Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Poppy's first six months

Unfortunately the hormone high wore off after a couple of weeks, but fortunately it seemed a bit pointless to panic that I didn't know what I was doing by that point as I'd managed not to break the baby so far, so thought I'd better just carry on! As it turns out I absolutely love being a Mum. I still have that "this is what I was meant to be doing" feeling and am slightly disappointed that I didn't start ten years earlier, I could have five by now! I'm already thinking I want two more, I just have to convince Ben :0)

Family life is action-packed: Christmas was a bit of a disaster as we failed on the food front, Poppy was a bit off colour and I got puked all over, but a few cocktails cheered us up; Ben's mum came to visit in March and we all had a lovely holiday together in Northlands; having a baby is what it took to be accepted into the kiwi clique and we now get to attend gatherings where we are the only Brits; Erin and Rebecca continue to feature heavily and come over every week for pizza night; we also have tonnes of new friends who also have babies and see lots of Nancy, Lance and Eli. Ben's postcard business continues to grow and his IT job is going well. I'm half way through my maternity leave and don't know yet whether I'll be going back in November or not.

Poppy will be six months old in a few days. She's a wonderful age; she smiles and laughs and loves cuddles and playing, she sleeps well but she can't move around by herself yet, so there's only so much trouble she can get herself into! She's just learned to roll over and is lying on the floor practicing that skill as I write. She does a lot better when she has a disposable nappy on as the bulkier cloth ones act a bit like stabilisers! She's cooing and making lots of noise, but not really babbling yet (that's when they use consonant sounds like gaa gaa, maa maa, daa daa etc rather than just vowel sounds; aaaahhh, eeeehhh etc). She's showing signs of teething; she's dribbling lots and rubbing things on her gums, but she doesn't have any teeth yet.

She looks a lot like Ben now (only much prettier!). She's got very blond hair and still has the big blue eyes she was born with. Unfortunately she seems to be following the Gourley's on the average height and slightly tubby factors but who can tell how she'll end up. She has super chubby cheeks and a gorgeous big gummy smile and gets to wear incredibly cute outfits :0)

It seems the question that people are always asking is "Is she sleeping throughout the night yet?" and the answer is "no", but she is a good sleeper. She goes to bed at 6.30pm and often doesn't get up until after eight in the morning, so it's not surprising she usually needs a couple of feeds in that time (so do I!). As much as I'd rather not get up in the early hours of the morning, it only takes about ten minutes to feed her and then she goes straight back to sleep. So I don't mind too much and there is something quite magical about those sleepy night-time cuddles, as during the day she's usually too wriggly these days to get a good one!

She has been breast fed all the way through and still spends a lot of time on my boobs! She has repeatedly refused to take a bottle (even of expressed breast milk) so Ben has gotten away very lightly on the getting-up-at-night front and I really can't be away from her for more than a couple of hours. But it feels like a small price to pay for knowing that I'm giving her the best possible start in life. I've recently started giving her some solids but so far it just makes her gag and puke!

Poppy and I have quite a social life! I was a bit worried that I was going to go stir crazy being at home all the time, but as it is I have to try and make the effort to stay home some times. We go swimming and do a baby programme and meet up with friends and of course go on lots of dog walks. (Although Poppy seems to be on pushchair strike at the moment - that girl has far too many opinions for one so young - I can't think where she gets it from!). I thought it would be boring having only a baby for company but as it turns out she's far more fun to play with than other babies! ;0)

Here are some of her favourite things to do...
  • lie in the hammock with me and watch the leaves blowing on the trees 
  • play with her glow worm toy which lights up and plays a tune and is apparently the funniest thing ever! 
  • watch Ben blow bubbles and try to pop them (often with Twpsyn's assistance!) 
  • have me sing the same songs over and over again (she's the only one in the world to enjoy my singing!) 
  • dance around the room and while her mum and dad leap around like lunatics! 
Twpsyn loves Poppy. She's going to have a fabulous immune system because he regularly licks her in the face! He's incredibly gentle with her. In fact, we think that he thinks she is a "Gently", as that's what everyone shouts at him whenever he goes near her. I bet when he's out and about he tells the other dogs "We've got a Gently at home now, it's my job to look after her!". He often sleeps outside her room when she's napping and walks beautifully along side her buggy.

On the whole Poppy has been a pretty "easy" baby (so far). She gets grumpy when she's tired, won't take a bottle, can't keep her solids down, makes a fuss when she's in her pushchair and feeds ALL the time! But we've been really, really lucky; she's healthy, she's happy, she sleeps well, she eats well and she's a delight to be around (well most of the time) and she's brought something wonderful into our lives. It hasn't all been plain sailing. We had a rough patch when she was about three months old when her sleep went awry and I slightly lost the plot! But with the support of Judy (my midwife) and Nanna (Ben's Mum, Pauline, who was visiting at the time) we sorted it out and proved that even when things go wrong we can still manage.

Being a mum has certainly changed me, hopefully not beyond recognition, but I am definitely a lot softer now. I always used to cry at all the animal rescue programmes but now I cry about anything to do with babies too! I feel a lot more content and capable of coping with whatever life throws at me. I'm really excited about the future; What will Poppy turn out like? How much more will our family grow? What adventures will we all have together? When will I be a grandma?! But I'm also making the most of the present. Everything changes so fast and I don't want to miss a thing :0)

You can see more pictures by following this link

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