Nearly a Month

Nearly a Month

I’ve almost made it an entire month pumping at work! That’s amazing, honestly. It isn’t easy. I know I’ve still got a long time to go… but every step forward is awesome. I forgot my “hidden” pumping cups at my desk at work today, which was very bad, as we were working over at the Academy. Luckily I had my set of visible flanges… I managed to hide them under my hoodie. It sucked, but it worked in a pinch. It could have been much worse.

Once Evangeline turns five months (!!!) on the 12th of April, I’ll have five whole months of exclusive breastfeeding in! It’s been a long, hard road… but worth it. Everything got easier once we got past those first three months. There were still some struggles and there will still be hurdles, but I’m pretty stubborn about continuing on this path.

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I can’t believe how big Eva is getting and how fast it’s all happening… I had to remove her infant sling from her baby tub. She was just too long for it! Sitting in the tub without it isn’t perfect, but it’ll have to work for now. I’ve started introducing toys in her baths. She doesn’t play with them yet, but she does try to grasp at them!

She’s really starting to laugh and giggle, which is amazing. There is no better sound in the world! The husband and I are both exploring ways to make her laugh. He seems just as delighted as I am. He’s also finally getting more “hands on” with her, which is great. I think we’re getting past the stage where he thinks she’ll break if he holds her wrong. It’s so fun to see them together. She grins instantly whenever he looks at her or addresses her. Her eyes have always followed him when he talks… even when she just a newborn.

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Daycare is still going well. We accidentally forgot her tiger wubbanub yesterday and things didn’t go so well. We honestly had no idea how much of an attachment she had to it. I had intended for it to comfort her while at daycare, because it would be familiar and smell like home… but I hadn’t anticipated it actually working! The ladies at daycare said she was all out of sorts–she even refused to take all of her bottles.

We made sure not to forget it today and she was a completely different baby! The ladies said they kept a close eye on her and that she actually grabs and holds the tiger quite a lot during the day. It’s really cute. I’m glad it comforts her when we can’t.

We’re getting ready to work on our kitchen. It’s going to be a slow, slow process… but it’ll be worth it in the end. The father-in-law is doing the majority of the work. It’s going to be pricey, thus why it’s going to take forever. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping for the best. Eva’s room really didn’t turn out how I had hoped… so here’s hoping this goes a little better, sigh.

Two Weeks

Two Weeks

I’ve been back at work for two weeks now. While we haven’t completely adjusted to this new routine, getting up in the morning is slowly getting easier. I’m waking up at 6am now, which is quite an adjustment… but it gives me plenty of time to get everything done that I need to before sending Evangeline off to daycare and getting to work.

The worst part is being away from her and second is pumping. I really hate pumping. It’s so aggravating and sometimes, it hurts. My poor nipples are usually pretty sore by the end of the week! So far, I’ve been able to keep up with Eva’s daycare demands… I’m just hoping that trend continues. I’d really like to make it an entire year. Hopefully my poor nipples can handle it!

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Eva seems to have taken to daycare okay. She’s happy and alert. The people there seem to really like her. Sometimes, she’s up with me at 6am and other times she sleeps until I wake her up with the husband around 6:40. She caught a viral infection, so that’s affected her sleep a bit. The worst part is the coughing! Poor thing.

She decided, the week just before I started work, that she was absolutely done with the swaddle. She’s been sleeping unswaddled since then and was doing fantastic until the sickness. We had just bought three large swaddles for her, too… d’oh.

It’s so impossibly difficult to imagine that she’s four months old already! It feels so fast and yet it feels like an eternity ago, like some sort of very distant memory, that I was in the hospital with her. In fact, it feels like a whole different life, like a completely different world! Both the husband and I are amazed at how much things have changed, how we’ve changed in such a short time. Parenthood definitely leaves its mark on you.

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I won’t lie… it’s still difficult. There are long nights and difficult periods of crying where she’s inconsolable, but the good far outweighs the bad. She’s such a sweet little thing. I’ll take the bad so long as I still get to enjoy the good. We’re slowly adjusting and growing as a family.

At the end of the month, it will be a year ago that I found out I was pregnant… that I was already 8 weeks or so along. I had no idea then that this sweet little face was growing inside of me. I had no concept of what she would be or how I would respond to her.

Thinking back on it now, it just seems so unfathomable and distant. I once dreaded the change, but now I accept it and adapt to it. Her smiling little face is enough to make it all worthwhile. It’s a new adventure, a new journey…

A New Routine

A New Routine

Dropping Evangeline off at daycare the first day was hard. I won’t lie, I cried. I’m not big on crying in front of people, but letting my sweet baby go and walking away was just heart wrenching. I whimpered and cried all the way to work. Once at work, I was okay… but I was constantly thinking about her and counting down the hours. I was just so worried about how she was doing. I didn’t realize it, but the husband was worried, too.

