Friday, May 20, 2011

Ian's First Year: More Clues

It didn't take long, between the screaming, unhappy baby, the nursing agony, and the lack of sleep before I felt like I was losing my mind.  I would spend the day doing everything in my power to soothe, comfort, and love my baby, and he still wasn't happy.  I was so discouraged by the end of the day because I had spent the whole day taking care of this baby who wasn't happy no matter what I did.  I started crocheting granny squares to make blankets for a local women's shelter because I could do that while I was holding Ian.  Then at the end of the day, I could at least see something concrete that I had accomplished that day:  my little pile of squares.  Since he wouldn't nap for longer than 30 minutes at a time, I had a hard time getting things like laundry, cooking, and cleaning done.  I talked to other young mothers about my experience and how discouraged I was feeling, and they all looked at me in surprise as they told me how much they ADORED motherhood, talked about how wonderfully their babies were sleeping, and suggested I try all the things I had already tried. 

I clung desperately to all of the milestones that were supposed to mean BETTER SLEEPING:  doubling his birth weight, starting solids...I forget what else--the only things that ever made him sleep longer were immunizations.  I was SO EXCITED when it was immunization time because he would sleep for 3 whole hours at a time at night and take a 1-2 hour nap during the day!  Once or twice he slept for a 6 hour stretch at night, and I was AMAZED how much better I felt the next day (even though my chest would inevitably wake me up before the baby did).

(I also clung desperately to "it tooke 9 months to gain the weight, give yourself 9 months to lose it" and "br****feeding helps you lose weight".  Um, FAIL.)

It helped my frame of mind considerably when he reached the 3 month mark and started making eye contact with me and smiling when I would smile at him.  He had such a cute round face and hair poking up everywhere!  (Sorry, we didn't have the digital camera yet =).)  He DETESTED being on his stomach (We actually took pictures of the TWO times he was on his stomach without crying), and he cried whenever I put him down;  he would not play with his toys, and he insisted that I hold him all the time--NOT for interaction with me and cuddles but to have a better view of the world. 

He was interested in standing from a very early age (3 months old), and he quickly learned that he could walk around while holding onto furniture, but I was still a little surprised when he was 8 1/2 months old and he let go of the couch and walked across the room by himself.  I just couldn't help thinking that a person that short WHO WAS STILL A BABY should not be able to walk yet!

When Ian was about 11 months old, Husband had to go away for an eternity 4 weeks.  So, during that time, I was the only one getting up with him every 1-2 hours ALL NIGHT LONG.  I had never realized how MENTALLY draining it was to have a baby who never slept;  because I am apparently THICK-SKULLED for some reason I never managed to squash the hope that THIS would be the time he slept longer than usual....By the time Husband returned, I knew I was going to be even more crazy if I didn't get some uninterrupted sleep soon, and Ian was about a year old, so I was ready to face the "cry it out" method:  I was no longer worried that he was waking up at night because he was hungry or uncomfortable.  It was an ugly week or so, but by the end of it he would sleep through the night!
I have such a cute face and one poky tooth!

One evening, while trying to fix dinner, I turned around and saw this:

Heaven forbid I should sleep in my crib!

The chubby baby cheeks and hands just begging to be kissed!

My mother thinks I am indescribably adorable when I am asleep!

On his first birthday, Ian was wearing size 18-24 month clothes and size 5 1/2 shoes (BIG BOY!), er, moccasins.  For some reason we hadn't really put shoes on him until then, and when we tried he kicked his feet and screamed.  I wanted something on his feet when he went outside;  thankfully I had a friend who knew how to make moccasins and she made a little pair for him.

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