Saying goodbye to babyhood

It’s the end of an era. Or something less dramatic. But the time has come to stop breastfeeding Liam. Many of you may be thinking, geez you’re still breastfeeding that kid?! Well, long and short is.. yes. Several months ago I easily weaned him down to once a day. We were able to substitute his morning nursing with a warm sippy cup of milk with honey. And then any time he would sign “milk” and pull at my shirt during the day, I would again get his cup of milk or water and distract him with a book, puzzle, or truck. So we were down to just once a day. But the nighttime feed seems to be here to stay. It has just been so easy to let him nurse for a few minutes, fall asleep in my arms, and then place him in his crib, where he proceeds to sleep through the night until 8 or 8:30 the next day. I selfishly had a fear that by giving up the bedtime nursing, I would lose the happy sleepy baby that lets this mama get 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep at night. So yes as of this post, I am still breastfeeding my sasquatch child. But that is all about to change. After a lengthy discussion with my fertility doctor this morning, it was determined that I need to stop breastfeeding Liam in order to move forward with any further fertility treatment.

For those of you who have been pregnant while nursing, or tandem nursed two children,  I know what you are going to say. Yes it is safe and yes it can be done. But for a thirty-five year old with “diminished egg reserve” who is ready for baby number two and seeking very expensive fertility assistance, I want to make sure I eliminate any tiny little thing that could cause things to go wrong. And in some cases breast feeding can lower your prolactin levels. And (sorry if this next part is TMI but we might be past TMI by this point) my doctor said my uterine lining looks thin which could be due to lower prolactin levels. And ya gots to have that thick plump uterus for baby making. (Or so I’ve been told).

And so now, before his baby sibling has even been born, poor Liam is having to learn the lesson of sacrificing for your younger sibling. A lesson, as both a younger and an older sister, I am all too familiar with. Nineteen months that started out as the most awkward, painful, and frustrating part of motherhood turned into the sweetest, calmest part of our day and it is now coming to an end. Each day Liam is acting and looking more and more like a toddler and less like a baby. The few remaining bits of his “baby-hood” seem to be quickly fading away.  Besides the fact that he still craps in his pants, he will have no more “baby” left in him. (And lets face it, that doesn’t count because nobody is sad when the days of poopy diapers come to an end).  But I know it will be the right decision. And not just for future baby number two, but for all of us.

So all that being said, with the exception of literally leaving Liam for a week and letting him cry himself to sleep with someone else, I have no idea how this is going to work. Any tips or recommendations for night weaning a 19 month old?? I am up for trying just about everything. Leave a comment below, I would love to hear what everyone has tried!!

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I loved you even then

Dear Liam,
Today, my darling, is your first birthday. You are exactly one year old. I cannot begin to explain how much your daddy and I love you. You have brought such a wonderful, magical presence into our world. We love you so much. And you must be thinking “wow, a whole year. that’s a long time.” But sweet boy, I have loved you so much longer than that. When you were still in my belly, Daddy and I would lay in bed and watch you kicking and moving. We were so in love already and dad even said how silly it was to love someone that we’d never even met. I told him this and I’ll tell you now:

When I was a little girl, I would always play house and day dream of having a little baby that I could cuddle and take care of. It with you that I was daydreaming about. I loved you even then. When I grew up, I decided on a career where I could work with children and help children learn and grow. I thought of how I would one day help my own child grow. I thought about you. You see, I loved you even then. When I met your father, it wasn’t soon before we were talking about our wishes of having a family. I pictured him holding hands with a sweet little boy. It was you that I saw. I didn’t know at the time, but I know now. It was you and I loved you even then. As you know it took us a long time to find you. On the day we lost our first baby in my belly, we were so sad. But as I lay awake at night, I thought about you. I knew you were out there. I just had to be patient. I loved you so much even then. And then when the time was right, you arrived. The doctor placed you on my chest and you looked up into my eyes like we’d known each other for decades. The year that followed was filled with so much joy. And yes there were also sleepless nights, stuffy noses, blistered gums, toothaches, ear infections, and chapped nipples. But through it all, I loved you even then.
Okay now I’m done sounding like a bad country song. So let me just tell you how honored I am to be your mother. What a wonderful adventure these past 365 days have been. Thank you for a wonderful trip around the sun.

Love, mommy

11 months of night time snuggles

IMG_3954.JPGWatching your child grow up right before your eyes is so bittersweet. On the one hand you feel such a sense of pride and delight with every new milestone. But then there’s also a feeling of sadness when you realize your snuggly, newborn baby ceases to exist. As if overnight he was replaced by a very large toddler. And you love that toddler, don’t get me wrong.  But where did the baby go?

