Travel Often

“I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.” — Rosalia de Castro

Love Deeply, but Laugh Along the Way

"Happiness is only real when shared." - Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

View Marriage as an Adventure

"Love is a flower which turns into fruit at marriage." ~Finnish Proverb

Fuel your body with GOOD (It's the only one you get)

He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything. - Arabian Proverb

Open your Soul to Motherhood

A Grand Adventure is About to Begin - Winnie the Pooh

A New Kind of Love is Born

Mothers hold their children's hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Weekly Milestones: Introducing the Crib, Rolling Over and Bumbo - Month 3

14 weeks postpartum

Like I mentioned in my last post, Jackson has grown leaps and bounds this past week. He's smiling more. He's rolling over like crazy and he transitioned into his crib!
Taking a break from rolling over from back to tummy and tummy to back

Jackson's biggest accomplishment (besides moving into his crib) for the week was rolling from his back to his belly. Or so I thought. I noticed this week when we'd put him down, he'd crank his neck like crazy, but there wasn't much room in the bassinet to move around. I wasn't sure what the deal was. He'd sort of fuss and then move his neck in the weirdest position. Part of me felt like he wanted to roll, but I thought maybe he was too young for that. That was until we set him down on his Jungle Gym Mat. He cranked his neck and flipped! We couldn't believe it. Soon he was rolling all over. The guy is a little Olympic athlete already! Here's a video clip of Jackson rolling over -
Jackson cranks his head and then flips from back to tummy! So fun to watch.

I also noticed when I'd pick Jackson up from homecare he was extra smiley! And with that, his mouth was open a lot more than usual, almost like he wanted a huge laugh to follow. Instead he'd try to suck my shoulder off. I'd hand him toys and he'd immediately stick whatever he could in his mouth! I gave him a teething toy that was in the freezer and he licked it like it was a Popsicle. It was hilarious!
Jackson loves putting everything in his mouth

We tried putting Jackson in his Bumbo for the first time. He loved it. He gets to explore more!
Just chillin in my Bumbo

Jackson has also figured out his daddy. When Karl walks through our door and up the steps, Jackson gets the BIGGEST smile on his face ever. Both Karl and I teared up the first time Jackson did that because it was priceless. It was the coolest thing to see.
The boys bonding!

Friday night we decided we had to bite the bullet and transition Jackson into his crib. I was pretty nervous about it but I knew it was time. I thought it would be horrible on all of us. I thought Jackson would be up all night and he'd put up a huge fight. He surprised us. He fussed a little bit but soon he was out. I was waiting for him to wake up throughout the night, but I slept so solid and nobody in the house budged until 5:30 the next morning. Karl went and checked on Jackson at 5:30 (we couldn't figure out how to get the video monitor all set up)! Guess who was still sleeping? Score! We all slept till 7:30 - slept a LOT longer than that!!! 

I could not believe Jackson took to his crib so easy. I know I hadn't felt that great in a long time. I felt like we took a huge step forward. I felt like a new woman. I felt rested!

Saturday night we tried again and he didn't fuss as much and was out a lot quicker. I heard him a little bit around 4, but fell back asleep. By 5:30 I was up feeding him and he went back down. He slept until 10:00 a.m.!!! I was cleaning up the kitchen, doing laundry, going through bills, making many chores as I could get done before he'd get up. Now that I'm not home during the week, I have to power through the house chores twice as fast any chance I get on the weekends. How do people with cabins do it??? Might have to work on getting the hubby to wake up with me so I can get some extra help...otherwise that cleaning service is sounding better and better. *hint hint*

My next goal is to get Jackson sleeping by 7:00/7:30. My question is: how will he go the entire night without needing to eat??? I feel like he'll be starving! I usually feed him when I get home from work - 5/6 p.m. Would that be his last feeding of the night then? How is that possible??? Right now his last feeding is around 8/9 p.m. and he's in bed before 10. And can go until 4:00/5:00 without needing to eat. That works for us, but it also doesn't give Karl and I any time together at night.

Uncle Ben and Aunt Kelly stopped by on Saturday so I could get a longer workout in at the gym and hit up the grocery story and Karl could catch up on work at the office. Jackson slept most of the time but he did have some fun with them!
Jackson and Aunt Kelly chillin out
Jackson and Uncle Ben having a blast!

I've noticed Jackson has become less wiggly when I'm holding him. He seems very content. I love that. I have also noticed every time he eats from my left side he raises his hand, twirls his hair, flaps his ear and then slaps my chest and he repeats this. It's pretty cute.

I wonder what's in store for this week? Still waiting for that amazing laugh. We hear a giggle slip every now and then, which has been pretty sweet to hear. Can't wait!!

Adjusting to Going Back to Work - Month 3

week 14 postpartum

I thought after I pushed out an eight pound, three ounce baby I could handle ANYTHING. Now when the going gets tough I tell myself, "Remember, you did a REAL HARD thing just a few months ago - nothing in the world compares to that kind of pain. You can do it!"

I found a worse pain.

The day I had to leave my baby and go back to work.
Look mom! Dad dressed me all cool!

The day I dreaded for years had come. Leaving Jackson struck my heart in a way I'd never felt before. My heart physically hurt. My stomach churned. The lump in my throat kept growing to the size of a boulder. The guilt ate me alive.

