Sunday, November 2, 2014

Mom of Two - Two Weeks In

This morning marks two weeks since Amy was born. It actually feels longer, because time hasn't exactly been flying by. Each day presents a challenge of some kind. Here's a breakdown of our victories and struggles. I'll start with the bad news. 

Struggles & Challenges: 

Potty training backslide. I knew this was probably going to happen. Our living room smells like pee right now, because I can't seem to get the carpet completely clean. We started up sticker incentive again, and I even have a big incentive for Daisy if she can go a whole day with no accidents, but I don't know if she understands the concept of going a whole day. 

Zane's School Schedule. Zane went back to school the next day after Amy was born. He actually had two tests that day. His weekly schedule has him away from us for over 40 hours, which doesn't include studying. I miss him a lot these days. 

New Town. We've been here about six months, and I still feel like the "new kids." I've made a few friends here, but I miss my friends in Orlando, because of the closeness, history, and ease of conversation. Making friends takes work and vulnerability...and time. 

Baby Blues/Extra Emotional. I didn't have any baby blues with Daisy that I can remember (other than my letdown sadness). I've already had a handful of emotional breakdowns with Zane, but I think they're triggered by all of the above and intensified by my post-partum emotions. I don't lie around sad all day, but every few days, I get hit with sadness and nostalgia that results in me having a good cry. 

Zane has been very strong, patient, and understanding for me. Yesterday he hugged me during my emotional unloading, which made me start sobbing, and Daisy jumped on the couch saying, "It's okay, Mommy" over and over and wiped my face. 

I look forward to the day that these hormones level out! 

Victories & Blessings: 

Breastfeeding. Amy latched on right away after birth and has been eating like a champ. I was engorged a little throughout the last couple weeks, but I strategically pump after certain feedings (about 12 hours apart or longer), and now I think we're getting into a good balance. 

I started with demand feeding, and after my milk came in, I started focusing on Amy getting full feedings. Then I started writing down when she ate and noticed that Amy had put herself on a 3-hour schedule. It's not always exactly 3 hours, but she's in a good "wake-up, eat, stay awake, sleep" pattern.  I'm not a die-hard Babywise mom, but I like some of the basic concepts, and that pattern is one of them. I didn't force it on Amy; she kind of did it on her own. 

Help and Generosity. My mom stayed with us the first week, which was invaluable, especially since Zane went straight back to school. She cooked, did laundry and dishes, played with Daisy, and helped me get to my appointments that week. She was basically our live-in Grammy nanny, and I couldn't have done it without her. 

Zane's mom helped us the next week (I got to take an extended nap one day!) and will continue to do so. We've also had some of our new friends bring us meals. It's very humbling and encouraging to see the body of Christ helping us out. 

God is teaching me a lot about humility and helping others. I was pretty caught up in my own life in Orlando and didn't think I had time to let new people in. Now that I'm the "new person," I'm SO grateful for people who have let us into their lives and reached out to help us. I want to be that person from now on. 

Also, my new MO is going to include bringing a pack of diapers to a new mom when I bring them a meal. Let's start that trend, okay? I know I'd appreciate it, and I'm thinking other moms would like it too. 

Sleep. Amy started going 3.5-4 hours between feedings at night, and the difference in my feeling rested is huge. I've also been able to get at least a 20-minute nap during the day too. Hopefully we can extend that as the girls' schedules get synchronized. 

My favorite days are weekend days, when Zane is home with us. I'm trying my best to enjoy this squishy, newborn phase with all its sleepless nights and emotional breakdowns. I'm also looking forward to the future day when I'll feel capable to go outside with both girls. 

I love my family so much. 

I think the most powerful (and kind of sad) thing I've learned is that you don't know what you've got until it's gone: 1. free time when you don't have kids or only have one kid and 2. long-time friends living in the same city. But, I'm also learning some character-developing lessons that I wouldn't have learned if I weren't in this particular stage of life. God has good things for me in every stage. Plus, the trials and testing of my faith in this stage develop perseverance, so I can be mature and complete (James 1:2-4).

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