Wednesday, November 25, 2009


My little monkey is nine months old today!! It's so hard to believe that time can move so quickly, but it does. He is doing so much now. He's cutting his first tooth, he's starting to let go of things and stand for a few seconds on his own, he's cruising along all the furniture, and he is crawling so fast!! Just a few weeks ago he was hardly doing any of these things. Well, he was crawling, just not so fast. I guess that's just the way of babies, changing so quickly.

Which brings me to the subject I want to discuss in this post: Sam's first three months (a.k.a. my fourth trimester). Actually, to me it felt like this time lasted more than three months; more like four. I lived ten hours away from any of my family, and although my husband's family lived in the area, they were absolutely zero help. One of his sister's baby-sat Sam for a few hours so J could take me out for my birthday once because we asked her to. That was it. His mother is dead, so she's excused. Anyway, my mom was there for about 2 weeks after he was born, and she was a HUGE help! I don't know how we would have made it without her.

I was determined to breastfeed my baby, but his suck was weak, and my milk had not come in. He had lost too much weight at his 2 day weigh-in, so I had to see a lactation consultant EVERY - OTHER - DAY for about 2-3 weeks!! Add to this that I had ripped during my delivery, so I was in a lot of pain. We had to struggle to wake the baby up every two hours to eat, and it was a struggle. He did not want to wake up! Then, he cried so much when he finally did wake up, it broke my heart. It took him at LEAST 45 minutes to eat each time, and THEN I had to pump afterwards to try to get my milk production up. So, I was getting almost zero sleep. I was not a happy camper. I hadn't even really wanted a baby. I had done it for my husband, because he really wanted one. After an unpleasant pregnancy and childbirth and a horrid first month, I was totally against having any more children. I was certainly not enjoying the one I had. I felt as though I could hardly function. I was enjoying motherhood about 5% of the time.

By month two my body was feeling somewhat better, and my milk production had picked up. I stopped going to see the lactation consultant because I just could not take it anymore. They were mostly nice and helpful, but they and the pediatrician kind of kept me in a panic about the health of my baby, and it seemed to me that he was just fine. His poops and pees were absolutely normal, so I took this as a sign that everything else was going to work itself out just fine, and it did. One thing that totally kept me sane was pumping my b
reast milk, and saving it so that someone else, mainly J, could feed the baby part of the time. Sam loved the bottle and the breast, and he still takes both just fine. By now I was enjoying motherhood more like 20% of the time.

On to month three. The main problem we had with the baby by now was the sleep issue. He wanted to stay awake until after 3 a.m. every night. J had started a new job selling insurance and Sam's sleep habits made things very difficult for us. I had read that you should pick up the baby whenever they cry so that they know their needs are getting met, and they learn to trust you, etc... So, anytime that he would wake up (usually around midnight or 1 a.m.) we would go get him from his crib and he was ready to be up for a few more hours. It was exhausting. Also, he wanted to be held all the time. It seemed like anytime we set him down in his bouncer or bassinet he cried. He was only happy if we were holding him. This was equally exhausting and meant that my dishes only got done once or twice a week and my husband only got microwaved food for dinner. By now, Sam was smiling regularly, and this was very endearing. He also would pooch his bottom lip out when he was getting ready to cry (see pic below) which was the cutest thing I had ever seen. I got some rest on trips we took to my parents, where they would keep Sam in their bedroom each night, so that J and I could sleep. I went back from those few trips we took during those first months feeling so refreshed. Regardless, I was really feeling like life was hard at this point. Still no interest in having any more children. I was enjoying motherhood about 40% of the time now.

By month four J was laid off work, spring had FINALLY come to the frozen land of Wisconsin (it was May), and we started making Samuel "cry it out" at night. Making him cry it out when he would wake up at night was really hard at first. My husband had to turn the monitor off and distract me, and even physically restrain me a few times. My baby crying tore at my heartstrings. But, eventually, it worked. He would hardly cry at all when we would put him in his crib around 11 or midnight, and he would sleep about six hours, wake up for a feeding and sleep for several more hours. I was feeling much more rested. He still cried to be held ALL THE TIME though. We had to bounce his bouncer with our feet to keep him happy in it, and he wouldn't even stay anywhere else unless we were right there with him, entertaining him. But, this was the month I finally started to feel part of the human race again. I was enjoying being a mother about 60% of the time now, and things were going pretty good. I thought other children MIGHT be a possibility far in the future.

So, back to present day. Things took a huge upturn whenever we moved to Illinois with my parents. We get so much more help now from my parents and our church family that I enjoy being a mother about 95% of the time now. Those first four months gave me such an empathy for new mothers. You just never know what someone's going through until you've been there. Next baby, I'll be more prepared, mentally, physically and emotionally.

The three blessings I'm thankful for today are: 1. My shoes and purses. I Love shoes and purses, especially my beautiful Coach purses and shoes I got for my birthday this year from my wonderful parents and hubby; 2. food. I may have a food problem, okay, I definitely have an overeating issue, but I'm so thankful for the wonderful abundance of food that we have in this country. We are a blessed nation, which leads me number...3. The USA. I really love this country. I think it is the best country on earth. We have our problems and are fixing to have more if this administration gets everything done they want to, but every country has it's problems, and I think America is a wonderful place to live!