3 months!

The first 3 months of a baby’s life is no joke.

Justin and I had to learn how to keep a tiny, 4 pound, 5 week early preemie baby fed, rested and alive with minimal crying. That was the goal. Keep the baby that we worked so hard to get alive and well. All the while figuring out life as parents, taking naps, dimming lights and speaking softly. Before we had a baby, Justin would come home and turn on the TV and we’d talk about our day while I was in the kitchen making noise and cooking dinner. Now when he comes home we dim the lights, speak softly and figure out the quickest way to get food in our bellies before Olivia wakes up. That’s life.

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1 month old

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2 months old

Now that she’s 3 months old (or just 1.5 months according to preemie age), I’ve seen so many changes in her that she’s hardly recognizable since the day we brought her home.

She smiles, recognizes us (or as Justin says, “she better know who we are”), tracks things, gives us those adorable coo’s and “ahh’s” every once in a while, and is more curious of things around her. She’s growing and changing everyday. When veteran mom’s say that they “grow up too fast”, I now know what they mean.

Happy 3 months little one, here’s to more snuggles, kisses and a whole lot of love.

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the first mother’s day

mothers day

I read this article the other day about how the first mother’s day is the best one.

I get it. Aside from the fact that my little one will be mobile and probably talking by the next one, it’s not the reason why I think the first Mother’s Day is the best one.

This year is the first one I spend as a mom, hanging out with my mom friends and talking about the best baby carriers, how to travel with a baby and other topics I never thought I’d partake in.

Instead of celebrating my mom on her day, I’ll also be celebrated. Although it makes me sad that I won’t be able to celebrate this day of firsts with her, I’m happy that we now have that special bond only daughters with children can have. After having a baby I can only now understand, cherish and admire her strength, love and dedication to my sisters and I. She┬áis a grandmother (she got upgraded) for the first time, making my heart smile.

mothers day

Although I’ve only been a mom for a few months, I’ve learned more about myself than I have in years. The fact that I can love and protect another human being and become that “Mama Bear” surprised me. I take a crap ton of pictures of her (and put them on Facebook, something I used to make fun of other people for doing), get a little sad when I need to put away clothes that don’t fit her (goodbye preemie onesie), and start bawling at those cheesy Pampers, Johnson & Johnson, Fisher Price, and every other baby brand making a damn commercial for Mothers Day. It’s lame really, but in a way a reminder that I am a part of the Mom Club.

As I look at my little one everyday, starting to recognize me and smile more often, I think about a phrase my mother would say to me when I would ask her about mothers and children.

As I rock my daughter to sleep tonight, waiting until she’s out cold and then gently putting her in the bassinet for the night, I’ll remember that phrase:

“It’s worth it”

Happy Mother’s Day.

mothers day

Mama Bear

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“You are Mama Bear”, the pediatrician’s nurse said to me.

I used to shake my head at moms who I thought were “extreme” about their babies- washing hands, using hand sanitizer and practicing “cocooning” (sheltering until the baby is old enough to handle visitors and outdoors). I’m talking about that mom that has a specific way of caring for her baby (from diaper changes to bottle feeding) and keeps a close eye on how other people handle her. It’s the mom that stands by their kid through the good, the bad and the ugly.

They are the Mama Bears. I’ve heard them roar and I’ve joined their pack.

As a first time mom and one of a preemie, I’m very protective of the little one that took so much to come into this world. You better believe I make sure people at the bare minimum wash their hands before holding her. If I see even a nose wipe, hear a sniffle or the faint sound of a cough, baby visiting hours are closed. As she gets older, I think about what I want to expose her to and what I want to shelter her from. One thing is for sure though, I am her protector, front and center. Every day, all the time.

It’s amazing how much my motherly instincts have taken over. I am her advocate. The role of Mama Bear is real. It’s not caring about other people’s feelings when it comes to your baby. It’s being the “brave” one that stands between her cubs and everyone else.

I am Mama Bear.