Letter to our 8.9 month old

Dear William,

This week you turn 39 weeks old on 09/06/2012.

This past weekend you had your first Labor Day, which meant we had a three day weekend together… and it was the weekend I wish we’d had over our 4 day wedding anniversary weekend last month. Lots of nursing, lots of cuddles, lots of sweetness.

This week you are weighing in at 26 pounds 6.5 ounces. You are wearing 18 month sized clothing and our diaper insert strategy is the same as last week. This past weekend, I went through your closet and removed all the 12 month sized clothing as you no longer fit into them.

This has not been a good week for you with respect to your sleep. Well, not your sleep, exactly, you actually sleep fine once you are asleep. It’s the falling asleep part that you’re having an issue with and it’s brutal. Naps and bedtime are excruciatingly challenging. The Wonder Weeks chart indicates that this week should actually be a good week for you, so unless you’re working on your next leap early, I’m just not sure what’s going on with you. I could make all sorts of excuses for you — it’s hot and humid and you like cuddling but when we’re sitting there sweating together in a sauna it’s hard to fall asleep? Or maybe your front teeth are hurting you as they continue to grow? Or maybe your brain just won’t shut down because you’re learning to walk? I don’t really know, but child, you need your sleep.

In fact, there was one point this week when I tried to resign as your mother, but your father wouldn’t let me. I had just gotten you to sleep for the night and when I put you in your crib, you rolled and shoved your foot and leg through the crib slats. I was afraid you would roll in your sleep and twist your leg, so I pushed it back through, the logical thing to do, and … it woke you up… and then you were up and awake again and it took another hour and half before you fell back to sleep. This after two days of late bedtimes and single naps for the day. So, we’re trying a new nap schedule, with “napping windows” and we’re hoping for the best. The first day of it was a mess… you didn’t fall asleep in your nap window so you were let out of your crib and you were crawling so fast down the hallway and back again that my mom wasn’t sure if you were crawling or flying, but you were all out of breath!

Last week my mom had new glass windows and doors installed in her house. The installer was using a nail gun and the sound of it scared you and made you cry. My mom decided to help you think it was funny. Fast forward to the weekend and your obsession with the cat door. I had read about something called blanket training for young babies and how moms can teach a mobile baby to stay on a blanket by snapping a yardstick around the parameter of the blanket. I thought that might be helpful to keep you away from the cat door. It backfired, because the popping noise of the yardstick sounds just like a nail gun and you stood there and laughed and laughed and laughed. You’ve also started standing up in your bath tub, and it’s kind of hard to give you a bath if you’re standing up. Anyway, I decided to playfully smack your naked little tushie because it was RIGHT THERE, and you thought that was funny, too, and there you stood, in your bath, wet, and howling with laughter. I’m suspicious that disciplining you is going to be a bit of a challenge.

Things I want to remember about this week: You love taking showers and will watch the water fall from the spout to the ground with great fascination. Then, when the water hits your body when we take one over by the pool area after we’re done swimming, you giggle about the whole thing, so maybe we’ll be transitioning to a shower (rather than a bath) sooner than I would have thought, given your desire to stand in your bath AND your love for showers. When I open the shutters in your window in the morning, we both look out and check out your “hood”, and you grin when you spot the flag your father always has raised under the eave of your room’s roof. More often than not when we set you down in the upstairs hallway you take off crawling as fast as you can and make a beeline to the books in your grandma’s room — you love books! You love to play with the cat door and I have been concerned that you’ll attempt to crawl through it into the cat run, but one day I decided to let you play with it and all you do is sit there and make it snap. We bought you a “Take Along Tunes” toy made by Baby Einstein, it has bright lights and music, which is great, but you like to turn it over and poke at the screws as if you’d like to figure out how to take it apart. You make the sign for “milk” now and mean it. We were heading out the door to run an errand, and you looked right at me with a half smile on your face and made the sign for milk. I was uncertain about it, because it had only been 45 minutes since you had eaten. But to be consistent with the meaning, I offered, and you could have knocked me over with a feather, because you ate ravenously.

