Thursday, March 26, 2015

We Are NOT In This Together

Before Lyla arrived my husband and I did everything together. I mean everything...I don't think we took separate showers until I was too pregnant to fit in the shower with him. Since the baby, things have changed. We are leading separate lives. Mine is consumed with all things baby, and his is filled with everything else.

The last two weeks has been particularly difficult because Lyla has reached the dreaded 4-month sleep regression. Basically, your normal sleep routine with your little one is completely disrupted and they are back up several times a night. In our case, Lyla has also been fighting sleep with all she's got. This has led to exhaustion, exacerbation and a lot of frustration between Matt and I.

It has come to my attention very abruptly that WE ARE NOT IN THIS TOGETHER.

What I mean by this is that I, as the mother, am entirely responsible (or at least 90%) responsible for the well-being of our child. Some of you may say "well, duh!" but for me this has come as a surprise. I thought  assumed we would share parenting duties equally. Boy, was I wrong. I am now a stay at home mom and the baby is my job. I am not saying that Matt isn't helpful, in fact he is more help than about 90% of the fathers I have seen in action. He changes every diaper he can, he works from home when he can so he can be here with us, and he has a genuine gift with the baby. However, he is also a man and in being so he was born with certain disadvantages as a co-parent. He cannot feed the baby...ever. We are exclusively breastfeeding and so every two hours or so I am called upon to unleash the milk machine and feed our baby. More than just feeding duties, he, as a man, simply is not equipped with the natural instincts needed to comfort our fussy infant.

Men generally don't know what they're doing. I mean, as new parents we all don't know what we're doing but as a mother I am born with the necessary instincts to know what my baby needs. I can tell when she is hungry, tired, wet, bored, or in need of some cuddles. To my husband...they all sound the same, and the crying is unbearable. He constantly asks if I should feed my tits are the magical baby mute button. It's, just rock her dude!

Playing the separate roles of mommy and daddy have put a strain on our relationship. I am secure enough in our bond to say that we have never hated each other more. Yes, hate is a strong word, but we're a pretty dramatic duo. We tell each other to fuck off and generally we both get over it. But, I will say that I get very frustrated when he doesn't know what to do or how to help and he gets frustrated when I am hitting my limit with the baby and can no longer speak in nice calm tones.

I am so so SO thankful that Matt and I are such a strong couple because having a baby does everything it can to break you up. If Matt and I didn't have such strong communication I don't know how we would do it.

UPDATE:: Since beginning this post things have gotten WAAAY better. We are starting to sleep train Lyla and we have discussed and coped with our exhaustion and frustration and we are in a much better place. This whole baby thing is a roller-coaster and it is constantly changing so we are changing an adapting along with it. Matt and I are best friends and can make it through anything smiling because we can talk it out, call each other assholes and laugh about it all five minutes later. Thank GOD for my husband!


Postpartum Sex

This is a very personal topic, but it should be talked about. After all, sex is what got me in the predicament in the first place.

A good relationship cannot be sustained without intimacy. A lot of couples lessen the amount of sex they are having as D-day (delivery day) approaches due to several factors. A lot of women All women are uncomfortable towards the end, lugging an enormous bump around all day. There is also a good chance that the woman doesn't feel particularly sexy, after all if you aren't going for a monthly waxing the chances of your vagina being in perfect condition are slim to none. Not to mention the idea of sucking a dick for HIS pleasure or getting rammed from behind for HIS pleasure while you stew in discomfort is not particularly appealing. Even Matt and I, who had a very healthy sex life took a dip in the nookie department around 8 months in.

I vowed that I would not be the woman who denied my man sex ever. I said that when the baby came I would be right back to feeling great and wanting to get laid. with most things regarding this baby I was completely wrong. I was extremely unprepared for how taxing the physical recovery was going to be, how scared I would be for the first time postpartum, and how unpleasurable the entire experience would be.