Wednesday night arrived and I didn't get much sleep. Ever since I became pregnant - in my mind - I was always going to be the caregiver for our children and this daycare stuff was all new. I thought we'd be able to find a way. I believed some sort of miracle would happen. My mom was a stay-at-home mom. I never learned by example how to be the working mom - it wasn't in my blood! I was feeling crappy that I wouldn't be able to follow in her footsteps.

Reality was right around the corner - I was NOT going to be the primary caregiver for our son throughout the day anymore. Plus, I wasn't sure how everything would go yet. How did I know I wouldn't have a major meltdown at work? I was so NOT in the right state of mind to deal with even more change. I was using all my energy to trick myself into thinking work would be so much better than looking into my son's eyes - like I had awesome projects waiting for me, I'd be getting a break...and whatever else I could think of to help me. Instead I started internalizing and laid awake for hours. Horrible time for insomnia to hit. Finally, I let out my frustrations to Karl hoping that would help me sleep. I had learned I can't keep things in anymore. But getting everything out didn't help because the frustrations I expressed didn't come out right. I was never able to get to my point.

Instead, I walked downstairs knowing very well I'd be going back to work functioning on less than four hours of sleep and I'd be doomed. I started writing a blog post for the Star Tribune about everything I had dealt with over the past three months. Tears filled my eyes. I swallowed them back. I couldn't go into work with puffy, swollen eyes. I tried to block the funny feeling creeping up my neck and in my stomach. Finally my eyes became heavy and I slid back into bed.

I didn't need my alarm to wake me. I had Jackson for that. I had an hour and forty five minutes of sleep under my belt. I don't know how I managed to shower and put on clothes (that fit) and made sure my pumping machine was ready to go and all the parts were washed, that I had a lunch, that I put mascara on both eyes. But I did.

Jackson looked so sweet lying in his bassinet. I wanted to jump in with him and spend forever there. My husband would have to pry my fingers from the edge. I could barely stand to look at Jackson because it hurt so much. He'd soon be waking and and his mom wouldn't be there to greet him. What would he think?

I couldn't hold back the tears anymore when Karl hugged me goodbye and told me everything was going to be OK. No it wasn't OK. I kept telling him how unfair the situation was even though I knew Jackson would be in good hands. I had my parents come up and stay over with us Thursday and Friday to help me transition into my new routine as working mom, but even with them there, I still wanted to be the one home with Jackson. At least I knew he'd be in a familiar place even if his mommy wasn't there.

I cried in the car. I bawled when I found the note Karl had left for me in the passenger seat of my car, telling me I was an awesome mom and he and Jackson loved me no matter what. I was so angry though. Why did I have to go through this?? Why wasn't I smart enough to save more money? All that money I spent at the bar when I was younger and stupid...why didn't I put that in the bank instead? Why wasn't I rich enough to afford staying at home and saving for Jackson's future? Why was I being punished? Why? Why?

I cried all 30 minutes to work and then I turned my brain off, sucked it up and kept my head down all the way to my cube. Soon my parents were sending me texts and pictures of Jackson and I knew he was OK. I started to get into the groove of things, though I had to find an extension cord for my pump so I could go in the bathroom every three hours and not have to worry about going through a truckload of C batteries, and then I had to get a chair moved in there. I was barely at my desk because I had to get that all set up. Soon I was flying to the bathroom, pumping (crying all the while) and then pumping again..and pumping again. Before I knew it it was time to leave.

I couldn't WAIT to see our little guy. I flew out of work and panicked when I hit traffic. Don't you people know I have a baby to see? Move!!

And then there was my little man. We were reunited. I threw my beloved cell phone aside and just snuggled. I fed him and massaged his arms and smoothed his hair and told him over and over how much I loved him and missed him. He'd look at me and smile and all was right with the world. I wanted to freeze the moment.

Friday came and leaving wasn't as hard. Still sucked. Maybe because the weekend was right around the corner, I was feeling OK. But I did pull out of a volleyball tournament so I could spend all day Saturday loving him up. Sunday dread started building the minute I woke up. I'd be going back to work the next day but this time I'd be bringing him to homecare and I'd be away from him five days instead of just two.

Monday morning came and even with getting everything ready the night before I was running all over the house hoping I wasn't forgetting anything. Then Karl grabbed me and scooped me into a hug. I bawled all over again!!!!!! And I sobbed, "This isn't fair!!"

Dropping him off wasn't as painful as I thought (but it still stung) and I think it's because our homecare person is AMAZING. She made me feel so much better. Jackson warmed up to her and her kids were so great around him. And every day gets better and better. I miss him like crazy and it still doesn't feel right being away from him but I get updates via email throughout the day. I hear about how Jackson is smiling and playing with her kids. How much he's eating so I know how much I should be pumping. How long he's napping. A routine is building. Jackson has grown leaps and bounds in the past week. I feel like we have an angel watching our Jackson! I feel so blessed and lucky. So many great things are going to happen to Jackson because of this opportunity. Yes, I wish I was more a part of it. But I count my blessings every day we found such a wonderful homecare.

I'm still on a mission to make my dreams come true though! And experiencing this has given me the push I needed to really kick things into high gear.

What helped you through your first week of daycare?
Dad dressed me again in this crazy outfit!