Feb 1, 2013

Confessions of a First Time Mother- How I survived the first year.

Now that my son is a few days shy of  turning one, I thought I would come clean. Confess all of my deepest darkest secrets, memories, and well, things I feel are worth mentioning.  Being a first time mother/parent is super hard, but super duper rewarding. In order for both of us, no all three of us, the hubs, baby and me, to survive these past 12-months, corners had to be cut, books had to be burned, advice had to be ignored, improv needed to be had; our parenting style needed to emerge.

This first year was such a roller coaster ride, with loops, drops, tremendous hills to climb and of course hands-in-the-air sheer joy, but it took the following to make it all possible... (Oh, and feel free to judge me, but don't bother telling me, because I won't give a shit.  Have you seen my son?  He is a happy, super sweet and uber intelligent bad ass! Everything I did, was necessary to create the incredible baby and family unit that I have today.)

Look at that sweet face!


  • I barely remember much from the early days. I remember being tired and constantly living in fear of SIDS (Cot Death).
  • I would have given up on breastfeeding if it were not for FTD cheering me on and urging me to continue for just one more day, sometimes one more feeding.
  • I still don't love nursing. I love not dealing bottles or formula, but I don't love feeling tethered to my child.  
  • I drank my first beer when Oliver was 6-weeks old. I drank it right after I nursed him per my lactation consultant.  It was the best beer of my life.  Dragon's Milk was the name of it if you must know. To this day, I have not had more than two alcoholic beverages in any one setting, I am terrified of getting my baby drunk. Test strips for breast milk or not, it is just not worth the risk to me.
That's right I took a picture.
A good friend bought the beer for me-I promised her I would send a photo.
I pumped a bottle, poured the beer, took the pic and enjoyed!
  • I fed Oliver rice cereal in an expressed bottle at 6-weeks old, because I wanted him to sleep through the night. It did not work. At all. Oliver did not sleep through the night routinely until he was 11-months old. Thank God I didn't know that back then, I think I needed the hope that,"Tonight will be the night he sleeps 8 hours," to get me through the rough, "Please God, make this child sleep," days.  Knowing he wouldn't would have sent me to the padded room.
  • We started Oliver's bedtime routine at three-months. Solids-bath-nurse-bed. Every night. Yes, I gave my son a bath every night, not always soaped up and scrubbed down, but water on his butt and balls no less, and we played, splashed and laughed the whole time.  We always follow up bath with a great baby lotion.
  • We never co-slept with our baby.  It scared the hell out of FTD.  Oliver slept in his crib the night we brought him home from the hospital. Of course FTD stood over him, staring for 48-hours straight.  Seriously, he never let him out of his sight.  He was so proud, and SO scared of SIDS too. Sometimes I would be too tired to get up and nurse, so FTD would bring Ollie to me. We would both fall asleep after nursing, then FTD would sneak Oliver back in his crib.  He has slept every night of his life in his crib.
  • We lived in such staggering fear of SIDS we took turns watching and checking on Ollie around the clock for the first 6-weeks of his life. 
  • I washed all of my baby's clothes in special baby detergent the first few times, then bought regular dye-free and that worked even better. Not-to-mention, cost half the price!
  • I was a weeping mess around my 3rd or 4th month.  I was sure Postpartum Depression had taken hold of me.  I saw a therapist, talked through my pain and fears and over came.  I cannot recommend that enough!
  • I have struggled with losing my baby weight. Did I say struggled?  I mean, tried/halfassed/prayed/made excuses/worked out/failed and made empty promises. I am 34 and losing weight is a bitch.  I will do better when I am no longer nursing. <--- Those are my top two excuses I'm using now.  Bottom Line: It takes work, hard work and time, I don't have  am not taking the time to make it a priority. I have serious regrets over this. And if I get pregnant again, I will try even harder to keep the weight off, because it will be easier to keep it off, than get it off.
  • I have had to set Oliver down in his crib and walk away to catch my breath and regain my sanity on multiple occasions. The days at home are long and trying.  And when he didn't want to take a nap and I wanted him to, so bad, I would set him down, walk away, calm down, create a new game plan and then get back in the game.  
He is so awesome-
Even when he is not following the nap time rules
  • Parenting is frustrating as hell. From day one.  
  •  FTD and I fought hard at first.  My hormones, his fear, and our different ideas about parenting made things very trying at times, to say the least. We yelled at each other, I yelled mostly. All while standing over Oliver.  He is still happy and wonderful.  If you do this and are worried, don't be. I had other mothers tell me they did it too, and it made me feel better. Eventually, FTD and I found our groove, and I got some sleep.
  • My proudest achievement in my life, next to growing and birthing Oliver, is nursing him all the way through.  I did it.  I l DID IT!!!!!!  At 2-months I had no faith I would make it to 12-months.  I DID IT!
  • We suck at Cry-it-out.  Now that Ollie is a year and is terrible at getting himself to sleep, I regret that decision not to CIO earlier.  I am going to have a hell of a time weaning from this poor decision.  
  • I have strived to feed Oliver only all natural, organic, low sugar and salt foods.  I am obnoxious about this. Thank God FTD is not, and yesterday snuck him a super sugar cereal, AND he survived. There has got to be a balance in this child's life!

Daddy and Baby Balancing

  • It is so important to have realistic expectations. SO important.  Babies are resilient and will go with the flow. Unfortunately, at first I was not going to bend or flex, I had ideas, and eventually learned, they were wrong. This was my hardest lesson. 
  • Every baby is different. Comparing my baby to any scales, trends, or other babies was so incredibly stupid. MY baby is awesome because he is who he is and developing perfectly.
  • I need a break, a long one.  I want to run away.  I want to be young again.  I want to sleep, and drink and be irresponsible.  I want to live one day without the fears of motherhood. The anxieties of life. However, after a couple of hours away from my son, my heart aches.  I love him so much, that life without him scares me more than I can allow myself to process.

Yep, that's me, 4-months pregs!
Kidding...
This was taken a few years ago 
NO fear then.

  • In the heat of the moment, I followed my gut, not the books, advice or standard fix, and it pretty much worked every time. Moms, you and your baby know what is best, don't apologize for going with it, and most of all, don't second guess it was the right thing to do. EVER
I'm so proud!


That's it, for now.  Cheers to another 12-months! While I am no longer a new mom... I am still a First Time Mom!




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Disclaimer

My husband and I are clueless first time parents. We are far from childhood development professionals. We cannot and will not be held responsible if you take us seriously, especially because we don't even take ourselves seriously.



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