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Top 5 things I have learned so far

Now that I have been a mother for two whole months… and carried Turner for nine… I think I am experienced enough to list the top 5 things I have learned so far. I have had time to try out things and through trial and error think I know a thing or two about this motherhood business.

1) Do not take advice from anyone.

Now, I understand the irony in that statement considering it sounds like advice.. but it is something that I have learned. From the moment people learned you were pregnant, I am sure you started getting advice on everything from Huggies or Pampers, paci or no paci, sports or ballet, paper or plastic… literally EVERYTHING. Everyone has an opinion on the best way to do things. When you hear these things just smile, nod your head and say thank you…. then let it go in one ear and right out the other.

I understand the sentiment. They are just trying to help, but either the advice is useless or you will drive yourself mad trying to remember it all and make sure you follow it just right. It is not worth it. Not to mention, that what works for someone else’s child probably won’t work the same for you because all children are so different. I can not tell you the right way or the wrong way to do anything, all I can do is tell you how I did something and whether or not it worked.

Don’t drive yourself crazy seeking advice online either. I googled everything. Pros and cons of a pacifier, formula tips, sleeping habits, milestone information, and really it just gave me unneeded stress and nervousness. Just trust yourself that as as soon as that baby gets here, you will know what to do, and what is best for YOUR child. Its that motherly instinct. Within hours of meeting your new little friend, you will instantly believe that you know best for your child and get annoyed when even your own mother tries to help. Its your child, you know them better than anyone.

2) Regardless of how nervous you get during pregnancy, the second you hold that baby, it all goes away.

I was freaked out when I was pregnant. What if I didn’t love my baby, what if the crying was too much, what if I thought he wasn’t cute? What if I don’t feel a connection, what if I do not know what to do? But it was no sooner than the doctors sliced him outta me and I heard him cry that every angst and doubt I had the previous nine months went straight out the window. I did not even need to see him or touch him to feel relieved. Just the sound of his cry, and I knew he was perfect and that I was more than capable to be everything he needed.

I was no longer worried or nervous or unsure. It was crazy how quick everything changed with the sound of that first cry. It was not until that very moment did I feel like a mother, but that feeling is the most incredible calming experience I have ever had. So I assure you, that whatever you are feeling during your pregnancy… just wait, because before you know it, without you even realizing it, that will all be over and you will be on your own remarkable adventure into motherhood.

3) Take really good notes at your baby showers.

At every baby shower, there is someone taking shorthand notes about who gave you what so you are able to send out thank you notes. But you should try to be more attentive than just the minimum needed for a thank you card. A lot of what your baby will use in the early stages of his/her life are from other people, at least that is the case for me. From bottles, to pacifiers, to creams, to wash cloths, they were all gifts. And smaller items like that don’t come with a gift receipt so you have no idea where they came from.

Well since Turner, there has been two instances where I wish I would have known who got us something. The first were the newborn bottles, Tomee Tippee I think. Turner loves them. They are “close to nature” and are very similar to my actual breast. So they are easy for him to use and he likes them. Well, We got a two pack and decided we needed more, but because they were gifts and were not at our local Walmart… we had NO idea where to get them from. We don’t have a Babies R Us or Target or anything other than a Walmart within an hours drive from us, so before we went on a scavenger hunt, it would have been nice to know where they came from. I got lucky and while shopping outside of Atlanta with my mom and Ruby (you know, the one who would rather watch paint dry than read my blog) found a gift set pack of the bottles at Ross. Ross is similar to a Target, and even with the discounted price the bottles were still $16. If I knew who gave them to me, I would send an extra thank you note just because those suckers are not cheap!

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The next, and probably most crucial gift was specific pacifier, it has a special texture on the nipple. We received a two pack of the pacifiers. Originally we had planned to not give Turner a pacifier. I had of course took advice from other people and googled it, and even listen to the doctors suggestions…. that lasted half a day after he got here (prime example of why you should not take advice and instead figure it out on your own). So the pacifier we had to give Turner was one we got at one of our showers. No idea who got it for us or where it came from, but it was a lifesaver. We started with two pacifiers, and soon lost one. So we opened up some other type that we had that were age appropriate and Turner refused to take it. He would spit it right out. So for over a month we clung to this one pacifier and threatened anyone who held him not to lose it. It was our lifeline! We searched our Walmart and couldn’t find it, and without any sort of branding on the pacifier, could not even google to order them online. Finally Andrew’s grandma found them at Target so now we know where to get them regularly. We also found them at a specialty store  on the side of the highway called Baby Depot. It was an off brand, non-chain store similar to Target somewhere up North.

