What About ME...

From the moment of getting your BFP (Big Fat Positive) everything revolved around you. Planning the next 10 months, revolved around you. What you had for dinner, revolved around you. What you did, said, wore, and everything imaginable, revolved around you. You were pregnant! It was as though you held the key to the city, you were the Princess, you were the center of the universe. To some, it may have been absolute bliss, for others, you my have been a tad embarrassed, but soon settled into your role as the pregnant lady. 

While in the midst of being the pregnant lady you never thought that special attention would end. You would soon evolve into the wonderful new mother role. Unfortunately, for most mothers, the attention stops as soon as the baby is delivered. Sure, in the hospital nurses are taking care of you, and people come to visit. But let's be realistic here, they aren't there to visit you...they are there for the baby. And at that moment, you love it!

It isn't until you have settled into your new role as a mother that you soon start to feel that the attention is shifted. Not everything is about you. It is all about baby. At first it's wonderful. You get to sit back and see everyone fawn all over your new little bundle. You get to hear about how cute he or she is, who he or she looks like, and they are spoiled with gifts upon gifts. But then it starts to slowly sink in. 
No longer are people treating you like the Princess and no longer does the world revolve around you. And to be completely honest, it can hurt. You can be left feeling like you no longer matter. That you were just a vessel for your little baby, and now that he or she has arrived, you are useless. People don't call you to hear about your day, but instead how the baby is doing. You don't get visits to see how you're doing, but to hold baby. 

It is completely understandable, and most would think well if they are loving my child, that's all that matters. But trust me, you still need attention too. I am not saying that you have to be on everyone's speed dials, and you don't have to be on top of your pedestal anymore. But it is nice for someone to call to see how you, as a new mother, are doing....and not ask about baby. It's as if in a split second, you go from being a celebrity, to being a nobody...and you've been replaced. 

I would like to say it gets better. I am 5 months out, and I haven't seen the light at the end of the baby tunnel yet, but maybe someday. I love my child, and love that he gets so much attention, but I feel, along with many others I'm sure, that we are nobody. I know deep down this is not true, but sometimes...most of the time....it's how it feels. So don't be surprised when it happens, because it will. Just remember that no one does it intentionally, and sometimes you have to make yourself the center of attention...even if it is for an afternoon lunch with a friend sans baby!
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Quote Of The Week | The Joy Of Motherhood

As I was scrolling through Pinterest on this wonderful Monday morning, I came across this quote. I rarely find a quote (unless it is one from one of my literary idols) that stops me in my tracks. But this one did!

It got me thinking about all the hard times I had within the first few months of being a new mom. I had a very hard struggle with breastfeeding, my child wasn't gaining weight, we weren't sleeping, I was exhausted, and I had postpartum depression. During those first few weeks I couldn't get my head above water, and all I could see was what was going wrong not what was going right. 

This quote really puts everything in perspective in just a few words. It acknowledges that there will be hard times, you will get frustrated, not everything will be wonderful. But that amidst all of those things, there are small things that can outshine all those not so fun moments. 

Sitting here, 5 months after the birth of my precious boy, I can see all the moments of sunshine that were sewn into those moments of frustration that I was blind too. Like the moments when my son would finally latch on while nursing, and the calm that came over his body. At the moment that it happened, all I could focus on was okay when is he going to lose the latch, and start all over?! But if I could have just enjoyed in that short moment, I think that whole nursing session would have been a little brighter. 

I know people always tell you to look on the bright side or my LEAST favorite it could be worse. But when you are in that moment, it couldn't be worse for you. If I had found this quote earlier, I would have put it on my phone (since we always have our phones on us!) so it would be a constant reminder to find that small shining moment in a sea of frustration. 

