Sunday, November 16, 2014

Week 10: The First Year Recap

I'm almost caught up on blogging! This calls for champagne (cuz everything calls for champagne, in my opinion).

The topic for Week 10 is to recap the first year of our babies' lives. As evident from my previous posts, Reese was a challenging newborn. Sleep didn't come easy and I was pretty much nursing around the clock. The first three months were rough for us all.

Adding to the chaos was the fact that while I was on maternity leave from work, I did not take any time off from law school. I literally took my Con Law I final 8 days after Reese was born. Yeah, not my best idea (but I'm not known for my good ideas). My mom drove me to school so she could stay with Reese while I took the test. I breastfed him in the parking lot right before the exam and again right after. It was an... interesting experience.

We moved when Reese was 10 weeks old to be closer to Justin's new job. This was also a HUGE stressor. Especially since our new place turned out to be not-so-great. It had a leaky roof that the landlord "fixed" on the six different occasions we complained about it. We ended up breaking our lease, demanding our deposit back, and moving AGAIN when Reese was 5 months old.

Poor Reese - in his first 6 months of life, he lived in 3 different houses! He is quite well traveled for his young age.

So the first few months were rough. BUTT! (__)__) After we moved into our current place, things got kind of awesome. In May, I graduated from law school. For 10 weeks (mid-May through August 1st) Reese was in daycare (which he loved!) while I studied for the bar. After that, nothing at all stood between me and my sweet boy.

I really struggled with breastfeeding at first. I loved the connection but I did not love that it controlled pretty much every aspect of my life - what I ate (no dairy for Mr. Reese), what I drank (limited caffeine and almost no alcohol), what I wore (need easy access to boobs at all times), when I slept, when I could leave the house (Mr. Starvenheimer insisted on eating round the clock and I wasn't all that comfortable nursing in public), and what I talked about (it's ALL I talked about). When Reese was 2 months old, I swore off breastfeeding for good. That lasted all of 2 full days. I started back up with a new appreciation for it but we also found a formula with which we could supplement for when I couldn't pump enough or when I just really wanted a break.  This took some of the pressure off of me which REALLY helped.  Now, at 12 months, I have almost completely weaned Reese and I although I am relieved to have my body back to myself, I am sooooo glad I stuck with nursing. I really did end up loving it - especially after life calmed down a bit for all of us - and I loved the bond we forged during that special time.

While I didn't particularly love the newborn stage, I absolutely ADORED what came after. When Reese began laughing and playing more and more, I was in heaven. It was magical to watch him learn new things and become his own little person. He grew and changed so much in such short periods of time. Before I knew it he was crawling. And standing. And climbing.

At 12 months he shows little interest in walking on his own but BOOKS it around crawling. He babbles constantly but has yet to say actual words.

Around 8 months, he started only getting up once a night. At a year old, he sleeps completely through the night about 4 times a week. We're talking 10-12 hours a night. I can't believe it! It's a dream come true for me.

While I always loved him - even in those dark, difficult, early days - I never imagined I could love him THIS much. I am amazed daily at how incredibly sweet and precious he is.

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