Giving Thanks

 

I’ve been finding myself more emotional lately.  I’m not sure if it’s because O’s birthday is approaching or if it’s due to the season.  This is my favorite time of the year.  I have always associated the holidays with family.  I had a family-centered upbringing and during the holidays the family closeness was even more apparent.

I’ve been striving to pull myself out of the darkness of postpartum.  In doing so, I find myself being thankful for a lot more.  I am so thankful to have doctors guiding me.  I feel that I have a strong support system medically that is looking out for my best interest and not just trying to push me along.  I am thankful for a husband that is doing the best that he can to support and understand the ups and downs of my process.  Most of all, I’m thankful for my two babies.

It can be easy to feel as if they are the reason I feel the way that I do.  However, these two are saving me.  They are the reason that I want to pull myself out completely of postpartum darkness.  Although I feel pulled in so many different directions right now with a toddler and a baby, I find that I am smiling a little more than before.  There are still moments where I find myself crying or just stuck due to feeling like I am doing a terrible job at motherhood.  I’ve been reminding myself that this is just as much of a learning process for myself as it is for them. They are the reason I’m determined to be a great mother and give them the best that I can.  I’m definitely winging this whole motherhood thing.  I’m trying to take it one moment at a time and reminding myself that I can’t be perfect at it.  Most importantly, I’m reminding myself to enjoy even the small moments – like these two playing footsies in our pajamas and rocking in our rocking chair.

Enjoymamahood Journey : School

This whole school thing, it was definitely a lot easier with just one child.  It did have not so great moments when it was only O.  I would have nights where he would not fall asleep unless I was holding him.  He would be asleep in my lap and I would be balancing my laptop on my knees trying to write a paper.  Now O sleeps through the night.  W on the other hand, well my breastfeeding journey with him also includes nights where I have to read chapters, write discussion posts, or work on papers.  I do get to have some time to myself when he relents and falls back asleep.  Right now, time for myself, well it’s barely there.  Even while I’m typing this out, W is in the same wrap and I’m standing and rocking him while batting away O’s hands as he tries to touch the keys.  That’s mom life for you I suppose.  It’s just hard not to think I am a little crazy to keep up with everything.  I’m still getting use to having two kids.  I need to figure out how to balance the kids, work, school, wife duties, and a social life.

I don’t regret my decision about going back to school.  As much as I am doing this for myself, I am doing this for my family.  Of course I want to be working in a field I like and extra money is great now that we have another tiny human to care for.  Overall, I want to show my children that you don’t have to settle.  If you are unhappy, there is a solution.  The solution may not always be simple but it is there.  I want them to learn to not be afraid of taking risks in life.  If they appreciate and feel proud of all this, that would just make it even worth so much more.

For Keepsake

for keepsake

Call me old-fashioned but I love the idea of crafts and D.I.Y. projects.  I think it could be from growing up in a generation prior to Wi-Fi and Internet access on phones.  It seems like crafts are making a comeback in a big way.  I follow a lot of shops on Instagram that sew, handwrite, or just plain homemade.  If I had the energy and time, I would probably do the same for extra income.

I’ve been sewing for my boys.  With O I really wanted to make him a blanket, something that he could not only use as a baby but maybe even keep as he grows older.  I hand-sewed two blankets with the same pattern and materials for him.  He still uses both for naps and night time. Naturally I wanted to do the same for W.  Unlike with O’s blankets, I have lagged terribly.  I started this blanket the beginning of August when I started my maternity leave.  It is now November, W is about two and half months old and it’s sitting on top of my sewing machine.  You would think now that I have a sewing machine this time around I would have completed this project much faster.

Nope.

After realizing this, I then started to worry about how I am approaching child number 2.  Am I already cutting back on the amount of attention compared to my first?  Should I have bought more things that were his own and not hand-me-downs? Should I even be worrying about something like this?

