Guess who is five months old?
(She is actually 5.5 months now, since I’ve been working on this post for two weeks!)
Seems like just yesterday, she was a wee baby in my belly!
She is our joy. Her smile makes me happier than I ever thought I could be. It has been a hard month, but also a glorious month. I think the hard and the glorious go hand in hand with this motherhood thing. But each day has gotten better, and now at 5.5 months I am amazed at all the new things she is doing every day!
Weight: She hasn’t been weighed since her four month appointment, but I’m guessing she is about 16-17 pounds. We are down to just a few size 2 diapers in the stockpile, which I’ve been using during the day when I don’t think she’ll have a blowout. Other than that, we are fully into the size 3 diapers. She still fits in most of her 3-6 month clothes but they are getting tight, and the 6-9 month fit pretty well. We will probably be switching over soon!
Eating: Breastfeeding is still going well. So well that she started refusing a bottle! I didn’t really factor in what a couple weeks of exclusive nursing would do to her bottle love, but during the last daddy daycare (I go into the office every other Friday), Tom texted to inform me that she was refusing to eat. He managed to get her to take one 4 oz bottle all day, and she was an angry girl by the time I got home. Last week, I started giving her a bottle in the evenings before bed, both to get her used to bottles again and because she is not great at nursing at that time. The first night, she took 1 oz, the second night 2 oz and the third night I went ahead and offered her 4 oz, which she took!
We haven’t started solids yet. I think I will wait until 6 months, and I still haven’t done any research to decide if we want to go the traditional route or try out Baby Led Weaning. I now have like two weeks to figure this out. Eeek! Slow down, baby!
Sleeping: In my last update, she was waking a lot at night. And that just kept getting worse. I started keeping a note of each wake up, since I tend to forget everything the next morning, and when I realized she had woken up 8 times during the night, I decided we needed to do something. So I stopped feeding her if it had been less than three hours, and I worked on only feeding her after naps during the day, in three hour intervals. That worked, and now, she is up every three hours. So… kind of like a newborn. Although as a newborn, she was almost sleeping through the night! But in all fairness, she’s up for a total of 5 minutes to eat, and it keeps me from having to pump or feel like I might explode in agony the next morning. My body is still regulating itself from a fairly significant oversupply issue (I’ve already donated 1000 oz. of breastmilk from the two months I spent exclusively pumping, and my freezer is filling again), so I don’t think I’m quite ready to go all night without nursing. And she is breastfeeding, which was no easy feat for us. I love breastfeeding her. So, I’m ok with it. I will work on eliminating some feedings or stretching them out, but for now, I will enjoy my sleepy bundle of a baby in the middle of the night. Because oh my goodness, what a precious sleepy bundle she is!
Another big sleep update is that we weaned from the swaddle and the rock-n-play! I didn’t think this would ever happen. This seems to be how I view all transitions; I’m sure we’ll never cross the hurdle, but then all of a sudden we do. Within a week of purchasing a zippadeezip sleep sack, she was sleeping fairly happily in her crib. We tried a few nights in the crib, but I ended up moving her next to our bed in the pack-n-play at night. It’s just easier with nursing, and I’m not quite ready to sleep separate from her yet! She naps in her crib during the day. Naps are still going fairly well, though it has been hard to push past 45 minutes (one sleep cycle for a baby). If I can get her past that hump, she will sleep to the 1.5-2 hour mark, so we are slowly getting better at that. One of the most helpful tips I have read is that babies shouldn’t be kept awake longer than 60-90 minutes, and that has been very true and extremely helpful for timing her naps. It keeps us on a schedule, but a more flexible and adaptable one, which works best for me!
I didn’t buy a lot of baby gear before she was born. Instead, I’ve purchased things for her after birth based on what I think she will like. So we do have a lot of baby gear now, but she loves pretty much all of it. She’s getting more interactive with the animals on her floor mat (and rolling around so well!), and she loves kicking in her bouncy seat. She still adores her swing, and she has started to get into her on-the-door jumper. And her grammy just bought her a rainforest jumperoo, which I’m pretty sure she will adore. When you work from home, none of these things feel like wasted money. Anything that makes her happy and smiley while I work is a win for me.
She doesn’t have many toys, but we took our first plane ride to Texas (she did great!) and my mom borrowed a ton of baby gear from a friend. She loved all the toys, so we will have to work on her toy collection!
For a few weeks, blowing raspberries was HER THING. I am not sure any baby has blown more bubbles than this kid. She would wake up in the middle of the night and blow spit bubbles over and over and over again. If she was crying she would take breaks for blowing bubbles. If she was happy, she would break from smiling to do it. She just recently stopped doing it as much and has taken up high pitched shrieking (not my favorite) and soft babbling (my very very favorite).
This girl adores her daddy so much. I love watching on the monitor when he goes into check on her, because her face immediately breaks into a grin. And though for awhile I felt like I was just the women who gave her milk, I can’t deny that she smiles for me more than anyone else. She loves all my silly songs, loves when I give her kisses, never cries when I change her, and the other night she caught me looking at her by the glow of the nightlight and broke in to the biggest grin. Oh, this girl. She is everything we ever hoped for.
As for me, well I am often overjoyed but also sometimes a mess. If she is happy, I am on top of the world. But if she is crying, I feel like life is over. She really only cries when overtired or fighting sleep, so sleep has been a huge part of my life lately. I feel the need to get it down perfectly, because I don’t want her to ever be sad. But the reality is that no matter what method of sleep training I choose, she will cry (lately, soothing her can have the unintended effect of making her cry more). So I fight with the anxiety over her cries or her potential cries. But then she is asleep, and I want to wake her up and hold her because I miss her. Or she pauses from her cries to grin at me, and everything falls back into place.
(Part of the reason this post has taken me so long to write is that I start working on it when she is asleep and all is right with the world, and then she wakes up 5 minutes later and won’t go back down and all of a sudden everything is horrible and I’m the worst mother ever. Oh, the illogical thoughts of sleep-depravity and postpartum anxiety.)
But really, she is just so awesome. It has been such an amazing year. We had a baby girl, Tom had a successful and life-changing surgery (more on that later if he lets me share about it, but I am just so ridiculously proud of him these days), I started working from home (which I LOVE)– things are just so wonderful. After so many years of heartache, we are living our redemption. And it is glorious.