Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I'm finally holding what I've been hoping for...

Well it's been 6 weeks!

Six-incredibly short-I don't know where the time has gone-please time slow down-weeks.
My sweet boy is growing and changing every day which is kind of bittersweet!

We have learned and grown so much these past few weeks as a family of 3. Just this past week I realized that Tyson's a little more resilient that I have given him credit for. I was so anxious about his feedings, and when he needed to eat, and who could feed him, and how he should be fed, and how much he could eat. Now I realize that this is not the end of the world. He will eat when he's hungry, and he will tell me when that is. Currently he's working on his second bottle in as many hours, but baby boy was hungry. This mama is dieting, so I understand his cries of hunger..I won't deny him! Other times he goes longer than I think he should, but he's a big boy...he's not starving! I don't sit over people and watch them like a hawk while they are feeding him anymore...well I try really hard to make a conscious effort not to.  It's a bottle, he knows how to take it. I have kind of started to chill out...kind of!
And while we are talking about feeding...breast feeding. We tried; I failed...no judgement please. It was a super hard decision to stop, but it was the best decision for Tyson's health and (because of the fact that if I continued we would have had to exclusively pump) it was by far the best decision for my sanity. Being formula fed won't stop him from being whatever he wants to be in life, and I know he won't suffer any life-long repercussions because of this. It has been a guilt-ridden decision fueled by the fact that strangers at Subway and WalMart feel compelled to ask if he's breast or formula fed. I feel as if I owe them an explanation as to why we use formula, but I know I don't. I guess a tiny part of me feels the need to qualify it with an explanation. I don't mind telling anyone I know why it didn't work for us, but the stranger in front of me at the post office really doesn't need to know any more besides he's fed...well and often. I mean look at this belly, there's no doubt the boy eats...

For the past six week I have been living my life in 3 hour increments. I never knew how fast a day could fly by or how tough it may be just to run to the grocery store! Tyson is not bad at all to take to the grocery store or anywhere for that matter. The problem is timing it. Going run grocery shopping cannot be a spur of the moment decision like it used to be...it has to be a well planned out excursion at this point. Tyson will eat, I'll change his diaper, load him in the car, and head to the grocery store. At this point the clock is down to about two hours. In and out the car and the buggy with the infant carrier, get all our groceries (which always takes longer because we have to stop in the baby section just incase Tyson has to have that cute set of PJs he doesn't really need but they say 'My First Halloween' and I just can't pass them up), check out, get home, unload baby and groceries, and it's time to feed him again. It can be exhausting, but I love having him with us at every minute. This is what I have been waiting on..just the every day life moments where nothing special happens but we are living life as a family of three, going to the grocery store, going to grab a bite to eat; this is our new life that I have been anxiously waiting on.

My maternity leave is flying by!! I am having the hardest time coming to terms with having to go back to work soon, but at the same time I strangely look forward to it. It is the weirdest thing.
I LOVE my time at home with my little man. We have the best little routine down that includes quiet mornings over coffee (and a bottle for him) and study time throughout the day as he naps. I feel relaxed about school because I have plenty of time to complete all my assignments and do all my work. The hardest part about getting it all done is having to put this sweet baby down to type papers (I have mastered one handed typing, it just takes far longer). My house is always relatively clean, and I have plenty of time to cook supper and clean the kitchen every night without the stress of needing to rush to do everything so I can get some precious sleep. I could rock this stay at home mom job and love every single minute of it.
That's just not our reality though. Josh is in school full time, and I couldn't be more proud of him for making this incredibly scary step for the betterment of himself and our family. It is hard enough to survive on one income, but having at least one income is an absolute necessity so I do have to return to work. Most days just thinking about it fills me with this deep sense of dread.
It's not the fact of actually returning to work that's killing me though. For the most part I enjoy what I do. I am passionate about nursing and about my patients, and I enjoy the company of my coworkers. But man I love my baby. Even though we have a great sitter that we were lucky to find, I still hate the thought of leaving him all day especially the days that I don't know for sure exactly what time I'll be getting off work. Add on top of that, my leisurely study schedule and night time routine will fly out the window once I go back to work.
The part that does fuel me to go back to work is knowing that it means our baby is growing and reaching milestones. Soon he will be big enough to reach for me and laugh when I do something silly. Soon it will be Thanksgiving and Christmas, and our little family of three will be able to plan our holiday trips to Mississippi, put up a tree, fix a big meal, and just enjoy each other and our family. There are lots of great times to come, and in order for them to get here, time does have to go on and I do have to go back to work.

These past six weeks have been the best weeks of my life. I can't even imagine how much better and how much fuller my heart will get watching this precious boy grow. He wears me out and gives me the strength I need to get up and push through at the same time. I never knew how little sleep I could survive on, or how enraptured I could be by a 10.8lb baby boy, or how I wouldn't trade one middle of the night feeding for anything in the world. He is mine and his daddy's whole world, and we feel so lucky and grateful that God chose us to be Tyson's parents.

As the country song goes, "I'm finally holding what I've been hoping for"....

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