Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Baby H: Two Months of Mark

He...

[+] weighs 11lbs (18%) and is 22in (9%) long with a whopping 39.25cm head (70%). We think his arms and his legs seem so long all the time but apparently he's a shorty still. And we're keeping our fingers crossed that massive head of his means he'll have lots of brain power!

[+] smiles and coos and chats up a storm and it is seriously the best thing ever! His little personality is so fun.

[+] had a pretty decent rash going on for about a week which prompted a visit to the pediatrician. It seemed like hives but it progressively spread from his chest/stomach to his neck and arms and coincided with some changes in feeding habits which is why we felt the need to go in. Thankfully it was nothing, most likely a contact dermatitis, that we aren't sure the cause of but it seems to be getting better and we're watching what we put on him from here on out.

[+] realizes he has hands which means he's started putting his fists in his mouth and rubbing his eyes when he's tired. He has a seriously strong grip which means anything is fair game at this point. Most commonly grabbed items include my hair when it's down, my shirt when he's nursing and his paci right out of his mouth.

[+] has outgrown basically everything newborn size. We've transitioned to size 1 diapers and everything in newborn size clothes is too short except onesies. We might have a skinny green bean on our hands.

[+] is back to sleeping in his room for the last week after we moved him back into our room for a few weeks. We were told by a lactation consultant that sleeping in the same room on a different sleep surface for the first few months reduced the risk of SIDS and when someone tells you something like that you can't exactly ignore it. However this little boy makes so much noise in the middle of the night that one evening we just never moved his rock n' play into our room after his last nap and we haven't looked back.

[+] is a very hungry little boy and hates when he's fed on "slow speed". Nursing is that much more complicated because I have to quench is thirst quickly and then allow him to take his time which means switching back and forth between sides multiple times until he's satisfied. Whatever it takes though is fine with me.

[+] impressed the doctor with his head control while sitting and his standing skills. She said he has three-month level control of that massive noggin of his and that he stands better than a four month old she saw earlier in the day. Now just to work on that dang tummy time because he still hates that.

[+] nicknames are still Marky and Monkey with Baby Boy and Buddy thrown in too.

[+] likes: his paci, baths, bearing weight on his feet, the sound of the fan and dancing with mom.

[+] dislikes: being too hot, tummy time (but it is getting better), napping in his crib and putting on lotion.
I... 

[+] am starting to figure out the balancing act that comes with being a full time student while also being Mark's momma. It's complicated and I'm tired a lot. There's also a lot of guilt that comes with leaving him to go to class or spend time upstairs studying when I'd rather be loving on my sweet boy but I always know he's in the best hands and am thankful I can conquer my own dreams at the same time.

[+] am wearing all my old clothes now but some of them sure do fit differently now post-baby. Bottoms are all totally fine but tops are actually the challenge now. Thanks to new nursing boobs and a bit of a lower belly pouch still I've been sticking to a handful of shirts that don't make me feel blah. Good thing Christmas is coming up because this momma could use a few new wardrobe pieces.

[+] cannot wait for the holidays this year, even more so than other years, thanks to this little boy being in our life. He has no idea what's happening and what holidays even mean this year but I can't wait to celebrate with my new little family and start some traditions to carry on through his life.

[+] went my entire pregnancy without finding a single stretch mark only to find a single one post-baby after things have started going back into place. Thanks to my lovely decision at age 18 to get my belly button pierced I am now bearing a super odd looking stretch mark/scar/old piercing in the place of a piece of jewelry. Even though I took out the ring years ago, my teenage decisions are still haunting me. Ha!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Baby H: Maternity Photos

It seems like forever ago that I was pregnant, little Mark still safely tucked in my belly. And it's crazy to look back at that ever growing belly of mine as I almost don't even remember how pregnant I really was. I don't know if I was in denial about how big my belly got or if the gradual growth over three-quarters of a year just sneaks up on you. And goodness gracious, that belly button!

Regardless, I am so thankful J and I decided to have maternity photos taken, to look back on a time that will never happen again. Sure I might be pregnant again someday but it'll always be different. It will never be my first pregnancy again. It will never be my Mark-bump. It will never just be J and I again. Time is so fleeting these days and I cherish the images Amber was able to capture during such a momentous time in our life. Now if only I could decide on which to print, because I'm in love with them all. Enjoy!









all images c/o Echo Images 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Being a Momma

Mark made me a momma. 
And being his momma has been so much better and more rewarding that I ever imagined. But it's also so much harder and more stressful that I ever thought possible. 

I find myself doubtful all the time. Is he getting enough to eat? Am I loving him the way that I should be? Are we creating bad habits that will be hard to break? Every decision, every choice we have to make for this little boy is something that I contemplate far too long about. Pacis? Scented lotion? Bringing him in bed with us? Taking him out in the cold? How can I possibly know the answer to every question all while be responsible for every choice that I make.