I guess the most important thing is that I am giving him a keepsake. It may not be finished yet but it is well on it’s way.  I feel like I should stop worrying so much.  I can’t be great at this motherhood thing all the time.  Not saying that now I have a reason to slack off but that I need to relax.  I have to keep reminding myself to be in the present and enjoy RIGHT NOW.  Enjoy the hugs from O, smile as W starts to be more aware of his surroundings, and witness  the two of them start their brotherly bond.

Am I doing this right?


This is how most of my nights look like: trying my best to set down a drowsy baby so I can attempt to clean or better yet schoolwork.   My decision to go back to school to pursue another degree was about three months prior to finding out I was pregnant again.

Being pregnant and going to school was not part of the plan. I was just starting to figure out how to juggle work life, motherhood, wife duties, and school when I found out I was pregnant with W.  It’s hard to take make time for schoolwork. I want to be there for my kids. At the same time, I know finishing this degree means more opportunities. I guess I just hope I’m doing this right, being a mother I mean.

Sometimes I feel like I’m not doing enough. Other times I feel insistent over something due to having “that gut feeling.” So far “that gut feeling” hasn’t failed me.  Other mothers make it look so easy especially on Instagram. Now I know that in itself should not be an indicator of whether or not is a someone a good-anything and those photos are often staged.  It’s hard not to feel somewhat discouraged when you have Cheerios stuck on your pants, spit up on your shirt and a crying toddler to tend to.

All I know is that I’m doing the best I can. Motherhood is hard work. I’m also trying to do what I can to provide for my kids. I just hope I’m doing this right.

Balancing of the Babies


“O,” my eldest, has been testing my motherhood balancing skills. I’ve noticed over the past couple of weeks that he has been acting more “babyish” than usual. The few months prior to W being born, we had progressed with potty training, him being able to help dress himself, and ultimately him being a little more independent.

As of late, my husband and I have noticed:

  • He pretend falls and either pretends to cry or says “uh oh.”
  • Drops down to crawl places.
  • Wants our attention much more when we’re changing W’s diaper.
  • Often refuses his cup and wants a bottle.

Other times, he wants to be fully independent. He “reads” to himself, quietly plays with his toys, and is progressing with language skills.

It gets difficult to refrain from getting frazzled when O has his moments and W is feeding or I’m changing his diaper. I find myself just needing a brief moment to gather myself.

Balancing both my kids’ needs is definitely a struggle. I worry whether I’m giving either enough attention. Sometimes I think O got “robbed” of enjoying being the only child and grandchild.  Then I see how sweet he is towards his brother. I see his desperation to try and comfort W if he’s crying, he’ll try to pat him or kiss him.

I’m hoping this balancing act gets somewhat easier when W gets older. I keep telling myself that it’s difficult now but it’ll all be worth it in the end. I know I have to “look forward” to them causing mayhem together soon. Taking this one baby-toddler duo day at a time.

Enjoymamahood Journey : Breastfeeding

4am feedings
With my first, there were so many complications, breastfeeding only lasted about a month. We tried working through a tongue tie, a poor latch, and through two procedures to “fix” the tongue tie. When my first was about a day old, a frenulectomy was done. We were told that the frenulum was preventing him from sticking his tongue out and getting a good latch. It was cut to help with a good latch. I remember how uneasy I felt about it but did not know any better so my husband and I put our trust in the nurses and the lactationist.  After meeting with a lactationist, we were told the procedure was not done correctly and it had to be redone. What ended up happening was the first procedure didn’t heal so they used a laser to do the cut again.

His body responded by forming a ball-like form under his tongue. He refused to latch and bottle feeding was our only option at that point.  My husband and I felt horrible.  I was feeling helpless because I felt like I lost the only way I would be able to connect to my son – through breastfeeding.  At the time I also felt that the lactationist helping us gave up once she saw the ball under his tongue.  I remember emailing her or calling her trying to get advice and she just stopped responding.  I attempted to at least pump but even after taking supplements and such, I still could not produce enough milk.