Both times we lucked out, but not without headache. So I learned that next time… I will be more specific in my note taking in case I need to know where something came from in order to get more!

4) It doesn’t matter how important or popular you think you used to be, your baby now out shines you.

This works two ways.

1) Since having a child, Andrew and I have had more people come to visit us than fathomable. Do not get me wrong, I am elated that so many friends and family want to be in Turner’s life. I could not be more grateful for all of them. But I had family members that generally I do not see other than the annual obligatory Christmas get-together either come visit or call to wish congratulations. So even though I think pretty highly of myself and consider myself the bees knees (joking a little bit here) the second Turner was born, he became more popular.

This sounds terrible and I do not want my family and friends who read this blog to take offense, because I do appreciate all the love beyond words, but it is kind of true. An aunt I had not seen (and can safely talk about because I am sure she does not read this) in any capacity other than my dad’s funeral, came to the hospital to visit Turner. I am so happy that she did because I think family is the most important thing in life, but it took a death or a birth to have communication with her. Ruby, ( you know, my sister who is generally too busy for things I am interested in) even cancelled a few photography sessions to be with me in the hospital, something that is so uncharacteristic of her, because her work means the world to her. She and her husband Will (who can get credit for showing more of an interest in my writing even though I do not think he reads this, he at least shares some interests with me) visited several times, which I appreciate because of how busy they are. But they did that for Turner, not for me.

Obviously I cannot compete with Turner, he is perfect, nor would I think I should, but I just learned that you should be prepared for attention from family, friends, and strangers who you would not normally associate with, because regardless of your social standing, you just had a rock star and people are going to be lining up to meet him/her.

Just a side note… We had a “guestbook” that Andrew ran to the store and got. It is just a small decorated notebook, but everyone who came to the hospital, we got them to write a note to Turner. This was great for two reasons, one, it helped us keep straight all of the people who came, and two, I think it will be something great to pass on to Turner one day. It has little welcome messages, people first impressions of them, and just hello messages. It is really sweet. We have continued to get people who meet him for the first time to write in the notebook… just an idea you might wanna try. 🙂

2) The other way this works is the complete opposite. While you will have people you did not think cared one bit about what goes on in your life, you will have people who you once considered really close not acknowledge you at all, and it is going to hurt.

I expected some friends to not be super excited because they are young and single and enjoying their 20s, but still expected them to care. When some of the people who were supposed to be my very best and closest friends did not reach out to me to want to meet Turner or even tell me congrats, I was furious. There were people I expected to call or txt and if I got anything at all from these close people, it was the obligatory Facebook post, the most impersonal thing someone can do. Don’t get me wrong, I have friends that the Facebook post were sufficient, that is the level of friendship I have with them. But others who were supposed to be on a different level, and didn’t call, or didn’t see my son after he was born for whatever reason…. have hurt me dearly. To the point to where I have considered reevaluating my priorities and where these people play into my life. The birth of my child is one of the most, if not THE most important event in my life, and if those closest to me don’t care… then maybe they should not be the people close to me.

So prepare for people who will smother you with love and attention and brace yourself for the disappoint of being let down by others. Both will inevitably happen.

5) Motherhood is truly an adventure.

The real life dive into motherhood is better than anything you could watch on reality tv show or read about in someone else’s blog. From the moment you consider your journey beginning, there will without a doubt be ups and downs, twist and turns, failures and successes. It will be the most exciting, invigorating, rewarding experience you will have in your entire life, and hey, I can say that and it has only been two months.

You will spend every second of your life learning something from your child, all while you think you should be teaching him. That little miracle is the most incredible being you will ever come across and your soul purpose in life will be to live for him/her, whatever that calls for.

You will gain superhero powers like the magical bladder control, where you can avoid going to the bathroom longer than you ever thought was possible because your child needs you more at that moment than you need to pee. Literally everyday is new and open for anything, everyday is an adventure.

There is no set path, no set schedule, no set plan of action. You just figure it out as you go and you figure it out together with your child and if you’re as lucky as I am, you have a great partner to help you on the way.

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My own sleep story

I officially have a two month old!

