Our son is now 14 months old and I must say parenting is getting easier. Our son is becoming more independent but still requires constant watching. Our son is walking so its hard to do things we need to while keeping an eye on Tre. For example we were outside planting flowers but could kept having to stop because Tre wanted to walk. Now that he can walk he doesn’t want to be held for long periods of time anymore.  We let him stand in front of the screen so we could keep an eye on him while we planted flowers. After a couple of minutes he started to cry…hard. My wife can’t handle him crying so she started asking me should she get the Bjorn. I told her we’re almost done so just wait a couple of minutes and go get him.

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I’ve come to the realization the raising newborn/toddlers is a lose/gain situation, meaning the more independence they gain the more we lose. I remember when Tre was a newborn we could sit him down and her couldn’t move so we could make dinner, shower, eat, fold clothes and etc. Now that he is walking I feel more like a soccer goalie trying to block him from getting into things.  I love my son more than anything and nothing brings me more joy than coming home and seeing the huge smile on his face when I walk in as he runs up to hug me. With that being said once I am home my son becomes my shadow. No mater where I go in the house my son is right behind me unless he’s eating. If I go the bathroom this little dude is banging on the door, if I run upstairs to get something he is crawling up the stairs. I have now become a master of disappearing, if my son can’t find me he instantly starts crawling up the stairs. Its to the point now that my wife and I announce where we are going in the house so we know we each other are at all times.

Quiet means something is wrong. We at the point now where if our son is quiet that means something is wrong. We have wood floors in the house so we can hear we Tre is at all time. He loves opening and closing the kitchen cabinets so when we’re in the kitchen it sound like someone i try to kick in the door. If we don’t hear the cabinets slamming or his shoes hitting the woods floors it’s a clear sign his has gotten into something he wasnt supposed to. Are son is very strong so the child proof locks on the cabinets do not stop him we just witnessed him lifting 3 lb dumbbells this little guy is ridiculously strong when I take something away from him I have to use a little strength.

My wife and I are in 2 different places when it comes to how old we want him to be. If it were up to me I would fast forward time until my son was 5 years old. I want to be able to have a conversation with and more importantly I am ready to be able to tell my son what to do.(i know that sounds bad) I envy my friends who have older children because they get to tell their kids what to do and they have to do it. I can’t wait to be able to tell my son to go to bed or eat your dinner. Everyone always tells us that kids grow up fast to a certain extent that true but it’s still a long process. Newborn was a struggle for my wife and I and I really don’t miss it at all. Our son had acid reflux when he was first-born. I had no idea was reflux was, nobody told us about reflux when we were pregnant. It was the most painful thing to witness and it really took a toll on all 3 of us. My son wanted to drink his bottle but couldn’t because it burned so bad. The first months of his life were hell. After bring him home from the hospital we had a couple of weeks to pack up our apartment because we were moving to Cincinnati. We had so much going on all at once it was very stressful. My wife was trying to breastfeed but couldnt produce the amounts she wanted to, our son has reflux and literally cried and cringed every time we tried to give him a bottle, neither of us got any sleep and my wife could only eat oatmeal because there were so many foods she couldnt eat because it would affect the breast milk which would make the reflux worse. One of my biggest fears and a reason why I mostly do not want to have another kid is because there’s a chance they may have reflux. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

To all the parents who’s had babies born with reflux my heart goes out to you. I was so upset no one told us how common it is until we had our son. What made me even more upset is when we talked to friends and family about it no one really understood the seriousness of it so no one thought it was a big deal except my mom because she came down to stay with us before we had our son to help out. My mom witnessed first hand how bad the reflux was so she felt the pain with us. We tried different types of bottles, different positions while feeding him and medications. It took roughly 4 months for us to find a medication that actually worked. We tried zantac and a couple other medications that didn’t work. Finally our doctor prescribed us Prevacid and that worked, we gave it him once a day and didn’t have too many bad days after that. After a couple of months our son stop wanting to take the medication we would normally put it in a bottle nipple but once he saw that nipple he’d turn away so we’d mix it in his milk. Now I am glad to say that he is officially reflux free. I am not sure exactly when he grew out of it but around 10/11 month we started weaning him off the medication.

Long story short newborn phase is my least favorite. I expected sleepless nights but I was nowhere near prepared for reflux and the difficulties of breastfeeding. Breast feeding is so hard I had no idea how hard it was. I thought once she gave birth milk would be produced automatically. That was not the case I never pictured myself in a hospital room rubbing my wife’s engorged boobs. They literally felt like they had little rocks in them I felt so sorry for her. We tried breastfeeding for 3 months and gave up it was too hard to produce and there were so many foods she couldn’t eat due to our sons reflux.

Our son is 14 months now and I can honestly say I’m happy we’re done with the newborn phase. He is now 14 months and becoming more independent. He can walk, hold his own bottle, put food in his mouth and can tell us when he’s hungry. We’ve started potty training him as well and most importantly he sleeps through the night. As long as we put  a bottle in the crib with him he’s good, he’ll wake up, drink the bottle and go back to sleep. I though this day would never come but now that it has my wife and I have more time for ourselves to reconnect and spend some quality time together.

In closing becoming parent has been a life changing experience. As my uncle Joe would say its a game changer. If you’re a selfish person I wouldn’t recommend having a child because your life literally revolves around your child. There is no going to the movies at the last-minute or out for dinner and drinks. Every outing needs to be planned ahead of time because you need a sitter for your child and on top of that you’re going to be so tired that you wont even feel like going out. If you like watching tv, hanging out with friends, pampering yourself or just relaxing you can do that but only after your child is sleep. When I get home I have an internal clock in my head i know that I can’t do anything I want to do until after 8pm because that is when we put our son to sleep. So 8pm for me is just like getting off of work. I love being a father and nothing is more important than my family. It’s a constant struggle of making time for us (my wife and I) and making sure our son is well taken care of. We are both first time parents and we are still adjusting to parenthood but we are in a good place and everything seems to have fallen in place for us. We still have a long road ahead but we are now prepared to navigate.

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