Monday, June 14, 2010

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Four Months

We have survived yet another month. When people said it gets better with time, they weren’t lying. Being Cati's mother has gotten more enjoyable and easier with each passing day. I am able to read her better and she is adapting better to the world around her. Sure, I had a few emotionally draining days where I was flirting with the idea of having postpartum depression but once I let my feelings out I felt so much better. Motherhood is hard and it’s especially hard if you are doing to majority of the caretaking alone.
Parenting is a huge emotional investment and now is when it’s starting to pay off. I have invested so much of myself in Cati and my return was seeing her grow, but this month she learned how to pay me back in other ways. The biggest being her ability to smile on demand. She smiles when she sees when for the first time after waking up for the day or from a nap. She smiles in response to my smiles and when she's in a really good mood she laughs. I have been waiting for this for so long and now that she does it, I feel a sense of renewed energy and excitement over parenting her. Now I can see that she knows me and appreciates having me around.
In general, this is the month where Cati came alive. This is the month where we really started to see her as a human being. What I mean by that is that this month she really started to show her spirit and independence. She was no longer just a baby taking it all in, she become a person capable of interacting and responding. We like to think that she recognizes her name already because when we call it she looks at us. Her fingers are constantly searching and reaching and feeling (when they aren’t in her mouth, of course!) and it was great to see her discover more of her body when she found her feet.
Cati became a rolling machine this month. She went from hating tummy time to loving it when she was able to roll over onto it on her own. She is usually on her tummy within a minute of being set down on her back. I wonder what it is that makes her want to roll over so quickly. I am still astonished at how quickly development happens with her; one day she didn’t roll at all and the next day she was a pro.
This month saw Cati wanting to sit straight up. Whenever she is in a reclined position she lifts her head up in an attempt to sit up. With how quickly things happen, I have no doubt that she will be sitting up unsupported very soon.
Cati used a spoon for the first time this month. Or rather, I introduced the spoon to her and she grabbed it and chewed on it. Watching her with the spoon was the cutest thing ever. It was fun to watch her discover how to actually get the spoon in her mouth. It took her a while to realize that the part she grabbed with her hand was not the part she wanted in her mouth. She got it eventually and after that she had no trouble in putting the actual spoon in her mouth.
Cati's vocalizations have become more understandable and now it actually sounds like she is saying things like “mama” and “baba.” I can’t wait to hear her first word.
Pumping has continued despite a bout of mastitis and a handful of clogged ducts. I always had the goal of making it to 9 months pumping, but I am still incredibly surprised and proud that I have made it this far. I am almost halfway to my goal and my freezer stash is busting at the seams. The feeding relationship I envisioned having with Cati is not the feeding relationship that we have, but we have made it work. It’s taken a lot of commitment on my part but I never really understood how important it was to me that Cati get breast milk until this. In a way, I felt indifferent to breastfeeding when I was pregnant but once she was born it become such a huge and important thing to me. I feel this month was finally the month where I let go of all the guilt associated with not being able to get Cati on the breast. This month was the month where I became comfortable and happy with pumping. I’m down to 4-25 minute sessions a day and am still producing enough milk for her. This is also the month where I realized that one day this feeding relationship will come to an end and I will be sad about its ending. So strange considering how often I have longed to be free of my pumping routine. But I guess that’s just how it goes when you have a child: your emotions get the better of you and make what others would see as insignificant (maybe even silly) issues huge issues.
I am so incredibly in love with Catarina. It surprises me how much love I can hold and feel. She makes me feel like I am finally good at something. Seeing her grow is a beautiful thing to experience and for the first time in Cati's very short life I find myself wanting to freeze these moments. Who would have thought it would take me 4 months to stop wishing for the future?
To capture Cati's growth I will be taking pictures of her on the 14th of each month sitting in the glider in her tutu. Here's her growth so far:

1 comment:

Katrina said...

I LOVE her tummy rolls hiding behind that tutu!