Since isn't that what our babies do? They seize the moments of true happiness and cling to it. This quote will forever be placed in my heart, and in my mind so when those moments of unbelievable exhaustion, frustration, and shear dread come crashing down, I can remember to search for that bright spot, and it will push all those negative moments out of the way!
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What No One Told you About {The First Week of Being A New Mom}

This is the third and final part of What No One Told You
We have already talked about the joys of pregnancy and the not so pretty bodily functions that are associated with it. And we chatted about the unmodest side of delivery. So now we will finish up by talking about what the first few weeks hold with baby and what no one told you!
You Won't Know What To Do With Baby
When you first walk into your house after delivering your baby, you just won't know what to do. I'm sure you had all these plans set in your mind, but trust me they fly out the door faster than your post-delivery body walks through it. Let's think about this for a second. For the last few days you had nurses, doctors, and family helping you with the baby. And when you weren't being helped with baby you were being poked and prodded, visited, talked with the nurses, and had family. So you were never bored. But once you get home, and the baby is sleeping, you will feel like you need to do something or that you are forgetting something. Trust me, you're NOT! So take this time when baby is sleeping, and catch some ZzZz's yourself!
You will not only get pee'd on but....
 You will get pooped on too! I know it's gross, but I never thought it would happen to me! I never thought I'd have to clean it off the wall. But there we were, my husband and I, fumbling around with our 6 day old's diaper, and he apparently had some pressure built up, and let it go. It went off the table onto the adjacent wall, strafing the carpet and my husband all in one push! So be warned....it happens, other mothers just don't want to admit it! 
(This tid-bit came straight from my husband when asked "what was something no one told us")

You Will Not Sleep...even if baby does!
The first few nights our baby slept pretty well. I am associating that with the fact that he was so traumatized from delivery that he slept, hoping he would wake back up in the womb. But I didn't sleep a wink. I kept peeking over to make sure he was breathing. Make sure he was covered enough, but not too much that he would over heat. I kept waiting for that darn blue line on his Huggies to appear, telling me he had pee'd then wondering if I should wake him to change him. You will be a nervous wreck, and that is okay. I had wished a nurse could have come home with us that first week!
It's Okay To Say No To Visitors!
 This one can be a hard one (not for me sine I shut the world out when I got home) since so many people want to come and see your precious little baby. You might feel obligated to oblige. But seriously, just say no! I mean this too! You just had a baby either pushed out of your whooha or cut out of you. You are still bleeding, learning to nurse, probably haven't showered in a few days, and haven't even thought about laundry, dishes, or clean undies. People will understand. And you will never get those first few days back with just your new little family. So soak them up and turn off the phone, don't answer the door, and just snuggle :)
You might become depressed
I am sure this is something that your OB/Midwife talked about, but every mom thinks it will never happen to me! and go about their pregnancy. Well, it is something that can sneak up on you and have a hold of you before you realize what you are feeling isn't normal. So please take a moment and assess how you are feeling. If you are feeling down, talk to someone. Please read my post about my battle with postpartum depression here
You 'Plans' Will Go Out The Window
 Your plans for not co-sleeping, strictly breastfeeding, or something of the like, will probably change. I had swore up and down I would NEVER co-sleep but when by boy lost a lot of weight and we had to supplement with formula (again something I would never let happen), he had a hard time sleeping. So my formula fed baby slept right next to me for the first 3 weeks. That's the beauty about being the parent. You get to decide what is right for your baby. Don't let others tell you what you should or should not do. If I had let people tell me not to give formula, my baby would have starved to death. So Momma, go with your gut about how you parent!
It May Not Feel Real
When you first bring your baby home, you are exhausted, excited, sore, and in love. But after a few days, and the routine sets in, you might get this feeling that it isn't real. When I brought my boy home, I had this odd feeling that I would wake up and he wouldn't be there and I would still be pregnant. It takes a while to sink in, and that is okay! It will eventually, just give it time.
It Takes Two...
To change a diaper! No seriously, especially if you have a boy and he had his manly procedure (then good ol' Vaseline gets involved). It took both my husband and I to change my boys' diaper for the first two weeks. My husband would hold his legs, and I got to clean. We quickly learned (after being sprayed a few times) to lay a wipe across his boy parts, so if he did spray, it went into the wipe and not on us! But it was such a bonding experience. When I would say to my husband "he's pee'd" he would get right up from what he was doing and we would all head upstairs to change the diaper. And to this day (5 months later) we change the same amount of diapers, and my son LOVES diaper changing time!
Life Goes On
 This was a hard one for me to grasp. I spent 17 hours in labor, 3 days in the hospital (because we had him late at night), and were so over-whelemed with being new parents, we forgot that the outside world didn't stop. I still had to deal with work (maternity leave), I had to make sure all my son's paperwork was in order, and my husband had to make sure he was ready for the fast approaching lobstering season. It is easy to think because your life has stopped for those few short days, that everyone else's has too. But they haven't. You have to play catch up once you have your feet back on the ground. So enlist help to get it all done. Have someone go to the store for you since your milk expired, or hold the baby so you can make phone calls...it is okay
It's Okay to Take A Break
You deserve it! Even if it is for 20 minutes, have your mom, friend, aunt, husband, whoever you trust, take your baby for a few minutes. You have been through 10 months of pregnancy, then expelled a baby from your uterus! My husband and I took our first 'date night' when my boy was 3 weeks old. We went to a small Italian restaurant and my mother watched him. It was so rejuventaing. So take a break, and don't feel guilty...I know you are, just thinking about it...but you have to take care of yourself so you can take care of your baby!
You Will Fumble
 Nothing will go as planned. You can read all of this and it may not pertain, and maybe it will. Everyone has their own experience. The ONLY thing I can absolutely guarantee is that the time will fly too quickly and you will miss it once it's gone. So please take a ton of pictures (I took over 2,000 in the first month! Oh and make sure you back them up!!), soak up the moments with your little one, do not forget about your husband, and enjoy these moments!
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A New Mothers Best Friend |Dry Shampoo|