After 11 months of co-sleeping with us, Liam is now sleeping through the night in his crib. You’re probably thinking, great! Right? That’s “the goal,” isn’t it? Well yes, I’m no longer shoved in bed between two snoring dudes. I have regained feeling in my right arm that was once lost from being wedged all night under a 20 pound baby. And there is now a larger window of opportunity to start making baby number two. So there’s that.

But on the other hand, I actually miss having Liam in bed. I miss those mornings waking up to his sweet little hand on my cheek. And laying on my side nursing while all three of us fall back asleep. And although I cursed and whined many times at 3am while on an all night breast feeding session, there is something nice about knowing that in that moment, I was the key to his happiness. It gave me a sense of purpose.
But it’s been 11 months now and we no longer share one big family bed. Cosleeping was something that we said we’d “try” and I honestly had no idea it would last this long. Transitioning him to the crib happened when we realized he could climb out of our bed on his own. So he would wake up and see the freedom that lies beyond the mattress and he was off. Doing whatever destruction an 11 month old can do at 7am. So we decided to try the crib and he actually took it well. He no longer lies next to me in bed and touches my cheek. He no longer calls for me to come rock him back to sleep. My baby. My baby that needed me so much, and was so helpless for so long, is growing up. That’s life, my friends. Don’t blink.

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why I let my baby watch tv

img_0637I’ve read all the baby books. All of them. When I was pregnant, I obsessed over these books and wanted to make sure I knew “all the facts” before the baby came, to the point that I started referring to Dr. Sears as if he and I were old chums. And although there are some big differences in what you read in these different baby books, they pretty much all agree that too much television is not good for a baby’s growth and development. So before Liam came along, I invested in tons of handmade naturally organic wooden toys, non battery operated learning tools, and a collection of children’s books that would make even Barnes & Nobles jealous. I thought I knew it all. 
img_0633Then came reality.  Now, at 11 months old, our morning routine is usually the same: wake up, change diaper, eat breakfast, and then play in the sunroom until it’s time to leave for Story Time or a play date. He explores his toys and flips through his books independently, giving me the chance to check emails, order the groceries, feed the dogs, and try to create something that resembles a decent hair-do. But then there are some days like last week. The days Liam is “mama, mama, mama” all morning, clinging to my leg, and protesting all the toys that I have set out for him. And don’t get me wrong, I will soak up all the baby snuggles that I can get! But sometimes there are things that just have to be done.  So that’s when the TV comes on, my friends. My saving grace is that this kid of mine loves music. He dances to songs on the car radio, my off pitch jingles, and even the sound of the phone ringing. So when I put YouTube music videos on the TV it changes his whole demeanor and he is suddenly in his happy place once again, giving me just a few minutes of hands free time to get some of the chores done.img_0634I know I have said it before but I will say it again. When it comes to parenting, we are all just surviving. I do agree that we should be following doctors’ recommendations, but sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do. And just like people who are dieting should be allowed to eat cake once in a while (or 3 krispie kreme donuts, but who’s counting), the same applies for raising a child. Every once and a while you need to eat cake. Metaphorical cake. Do I let him binge watch hours and hours of SpongeBob? No. But sometimes we sit on the floor and watch YouTube music videos and singalongs.  I have no idea what it’s doing for his brain but like I said, we are in survival mode people. So for all of you mom’s out there who may be wondering if you are doing the right things, the answer is probably yes. So put on some tunes on the television, let your baby zone out for a few minutes, and go face plant onto the shag carpet next to him and breath. You got this! And I’ll be over here doing the same!  xxoo Priscilla

Liam’s onsie: Etsy.com

my bad ass, baby making, postpartum body

img_3172Some days I’m so unaware of my appearance. I’m so engrossed in Liam’s needs. Does this baby have his socks and hat on? Did he eat enough yogurt for breakfast? Did I pack enough diapers in the diaper bag? As for me, I’ll just throw on a baggy sweater and a pair of yoga pants and maybe if there’s time at a traffic light I’ll swipe on some mascara. But then there are days like yesterday when the bag boy at Harris Teeter insisted on walking me out to my car because “it’s our policy to help all pregnant ladies out to their car.” Yep…. definitely not pregnant. And then last weekend when I got so frustrated because I couldn’t find anything in my closet to wear to Will’s work party. And then Liam screams in the car seat for 30 minutes during the drive home from said party.

