pregnant with a toddler- the struggle is real

I know pregnancy makes you tired, especially in the last month, but I was not prepared for how tired I’d feel this time around. My daughter had issues with me as her nutrition host and was a tiny, pre-term 3 lb. baby who just made me sick all the way up to delivery. But I could take a nap on demand (when I wasn’t nauseous), and plan her arrival calmly.

This time is so different. While in hindsight I appreciate the fact that my daughter kept me just distracted enough to not have the luxury of feeling sick all day (the DayQuil commercials come to mind when the mom goes into her kids room and asks to take a sick day), as time has gone by and my belly gets bigger, it’s harder for me to keep up with her. I’m tired all day, not sleeping, and chasing a toddler with the energy of a hopping Energizer bunny.

I wasn’t prepared to be this exhausted 24/7 with a toddler running around and an unborn son who thankfully is on target and using my body and thriving. All this while trying to wrap my head around all the things that need to get done to get a house ready to accommodate two little ones with completely different needs.

I struggle with trying to fit in so many things that I want to do with my daughter as we come to a close as a twosome, with the reality that my body just can’t do it. While zoo trips and beach days sound awesome, I’m slowly caving into the fact that movie afternoons are where it needs to be at. Queue up Finding Nemo and The Little Mermaid.

So while I’d love to hear any thoughts out there from other moms who have have dealt with this exact situation, I know that I’m not alone and that I’ll be fine. My mom did this exact thing and my sisters and I came out just fine (or so she keeps telling us). Still- any advice on how to survive this last month of pregnancy with an active toddler would be much appreciated!

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.

baby lee

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Mama Bear

mama-bear

“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.