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Henry is only 94 days old, and yet I already can’t really remember what life was like before him.  I can’t believe that three months have passed since giving birth – he’s grown up so much.  I call him my Big Boy now.  After all, he does big boy things like hold toys and take independent naps and sit up (with some help, of course). 

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Here’s the obligatory photo montage!

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You can check out my other updates here – Mind and Body After Baby – Week 1, Mind and Body After Baby – Month 1, and Mind and Body After Baby – Month 2.

 

Like I said – such a big boy!  Look at those cheekies.

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Mind After Baby

 

Being a mom is hard (and I know that, relatively speaking, Henry is so easy).  It’s hard because it never, ever stops.  All day, every day.  I knew it was going to be constant, of course, but I just don’t think I could’ve imagined what it was like until I lived through it.  My best friend, who had a baby a month ago, called me the other day on the verge of tears, saying, “I just don’t know if I can do this.”  I just wanted to hug her and say, “Oh, honey.  We’ve ALL been there.”  My epic breakdown of the month included a twenty minute crying session in my closet.  I handed Henry to the Husband, locked myself in my closet, and sobbed.  I was totally stressed out and felt so incapable. After a good cry and a hot shower, I felt a lot better (and then I called my mom to tell her thanks for being a great parent).  I tell this story in case anyone out there thought I was the perfect, pulled-together mommy.  Oh, I am not!  I don’t think there is a single mommy out there who has never locked herself in her closet, stood in the shower, or sat in her car to cry.  Adjusting to being a mother, no matter how badly you wanted to have a baby, is hard.  But I’m trying to figure it all out!  Luckily, there are far more great days than kind-of-bad days.  

 

I have to say – being proactive with some aspects of parenting (like sleep habits) has been very helpful with my stress levels.  It makes me feel more confident in my mothering skills to approach things with a plan.  So much of the first three months were just about survival, and it feels good to put on my parenting hat.  Another thing that has greatly reduced my stress is that I accepted and made peace with my breastfeeding choices.  The comments on both of these issues were so helpful; I appreciate the feedback and support a lot. 

 

Another thing that I’ve noticed about motherhood is how moms can’t win, especially when it comes to health and fitness.  Our society either lambasts moms for doing too little (“Why haven’t you lost the baby weight yet?!” or “Dang, get out there and run; stop using your baby as an excuse!”) or too much (“You’re selfish for taking time away from the baby to exercise!” or “You’re losing weight too fast; you clearly have issues!”).  Occasionally, I get both types of comments in one day!  I’ve seen this happen time and again, both on the Internet, the media (think of all the magazine covers praising or attacking celebrity moms), and in real life.  Obviously, sometimes moms can take it to the extreme either way, but that’s not what I’m talking about here. 

 

I believe a lot of this goes back to the Mommy Wars, which I’ve written about before.  It’s important to recognize that the Mommy Wars are really a war on all women – part of it is a way to hold us down and make us feel bad about identifying and fulfilling our own needs (food for thought:  there are no Daddy Wars).  I refuse to give into this sick cycle of guilt and pressure.  I know I’m balanced in my choices.  I know that being a good mom means taking care of myself, too.  I’ve come to understand that I can’t really make everyone happy – I can only do what is best for myself, my baby, and my family.  And yes, sometimes that involves leaving my baby for an hour so I can run five miles.  And sometimes it involves sitting on the couch and snuggling instead of going to the gym.

 

Body After Baby

 

Lots of good things to report on the fitness front!   On August 25, I completed my first post-baby race – a sprint triathlon.  I had so much fun and did well on the swim and run.  Wahoo!  I also picked up my running mileage and worked my way up a long run of 5.0 miles.  Double wahoo.

 

In terms of healthy eating, I’ve been doing okay.  Above all else, I’m trying to eat in a way that supports my breastfeeding and running.  I really, really believe in the importance of eating balanced, well-rounded, and consistent meals and snacks, but even with the best of intentions, sometimes I snack through the afternoon and end up being too full for dinner… or eat three servings of dark chocolate while trying to sing Henry to sleep… or forget to eat breakfast… or crush a bag of chips while relaxing with the Husband after work.  However, most of my meals are healthy, and I’m generally proud of how I’ve been eating.  I try to buy as much ‘convenience’ health foods as possible (like pre-boiled eggs, baby carrots, cut fruit); I usually shy away from these items at the store because they are more expensive, but I am MUCH more likely to eat well if minimal thought and effort is required. 

