Dear Lucy – Month Five

LucyBear, this may have been the hardest month yet. Not because of you, sweet girl, but because being a mom is really hard. It is always worth it, though.

You are everything to Dad and me. Every face you make is the best face, and we spend a lot of time describing to each other the funny things you do. For us, everything you do is nuanced, but to others I’m sure you just seem like a normal baby. That’s OK.

This month you fell in love with Midas. If he’s in the room, you don’t take your eyes off of him, and you love to giggle at him from your perch on the boppy. He wags his tail and play-growls in return. He sneaks in kisses whenever he can, but is still VERY cautious about your wild feet and arms.

You also love tummy time now! Thank goodness Dad was diligent with you through your whining – it has really paid off. You easily roll from your belly to your back, and occasionally the other way. We love to watch you try to sit up, you contract your whole body and grunt with this amazing look of determination on your face. Soon, baby girl, soon.

At your four month appointment, we found out you are in the 65% for height – no wonder you look so skinny! I think you’ll be built just like Dad, but you definitely have my eyes. Your mohawk is still in place, but your hair looks more ginger every day. You love to splash in the bath, and blow bubbles.

For a few days the only sound you made was a loud squawk, whether happy or sad, but you seem to have outgrown that quickly. Your favorite toy is your monkey, and you’ve started scratching at every surface to see if it makes the crunchy noise that the monkey’s tummy makes. It’s unbearably sweet.

You hate the phone – I feel so bad about that! But I can’t help snapping tons of pictures of you to make sure your grandparents can see you. I look at those photos when I’m at work, and they never fail to make me smile.

You started noticing kids this month, and it’s so fun to watch you meet other people. I took you to ‘Bring Your Kids to Work Day’ last week and everyone commented on what a smiley baby you are. You immediately took to JD, and it was so sweet to watch you with her. I love to see you getting to know the people in our life.

You’re still a champion sleeper, even though we’re dealing with you breaking out of the swaddle and trying to roll over. We have a few rough weeks ahead as we ditch the swaddle, but we’ll get through it.

Luckily, you still love my singing (you’re the only one!) and your favorite song to hear is “Edelweiss”. I’ve started to play music more often around you to see what you like and don’t like, but you seem to like it all.

We call you CrankyPants McGee a lot – but you are really a content baby. We know how lucky we are that you’re healthy and happy. You do make your feelings known, though, especially when you’re tired of doing something. We mainly hear from you when you want to be walked around, and I can tell that as soon as you start crawling and walking we’ll be chasing you nonstop. I can’t wait.

Dear Lucy – Month Four

We’ve seen more changes in you this last month than all three prior. You routinely roll from tummy to back, and you are working hard on back to tummy (though I don’t think that will happen for another couple months). Suddenly you don’t mind tummy time, which is great because you’ve got a little bald spot on the back of your head from all the sleeping you do.

Speaking of sleeping – you’re a champ! We haven’t yet hit the dreaded 4 month sleep regression..and I’m hoping we skip it. You take great naps during the day, and a couple weeks ago you started sleeping 7:30-4-6. You slept easily through 4th of July fireworks, and through the AC repairman setting off the smoke alarm right next to wear you were sleeping. I was so proud.

You continue to be the chattiest baby I’ve ever known, and you recently started yelling at the dogs and watching them. Ridley can’t wait until we let him play with you, and Midas is…starting to come around to the idea.

Somehow you went from a tiny baby to a little person and it’s really strange but also wonderful. You try to hold your bottles and tip them up so you can drink faster. You have this funny belly laugh that Grandma thinks is hilarious. Everyone who sees you comments on your big blue eyes and how happy you are. The other day we facetimed with pra bopcha and she couldn’t get over how intelligent you are and how talkative. We facetime with Bopcha and Dziadek every week, and they can’t wait to see you in a few weeks.

Everyday there is something new about you to love, Lucy Bear. We’re so lucky to have you.

Dear Lucy – Month Three

This month you went on your first trip to the cabin. It could have gone more smoothly, but you did really well napping and sleeping in the pack and play. Next time we’ll be able to go into Midway and walk around a bit, which I think you’ll enjoy more than being cooped up all day.

Every day we see more and more of your personality, and the things you like and don’t like. You went through a rough patch where you weren’t napping, but it seems like that’s over now. Dad and I know we are so lucky to have such a happy baby. You are content to sit in your swing or bouncer if we need to get something done, or even just be held and walked around the house.

Now that you are three months old, you are no longer a newborn, and we can take you out more. Unfortunately, the weather has been too hot to make that happen.

Two days before you turned 3 months I went back to work, and you hung out with Anne and Grandma. It seemed like you had a great time, and I’m glad you’re so adaptable. I hate leaving you every morning.

You love getting a bath, but you hate the time between the end of the bath and when you’re warm and dry again. You love when we make ghost noises, and sometimes when we tickle you. You recently started reaching for toys, grabbing them and bringing them to your face. You also try to roll over from your back to tummy, but can’t quite figure it out. You still hate tummy time. You really fight against the swaddle, but you still wake yourself up so you aren’t done quite yet with it. I’ve never known a baby as chatty as you are – I can’t wait until you start talking!

