11.09.2016

10 Month Motherhood Update

weekend recap, itsy bitsy indulgences

Every time I sit down to type this post, I am amazed at the changes that occur over a month. What seems to be a permanent change in the moment, is a fleeting stage…. just when I think I have her all figured out, she goes and gets older. All that to say, motherhood is a journey, one that I am new to, but one that I am learning, has so many amazing rewards…..

motherhood update,itsy bitsy indulgences

General Thoughts/Feelings: This has, hands down, been my favorite month yet, for so many different reasons. I felt as if we were in a good groove, Harper’s development and engagement was just so fun, and our first Halloween together probably helped a bit….

Whereas last month I was concerned about some of the regressions I thought we were having, this month I recognized that they were just stages… like so many of you encouragingly let me know (thank you so much by the way!). I think I realized that is how much of this motherhood journey is…. two steps forward, one step back, three steps forward. I realized that, while we were in the middle of a slight sleep regression, little miss was soaring in her physical and cognitive development… as the sleep regression began to level off, I recognized so many milestones she was meeting… standing on her own (albeit a little wobbly), mimicking our actions (clapping + waving are her favorites), and developing her little personality (sassy as it might be….). I often don’t so well with the unknown (I know….doesn’t bode well in this momma role) so little setbacks make me slightly neurotic (just kidding…. slightly).

All that to say, I felt much more confident in my role as a mother this month, and that felt good. I’m not saying I didn’t have doubts… or that I didn’t have days where I handed Harper off to TJ at the end of the evening and retreated for some much needed me time… but, I’m coming to realize that comes with the territory, and I’m starting to be okay with it all.

motherhood update,itsy bitsy indulgences

Feeding/Sleeping: Last month, I talked about how I thought we were in the middle of a sleep regression…. and in the middle of top teeth cutting through. After about a week of middle of the night awakenings and difficult naps, we seemed to settle back into a sleeping routine. I adjusted her nap schedule (basically made them shorter) and her evening sleep seemed to return. Thank goodness…. I remember being so worried and having no clue what was going on… scouring the internet for an answer (anyone else do that??)… When everyone told me it was just a stage and that it would pass I didn’t believe them….but then, it did pass…. and I realized, again, that it was a stage. Harper’s new schedule includes two, one hour naps (sometimes 1 hour and 15 minutes, all depending on the day). She takes her first nap around 10am and her second nap around 2:45/3pm, then goes down around 7:30. It seems to be working right now, so we will roll with it for a while.

Feeding, particularly nursing, was my biggest challenge as a new momma. Last month, I made the decision to begin the weaning process… and as of last week, we were officially finished. I was a ball of mixed emotions during the entire process. As each feeding was dropped, I felt a sense of relief…. then, in the next minute I felt incredibly guilty…. all while little miss was moving along swimmingly (I think that’s how most mother guilt is…. one sided, while the little one is completely fine). Going from being a baby who refused a bottle, to being a baby who reached for the bottle, I considered it a small victory. My nursing journey wasn’t how the pamphlets and videos portrayed breastfeeding…. but I would do it all over again for another little stinker.

I weaned by dropping one feeding a week, to ensure that Harper was emotionally okay with it. While I was dropping feedings, I wore cabbage leaves to reduce engorgement. When it came to dropping the last feeding, I wore the cabbage leaves longer and self expressed in the shower to prevent blockage. It worked really well, and at the end of last week I was back to fitting in my pre-pregnancy bras (TMI???). Harper is currently using this formula (for those who are interested) and we continue to use these bottles (which I swear by).

We’ve also been doing a lot of experimenting with solid foods. Having visited the pediatrician and after doing research on this site, I decided to become more adventurous with little miss, so not to create a pick eater. She eats curry, loves blueberries (I slice them in fourths) and avocado, and has an affinity for salmon. We have family dinner around 6pm every night, and she eats what we eat (with the exception on a few foods). Towards the end of the meal, Captain (our fur baby) ends up getting some loving scraps from Harper who thinks it is hilarious.

motherhood update, itsy bitsy indulgences

Body/Fitness: With each passing month, I start to feel like my pre-pregnancy self. Yes, there are still jiggly parts (like in my thighs + belly), yet, I’m feeling so much better than I have in past months. I continue to wake up at 5:30am everyday to fit in a workout…. aside from the physical benefits, it’s something I see as an investment in myself, and my family. I feel better when I work out, and therefore I’m a much better momma and wife.