Part of the job description if being a new mother is showering every other day (sometimes every 2-3 days) so when I found dry shampoo, it was as if the sky had parted and I heard Hallelujah being sung. This stuff is a-m-a-zingggg! Why had I never tried it before, it would have saved me an hour every morning before baby, and saved me from looking gross after having baby!
So heres the scoop you tired unshowered mommas:
Dry shampoo is a spray (or at least most of them are) that you just spray on those oily roots. It absorbs the oil and leaves your hair looking clean. It also adds in volume, as to hide the I just rolled out of bed hair. They all have a little scent to them, but depending on the type you get, it is subtle. 
Though I haven't tried very many on the market, I knew I had to get one that was within my price range and that I could pick up anywhere (so no going to salon or having to special order), and by anywhere I mean CVS or Target. 
Yesterday I grabbed Not Your Mother's {Clean Freak Dry Shampoo}. This stuff is awesome! It does exactly what it says. It soaks up the oil, adds volume, without adding gunk or leaving white powder in your hair. Perfect for those mornings where you barely have time to pee. You can even spray it while you're going pee.... two birds with one stone right?! I was able to pick this up at CVS for around $5.00 which was great because I didn't have to use a ton of it to refresh my hair. I have blonde hair and for those of you blonde hair, you know that it shows oil very easily. But with a few sprays, it was magically gone! 

*Tip: Put your hair up in a pony tail and spray around your head then brush it out. That way you get all your roots!

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Sometimes It's The Small Things

Sometimes it's the small things that can really brighten your day. This morning at 4:53am my son decided to wake. So I dragged myself out of bed and into his room. As I scooped him up I realized he was a few pounds heavier and the snap was busted open on his pjs. Ahh nothing like an extremely pee-filled diaper.

I quickly changed him and figured since it was so early (or late however to want to look at it) in the morning, I'd have a tough time putting him back to asleep in his crib. So off to mommy and daddy's bed he went! It was quite easy to get him back to sleep next to me. I gave him the boob and he passed out. He and I are every good at co-sleeping since we had too for the first 3 weeks because he had such a hard time at night.

Unfortunately when we co-sleep, this momma doesn't get the best nights sleep. I'm constantly making sure the blankets aren't near his face, getting kicked in the stomach with his ever growing feet, and having to twist my body so he can nurse all night. Needless to say I knew I would be exhausted, and maybe a tad grumpy when we finally did wake.

Normally that would be the case. But this morning I was woken up by my little boy with his arm around mine, licking it. I cracked my eye open, which he saw, and he gave me the biggest, most innocent smile, as if to thank me for taking him into bed this morning and letting him snuggle.

Now how can you have a bad day after that? Oh, and right now he is rolling around our bed making noises!

What I Love About Autumn

Up here in my good ol' state of Maine I look forward to autumn every year. It seriously is just gorgeous! If you ever get a chance to come to Maine at the end of September - mid October I would highly suggest it. We even have a name for this season: Leaf Peeper Season. Yup, it's for all you out-of-staters who trek up to here to see our beautiful foliage. 

So here are my favorite things about autumn in Maine
(hopefully this will entice you to come visit Vacationland!)

