Wallace Harold: Month 1

by starleewhite

‘Because I feel that, in the heavens above the angels, whispering to one another, can find, among their burning terms of love, none so devotional as that of ‘Mother’.’ -Edgar Allen Poe

 

Here I sit, one month into this ‘mother of 2’ business. A ‘mother of 2 under 2’ at that. I long to process all that this last month has entailed, what I’ve learned, all of my baby’s progress…but all I am coming up with is a haze. A cloudy mind tossed around in a storm. Because this month, much like a storm on the sea, has had its beauty, its chaos, its fear, its lack of direction. There have been waves of tears (ohhhh the tears), waves of joy, waves of humility, and not to mention far too many diapers than I can even count. I have found myself fighting to stay afloat, to find moments to breath before the next crashing wave hits.
So I will try my best to share our last month with you. To actually sit and put a thought together…we will see how it goes.

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For Flora’s first year, I blogged each month about her accomplishments, how I was doing, any significant changes, etc. While it was a challenge to get done some months, I find myself SO thankful I documented her first year of life in this way. Now I go back and read those posts and see myself growing, struggling, and surviving! I am filled with hope that, yes!, I might just survive again! And I see how each month got a little easier in its own way. I hope to do this again with Wally, and share with you (but also more for me!) how we are doing.

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Wally’s Progress:
Eating:
I suppose I’ll start with eating…b/c a newborn doesn’t do much of anything else!
My sweet boy had a few rough days getting started with nursing. But after ridding his body of remaining amniotic fluid on day 2, he has been nursing pretty well since! I did go visit a lactation clinic and get some input about my milk supply, positions to hold him, and how to get him as full as possible. He had been wanting to nurse constantly and I feared I was having a supply issue. It turns out he was getting plenty, but they figured he was just going through a growth spurt! Never-the-less, I started taking fenugreek and blessed thistle, 2 supplements that are supposed to help with supply. I believe those have helped!
In these last few days I had reached a point of desperation. This boy just loved to eat all the time. He would fuss and fuss and only be consoled by nursing. What I finally figured out is that he was never getting a full feeding! He was just ‘snacking’ and not napping well to-boot! So for the last 2 days I have implemented a new ‘system’ where at each feeding I really focus in to keep him awake and have him eat on both sides as long as possible. I burp him. Then we go at minimum 2 hours before the next feeding. If he fusses, we use the paci, bounce him, hold him, take him outside, or whatever we can do to ‘distract’ him. Usually he will fall asleep for a little while which is so wonderful (something he wasn’t doing before). I’m very excited to get in a better rhythm with him and feedings. This makes life SO much easier with 2 I’m learning!
Sleeping:
It’s no surprise that we are all a bit sleep deprived around here. For the first 3 weeks we had absolutely no sleep routine happening. Flora kept waking up and Wally, again, just wanted to nurse all night. I was in tears most nights, just so exhausted and at a loss for what to do…so I would nurse and nurse. BUT this last week I had a thought to try the swaddle again. We had tried swaddling Wally in the hospital and he haaaated it. So I thought he was just different than Flora and didn’t need it. However, last week out of desperation, I swaddled him in the SwaddleMe, nursed him, and put him down. He slept from 9pm-2am! FIVE HOURS! Of course I woke up panicking b/c why would he sleep that long…but apparently the swaddle was our magic ticket! For the last week he has been sleeping from 9-2 then 3-5:30. Not too bad! Only 2 feedings per night.
The other trick we’ve used is placing our small heating pad in his moses basket for a few minutes before we lay him down. We ALWAYS remove it before placing him in there, but it just warms up his blankets and he goes right down! This is something that was never an issue with Flora, but Wally despises being cold…just like his mama. (Random aside, we also bought the wipe-warmer for him. Something I swore I would never ever get b/c it’s just one of those ‘ridiculous spoiled American children things.’ Lol)
Other:
Wallace is still in a few newborn-sized things but he is starting to transition into 0-3 months. He wears newborn diapers still, but I have a feeling that will be changing this next month!
Wally has been a much fussier baby than Flora was, but I’m learning all his nuances and trying to understand his needs. I think our new feeding and sleep routine will help with this.
He hasn’t loved all the wraps (sad!), but I’m hoping this changes b/c I love baby-wearing!
Since they first layed Wally on my chest, he has had the strongest neck! At 8 days old I got a video of him on his tummy holding his head up for quite some time. He is my strong little dude!

