REAL TALK

I ran across this book the other week and laughed out loud. I haven't actually read it but YES YES YES to the title.

Maddy turned 2 months the other day! The days are long but the months are short (sort of). I can’t believe we’ve kept a tiny human alive for 2 months now. This post has been long overdue but you know...tiny humans demand a lot of your attention. I have no clue how other moms have time to post let alone have a clear mind to even write. Every time I get a few minutes to myself, I sit down at my keyboard and my mind goes blank from exhaustion. I can barely spell my own name. I won't be surprised if this post has multiple grammar mistakes and misspellings even after proofreading 5 times. Hah. Well, here we are 1 month later since this was originally suppose to be my 1 month post for her...womp womp womp. 

Some of you had asked us some questions about parenthood a while back, and I wanted to do a quick Q&A session for you all. Mind you, my intent is to never scare anyone from being a parent but just wanting to be honest about our experiences. Remember that everyone's experience is going to be different! We want to share our journey with you all so that you can walk alongside us through our highs and lows. Feel free to post more questions below, and we will do our best to answer them! I have also been constantly seeking advice and encouragement from other parents so please share your own experiences below as well!

 

HOW MANY DIAPERS HAVE YOU GUYS GONE THROUGH ALREADY?
Hmm...in the past 2 months we have gone through 3 boxes of newborn diapers + some newborn diapers that were used in a diaper cake at our baby shower + 2.5 boxes of size 1 diapers along with a partial small bag of size 1 diapers that we bought on our trip recently. The boxes varied in quantities (ranging from 128-216 diapers) but I would estimate around 750 diapers + some change. HAH!!! Even typing out that quantity seems completely absurd and unreal. There have been many days where we've done 13 diaper changes in one day and there have been MANY diaper changes where we go through 3-4 diapers in one sitting because this little girl will keep pooping mid diaper change!

One thing we've learned so far is that we do NOT like the Up&Up brand diapers from Target. They seem smaller in size compared to Pampers (we've only used Up&Up and Pampers brand so far), the quality is poor, the line indicator doesn't seem to be accurate because there have been times where Maddy definitely had a dirty diaper but the line was still yellow rather than blue, and we like the scented Pampers diapers vs the unscented Up&Up diapers because even the smallest of smallest pees can be very smelly...

WHAT'S ONE THING THAT HAS BEEN REALLY HELPFUL TO CALM BABY DOWN?
Hilariously enough out of all the expensive things we currently have, Maddy likes the exercise ball the best (shoutout to Grace and Bernie for lending it to us). We hold her in our arms and sit on the exercise ball and bounce up and down...up and down...up...and...down. In her earlier days, I've definitely bounced on that ball for at least 2-3 hours throughout the day, but it really calms her down and puts her to sleep. Who would've known?!

IS IT POSSIBLE TO NOT BE SLEEP-DEPRIVED PARENTS? DO YOU GUYS HAVE A TAG TEAM STRATEGY?
Haha I WISH it was possible to not be sleep-deprived! If any parents with a newborn are not sleep deprived out there, PLEASE DM ME IMMEDIATELY! NEED TO TALK TO YOU ASAP.

We are definitely sleep deprived. Some days are better than others and sadly I feel like your body slowly adjusts to the lack of/amount of disrupted sleep. In her earlier days when she would be waking up every 1-2 hours, Danny and I had a tag team strategy even though I'm not sure if it was the best one. When Danny went back to work, I would watch Maddy throughout the day until he came home around 5:30-6:00pm. Once Danny was back, he would take over watching Maddy as I try to take care of things around the house like cooking dinner, cleaning, etc. It's quite amazing how extremely productive you are when you know you only have 2 hours of free time! I would try to head to bed around 8:30pm (which didn't always happen) and Danny would wake me up every 2 hours to feed baby up until midnight. Once midnight came, I would take over for the rest of the night and would wake up to change baby's diaper and feed since I wanted him to get as much rest as possible for work. It definitely wasn't the easiest. 
Nowadays though, Maddy has been very gracious and has been sleeping 5-6 hours straight at night so Danny will normally wake up to change her diaper and go straight back to bed and then I will feed her and put her back down for her to sleep another 3-4 hour stretch. She still throws us a curve ball occasionally and will have an occasional night where she'll sleep 4 hours straight instead and wake up every 2 hours after but that still feels like a huge gift to us compared to waking up every 1.5-2 hours throughout the whole night!