 

So – what does that add up to?  I guess I should ask what does this all subtract up to because I’ve lost another three pounds.  TRIPLE WAHOO!  (Here’s my view on post-pregnancy weight loss.)  That means I have a mere eight pounds to go (I gained 35 pounds during pregnancy).   I’m also at the point where if my weight loss stalls out until I stop breastfeeding, that would be fine with me.  My goal was to be able to wear most of my tops and dresses again, as well as my larger pants, and I’m there.  No more maternity pants!

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I love zippers and buttons. 

 

All in all, it’s been a fabulous month (minus crying in the closet episodes).  Henry is a giant baby who is happy, giggly, and adorable.  I’m adjusting more and more to motherhood each day.  And I really feel back in the groove with fitness.  Can’t wait to see what comes out of Month 4.  Here’s to moving forward!

{ 94 comments }

 

Leave a Comment

  • Susan September 14, 2012, 1:22 pm

    Thanks for sharing about your crying session. I wish someone would have told me that was a normal reaction when I had our first baby. Women NEED to hear this and to know that they’re not failing …. or alone!!
    I love your proactive attitude.

    Reply
    • Susan September 14, 2012, 1:23 pm

      … and I think you look lovely.

      Reply
    • Caitlin September 14, 2012, 1:24 pm

      thank you! and yes. soooo within the range of normal.

      Reply
  • Courtney Robinson September 14, 2012, 1:27 pm

    So funny that you said “Cry in your car”. When I got home from a terrible day at work yesterday I walked in the door and immediately looked at my husband and my screaming toddler and said “I gotta go”. I drove the car around the corner, parked, called my mom and had a good cry. Now, all that matters is right again!!

    Reply
    • Caitlin September 14, 2012, 1:28 pm

      Aw, love you!

      Reply
  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) September 14, 2012, 1:27 pm

    Holy moly has he grown! Such a big boy. I think you’re doing a great job Caitlin. You’re doing what’s right for you and your family! Also, I don’t know if this will help or not, but I’m 37 with a 14 and an 11 1/2 year old…I still have moments when I wonder if I was cut out to be a mom. Not because I’m doing a bad job, but because it’s hard to parent and be a friend to my boys. We are such a close family and I have the hardest time being hard on them when they need it. I just hope I’m doing a good job.

    Thank you for sharing your honest thoughts!

    Reply
    • Caitlin September 14, 2012, 1:28 pm

      That so helps :)

      Reply
  • Annette@FitnessPerks September 14, 2012, 1:36 pm

    YAY for feeling awesome (and looking awesome too, I might add)! Henry is a chunk–and sooo cute! I love those cheeks!

    I think it’s so true–moms need time for themselves too. AMEN. Amen. I don’t have kids yet, but when I do, I will still be committed to fitness. That is something (a love of mine) that will never leave–and it’s such a stress reliever. I am a happier, better person when I work out. And I’m pretty sure that translates into being a better mom & ‘more’ there for your kids too. Great post!

    Reply
  • Beth September 14, 2012, 1:40 pm

    Sooooo if I have a crying session in my car without a baby (it’s marathon training related–I’m dealing with a layoff at what was supposed to be peak because of IT band issues…eeeeek!) what is going to happen when I have one (hopefully next year)!! EEK

    You look awesome Caitlin. I love your honesty.

    Reply
    • Julie (A Case of the Runs) September 14, 2012, 3:22 pm

      Haha, I think I am TOTALLY going to be crying more than any babies I might have. I’ve accepted that fact, hah.

      Reply
  • Tammy Root September 14, 2012, 1:45 pm

    I love your honest posts Caitlin. I too have those moments of crying in the closest! For me, I do remember my life before Marea — the freedom, the ‘me’ time, the ‘I can get up and go anywhere at anytime’ feeling, dates with my hubby, dinner and wine with friends, etc. I do miss those times. But, I also love my new life. I think one of the best things about Marea is seeing her with Denny. He loves her so much and is such a great dad, it warms my heart to see them together. I love waking up to her smiling face, watching her giggle (especially when I was the one who made her giggle!), watching her grow and learn new things, and most of all, I love the love I have for her. I never have felt such unconditional love toward her and from her. That is the best feeling and for that I would never go back in time. :) She’s my little munchkin and I love her to pieces.

    By the way, you look great!

    Reply
    • April September 18, 2012, 2:53 pm

      I feel the same Tammy, i TOTALLY remember life without my little guy, but wouldn’t change it for the world. You put what i was thinking right into words:)

      Reply
  • Nikki @ only25hoursinaday September 14, 2012, 1:49 pm

    You’re doing a great job, Caitlyn – you’re much more put together than I was at 3 months post-baby! Henry is so sweet, and I love the picture of him in the cow costume you posted on FB!

