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The Pumpkin's First Year - Part One

Yesterday was the Pumpkin's first birthday. She is one whole year old. And what a year it's been.

Monday, I posted about her birth. I won't go into my time at the hospital, but I left as soon as I could. The next month of the Pumpkin's life, my sweet little girl would not be put down--and for the few two weeks, not even to sleep at night. She also needed constant motion. She was sweet and snuggly, and I loved holding her. She was not used to being in the world; she was used to the warmth, comfort, noise and motion of my womb. So we held her all the time. When we tried to put her down, she would work herself up so quickly that I knew she just wasn't ready. We were able to swaddle her and put her in the swing at night during the end of the month, which is the only way we got to sleep. I also used the sling all the time, and that was a major help.

The second month was much the same as the first. The Pumpkin still couldn't stand to be put down. It was hard on us all, but my mom and MIL helped us out, especially when Londo went back to work. The Pumpkin still needed constant motion and to be held all the time. Who could blame her? She hated the car since birth, and continued to be miserable every time she was put in her carseat, but boy she enjoyed being out and about. My beautiful little baby was a great eater and slept great either in the sling for naps or in the swing at night--in fact she was now sleeping through the night! But she was pretty fussy during the day, especially in those evening hours, when Londo and I and our parents would take turns walking and bouncing her around the house. We both got thrush, and it took until the next month to get on the right medicine and it cleared up, allowing our breastfeeding relationship to continue. And at the end of the month, we finally were able to put her into a bouncy chair for good chunks of a time, even up to 10 minutes! Also, she gave us her first waking smiles this month!

At the beginning of the third month, we put the Pumpkin down in her co-sleeper at night, swaddled, and she actually slept through the night lying down! The month was tough, though, as she went through some especially fussy periods. She did start reaching for things and was becoming more interactive. In the middle of the month, we went on vacation at the beach for vacation with my parents. The three hours there in the morning did not go so great, as she still hated the car, but the trip back when we left after her bedtime was the way to go, since she slept the whole way back. She was great at the beach, and seemed to enjoy the sound of the ocean and walking up and down the shore line. We all had a great time. Being able to put her in the bouncer and her sleeping lying down really made the trip great. The following week, I went back to work, and the Pumpkin started going to my mom's during the day with my niece. She was starting to handle being put down for longer than 5 minutes at a time. She was a really fun baby, and this was a great time of her life.

At four months, we were finally getting into a real routine. Our mornings were tough, and that lasted for many months, but I was able to get ready and get us out of the house and to my mom's. Londo would pick her up, and spend time with her until I got home. The Pumpkin was still sleeping in our room at night, but halfway through the month she started a sleep regression that would continue from age 3.5 to 7.5. This month she started to roll over! She was doing well in general at my mom's house, and I was glad to be back at work. I did miss the Pumpkin during the day, but it was good for me to go back to work. And my mom and the babysitter (who comes in the afternoon) were great with the baby, as was my niece who is a year older than the Pumpkin.

The Pumpkin progressed a lot in the fifth month. There was a little scare at the beginning of the month, when at her four month appointment the doctor noticed she had asymmetrical fat folds on her thighs. This sometimes indicates a problem with hip alignment, so I took her to get an ultrasound with her hips. Luckily, she was fine. She had been rolling over, and we were doing more and more floor time with her. However, she started rolling over in her sleep even with her arms tightly swaddled against her. It was time to take her out of the swaddle, and it was a bit rough, especially because her sleep had been bad anyway. During the day, she became much less fussy. She was smiling and giggling a lot, and she was very ticklish! Also, my supergenius started doing the army crawl! She was interested in everything, and she was finally able to do her own moving, which made her much easier.

During the sixth month of her life, the Pumpkin continued to grow and learn. She continued to army crawl her way around everywhere, although she also went through periods of extra clinginess. She was not only playing with toys but putting everything she could grab into her mouth. It became clear why when she got her first teeth--two of them. Her sleep was still a problem, both at night and during naps. I had been bringing her into bed with me from her co-sleeper next to the bed, but she was getting more and more active in her sleep, making sleep for me very hard. So, nights were still tough, but she was a delight during the day, full of smiles and giggles and very active and inquisitive.

The first six months of the Pumpkin's life were both exhilarating and exhausting, stressful and wonderful. Our first attempt at parenthood was harder than we had anticipated, even though I was prepared for it to be pretty hard. But our baby was a delight in so many ways and our love for her so deep that we went through it all willingly. We knew things should start to get easier in general as she got older, although it would be harder in different ways. We felt ready for the new phases.


ImpostorMom said…
I'm amazed at the detail you remember things with. I remember the major milestones and that it was difficult but maybe I'm just blocking the rest out. :P
Becoming Mommy said…
Pumpkins story seems eerily familiar except that I would need to replace all the pronouns and eliminate anything about being swaddled--unless the discussion involved screaming.
Happy Birthday, Pumpkin! And congratulations to you, too, Mom, for a job well done over the past year.

It goes by so fast . . .
Shellie said…
What a great mommy! She sounds similar to my girl!

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