Confessions Round 5 (Baby Edition).

Confessions.

1.) One of my least favorite baby activities is bath time. I’ll give bath time two things: one – she loves it and two – naked, splashing babies are adorable. Other than that? It’s a total pain. Crouching over the tub, trying to clean her baby rolls while she thrashes about… you get the picture. I secretly dread it.

2.) I feel a little sad that she’s starting solids. My baby feels less like a baby now that she’s on the verge of eating grown up food. You would think I’d be ecstatic at having the chance to supplement her exclusively breast fed diet, but I’m actually sad that it’s the start of her not being so reliant on me for all her needs. They grow so fast, sob.

3.) After being terrified of cutting her nails as a newborn… I secretly love doing it. Cutting newborn nails is THE WORST. But, cutting off the exceedingly fast growing velociraptor claws? VINDICATION. Oh, and I’ve switched from the nail clippers to the little infant scissors and they’re a total game changer.

4.) I can’t stand the whine scream. She can cry all day if it means that it would stop the occasional whine scream. The noise she makes is a mix between a frustrated warthog and the screaming Mandrake plant from Harry Potter and it makes me want to pull my hair out. Christian is the exact opposite which works out really well, I take the crying baby and he takes the whine screamer.

5.) I love my dogs less. It’s true. I was so afraid of this happening and it absolutely did. Don’t get me wrong, I like them and enjoy my daily puppy snuggles. However, they drive me crazy much more often and my patience for their shenanigans has dropped significantly.

Have any confessions you feel like unloading? If so, please share!

Want to see my past confessions? You can check them all out over here.

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Preggo Reads.

Pregnancy Reads

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When I found out I was pregnant with Eleanor, I couldn’t wait to get reading on all things pregnancy, birth and babies. BUT… I was scared that I was going to jinx things by delving too far into believing I was pregnant. It’s crazy, but it’s true. I had serious pregnancy anxiety!

Over the course of my pregnancy (especially once I could feel her kick) my fears subsided and I dove head first into any and all reading material I could get my hands on. This list contains some of my favorite pregnancy related reads!

Lucie’s List – You guys, this site and the email newsletter (based on where you are in pregnancy/postpartum) rocked my socks. I was on here all the time and actually looked forward to every email I received — which is not something I can say about pretty much any other newsletter I get. There is a wealth of information here on anything and everything pregnancy/baby/birth. (Just a note: the newsletter gets EVEN BETTER during postpartum. She’s got tips, notes on baby milestones and all sorts of other good stuff to help you feel like you’re on the right parenting path.)

The Wise Baby – As much as I loved the newsletter from Lucie’s List, my all-time favorite site was The Wise Baby. I was on this page multiple times per week looking at product reviews and absorbing the new mom favorites post. They took a bit of a hiatus over the winter, but they’re starting to post again. If you do only two things it’s look at this site and sign up for the Lucie’s List newsletter.

Bringing Up Bebe – This was one of the first books I read because I could rationalize that it wasn’t totally a pregnancy/baby book. I love reading about the way different people/cultures do things and this book was no different. The author was very relatable and did an excellent job comparing and contrasting pregnancy, birth and child rearing in the US vs. France. I liked this book so much that I had a hard time putting it down and it made me want to move to France for reasons other than croissants. It had a lot of good information on parenting in general with more philosophies to remember than hard and fast rules to follow. Read this, I promise you won’t be disappointed.

The Pregnancy Bible – I ordered this book from Amazon after seeing it on a list of “best pregnancy books”. It’s really comprehensive and covers just about anything you’d want to know about pregnancy as well as what comes after. It was really interesting to see/read about how the body changes as well as go in depth about what is happening at each step along the way. My only critique of this book is that it didn’t go as deep into some topics as I would have liked. Overall, it was just a great general guide.

Natural Hospital Birth – I was hoping to have a natural birth, in a hospital… hence the purchase of this book. I really like the approach the author took in respecting the expertise of the medical staff, but also trusting in your body and standing up for what you want. It was the perfect mix for me since I’m neither 100% crunchy mama nor 100% I believe medicine is king. There were some really great helpful tips as well as practical applications to help make a natural hospital birth a reality. I would definitely recommend this if that’s the approach you’re wanting to take.

Ina May’s Guild To Childbirth – This is the quintessential natural child birth book. Ina May is the country’s most renowned midwife and this books spares no detail in what natural child birth looks like — however, it does it in an empowering way. I think you’d be hard pressed not to believe you’re capable of natural labor after reading this book, though being capable and willing are different things entirely! If natural childbirth is the path you’re planning to take this book is a MUST READ.

During the course of my pregnancy, I also read Birthing From Within. It was WAY too crunchy mama for me and I ended up scanning the pages and wishing I hadn’t spent the money on it. I can definitely see how some people would enjoy this approach, but it wasn’t for me. To each their own.

Introducing…

I suppose the three month mark is an appropriate time to introduce our newest addition. I’m not terribly on top of my timing here, but before I launch further into her birth story and more of my favorites, I thought it best to showcase the newest member of our family.

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She’s even better than anything we could have ever dreamed up and we feel so blessed to call her ours.

The (First) Lose-Lose of Motherhood.

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My twelve weeks are almost up.

My baby isn’t old enough to sit up, she’s exclusively breast fed and has eaten from a bottle only four times in her little life. She’s just starting to laugh and really chat it up with the goo goo gaga business. I’m mostly healed from pushing a 10 lb baby out of my nether regions and feeling almost back to myself.

All of which seems to mean I’m about to face one of the infamous lose-lose moments of motherhood.

Going back to work or staying home.

Either way, the moral of this story is that you lose.

Looking back 3 years ago, Christian and I decided to start trying for a family. Over the course of our journey to get pregnant we would discover I have PCOS, endure all sorts of hormone treatments (which weren’t a walk in the park), suffer a miscarriage and weather through the tears each month when my period showed up instead of those two little lines.

The day I found out I was pregnant with Eleanor I was ecstatic while also feeling an equal measure of fear. Nonetheless, my pregnancy progressed pretty normally and being pregnant was even better than I had imagined it to be (most of the time). Throughout each day I’d be met with questions about my pregnancy, about the baby – each holding a air of excitement and wonder. Everyone is excited about pregnancy, everyone is excited about babies.

Fast forward to the present. No one is excited about a 3 month old (well except me, her dad and probably her grand parents). My profession tells me it’s time to give up the goat. Go back to work. Leave my baby – the baby I fought so hard for. The baby that believes I’m her entire world.

And if I do? If I go back to work full-time?

I’m a bad mother.

In fact, I’m giving up precious time with my child, I’m leaving my child at her most vulnerable stage, I’m leaving her when she needs me the most. I’ve been asked “do you want her to be bonded to you or to a nanny”? Isn’t the answer clear and more importantly why is this even a question in the first place?

On the flip side of this argument, I can stay home.

When you check out the other side of the highly judgmental Mommy wars – this is what is supposed to happen. This is nature’s way. I can breastfeed on command, I can snuggle that sweet little baby when she needs me and clearly she will be bonded to me… and not a nanny.

But… but…

What do I lose in the process?

I lose the last 8.5 years of work, I lose the salary I worked so hard to earn and I mostly lose any future job prospects once I’m out of the work force for a couple of years. I went to college, I’ve worked hard, I have dreams.

I’m not special, this story isn’t unique and neither are the anxious feelings I’ve been fighting. The problem is bigger than me. It’s bigger than the atrocious maternity benefits my company offers. It’s systemic and it’s a shame.

Right now, I don’t know what to do. The only thing I do know is that either way I lose.