    I wanted to say one thing – you mentioned that there are no “Daddy Wars,” but I feel really compelled to step in on that subject. I totally, totally feel the push and pull of all the Mommy Wars, so first of all – trust me that I’m in on that (I’m a full-time working mother who feels guilty on a daily basis for dropping my kid off at daycare). And I believe that there’s NO DOUBT that moms take on far more responsibility for the childrearing.

    That said, I believe men in our society have a huge pressure to provide for their families financially, and this can be just as bad as the mommy wars (though not as public). My husband would LOVE for me to be able to stay home full-time with our son, but we simply can’t live on only his income. He has a good job that provides great benefits for us, but his income doesn’t cover our living expenses (at least not where we live, and we won’t live in a lesser area just to make this a possiblity). Although I reassure him over and over, I can tell that it bothers him and possibly makes him feel like “less of a man” because I have to work.

    Just wanted to put that out there – being a parent is HARD for both parties… I think women are just a little more caddy about it (LOL, isn’t that our nature anyway?).

    Reply
    • J September 14, 2012, 4:30 pm

      But the pressure your husband feels to “be a man” and provide for his family and the pressure that women feel to be the perfect mother are both feminist issues. Defeating the patriarchy means that women have the freedom to be who they are and make their own choices but it also means that men can do the same without being shamed for not being masculine enough. The whole “be a man” thing is so troubling because it suggests that being a woman is somehow bad. For a simpler example, feminism has helped our country progress to the point where women can be respected as doctors (not that they don’t still face career obstacles, but it’s getting a lot better). Male nurses, however, are still made fun of because they are doing what has traditionally been “woman’s work.”

      Reply
  • Courtney September 14, 2012, 1:50 pm

    Oh man, He totally beefed up this month!! Look at those cheeks. He looks less like a newborn and more like a baby now. So cute.I had a few of those episodes with my daughter. I remember once in the middle of the night going to check on her and she was fussy and crying and I ended up curled up on the floor next to her crib crying too.

    Reply
  • Kt September 14, 2012, 1:51 pm

    Way to go!! I think you are doing great.

    Reply
  • Amy@ahealthyandhappyheart September 14, 2012, 1:53 pm

    You look amazing! I wish I was out of those maternity pants! (In time!) My baby boy is 3 months as well, so it has been fun following along with your journey as well as experiencing motherhood myself! I have had many cry sessions as well (in the shower, car, walking trail…you name it..lol) You are not alone girl :) You are doing amazing and Henry is just too cute!

    Reply
  • Morgan September 14, 2012, 1:58 pm

    It’s so true that we’ve all been there with the crying sessions!

    The feeling of being on duty 24/7 does end once they sleep better. I was in that baby duty trance for about 6 months before I got some relief with long naps and better nighttime sleep.

    It makes a world of difference knowing you can go to bed and actually let yourself really get into a deep sleep because you won’t be woken until morning.

    Reply
  • Jo September 14, 2012, 2:03 pm

    I don’t have a baby, but I love and appreciate your honesty about all you are experiencing. It takes courage.

    Reply
  • Cristina @ Tiny Perfect Bites September 14, 2012, 2:05 pm

    You look great! Henry looks just like in you in the Mind After Baby picture.

    Reply
  • Sara September 14, 2012, 2:05 pm

    Boy–he really has grown in a month!! Go, Henry!

    Reply
  • Elisabeth September 14, 2012, 2:06 pm

    I’m not a mom, but sure seems to me like you’re doing an awesome job as a first time mommy! Way to go for having such a healthy attitude about it all. Oh, and you’re looking fabulous :)

    Reply
  • B September 14, 2012, 2:08 pm

    You rock and are totally inspiring. I’m a little over one month behind you and love these posts because they help me gear up for the month to come. Thank you!

    Reply
  • Elena @ Apples & Pastelitos September 14, 2012, 2:10 pm

    As always, I so appreciate your honesty and vulnerability on your blog. Thank you!! As a new mom myself, I know that there are just those days when you can’t help but cry in the shower, because it.is.so.hard! It took me a good two months before I figured out “oh, she’s crying after being up for three hours… might she be tired?” And it took about a month of good sleep training and now my little Ellie takes naps all on her own (this coming from needing to be held for each one) and goes to sleep in her crib just fine usually most nights. Just wanted to say you are doing a wonderful job, and you look GREAT!! :) Good job, mama!

    Reply
  • Megan September 14, 2012, 2:16 pm

    Crying in the closet, bathroom, car, grocery store, or anywhere you happen to be is actually a good thing. It shows you are processing and handling. I’ve seen so many friends struggle through PP depression, and it’s amazing how much being honest, real, sharing it, and not being ashamed of having breakdowns – or not holding it in – helps. Now don’t get me wrong, some moms need medication and doctors, and that is important, but crying in the closet means you are being a good mom; it means you are trying, loving Henry, and determined to be a great Mom! Way to go!

