Tuesday, September 14, 2010

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Seven Months

 Seven Months
Seven. Months. Today my baby is 7 months old. Today she is one step closer to toddlerhood and one step farther from babyhood. I feel like each month with Cati has been easily characterized (ie, month 4 is the month she came alive). This month has been no different. This has been the month where Cati's independent spirit broke free; she learned how to crawl and she gets more confident in her ability to move around by herself with each passing day. She started the month by rocking on all fours and she's ending it by moving around quicker than I can keep up. She can reach up to grab things, pull herself up, sit on her knees, and she loves to stand.
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This was the month where I felt like she really knew me as her mother. That face looking to mine for confirmation of the safety of moving forward and exploring. Those hands reaching mine and holding my fingers. Those eyes following my every movement. Those ears tuned into my voice and signaling that little body to move toward me when I say, "come to mommy." Those tears that flow when I'm not near or within sight. And that smile that comes so easily when I ask for it. She is mine and I am hers and there is no doubt in my mind that she knows that.
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This was the month Cati was introduced to foods. She started off with cereal and has since eaten peas, carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, avocado, corn, banana, pears, and apples. Cati loves her veggies (minus corn) but isn't crazy about fruits. She started off with a Tbsp of cereal for breakfast and a Tbsp of veggies for lunch. Now she's eating 1.5 Tbsp of cereal for breakfast and about 3 Tbsp of veggies and fruits for lunch.
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This was the month Alex felt, truly felt, what it was like to be a father. It's so weird to think that it took him this long, but it just goes to show you how parenthood is processed so differently by each parent. He knew he was a father because he had a daughter; the physical component of fatherhood was there for him. However, he didn't feel he had a daughter until the mental connection was made.
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This was the month Cati began teasing me with sleeping. She'll go a few days where she only wakes up once overnight and that's after an 8 hour stretch. Then she'll go back to waking up twice overnight. Her body is testing out its ability to sleep through the night and it is such a welcome change for me. While I'm still exhausted, sleeping more at night makes me look more forward to my day with Cati.
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This month was a very social one for us. We went out past her bedtime for the first time and Cati has had multiple playdates. We've spent whole days out of the house and she finally learned that her grandfather isn't a scary person (she would cry every time she saw him). Cati is great when surrounded by a small amount of people but big crowds giving her attention freak her out. I wonder if this is just a baby thing or a personality thing. I hope that being home with me all the time doesn't make her too scared of others. But at the same time I like that she gets scared of others because hopefully that means she will be weary of strangers when she's older.
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Physically, Cati looks the same to me. Her features are set and now they are just getting refined. The biggest change has been the growth of her hair. It's gotten so long and it's starting to fill in. I can't get over how much hair she lost and how much of it has come back. Cati is going to have my hair, from the texture down to the curls at the sides. I've found myself trying to picture Cati with long hair but I can't. I honestly can't imagine her looking cuter than she does right at this moment.
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Personality-wise, Cati is still the same fun and happy baby. She barely cries and she loves to make funny faces. This has been the month where my eyes opened up to seeing her as a little person. She has her likes and dislikes and she isn't afraid to let you know what they are. 
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I went from pumping 4 times a day to 3 times. At first, I was nervous about how my body would react to the reduced pumping sessions. I wasn't worried about losing supply because the whole point of me cutting back the pumping sessions is to tell my body that it needs to produce less milk. I was worried about how my boobs would feel after a long stretch. In the beginning, I would get uncomfortably engorged and you could actually see my milk ducts (sorry for the visual!), but the engorged feeling lasted only a few days and I wasn't uncomfortable in the least while my body adjusted to the knew schedule. Now I pump at 7:00am, 4:00pm, and 9:30pm, so even if Cati isn't really sleeping through the night just yet, I'm treating my body as if she was. I can still remember when I pumped 8 times a day so to be down to 3 times is bittersweet. It means that I've stopped trying to build my supply and I've started the move from functional boobs to aesthetic boobs.
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Cati being 7 months hits me hard on so many levels. I thought I would be rejoicing when she was 7 months old because it would mean I would only have 2 more months left of pumping to reach my pumping-for-9-months goal. I still plan on stopping by the time we reach the 9 month mark, it's just hitting me hard that this feeding relationship will come to an end after how much I have worked to have this type of feeding relationship. It's so bittersweet. I've enjoyed seeing Cati grow because of my breast milk but I also look forward to not pumping anymore and to falling in love with my body again (pumping has to be the most unattractive thing ever).
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Being a mother is the hardest thing I have ever done. I always wanted to be a mother I just never envisioned myself being a stay at home mother. I envisioned myself having a successful career and being a mother. I don't have a career and there's nothing I'm remotely passionate about, but that's ok because I am passionate about raising and caring for Cati. I love getting to know her and seeing her grow. The future scares me because she will become more and more independent and opinionated and she won't need me as much, but at the same time I embrace the change. No one said motherhood was easy and everyone says motherhood is in constant flow marked by constant changes.
Seven Months
Stephanie

1 comment:

vickdn said...

She is so freakin adorable! I love this pic of her each month, how did you do that? What a great idea and way to cherish each moment she grows.