On my own (sort of)

MamaLee had jetted of to Pittsburgh to meet our sweet 4 – week – old niece and help out a bit in these early, special days. So until July 5th it’s just me, Darwin, and it menagerie. Except that we spent yesterday with my parents, and lunch and dinner today with them. And my mom is watching Darwin while I work this week. And Tuesday we’re going to a baseball game with friends. And Wednesday friends are bringing us dinner and adult conversation. And Thursday other friends. And Friday friends for first Friday dinner. And then the fourth with friends and my parents. So. I guess not really alone after all.

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Oh yes. And we’re up to official crawling, climbing, cruising, and attempting to balance with no hands. Bit of a week!

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The bitter and the sweet

This week we celebrate the extension of marriage equality to same sex partners. It also saw a terrorist attack that resulted in the death of 9 Black people in a church. We must celebrate our victories and mourn our losses, and tomorrow we continue by picking up the torch and carrying on.

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Bedtime or, lessons in patience

I’ve been thinking about how important it has been for my state of mind to know that other people have an understanding of some of the same things I’m going through that are so very hard, so this is what’s hard right now for me.

When Darwin was a young infant she regularly nursed to sleep or would fall asleep within 5 minutes with a little walk and/or bouncing. Sometimes (maybe 3 or 4 times) she actually fell asleep while laying on the bed. That miraculous event has not happened since she was around 4 or 5 months old. I tried to foster it, putting her down when she would start to get really slept. But it only takes that not working a couple of times to create a stress response in a sleep deprived parent at the mere thought of the screams that may erupt if the little tyke decides that they’re not actually quite as tired as all that thankyouverymuchnowpickmeup!

There are still nights where she goes to sleep while nursing (few and far between) or after a few minutes of bouncing (a little less few and closer together), but now the majority of our nights are pushing an hour or more before her breathing deepens, steadies, and her feet stop trying to burrow tunnels into my side.

I realized this morning that it has been around a year since I last slept longer than 5 hours consecutively. And I can count the number of times I have slept longer than 4 hours consecutively on one hand. There are moments, after an hour of rocking and bouncing and nursing, constantly stopping her from putting her (long-nailed since she won’t let me cut them currently) fingers up my nose, in my mouth, or in my ears when all I want to do is put her in the (never slept in) pack’n’play and walk away. And there are times when I do, for a few minutes, to gather myself, regroup, and start again.

Bedtime. Bedtime is my hard right now. And it’s okay because I know that Darwin will grow and develop and not need to nurse at night anymore, and some day I will be able to put her to bed and read a story, sing a song and turn on the nightlight and there will be no bouncing or rocking, no nursing or swaddles. There will be other things that are hard and other things that make me glow with pride. Like when she figured out how to sit up on her own last week. Or when she started really crawling. Or when she discovered the joy of blowing raspberries on my belly.

If you feel so moved, I’d love to hear what your hard is right now, and perhaps some of the joys that make it worth it.

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Morning walks

We are a one car family, both by choice and by the fact that we couldn’t afford two cars if we wanted them. Since Leah works at 8 am this means that if I need the car at any point before she gets off work, Darwin and I drive her in, only about a 15 commute with traffic. Often we don’t have anything planned until later in the morning so I’ll often end up finding a place to get a cup of coffee or take a short walk. Darwin enjoys a morning nap while being worn. There is nothing better than a hike with a baby snuggled into you.

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8:43 am

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8:45 am

40 + 2 out

I don’t know how that happened so fast, but suddenly it was June 19th and Darwin has been on the outside as long as she was on the inside (now longer!)

I had intended to get pictures and write this post two days ago, but best laid plans when you have a 9 month old! I don’t have any pictures of me standing after about 38 weeks, so this is the best belly shot while I was in labor. Between contractions.
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And here’s my bump 40 weeks plus 4 days later (only 2 days late!)
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Breastfeeding has been brutal. Combined we’re still about 13 lbs shy of my pregnancy high of 152 lbs…

9 months

Today my little bugaboo is 9 months old. I spent her morning nap packing up clothes that no longer fit and unpacking the next set of T-shirts, pants, and onesies. Mostly 18 month clothes now. I wish baby clothes were sized by weight rather than age.

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9 months old in a slick new shirt

This week saw bedtime move to 10pm briefly, then back to 7:30 or 8pm. And another tooth has broken through! We’re up to 7 now. So far all her teeth have shown up in exactly the standard order, so I expect the next will be on the right bottom. We shall see.

In keeping with meeting milestones on months, today Darwin crawled on her hands and knees for the first time. She was playing with a bottle and it rolled away from her. She made her move, grabbed the bottle, and sat back down. She did it again this afternoon for MamaLee going after a book. And just like that we have an actually mobile baby.

The slow movement toward actual mobility has been, with the exception of teething, the most difficult part of parenthood so far. Darwin has learned to whine and utilizes this skill any time she is not moving quickly enough for her liking. I was hoping that was still a few months away. Happily, she is simultaneously gaining a sense of humor. She thinks the dog carrying toys around is hilarious. Flying from one mama to the other is cause for great laughter. Splashing in water is also very, very funny.

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Food has become a normal part of every day now. Darwin likes variety and for the most part had eaten everything we have put in front of her. Current favorites are plums, bread, beans, puffs, and cucumbers. Oh, and olives. She loves olives. I was totally overwhelmed by feeding sola at first but I’ve come to enjoy it. Darwin gets so excited by new things that I couldn’t be stressed about it if I wanted to.

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I’m still breastfeeding and intend to as long as Darwin wants to. She’ll go up to 5 hours sometimes when we’re or and about without nursing, but when we’re home it’s every 2 or 3 hours. Overnight she’ll nurse two or three times and we both practically sleep through it now. I’m also pumping for another mama who’s with our midwife (I think this is number 8 or 9) who just doesn’t make enough milk for her baby. Pumping an extra 30 ounces a week feels like nothing when I pass it over but it’s a lot of washing pump equipment! I’m curious as to how long I’ll be able to keep this up. Maybe I’ll just keep pumping until we have another baby in the house. Whenever that ends up being.

Anyway, I’m rambling now so clearly it’s time to hit the sack. 9 months. What a trip.

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