    Reply
  • Ashley September 14, 2012, 2:18 pm

    Great post Caitlin. Your head is in such a good place, I always appreciate hearing your thoughts. You are also looking fabulous!

    Reply
  • Mary September 14, 2012, 2:22 pm

    I think you are doing a great job! I read your posts and it brings back all the memories of exhaustion and stress of those early baby days like it was yesterday (and my boys are 15, 12, and 10!). It is great that you are balancing time for yourself with baby time. You need to stay healthy and sane to take care of your little one. That is the best way to be a good parent. And I know it’s hard to believe but someday you will be the one trying to wake your child up. I never thought I would see the day because my oldest didn’t sleep through the night until he was 13 months (the next 2 were much better!). Hang in there and keep up the good work…and cry it all out when you need to:). Cyber hugs! Oh and you look great btw!

    Reply
  • Katie @ Soulshine and Sassafras September 14, 2012, 2:24 pm

    I really love these monthly updates. I was visiting my friend and her 6 week old last night, and we were talking about how much ridiculous pressure moms get, and how much people hate on all your decisions. I think you’re really brave putting your life out in the open as much as you do. I know that opens you up to more criticism, but I hope you know how many people adore your honesty and thoughtfulness in everything you do. And you’re right, you can’t please everyone. For the record, I think you’re doing a stellar job taking care of yourself and your little bebe :)

    Reply
  • Amber K September 14, 2012, 2:28 pm

    It’s crazy how fast little ones grow! And I agree that moms really can’t win. It’s so sad that whatever a mom does…she’s “wrong.”

    Reply
  • Laura September 14, 2012, 2:42 pm

    You go girl! 5 miles is awesome!!!

    Reply
  • Sam @ Better With Sprinkles September 14, 2012, 2:47 pm

    I can’t believe this size difference between weeks 1 and 2 – that’s one hell of a growth spurt!

    Reply
  • Maria September 14, 2012, 2:50 pm

    Aww, you make me want to call my mom and thank her, too. I think I will!

    You’re right, Henry has really hit a growth spurt and just gets cuter each day. How is that even possible?

    Reply
  • Christy September 14, 2012, 3:02 pm

    Love and appreciate your honesty! My husband has to remind me all the time that I am doing a great job with our 2yr old son. He is happy, sweet, loving and funny! I have noticed that I get down when I am feeling out of control. So logically I know I am not messing up my kid, it’s more about my emotions.

    Reply
  • Miranda September 14, 2012, 3:03 pm

    The mommy wars are also a lot like the war on women that the Republicans are waging. I just wish it would all stop! Enough is enough!

    Reply
  • Tricia September 14, 2012, 3:10 pm

    Henry looks like he had a huge growth spurt between month 2 & 3! So cute!

    Reply
  • Lena September 14, 2012, 3:11 pm

    “It’s important to recognize that the Mommy Wars are really a war on all women – part of it is a way to hold us down and make us feel bad about identifying and fulfilling our own needs.”

    That’s an interesting point. While I do think people today (including myself) tend to use ”needs” pretty loosely (I mean when we think of it how much of the luxuries we enjoy are really ”needs” for us to stay mentally and physically healthy?), your statement spoke to me. I realized, that often times, women are pressured into thinking that the things that they really do need in order to stay healthy are luxuries, i.e. every ”me-time” whatsoever is considered to be a luxury by society, not a need in order to survive.
    Interesting topic indeed!

    Reply
  • AlisonJ September 14, 2012, 3:13 pm

    At first he looked a lot like your husband, but now he’s starting to look more like you. Crazy how much they can change in such a short time!

    Reply
    • Caitlin September 14, 2012, 3:52 pm

      Yay! It’s nice to hear he looks like me.

      Reply
  • Jacqueline September 14, 2012, 3:13 pm

    You have such a great attitude, Caitlin!

    Reply
  • Kristen September 14, 2012, 3:18 pm

    YOU LOOK SO GOOD!!!

    Check out the difference in your face from month one until now!! You have lost all the pregnancy puff and you look amazing. Way to go! You have been working very hard at getting back in shape and it shows. By the way, there is nothing wrong with wanting to work out and get your body back. No shame in it at all. Be proud, mama!

    Reply
  • Katie @ Talk Less, Say More September 14, 2012, 3:19 pm

    I can’t believe how much he has grown! I’ve definitely noticed (obviously) but it’s crazy when you compare it side by side with the previous months!

