Oh my, how the time has flown! I can't believe he has gone from this:
We are so blessed. Almost every day Jerad and I look at each other and ask how we got so lucky. Marshall is just so FUN. Every day he charms us in some new way. He loves to be tickled. He loves the nape of his neck munched on. He loves "talking" to us, his mobiles, and anything else that will listen. He has really found his voice and loves to experiment with different sounds, shrieks, and volumes.
The breastfeeding finally feels effortless. I'm so proud we've made it this far without ever having to supplement! I've been through cracked and bleeding nipples, 2 bouts of mastitis, 2 breast abscesses, thrush, a bleb, vasospasms, am I forgetting anything? I despise having to pump at work (3 times per shift plus one on the way to work), but he's growing so well and is so healthy its 120% worth it. In 5 months he's only had one small cold. I don't even know if you'd call it a cold. He had a stuffy nose for three days. That's it! Who knows if the breastfeeding has anything to do with him being so healthy, but it can't be hurting right? All that said, Marshall is not a "nice nurser."
I have a lot of friends who have babies about the same age. Most of them nurse before every sleeping session, nurse for comfort, stroke their mom's faces while nursing... ya, not my baby. He manages to guzzle down 3-4 ounces in around 4 minutes (the lactation consultant measured), then he's done and wants to play not be cuddled. He does not want to nurse before he goes to sleep. Ever. He doesn't want to nurse when he's unhappy. He wants to nurse when he's hungry which is every 4 hours most of the time with a few extra night sessions. He sure as heck doesn't stroke my face because he's too busy scratching, punching, and pushing me:) Thank God he doesn't have any teeth yet because I have a feeling how that's going to go...
It is very very hard to feed him in public because he latches and unlatches so many times, yet also refuses to nurse under a cover. Oi. I'm hoping the novelty of the outside world wears off soon and he learns to focus a little more. We're making it work though. He's so smiley and good natured its easy to let the annoying feeding habits slide.
My favorite time of the day is when I pick him up in his sleep right before I go to bed and feed him in the glider. He doesn't really wake up and is calm and *holds still* while I rock him. I get to snuggle him a little before putting him back to bed. It makes all the speed-feed-beat-on-mom sessions worth it.
It is so fitting that he was born in the water because this little guy is a water baby for sure. I'm fairly certain he would be happy to spend the entire day sitting in the shower. And napping! Oh how he loves to nap.
The first few weeks of his life he would only nap on our chests. Most of the pictures I have of that time are of him sleeping while Jerad holds him. Slowly he graduated to occasionally napping in his playpen. As long as he fell asleep in our arms... and we transitioned him oh-so-smoothly... and he was swaddled... and we put bolsters around him... and the stars aligned. One day he woke up and decided that being swaddled was World's Biggest Torture. We tried the one arm out thing, we tried both arms out. Nope, he would not have any of it. Not long after that he would nap in the sling, or on our bed as long as I nursed him to sleep and then snuck away. When he went down for the night I'd have to go to bed with him otherwise he'd keep waking up. Around three months he started napping in the crib as long as we rocked him to sleep first. This was my favorite. I wouldn't mind snuggling and rocking him to sleep if it took an hour every time.
His love for rocking was also short lived. Now he will scream if I try to rock him, but if I lay him down in the crib he puts his head down and goes right to sleep. Sometimes he will start fussing a few minutes later and I just have to go in and give him back his pacifier and he goes back down. It also doesn't matter to him if its me or Jerad putting him to sleep which makes both of our lives so much easier. He normally naps for 2-3 hours, 3-4 times a day. This kid loves his naps! I wish it were as easy when we were out and about. He really only likes sleeping in his crib, and has a hard time falling asleep in my arms so its hard when we're visiting people. If he will go down for a nap, its short lived and he's kind of "off" the rest of the day. So I just try to work around his schedule which is fine with me!
Everyone always wants to know if he sleeps through the night. He usually goes to sleep for the night between 6:30 and 7 in his crib. Jerad and I go to bed around 10. As soon as Marshall wakes up he's in bed with us for the rest of the night. Usually its around 4am, but sometimes 11pm. Sometimes he wakes up once, sometimes 5 times. I don't feel like we're sleep deprived zombies so his sleep "schedule" is fine with me. The good thing is, whenever he does wake up, he just nurses and goes right back to sleep. There hasn't been one night yet where we've had to walk him, or rock, or try to soothe him back to sleep.
Once he decides its time to wake up (between 5 and 6:30am), we're greeted with this cuteness:
He is just so happy, all the time. Sometimes he starts fussing and its just because he wants to talk and be talked too and he doesn't think anyone is paying attention. The second we look at him and smile he just starts laughing and cooing and making funny faces. He is quite the ham.
I know every parent thinks they have the cutest baby in the world. But he has to at least be in the top 10 right? It seems like he is growing and changing every day, I can't wait to see what the next month brings!