Somewhere along the way, we went from counting up to Baby R’s first birthday to counting down. It’s cliche, but…WHERE DID THE TIME GO!? Our brand new, tiny, newborn baby has somehow become a big baby. She’s reached and surpassed the age of the babies Cindy used to look at and think, “Wow, one day Baby R will be able to do that.” It’s so weird to think we are in that stage now– that stage of sitting and standing up, wobbly walking, and eating cucumber slices– and that it’s just so normal when not too long ago this stage seemed so advanced and far in the future.
One piece of advice Cindy read, back in the newborn days, is to don’t forget to take lots of videos. We remember to take the pictures, but it’s the videos that really capture the moments and memories. And she is so grateful and happy she saw that advice fairly early on and was able to take lots and lots of videos. Her only regret is she didn’t take more videos of when we were at the hospital and of Baby R’s first week of life. Some of her favorite videos to rewatch are the ones of Baby R when she was barely a month old. She loves listening to the newborn gurgles and sounds. It takes her right back to the newborn days– when everything was hard but also still and quiet.
One piece of advice Cindy did not appreciate was about breastfeeding, from her lactation consultant. TMI but Baby R had a boob preference and, early on, Cindy was warned that boob preferences can lead to the preferred boob becoming much bigger than the non-preferred boob. Cindy spent countless hours stressing and worrying and forcing Baby R to feed on the non-preferred boob in an effort to prevent her boobs from becoming “ugly and uneven”. Well, while it’s true that the preferred boob is slightly bigger than the non-preferred boob, it turns out it’s not really that big of a deal! If she could go back, she would tell her past self to stop worrying and to just feed her baby.
Speaking of breastfeeding, it’s interesting how people have such strong opinions on how long you should breastfeed after the 6-month postpartum mark. Some people believe it’s weird to continue after 6 months. Doctors will say you should try to breastfeed for at least a year. Others think it’s insane if you go any longer than 2 years. We’re guilty of having strong opinions. But one thing we realized is that what other people decide to do is none of our business. For something that should be so intuitive and natural, breastfeeding was one of the hardest things to learn how to do let alone decide to do. And we should really keep our noses out of matters that are so touchy and personal. Cindy’s proud of herself for making it to the 9-month mark, especially considering she wanted to quit 3 days in. Her goal is a year.
At 9 months postpartum, Cindy’s hair has stopped falling out in globs and has started growing back. These days, she kind of looks like a mad scientist with untamed baby hairs sticking up every which way. Some days she doesn’t care about her looks. And some days, it brings down her self-confidence with how disheveled she looks. She can’t wait for the baby hairs to grow out so she can look like herself again.
Also at 9 months postpartum, Cindy still has not had a period! One of the benefits of breastfeeding! So nice to have been period-free this entire time.
Cindy experienced a 2nd-degree tear during the delivery. At 9 months postpartum, the scar is still a little tender.
Also, at 9 months postpartum she’s still 5lbs over her pre-baby weight and is a little squishier in the stomach area. She can fit back into some pre-pregnancy jeans! She thought she’d be back to running more regularly by now, but between breastfeeding and feeling exhausted by the end of the day, it’s been a little hard to find the motivation and energy. For now, she’s been sticking to short yoga and ab routines (…when she can muster up the motivation… which has been about one or two days every two weeks). Her new goal is to start up running once she’s done breastfeeding.
As for Jake, it’s also become more and more difficult to fit in some running. Back in the newborn days, Jake was able to go out for a run almost every day during Baby R’s late afternoon/early evening naps. But now that those naps have dropped, Jake finds himself having to choose between going for a run or playing with Baby R before her bedtime. We’re hoping that the later sunsets with the upcoming time change will give Jake a chance to run after putting Baby R down for the night.
At 9 months postpartum, life with a baby feels pretty normal. So many friends have asked us what it’s like to have a baby. And try as we might, there truly are no words to describe what it’s like to have and love your own child. All we can say is that she’s worth it.