This past week was very special for Henry. He had the opportunity to meet his uncle Bryan, aunt Jessie, and the littles. He also spent time with Mema and Pepa and met his auntie Kaelin too. Many of our wonderful family and friends came together both to visit and to celebrate the little man’s christening. After a week of spending time together in the city and around the neighborhood, we topped off the wonderful visit (which I will blog about in a separate post) with a little sprinkle of holy water. The day was beautiful, the service special, and being together as a family the best of all. It is moments like these that make the distance between us hard, but the time we get together truly special.
I first started doing Pure Barre classes in my second trimester. I loved feeling active again after an exhausting first trimester where my fatigue knocked the wind right out of my sails. Once the third trimester started though, I was no longer able to exercise more than a brisk walk in the park. With a bigger and bigger belly and a little hip joint pain it was hard to maneuver about at the barre. I knew though that once Henry arrived I would want to return to classes to bounce back from baby. Today was that day.
At 3AM, while I was awake feeding the little guy, an intense wave of guilt and the sleepies hit and I thought it would be best for everyone if I cancelled my appointment with Pure Barre. What was I thinking? How could an exhausted first time mom with little sleep really tackle a class like this? How could I leave my 5 week old baby? Unfortunately, with less than 24 hours to cancel, I would be charged for the class regardless of my attendance. David was super supportive and truly encouraged me to get going. He said, “You will be a better mom, if you get to have a little personal time.” Still feeling guilty, but at least encouraged by David’s support, I headed to my first class post-baby.
Sitting on the floor waiting for class to start, I felt so awkward. I wanted everyone to know somehow that this was a special and hard moment for me. The ladies surrounding me all chatted about their lives and I sat there thinking: This is a HUGE moment, here I am a little shell shocked but still here. It was like I needed someone in the class to acknowledge this. Then a lovely woman asked me if this was my first time and I was finally able to say, “Yes, my first time since I had my baby.” And, as a fellow mom, she wrapped me up in warm encouragement and told me it was going to be a great class. We chatted a little about our children and about our summers and I felt like the snowball of guilt melted away a bit.
I was surprised how strong my arms felt in class while we did our push-ups and weights. Carrying around my 11lb baby definitely is helping to tone. This section of class used to leave me winded as my arms felt like jello beneath me as I “planked” for 90 seconds. Now I felt rock solid. But my “weakness” is now my stomach. Having been a gymnast in high school, I never really had to worry about my core strength. Somehow those years of core work held on through my post-gymnastic years. Well, that is all different now post-Henry. Yes, I know it was totally worth it to have my bundle of joy but it is amazing how different my body feels after baby. It took 9 months to grow this little one so I am going to be gentle on my tummy and give it the time it needs to tone and tighten up (and hopefully it can at some point!).
Feeling good after class, I immediately checked my cell phone to see if David and Henry had reached out. There was a text of a picture of Henry snoozing away in his Mamaroo and I felt perfect. I had done something for myself and Henry and David coped perfectly well without me.
I tried to call David on my way home to check in and share my positive feelings about class. He did not answer. I was little nervous but thought that he might be napping along with Henry. When I walked into the house, David looked a bit tense and Henry was grief stricken. Crying and crying for 20-30 minutes, David had tried everything: diapers, bottle, singing, bopping, dancing, walking, etc. etc. But Henry was not content. I scooped up my little guy into my arms and he settled down. Sometimes when you are that little you just want to cuddle your mommy. David did an amazing job and I am so appreciative of the time he gave me and the love he gave Henry, but does Henry’s reaction mean I left too soon?
Henry Adam, our little guy, is one month old! He is just the sweetest little boy too. David and I could not have imagined a better addition to our twosome. And, we get to keep him too! Seriously, this month has definitely had its challenges (evening fussy sessions that left us ragged) and its triumphs (heading out of doors more and more), and we are so happy to announce that Henry survived his first month with us as parents!! Woo Hoo we did it! The learning curve was steep (and in many many ways we continue to climb it) but this first month of jitters and calling out to each other, ‘What do I do?” is checked off. I would even do it all over again if I could.
Henry is really into:
- Being held upright by the couch so he can stare at the picture frames on the wall
- Rocking in his glider
- Napping in his Mamaroo
- Being swaddled
- Taking baths and getting his head scrubbed
- Dancing around the house with mom and dad
- Listening to his parents sing crazy, off tune songs
- Being smelled by the puppies
- Cuddles and sleeping on someone
- Farting (this makes all of us happy!)
