Letter to our 8.5 month old

I’ve been posting weekly updates about William on Facebook.  Since I didn’t share much about my pregnancy while I was pregnant, I’ve also been including a summary of the coordinating pregnancy week.  I’m not really sure why I haven’t been posting it here.  No tangible reason that I can think of. So this week I’m putting this update where it should be.  Here.  On my blog.  The place I’ve always considered to be my Internet home.

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Dear William,

This week on 08/23/2012, you turned 37 weeks or 8.5 months old.

We went to the mountains this past weekend and made it a 4 day weekend to celebrate your father’s birthday and our 7 year wedding anniversary.  It was supposed to be a wonderful weekend, filled with hiking and breakfast at our favorite restaurant, lots of nursing, cuddling, and laughter, and then you go to bed, like you always do, and your father and I have our time.  We planned to BBQ and have popcorn and watch movies, and in between looking at the video monitor and watching you while you slept because we miss you so much.  Most of that did happen, and it was wonderful, but the nursing part was a bit of a challenge, as I will share a bit later.

I can’t tell you how much I look forward to feeling you, holding you, and loving on you.  Hearing you laugh, seeing your huge open mouth smile just because you’re alive.  I hold every second I spend with you near to my heart, hoping that I never forget the details, even though I know I already have. I never, ever thought that I would find such contentment from just sitting on the floor watching you play, marveling at how you change every day.  Not that long ago the only thing you could do was lie on your back, kick your legs and smile at the ceiling fan as it went round and round above you.  Now you go round and round yourself, smiling and laughing at us as you perfect your crawling, standing, and cruising.

Yes.  Cruising.  This past weekend you took a few tentative steps, sideways, your mouth wide open in a smile, holding onto the coffee table with both hands for security, but you wanted that remote for the TV!  In your quest to learn to walk, you had your first accident this weekend, also.  Your father was busy carrying stuff in from the car, and I sat down next to you to remove my hiking boots.  You pulled yourself up on the coffee table, but your butt and legs were at an odd angle from the rest of your body, and when you went to sit down you bonked your head (or so I thought) on the coffee table. I thought you were OK, but the next thing I knew, you looked like a character out of one of your father’s zombie horror movies, which blood rushing out of your mouth, over your two lower teeth, onto your shirt.  It was horrible!  We tried wet papertowels, a frozen teether ring, and finally in desperation, nursing.

You were on a partial nursing strike this weekend, so I didn’t think you would want to nurse, but I offered anyway.  You took it, and it was the only thing that consoled you.  It consoled you so well, in fact, that you went down for a nap for 2 hours.  It wasn’t until the next day that I was able to see the injury in your mouth (we couldn’t see initally because of all the blood, and then later you wouldn’t let us see)… when you fell, you injured your gums between your upper lip and your top front teeth.  No wonder it bled so much and your lip was swollen!

Let’s revisit the nursing strike part of this… because it was horrible and I hope we never go through it again.  The one thing I’ve always been able to rely on with you has been your insatiable appetite and your love of being near me and nursing, no matter what.  To have you push me away while screaming just broke my heart, not to mention that I worried about my supply AND it really, really sucked to have to pump instead of nursing you .  Maybe it’s silly given that so many moms just want their baby to sleep through the night, but I kind of look forward to our middle of the night nursing session because it’s so peaceful, quiet and still, and to have to pump instead?  I loathe it on a good day, but on a day (or night) when you’re RIGHT THERE and are refusing me?  It’s horrendous.   I know your refusal of nursing was likely a combination of everything that’s going on with you… teething, being away from home, learning to stand/walk, because everything appears to be back to normal now, and I’m so very grateful.

Things that are funny to you this week:   Yawning is hilarious.  Being tossed in the air or spun around while in my arms (makes me dizzy!).  Peek-a-boo is always a hit.  Hiding your bath toy underwater while I hum the Jack-in-the-Box song and popping the toy up at the appropriate time in the song is the best thing!  In fact, you start giggling in anticipation by the third note into the song.  You have always loved your Froggy Lovey, but this week it’s been taken to an all new high — you spot Froggy from across the room and will reach for it and grin at it.  It’s kind of ridiculous and more than a little funny.  Ummm, and the broom, you love chasing the broom if we’re sweeping.

Crawling, standing, trying to walk, climbing up stairs.  Babbling — mamamamaaa, daddadadaaa, bbaabababa are standards. I heard you say papapappaaa for the first time this week.

Your 4th tooth, the upper left front, emerged this week on 08/22/2012.

You are weighing in at 26 pounds 1 ounce, the same as last week.  Yet, I swear, you feel bigger, or maybe you’re just longer?  You are still in the same size clothing as last week, 18 month.  Also, no discussion of a baby would be complete without “output” talk, so we’ll just share that we are continuing to double stuff your first diaper of the day.  By way of explanation, Bum Genius cloth diapers come with two microfiber inserts, a “regular” and a “newborn”.  For overnights, we stuff the diapers with the “regular” and a Thirsties Hemp insert.  For the first diaper of the day,  we stuff it with the “regular” and “newborn” insert. Twice this week you woke up with a big poop in your diaper, and your poop is changing consistency to be more solid, although we cut back on offering solids while you were on your nursing strike to try and woo you back to the breast.

