Wednesday, February 04, 2015

To Phoebe at 6 months

Dear Phoebe,

Today you are exactly 26 weeks old. 6 months have gone by since the day you were born. That tiny red faced little skinny baby has turned into a rosy cheeked, curious, happy monkey. You're still little, 9th centile, but you're growing all the time.

You're sleeping right now, or almost sleeping. We've been lying in the dark on my bed with brown noise playing on my laptop, both of us falling asleep. I can hear you sucking your thumb and know that it will gradually slip out of your mouth as you fall asleep. Or you'll wiggle a bit and settle again with your hands behind your head like a sunbather.

You're sleeping in your Moses basket. The one I slept in and so did your aunties and cousins. Unlike the rest of us, you still fit at six months old! But soon you'll be big enough to move into a cot and you'll be sleeping in your own room. I will miss you, monkey. I worry that you'll have to make more noise for me to hear you wake up in the night. Right now I can hear every little twitch and breath and hear you begin to stir when you're ready to be fed. I'll miss that.

Right now, you are mostly delightful. You are curious and interested in the world. Every new place you go, you want to look at everything, the people, the things in the room. You delight strangers on the bus with your smile. You're intrigued by the things grown-ups eat and drink, especially Mummy's water glass. I've given you a sip of water a couple of times, but mostly I think you wanted to bite on the cool rim of the glass. Soon we'll start giving you solid food. I'm a little apprehensive about getting it right. Milk is, well, not easy, it's been tough, but at least I know how to do that now. Solid food is a whole new world for you. I worry about giving you good eating habits when mine aren't always good or overwhelming you with new sensations before you're ready. I need to take a deep breath, offer you some food to play with and trust you to get on with it.

You like wiggling on your play mat. You even like tummy time a bit now, though it's taken a while and I don't always remember to do it. You've rolled a few times from tummy to back and we've even caught you on video. You've not rolled the other way yet, but whenever you're on the floor, you spend a long time grabbing your feet and rocking from side to side. Your feet are good toys. The other day you managed to chew on them!

You chew everything, especially your hands. Sometimes I think you're teething. Sometimes I'm not sure. No sign of a tooth yet, though at times you seem miserable and there's lots of frantic chewing. You've been a bit grumpy and clingy for the past few weeks. According to the Wonder Weeks, it's leap 5 and the grumpiness is because your brain is working out all sorts of new exciting things. I do hope so! I love seeing you learn.

Daddy can always calm you down. Sometimes I think he's more in tune with you than I am. You like to grab his glasses and pull on his beard. I think you're going to have lots of fun together. I can see his face in yours sometimes, your expressions are similar.

I love reading you stories. You giggle and kick your legs in delight. I don't know if it's the pictures or the words or just the sound of my voice, but it's lovely. You've not started grabbing the books yourself yet, but I expect you will.

Breastfeeding you has been hard, but we're still doing it. Your tongue tie was snipped twice and still isn't quite right, though recently we finally seem to have a decent latch. This week you've been refusing the breast when the flow isn't fast enough. That made me sad. Too many bottles when you had a cold and didn't want to feed with a blocked up nose or didn't want to feed for some mysterious reason of your own. But we're persevering with a supplementer to up the flow. Maybe it'll just be a phase and in a few weeks we'll be back to feeding without it? Maybe we won't. But I'm glad to be still giving you my milk, as much as I can, even if it hasn't quite been the way I planned.

Today we saw lots of little babies and you looked so big! You've grown so much, yet I only notice when I stop to think back. It does go fast, like they say. But it's wonderful. And stressful and emotional and worrying and exhausting and all those other things too. But wonderful.

I love you, my monkey, my Phoebe

Your Mummy

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