This Saturday will mark 4 weeks since I've given birth to my precious baby boy. In that time I have laughed, I have cried, and I have gone a week without showering. It has been an interesting experience to say the least. However, no matter how frustrated I get at times, every time those big brown eyes search the room to find my voice my heart melts and I realize that every second is so worth it.
With that being said, there are a few things about motherhood that I didn't expect. Sure, I always heard that you don't get any sleep with a newborn, but I don't think I fully comprehended the fact and I certainly wasn't prepared for it. Cayden is like any typical newborn... he sleeps for about 2 hours at a time. He is also still adjusting to the difference of night/day and at times he will wake up at 3am and be wide awake and alert and won't fall back asleep for 2 or 3 hours. This means that I've been running off of 2-4 hours of sleep per night. I've been trying to do the majority of the work and let Mando sleep since he's already back at work, but it's frustrating and there's been more than one occasion that I've snapped at him or resented him for not helping out more.
Cayden is also a fussy baby. When my best friend told me her baby girl slept through the night and hardly every cried, I admit I was jealous. Cayden has to be hold the majority of the time and definitely isn't sleeping through the night. On more than one occasion we've had to take him out of the crib and let him sleep in bed with us because he won't settle down and fall asleep in the crib. This means that either Mando or I will go sleep on the couch because there just isn't enough room for the 3 of us to sleep safely on our bed. I really miss cuddling with Mando and sleeping in bed with him. Co-sleeping isn't what I thought it would be and I don't think it's for us. I look forward to the day where he can sleep a few peaceful hours in his crib and feel comfortable there.
So yes... motherhood is hard. I knew it would be. But I know that we will all adjust eventually and Cayden will learn to sleep more in the night as he gets older. I also think that things will get easier once I'm back at work. Most of you probably think I'm nuts, but I am getting stir crazy cooped up in our apartment day after day and I'm not cut out to be a stay at home mom. I know I will miss Cayden like crazy and probably cry my eyes out when I have to drop him off at the nanny's, but my sanity will thank me. I have a whole new respect for you SAHM's who have little social interaction and who's day often revolves around diapers and housework. I just couldn't do it.
However, I am taking advantage of every second I have with my baby boy. Cayden is finally at that fun age where he's starting to show his personality more and more each day. I still marvel at his strength... Pretty much since birth he's been able to lift his head up on his own and look around the room. He is so alert and his eyes are ALWAYS open and observing everything around him. He's a bit of a diva and whines if we are taking too long preparing his bottle and if he doesn't want to be changed he doesn't hesitate to pee all over us! He loves the bath and after he's all clean and snuggly in his jammies I can count on him to fall asleep immediately for a few hours. He smiles and laughs in his sleep which I love! He likes reading books with mama and really loves the color red. He hates the swing AND the bouncer, but adores his car seat and stroller. My love for him grows stronger every minute of every day and I can't wait to see the little boy he grows to be. (And of course he'll be a mama's boy!)
There's a few items I've realized I can't live without since becoming a mama. When we did our registry I became obsessive. I read every review, I sent the link to my friends and family, and I even posted it on a mothering forum to ask for advice and suggestions. I wanted to make sure I had everything I could possibly need and that I wasn't forgetting anything. I MAY have gone a little overboard. However, I'm glad I put so much time into it, because if not I wouldn't have found these things:
#1. Dr. Brown's bottles. OMG. I am obsessed with these bottles. I reviewed several different types of bottles online and it was clear that these were a favorite. The main complaint about these bottles is that they have so many different parts that can be a pain to clean, but I don't feel that way. It takes me about a minute to clean them completely and the fact that they greatly reduce gas and colic is so worth it to me. Even after being breastfed for the first week, Cayden had no problem latching on to the nipples and he always burps quickly and easily after eating. I seriously can't recommend them enough.
#2. Gripe water. As you know, after my breastfeeding fiasco I switched to formula. Unfortunately, Cayden had a tough time digesting the formula after a week of breast milk and became extremely constipated. It broke my heart to see him cry and push so hard just to poop. A few different mama's I talked to recommended gripe water. It's a safe, organic liquid medicine comprised of ginger and fennel and helps with upset tummies. I've given it to Cayden a few times and it definitely helps. It makes his poop like more like breastfed baby poop and I can tell it relieves the pain in his belly. I love that it's all natural and safe enough to give with every feeding.
#3. The Boppy newborn lounger. This is different than the Boppy pillow (which I also love). It's more of a cushion that the baby can relax and be comfortable in. This is the ONLY place where I can set Cayden down when I need to cook or use the bathroom and he'll fall asleep on his own. It's slightly at an angle which helps because he hates being flat on his back and the sides cushion him and make him feel snug. When he's being extra fussy and won't sleep in his crib I'll put this in bed with us and he'll fall asleep almost immediately. He LOVES it. Evidence is in my pictures.... almost every picture I've taken of him sleeping has been in his lounger!
**I wasn't paid to talk about these products. I simply love them and wanted to pass the information along to any other new mother who might benefit from hearing from my experiences.
So that's been my experience with motherhood so far. Although we're all adjusting, I do love being a mom. It truly is the most rewarding job a woman can have. How can you not love your life when you wake up to this precious face every day?
Also, don't forget to enter my first giveaway ending August 31st! Since my blog is so new there are low entries and your chances of winning are huge!