- Kisses on his chest and feet
Oh my! How has is already been two weeks since Henry was born? Seriously, these last two weeks have flown by in a whirlwind of diaper changes, feedings, and cuddles. David goes back to work on Thursday for a two week project and then will be home again with us for another three weeks. While I am excited to see how Henry and I will do on our own, I am also a little nervous to be just the two of us. David has been such an AMAZING dad. He is quite the baby whisperer and without him I am not sure if Henry and I would have gotten into our breastfeeding, soothing, sleeping routine as quickly as we did. Most of our days are spent in the living room. In our comfy clothes, we spend the morning sipping our coffee and snuggling up to Henry between feedings while watching Live with Kelly and Michael in the background. We try to head out each day for at least one errand/trip. In the first days this would take us a few hours to time the feeding just so with our departure from the house. But yesterday we made it out to the Town Clerk’s Office to collect Henry’s birth certificate and then walked around the mall. It was a triumphant trip which included a public breastfeeding and restroom changing. These silly milestones provided us with some confidence to be “normal” outside of the house. It is amazing how something as simple as using the public restroom changing station can help you feel like, “Yes, I got this!”
We keep wondering what his personality will be like. It is a bit too early to know now but it is clear that he has a calm disposition which keeps evolving each day and he loves loves loves his daddy. Eskimo kisses help lull him to sleep and in the morning he loves cuddling in bed before heading downstairs to face the day. He eats like clockwork right now. Feedings are every 2 hours during the daytime and every 3-4 hours at night. I think he sleeps longer at night because he LOVES to be swaddled. We strap him into his little swaddle straight jacket and he is off to slumber-land. We feel incredibly lucky to have this early baby-generated schedule (though each day I worry that it is going to change!). As we become more adventurous with Henry, I feel as though our lives are settling back into place. I am surprised by how quickly this new little guy has become a seamless part of our existence and rounded out our family. While I am still a bit hesitant to dine out (nights tend to have a little cluster feeding), I am sure we will head out there soon!
As for me, I am feeling great! I was SO afraid it would take me the full 6 weeks postpartum to feel good. By taking it easy, my body has healed and I truly feel like my own self again (though a touch more tired). I have 13 pounds to go before I am back to my pre-pregnancy weight but I am not in a rush to lose it and I just feel completely amazed by my body: What it did during the 9 months of pregnancy, what it did during labor, and how it is recovering at its own pace. Yes, I had a weepy afternoon when I was overly tired last week, but David helped comfort me and usher me to take a much needed nap. His support has really helped make this family transition ideal. In these circumstances, no wonder people get addicted to making babies =)
2 days, or 48 hours, or 2,880 minutes, or 172,800 seconds until I arrive at the baby’s official due date.
The 39 weeks leading to this moment went by in a blink, but these last few hours feel like slow, grinding years.
Everything on the to-do list is complete (seriously, I have no list for the first time in my life!). And, yes, these last quiet hours before the arrival should be relished and cherished as this kind of solitude will probably not be revisited for another let’s say 5 or 10 years! Yet, I feel nothing but restless energy. So many of the mommies I have spoken with describe a similar emotion when it was their time. They shared that now that the finish line is completely in sight the waiting becomes unbearable. When I try to describe this to the non-pregnant around me, they tell me to relax and to rest my aching body. The thing is my body doesn’t ache. I am very lucky that despite my large belly full of baby, I do not have any aches or pains to complain of and could theoretically continue on in this fashion for quite a bit longer. The only “ache” I have is in my emotional center. I am ready to meet this little guy, I am ready to face labor head on, and I am ready to endure the birth process. And this waiting, this daily waiting around, goes against every fiber of my busybody being!
So what happens to one’s mind under these conditions? Delusions start.
Delusion number 1: I am not pregnant. Despite the protruding stomach, I have begun to rationalize that there is not a baby in there after all.
Delusion number 2: If delusion number 1 is not true and I am indeed pregnant, then at this point my body has begun to reabsorb the baby.
Delusion number 3: I don’t look pregnant in the mirror.
Delusion number 4: If I wake up in the morning and have not already started labor than that day is “lost” and won’t turn into a labor day.
Delusion number 5: I will be waiting forever.
Obviously, I know that these thoughts are nothing but frivolous notions that fill the lagging time until the baby’s ultimate arrival but with each passing day they become a little more vivid and I have to check in and remind myself, “Melissa, you know this is just your boredom talking.” To counter the boredom, I have tried to at least venture outside once a day. David doesn’t want us to go too far in case my water breaks but, “See delusion 4,” I sometimes say to him. We have gone on walks in the park, the mall, and the arboretum. We have spent some time shopping around Whole Foods and lounging in our backyard. These have all eased my spirit a bit but inevitably the restlessness returns. I know I am on “his time” and I know the closer we get to the due date the better for the wee man but I also know that this is hard for me and I am trying my best to stay relaxed while I wait incessantly for the inevitable.