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When I found out I was pregnant, one of the most common horror stories I heard was about sleep. Everyone had jokes like, “Enjoy sleep while it lasts,” and “Get your naps in while you can because you won’t get another one for the next 16 years.”  First of all, I found it INCREDIBLY annoying that EVERYONE I cam in contact with thought I needed to hear their pregnancy/labor stories. When it came from friends, the advice was welcomed, but when complete strangers would come up to me and ask how far along I was and tell me to enjoy it, it goes by so fast, I just wanted to shake them and tell them that I don’t talk to strangers… that is the true introvert in me. (irony that here I am complaint about strangers telling me their stories and that is exactly what I do with this blog…. meh, oh well.)

So all signs pointed to sleepless nights of pregnancy and sleepless nights of motherhood, and sleepless nights just forever and ever and ever. Well, that has no been the case. 

I slept soundly every single night of my pregnancy. Heck, I even slept when I was in the hospital in the process of having Turner. Of course the easy sleeping with my pregnancy led to comments from everyone under the son like, “Oh just you wait, he will get you back when he gets here.”

Well, that is kind of true and kind of not. Turner has no sleep schedule. None whatsoever. I can tell you that doctors said he would sleep between 16-18 hours a day… well, that is a joke. Turner maybe sleeps 8, and the longest stretch of his sleep comes from about 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. when he is usually sound asleep. He is awake all day long and rarely takes more than a 15 minute nap. I mean, sometimes I get lucky and he sleeps for 30 min or an hour, but generally he is awake. 

And when everyone tells you to “Sleep when they do,” yea right! Not even possible. I can not sleep in the fly and I can not sleep in 5 min intervals, so I just don’t sleep. It has worked out pretty well so far. 

Turner is extremely picky about how he will sleep. From when we were first in the hospital, Turner hated, and I mean HATED being put on his back. If we can get him to sleep a few minutes in his bassinet it is if we put him up on his side. He just won’t sleep flat… when he was born he was on his side and he has wanted to stay that way so far! So the first few nights we tried the bassinet beside the bed and that was an epic fail. He did have his nights and days mixed up, but when that passed… he still would wake up the second I laid him flat. He just hates it. Luckily, Ruby (you know, my sister who thinks she is too good and busy to read my blog) had gotten Turner a bouncer. I guess that is what it is called it is an oval shape and plays music and vibrates and bounces (Andrew and I actually call it Turner’s sleeper). So that is what he slept in beside the bed…. for a while. 

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 When Andrew and I went up North for a business trip of Andrew’s, we made the mistake of leaving the TV on in the hotel room as we slept. So when we got back home we discovered that Turner had decided he liked sleeping with the TV on, and that was going to be the ONLY way he slept. So that lead to me sleeping on the couch, which I have done ever since. Andrew is so sweet and will fall asleep on the love seat and sleeps with us until about 2 or 3 when he wakes up and goes to the bedroom. 

Well, when we went to Florida, another work trip for Andrew, I made another mistake and one night when Turner would not stop crying, in attempt to keep him from waking Andrew, who had to be up early for work, I held him until he and I both went to sleep. Well, after that Turner decided, he had to have the TV on AND I had to hold him or he just was NOT going to sleep. Don’t get me wrong, he will still nap in his bouncer/sleeper or in his swing, but if I want him to sleep for any length of time… I have to hold him. 

I don’t want it to sound like an obligation, I love it. While I would prefer to be able to sleep in the same bed as Andrew, being able to cuddle up with Turner every night is amazing. Our doctor told us a horror story about how his first maternity patient accidentally suffocated her child while co-sleeping, and that terrifies me. So even when Turner sleeps through the night, I wake up and make sure he is ok. 

I am really torn on this. Part of me is so worried, but the other part of me says that I have talked to a ton of parents who have done it and nothing has happened. I do think sleeping on the couch is safer because there aren’t pillows and blankets, and sheets to get in the way of breathing, plus I do not toss and turn, I do not love at all throughout the night. I just don’t know. 

Aside from the worry I have about it. Holding him throughout the night is the best feeling in the world. Looking down on his adorable faces and just watching him….I can not even explain the feeling it gives me. Pure joy. My momma said I was spoiling Turner… I probably am… but more than anything it is spoiling me. Eventually he is going to be to big or too cool and I won’t be able to snuggle him.

