Wednesday, March 20, 2013

3 months

Well... Brandon and I made it through the first 3 months! They say the first 3 months are the hardest to survive (I suppose with the transition and sleepless nights, etc... but I imagine the teething months and the teenage years to actually be the hardest...) but regardless... we made it! Ty is officially 3 months old! 

Our little boy is turning out to be such a sweet, snuggly, happy little guy and we are head-over-heels in love with him! 

Now... I've got to tell you... these 3 month pictures were much, much harder to get. Ty was squirmy and wiggly and I could hardly get him to look at the camera. In the pictures on the sofa, he kept trying to throw himself forward as if to try and sit up by himself (which he has not quite mastered... in fact, most of the time when he attempts this he just kamikazes himself and ends up face-planting whatever surface is in front of him. Luckily, it has not yet been the floor or a hard surface and Brandon and I are always there to catch him.) On the bench, he was too interested in everything around him and in the basket he began to have a mini-tantrum because he did not want to be laying flat on his back. 

I'm going to have to get more creative for his 4-month pictures, I'm sure. 

Anyway... without further ado... here is our 3-month old baby-boy!

Age: 3 months old! 
Weight: ***
Height: ***
Eating: Ty is still exclusively on breastmilk but we're going a little bit longer between feedings. At night, we're only waking up once at about 3 a.m.!

Tyson likes: Ty has become quite the outdoorsman... loving and taking in the sunshine and fresh air. He's totally a morning baby and has become quite fond of bathtime and playing on his playmat. He loves to practice standing and walking up my chest. He also has become quite the kicker and thouroughly enjoys working out those legs of his. He laughs and smiles at his daddy and still loves to be held constantly. 
Tyson dislikes: Again, not being stimulated... he's constantly got to have someone or something entertaining him. He also isn't very fond of lying on his back for long periods of time. We have yet to be successful and getting him to sleep alone in his cradle at night, so, yeah, there's that...

Best Moment of the Month? Every single smile and coo tops the chart as the best moment. Not to mention, with every passing day, his personality is shining through a little bit more. He's quite determined to sit up on his own and loves to practice standing that it is super fun to watch and be a part of. Ty also got to meet Brandon's grandfather (Ty's great-grandfather) and we got to get a picture of the 4 generations of Sillivan men... it was a pretty special day. 
Milestones? Ty is smiling constantly and has become quite the coo-er. Brandon and I could sit in front of him for hours listening to his "stories". He's also getting much stronger, our little guy. Ty also had his first sleepover without Mommy and Daddy at GranNan and Pop's house and his first out-of-state roadtrip to visit Grandma and Grandpa in Arkansas... both at which he did wonderfully with!

We love you so much, our little Tyson Lee, and the past 3 months have been the happiest of our lives. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

wednesday - the day that would never end.

Yesterday was lousy. Seriously... it was just dumb. On Monday, Brandon and I were able to sneak a super quick and super last minute trip to Texarkana so that Ty could meet his Great-Grandparents on Brandon's side for the first time (more on that later) and while the trip was absolutely wonderful, Brandon and I ended up having to drive home to Baton Rouge super late on Tuesday night.

When we arrived home at 3 a.m., I knew that our schedule would be off. I mean, Ty and I are usually in bed by 9 p.m. and waking up for his midnight feeding at 3 a.m. Certainly NOT going to bed at 3 a.m.... I only hoped that Ty would be a sweetheart and sleep in a bit more the next morning.

Wishful thinking.

Ty was awake at 6 a.m. And not only was he awake but he was screaming bloody murder. My first thought (and judging by the type of crying he was doing) was that he was hungry. So I tried to feed him and the poor baby refused to latch on. At the time I wasn't that concerned... I just figured he was gassy or not hungry and just wanted to get out of bed and start the day. But when the crying didn't stop for another 2 hours and Ty still refused to breastfeed, I began to get very worried. Finally, I attempted to pump and put the milk in a bottle to see if Ty would eat that way and sure enough... the kid drank like he had never eaten before in his life (I blame it on the lack of sleep and not being able to focus between the screams as to why I didn't think of this sooner).