I beat myself up sometimes that I'm not being the perfect momma for him. I have gotten too frustrated when his crying can't be soothed and sometimes find myself crying right along with him. I've dealt with a starving baby who refuses to nurse leaving me feeling more defeated than I've ever been before. I hate leaving him for hours on end when I have to be at school because I should be the one at home to nurse him, to sing to him, to snuggle him. We don't have the relationship that I hear some moms talk about. He doesn't instantly soothe in my arms after crying with someone else. Is that because I'm not around enough? Or is that because he's a high-needs baby? He doesn't nurse to sleep, ever. Does that mean he's still hungry and I'm failing him? Or is he just ready to play with a fully belly?
Being a momma is tough. It's hard work, physically and emotionally. I'm tired and I find myself feeling like I'll never get a full nights sleep again. It's constant and I battle between wishing for a break and feeling guilty when I wander down an extra aisle at Target just to spend a tad more time out of the house on my own.  

But the thing is, I wouldn't trade it for the world. Mark is my son and the second best thing that's ever happened in my life shortly following falling in love with his daddy. He is bits and pieces of each of us, combined into this perfect, screaming, feisty, smiling little boy and I would do anything for him. The love that I have for him has surpassed my greatest expectations and makes all the tears, all the heartbreak, all the sleepless nights so, so worth it. 

I would move mountains for you, baby boy, if it meant that you were happy.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Currently [v8]

Well hello there! I promise I'm still alive. Let's check in and throw in some pictures of Mark for good measure shall we?

Reading: articles on bleeding disorders, leukemias & lymphomas, and dysfunctions of spleens. Glorious I know but as is the life of a medical student. Throw in a bit of recap reading from Babywise: Giving your infant the gift of nighttime sleep to make sure I'm not totally blowing the "schedule" we're trying to set for the babe with some Brown bear brown bear and Where's spot? and it's all sorts of fun reading around here.

Watching: a surprising amount of recorded shows from the DVR with my hubs. I assumed that once the baby came there would be absolutely no time for such thing but we've actually been able to keep up with our favorite shows. On the queue that we both enjoy is Scandal, How to get Away with Murder, The Blacklist, and Law & Order SVU. Throw in some Chicago Fire and 19 Kids & Counting for me and the list suddenly seems extraordinarily long. Whoops.

Listening: to J make jokes with Mark downstairs and it warms my heart to hear their little conversations. J is the best dad and I can't wait to watch (or in this case, listen to) their relationship grow. Also listening to the Rockabye Baby! station on Pandora because it's actually quite fantastic.
Loving: that Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away and that Christmas is right around the corner. This has always been my favorite time of year, the festivities, the celebration, the family time and this year is no exception. Not to mention we have our little man to include in the traditions this year. Now if only I could convince my scrooge of a husband to hang some Christmas lights outside (and I promise not to turn them on until December!) then I'd be in seventh heaven.

Hating: the freezing cold weather (aka negative degrees) that decided to show up all of a sudden, my post-baby body (this changes day to day, todays a hate day), the fact that I don't have regular doctors appointments with my OB anymore (because I actually really like her) and spending time away from my sweet little boy.
Drinking: water, water and more water. With the occasional Vanilla Porter thrown in for good measure. They say dark beer helps with milk production and I just so happen to love it.

Wearing: my typical mom-med-student-uniform. Yoga pants with the top unfolded to hold in my still squishy belly, a tank with a nursing bra underneath, a sweatshirt because I'm always cold and a headband because this unwashed hair is out of control.

Needing: to start getting back into a workout routine but where oh where to fit that in is the problem. It's been months, probably at least 5, since I've used my membership at 24 Hour thanks to the end of pregnancy making me feel miserably huge and then the fact that we now have an infant. But somethings gotta give at least occasionally. J has a pretty decent set up of weights in our basement that I need to take advantage of. I'd also love to stop by the actual gym for a treadmill/elliptical workout on my way home sometime soon and start making a habit of it again. They say working out gives you more energy and goodness knows I could use that on the daily!
Feeling: generally happy, truthfully. Sure there are rough days and rough moments. Like sobbing in bed at 4am while nursing Mark because I have never felt such exhaustion before. Like fighting with my husband because we're both at our whits end and can't catch a break. But then there are moments of goodness, a 4 hour stretch at night, the flash of a gummy grin from a sweet boy, a compliment that turns your day around, a test score that proves I really can do this all. Life is definitely hard right now but I wouldn't change it for anything.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Thankful v12

Lately I've been thankful... 
[+] for future best friends in the making

[+] for wedding rings that finally fit again even if I had to force them on
[+] for starting to finally feel like myself again, pre-pregnancy jeans and all

[+] for gummy grins, milk comas and baby coos
[+] for help, encouragement and success especially in the brestaurant department

[+] for the chance to still chase my dreams, even if it looks a little different now
[+] for grandmas, their love for their grandson and all the help they've been

[+] for mini shirts that only have 3 buttons
[+] for growing up and experiencing life with some pretty fantastic friends

[+] for selfies with my handsome, best-man husband and slow dancing at weddings
[+] for an awesome deal on a new dress that literally cost me $1

[+] for bath time calm and a sweet smelling baby
[+] for the ability to be at home on occasion throughout the week to kiss these sweet cheeks

[+] for crossed ankles while Mark nurses
[+] for Sock-ons, because they keep his socks on, genius

[+] for belly laughs that bring tears to your eyes and simple little joys
[+] for a little boy who's growing by the minute

What have you been thankful for recently? 

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