It’s hard to believe but six months and a day have passed since baby N entered this world. Six. Whole. Months. It’s been a ride, that’s for sure! From those heady newborn days where I literally didn’t think I could make it through another day, to the heartbreaking inability to breastfeed, but then to all the fun times, the smiles, the laughs, his two new teeth, the Aqua Babies classes, all of the firsts, to his little face when he wakes up in the morning so happy to see me and the fits of laughter he has when Lucy cat does something stupid.
I’ve never felt so many emotions.
I’ve never been so tired. Constantly.
I’ve never felt so useless and incompetent, but then the next day I may feel like a super mamma.
I still cannot believe we flew to Australia and back. Holy shit! (I wouldn’t do it again)
But he’s beautiful and ever-changing and he’s the product of my husband and I. Perhaps he wasn’t created in a moment of passion (and I do try not to think about what my husband was thinking of when he made his “contribution”) but he was created with so much hope and persistence and determination. Perhaps that counts equally or even more so.
Now baby N has a little personality, a sunny disposition, a preference for some toys over others. He’s not keen on avocado but seems to like everything else I feed him and makes “Mmmmm” noises of gratitude and satisfaction when I feed him. He has had his first time on a swing (loved it).
Most recently I’ve been worried that he’s not rolling over, especially with all the dramas of his wonky neck and flat head, but the baby physio has said that his delay in this stage is most likely down to his large size. He’s now the height and weight of perhaps an average 8 month old baby and it’s hard to shift that much body when you’re only 6 months old. Despite this, he is strong and loves to sit upright, albeit supported as he cannot yet sit up unaided.
I’ve also been suffering majorly with his inability to self-soothe at night. This means that every time he comes out of a sleep cycle – roughly 8-10 times a night – he wakes up and needs comforting in the form of his dummy/pacifier replaced and sometimes some reassurance from me. This means that I wake up roughly every hour. Every night. To say it is killing me is an understatement. It’s like the newborn days all over. One of my baby apps helpfully said not to worry as babies usually start sleeping better at one year old. THAT IS SIX MONTHS AWAY, PEOPLE!! I did not think kind thoughts towards the person that wrote that for the app!
The advice from the experts is that the baby needs to be put down to bed awake so that he puts himself to sleep and when he wakes up again he will know how to put himself back to sleep. So I’ve got half of that right as baby N can now go to sleep by himself, but ONLY with a dummy in his mouth. Of course he spits that out while he’s sleeping so when he wakes up he freaks out about it and I have to put it back in. So the next thing to teach him is how to sleep without a dummy.
I am now cursing myself for giving him a dummy in the first place. Mummies with new babies take note!!
It looks like I will be heading back to work on 1 February, although I’ve managed to agree part time work with my employer which is nice. I have mixed feelings about this. I would prefer to be in a country with longer maternity leave, here it is only 4 months long but I took some unpaid leave to extend my time. I know that it’s even worse in the US so I have full respect to the mammas there that have to go back to work when baby is 6 weeks old or younger (I don’t know how you do it).
The good part about going back to work is that I know that my baby will be staying with someone who loves him. He will be looked after by my husband’s parents’ maid in a kind of nanny situation (maids are very common here and she is very well looked after and doesn’t want to leave), who absolutely adores him like he’s her own and his little face lights up whenever he sees her. He will be thoroughly spoiled when he is with her. As he will be at his grandparents’ house he will be comfortable and not in a group situation which often leads to more frequent illnesses. Not that this is a bad option either, but I am fortunate enough to have an alternative.
Already I’ve been taking him to her three days a week for a few hours at a time. I have loved my baby-free time as it has allowed me to go to the gym and yoga and do odd jobs like visit the grocery store without a baby in tow (a real treat). That will soon be replaced by work and so bye bye mummy’s personal time I guess, but hello using my brain again. I hope that the balance of work and baby will work out although I’m sure it will take some getting used to as well. Expect some kind of post mid-February where I’m freaking out.
Until then, here’s the small guy enjoying all the pleasures life has to offer.