5 Months

5 Months

How is it even possible that my sweet little baby is already five months?! That’s just madness. Even though it feels like an eternity ago that I gave birth to her, I’m constantly stunned by how quickly she’s growing. Week to week, things change with her. She went from just sort of sitting in her bouncer or her playmat to actively engaging it. She’s gone from guilelessly swatting at things to moving her hands with a purpose and reason, rarely ever missing her target. It’s astounding!

She’s started sitting up, or trying to, at least. She put her hands in my Chinese food Sunday, which was hilarious! She even made a little growly noise when she did it, ha! The husband’s birthday was Sunday, so we did a bunch of fun stuff and had a good day. We ended it with a dinner at a fancy steakhouse–The Chophouse–which cost a ridiculous amount but was worth it because the husband was thrilled. Eva was a little fussy,  but she survived. I nursed in public (with a cover) again, at the table, and at the Chinese restaurant. I’m getting braver. Yay!

We took pictures of her in her cute Easter dress that my dad and his wife bought her, but she was fussy. I want to get some more of her outside, but the weather isn’t cooperating. We had a nice day Saturday, but spent it doing a lot of yardwork and whatnot. Evangeline did great and hung out in the shade. She sat in her bouncer and played with toys.

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She’s changed so much since the whole newborn phase. We’re pretty sure she’s started teething, as she’s gnawing on everything. Her sleep pattern is still all wonky, which sucks. I hate that she’s in turmoil, but I also kind of miss my “guaranteed” hours of relaxation in the evening, heh. But it’s all okay. The only real frustration I have is with the husband and we’ve discussed that–he’s trying to help out more.

It’s pretty amazing how much Evangeline has changed me as a person. All my old worries and anxieties seem so pointless now. While I still have social anxiety, it’s even more moderated than before. It’s barely there now. Everything just sort of pushed itself aside when she arrived. I still worry sometimes, and the husband and I are still stumbling through some things in our journey of trying to be parents… but overall, things are going a lot better than I anticipated.

I’m driving, I’m more independent than ever, and I’m not frightened, really, of anything. I’m sure I would have reached this point eventually on my own if I worked at it, but motherhood seems to have forced me to cast aside all my neuroses. Which is just fine with me! The bonus is I get this sweet little thing to brighten my days…

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We’re ‘officially’ visiting my family Memorial Day weekend. We’ll only be there Saturday through Tuesday. It’s going to be… interesting. I’m honestly not looking forward to it, but it is what it is. It’s necessary. I’m sure I’ll be happier once it’s actually happening… at least I hope I will. It’s important for Eva to meet the rest of her family, though. I definitely want her to meet my grandparents while that’s still an option. I’m just sort of over my dad and his ridiculous detachment.

Looking back a year ago, I’m amazed. I was sick and miserable; I was scared; I was uncertain. I begrudged every step forward. I cowered in fear of the unknowns that loomed before me. A year later and here I am, I could never have pictured it or imagined it. It’s so far beyond anything I could have anticipated. I’m grateful. I’m blessed. I try to remember that when silly things try to plague me.

We’re still battling sickness with Eva, which sucks, but it could be worse… so much worse. Eventually, it will end. Her immune system will beef up. Until then, it’s stuffed noses and coughs. Once she gets better, she goes right back to being sick, sigh. Again, though, I am blessed. It could be worse.

It’s amazing how your perception and priorities change once you become responsible for someone else.

Busy, Busy

Busy, Busy

Things have been crazy busy. Life has found a routine, but the days pass by so quickly! Evangeline is growing like a weed. She’s so much bigger now than she was when I started work just a little over a month ago! Even the ladies at the daycare commented on it. It’s so hard. Everyone says it goes by so fast, but you don’t truly believe it until it’s happening.

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She insists on getting up with me in the mornings. I try to get her to sleep longer, but she wants to be awake! We’ve adjusted to her going to bed at 6, even though it sucks. At least we get the weekends with her, even thought they’ve been exceptionally busy lately! Last weekend, we went to visit the husband’s extended family two hours away. We went to see his maternal grandpa, who is currently in an assisted living facility. He’s got late stage Alzheimer’s.

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It was tough to see my husband so broken up over the loss of the man he used to know, but I’m glad we went. He needed to go there and Eva definitely needed to go! Even if she won’t remember it, we’ve got pictures to show her when she’s older. We stopped by his maternal grandma’s and also saw his paternal grandparents, as well. It was a very long day for Eva, starting at 10am! We didn’t even get home until around 7 or 8pm. Needless to say, that wasn’t a great night for sleep.

Eva’s still not sleeping reliably like she used to. The regression isn’t hitting us as hard as it has others, but it still sucks. I hate that she’s missing out on sleep and I certainly have some rough days at work thanks to less-than-stellar sleep the night before! This, too, shall pass… so I try not to get overly worked up about it. It could be much, much worse!

We think she’s started teething, so that could be causing issues, too. Poor thing.

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We spent Easter with the in-laws, which was nice. The father-in-law smoked a ham and the food was pretty tasty! Eva always loves seeing them, so she was quite happy. We didn’t stay long, we got there early and then got back home in time to do some stuff around the house. Okay, the husband did stuff around the house… Eva and I napped. We were both pretty beat and she doesn’t nap well when her grandma insists on bothering her when she’s sleeping!

My dad and his wife sent us an Easter dress, which I’ll be putting her in this week. Putting an infant in a fancy dress is just torture, so we’re just doing it for pictures. It’s really cute, though! I may just have them double up as her five month pictures. Ugh. I still can’t get over her turning five months! On one hand, it means we’ve made it five months with breastfeeding… which is awesome! On the other hand, my baby is growing up so fast. :(

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The husband has really stepped up. I’m so glad he’s more involved now. I understand how difficult it must be to focus on a newborn, but for me, I didn’t have a choice. It was hard then, and I regret not doing some things better. I regret not setting aside my difficulties and just enjoying those moments with her. You really, truly have no idea how quickly they’re gone until it’s over.

We’re reading to her now and still trying to go forward with teaching her French. I’m not sure how well it’s going to work, but we’re trying! Evenings are filled with playing with her while also trying to get things done. Once she’s asleep, the husband and I relax. It’s a quiet, but good routine. Going back to work has made me a better mother, as I figured it would. I’m just not cut out for the stay-at-home mother gig!

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It’s so crazy to look back and know that at this time last year, I knew I was pregnant, but I had no idea that this sweet little face was growing inside of me. I was scared and miserable. I’ll never forget those rough first months, but I hope that I also never forget when I first saw her and those confusing, but exhilarating first moments that I held her. Those first days in the hospital, everything was just so surreal. I continually recommit everything I can to memory, hoping that it doesn’t fade and that I never forget the details.

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.

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.