You still spend a good five minutes stretching every time we wake you up – I hope you never outgrow it. You have smiles for everyone, and are so close to laughing.

We love you, Lucy Bear, and can’t wait to see what happens next!

Dear Lucy – Month Two

Dear Lucy,
As I write this you are currently swinging to the sounds of a babbling brook, which is the only thing that seems to soothe you today. So all the advice about letting babies nap in a swing is thrown out the window because you NEED to get a nap.

At two months old, your personality is really coming through. Stretching remains your absolute favorite thing, and interrupting your post-nap stretching routine leads to some pretty serious brow furrowing. Your favorite place? The changing pad. Don’t know what it is about that spot, but you love it.

This week we bought you a play mat with a kick piano, and even though hearing those same four tunes is driving me a bit mad, I can’t resist letting you play on it because it makes you so happy. The past couple weeks you’ve really been discovering the world around you, and it feels like you’re becoming a tiny person now.

Every day when Dad gets home you guys have a little dance party in your crib (you’re very into Odesza right now), and it just about breaks my heart every time. You smile freely and often, and those smiles really light up this house. Usually you smile when you first wake up, or when we make funny noises for you. Or right before you spit up… You are also pretty chatty – Dad and I must sound really weird repeating your noises back to you, but we do it anyway.

Lately you seem to get frustrated that you aren’t more independent and mobile, you seem to want to walk and crawl and be off on your own, but I will keep you close for a while longer.

Last night Dad and I talked about traveling the world with you and showing you things none of us have seen. It’s hard not to look forward to when you’re older, but I know I will miss these early days, even though they have been hard. It’s very strange to be with someone all day who is changing so quickly, when as an adult I feel as though I never change.

I can’t wait to see what the next months brings – fingers crossed for more sleep.

Love, Mom

Dear Lucy – Month One

Dear Sweet Lucy,
Today, you are one month old. And it’s been a hard, strange, wonderful month.

I knew I would love you, but I was not prepared for the tightening in my chest when I look at you, or the heartbreak when you clutch my finger. Loving you is overwhelming and difficult, and also comes so easily.

You love a good stretch, and will often spend 5 minutes groaning and stretching when you wake up or finish nursing. Speaking of waking up, you seem to fight it sometimes and whine (“Five more minutes, Mom”). You also make the greatest faces, and I’ve been trying to get photos of them all before you outgrow them. Your sweet, gassy smile is my favorite, and I can’t wait until you smile at us because you mean it.

For the first week we brought you home, you made this adorable snorting sound when you were hungry. Sadly you stopped and I already miss it.

You grunt in your sleep, and you can’t decide whether you love or hate to be swaddled. The dogs still don’t know what to do with you: Ridley just wants to play, and Midas is quietly cautious. You love the swing and the bouncer – but only for 30 minutes, max. You only weigh 7.5 pounds, but I’m so proud of your weight gain since we left the hospital.

Sleeping is still unpredictable – some days you nap well and sleep well at night, others you won’t go down all day and fuss after every night feeding. In short, you’re a newborn baby.

I can’t believe it’s already been one month with you. Time seems to be flying by and while I’m excited for you to continue to grow and develop, I also wish I could hold on to each day with you and keep you just as you are. I’ve spent hours trying to memorize your tiny hands and feet, and I’m gripped with fear that I’ll forget the details of these early days with you.

You’re the best thing we’ve ever done, baby girl.

Baby Bradshaw – Week 37

I’m a day late on this, having hit 38 weeks this morning, but that’s OK.

Exciting news! My OB told me that Baby Girl is very low and could come any day!

Or…it could be weeks.

So, the news isn’t really that exciting, honestly.

I’ve been feeling pretty good. 90% of the time I’m fine, the other 10% I’m begging Chris for a time machine so we can fast forward to when baby is here and I’m not pregnant anymore.

My hands are still swollen, and it’s worst at night. Sometimes I can barely close my hand enough to turn a doorknob, and they often go numb. It’s uncomfortable, but at least there is an end in sight.

Last weekend we completed a massive shopping trip at Babies R Us to get ‘everything else’ – although I’m sure there are things we’ve forgotten, or will need more of, or didn’t realize we needed. The nursery is almost finished and it’s mostly down to hanging decor on the walls.

Overall, I’m feeling pretty ready for baby to be here. I know it will be incredibly hard, but at this point I feel like I have done everything I can to prepare and we’ll just have to wing it on the rest.

Things I’m looking forward to after pregnancy

Even though I haven’t been one of those ‘earth mama’ type pregnant women who gains this cosmic perspective on life or whatever, I do have to say that pregnancy has helped me appreciate the life and body I had before getting pregnant. I am so grateful to have been able to carry this baby, but it has been HARD (even though I had an easy pregnancy). Being pregnant has made me realize the beauty in a lot of small acts and freedoms that I absolutely took for granted prior. And I can’t wait to get back to them.