 I think it is kind of funny, because up until Turner, every single night of my life since I was 8 years old, I have slept with the same Teddy Bear. Literally gripping the bear in my arms…. every night (don’t judge me). But now, that teddy bear sits on the side table in the bedroom, all alone. It is kind of sad to see. But who needs a teddy bear when you have something as perfect as Turner to cuddle up to! 

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Now and Then

I think motherhood today is much different than it was when our mother’s were raising us. Technology has changed immensely, which has its positive and negatives. 

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I think technology makes motherhood easier in several aspects. Instead of having to rock a child when he or she is upset, as our mothers had to do, you can put a baby in a batter operated swing. When a child is upset, you can place them in any number of devices that vibrate, rock, and play music, virtually eliminating a mother having to care for her child at all. I have even seen things that are constructed to hold bottles for babies so a mother does not have to take the time to do it themselves. All of these advancements have made motherhood simpler… but at what cost? 

Is one on one interaction being lost? Are children getting the affection and direct attention from their loved ones that they once did, and if not, what will the long term impacts be? I am torn. I have found myself using modern devices such as a swing to help put Turner to sleep and the electric breast pump has become my best friend as pumping milk is far easier than fighting Turner to nurse, plus, I would have never been able to return to work with it. But on the other hand, I think it makes me lazy. Not just now, with all the things available to me as a new mom, but in the long term when even educational aspects of motherhood now have fallen to the responsibility of tech giants. 

With iPads and such I would not even have to read to Turner if I decided not to because those devices have apps that take care of that for me. Is that better? I just don’t think so. 

I understand that 25 years ago, my mother was not raising children with just the basics like our grandmothers were, but they certainly did not have all the luxuries that are afforded to mothers today. I admit I grew up in the breaking ages of video games becoming after school baby sitters, and I truly believe even that interaction with technology and the lack of attention for adults, hindered my development. 

I don’t want the same things to happen to Turner. I want him to know how to build a fort in the woods with stones and tree limbs, and spend hours after a light rain making mud pies. I want him to use his imagination to climb a small mountain, all while envisioning a trek up Mount Everest. I do not want his favorite toy growing up to be a cell phone and I certainly do not want him to establish indentions in his thumbs from video games. But how do I avoid it? I do not want him to go to school and see his friends with those things and think he is missing out. I want him to have those things and enjoy them… but I do not want him to be reliant on it. I think it ruins a child. 

 Just as a newborn I am hesitant to give him toys that already require batteries and me reading the instructions to understand how Turner is supposed to play with it. It should be easier than that. I didn’t have those things quite yet and I think I am better for it. He needs a wooden rattle, and a toy rocking horse. I know I did not grow up in the dark ages, and toys when I was a child were even more advanced than that, but that is what I want for Turner. I think it teaches a sense of creativity and inventiveness that is lost among youth today. 

Another thing that I think mothers do not consider today is how they are recording their child’s life. Yes, I am documenting mine on a blog, something my mother probably still doesn’t understand today, but I envy my own childhood and the means my parents had to capture it. 

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 With the age of cellphones and advancements in technology, we have lost things such as print photography and videos. We take pictures on our cellphones and upload them to Facebook, but can we count on that to be there in 20 years when our children want to see them? And I know cell phone cameras are better quality than any camera that our parents used, but how are we going to explain to our child why there is a yellow tint on their baby photos… will instagram even still be around? I am guilty, trust me, I love adding effects to Turner’s pictures, but also save the image before I put an effect on it. I do not want the photo to be aged, I want him to be able to see a baby photo of himself just like I was able to. 

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 And videos. Cell phones take a couple minute videos, but nothing compared to the VHS tapes we have from our childhood, and I hate that. Even fancy video cameras that are available to us…for quite a price I might add… require extreme lengths if you want to do more than upload them to a computer. I want Turner to be able to slip a tape into a VCR and watch his first birthday party. I do not want to record something on to an SD card, then go somewhere ( I do not even know where) and get it put on to a CD to be made into a DVD to then be played. I want to record it, then instantly put it into the VCR and watch it.  I want to record every birthday and Christmas, things I think people forget about these days. I want to get out the polaroid camera and snap candid shots, not ones Ruby can edit of herself before uploading them to a computer. And what if I do not want them online. What if I want them for just my family to see, in an album. I still have to upload them to a computer to save them or an online album, or on a CD from the photo center. It is just a hassle. 

I feel like in 100 years when people are studying us in history books, our photos are going to be instagramed and videos will be a minute or two long, if they exist at all. 

