Sunday, April 21, 2013

Five Months
20 weeks

 My darling Katherine,

You are 5 months old, baby girl, and this time last spring we were just finding out that you were on the way.  So you've now been a part of my life for a whole year.  I can't believe how time flies, yet I can barely remember life without you.

This week you weighed in at 10 lbs 14 oz, a huge leap forward from last month and you finally climbed onto the weight chart for your actual age - though you are smaller than 99.6% of all other five-month-old babies.  I love every tiny perfect part of you, my little miracle.  It's wonderful to know that you love me too, and I want to remember always how your little face lights up with pure, unadulterated delight when I walk into a room and greet you.

mmmm...muslin by keeniebeanieOne advantage to your teeny size is you still fit well in your moses basket, and happily sleep right next to me there.  When you wake at night, I can soothe you by simply reaching out, and you often quickly fall asleep holding my hand.  At the beginning of the month, you started skipping the 4 am wake up, pushing it back by another hour.  We've also moved bedtime forward to around 9:30 pm and there were four glorious days in the past week where you slept through past 7 am.  I felt like a million bucks when I didn't have a tiny little person functioning as my alarm clock at O-dark-thirty.  You've started napping consistently for 45-minute stretches several times a day and falling asleep on your own if I put you down when you're drowsy.  I feel like a genius for figuring out this sleep thing, but in truth, you've done most of it yourself.  I'm not foolish enough to believe that you won't ever challenge me with your sleep patterns but for now, my little sweetie, I'm so proud of you and grateful for the extra ZZZs.

A Smile for Daddy by keeniebeanieThis month you learned to laugh with abandon, though it doesn't happen very often and the most random and unpredictable things tickle your funny bone.  When you really get going, I laugh like a nutter right along with you and we set up a spiraling chorus of giggles as you laugh at me laughing at you.  But even the tiniest giggle seems to set off a bout of hiccups, so clearly your little diaphragm could use the exercise.  You've also developed a certain brand of charm and a winning smile especially for your daddy.  Don't tell him you know this, but he is slowly and surely falling under your spell.  And you're falling for him too... sometimes when you are frustrated with Mummy, he'll pick you up and make you smile and giggle even while you're still in tears.

Hare-lick by keeniebeanieYou've discovered the pleasure of testing the world with your tongue this month.  Your favorite thing to do is lick cloth... your muslin, Mummy's shirt, Hare's ears... it's all good to you.  You've become fascinated with your hands too, and since hand-eye coordination isn't one of your momma's strong points, I recommend all the practice you can get.

When I was pregnant with you my hair grew thicker than it had ever been in my life, but this month, little one, it started falling out incessantly.  In sympathy, you started losing most of your dark newborn hair and what's left is decidedly lighter.  You're rubbing out a bald ring around your head that is leaving you with this odd kind of monk tonsure at the bottom and a wicked comb-over on top.  So month 5 hasn't exactly been a good hair month for either of us.

You haven't yet made any real effort to start rolling or reach out and grab things in your world, but I think it's because you are such a chilled out little thing.  You are also incredibly brave and resilient, barely letting out a wail when you had your injections this month and almost never collapsing into tears when you are startled or scared. 

It seems to be a competitive pastime among mothers, comparing their little one's accomplishments, but the truth is, baby girl, I CAN wait until you conquer your milestones.  I CAN wait:
  • for you to roll over, because I like knowing you'll stay where I've left you;
  • for you to start teething, because I adore your gummy grin;
  • for you to start sleeping in your own room, because I like being able to soothe you while barely moving and we both stay mostly asleep;
  • for the time when I'm not the most important person in the world to you;
  • for you to squirm to get out of my arms because you'd rather explore than cuddle;
  • until you're no longer comforted by a simple kiss and a cuddle from Mummy;
  • for the time when I can't coax a beaming grin from you just by smiling like a looney myself.
You've changed and grown so much that there's barely a shade of the teeny, tiny newborn we brought home.  I can and really want to wait for you to tell me when you're ready for your next accomplishment so you can enjoy being who you are now.  I am so honored to have the privilege of watching you discover your skills and embrace the world at your own pace.  Just know if it ever gets to be too much for you, I'll be right here, waiting with a kiss and a cuddle to make you feel better.

Carseat cuteness by keeniebeanie
I love you with all my heart,



  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Rebecca! Good luck with your DE cycle. :-)

  2. What a gorgeous smile! Glad things are going so well for the three of you.

    1. Thanks, Helen - I really am finding motherhood very rewarding.

  3. She is so cute! and happy, and sleeping, and growing!! All good things.

    I am really enjoying reading these and thinking about what I have ahead of me... Hope I am in as good a place with motherhood as you are.

    1. Sadie - I recently realized one huge thing that helps me achieve a state of zen happiness in motherhood. Acceptance.

      You will be exhausted. You will be frustrated with a child that is demanding more than you want to give at certain moments. Your husband will be a great father, but he will drive you crazy sometimes. You will someday (like me this week) be sick with a cold and no longer have the luxury of sleeping as long as you need to feel better.

      I read "I can't take it anymore" posts on the birth club forums and think "I'm so lucky" and I am... Katherine really is a very easy baby. But sometimes she is as difficult as the children these other mothers are struggling with. The difference is I accept it (for the most part) because I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to be a mother at all. Wishing she was different won't make it happen. The world is quite literally blowing her mind every day as she learns more and more about it. If she needs to fuss and cling, or cry out at night, I feel much better about her, and me, when I accept it with grace. There are (thankfully few) moments when I haven't maintained that grace, and those are much harder on me than equally hard moments when I breathe deeply and accept that this is where we are today. In 10 days I can guarantee it will be different.

      Good luck to you - it's going to be amazing!

    2. Excellent advice-- thank you! I am looking forward to it, alternating with abject fear! :)