It also did not help that my mother-in-law would joke around about breastfeeding my son while holding him if he started rooting.  She may not have realized it at the time but it not only felt like a jab at how I was doing as a mother but me as a person.  I felt like I could not talk to anyone.  I also felt like I was being judged because I had to formula bottle feed my son.

We were referred to a Head, Neck, and Ears specialist to make sure that the ball wasn’t tissue forming over itself and would later hinder our son’s speech.  I felt like he was the only person, besides our pediatrician, that was up front with us.  He assured us that “the ball” was not tissue or pus filled and it would eventually subside.

My husband and I decided that when we had our next child things would be different.  If they told us our child was tongue-tied, we would get a second opinion.  We were not going to rely solely on the nurses or lactationists suggestions in the hospital.  He knew how important it was to me to at least try and breastfeed and he wanted to help make that happen for me.

My choice to breastfeed is not due to what people are telling me is the right thing to do.  It is something I want to do.  For me, it’s not only knowing that I’m providing the nutrients for my child, it’s also that bond.  During my first pregnancy I researched the benefits of breastfeeding for the child and mother.  I guess I knew in my heart that I needed that bond and connection through breastfeeding just as much as my child.  I do contribute my postpartum depression with my first due to the fact that I was only able to breastfeed for three weeks. I felt like I lost that connection.  Although I will say that my first is a happy and healthy little boy and you would not be able to tell what he endured nor would you be able to tell that he was strictly formula-fed.

This time around, my second latched on immediately.  We’ve had to work through a couple of bumps in terms of positions (cradle, football hold, etc.).  I’m at the point where I want to make sure that I can keep up my milk production so I have been researching ways to do so.  Breastfeeding has been completely different as opposed to bottle-formula feeding.  He’s been feeding on-demand so 3am-4am wake-up times are necessary.

I’m still navigating my way through breastfeeding but so far I’m happy with my decision.  I was and have been wary about lactationists this time around.  Luckily the one I met with after my second child was born was so understanding and respected our decision to not correct the supposed tongue-tie baby no. 2 has.

So far, W (baby no.2) is gaining weight steadily and seems content.  His pediatrician is happy with his growth and assured me that I’m doing a good job.  We’re going to keep at this breastfeeding thing as long as W will let us.

At A Standstill


This is how I feel life has been like now that there are two kids in the picture. Life is still moving, things have become a blur but we’re trying to laugh as much as we can.

This postpartum has been a little different from my first.  Not only do I have another kid that is running around but I feel that my priorities have changed yet again.  Now that I know the signs and symptoms of postpartum depression, I’ve been watching myself closely.  In the same sense I have been trying to make a point of enjoying each moment.

One change this time around, for me, was making a point of reaching out for help.  Mostly through forums, Instagram accounts by searching through hashtags, and working closely with my OB/GYN and Primary Care doctor.  Knowing that I am not alone and that there are other Mothers that are also trying to get that balance.  With my first pregnancy, postpartum I felt so alone.  I felt like I could not get anyone to understand.  When I finally met with my primary care doctor and she gently explained it, I felt so much relief.

Getting out of the house and going anywhere, even if it’s to get coffee, is a big accomplishment. Gone are the days where I had the need to put on make up and find an outfit.  If I can get my hair tied up and muster up the courage to haul the kids into the car is enough for me even if I’m wearing leopard pajama bottoms, a nursing tank, and a cardigan with spit-up stains.

This to me is real motherhood (at least with a newborn and toddler). Hours to get out of the house because while you’re getting ready one of your kids spilled milk on the sofa.  One of your kids is refusing to wear pants.  Your youngest wants to nurse so there is no way you’re making the party at the time you told your friends.  Motherhood is never at a standstill, there are so many moving parts.  Things are left undone, halfway done, and sometime forgotten.

At the end of the day, as much as I hate thinking about the things I didn’t get done, being able to cuddle with my littles makes me the happiest.  Steadily trying to conquer postpartum.