I would much rather have the technology my parents did. It was personal. It was timeless. I bet some company could make a fortune making those products again. I know I would buy them. 

That is my rant for the day. I guess my advice to moms is to think about the difference in today and yesterday and consider things that were better off then.

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Really missing my dad

Today had been really tough for me. I went to the doctor’s office today for a follow up visit and in the waiting room was a sweet grandpa and grandson. It brought tears to my eyes. I am sure the people in the waiting room were thinking I was some young girl crying because I had just found out I was pregnant, but just hearing the grandpa talking about the things he and his grandson were going to do that weekend together broke my heart. 

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On April 2 I lost my dad to liver cancer. He was just 55 years old. I was about 8 months pregnant. I won’t get into that story, because some of you are already familiar with it as I wrote about it on Facebook when it all happened. If you want to know more, you can read that here:

https://www.facebook.com/notes/brittney-burns/finding-out-my-dad-doesnt-have-much-longer/10151278055342805

While 8 months pregnant, I buried my father. Needing to focus on my soon-to-be-son, I guess I didn’t process what it all meant for Turner. I have always said that I can accept my father’s death. While to me it was tragic and not fair at all, I can accept it. God intended for it to happen, and while I don’t understand the reasoning behind it, God does. But my heart breaks for son. Turner will never get to know his grandfather. He will never know the wonderful man that made me the person I am. He will never understand my family’s jokes about my dad or will be able to look at something and instantly go back to a memory of my dad.  

Sitting in that waiting room seeing the grandpa play with his grandson just killed me. My dad always wanted a boy. With three girls and a granddaughter, he was so excited that I was finally bringing a boy into our family. On Christmas I opened up a present that my dad had picked out just for Turner, a set of toys. The other day Andrew asked me if we had any toys for Turner to start playing with, and even though I knew I had that set of toys and that they are age appropriate for Turner, I didn’t mention them because I just can not bring myself to open them. I doubt I ever will. It is the only thing Turner will ever have from my dad. I want him to be old enough to understand that before I give it to him. 

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We named Turner after my father. Turner William Raby, named after William James Burns. The last few days of my dad’s life, after Andrew and I decided that we were going to name Turner after him, I would lay in the hospital bed with my dad and tell him all about how we were giving Turner his name. He was already gone and not coherent, but I just hope and pray that it reached him and he knew that I would carry him with us forever. 

When Turner gets old enough I plan to make a picture book of my dad. And I want to start early showing Turner pictures of my dad every single day. Even though he will never be able to meet him, I want him to feel like he knows who he is. I want my father’s gravesite to be a frequent visit for Turner. 

I can not even begin to explain how hard it is to know that Turner never met my father. I think it would be different if I was to get pregnant now, but the fact that my dad was there for 7 good months before he got sick and knew I was having a baby, doesn’t bring me comfort, it makes me more sad. I know when he got sick it hurt him to know he was not going to be there for me. That is the kind of man my dad was. I know it made him more sad that he was not going to meet Turner, and that he would never get to do all the grandpa things with him. My dad was the most incredible grandfather to my sister’s daughter, I just know he would have been the best grandfather to Turner. 

My dad used to always say, “Absent from the body, present with the Lord,” and I believe that. I really do. But it still hurts beyond words. The day we went to the hospital to see my dad when the doctors gave him his diagnosis, my dad looked at me and said that I didn’t need to be sad because God needed him to come to heaven because he wanted him to be Turner’s Guardian Angel. Dad promised he would keep Turner safe, and I know that he has been and will continue to do so. 

My two sister’s and my momma and I all got tattoos in memory of my dad. My dad loved Lynryd Skynyrd and we played Freebird at his funeral, so song lyrics just seemed fitting. Things like my dad’s favorite music are things I want to tell Turner about, so just  like the rest of my family, whenever he hears it, my dad can be the first person he thinks about. 

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I am glad that between mine and Andrew’s family, Turner has an incredible family. He has so many people who love him unconditionally, I just wish with all of my heart that there was one more person that could be here to love him. 

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Reservations about motherhood

HAPPY 8 WEEK BIRTHDAY!!!!!

