Today, the Little Miss turns 6 months old. I’ve been her mum for half a year. I cannot decide if time has absolutely flown by or whether it’s gone by painfully slowly. I think there’s a saying? Something about the days being long but the months/years being short? I think it’s that.
I wanted to write about the both of us at this milestone, so here goes…
The Little Miss
Oh, she is so gorgeous. I am absolutely, 100% biased of course. She’s had her challenging moments (as all babies do), but I see a determined little person who takes life a little seriously. But that does not mean she lacks a sense of humour! Her smile can light up a room when she thinks something is funny and she’s started to laugh socially. Like, if other, bigger people are laughing, she’ll join in even though she has no idea what is going on. I love to watch her eyes follow a loved one around the room. I love the look of wonder/amusement/bemusement/curiosity on her face as she tries to figure something out. A new place, a new person, a new activity.
It’s a little scary. She’s not just a cute little blob anymore. She’s becoming a PERSON. A person with her own opinions and hands that can grab and oh my goodness, it’s getting real! She’s halfway to becoming a toddler already – I just don’t know if I am ready! I laughed with my husband last night and said that when the Little Mister (our firstborn) would reach a new milestone, I’d be so excited. I’d be thrilled at how much he was growing up! Now, with the Little Miss, I’m like OH BOY I KNOW WHAT I AM IN FOR.
She’s not rolling from back to front yet, but she’s trying to sit up on her own and she’s getting stronger every day. She is getting a lot more dextrous. She can look at something and pick it up. She loves a good teething ring.
She’s been going great guns on fruit and vegetable puree for a few weeks now. She tried mashed avocado for the first time yesterday. I’m so excited to prepare new things for her as she becomes able to eat more. I lacked confidence the first time around with the Little Mister, but now I find it fun.
She loves trees. SO MUCH. I love that she loves trees. One of the first things we did when I was recovered enough to get out and about with her was take her to parks where we could have a little picnic and she could lie on a rug and stare up at the trees. I wonder if that helped grow her fascination. She becomes really zen after a good tree session. It’s beautiful. I can’t wait to take her down south to the Karri forests. I think those beautiful trees would blow her mind.
My skin gave me hell when I was pregnant. Being sweaty or stuck in stagnant air drove me crazy. Any time I could be outside, with a fresh, cool breeze, I was at my happiest. Maybe she could sense that?
She loves bath time. That’s her true bonding time with her dad each night and they have a really special connection while she splashes him in the face (and all of the bathroom floor) and chatters away happily to him with a big grin on her face the WHOLE TIME. I could be struggling through the witching hour with her, but the moment she knows it’s bath time, she’s a ray of sunshine. Melts my heart.
I still look at her in awe. I can’t believe she’s here after we tried so hard to have a second baby. She truly is a miracle. I also can’t believe that I am the mother of a baby girl. I think a part of me had resigned myself to the idea of raising two boys. Not that I wouldn’t have still been so happy, but wow. A girl! She has completed our family and even though I have some tough days (and might whinge a bit – let’s be honest), I am never ungrateful. My heart is full with gratitude that I get to have the problems I have. Problems that only people with more than one child can have. There was a time I really thought I would never get to know these problems.
She’s strong and she’s sweet and I love her so much.
I am 6 months post partum. I am so proud of myself. Sure, I have lapses in confidence at times. Sometimes I wonder if I’m doing a good enough job of balancing the needs of a 6 year old and a 6 month old. Sometimes I wonder if I am a total wuss when hashtag parent life kicks my arse. But overall, I am feeling good about myself. I am so not perfect (nobody is), but I feel like I’m so much more confident in my decisions than I was the first time around. I follow my gut, I am more assertive and I have learned from my past mistakes and discoveries. When I stopped breastfeeding, I knew my reasons were valid and I just did what was best for all. I didn’t agonise. I didn’t beat myself up. When I knew it was time to start the Little Miss on solids a bit earlier than 6 months, I did so without fearing I was going to be judged. I knew what she needed and I gave that to her. She’s thriving. I know when she needs to get out and about and I know when she needs to feel safe and get good sleep with routine. I don’t spend all my time feeling guilty about what I’m doing or not doing with her in a day. A lack of post partum anxiety is immensely freeing. My only regret is that I couldn’t do better with the Little Mister. In saying that, I know I was doing the best I knew how in his early days and he was well looked after and loved. I just wish I hadn’t been so stressed, questioning everything I did.
Physically, I am struggling a little. I have started to put more weight on. Winter combined with fatigue is kicking my arse. I’m comfort eating. I’m ‘convenience’ eating (and not making good choices either). I seem to be thwarted at every turn when I try to find a new way to exercise that I’m comfortable with (ie I am not ready to leave the baby in a gym creche or anything just yet). I’m a bit philosophical about that, because it is what it is. It rains a lot. The baby isn’t really ready to let me exercise in her presence when she’s awake and when she’s sleeping, I have to rest for my survival sometimes or take care of other life admin etc. The local mum and bub yoga classes are on at a very impractical time of day for us (I know she’d love it). I know that in time, things will change and become easier. I’ll be running around after a toddler sooner than I can comprehend too. Just like the Little Mister kept growing and soon I was doing a lot more, the Little Miss will grow and become more independent very quickly too. I can control my diet, though, and I will try to do better. If food is 80% of your ability to control your weight, then I’d be doing OK, even if my exercise is not as regular as I’d like. I need to kick myself up the bum and I think I am ready. I just need to be more organised and figure out how to make things run efficiently so I can’t wiggle out of doing the right thing!
I have wonderful little revelations all the time now. Most of it being about the fact that I am not pregnant and I am unlikely to ever have to be pregnant again! I don’t have to worry about my fertility ever again (that’s a HUGE one). I don’t have to limit myself out of fear. I can control when I have a period (and using the pill I can ensure it’s never as bad as when I’m off the pill). I can see something heavy and lift it (or try to haha). I can run and I can do whatever full on exercise I want to from now on. I mean, I am yet to really test things out, but knowing I can do that is so awesome. I know a lot of mums out there might think – what the? Why did you limit yourself? But you see, I had a few surgeries leading up to pregnancy number 2 and IVF was nerve wracking and I do not do pregnancy well so my gut (and some of my conditions) told me not to push myself too hard and I listened.
I am so excited for what lies ahead. I am so grateful for what my body has done for me and my family, against the odds. I no longer feel at war with it and that feels damn good.
Here’s to the last 6 months and for what’s to come!