1 Year

At Eleanor’s first birthday party this weekend I commented to Matt “this is our last 1st Birthday Party” he laughed and nodded. Obviously with that comment we have decided not to have any more children.
It’s an odd moment, for the last 3+ years my life revolved around babies, having them, raising them. Now with my youngest child moving away from babyhood so will my life.

There are things I am going to miss about not having a baby, but my life will also start to get easier. Ellie is able to have whole milk, so there is an end in sight to pumping and eventually nursing. I am really looking forward to the end of pumping each day. As Ellie gets bigger it will be easier to go places do things, like seeing my friends who aren’t local, or going shopping.

I can really feel my life changing. I am going to suppose it’s for the better. Either way my girls are really amazing.

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reconnecting with old friends and surprise!

I know this is totally a stereotype that I’m falling into but I never expected to have the life I do now when I was growing up. AND if someone had told me where I was going to end up I would have laughed, and possibly freaked out. (I really didn’t think I wanted to be married and have children, but how many people in their teens and early 20’s know what they want like that?)

Recently I reconnected with a friend from elementary school. We were updating each other on how our lives turned out, and I was happily surprised to hear how well things have turned out for her and her family. In updating her on where I ended up, I was a little shocked to read what I typed. While writing to her, I had mentally fallen back into the person I was when I knew her a little bit.  The shock I had been from looking at my life from the point of view of a much younger me.

I believe she was also a bit surprised. We had once been extremely close, at least I thought we were. I didn’t realize she had not met my youngest brother, for instance. We were no longer friends at that time, but I had just assumed that she had because both my brother and this friend are so tied up in my growing up. (even if I was already grown when my brother was born).

Its odd to look back and forgetting where and how the pieces of your life fit together. I thought that only happened when you reached old age. Now I am realizing that it happens when you reach motherhood!

Reflecting on Ellie

Smiling
this baby LOVES to smile at you when you smile at her!
Sleeping:
Eleanor has been a sleepy baby from the first day… I remember the first morning after she was born, I woke up and she was sleeping in the hospital bassinet next to me. I waited FOREVER for her to wake up (it was forever in baby time, an hour and a half). She just lied there sleeping so peacefully, and I waited for her to wake up, if nothing else to just nurse! (Shes a very efficient nurser, she eats and is done. And she wont nurse whenever, or all day, ONLY when she wants to. I could put her to my breast but that doesn’t mean shes gonna nurse, it means I’ll just be over full!)
Anyway a few weeks ago (Eleanor was a little over 1 month old) I had her on her play mat on the floor. Dorothy was also playing with her toys on the floor next to us, and I was trying to give both girls attention. Dorothy was getting frustrated with a toy, so I gave her my full attention for about 5 minutes. I turned back to Eleanor, thinking I would shake a rattle and make her smile, but she had fallen asleep!!! She was just lying there, on the floor surrounded by toys to stimulate her mind and entertain her, and she fell asleep in the midst of it all.
No fuss to fall asleep, not need to nurse to fall asleep… going to sleep just so easy. I was amazed.

Playing

A day or 2 ago, Eleanor was feeling fussy. She didn’t want to be put down. I needed to finish dinner, and I couldn’t put on the Ergo. (Most of the time I would put her in the Ergo but it was out in the car and I wasn’t able to get it in time). So I put her in the infant seat. Shes getting annoyed and is on the verge of crying, and I put up her kick toy, and I watched as her face went from unhappy to super happy! It was so cute! I watched as her mood changed instantly.

Baby Weight

Ugh, I so need to lose the baby weight. I don’t really have any clothes that fit me and I only fit into one pair of jeans, which I wash and wear everyday. It’s more annoying than anything because its hard to feel comfortable when I go out of the house. I know the baby is only almost 5 weeks old, and I haven’t tried to lose the weight yet, but this I think is one of the hardest parts of having a baby. I can’t wait until she is 2 months old and can stay in the baby sitting area of the gym, so I can exercise! At least I’ll feel better about wearing what I have if I know they are temporary.

