6 months

Long time no write! He will be six months on Thursday. Really. And so I am going to make an attempt to write an update, although I am overwhelmed by the prospect, considering how much has happened! But one of the things S is teaching me is how NOT to be a perfectionist…

He is teaching me that life is messy, and that’s okay. That everything is a process. That it is perfectly fine to just do what you are able to do, in a given moment, and no more. This is a big lesson for me, one I will be learning for the rest of my life, as I am the type of person who has always prided herself on doing things precisely, completely, excellently, and who is quite hard on herself—I am of course talking about more than blog posts here! It is, was, a way of being. But S slows me way down. I spend long stretches of time doing the simplest things—playing with our hands and feet, looking at and feeling tree branches and leaves and flowers and grass, simply sitting and making sounds with our lips and looking out the window. My agenda nags at me, but S teaches me to relax it away. To go for a stroll and just be.

He is amazing. His latest fascination is with birds. In the mornings, after he eats his breakfast, I take him to the open living room window and he puts his little hands on the sill and we both peer out. There are many songbirds out there. We listen. I try to imitate each sound I hear, birdy, birdy, birdy, twee, twee, twee, twee, chirrup chirrup. This makes him grin (and once, while we were hiking and I started doing this, he cracked up laughing). We listen for the bird, I do the call, and he grins. Over and over. His eyes round as he peers out. He tracks the birds flying across the yard, left to right. He slaps his little hands against the sill in excitement.

I purchased a children’s bird guidebook and when we went out to breakfast yesterday, I sat him in my lap and read it to him, doing the bird sounds. Then we went and got some bird seed and some feeders. I set up the screen house in the back yard and hung one of the feeders on a nearby tree.

I used to love watching and identifying birds, but I’ve gotten so far away from that over the years. I was also pretty knowledgeable when it came to identifying trees and wildflowers (I used to live in a log cabin in the woods, on sixty acres). All of that knowledge has dissipated like an unused second language. But when S and I (and on the weekends, DH) go hiking, or even just for a stroll around the neighborhood, we touch tree bark, we hold leaves and flowers in our hands, and my old love and thirst for naming has reawakened (another gift S has given to me). So I got two more children’s guidebooks, one for wildflowers and one for trees.

He is such a curious child. He is so invested in looking around, taking in, and he can muster such concentration when he looks and takes in—he becomes totally still, concentrates, and it is as if we can see the cogs in his mind turning, turning. And then, click, he gets it, whatever it is, there is a little spark of joy and he smiles, looking at me or DH.

He is enthralled by people. We take him out a lot, to parks, beaches, nature trails, and very frequently to restaurants. He loves going out to eat with us. It’s so fun. I have learned how to eat anything—and I mean anything—while he is on my lap. Soup, ice cream, mussels, messy tacos—I have become such a pro that DH shakes his head in wonder. But it is so fun to have him on my lap. He slaps the table. He looks right, left, right, left, at anyone passing by. We sit out on the front patio of one restaurant and he stands up on my lap and watches the people and dogs and babies stroll by right below. Some of them wave at him.

I wish I could post a picture here of the little magic boy they are waving at. His beauty is breathtaking. Imagine a baby Buddha with the purest, sweetest smile you’ve ever seen in your life. Asian with Caucasian coloring. Small and lean, but with chubby cheeks and warm, dark, mesmerizing eyes.

The three of us have such a good thing going. It’s still a lot of work, of course, but there is more of a sense of flow to our lives, and DH is the best father, perfect, he just knocks my heart still, how attentive and loving and funny he is. We play with S together, both of us grinning and beaming, in love with him, in love with each other. DH and I had our rough moments during the serious sleep-deprived days, but we have come through on the other side intact and now are very considerate and kind with each other. The other night, after putting little man to bed, DH fell into my arms, crying, his heart hurting from the tender love he was feeling for our baby, and I cried, too, and there we were, just crying and saying, “I love him so much.” Yeah, we’ve got it bad!

Because just being around him, it’s like medicine. His thirst for life is contagious, and his innocence is heartbreaking. I put him in the activity center (yes, he can stand up in an activity center now) and he goes around to each thing, the buttons, the puppet, the star, the sunshine, the cylinder that makes noise, the beads on the U-shaped tube, and he looks so small, the smallest little master of his own little universe, spinning around from object to object, concentrating, slapping, pushing, pulling, mouthing, talking. “Wouldn’t it be incredible to be able to be fascinated by that thing?” DH said to me once, while we watched him from the kitchen.

The moment that always gets me right in the solar plexus is when he looks up from whatever he has been exploring, he looks up to find me. He finds me. He grins.

When he finally figured out how to push the beads up over the U-shaped tube, I clapped hooray, and he puffed out his chest. Literally. Puffed out his chest and smiled. Slapped his little hands down. Went to try to show me again.

He calls me “Mom-Bom.” Or “Mom-Mom.” Or “Mama.” Of course it probably doesn’t mean me, exactly, but something more abstract, like, “I need, I want,” to him. But he’s been saying these since he was 4 months old. When it first happened, it was so surreal. Now when he says it, he sometimes reaches out for me.

