may be within 30-45minutes from time listed… Like I mentioned I read her cues but it’s pretty consistent):

7:00 (up till 7:30): awake for the day, dress, change diaper, eat.
{After breakfast: either do her tummy time (at least 10 min per awake time so three times a day)}
9:00: down for nap (Often it’s closer to 8:45)
11:00: wake up, Change her diaper, eat.
{After feeding: do the same routine of independent playtime and tummy time.
1:00: down for nap!
3:00: wake up, change diaper, eat
{After feeding: her tummy time and playtime.}
5:00: down for nap.
7:00: wake up, change diaper, eat, play time
9:00: eat then bed
Rest of night: It’s my hubby and my time!! Of course this means I’m asleep by 930.

What may end up happening is her 5pm nap may only be an hour and then she’ll be put to bed around 8-830.

This is how my days go everyday. It’s like groundhogs day every day but boy oh boy I love my little girl so I will be here with a smile on my face whether we are on a schedule that works or up every hour with her. I’m here for her.. When she wakes up I’m here, when she’s hungry I’m here; and there is no where on earth I’d rather be. As I think about it since I found out I was pregnant on Sept 30th last year I haven’t been away from her for more than an hour.

Better get to bed I may be needed soon!

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Strength of mothers

As Carolina napped this morning I found myself watching 2 episodes of 16 and pregnant. Not a show I regularly watch but it was interesting. Since having a child of my own I have a new respect for teenage mothers. Being a mom is the hardest thing ever and to have high school to deal with and just being a kid themselves… I couldn’t imagine. I simply couldn’t imagine having a baby at 16 or better yet before I was married and had my husband here for support.

The first young girl on the show was having an extremely hard time adjusting to being a mom. Staying home all the time, no sleep, her friends off at college and missing out on what she thought she would be doing was taking a toll on her. I couldn’t imagine that struggle. I wanted to cry along with her. I remember loving being off at college and those memories; but I know the love she has for her child as well. I do hope this young girl learns how much being a mom is a privilege and the memories with and love for her child is unlike anything else in the world. In the long run being a mother will outweigh the feeling of not going to school when she thought she would.

The second young girl was faced with keeping her baby or putting baby up for adoption. Adoption was what her friends and family were pressuring her to do. She struggled immensely with this decision but ultimately decided to keep her child. Her mother made her move out and the baby’s father was a year younger than her and even less prepared for the responsibility. My heart goes out to her because I could tell she wants what is best for her daughter and she realized adoption would give her daughter a more stabile, ‘easier’ home but how does a mom give up her child. Oh I just couldn’t imagine the stress and pain she must have went through. I understand and agree that her family wants her to be responsible for child and that it’s the young girls’ responsibility to pay for baby, provide care, pay for daycare, finish school. Yikes I hope things turned out for the best. Again I just wanted to cry for this girls struggle.

Yes it is easy to say that the teenagers should have not gotten pregnant and should have acted differently but that won’t change the situations they are in. I could have easily been in their shoes and I never forgot that as I watched the show. My heart goes out to them and I hope they figure out a way, a plan, and get the support they need to do what’s best for their children and themselves.

I couldn’t help but also selfishly realize by watching this show how truly amazing, I mean AMAZING my life has turned out. I have done so much so far and I’m proud of what I have accomplished but becoming a mother has by far surpassed everything else I’ve done or experienced. And now having the opportunity to stay home and have this time with my child means everything to me. I know this isn’t an opportunity available to a lot of families so I am soo incredibly grateful to my husband.

I’m just reminded of a quote : “being a mother is not about what you have up to have a child but what you gained from having one”. It’s truly the most sacred of roles and privilege to be a mom.