Sunday, July 11, 2010

180 days

Miller is 6 months old today.  The time hasn't exactly flown by, so I don't find myself saying, "Where has the time gone?"  But I do find it funny to consider that this time last year, I still had not gone public with my pregnancy.  How is it possible that a year ago I was only 11 weeks pregnant, still had no idea that my baby had Down syndrome, and yet today, I have a 6 month old who will we will take to the pediatrician tomorrow, and I will beg her to allow us to start feeding him solids.  This boggles my mind!

But if I just focus on the past 180 days, I must confess that I have learned so much.  Not that I EVER claimed to know much about all of this baby business beforehand, but I never could have anticipated the lessons I would learn as a new mother to this sweet baby boy.

#1. Being induced sucks!  I pray that if I am ever blessed again with a child that they will come out before we have to go in after them.  In all fairness, I know it wasn't his choice, and the induction was due to my high blood pressure so it was unavoidable.  However, pitocin is evil, but it definitely does the trick.

#2. Peeing on your L/D nurse when she tries to get you out of your bed is really no big deal.  She's seen worse, and as she said to me, "this is a very messy process."

#3.  I really didn't believe I was having a baby until I heard him cry.  It sounds stupid, but the whole thing still wasn't real until they pulled him out.  It really is the most beautiful sound I have ever heard, and I do wish it had been recorded.

#4.  No one shows you how to breastfeed.  I guess I should have taken a class, but I didn't even take a childbirth class.  That one would have come in handy when they handed him to me, and everyone watched to see if he knew how to latch.  Fortunately, he figured it out without much assistance from me.

#5.  The first two months are brutal.  I value my sleep and always have.  Keeping up an every three hour change-breastfeed-bottlefeed-pump-routine was a beating.  I love him, and I swear I never wanted to hurt him, but I was an uber-crabby new mommy.

#6.  Jaundice is damn scary!  I don't care how common it is.  When it happened to our baby, and we had to spend two days in the pediatric ward with him in an incubator under the blue lights, I was terrified.  Glad to be in the hospital where all of the professionals could help us care for him, but scared none the less.

#7.  Bringing home a baby is the most humbling experience ever.  We spent 4 days with medical professionals checking his vitals and giving us tons of advice.  None it was very helpful when we got home, and he kept losing his body temperature and turning more yellow by the moment.  In those moments  I realized that we really didn't know anything, and instinct took over.

#8.  Comparing my baby to anyone else's will only stress me out.  Miller is a peanut.  He is healthy, has a tremendous appetite, and is still small for his age.  I know it's the Downs, but it's still a little rattling when strangers at the grocery store are smiling at him and saying, "He's adorable.  How old is he?"  And I say, "__ months" and they look at me like I must be starving him.

#9.  When he smiles and coos at me I absolutely melt.  I am completely in awe of this little person, and no matter how terrible other parts of my life have been, it all goes away with one little smile.  It's like magic, and in those moments I truly can't believe he is mine.  I will most certainly dissolve into a pile of mush the first time he says, "Mama".

#10.  I know there are a million opinions about this out there, but I have not been in any hurry to make him sleep in his crib.  He sleeps in his buggy next to our bed.  When I lay in bed before I fall asleep, I can hear Pierce snoring on one side of me and Miller on the other.  It is like heaven.  Yes, I know he's going to outgrow the buggy soon, and he probably wouldn't mind his crib at all.  But I am not ready!!!

I know I will think of more, and there will be more lists as he continues to grow.  Six months really is the perfect age so far.  He has his own personality.  He's trying to crawl.  He can almost sit up on his own.  He is discovering the cat, and thankfully, the cat is becoming more tolerant.  Being his mom is the greatest blessing I have ever been given, and I am so grateful to God for this perfect little life.