Monday, February 13, 2012

2 and a half months, + a week = 11 weeks

Woodrow is 14 and a half pounds. He's in the 90'th percentile. Bad at math? That means, 10 percent of babies are as big as him at his age! We have a little monster.

Our family went to Charlotte for a weekend, I went with Woodrow and Kaki to Atlanta for a weekend. Cloth diapers are fully under-way and it is so great. It's so much easier than I thought it would be, probably because so many people give you a look when you are pregnant and say that's what you're going to try. I even used them traveling on my own and had to wash a handfull in the tub in order to have enough for the last day of our trip. It was surprisingly easy, fulfilling, and maybe a little repulsive to one of our hosts... but we did it!

So many things are happening that bring me joy that I think, "next baby we have I may not have the time to notice these things so take note of it now".

I was thinking about all of the random things I wish I had been writing down as the last 11 weeks have gone by and I figured I'd make a couple lists just to get it out. More so than with pregnancy, things change day to day and week to week and I wish I was more in the habit of writing it all down. 

Favorite things:
  1. Having a baby in our home -Hooray babies! I look at all babies with a new appreciation. I never had any lasting thoughts or interest in all the little ones before. Now everything about them and parenting has color in a way that I feel like it only can being on this side of things. Our home doesn't ever feel empty with Woodrow here. It feels bursting with beginnings and life, especially when he's sleeping and I can stop and appreciate it all.
  2. Thinking about more babies - It blows my mind to think about how much love I could have for more children now that we have Woodrow. The few days after labor, I already wanted to go through it again, just not pregnancy. I think maybe 4 or 5 weeks later I started to miss pregnancy. Everything is richer with him here and if we'd had things our way, we wouldn't have had Woodrow right now, our two year mark is this coming July... God's sovereignty has amazed us through all of this. Sure, ask me again after the next one, but right now I wouldn't mind having 5 or 6. (Aaron would probably look terrified hearing these numbers.)
  3. Woodrow's smile -Melts my heart.
  4. The first hour of each day - Woodrow is most alert and usually can't stop smiling or coo'ing about who knows what. He's totally a morning person so far.
  5. Hearing from Aaron how proud he is of me - Best thing ever. It beats all of the other affirmations I could hear. Not all the time, but sometimes, it is a lot of work taking care of a babe and it doesn't require notice to feel great, but to have someone hug you and tell you how hard they see you working, or how much of yourself you give - it beats all.
  6. Woodrow's sleepy gurgles, squeaks, and whimpers - They have lessened since he was born, but boy did those sweet noises surprise me. Not only had I never heard a noisy new born sleep before, but who ever knew it could sound so sweet.
  7. The moments when Aaron and I are alone are sweeter than ever before - Maybe because they feel like a sort of calm in the middle of a tired, not so wild storm, but they are so peaceful.
  8. Woodrow Bright Buchanan - the name. It's so good. And suits him so well. Most common said word so far about him when he's awake "he's so bright!" or "he's so bright eyed!" Haha, maybe those are cliche baby compliments but it works.
  9. Scheduled feeding/sleeping times - Also known as "babywise". I did a little researching and most resources spoke negatively of the Babywise method. I have only read a little of the book and asked a lot of questions but the more I have learned and played around with, the easier EVERYthing is for us. Woodrow has become predictable and consistant, I can read his cues and he rarely cries anymore without me knowing pretty much exactly why. In the beginning, these things seemed so confusing to me because it felt a little chaotic making it up as I went along... but now I do feel super settled and like I understand my baby. Anyway, this is really exciting to me.
  10. Breastfeeding! - Totally hurt at first. Actually, for me, it kinda hurt a bit at the beginning of every feeding for the first 7 weeks I think. But I'd just bear down and get over those first few seconds. I was also engorged like crazy on one side. That was also painful sometimes and I didn't know that it could happen. It was a journey but its so great. Woodrow had a gunky eye at like 3 weeks and I read to put breastmilk in it and it cleared it up in a few hours. Weird and AMAZING. Also, someone told me the same works to help loosen snot when they are congested. We will see!
  11. Moments with friends sharing life - There aren't near as many girl-sit-downs this early in the game but I am so refreshed by them. I love sharing my wealth of experiences and struggles and going through them with other people with similar or super different things going on. This is kinda big and vague but its friendship, its more meaningful than it ever has been.

