Day 797: Parenthood

Rachel, Day by Day

Day 797: Parenthood

A recent photo of my baby boy.

Wow, I’ve been really bad about posting in my blog. It’s been way over a year. For those who used to read my blog religiously (not many), I’m so sorry. Please forgive me.

I thought it might be a good idea to set a goal for my writing. I’m going to try updating my blog at least twice a month. That might be difficult considering the amount of time that has passed, but that is my goal. I hope I can do it!

The topic I decided to touch on this week is parenthood. Who wants an update? Well, if you don’t, you’re getting one anyway!

My son, Baby N, is 19 months old. Time has flown by as I’ve watched him grow! I’ve been completely lucky having him as a son for so many reasons. He started sleeping through the night at three months old (a lot of people were jealous about this). He laughs and smiles most of the time. He loves reading books. He likes cuddling. He loves playing outdoors. He’s (mostly) good in social situations. He’s kind of picky with food, but eats what we give him about 80% of the time. And he loves his mommy and daddy.

It hasn’t been an easy journey so far, though. We struggled occasionally getting him to drink a bottle. Sometimes he just wasn’t that interested. He went through phases where he didn’t want to nap (sometimes he still doesn’t). We had a very hard time transitioning him to a sippy cup. For some reason that REALLY stressed me out, and looking back I feel stupid. The transition from pureed food to solid food was a struggle. He was a little behind on crawling and walking. Sometimes he throws tantrums. But every kid does.

Now, as a 19 month old, he’s trying to say so many words. He’s walking. He’s drinking out of a straw cup. He’s interested in so much and wants to play. He smiles and giggles. He eats regular food. He’s my (most of the time) happy little boy. And I love him with all my heart.

Along the way, I’ve learned about baby shaming. That hasn’t been fun. He had a horrible rash near his ear when he was really little, and so many people used to ask me, “What’s wrong with his face?” I always wanted to respond with, “Nothing, what’s wrong with your ugly face?” But I never did. I was nice about it. I was putting cream on the rash, everyone. I wasn’t telling him to scratch it! I’ve had people stare at me in restaurants and Walgreens while he was crying like I did something wrong. Fun.

People need to realize that I’m doing my best, and most parents are. Kids and babies will cry and throw tantrums. Baby N once cried because I wouldn’t let him chew on our coffee table. I’d say most parents would tell their kids not to do that. I doubt my parenting skills all the time, and I feel like I’m just winging it as I go along. But Baby N seems to be doing just fine so far. And that makes me very happy. I definitely have a long journey ahead, though!

Those are my thoughts on parenthood so far. Thanks for reading!

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Day 796: Turning 30

Rachel, Day by Day

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Me throughout the years.

All this time I thought I was going to dread turning 30, but I’m not worried about it at the moment. I mean, so many things happened in my 20s and I thought it would be difficult to close that chapter in my life… graduated college, first real job, first legal alcoholic drink, first car, first apartment on my own, first real relationship, first time I fell in love (or thought it was at the time), first time I actually fell in love, first house, first smartphone, first (and only) marriage, first kid, and so on. A lot can happen in 10 years.

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Me throughout the years.

It’s really strange looking back. There are certain parts of my 20s I won’t miss. The bad dates and relationships in my early 20s, a horrible relationship that hurt me badly and I thought had scarred me for life, losing loved ones, being apart from my husband for a little while, struggling through every-day stresses and drama of being a young adult, and so on. The first week living on my own, I was almost robbed in the middle of the night and now I’m kind of afraid to leave windows open. I went through my 20s without my dad and somehow made it through. I lost a lot of close family members in this decade (Grandma, Uncle Pat, Aunt Carol, Grandpa) and I miss them every day.

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Me throughout the years.

While there were some bad times, I’m getting somewhat sentimental remembering the good times. I was able to live with some amazing friends during college and I’m glad I live closer to them today! It’s crazy thinking how we used to stay out until 3 a.m. many nights; I don’t think I could do that now! We had some awesome and silly times together. I met some great friends at my first real job, and sadly we are all scattered in different places now. I stayed in touch with some high school friends, which has been great. I went on a lot of awesome trips with my mom, Ray, and other family members, and had many fun nights with them in general. I met the love of my life during college and later married him. I got some great in-laws out of this, too! Our child recently came into this world and it’s been wonderful getting to know him and having him in my life. I went on some great trips with friends and family, including Mexico, Michigan, Las Vegas, a road trip to California, Cedar Point, a cruise, San Antonio, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Paris, Miami Beach, Punta Cana, Ireland, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and so on! I swam with dolphins, met the Stanley Cup, found a Corner Bakery not on a corner, went to numerous Cubs games, met Jonathan Toews numerous times, saw friends and family members get married, went parasailing, climbed up the steps of Notre Dame Cathedral, saw the Grand Canyon, got engaged, got married, had a child, and much more.

