Friday, February 24, 2012

The 10 Best Things About Being A New Mother

To balance my last post on the 10 Hardest Things about Being a New Mother, I wrote this post.  Again, they are in no particular order.

Ella smiling at us.  Photo taken on February 22, 2012 (1 month, 4 days old)
1.  Having my daughter smile at me. (whether it is intentional or not).

2.  Seeing my husband interact with and love our daughter.

3.  Watching my daughter sleep beside me at night.
Ella trying hard to stay awake.  Photo taken on January 26, 2012 (8 days old)

4.  Kissing her precious little head.

5.  Feeling her breathe on me while she sleeps on my chest.

6.  Watching her learn new things every day.

Dave & Ella. Photo taken February 22, 2012 (1 month, 4 days old)
7.  Being needed by her.

8.  Listening to her make her wonderful little noises.

9.  Watching her grow bigger and bigger and develop more into her looks each day.

Ella & I.  Photo taken January 18, 2012 (1 1/2 hours old)
10.  The way it feels so right, her being a part of our family.  I wonder how we ever felt like our family was complete without her in it.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The 10 Hardest Things About Being A New Mother

Ella at four weeks old, February 15th, 2011

I have listed the 10 Hardest Things About Being a New Mother in no particular order.  Please know that I wouldn't give her up for anything though.  And you should stay tuned for my next post, the 10 Best Things About Being a New Mother!

1.  Breastfeeding - It hurt more than I thought it would at first, and it is frustrating being constantly tethered to her.

2.  Everything takes longer - There is no easy running to the grocery store anymore!  Everything takes time.  If we want to go out, we usually have to make sure she has eaten first, and then changed, and in her car seat, and then she is probably screaming, and we have to make sure we have everything we need in her diaper bag, and then I have to make sure I am presentable (as usually, I am not).

3.  Using the washroom and taking a shower is much harder - It isn't too bad when Dave is around, but when he isn't around it is ridiculously hard to use the washroom or take a shower!

4.  Being peed and pooped on, especially in the middle of the night - It is the most frustrating thing to be awake in the middle of the night and then be peed and pooped on while trying to change a diaper and have her gett pee and poop all over everything.  It makes me want to cry.

5.  Having Ella spit everything up after I just fed her - This kind of relates to number one.  This is especially frustrating in the middle of the night.  It means we have to start back at square one.

6.  Breastfeeding between 2 and 5 am - I can handle before 2, and after 6.  But between 2 and 5, I am literally exhausted and it is hard to stay awake.  This is obviously also related to #1.

7.  Not being as productive - I love holding my little baby girl.  But sometimes it is hard when I am holding her and all I can see is a room that looks like a tornado went through it, and I can't get up to clean it up.

8.  Feeling useless - I know in my head that taking care of a baby is useful.  But not doing other things for the world makes me feel useless.

9.  Loneliness - Staying at home all day is hard.  Especially with a child who can't talk to me.

10.  The Screaming - It breaks my heart.  And it also gives me headaches.

What about you?  Do you have children?  What did you find hardest about being a new mother or father?  If you don't have children, what do you think will be hardest for you if/when you do have kids?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Daughter's Father

Photo credit to my brother-in-law, Dan O'Rourke!

I married a great man.  I have known this for a long time.  Dave immediately grabbed my attention when I first met him, and it took much longer for me to grab his.  But recently, I have been reminded of how amazing he is, and in a blog that contains all aspects of my life, I would be remiss not to write about one of the most important people in my life.

So today I have decided to list just some of the things that I appreciate about Dave.  This list is by no means exhaustive, as there are so many more things about Dave that I just don't have the space to list.

Dave watches out for me.  To be honest, sometimes this drives me nuts.  If I feel pain somewhere, and I tell Dave, he will automatically suggest we go to the hospital, or insists that I call a doctor.  I, almost always, dismiss his advice.  However, I know that his concern comes from a place of deep concern and care for me, and I appreciate that.

Photo credit to my sister-in-law, Leanne Pike!

Dave is proactive with Ella.  When he is around, he takes the initiative to change her diaper so I don't have to.  Dave bathes her for me, and even when he works first thing in the morning he tries his hardest to wake up and offer me things when I am up with her in the night.  If Ella is fussy at night, he takes her downstairs and sleeps on our spare bed with her so that I can get a good sleep.

Dave loves his daughter.  As we get into bed at night, Dave cuddles with Ella.  He even asked me once if I felt he was hogging her because I didn't get the chance to cuddle with her at night.  But what he didn't understand was that seeing him hold her close every night was the greatest gift that he could possibly give me.

At Ella's 1-week doctor appointment, one of the women commented about how helpful Dave was, and how rare that is.  He is so great, other people notice.

He works hard.  When Dave puts his mind to something, he makes sure it is completed fully and appropriately.  He doesn't cut corner.  Dave works hard to support Ella and I, and doesn't ever complain about having to work.

When Dave has an issue with something, he gets in and tackles it instead of ignoring it.  He confronts issues head on, instead of dancing around them (like I do).

Photo credit to my sister-in-law, Leanne Pike!
Dave makes me laugh.  It's funny how much I took this for granted before Ella was around.  It is harder now, because I am more tired, and more stressed, and laughing and letting loose is harder for me, but I love laughing with Dave.  He is so much fun, and I appreciate that.

I love my daughter's father - my husband.  He is a great man.  And I don't convey that to him enough.