Today our usually happy, big open mouthed slobbery kiss giving, perpetually on the verge of surely teething, I want to chew EVERYTHING (except for food) baby is HALF A YEAR OLD.
My goodness the days have sometimes dragged but the weeks and months have certainly flown by!
Over all I am just besotted with our very own little human and consider myself ridiculously privileged to get to look after her. There are of course times where I feel like I am going completely crazy and she can (like any baby I guess) be a whining pain! I feel extremely frustrated when she won't go down for a sleep or murmurs again in her cot before I've even got back into bed. Most of my annoyances are sleep related (like most parents I'm sure). Some self inflicted too. Like the fact that my little princess is again only falling asleep when we are at home if she is being breast fed. Mostly its ok - but sometimes it drives me CRAZY. And it means that if we need her to sleep without me there - she needs to be pushed around in her buggy until she drops off. We really need to try and do the whole controlled crying thing again - where she learns to put herself to sleep without needing to suck. It worked a few months ago, although the crying is totally heart breaking. (Even though we did the gentle version where we lean over the cot to comfort her and just don't lift her up until she has fallen asleep.) The self soothing was working pretty well for a while but things slowly started going downhill again when my Mum and sister were here as they HATED her crying as she tried to soothe herself to sleep and so we went back to the less traumatic route of boob to sleep and mostly it works ok. It does also mean that if she wakes up at night it's only me that can get her back to sleep again...
I find watching her development fascinating. The paediatric physio in me is pretty obsessed with watching how she moves and how motivated and intrinsically driven she is to gain control of her body. I am a huge fan of crawling and tummy time and have always encouraged her to do tummy time, but Poppy has also been naturally strong physically since she was born. She has also been fortunate to not be hindered by any reflux so has been pretty happy to go along with daily time on her belly. She learned to sit up on her own quite early (at 4.5 months) and is currently desperate to crawl. She can get herself into 4 point kneeling from sitting but collapses onto her belly when trying to move forwards. I don't think she is going to commando crawl first, I think she will go straight into 4 point kneeling. Part of me is NOT at all ready for her to be on the move (we need to toddler proof and remove cables and wine bottles and things), but the other part of me can't wait to not have to lift her up from whining and shouting on her belly back into sitting 40 times every half an hour.
Her little personality is also really developing and she has recently started saying Ma -Ma which Pete and I just LOVE. And making her giggle at loud kisses or flying through the air or being held upside down is just the best!
I am still breast feeding and she is yet to have any formula. I had hoped to be able breastfeed and other than two episodes of mastitis and the most horrendous abscess (that needed lancing by a surgeon) and produced more pus than I though humanly possible; I have been really lucky with breastfeeding. Good supply etc and after the above issues and initial pain when latching on cracked and bleeding nipples I have found it really enjoyable. There is something pretty amazing in the fact that the baby that I grew inside of me is now being sustained solely by my body? That may sound weird.
She now takes the bottle quite happily and so I leave her bottles of expressed breast milk when I need to go out and I have quite a stash of frozen breast milk in the freezer for when I start working again part time next week. I plan to try and feed her until she is a year old, but recently it's like trying to feed an energetic monkey. She turns her head at the slightest sound and before I know it she is side planking to try and look at something totally insignificant and is being sprayed on the face or in the ear with a stream of milk. Oh yes it is very glamorous! She has also started launching herself at her milk source with surprising accuracy. A few days ago she spotted me doing my bra up (after once again losing interest in feeding and sitting herself up) and promptly threw herself from about 20 cms away directly onto my nipple!
I thought that Poppy was going to LOVE starting solids, but so far she really isn't very interested at all. Purees she can't stand and purses her lips and turns her head away from the spoon, as my heart slowly sinks at the thought of all the frozen portions I have so lovingly made and stored that she refuses to even try and taste. She will nibble on steamed broccoli and bits of toast or rice cake though -so we are going to soldier forwards with the finger foods for now...
My body is slowly starting to feel more like my own. I gained SO much weight in my pregnancy (26 kgs!) and I'm still struggling with losing the last couple of kilograms. I also just still feel generally weak and out of shape. I've been for 2 runs in the past week and have been doing yoga at home a few times a week recently so hopefully I will get there soon.
The thought of going back to work part time next week makes me feel really guilty at leaving her but I'm also looking forward to working with the amazing children with special needs that I treat. I've seen the occasional patient over the past few weeks but next week I start for real. Venturing into the world of childcare options for your own child the first time is pretty harrowing. We have managed to find a lovely nanny to take care of Pops while I'm working as the thought of having her in nursery before she can move around independently just breaks my heart. When she is a little bigger we will definitely consider it though as I'm sure she will enjoy the interaction with other kids.
This has been pretty rambling but I find reading other peoples commentary on Motherhood quite interesting so if you are still reading this thank you and WELL DONE!
I really should re read and edit this but Pete has been entertaining her while I write this and I think I need to go and give him a break! So my sincere apologies for any typos or poor grammar.
I post regularly on Instagram and on my Berry Diaries Facebook page so if you have any interest in seeing multiple selfies of Poppy and I or chatting or commenting there please do! (I have turned comments off here as I find it easier to remember (usually) to reply on instagram and Facebook. ) Talking of remembering - my goodness I could write a whole blog post on what pregnancy and caring for a baby do to your brain...