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I’m still here, I just have a 3-month-old baby.

December 14, 2016

Before I became a mom, I was basically the best mom ever. All of my ducks? Totally in a row. I knew I would still be productive, and social, and on top of self-care after the baby came along. I’d shimmy into my pre-pregnancy clothes, stand up like it was NBD, go to 13 Coins (where we were brunch regulars) with Alex at six weeks postpartum, and my pelvis definitely wouldn’t (still) feel completely broken as I pushed our 28 lb stroller the few blocks to get there. I would walk around the mall or park with friends, strap an infant onto my chest with ease and go hiking, put my baby who never cried in her car seat into my anything-but-a-Subaru-Outback to get to all of these places to do these things, and when I got home, I would find a way cook dinner like I did every other day.

My motherhood game was strong.

Well, the baby has been on the outside for three months, and guess what? All of the things I thought I would do, all of the ways I thought I would feel, and the person I thought I would be: I haven’t done, felt, or been. Like, at all. I have eaten more sandwiches one-handed while nursing than I care to admit, can count the number of times I have been brave enough to venture out, and I even drive a Subaru (though it’s not an Outback, but only because we hate the way it drives — so, at least I was right about one thing).

My how the mighty have fallen.

Childless me just didn’t get it. I didn’t know how exhausted I would be trying to feed and keep a tiny human alive. I didn’t know how my insides would feel in the weeks after birth whenever I stood up and especially when I walked (like they would legit fall out). I didn’t know that showering, let alone leaving the house, would be an accomplishment. As for the hiking, shopping trips, and the regular brunches I thought I’d be enjoying? No way, and no thanks. I’m going to need some serious recharging, motivation, and painkillers to make any of that sound enjoyable.

The image I had of my life was grand before I became a mom, but back then I also didn’t realize that anything I imagined of my life would pale in comparison to the reality. It turns out that there are far better things in life than YOLOing naptime on a hike with friends or trying on clothes in my pre-pregnancy size at the J. Crew in Pacific Place. I didn’t know that everything would change when a warm baby was placed on my chest. I didn’t know how much I’d truly love my child, or how I’d prefer being at home bonding with her than anything else. I didn’t know that a single smile could make my day or a joyful screech would be the best sound I had ever heard. I didn’t know how often I would laugh or smile, or how I would thank the universe, tears streaming down my face as I rocked my sleeping baby, for giving me the most meaningful gift I have ever received. I also didn’t know that naps were not to be toyed with or taken for granted.

When I last wrote a post, I was five days into solo parenting during the day while Alex went to work. Now I’ve been at it for close to two months, and worry a lot less than I used to about  dropping her or whether or not I’m a complete failure as a mom. Nowadays I only feel like I’m a complete failure when it comes to self-care, or being more than “just” a mom. Unsurprisingly, I don’t really have time to do much for for myself, but this is par for the course when you have a baby so young. Taking care of my own needs and the needs of a baby is a balancing act, and I’m still figuring it all out.  I’m sure I’ll get there soon enough.

My days with Kaia consist of lots of play and tummy time, reading stories, and listening to music. Sometimes Kaia will spend time playing independently while I do things like unload the dishwasher or put clothes in the dryer. She will go down for a nap (always on me) after about an hour of awake time before she gets upset, and nurses every 1.5-2 hours (and will sometimes go as long as a 3-4 hour stretch if she takes a particularly long nap). Bedtime is still not consistent, and most days I am lucky to get an hour where I don’t have to tend to a baby before I head to bed myself (this is probably what I find hardest about parenting). Night sleep has been hit or miss these days. Sometimes we get a five to seven hour first stretch, while other times we get a two to four. On a few occasions she has woken up every 30 minutes to an hour which makes for a really interesting night. Either way, she wakes up ready to start her day at 6:00-7:00 AM, and is her cheerful self regardless of how much or how little sleep she gets.

