I’m Terrified to Nurse My Son

It’s true. After 6 months of a successful breastfeeding relationship, I am now scared to nurse my baby, and here’s why.

Over the past several days his eating habits have changed. He was getting distracted and it was hard to get him to latch on for any length of time, and I get that. He would eventually settle and eat. He is also VERY interested in solid food, and it seems he would rather eat that.

But now? He’s teething.

I am honestly scared to death to put my nipple in his mouth, because I know as soon as I do, those sharp little barely-there teeth will feel like daggers crushing the most sensitive area on my body. It takes everything in me not to scream at him every time, and it’s literally EVERY TIME he nurses these days. I was legit sweating this morning when it came time to feed him because I was so scared, and he bit me THREE TIMES.

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Disclaimer: not my actual baby

I suppose I could just pump and bottle-feed him, but I pump all day at work and would just rather not. Plus, when it’s early in the morning and my breasts are engorged and he’s crying, who has time for that?! I just hope he stops teething soon, because my poor girls have had enough.

He also has a hard time taking a bottle because he chews on that too. His milk intake has drastically decreased over the past few days, but he is still content and has wet diapers so I am hopeful everything is still ok.

*Sigh*

This is just another one of those wonderful phases that will come and go. I just hope it goes soon!

Shiny Floors

I was looking around my living room the other day and it was giving me anxiety thinking about the last time it was cleaned. There were toys on every surface along with the dust, and dog hair scattered in clumps in all the corners. The dining table had food stuck to it from who-knows-when. The couch pillows were on the floor, most likely used as a boat or fort of some kind.

As I sat there, I was thinking about how easy it would be to clean it all up if I didn’t have a baby and a toddler to tend to. How if they could both just take a nap at the same time, I could at least put some things away. I was thinking about the month’s worth of laundry my husband and I have because we always have to wash the kids clothes over ours or they have nothing clean that fits. I was thinking about where to set the baby down so I could throw a load in.

But the baby on my lap was cooing and so happy. I didn’t want to put him down to do chores. My toddler was deep into some scenario with his cars and trucks. I couldn’t possibly tell him to lie down and put an end to his imagination.

Then I had new thoughts.

I was thinking one day my house won’t have any toys. There won’t be pillow forts, or trucks, or baby bouncers, or burp cloths all over my living room. I won’t have to worry about anyone else’s laundry but my own. My dining room table will have space for plates, multiple ones, instead of being occupied mostly by Legos.

And I thought, what a quiet, lonely life that will be.

My husband came in the room then and sat down on the floor next to our son and started playing with him. They were laughing. The dog was barking. The baby was still cooing.


One day, these moments, this mess, will all be gone. I’ll keep the mess for as long as I can keep them little. I would rather see them shine than my floors.

Life with TWO

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything here, and SURPRISE! I now have two sons. Life is crazier than ever. Since my last post we’ve had a baby, moved to a new state and into a new house, and have new jobs. 2016 was STRESSFUL!


We welcomed baby boy #2 in November. Things started a little rocky. He was jaundiced and very grunty/gassy for the first several weeks, but once we passed that phase he’s been wonderful! He is seriously the happiest baby, and has been a pretty great sleeper! I’m not sure if he’s actually a good sleeper, or that he’s the second kid and I’m just too damn tired to wake up and tend to him as soon as he makes a little noise, but sleep seems much more plentiful this time around!

Our first child hasn’t totally warmed up to him yet. I think he was hoping to have someone to play with, and when he saw this squishy little immobile being he wasn’t exactly thrilled. I’m confident they will be best buddies once our new little guy starts walking.

When I had my first child, I was honestly scared I wouldn’t love him as much as I loved MY DOG! Then once I got pregnant again, I had the same fears only that I wouldn’t love the baby as much as my first. It all seems silly now, but these were real fears! Now I know love just expands and there’s plenty to go around.

Having two kids is also a lot different than having one. There’s way less time and a lot more to do! Laundry is a never-ending battle, and other housework is basically a joke. If you come over to my house and there aren’t Legos on every surface or dog hairballs in every corner, consider it a good day. Our toddler really likes us to play with him (and if you don’t play with him, he will make an even bigger mess), and the baby isn’t super tolerable of the carrier, so cleaning is a real battle. Don’t judge us!

Also, I now have two BOYS. My toddler is 100% non-stop. I am slightly hopeful that boy #2 will be less energetic, but from what I hear that’s just how boys are. I love it though, and while I do enjoy relaxing and down time, I really think I was destined to be a boy mom.

