Letters to Gibson: Eight Months

Letters-to-Gibson-8-MonthsDear Gibson,

Eight months is blowing my mind. I’ll admit it… you’re getting more interesting.

Let’s see. You are crawling. Not just the proto-fish-flop style of mobility you achieved at seven months. Now this is full fledged “low” crawl. A military style crawl for going under barbed wire in boot camp. Even if you’re not truly up on all fours, you don’t let obstacles get in your way. My leg. Your father’s head. The cats. None of those things can stop you if you want something.

My view of my son most of the time now.

My view of my son most of the time now.

Which means you get hurt a lot more often now. Usually you hit your head on a door frame that you’re navigating through or you bonk your face on the bottom of furniture. So far nothing has left a mark, and you only need reassurance that the world isn’t over when that happens. When we tell you “you’re alright,” you believe us and continue on your merry way. How much longer will you have utter faith that we have all the answers?

I’ve started going to the gym again. Which means leaving you with the on-site day care. It’s been… interesting. The first time I left you, you were happy for a full 40 minutes. Then you got upset and hungry. The staff got me off the treadmill to come give you a bottle. You sucked it down so fast that it all came back out in one giant stream that hit my thigh, splashed back onto your shirt and then hit the floor. Really, the physics of the thing was spectacular. I give you full props for doing it up right. Never go halfway when it comes to embarrassing Mom.

Once we toweled ourselves off, you were fine. And I brought you back next week. You didn’t want me to leave you that time. It took some convincing by me and the staff member, but I finally managed to slip away. When I came back, you were passed out in a swing in front of the TV. I actually sneaked back out to the gym proper to do a quick Tabata session since you were unconscious.

You had your first cold this month. And I had my first cold as a Mom. I’ve learned there is no sick leave for parenting. But we both survived. You’re still a little stuffy at the moment, but we both managed to make it through, even if we just laid on the bed for an afternoon while you grumped.

What else? You, my little man, are sleeping much better these days. I almost don’t want to jinx us with how well you’re sleeping. For the past few nights, you only wake up once at about midnight for a diaper change and bottle. Sometimes you wake at around 10 PM. Sometimes it’s closer to 2 AM. Either way, you’re only waking up about once a night. And THAT is heaven. Now if only I could sleep train myself. My body is so rigged for newborn care, I can’t get back to sleep after about 2 AM.

Yes, I check on you multiple times in the night. If I get up to go to the bathroom, I peek my head in. I watch your little chest rise and fall in the half-light. You’ve taken to sleeping on your belly sometimes and that makes me nervous. But your pediatrician isn’t worried, so I don’t roll you over and risk waking you.

Just this past weekend, we put some of the finishing touches on your nursery! For a while we thought we wanted to have a mural painted by a local artist, but that fell through. So we finally ordered some decals from Etsy that I think really suit the theme. You have been staring at them over your crib, so I hope that means you like them. I know I do.

Decal Collage 1

And let’s not forget another big step in your growth. You are eating solid foods. I think it was right after you hit the 8 month mark, you reached over to my dinner plate and took a piece of chicken off of it. Now you’ll have nothing to do with being spoon fed purees. Either we have to pop the food into your mouth for you, or let you try it for yourself. Growing up so fast! So far you’re a big fan of baked potatoes. And those little melt-in-your-mouth baby puffs! You’re trying to figure how to take a bite out of a bigger piece of food, but mostly we just try to keep it to small pieces.

solids collage

And we celebrated your first Halloween! No kids came to the door for trick-or-treating, but we still had a good time.

Halloween Collage

Perhaps most poignant for me…we have weaned. I think about it because I decided the last time we would nurse would be the morning of November 1. You were only nursing at night and when you were sleepy. And my milk supply issues were still plaguing me. Then we visited the rheumatologist who worried that I needed to get off the steroids I was taking in order to safely nurse.

So I stopped pumping milk at work. And I tried to savor the last few night feedings we had. And then, the morning after Halloween, while your father was still asleep… we had what I decided was our last nursing session. I told you that it was time. We nursed from both sides while I tried to keep my emotions in check. We’ll never be connected at that level again. I know you’ll always need me. But in a different way.

It’s bittersweet. I still haven’t started my injection medication yet because I guess I still want the option to nurse you if you are inconsolable. But honestly, you haven’t needed to nurse. Sometimes when you’re sleepy you will nuzzle at my chest and make rooting sounds. But you’re just as happy to have a bottle and be cuddled. Though there are lots of good arguments for the need for breast milk for babies to at least the one year mark, I think you were ready. I don’t know if I was ready or ever will feel that it was truly time. Believe me when I say I’ve shed more tears over this decision than I thought I would.

Did I just not try hard enough? Could I have tried something else to keep my supply up? Am I right in considering my health in this decision? Could I have done more? Will you be okay without those last four months of breast milk available?

The only thing that happened after we weaned that has truly consoled me was that you started eating real food off my plate the same weekend we weaned. That did seem like a sign that you were going to be fine.

Fine is the word. You’re doing just fine, Gibson. You’re growing so fast. You’re moving so fast! And you can work a fedora like no one’s business. The ways you need me and your father are changing. I hope we’re able to keep up with you, because you are just soaring.

2 thoughts on “Letters to Gibson: Eight Months

  1. Pingback: NaNoWriMo 2014 – Update Number One | Hungry For Motherhood

  2. Pingback: One Mississippi, Two Mississippi… | Hungry For Motherhood

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