Not even 5 months and she has already grown from this:
We are so in love with our daughter. While she has turned our world upside down in every way imaginable we can't imagine a life without her in it.
Your life no longer is about you. It's no longer about your spouse. It's all about this tiny baby. A baby that needs absolutely every thing from you. Every poop, nap, and meal is a micro managed event. I'm someone who has always treasure my "alone time" so this has probably been my hardest adjustment. I remember one evening when Millie was about 5-6 weeks old I told Seth to take Millie to his parent's for a couple hours. I went and picked up Cafe Rio, watching a couple episodes of Sex and the City - and felt energized. I realized that it had been nearly 2 months since I had any time at home alone. That's a big adjustment after 31 years of having a lot of time to myself.
Sleep has been the biggest trial. Wow. I miss sleep. I can't remember the last time I had a full 8 hours of uninterupted sleep. I think I was maybe 3 months pregnant? Those first couple of months are a blur. Millie needed to be fed every 3 hours. I was of course up several times a night. Luckily she wasn't overly fussy so I was able to feed her and she would go easily back to sleep. You also learn how to sleep hard when you sleep in 2&1/2 hour increments. On average Millie sleeps 4-5 hours at a time which means I am "usually" only up 1 time a night. It's getting easier but it is definitely still hard. I have also always been a big napper. Naps no longer exist in my life. If they do- they are rare. There are days after work where all I want to do is go home and rest. That is no longer an option with an infant at home. However, if I'm lucky, Millie wants to nap and will snuggle up in my arms so we can both rest our eyes.
While you are sleep deprived you find that your whole life revolves around sleep. It is a rare night that I am not getting into bed around 9:00. I know - I feel like an old person. I always thought we'd have friends over for movie nights when I had a baby. While I would love to - the knowledge that she will be awake between 1:00am-3:00am just makes it impossible. The earlier I go to bed, the longer stretch of sleep I will get. Sadly that means all of my alone time and time with Seth is out the window. Also movie night with friends is largely out the winidow. For now at least. I keep thinking ANY DAY she'll be sleeping through the night. Here's hoping. My life will change so much when this happens.
Adjusting to working has been tough. Staying home for 7 weeks during maternity leave was really difficult for me. I missed work, I missed being out of the house. I missed feeling busy. Now that I am back I find that it is just as hard - but in a different way. I constantly worry that she is eating, napping or fussing. I miss her so much that I must look at my iPhone pictures of her about 5 times a day. For the most part it's great being back but I do miss her terribly. I realize that if I was a stay-at-home mom I wouldn't feel quite as overwhelmed. When I am home I am able to keep up with the laundry, the cleaning, the errands. Now I feel like I have about 2 hours a night to do about 6 hours worth of work. I also feel guilty when I have to work in the evenings. I love KUER and I love our events but I do feel a lot of guilt being gone in the evenings. Learning to balance family/work will probably be a trial for the rest of my working life. Bring it! Plus it sure takes a lot of baggage to go to and from work these days.
Having a baby challenges your marriage too. There are days where I realize that Seth and I haven't really talked to each other. As I mentioned before I go to bed early. The days I do stay up to watch TV with Seth I end up falling asleep. It's definitely a strain. Keeping your marriage intact is a ton of work too. You are both overwhelmed and exhausted. We are so lucky to have willing babysitters. We rarely have to ask for a sitter. People often call and offer to watch her so we can go out to dinner and such. That's the key. Time away together.
Yet I don't think I ever felt as connected to Seth as I did when we had her. Millie's birth was the most amazing moment of our lives. For days I couldn't keep my hands off him. I just wanted to be near Seth. That experience bonds you in ways you can't describe. Raising a baby is certainly a team effort. I know I snap at him. I know we get frustrated with each other. But we both need to realize that we are just doing the best that we can.
Having a baby means life is no longer just about walking out the door. Going to dinner requires so much effort. You have to time the naps, the feeding, find a baby sitter, pack a diaper bag, drop off baby, go to dinner (and attempt to talk about something other than the baby), check phone 8 times during dinner to make sure baby is ok, rush back to the sitter to pick up baby, take baby home. Life is just a longer process now. She's worth it.
Ok gripe session ended.
Although she has turned our lives upside down - we are absolutely in love with her. As tired as I am, I still race into her room every morning just to catch a glimpse of that early morning smile she reserves for us.
I love her talking and cooing. I love her giggles and belly laughs.
I love that she will sit in my lap while I read to her. I love the way she kicks her legs and squirms when she gets excited. I love her new crab walk where she scoots around the room on her back.
I love giving her baths. I love singing to her. I love taking her for long walks. I love introducing her to the world. I love introducing her to food!
I love that even the most minimal milestones (rolling over) are a cause for such celebration. I love watching her eyes light up with excitement when she sees her toys.
I love helping her learn how to play.
I love when I get home from work at night she smiles at me in a way that makes me realize I am possibly her favorite person on the planet.
I love that when she is sick, she wants her momma.
I love that she has brought a world of joy and happiness to our families. I love that I have to send a picture text of her to my mom, sisters, aunts, etc. nearly every day.
I love that she is not even 5 months old and is already such a card.
She is so funny already. How is this possible? I love her expressions.
I love that when I look at her I see so much of myself in her. I just love her. More than anything in the world. She's amazing. I love you my sweet baby!