Learning

In the few short months that I have been a mother, I have learned (and am continuing to learn) some things.  I have learned both how strong (hello, natural childbirth!) and how weak (hello, sleep deprivation) I am.  I have learned that if I am not constantly humbling myself, I will be humbled.  I have learned that contrary to what I previously thought, I am a pretty hormonal person.

I am learning to shut out what the world says about how I should mother, and instead, am trying to listen to my heart with the filter of Scripture.  I am learning just how quickly time moves and how precious it is.  I have learned that I will never again have this day with my daughter, and that I want to cherish it.  I have learned that there is no better feeling than holding your sleeping child.  I am learning how intensely I can love.  I am learning how intensely I am loved.

I have learned that I am not a perfect mom and that I will fail Jane.  I will fail often.  But when I fail, I need to then show her an example of humility and grace.

I am learning that while I want to treasure every little moment, I just don’t have enough space in my head to remember every little detail.  And that breaks my heart.  As thankful as I am to spend most of my time with her and I really do treasure it, I feel guilty that I might not treasure it enough.

There are so many more things that God is teaching me through this journey of motherhood, but these are just the things that were on my mind today.  I am so thankful for my daughter and for the way that she challenges me to be a better woman.

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Tough Day

Yesterday was tough.  Actually, it’s been a tough few days.  When I got home from work on Tuesday night Jane was running a fever.  At first I thought she had picked something up on Easter, either from the church nursery or from one of her cousins, but the next morning I saw her sixth tooth finally poking through her gums!  Well, I cancelled all of our plans, just in case, but she seemed totally find by about mid morning.

Then yesterday happened.  Jane has been in a biting phase which I just attributed to teething, but I expected it to stop when that last tooth came through.  It didn’t.  Yesterday she proceeded to bite me every time I tried to nurse her, which led to yelling on my part and crying on hers, which led to her refusing to nurse all day.  By the end of the day I had had it.  I was frustrated with everything and everyone and heartbroken that Jane was refusing to nurse.  And she was refusing to nap.  I was so afraid that this was going to be the end of our nursing relationship and that I would either have to pump exclusively or wean her.

To top it all off, I had to go into work at 5:30 for what amounted to a fifteen minute check off.  So not worth my time.  But when I got home Andrew was getting Jane ready for bed and I decided to try to nurse one more time.  Success!  All of the stress from the day just melted away as I was finally able to feed her.

If there is one thing that I have learned since Jane was born it is this: parenting is hard.  It is so much harder than I ever would have believed.  I used to think that I was a strong person, but I am learning that I am truly fragile and in such desperate need of grace.  Grace from my husband, my friends, my daughter, and the Lord, most especially.  Thank God for grace.

Nine Months

9 months old!!

9 months old!!

I feel like I just wrote Jane’s eight month update and already it’s time for the next one.  Time is flying by so quickly, and already my little baby is beginning to leave infancy behind and enter toddlerhood.  I’m not ready.

Jane’s development has exploded this month; she can now clap and wave, she has started cruising along furniture, she has another tooth, has started to enjoy solid foods, is sleeping better, and wants to walk.  She loves it when we rub our heads on her belly, it makes her laugh and laugh!  She loves her learning table, the vacuum, and stacking blocks.  She is getting into all of the cupboards (we still haven’t baby proofed!!), she loves to open and close doors, and falls or tips over at least once a day.  She also knows her name and loves to dance.  I’ve been trying to teach her baby signs, but they don’t seem to have sunk in quite yet.  We are so in love with her that it is beyond words.

Height: 28 inches, 75%-ile

Weight: 23 pounds, 95 %-ile

Head Circumference: 75%-ile

Shoe size: 3

Diaper size: 4

Clothing: 9 or 12 month clothes.  She’s still got some nice baby chunk on her, so she’s a little too squishy for some 12 month clothes but she’s too big for her 9 month clothes, too.  What an awkward fitting stage!

Sleep: Hyland’s teething tablets are our friends.  If I give them to Jane before she falls asleep at night, we have a much better night.  She generally goes to bed between 7:30 and 8 and wakes again between 11pm & 1 am, and then again between 3 and 4 (when she comes to bed with us), after which she sleeps really restlessly and cluster feeds.  Then she’s up for the day at 7:30!  She takes two naps now, around 10:30 and between 2:30 & 4, depending on the length of her morning nap.  I really like this routine that we have right now; there’s enough awake time to go out and run errands or meet up with a friend before we need to get home for a nap, and if we do happen to be out, she still falls asleep easily in the Ergo.

Milestones: See first paragraph.

Jane loves her new swing!

Jane loves her new swing!

Challenges: I still love cloth diapering, but I am not loving cleaning up her solid ingesting poo.  As a result, she usually wears a disposable in the morning (when she’s most likely to poop), that way I can avoid having to wash out a stinky diaper.  Jane has been feeling pretty yucky with this bout of teething (4 trying to come in at once, so far only one has poked through), so keeping her happy (and her nose clear) has been a little trickier than usual.

Successes: Improvement in sleep!