One year

15 Jun

Wow. Has a year really gone by? I can’t believe that a year ago today, I became a new mama. It was a stressful pregnancy. Andrew had the two vessel umbilical cord. A normal cord has 3 vessels. Having two vessels meant that he would get less nourishment. The doctors monitored me very closely, but I was always afraid I might lose him.

When I heard his cry in the delivery room, I breathed a sigh of relief. “He’s here!” I thought. “Happy Birthday! What’s his name?” the nurse asked to which I replied “Andrew!” If I had known the evening of July 14th would be the last night I got of decent sleep in a while, I would’ve savored every moment.

It wasn’t Andrew’s fault I didn’t get much sleep in the hospital. Every single medical professional, as well as hospital staff would always come into the room every few hours. So I didn’t really rest.

Nursing was so tough in the beginning. Animals really have it easy. The mama dog just lays there & the pups feed. Not so much with a human baby. Since Andrew was born a few weeks early, he lacked the suckling reflex. As a result, I had to pump. Every. Three. Hours. And not just that, I had to wash all the pump parts between feedings. I think one of the worst pieces of advice I received was to wake the baby up every 3 hours to feed. So, by the time I finished washing the pump parts, I’d sleep for an hour or so. Oh how I hated the anticipation of the alarm going off.

Waking Andrew up to feed only made him more upset. He wouldn’t nurse & we’d go back to feeding him the bottle.

This went on for the longest month of my life. I was so grateful when he learned how to nurse a few weeks later.

Let me tell you a little bit more about the longest month. The first night home from the hospital was super scary. Like I said, the pregnancy was stressful, mix that with all the scary talk about SIDS & you’ve got a new mama suffering from insomnia. Yes, I admit on the first night, Andrew was in a bassinet next to the bed & I had my hand on his chest the whole time. I was super scared I’d lose my little man after all I went through. During the day, we’d have him sleep in a bassinet in the living room so we could see him at all times. At night, he slept in our room, and yes I got an Angelcare monitor. I’ve used it every single night. Some may say I’m nuts, but anything to help me sleep just a little better. Andrew also had day & night confusion. He’d sleep like a pro during the day, but he’d freak out the moment we put him down for bed. It took some time, but we’d always have the tv on during the day (thankfully the Olympics were on) and we’d keep it super quiet at night. To this day, Andrew sleeps the best with a white noise machine.

I am so grateful for all my friends who came to visit me, especially that first month. We don’t have family out here, which makes raising a baby even harder. Just having the adult interaction helped after a long day of taking care of a little one. I was always so scared every time they’d leave though. Same thing goes for when my in laws & my dad came to visit. I loved the extra help but was sad to see them go. It really made me wish we all lived in the same area.

In the very beginning, I felt so isolated. the doctor had advised us to avoid large crowds but allowed us to go for walks and to eat at restaurants, as long as it was outdoors. If it wasn’t for that little bit of normalcy, I don’t know what I’d do.

That isolation lasted until September. By that point, I had signed myself up for a few play groups & a parenting class. I’m really shy but I’m glad I got out there. I even made a friend or two. I absolutely loved & still love interacting with other moms & being able to share my concerns with them.

Andrew was pretty quick at hitting his milestones. I kid you not, he would start to lift his head, albeit not so gracefully, at three weeks. That was followed by discovering his hands, scooting on his butt, and the one milestone that I thought took the longest: rolling over. By New Year’s Eve, he would bellyflop across the floor. Now, he’s army crawling, cruising, feeding himself solids and babbling up a storm. I was very amused when a speech therapist came to my parenting class & told us that the hardest sounds for babies to make are S & Z to which Andrew busted out with “zazazazaza” I’d like to think it’s because our dog’s name is Sasha & that’s the name he hears the most. He’s a shy baby. He takes a bit to warm up, he doesn’t like large crowds, but put him in a room with just a few people & he’s as happy as can be.

Although I got used to the sleep deprivation, I was forever grateful when Andrew finally slept through the night. It was at 8 months & it took me sleeping in the guest room while Mat stayed in our room with Andrew. Mat has always been more patient with Andrew crying, while I’d pick him up within seconds because I can’t stand the sound. Although I missed sleeping next to Mat, it was nice to get a full night sleep for the first time in a while. After a month, we went back to the three of us sleeping in the same room.

My little Andrew who was 5lb 5oz at birth is now a 20 lb peanut, okay, a walnut. I can’t believe how fast a year has gone. I’m sappy, I’ll miss him being my little baby, but I can’t wait to see what this year brings

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3 Responses to “One year”

  1. Danielle June 17, 2013 at 11:55 am #

    Happy Birthday to Andrew. I know those that first year can really be hard. My son is 5 and I long for the years when he was just a baby. Now he talks my head off constantly and is always busy doing something. I feel like I have to run around so much more than when he was just a baby. Just hopping over from the “I Don’t Like Monday’s” blog hop.

  2. Karen Dawkins June 17, 2013 at 7:48 pm #

    Happy birthday, Andrew. I always chuckle when I read new mommy posts. My oldest in 19 and I just picked him up from the airport after a 5 day trip to the Bonnaroo music festival in Tennessee. He camped out with 100,000 of his closest friends — ha — and had a blast. All that new mommy worrying is just practice for when the big tests come.

    On a serious note, I’m glad after the tense pregnancy that you’ve got a year under your belt. The next few years really will get easier. :)

    • basicallyb June 18, 2013 at 3:38 pm #

      Oh yes, I’ve heard the worrying doesn’t stop! I am glad to hear it gets easier though!

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