Turns out, after talking to my lactation nurse... Ty is on a "nursing strike". Never heard of it before? Neither had I. Apparently it can occur when there has been a disruption in your baby's schedule, you've slept in bed or a home that is not your own, or you've used a different soap or shampoo that could change your scent (even showering in a "harder" water can affect your scent). And yes, in the past 48 hours, we've done all of the above. My LN informed me it could last between 2-4 days and not to get frustrated but let's be serious... it is definitely frustrating when out of nowhere your baby refuses you. And even a little heartbreaking.

So there was that.

Then when Ty was fed and content he was ready to play. Problem is, there are only so many ways to play with a 3 month old (and I'm jumping the gun here because Ty will actually be 3 months next week). We played on our playmat. We did tummy-time. We read, like, 7 books. We played patty-cake. We practiced standing and walking. We sang and talked and walked around outside. But with every new activity his attention span would only last a few minutes and then he would start fussing again. (I'm not even mentioning the FOUR outfit changes Ty had to do due to excessive amounts of spit-up, pee, and a spectacular blow-out that deserved bragging rights). 

I think at one point I even said, "Mommy loves you but your demanding cries are annoying her right now..."

It was at that moment that I became the most frustrated with myself. And the fact that I'm not a perfect mom. Ty is going to have bad days and I am going to have bad days. I will certainly not always be at my Mary Poppins best, try as hard as I may. And even though I know this... I still get so disappointed in myself when I  let these days get the best of me. 

When Brandon woke up, he took over and let me go outside to sit on the swing and drink a cup of coffee. He suggested we get out the house. I suggested we drop Ty off at my parents' and go car shopping for a few hours. And so we did. And it was kinda just what I needed. 

On the way from my parents' later that evening I remembered how incredibly lucky I am. This high-maintenance little boy is mine. He is so beautiful. I'm his mommy. And I really am so grateful for every, single moment I get with him... whiny or not. And that husband of mine? He's amazing. Brandon really comes through when I begin to struggle and he works so dang hard to provide for us and let me stay at home with our little guy. Not many mommy's get this option. And he always comes home after a long, exhausting shift at work and offers to take over for me so that I can get some "Katie" time. Brandon's work schedule is grueling and he is such a wonderful partner and deserves all the Now-and-Later's that a guy can handle. 

And then there was this morning. Ty and I slept in til 8 and we both woke up in such great moods that I realized that every day I am going to get to renew myself to this whole "mom" thing and I am just so lucky that I get to do it and maybe one day I'll get it right.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

hard...but great.

I almost named the title of this post "the great & the not-so-great" but after thinking about it, I realized that title wasn't very appropriate because (and this will sound so cliche) even the not-so-great moments are pretty awesome. Hard is a much more appropriate word.

Here are the facts... I knew even before I got pregnant that being a parent was hard work. You'd be a fool to think it's a walk in the park. And I knew that I would love my child unconditionally. And I knew that my life would change tremendously. But the fact of the matter is... I didn't realize then how hard parenthood is (and I'm only at the beginning!), or truly how much I would love our son, or exactly how quickly my entire life would be flipped upside down and centered around this little person that I created. 

And it's awesome. 

The things you'd think I'd not love, like waking up at the butt-crack of dawn, or changing his dirty diapers, or even being attached to him 24/7 because we're breastfeeding, I totally do love. They can be hard sometimes. I might literally die if someone told me I couldn't have coffee anymore. But I really do love them. 

When Ty wakes up at 6 a.m., my first initial thought is always, "Sweet boy... go back to bed. The sun hasn't even come up yet..." but with a bit more persistent grunting I always roll over and see his beautiful blue eyes staring at me and he starts wiggling and squirming excitedly the moment he notices that I'm awake and there's not an ounce in me that can force him to lay in bed a moment longer when he's just so anxious to greet the day. And truth of the matter is, he's such a morning baby. It's the best and happiest time of the day for him. He smiles and laughs and coos and squirms in the most heart-melting way in the morning that I actually look forward to it. I am in bed at 9 p.m. every night, not so much because I'm that tired, but because I want to be awake and active with him at 6 a.m. I want to love on him and smile with him and kiss him all over. So yeah, waking up before the sun rises every morning... hard... but great. 

