Gosh! It’s been 9 months since Baby B arrived into our lives. My sincere apologies for being away from blogging. I never thought I would be one of those to who has a baby post fertility issues and then stops blogging just because I had a baby. Well, turns out, I am! And honestly, not so proud of it. (Thanks barrenbetty for encouraging me to post an update.)
So how has life been since my last post?
Good, hard, exciting, adventurous, finally felt like life had meaning and the realisation that you are completely and solely responsible for this new human being and she was all ours to keep!
Month 1 to 3:
I will admit that these first two-three months were tough. Really tough. Lots of sleepless days and nights, breastfeeding for an hour every two hours, sore/bleeding/cracking nipples, smelling like pees and poos, changing a thousand diapers and not to forget recovering from a C-section. I’m sure its nothing new and we have read all about it but it was HARD. I read a ton of books and spoke to friends and my sister all about it. Despite that, I think it was just a lot harder than what I’d imagined and I struggled with the guilt of feeling exhausted and frustrated given how long we actually waited to have her. I will also admit that I felt like smacking every person who told me then that “It does get better”. When you haven’t slept, are in pain from a C-section, and have your hormones all over the place, unfortunately, that’s just how you feel. To top that, we got unsolicited advice from almost everyone which made both DH and I feel incompetent as new parents. (Well, my sister has always been an exception to that). As first time parents, it’s a constant struggle trying to figure out whether you are doing the right thing or not and unfortunately, neither sides of our family helped in building this confidence in the initial months. If anything, whatever they said or did only broke our confidence.
Health-wise, Baby B was born a normal weight and height but her weight slowly and steadily dropped from 25th percentile when she was born to the 4th percentile through her first three (almost four) months. It was heart wrenching. I used to blame myself constantly questioning myself as a mother. I was exclusively breastfeeding and her intake was good, my appetite was good, and her output was good. We just didn’t know what was wrong.
What made us get through it all? Baby B of course! Her doting eyes that said ‘You are my favourite person in the whole wide world’. I swear there is no feeling like it. It made my all the tiredness from sleepless nights and painful sore nipples from hours of feeding disappear. More importantly, I fell in love with DH all over again. He is a remarkable father and his patience, humility and undivided support for me was and still is truly admirable.
Month 4 to 6:
You know all those people who said “It does gets better”. Turns out they were right!
Things just suddenly started falling in place. Baby B fell into a routine on her own. We became more tolerant towards others’ advice and more confident as parents. We even went to London with Baby B @4 months for about two weeks. DH was on a business trip and I refused to be by myself and the baby at home. We literally decided that baby and mommy were coming along in two days time! The trip was refreshing for all three of us. Baby B was a darling through the flight and the entire trip. I almost wondered why people got so worried about travelling with babies.
As the months progressed, I became less hard on myself as a mother but that guilt kept creeping back in. One night, Baby B awoke and said ‘mah mah mah’ – that’s when my heart truly melted away.
Month 7 to 9:
The last three months have been somewhat of a roll-a-coaster. On one end, it has been super fun with Baby B hitting new milestones and doing interesting and new things every day. For example, at times, I wonder who is amusing whom. This one time, she laughed incessantly holding her tummy just because I got the hiccups!
On the other end, we struggled with her sleep routine. Suddenly what worked for almost six months wasn’t working anymore. Baby B started fighting sleep. She grew up but our ways of putting her to sleep didn’t. In the first six months, we used everything sleeping books suggested not to do – rocking, bouncing, swaying. We even had one of those exercise balls permanently in our room to bounce her to sleep!
Finally when nothing worked and her sleep shifted to 11pm, we resorted to “Happy Sleep Habits, Happy Child” by Marc Weissbluth. I never thought I would be one of those moms who will use the cry it out (CIO) sleep training method but I did. The most Baby B cried is about 40 minutes. Every minute of hearing her cry felt like ages, everything inside of me cringed and it hurt. It was pure torture to hear her cry and I cried every night she cried herself to sleep the first seven days ( and some more later). I still wonder if I was I taking short cuts. In hindsight, what we did was best for the little one and us. She started sleeping through the night and nap time became relatively easy. She was more cheerful, attentive and less fussy through the day because she was well rested. Parenting is tough – I don’t know if that was the right decision or not. Only time will tell.
@7 months, we took our first official holiday with Baby B to Singapore and Bali. No – she was not a darling through the trip or the flight and I finally saw what most parents dreaded about flights. Like that wasn’t enough, @8 months, we (ambitiously) took another holiday to Seattle (for the record, this is a 18hr flight and 24hrs door to door journey) to visit my sister and our nieces. Both holidays were booked right after our trip to London when she was about 4 months. She was such a good baby then, DH and I decided we could get back to our travelling escapades. Little did we know that things change so dramatically so quickly!
By the way, that’s Baby B @9 months. She already has four pearly whites, is standing on her own and loves to giggle crinkling her nose. 🙂
If you have reached this far out, thank you for reading. I know it’s a longish update and not everyone wants to read/know about baby updates. I will try to get back to blogging more regularly and hopefully, they will be on something besides just updates.
Time to get some zzz’s now 🙂