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Monday, February 21, 2011

Five Months


Where is the time going? My girl is five months old today, and it seems that the time is passing faster than ever.

Lily remains around the 50th percentile for weight and the 75th percentile for height. Lately she is looking so chunky to me, which I find completely adorable.
Here's a quick rundown of what she has been up to:

Eating - We are still breastfeeding. In the beginning when it came to nursing, I really didn't know how it would go, so I tried to set small, reasonable goals for myself along the way. First I just tried to get past those difficult first 3 weeks and then make it to 6 weeks. After that, the goal of 3 months was so much easier but still had its challenges. Now we're a month away from the 6 month mark, which was my "big goal." Anything beyond that to me is great and I'll consider it a bonus!
Lily nurses about every 4 hours during the day and wakes up to eat once during the night. Just today I decided to try feeding her rice cereal with a spoon. She has been giving several cues that she might be ready, so I gave it a shot today just to experiment. I thought she did pretty well with it. I think she may have swallowed a few bites! She certainly was interested, so I'll keep trying her out with it over the next few weeks as we get ready to introduce some other new foods like oatmeal, fruits, and vegetables. It feels like a whole new (kinda scary/intimidating) world.

Sleeping - Lily is doing very well with nighttime sleeping. She goes to bed around 9 PM and usually doesn't wake up until around 7 AM. Most mornings she will even go back to sleep for another hour or two after that first feeding. We are typically up for the day around 8:00, and on rare occasions, 9:00. Nap times aren't as easy, but it's going okay. I've learned to anticipate when she will be ready to nap so she doesn't get overly tired and cranky. Even then, though, sometimes she fights sleep so hard. On a good day, she will take about 3 naps, ranging from 1.5 hours to 2.5 hours at a time. I'm pretty happy with her "schedule" as it is now. It's not super rigid, which I guess is a good thing. One big thing I've learned in the past 5 months is that just when you get used to a baby's routine, they tend to throw you a curve ball or two. It certainly keeps me on my toes.
We are still putting her to bed in her bassinet in our bedroom. Soon we will have to transition her to her crib in her room, a thought which still makes my stomach hurt a little.


Milestones - In the past few weeks Lily has picked up a few new skills. She now grabs her feet just about every time she's on her back. She hasn't put them in her mouth yet, but I'm sure that's coming. She has recently mastered rolling from her back to her tummy. It's cute to watch her practice this new trick, but it has made her play time a bit frustrating for her. She gets tired of being on her tummy and can't always figure out how to roll back over, so I usually have to go rescue her after a while.

Playing - Lily does enjoy her time playing on a blanket on the floor. Her favorite toys right now are her Links, soft blocks, her Baby Einstein piano, and picture books. She continues to love it when I sing to her, and her favorite songs are the ABC song (she smiles every single time), and The Wheels on the Bus, which works pretty well when she is fussy and needs settling down. Some days I am flat out exhausted from singing all day long!


This is what my days are like with this sweet, growing 5 month old. I'm finding that parenting is one of the most challenging yet rewarding things I've ever done. Taking care of a little one every day is more hard work and more of an adjustment that I'd ever imagined, but it fills my days with more smiles and love and joy than I'd ever hoped for.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Love


This baby girl has won my heart.

I'm enamored with her. Besotted. Smitten. I'm totally twitterpated.

I love nursing her during the night/early morning. She is drowsy but very hungry, and after about a half hour of eating she has fallen back into a deep sleep. I lift her swaddled body up to my chest, her head on my shoulder, to try and burp her before putting her back to bed. This is really the only time she lets me hold her this way now that she is older. If she is facing the right way I can feel her breath on my neck while I rock her and pat her back. Even though I'm tired, I usually sit for a few extra minutes because I'm not ready to let go of her.

I love waking up to the sound of her voice and peeking over the side of her bassinet to find her playing happily. When her eyes meet mine, she squeals with delight and, first thing in the morning, before I even get out of bed, it makes my day. I unwrap her and her spring-loaded arms immediately stretch out above her head. After a good stretch, her hands go directly in her mouth. Some mornings I scoop her up and put her next to me in my bed so we can snuggle for a few minutes. She reaches out and touches my face while I talk to her and my heart overflows.

