Motherhood

Marriage + Motherhood

Ahh.. marriage and motherhood. A post I have been writing off and on for quite some time now. A topic that is tricky to discuss as each couples situation is unique and different. How I feel and have evolved to this new life can be dramatically different than the next. But, here it goes – all my thoughts, feelings and advice on being a newlywed and adjusting to motherhood.

A month into our marriage, Darius and I found out I was pregnant with our rainbow baby, Jordan. When I started going through the miscarriage, I didn’t know it, and my body was going through postpartum depression and crashing hormones. this caused a huge strain on our relationship because dealing with the loss of the baby and not knowing how to handle my feelings, I just was not available. All in all, the challenge brought us together and though it took weeks to realize what was happening, we were able to do our best to make a plan for ‘next time’.

During pregnancy with Lincoln, we were living the dream. We had bought our first home, we were in the middle of fixing everything up, nesting and creating the perfect life for our little man. I was incredibly sick for 16 weeks and although that was f***ing horrible, having Darius as my support system was so meaningful. It wasn’t until after giving birth to Lincoln, the next day precisely, that shit.got.real.

Having a baby and struggling with anxiety and postpartum depression simultaneously really throws a wrench into your love life. Being that I don’t adjust well with change, after bringing Lincoln home I remember two things: 1. Apologizing to Gus for ruining his life and 2.  Texting Liz asking how the hell to get out of this nightmare (of having a baby). I wanted my husband back, my quiet life back and I definitely didn’t want Darius to love Lincoln more than me. Looking back and even in the moment, I knew all of this was irrational. I knew it wasn’t normal. When bringing Lincoln home I envisioned us being madly in love, taking care of our baby in unison and suffering through sleep loss like a champ. In turn, it was absolutely nothing of the sort.

Having a newborn, and now a 9 month old meant a lot of adjustment for our relationship. At first, my hormones weighed heavily on us. I cried all the time. I needed Darius and Lincoln needed me and Darius was taking care of all of us. He had to drop his math class to pick up the slack of me being a hormonal mess. I cried all the time. It was like he was actually taking care of two babies instead of one. Once that passed and I received help, the new adjustment was what would be our new normal? 

There were many times that our conversations were minimal, and dinners consisted of shoving a luke warm dinner down our throats. Many times we didn’t speak about anything significant and neither of us really knew what was going on in the others life. We weren’t making one another or our relationship a priority. That was something that needed to change. A lot of times there were arguments – about who to change Lincoln, who fed him the most, who was the most tired, who works the hardest, who does the most in the house… I could go on and on. And sometimes it felt like this has to be the end, although we both absolutely knew it wasn’t.

Things didn’t get “better” right away. And it really wasn’t even that things had to get better, we just had to adjust to the way life was and accept that’s how it would be. It wasn’t like we had some drawn out, silent treatment or screaming argument. We slowly started have more open conversation. It happened in places like the car, in the kitchen when making dinner, on the phone on the way home from work. We would talk about how we were feeling, how we read an article about our marriage coming first, we would reminisce about how life is now and how it used to be. We made more time for each other and allowed for family to help out in order to give us a break. We began to be okay with not being at Lincoln’s side 24/7. We know that in order to have a happy, healthy family we need a happy, healthy marriage. And we need to nurture that marriage and be supportive of one another.

Nine months postpartum I finally feel like we are in one of the best places we have ever been in our entire marriage. I feel more that we are the best of friends than I did two years ago. I feel I have a partner who truly values me, who respects me as a wife, mother and friend. I have someone who knows me inside and out and who will always have my back.

So, my advice to you out there who has the newborn? Life isn’t over. It’s just beginning. And what you’ve done is beautiful and fantastic. And you may be sore, you may be exhausted, you may be wanting to give up. Those feelings are valid. But, as time always does, it heals all things. You will get back to yourself. You will begin to find a new normal in this crazy, hectic life of mommy hood. But, it is imperative that your marriage is nurtured and that your independence is nurtured. Make time for yourself and one another. Your baby will never forget having happy, committed parents – and will never remember the one time you left him with the grandparents for two hours.

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Baby Lincoln

Lincoln at 9 Months

Lincoln recently (and by recently I mean basically a month ago) turned 9 months! 9 months ago my life changed in an insane way – I became a mommy! The ride has been a long, wild one but my goodness, I wouldn’t change a thing. Seeing Lincoln grow and transform from a newborn to a little baby boy has been incredible.

In turning 9 months, Lincoln started to do the following:

-crawl – like reallyyyyy crawl and reallyyyyy fast – the second he sees the gate open to the kitchen he bolts for it.