With only a few weeks to go until the little man makes his arrival, we finally have our nursery completed. It is one of my favorite spaces in our home, which is probably a good thing since I imagine we will be spending a lot of time there comforting, playing, feeding, and cuddling the little baby. In the beginning, the little man will sleep in our room in a bassinet next to our bed. It will just be easier to have him close during that time when his sleep and eating habits will be more unpredictable and on demand. But, even though he won’t be sleeping in his darling little crib, I am sure we will be in his room to change him, to play on the elephant mat together, and to rock him. All of his little things are sweet and precious and I find myself going into the room to sit down and just exist in that quiet space (which will very shortly not be a quiet space any more!). Everything in there smells like baby and feels so warm and welcoming. It is amazing to think that we get not to only meet him soon but love him and parent him! It is truly surreal. Bella and Buster have started to spend some time in the room too. We want them to be familiar with all of the stuff before the baby arrives. Of course, we monitor them while they explore his toys, the chair, and try desperately to chew on his elephant stuffed animals. It will be hard for them to restrain themselves from just thrashing the stuffies to bits but David has been working on it and there seems to be progress. They can now go into the room and just hang out without frantically going after the toys = progress! I am sure things will change once the little man arrives and piques their curiosity but I am excited to watch them sniff, love, and protect him. It will be fun watching the little man grow up with the pups and romp around the house and yard. So even if the beginning months are challenging balancing all of the family needs, it will be well worth it I am sure.
When we started to put the room together we had one wood dresser. It had been our first home purchase when we moved in together in Boston. It is funny how when you buy a large item for one purpose you cannot image how it will be used in the future. We moved David’s clothes out of this particular dresser and moved it into the baby’s room. Since this piece was an oak color we decided that instead of painting it, we would stick to furniture of a similar hue and add color through linens, paints, and details. The major colors in the room are: blue, grey, and yellow. We wanted the room to be soothing on the eyes but not cold and I think we were able to meet that with our choices.
Here are some of the nursery room details
The changing table is part of the Kendall Collection from pottery barn. We picked it because we felt it was almost a match to the dresser we already had in our home. We were not huge fans of the knobs that came with the dresser though. So we headed to Anthropologie and found these little owls to replace them. The prints on the wall above the changing table are from Aldari Art on etsy.We wanted to add a little bit of color but didn’t want the room to become to overstimulated. Her animal prints are just so cute. They are one of my favorite details! His little hamper with the raccoon bandit is from the Container Store (one of the best stores! I could get lost in there for hours). And, on top of the dresser that we already had, we placed a basket we received from our baby shower filled with burp cloths and bibs and a little dumbo and his mother stuffy. My mom and dad gave us the dumbo toy. When I was little my nanny would pretend to be Dumbo’s mother and her arm would be the trunk. My brother and I would sit on her arm and she would swing us back and forth singing the mother’s song. This toy is a beautiful reminder of my nanny and how lucky I was to have her in my life when I was growing up and until just last year. Though she will not meet our little one, I know she is still with us.
The yellow bookcase was a recent purchase. We started to receive all these great board books from family and friends and did not have anywhere to put them. We didn’t want to add another piece of heavy furniture to the room and then found this quirky bookcase “manger” from Land of Nod.
When the little man’s crib arrived, David and I would go into the room and ask, “And who will be sleeping here?” Seriously, how is it that we have a whole room set up for someone we don’t know yet? I still cannot believe we will be having a baby! But, the crib is definitely proof that BIG changes are coming to our family. And if you couldn’t tell already, the baby’s room has an elephant theme. From sheets, to mobile, to stuffies, to quilt, he will be surrounded by his elephants while he is ushered to dream world (where he hopefully stays during full nights of sleep, fingers crossed!)
Ah, and then we get to my absolute favorite piece in the nursery!! I just LOVE this glider from Target. We were on the fence for awhile about whether or not we needed a glider. Obviously it would be great to have to rock him to sleep, but there was no guarantee that he would (a) like it or (b) use it for very long. Despite these doubts we pulled the trigger and invested in these two pieces if for no other reason than to have a place to put your feet up after a long day! And with the chair we added an ottoman pouf from Aletafae on etsy. It just arrived today and it is AMAZING!
So now we wait, and wait, and wait. This is by far the hardest part. The pregnancy has been easy but this waiting for the last few weeks and waiting until he is ready to join us is so difficult. I know that the longer he stays put and stays closer to his due date the better, but I just want to meet him and kiss him SO badly. I already love this little person who I haven’t met yet! At least now, while we experience this wait we can relax a little in his room!
What!?! How has it been three years since David and I walked down the aisle and said “I do!” I guess the old cliche is right: time flies when you are having fun. I seriously love this guy. He has challenged me, inspired me, loved me, supported me, and made me laugh each and everyday. In these short three years, we have built a family and a home together and I am so incredibly grateful to have such a fabulous husband (Of course, I am a pretty fun wife too!). Our little twosome is about to be a threesome but I am really happy to have had these three years together. It has been an adventure and promises to continue to be. Thankfully I will have this lovely guy by my side to keep it all interesting!
When it became official: The Kiss