Wow! A whole half of a year already. I am so excited to get to this new stage again. It was one of my favorites with Addison. Some nicknames we use: harp, harps, harper girl, chunks, and chunkers :)
We started foods around 5 months but really only a handful of times. Now at 6 months Harper will usually have one food in the afternoon per day. Some days we skip still. She has tried: apples, bananas, pears, squash, blueberries, cinnamon, and peas.
16 pounds 3 ounces, 26 inches.
Nighttime is still a nightmare. Now that she has outgrown her bassinet and rock n play (safely) I do lay her in her crib at the start of the night. She's usually pretty good about going to sleep in there. However, she still wakes up often- wiggling or hungry. By midnight she's always in bed with me. I really don't mind her sleeping with me, she's quite snuggly :) But I know that I'm setting us both up for disaster. Addison woke often to eat until a year, and once a night until 18 months. But she never slept with me. It was rough waking up and making bottles. Keeping Harper with me is easy because she's nursing.
The past few days she has gotten good at sitting for short periods of time! She also catches her balance using her hands. I think within two weeks she will be a pro!
Still no teeth! I thought a month ago she would have one soon but nope!
Loves Mickey Mouse!
A big struggle with us is she has major fear of 'strangers'. Basically anyone she doesn't see daily. She screams and gets thoroughly upset, especially if she has just woken up or is startled. It's seemingly getting worse. It started around 3 1/2- 4 months. And if I'm not around at all she will scream until she falls asleep or I return- even with daddy. The ONLY time I'm not with her is when I am at a photo shoot. I've read this is a good healthy trait to have- but it sure makes things stressful and difficult. I'm okay with not being able to have free time to myself as she goes through this period- which could last awhile. But I do have to work, and there's nothing I can do about leaving her :/
Otherwise she's a pretty happy and healthy baby girl! She loves to smile and grab mommy's face.
There's a lot to be said here. Every mom and baby is different. But I do want to write down and share MY experiences.
With Addison I had an extremely difficult time right from birth.
First off, hours had gone by before I tried nursing her after she was born. At that point, she would latch, but not well. We spent two nights in the hospital awake every hour with her wanting to nurse. I watched the clock spin. I was exhausted. When it was time to go home the nurse said we had not documented if she peed and we would have to wait until she did. Hours went by, nothing. It was frustrating. We were packed and ready. The nurse then proceeded to push formula our way so she may pee sooner. At home we were still up all nights, and she nursed around the clock. She wasn't getting enough. I would break down and give her formula here and there. It was an extremely tough three weeks. She never slept and was never content for very long. I tried pumping, I tried just letting her nurse for HOURS- one night I was so hell bent I stayed up with her on me for 6 hours straight. I did not want to give up so quickly. I had set a short three month goal and I wanted to make it there. But nothing was working. I went to my post check up and cried to my doctor. At this point I was honestly leading into a depressed state. I felt like a failure. He advised me that Addison needed a happy mommy, and THAT was most important. Soon after I fully switched her to formula. Still it wasn't smooth sailing- she fought bottles, we went through 6 different formulas, and she was colic. But I was able to handle it a little better- because I at least knew she was well fed and I wasn't exhausting my body trying to feed her. If that makes sense.
Before Harper was born I had a plan. I wanted to nurse as soon as she was cleaned up and handed to me. And I wanted everyone to wait to meet her until she was finished. I knew I needed that time with her. I also said I was NOT going to give myself a hard time if it wasn't working like I did with Addison. I did just this. I told the nurse during labor about my wishes. When she handed me Harper she told my few family members there politely to leave the room. She helped with the first latching. It. was. awesome. Harper latched perfectly. She would nurse every three hours and sleep in between! I was in Heaven. I actually got some sleep!
It has now been 6 months. Like most nursing moms, we had struggles along the way. It has not been all butterflies and rainbows. There were times I thought I was developing mastitis (thankfully never happened), times I thought she wasn't getting enough (growth spurts of eating ever hours), etc. Even now she nurses every two hours around the clock. BUT we made it to my goal, 6 months exclusively breastfed. AND she is a little happy chunkster!
In the beginning I constantly counted the weeks and days I had left to get to 6 months. But around 9 weeks I finally felt normal! Meaning, my boobs never hurt anymore, I didn't get those hard uncomfortable lumps, everything seemed to even out... I also think (now) I'll be a little sad when we are done! Never thought I would have that feeling.
So there it is. My experiences so far. Maybe this could help someone try again if they had a hard time with the first, or help someone relate to the struggles. Although we all have been drilled that 'breast is best', I hate the pressure that is put on new moms. I truly feel that a happy mom and baby is best. And if it doesn't work for one reason or another, don't be so hard on yourself. They will be just fine!
Thankfully, society is slowing opening up to normalizing breastfeeding. The more support and knowledge every mom has, the more likely she is to at least give it a good chance!
I do not know if we will go a year. And that is completely okay with me. My new goal is 9 months. I have never been good at pumping, and honestly despise it. So we'll see...taking it day by day!
We recently vacationed in Kill Devil Hills and had our photos professionally taken on the beach! I thought about doing them myself but I really wanted to enjoy the experience hahah! I figured it was a good time to update our family photos too. I contacted Whitney Norko Photography! She did an awesome job with my girls and I will definitely treasure these photos forever. Here are just a 'few' from our gallery!