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Turner and I are visiting his Aunt Ruby today and while that is not the topic of this blog, I want to mention it and call her out because she has yet to read my blog. In fact, she doesnt read the newspaper I work for either… she just doesn’t really like to read in general and is more of an introvert that wakes up at noon, edits photos all day, takes some pictures, stays up all hours of the night…. then does it over and over again. So of course I am a little sour about the fact that she has not taken an interest in this…. so if you know her…. give her a hard time for me 🙂

Ok, so to my post today. I am having the hardest time accepting Turner’s age. I am very torn. Part of me doesnt want him to grow up and I want to freeze him right the way he is. I often joke that I am going to intentionally give him so many complexes so he never wants to leave me so I will be the only woman he ever needs in his life…. But the other part of me wants him to be old enough to do fun things.

I want to take him to the pool before the summer is up. How young is too young? I have googled it and some moms say they take babies as young as two months… and if that is the case, then he will get to go before the summer is up. I think when I change him and hold him I just fling him around because I think he is bigger/older than he is.

Since he was just a couple weeks old, maybe 4, he has been able to sit up pretty well on his own and has full control of his head. So sometimes I catch myself picking him up and not giving him any neck support and it just looks like it hurts him. I know there is no right way to do things, and I can kill myself googling other people’s opinion on the matter, I just hope that I am doing the best I can for Turner.

Another question I have is about socks. Turner just refuses to wear them, and there arent really any that fit him well enough to stay on for any length of time. Is that ok? I mean…. we keep the air conditioner on and it is kinda chilly in the house.. but he doesnt seem to be sick or anything. If I dont put socks on him now, will it be harder to get him to wear shoes later?

The uncertainty of raising a child is unsettling at times. I try to tell myself there is no right or wrong way to do things. That it is all a learning process, but with that attitude, I am terrified that I will do something that will impact Turner negatively, and that is just the last thing I would ever want. When he was just a couple weeks old I was home alone with him and needed to shower. He was sleeping in the living room so I left him in there and jumped in the shower. I wasn’t in there but a couple minutes and heard him wake up and start to cry. I hurried to finish washing my hair, but was still probably in the shower for about 5 minutes. When I got out and got to him he had the most terrified, abandoned, heartbroken look on his face. It was a look of pure terror. It took all I had not to bust out crying. The thought that something I did caused him to feel that was was devastating.

My actions, or inactions, have the potential to have devastating everlasting effects on him. That horrifies me beyond explanation.

While I understand that there is not anything I can do about all these what ifs and questions…. I just say a little prayer that I am doing what God intends for me to do and that hopefully Turner will turnout just fine.

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My amazing partner in this adventure

I called home on lunch today to check on Turner and got the cutest update. We have decided against daycare for as long as we can help. I am only working three days a week, so I keep Turner Thursday and Fridays, and his Grandmas split Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday, whenever his work allows, Andrew (Turner’s dad in case I had not formally introduced him) keeps him on Wednesday. Image

Well, when I called to get a midmorning update, Andrew says, “Yea he is doing great, but I got kinda sad earlier.”

I of course then asked why, to which he responded:

“Well I threw away his last newborn diaper, so he is officially fully up a size. It means he is growing up.”

That statement, paired with the saddest tone was just the sweetest thing I have ever heard. Andrew seems to be more on the sensitive anyway when it comes to Turner, but that comment was just the sweetest.

This morning Andrew was so excited and kept telling Turner all the things they were going to do together in “Daddy Daycare.”

Andrew has kept him for an hour or two at a time while our schedules crossed, but today is the first full day the two will be spending together. I sure am lucky that Andrew is not only willing, but genuinely excited to have some alone time with Turner. I am sure he needs the alone time because I tend to be a baby hog when I am around him.

Little things like that, and random emails while I am at work saying things like, “Turner got his first birthday invite,” just make me so thankful and blessed that not only do I have the most perfect little boy, but I have the most incredible man to help me raise him.  Image

I know not everyone has it so lucky. In fact, in this day and age it is a rarity to find a man like Andrew. Andrew wakes up with Turner (when he hears him, he tends to be a heavy sleeper), he gives him baths, he willingly changes every diaper he can and hardly puts him down.

From the beginning Andrew has been hands on, diving head first into fatherhood. I find this to be the perfect time to tell the story of taking the pregnancy test. I knew I was pregnant.

I just knew.. I know you hear stories about that, but it really is true, I can’t explain it, but I didn’t need to take the test.  I knew. Part of that reason could be that Andrew and I planned to have a child, it was not an accident, we actively tried to get pregnant. I mean not really tired hard, and didn’t try for long. One month we decided we were ready for a baby, and the next month, we found out we were having one.