WHAT'S MADDY'S PERSONALITY LIKE? 
Her personality is definitely still developing. Right now I can tell you that she's extremely cranky if you wake her up from her sleep (which is probably any newborn...or any adult). She's extremely active. The little squirmer is constantly kicking off her blanket and will spend a good chunk of time just kicking away in her little crib. She seems to be pretty high maintenance as every time she has a little bit of pee in her diaper she cries and cries and cries until you change it. It's just a little pee, girl! No wonder we've gone through 750 diapers already! She's also really good at giving us the side eye and the mean mug look. This girl seems to have some sass in her already...GREAT. I know that they say she's still too young to be manipulative, but recently after every time she poops everywhere, throws up, or gets scolded for being bad, she breaks out into a huge smile. It's like she knows she's done something wrong and knows that she's cute when she smiles and wants us to forgive her quickly. And it's been working every time. Dang it. 

WHAT HAVE BEEN SOME OF THE GREATEST CHALLENGES?
I know this sounds completely absurd, but one of the biggest challenges for me has been learning to do absolutely nothing. I'm the type of person who is always go-go-go and loves to make to-do lists and cross off things on my list (thanks to Matt who suggested that I put "hold Maddy all day" as the only thing on my daily to-do list to fulfill my type A personality - it does make me feel better when I check that off). For some people it's a DREAM to be able to sit home and watch TV all day and not move from the couch, but for me I hate it. It makes me antsy, and I feel like I've wasted my day. And well, that's exactly what I've been having to do. When Danny goes to work, most of my day is spent trying to soothe Maddy or feeding Maddy or changing Maddy. She loves to be held at this stage and so a lot of times my spot is smack on the couch holding my baby. When I try to put her down, she will start crying. I will admit that I've even gone to the bathroom while holding her just so she wouldn't wake up. Washing dishes, doing laundry, cooking dinner, going to the bank...all those remain unchecked on my ever growing list, and it drives me nuts! I've taken Maddy out for many walks because selfishly I want to get out of the house and do something else rather than sit on the couch. I know many of you won't understand because even Danny LOVES to sit at home and do nothing. "You mean all I have to do today is hold baby and watch 5 movies? OKAY! NO PROBLEM!"
I'm not used to being still. I feel like I've lost a sense of who I am, like I don't know who I am anymore and can't do any of the things I'm used to. Go out to watch a movie? Nope. Go and get my hair cut/recolored? Nope. Brunch with girlfriends? Eh that's pushing it. Go shopping? Sure, if it's a quick run to the grocery store. Even movies at home now take double the time to watch since we constantly pause when baby needs a diaper change or if she's crying and needs soothing. Just the other night, all I wanted to do was watch the hockey game. How much of the game did I watch you ask? 
Zero.
I watched none of the game because my daughter needed my full attention for the full duration of the game. And I got upset. I got upset that I couldn't even do this one simple thing that I looked forward to all day. I had to die to myself yet again and be fully present with her when she needed a bath, when she was hungry, and when she needed to be soothed to go to sleep. The dinners that we took advantage of when we could sit and eat together are no longer there. Normally one of us will hold the baby while the other quickly shoves food in their mouth so we can switch.

It's hard to die to myself every day. Not saying that motherhood has not brought me a lot of joy because it has, but there has been a lot of my old self that has been a lot harder to let go of. I am no longer the Selina pre-baby. I am now Selina with a new role, with new responsibilities and even 2 months later, this has been the hardest adjustment for me. 

