Thursday, September 26, 2013

“every thing that you love, you will eventually lose, 
           but in the end, 
                     love will return in a different form.”

- May Benatar, "Kafka and the Doll: The Pervasiveness of Loss."

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

two months

(attentive dad)

On Saturday our little boy will be 8 weeks old. I can't believe how fast these early weeks have passed. I probably should have posted much sooner because I feel as though I've been though so many stages of early motherhood already, but better late than never. While I think my experience has been similar to most new mothers, I also think our out-of-state move when our son was just 2 weeks old and not having family around to help before or after the move may have heightened some challenges. I found weeks 1 and 2 to be pretty easy outside of breast feeding. Luckily he caught on to that (what seemed like the hardest thing I ever had to do now, looking back, was really a breeze compared to many mother's who struggle with breastfeeding). Weeks 3 and 4 were probably some of the hardest of my life. Imagine spending days at home alone among unpacked boxes with a baby who seemed to never sleep, always want to eat, and cry when he was put down. With every free moment I was trying to unpack a box or clean the new place. I felt I had no time to eat or even use the bathroom! I was exhausted. While I loved Levi completely, I struggled with understanding why we traded our very easy life with this new one. It felt like it would never get better.

Since then everything has changed. Slowly but surely we are understanding his rhythms and I can now leave the house with him or by myself, shower when alone at home, do chores, get some quiet time, and wear normal clothes- all things I didn't think I'd do again! We had to learn that Levi had trouble sleeping because he was over tired, and that sleep begets more sleep. We learned the magic of the swing! We eased into the (E)at (A)ctivity (S)leep (Y)ourself schedule.

(a few shots of Levi's room- reindeer hyde from Helsinki)

While all this learning was happening I got to know my little boy. I always felt an overwhelming amount of love for him, for which I am grateful. However as he develops his own little personality, I've fallen so in love with him. I would do anything to get one of his smiles, and I truly enjoy my days alone with him. He is awake for longer periods of time and is such a curious, interactive, chill little boy. He makes ma laugh all the time. Every day he seems a little older, interacting with his toys in a new way, looking at books, making new noises, and feeling heartier.

Unfortunately this coincides with the end of my maternity leave. I'm happy that as I move to full time work (from home) next week, I have established a strong milk supply, unpacked all the boxes, and have Levi comfortable with a bottle. He just gets more interesting and fun each day though, and I can truly imagine staying home with him full time. Luckily I can enjoy the compromise of working at home, taking advantage of visiting with my little guy throughout the day.

My goal is not to make this a "mommy blog" but as it turns out, that is pretty much all that's on my mind these days. This will change as I'm able to explore our new home of Chapel Hill more and more and as I focus more on work and our new apartment. In the meantime this is a nice place to record my thoughts, so I can look back on them to remind myself that, 1) yes, it was that hard, and 2) yes, it was that rewarding.
(happy baby)

In the meantime, here are some things I have found invaluable in the past few weeks:
Fisher Price Swing- He sleeps so well in this, the white noise options are really pleasant, and I'm charmed by his big smiles up at those swinging monkeys. You can also plug it into the wall so you don't need batteries. I want to work on phasing this out, but for now it's great. Worth every penny for the sleep it provides.
Aden and Anais Classic Swaddle Blankets - We use many of these per day. To swaddle at night, cover his stroller, lay on the floor, etc. They are the best. We have 8 and it's not too many!
iPad- You spend a lot of time nursing. Especially for those times at night in the dark, you need something to help you stay connected and occupied.
Traditional Medicinals Organic Mother's Milk Herbal Tea- I really think this has helped me boost supply.
Ikea Leka Circus Play Gym- I didn't realize how early he would enjoy toys. He loves this gym, it's easy on the eyes, and very inexpensive.