    Reply
  • AK September 14, 2012, 3:19 pm

    I hope you take this as advice and not criticism, but crying in a closet is not within the range of normal after giving birth. While many women obviously have different coping skills and frustration is absolutely normal, touting sobbing in a closet as normal is terrible advice, and you should see a doctor for PPD. Talking about this stuff is commendable, but not with the air that women should think that this reaction is normal and not seek help for it.

    Reply
    • Caitlin September 14, 2012, 3:51 pm

      I definitely do not have PPD although yes! Crying is a sign. But seriously, having one or two freak outs does not mean you have depression. Trust me… A freak out or two IS normal as you adjust to parenthood.

      Reply
      • AK September 14, 2012, 4:15 pm

        I absolutely agree, one or two is expected. However, that is not made clear in your post that it was an isolated incident. I just fear that women who may actually have PPD read this and think crying is normal, and then don’t get help. That’s all.

        Reply
        • Caitlin September 14, 2012, 4:26 pm

          Definitely wouldn’t want anyone to think that!

          Reply
        • Jen September 14, 2012, 6:56 pm

          I thought it was made very clear in her post that it wasn’t an ongoing thing. She seems to be like a normal human being – grateful and happy for her new life but also understandably overwhelmed and emotional at times. It bothers me that people automatically start to think that something is wrong when people get emotional…yes, it is/can be a problem – trust me, I’ve had/dealing with depression – I know this all too well. But I also know that it’s normal to be emotional and have feelings. It seems everyone nowadays think “oh, you have to talk to someone! Or take some drugs!” – uh, no, I had some feelings and I’m dealing with it.

          Heck Caitlin – I DON’T have a baby and I regularly pop in the closet for a good freak-out session when needed…:0

          Also – You look AMAZING.

          Reply
  • Katie September 14, 2012, 3:25 pm

    Wow it’s REALLY cool how you have this record of how different he looks each month. Will be really cool to look back on!

    Reply
  • Bree September 14, 2012, 3:28 pm

    Great post! I am the mother of a very soon to be 1 year old little boy, the first 3 months were the hardest. I still have moments where I feel overwhelmed, especially as he becomes more mobile and he seems to be transitioning to 1 nap!!! Anyway, your honesty is amazing and you look beautiful!

    Reply
  • Whitney September 14, 2012, 3:34 pm

    Thank you for your honesty! It’s nice to hear that being a mom isn’t always rainbows and butterflies like so many other blogs lead. And I’m so happy that you took some “me” time to go running. I think that’s very important to being a good mom and don’t for a second feel guilty about it. If society didn’t judge so much it would be such a better place!! ugh!

    Reply
  • Krista September 14, 2012, 3:50 pm

    My two are 13 & 10 and I still distinctly remember sitting on Sarah’s bedroom floor in the middle of the night 5 months pregnant with Noah bawling my eyes out because she would not sleep. I just couldn’t believe what I’d gotten myself into! Now I can’t get either of them to get up in the morning!!! LOL

    I also remember complaining to my parents (many, many times) that the kids kept me up and I just wanted to sleep. My Dad told me something I will never forget, especially seeing as I’m getting closer & closer to it; “You’re not sleeping now, but you know where the kids are. Wait until they’re teenagers and you’re not sleeping because they haven’t come home home yet and you don’t know where they are”. Scary, right??

    Reply
  • Jen September 14, 2012, 4:21 pm

    Caitlin, I love these posts. I really respect how honest you are with the ups and downs of motherhood and I think it’s so refreshing to read a blog written by someone who doesn’t try to portray everything as sunshine and rainbows. Keep doing what you’re doing, because you seem like a wonderful mother who is raising beautiful and happy baby.

    Reply
  • Nicole September 14, 2012, 4:32 pm

    Odd add it may sound, it really brings me joy to read your parenting updates. My husband and I are getting closer to ttc and I feel this heavy (self created) pressure to be a perfect mom. I have made a career of taking care of other people’s kids and I love it, I take pride in the awe people get when I mention what we did this week. I an so afraid that when I have my own I will be overwhelmed, sleep deprived and miserable. However, reading your candid accounts helps me to realize that I will feel all of those things… But that they will be fleeting moments in the scheme of things and it will ultimately be worth it.

    Reply
    • Caitlin September 14, 2012, 8:28 pm

      you will be the perfect mom for your baby ;)

      Reply
  • Marci September 14, 2012, 4:46 pm

    My low point was in month 5 crying at midnight in rockin chair with baby in my arms because he wouldn’t go to sleep. There are ups and downs but it sounds like you are very put together and keep things in perspective. Mothering is tough! More frustrating than I expected. You look awesome!