And then there's breastfeeding. If someone was to ask me what my favorite part of being a new mother was, I might answer breastfeeding. And if someone were to ask me what my least favorite part of being a new mother was, I might answer breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is awesome in so many ways. I love being able to single-handedly provide the necessary nutrition to help our little baby grow. I love the sounds he makes while he's eating. I love the closeness we experience and the way he looks at me just before he latches on and I love the way he throws his head back and let's out a big stretch when he's finished so that I can know he's satisfied. Nursing Ty may be, in my 25 years, my most favorite thing that I've ever done. Maybe not the best, certainly not the most impressive -- and I mean, I do have ambitions outside of being a mother.... but my most favorite and I consider it such an honor. And have I mentioned that I'm good at it? Not to brag, I mean I'm terrible at being pregnant... but nursing? Nursing I'm good at. My breasts (thanks to my mom's awesome genes) are constantly ready to go. They're practically at a constant state of engorgement. I do not struggle in the milk production area at all. I mean, I started leaking colostrum at 28 weeks. And when my milk let down like a day after giving birth, my boobs went from a size B to a DD (I have the stretch marks to prove it). But then there's the flip side. Breastfeeding means being attached to your baby at all times. Sure, you can pump and leave them for an hour here or there but trust me, your breasts will let you know that your baby still needs to eat. Ouch. And I'm not saying that I'm the most independent person in the world but I do like having a bit of freedom. While breastfeeding, like being pregnant, your body is not just yours. The food I eat and the beverages I drink are not just for me. I can't even tell you when the last time I had something with a bit of spice in it was. I'd like to be able to let Brandon be the one to wake in the middle of the night to feed Ty. Or not have to worry that I'm not leaving him enough pumped milk when leaving him with my parents for the afternoon. And not to mention that much of our days are centered around breastfeeding. If I have to run to the grocery store, I need to make sure it's closely after a feeding. If I'm going to be out for a long period of time, I need to be sure I will have a place to breastfeed. I am not ashamed to breastfeed in public... I will certainly risk the comfort of others to nurture my son... but if I can help it, I will try to do it privately. But all in all... my love for breastfeeding exceeds my annoyances with it. Breastfeeding? Hard... but great.

One thing I didn't anticipate was just how much I would love Ty. I knew I would love him. I knew that it would be like a love I had never experienced... but nothing, absolutely no figment of my imagination, could have prepared me for the vastness of this love. I have never in my life been more protective of something, or more in love with someone. My life has transitioned. I'm not the person I used to be. A year ago, if you would have asked me who I was.... who Katie Sillivan was exactly... I might have answered with a dozen different adjectives... "I'm a wife. And a wannabe wine-connoisseur. A lover of fashion and interior design and spur-of-the-moment trips to Vegas..." I probably could've gone on an on. But now? Now if you were to ask me who I am, I'd answer simply, "I'm Ty's mom." And that's it. That's all. It's not that I've lost my sense of identity but being his mom supersedes all else. It's now what I take the most seriously. I'm responsible for the upbringing of another person and I will do everything I can to be successful at this. I stay awake at night praying for the right amount of patience and wisdom and guidance that it will take to raise this child. I don't want to mess it up. Sometimes when Ty has days where he doesn't want to be put down and I spend all my time holding him and letting the pile of clean clothes that need to be folded turn into a mountain on the sofa, I wonder if I'm creating a monster. Am I already spoiling him? Should I let him cry it out? What if these small decisions I'm making now cause him to become a 5 year old terror? (These are honestly the things I'm currently freaking over...). But I know I can do it. Transitioning to a momma? Hard... but great/awesome/kinda what I feel like I was born to do.