Friday, March 14, 2014

6 Month Retrospection

Unbelievable, but Emily is now 6 months old. What happened to the time!? When I think back, there are moments when time was just inching along and it was going to be forever until bedtime. Then there are moments where I can't believe a week whizzed by and I'm not sure what I did in that time.

Whenever I have a moment to myself (it actually happens now!), I sometimes think back to how we have grown individually and as a family.

So here it is, a look back to the last 6 months

My 6-month old! ;.;

When people say that the first 4 months of a baby's life is the hardest, they weren't lying. There is a list of unpleasantness that goes with their first few months of life.

  • Absolutely no sleep. Like, none. Aside from the baby waking all the time to feed and trying to put them to sleep, when they do sleep you are too paranoid to sleep. I am also not a napper so I couldn't nap when baby napped. I tried, but it didn't work.
  • Breastfeeding. The frustration, angry tears and overall unhappiness from all parties. Baby is crying because she's hungry, I'm crying because I feel inadequate, and David is frustrated because what he could do was very limited. Not to mention the sore nipples, engorgement and uncertainty if your baby is getting enough.
  • Scheduling. Babies run on their own schedule and it can change in an instant. The second we thought we got her figured out, she decided to change things up. It was so hard to plan anything.
  • Health. Babies go through weird things in their first few months. And even though I read up on them, I still couldn't help but wonder if she was alright. In general, she was fine. But I had to calm myself by doing a ton of reading so I didn't freak out with every little thing.
  • Mental State. Not only do you have to concern yourself with the above, but your mind is always in a worried state. As much as I tried, I would have moments where I would worry if she was getting enough sleep, getting enough to eat, and having enough brain stimulation (say in Kara's voice, and if you know this reference you're me best friend). Then I would worry about myself and/or David because we were both so stressed and tired.

One, there are amazing things that happen during the first 4 months that will make it all worth it, like baby's first smile. Two, it will pass. Really. At 4 months, it seemed like there was a distinct "click". All of a sudden things became easier and more manageable.

Don't worry!

Happiness to look forward to:
  • Baby milestones. Each time Emily learns a new skill, my heart is bursting. I just about died with she first smiled. I really did die when she first smiled AT me. And I was super excited when she lifted her head and started babbling. It is absolutely amazing watching her grow because it is so noticeable. Every day she is a different baby and I am thankful that I get to be there to see it all.
  • Sleep. Baby's stomach is getting bigger so they will be able to take in more food which means they will sleep a tad longer. If you are comfortable, you can also start sleep training now. It won't fix every sleep problem, but in general it will help a lot. Baby learns routine and how to fall asleep on their own which means you get your sleep back. Just be patient and a stick with it.
  • Breastfeeding. Emily and I have breastfeeding down. All that hard work really paid off and she is drinking milk like a champ. Also, she takes less time to take in her milk. It used to take her an hour to feed and now it takes her, on average, 20 minutes. Now there is a distinct break between feed so you can actually get stuff done or play with the baby!
  • Scheduling. If you have been trying to keep your baby on a schedule as best you can since the beginning, then she will fall into a schedule that you can expect. Obviously, there are a whole bunch of factors that will keep you from keeping a schedule but try your best. Don't be rigid and be flexible. I tried to stick with a general schedule once we brought Emily home and I really believe that it helped her find her rhythm. It's so nice to know what to expect.
  • Health. I think I've leveled out to a normal worry when it comes to her health. She's already had several colds, pink eye and ear infection (yay daycare) and we made it through. As long as I keep an eye on her when she shows signs of unusual behavior, I think I'm good. It's the first step to determine if she's sick or not. There's no point in worrying when she's healthy.
  • Mental State. This is probably the one place that really didn't let up. Haha. Since I work as well, I'm trying to keep everything running well. Some of the housekeeping has been ignored but, for the most part, things have been going alright. And I have learned to let things go if it doesn't work out. It has definitely helped me relax.
There is a subtle theme to some of these points. Hard work. I know we wouldn't be where we are if David and I didn't work at being new parents. It's hard and short tempers have flared, but we both know that if we don't work at taking care of Emily, we would all be a mess. We make sure we are on the same page and we work as a team to make sure Emily has everything she needs and is happy. And there are more things you learn about your spouse during this period. As hard as it is, enjoy the moments with each other with and without baby.

We were very lucky that Emily is such a good baby. She isn't incredibly fussy and is generally a happy baby. But, there are days where it would be hard and she's not so happy. Sometime for no reason. These are days when I feel awful and want to cry, but then I tell myself that it is normal and it will pass. Tell yourself that.

As frustrating as it is, it will pass and things will be normal again.
Just continue loving your baby.

Any other sage words of advice?

1 comment:

  1. You are wonderful parents with a wonderful baby. Enjoy!