Ever since I started back to work when you were 3 months old, my mom has been bringing you to my work on Mondays so you could nurse during my lunchtime. I really wish I worked closer to home so I could just go home on my lunch hours and nurse you, particularly because when she brings you to my work, the “new” place stimulates you and you become distracted easily, with increasingly LOUD vocalizations and SCREAMING. You’ll nurse for 5, maybe 10 minutes, and then you want down to go explore. Repeated offerings of the breast result in yelling on your part, and I am uncomfortable with that in an office setting. You’re not like that at home or when I nurse you in the car. As a result, I think we’re going to end the Monday lunch sessions until the weather cools off and I can nurse you in the car. It’s sad to say it, but my pumping sessions are more productive rather than nursing you at work. We’re working on nursing manners (always), and you’re not like that anywhere else. I constantly have to remind myself that you are getting older and growing up more and more every day, and that’s something that I can’t stop, and wouldn’t want to stop even if I could, but can only adjust to and learn to accept.

Love, Momma

At 39 weeks pregnant, I wasn’t emotionally done being pregnant, but I was quite done with the rhetorical questions that people loved to ask. I understood, of course, what else can one talk about when WOW, THAT BABY BELLY IS RIGHT THERE. In fact, it was a source of amusement one night when I was flossing my teeth in front of the full length mirrored closet door in our bedroom/bathroom. The door started shaking and I thought it was an earthquake, only to realize that it was my pregnant belly hitting the door.

I felt absolutely amazing, healthy and strong, and was incredibly proud of myself for eating so healthy, exercising, researching things and preparing myself for that which was ahead. I had no qualms about being a mom and all that entailed, but the thing that was freaking me out was pumping breastmilk. I found the pump to be incredibly intimidating, what with all the tubes and suction cups and bottles and sterilizing things. Yikes.

I found encouragement for natural birthing from strange places that week. One place was on the blog of a lady who birthed an 11 lb 3 oz baby at home with a midwife, and another was from a lady I didn’t know at the gym who randomly shared that she’d had five babies and begged me to “not have an epidural! They can hurt your back forever… please do it naturally!” It was so funny to me to receive that type of encouragement from strangers, when all I’d received from most people was to take all the pain meds that the hospital will dole out or just forget the whole process altogether and get a C-Section!

Something went wonky that week with the chemical levels at the gym’s pool. My swim suit suddenly faded within two days to a non-descript grey color, my hair was suddenly fragile and dry, and was breaking off. In addition, a bright red rash showed up under both of my arms and I couldn’t get the smell of chlorine off of me, despite several showers. Then, Tuesday night, after attending the aquatics exercise class I noticed that anywhere my swimsuit had touched me, was burning as if I’d somehow sunburned them. I Googled the symptoms and learned that I had a chlorine burn. I was pretty upset and in pain from it, and decided I should notify the gym’s manager. After talking with him, he was really dismissive and didn’t even seem to care that much. So I started going to a different gym, but driving there added extra time to my evening workouts.

The doctor appointments that week were much less stressful for me since they were on the schedule that worked best for me vs. for my doctor, and the monitoring, ultrasound and exam revealed a strong fetal heartbeat, proper amount of fluid and “normal progress.”

So I was to continue what I’d been doing: lap swimming for an hour every day and tons of walking.

I felt incredibly blessed to have reached 39 weeks — I never, ever thought I would reach that point. There were parts of the journey that were absolutely terrifying for me. I felt like I should hold up some sort of victory trophy for reaching that point against all the odds. I was incredibly anxious to meet my baby, but at the same time I continued to savor and enjoy each and every moment that I got to have him all to myself. I knew that there would never ever, ever be another time in my life that I would get to experience the feeling of holding my baby boy that way.

Plus, I knew that pregnancy was really the easy part of being a parent!



Filed under Letter to William, Our Kid is Cute

8 responses to “Letter to our 8.9 month old

  1. Cat

    You and your blog make me so unbelievably happy. Happy 8.9 months to you all! xoxox

  2. I just love these letters to your dear William. Such a treasure for him, in the future, and for you and Tony, too!

  3. elbduval

    This is so sweet, Jammie J! You are a wonderful writer and I’m sure William will cherish these memories when he gets older. (Another December mama from TB/FB)

  4. ❤ glad you had a wonderful 3 day wknd. 🙂 xox