As our JadyBug approaches half a year, I can't believe how fast the months have gone by. For me, the first two months were absolutely the hardest. I had all the head knowledge of how I thought a baby would change everything before Jade came into our lives...but then there was actually bringing her home and experiencing all the changes. The first two months were the hardest as I was physically healing and adjusting to this beautiful, tiny little human and the challenges she brought. Despite talking with lactation consultants, Jade would not latch, so breastfeeding just wasn't working. I exclusively pumped every two hours, day and night, for the first month, and then moved to every 2.5 to 3 hours by the second and third month (that extra half hour was everything!). So there was that, added on with the postpartum emotions that I naively thought I'd miss out on. I'm typically not an extremely emotional person and pregnancy didn't seem to change my emotions too much, so I didn't worry about being an emotional wreck postpartum. And while I wouldn't say that I was quite an emotional wreck, I definitely didn't have the same control over my emotions for a time period. All Brian would have to do is ask me how I was doing and the tears would flow. For no reason. Okay, maybe for being exhausted and for the ongoing breastfeeding battle, but I could never articulate why I was actually crying. Luckily, the crying spells only lasted a few weeks and I began to feel emotionally more like me. Then there was the awkward postpartum body and all the body image issues that come along with that. Those first few months are not for the faint of heart and I certainly underestimated how challenging they would be!
necklace: The Jones Market
I went back to work for the last four weeks of school when Jade was almost eight weeks, knowing that I would have a few months home with her again in the coming weeks. I got a little taste of what life would be like as a working mom, though it was the end of the school year, so it wasn't as high stress. Plus my mom and mother in law were staying with us and helping out with Jade and housework while Brian and I were at work. When school got out for summer, I randomly tried getting Jade to breastfeed again, after not trying at all since I had gone back to work. I was tired of the fight and getting my hopes up every time I would try, only for nothing to come of it. I don't know why I decided to try again, because she was obviously very used to the bottle. Weirdly enough, she latched and started breastfeeding! And she has been doing it ever since. She was just a few days shy of three months when she started breastfeeding. That's when I felt like I got my life back to *somewhat* normal, or as normal as life can be with a baby! It was amazing not being attached to the pump all the time, finally getting to experience what I always envisioned I would do for my babies, and cutting feeding time in half!
I felt like everything in those first few months was trial and error, due to having no idea what I was doing! I still feel that way, in a sense, but now I am more comfortable in my role as a mom and have a better sense of what Jade needs. As a first time mom, I was so clueless in those beginning weeks! I guess I'm still clueless about a lot of things, but definitely more confident. I laugh now as I look back and how scared I was of this itty bitty girl!
Jade started smiling at two months and then her personality started oozing out at three months. Discovering her personality is my absolute favorite. While I'm sure many changes to her personality will take place, right now she is an outgoing little girl who always wants to be where the action is. She is happiest when she is around people and isn't often content playing alone. She has the best belly laugh that makes me totally willing to make a fool of myself just to hear it one more time. I will do anything to make her laugh..luckily it doesn't take too much yet! With the exception of those first two months, every other month has been "the best." Maybe I'll be kicking myself for saying that when she's mobile and into everything, but even then, I know there will be so many wonderful things to discover about her at that age and it will also probably be "the best."
She is now going to her sitter's full time since I have gone back to work in the last few weeks. Dropping her off is much more painful for Brian and me than it is for her...she loves going and seeing the other kids. I'm hoping she won't develop that separation anxiety, because I think we will just die having to drop her off if she starts to cry for us.
When I was pregnant so many other mamas would talk to me about the incredible bond that is instantaneous when you hold your child for the first time in the hospital. While that is true, it's somewhat misleading (at least for me). I obviously loved Jade right away (you can read our birth story here and here), but the adjustment hit me like a tidal wave. While there was an initial bond, it's so much stronger now. For me, it's much more accurate to say that the bond you feel with your child will not be instantaneous. It will start like a small flame and then grow more every day. And then, when you think your love is on fire and at capacity, another day rolls around, and you realize your love yesterday was nothing compared to how it is now. I love my girl a zillion times more now than the day she was born...and I'll love her a zillion times more tomorrow.