Half Birthday!

Here we are! Happy half birthday, 6 months to our little love bug and what an eventual 26 weeks it’s been. 

Hayden went from a teeny weeny peanut weighing only 5.5 pounds to the semi-chunky but still petit 16 pounder. 

 

Our hearts has grown about 10 sizes already and keep growing by the day. His smile and giggle are the best parts of the day and watching Alex love on him basically turns me to a puddle of mush. He has made our lives equal parts more amazing and more hectic. I just cannot imagine my life without this wiggly baby in it. 

He has learned lots over the last 6 months but I have probably learned more. Patience has always been hard for me but I am learning daily that it is one of the keys to being a good parent. I’m also learning that I am not totally in control which was another hard lesson for me. Hayden dictates my day and as much as I can try to get him onto my schedule he makes his own, sometimes that means I get to eat (more than just stuffing some random thing in my mouth) for the first time at 3pm. 

In just a few days we will be heading back to the USA to visit with my family and watch my gorgeous cousin marry the love of her life. I am so excited. I am also pretty nervous. 

Not only do we need to survive two 14 hour international flights but two 6 hour cross country flights and somehow get this little man through about a million time zone changes. Yeah I am not even remotely prepared for this people. I am trying to keep my mind in a positive but realistic place- although that is hard for this sometimes pessimistic mother.

I think the light at the end of the long 14 hour tunnel is that we will be seeing my family and Hayden will get to finally meet his Uncle Matt, Aunt Laura, cousin Nolan, both great grandma’s and my extended family on my dads side at Bekah’s wedding. It is going to be amazing to see so many faces that I haven’t seen since Alex and my wedding nearly 3 years ago. 

I will definitely blog about the travel and what worked and what didn’t work. Should be a really good learning experience for these two parent traveling newbies. I am sure we will get some good pointers from veteran traveling parents. 

Back to the half birthday boy! He is itching to crawl and wants to get into everything, so we really need to start to think about baby proofing our house, I never really noticed how many sharp edges there are. He is babbling like crazy and I think we have a boy taking after his mothers non stop blabber mouth- lucky me! He has recently turned into a super sleeper and now that I have written that down I am sure we will have a nightmare sleeper after this trip. Mostly he is a laid back guy like his dad, unless he is getting his boogies sucked out of his nose which basically means he screams like we are cutting off his toes. He LOVES Murphy and I am anxious to see how our dog copes once Hayden is more mobile since he loves to grab and pull at him already. Yikes. The other thing this little guy loves is the water, he was killing it at “swim lessons” and we really look forward to bath time at night. He started sitting up (occasionally falling over) when he tries to grab at something instead of focusing all his mental energy on the sitting. He is definitely a very busy boy and we are definitely in big trouble once he gets on the move. We could not be more obsessed with him and I am waiting to hear the word Mama and Dada come out of his chatterbox’s mouth. We are blessed.

 

 

I cannot wait to watch Hayden grow these next 6 months and continue falling more in love with this son of ours. He is just simply the greatest thing in our lives and I am so glad we were chosen to be his parents. 

Sleepless Nights and Getting to the Other Side

Hayden is going to be 6 months in a couple of weeks and I’ll give myself a nice little pat on the back for keeping him alive from month 4-5.5 because I’m not sure how I did it with the lack of sleep I had. Pretty sure you could have put orange juice in a coffee mug and I would not have noticed the difference. 

Everyone warned me about the dreaded four month sleep regression (hey not all babies have one) and I almost thought we were going to be lucky enough to pass that little sucker right by. Not so much Abby, not so much. 

Our sleepless nights and days lasted for 6 weeks and I nearly broke down in tears or actually broke down in tears for 5/6 weeks. Sleep deprivation is no joke. The foggy head and headaches were killer while trying to figure out how to get my little bean to sleep for more then one hour at a time at night or 20 minutes if I was lucky during the day. Not to mention that I got sick and my favorite hand dermatitis came back to make me even more miserable. When you don’t sleep your body really doesn’t like it too much, mine was rebelling against me big time. 

This is parenthood my friends. Sometimes it’s so perfect you can’t believe you’re so lucky and sometimes it’s so crappy you kind of wonder how people have done this for 1000s of years. 

Sleep is so so precious for us mommies and daddies- for me getting a four hour block of sleep meant I could be a fun and happy mommy the next day. Sleep is also not a competition, as one person in my mothers group shared with us via a great blog on sleep. It was hard for me to hear all these moms talk about how great their little ones were sleeping and know that night I was in for a marathon of feeding and settling, but I had to keep reminding myself that it wasn’t a competition. I didn’t need to compare Hayden’s sleep to anyone else because frankly it just made me feel worse that I couldn’t figure out how in the world to help him sleep better. 

I won’t go into too much detail on the bad sleep because if it’s happening to you then you know exactly how I felt, and if you’re lucky enough to have a baby who has slept through the night since 4 weeks old than no need to scar you with my horror stories.

I have to just brag about how amazing Alex was during this time, it’s hard on dads too when there is very little sleep happening. He was so patient with me and understanding. He helped me so much during the night and I know for a fact I could not have made it through this alone. He is one amazing dad I’ll tell you that much. 

We finally made it to the other side of this punishing 6 weeks and have a much happier family because we are all sleeping better. I’ll share with you my tips on how I made it through those tough weeks. 

  1. I FaceTimed and text my mom like crazy. Mostly complaining to be honest but also so she could tell me encouraging words. If your mom isn’t close by like mine it’s hard because so many days I just wanted her to come over and help me but her words have done wonders
  2. Enlist some help. From husbands, friends, family. Have them come over and give you an hour or two to nap. Or bring you dinner or do anything that you would find helpful. Asking for help is okay. 
  3. Pray
  4. Give yourself a break. Don’t be so tough on yourself when you’re in the thick of a hard time (easier said than done) but some days I would think I was the worst mom because I couldn’t figure out how to make Hayden happy and help him sleep. Babies who aren’t sleeping well tend to be a little grumpy so I should have cut him a break as well
  5. Know this won’t last forever. As every phase of life comes and goes new challenges and joys await you. 

I wish I had a list of tried and true ways to get your baby to sleep when they won’t but honestly I have no idea how we did it some days. Finally I stopped going in to Hayden’s nursery every time he made the slightest whimper and he actually learned to self settle but I think it just was his time to do it. No special help from me other than giving him the chance to figure it out and have him be ready all by himself. We have been having great sleep for a week now but that could all change tomorrow. I think now having been through such a hard 6 weeks I’ll be better at coping with it. 

Motherhood is uncharted territory until you have your first child. Then you’re just learning on the fly and figuring it out one day at a time. Advice is great, when you want it, but every mom and baby are different and you just kind of learn what works for you. Some days you’re just thankful you got to take a shower and eat. Other days you look at this miracle in front of you and wonder how you ever deserved such an amazing gift. 

This time right now with Hayden will be gone so fast I’m trying to enjoy every moment I can and remember that those tough days and harder nights are just part of the journey. 

I love you little bug.