It's hard to believe my last post was the first day of summer and now we are into fall. These last couple of months have been busy! H is 11 months old and I return to work on Tuesday. Having this year off with my daughter has been the greatest, most rewarding, most stressful and full of anxiety year of my life. I am so sad to have to leave her and miss all the wonderful things she will do in my absence.
I'll give a quick update on the most important things:
- sleep: ugh. I wish things were better on this front. I spent 8 weeks this summer trying to 'train' her to sleep in her crib on her own. We had about a week of success (although she still woke every sleep cycle and needed a little shushing to get back to sleep) but then it went downhill. She would scream and cry for hours until I nursed her back to sleep as well as waking ever 45 minutes even if she put herself to sleep. I was a zombie. I was more tired and getting so sick from the CONSTANT night wakings. One night hubby was on baby duty and tried to get her to sleep on her own, he couldn't stand it and gave her back to me to lay in bed beside me. We haven't looked back. We realized that she simply isn't ready for sleeping independent of us. We were very consistent and very diligent and tried many things over those 8 weeks. Everyone said it would get better...it never did. We have since done an extensive amount of research and we realize how much sleep training doesn't fit with our family. As much as I would like my nights free to sleep alone, I do cherish my cuddles. Sleep will come when she is ready. Until then I will meet her needs and do what is needed to ensure we both get the most amount of sleep possible.
- Feeding: She still nurses A TON at night and a few times during the day. While she is at the sitters, I express to comfort but I wont have time to pump at work. I am going to let her nurse till she is at least 2 and maybe older. Beauty of it all is I still haven't regained my cycle! Period free since Feb. 2012! Loving that! I think once I go back to work and don't have her nursing for such long periods during the day my cycle will return. H loves to eat and is a good eater. She pretty much eats what we eat. She eats a TON and stil hasn't gained weight. All that stress I put on myself when she was an infant. Worrying and worrying that she wasn't gaining like she should and that I didn't have enough milk to feed her...I wish I could have just relaxed. Since 6 months she has eaten solids like a champ. I think the first time we fed her she devoured an entire avacado, sweet potato and fruit. AND she still nurses. At 10 months she still hadn't doubled her birth-weight. I figure that her metabolism is so high and she never stops moving that she burns more calories then she consumes! She is growing and happy! I wish I would have realized that earlier. I would have saved myself a lot of worry. She is currently off the charts for weight. Oh well!
-Gross Motor: H is a crawling machine and walks along furniture. She loves her walking toys but isn't stable enough yet to stand or walk by herself. I'm okay with that! I am not really ready for a walker!
-Day care transition: We had a sitter lined up since Jan. When we met with her in August things didn't go to well and once she realized H's needs (specifically around sleep and separation) she felt she couldn't take care of her. We were pretty stressed, but found an amazing sitter who H loves. For the baby that wouldn't allow ANYONE (including grandparents) to hold her for any length of time and would scream if she were left alone with anyone but Hubby or myself, she is doing fantastic at the sitters. She is so happy to go and is happy when I pick her up. She has been for many half-days and yesterday was her first full-day. The sitter even got her down for a (albeit small) nap! We are very happy!
I never thought my daughter would become independent or secure. She had such separation anxiety I never visioned the day I would be able to leave her with someone else happy. She surprises me everyday. Attachment Parenting is hard. There are many days/weeks/months you don't see your rewards. I know that things may get difficult again before they get better, but I am seeing results. H is a happy, secure little girl. Her smile is the best thing in my life and I'm so lucky to have her. I love looking into her eyes while nursing her or feeling her sweet breath on my cheek at night. Adjusting to a new baby is HARD. Putting your needs aside for the betterment of your child is HARD. Finding a balance is HARD. But once I found my tribe of women to help me become more confident in my parenting choices, I have really begun to love all aspects of parenting I KNOW things are going to get hard again...and again and again as we meet new obstacles of parenting. Right now I'm happy with how things are going. I just wish I could stay home with my daughter longer to enjoy more time with her.