On learning to be a parent.

Yesterday, after a particularly challenging day with Kayen. I texted Kris and told him, you need to come home straight after work. He got the message and came home as soon as he could. He walked into the door and I stormed right out, because I was really going to lose it with the kid and I really really really did not want to yell at my baby boy. I went downstairs to do a pedicure, took a deep breath and tried to reflect on my parenting style.

I love K with all my heart, with such a fierceness unique to him that I have never ever ever felt before. I love my husband plenty, but with my son its so different. Its so fierce, so primal and at times so overwhelming. From his poo frequency to his organic purees to his developmental milestones, to tons and tons of researching on how I can make him a better sleeper. I read up about everything baby related, talk about it with my mom friends and try so hard to want to be the best mom for my little heart that’s beating out of my physical body.

I began to see that, that was the problem. I need to tone down my mama bear mode and learn to roll with the punches with my kid. I need to be less obsessive with tracking his sleep and just accept the fact that like any human, babies have good and bad days. My baby is unique and different, some babies have schedules but maybe mine doesn’t. I need to stop trying to fit him into a ‘good baby’ mould and accept and love him for who he is, from his big wide gaping open mouth smiles to the fact that he takes 20 min cat naps. I keep seconding guessing what I am doing as a mom, what I can be doing to make him a better sleeper, a baby who keeps to a schedule. I need to realize that its nobody’s fault, that I am doing the best that I can, he’s doing the best that he can and I need to treasure and appreciate this time more.

Even if I sleep a little less, take more naps with him and ‘waste the afternoon away’, its perfectly okay and alright. Even if I have to leave engagements earlier to put him to bed in the afternoon, its okay. Even if I decide to stay out late and have fun for a bit, its okay, I don’t have to feel guilty because he acts out, he’s a baby and if he’s not completely happy all the time, its okay. Even if the laundry is not done its okay. Even if I need to get help with cleaning the house sometimes, its okay. Instead of feeling inadequate, I need to utilize my support systems and stop thinking or feeling like I need to do it all. Instead of feeling like I’m so overwhelmed, I need to ask for help, accept help and appreciate the fact that I’m lucky enough to get help.

Learning all these is surprisingly difficult but so humbling at the same time. I’ve always held myself to high standards and wanted to give him everything I didn’t have as a child, but I’m not perfect and the sooner I accept that fact, will I be the best parent for my little boy.

 

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My little heart.

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Motherhood after 12 weeks

 

I must confess, I started out wanting to write something at 8 weeks, then it become then 10, and finally it bore fruition at 12 weeks. Better late than never they said.

In the last 12 weeks, I have spent an inordinate amount of time cuddling and kissing my little one. Many afternoons were lost just staring at a sleeping infant, not daring to move lest it would break his very short afternoon naps. But like they said, the days are long but the years are short. I love my little man with all my heart, but truth to be told, it did not come instantly. I thought it would initially and was a little disappointed that my primary emotion upon bringing him home (in the initial two weeks) was being overwhelmed. I am glad its no longer the case. In the last couple of weeks, I have started to have so much fun with him!

I attribute my initial feelings to the long and difficult labor that I had to endure. The labor was long and difficult but the emotional toil was the one that hit me like a ton of bricks. The 2 weeks after his birth, were one of the most difficult weeks in my life. The crazy emotions and trying hard to figure out what the baby wanted and was so so so tough. I hope I am better for it. Kris as usual took up his new role like a champion and was the greatest dad to Kayen and most supportive husband to me. For that, I’m supremely grateful.

Over the weeks tho, things slowly got better and better and better. As I sit here typing this entry, I feel like we have come so far in this parenting journey. Almost everyone told us, it gets better over time. It was hard to envision that in the early weeks, but it really has gotten so much better and so much more enjoyable as I watch him grow and develop into his own person.

My little Kayen, oh my little precious ball. He has grown into such a little man. Every single day, I seem to love him just a tiny bit more. He drives me insane somedays, but he would smile and coo at me afterwards, and it makes everything alright. This little tiny being, has captured both our hearts and minds, and we would do almost anything to make sure we try our level best to be the parents that he deserves. Its quite so special that in terms of looks and temperament, he’s a little bit of the both of us.

Random baby milestones/memorable stuff at this stage.