Foliage - Seriously the colors are remarakable. The trees go from bright green to yellow, orange, brown and red. And once the leaves start to fall, they lay on the ground like a blanket which you can rake up and jump in.

Jeans- Yup that's right! In Maine we pack our jeans away in late March (sure it's still 50 degrees but we're tough) and throw on our shorts. We try to eek out every second of summer since our season is so short. But when it is time to step back into those jeans, it's as if you are reuniting with your best friend. 

Scarves- I. LOVE. SCARVES! I love wrapping them around my neck to keep warm. I love them as an accessory, I love them when I don't have a tissue...oh wait...please don't tell! I just love them, and boy do I have more than my fair share! Oh and they look so cute with jeans!

Hot Cocoa- Ahhh yes! I do love to take a break in the afternoon, fill a mug with hot cocoa, and lounge in my scarf and jeans. Or taking it outside to sit under one of those colorful trees and watch summer quickly slip away. It is a quintessential autumn drink. 

Apple Picking - One of my all time favorite things to do! I posted about it here. What an amazing adventure if you have never gone before. And for those who have, you know exactly what is to love about it! Oh and all the delicious things you can make with this fresh apples. Mhmm.

Crisp Air - I love being able to sleep with the windows open and a/c off wrapped in my nice big down comforter. I love having my sunroof open with no humidity. It is so refreshing, it's as if the air is cleansing itself of it's summer heat and starting over. 

County Fairs - I am not a Fair person in general. I don't like the creepy carnies, the dirty dangerous rides, or the heavily greased food. But I do have a soft- spot for the Fryeburg Fair. It is the last Fair of the season in Maine. It falls in late September into early October. What I love is that it is held in a small town right on the New Hampshire border (hello outlet shopping!) and that it is a beautiful drive to get there. It is nice and chilly when we go so I can drink my hot cocoa, breath in the crisp air, wear my jeans and scarf, all while driving through western Maine looking at all the foliage. All my autumn favorites wrapped up into one delightful day!

I could go on an on about what I love. But then I would be experiencing it for you! A Maine autumn is something you need to feel and see for yourself.
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Tiger Stripes and Jello | How Pregnancy Changes Your Body

I'm not talking about the tiger stripes you get from a bad self-tanning job, or the amount of jello you craved while you grew your little bundle of joy. No I am talking about stretch marks, your gelatinous  belly and so much more.

From the moment of conception your body starts to go through some major transformations. Things start to shift, grow, and distort. During pregnancy your ever-changing body is beautiful. It is a sign that you are growing such a miracle. You probably even took weekly pictures to see how much you've grown. You embrace those stretch marks as a reminder that your baby is making room inside you. But what you aren't prepared for is the aftermath of pregnancy and what it does to your body.

Basically you are just a human incubator and your baby is using you as a host. It will suck every nutrient out of you and cause havock on your body. It is all cute until you're left with what was once a nice belly bump but is now just a thick saggy mound of jello. Your stretch marks are now just sad squiggles down jello mountain.

A lot of women are told not to worry about the weight that they gained since they will lose it very quickly after birth, especially if they are nursing. It will "fall right off". Well that is a LIE! It will not fall right off, you will not go directly back into your "pre-pregnancy jeans". Nope! You will lose a bunch of weight just from expelling your baby and all it's fluids, but that's about it. You will go home from the hospital still looking pregnant, just a little more deflated than when you were admitted. Even if you are able to lose all your weight, chances are you will have to invest in new clothes. Your body has changed. Your hips are now wider, and may stay that way, and things have shifted that may never shift back.

Not only do you have a new baby, but you have a new body. When I complain to my husband that I still have a belly and my clothes don't fit 5 months postpartum, he quickly reminds me that it took 10 months for my body to change, so I can't expect it to change back over night. He is so right! It took 10 months to gain 25 pounds, so why did I think it would just vanish in a mere 2 weeks?

I think we have such unreal expectations of how our body is supposed to preform after child birth. We see celebrities that are back to their oh so skinny self two days after giving birth. Well if I could pay thousands to have a little tummy tuck after delivery, I would look thin too! But that is not normal. As mothers we are in such competition with other moms (which is sad). We are always comparing ourselves to each other with who lost the weight the fastest, who is in their pre-pregnancy clothes first. I say WHO CARES?! Seriously, I gained weight for the health of my child, and I am spending more time worrying about taking care of him than if I can fit back into my jeans. I must give Princess Kate kudos for baring her postpartum belly bump to the world. She still looked pregnant, but she didn't care, she embraced it!