Kaia has been thriving, and seeing her personality bloom has been wonderful. She is so much fun to be around, and I genuinely look forward to seeing her face when we get up for the day. She wakes up squealing and making gurgling sounds, likes to kick, has finally found her hands (which she has in her mouth at all times), licks anything she can get near her mouth, and even rolled from her tummy to her back (once).  Just this afternoon she laughed for the very first time, and it was amazing. We’ve discovered that Craig David’s song “What’s Your Flava?” is a surefire way to calm her down (sometimes Springsteen’s version of “Jersey Girl” will do the trick), and so is giving her a bath. Her dislikes consist of getting out of the bath, being put down after she has gotten out of the bath, and nursing from the breast with a particularly forceful letdown when she only wants to comfort nurse.

She is in the 50th percentile for weight (12+ lbs these days), and off the charts for height (about the size of the average 6 month old). Her doctor is impressed with her head control, and her development in general, and we are very proud of her. She is meeting all of her milestones, gaining weight and growing taller consistently, and is a very healthy baby. We are so lucky.

I was a few weeks pregnant with her this time last year. I was anxious, and happy, and wondering what life would be like a year later. Life doesn’t look the at I expected it to, and it is so much better than I thought possible. It has been three months since we welcomed this bubbly little girl into our lives, and being her mom is the best, hardest, and overall most rewarding thing I have ever done.



50 thoughts this new mom has on a daily basis

October 27, 2016

I have no idea what I’m doing.

She will surely be speaking to a therapist in a few decades about her horribly inadequate mother who never knew what she was doing.

Am I a bad mother because I rap Biggie and Tupac songs while changing her diaper?

Am I a bad mother for finishing up the last bites of my banana if she is crying?

Am I a bad mother because I surf the internet on my phone while nursing?

Am I a bad mother?


If you think about dropping the baby, you will surely drop the baby.

Please don’t cry, please don’t cry.

Why is she crying?

I have no idea what I’m doing. I have  no idea what I’m not doing. She is crying for one of those reasons.

Wait, is she seriously hungry again?

I literally just stopped nursing her 20 minutes ago…

Why do  you time nursing intervals from the beginning of one session to the beginning of the next?!

Holy cow, she has the best smile ever.

Is that the cat or the baby?

Do I want to mess with either the  stretchy wrap, woven wrap, or soft structured carrier to take the dog out this time?

How many more buckles can this Lillebaby carrier possibly have?

Do not drop this baby while putting her in the carrier.

Will she ever sleep, or is that just not a thing she does anymore?

Today’s goal is to be okay with not achieving today’s goals.

What if I fell down with the baby in my arms?!

For the love of god, DON’T fall down with or drop the baby!

She makes the cutest noises known to man.

How does she have so much lint in her hands?

She is so cute when she sneezes.

She is so cute when she coos.

She is so cute when she lives and breathes.

She is so damn cute!

How did poop get on the side of her onesie?

I need to thank Kristen for telling me you can take a onesie off from the top down.

What if she suddenly learns to roll while on the changing pad?

I really want  to staple pillows to the floor just in case she falls or I drop her.

I should keep 10 burp clothes in every corner of the house.

I can’t believe how big she is already.

I can’t believe my milk made her so big.

I can’t believe I actually birthed this tiny human.

Is it normal to reflect upon her birth so often?

Is there a word that’s kind of like “traumatized” but a little less extreme? That is how I feel about that whole birthing experience.

How is she already holding her head up so well?

She is basically the most advanced baby ever.

Should I be playing Mozart for her or something?

Do I dare to leave the house when I have to nurse her so often?

How cool are Seattleites about the whole breastfeeding in public thing?

Get up slooooowly, do not wake the baby.

I should probably work on getting her to nap in her bassinet and not on me.

NOPE. Naps in the bassinet will never actually happen, so I should probably just do what works for now.

How badly am I screwing up this kid?

I hope she will like me when she grows up.

I seriously, seriously have no idea what I am doing.