9 months...where has the time gone? I was always told that time goes by so quickly when you have a child and they grow up so fast. I thought to myself, of course time goes by quickly, it's a fact of life, people grow up and get older. These statements are so true and something I would have never fully grasped until my little guy was here. I want to share my experiences, emotions, and fun facts from the first 9 months of being a mom. I have to admit, I almost feel bad writing this and was hesitant at first. I know there are so many mom's out there who have it really difficult and face a lot of trying times with their babies. My experiences haven't been all roses and lullabies, but it has been nothing like I imagined and so much easier than I could have dreamed it would be. One of the reasons my sister and I started this blog was to share our experiences with our readers, so here it goes.
I feel incredibly blessed to be going through this experience as a first time mom with such an amazing baby who has eased a lot of my fears and given me the confidence I needed to know that I can do this. I was never one of those women who would look at another pregnant woman and think, oh how beautiful. I would actually think, that sucks, she must be uncomfortable, I can only pray I'm not a walking house. Thankfully, and by the grace of God, I had an amazing pregnancy and wonderful birthing experience (maybe I will share that some day).
These first 9 months have been some of the best experiences of my life and have allowed me to experience a love that is indescribable. Before my little man got here, I would hear all of the horror stories, the sleepless nights (which we've actually never experienced), how people haven't been on vacation in years, and how your life pretty much stops after you have a child. Yikes! What fun is that and what are we getting ourselves into? I always wanted children but I was still selfish in a way. I didn't want to have to put everything or my life on hold. That's the thing, it doesn't have to be that way. What it comes down to is the experience you want to have as a parent. I'm at a point in my life where majority of my friends are having babies. Yes, some babies can be more difficult than others and are harder to handle, but it's also how you react to the situation.
Unsure of what my husband and I were fully getting into we knew from the start we needed to be on the same page and a support to each other. Leaving the hospital with our little guy we both looked at each other with this puzzled gaze, wondering, what do we do now? This tiny bundle of joy, with a great head of hair, was now our responsibility. Not having our family close by we knew we were going to be doing a lot of this on our own. The first few months were a lot of diaper changing (getting peed on), nursing, and feeling so connected to our little man that loved to nap in our arms. I on the other hand, was still recovering from a vaginal delivery, which no one really tells you about the aftermath (maybe I'll share that one day too). Our little man was always such a great sleeper and we took full advantage of that.
Maybe we are a little over ambitious, but within his first two weeks we visited a local outdoor farmers market, attempted our own newborn photo shoot, and had our first date night. We traveled with him on an airplane at 7 months and have gone on two family weekend getaways.
In no way am I trying to make it seem like we have it all figured out, believe me we don't. But, what I can say is, it's not all crazy pull your hair out moments and massive sleep deprivation. I think that a lot of those stories actually held me back from taking the leap and allowing myself to get really excited about the thought of having a child. I want to shed a little light for those who may be on the fence or have only heard the crazy stories. Can they happen, absolutely! Is every baby a menace, highly doubtful. Don't get me wrong, I've had my moments and I'm sure there are many more to come. The first week of breastfeeding was a big challenge and I almost gave up. Looking back now I am so happy I stuck it out, 9 months later we are still going strong. I have a lot of guilt about being back at work and him being in daycare. That has been the biggest challenge for me and has also taught me more about time management than any of my college classes ever offered. Some days I feel like super mom and others I feel like no matter what I do it just isn't enough. We are learning from each other every day and are so thankful for the gift God has given us.
Now on to some mommyhood facts...
1-3 months: Getting to know our little man. Massive amounts of diaper changing, outfit changes, napping and feeding. Smiles, tummy time, and exploration with shapes, sounds, and colors.
3-6 months: Little personality! Smiling, giggling, gripping things, sitting up, and blowing raspberries. He noticed the dog (his brother) who has become a source of entertainment for him. Everything is da da. Introduction to solids (I've been making all of his baby food).
6-9 months: Oh so curious! On the move, crawling all around, dancing, and pulling himself up. First two teeth make an appearance (teething was not all that bad, but he did get a fever right before they broke through). Introduction to teething wafers and more solid/finger food.
I've never had my hair pulled so much by tiny little fingers. It is now exciting to wear my hair up.
Wearing jewelry has taken a back seat, unless it's unbreakable bracelets.
Breastfeeding and making your own baby food is a labor of love.
Getting a little one to keep socks or shoes on is close to impossible.
Baby Einstein movies have been a life savor and I don't feel as guilty because he's learning.
I've heard old macdonald more times than I ever could have imagined. We're starting to run out of animals for the farm!
They don't need a ton of toys. He usually wants the most random things that you would never think of. A bag of croutons, who knew!
They put everything in their mouths (at least my little guy does), there's no leaving my flip flops out anymore.
They may be little but they are fast!
Tantrums happen, that's just the way it is, but if you usually do something bizarre they forget why they are crying.
I've never sang so much in my life and usually catch myself singing the most absurd things...the words that come out just so they rhyme!
I've now become a permanent jungle gym.
A mesh teething bag with frozen fruit has been the only teether he will use, and he is in love with it.
Thankfully we found this out a few weeks in...the onesies with the lap shoulders can be used to slide down the body instead of pulling over the head when accidents happen! It won't prevent them from happening but it sure helps with clean up.