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Mama Update:

Like I alluded to before, this month has been all about survival. Between little sleep, loads of family and visitors, healing from a big tear at his delivery, nursing constantly, pumping daily, keeping up with laundry and dishes, chasing a toddler around, and all this Kansas summer heat…I have had a LOT on my plate. One thing I’ve tried to do (which I did in my pregnancy too) is get ready each day. This means I at least try to get my makeup on and a comfy/cute outfit. It’s been a struggle to make it happen some days, but I feel more ready to tackle the day when I’m dressed and feeling put-together.

When Daniel was home that first week I remember thinking, ‘Hey! We can do this! This isn’t that bad!’. And even that next week I had lots of help from my wonderful mothers. But these last 2 weeks have been more of a glimpse of reality: me at home {alone} with a 22-month-old and newborn. Some moments I’ve about lost my mind. Flora has watched far too much Daniel Tiger and I will admit that every toilet in my house is in desperate need of cleaning. But! Both of my children are still alive and my husband still loves me. I consider that a win!

One challenge I wasn’t expecting to face, is how hard my physical recovery has been. I am still taking ibuprofen every few hours to cope with the pain of the tear. I can’t sit normally and any sort of bending is painful. I keep longing to feel ‘normal’ again and pray everything is healing correctly. I’m SO grateful that I was able to have a VBAC, but the longer-term recovery has in some ways been harder than my csection.

With Flora I remember spending the afternoons on our couch nursing her, staring at her, falling in and out of sleep, and watching my favorite shows. It was such a sweet bonding time with her where we cuddled and I tried to memorize her every feature. There are some days that I manage to get both kids napping at the same time and I try to pause from cleaning up all the mess, to stare at Wallace and breath in his sweetness. He is so handsome (of course I’m not bias) and smells like heaven. He looks at me with an intensity of a deep thinker. And I swear I’ve even gotten him to smile a few times! 🙂

After I had Flora, I was so focused on loosing baby weight and seeing that magic number on the scale. I remember being ashamed of my postpartum body and thinking far too much about that. This time around, while I do want to focus on my health, I am not going to share my weight loss journey. It just doesn’t matter. I know that chasing 2 kids around will be ample exercise for the time being!

Hardest Moment:
I think the hardest thing about this last month has been the feeling of inadequacy. There is just NO way I can ‘do it all’ or keep up with life. I can’t do a good job taking care of my children, be a wife, cook the meals, keep the home, look cute, have energy, meet friends, blah blah blah. It just hasn’t been possible. There aren’t enough hours in the day. All in all this has been humbling me to my core. B/c the fact is…I can never do it all. When I think that I can I am just fooling myself. Although I haven’t had an actual ‘quiet time’ since the birth, I do find myself talking to Jesus and just admitting I’m a mess and I need Him. I am oh-so weak right now, so I ask Him to be strong for me!
Additionally I have really been wresting with the idea of friendships and what that looks like in this season. I’m finding motherhood is just quite lonely at times and the little extra time and energy I’ve got left needs to be spent of people who are ‘cup-fillers’ and not ‘drainers’. Those kind of friends who meet you in the mire, tell you it sucks, and bring you a Dr. Pepper. You know what I mean? Well anyway…one goal I have is to not wallow in the ‘lonely motherhood mire’ and to reach out and have more playdates throughout the week. I’m really pumped b/c we purchased a double stroller and I’m hoping this makes getting out of the house with 2 much more possible.

Best Moment:
This month was such a blur, but the support of our family and friends (THANK YOU FOR ALL THE MEALS!) has been a great encouragement to me. And I am just so utterly thankful for my healthy children. ChildREN…that’s multiple! Because I have 2! It’s still sinking in, guys. 2 sweet healthy babes, my gifts from the Lord!

 

So, that’s it guys. Our first messy month of being a family of 4

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