Today you turn 38 weeks or 8.7 months old.
This past weekend we had family over for a BBQ, and it was fun to observe how you and your cousins interact with each other. It’s actually fun to see that most kids are fascinated with you, mostly because you’re a baby and I think kids are fascinated with someone smaller than themselves.
Your cousins were so patient with you, and you were all about trying to use them as standing tools because you wanted to do what they were doing so easily — standing and walking! Your cousin Huck spent a fair amount of time playing speed peek-a-boo (peek-a-boo over and over again really fast) with you, with you laughing as encouragement, and then, exhausted, he went and sat down on the couch! You kind of took over entertaining everyone with a game of “habababa” (where I put my hand to your mouth repeatedly while you vocalize). You love that game, but I felt kind of bad because you took over the entire adult conversation that was going on. It’s just a baby’s way, I guess.
You are weighing in at 26 pounds 6 ounces this week. Clothes size (18 month) and diaper insert strategy are the same as last week.
You are getting to be a pro at standing for longer periods of time. I mentioned in last week’s update that you took some attempted sideways steps while holding on to the coffee table, but then preempted that progress by falling and hurting yourself. Unfortunately, you were scared to sit down by yourself after that, but after a couple of days you overcame that fear. I understand that mentality, it’s something that I have struggled with. But I learned that as with anything in life, you have to practice something to be better at it — if there’s one thing I can teach you, it’s to not ever let your fear hinder your progress. Fear should serve one purpose in life, and that is to caution you, if need be, and make you evaluate something a bit longer or deeper before moving forward, but don’t ever let fear freeze you into stagnation.
Things I want to remember about this week — what a super fast crawler you are, and to add to that, you now have realized that you can take your toys with you. So there you go, crawling across the floor, swish, swish, swish, PLACK! With your toy in your hand. You are so excited about bath time that you crawl out of your diaper, but then on the way to the bathroom you get distracted by your toys and squeal with naked glee! You are also very fast to get to a standing position now. It’s so odd to come into your room in the morning, and there you stand, smiling at me, in your crib. You are also pretty talented at adjusting the camera to your video monitor in your crib, and we had to move it a little farther back and up out of your reach yet again. How a smile spreads across your face and you laugh when you spot my car turning into the community, you look at me and then your eyes turn downward and watch my wheels turn. The way you dig your heels into the lawn as if you love the feel of cold dirt on your feet. How violent you are with your bicycle horn that you use to alleviate your teething pain, and how gentle you have been this week when nursing. Kissing your cheeks and how they feel like apples warmed by the sun because you’re usually smiling. How chubby your legs are, so chubby that your knees are doubled over with fat. The way your feet are rounded because they haven’t flattened out from walking yet. The staring contests you and I have — you will be throwing a fit and I will get real close to your face and raise my eyebrows, not even saying anything, and you’ll stop crying and just stare at me, and stare and stare. If that works as discipline later on, I will be SO happy, to discipline you without even saying a word.
These new skills that you are attaining at lightning speed, it’s so funny, because your baby book lists them out in a bullet point format as if one day you’ll suddenly be crawling, or walking or whatever, but the thing is with you, it doesn’t just happen overnight. Maybe it does for other babies, but for you it’s such a gradual thing with lots of practice and stages and laughter and frustration, that suddenly I’ll look at you and realize, holy crap, I need to write a date down for that!
Your nursing strike really does appear to be over and I am so, so grateful to have my sweet, snuggly, nursing baby back. Tuesday morning you nursed yourself into oblivion. You got the first letdowns on both sides and then cried, and I snuggled you and sang to you for about 10 minutes, and then offered the right side again, your favorite, and you nursed and nursed and nursed and nursed and fell back to sleep. My sweet boy. I left you, sleep, warm and cuddly with a light blanket over your legs, in your crib and went to work, thinking of you the entire drive in.
I never knew way back when you were a newborn and I was battling the pain of being a newly nursing momma that these memories of you nursing would end up being the moments that sustain me when I am away from you. If someone were to ask me why I continue to do so, that would be my answer, but there’s no way I could possibly convey the depth of how much it means to me. How much you mean to me.
William, 38 weeks old, 08/30/2012
At 38 weeks pregnant, I had been back to swimming at the gym instead of our community pool for a couple weeks, which meant that I was no longer getting up at 5am to go swimming but, rather, was going after work. I was also attending the aquatic exercise classes that the gym offered three times a week. If there were an option to take the stairs in buildings, I would take them. In fact, my OB’s office is on the sixth floor of her building, and I would take the stairs up, then down, then ride the elevator back up and take them down again. Physically I felt absolutely great and I attributed it all the swimming and exercise I was doing.
My birth doula had recommended a special cream for perineal massages and I had started alternating that cream with evening primrose oil, as preparation for the natural birth that I wanted. I had my first true pregnancy food craving that week — turkey breast! I went into my favorite candy store with the intention of buying something, and ended up walking out with nothing — I was shocked because nothing appealed to me.
The big drama that week for me was my OB appointment schedule. I had originally requested, and been given, a Tuesday/Friday appointment schedule (stress monitoring twice a week, an ultrasound fluid check once a week after the Friday monitoring). But my OB had reviewed it and insisted on a Monday/Thursday schedule, because she didn’t work on Tuesdays. I didn’t really care, as the Monday appointment was only reviewing the ticker tape from the monitoring, plus I liked her partners just as well as her, but she was apparently possessive of her patients. Anyway, when I arrived that Monday, I was informed that I would have to come back on Tuesday for another monitoring session and an ultrasound, and then again on Friday. There was a specific amount of time that was allowed to pass between appointments, and the Thanksgiving holiday and office closures on Thursday threw the whole schedule off… so THREE appointments in one week. I was annoyed. Then, when I expressed my irritation, they pulled the “it’s for the health of the baby” card. As if I were neglecting my baby by wanting to take care of myself and my time? That pushed me over the edge from annoyed to livid and I had a Come to Jesus discussion with them and INSISTED on a return to my Tuesday/Friday schedule after that week, as I pointed out, the whole thing wouldn’t have been a problem if we had stayed with the schedule I originally had.
I had another scare that week, I missed a stair when I was coming down the stairwell in my house and landed, hard, on my knee. Terrified that I had done something that might cause an issue (placental separation came to mind), I turned right back around and went and pulled out my doppler. Baby’s heartbeat was strong and sure and reassuring to me. Later that night, after all the emotion of the day — from the early morning, the doctor appointment, the stair scare, just everything, I laid down on the couch and melted into my husband’s arms while we watched TV. I got so comfortable that I fell asleep snuggled up in his arms. I was sleeping so hard, he told me later that I was snoring! Throughout the pregnancy, I had believed Baby to be a good baby who slept when i slept, because he had rarely awakened me. However, I came out of my spontaneous nap to hear my husband chuckling in my ear while his hand rubbed circles on the left side of my belly and our child within. Baby was poking his foot at his father, and my husband was in turn pushing and rubbing Baby’s foot. They apparently had been “playing” that game for 15-20 minutes.
It was times like those when I begin to get impatient for our child to make his debut. I wanted to start making memories with him outside of my body, as a family.