Saturday, August 14, 2010

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Six Months

Six Months
Please give me a second to compose myself. I need to dry my eyes and blow my nose. Where have the last 6 months gone? And wait a minute. When did I become the mother of a 6 month old? Cati is SIX months old today. We are halfway to a year. I'm having so much trouble with this. Cati is now closer to her birth day instead of birth date. My baby is growing up and inching further and further away from actually being a baby.
This past month has been such a joy. It's also been very eye-opening in the sense that I have come to terms with loving my motherhood but not our parenthood. I felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders because I finally understood that the problem laid outside of me. It just shows you how every single aspect your life has to continually respond to a new human being. We have to constantly adapt and adjust to the changes brought on by having and raising a child. It's as if we are constantly evolving and seeking equilibrium. I expect many changes in my relationship with myself, Cati, and Alex as Cati continues to grow and develop.
Cati's personality has developed so much over the past month. She is such a fun and happy baby. Her zest for life is so infectious and I'm amazed that you can sense that in a human being so young. She loves to stick out her tongue and make funny faces. She smiles in return and loves to giggle. She loves to hear me sing (girl is CRAZY because I can't sing) and she smiles when she hears Alex's voice over the phone. She has mellowed out a lot and she seems like a completely different baby from the one that spent the first few months of her life crying all the time. I think she just might be the only baby on the planet that's in the best mood right before bed.
This is the month where mobility really took off. It all started with Cati being able to sit on her own and now it's ending with Cati rocking on all fours and pulling herself up into a standing position. With how quickly she has been developing I expect next month's post to include something about her crawling all around the house.
The biggest change this month has been Cati's sleeping arrangements and habits. She's been sleeping in her room in her crib for the past month. While the first night was hard because of the crying and because I was used to having her next to me in the bassinet, it was worth it considering Cati is sleeping a lot better now and we have reclaimed our room. Cati has become a belly sleeper now and I love it when she sleeps with her bum propped up. What amazes me is how quickly she has learned where to look when she wakes up; she'll pull the bumper down and look through the crib toward the door waiting for me to walk through it.
Part of her sleeping in her room has been the refinement of her bedtime routine. She gets a bath around 6:45pm, her bottle around 7pm, is read a book, and then asleep by 7:30pm. One of the perks of her sleeping in her room is that now she wakes up twice overnight (around 11pm and 4am) and I actually kind of look forward to her waking up because I love cuddling with her in my rocking chair as I feed her.
Cati has become extremely interested in everything around her. She's always been a very alert baby but now she is very interactive with everything around her. She watches you eat, reaches for anything and everything in front of her, and loves to pet Perla. I have been so tempted over the last month to feed her cereal because I feel guilty over how longingly she looks at our food when we eat.
Speaking of food. HOORAY. I can officially say Cati has been exclusively breastfed for 6 months. She hasn't eaten anything other than breast milk. Take that AAP and lactation consultant who said I'd dry up! I am so proud of getting to this point especially because I pump; there were times where I didn't think I'd make it. I've had countless clogged ducts and mastitis bouts over the last 6 months. I've had so many supply drops that I'm amazed I even still produce as much as I do. I've thought about quitting pumping but my fear of more mastitis bouts and clogged ducts have kept me pumping. While it still ties me down at times (I pump 4 times a day), I am completely comfortable with pumping and how much milk I produce. My goal is still to make it to 9 months of pumping but I think I'd be ok with stopping sooner if I feel comfortable with the amount of milk stashed away in my deep freeze.
We have survived and now I am confident in our ability to continue surviving! I still can't believe Cati is 6 months old though. I can't believe that I gave birth to my little stranger 6 months ago. A year ago I was in love with a faceless stranger. Six months ago I was in love with a baby that in all senses is considered a stranger because of her newness. Today I am madly and insanely in love with this little person that will forever be a stranger to me. I'm so lucky to get to spend the rest of my days getting to know Cati and seeing her bloom into a person that will surprise and inspire me always.
Months 0-6

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