1. Laying on my stomach and flat on my back
2. Curling my knees up to my chest (this is my preferred sitting position)
3. HOT baths
4. An ice cold glass of white wine
5. All the sushi
6. Pants that zip
7. Running
8. Rolling over in bed
9. Wearing my wedding ring
10. Having more clothing options
11. Being able to stop worrying about protecting my belly from the dogs.
12. Easily shaving my legs.

It really is the simple things…no?

Baby Bradshaw – Week 36

Oops! Missed Week 35.

This week my sisters in law and friends threw a gorgeous baby shower for Baby Girl – lots of yummy food and an adorable onesie making station. In general I feel pretty uncomfortable at parties thrown for me, but it was fun to celebrate with everyone and it made me realize how close we are to the end.

I finally bought a book about raising a baby, and I’ll have to do some cramming over the next few weeks. To be honest – I don’t know how to change a diaper, or bathe a baby, or anything, really. I am very much counting on instinct to kick in, but I’ll also be studying up.

Physically, I’m starting to be uncomfortable more often than not. The days are still relatively easy, but by the end of the day my back hurts and I feel stretched and exhausted. I’ve also been getting charlie horses in the middle of the night, and my hands are so swollen that it hurts to bend my fingers most of the time. Describing it makes it sound worse than it actually is. Most of the time, I feel totally normal. But there are times (right now, for instance) that my back is killing me and I just want to sleep through the next few weeks.

The nursery is really coming together, and Chris and I are planning on wrapping up everything this weekend. We have a list of what else we still need (mainly diapers and onesies) that we’ll take care of and hopefully just be able to relax for a little while before the baby comes.

Even though I don’t want to be pregnant an extra month, now that we are so close to being done it would be really nice to have an extra month of just Chris and I, before our life is turned upside down.

I haven’t developed any additional stretch marks (at least that I can see) other than the few that showed up a few weeks ago. Belly button is still an innie, feet and hands are pretty swollen though. My eyes have also been puffy – I think I’m just swollen in general. So, things are going well and I’m really just counting down.

Baby Bradshaw – Week 34

I can’t remember a time in my life when I’ve had as bad a sweet tooth as I have right now. I made sure we didn’t order any Girl Scout cookies because I do not have the self control to stop myself from eating a box of Samoas in a day.

We finally made some progress on the nursery: the crib is painted and assembled, and I made the pom pom trim curtains and bought a curtain rod. There is still a lot left to do, but now that the painting is done we can move forward. I’m a terrible decorator, and I don’t want to spend a ton of money on the nursery, but I do want it to be a nice space for Baby Girl (and me, because I’m sure I’ll spend quite a bit of time in there).

My baby shower isn’t until next weekend, so I’ll be 36 weeks by then…the weekends after that I anticipate will be spent filling in the nursery and baby supplies. And probably obsessively cleaning the house and making lists, because that seems to be how I’m coping with the stress these days.

Physically, things are pretty much the same. Many nights it’s hard to breathe, and I’ve started getting some intermittent sharp pains and more heartburn. With just five(ish) weeks left I’m definitely feeling like I’m ready to be done being pregnant.

Baby Bradshaw – Week 33

Wisdom from my OB this week: “Pregnancy is a great time to get a new mattress.”

A good night’s sleep is a distant memory, and I guess my OB could tell at this week’s appointment. I keep telling myself that it’ll just make the transition to having a newborn easier, but I can’t help but be sad thinking that my days of sleeping through the night are over, potentially forever.

I’ve been much hungrier lately, but my attempts at eating are thwarted by the fact that there doesn’t seem to be any room for food. I try to eat small snacks and calorie dense foods, but balancing that with eating healthy is difficult since fruits and vegetables typically need to be eaten in larger volumes to get an equivalent amount of calories. So I just do the best that I can, and continue to count down until the end of March.

I put an appointment on my work day calendar at 8am that says how many days I have left of work, and it’s actually really comforting to see them tick down – even if I am not at all prepared for maternity leave or being a mom.

The nursery is currently covered in plastic sheeting while Chris sands and repaints the crib. He calls it a murder room, which is horrifying, but I have to admit it’s not too dissimilar from a few scenes in American Psycho. Once that’s done we’ll be able to assemble the crib and really get started on prepping everything for baby. I’ve been putting off stocking up on baby things because 1. I haven’t had my baby shower yet and 2. I didn’t want everything piled up in common areas, since I find clutter stressful right now.

No swollen feet yet, but my hands are definitely puffy enough that I can’t wear my wedding ring anymore. My face and body look very different to me, but Chris says I look the same (apart from the belly, obviously). I still haven’t weighed myself so I’m not sure how much I’ve gained, but I am starting to feel it in my arms and legs which is a bummer.

My skin has cleared up dramatically thanks to a new skincare routine – maybe I’ll document that in a separate post. My hair is also back to normal, no more oil slick by the end of the day!