When I leave the house in the morning to head to work/drop the kids at daycare I leave with no less than SIX BAGS: my lunch, toddler lunch, pump bag, my purse, toddler backpack, and a cooler of breastmilk. I also have to carry the baby in the carseat. My arms should really be more toned at this point! It’s ridiculous.

I know I complained about the gym when baby #1 came along, but I honestly don’t think I will ever have a gym membership again. There’s just not enough time to go to the gym when I have two kids and work 8-5 every day. Once it gets warmer/lighter out in the mornings I hope to start at least running again. I do have a 5K race this weekend that I am not at all prepared for, so at least there’s that. I also do yoga at home occasionally. But Yoga at the gym in a nice quiet studio with ambient music playing is MUCH different than YouTube Yoga with a toddler building/crashing a tower next to your head, a baby starting to get hungry, and a dog who WILL NOT LEAVE YOU THE HELL ALONE! I just want to do downward dog without getting my face licked. Why is life so hard?!

*Sigh*

I hope to find more time/energy to write more as it is a great outlet. And to the parents with MORE than 2 kids, you are my heroes. Especially if you are doing it as a single parent and even more so if you work full time. Parenting is tough, but so so so incredibly rewarding.

 

 

Jack Ryan Sinko

November 10, 2016

9lbs 13oz 22″

🙂

New Year, Unglue Year

So my son just turned 2 (!!), and he is active as ever. He’s constantly running around, and since his birthday is 2 weeks after Christmas, he has more than enough things to play with!

He has also started asking mama and daddy to play with him. “Come on mama!” “Come on daddy!” “Play football?” It’s so sweet. 

I love playing with him and having him show me new things. He has also started pretend play, where he’ll pretend to make food or have his stuffed animals do things like eat and put puzzles together. The sweetest. 

One thing I have noticed, however, is how hard parenting has gotten. It’s always been hard! But in this age of distraction, it’s so easy to just plop your kid down with a movie and zone out while you scroll through Facebook so you can get a break. Sitting with your child, engaging with him, playing with him, watching him…that’s what’s hard. 

Sadly, I’ve noticed how often I grab my phone when my son doesn’t need me for something. But you know what else I’ve realized? He always needs me! Today, for example, he was giving his stuffed puppy a drink from our dog’s bowl and he looked at me so proud and happy! If I were on my phone I would have missed that small glance. 
My son has even started to take my (and my husband’s) phone from my hands and set it on the table when he wants to play. This has woken me up even more. His generation will have to constantly fight for attention because everyone is so consumed with technology and “FOMO.” 

As the new year begins, I am going to make a better effort to be present at home and out with my family. I am guilty of checking social media or browsing the web while at the dinner table or when we’re all together in the living room. This needs to stop! 

I have been setting my phone down on the table when I get home, and I will admit that not picking it up is difficult! My husband might ask me something that makes me want to look online, but instead of looking it up right then, I make a note to look it up later so that I can chase my son around the house or help him build a tower with blocks. Instead of checking Instagram or Facebook or putting a YouTube video on for my bored toddler when we’re out to dinner, I interact with my husband or draw pictures with my son. 

Out to dinner at Chilis. Yay chips and salsa!

I’ve realized how sad it is that people, myself included, are so addicted to their phones. I have started caring less about what people I’m barely friends with anymore are doing and focus more on the ones I love the most who are right in front of me. I hope I can keep it up! My family is definitely more important. 

Mom Who?

My son pretty much stopped loving me as soon as my milk dried up. 

When dad’s around, he only wants him to hold him. When I hold him he reaches for dad and squirms out of my arms. If I try to snuggle with him on the couch he acts like he wants to get down then runs over to dad and sits on his lap. One morning I scooped him up out of his crib and he cried until dad came and took him from me. It’s heartbreaking. 

Even when we play together, all 3 of us, he would rather throw the ball to dad. Look at this, dad. Come do this with me, dad. When dad leaves the house he runs to the window and gets sad. Does he do that when I leave? Probably not. 

I sacrificed for months carrying him in my belly, then sacrificed more nursing him for a year. I love him so much I can’t put it into words, yet I don’t think it’s mutual. 

He does come to me when he is hurt or sick or scared, but even lately he’s started reaching for dad. 

I’m thrilled he loves his father, but why doesn’t he love me? 

Maybe it’s because I can’t hold him as long before my arms get too sore. Or maybe dad is better at making funny voices. Or maybe it’s just because they are both boys. Whatever it is, it hurts. 