Hardest things:
  1. Lack of sleep - People try to warn you but warnings can't prepare you for weeks without being able to really catch up. When it's not getting to me, it seems to always be getting to Aaron. In all the time I've known him, I've never known him this way... it's growing and hard at times. We actually left town for a few days and Aaron still didn't feel caught up. We're very different. Now, all I need is 6 hours to feel like a new person.
  2. How fast he grows - People talk about that all the time too. I have been shocked at how big he is since he was 6 weeks old. I'm serious, 90th percentile folks! Big, sweet boy.
  3. The first time I got sick being a new mom - Wow, I really felt like I had it under control. All I had was a cold but I am such a fan of totally pampering myself when I don't feel good and that couldn't happen. It felt like a gamble to see if he'd sleep long enough for me to get anything done, much less, lay down. It only lasted 3 days but it took the rug out from under me. I'm already confident though, after that first one, the next time will be so much easier. It was just such a shock.
  4. The first time he got sick - 2 days ago he started coughing and I knew something was up. A friend said it was likely just some drainage and propping him up, keeping our home humid would help. The first night, he woke up with a horrible sounding cough, he'd choke then scream with frustration. It broke my heart and scared me half to death. I woke Aaron up but wasn't making much sense as I was crying and talking about urgent care and choking. Apparently it's a common virus but since he's so little, we just have to let it run its course and keep an eye on his temperature. It's the saddest thing to see someone so tiny gurgle, snore, and cough so much.
  5. Being responsible with my down time - All I want to do is hang out with people, look at Woodrow, sleep, or watch movies. I've started a couple crafts and cooked a bit, and I have been working a few hours a week since he's been born but none of it is immediately what I want to do though it does feel great to be productive. Don't ask me when the last time I read something on my own accord was.
  6. I feel guilty, a lot. - I find myself apologizing a lot to people that are helping me. I don't ask for help well it turns out and I don't know how to take it well I'm afraid. Same goes for getting compliments, that's always been awkward. I hope these things change because I don't want it to be rooted in pride.

There were a lot more things on my mental list before I sat down, so I'll hopefully be adding things.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

2 Months In

I've been experiencing so many new things and its flying by way too fast to make records. I really could use help. Woodrow is huge. He doesn't feel like an infant to me anymore. Even hanging out with older children, he seems so big to me. He is heavier and as large as a lot of our friends 6+ month olds. (He is 2 months and a week.)

His hands are big. His feet are big. His little body has leveled out to sweet, rolly, perfect proportions. Also, between sleep schedules changing and starting to make some sense, feeding all the time to feeding on schedule, loud baby noises, and alert eyes - new born'ness seems so far gone. Everyone thinks I'm crazy, and that's okay... maybe even preferred, but I already want another baby. I didn't feel that way immediately, but now I am confident that I would love it. I know it'd be hard but I am confident that it will be pretty difficult to adjust whenever it happened, so I'm thinking, the sooner the better while we're having constant humility lessons. Woodrow is amazing. Either people exaggerate about how hard babies can be, they are mistaken and it's just sleep deprivation that makes any task more difficult, or babies really can be super difficult and we are really, really fortunate. Woodrow seemed collicky a few nights maybe, that was stressful but mostly because I always start to stress about "what if this keeps happening?" "what if I never get sleep again?" .... so I suppose I am not easily stressed in the moment, I just start thinking ahead and it wears me out.

One thing that has been constantly on my mind since we had Woodrow is how fractured community really is. We were really impressed even with how our church community were dropping by with food and visiting in the last 2 months... it's been so great feeling supported that way. But it's hard for me to believe people would ever be overwhelmed, or burnt out with kids if they had friends and/or family really close. I mean stopping by all the time, walking to each other's houses. People helping out so much that you have to ask for time alone really. I am a big fan of alone time, but it's sad to me that people rarely have to protect alone time for any other reason than getting too busy with other things in their own schedule. I swear I am not somebody that wants people around all the time but I am confident that that's what true community should be. After having Woodrow, I also know what it's like to want people to step out of my home and give me time with my new family member and Aaron but it is sad to me that people get married, and sometimes before kids even come, they are hard to get ahold of... but then kids happen, and life gets busier. It shouldn't be hard to see people you love. We shouldn't all be so spread out and consumed with our own goings on. I guess I feel this way a lot because making time to go out and see people with a new baby is hard.. and I'm sure I will get the hang of it better... as a matter of fact, last weekend we went to Charlotte for the weekend (2ish hour trip out of town), and this weekend, Woodrow and I are in Atlanta (3+ hours) seeing friends. But without friends willing to just come and sit with me between naps, friends wanting to go to lunch, friends just showing up - it would be super hard to be involved in other people's lives and really easy to just soak up time in my home away from everyone. YES, there's good time for down time and nesting, but I don't think we should ever be far removed from friendship, encouragement, and accountability.

Wow, rambles.

That wasn't near as coherent as I'd like it to be but I am a little distracted and feeling guilty cause I am at a friend's house and trying to put down a few of these thoughts while they're fresh. (By the way, living in a house with 5 other women for a couple days feels strangely like it could work long term. ... I desire physical closeness and intimacy so much right now.) So much we've been experiencing is in the past and I can't believe how far away some of it feels. It brings me a lot of peace to recount the incredible things I'm going through, it brings me joy to look back at my writings and share them with people, and it encourages me when I start to feel crazy.

Anyway, this was a strange little post. It's super evident reading back over it that I am exhausted but most importantly, super in love. I love feeling like we're growing.