I love taking her into her room for the first diaper change of the day. The sun is particularly bright in there, and it takes her a minute to adjust her eyes to the light streaming in through the window above her changing table. I talk to her about the day: what the weather is like; what we might be doing that day. Sometimes I change her clothes, but some days we stay in our pajamas all day.

I love how she looks toward the door when she hears the sound of her daddy coming home for lunch. Ever since she first learned to smile, her face lights up when she sees him. This baby girl loves her daddy. I love the sounds of laughter coming from her room while he changes her diaper. I love sitting at the table, all three of us, for lunch and dinner. Lily is usually up on the table in her Bumbo seat or sitting in Daddy's lap while we eat. She enjoys watching us put food in our mouths and I wonder what kinds of foods she will like or dislike one day. In a matter of weeks she will try rice cereal for the first time, and fruits and vegetables won't be far behind. I can't believe how quickly she is growing up.

I love our quiet times during the day when it's time for her to eat. We get settled in the big, roomy chair in the living room and she nurses while I read a book or watch TV. My favorite part is her hands, which are never still. She rubs them on my arm, grasps my fingers, tugs at my shirt. They are chubby and dimpled and oh-so-sweet.

I love discovering her ticklish spots. Sometimes when I gently run my finger along the bottom of her chin or lightly touch anywhere around her neck, it cracks her up. She usually hates having her nose cleaned, but it occasionally makes her giggle. Lately her sides and tummy have become ticklish as well. I love blowing raspberries on her soft skin and watching her eyelids flutter. Her laughter is music to my ears.

I love kissing her plump cheeks and her drooly chin. I absolutely adore the smell of her breath. The other day I compared it to a fresh bag of candy corn. It smells like pure sugar, and I can't get enough of it!

I love getting her ready for bed. She has always adored bath time. I let the soapy water out of her tub and fill it up again with clean, warm water just so she can play for a few extra minutes. I love the smell of her nighttime lotion and the way that her hair is all fuzzy after it's been towel-dried. I love wrapping her up and rocking her to sleep at bedtime. I love the way she gazes up at me while I tell her a story and sing songs. I get completely lost in her big, dark eyes that are not quite brown and not quite green.

And I love watching her drift off to sleep, knowing that in about ten hours we'll do it all over again.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Longing Fulfilled

After much consideration, I've decided to change my blog up a little. My hubby has been helping me create a new header and change the template, but the most important change is the title. I will still be sharing my thoughts about how infertility and miscarriage have affected my life; that's why I started a blog in the first place. My perspective has changed a bit now that my life has changed a great deal. I wanted to rename the blog to reflect that, using a favorite Bible verse:

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life." Proverbs 13:12


Miscarriage brought about a lot of changes in my life -- in who I am and how I relate to others, and in many other ways. It was my "hope deferred." All I ever wanted to do with my life was to be a wife and mother. It became very healing to write about my experience, but I wish that I had started blogging about it much earlier than I did. By the time I started blogging in 2008, I had lost six babies and, while I certainly wasn't alone thanks to my family and a few very supportive friends, I had been through recurrent pregnancy loss without having people around me who could truly understand what it felt like. My heart was sick, to say the least. I didn't know what else to do except to finally open up and write about it. I didn't know if anyone would ever read what I wrote, but it felt great just to get it all out.

The past few years have brought with them great healing for me. Blogging has been part of that. Having the opportunity to have a successful pregnancy was definitely a huge part of it. Bringing home a living, healthy, beautiful baby after so much pain and loss, after so many years of hoping, has been my longing fulfilled. Lily has changed my life and my heart. She is the answer to so many prayers. Every single day that I get to wake up and be her mother is an incredible blessing to me. It's something I don't take for granted. And I know I say this often, but I can't forget about the babies that I lost. I don't want to forget about them. They didn't live or grow for very long inside my body, but they certainly did in my heart. They were loved and they were wanted and we will always feel their absence. I believe that one day we will see them again, although I have no idea what it will look like or feel like when that happens. But it makes me look forward to heaven even more.

So, this is the same book, I guess, but a different chapter. It's still part of my story, and I'm very grateful to those of you who read it.