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Me throughout the years.

Even with the bad times, I know I’ll be able to look back on my 20s and smile. They are definitely a time for learning and growing. I don’t regret the bad relationships and I don’t feel stupid about them anymore. In fact, I came out of them a stronger and more confident person (I could still work on the confidence part just a little bit). I used to be so naïve in my early 20s, and feel like I’m out of that phase now. But, I’m still the silly, weird, caring, worrisome, funny, loving, sensitive girl from birth. Just a little bit older. So this decade made me part of who I am today.

What do I look forward to in my 30s? Definitely watching my son grow and taking him to new places. Spending time with family and friends. Spending time with my wonderful and amazing husband. Going to Cuba (which would be absolutely amazing). And watching the Cubs win the World Series. The Blackhawks could win another Stanley Cup, too.

Day 795: New Baby

Rachel, Day by Day

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Our baby boy. 🙂

Guess what… I had a baby! Scott and I have a beautiful baby boy born on March 13, 2016, at 3:55 p.m. I don’t want to give you his name since the Internet can be weird sometimes, so we’ll just call him Baby N. If you really want to know his name, leave a comment and ask me! And I’ll break up my thoughts with photos for you so you don’t get completely bored. WARNING: If you don’t care to read about the birth, don’t read this! It’s not very graphic, though.

The morning he was born, I started having contractions around 7:30 a.m. I didn’t believe they were real ones at first since they didn’t hurt that much, but the more time went on, the more they hurt and got closer. I waited it out at home until around 11 a.m. I started getting impatient around 10 or 10:30, and I think I told Scott to be quiet a few times. Sorry about that, Scott! By the time I got to the hospital, I was in a lot of pain. It was hard checking in and filling out paperwork in that amount of pain. I wanted to yell at everyone, but I kept quiet! I found out I was already at 6 cm (if you don’t know, you start pushing at 10 cm). My doctor was surprised at how fast I progressed! So, I was taken to a birthing room and I worked through some more painful contractions. My mom, brother, and Scott’s family all waited patiently!

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Hanging out with Baby N in the hospital.

I ended up getting an epidural, and I barely made it in time for one. I didn’t get a full dose, but it worked for a little while. My doctor mentioned later how I probably didn’t need an epidural at all… I’m still not sure if I agree with that. It got painful near the end there. By the time the doctor was done setting up the epidural, I was 9.75 cm along. Again, the nurse and doctor were surprised! For some reason the epidural machine would randomly make a noise that sounded like a cat. I thought I was losing my mind and that there was a cat somewhere in the room, but the nurse explained that to me later. Strange.

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He knows how to pose already!

I’ll be honest… I had no clue what to expect with the contractions and actual pushing. I thought you could push whenever you wanted, but I guess you need to wait for a contraction. Sometimes I didn’t have one for minutes, so we had to wait. I was getting slightly annoyed and wanted to keep pushing to get it overwith! That’s not how it works, though.

Right before pushing, Baby N decided to move into an abnormal position. It gave me contractions in my back, which hurt! Somehow he moved back to the correct position, and I still don’t know how that happened. I had an exercise ball between my legs to help, but I don’t think it did anything.

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Our first family photo.

Pushing was a bit harder than I thought it would be. For a little while it seemed like I wasn’t making any progress. I kept asking the nurse if I was doing it right. I guess I assumed you’d push a few times and the baby would come out, but it takes a little longer than that! My mom and Scott supported me through that and were extremely helpful. They counted for me and kept telling me I was doing a good job. Once Baby N was ready to join us, things got hectic in the room! The doctor and nurses were setting things up and moving around, and that’s when I knew things were happening. Baby N soon joined us after that!

So, how do I describe the moment I saw him? Unbelievable. Amazing. Breathtaking. Exciting. Scary. I cried a lot and all of a sudden fell in love. It’s crazy thinking about how quickly I fell in love with this little guy once he was in my arms and on my chest. It’s a feeling I will never forget.

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Baby N at home!

I’ve sucked at updating my blog and tomorrow he will already be two months old! I’ll have to write more about him as I have time. There’s lots I can say about Baby N, and they are all amazing things. Stay tuned and I’ll try to update sooner!