    Reply
  • Kendra @ My Full-Thyme Life September 14, 2012, 4:48 pm

    Great post and great attitude! You are so right, it is hard adjusting to motherhood and I’m beginning to wonder if you ever really “adjust” entirely. Just when you feel like you’ve mastered the current phase or age that your baby is at, they go and change on you! I know! The nerve, right? ;) Plus, I am having the hardest week of motherhood to date with a very sick 18 month old and you better believe I cried my little heart out in my car earlier today. I needed it and although I blame a portion of the emotions on my current pregnancy, I still felt better after getting it out. :)

    It’s a wonderful journey though and worth every struggle! BTW – Henry is super precious and I love his cheekies!! ;) And of course, you look amazing at 3 months! You work hard and do it the right way. Way to go! Motherhood looks good on you. ;)

    Reply
  • Ellen @ Wannabe Health Nut September 14, 2012, 5:05 pm

    You’re doing great and you look fab. I just wrote about my “crying in the closet” kind of day and I don’t even have a needy newborn or sleep deprivation to blame!

    Reply
  • colleen September 14, 2012, 5:06 pm

    Just seeing those photos of you over the past 3 months shows how hard/tough parenthood is. But they also show how far you & Henry have come. As you know those first three months, and longer for some, are hard. Heck, I have days now (kids are 8.5, 6.5, 3.5) when I take a 2-3 hour trip to the grocery store by myself to get away—they’d find me in the closet so that is out of the question. All parents, especially moms, need a break without feeling guilty – men do it all the time. So definitely continue to take those breaks, we’d go nuts without them.

    Reply
  • Karlee September 14, 2012, 5:28 pm

    you look great and so does baby!

    Reply
  • Nicole September 14, 2012, 5:29 pm

    Goof for you with fitting it all in. You look amazing and I love reading about your journey each day:)

    Reply
  • Nicole September 14, 2012, 5:29 pm

    sorry I mean good!

    Reply
  • Meryl September 14, 2012, 6:31 pm

    My pediatrician told me a story to make me feel not so alone about the stress. A mother came into her 1 month appt crying hysterically. She was older and had waitted to have kids until her career was well established. She had wanted a baby more than anything and decided to find a donor since she was not in a relationship and felt tremendous guilt that she was so depressed after wanting this baby so bad. The women sobbed while listing off all the things she needed to do but couldn’t because she was so overwhelmed. My doctor told her to make a list of what she wanted to do and asked her to get her carrier so my doctor could wear her while the mother went shopping for new clothes and ran errands. She came back feeling like a new person. Moral of the story being no one is a super human. Babies are stressful and breaking down is natural. No matter how prepared you are or how bad you wanted your child, being a mommy is hard work. You are doing a great job and I love reading your reflections as I also am venturing out into mommy hood. Henry is a lucky little man.

    Reply
    • Caitlin September 14, 2012, 8:27 pm

      what a nice doctor!

      Reply
  • Jun September 14, 2012, 6:39 pm

    Apart than being impressed by witnessing how months by months, your body drops the pounds and becomes slimmer, it’s also amazing how fast Henry grows! Kudos to you for taking such great care of him. Big boy, small boy- I don’t know, but definitely lucky boy :)

    Reply
  • Beth September 14, 2012, 7:10 pm

    Good for you Caitlin! You are such a positive role model! Thank you!

    Reply
  • Laura September 14, 2012, 7:24 pm

    Couple thoughts after reading some of the posts this one linked back to:
    On sleep training and routines: My kids (1 and 3) both do well with routine and good sleep but mostly I think I (the Mom) benefit from the routine. Some days are just so harried that it is nice to not have to think about what comes next and have the kids fall into the next thing easily. And to know there is a break for me about 30 minutes after lunch when they are both asleep is like a sweet little reward that helps me hold onto my smile.

    On breastfeeding and pumping: I pumped while I was working full time during tax season with both kids and ended up with more than they could use. If that is the case for you have you considered donating? http://www.milkbankcolorado.org/ is the organization I used but there are probably ones closer to you. Its not for everyone but for some medically fragile babies it is liquid gold.

    On another book you might enjoy (and I’d like to hear your thoughts on): Parenting Well in a Media Age: Keeping our Kids Human by Gloria DeGaetano. Its about screen time and its affect on child development.

    You are doing a great job as a Mom and human being in general. Keep on being you!

    And I agree that a couple freakouts are par for the course with parenthood.

