Sleeping Baby, Restless Mommy

Well it’s 11:17 pm according to my computer here, and I can’t sleep. It’s the night before Russ turns 10 weeks old, two nights before Thanksgiving Day, and just under three hours until Russ’s next feeding, but my wakeful eyeballs wouldn’t know it. Maybe the newness of Thanksgiving with a baby is striking me – I do have so much to be thankful for this year, and so much to be anxious, nervous, concerned, stressed, and overwhelmed about (it turns out). Not to come off as pessimistic, but parenthood is kind of heavy stuff. Sometimes things sneak up on me mentally and emotionally that I’m not really primed to deal with – such as the case tonight.

I’ve been in bed since 10 pm, but I just can’t shut my brain down. All of a sudden, my thoughts are rushing through my head at warp speed and I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to nurture Russ like he deserves when Jonathan and I eventually have more children. How am I going to save enough money to help pay for college? Then I’m thinking about my mother-in-law and how her “little boy” – the one who is my age and watched the same cartoons I did and whose not-so-old-looking photos are hanging all over her house – is not only 26 years old, but is my HUSBAND. How does that feel? To have a baby and then one day that “baby” becomes a 6’6″, married, employed, fully functional man (and father, no less) who doesn’t need you to feed, clothe, bathe, and care for him any more? Oh my GOD, it scares the hell out of me. I mean, I know that’s the natural resolution to this little boy I bore almost 10 weeks ago, but it’s insane! He’s going to grow up one day! I want to stop time. I want to stop time.

But I can’t, so here I am – sleepless and restless and hoping I can pull it all together and raise a genuinely good person. I think we can do it. I know with Jonathan’s help, I stand the greatest chance of succeeding, that’s for sure.

Having a baby this Thanksgiving takes me back to last Thanksgiving. Jonathan and I had just made the decision that we wanted to try to start a family soon. I had been off birth control for awhile, but we weren’t…ya know…”trying.” The minute we put any kind of effort forth, BAM! Pregnant. I guess my mom wasn’t kidding when she warned me (at age 15 or so) that every woman in our family was a “Fertile Myrtle.” And to think, I chalked it up to a scare tactic. But last Thanksgiving was kind of the point where we made that decision, and it’s kind of insane to me to think that we’re here, Thanksgiving 2010, with a little baby boy sleeping in a bassinet by our bed tonight. Err…well, Jonathan’s in bed right now, anyway. I’m sitting on the couch blogging to try and wrap up the unresolved stream of thoughts still bouncing around the padded room that is my mind.

But on the upside, we’re heading to the lakehouse tomorrow afternoon, where my parents and some of my siblings and their spouses and kids will all be meeting up for turkey, stuffing (or “dressing,” if you’re not from ’round these parts), and a whole lot of Catch Phrase. I’m pretty excited to have everyone see Russ – for my older brother and two girls, they’ve not seen him since the day after we came home from the hospital. For his wife, it’ll be the first meeting ever. Russ has changed so much, but a lot of really exciting things are starting to happen with him in the past week or two. He’s “talking” a lot more – cooing, giggling, squealing – and it’s just too much fun to sit there and chat with him. He watches me walk around and he interracts with me in a whole new way that has literally just surfaced in the past week or so. I do have so much fun being at home with him. I definitely don’t miss work, that’s for sure. At least when Russ gets ticked off, there’s a way to make him happy (Ha…).

Yesterday was Russ’s 2-month checkup, and that meant vaccinations. He got parts of the series for his DTap, Hep B, Rotovirus, and Pneumoccocal vaccines yesterday, and yes, it was heartbreaking. I can’t stand his little “hurt cry.” It’s a completely different cry than his hungry cry, his dirty diaper cry, or even his “I’m Just Freakin’ Ticked Off Cry.” It warmed my heart though that, when I picked him up in his hysterical state and cuddled him close to my chest, he seemed to calm down pretty quickly. Thankfully, he didn’t spike a fever or anything after his shots – he took a bit longer nap than he usually does in the late afternoon, but other than that, no negative effects. All in all, a success. Oh – and, he’s 24 1/2 inches long and 13 lbs., 3 oz. Definitely a healthy boy!

Maybe a blog session was just what I needed to tire me out. Happy Turkey Day to you all. May you find peace and positivity in the Thanksgiving holiday, and may you have even more to be thankful for this year than you did last year. 🙂

Disbelief strikes again!

This one will be short and sweet, as I have a shower to get – and that is a bit more of a challenge these days.

Russ is officially a two month old baby now, and I’m finding myself struck by how crazy that is. I won’t go into it, because let’s face it – I go into enough in every single post. But seriously…where the heck did the time go?

Lately I’m learning to let go of sweet little outgrown outfits that are now inches too short for my long little guy, and choosing instead to focus on the new crop of adorable outfits still waiting to be tried on from Russ’s closet. Before he was born, I was sure we’d never be able to use all of the clothes he was given at various showers and by various family and friends, and that has turned out to be pretty much true. The minute I realize “Oh, hey, this might fit him now!” and dig the get up out of the closet or dresser, it’s like he’s only got one or two wears to get out of it before it’s also too small. I’ll tell ya one thing, if my next child is a girl, she’d better like puppy dogs – because I’m going to make her wear at least *some* of Russ’s less boyish stuff. Girls can like puppy dogs and tractors, darn it!

