Monday, August 31, 2015

two months

during the second month of your sweet little life you finally figured out that you like me. and that you like me better than anyone else in the whole world. when you were first born, you were daddy's girl. daddy gave the best snuggles. daddy calmed you down the quickest. daddy had the big warm hands that rubbed your belly just right. now you are all about mommy. you still love staring at daddy and being snuggled in his arms. but your favorite place to be is in my arms. this is heart warming all of the time except when i have to pee or when i'm so hungry.

we also learned to endure the cries to teach you how to fall asleep at night. daddy thought i was the biggest baby bully to let you lay there and cry. but you were safe and warm with a full tummy and i knew you'd be all right. you're a total champ at bedtime now. nap times are still full of cries. but i'll take a happy bedtime baby over a happy nap time baby any day.

you are a pretty chubby little baby and people love to comment on what a big girl you are and what lovely hair you have. and you are so cute and chubby. you have a double chin and thigh rolls and even chubby arms. you are basically so squishy i can't even stand it. it's amazing. and you have always had the best baby hair. so soft and long. you still can't decide if you want to have black hair or brown hair but daddy and i are still crossing our fingers that you'll have black hair like me.

i have loved staying home with you these last two months. i can't believe our time together, just you and me all day long, is almost over. it makes me so sad. but i know that ultimately you belong to God and he just allows me to take care of you and be responsible for you. so i'm trying really hard to trust him to take care of you and be your truest parent while i'm at work and can't snuggle you myself.

you are turning into such a happy little baby. you are still so serious most of the time. but you smile and giggle now and it made your mommy and daddy cry little happy tears the first time you had a giggle fit. you have turned us into those people that take a million pictures of you doing the same thing because we just love to look at you and tickle your belly and kiss your chubby cheeks.

you are so loved, little panda. and i'm so lucky to be your mom.

Thursday, August 20, 2015


when i found out i was pregnant...well first i was pretty much devastated. pregnancy did not fit into my type "a" plans. but then my desire to control basically everything kicked in and i became super concerned with doing the right things the right ways. so obviously i assumed several things about the coming months. i would do everything in my power to gain as little weight as possible. i would make a plan and stick to it no matter what. i would enjoy the slow days of staying at home with my little human. i would nurse.

then life happened and i birthed a human and all my plans got turned upside down. 

i really thought that certain aspects of motherhood would come naturally to me because i am naturally pretty motherly. what i didn't consider was that i've considered nursing on my top 3 least favorite ideas for the entirety of my adult life. i totally forgot all my personal opinions as the "breast is best" propaganda infiltrated my plans for the #rowenugget. i wanted her to have the best possible nutrition that i could give her. i wanted all those bonding feelings that nursing is supposed to bring. i assumed that it would come naturally and that i would love it because i was her mother and that is how it was supposed to be. 

so imagine my disappointment when only days into the #rowenugget's life i was crying at the mere thought of nursing. nothing was going as i planned, least of all nursing. the harder i tried to enjoy it, the more frustrated i became. with myself. with my baby. with my body. i tearfully told G that i didn't think i could keep it up. i was literally dreading the time i spent with my baby nursing. it wasn't helping me bond. he lovingly suggested formula. which made me cry even more. shouldn't i want to keep nursing more than i wanted my body back? shouldn't i be willing to sacrifice my happiness for my daughter's nutrition? what kind of monster was i? 

plagued with guilt i kept going for two weeks. two weeks of crying onto my daughter's face multiple times a day. two weeks of feeling like motherhood wasn't meant for me. two weeks of dread. i had switched to "pumping exclusively" thinking that would give me the freedom and peace i was so desperately craving, but i hated that even more than nursing. i felt like the biggest failure in that target aisle picking out the organic formula and washing the bottles that weren't meant for use. 

i felt selfish. i felt sinful. i felt full of fear. i felt guilty. i felt ashamed. i was a failure. i was giving up on something that i was meant to do. i felt like i was failing my daughter. 

of course none of that is true. as G so kindly reminded me, our someday adopted child will be a formula baby and that doesn't mean i will love them any less. i was a formula baby and i'm perfectly healthy. and my desire to feed my baby well and enjoy my time with her is just as important as anything else. and being a happy and whole individual is important to be a good mother. nursing does not a mother make. 

i'm laying it all out there because when you google random bits to help you regain some sanity there's not a lot out there in the way of support for formula feeding. there's a lot of shaming. a lot of "hang in there, it gets better", and a lot of "do it even if you hate it". 

there are moments i'm still covered in guilt and shame for giving up on nursing. there are moments where i wish i could have hung in there...for her and for me. but that is not our story. and when i snuggle her close and feed her and stare at her beautiful face, i know i love her and that my decision was made in love. there isn't dread anymore. 

and there's this...

G doesn't have a lot of experience with babies. but he's found his way pretty easily. he changed the first diaper and has basically done everything and anything for the #rowenugget. but for the first two weeks he just had to watch me cry every time i fed her. the silver lining to my failure to nurse was the ability for G to feed her. and then he got to watch me feed her and smile for the first time while feeding her. and man, God showed us his goodness in the form of a Dr. Brown's bottle and a carton of The Honest Company formula. 

but more than a story about boobs versus bottles, this is a story of grace. whatever i face. whatever you face. God is there holding you, cheering you on, and guiding you to the right choice. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015


i am a good six weeks into motherhood making me an expert on absolutely nothing.

the one major thing that i have learned so far is that sometimes you have to eat your words and all your well-made plans and just live in the moment and survive. i don't have an easy baby. and that's totally okay. she's sweet and lovable and the best little person ever. it's so good to be with her. but it's not easy. and when it's 3 am and no one is sleeping and G has to get up to go to work in 3 hours you will rock that baby forever so that the other parent can sleep.

speaking of not sleeping. i'm doing this newborn thing caffeine free. i haven't had coffee in over 4 years and guess what. i haven't given in despite multiple days where i thanked God that i actually slept for 3 hours. total. 3 hours total. caffeine free. feel free to clap. however sometimes the grace of God does come in the form of red wine in a very large glass. don't judge me.

this week is definitely a week of change. the #rowenugget is more alert than ever. and she can smile! her whole little face lights up and she makes the biggest gummy smile and then it's gone and you feel like you just saw a shooting star. sometimes i make the most ridiculous faces at her to try and elicit a smile. but in general, the panda is pretty serious about life.

other items of note include the fact that i can wear my regular jeans. praise hands. however, if any of you are in need of extra skin, my midsection has an over-abundance. and i'm willing to share. also, my wedding rings still don't fit leaving me looking like a worn-down single mother wherever i go when alone with the #rowenugget. and you'd think that would make people take pity on me and help a sister out. but no. it's a lot of passing by with judgment faces. i am the man attacked by robbers waiting for my good samaritan. except instead of being attacked by robbers i was owned by a person who weighs 11 pounds.

the lesson here? when you see a tired woman carrying a baby in a parking lot with a cart full of stuff and tears in her eyes, unload that cart for her. or buy her some starbucks. because seriously. do you put the baby in the hot car while you throw your crap in the trunk? or what?

if you haven't met the panda yet, you are totally missing out on some chubby cuteness. and if you are one of the many people who have brought us food, prayed for us, held our little one (double points if she cried relentlessly while you held her), or just cheered us on. thank you! we couldn't survive without you.