I’m hoping it’s just a phase, but what if it’s not? What if we have more children and the same thing happens? What can I do to make him love me again? 

Has this happened to anyone else?

Thoughts at a 4am Wake-Up Call

Why are you awake?! You aren’t supposed to be up for another 2 hours! Maybe if we rock you for a moment you will fall back asleep. No? Fine. I’ll warm up a bottle. You are so sweet when you’re sleepy. I love you so much.” 

 He falls back asleep. I knock my water off the night stand and it magically lands upright, not spilling. My husband thinks I’ve started an electrical fire, even though I told him nothing spilled.
 

5:15am: “Really?! Again?! Maybe you have a fever. I’ll come console you. You’re head doesn’t feel extra warm. I haven’t cuddled you in a while, so this is ok. Let’s just rock here for a bit. Hopefully I’ll be back in bed in 20 mins…Are you asleep? Yes, I think so. *attempts to lay baby back in his crib and he immediately cries* Ugh! You were just ASLEEP!! Come on, just lay back down in your nice crib with your nice blanky and go back to sleep, it’s ok. No? Not going to happen? Fine. I’ll put you back on my shoulder for a bit. 

What time is it now? 5:30? If it were light out maybe I’d just go for a run once he is back in his crib. Yeah right, who am I kidding? I’m exhausted and would much rather sleep. Will I ever run again? I miss running. I miss being in shape. I need to run a half marathon before baby #2. Why bother though? Why get in shape again only to lose it? Maybe I can keep running while pregnant next time. What baby names do I like now? Sawyer will probably get popular after this kid on The Voice. I still like it. 

Are you asleep enough to put back in your crib? Let’s try it. Nope, crying again. Sigh. I guess I’ll just try to sleep while sitting upright in this rocker. If I fall asleep will I drop you? This is not comfortable. Sleep is not going to happen. Thanks a lot, kid. You enjoy sleeping on mommy’s shoulder while her arm falls asleep holding you there. One day you won’t fit on my lap and I will be sad. Do I really have to go to work today? It’s not fair. I’m too tired. I will surely fall asleep at my boring desk all day. Maybe I’ll bring you into my bed with me and you can sleep on my chest while I lay down! *carries baby boy into bedroom and lays down* 

 There. Isn’t this nice? We can both just sleep here for a little bit. *baby wakes up and looks around. Sees it’s dark and he’s not in his room and starts to fuss* FINE! *carries him back to his room, and assumes the position in the rocker*

Welp. That’s it. Getting up at 4am it is. *note: did not really fall back asleep between wakings* I’ll just stay here until my husband comes to tell me it’s my turn to get in the shower. I need sleep. I wish I could stay home for a whole day and just sleep the whole time. I could easily do it. I need to sleep for at least a week to catch up. I wonder if my husband thinks I look old and tired. I feel old and tired. Your little arm is twitching. You are snoring. Don’t worry, I won’t try to put you down again. Your hair is a little curly from being warm up against my neck. You have my hair. Fine and straight and golden. Only curly when wet. I like when you are asleep. It’s the only time you want to cuddle with me these days. 

What time is it now? Is my husband up? I think I hear the shower. I need to close my eyes. Here comes the dog. Don’t wake him up.” 

 6:20am: *husband comes in to relieve me. I get in the shower* “I’m so tired. This day is impossible. I thought it was a lucky day after the water didn’t spill. That seems like hours ago. It is a lucky day. Every day is lucky. I’m so tired. A hot shower will feel great right now…” 

 And now I’m sitting at my desk at work, barely able to stay awake. Luckily, baby boy doesn’t always do this, and he just wasn’t feeling good. Tonight will be better…



(Picture from a year ago today. So little!)

Things I Learned the First Year

8 not so little things from January 8, 2014 to January 8, 2015:

1. I can still function surprisingly well on little-no sleep. Of course the first few months are supposed to be hard. Trying to “sleep when the baby sleeps” and figure out a routine and being woken up every few hours to nurse. I went back to work at just six weeks (America totally needs to reevaluate maternity leave, btw), and it was a miracle I did not pull a George Kostanza and sleep under my desk. I kept telling myself, he’s only three months old, he’ll start to sleep better soon. Then three months turned into six, six turned into nine, and nine moved right on into twelve, and our son still wasn’t sleeping through the night. It literally happened when he turned a year + one week old, consistently. Sure, there were a few times here and there where he did sleep through the night before he turned a year, but it never lasted more than a couple nights. Now that he’s a whole 2.5 weeks into being one, he may have finally found out that sleep is actually awesome.