Something that I remind myself of, when I get a little down about certain areas not being as toned as they once were, is that my body was the site of a miracle. I carried, birthed, and fed little miss for a combined total of 19 months. WhileI was getting ready the other day, I let the magnitude of that sink in…. and felt proud of my body for what it was able to do…. All that to say, TJ and I have decided that 2017 is the year for me… no trying to get pregnant, no carrying a baby, no recovering from birth, or nursing… and I’m excited for it… for the opportunity to just be and enjoy my little family. I feel very at peace.

motherhood update,itsy bitsy indulgences

Relationships: With little miss taking the bottle, a lot more freedom is allowed in our marriage. TJ and I enjoyed our first date night since she was born, and we thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it… we dubbed it #ParentsGoneWild. I mean, does it get any better than sipping a little vino with your boo, with uninterrupted conversation? Yes, I didn’t think so. Can you tell we had fun? I think this is another area where I feel a little more freedom. My relationship with TJ has always been paramount, and while we always enjoy our company whatever, wherever we are, it’s nice to be able to escape the role of parents… if only for a night.

My friendships continue to bless me. Just when I feel alone in an experience, a girlfriend validates me and makes me feel normal again (whatever normal really is). I have been going to MOPS for the past couple of months, and it’s always nice to be around other women who are going through the changes like I am… and very validating!

motherhood update, itsy bitsy indulgences

Favorite Moments: I never know where to begin with this, usually because there are just so many moments that made my heart warm, or just provided me with so much laughter. I loved our date night…. and then seeing her face light up in the morning when we saw her again. Watching her stand for increasing amounts of time, and her excitement at this new skill, makes my heart melt. The fact that she says “mama mama” + “dada dada” intentionally. Her little attitude that is developing (favorite moment??? Or most challenging moment???)…. and watching her preferences develop… she doesn’t like to lay on her back without something to play with, when girlfriend gets hungry she goes into hangry status with fake cries (so, we’re really working on those “more” + “please”signs….). Taking her to 4 houses on Halloween and seeing her in her little costume….. Her new twerking dance skills to pretty much any Michael Jackson song (have you seen them on instal-stories??)…. I mean, I could go on with favorite moments…..

motherhood update,itsy bitsy indulgences

Favorite Products: As she gets older, I continue to discover new products that help along the way….

1. Fridababy NailFrida The Snipper Clippers: Little miss is on.the.move. So, when I go to cute her nails I’m always nervous. These have been a lifesaver!

2. Bottle Warmer: I credit this puppy for getting my frozen breast milk to the exact temperature little miss needed it at in order to take the bottle.

3. “Grass” Drying Rack: I love this rack to dry out the bottles… it’s super easy to clean, and it’s not an eye sore on the kitchen counter.

4. Boon Flair High Chair: So, I had this highchair on my registry, and really had no clue what I needed in a highchair when I registered for it. It was too big for her initially, and I relied (and loved) my BabyBjorn highchair. It was just the right size for her…. yet, as she has gotten bigger, she has started to outgrow that one and we’ve turned to the Boon Flair. We love it. It’s on wheels so we can maneuver it anywhere in the house. The pieces that need to be cleaned are easy to remove and wash off. In a nutshell, it’s a great option!

5. Pat The Bunny Book: This is her favorite book, by far. She chooses this book 9 times out of 10, and loves feeling all the different textures.

Comments

  1. Kiersten says:

    Loved reading this! How did you transition your little one from breartmilk to formula? I am trying to begin supplementing a little but my little miss just gags on the formula! Any tips are much appreciated, thanks!

    • Shannon Pulsifer says:

      Thank you! I started giving her a little bit of the formula at a time and increased it little by little over time as she became more comfortable with it… so I would offer her the bottle (maybe 1-2 oz) before nursing. This was the formula that worked for her best, as it is made for sensitive babies. I hope that helps!!