The first 8 weeks of Jackson's life were very difficult for me. I was struggling with the fact that John was not home and my whole entire life had just changed in the blink of an eye. Jackson was tongue tied at birth, so he was not able to properly latch for breast feeding. It was very stressful. People do not talk about how hard breast feeding is. In every class I went to, all they talked about was how convenient it was. I definitely think that breast milk is best for babies. God made it, so it has to be perfect. However, just because I believed that it was best, does not mean that it was easy. Breast feeding? Convenient? All I wanted to do was make a bottle, hand Jackson to whoever wanted to feed him, curl up in my bed and sleep. But when you are breastfeeding, or even pumping, you can not do that. I did not realize how much I love sleeping until I had a baby. I love sleep. I will never take it for granted again. Haha.
Jackson was/still is a LAZY eater. When he was a newborn, he would breast feed for an hour. At the time, he was eating every 2-3 hours. People, that is from start to start! It was exhausting! If he ate at 2pm, then he would eat again at 4pm. So he would eat from 2-3pm, then he would nap while I washed bottles, did laundry, cleaned the house, took a shower, etc. At 4pm, it was time to eat again. I was extremely stressed. I felt guilty because I knew I was supposed to be enjoying every second of having a newborn, but I was not. I just wanted John to be home. I even had wonderful help at home. My best friend who lived with me would help me with night time feedings and made dinner almost every night! It was amazing! I do not know how I would have made it without her. The weird part is that even though I had help, I was still not content. I just missed John so much. My heart was hurting so bad, and I just wanted him to be home with us. I wanted my family to be complete.
When Jackson was about a month old, we found out after MANY crying days and nights that he had a lactose allergy. He was put on Nutramigen hypoallergenic formula. This stuff is gold. I do not care if it costs a jillion dollars. It made Jackson stop crying and start smiling. He no longer had gas in his stomach that was causing pain. This also meant that I was able to stop breastfeeding. Unless you are a mom, you will not understand the guilt that you feel when you stop breast feeding. I had really mixed emotions about it. I felt relief. Relief that I no longer had to fight Jackson on breast feeding and that I would no longer have to pump. At the same time, I felt guilt. I felt guilty, because I know that God intended breast milk to be the sacred food for babies. I justified it by telling myself that Jackson would no longer have stomach pain on Nutramigen and I was doing what was best for him. It just made it that much sweeter for me, because I hated breastfeeding with a passion. We were not friends.
I saw the light when Jackson was 10 weeks old. That is when I went back to work and magically the same week he started sleeping through the night. I love school and teaching. I thrive on routine. I had missed my students, and I could not wait to start working with them again.
Concerning Jackson, life from 10 weeks on has been a breeze. He is a happy boy with a head full of hair. I love him more than I have ever loved anything in life. I can not wait until his Daddy comes home and gets to hold him for the first time. That will be a moment that I will never forget.