Anyway back to the pregnancy test. We went to the store on September 23 and bought a 3 pack. I took it and waited a couple of minutes, then Andrew and I went into the bathroom to read it together. I instantly became excited because it was positive, Andrew on the other hand was not so convinced and could not tell the difference between positive and negative regardless of how I tried to explain it. So I took a second one…. again it was positive.

Once again, Andrew was not convinced we were reading it right. So I told him some pregnancy tests read a visible yes or no, so we went to the store to find that type. We couldn’t find it but got another pink line or no line kind of test. When we got home, I took that one. Andrew was more convinced, but since that read opposite than the first two… it made less sense to him… so I offered the perfect solution. I told Andrew to take the third test from the first box, and then he can see what a negative result looks like. Without hesitation, he did it!Image

And three minutes after that…. he was equally excited that we were in fact going to be having a baby!

How did I ever get so lucky? I am sure it has to do with the batch of amazing women Andrew has in his life. He is surrounded by strong, loving women who I know unavoidable have rubbed off on him. There is not a doubt in my mind that Andrew is going to be a remarkable father, he already is one.

My dad passed away in April with Liver Cancer. It was sudden and while we were told he had up to 6 months, he only made it a couple of weeks. The day he received the diagnosis, we went to the hospital to see him. After laughing, crying, joking, and just being with him, before we left he shook Andrew’s hand and asked him to take care of his baby girl. Andrew looked at him and promised he would, and I know that he meant that promise.

Knowing that I get to share my adventure into motherhood with the best partner imaginable, makes me way more confident about my abilities. Between Andrew and Turner…. I sure am blessed. Image

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Who needs sleep anyway!

Every mother has a secret identity. The second they enter motherhood… ninja training begins. While I have learned that throughout this journey I will employ my newly acquired ninja skills for a multitude of tasks such as rapid diaper changes, the lethal pee dodge, the outfit change and other daily activities, the ninja skill that I am most thankful for is the ability to function on virtually no sleep. 

I should have known he was not a sleeper, when we went to take his newborn pictures at my sister’s, who is a photographer… he refused to sleep. But 6 hours later… with a lot of work, we were able to get hime to sleep for a few pictures. Image

Before I went back to work, the altogether sleepless nights or even the nights waking up every two hours, were a breeze, because like everyone and their mother told me… you gotta sleep when the baby sleeps. That is a cute idea and all…unless you have a baby that just doesn’t like to sleep….ever. 

Experts say that newborns sleep on and off, but in a 24 hour period should sleep about 15-18 hours a day… I don’t know who came up with that number… but it was a false hope for sure. On a good day, Turner gets 8 hours of sleep in. Don’t get me wrong, we will have the occasion 3-5 hour nap marathon… typical from 10 p.m. until 2 or 3 a.m., but on any given day… he is just wide awake.  

When I was staying home with him, my 15-30 min naps during the day when he slept paired with Andrew rescuing me from about 8 p.m. until 11 or so were sufficient to keep me functioning, it was not until i returned to work that my ninja skills have showed themselves. 

I selfishly kept Turner up the night before I went back to work because I missed him already and wanted to spend time with him, so getting up in the wee hours of the night… then working a 12 hour day and then staying up with a fussy little one last night…. when I got up at 7 this morning, my ninja skills were in full swing. I am astonished at how my body is functioning professionally right now, and with no mid day naps. I can’t really nap at my desk, especially on Tuesdays as I basically write an entire newspaper today. But luckily, my inner ninja has kicked in and I am as productive if not more productive than before I was pregnant. 

 

And none of it makes any sense because I am exhausted. Just the act of brushing my teeth this morning took what little ambition I had left, and my eyelids feel as if I have little 10 lbs weights hanging off the end ( which is why I avoided mascara this morning, I could not afford the extra weight). 

 

As soon as I catch myself zoning out and everything around me gets a little blurry, my ninja skills kick in and I get just enough energy to get over the hump. Maybe it is a mother’s intuition. My body knows I have a baby to tend to so I need to keep functioning regardless of sleep deprivation setting in. When I was in college, lack of sleep certainly hindered productivity and it was not that easy then…. but for some reason, I think it is manageable. Maybe because I know the very moment  I am done, I get to go home and swoop that precious baby back up in my arms and do it all over again gladly. 

When the reward is that amazing being that somehow Andrew and I perfectly crafted…. sleep deprivation never felt so good.