Five months ago today, I woke up in the hospital room from three hours of epidural sleep (which equals 9 hours of normal sleep, in case you were wondering) and knew that it was going to be my little boy’s birthday. In the five months that have passed since that morning, I have learned so much about myself, about God, about life and what it all means, about my amazing husband, and even about my own parents (especially my mom). I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything in this world. The only thing I’d do differently on the next baby is not freak out so much with every little step forward, every diaper size outgrown, every ounce gained, thinking “Oh my God, he’s growing up too fast.” I look at pictures from a lot of those freakouts now and I think “Geez, he was so tiny then, what did I know?!” But I guess that’s a lot more easily said than done, because here I sit again this morning, lamenting the rapid passage of time. There will never be “enough” time with this precious angel of mine, only a sense of appreciation for all the time I do get!
Russ has really been growing up on me lately. He had his first rice cereal last week (complete with pictures, ceremonial monogrammed bib, and the baby bowl my parents gave us from when I was little, as well as his first sweet potatoes yesterday. I think he liked the sweet potatoes a *little* bit more than the rice cereal, but he still hated them both for the most part. He’s just not quite there yet with 1st foods…it will be a long process, and that is fine with me because I don’t think either of us is really ready for breastfeeding to be over. Besides, it is just too easy…I know some people have a heck of a time with it, but lucky for us, it has been super easy (after the initial first couple weeks of adjustment, of course). So we’ll continue doing a few spoonfuls here and there of rice cereal, sweet potatoes, or squash (I’m using Earth’s Best Organic 1st Foods, for the time being at least) and just see how he adjusts and when he is ready, we’ll add in some vegetables and some fruits. But for several more months, his main source of nutrients will still be breastmilk. When I first got pregnant, I wanted to just get him to three months of breastfeeding. Then towards the end, I said I’d like to aim for six months of it. Now that we’re five months in, I know I want to make it to his first birthday and then slowly wean him off breastmilk and onto cow’s milk. My main thing is that he is ready – that’s what is most important, of course.
Last night was a BIG deal – and no, not because it was Valentine’s Day. Last night, exactly five months to the last night Jonathan and I had as “just us two” before Russ’s birth (even if it was a super romantic evening in the HOSPITAL! Hahaha…), Russ slept in his crib. YES! He did! And I didn’t freak out! Now granted, I did have his closet light on, both bedroom doors open, and the hall bath light on (yeah, I will be buying night lights shortly)…but I did okay! After his 3 am feeding, he went down in the pack n’ play in our room. But for a first nighttime stretch of 9 pm to 3 am in his crib…not too shabby!!
So here I am, with another month of parenthood and another month with my sweet Russ under my belt. And imagine that…he’s growing up on me. He’s not a high schooler or anything like that yet, but I know it’ll come faster than I think and faster than I want it to. But for now, we’re going to celebrate every day with him and always keep in mind what a blessing he is. Yesterday was a perfect day for that, as it was his first Valentine’s Day! I made dinner at home – pork chops with marsala wine sauce and shitaki mushrooms, roasted rosemary baby potatoes, and sauteed spinach – and we exchanged cards. Jonathan and I filled out a special “Baby’s First Valentine’s Day” card for Russ and put it in his baby book. It was a simple night, but a great one.