6 Months Postpartum
I don’t know what is harder for me to grasp: The fact that 6 months ago I was meeting Atlas for the first time or the fact that in 6 more months I will have a one year old.
In 6 months Atlas has changed me. Motherhood has taught me so much in just 6 short (long?) months. I have learned just how much love my heart is capable of holding. I’ve learned how little sleep I need to operate. I’ve learned how long I can go without washing my hair before I start to look homeless. I have learned that one extra outfit in the diaper bag is not always enough. I unfortunately learned how to change a dirty diaper on a tiny airplane. I have learned happiness and joy is found in the sound of Atlas’ laughter. I have learned that even though some days seem to drag on forever, the months are passing by in the blink of an eye. I know I’ve said that in just about every one of these monthly recaps, but I mean it. If you want to feel like you’ve been placed in a super sonic time machine, have a baby. Time flies.
Atlas is weighing in at 19.1 pounds and he’s 28 inches long. He didn’t grow a whole lot over this last month, but the pediatrician said that isn’t cause for concern since he’s already at the top of the charts. He’s way more active, so he’s burning more calories. He’s rolling over all the time and just this week he’s started to pull himself up to a standing position using my fingers for support. I think his legs are extra strong because he spends so much time jumping like a maniac in his bouncer.
Now that he is 6 months old, our pediatrician wants his meals split 50/50 between milk and solid food. We’re still working on getting a feeding schedule that works for us, but he’s nursing anywhere from 4-6 times a day and eating 2-3 meals a day. His meals include things like oatmeal, bananas, avocados, sweet potatoes (his favorite), carrots, spinach, pears (his other favorite), yogurt, prunes, apple sauce, etc. I make all of his meals myself, with the exception of his oatmeal (aint nobody got time to grind oats), pears and apple sauce. I buy the pears in the pouches to take in the diaper bag as an easy snack to feed him if we’re out. My pediatrician suggested I make him smoothies to get a lot of nutrients into 1 meal, so I tried that today for the first time and he seemed to love it. In his smoothie went some avocado, 3 strawberries (I know there are mixed reviews on introducing berries at 6 months, but I decided to go for it in small doses), part of a banana, yobaby yogurt and some spinach. He gobbled it up. I gave it to him in a bowl with a spoon instead of a bottle because it was pretty thick. This month we are also planning on introducing chicken (not looking forward to making that one – turning chicken to mush grosses me out), broccoli and kale.
He’s still not getting any teeth, but every person that sees him feels the need to tell me that he is teething. He drools a lot and puts everything into his mouth so I think that is why people think he’s teething. If we’re out in public and he’s crying, I tell people he’s teething. That gets me a lot of sympathetic and understanding looks.
Atlas still isn’t taking consistent naps, so each day for us is a little different. Sometimes he will nap for 2 hours and then other days he will only nap for 30 minutes. He almost always naps in the baby carrier while we walk the dogs, which is better than no nap at all, but that doesn’t necessarily give me a break because I am walking the dogs. He’s still a great nighttime sleeper though. He was going down at 7pm every night, but the time change + traveling threw that all out of whack. He goes down around 8pm now and typically sleeps until 8 or 9 the next morning. I’m so incredibly grateful for those 12-13 hours.
And if you’re wondering how I’m doing 6 months postpartum, there really isn’t anything new to tell you. I lost the weight and I’m in my old clothes, but I wouldn’t say my body went totally back to normal. My jeans are actually too big now and some of my shirts are too tight because breastfeeding has bumped up my bra size just a wee bit. Weird, right? So it is safe to say that I lost the weight, but my body didn’t go back to the same figure. I’m not nearly as toned as I was before Atlas, but I’m working on it. Slowly but surely. I’m coming to the realization that I’m not going to be able to exercise like I used to pre-baby. I just don’t have the time or the energy to run or lift weights for a solid hour 6 days a week, but most days I’m okay with that. I push myself hard during my 30 minute circuit workouts and I’m enjoying the challenge of working with my running coach. I’m also finding joy and satisfaction in just being active (i.e. taking Atlas and the dogs for an hour long walk). I still have tough days on the job so to speak, but for the most part I’m doing great emotionally and mentally. I think most of this can be attributed to the change in weather. Being stuck inside due to winter temperatures with a newborn in a new city where I had no friends and no family was one of the most challenging things I’ve ever experienced. I think a lot of frustrated tears were shed during those early months because of hormones but I think a lot of tears were shed just because life was hard. It is getting easier though and I think surviving that season of life (←pun) really did make me a stronger person. I’m calling it right now – I’m going to be telling my grandchildren how I survived the winter of 2014 one day for the 10th time while sitting on my front porch, while Atlas and Dave roll their eyes behind my back and encourage my grandkids to humor me. And true to form, every time I tell the story it will get more and more dramatic. Dave, I know you can’t wait for this!
So, that’s that. 6 more months to go and we will have a ONE year old. I already know what I want Atlas’ first words to be. “Move out of the way, slow poke!” I think that will really come in handy on our runs through this busy city.