Atlas – 5 Months
How do I have a 5 month old?
You guys, it has almost been HALF a year since Atlas was born. My sister keeps telling me, “the days are long, but the years are short” and she’s absolutely right. Some days seem to drag on forever (hello days with no naps), but then I think about the month that has passed and I wonder where it went.
I love writing these monthly posts. I’m not sure how much longer I’ll keep them up, but I would love to document Atlas’ life via these monthly recaps for the first year. So much of what I write on CnC is stuff I write for you. I love sharing a recipe that was a success for me and I always share workouts with the hope that you will be motivated to try the exercises. I strive to provide content you can use and enjoy – stuff that is motivating, encouraging, lighthearted and uplifting. However, these postpartum documentations are really written more for me. I like to look back and read about this part of my life – sort of like a journal. So, if you’re sick of reading these monthly updates I totally understand!
Atlas is weighing in at 18.1 pounds and he’s almost 28 inches long. His weight gain slowed down significantly this last month, but the pediatrician said that is normal because he’s becoming more active. He now rolls over from his stomach to his back with ease. However, he can’t roll from his back to his stomach so once he rolls to his back he is stuck…like a dead roach.
He’s definitely a happy baby, but I still wouldn’t call him an ‘easy’ baby. He demands a lot of attention. He will play in his exersaucer for 10-15 minutes by himself, but then he will cry because he wants me to play with him. He isn’t content to chill by himself for too long. He likes interaction. I think some of this is due to the fact that he’s the first child and I’m home with him, but I think some of it is just his personality (our doctor agrees). I think he may be like Dave, who requires a lot of stimulation. Most days, I’m okay with Atlas wanting to be held and demanding my undivided attention because I consider him my full time job so I enjoy reading to him, singing songs with him, playing games, making silly faces, etc. but the fact that he isn’t one to sit in a swing for 30 minutes is crazy annoying on days when I want to get something done (i.e. make a meal, take a shower, respond to e-mails, etc.). I have been letting him ‘cry it out’ more this month, meaning if I really want to make lunch I set him in his crib with toys or on his play mat and I let him cry until I’m done doing whatever it is I need to do. 75% of the time this results in him spitting up though, so sometimes the extra laundry just isn’t worth it. And of course, I can’t think when he’s screaming so this method doesn’t allow me to write, work or have a phone conversation. I’m hoping in the coming weeks he will get better at soothing himself the more we ‘practice.’
In addition to visiting the milk bar about 5 or 6 times a day, he is also eating fruits, vegetables and oatmeal once or twice a day now (we’re talking small portions – like 1 ounce).
Every week I try to introduce new foods to him and let him get acquainted with the taste/texture and as you can tell by the above photo, he really enjoys it. I make 90% of his food because it is cheaper and I like knowing exactly what he’s eating.
Naps are still hit or miss. Sometimes he will take a phenomenal 2 hour nap and then other days he will take a 30 minute nap and be awake the rest of the day. He goes to bed around 7pm for the night and sleeps until 7 or 8 the next morning with no feedings in-between so I don’t feel like I can complain about his lack of naps. Daylight savings time may require us to push his bedtime back to 8 (he had a tough time going down last night), which is fine with me as long as he continues to sleep 11-13 hour stretches.
I think his favorite things at 5 months old include water bottles, iPhones and the Winnie the Pooh Christmas movie. That movie is almost 45 minutes long and he will sit and watch almost the entire thing. However, I don’t like sticking him in front of the computer (he watches it on YouTube) for that long so I typically only let him watch it for 10 or 15 minutes before I force him to play a different game. It is important to me that he likes to actually play, read books and use his imagination, not just watch TV and play video games. I’m not going to lie to you though – 45 minutes of him watching Winnie the Pooh is oh-so-tempting some days.
I’m doing pretty good at 5 months postpartum. I’m back in all my old clothes. I’m running and working out at a good intensity. For the most part, my body feels normal again. Call me crazy, but I’m hoping baby #2 happens sometime in the next year or 2. With that in mind, I’m trying to focus on eating healthier (we’re consuming more produce than we ever have) rather than obsessing over looking my best. I think after baby #2 I’ll be a little more intense about toning up. I certainly care about being tone right now, but it doesn’t ruin my day if Atlas interrupts my ab workout because a flat stomach isn’t my number 1 goal (this was obvious by the brownies I made and devoured last night). My main fitness goal has been to run faster, which is why I hired a running coach. Surprisingly, this has made my runs so much more fun. It feels more like a sport to me when I’m doing speed work and intervals and I’m finding a new love for running during this stage.
I am losing a ridiculous amount of hair. I’ve read this is normal after having a baby, but I’m still going to the doctor this week just to get an expert’s opinion. My hormones also seem a little off – not in the sense that I cry at the drop of a hat or I get crazy mad, but I feel like I’m dealing with some anxiety I didn’t have pre-pregnancy. Although, this could be more from the fact that I’ve been living in a new city, experiencing my first winter while being separated from all our friends and family. That sort of thing coupled with a new baby, might make anybody a little more…shall we say…tense?
All in all, I’m amazed at how my body has recovered from pregnancy (I really thought I would have a beach ball belly forever) and the person Atlas is becoming. The whole thing is miraculous and I feel lucky that I’m getting to experience it. The love I feel for my baby boy is indescribable and the love I feel for Dave when I watch him with Atlas makes my heart want to burst.
I listened to this sermon a while ago, and it really encouraged me. I have a tendency to look toward the future and all that is to come and allow it to overwhelm me. I hear other parents say things like, “Oh, just wait until he starts teething!” or “Wait until he can talk back to you!” (←by the way, if I’m any good at this whole parenting thing I don’t expect him to do that too many times) or “If you can survive the terrible two’s then you can survive anything.” These comments lead me to feel anxious over the future and all those hurdles I must overcome as a parent. However, I was reminded in the above sermon that sometimes it is good to just stop and be thankful for what God has already brought you through. So this month, that’s what I’m doing. I’m giving thanks…for the 9 months of sickness and labor that I survived…for the sleepless nights that didn’t kill me…for the countless nights spent in the bathroom running the water to soothe my colicky baby that didn’t crush my spirit. In our 5 months with Atlas, Dave & I have already achieved so many small victories and I think it is important to stop and feel empowered by what hasn’t defeated us. With that in mind, I actually look forward to all that is in store in the coming months (minus the teething – I’m really not looking forward to that)!