Oh, it’s been so long. So so long. How do you attempt to bridge the gap between six weeks and 16 weeks? So much has changed.
I’m back at work. (My wife is on maternity leave for another month or so).
Hadley is grabbing at things, smiling like crazy, belly laughing (mostly at me and the dog. Occasionally at me barking like a dog. You do what you have to do when your kid is freaking out 😂🤷♀️).
She is about to outgrow her 3-6 month clothes since she is in the 78th percentile for height (about the 50th for weight). I both love and hate watching her grow. Every new development makes us simultaneously swell with pride and excitement, but cringe that time is slipping so quickly through our fingers like sand and our little love won’t be little forever.
We rent a storage unit for all of the things that dont fit into the closets of our small condo including her old baby gear (which we hope to reuse for another baby in 2 years or so) and her clothes (and a few of our own things) and today we upgraded to a larger unit as her belongings seem to multiply when we’re not looking. I have to admit: I’ve gotten away from the minimalist lifestyle that I longed for before she was born and need to do some purging and focus on the important things (none of which are posessions).
Motherhood is still hard. It’s honestly probably the hardest and easiest thing I’ve ever done all at once:
It’s hard to be so needed all the time.
..but it’s the single most amazing feeling to see this child smile when I talk, or walk into a room, or dance for her. Its crazy that I can stop her tears from flowing and her bottom lip from quivering when shes in an all-out screaming fit. She thinks that *I* am deserving of her trust. *I* make her feel safe and fed and secure. I do that. It’s still unbelievable to me sometimes.
It is still hard to breastfeed. I still dont quite make what she needs (we’re one bottle per day short which isnt terrible). But I have to make sure I eat enough (which isnt hard since I’m somehow always starving), and drink enough (which is as much of a struggle now as it was when I was pregnant), and pump (which is painful at times and not the easiest to make time for at work), and wash pump parts, and I’m tethered to her for much of the day because I am her source of food and comfort.
…but I am her source of food and comfort. I was grabbing something out of the fridge last night (okay, okay…I was grabbing a slice of pizza) and I thought: literally everything I eat is what she eats. This food is her food, too. I mean, maybe that’s not terribly profound. It is the same as being pregnant, afterall. But it’s overwhelming sometimes. Like: I have to get this right. I *need* to eat the right food. She deserves it. Breastfeeding is wild. It’s way more intense than I ever imagined, but I will do it for as long as my body will allow me and my daughter wants/needs it (or until we start fertility treatments again). (side note to my breastfeeding mama friends: check out the Baby Buddha pump. I found it after my last post. Portable pump about the size of a remote control. Game changing. You can find 20% off codes floating around which makes it $150 or so. Totallyyy worth it!!)
It is hard being a working mom. Work has been hard in general, lately. I wake up, pump while I brush my teeth and put on a little makeup, then quickly throw on clothes, run the straightener over my hair, throw on clothes, and run out the door (with a to-go coffee if I remembered to set it up the night before). I pump mid-morning at work, bring the pumped milk home at lunch and feed the baby (who I end up having to peel off my breast as she likes to nurse longer than I can spend at home), pump again mid-afternoon, come come around 6 (I’m done at 5 but the work has been piling up since I’ve been back), feed the baby for anywhere from 30-60 minutes (our bonding/long feed of the day), eat dinner (while feeding her usually), play with her a little, give her a bath, give her a bottle and put her to sleep. Sometimes she sleeps all night, sometimes she wakes a few times. I pick her up and nurse her back to sleep. Then I get up at 6 and start all over. Its EXHAUSTING. I also had my first work trip away from her earlier this month. Fortunately my boss let me cut it down from the usual 5 days to 3 and I only had one FULL day without her. But I had to pack cooler bags, pump in two airport bathrooms 🤢, and spend roughly sixty painful hours away from the child I’d given birth to less than 4 months before and never spent more than 8 hours away from before.
But then we look at houses that have small yards where the baby and the puppy can stretch their legs. Houses without downstairs neighbors where we can blast our white noise machine at 3am without disturbing them, and where Hadley can run around the house without worrying that shes being too loud. A house with a garage attached to it instead of a storage unit across town. A house with enough cabinets in the kitchen that we dont have to store our dishes in the linen closet. And I remember how critical my salary is to affording that house (even though I’m 100% confident that I am underpaid by a lot). And so up I get at 6am.
So that’s a glimpse of my life as a working mama of a 4-month-old. We are getting ready for Christmas at the moment. Perhaps I’ll keep this trend going and get a Christmas-y post up. But at the moment I have a bed that needs sheets put on it so we can sleep sometime soon and a wife who is probably in the other room watching the clock as she holds the baby and is wondering what is taking me so long 😂
Happy holidays to you all. May 2019 bring you everything you’ve been dreaming of and more.