    Reply
  • Natalie September 14, 2012, 9:05 pm

    I totally agree with that whole “moms can’t win” mentality! I recently had an experience while at the gym (my 1 hour away from baby 3x a week). A man came up and asked me if I had been pregnant back in the spring, and I said yes. He asked me how I could bear to be away from my little one for long enough to come to the gym. I think he meant to be friendly, but I could instantly feel the guilt rising to the surface (you should be home…you shouldn’t expect your husband who has been hard at work all day to take care of the baby 3x a week). I really had to fight to keep going and finish my work-out. I know that for me work-outs are crucial to me being happy and healthy (mentally and physically). Every baby needs/deserves a happy, healthy mommy!

    Reply
  • Jen September 14, 2012, 9:22 pm

    I just want to say that Henry is such a cutie! He has really filled out! Don’t you love it?

    Jen

    Reply
  • Jen September 14, 2012, 9:38 pm

    You seem to have struck a great balance between baby/you/hubby time. You and Henry both have a healthy glow – you are doing great!

    Reply
  • Claire September 14, 2012, 11:33 pm

    I know what you mean about having to call your mum to tell her thanks. Appreciation of my parents has increased so much since having kids. Every year in my mothers day card to my mum I make sure to write something to reflect that. This year it was ‘Sorry for always being noisy when you were on the phone’, because I’m going through that with my three at the moment!

    Reply
  • Verlin September 15, 2012, 12:08 am

    It’s the sleep deprivation that makes people react 5 x worse than usual. ANYTHING is hard without enough sleep, and a new baby can provide a lot of challenges. Multiply that out, and tears are guaranteed. I can remember losing it a number of times, but bouncing back, just like you have done. You are doing great. Hopefully Henry’s sleep will get more consistent and so will yours. I LOVE the pictures – it shows Henry slowly getting larger, and you slowly getting smaller – just like both your bodies are intended to. You both look healthy and happy – and just where you should be at this stage. My boys are 18 and 13 – they’re still growing, but somehow I’ve stopped shrinking along with them – darn it.

    Reply
  • Marcia September 15, 2012, 12:21 am

    Such a total cutie.

    Great job on the weight loss! I gained fifty lbs on this 2nd pregnancy, 35 on the first. I lost twenty right away and then stalled for six weeks. Finally moving in the downward direction, but I went back to work and had to buy size 16. Ugh, never thought I’d see that size again! Hopefully will bw out of them in a couple of months. I too am buying a lot more healthy convenience foods. It ensures that I eat.

    Reply
  • Mel September 15, 2012, 4:28 am

    It’s amazing to see how much Henry has grown in such a short amount of time! He has such adorable facial expressions. As always, I find your honesty refreshing. Whether your a Mom or not (like me), sometimes you just HAVE to let out a little emotion. I think our society places to much emphasis on the ‘suck it up’ or ‘put on a happy face’ notion, I think it’s perfectly normal and healthy to cry or have a bad day!

    Reply
  • Emma September 15, 2012, 5:30 am

    You are so inspirational to me! It seems like you’re handling motherhood and fitness in the ideal way, and when I have children, I hope to be able to balance it as eloquently as you. Congratulations on fitting into your pre-pregnancy clothes! You look beautiful and healthy! (:

    Reply
  • Sharon MacGregor September 15, 2012, 7:57 am

    I have been following your blog this year and as you watch your baby grow, I realize my husband of 25 years walked out right around the time Henry was born. It amazes me how quickly your son grows as I recover and begin to inhale and exhale without constant pain. I realize today I truly enjoy watching Henry’s life begin and I root for us both from the sidelines. Thank you for the distraction.

    Reply
    • Caitlin September 15, 2012, 9:40 am

      I wish you the best!!!! <3

      Reply
  • Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy September 15, 2012, 8:38 am

    Henry is adorable! Thank you for being so honest with your journey in motherhood!

    Reply
  • Leslie W. September 15, 2012, 9:06 am

    Oh Caitlin! You just reminded me of a special moment with my newborn when he was about a month old. He was crying, I was crying. Meltdown city. Ha! I told my sister about the incident the next day (because by then I thought it was funny) and she got really quiet. She then said, “I appreciate your honesty because that happens to every mom but no one ever admits it.” I just found out I am expecting number 2 so I get to go through this all over again!
    One person commented on the existence of “Daddy Wars” and I have to agree. My husband is a stay at home dad and there aren’t many people who applaud him for that. His relationships with friends have been affected because they just don’t get it and honestly, my husband doesn’t understand his friends’ distance from their own children. Even women who were stay at home moms and know how hard it is are critical of our choice, my mom and sister included. On the “Mommy Wars” front this arrangement gets it’s criticism, too. I am considered more “career-minded” and “not the stay at home type” and that’s the way my husband’s family explains our choice. Nothing could be further from the truth- our decision is purely economic.

    Reply
  • Marcia September 15, 2012, 10:07 am

    I Cried on my front porch. I hate mommy wars.

