Reflections on the last 4.5 months

Life has changed so much for us and I feel that I've changed a lot as well. 4.5 months have flown by and in two weeks I will begin work.

The first 2 months were really challenging for me, and I took motherhood a lot harder than I expected. There were days when I longed to work so that I could have some excuse to be untethered from baby and have some freedom. I felt tired and alone - alone mainly because we are the first in our group of friends locally to have a baby - I was undergoing so much change and even a mere two weeks after baby arrived I felt like a completely different person. How was I to explain that?

My mother in law was here for 3 weeks, then my mom came for 4 weeks, then W had 2 weeks off. So I had 9 weeks of support, which I feel grateful for. After family left I became pretty homesick, especially because that time coincided with the holidays. This is the first time since we left LA five years ago that I really missed LA. Having family nearby is huge when you have a kid.

Breastfeeding was one of the hardest parts of motherhood. It got better after 6 weeks, even better after 2 months, and somewhere between 3 and 4 months it finally became natural. In the beginning, he would feed for an average of an hour each feed. It was brutal and there were so many times when I wanted to give up. Now I get bummed when he feeds for short periods and I want him to eat for longer! Ha.

I also experienced a lot of anxiety in the first 3 months. I've never been a worrier but I seriously worried about everything related to C. Whether I was producing enough milk, whether he was eating enough, whether I was creating bad sleep habits for him, and the list goes on. It was exhausting. I still have bouts of anxiety but it's decreased significantly.

I feel a huge need to connect with other new moms. My sister in law had a baby a month after me and it's been great - we facetime with each other every day and talk about mundane stuff like how they're eating, how they're sleeping and every little new development they have. But in terms of connecting locally, it's a Catch 22 because I really want to connect with new moms but I also value protecting his naps. Since he doesn't sleep well in the car seat anymore, that means I'm kind of stuck at home.

I make my life as a mom sound so tough but in reality C has been an "easy" baby. By 2 months he started waking 2 times a night for feeds. At around 2.5 months he got on a pretty regular schedule and has been since. At 3 months he started sleeping in his crib. He's a good napper - on average naps for 4-5 hours each day. A week ago he started sleeping through the night from 8pm-7am.

There are so many emotions around going to work. First, I feel immensely grateful for my new job. I couldn't have asked for a better one - I got my #1 choice hospital, the start date gave me 5 months at home, my commute is 10 minutes and I will have lots of support because in the first year I'll be in a program for new grads.

We also have a great setup for childcare. A good friend will be his nanny. And since I'll be working three 12 hr shifts, we won't need care 5 days a week. W will watch him on the weekends I work.

BUT, it feels so difficult! We had a practice day with his nanny last week and it went really well but after she left I cried my eyes out. It just felt so wrong to leave him when he is still so young. A baby really needs his mom. I wish I could stay home for a year, but I know even 5 months is such a luxury. I've never left him for more than 2 hours in between feeds, so this is going to be a major transition for me. Working moms tell me it gets better and that it will be worth it. Also, pumping is no fun!

Okay, this post has gotten way too long and I need to go to sleep. Major props to all moms out there!

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