Musings of a Mum: 4 Months Old

October 30, 2012 Candace Morris 2 Comments

Baby Bowie,
Either the copious amounts of postpartum supplements and B-12 shots are turning me into a perpetual optimist or I am entering a stage referred to as being 'bliss-ed' out on baby.

Duhn, duhn, duhn.

I'm not sure which unnerves me more: the not reaching the normal milestones of motherhood or the realization that I am absolutely, 100% normal and on-track.



Either way, I am now what we call bonded.  Oh boy, am I.  I think what made me realize this most was my returning to work.  I was supposed to be employed on this contract for Microsoft for 4-6 weeks, but they overstaffed the project and I worked for only 2 weeks.   That first day was rough - I felt like my heart was being rolled up and tied with kitchen string, like a pork loin ready for cookin.  While sitting in traffic, I saw a billboard with a baby bundled in a pink blanket advertising the quiet ride of a Lexus, and I blinked back tears.  Leaving you was so complicated for me, and going back to full-time work in general is a decision tearing me in two like one of those BFF heart necklaces, spliced and jagged.  Okay, enough of the analogies.  I cannot possibly say anything clever enough to convey a mother's love for her child, so I will just stick to cliches.  I just don't feel like I did a month ago.  I feel like you are MINE and I am yours and we are a family.  I see my role in your life and I imagine the beauty of your growing up - as if I were in the future looking back.  I often find this perspective helpful for extracting meaning in the present.  I'll teach it to you, should you have difficulty remaining in the now as I do.  If I imagine you loving your childhood, I can more easily give you a good childhood.  I believe the converse to be true as well.

Because, dear Scout, we are what we think. So make those thoughts worth a damn.

The night before my first day of work, Dad and I realized it was time we disassembled the pack-n-play you had been sleeping in.  It was taking up a needless amount of space in our room, but we were both unwilling to fully release you to the independence of your own crib, though it was obvious you were more than adjusted to it.  I slept so horribly that night.  I felt like your room was too cold, or then too hot.  I was sure that you were extremely depressed to be apart from us.  I believe that is what we call 'projection.'  The first week back, I found myself rushing to get home so that I could have a few precious moments with you before you went to bed.  There was one particular evening when the house was silent and we sat in your room, rocking and rocking and I felt the weight of your soul increasing with each relaxed breath.  You are not necessarily an old soul, but you are very knowing.  

I am also getting my sea-legs of mothering (analogy).  The paralyzing fear I experienced in the first three months is all but gone.  We are in a calm period, where you are behaving in expected ways and I fully realize that we are on the brink of another storm where you change the rules.  But the knowledge of this does not bring me as much anxiety as it used to.  The forecast of the hard work of mothering doesn't fill me with dread as it once did.  I feel more confident and definitely more knowledgeable of who you are.

Where once I was petrified of losing who I was before I had a baby, now I realize how ill-equipped that version of me would be for such a life.  She would be supremely unhappy.  To not evolve into this new way of life would be so dangerous for my personal growth.  I think once I realized that I didn't have to fear this new identity, I began to enjoy it.  


PERSONALITY:
We do like your personality very much.  You are easy to cry, but also very easy to console.  In just the last two weeks, you have begun to laugh and coo at me consistently.  You are so happy right after sleeping, often laughing at me as I unwrap you from the warmth of your crib.  You love to be held and walked around the house, looking at shadows and colors.  Your eyes are so big and curious, and serious indeed.  

You have FINALLY reached the monkey on the play-bar above your infant seat, and have subsequently awakened to the lion and the hippo also hanging on the bar.  You will kick and flail for often half an hour to reach those toys, and I spent a few minutes watching you today as you seemed so extremely entertained and pleased with your own hands.  

You spent two weeks with Aunty Jess as your caretaker, and while you may have had a period of adjustment those first few days, you seemed to take to her like a fish to water (analogy).  This was so greatly relieving to me when I was at work, realizing that this lifestyle would not cut it, me being away from you for a job I don't care that much about.  If I am going to work outside of the home, it will be for something important.

