9 months old! (a day early… whoaaa)

Health: Not a bad month all, I feel like we dodged a bullet with flu season peaking in the last few weeks, though I know we still have a ways to go, and RSV is also on the rise. She caught a cold a couple weeks ago, but at its worst, just had some thick nasal mucus. Nothing that kept her out of daycare, though of course she passed it onto me and now I’m dealing with my usual post-cold asthmatic cough.

Growth/Feeding: At her checkup this week, she was 19 lbs and 28″ long, 70%ile for both weight and height. Head is still 85%ile, thanks to her dad 😉 Her first tooth popped through on the bottom about 3 weeks ago, and its companion came a week later. Now her gums are puffy over the top central incisors AND the bottom lateral incisors. Other than gumming and drooling a lot, they haven’t seemed to bother her much at all, thankfully! Nursing is still going strong, though her sessions are much shorter and she’ll often just take one side. I’m surprised my pumping volumes are still holding strong despite this, but we’ll see what happens since I just recently dropped the dream-feed, and I’m not pumping to make up for it right now. I pump on the way to dropping C off at daycare, at lunch, and after my last patient if I’m finished early enough – otherwise it’s on the way home after picking her up. She is still taking 9-12 ounces breastmilk during the day, and just wants to hold the bottle herself to eat. She’s really taken off with solid foods, eating and loving just about everything except purees. For a while, Mrs. K was able to get her to take purees consistently, but lately it’s been hit or miss. I may just end up donating a bunch of pouches to the food bank. Nowadays, I send a lunch of soft scrambled eggs mixed with bites of steamed veggies, or bite-sized pieces of whatever my dinner is. She loves teething crackers, Cheerios (which I had no idea are iron-fortified – score!), and even dried seaweed for her snack, but her favorite things to eat are definitely fruits. The girl can suck a slice of clementine dry, and will eat raspberries until she’s ready to pop!

Sleep: So funny that just last month I wrote that she hated sleeping on her tummy. Because guess what, we have a full on tummy sleeper, though really, she sleeps in any and all positions, including with her legs crossed while propping her feet up the side of the crib, lol. She moves all over the crib in her Zipadee-Zip. And since starting the new daycare a few weeks ago, she’s transitioned to putting herself to sleep at night. We still nurse as part of the bedtime routine, but she generally doesn’t fall asleep doing so anymore. She’ll push off, and I’ll just hold her against my chest as a last snuggle before I place her in the crib. She might fuss and toss a bit, but she’s now out within 5 minutes. I’d still been dream-feeding her before I went to bed, but in the last few days I’ve stopped , and she’ll actually go 11 hours overnight without crying loud enough to wake me. I know she wakes up and often will sit up and fuss a little, based on the monitor history, but after a few minutes, she just lays back down and passes out again. Do you know how scary it is for me to write this? I feel like I just jinxed us… She naps well at daycare, about 2 hours in the early afternoon, sometimes a 30-minute nap in the morning but that’s hit or miss. I wish I could say the same for when she’s at home on the weekends, but we still haven’t been successful there. This can be exhausting, but we will take the good nights over good naps!

Development: Somebody’s stranger anxiety is finally developing, though she’s more quiet and cautious than anything else with new people. She is very mobile now, able to crawl forward, though she still prefers to sit and then launch herself forwards. Once she did this off the bed in her room 😦 Thank goodness we’d already lowered it to just a mattress on the floor. We haven’t made many other advances in childproofing the house, since we pretty much keep her in her Super-Yard or in her room – we upgraded our patio room, and there is still crap everywhere! She’s almost pulled up to a stand just yesterday, but I’m definitely in no hurry to rush her! Her pincer grasp is quite good now, she’s able to feed herself blueberries, puffs, and Cheerios without a problem.

Daycare: C has been going to Mrs. K’s for 3 weeks now, and she transitioned very quickly. While I don’t get the same warm fuzzy feeling as I did for Mrs. N, there is no question Mrs. K is great with kids and they are very well-cared for. Of course, being right across the street from my office is a huge plus, though the burden is now on me for drop-off AND pick-up. What’s really cute is that C and the girl who’s just a month older than her are like BFFs already. Mrs. K has their pack & plays next to each other at nap time, and they are always giggling at each other for several minutes before they both crash. C is always much more cheerful at drop-off if her friend is already there too.

Parenthood: We’ve settled into our new routine, which unfortunately still doesn’t include much intimacy. I know we will get there, but something at my work has to give soon. I keep thinking about quitting and working per diem, but the loss of benefits is huge, and I’m too nervous to do something that drastic yet. Not to mention I take care of a good number of my friends’ kids now, and it pains me to think about not caring for them the way I do now. But at the expense of time and energy for my daughter…?  I was keeping myself afloat thinking all these extra work shifts would go away once flu season was over, but the schedulers just asked for me to sign up for 2 extra shifts a month AGAIN for May. I’ll be working most weekends all the way until then, with only a couple Tuesdays off a month. I’m getting very close to burn-out, and it’s frustrating. I know I’m not alone in this feeling – my whole department has been under a huge stress for the last 6 weeks, and everybody is working extra.  I think for now I’m going to see how things pan out once I “make up” for my maternity leave – I’m hoping that by then we’ll have more staff and more per diems to take the extra shifts, and I won’t always be at the bottom of the list, being asked to work extra again.