-eat people food – he’s finally shown a huge interest in the food we are eating and loves to chow down

-finding his voice – between screaming, shouting, hollering – it’s getting loud around here

-pulling up on furniture – Lincoln went from crawling to pulling up in a matter of days. he is cruising all over and I can’t remember the time when he was immobile.

-big boy bath – he has been evicted from the infant bath and now sits up in the tub like a regular kid *excuse me while I go sob*

-trying to talk – like REALLY trying to talk. he is always making a noise of some sort.

-curiosity – this one has to be one of my favorites. to see his little self explore, pick things up, throw things, chase things, eat things, taste things – it’s just so cute!

To check up on Lincoln’s past monthly updates, check this out!

Baby

Monthly Must-Haves | Newborn

Being a first-time mom, my baby registry was filled with EVERYTHING. I mean, it’s absurd actually how much stuff was on that registry. And granted, a lot of it was put to great use, but there are only a handful of things that I considered a must-have. These items are based off of my personal opinion alone, but, many other moms recommend these items to me as their must-haves as well. So, enjoy!

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  1. Fisher-Price Auto Rock ‘n Play Sleeper – This rock ‘n play was a LIFE SAVER when it came to getting Lincoln to sleep. As a new mom, I figured my baby would love being swaddled and sleep peacefully in his bassinet. WRONG. Lincoln not only hated being swaddled, but his bassinet was so big, he didn’t feel protected. The auto rock ‘n play is the way to go! You can set timers on it, and it plays a variety of music/sleep sounds! He used this sucker for 3 months!
  2. SwaddleMe Slumber Buddies Soother – My mother in law bought this for Lincoln about two months ago and I WISH we had it sooner! This sweet little elephant plays 5 different sounds, has 3 timer options and sets a starry scene on the ceiling with light options of red, blue or green (or it will alternate on its own). It’s much better than a mobile (which we never had) and Lincoln loves staring at the lights on the ceiling!
  3. aden + anais Muslin Swaddle – Lincoln never liked being swaddled, so we didn’t use these sweet blankies as a swaddle. But, they sure did come in handy! Lincoln loved them as a light blankie (he was born in August) and they are super soft and cozy. We also used them to play down on play mats, the rock ‘n play and his swing so in case he were to spit up, we just had to throw the blanket in the washer!
  4. Dr. Brown’s Bottles – From the get-go, Lincoln and I had trouble with breastfeeding. He started on formula as a supplement the day he was born. Thank goodness for Dr. Brown’s bottles! We truly never had an issue with colic or with him being overly gassy. They do have a lot of parts, but we feel they were totally worth it!
  5. Boppy Nursing Pillow + Positioner – This nursing pillow was a lifesaver! We brought it with us to the hospital and it was so nice to have as I adjusted to nursing. I used it constantly once he came home from the hospital to help with feedings, and he enjoyed laying on his side on it tucked against my chest. As he grew older, he would lay down on it and drink a bottle, or lay with his belly on it and do a little tummy time! We just put it away when he turned six months!
  6. Fisher-Price My Little Snugapuppy Cradle ‘n Swing – At first, Lincoln hated this swing. But about a week or two into him being a newborn, it became a backup to our rock ‘n play. He loved swinging in the swing with its side-to-side motion. It plays a variety of songs, the mobile moves and you can set the rocking motion to however fast you want it! He still uses it today – at 9 months and 20 pounds!
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New Beginnings

Hi there! If you’ve stumbled upon this blog of mine by accident, welcome! If you found me through my share, thanks for stopping by!

My name is Rachael! And this blogging thing ain’t my first rodeo! I have a blog that I used to document my first pregnancies. You can read all about that here. Many of my family, friends and colleagues enjoyed reading my previous blog and so, I’ve decided to take it a step further. I have quite a few life changes ahead of me (hear about those in the near future) and I am doing my best to make my blog a full-time gig.

I have always loved writing, thanks to my fourth grade English teacher. I have found it to be a creative outlet, a sort of release, a safe place where I can let it all out there. At first, it was something I found quite nerve wracking, especially putting it on the internet, but when I received so many positive responses, I felt the need to keep it going.

Blogging has been the most challenging for me having to work full-time as an elementary school teacher. Especially now having a 9 month old, 19 students in the classroom, and a husband who can never find his keys, pants, phone, work bag, shoes, the can opener, etc… it always kind of was put on the back burner.

With all that being said – I am so excited to make this more of a commitment! I am dedicated to this and so excited to be on a new journey! Thank you for joining me!