I have been preparing for our trip that we’re planning to take to Iowa in November.  A trip I’m both excited and nervous about.   You will be 11 months old at that time, and we’ve not slept in the same room since you were 6 weeks old… that’s the part I’m nervous and anxious about.  You sleep well, but you’re a light sleeper taking after me in that respect, unfortunately.  The flying part, I’m just concerned that the elevation change is going to make you poo and poo and then we’ll have to figure out changing your smelly diaper in a flying canister 10,000 feet in the air.  Or maybe we’ll just stop feeding you solids two weeks before the trip… haha.   The trip will also be epic because you will, God willing, be meeting both of your great aunts (my dad’s sisters) for the first time… and, hopefully, it will be special to them, too, as you would be my dad’s only grandchild, if he were still alive.

I know my dad would love you if he were still alive.  How could he not?  Your smile and style of living life out loud draws even the most introverted of people to you.

Love, Momma

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At 37 weeks pregnant, I was considered full-term for baby boys (who develop a week slower than baby girls). Braxton Hicks were a constant part of my life, usually acting as an alarm clock at 330 AM.  One afternoon that week, Baby got the hiccups, then decided to practice his breathing and then I got a Braxton Hicks contraction… for the half hour that all that was going on, it was as if my belly was possessed!  Baby loved when I went swimming, perhaps he sensed the weightlessness of it, but sometimes it felt as if he were swimming right along with me.

I loathed the twice weekly Fetal Stress Monitoring appointments.  My OB had one machine, and despite my attempts to get the first appointment of the day, I always ended up waiting 20-30 minutes to get on the machine.  It was maddening and *I* found it to be very stressful.  In an attempt to minimize the loss of work hours, I was getting into work at 7am to compensate for the time at the doctor’s office, which meant a loss of sleep… to a pregnant lady… which made me very cranky.  My OB commanded me to continue exercising.  It was ironic to me, given that I’d been on bedrest several times throughout the pregnancy.

My co-worker threw me a baby shower at work that week, and I was touched at the generosity of my co-workers.  It astounded me how generous people were to me, but really the generosity was for a little baby they hadn’t even met yet.  I spent that weekend washing some hand-me-down clothing that a friend of my husband’s family had given us.  She has 2 little boys, and I felt as if she had been waiting for just the right person to give all those adorable clothes to.  The ordinaryness of doing laundry for my baby made it feel real to me, as if the fact that those clothes had been worn by real little boys who were alive and thriving made it real that my little boy would thrive, too.

I consciously shifted my emotional state that week to recognize that labor and contractions were now a good thing, a healthy thing, and would result in a live baby, which is not a state that I had ever been in before.  There were possiblities that were too unthinkable to imagine, but I was relieved that I no longer had to worry about preterm labor or birth.

My favorite thing continued to be feeling and watching Baby practice his breathing.  It enthralled me and it boggled my mind that he could just stop “breathing” and be perfectly fine in there.  That it was just practice, after all.

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6 Comments

Filed under Letter to William, Our Kid is Cute

6 responses to “Letter to our 8.5 month old

  1. Love that you are posting these here now! WIth the nursing refusal, could also be he is ready to wean himself. Some babies will do that. Or the taste of your milk could have changed slightly and he didn’t like it. There are so many things that can cause that reaction!

    • Everything is back to normal now, so i really do think it was related to the top two teeth coming in. From all the research I’ve done, it’s very, very rare that a baby under 12 months weans themself, particularly since we started solids later and he’s really not eating THAT many solids. Also, weaning doesn’t happen suddenly like that, it’s typically a gradual process. There is the possibility, of course, of the milk changing flavor, although my diet doesn’t vary very much. I’m just glad that all is well now. 🙂

  2. Oh My Dear Jammie—This is SOOOO Wonderful! I’m just loving all that you share here—How You LOVE That Little Darling Boy Of Yours!! It Touches My Heart In Such A Deep Way….AND, what a gift to your sweet William—this Diary that you are keeping…I hope you continue doing this throughout his whole childhood. It will be a true treasure for him when he becomes a man! Reading what his dear Mommie felt during these early months of his existence….A True Treasure! And you write in such a beautiful loving way….I really hope you keep it up, my dear.

    • Thank you for the encouragement. I don’t know for how long I’ll keep it up. The weekly updates, maybe until he’s a year old? He changes SO much every single day. I really had no idea how fast babies develop. It’s crazy! Then, maybe monthly or bimonthly updates. We’ll have to see. 🙂

  3. grrrace77

    love that little guy 😀

  4. grrrace77

    don’t know why, but i’m not seeing a comment box on your “itchy” post.

    anyway, re: that post, 7 years sure did go by fast, didn’t it?! love all those pics of william. 🙂