This has been an exhausting two months, but two months filled with more joy and love than I could have ever imagined. We had visitors, we had our first 8 days without daddy, we dealt with sickness, reflux, allergies, and desperately trying to figure out what works best for us. There has been so much trial and error and I’d be lying if I said we have it all figured out. Let’s be real, I’m just praying we’re close.
My plan was to exclusively breastfeed until Kai turned at least 6 months. He’s the best eater, but even still he has never seemed fully satisfied and as soon as his eyes would open he was screaming for food. We started supplementing one bottle every night once we got home from the hospital and that seemed to help, at least temporarily. After a couple weeks of formula before bed, he started throwing up excessively after feedings and he spit up all.day.long. Whenever we started to find a rhythm, something would change. I guess welcome to the life of having a (small) child… or so I’ve heard 😉
ME AND MY LITTLE BFF
I thought I was tired before Gauge went to the field for eight days, but I quickly realized that was actually nothing. Being a single parent is no joke.
Kai and I had our first solo outing the morning after Gauge left. Guess where we went? Target. He slept the whole car ride, so I was confident that he’d stay asleep long enough for me to grab the items on my list and get the heck back to the car. No. No more than 5 minutes into our shopping trip and on an aisle in the complete opposite corner of the store from the fitting rooms, he woke up screaming. Refused his binky. Didn’t care that I was holding him. Didn’t realize that HE WAS OKAY. I silently panicked as I danced with him up and down the aisle while people walked by giving me pity stares and making comments about the “poor little thing…” OKAY YEAH AND HIS POOR MOM TOO LOL. I didn’t know whether to run to the fitting rooms to feed him or give up & ditch the cart full of un-purchased items and run to the car.
I put him back in his seat, prayed, and we headed the long way to the fitting rooms. We cut through the baby department — I figured it wouldn’t be too surprising or frowned upon to come across a screaming baby in the very section dedicated to babies.
I frantically asked the fitting room attendant if I could use one of their big rooms to feed my baby and she practically begged me to do so…what a kind, kind lady she was. After 45 minutes of feeding and a baby who still wasn’t happy, I found myself on my knees in the fitting room, trying to hold Kai’s binky in his mouth, rocking his carseat, and crying…actually we were both crying.
I felt drained and like a complete failure. It was near impossible to run a simple errand and I knew all too well that this wouldn’t be the last time we were on our own in public. It was pretty much in that moment that I had to surrender and accept the fact that I couldn’t keep up with him. Going out of the house was hit or miss…usually a complete miss. He was eating more than anyone I’d ever met and being on my own I wasn’t able to eat, drink, or rest NEAR enough to keep up with his demand. I quickly weaned him off of breastmilk and he has been consistently (and happily) eating a bottle of 4-6 ounces per feeding.
I was heartbroken and admittedly cried myself to sleep two nights in a row after I made this choice because I felt so much guilt and pressure from the world to continue breastfeeding. And of course I thought about all of the mama’s who aren’t able to breastfeed, or whose babies are sick and can’t — just like mine couldn’t for the first two days of his life. I never want to take it for granted. Knowing that I was the only one who could feed this sweet boy brought me so much joy, but it was a job. A job that I was failing at and that just wasn’t working for us. After switching to formula, we have the happiest baby & the most relieved mama. Now we can be in public…even when Baby K is awake!!! HALLELUJAH!
A few nights earlier my mom sent me a text with a song title and told me to listen to it when I got a chance… well that night in the bathroom, as Kai laid asleep by the door in his Dock-A-Tot (for the longest nap he’d taken in a week), I sat on the floor and listened to that song. “You Say” by Lauren Daigle. Wow. Just wow.
“I keep fighting voices in my mind that say I’m not enough
Every single lie that tells me I will never measure up
Am I more than just the sum of every high and every low?
Remind me once again just who I am, because I need to know
You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
You say I am held when I am falling short
When I don’t belong, oh You say that I am Yours
And I believe, oh I believe
What You say of me
The only thing that matters now is everything You think of me
In You I find my worth, in You I find my identity“
Tears streamed down my face and that song has pretty much been on repeat since that night. I had felt so defeated. I felt alone. I felt like an absolute failure of mom. And human. I questioned everything I was doing. But guess what? I AM HUMAN. YOU ARE HUMAN. These words don’t just apply to the new mom who is struggling and trying to figure things out as she goes. These words are truth for YOU, too, in whatever tricky season of life you find yourself in.
In the last two weeks Kai has started to find his voice and smile when he’s talked to. Gauge & I mock his voices and his responses are so funny. He squirms and kicks and has the craziest arms. I always joke that he’d be a much happier baby if he didn’t have arms, because he constantly hits his binky out of his mouth and loses his mind every.single.time.
He loves bath time, every meal of the day — he’s a champion eater & weighed 11.15 pounds at his 2 month check up today!!! He loves being held and swaddled and cuddled, despite what his dad thought before he was born 😉
We’ve finally been able to get into somewhat of a routine, so Gauge & I are at least able to differentiate between when he’s tired or hungry. We’ve implemented sleep training techniques since Kai was about 3 weeks old, but because of the constant need to eat and this inconsistent lifestyle of ours, it didn’t go as smoothly as we’d hoped. BUT, we are finally seeing so much progress and I believe we’ve found the “right” formula & what works best for us — after trying three different types. PRAISE!!! And he is putting himself to sleep most nights & for all naps!
During the day it’s just the two of us, so we’ve gotten into our own routine. We watch Gilmore Girls, he helps me clean the house & prep dinner, we snuggle on the couch for at least one nap time, we take selfies, we have staring contests, we have tummy time — we also learned how to roll onto our back, but we’re still a little unsure about it LOL, we walk to the mailbox, and we try to cross off all the things on mommy’s to-do list! 🙂
Thank you for making me a mama two months ago, my sweetest little bubbaroo. You bring me so much joy & I love you more than you will ever know!
FAVORITE MUST-HAVE BABY ITEMS FOR THE FIRST TWO MONTHS
Homedics Soundspa Sound Machine
Baby Jogger City Mini GT Travel System
Copper Pearl Bandana Bibs & Burp Cloths
MAM bottles & binkys
Honest Company Diaper Rash Cream