What a fourth month you’ve had! You’ve climbed mountains, seen Scottish lochs, been on a ferry, road tripped through the U.K., met first cousins (once removed), met second cousins, been held by your favourite folk singer and been baptized pagan-style on Sannox beach.
And you won’t remember any of it…
This is one of the reasons we blog.
Spending twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week with you for this past month under new circumstances has been an eye-opener for me. I’ve seen you rage, coo, and on about a million occasions I’ve watched you see something for the very first time. It’s been really special.
Before we go any further, I want to clarify that you and I couldn’t have had the month we’d had if it weren’t for me getting help with my postpartum anxiety. When you would cry, I would cry. I would dread anything new with you. I hated taking you to public places, fearing judgement, your tears and how I would cope.
Then came Families Matter. I remember the day that I finally called them. I felt like a failure for needing help. But in reality… it was the best thing I could ever had done, for both of us.
The combination of counselling, medication, fresh air and supportive friends and family has made me a much better mother to you. I also reached out to my favourite lifestyle blogger, Rachel Hollis, and she answered my question on her weekly show, RachTalk. Skip forward to 7:16 to see the awesome advice she had for me and other moms with postpartum depression and/or anxiety.
Travel With a Baby
Kid… you have no idea how many weeks in advance I was stressing about our trip together. I was worried about how you’d fly, what you’d be like on the road trip, hiking with you, taking you to restaurants… you name it. And you know what?
You knocked it out of the park.
Does that mean you didn’t have red rages? Um… no. You most definitely exercised your lungs.
All three flights were actually pretty decent. You slept for hours on end. We calmed you as quickly as possible when you cried, and you weren’t the only baby on the plane. I dreaded being “that mom” with the crying baby, but the funny thing is people are actually incredibly kind. Plus I put you in the cutest onesie you currently own, so everyone was blinded first by your adorableness. See! Strategic thinking. Point for Mommy.
Hiking with you was a true joy. Yes, it was definitely a bit more work on my part (hey… that helped me lose a few pounds on this trip despite eating everything Scottish that is culturally deep-fried), so good job you. You would sleep, I would hike, we would both breathe the restorative fresh, sea air.
You met almost all of your extended family, which is really neat. You even met your newest cousin who was only two days old! You lucky, lucky boy.
Travelling with you has actually helped to build my confidence. All these things that I’d previously dreaded? I now know that I can actually do them. Is it harder than when I travelled without you? Sure, but infinitely better that we did it rather than not.
A Little More About You
So, what is different at four months? Most memorably, you’ve either been going through a growth spurt, teething, a wonder week, or a combination of the above. This led to many nights where you woke every two hours, but luckily your Nannie was to the rescue and would take you for leisurely walks in the morning while I’d get a few more hours of rest.
You talk! Not real words, mind you, but you’re a chatty kid.
You often reward a smile with a smile, which is really nice.
You’re a hit with Germans. Specifically with Germans on a whisky tour. I’m pretty sure many of them snapped a photo of you as part of the attraction. One of them asked if your name was Jack Daniels, seeing as you paid so much attention to the whisky making process.
I’m becoming incredibly aware that everything, good or bad, is a phase. As such, I’m trying to soak up the good moments to the best of my ability. In the middle of the night, as I pat your back to burp you after a feed, my favourite thing to do is listen to you breathe, smell your hair and stroke your tiny head. It’s simple, but I want to remember how special it is. You’ll never be this small ever again.
You’re a flirt. Honest to god, you don’t gender discriminate, you flirt with men, women and children and they all eat it up. The joys of knowing that you’re cute, hey?
You’re a much loved baby boy. Your daddy missed you so much in the two and a half weeks that you were gone. You should know that makes you very lucky. There are so many babies out there whose parents regularly prioritize other things over spending time with their kids. Sometimes it can’t be helped, sometimes it can. It’s a hard reality, but you’re so lucky that your dad is one of those parents that missed you each and every moment. We sent him pictures of you daily, you chatted on Skype and the smile you gave him when you finally saw him again was worth a million dollars.
Looking forward to what tomorrow brings.