So I decided in that moment that I was sucking at this post-partum life of mine and I had a little cry sesh in the back seat. I eventually took a deep breath and started singing Michael Jackson’s “Smile” while stroking Liam’s hair until finally he stopped crying. And as I looked down upon his sweet sleeping face I remembered what really is important. So yes I had to wear high waisted, stretch leggings under my dress to the party. And yes, almost 10 months later, I still have a little extra weight in my midsection. But you know what? Just ten months ago this body pushed out a very large baby and this body has been breastfeeding a growing child. My body is sustaining a life. Like for real, like a honeybee makes honey, I am making a product. And it is feeding a child and keeping him alive.  How freaking crazy is that?! (#science) Sooo I guess, I can deal with clothes not fitting by body because holy moly my body can do such crazy things. It’s pretty amazing what a woman’s body can do. And I’ll never forget how blessed I am to of had the opportunity to be pregnant, deliver a healthy baby, and then breastfeed for as long as I have. Something that I thought I may never be able to do. So the next time you see a new mom out there rocking her postpartum body, don’t comment on how she looks or how much weight she’s lost or hasn’t lost. Instead congratulate her on being a bad ass, baby making, milk producing rockstar. Because we women are amazing and let’s never forget it!
img_3148And yes we are still obsessed with the yellow maraca. 🙂

Bad Dreams

The other night Liam woke up crying with what I can only imagine was a bad dream. He had the saddest little cry. It was horrible! Who knows what he was dreaming about? (Will thinks he was dreaming that my nipples disappeared… Wierdo.)  So anyways, he wakes up with this bad dream, in the saddest cry that you ever did hear, and I quickly rolled over and rubbed his back. After a minute or so, he let out a big sigh and let his body sink down into his pillow, and was soon back asleep. As I lay there for the next few minutes, I got to thinking about what just went down. Now for this to make sense, you should know that Will and I co-sleep with Liam.  Some people call it “co-sleeping.” Some people call it “bed sharing.” And some people call it crazy. Whatever you want to call it, I thought a lot about it that night.

Now quick disclaimer: I totally do not judge people for different parenting styles. I understand that each momma has to do what they have to do.  In this journey of newfound parenthood, we are all in survival mode. But hear me out on this. This tiny little being, with his who-knows-what thoughts flying around in his constantly developing brain, was shook to his core and woke up in a panic. And then suddenly he was able to hear me, smell me, and touch me with his little arm before the bad dream turned into a full screaming cry. I get so sad thinking of him waking up, scared, and finding out that there’s no one else in the room? That’s scary for me and I’m 34 years old. And I am not an expert in child development, but that has got to be everything to this little man. He is learning that he doesn’t have to cry his heart out before someone comes running.  In these 6 short months, I really think he has built a trust in us. I can already see it being carried over to other moments in his life. Like when I drop him off at grandmas, or sit him in the middle of the sea of babies at story time, or walk into a crowded room full of new people with him on my hip. He is confident, happy, and most importantly, trusting. Maybe this is just his personality and we got lucky?  Maybe the co-sleeping and attachment parenting has something to do with it?  Either way, hopefully I can be there for him for many more years of bad dreams. Or as long as he’ll let me 🙂

img_2425I’m interested to hear if there are other mommies and daddies out there who do bed sharing or attachment parenting. Do you find your babies have become more trusting of new people? how long do you plan to co-sleep? I’d love to hear from you! 

 

 

we’re exactly where we’re supposed to be

This morning Will woke up at 5:00am to use the bathroom and he woke up the baby. I, of course, over reacted and snapped a nasty remark to Will. Because after he came back to bed, I then was awake spending the next hour and a half trying to rock/nurse Liam back to sleep. And as I lay there in the wee hours of the morning watching Liam kick me in my ribs, flip over onto all fours, and babble “glub-glub-glub” over and over again, I suddenly hear Liam let out the loudest baby fart that you ever did hear. Will and I both giggle and it was only then that I realized that my poor husband, whom I had just snapped at, was also awake this entire time. I felt horrible for my reaction and quickly apologized. Liam’s little early morning farting session was the universe’s way of saying “chill out Priscilla. Nothing is worth getting your panties in a wad.” And perhaps we’re all exactly where we’re supposed to be. Wide awake at 5am, in a king size bed, surrounded by the men of my dreams, who are now both equally good at making me laugh. Sometimes, even with their farting.image