Growing up with Danielle Pt.1
Another mummy post. Bear with me…. That’s all I live and breathe about nowadays anyways. ;P I’ve spent a total of 13 months with my little girl and she has just started walking unassisted, exactly a week before turning 13 months! So far she’s hit every major milestone at an average pace and I’m proud to say that I’ve been there for each and every firsts. This post is to chronicle the first 12 months of Danielle’s life (before I forget it all) and some precious memories that we’ve made together so far. It’s too long and there are just too many pictures so I’ve separated it into two posts, 0-6 months and 7-12 months. This is Part 1 (Birth to 6 Months)
Month 1 and 2
Everything was still so new. Having a baby and being fully responsible for another human being who is solely dependant on you was daunting to say the least. It came as a shock how unprepared I was for everything!
I had a very accommodating and experienced confinement lady whom we actually hired to stay with us for 3 months. Yet I suffered from pretty severe postpartum depression because of my inability to sleep whenever the baby was with me. Every little sound she’d make jolted me out of bed. I cried when I couldn’t soothe her crying, I was worried about everything – is she sleeping enough, is she getting enough milk, why is it that she only naps 30 mins? I’ll have sudden panic attacks out of the blue.
I felt like a zombie, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t really eat much because I had a lot of gas in my tummy and would feel like vomiting everytime I ate. I couldn’t even cat nap in the day when she was napping or with the confinement lady. When the confinement lady left for CNY, both my parents and in-laws went on vacations at the same time! I was left all alone with Dani (well, technically Joe was with me the whole time, but that was how I felt!) I went to the point of calling and asking the confinement lady to take Dani home with her! Yes, it was that bad.
Thankfully Joe was there with me throughout this tough time, encouraging me (sometimes pretty harshly) and taking over a lot of the ‘mothering’ duties to help me regain back my sanity. I seriously don’t know how I’d pull through if I had one of those chauvinistic husbands who think that taking care of babies are a job reserved for women only.
She had her hearing, her vision, her voice and all 10 fingers and toes. That was all I was grateful for at this point!
By this time, we have settled into more of a routine. She’d feed every three hours and nap for only 30 mins each time in the day, so I had to put her down to nap at least twice before each feeding.
Fortunately she’d sometimes sleep up to 4 hours at night before a feed, so that was a blessing. I was still breastfeeding at this point but Dani was what they call a ‘grazer’. She’d take up to 45 mins, sometimes an hour, for each feed and would constantly doze off while feeding.
It was really tiring so I decided to pump at night and bottle feed her. She took to the bottle with no problems and can finish a 4oz bottle in 15 mins. That was when we decided to just pump exclusively and bottle feed her, mostly for my convenience sake. This was also the month we took our first trip together to Bintan Island. She proved to be a highly adaptable baby on this trip and that further encouraged me to be less pensive about bringing her out.
Raises head and chest
Swipe at objects
Tracks moving objects
Holds her own bottle for a few minutes
We took up our first photo shoot for Faces magazine as a mother and daughter team and this being the first time I was bringing her on set with me, I was terribly anxious about whether it will go well. Joe couldn’t make it with me to this shoot so on his insistence, I brought along his Aunty (who is now also Dani’s babysitter) and she managed to carry her to nap while I did my makeup and hair, which was Godsend cause she woke up when I was done and ready to shoot. She didn’t really smile much for the cameras (although her smiles at this point were usually aplenty for us at home) but we got a couple of good shots.
It’s true what they say, ‘It takes a village to raise a child’. In the early stages, I was really adamant on doing everything for Dani myself because I felt solely responsible for this life I brought into this world, even denying Joe sometimes of doing things for her because I’d feel guilty every time he takes over. I figured, if I can have this baby, I should be strong enough to do it all on my own!
But having to face the four walls of home and a baby day in and day out, with no other adult interactions will drive anyone bonkers, no matter how strong and capable you are! I know now that doing it all on my own is a crazy notion, not only is it unhealthy for me, I’ll be depriving her of a healthy social development, which only happens by interacting with other kids and adults and forming attachments with more than one person.
Laughs out loud (usually at the darndest things!)
Sits on her own in the Bumbo
Puts everything in her mouth (still does!)
Recognises familiar faces
Dani is definitely my lucky star cause soon after I got back into the swing of working again, we managed to score an endorsement deal with the best toy brand around – Fisher Price! There were 2 photo shoots scheduled as part of the deal and the first one was shot when she was 5 months.
At this stage she was such a joy to be around because she was very easily amused! A little sound or a certain facial expression will send her into a giggling fit. We got a lot of good shots out of this photo shoot and she got a whole lot of toys in return!
Sits with support
Lifts legs up
Rolls from tummy to side (not a full roll over yet)
I think she had a growth spurt this month because she started picking up and hitting major milestones and learning new tricks all within this month! Maybe it’s because I started her on rice cereals and purees at month 6 and those filled her tummy with even more goodness than just boring ol’ breast milk. She was getting a bit bored of her milk anyways and many a times, I had to throw away unfinished breast milk because she just wouldn’t drink another sip of it.=`(
I hired a professional midwife to help me start this journey into solids the right way and we worked out a menu plan for her right up to Month 8. She tried everything from apples to broccoli to papayas and even pureed spinach! And she took to every new food with gusto! Since she can now sit unassisted, I also started putting her on the potty to poo at certain times of the day and she has rarely pooped in her diaper ever since!!
I also started her on one bottle of formula a day and gave it to her just before bedtime and you know what, she slept for 8 hrs straight! It was probably just sheer coincidence that she started sleeping through after I fed her formula. I think maybe it’s also the accumulation of her eating more solids in the day and feeling more content before bedtime.
Rolls over both direction
Grabs feet and bring to mouth
Plays with her toys (pressing, pulling)
Rakes for her toys at a sitting position
Creeps on her stomach (Backwards)
Claps her hands/ Bangs objects together
Stay tuned for Part 2! 😉