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The night before, I drank almost an entire bottle of wine! I helped me relax and just cry when I needed to, which was frequently. I had some wine and a cry in the tub. I cried on the couch. I cried while trying to zone out and play Dragon Age: Inquisition. I woke up with Eva at around 4am and then couldn’t go back to sleep!

Today was easier. She screamed and slept a lot the first day, but today she mostly just hung out, took the proper amount of bottles, and didn’t have any freak outs. Of course, when we pick her up, I run to get her. The husband gives me this pouty look and wants to hold her, too, so I have to hand her off, haha. Boo to sharing!

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We had a cuddle and a short nap tonight, which was nice. The husband pouted at me that I needed to go wake her up because he didn’t feel like he got enough time with her!

The evenings are a little rough. I want to spend every second she’s awake with her, but there’s stuff to do, too. I have to wash and clean her bottles, try and get them ready. Doing it in the morning is just entirely too hectic! I try not to focus on the fact that I’m only seeing her for around four hours a day… sigh.

Being back at work is kind of nice, though. I missed my coworkers and I feel ‘human’ again… more than just a milk cow. I loved spending time with Eva, but it definitely helps me to feel like I’m a person, too. I’ll never send her to daycare when I don’t have to, though. I’d much rather have her with me! The husband said he can’t wait for the weekend, haha. Me either, I want to actually sleep and I know we’ll get long, snuggly naps together.

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We had a bit of a scare tonight. Eva had a dirty diaper and as I was cleaning her up, I noticed blood on the wipe and nearly lost it! It was fresh blood, too… not the kind they poop out. I checked and the area around her little butt hole was red and little pinpricks of blood were coming to the surface. My mum and the mother-in-law assured me that she’s okay and that it happens, it’s likely a diaper rash of some sort. Still worries me. We’ve been so lucky in avoiding any of that yet!

I very nearly lost it when I saw that blood, though. My heart jumped. My stomach felt sick for an hour afterwards. Poor little thing was fussy and we just assumed she was tired… we had no idea she was in pain! I felt like an asshole.

The house looks like a bomb went off, but I just can’t be bothered to clean tonight. I’m exhausted. Eva woke up at around 5am this morning and would not go back down… so I’m pretty beat. I think I’ll be dragging hardcore by the end of the week!

So far, pumping is going okay at work and I’m keeping up. I bought these things called Freemies and they are really handy for work! Eva’s also back to breastfeeding without fussing or pushing away (mostly); I did have to walk around and nurse her once today, just before dinner.

Back to Work

Back to Work

This is my final week of maternity leave. It seems like forever ago that I left work, still pregnant, just waiting for Evangeline to arrive. My husband made me stop working due to swelling and my having issues with discomfort/etc. I was off for almost a week before Eva turned up. I wish I’d worked until my induction day, so I’d have had that extra week with her instead.

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I’m not cut out to be a stay-at-home mum, but that doesn’t mean I don’t feel awful about leaving her with strangers; about missing all the little moments; about being away from those big grins and smiles she does in the mornings. I won’t get to lazily play with her hands as she drifts off to sleep next to me on the bed for her afternoon nap. I’ll miss seeing her figure out her motor skills even more than she has already–gripping, grasping, holding something tight. She’s only just begun to try to laugh and I’m going to miss her mastering it.

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It hurts. I hate it. But not working isn’t an option–I’d go insane, my career would effectively be over, and money would be beyond tight. It just isn’t worth it, in the long run. I can provide for her better at work and I’ll be a better mother if I’m not engulfed by the role.

I keep worrying that the daycare isn’t going to be good enough. That they’ll ignore her or mess something up. That they won’t know how to feed her or care of her… or even worse, that they’ll just let her “cry it out.” She’s in that fussy stage of her development, but the thought of her being left to cry hurts my heart.

I’m sure all working mums go through this. It’ll get better. The worst part is knowing I’ll get a max of 3-4 hours a day with her. That sucks.

Next week, at this time, I’ll be at work. A very sobering thought. Maternity leave felt like it was going to go on forever back in those early newborn days… now, just, I don’t know. I think I’m done thinking about it for right now.

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Husband’s surgery went well, but it was a lot more intense than I anticipated. Seeing him in the hospital gown and on the gurney–ugh… I’m glad his dad was able to stay there with him. We waited at the in-laws until it was time to pick him up. He looked so pitiful sitting there… still in his gown. The recovery period took longer because they were having issues with his blood pressure being too high. I had to help him get dressed. He was really out of it. I really didn’t expect it.