He has been rolling over since five months old, and now he is approaching being able to sit up on his own. Whoosh, time. He sleeps on his tummy.

We put him to bed at 7:30 p.m., give him a dreamfeed at 11:00 p.m., and he sleeps until 5:45-6:15 a.m. Then he’s up for an hour for breakfast and birdwatching, and he goes down for a two-hour nap. It’s heaven. 

He has eaten sweet potatoes, bananas, peas, carrots, apples, avocado. He reaches for the spoon and tries to feed himself. I steam and puree organic stuff and freeze it, and I show him all of the steps. He usually eats in the nude, because I’ve found that this is just easiest—the food goes everywhere but his mouth sometimes.

If he eats in the evening, we both hop in a bubble bath afterward, which has become one of our very favorite things. My little fishie! He goes onto his belly and swims, kicking his legs and flapping his arms. He goes toward the bubbles and tries to scoop them up. Then I pull him back onto “Mama Island,” and he lays completely still, his back to my belly, and we look up at the ceiling and just breathe and relax. Sometimes when he’s on Mama Island, I tell him a story about the showerhead being a microphone from outerspace and his home planet, where he used to be before he came to Earth to be our little boy.

He reaches behind him toward my face. He touches my cheek, my nose. In the mornings, he often reaches out and grabs my lips. When I grab my foot, he looks and grabs his foot. When we stick out our tongues way out, he sticks his way out—and lately has been greeting us with his tongue stuck way out through a big grin in the morning, because he knows this makes us laugh.

I didn’t write about going home to Ohio! The first thing I want to mention is this: I changed a poopy diaper in the plane bathroom. This is one of the greatest accomplishments of my life.

I also want to mention this moment: He stood on my lap and pressed his cool cheek to mine during take-off, and kept it there until we were well into the air—just quiet and holding onto me. I think of that moment often, for some reason.

Seeing my mom with him was the best part of going home. She was so sweet and gentle with him. I loved spending the evenings playing on the living room floor with S and her—-we floated my scarf up into the air like a parachute and brought it down on top of him, again and again. So much happened while I was home, but it’s all a subject for another post. I’ll just say for now that he met my entire extended family!

I also want to mention before I go (I see the clock edging toward 9 a.m. and little man’s awake time…) how he scream-laughs at the Gymbo puppet in Gymboree class, and how he always rolls toward and cozies up to one of the lady-babies there.

And that I’ve made some new friends—a very diverse and international group! A couple from France and Belgium, and another couple from Ukraine and Pakistan. They have a toddler and a three-month-old between them. On mother’s day, we went to one couple’s house for a BBQ and it was lovely. S slept in a bassinet under a flowering tree. DH gave me a card and flowers from S and we went out to a delicious brunch. It was the loveliest day, perfect weather, and I felt quite healed.

I also “came out” on Facebook that day, letting everyone know some of what I had gone through and asking them to remember our sisters struggling with infertility and pregnancy loss on Mother’s Day, those who yearn so deeply to become mamas, mentioning that our posts of our kiddos can be a source of pain, and that although I now use Facebook for sharing with many distant family members and friends, those sort of posts used to be a source of pain for me. I also said to message me if they or someone they know needs support or resources. Incredibly, I got some messages—not from anyone in current need, but from friends who had had miscarriages or difficulty conceiving. I discovered that one friend had lost his marriage because of the pain of two miscarriages. One friend is now pregnant, at 41, after a 5-year struggle.

There is so much more to say, but I must leave it at that for now. Until next time, love to you all.

 

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7 Comments

  1. *Hugs* <3 XOXO

    Reply
  2. J

     /  May 25, 2015

    Thank you. ENJOY. Happy Mother’s Day to you too -we just celebrated our 1st after our years if IF struggle too.

    Reply
  3. Sounds like motherhood is wonderful! :)

    Reply
  4. I love the way you write. It’s so moving and powerful, and it makes me look forward even more to sharing these kinds of moments with Q. S sounds like an adorable baby!

    Reply
  5. Lesley R

     /  May 27, 2015

    I’ve never commented before, but I found your blog after miscarrying in December 2013. My son is about a month younger than yours and I’ve checked in on your blog from time to time, looking for someone whose early baby days sounded like what I was experiencing. Thank you so much for your honest posts :) S sounds wonderful!

    Reply
  6. I, too, have never commented, but found your blog when I was pregnant bc my now 3 month old daughter is a RBAby. I’ve loved reading your posts, and they’ve been such a source of comfort and inspiration to me.

    Reply
  7. Oh, what a beautiful post! So many moments that made me smile and tear up. I love “the three of us have a really good thing going here.” I love the bird watching and sounds. I love that you “came out” and discovered the silent sufferers in your life, and honored those suffering on Mother’s Day who can’t celebrate yet. I love your writing, I love your soul, and I am so happy for all the beautiful moments that come with six months!

    Reply

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