Well, in spite of having this new app that allows me to post pictures and write posts from the iPad, I haven't been too good at keeping this blog up to date! Let's be honest...I stink at blogging these days! I can happily say, though, that I'm enjoying my life as a mom...blogging just doesn't seem to be one of my favorite ways of spending free time like it used to be.
Where do I begin?! Well, let's just start by saying that we have ourselves one amazing baby!! He has been so good at sleeping and eating, and we are so, so blessed! We've had a few ups and downs along the way, but overall he's been a very "easy" baby.
We are following the BabyWise method of sleeping and eating...in short it's an eat, stay awake, then sleep routine as opposed to an eat, sleep, wake routine. It is supposed to help set baby's metabolism and help with digestion, resulting in better sleep at night and although I can't really explain it well, I'm all for it because Joshua's been sleeping through the night since about 8 weeks or so. It started off with 5 hour stretches, then 6, and now we put him to sleep between 7 and 8, I feed him around 10:30 and he then sleeps until 7am (and sometimes we end up waking him then!)
I must confess I feel nervous posting our routines and methods because they're a little different from the norm, but I don't think I should feel that way...every baby is different, every parent is different, and whatever works for you is best for you...and we've found a routine that works for us and we're sticking to it!!
He's on about a 3 hour schedule from one feeding to the next, but I'm in the midst of transitioning to a 3 1/2 hour schedule as he seems to be less hungry at feeding times and doesn't seem to mind when we do stretch it out to 3 1/2 hours.
The BabyWise method of sleeping is basically that you watch for sleep cues and put your baby in their crib awake, but sleepy, and allow them to settle themselves to sleep. We've kind of been doing that, but mostly just recently. I had been usually rocking him to sleep and then putting him down, but he has in the last couple days been doing really well putting himself to sleep so unless he's really struggling, he's been going to sleep on his own! What a blessing!! Like I said, he's a really "easy" baby!
(Warning...skip this part of you're not interested in breastfeeding!)
Just as an update from the last post...we finally have nursing down!! I'm sooo thankful God helped us through our struggles and he is now exclusively breastfeeding! It sort of just "clicked" one day... We had prayer day in a city about 2 hours from home and I brought the pump with me in case my plan to try nursing all day went "bad", but it actually went really well! I don't have any pain anymore! I don't know if he "grew into" nursing, or if my nipples just got tougher, or if he changed the way he was drinking or something, but it basically just happened in one day! I was still doing bottles for the 10:30 feeding and first thing in the morning (have I mentioned how amazing my husband is, letting me sleep or get stuff done, by taking on the first morning shift?!) but eventually decided that since I was having to get up when Joshua was getting up anyway because I needed to pump due to getting so full overnight, that I would just nurse him and then 'hand him over' to Bobby for the next while. Then about 2 weeks ago I decided to try nursing him for the 10:30 feeding. I hadn't been because I figured he'd be too sleepy to actually eat, but he has actually been doing really well, eating while sleeping! ;) (BabyWise calls it a dream feed) So, he transitioned to exclusive nursing!
Now our new "struggle" is that he won't take a bottle! We've tried several times and methods, but he just won't do it! Of course it's not a terrible problem to have, but just limits the amount of time I can be gone from him now :( i know people say if he's hungry enough he'll take it, but yesterday when we tried that, I just couldn't stand him crying because he was hungry! It's one thing for me to let him cry it out when he's tired, but my heart couldn't take it, knowing he was crying because he was hungry so I 'gave in' and nursed him because he would not take the bottle! Oh well, it really is not the end of the world, and he is not the first baby who required full time nursing! ;) I'll get over it!
Every day I'm growing in my motherly confidence...it's still a work in progress, and I often struggle with doubts about whether I'm going to "mess up" my baby. One thing I'm finding through various blogs and forums is that I'm certainly not alone and my worries are normal and shared by many! First time moms have a lot of responsibility on their shoulders and it's overwhelming! There's so much to learn, plus there's crazy hormones to deal with, and it all happens so suddenly! Thankful I have a wonderful support team through my husband, family, teammates and a few wonderful, great listener friends...I am blessed! Every day The Lord reminds me I can't do this on my own and I need His help. (Sometimes more than once a day!)
Parenting is an incredible journey. I'm already seeing how God uses this journey to shape and grow His own children and I'm experiencing a greater understanding of the depth of His love for me through my relationship with Joshua. Just as marriage has refined (and continues to refine!) me, parenting is doing the same. Who knew how much a 3 month old baby could teach me?! I have a hard time not looking ahead and worrying about the parenting challenges to come such as discipline, but God continues to remind me to live this life one day at a time, cherishing the here and now. He brings me so much joy and I feel blessed I get spend every day with such a sweet, happy baby! (Don't get me wrong, like I said before, we have our moments, and I've had a few meltdowns!)
The other day as I sat rocking Joshua to sleep I was suddenly filled with awe and wonder that I was living out my dream of being a mom. There is nothing like rocking a baby to sleep, and I was overwhelmed by the fact that God has chosen me along with Bobby to raise this precious little boy. My heart was so full that there in my arms I held this physical answer to prayer....for so long I longed to hold my own baby, I longed to know what it was like to feel the depth of a mother's love, I longed to experience the feeling of being "needed" by a little one...and now, here I am, a mother. At the same time, my heart continues to ache for those who are still experiencing those longings...praying for them earnestly, reminding myself that God's ways are higher than my ways and His ways are beyond my understanding. It feels bittersweet to enjoy this blessing that God has placed in my arms, and once again, I'm left wondering what to say... I don't have all the answers and I still don't understand why God has chosen me to be a mom while others continue to wait.......
On that note, I'm not quite sure how to close! I feel torn in wanting to share all the sweet pictures we have...I know many people find great joy in seeing them, but I also don't want to be "rubbing it in". I guess I will just post a couple of my favorites as I know there's many people on the other side of the globe that can't get enough of him! Enjoy! :)