Happy half birthday, my love. Time is going by way too fast but Chris and I are enjoying every moment of parenting our beautiful girl. She is the sweetest baby. She rolls forward and backward, smiles and laughs all the time, and loves her fur brother, Max. We have quite the routine down and every day is better than the last.
In our six months together, things have changed so much. And I know it will get better, but Chris and I are both absolutely loving parenting a six month old. We look forward to every developmental milestone, but love having a sweet, immobile baby for now (though she is ready to be on the move).
In those early weeks of trying and failing at breastfeeding, I never could imagine that I would be where I am today. Isla is now exclusively breastfed (with the exception of daycare) and I am so proud to have overcome bleeding nipples, countless clogged ducts, two bouts of mastitis, and an abscess to achieve the thing that I envisioned when I was pregnant.
I now experience no pain, which I will never take for granted. As we begin introducing more solids and (eventually) getting teeth, I hope to continue to breastfeed her without running into supply issues or pain. I’ve achieved my first goal of 6 months, now I hope to make it another 6.
Oh how I love sleep. Always. I crave it and rarely ever let anything get in the way of it. Having a baby has changed all of that. I really do not have much room to complain as Isla was a pretty good sleeper as a newborn. We would wake up 3-4 times a night at first and eventually, 2-3, but she always went down after a feeding. She quickly outgrew her basinet and would wake herself up so the night before I went back to work, we moved her to the pack and play with the basinet insert. This was the first night she slept through the night. I was thrilled, but as any breastfeeding mom knows, it was not without pain.
Too quickly, Isla exceeded the weight limit allowable for the basinet insert. Chris went through the trouble of taking the crib apart and moving it into our room because I was not ready for Isla to be out of my room. This is when sleeping through the night became a thing of the past. Some nights, she wakes 3 times, which has been hard. But as someone who is not keen to let her cry it out, it’s doable most days.
Throughout my entire maternity leave, I felt this looming shadow knowing I would eventually have to leave my baby to go back to work. Towards the end of my 12 weeks, I almost welcomed it so I could finally put that anxiety behind me. I love my job, but I do not love leaving my baby. Sure, there are days where I feel like I have a good handle on balancing being a mom and working full-time. But more often than I like, it is all too much. When we have a particularly bad night or no sleep, or Isla is sick, or I get spit up on right before walking out the door, it is really freaking hard.
Most recently, I’m overwhelmed by it all. Isla got actually sick for the first time at the end of March (Influenza-A and double-ear infection) and I went into full mom mode and work took a back seat. I am so grateful to have a job that allows me flexibility to take care of my baby when she is ill, but I was wracked with guilt at how out-of-whack the work-mom balance became. Now she is healthy, and I’m still constantly trying and failing to do it all. But my baby is healthy and happy, and I am thrilled about that.
We recently started getting into rice cereal with breast milk, and I love watching Isla try something so new, but I am still a little sad that it is the beginning of weaning. Every night, I put Isla to sleep and kiss her goodnight and think about how in the morning she will be a little bit bigger and a little bit older. I am trying to cherish every moment.