This Saturday my little boy will be 20 weeks old, which to me, still = 5 months. At some point I know I need to start using his “birth date” to calculate his age and stop literally counting the days and weeks. But each moment is still too precious and I would feel remiss to wait until March 4 to say I’ve been a mother for five months. I deserve those three weeks!
How is Baby?
As I type, Max is rolling around on my bed, shoving toys of various size and material into his mouth. This is his MO. Constantly moving, constantly putting things in his mouth. He is strong, determined, vocal, and incredibly active. He’s doing barrel rolls through the living room and I’ll often leave him for a moment to find him clear across the room (scary!!), and is starting to rock himself back and forth to finesse his placement. Crawling is just weeks away.
He and Nala are becoming friends. Nala seems to think of him as more of an equal now, and not a scary, crying blob. They interact with toys together, and Max has started pulling at her fur. She is patient, thankfully.
Although he is still being exclusively breastfed for nutrition and growth, Max has demanded that he start being able to taste and enjoy solid foods. I know how that sounds, but it’s true. He cries watching us put food into our mouths and not offer him anything. He will grab things off our plates and out of our hands to swiftly shove into his mouth. So, we introduced him to baby oatmeal and several pureed fruits and vegetables this month. He absolutely loves to eat, much to the pediatrician’s finger wagging. We planned on waiting 6 months, I told her! But Max had another plan. He is gaining weight steadily and is healthy as can be. Plus, I’m glad to know he isn’t experiencing any digestive issues with solids, which he will begin eating with a new caregiver at 6 months anyhow.
He’s laughing, shrieking, chewing on his toes. He mainly sleeps in his crib (unless he’s sleeping snuggled up with me), and is sleeping for 6-7 stretches early in the night (finally!). He makes me kiss his fingers while nursing, and holds in all of his gas for bath time (where it really counts). He is a boy through and through. He is my sweet and perfect baby, and we are thriving together.
How is Mama?
Between planning to go back to work next month, moving house, and being with a baby 24/7, I am BUSY but doing well. I’ve dropped the mommy-and-me groups which occupied 2 days of my week for the past few months. In part because I don’t have time right now, but in part because I don’t “need” the support as much as I used to. I used to need to be reminded how not alone I was in my daily challenges. But now I feel like “I’ve really got this” and don’t seek the approval or commiseration that I once did. While I do miss some of the other mamas, I feel good about phasing out of the group a bit as my abilities have outpaced my expectations.
I am still trying to maintain my level of activity and health. Max is still a pretty good napper and I can usually take a 4-5 mile walk/jog while he snoozes away in the stroller each day. But when I really need to get out and run, I need a sitter (or daddy). I’m signed up for a half marathon next month which I’m so excited about. My longest run postpartum has been 7 miles so I need to somehow find more time to train for this… but just completely the race will feel great no matter how fast I am able to do it. My weight loss has plateaued and I know it has to do with breastfeeding. I’d like to drop another 10 vanity lbs but my body REALLY wants to stay where it’s at. Such that, if I’ve eaten really well that day and exercised to a calorie deficit, the urge to eat an entire chocolate before bed is stronger than a magnetic pull. I’ve had cravings before, obviously… but this is something else. Totally primal. My body is like NOPE. You will not go to bed until we’ve secured a stable weight. And that’s okay for now. I fit into all of my pre-preggo pants and I’m strong, and I can run which is all that really matters to me at the moment.
I’m ready to get back to work. I’m terrified of missing my baby during the work day, and I’m worried about him missing me. But I really need to go and be something in addition to being a wife and mother. I’m there. I’m ready. And I know that once we both get used to being a part for a few hours, it’ll be the best thing for both of us.
I don’t remember being pregnant. I see pregnant people all around me and stare at them in awe. That was ME?! How in the world…?! It’s SUCH a distant memory, as is the birth. I completely believe that this is a force of biology— that a mother’s memory of how long and painful the gestation and birth experience are become a blur so that she will want to do it again, and soon! Logically, Melbs and I have decided to wait another year before trying for a MiniMelbs2, but I can confidently say that we will. After being a mother for 5 months, I know that every single tear, heartache, sleepless hour, and moment of frustration has been WORTH IT. This tiny human is my reason for being and fills my heart with a type of joy I could never have imagined. I go to bed each night looking forward to seeing my baby’s sweet smile in the morning. This is everything and more.