  1. He discovered his hands, and loves to put them in a prayer position.
  2. He’s obsessed with mummy and tracks her by turning his entire head as she moves around the room.
  3. His cries have evolved (Cranky, Hungry, Play with me/Attention, Pain. Sometimes they evolve to Uncontrollable Screams!!!!! if you haven’t found the source of his cries after a few minutes) This kid has very healthy lungs for sure!
  4. 3 to 4 naps a day (Ranging from 20 to 40 mins)
  5. 3 to 5 hour stretches at night (Although his pacifier drops in between and he always whines for us to pop it back in, mighty annoying because then our precious 3 to 5 hour stretches are always broken up!)
  6. Poops around 5 times a day
  7. Eats around 8 times a day
  8. His big fat gummy smiles! That heart melter!
  9. He adores his baby floor play mat with hanging toys and can spend 20-30 mins playing around and coo-ing cutely.
  10. He has begun ‘chatting’ with us. We talk to him about whats going on around him, what we’re doing (i.e. making an avocado sandwich for lunch) and he responds accordingly. He does that a few times a day if we’re lucky, with random baby noises. Its SUPER CUTE!
  11. Someone gifted us a Boppy Napper, something I wouldn’t have bought on my own, but it has been a lifesaver during the day. He happily would lay down on it and play with his rattle toys. We would read and sing to him while he’s on it and he seems v comfortable.
  12. He loves his cocoon-ed car seat (J.J.Cole Bundle Me) has kept him snug all winter. He can sleep for an hour in the car seat if we’re constantly moving, although as he grows, he has more awake time and less inclined to want to be in there for longer stretches. Probably wise to get more toys for it.
  13. He has met some kids around his age, stares at them for a while and then gets bored.
  14. He loves to blow bubbles and drools lots! (Apparently his gums are preparing for teeth and is kinda white and itchy, because he loves to chomp on his baby teether!)
  15. He recognizes adults who are not his parents and stares at them cautiously!
  16. He dislikes tummy time with a vengeance. He cries longer for it, compared to his 2 month shots!
  17. He calls for attention by having this, “Aiieeeee, Arrrrgeeeee” sounds. SUPER DUPER CUTE! Unless it escalates into a full blown cry of course.
  18. He loves his Mama and Dada! He greets us with happy ‘arrrrrrr’ laughs and cheeky smiles.
  19. Loves to grab my finger and hoist himself from a sleeping position to a sitting position. Its a colossal effort for him because his head is almost 1/4 his entire body. Its funny to watch him huff and puff his way up.

He’s undoubtedly our greatest love! Make no mistake tho, he requires my attention 24 hours a day and sometimes I miss the days I could just shower languorously, put on some non-nursing clothing and go have fun. These days everything has to be timed and organized according to His Lordship’s feeding/sleeping schedule. But I would have it no other way. He’s so so precious! At 12 weeks old, he has a pretty fun temperament, he’s supremely curious about everything so the sure fire way of cheering him up is to carry him upright and walk everywhere.

Happy 12 weeks my sweet sweet baby boy, Mummy loves you so much! Daddy is enthralled by your cuteness!

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On being a new mummy – worrying

My body has gone through huge changes in the last 249 days, some of which are fascinating and some of which kinda annoying, if I want to be completely honest. But I am in awe with the female body, of how it as grown a mass of cells to a large 5.5 pound baby, that kicks, squirms, breathes and hiccups ever so cutely. I talk to you every day, asking you to kick sometimes but mostly asking you to calm down! You’re such an active baby, which is great because the doctors tell me how healthy you are and it makes me feel very secure.

Pregnancy has made mummy a worrywart, from getting enough exercise, to getting enough rest, to the food I put into my mouth, to the type of diapers/formula I buy for you, to your sleeping quarters. Knowledge is power, but given so much information on the internet these days, too much information can sometimes be overwhelming to a new mom.

I have to check ever so carefully, where I am reading medical articles from, whether reviews online are paid or genuine, whether or not I’m getting a good deal on big ticket items and most importantly — Are these products safe for you? Research, Research, Research seems to be the operative word for the last couple of months. Given my A type personality, it sometimes stresses me out, because I only want the best for you.

At the same time though, I have learnt very valuable lessons about trusting my body, trusting my medical team and trusting that me and your daddy will be the best possible parents to you.  Medically, this pregnancy has given me some grief and some issues, the challenge for me personally, has been not to overthink issues, take medication (even though when the pregnancy started I was adamant about NOT putting drugs into my body), but there are things beyond my control and so I had to do, what I had to do. There is this mummy guilt that comes along with it, I wonder if I’m too soft of a cookie, and could have ‘sucked it up’ better and toughen up more, but after nights of puking amongst other things, I gave in. In order to be the best mommy for you, I would first have to take care of my physical, mental and emotional health, so that I would be in best shape to take care of you.

I have to humbly acknowledge that I won’t get everything right, there will be struggles along the way, but we will all be fine in the end. Nothing worth doing in life is easy, so with this thought in mind, I’m/We’re looking forward to your arrival in about 31 days, and the rest of the 18 years (?) with you, learning new things about parenthood, making mistakes and growing as a family. One thing is constant tho, you are loved beyond words.

Love,

Mummy.

PS: This is me, after two continuous nights of not waking up in misery, looking all fresh and happy at 35.5 weeks of pregnancy. Its worth documenting because I have not had good sleep since 27 weeks!

#MESSYHAIRDONTCARE

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Daddy wants to shop?

