We took pictures on her 6 month birthday! Woohoo! I’ll try to remember the new things happening.
She loves food. Seriously, loves. The other day she had her first eggs, cotton candy, broccoli and pickle. We have a video of her lemon face (which she still keeps eating). She will eat anything you put in front of her – except puffs. Those just aren’t food to her apparently. :-) Oh, I taught her how to lick an ice cream cone yesterday while waiting at Jason’s Deli. Well, she taught herself. First she tried to bury her face in it, and then stuck out her tongue. I just helped along by maneuvering the cone. It was adorable. And yes, I’m getting quite used to eating after the slobber monster, with some exceptions.
Movement is coming along. She now hops and moves each hand forward before kind of hopping again. She’s strong enough to pull herself up on pillows as of this morning, so I have to clean off the headboard or risk it all being in her mouth. She loves to jump in her jumper and tried to hang herself (by the belly) with her bouncer. I think the bouncer is now done. She will ‘walk’ if you support her a decent amount. She loves that. She also pulled herself up last week with her toy box, which then fell over. She hasn’t pulled herself up since, but it will happen again soon.
She’s been lifting her arms up to be picked up for a while. She’s started using her fingers curing into her hand to say come here, since we do that to her. She plays with the tiny bit of hair she has. That’s not really new but I don’t know if I mentioned it before. She loves to play and chew on things. Still no teeth. That makes 3 months of teething, with no end in site. We’ll see if the doctors care at her appointment in the morning.
She enjoys sesame street and many other shows. If a screen is on, she’s paying attention much of the time. She’s obsessed with our phones which makes sense. This morning she got mine while it was locked. I eventually took it away and she cried. That’s a new development. Crying in response to having things taken isn’t fun.
She’s no an expert nap avoider. Today she had 1! nap. This morning. I nursed her 3 times and while she was half asleep during, when she was done she popped right up. Well, she rolled over and was up. Let me tell you, wrangling this child is not easy. She’s so strong and determined! Diaper changes and nursing can get challenging. I love it but I wish I could reason with her.
She’s just barely in her 6-9 month clothes and nearing the end of her 1 month in size 2 diapers. We got a ton of hand me downs from some relative I don’t really know that my mom sent down with my nephew (he’s here for the week). So just when we were running out we have some more clothes. That’s pretty awesome. We need to go through the smaller stuff now.
We are simultaneously so proud of our Melody, yet at a loss when she doesn’t want to do things like nap. Or nurse because there’s food in her line of sight. Or let us change her diaper. lol It really is far much more joy than anything though. She laughs even when upset. She’s pretty easy to distract, especially with food. She’s embracing all that life has to offer in her short life so far and it’s adorable to watch. I share a lot of it on Instagram because it’s fun.
Now, how am I doing 6 months post partum? I continue to go to physical therapy which is super helpful. If you have pain after about 2 months post partum, go to a physical therapist that specializes in post partum therapy. You don’t have to suffer. So, back to the update. Last week was hard. My hormones hit really hard and I literally cried all day (or at least teared up). It was the same day Melody decided to pull up and it was just too much. I was missing her and hating having to be at work. Plus, my supply was down. I believe it was the hormones. So pumping sucked and I missed her and I couldn’t enjoy her. Thankfully that night I took a good shower and felt better. Hormones are a bitch! So far no bleeding so I hope it was a temporary fluctuation. I have my women’s physical on Wednesday with the midwives because I don’t want to wait to go to the VA next year. For a few months I had some random pains in my abdomen which worried me. It turns out that my body was missing the baby. When I learned that I could open up consciously and let her energy in more. I felt my abdominal area humming and haven’t had any pains in that area since (besides the normal muscle stuff). I’m less worried about my visit now. I’m bringing her so hopefully at least on person will be there who remembers us. :-)
Breast feeding is always a challenge, but now because of her eating habits. At work, pumping is typically two sessions of 40-60 minutes long (with breaks, basically I power pump every day). I had gotten up to two full bottles with that first pump before the hormone issue. Either way, when I get home she only eats off one side. I really need to pump the other side once I go back to work next week. Then she goes to bed so early that she only nurses each side once, before midnight. Then whatever she does in the middle of the night/morning. I think that was hurting my supply. I do have a little stash going of about 10 bottles (4-5 ounces is what I call a bottle). But it’s hard to maintain supply at times so I’m going to refocus and pump the other side after she’s done. I’m also working to pump while on vacation, which would be easier without an almost 12 year old boy in the house. I’m learning to be discreet enough to get it done while in the same room though. It’s all about balance. In any case, I feel confident enough that I donated around 34 ounces (all that remained of what I received from a donor) to someone who needed it more. Since it was roughly 6 months old it needed to be passed on or used asap. Right now my stash is almost the same as what I received from donation two months ago. Pretty awesome! I really hope to donate more in the future. I’m experimenting with nutritive yeast tablets, oatmeal, and flax meal. If that helps enough I can really build a stash and donate. I was even thinking that it could be interesting to wet nurse, though there isn’t much of a system in place for that and I don’t know anyone who needs it. I think it shows how comfortable I’m becoming with all this though. I’m halfway to my next goal of 1 year. At that point she won’t need as much and I can evaluate how often I pump.
All in all, I hate being away from her so much. I’m still learning to focus at work and get things done. I hope we have some new income streams coming in by next year so we can save for a house and give her a yard of her own. But for now, I’m grateful for her every day. Her hugs, the way she curls in when she finally sleeps, her kisses and laughs. Such a depth of love that I didn’t know was possible. I wish it would just slow down a little so I could take it in more. She’s not slowing down though, so I have to keep up.