Motherhood

Mama Life: 13 Weeks

Thirteen weeks.

Simultaneously, these weeks have crept along and passed at the speed of light. Living on Planet Mom, I guess that makes sense?

The BEST part, of course, is watching Elliott learn about the world and himself. Lately, he’s done a lot of learning. Family has visited, developmental leaps have happened, and daddy and mama have slowly figured out some semblance of a new normal.

That new normal, of course, involves a lot of chaos, a lot of getting into a routine and then catching the almost immediate curve balls that fly our way.

These 13 weeks have been filled with more laughter, joy, insecurity, fear, and love than I experienced in all of the 33 years prior to them.

I’ve become the mom I wanted to be and also the mom I said I wouldn’t be. I’ve made choices I judged others for in my pre-mom life, spoken words in anger and exhaustion in a manner I wish didn’t exist within me, ate a shocking amount of trashy food in the interest of simply eating, and pushed myself to and beyond my physical and emotional limits.

All of that, and yet, when Elliott sees my face first thing in the morning, he breaks into a grin that invites the sun to rise. It shocks me each and every time. I worry and fuss over my messy hair, the fact that I don’t get nearly as many showers as I’d like, my lack of makeup, my no-fuss clothes. Whatever Elliott sees, though, is absolutely beautiful through his eyes, it’s clear. And, God help me, I need to find the lesson in that.

For all the feelings of failure and disappointment (in myself) that this mama experience brings out of me, I have done something right, maybe the only something that matters. My child feels loved and adored, he is nourished and challenged, clothed and warm.

I have been destroyed by this love, and in that old place, I am building a new person: my mama self.

What I’m Watching

  • The Walking Dead
  • Sister Wives
  • The Pioneer Woman

What I’m Reading

  • Sisters in Love (Melissa Foster) – (Finished — Really silly.)
  • Breakthrough (Michael Grumley) – (Finished — Loved! Found on Kindle Unlimited)
  • Leap (Michael Grumley) – (In Process)

What I’m Cooking

What I’m Loving

  • Snuza Hero – This is a lifesaver for me. Elliott has acid reflux and stops breathing sometimes at night. This clips to his diaper and goes off when there is an interruption in his movements (breathing). LOVE. I can actually sleep now!
  • Anna & Eve Swaddle Strap – Elliott still can’t really sleep without being swaddled due to his high moto reflex. We learned pretty quickly that the old fashioned blanket swaddle was not an option and switched to the cotton Halo Sleepsacks, which we loved. However, now that he’s bigger, he’s too long for them. The strap is absolutely the answer. It’s significantly more secure than the sack (he’s a little Houdini), which means less fixing and fussing during the night for mama.
  • Baby’s Only Formula – From very early on, it was clear that I just do not make anywhere near enough milk to solely breastfeed. We’ve been supplementing with formula (and hating it!) ever since. I was researching Elliott’s pretty severe acid reflux symptoms online, because I really felt it was connected to his formula (we’ve tried several). I stumbled on a forum of moms talking about the same issues and how they resolved it by using this organic formula (which is, admittedly, not easy to find in stores). We bought a can (which is 1/3 the price of the formula we were using, by the way!) and his symptoms have all but disappeared. He doesn’t choke in the night. He doesn’t stop breathing. He rarely spits up. I cannot sing the praises of this stuff enough. Note: It is marketed as a toddler formula, and this is because the company wants to encourage people to breastfeed for the first year. I read the report from the FDA and it is “cleared” as an infant formula. Definitely do your own research before taking my word on it! 😉

(None of these are affiliate links, and I wasn’t compensated for this. These are just products I’ve found and adored.)

My sweet baby boy turns three months old tomorrow. Sometimes, I see the boy he’ll be lurking in one of his many expressions and I am reminded again and again how precious these days are. May I remember in the wee hours as I realize now that this exhausting and humbling experience is a fleeting, beautiful gift. That’s my mama prayer.

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I’m Jasmine Myers, professional writer & marketer, joyful wife, and new mama living in Portland, Oregon.