Say what? Yes Baby! You heard me right! Daddy actually wanted to buy you more clothing! Daddy hates shopping but when we went to Macy’s the other day, Daddy saw a bunch of onesies and somehow decided, he NEEDS to get those for you!

Full disclosure: During child birthing class, he had such difficulty trying to put on the onesies that go over the baby’s head, so he decided that the zip up ones were more ‘Daddy friendly’! 😂😂 But then he saw the space ship onesie that said, ‘Super Awesome’ and the little boy hidden in him couldn’t resist! So here you go, another 3 newborn onesies for you! Try not be over 9 pounds when you’re born, so we can get better mileage for these!

Little Tater Tot

Dear Little Tater Tot,

Mummy has given you lots of nicknames and you aren’t even born yet!  This name was inspired by Daddy’s favorite food, the humble potato tater tot. We went for a child birthing class yesterday at NYU Langone and Daddy swaddled a ‘mock you’ like a little tater tot, hence the nickname!

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Mummy is very proud of Daddy! For 2 whole Saturdays, we woke up early in the morning and went for class from 9.30am to 4pm. We learnt lots about managing the labor process, pain management, the birth process and infant care. In class, plenty of Dads were using the phone, going out to get calls and surfing the internet, but your Daddy was patiently writing notes and jotting down questions for our OB. (Mummy did the same too just in case you were wondering!)

Going for the child birthing class was pretty useful, being pregnant is a pretty big deal and life changing experience for the both of us. I have been uncomfortable for weeks now, between really really really bad acid refluxes, nausea, insomnia, back pain, sciatica, painful Braxton Hicks, difficulty breathing and the works, Mommy’s been trying very hard to prepare myself both mentally and emotionally for your birth. It has not been entirely smooth sailing, but I’m so grateful that you’re growing big and strong. As much as I’m uncomfortable physically, I hope you will bake inside mummy for as long as you need! So that you can come out healthy, happy and cuddly! Apparently you’re measuring big and when I saw your chubby cheeks in the scan, I was stoked! I hope you have chubby cheeks like mama!

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Daddy was very cute in class, he was holding the mock doll with such affection even the instructor couldn’t help but smile at his tenderness. I think you’re going to be super lucky baby because he will be the best Dad in the world!

In about 6 weeks, we will probably see your beautiful little face and we cannot wait to begin many adventures with you. First of which, would probably be to survive the lack of sleep and initial shock of having a tiny tater tot entirely dependent on us. With a little patience from us, and a little cooperation from you, I’m sure we’ll do fine.

I love you my little precious tater tot!

Love,

Mama.

Butt up in the air

I’m a tummy sleeper, when I was young, I used to sleep on my chest with my butt high up in the air. Just like this baby below!

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Kai is 31.5 weeks and anterior facing, so from time to time, I can feel his cute little butt jutting out from my tummy! This hard mass of butt bone just below my ribs. Its really cute, at night when I read to him, I will pat his little butt and pat him to sleep!

We went to our hospital tour today and boy was he excited! He was kicking and moving around cutely, as if knowing that someday his first glimpse of the world would be right in that hospital.

Grow well, grow strong and up to 39 weeks at least little one. Mummy and Daddy cannot wait to see you at the start of November! We love you so so so much!

 

Welcome to the Family

Dear Baby Kai Kai!

Welcome to our family! We are so looking forward to seeing you and showering you with sweet baby kisses! Mummy is beyond excited to see you!

We’re fast approaching our third trimester and mummy is doing tons of researching about babies and getting your room ready! Daddy is all ready to assemble the cribs and changing table/dresser for you! We are both super excited about setting up a home filled with love and joy for you. You are already our precious pie!

We recently moved to a new neighborhood where I suspect will be a perfect place for you to grow up in. It has lots of young families, open spaces, near a wonderful state park and zoned for a pretty decent preschool. We love how quiet the apartment is and how lovely the expansive views are from up high. There is a pool in our apartment complex and Daddy cannot wait to bring you to splash like a dolphin in the inviting waters. From our apartment, we see the Hudson river confluence and Daddy is going on and on about teaching you to ‘sail before you can walk’. Mummy has mixed feelings about that.

At first, I didn’t know what it meant when my fellow mommies told me that love for their child begins in the womb. Now I finally understand what it means, because I already love you so so much right now and I will continue to do so for the rest of eternity. Continue to excite mommy lots with your swift little kicks, cute hiccups, grow big, get stronger and we look forward to seeing you in November. Till then, enjoy the mini swimming pool inside of mom, made specially just for you!

Love, Mummy.

PS: It would be a really nice thing to kick a little less violently when mummy is hugging the toilet bowl or hurting inside due to acid refluxes and a host of other pregnancy related pains. Try to remember the mantra – “Never kick a man when he’s down!”. Although, you’re probably trying to nap and all the noise around you is disturbing your little baby nap. Nevertheless try your best!