Saturday, March 7, 2009

The First Six Months with the Little Monster

Sleeping on mommy
(pictured above: master manipulator)
It has been six months since I gave birth to the little monster. Yes, he is a little monster but a friendly sesame street monster. A cross between Cookie Monster and Oscar the Grouch. The dynamic of our household has changed and adjustments have been made to accommodate the little guy. One thing I realized is that even with all the birthing classes and advice, it never prepares you for the real thing. Sure it helps to be informed, but what better way to learn something new than to dive right in. Plus the nurse informed us it would take a lot to break him, so no worries. Here is an overview of the last six months:

1.) Nursing
It took awhile to get use to the engorgement and the let downs. But in time, I developed a rhythm. I'm still nursing and will continue until he is two years of age. It hasn't been the easiest journey. It takes a lot of dedication to stick with nursing and it's not for everyone. There have been times where I just wanted to give up during my 3am pump session and go solely with formula. Here is a blog I stumbled upon that keeps me focused: Give in to the "F" word

Whatever you do, get to know your nurses and thank them every time. They sure did help and gave great advice on nursing. Oh, and be careful about being consulted by a "lactation nazi" as my pediatrician referred to her. She wanted us to restrict our sons feeding to only 1oz. But he was taking in 3oz. of milk. If the advice seems too strict for you and your baby, go with whatever works for you.

2.) Weight
Two months after the birth, I lost 30lbs. I went from 185lbs to 155lbs which isn't quite a good thing or a bad thing. Breastfeeding and daily walks have helped or it could be the sleep deprivation & lack of eating. Gradually within the next year or so, my goal is to lose 20lbs with healthy eating and exercise. I came to the realization that my body has gone through a dramatic change and I should cut myself some slack. It took me nine months to put on the weight and it's going to take another nine or so to lose it.

3.) My Feline friend is not a killer!
Chester, my cat, had been staying at my folks for about 3 months when we finally decided it was time to bring him home Christmas eve. Of course, my mother was worried that Chester would try to suffocate the baby or see the baby as a threat. The news is Chester has adapted well to Calvin. No problems there.

4.) Sleep
The first day we brought our bundle of joy home, he already had a routine down: Sleep for 4 hours, wake up, diaper change, breastfeed, sleep, wake up in another 4 hours. Of course, the sleep deprivation took some time to get use to. We were forewarned by our doctor, friends, family and co-workers. And at times, we would stay awake for long periods of time to make sure the little guy was still breathing. One thing my husband and I agreed upon was that co-sleeping wasn't for us. Calvin transitioned from the bassinet to the crib with ease.

At around 3 months, he began to sleep through the night waking up once in the middle of night to feed. Now we are in the process of training him to sleep on his own with the Ferber method. So far it takes him 10 minutes to sleep on his own. Let's hope by next week it takes him less.

5.) A 10 minute shower is like a day at the spa
Sometimes I went two to three days without taking a bath/shower. Okay really, more like a week. Well I was a parnoid first time mom, who couldn't let her son out of her site for just a minute. Just remember, a 10 minute shower is like a day at the spa...enough said.

6.) Growing up way too fast
In a blink of an eye he went from being a motionless sack of potatoes and transitioned into an individual, a little person. I couldn't wait till he got to the age where he reciprocated with a smile, a laugh or babbled. When he cracked his first smile at three months, my heart just melted. Since then, I can't stop making him laugh or smile.

At six months, he is trying to figure out how to sit up. He has toppled over so many times yet the little guy is determined to sit up on his own. It's amazing how his mind works. All trial and error for him.

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