You vagina has literally just gone through what feels like a grenade going off on the inside. There's trauma and stitches and the entire twat area is like a fucking war zone. Thankfully the good doctors insist upon no sex for 6 weeks, but you better believe at six week to the day my man was ready to get back to business.

I'm not going to lie...the first time was a failure. It hurt, I was as dry as the Sahara desert and I was convinced we were going to royally fuck up my insides. I pulled the plug on the whole endeavour about five thrusts in. With anything there was a definite learning curve. So try, try again we did.
We are now 4 months postpartum and sex has just started to be enjoyable again. Matt has been extremely patient with me, but I find that my sex drive just isn't where it used to be.

I don't know if it is the lack of sleep, the raging hormones or the fact that sex now needs to be quick (which equals less foreplay) and quiet (which is no fun for anyone), but sex after baby just isn't the same. I guess the reason I am sharing all this information is that this whole experience changes every part of your life. There is no going back to what things were before, there is only defining the new normal. We now have to take advantage of the time we do have to make an effort to be intimate. Me, as the woman, had to get through the first several uncomfortable bordering on painful first times having sex after baby in order to regain a vital part of our marriage.

I do believe it is vital to make sex a priority post baby....i have also never been more terrified of getting pregnant lol.


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Nursing Friendly No-Cook Energy Bites Recipe

One of the best things I have made recently are these energy bites or protein bites. They are packed with all the good stuff you need to stay active with your little one and produce a lot of milk. They are great snacks and are really nice to have around when you're starving but the baby wont let you put them down. As with most things I don't use a precise recipe, but here is the basics of how to make them. You can also customize them however you like by adding or subtracting different things.

3/4 Cup toasted almonds
3/4 Cup  uncooked instant oatmeal
1 bag pitted dates
1/2 Cup raisins (can use dried cranberries, blueberries, pomegranate etc.)
2 Tbsp vanilla protein powder (can add more or less per your preference)
1/4 Cup flax seed
1/4 Cup Maca powder (not necessary but we have it in house so I add it)
Peanut Butter
Organic Honey

Add the peanut butter and honey until the mixture is sticky enough to roll into balls. Place balls onto a sheet tray an put in the freezer for 15 minutes. Then transfer to ziplock bags in batches of 12 and store in the freezer. When you want them just store them in the fridge so they keep their firmness. They will last almost forever since they're raw.

Lyla's First Trip!! 3 Months Old

It has taken me a long time to write this post. Lately, Lyla requires more attention than ever, leaving me exhausted and mentally drained during her nap times when I usually write.

Feb. 13th-17th our family made its first trip as a trio!

We went down to Naples, Florida to visit Matt's parents. We were excited and anxious, it was the first time we have taken Lyla on such a long car ride and we weren't sure how she would handle it. Thankfully we had nothing to worry about. She was a champ! We left at the ass crack of dawn...actually, it wasn't even dawn, it was 1:30am. We had planned to wait until Lyla's middle of the night feed, usually around 3am. That night however, she decided to get up and be wide awake at 1:30am so we decided to just go with it. We fed her, packed up her pack n' play and got on the road by 2am.

The drive was pretty uneventful. We had to stop a couple of times to feed and change her but mostly she slept. When we arrived the weather was great; a little cooler than expected (in fact it was record lows for Florida) but it was warmer than home so we didn't mind. We had planned to spend most of the trip by the pool, but that wasn't going to work anymore, so we improvised with one trip downtown each day. We went out to two great lunches, both times I was worried about Lyla waking up and being fussy but she surprised and impressed us all by sleeping soundly for both outings.

Our last day was the best weather-wise. It was 75 and sunny and we took full advantage by getting Lyla into the pool for her first time ever! It was so cute and exciting to see her face as we played in the kiddie pool at my in-law's community pool complex. She loved it! It was just the sort of adorable family activity I had been anticipating and dreaming of while I was pregnant.

Lyla with Grandma Mary

Lyla turned 3 months during our trip on Valentines Day! Getting so big already