Monday, February 17, 2014

Reflection (Those Dang Postpartum Hormones)

I think my postpartum hormones are in overdrive. Here's the crash-boom-bang I was waiting for in the early days after Aden was born. There's no tears welling up behind my eyes and it's definitely nothing as severe as PPD ... I've just felt very "reflective" about my life and loved ones lately.

Oh, and I've got a left eye twitch that just won't quit. It has nothing to do with the fact that I'm running on to zero sleep. Nope. Nothing to do with that little fact, I'm sure. Whenever I'm talking with someone and my eye starts twitching like crazy, I feel like I'm losing it.

My hair's also falling out like nobody's business. Gotta love that little postpartum side effect. Poor little Aden's clothes are covered in hair most days and I was even pulling strands out of his neck rolls this past weekend. Man, it's rough being this little dude.

Love him.

Anyway, it's my emotions that have me really thrown for a loop lately. A pillow-talk conversation with Andi last week left me reeling for more one-on-one time with him. Thankfully, it was my birthday week and Andi's parents watched the kids several different days so we had some kid-free time to go out to dinner, snowmobiling with friends at the cabin, etc. We're very lucky to have them for support. Again, I digress ... It was one of many conversations about our five-year plan that left me thinking about "us." (Why I'm over-analyzing this to death is beyond me because it's one of those things that's so hard to plan anyway. I couldn't have forecasted how wonderful our life would be at this very moment back in 2008. In the last five years, we've gotten married, started a business, had two kids, bought two houses and a cabin.)

But, during our conversation of Where Do We See Our Lives Going, the topic of Third Baby came up (which is crazy because Second Baby just got here; that's postpartum hormones for you) and Andi said how much he misses Us. And, man, I really miss us, too. We love our kids to the moon and back, but these little kid years of parenting are so physically demanding. Between work, kids, running a home and all the other things ... there just isn't a lot of time left for Andi and Heather the Couple. I think we're doing a good job of making time for us with date nights a few times a month, etc. I hope it's enough to sustain our relationship until Tory and Aden become a little more independent. What if Third Baby comes to existence? We'll love he/she to pieces of course, but it's just that much longer And and Heather the Couple are put on the back-burner. It's just a lot to ponder. I think in time we'll know which fork in the road is best to venture downward, but yeah. Deep stuff. With all this reflection, I'm trying to remind myself how lucky we are to have one another and just enjoy the moment we're in today. The days are long, but the years are short .... and all that jazz.

I've also been trying to put myself in Andi's shoes more these days. My husband works so hard to provide for our family, and sometimes I think I take his efforts for granted. When I'm able, I'm trying to pick up a little extra in the parenting / home life department to give him more breathing room. Like the last few weeks, for example, when he's had several big work projects going on. If I can get up with both kids in the night and let him sleep or give him a little "me time" in the evenings to come down from his day, I'm trying to be more cognizant and do so. It's not always easy because I seriously want to pounce him for adult conversation the minute he walks in the door every night, but I'm trying.

I've been thinking a lot about my Tory Girl and I as well. She and I used to spend (nearly) every minute of every day together. Since Aden was born, we've had to find our new groove and I've split my attention between the two. A post Mama Tully wrote a few weeks ago made me realize I need to carve out specific time for Tory and I to spend together. Of course we're together 24/7 the way it is, but I want to find some "meaningful" time to be together because I don't want to fall into the role of custodial parent. So, I lined up Grandma Janie to babysit Aden this week and Tory and I are going on a little date day afternoon. I'm really excited. A few different times, I've found myself wanting to invite friends to accompany us and I've had to stop and remind myself that, no, this time is all about Tory and I. Who knew just "hanging out" with her would be such a challenge. I still haven't nailed down plans for our afternoon together yet. More to come on that one ....

Of course, I want to do the same for Aden when he gets a little older. For now, I'm really trying to be present in the time he and I are together. We spend several hours a day nursing, so I've been focusing on putting my phone and computer away and segregating ourselves from everything else (when possible) so I can just be with him. I think Aden really appreciates my undivided attention and I know he nurses better when there's less distraction.

As crazy-pants as I feel half the time, like I'm barely making all this work, I also feel good about being more present in my time with Andi, Tory and Aden. I hope this sticks and makes a difference in my relationship with each one of them.


  1. Ahh, the dreaded hair loss! That was the worst.. well, along with the night sweats! Post-partum hormones are the worst!!

    However... I'm two years out and still over-analyzing things to death!! For some reason we are currently heavily debating #4 and we don't even have #3 yet!! I will be interested to see what path you guys take!

  2. We are currently looking ahead at our 5 year plan too!! Do we have one more kid in the next year or two? Do we wait a few more years and have two more? Will I take off a few years and stay home? Are we done having kids? It seems crazy having to make such permanent life choices!

    Can't wait to hear more about your date with Tory! I look forward to my dates so much with Lauren - just the two of us!!

  3. YES! I struggle with all of these same thoughts. I always pictured us with a house full of kids, but now that my older ones are becoming more independent (and busy!), the idea of adding more babies to our life feels like starting over, yet again. Poor W gets toted to all of their extracurriculars. I have to wake him up from almost every nap he takes because we have to go somewhere or pick someone up from preschool.
    I love, love, love newborns so much, but I'm even starting to feel "over" the baby stage these days. And don't even get me started on the idea of going through another pregnancy while taking care of the 3 munchkins I already have!
    And yes, our poor husbands, lol!
    He works so very hard for us and I know he doesn't love the funk we get into during the end of pregnancy/beginning of new baby stage. We always manage to get back to our regular selves and carve out time together and with friends, but this last time, it took a long time since W was such a poor sleeper.
    So yeah, doing this all again for the 4th time just doesn't look so appealing these days.
    You are definitely not alone with all these thoughts and worries :)

  4. I love solo dates with Annie! I felt kind of weird about them at first, because I was so used to doing things with her with other people (or at least Ben) - and she wasn't super verbal when we started doing this (right after Luke was born, so she was just barely 2) but now, it's so fun to have conversations with her, and she's honestly SO much better behaved when it's just me and her!

    Tough stuff, deciding on another kid or not! We definitely get in ruts of letting our relationship fall by the wayside, but I do think you guys seem to do such a good job of it with the regular date nights, and getting away to the cabin and such. The first year with a new baby is tough on a relationship - and both times I don't even think I could fathom another child until we were well past that first year. Now I could see how a 3rd baby would be fine, our relationship would be completely fine and in the long run it really wouldn't be that big of a change of our lifestyle. We don't actually WANT a 3rd baby, but just saying that I think it seems like a huger deal when you're still in the midst of the newborn fog anyway! Once you get some perspective on that, it doesn't seem THAT bad. However, I'm sure 3 kids in activities during K-12 school would be a completely different ballgame - that honestly stresses me out more so than imagining going through the newborn stage again!!

  5. Oh girl there is so much in this post, but just know I think everyone of us go through the same feelings...well, at least I know I do. Question everything, wonder what's next, am I doing everything right, I should do this/that better...bottom line you are being a great mama to your little kiddos and you are a great wifey. But if you find all the answers to these questions/feelings - I would love to know.

    I definitely know one thing - that pic of A is adorable! He is so handsome!