I love that you can still go to anyone, but now follow me with your eyes more than before.  I am sure we are only weeks away from you knowing me better and reaching for me, and surely then I shall perish of love.

SLEEP:
Congratulations to us both! This is perhaps the area of the most significant improvements since last month. You are sleeping through the night 95% of the time.  I will put you down around 7pm and you will wake to eat around 6am.  However, where once you went down with minimal fussing, you seem to now desire to fight it.  I will let you work those cries out, often because they are more you talking to yourself than distress calls, which sound very different.  If you work yourself up to that, Dad or I will come in and pat your back, readjust your blankets, or help you find your thumb.  Only once has the battle lasted an hour.  More typically, you will cry for 10-15 minutes at bedtime, fussing on and off until you finally console yourself with that delicious thumb.  You've all but rejected the use of a pacifier anymore, which is fine by me.  


SCHEDULE:
Your schedule remains the same as at 3 months, and I am much better at adjusting and readjusting throughout the day, should you want to sleep longer or feed sooner.  

6am: Wake/Feed/Change/Activity Time
7am: Down for nap
9am: Wake/Feed/Change/Activity Time

10am: Down for nap
12pm: Wake/Feed/Change/Activity Time
1pm: Down for nap
3pm: Wake/Feed/Change/Activity Time
4pm: Down for nap
6pm: Wake/Feed/Change
7pm: Down for the night
8pm: COCKTAILS FOR MOM


FOOD:
You are taking roughly 5-7oz of breast-milk at a time, and nursing for 7-10 minutes.  Your reflux is no longer an issue, and you seem to be less affected by my diet (yay for more dairy).  You do still require a bit of calm vertical time post-feeding, and I've decided to start using that time to read you a book.  Often you will enjoy facing me and listening to me talk. It's your most jolly time.  Where once you used to be rather clumsy at nursing, you are now very skilled.  

DEVELOPMENT:
Your head is totally steady now, and your most desired position is sitting up.  You have also found your feet, but have not yet figured out how to get them into your hands.  I want to work on getting you more mat time, I think that will help.  You are close to rolling from back to belly, but that darn arm gets stuck and you give up.  Soon enough, soon enough.

You love songs and can mimic facial expressions.  You seem to be left-hand dominant.  Your spirit is still, calm.  Your body is getting longer and your cheeks are tyrannical invaders - not even Uncle Mooney can resist them.  Will you be tall like your Dad or Uncle Bruce?  A tall gal with those eyes and gorgeous lips?! Move over, Giselle.

Though you are awake only 5 hours of any day, I see that that awake time is very action-packed for you as you process all the stimulation around you. 

You've newly begun to drool quite a bit.  Dad likes to call you "Drooles Verne."  I wonder if you are starting to teeth already?

ADJUSTED AGE:
For the most part, I cannot discern any signs of you being premature aside from smiling and cooing a bit late.  While you have been smiling for some time, there was no discernible laughing or cooing until the last few weeks. The first time was at Grandpa's face, while sitting at the dinner table.  Ever since then, you do it all the time - much to the delight of your parents. I'm not sure anything has ever delighted me so much.  It's so interesting how supremely satisfying it is to feel your happiness emanating, or to know you are sleeping soundly.  Similarly, it's frightening how anxiety-producing it is to see you in pain and anguish.  

OUTINGS/EVENTS:
You met many important people this month.  



Your Aunt Teresa came to visit and you snuggled with her easily.  You met Aunty Plume.  Aunt Jenn and cousins Olive and Cal just visited as well.  This last week, we celebrated Aunt Niki's 30th birthday with a dinner party at the house, and despite the noise, you slept through the entire thing!  I was so proud of you.

As you grow into being a human, I grow into being a mother.  Let's take baby steps, little one.  I don't want to miss anything.




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