Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Six months ago...

How did my boy go from this to the great big smiling hulk below?
Six months ago today was when I first met him, and I don't even mind if that sounds a bit naff. He was small and really quite incapable, and now he's huge and healthy. He has two tiny teeth, the fattest wrists you can think of, and is even working on getting some hair. He can sit with just a hand near to him for support, he can grab objects one handed and transfer them efficiently into his mouth, he has a huge range of vocalisations, and the most luminous smile in the world. Describing his physical characteristics and "achievements", if you like, is a hopeless way to explain what he is, but how can you possibly do justice to a baby's personality in words?
There's only an occasional day that passes without me having at least a fleeting moment of OHGODTHISISTOOHARDIWANTMYOLDLIFEBACK but there's also not been a single day when I haven't had a time of a deep sensation of blessedness. I can't get over the good fortune of having this amazing infant growing and developing in front of me. I can't quite get my head around the fact that he's "mine", that I built this thing, I grew him inside, I pushed him out, I've fed him solely off my milk for all this time (if I could do footnotes I'd add one here saying that he has tripled his birthweight, and all from my boobies), and yet he is so distinctly himself, and I can't take credit for that.
I hope the next six months will keep feeling like this, perhaps with not so many of the capitalised moments, but I don't want to take anything for granted. I'd not swap these highs and lows for a lifetime in the middle.
Happy half-birthday, my darling sausage-boy!

Saturday, 12 November 2011

The best moment of the day

It's not the moment when he goes to bed, even though that might be a relief.
Instead, it's usually about three hours after that. I've made and eaten dinner, and settled down to some reading or studying or wallying around on the internet, and then I hear a little chirp on the baby monitor.
This is my place to confess that I always bound up the stairs, without waiting to see whether he'll just roll over and go back to sleep, because after three hours I miss him and I want to scoop up his sleepy little body. I want to watch and feel his head roll into me with his eyes still closed, and I want to snuggle him up while he feeds. Last night I found myself reaching to stroke his hair, and at exactly the same time he stretched up and stroked my face, eyes still closed.

Night feeds are a bugger, and he is a right one for them, but the evening feed, oh, the evening feed, I don't want it ever to stop.
(apologies for the worst photo in the world. But, could anyone resist gathering up that little bundle?)

Thursday, 10 November 2011

A bit helpless

Of course this is the trouble with vowing to write on your blog more often: you end up with the slightly gloomy bits.
I wouldn't give him up for a million squillion pounds but life with a six month old can be, as I might have mentioned before, hard work. And on days like today, where he's just popped out one tooth and is visibly working on another, and so is one big ball of misery, and your only job is to be his mother, and he's cried all day, you can't help feeling that you haven't done that job too well, and that if it were any other you'd probably have been sacked by now.
(Yes, I know that I'm not making his gums hurt, but I should be able to distract him out of it, or know the best time to drug him out of it, or at least have the saintly patience not to mind the way it saps every ounce of energy from me).
As soon as I have a toothy picture I will post it up and the blog will return to sunniness, as, I hope, will the boy.

Friday, 4 November 2011

A post I am writing in November

Oh, gets easier, gets harder again, gets infinitely more rewarding, gets infinitely more draining...
I would really like to get back into writing this blog because it feels like the sort of record that I want to have, but to do this reliably I'd need to have more evenings where I'm capable of something other than staring blankly at the floor recovering.
- My beloved sausage baby is approaching six months, is still the plumpest baby on the block, and has the most beautiful smile that anyone has ever had.
- He is also what I believe Dr Sears would call a "high needs baby". A really intense involvement in the world demands a high level of input from mummy when you still can't quite support yourself sitting up or reach any of the things you want or stop thinking for long enough to sleep. He has no middle gears, and I adore him for this but it's TIRING.
- Newsflash: new mother finds having a baby tiring.
- I probably don't even count as a new mother any more.
- I have been reading a little, honest, but the reason my last post has only just made it up is that it was all written in draft and somebody closed the tab without saving it so it lost the second half which was a book update, and now I can't guarantee the list would be complete, and I don't know what to do about that.
- I've changed. I don't know what I've changed to, and whether it's all for the good, but I'm definitely not the same person I was pre-bonzo.

So I have some targets that I can start pursuing as soon as he tips over six months. Definitely not in order of importance:
1. Get back into writing the blog more regularly, including updating what I've been reading, which might even encourage me to read a bit more again;
2. Work out what I'm going to do about him and work. It's clear to me that I can't possibly go back at the end of January as I'd planned, but the most I could get from my current job is up to the end of April. Maybe I could go back there part time, but I need to do some serious soul searching about this. Working 3 days a week would perhaps, at a stretch, just about pay the bills, but I don't want someone else to have my baby 3 days a week. I know he'll be a lot older then, so I need to start thinking about future-Isaac not current-Isaac, but he'll still not be big enough to tell me if he doesn't like it, or to understand why I keep leaving him. But, we need to get some income from somewhere, and if I plan ever to go back to work then I probably need not to stop completely now (I could get rusty quite fast), and there is just the tiniest bit of me that thinks a bit of adult company occasionally would be quite nice;
3. Get thin and beautiful like all the other mummies. Ha!
4. Start a super healthy eating programme so that as our baby led weaning progresses he is only eating the purest and best food, but also very economically.
5. Flap wings. Fly to moon.
6. Make sure I have my sense of perspective right. I don't know if I'm spending too much time thinking/worrying about the baby; I don't know if I'm becoming a boring person about him; I don't even know whether it's good for him to have me so attached. And I have no idea how to find out.
7. Keep up with the OU stuff so that I get my degree finished in the summer. Easy...

A post I wrote in September that never made it up

Take a deep breath, and whisper it.....I think it's getting easier. I read in a few places that at 3 months a switch just flicks, and I think it has. Suddenly he goes to sleep for the night at somewhere between 7pm and 9pm, and although he is waking up all the time for feeds, he goes straight back to sleep. So I have evenings again, and even more spectacularly I've learned that the best way to get him to sleep in the mornings is to pop him in the pram and go to the park. There, it seems necessary to imitate something of the morning routine of my other life, my long-distant, seems-like-a-hazy-memory life, and get out the coffee and book. Bliss!!
What's most relieving and rewarding for me is that it's not really about the physical improvements, the fact that we're getting there with the breastfeeding, and that his sleeping is getting more predictable. It's that I'm adjusting to the whole thing emotionally and developing both flexibility and resilience in quantities I didn't know I had. On the way to the park on Monday morning, a jogger passed me, and I had a moment of envy. But so, so quickly I found myself thinking well, I have the remnants of a mummy tummy unlike her lovely flat one, my hair has been finger-brushed only unlike her sleek lovely ponytail, I am wearing jeans which I think are now held together by various baby fluids, but I really, honestly, don't care, and wouldn't swap it. My new kind of freedom is about spending time with my baby; my new exercise is lumping him around; I've found a way to get in a window of time for reading on a bench - and I wouldn't swap any of this for being younger and thinner and less surrounded by obligations. Of course I do plan to be gorgeous one day, but given the choice now between a pound off me and a pound on my baby, there's no competition at all.