I am not saying that it is easy to look at yourself after giving birth and not cringe. Do I like my stretch marks or my sagging belly? No, but I didn't get it from eating McDonald's, I got it from creating a life. I think we forget how and why we got like this. We should be looking at ourselves in the mirror and be proud of the way we look! We gave up our body's for our precious little babies. We did it for them, and they are forever thankful! And in time the stretch marks will fade and your belly will shrink.... just in time to have another!

Grandma Does It Better?

I never thought I would see the day when someone could handle my (perfect) baby better than I could. Well that day was yesterday. My husband and I went to a family wedding, and whenever we are out of town my mother watches my Bub. He absolutely loves her, but I never thought she would have an easier time with him than me. I figured he would fuss, cry, want me (isn't that what every mom wants?!), and not go to sleep easily. Well I was wrong.

My mother (Grandma) shows up in time to take him so we can finish getting ready, and as soon as she walked through the door he heard her voice and cracked a smile. I was in such relief that she was there that I was ecstatic that he happily went into her arms. It wasn't until we were gone for a few hours and I got a picture of him with the biggest smile on his face that it got me thinking. Does Grandma do it better? I never got one text saying he was fussing, not one panicked phone call. I just got picture upon picture of his wide-eyed grin.

That is all well and good, but I knew I would get her if we came home early from the wedding since he can be difficult to put to sleep. I texted her as we were leaving the venue to let her know we were heading home and I asked how he was doing. Her response: "out like a light". Seriously!? It's an hour before his bed time! There was no way that he was out for good before his bed time. But low and behold, when we got home he was in his "comfy spot" and didn't budge....for 12 hours!! I actually texted my mom in the morning joking that she had drugged him.

So do Grandma's do it better? In some respects I think they do. Obviously they don't know your child as well as you do, but they have years upon years of experience. I mean we are here aren't we? But they also have the added bonus of going home at night. They can swoop in, have fun, wear the baby out, put them to bed, then seamlessly go back to their life. They don't have the every day stress of raising the child, which the child can feel. They are the "fun show" that comes around, gives them their undivided attention until they conk out for 12 hours (seriously best night sleep ever!).

At first I thought I would feel threatened that she could calm him when he was screaming in my arms, but now it is a safety net. I know I can call Grandma for anything, and what a sense of relief that is. So ladies and new moms, embrace it, let Grandma take over for a while!

Things My Wise Son Has Taught Me

Before I had my first child 4 months ago, I thought I knew myself pretty well. Come to find out I was wrong. Over the past few months my son has taught me so much that I would have never imagined. I will be forever grateful for the lessons he will teach me along our journey as mother and son

It is okay to say NO!
I have always been a yes kind of girl. Yes to taking on extra tasks at work. Yes to being the one who picks up the tab. Yes to anything anyone ever asked of me. I was never a fan of the word no. I thought no = weakness. If I were to say no that meant I couldn't, and I always had to be the person that could. Since the arrival of my son also came the arrival of the word no. I have learned it is not a negative word, but a strong word. I have learned to say no to visitors while my baby naps. I have learned to say no to strangers who want to hold my baby. And I have learned to say no to myself when I need to just sit and relax. NO has become my new favorite word!

I can look presentable and unshowered!
I ALWAYS had to shower every day. Sometimes I would even shower twice a day. Before my son was born I was trying to strategically plan how I would work in my daily shower around my baby's schedule (since he would nap like clockwork...HA!). Well, it didn't work out as planned (shocker!). I am lucky if I get a shower in every other day, and even at that they are a mere 5 minutes long and I have to drag him into the bathroom with me. So I have had to manage to look presentable without a shower. I am now the master at the "messy bun" and I can rock yoga pants with a cute top better then most. Jeans? What are those!? Make-up? Oh yeah it's leftover from three days ago. So thank you son for showing me that greasy can be pretty!

There is still a kid in me.
Not literally because he oh so painfully came out almost 5 months ago, but I have found my inner-child. I look forward every day to playing with his toys (and of course him) and it get giddy going to the store and roaming the kid isles looking for the latest and greatest toy. Even though he isn't so much into "playing" my husband and I scour the internet looking for Lincoln Logs and all sorts of treasures that we can play with! 