The first few days were rough and exhausting, bouncing between taking care of him and Eva. I just felt so bad for him! I even had to feed him. Then, we went for his post-op and got stuck in traffic for four hours! A major accident had shut down the interstate, sigh. We had to take a long way home. I ended up driving for nearly six hours!

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Having him home was nice, though. We got into a routine, he started feeling better… and then it was over. He’s back at work today, after a week and a half off. We took some three month pictures of Eva yesterday, even though it’s a little late. They turned out well, but she refused to smile or grin! All she wanted to do was try and blow raspberries at us. That’s her new favorite thing. The husband also got Eva to fall asleep on him for the first time ever, so he was pretty thrilled.

We went to our weight check during the horrible winter storm (where we got a foot of snow, which I drove in like a champ) and got the “all clear”! Evangeline’s back to where she needs to be, and she’s one looong baby! 96th percentile–yikes.

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I keep trying not to dwell on the bad and instead focus on the positive, which has always been difficult for me. That and not measuring time. I get obsessive about time, it’s downright ridiculous. I’ve even taken to counting down the minutes in a day. Maddening! Eva is going to grow so fast and I don’t want to miss any of it… but providing the best for her is the most important thing. And there’s weekends, and holidays. I have a state job, so I get every bloody holiday off!

Once I go back to work, that’s it, it’s over–this time is over. She’s not a newborn anymore and I’ll never get that time with her back. I’ve taken to treasuring every moment, even the ones where she’s screaming or inconsolable… because once it’s over, it’s over. That’s it. Next thing I know, she’s in Kindergarten, she’s graduating High School, and then she’s just… gone–her own life, her own things… it’s baffling.

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People weren’t lying when they said you have no real concept of time until you have a child.

Same for not realizing how much you can love something. There are no words.

We’ll find a rhythm, a way. Everything will work out.

I’ll make sure it does.

Mum’s Visit

Mum's Visit

The visit went about as well as can be expected, given the circumstances. Though, I will say, I very nearly kicked my mother out of my house. She has some sort of mental disorder (I used to think bipolar, but now I’m not certain) and is horrendously narcissistic. Husband says she is the definition of a narcissist and he isn’t kidding. She made it a point to poke at me and try and get under my skin. I put her in her place, shocking both the husband and her boyfriend, but I did it in a way that she couldn’t turn it around on me… which is definitely a win.

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In the end, she got to see Eva and they were only here for two days total, so it wasn’t that big of a deal. I’m just totally done with visitors for now. My nerves were so frayed that when the husband came home, I was furiously cleaning and grumbling to myself. We started talking and I told him how, before she left, she asked when we were coming up. I spun on my heels to face him and said vehemently, “NEVER!” He lost it. Apparently, I made a face.

Anyway, I didn’t actually say that but I feel it. I’m so over my family. Only Aunt Beth really tried to engage Evangeline or spend actual time with her. My mum and dad just sat around, acting inconvenienced, telling me what to do (as if they have any room to talk!), and just being horrible people to be around. My mum especially, though. I wish she’d go on pills–she’s so much more tolerable on pills! I can hardly stand to share air with her when she’s not, ugh.

I’ve only got three weeks left of maternity leave and one of those weeks the husband will be home with us, as he’s having the surgery on his deviated septum tomorrow. So, I’ll be nursing him back to health and taking care of Eva. I feel like I need a vacation after all the annoying family visits.

At least we have the in-laws… thank God for them! Father-in-law is completely enamored with Eva and has even taken to denying me her when she’s crying. He’ll instead just walk her around and talk to her, holding her high on his shoulder. She loves it, quiets down almost immediately, and dozes off. It’s adorable. I wish the husband had that ability. I left her with him to have a bath and she just screamed. Poor husband!

I still can’t believe the visits are over and it’s soon back to work. I’m also happy about the visits, mostly because it cemented the fact that I’m extremely glad I’m far away from my family and their toxic influences. Of course, my Aunt doesn’t count in this at all. My dad wouldn’t, either, if he hadn’t married Mum 2.0. Seriously.

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Right now I’m just trying to treasure all the time I have with Eva (even though she’s incredibly fussy lately) and try not to think about the shitty stuff. I’ve made a lot of progress in these past few months, not just as a mother, but as a person… so I’m proud of myself. Even my stupid family can’t take that away from me… at least, not anymore!

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Eva has started grabbing and gripping onto things. It’s so fun to watch the gears turn in her head as she tries to utilize her limbs. She’s learning and growing by the day! So hard to believe she’ll be three months on Thursday, yikes. I want to take more photos of her, so hopefully the husband will feel well enough to do that this weekend.

Sigh. I keep looking back and wondering where all the time went. Soon, I’ll be looking back on this thinking the same thing. Time is so fleeting when children are introduced into the mix. I never understood it before, but I do now. Buh.