H is 4 Months Old
I'm not going to mention how quickly this last month has gone, because it would seem that it's all I ever do in these monthly updates. It's hard to find another way to start these off as it is the truth; the early days pass so quickly, and with each update I can't help but realize we're quickly leaving them behind. Harrison's fourth month has been my favourite one yet. He's now more interactive than ever and super alert, but he can be a cheeky little sod and has forgotten how to sleep again, yet still, it's been my favorite month so far. In the last two weeks especially, we've bonded in a way that we never have done before, and I feel like I'm finally stepping into the role of being a mum, rather than simply a caregiver. A friend asked me today if I was enjoying being a mum, and I still don't have a straight yes or no answer - but I'm definitely beginning to enjoy it a lot more than I had been in previous months. I had never realized there was a difference before, but now, my feelings have completely changed, and I've completely rid myself of the baby blues that I've held onto for so long. He's my son, my little best friend and my motivation to make the most of our lives. He's also growing up to be one hell of a little character.
What The Midwife Says
We had our four month check up today, and the Health Visitor was thoroughly impressed. Everytime she sees Harrison she tells me how he shouldn't be doing the things he's doing and that he is extremely advanced for his age - I know fine well this is a blatant lie, as I'm an avid reader of these update posts and everyone else babies seem to be doing the same thing, but I'll let her keep honking his horn - he's such a happy little chappy and refuses to sit down at any point. He's permanently weight bearing, which originally worried me, but now I've accepted the fact that he simply wants to stand and provided I'm holding him and providing enough support there will be no detrimental effects. I finally got the all-clear to start weaning him (4 days after I had already started), but I knew myself he was ready. The health visitor told us to *nudge nudge wink wink* seriously consider starting early, even though she can't officially tell us to before 6 months, it was as close to the all-clear as she could give. He is now weighing 16lbs, which was a surprise to me, given that he weighed 12lbs at 7 weeks, I'd have thought he'd have gained a lot more in 11 weeks. He's completely healthy though and is still a very tall baby. No problems, other than his inability to sleep...
What sleep? That's the key question here.
In my last update, I mentioned that Harrison doesn't sleep. He just doesn't like it. He's no longer having issues with his teeth, he's not uncomfortable, he's not hungry, he's not upset. He just doesn't want to sleep - but I do. We'd went through a week or so with two consistent wake ups, and I was the happiest person alive, then all hell hit and he decided to wake up for a feed every single hour until 4am at which point he'd be up for good. This would be all fine and good if it wasn't for the fact that he also doesn't nap during the day; it's not healthy for him, and he was ridiculously over tired. In a bit of a desperate last ditch attempt at some respite, we moved him into his cot in his own room, and for the first four days it was heaven. Down at 9.30pm, up for a feed at 4am, and slept until 7am. Perfect. I was alive again, and I was feeling brilliant. We also had our room back, our bedside tables could be moved back bedside, and out of the middle of the room - no longer were the floors littered with muslins and I could stop waking up every time Harrison breathed too heavily. I had began to worry that it wasn't so much Harrison waking himself up, but me being over zealous and assuming he was awake and needed feeding or soothing: the success in his own room confirmed this, or at least, it did until it didn't. We're back to square one, with a battle to get him into a deep sleep, and a battle to keep him down. We're averaging 4 hours sleep on any average night, and I am absolutely dying with it, so I can only imagine how my 4 month old is feeling. If anyone has any recommendations on anything else we can possibly try please do fire them my way, we've swaddled, tried sleeping bags, tried comforters, dream feeds, self-soothing, dark, light, white noise, controlled crying... What's left?
Feeding has been great this month, he consistently takes 6/7oz of milk every few hours, and takes around 9oz before bed, all of Aptamil Hungry Baby Milk. Since we switched him onto hungry milk, there have been no proper sickness and he is so much more contented since. We also tried introducing him to Puree's towards the end of this week. He has had a few of the Babease pouches and so far they have been a hit. I did always plan on making my own purees from scratch, and I still do, but we were sent a few of these and we decided to try them on a little bit of a whim. They went down a complete treat, and they are extremely convenient. Babease is vegetable led, suitable for vegans and made from premium, organic local ingredients in the UK, so it is perfect for making sure Harrison gets all of his nutrients, especially if we are in a hurry and looking to just grab something quickly. No one mentioned the nappies we'd have whilst weaning... they've been an absolute treat to say the least.
I feel like we've hit hundreds this month, especially last month considering I couldn't really name any.
It goes without saying that he's had his first taste of real food and he's moved to his own cot. Both huge milestones in thereselves. Other than those, everything is related to his alertness and his head control. Harrison can now sit comfortably by himself provided I am sat behind him to catch him when he inevitably whips his head back after a few minutes - with every day his balance improves, and I can imagine it'll be mere weeks before I'm leaving him confidently by himself. His hand eye coordination has improved massively and he is now making a conscious effort to reach out and grab things, much to my dismay. No longer can I safely hold my coffee in the other hand, and my phone is a complete no-go now. Last month, he'd gotten fairly good at rolling, this month, he's lost the ability completely - we get NADA now, so here's hoping we find that ability again soon!
His ability to hold his own head and sit up has meant he's probably spent a bit too much time watching the television with me - his favorite program is Dance Moms, although he'll settle for Soccer Saturday or Peppa Pig at a push...
Last month I said I was brilliant, this month though, I'm really brilliant. With every month I sound cornier and cornier, but I really am beginning to fall into my own routine. I'm back at the gym for 3 days per week now, but managing to even get out of the house for an hour and a half at a time has worked wonders. I finally have began to feel like myself again, and it has made a huge difference to my overall mood. I'm no longer permanently grouchy, I've stopped snapping so much and I've started looking forward to things more. With each day, my body is changing, and I am regaining the confidence I once had, slowly but surely. I'm tired, but I'm managing, and that's all that I can ask for right now. I've seen my friends considerably more this month, I've set my date to go back to work and I've stopped moping around as much - realizing I was feeling sorry for myself rather than getting on with things whilst a little tired (*exhausted) has allowed me to actually regain a piece of my old life.
Four months, check. With every one of these updates, I feel like I'm becoming more and more positive, and I can't help but look forward to the months still to come. Mum life is becoming less of a struggle and more of a slightly harsh reality, but a reality I'm slowly but surely learning to love. I won't claim to have fallen in love with life as a mum straight of the bat, I'm not naturally maternal and I'm no longer ashamed to admit that becoming a mum was a culture shock that wasn't fun at first, now though, I have a happy smiley interactive boy who makes it all worth it. I love being able to write these monthly updates, I could easily came them in one of the Milestone books, but nothing beats being able to read back how I felt at the time. No where in the milestones book do they ask for the first breakdown you had over the Peppa Pig theme tune, or the smell of the first nappy after introducing solids, or the month in which he forgot to do something he already had down. I want to remember the little things, the funny things, the things that made the last month the best one yet.
(Although, if he could sleep I'd love life just that little bit more)...