NOTHING grosses me out
I used to be grossed out by boogers and phlegm...bad! Working in schools for years I used to gag at the sight of snot. Whelp, not anymore! My son is the drooliest child I have EVER seen! But to me it is so freakin' adorable. He has drooled in my mouth (I was laying on the floor holding him up, and the drool dripped into my open mouth), I have picked his boogers with my pinkie and I have been sprayed with projectile poop. Nothing fazes me anymore, and nothing can turn my stomach. Thanks kid!

My Fight With Postpartum Depression

When you think of depression, giving birth or being a new mom isn't something that you would associated it with. Unfortunately, 13% of women have post-partum depression after the delivery of their precious baby. Throughout pregnancy we are elated to embark on this new journey of motherhood. We shop for baby, we eat for baby (sometimes more than we should...you know who you are! Oh wait that was me!), plan for baby, and wait for baby. What we don't expect is that a dark cloud of doubt, sadness, and uncertainty will loom over us.

Seven weeks prior to my bundle of joy, Reece, was born I was placed on bed rest. Apparently my body wanted him here sooner than he and I were prepared for. I was plagued with pre-term contractions that were every 2-5 minutes. Good thing I got my trip to Mexico out of the way before hand (by a mere 3 days!). I think this was the start of the accumulation of that dark cloud. I had to stop teaching, change my routine (I am plan oriented and routine driven), and I was sentenced to the couch.

For the first few days it was great, like a mini-vacation after having my big one in Mexico. I watched t.v., caught up on my baby forum on BabyCenter.com, and endlessly scrolled through the "Kids" section on Pinterest. Then it started, I started to feel down. I attributed it to just being stuck at home, not being able to get out except for my pre-natal visits (which I looked forward too, like a child would their birthday).

As I got closer and closer to my due date, I was able to set those dark feelings aside. I was too busy making sure we were prepared and I had all the answers to my thousands of questions. But in the back of my head that dark cloud started to take shape, swirling around, taunting me. When it would slowly show its dark vapor I would tell myself that it was just because I was nervous about being a first time mom. I would never admit that perhaps I could be one of those moms who had depression.

As my son came unexpectedly on his due date (seriously, only 3% of all births, including scheduled c-sections happen on the due date), I snapped out of whatever fog was weaving through my thoughts and  I went into mommy-mode. 17.5 hours of labor later, I had a beautiful boy and an amazing husband/coach/new father surrounding me. It wasn't until we were discharged from the hospital that it all came back.

We spent three days in the hospital (I delivered at 9:55pm so we got to stay another day), but we were quickly sent on our way as a new family. The moment I stepped in my home I froze. What do I do now? I had a baby that was 3 days old, I was sore, tired, and felt totally unprepared to take care of such a little human being. That's when the dark cloud came back full force.

Within the first few days of being home we were already struggling as a family. My son had lost quite a bit of weight and wasn't nursing correctly, in many different ways. I found myself in pain from breastfeeding and already wanting to give up. The thought of switching to formula sent guilt through my body, so I suffered through the pain. Due to my boy's dramatic weight loss I was going to the pediatrician's office twice a week for weight checks. Each time he was placed on the scale I felt myself sink more inside of myself. Holding back the tears, each visit seemed excrutiating. To me it was like a neon sign shouting to the world that I wasn't able to care for my son. I felt everyone's eyes on me each time his weight decreased.

It didn't stop at the doctors office, it was at home as well. That dark cloud was now not only in my mind but swirling around my home. It touched everything that was around me. Shortly after getting home with my new baby, I stopped answering texts, e-mails, phone calls, and even let the door bell ring numerous times without an answer. The more I struggled with feeding my son the more I retreated inside myself and away from others.

I cried. I cried for hours. It was not a cry out of exhaustion, but a cry of loneliness. I was alone in my head. Physically I was surrounded by my loving husband and my precious boy, but no one could understand what I was going through, what I was putting myself through.

I had failed as a mother. Or so I thought. The one thing that I was meant to do, I couldn't. I couldn't provide enough sustenance for my child to survive. I had person after loving person remind me that it was okay and as long as he was eating (by nursing or formula) it doesn't matter. But it did! The more people tried to reassure me, the more I cried. The more I wanted to reverse time and start over.