    I have found in my new moms group that they are a lot less judgmental than the moms were six years ago. Maybe it’s the bad economy.

    Your breast feeding post REALLY helped me. It made me decide to take a break and just pump on the painful side. Even old dogs like me can learn.

    Whatever keeps mommy sane.

    Reply
    • Caitlin September 15, 2012, 4:48 pm

      Aww I’m glad it helped.

      Reply
  • Lesley September 15, 2012, 10:20 am

    Awesome, awesome and more awesome! You should be so proud of yourself and all of your readers are proud of you, too! You look fantastic to boot. Go new mommy :)

    Reply
  • Sarah September 15, 2012, 10:51 am

    I realized how hard it was to be at home all day with the baby when I started to think of housework as a break. Honestly, handing the baby to my husband and vacuuming or doing laundry feels like…a treat? Not that I don’t love being with him but it’s hard to meet someone’s needs 100% of the time. All of the sudden, dishes seem like a vacation.

    Reply
  • Emily J September 15, 2012, 5:37 pm

    Henry is ADORABLE and oh so cute! Thank you for sharing with us!

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  • Hannah September 15, 2012, 6:09 pm

    In my family, we say “You have to make a mommy first”. This is what my grandmother’s mother-in-law told her over 50 years ago, when she had 3 small children until 5! You’re doing awesome Caitlin!

    Reply
  • Dynamics September 16, 2012, 1:33 am

    You look amazing. It is fun to see baby getting bigger and mommy getting smaller.

    Reply
  • Emily B September 16, 2012, 4:09 am

    Wow you are SUCH a yummy mummy now!! I don’t just mean in health or appearance but every dimension, you’ve adjusted to mummyhood so well. And I love how you embrace the lower moments as normal and use them as learning experiences.

    Reply
  • Robyn (GirlonRaw) September 16, 2012, 7:24 am

    I’ve said it before and I’ve said it again (after a friend said it to me!), as crass as it sounds, it’s true: “Becoming a mother is like being punched in the face at first”. People tell you it’s hard before they arrive, but you never hear it. But yes, it’s completely rewarding. 8 months on is when I really started to find my flow and enjoy it, without just having to survive. It will flash by, so try to just live in the moment. And oh, you are doing an amazing job!

    Reply
    • Caitlin September 16, 2012, 7:55 am

      Hahah it is so being punched in the face!

      Reply
  • Brittnie September 16, 2012, 1:32 pm

    You said this so well…. Every mom, regardless of how badly you wanted a baby or regardless of what you had to go through to get pregnant, has cry in the closet days. Shoot I still have them because motherhood is a full time , non stop gig. It’s freaking hard especially when hormones are still settling and these baby’s don’t come with instruction manuals!

    I noticed a huge difference in my confidence level once Clara hit 4 months. I hear a lot of moms say that 4 months is a huge turning point in general. You’re almost there!! Love these updates!!

    Reply
  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie September 17, 2012, 2:31 pm

    yay for healthy weightloss and no more maternity pants!

    I’ve been much better about losing weight this time as opposed to my first….mostly because I lost my minimal baby weight after my first without any effort and that kept me from establishing mommy healthy habits. This time I’ve taken care of myself and the baby pounds melted off easily PLUS more and I’m feeling better than I have in my whole life! I think making/having babies makes me appreciate how amazing my body really is.

    Reply
  • Julie September 17, 2012, 2:51 pm

    My daughter is 12 now, but I distinctly remember my meltdown at about 1:00 a.m. when she was a few weeks old & wouldn’t go to sleep & wouldn’t stop crying & nothing I did would help. :)

    Reply
  • Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) September 18, 2012, 12:39 am

    Thanks for sharing this. I can’t believe how big he is getting! He looks soooo much like you two – perfect combination of both of your faces!! :-)

    Reply
  • janet September 26, 2012, 2:33 pm

    i like your site! i particularly love your tracking pics. my son, asher, is 2 months now, and i so wish i had taken the same type of pics with him from the beginning.

    Reply
  • Ashley October 10, 2012, 6:26 am

    Thank you for posting about your mini freakout sessions. I read this back when you posted it, but it wasn’t til now that I felt the need to thank you. Luckily my 5.5 week daughter serms to be falling asleep, finally, as I type this, but an hour ago (4am) when I was sobbing uncontrollably, it seemed like she wouldn’t and that I would never be able to do this. For some weird reason I thought of this post and realized this is totally normal and that I’ll figure it out. I just want a break sometimes!! But she’s so worth it…and I know I’m not crazy and alone! Thanks :)

    Reply
    • Caitlin October 10, 2012, 8:06 am

      HUGS! You can do it. Congrats.

      Reply