Make note of the huge question mark at the end of that post title. Does one ever really “get the hang of” having kids? Maybe Michelle Duggar…maybe.
This past week was a bunch of highs and a bunch of lows all tangled into one glorious 7-day stretch. Remember when Austin was 3 weeks old and he started smiling? Well this week he really bumped up the smiles, starting kind of giggling – which, by the way, is the cutest thing on the planet – and has been generally much more awake and aware. He saw Weston’s face last week and ever since Wes will get right in his face and say, “LOOKING AT YOU!” if ever there’s a moment when they’re both awake at the same time. I think having two boys will be kind of amazing/already is!
Austin has now pretty much outgrown everything newborn, which seems to have happened totally overnight. He has some gas issues now and then, and I noticed when he was stretching out and trying to toot that his outfits seemed to be constraining him; like he couldn’t actually stretch fully out. So we put him in 3-month clothes, which swallow him but are long enough, and it seemed to make a big difference. We also ran out of newborn diapers, but it turned out to be OK because they were starting to get too tight on his little legs anyway. How is it that we’re already wearing size 1’s and 3 month clothes?! Wasn’t he just born?!
The gas thing has been a challenge. He wasn’t sleeping well, was in pain and not happy when he was awake, and basically the only time he was able to sleep was when I was nursing him…cute, but not a good habit to get into. I got some gripe water (this brand) and gas relief drops (this brand), and have cut out legumes and cruciferous veggies, both of which have helped. He still struggles to get his little toots out sometimes, but it’s significantly better than it was before!
When I was pregnant we decided to go ahead and get a swing because it was such a lifesaver with Wes, and bought a 4Moms MamaRoo from our neighbors. Y’all, I won’t lie – it’s cute and fancy but has NOT been a good fit for Austin. We finally figured out that the most soothing motion for him is front to back, which the MamaRoo doesn’t do. Which means we ended up dropping more money on a swing that has the front to back option, but has pretty much saved all of us. Friday was kind of nuts, with me running to several different stores to find a swing that actually had the front to back swinging motion and that didn’t cost a trillion dollars. Since when did a swing NOT go front to back? Isn’t that the very definition of a swing?! Anyway…finally we found one on sale at Babies R Us and it’s been great – it’s the Fisher Price My Little Snuggabunny Cradle & Swing if anyone needs a recommendation 🙂
Austin is also sleeping more and more through the night! Two nights ago he slept 6 hours straight…which means MOM DID TOO! Cue celebration trumpets, amiright? I won’t count on this being the new norm, but I’ll take it while I can. We have his 1-month well check this week and I can’t wait to find out how he’s growing. Other than the gas issue he’s been totally normal, is nursing well, sleeping well (at least at night – yay) and is starting to explore the world a little more when he’s awake!
As for the rest of us? Well, the dogs are doing OK although they definitely got bumped down the line a little more when Austin came into the world. They are very much still a huge part of our family, but we’re all having to adjust to this new normal and that includes them too. Wes is still a fantastic big brother and loves Austin so much. Nate is a rockstar dad, although being a dad with a newborn isn’t always easy. There are just some things he can’t help with sometimes, but if there’s anything we’ve seen it’s that that changes very shortly down the road. If Nate is around then Wes is by his side, and always asks for Daddy during the days. It won’t be long til Austin is doing the same thing!
And me? I’m looking forward to my 6-week checkup soon and getting the go-ahead to exercise. I was thinking yesterday about how, when I started this blog, I was really open and transparent about my history with disordered eating and body image. A lot has changed since then and I’m happy to say that I no longer really struggle with those things, BUT at the moment I still don’t feel at home in my body. The postpartum body is interesting, and when you pair it with social (read: celebrity) examples of bouncing back in record time it can play with your mind if you let it. And you know what? Sometimes I let it. But the reality is that my body has very recently gone through a miraculous transformation. It took 38 weeks to grow a precious baby boy, it battled the odds and endured a successful VBAC, and it has since been sustaining and nourishing that little boy’s life. This is no small feat, but I am also ready to feel strong again and to have that 30-45 minutes of “me” time to sweat it out.
Last time I did the Insanity workout series and enjoyed it for the most part, but hour-long workouts just aren’t going to fly this time around. My initial thoughts are that I’ll start walking in the mornings (and wearing Austin in a carrier if need be), and then doing some shorter Barre3 workouts during naptimes. Part of me really wants to try T25, although I just can’t justify the price tag at the moment, and I do think I need to build up some strength before diving into something more strenuous. Regardless, once I’m cleared for more activity you can bet I’ll be taking advantage!
The other day I was walking around the house with Austin while Nate and Wes played outside. He was drifting in and out of sleep and I was thinking about the road we had to get here: crazy hard morning sickness, extreme exhaustion, the unknowns of our birth story, the 23 hours of labor, the lack of sleep, the crying, the tears, the frustration, the hormones. And I looked at that precious boy and I said, “I would do it all over again, a million times over, if I could always get you at the end.” Amen.