04.08.2016

Motherhood: 3 Months

itsy bitsy indulgences

Yes, I missed my 2 month motherhood update (one month here). I also missed taking Harper’s 2 month picture. #momfail or #reallife? I’d say more #reallife. No, I wasn’t negligent. I celebrated her birthday (… sang her happy birthday and put her in a cute little bow)… I just forgot the little detail… ooooops (and to be fair these photos were taken at 7 weeks, so….).  In all honesty though, I didn’t post my 2 month update because I hadn’t felt much had changed. We were still waking up in the middle of the night (or is that considered early morning??) and finding our routine. Let me say though, what a difference 3 months makes. I was thinking this morning about the irony of “the first three months.” The first three months of pregnancy are touch and go. So many things can happen and you just want to make it to the 12 week mark (please don’t hear me discounting that things can happen after that point though) so you can breath a little. Well, same with these last 3 months. I simply hoped we would all be alive at the end of it (just kidding…. kind of). We went through shock, we went through transition, and then routine began to settle in.

General Thoughts/Feelings: If you had asked me in the first two weeks if I liked being a mother (and I was asked this question….) my response would have been “yes???” Let’s be honest, those first two weeks month are not a cake walk (those are simple and the prize at the end is pretty tasty…). Yet, as we moved out of the first month we began to settle into a rhythm. Now that we are at 3 months I can honestly say that I do love being Harper’s mom. As her personality began to develop and the smiling and cooing started to surface, I found my heart melting more often than wanting to pull my hair out (yes… I wanted to do that multiple times… thankfully I didn’t). I love our little morning routine of nursing, floor time, and reading time. We head out in the afternoon for a little adventure, and return in the afternoon for a nap and I get a little bit of “me” time. I have found that to be key… I make a point, daily, to shower, put some make-up on (unless it’s one of my make-up less days), get dressed (stretchy pants are perfectly acceptable if I so desire), and get out of the house. Struggles? Nursing is a job. Period. In the beginning I wasn’t sure I was going to make it very long. It was so demanding and being exhausted didn’t make it easier. Yet, I’ve found that as some feedings have dropped (i.e. middle of the night) nursing has become easier. It still has its difficulties… recently she refused to take a bottle, so we are currently working on that to provide a little more flexibility for me (as in… I can be away longer than 2.5 hours).

I read a quote somewhere that said:

“You were a risk, a mystery, and the most certain thing I’d ever know.”

If you followed along during my pregnancy updates, you’ll recall that I was nervous… scared to become a mom. The unknown was the hardest. Yet, as I reflect on the past 3 months, I couldn’t imagine not having her in our life.

itsy bitsy indulgences

itsy bitsy indulgences

Sleeping/Feeding: I consider us very blessed in this area, as Harper is a good little sleeper. When we brought her home from the hospital, I started her on a sleep schedule (Baby Wise, Baby Whisperer were books I referenced). It wasn’t always easy, but the schedule worked for her.  At one point I was a little concerned about dropping evening feedings and consulted with a sleep coach, who provided a wealth of information and helped to tweak our schedule. We have established two main naps during the day, and two times where she takes some “cat naps” and this allows us to head out and run some errands or grab a bite to eat. We’ve established an evening routine that includes a bath, nursing, song/prayers, and then bed by 7:30pm. She generally sleeps soundly until 5:30am, when there is some fussiness, but she then falls back asleep until 7-7:30am, at which point we start the day. This last week we had some sleep regression, but it looks like we are coming out alive! Scheduling doesn’t always work for everyone, but I have found it to work so well for our family. I found that this swaddle was very helpful in helping her sleep longer durations. We also used this “bassinet” as it had been recommended by multiple friends… and I’d have to say it worked wonders.

itsy bitsy indulgences

Life: It’s funny, TJ and I were talking at lunch the other day about how this time last year (and the past 5 years) we were preparing for our big trip. Lots has changed, but for the better. TJ and I say that having little Harper has given us a deeper purpose in life. Don’t get me wrong, it was amazing doing whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted, however we wanted… yet, having another life, that we created together, that we are raising together, provides us with an additional purpose. We have committed to each other to get away once a month (with our first trip here) and are heading up to Napa next weekend. We have talked a lot about the values we want to instill within her, what we want her to observe, and the example we want to show her…. which is a sense of curiosity and adventure… we want her to feel loved, and to see what a healthy and loving relationship looks like. I try to make choices that help her to see that women can be strong and vulnerable at the same time… and how to make healthy choices to take care of yourself. We both know that she can’t conceptualize or internalize these concepts for years to come, but we start now in hopes that it has some small impact on her little experiences.

With her being able to sleep through the night, TJ and I have been able to resume our Friday evening routine… a delicious dinner, a little wine, music, and conversation to connect after the long week. That was something I was scared would go away… and I’m so happy we have committed to maintaining that. As a family we try to get out and explore on Saturdays… a family run or hike, a day trip to LA, or just visiting a spot we haven’t been to locally.

Are there times when frustrations run high? Um, yeah! Parenting is hard. As first time parents it’s all trial and error… and when it’s an error, it’s not always easy to be roses and unicorns (right??!). I’ve realized more than ever the importance of effectively communicating our feelings, frustrations, and concerns, so they can be addressed and dealt with then and there. The support we get from one another is paramount, so when one team member is down,  we time-out to re-group. It’s been an amazing experience to watch TJ as a father as well. He is such a generous and loving husband, and witnessing him give that to Harper, as a father, is so special. He takes an active role in her nighttime routine, is constantly trying to make her laugh, and always wants to be there when she wakes up.

I also consider myself truly blessed to have immediate help. Since Harper is not taking a bottle, certain activities have been a little more difficult… like getting my hair done. Thankfully, I have my mom who happily brought her and picked her up from the hair salon so I could nurse and get my hair done. If I need to run a quick errand, my mom and sister can watch her. I have loved seeing how they interact with her. I love seeing my parents become grandparents… and I love seeing my sister become an Aunt.

itsy bitsy indulgences

itsy bitsy indulgences

Post-Pregnancy Fitness:  The minute I was cleared to resume physical activity, I started. I began small with at home videos (read about those here) and have since progressed to long weekend runs/hikes and have started BBG (bikini body guide… I still kind of chuckle at the name). I love that the workouts are under 40 minutes and that most can be done in home. This week was the first time I started to feel like things were pulling together again. You can read more about my post-pregnancy body musings here.

I find that nursing leaves me hungry. All. The. Time. So, I really make a concerted effort to keep “clean eats” around the house, drink lots of water, and listen to my body. My main goal is to feel strong and confident in my skin again… I don’t necessarily need the 6-pack abs (but if they decide to show up I won’t complain either).

Favorite Products:

Me: I’ve been loving simple tees (with a twist), distressed denim, and sneakers. When I want to dress it up a little I toss on a white blouse and a cute pair of flats (come in 4 colors). For lazy days, I live in these leggings (multiple colors) or vintage pants, with this cozy sweater.

Harper: She has been so alert to her environment as of late and is loving these rattles. I also use all Honest Company products when bathing her, and she sleeps so soundly in these onesies. I’m also loving these etsy shops: The Sparkle Boutique (how cute is the pineapple onesie??), Little Bimbo (the flamingo leggings… too cute!), and The Bee and The Fox.

itsy bitsy indulgences

itsy bitsy indulgences

itsy bitsy indulgences

Photos by Taylor Cole Photography 

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