2. My husband and I now have a different relationship. It’s not a bad relationship, by any means. Just different. Instead of all the focus being on the two of us (plus the dog), we now focus mainly on the baby. Dates are few and far between since we only really have one babysitter, not to mention we both work full time during the week, so the weekend is really our only time to be with our son. Who needs dates?!

I learned it is still important to make time for each other, even if it’s hard. I developed a bit of tunnel vision, and it took a reality check from my husband to make me really realize it. I was too concerned with making sure our son was being taken care of that I forgot to take care of us. Finally, my short fuse, tiredness, and lack of intimacy became too much for him, and he put me in my place. I’m glad he did, because now we’re back on track. Hugs are great, kisses too. Talking is important, and putting away your cell phone at the dinner table should be mandatory!

3. I will never be able to watch a movie/tv show/commercial or read a news article/blog/book/anything if a child gets abused/hurt/sick/kidnapped/mistreated in any way. The movie “Prisoner,” for example. My husband and I watched this when I was pregnant, so I was not yet aware of the “oh-my-god-every-child-reminds-me-of-my-child-and-i-will-kill-anyone-who-hurts-him” state of mind. I remember talking to friends who had kids about the movie, and all of them were like “I could not watch that!” or “I hated that movie!” because a child was kidnapped in it. I also remember thinking “Really? It wasn’t that bad/serious!” but now. I TOTALLY GET IT! And is it me, or is there suddenly an influx of child abuse/murder these days? I can’t deal.

4. Daycare kind of sucks and is also kind of a good thing. It’s really to put your kid into the hands of a stranger. Especially when he is only 6 weeks old. I hated leaving him every day to go to a job I barely even liked. I still do. Unfortunately, we are not in a financial position to have one of us stay home. It sucks not knowing how he is doing all day, if he is being taken care of, if he is sitting in a wet diaper or crying for too long. At six weeks old, he was totally helpless.

Now that he’s older, it’s not AS hard. I’d still much rather be at home with him, but I think he has fun with the other kids. It is good for his development to interact with them and be around different people. I don’t like all the germs he shares with them, but at least his immune system is getting stronger with each cold. I have also noticed he’s more outgoing than my friends’ babies who stay home with mom. Shy kids make me feel awkward, and I’m confident my son will not be one of them!

5. I will never be on time for anything ever again. Even if we make it out the door with time to spare, chances are we have forgotten something essential for our son that makes us turn around to go get which makes us late. Also, I will not wake my son from a nap, even if I was supposed to be at your house 20 minutes ago. He needs sleep more than you need to see us. I’m hoping friends and family understand this by now, and don’t really think we will be there by 6:30 when dinner starts at 6:00.

6. Breastfeeding is HARD. I’m proud to say I did it for an entire year, especially because I saw somewhere that only 17% of working moms do. It is the most selfless thing a mother can do for her child, because it takes so much to make it happen, not just physically. It was hard to go out places for extended periods because my breasts became engorged and uncomfortable. When I was home, I couldn’t get too comfortable/involved in any activity because I knew I’d have to nurse him soon. When he woke up at night, it was me who went to him because it took too much time and effort to prepare a bottle. It was easier just for me to get up and nurse him back to sleep (and he would not go back to sleep unless he was fed!). I was exhausted for a full year.

And then there’s pumping. I’ve posted a couple times about it, so I won’t get into it again, but in a nutshell: finding time/privacy, storing the milk, cleaning the parts, clogged ducts, 10 hour road trips/pumping in the car/battery packs. I could go on and on.

I constantly worried if he was getting enough.

Now that he’s weaned, I can finally breathe. My boobs look like deflated balloons, but man does it feel good to lay on my stomach again! I’m still exhausted, but not as bad. Also, I’m not as moody and my libido is coming back—yay, estrogen! Not looking forward to having my period return though…

7. Pregnancy/childbirth will continue to take a toll on my body. I never used to get sick. Now I have thyroid issues and I’ve had more colds this winter than ever in my life. I’m currently battling the end of a bad cold (contracted from my son, who had RSV) and an ear infection. I’ve never had an ear infection, nor have most people I know above age 5.

My stretch marks will always be there, and my body will never look the same as it did. I think I’ve aged more this past year than the 30 prior years total. I have wrinkles and bags around my eyes, my knees hurt when I [actually find the time to] work out, and my hair is falling out in clumps. I also really need to watch what I eat now, because if I don’t, I look like I did the day I came home from the hospital postpartum.