A change of view

It’s funny how the way you see the world can change instantly. With the birth of Eleanor, the way I saw Dorothy changed. Dorothy took on a new look, she went from being this tiny child to me to being so big! She didn’t really change but my interpretation of her did. She was suddenly heavy to lift, and so active in a way I didn’t realize before. She is so busy, and talks so much! Eleanor is a sleepy baby, very relaxed. Nothing about Dorothy really changed but I changed. I took on a new perspective, I had her sister to compare her with.
I know many parents feel anxiety over having to split their time between two children before or once the second child arrives. I was no different, and still worry about giving each one enough attention. I worry that because Eleanore is so small and un-demanding with my time and attention I ignore her. Once those feelings and thoughts hit I give her my full on attention. Which leaves me to worry about leaving Dorothy hanging. She was so used to being the center of my world and now that she’s not, I worry she will suffer in some way.
I am aware that these feelings will even out as we all get settled in (which has been made harder over the last 3 weeks due to my being sick). I am also aware that my hormones are affecting me significantly. The knowledge of these additional factors should reassure me that everything is fine and normal. But the irrational side of my mind takes over more often than not.
As of this moment in time though, with both girls fast asleep, safe and happy, I feel peace, which is the feeling I will hold on to when my irrational fears pop up.

mastitis

its a b%!*#. It’s painful on my breast, hard to move my arm on that side, and gave me a very high fever. It makes my skin itch, and leaves red spots around the breasts. This is not easy. Anyone who has had it will sympathies, and understand that I wish I could skip over the hard part and just get to the easy part of nursing, where the baby latches on easily, I produce enough milk for her and don’t have an over abundance and there is no more pain or sore nipples or engorgement. Nursing a baby isn’t easy anyway you look at it, it’s a lot to take on but additional problems such as this makes me understand why women give it up. There was a recent article in TIME that talks about women who give their babies breast milk bottles only. They don’t nurse, they pump. I pumped when I went back to work with Dorothy, and that was not easy either. Pumping takes a lot of time, and it also ties you down. But I understand why women are doing it. You pump when you need to, no sore nipples, or bleeding nipples no engorgement worries (which might be a reason for getting Mastitis), if you over produce it can be saved in the freezer for up to 6 months. There are more options with breast milk bottles, if you work or need to leave your baby, and they take a bottle you can do that. I go to grad school, and will have to leave Eleanor soon, and so that means starting her on a bottle. She will get a bottle twice a week, and I am very comfortable with leaving her with bottles. This does not make my job any easier though, since she still has to be fed, either by nursing or by bottle. And at 2 am, lying down with Eleanor between me and Matt to nurse is much more relaxed then getting up and putting a bottle together for me. But only for me…

One heck of a week

This has been a very eventful week… just not in the way I thought it would be! My due date is today, but no baby yet. This has been such a crazy week! It started out ok, nothing to eventful monday… but every day after was some type of something!

Tuesday: call from the Dr saying I missed my appt. My reaction: “WHAT?? Seriously?” turns out that when I got a reminder call last week they stated the wrong day and so I wrote down the wrong day! Ugh, I had to drive all the way to Troy (45 minuets away) for another appointment.

Wednesday: This middle of the week day was anything but boring! Preschool registration day, which means getting to the YMCA at 7 am for the 9am sign up. We got there right at 7 to sign the list, and we where #53 or something at 7 am!!! Some people had been there since 5 am waiting to enroll their child into preschool. We got one of the last spots of the class I wanted Dorothy to be in. It was not easy waiting with a 2 year old, but thankfully only minor meltdowns occurred. After the stress of preschool registration, I went to the chiropractor (hoping to kick-start labor, didn’t happen!) and on the way home got into a FENDER BENDER! This teenager ran into me at a stop sign! He freaked out when he saw this big pregnant lady waddle towards him. He started to hyper ventilate and then almost cry! Not what I expected, I felt so bad for him. Thankfully the car was not damaged, Dorothy and I and baby were ok… the worst I think was that I got knocked out of alignment! Matt came home to tell me he was laid off (very common and expected in his line of work) but still stressful. The timing is good though, since he’ll be around for the baby’s birth. And then I had class until 9pm… it was a LONG day.

Thursday: Nice morning. Matt went to Open Gym, where he was the star of the day. The kids LOVED having a Dad run around with them and play ball and everything else. I think he got a little overwhelmed, lol. Other then that it was a nice day, dinner with my grandparents, which is always nice.

Friday: Finally got to see the midwife this week. And nothing. Just “we’ll see you next week. but hope we will see you sooner!” yea me to. SO ready to have this baby… did get several chores done. Lots of driving to find a 25 ft garden hose so I can have a water birth should I want one.  My knee swelled up (pre usual) and twisted my ankle.

Now I’m awake in the middle of the night waiting, hoping and praying to go into labor… eating ice cream, which is making me sick as soon as I’m finished eating it. This week would be topped perfectly if I could just finish it off by having my daughter!