I couldn't start over. I was already a few weeks into this long journey of motherhood and I needed to put my big girl panties on. I needed to pull myself out of this black hole I was quickly slipping down into. I needed to get outside, take my boy out, visit with others. But could I? Each time I got ready, I sat back down and started to have a panic attack. How could I take him out? I failed at providing for him, how could I take on the huge task of being in public? So I didn't. I stayed inside, with no phone calls, no texts, and no visitors for 2 months. My mother would stop by to see how I was doing, and she could see in my eyes that I was hanging on by a thread, a weathered fragment of what used to be my sanity.

I think the turning point and the initial retreat of that dark cloud came when my son went in for his weight check at 3 months. He had finally gained weight, a substantial amount too. It was as though I could see a sliver of sunlight cutting through the storm that had been brewing. As time went on and my son was flourishing, the cloud that had taken permeant residence, not only in my head but in my home, started to disapate. The sun was starting to commandeer those spaces that were so dark for so long.

It has now been 4.5 months since I brought my son into this world, and my world is a much brighter place. The dark cloud is now just a misty fog. It still taunts my thoughts from time to time, but no longer does it have such a strong hold on me.

Looking back I never once thought that I had depression. I thought I just wasn't cut out to be a mother. I thought what I was feeling was normal. But it wasn't. It wasn't normal to shut people out during such a special time. It wasn't normal to cry for hours on end with no real understanding of what brought on the tears. What I do understand now, is that post-partum depression manifests itself differently for each person. I also understand with great clarity now, that it is not something to be afraid of, but something that watch for. Next time, if those dark clouds start rolling in, I can fight it head on.

It is nothing to be ashamed of. Part of my denial was the fact that I was such a strong woman, and I was ashamed. Ashamed of failing, ashamed of having depression, and ashamed of being weak. I was not weak, I did not fail, I did have depression. But life goes on, just give it time, and take any help that is offered.

Apple Picking Season Has Arrived!

One of my favorite things to do in my lovely state of Maine is apple picking in early September. It really signifies the end of the summer and the start of the crisp beautiful autumn. It is an activity that is looked forward too all year long by many and one that goes by far too quickly. In Maine we only have a few short weeks to pick apples, and if you miss it, you must wait another year.

Yesterday my husband had an unexpected day off from lobstering, so I decided we were going to do something as a family. The temperature had been going up and down over the past few days, but yesterday it was the perfect fall temperature; a delightful 61 degrees. So I shut the television off and suggested we pack up and go apple picking. Last year we went but I didn't have the best time since I wasn't allowed to climb the trees (hubby was scared since I was newly pregnant) and I was constantly nauseous. So, this year it would be fun, we would bring the baby and he could experience a true Maine tradition!

After bathing the baby, packing the diaper bag, and getting ourselves ready, we finally hit the road. The apple orchard that I have been going since I was a kid was about 30 minutes away. There is one closer, but it's the more popular one, and I don't like to have to dodge and weave around other people or potentially have an apple dropped on my head by an over eager child. So we headed to Willow Pond Farm in Sabattus, Maine. They are a smaller orchard and CSF (community sustained farm), and they have some of the most delicious apples I have ever eaten.

When we got there it was a ghost town! I quickly worried if I should have called before we made the hike up there, but we took our chances. Come to find out, they had just opened for the season, and since it was Friday, it was dead (the perks of being a SAHM - missing all the crowds!). We had the ENTIRE orchard to ourselves!

 Once we parked I looked back and saw my boy was fast asleep. I debated briefly on whether or not to wake him, but I couldn't contain my excitement, and quickly unbuckled him. I didn't bother with the stroller since it would have been a bumpy ride, so I threw on my Boba carrier (check out that post & review here) and in he went.

We walked up to where they kept the picking bags and grabbed their large one. We were directed to stay within the first five rows since that's where the ripe McIntosh apples were ready to be picked. Which was perfect, because those make the best pies and crisps (a pie recipe to come shortly!).

Unfortunately, I didn't get what I had hoped for. I wasn't able to really pick apples since I was wearing my boy and it made it rather difficult. But that is what I have my wonderful husband for! He picked us 19 lbs of apples and even gave one to Reece to hold. Shortly after he fell asleep...of course as we were about to head to the car!