That is a funny thought, though – a next child? Wow…give me a second to try and wrap my head around that one! One point of strong consideration lately has been the dreaded “BC”: Birth Control. We don’t want another baby until Russ is at least three years old. For those that don’t know, Becky + Synthetic BC hormones = INSANITY. No, really, put me on any kind of hormonal birth control (be it Nuvaring, the pill, the shot, you name it) and I suddenly transform into this certifiably insane creature that does nothing but wreak havoc and cry uncontrollably. I meant it when I told my doctor (two days post birth, no less) that “I’d rather end up like that crazy Duggar lady with the 42 kids) than ever, EVER be on hormonal birth control again.” His reply? “Well, at least I know somebody will keep me in business.” Ha!

So I’m thinking now about this thing called the Paraguard IUD. It’s like the Mirena thing that they keep hawking on TV (complete with pretty mom who fails miserably at controlling her kids in the grocery store), but completely, 100% hormone-free. I know there are tons of women out there who do fine or even thrive on hormonal birth control, but I really do believe that the pharmaceutical industry and the doctors that work with those in that industry are doing a large portion of the female population a HUGE disservice by denying that there are many women who do not handle birth control well. They try to deny that birth control can cause weight gain, headaches, etc, etc. But let’s face it – there are those of us out there who KNOW that we don’t feel like ourselves on that stuff, and I just don’t believe that can be healthy for everyone. Maybe for some women, it is. But for a lot of women, it can be disastrous. We’re talking blood clots, hair loss, weight gain that is completely out of their control, fatigue, mood swings that border on bipolar disorder, and insulin resistance. For me, every time I went off hormonal BC, it took me years to get a period back. Years. Last time, it was a full year to get my cycles back and another eight months or so for them to regulate down to the standard 28-day cycle. Within just a few months of that, I was pregnant with Russ. I just refuse to do something that I genuinely feel compromises my health and perhaps even my fertility down the road in the future. No thanks.

So that’s my soapbox for the day! Gotta go shower!

Changing every day

Russ just hit the 8-week mark on Wednesday, and as I always say – and probably always will – I can hardly believe we’re here already. Roll your eyes at my repetitiveness if you must, but if anything ever deserved repeating, it’s how quickly time passes when you have a child. It’s just crazy.

Jonathan has been gone for almost two weeks now, but today he’ll arrive back on U.S. soil and back in Greenville and the arms of those who love him the most. I was so lucky to have had the ability to leave home and go spend the time that Jonathan was gone with my parents and other family! It really helped pass the time a lot more quickly, and I never felt alone or depressed. It was a far cry from how things felt when Jonathan was traveling a lot during my first and into my second trimester of pregnancy. He was gone at one point for 5 weeks – gone all week and home for two days on the weekend, then right back out. I will admit that I can be a bit of a wuss in that regard…I don’t think I’d ever want to live alone. It’s just not my cup of tea – I’m one of those people that turns on the TV first thing when I get home, not so I can loaf on the couch, but so that I have the sounds of people talking while I’m milling about and doing things around the house. It’s not that I’m uncomfortable with silence. I’m a bit uncomfortable with being alone, though. It’s definitely a weakness of mine.

For the past two days, I’ve been back in Greenville and my mom came up to see me and enjoy the absolutely AMAZING fall colors we’re having here. Driving back into Greenville County on I-385 was really wonderful – it just looked like everything was ablaze with fall’s beautiful shades of orange, red, burgundy, yellow, and even a few purples that I spotted. This is truly my favorite season. I wish I could’ve had a fall wedding, but for us, the timing just didn’t work out for that. Not a big deal.

Yesterday, mom and I took Russ out around town to go eat lunch at Olive Garden (yum!), hit Old Navy for shirts on sale, and drive around the northern Greenville/Traveler’s Rest area to take pictures and survey some really gorgeous views of the colors and the mountains. There’s a subdivision up on Paris Mountain called Montebello that has the absolute best views in all of Greenville County, and the houses there are a sight in and of themselves. They’re Tuscan-style homes, most of which are quite large and grand, with beautiful formal gardens, intricate stonework, and bright colors that really make you feel like you’ve traveled into the deep Italian countryside. Mom loved it! We got some beautiful pictures, but God bless those folks if they saw us taking pictures of their houses and wondered what the heck we were doing. We got a few strange looks, I’m pretty sure, but we didn’t really care.

I’m enjoying a new development this past week on the postpartum front – my jeans fit again!! YAY!! Now, I didn’t say they fit exactly the way they did before the baby, haha. Before my pregnancy, my jeans had actually gotten quite loose on me because I was in really great shape, probably the best I’d been in years. Because I’m 5’9″ and tend to have a good amount of muscle on me, I can carry 150+ pounds on my frame and still get into a size 8 pant or a size small shirt at a lot of stores – so right now, at 165-170 pounds or so (I maxed out at 195 on the last day of my pregnancy), I’m fitting in my jeans and not looking too bad for it. I know it’s probably strange that I just throw out numbers like weight without worry, but I really don’t care what people think of me. I’m just not a size 2 or a 110-pound girl, and I never will be – and I’m okay with that, so everyone else should be, too! LOL