Friday, March 11, 2016

Motherhood Life Lately: Journey to a Happy Baby

My beautiful babies. I made them! Oh how I love them. 

So I'll just say that January was a dark month for me. The honeymoon newborn phase was over, and I was left with a very needy, crying, and seemingly unhappy baby. I did not know how to handle it. I had to do things I had never done before with my first baby: things like calling my mom at night in tears not knowing what to do. And usually once a day putting the baby safely in my bedroom or swing and walking out to regain some composure from the frustration I was feeling towards this tiny baby, which would make me feel so guilty. I would look up all types of things to what could be causing the crying. Was he colicky? Should I try essential oils? Is it something in my diet? etc etc etc. Thinking and writing about it now is making me cry again. 

And then you add my 18 month old to the mix. I felt like I couldn't take care of one without neglecting the other. But luckily, J didn't seem to mind all the crying. And he still wanted to love on his brother. He obviously still had his needs and his toddler moments, but J helped me out so much by being a pretty easy going and forgiving kid--who also sleeps through the night which is so nice! He doesn't even know how much he helped me through that time with the love he gave me. Sweet sweet boy. (This of course is forgetting things that happened in the "dark month" like throwing a jar of jam on the baby's head or trying to shove a straw in baby's mouth--both times made me think that Dominic was never ever going to like J because he would cry even worse if he knew J was in the room. oh man.)
Some days were just basic survival mode. The thought of leaving the house by myself with two babies was just so overwhelming to me sometimes. This picture says it all: monster truck videos, with nutella and cookies in bed. Wow. At least he's dressed!
Anyway, I started to feel that the crying and fussing might possibly be because the baby was still hungry. We had some sample formula, and he gobbled it right up. It made me feel awful. I took him to his pediatrician a few days later, and she said my hunch to feed him more was correct, because he was down in percentage for his weight. It's been frustrating to try and make my body make more milk. It's also been confusing and tempting to compare why I never had a problem making milk for my first baby, who was also much chunkier. But mostly it's been liberating, because all I care about is having a happy baby. And if supplementing him with formula is going to do that, so be it.

With my first I had plenty of time to do all the remedies when my milk supply was running low. I'm trying my best, but I'm relieved to know that if for some reason I can't get it up again, my baby is happy with both breastmilk and formula. The only thing that sucks about it is how much formula costs yikes! Luckily my pediatrician is generous in giving me lots of sample cans. I wouldn't have that if I were being seen by a military doctor. Trying to look on the bright side ;)

So here we are now. I feel like we are now out of that dark place. February was on our way out, and now our March and future months are looking bright. I think that's why I feel like I can talk about it now.

Taking both babies to the store doesn't scare me anymore, although it definitely is a lot more work. I've even gone to eat just me and them (they were both asleep in the stroller ha) We go on long walks around Monterey and try to spend lots of time outside, which does us all good. We also are all sleeping much better, and that sure is great. I love taking an afternoon nap with my baby. Chores be damned. My three month old is the sweetest and he now wakes up happy, generously gives grins and giggles, sits contently next to me, but even more contently in my lap--he's still pretty clingy like that. But at least he's not crying when he's sitting in my lap.

So if you made it through my journey, bravo. You may have read it remembering what I wrote a year ago about having an easy baby and thought this was my just reward for saying how easy it all was. I did so myself. But the biggest lesson I have learned with having another baby is DO NOT compare them to each other. That was my biggest mistake and what caused so much of my frustration. It's hard not to, but don't do it. Also don't be so hard on your body if you feel like it's not doing what you want. I'm still working on that one.

Deciding to have two kids 16 months apart has definitely been the hardest thing I have ever done, but I am so so grateful for the satisfaction and fulfillment I feel. Despite the struggles, I am so happy. And they are by far my greatest accomplishment.


  1. They are precious! Ava was (and still is a little) clingy like it sounds like Dominic is. However, not having other children, she could get away with constantly being held or in the baby carrier (which is how I got ready or cleaned.) sometimes I still have to hold her while cooking dinner and she's much too heavy for that! But hey, it's just because mama makes them feel good, right??

  2. Proud of you for being such a good patient Momma! Those boys are so lucky to have you. Glad you figured out the problem and January can just be a distant memory!

  3. Good luck! Did they check for a tongue and lip tie? The picture of him crying kind of reminded me of Eisley's posterior tie. We has a horrible breastfeeding experience for the first 6 weeks before I figured out what was going on. It can cause your supply to tank and baby isn't as effective at getting milk so they are always hungry, crying, and needy. She never slept and had bad reflux. After getting the ENT to revise it she was a totally different baby. I know it might not be the issue you are having but it is worth a look!!! Good luck!!!

  4. Oh I am so sorry. I don't miss dark days. Good news is that it does get better! And your Nutella, shows, and bed photo has this weird, happy nostalgic feeling for me? There's something really lovely about the simplicity of survival.... I couldn't see it when I was in it but now I miss how freeing it was to make choices based on my needs.

  5. oh my annie bananie. I FEEL YOU!!! When you said that just thinking of you was making you cry..I was like omg, I was SO THERE. And reading this made me wonder if lucy may have had the same issue and I never figured it out. Although I remember there was a distinct change in her at 9 months, so I will really never know. It's so hard to go through, but for me it was helpful to talk to other moms experiencing similar things. People would always say "it gets better" and i was like "oh yeah?? WHEN!" But it mostly did. Now she's just a regular whiney toddler. But that constant crying just grates the soul. If I read anything about motherhood and how hard it was I would break down crying. I hope the days are behind you and that little dominic can get what he needs. I love you!

  6. also that first picture is really cute

  7. It's not easy at all, but it's sooo worth it! Your boys will be best friends sooner that you think and things will eventually become easier. You have so many reasons to feel proud of!! Keep up the good work! You can do hard things! ;)