It was so enjoyable to get outside and do something as a family. So often we spend the time we have as a family sitting at home. By the end of the day we are too tired to go somewhere or during the weekend my husband just wants to relax (I don't blame him!). I can't wait until our boy is old enough and we can show him the pictures of his first time apple picking!

Until our next adventure!

My Childs 'Twerking' Role Model

Since the uproar of the 'Twerking' done so infamously by Miley Cyrus, it got me thinking who will my son have as a role model? Now granted he is a mere 4 months old, but seriously, look at who we consider role models these days! What happened to the days of having Batman (still not the best because of the violence ... but at least he isn't 'twerking'), or Princess Diana as a role model. Now we have girls that are less than half dressed shoving their booty in the face of millions, rappers that are basically (I mean come on...) having sex with woman in their videos who they would like to portray as hookers, and those Hollywood elite that are in and out of rehab or doing their 3 hours in jail.

I stopped following celebrity news a long time ago since I felt my brain was melting away, but when I watch the news and I see a foam finger being used so inappropriately, it makes me want to spit out my coffee....which I cannot manage to waste! How have we succumbed to this as a society? Who do we have that our children can look up too?

The answer lies with us. We as parents need to be our childs' number one role model. So many people wonder who their kids will look up too and they so frequently overlook themselves. Celebrities don't give a rats you know what about our children, they are in it for the fame and money. However, so many parents are so willing to pass the buck and hand that great responsibility over to someone who is behind the glass of a t.v. screen or who is blaring through the radio.

Yet, we get so angry when we see something so heinous, such as 'twerking', and we blame the actions of our children on the Paris, Miley, and Chris Brown's of the world, but we forget that we are the ones that instill the values in our babes. We don't give ourselves the credit or power, that we should.

We need to take a step back and reassess. The celebrity world is only going to get worse and trust me when I say this, 'twerking' on national t.v. will seem G rated in a few years, I promise. So mom's and dad's, we need to take back the reigns that we somehow, at some point handed over, and teach our young the values we want them to have.

I am not saying that we don't parent, but I think we need to stop putting so much emphasis on the happenings of Hollywood, and realize that they will have no effect on our children if we don't want it too. Yes it sucks to wake up at 6am and see the train wreck of Miley flashing (literally) on my t.v. but it gives me even more motivation to teach my child good values than ever before!


Four Months In {Adjusting to being a SAHM}

4 months ago I gave birth to the most precious boy I could have ever imagined. If you have been following my blog, you will know that I really struggled with the idea and reality of quitting my job as a teacher to be a stay at home mom (if you haven't check out my post here). It really hit me today when I saw all the posts on Facebook and other social media outlets of teachers going back into their classrooms, meeting the students on the first day, and getting back together as a faculty. As I sat here in my pajamas with my baby napping on my chest, I struggled with the idea that this is my new normal. This was my everyday; my new full-time job. I have found a routine with my boy that varies from day to day, sometimes hour to hour. I have come to terms with the fact that I do not need to be pulling in a paycheck every week to contribute to my family.

These past few months have not been easy, but they haven't been hard either. It has been so different, more so than I would have ever imagined. I strive for continuity, and that is what I loved so much about working. I would go into the classroom and my day was run by a bell schedule. I knew what I was to do every moment I was within those brick walls. Now, I take every moment at a time. I have had to learn to let go of what I thought I wanted and embrace what I now have.

It has been amazing! Once I made the decision to stay home I felt such a weight lifted off my shoulders.  I don't have to worry about my child going to day care (not that there is anything wrong with those who have too), and my husband really truly supports me staying home. My boy has taught me so much about myself since we have been home this summer. He, at 4 months, has taught me flexibility, patience, and the ability to accept help.

At this point, I could never imagine going back to work with young children. I can't imagine missing even one moment. Over the past few months we have done so much together. We have gone to the beach (which he hated!), we have done cookouts (where he slept the entire time), went to the aquarium in Boston (that was more for me), and gone for many walks (which he does enjoy!), and we have just cuddled for hours (which is our favorite thing to do!)

My house is no longer pristine as it was 5 months ago, I do not shower every day, and sometimes I have to smell my clothes to make sure they are clean since laundry doesn't get done like it used too. But that is all part of adjusting to my new life as a SAHM. I will find a balance someday, but I don't struggle with that so much anymore, I just focus on the moments with my boy, since they go by so fast.

What I would have missed if I had been at work.... this makes it ALL worth it! 
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