Who am I? Being Mama 6 month update

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Although Baby T is now seven months old, I wanted to share with you the journey we have gone on together over the first six we've shared, and the particular highs and lows I've undergone as a first-time Mama.


As you'll know from my Arrival of Baby T post, Little R and I didn't get off to the best starts. We then had to go through the ordeal of her going back into hospital, her being tongue tied, me getting mastitis (you can watch my YouTube video about that here) and then finally, when it felt like we were entering some sort of normality, we decided to embark on a ton of building work and I went to my parents' house in another county for four weeks! All that being said, we have had some truly wonderful moments during these first six months. So here's an update of her first six months, and mine:




Weight: Little R has pretty much tracked along the 25th percentile, apart from a dip at around 5 months. At 4 months, she weighed 12lbs 12oz, 5 months she was 14lbs 2 oz, and by 6 months she weighed 15lbs 4ozs. By 6 months, she was still wearing aged 3 - 6 month clothes.


Eating: We started weaning at 5 months, when her weight dipped and she started fighting going to sleep/waking in the night. Until that point, she was exclusively breastfed. We have used Annabel Karmel's book New Complete Baby and Toddler Meal Planner (this edition, which was a gift from my sister!) to guide us through, although I have done a mix of puree's and baby-led weaning, as Little R's motor skills have been very good and she's been able to pick up, pass things between her hands, and get things in her mouth quite early. We started on single pureed vegetables first, moving onto combinations with fruit. I only introduced proteins (cheese, meat, eggs) at six months. Personally, I love the recipes in the book and have even cooked a few as dinners for my husband & I too!



Sleeping: Little R has always been resistant to sleep, right from the word go (although that was because she was hungry!) It's not uncommon for her to go through spells of fighting going to sleep for two hours at bedtime! However, we have always had a strict bedtime routine, which I think has always helped her. We tend to do her dinner at 5pm, then quiet time (reading, singing lullabies etc). Bath at 6pm, perhaps another story and then milk feed and bed. She has never slept in our bed, and either naps in her cot or in the pram if we're out / walking the dog. She started sleeping through the night at about 11 weeks. We had been putting her to bed around 7pm, without a 10pm feed, but by 20 weeks she had been waking up again for feeds, so we started weaning. She usually sleeps through until between 5.30am - 7.30am.


From about four and a half/five months, she would nap after every hour and half to two hours. Her naps last no more than 40 minutes. I feel like I've got my cleaning down to a streamlined art!


She stayed in her cot in our bedroom until she turned six months. Honestly, I didn't want to move her into her own room, but I knew it was the right thing for her. I had been staying at my parents while our new kitchen was fitted, so it seemed right that when I came home, we moved her cot into her own bedroom and so it was just 'another change' like it had been while we were away. (I cried my eyes out!)


Milestones
  • Her first real smile was at six weeks - at Daddy :)
  • She first reached for a toy at 11 weeks - and that was also when she first rolled over.
  • At 15 weeks, she did her first proper laugh, when we were both looking in the mirror and I was pulling silly faces. Looking in the mirror is one of her favourite things to do still haha
  • We took her for her first swimming lesson at 19 weeks, which were with Water Babies - this is when she did her first underwater swim (and I nearly vomitted in the pool, I found it so scary!)
  • She cut her first tooth at 20 weeks, quickly followed by her second (her two middle lower teeth). Since then, she has gone through spells of extreme dribbling but as of yet, no other teeth have popped through!
  • She first sat up at 22 weeks and by 24 weeks she could sit up unsupported (although occasionally topples, so were using cushion barriers!) 
  • As of about 20/21 weeks, she likes to blow raspberries CONSTANTLY! It was cute, until she started enjoying the sound it makes when she has food in her mouth (or when she's having milk!) Yeuch.
  • She made her first 'mama' noise around 24/25 weeks. She has 'said' mama a number of times, but I don't think she has yet associated it with me as there's only been one time where she's held my eye contact and just said 'mama' instead of 'mamamamama'. (Sorry Dada!)
  • She loves music and singing and if I'm holding her singing to her, she thrashes her legs about and wiggles her butt haha
  • We took her on her first family holiday at 25 weeks - to Centre Parcs. It was fantastic as we had both mine and my husband's parents and sisters with us.
  • Finally, we held a Humanist Naming Ceremony for her at the end of July - but I plan on writing another post on this specifically.
Baby's first fancy dress outfit

And Mama?

Apart from taking Little R swimming once a week, I haven't done any formal exercise - apart from walking the dog. I am back to my pre-baby weight now, although my shape is different, but I am still breastfeeding. I did have to see my GP to check I didn't have diastasis, since I've had a really sore back these past six months (I don't, thank goodness!) but I'm hoping to start up yoga again to strengthen my core and improve my flexibility, which I feel took a knock thanks to pregnancy.

February 2016 - 2 months postpartum
Nothing can prepare you for having a baby, although I used to think that having a dog has always strengthened mine and Mark's 'team spirit', so we're used to working together and making joint decisions about someone other than ourselves. That being said, there have still been times where one of us feels like 'I know best!', so there have been a couple of disagreements, mainly thanks to sleep deprivation. 



June 2016 - 6 months postpartum
The one thing I didn't anticipate was the constant dull tug of worry that is always there, and I mean always, it's even in my dreams! I was an anxious person before my baby was born, but since she arrived the worrying has taken on epic proportions. I worry when she's asleep; I worry when she's not asleep and she should be asleep. I worry about her feeding - if she's had enough or too much or if I've left it too long between feeds. And even in the times when she's quite happy, contented, perhaps sitting playing or laughing, I can't stop myself thinking those dark thoughts that must haunt every parent - what if she dies? That worry, I'm sure, will live with me until the day I die, along with the constant fear over whether or not something bad is going to happen to her. I'm sure every new parent feels exactly the same, they probably just don't show it! I'm learning to manage it though, as I don't want it to affect the things we do together, or for me to wrap her in cottonwool so she doesn't lead the full life I want for her.

There have been certain milestones along the way where I've felt like myself again, or as close to the person I used to be before Baby T arrived. The first one, was the day I took a shower and didn't think I could hear her crying haha. I think she was about 3 and a half months old. The next was probably the time I went to the shop to buy milk, without the pram (she was 5 months old!) although it freaked me out to think people could look at me and not see 'Mama' plastered over my forehead. Most recently, I managed to not just start, but finish a sewing project for a friend, which was lovely. However, all that being said, there's no money in the world that would make me go back to being the person I was before she arrived. She brings out the very best in who I am and I hope that as her Mama, I can bring out the very best in who she is too.


x


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