Musings of a Mum: 5 months

November 30, 2012 Candace Morris 1 Comments

Dearest Baby Girl,
5 months old!? I remember that the first (well, all) months of pregnancy felt like I was watching a slow motion film of my life.  The last five have been like a frenetic Madonna video, as I seek to grasp and hold and let go and be flexible and have fun.

After 8 years of waiting to have a baby, then the last 2 years which contained finally agreeing that we wanted to start trying, the actually trying, then the pregnancy, delivery, and newborn stage, I can say that we are finally really enjoying this part.  This, THIS is what we signed up for...the nudging, guiding, and ultimately watching of a human being of our own DNA becoming aware.  We get to show you how we've most enjoyed this planet and existence, and then you will in turn show us.   Every time I get to pick you up after a nap, and you smile with delight, I feel so lucky, so deeply satisfied. We adore you, star.

And aware you are becoming.  I see it most in the moments where you realize that there is a person connected to those feed bags you greedily suckle.  You pull off, surprised to hear my voice.  You lock eyes with me and that moment, that single moment, is worth a lifetime of waiting for.  Your eyes burrow into my being, seeing me for exactly as I am to you (which is a strange notion to me in itself.  You will never know me outside of Mum.  That I existed before you, had love affairs, used to sing in public,  was sassy to my own mother, once didn't know how to drive a car or doubted I would ever find love - the Candace outside of you will never exist in your mind).  But your eyes, judge-y though they be, are kind.  You are soft, patient, observant, and spirited.

You have been consistently cooing, making vowel sounds and pursing your lips.  It is in the last few weeks that those coos have sounded expressive, voiced as a reaction to your world, which is ever-increasing.  Sometimes, as you comfort yourself to sleep, I swear your complaints sound like words.  'Moooommmyyy!' Ouch.  You are newly interested in toys you seemed oblivious to last month. Your favorite is this atomic toy that is easy to hold.  You also love the play key-ring at Grandma Jean's house. You still seem very easy-going, if not a bit short-tempered, but always easy to console...and easy to read. 

You still love the monkey on the playbar above your seat, but you've awakened to the hippo and the lion as well.  You've realized that your flails can manipulate the entire contraption, and this brings you great wonder and joy.  This also brings me the great challenge of trying to keep socks on your active feet as you kick and kick and kick.

You have only just begun to show the slightest preference for me above others, and only in that you follow me intently as I move about.  You now know when I leave the room after putting you down for naps, and sometimes this makes you upset indeed.  However, you get over it very quickly and suck your thumb loudly for comfort as I stand outside the room, door closed. I am always listening, my star.  For a few precious years, your Dad and I are your safety net.

Was my mother always on the other side of the door? 

I have one word.
(It's okay. Moms don't need to sleep anyway).

You are still "technically" sleeping through the night on your best nights, but not for the glorious 12 hours as you were before.  Instead, you now like to get up around midnight.  I used to use this as a feeding, but when I realized you were getting more than enough nutrition during the day and that you were most likely waking out of habit than hunger, I decided to try simply picking you up and helping rock you back to sleep,  but not to sit down in our nursing chair so that you wouldn't assume food was coming.  Success!  You have taken to falling asleep quickly in my arms.  Hopefully, in the next few weeks, we will cut that wake time entirely.

One of the reasons for the regression was vaccinations.  I think the last round of immunizations really stuffed you up, and this prevented you from self-soothing with your thumb.  It was so pathetic, nothing is more sad than a sick baby.  We scooped you up and tried to help you sleep upright.

This month we also focused on your sleep at Grandma Jean's house.  You are getting better and better at going down awake and sleeping longer than an hour.  At home, no problem.  But I don't blame you; it's always hard to sleep at someone else's house.  You did sleep well when you spent the weekend there, so perhaps that was just what you needed...time to adjust.

Your schedule becomes looser and looser as far as actual time of day that things occur.  However, we are consistently performing the same actions in the same sequence, and I believe that your ability to predict our routine is one reason you are easy-going.  You know when you will be fed next, you know that your nap comes after an hour or so of playing.  I have been able to increase our 3-hour cycle to 4-hours on occasion, and I've also begun to cluster feed before bedtime to ensure those calories will keep you all full through the night.  You sleep awesomely in the morning, but your naps are shorter and shorter as the day goes on.  I've also experimented with keeping you up longer than an hour at a time, but if I miss that window, it's hard to get you relaxed enough to sleep.  Momma's always watching - in a non-creepy way, of course.

7am: Wake, feed, infant seat activity time
8am: Nap
10am: Wake, feed, get dressed for day, play-mat for activity time
11am: Nap
12:30pm: Wake, feed, play-mat or swing, maybe a walk or run errands for activity time
1:30pm: Nap
2:30pm: Wake, feed, lay on bed or sit in seat and talk to Momma as she cleans your room
3:30pm: Nap
4:30pm: Wake, feed, swing
5:30pm: Nap
6:30pm: Wake, feed, bath and pjs, lay on couch and play with Dad
7:30pm: Bed
8:00pm: Wine for Mom and Dad
12am: Wake for a cuddle
5am: Wake to feed, go right back to sleep

Two weeks ago, we began to supplement breast-milk with formula, as I will most likely wean in the next few weeks.  Nursing is a hot topic right now, and I am guessing it will be when you have children too.  I am so satisfied that I have been able to breastfeed you even this long, as I was assuming it would be more challenging than it is.  I love the closeness, but my body is telling me in various ways that it is time to move on, and while I could fight it with supplements and more nursing to bring back flow, I simply feel it is time to wean.  I suppose I mention this to remind myself more than anything. You have done great with the change, and have always taken a bottle easily anyway.  You have begun to show the slightest interest in Mom and Dad's food, following it with your eyes, which is a sign you might be ready to start interacting with solid food.  Just last night we gave you your first taste - which was a pureed banana.

The jury is still out.

The biggest development is the discovery and continued use of your hands and now feet and how both of those things can manipulate toys and grasp people's fingers and shirts.

You love to be held, but almost always facing out.  You can sit up with assistance, and prefer this position to reclining. You are assuming the position necessary to roll from back to front, and my guess is that it will happen soon.  You are continuing to drool and make a mess of all those pretty outfits, but I just let you wear a bib around the house most of the time.

You had developed a few patches of eczema on your legs, but the doctor said to be consistent with a moisturizer and since doing so, it is all but gone.

Dad and I both agree that as you grow, you are more and more resembling my side of the family.  I can see myself and my siblings in your countenance.  Your hair is getting slightly longer and becoming browner.

You seem to be right on target for your actual age.  You are small, but not for a preemie.  I have noticed a discernible growth in your length.

Most recent stats:
Weight: 15lbs 8oz
Length: 24 inches
Head circumference: 43 cm

November brought a few firsts for your busy social  life.  Dad when on a work trip, leaving us overnight.  I was nervous, and it was actually a really hard night since you had decided to stop sleeping through the night.  But we made it!  Then you meet your Aunt Jackie and cousins Mekenzie and Asher.

Mom and Dad then went away for their anniversary, and you spent 72 hours at Gma's house.  The anticipation of leaving you was actually much harder than the being away.  Every time I longed for you, I  knew you were loving your life with Grandma.  Dad and I really needed to reconnect, and I think your life will continue to be more and more enriched by us taking first priority with our marriage.  It is truly one of my greatest desires, for you to be raised in a house of domestic peace and see a healthy marriage - not a perfect one.  You will see us fight and bicker, but I believe those things can and should be done openly and with respect toward the other, just as we will respect you and help you learn to respect us, the earth upon which you were born, and all manner of people you will encounter.

So much love,

You Might Also Like