I told myself this constantly before Maddy came that I would never be the parent who would compare my child with another yet I catch myself falling into that trap every day. When I have a rough day with Maddy when she is constantly crying after I've fed her, changed her, and burped her, I can't help but see other babies who are calm and playful and be filled with envy. The devil has truly used this area to wrap me up in depression and self-pity. I admitted to Danny just today how a part of me wrongly feels entitled to have an easy child. After all the shit we've been through with the miscarriage and a difficult pregnancy, I somehow felt entitled to have an easy child because we must be rewarded soon, right? How messed up is that? Why do I ever feel like I deserve anything? I deserved death. That's what I deserved. I deserved hell and yet I was given the greatest gift when Jesus died on that cross for me. He gave me another great gift when He blessed us with Maddy. It's so easy to compare and believe the lies that social media can portray. When I keep comparing my child to other children, I lose sight of the positives and wallow in the negatives. I stop cherishing the gift I've been given, and she really is such a precious gift. Comparison truly is the thief of all joy. It has been the thief of my joy.

WHAT HAVE BEEN SOME OF THE GREATEST JOYS?
Her smiles have hands down been the best thing. When we have a difficult day and every nap time and awake time is a battle or ends in a crying fit, when I feel like I'm hanging on my last thread and all of a sudden she breaks out into a smile, all of those frustrations melt away and it feels so worth it. The cuddles are a close second especially when her small hands are clutching on to me. I know I shared some of my struggles earlier in the post, but Danny constantly reminds me to try to cherish every second of when she needs me and depends on me daily because there is going to come a day where she doesn't need me anymore. There's going to be a day where she no longer clutches on to my clothes, where she no longer wraps her arms around my neck when I hold her, no longer cries for me when she wants something or won't fully depend on me, and I will think back on these days and miss it.

Another great joy has been seeing how much Danny LOVES his daughter. For those who know him, I don’t think any of us doubted that he was going to be an amazing father and he has been nothing short of that. The speed at which this man is able to change a diaper is phenomenal. Poop diapers are his forte, and he would always rather him deal with the poop diaper than have me deal with it. Talk about sacrificial love, guys. His ability to hear our daughters softest cries at night is mind-blowing seeing how he never seems to hear me when I ask him to do the dishes. He is so incredibly patient with her and even when she's been shrieking and he’s been holding her for 6 hours straight, he’ll still offer to hold her for a bit longer. Not once have I heard him complain in the middle of the night about needing to get up to tend to Maddy. He is so happy to see her in the morning and so happy to see her when he comes home from work. When she started sleeping longer stretches, he got so worried and tip-toed into her room to make sure she was still breathing and that she wasn’t cold. He always focuses on the positives. Even after a day of fussiness, he'll still find ways to comment on how Maddy is improving and how she is doing so well. I love watching my husband love our daughter. He inspires me to love better every day. 

WHAT IS ONE FAVORITE MEMORY?
Not going to lie, I think one of my favorite memories has been the time Maddy exploded poop everywhere at 5 in the morning. *WARNING* if you are about to eat, do not continue reading.

It was early in the morning and we heard her crying through the baby monitor. I told Danny, "Don't worry, I got it" and got up to tend to her so he could keep resting. As I'm changing her wet diaper and wiping her butt, orange liquid poop comes shooting out, and I jump back and yelp. As I jump back to avoid being shot, I gracefully drop her legs into the puddle of poop that is quickly gathering in her now-no-longer-clean diaper. It only gets better because she starts frantically squirming and kicking and as she squirms, liquid poop continues to squirt and ooze everywhere. I immediately yell out, "S.O.S!!! ...S.O.S!!!!!!!!!!!! .....S.O.SSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Danny bolts through her door and runs to us as I scream, "WATCH OUT FOR THE FLOOR!" (which in hindsight, 'watch out for the floor' makes no sense but this just shows how shook I was). I still don't understand how but there was poop on the floor, all over the changing pad, in her bassinet that is NEXT to the changing area, and all over her blanket. Yup. So much for "don't worry, I got it." 

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