OK nobody panic; Holly was born like, yesterday (!) and now all of a sudden she is 6 months old.
How on earth did that happen! It has flown by – I can’t even describe how quickly it’s gone by but it honestly feels like just a couple of weeks ago she was that teeny tiny newborn with a headful of dark hair and now she’s a chunky little monkey with her beautiful, still relatively dark hair growing back after several months of rocking the “patchy” look thanks to a bout of cradle cap!
And yay me – I have survived the first six months of motherhood with two kids to look after and with those pleasant newborn days thrown into the mix. You know the ones; the ones were you get bugger all sleep and somehow forget everything you did with the first; instantly I was thrown back into that unknown world and I relied heavily on my motherly instincts and vast amounts of coffee to get me through.
In all seriousness though, it has been an incredible six months. Holly has slotted in as though she has always been her. The family love her; everyone she meets falls a little bit in love with her. From day one Hols has been a relaxed baby in the sense she will have cuddles with anyone and everyone – she absolutely loves attention and cuddles (like mother like daughter)! Josh wasn’t as relaxed and that may well have been down to me; I was a bit low after having Josh and I didn’t like him being passed from person to person. I was very overly protective. With Holly I have felt so much happier, more relaxed and at ease with others enjoying cuddles with her so Josh can have me to himself for ten minutes or so I can have a cup of tea that hasn’t gone stone cold! I think me being more relaxed and happy influences what Holly picks up on and that is why she is so chilled out.
Sleepwise, we’ve gone backwards. The first month was typical; up every 2-3 hours, I expected that. Then I had a couple of blissful months where she lulled me into a false sense of security by going from 8pm until 4am most nights. I felt like the luckiest Mum in the world and was almost nervous to discuss sleep with friends as I felt guilty I was getting so much sleep when they weren’t. But then, right on cue, the four month sleep regression kicked in and it was back to waking every three hours. Vile. Also around this time her day time naps reduced in time too; she will nap for maybe 30 minutes here and there through the day which I struggle with. I was spoilt with Josh; he would sleep for 3 hour naps and I had that time to sleep myself, write, and do errands around the house. Now when Holly power naps I dedicate that time to Josh and us having one to one time.
This does result in me having very little time to myself and I guess that’s what I’ve really struggled with this time around. And when you have bad days, it feels like you’re going a little bit crazy! Yesterday was a hellish day; both kids screaming, crying, kicking off and pushing me to my limit. It was a day of when Sam walked in the door I announced I had to go for a walk for 10 minutes to regroup and calm myself because I was losing it. I’ve learnt that it’s OK to admit some days are tough; two kids are a handful, even more so when one is a certain Joshy bear! I try to remind myself to cut myself a little slack sometimes.
But other than the sleep, or lack of it, Holly has just been a joy. I am besotted with her and seeing her growing and developing is incredible. I still have days where I can’t believe I have a girl! I secretly wanted one so badly but never really spoke of it; my child would have been just as loved and adored if she’d come out a boy but to have a daughter was just a little dream come true for me.
We are now starting to wean which is a massive milestone and although she hasn’t shown much interest in what I’ve made her so far, she did enjoy some pureed carrot yesterday so that’s a start! I didn’t do baby led weaning with Josh as I was too scared of him choking and to be honest I feel the same this time but perhaps I will brave a few more things. I want Holly to be a good eater; Josh was until he got to about 18 months and then decided beige food was the one.
I am also keen to get her in her own room now too. I would have done it already but with the weather being so hot recently (honestly, counting down to Autumn) I’ve felt better having her close to me as she’s feeding lots which I prefer in this heat, and as they still can’t regulate their body temperatures I just feel reassured knowing she’s close by. I suppose there is also the aspect, I won’t have this again. I won’t have my baby there next to me in a cot ever again because I won’t have any more children, so I really am savouring every aspect of Holly at this cute age.
Well apart from teething. Because no one savours that. Because teething is a sadistic hell for them and for us. The only people that benefit from teething are whoever it is that invented calpol, cause you know, lifesaver, and the local Costa who I may as well have shares in because Mama needs a coffee when she’s had no sleep and 17 hours of a screaming child. Holly has only really started kicking off with teething in the last couple of weeks but already it’s tough; I’m certain it’s why she spent 95% of yesterday crying and I’ve stocked up on Ashton and Parsons teething powders, aka baby crack, because they worked wonders on Josh and I pray they do the same again.
So how would I sum up the last six months, being a Mum of two…… hard work, tiring, demanding, more Mum guilt than ever but more than anything, it’s absolutely bloody brilliant. It’s a “hashtag blessing”. Cringe as that expression is, it really is a blessing for me. This day last year, 19 July, I was 12 weeks pregnant! I was so happy and excited but absolutely terrified; the fear that this one might not work out. But it did, she did. That beautiful, smiley, strong willed little madam was growing in there ready to come out, keep me awake and complete our little family.
I might be knackered, I might be hormonal, I might prefer a book and a bubble bath these days to dancing on tables in Marbella (ah those were the days) but I am so happy. I am doing well at this motherhood malarky and I have a beautiful and healthy six month old daughter. I can’t wait to see what the next six months and beyond bring.