I’m listening to the fragile silence of a Sunday afternoon marveling at how far we’ve come in the last month. Misha and Vance and Chester are all napping, the dryer is resting between so many loads of laundry, and the only sounds I hear are the heater whirring and the keys underneath my fingers. Bliss.
I still assume everyone else has this parenting thing figured out more than we do, that most days we have no clue what we’re doing and would surely have been disqualified by now if this was a competitive sport. And yet, we’re doing it. Doing it well even!
Misha is six months old today, thriving and, in general, happy. He’s inches away from crawling, ever cheerful, and even sleeping three or more hours at a clip. (If that sounds horrible, I understand. But for us, it is bliss.) Perhaps my proudest accomplishment as a mother, though, is that we’ve made it this long exclusively breastfeeding.
I read a ton before Misha was born. Mostly about birth, but also about the early months. And everything I read helped me to form a plan for how I would labor and how he would be born and how we would start his life out on a path that would build him up to be One Of The Good Ones™. (Really, I’d settle for healthy, bonded, and well-adjusted. Asking too much?) And on almost every point, things didn’t go according to plan. Better get used to that, I was told. That’s just parenting. Well, okay.
But we still had this one thing. One thing that hadn’t been scratched off our birth plan, though it very nearly was. Breastfeeding was a monumental, tearful struggle in the early days. One that had me at wits end fighting with our son’s neonatologist in front of two wide-eyed residents at a particularly low point. (And by “fighting” I mean collapsing into a pool of my own tears and begging Vance to wheel me away. I wasn’t much of a fighter then.)
I was, however, hopelessly stubborn. We kept at it, and it did get better. Through reflux and thrush and back-to-work and engorgement and jam jar pumps and food poisoning and TEETH and stuffy noses and OOOH LOOK AT THAT SHINY THING OVER THERE, we’ve made it six months. While there are many right ways to feed a baby, this was ours. The struggles were real, but they were worth it.
Misha is threatening to crawl any day now, though nobody told me he’d be so “mobile” before crawling! He spins and kicks and slides across the floor on his belly like a tiny skeleton athlete. Only slower and with less spandex.
He is fast outgrowing his Baby Björn bouncer, but sitting up well enough to be ready for his Tripp Trapp any day. I’ve decided to teach him to sit by propping him up in a bassinet full of stuffed animals. Mostly he just falls into the pile and runs the tags through his tiny fingers.
- Current Size: 6-12 months
- Favorite Toy: Anything wooden that fits in his mouth or makes noise when he bats at it.
- Biggest Struggle: Scratching the skin off his head. No, getting enough naps in. No wait, did I mention there are TEETH? Stop. Biting. Mama.
- Current Bedtime: 6:30 PM... ish.
- Average Number of Night Wakings: 4 (in a 12-hour period)
Misha is asleep in his crib on his belly, arms neatly folded under him, butt up in the air and a pool of drool collecting by his mouth. Awww.