Thursday, August 15, 2013

The fog has lifted.

The baby fog that is. That I have been in for the past 7 months. And it took a good girls weekend away to break it.

A close friend in college got married last weekend and I had originally planned (back in February) to bring my mother along with my husband, baby and me to watch over Henry as we attended wedding festivities. Then, the husbands of my friends dropped out one by one. So I decided to drop mine too and leave him and the babe home alone - to figure it out. This was daunting to me.

Up until this point, I had not left my little one for longer than a 6-7 hour stretch. Not on purpose really, but I have just always taken him everywhere with me. The result of having a pretty easy baby, no nanny, and no family close by.

I was PANICKING. Not because I was unsure my husband was fit to care for him. Or because he had not been left with Henry for longer than a 5-6 hour stretch AWAKE. Ever... But mostly because I was afraid of how I might feel without him. What if something happened? What if he needed me? What if he missed me terribly? What if I missed him terribly?? How could I get home? It was a flight and a 3 hour drive away....

I also decided the morning before I left would be the last time I nursed him. Double whammy.

I kissed my baby one zillion times while he slept in his crib the night before I left and the morning I was leaving - careful not to wake him. And I cried. THE WHOLE WAY to the airport.

I kept telling myself this was good for Daddy and good for Henry. And healthy for me, even if I wasn't feeling a need to get away or take a break. It was needed. And I texted my bestie Alsty whom I was meeting at the airport for a pep talk. She text counseled me through it ;)

 The weekend was a BLAST. Fifteen girls cackling away, catching up, and drinking wine. I didn't feel the need to call or check in constantly and I let Chris do his thing without critiquing his every decision. He sent me pics and videos and that was just enough to sustain me for the three days away.

I have to hand it to the hubs, he made it so easy for me to leave. He did not freak out, he did not call and ask me where things were or what to do now or how to do this or that. He just.....did it. I almost forgot I had a baby. Almost ;) Henry has been an extension of my arm for 7 months - it was nice to remember who I was before him. And a nice break for my back!

Sure we talked about our babies/children/husbands/boyfriends a bit. But mostly we just caught up, drank up and danced the nights away. We curled each others hair, borrowed each others makeup, and swapped earrings. We shared snacks and beds and stories.

It was needed. For all of us I think. I left refreshed and hungover (oxymoron?) and planning our next girls get together.

Austin, Texas????

Monday, June 3, 2013

Weaning Weenie.

I am a wreck. Is this normal? Henry is coming up on six months of age and at six months was when I was supposed to stop breast feeding. That was my goal. Six months. Done. 

But now I'm not so sure.... Every time I think about it, I cry. Weep, actually. It's nuts!! Hormones?!? 

I know it's time. My body is giving me hints. I am not quite producing enough anymore. I've started supplementing with formula (which is SO EXPENSIVE!!!). He likes it. Drinks it down. He's gaining weight more quickly. Dare I say it's been better for him?? Who truly knows. I will just die if he starts thriving better on formula than he did on his own mother's perfect concoction for him. But it could be true. He had fallen off the charts for weight/height/head circumference recently. Basically, he wasn't growing. I started pumping exclusively. Monitoring and recording every ounce into his tiny body. Added formula. He's getting back on track. 

I think it's more about my sweet baby boy growing up. He's growing up and there is nothing I can do to slow it down. And would I want to? Every day is a new day with him. He managed to get a toe in his mouth yesterday. How cute is that?? New trick! The day before he could not do this. 

It is so much fun to watch him discover and learn and grow and attempt new things. I feel saddened on the days I go through his closet and take the clothes off the hangers that have become to small, fold them, and put them in a box in the bottom of his closet. But I also can't WAIT till he discovers the next trick, or sit up, or eat a mushed up banana! It's weird. And I suspect every mother feels the same way. 

"If I stop nursing, he won't need me anymore," I said to my husband through crocodile tears. He almost laughed saying back to me, "He'll always need you. He's a tiny baby." But behind these horrendous hormones I know that anyone will now be able to feed him with a bottle. Which will be GREAT!!! But also I lose this bond with him. Forever. These quiet sweet moments of cuddling, where just I will do. 

I've decided to back away from the pump and just nurse my baby until I feel truly ready to wean. Until it slowly ends. I'll supplement with formula and slowly work up to just that. But will try and enjoy these last few weeks with him. And also try to embrace and look forward to what's ahead for both of us. 

Henry, 5 months

Monday, May 13, 2013

An Outlet.

Baby Boy, hour one of life.

I'm jumping back in! Well....when I have a spare moment. I don't think my dear husband is so keen on listening to all my rantings, discoveries, and emotional highs and lows. I actually believe he tunes me out when I start talking about sleep schedules, spit-up, or milk supply. I need an outlet. Writing is it! And, it gives me a nice "journal" to go back to when I have forgotten these sweet moments and unnecessary worries.

We have a beautiful, happy baby boy whom we call Henry Padgett Hansen. He's a dream. And I could not feel more blessed to be his mommy. He's so sweet! Motherhood has been way better than I had anticipated. I know that might sound a bit strange.... But I had fully expected: exhaustion, loss of self, loss of any sort of "normal" life, loss of body, loss of peace, loss of spontaneity, loss of youth, etc., etc.

Loss of sleep? SURE. An exhaustion? Yes. But I have gained PURE JOY. Which overrides anything else (almost) every day.

First Mother's Day, 2013