Tuesday, September 28, 2010

How far we've come

This picture was taken about six weeks ago. Jim was out of town and I was at home with Halle by myself. I was trying to convince myself and everyone around me that I was NOT dealing postpartum depression and that I had Mommy-hood down.

And that is when Halle stopped sleeping. Seriously. At her worst, she went 28. hours. straight without sleeping.

I thought I was going to kill her. Or myself.

I took this picture when she finally slept for a few hours and I remember cringing because she is sleeping face-down on my bed which means she was now 1,458% more likely to die of SIDS and the reason she was finally sleeping was because I shoved as much formula down her throat as she would take without choking. In the back of my head I heard the SIDS- and breast-feeding-Nazis lecturing me on my parenting abilities. Also, the laptop in the background reminds me that I was watching non-child-appropriate movies on Netflix while my daughter cried nonstop. The NEVER-expose-your-child-to-TV lecturers can feel free to crucify me for that one as well (The worst part is that prior to Halle I was the SIDS/breast-feeding/how-to-correctly-parent-your-child Nazi... and all the parents smile smugly here.)

I pretty much lost it that week. Between the depression and the crying and the not-sleeping and the being alone I turned into what one wonderful mother calls a "bonafide nutjob".

I wish I could say that I turned to Jesus during this time. But this post is all about honesty and repentance so I will tell the truth.

I became filled with anger.

Angry that I was a mother. Angry that God had chosen to give us this "little monster" when I was NOT ready for a child nor asking for one. Angry that I had given up my entire life for this child. Angry that I wouldn't be able to continue working full-time at the job I loved. Angry that the oneness I had once experienced with my husband turned into bitterness that his life continued while mine did not. Angry that I was unable to participate with him in his activities. Angry that he seemed completely oblivious to how I was feeling. Angry that this baby WOULD. NOT. STOP. CRYING. Angry that my milk supply was tanking and I couldn't even provide for my daughter's basic needs. Angry that I would not be able to sleep a consistent stretch EVER AGAIN. Angry that I was confined to my house. Angry that my body was not as resilient as I had hoped and I was pretty certain my stomach would never again be flat.

This anger led me to despise God, my husband, my daughter and my situation. I had my "escape plan" figured out - down to exactly when I would leave and what I would take. Thankfully I still possessed one small fragment of motherly instinct that kept me from abandoning my child (also the same fragment that kept me from throwing her down the stairs).

I am grateful Jesus still chose to take the cross for me.

So here is where I am at this moment: Mommy-hood is hard. It is especially hard because I am a selfish sinner with two capital S's. However, God is good. I have not yet allowed Jesus to be enough but I praying I will be able to soon say (honestly) that He is. I no longer despise my daughter and I am working on not despising my husband by choosing to love him daily and asking God to change my heart and attitude. God is teaching me to view being a wife and mother as a high calling and ministry and giving me small bits of grace throughout my days to remind me.

Mark Driscoll says that repentance is not sweeping sin under the rug and pretending it doesn't exist. I hope and pray to be the sort of wife and mom who can be transparent with her family and admit that she is a filthy selfish sinner capable of no good apart from Jesus. I pray that Halle will look to Him, and not me, as her example of how she should live and conduct herself.

The moral of my story? I am a selfish sinner. Left to myself I am capable of even more selfishness and sin. Fortunately, Jesus not only went to the cross to take the punishment for my sin but He also sought me at my worst and rescued me from myself. Thank you Jesus.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The BEST way to fall asleep!

Today we were spending some quality time with our Aunt Jordan telling her all about our day and it was getting close to nap-time...

We love our Daddy!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Attempting to make water fun!

I bought Halle a "Tummy Tub" in hopes of improving bath time. This is a special round tub that is supposed to create a womb-like experience. All the reviews on Amazon reported that babies who HATED their baths all loved this tub. One mom even reported that her baby cries when they pull her out! I thought I'd give it a try.

Day 1? We played happily for five minutes before giving Mommy a terrified look and trying to push ourselves out of tub. This tub may not help us like water but it may help us learn to stand!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

3 months!

At 3 months, we are...

- playing all the time! We love to bat at the animals on our toy gym and stand with Mommy and Daddy's help. Our favorite animal is the ferocious lion. We have a lion on our crib mobile and one on our gray toy gym that we favor above all the other animals. We especially find it funny to watch lions roar and pounce on their prey! (Jim and I discovered this after letting her watch "Baby Einstein World Animals" and "Planet Earth". The octopus sock puppet on "Baby Neptune" is a close second. The other "Baby Einstein" videos seem to bore her!)

- sleeping VERY well. We love our schedule and accomplished sleeping 12 hours through the night last week (BTW here's how I did it: "The Baby Sleep Solution" by Suzy Giordano. Highly recommend it!). We take two naps during the day and everyone knows when it's close to naptime! Don't let our crankiness fool you - we go down easily and actually will go from tears to smiling when Mommy and Daddy start our bedtime routine.

- eating like a champ. We recently moved from taking 5-6 oz at a feed to taking a full 8 oz. Mommy was able to stop supplementing at 11 weeks and we are much happier on an exclusive-breastmilk diet.

- "talking" a lot! We love to coo at our animal friends and anyone who will talk back. Our favorite time to "talk" is to Mommy and Daddy while on our changing pad - especially when we are getting ready for bed. Sometime we try hard to mimic what Mommy and Daddy are saying and othertimes we just jibber-jabber! We also laughed for the first time at 11 weeks at Daddy.

- drooling a lot! Bibs are now our favorite accessory (and teething tablets are Mommy's new best friend). We love to chew on anything that we can get into our mouths - especially the thumb on our right hand.

Halle's day at 3 months:

8:00: Wake up, talk to animals on mobile, have "breakfast" bottle with Mommy and Daddy
8:30 - 9:30: Shower and get dressed
9:30 - 10:30: Morning nap
10:30 - Noon: Play with Mommy and our animal friends while listening to Pastor Mark (currently we are listening to his sermon series on Luke)
Noon: Lunchtime!
12:30 - 2:00: Play some more. We alternate between our gray toy gym, our blue toy gym, our bouncer and standing or staring at Mommy's shirt.
2:00 - 4:00: Afternoon nap
4:00: Dinner!
4:30 - 7:30: Play with Mommy and Daddy, sometimes take a quick power-nap around 6.
7:30: Bedtime routine (put on pajamas and nighttime diaper, talk about our day on the changing pad, say goodnight to Daddy, bedtime bottle)
8:00: Bedtime!

My favorite story of Halle at 3 months:

Last Sunday I was holding Halle during worship. We always sit in the front row right in front of Daddy so Halle can watch him. Daddy began reading from Psalms during the worship time and Halle instantly become very still and focused and started to "talk" excitedly when he would pause between words. I strongly believe she recognized the difference between when Jim was talking and when God's Word was being read and was encouraged to see her response - I will treasure that moment in my heart for a long time to come. May our precious daughter come to know and love you Jesus!

Monday, September 6, 2010

We did it!

Halle is 12 weeks today.

And just slept 12 hours through the night. No night feeding!

(Ok, so she did stir briefly at hour 11... Thanks super-loud garbage truck! We do appreciate you taking away our smelly diapers so I suppose you are forgiven.)