8. I wouldn’t change any of it. I love this little boy more than anything I ever thought I could. He makes me laugh every single day, and I love watching him grow. Though my heart breaks each time he learns something new, it also grows a tiny bit more.

Parenting is hard work. It’s scary and it’s exciting. It’s exhausting and it’s eye-opening. It is the best thing in the entire world. I still look at my son after a year and think, “My God, I can’t believe we made this amazing little person.”

Here’s to many more years of learning for all of us!

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Hurricane Mornings

Mornings in our house are hectic, to say the least. Every morning feels like a tornado from the time I wake up to when I sit down to my desk at work.

Here’s a rundown:

5:00am “Me Time” – A short half hour where I get to exercise, though I’d rather sleep. Unfortunately, this is the only time of day I can squeeze in some fitness.
*side note: This just started happening this week with t25, and may be deleted/replaced with sleep if baby boy continues to wake me up at 3-4am to nurse. This morning it was 4:15…

5:30-6:30?? Take a shower, brush my teeth, riffle through my closet to find something that fits/looks decent, dry and style my hair, do my makeup, and get 1/2 dressed (underwear, pants, bra, tank top). This may or may not be interrupted by a waking, hungry baby.

6:30-7:00 Feed Maxwell, change him and get him dressed for the day, lose the tooth brushing battle (honestly, what infant will actually let you brush their teeth?! If you have one, please enlighten me.), let the dog out/feed him, make up the bottles/lunch (hubs usually does this :)), shove cereal down our throats, make to-go cups of coffee, get the other 1/2 of myself dressed (shirt, socks, shoes), and keep baby boy happy/occupied in his high chair until we finish eating or he poops all over himself, whatever happens first.

7:00-7:20am Maxwell takes a huge poop that may or may not require a full change of clothes for him and whoever changed him.

7:20-7:30am Give a quick kiss goodbye and leave for work/daycare (usually at least 5 minutes late due to the above).

7:45-7:50am Arrive at daycare where, again, Maxwell might need a full change if he didn’t poop at home.

8:05-8:15am Sit down at my desk, take a deep breath, and attempt to keep my eyes open for the next 9 hours!!!!

When I get home it’s a bit more of the same, but I think you get the gist! Oye. Motherhood. So rewarding, yet so incredibly exhausting.

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Perfect Bedtimes

I give you a bath and you splash and play, wondering why you can’t grab the water and hold it in your hand like you can with your toys.

I take you out of the tub and dry you off. I put lotion on your already soft skin. I try to keep your curls in tact, but I always lose. Your hair is straight and fine like mine.

I put on your pjs and daddy kisses you off to bed. This quiet time is my favorite. I nurse you off to sleep, and when you pull away and rest your head, I can’t take my eyes from your sweet face. I could watch you all night.

You fight tiny glances at the room, at me. You reach to touch my face. You smile in your sleep. I always wonder what you dream about. I rub your little head and smooth your soft hair. If only nights were always like this.

Some nights you are wild and restless, but not tonight. Not this night. This perfect, sweet, serene night. If only I could keep this moment. Save it in a jar and hold onto it for another time. Other times. Whenever I need a moment of quiet happiness. You make my heart so full. It is only us in the world.

I finally lay you down in your crib. See you soon my little love. Mommy loves you.

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Childcare/Working Woes

I’ve been working since my son was just 6 weeks old. 6 weeks?! I had to put him in daycare, because unfortunately we can’t afford for me to stay home.

Daycare didn’t work out so well, so after 8 months, we got a nanny. She’s been there a couple of weeks, and today I put in a nanny cam. Ugh, wow.

So far today she’s left him to cry in his crib for an hour. She came in a couple times just to pick him up and lay him back down. I just want to scream “HE DOESN’T WANT TO NAP!!!” Maybe the camera was a bad idea, but I’m heart broken seeing him cry for so long.

The camera died (iPad, not an actual camcorder) shortly after that.

Im sick to my stomach over what I saw. Am I overreacting? Should I tell her we have a camera? Maybe she’s not as upset over his cries because he’s not her baby. Maybe she is one of those “cry it out” subscribers. Well I’m not and I wish we were on the same page.

I recently took a personality test at work and turns out I’m not ok with conflict, so I really don’t know how to go about dealing with this.

I just want to be a stay at home mom. On my lunch breaks I go to the park some days and see moms there with their kids. I wish so badly that were me. 😦

Any advice or encouragement is appreciated. TGIF at least!