Yeah, you read that right. Somehow, our chubby, smiley little T. Rex has been in our lives for an entire half of a year.
It seems we’ve fallen into a rut with Theo’s monthly updates. He still has a smile that could broker world peace. (Theo for President 2052: Make America Cute Again!) At this precise moment, he’s rolling back and forth across the living room floor, playing with toys along the way. He is a topple-risk, but Theo is getting better at sitting up unassisted.
I am still Theo’s most favorite person, which is both exhilarating and exhausting, but not nearly as exhausting as the fact that Theo has declared sleep his sworn enemy, waking more and more all the time. It’s a testament to my love for that kid that I can write this update without shaking my fist at the sky and cursing his name, because I think last night was the worst night yet.
Matt and I have some strategies to employ, and six months is big developmentally for sleep, so all is not lost. (We hope.) Pretty sure sleep stuff is boring to most, so maybe I’ll put that in its own post so the uninterested can easily skip it. For now, I’ll just say that it’s hilarious that we thought we struggled with Dexter’s sleep because Theo makes his big brother look like Rumpelstiltskin.
So instead, I will talk about something we are definitely celebrating: 6 months of Theo also marks 6 months of successfully, exclusively breastfeeding.
Establishing breastfeeding was a lot less challenging this time around, and Theo simply seems to like it better. Dex easily switched between bottle and paci and breast, which I think ultimately hurt me in the end when he wanted to quit but I wanted to keep going — the bottle flows faster, so that won out. Theo doesn’t take a paci and it’s clear to me that for him, nursing is key to both his hunger and his comfort. That also has downsides, though — we think me being his main source of soothing is contributing to his sleep issues, and he bit me twice last week and injured me, so I’ve been painfully nursing through that healing process.
My pumping at work situation is much better, too. At my previous job, I’d have to borrow people’s offices, disrupting their day and mine. At my current role, there aren’t any set workstations and they encourage flexible working, so it’s just a matter of me moving my laptop into my designated private room 2-3 times a day and editing away while the pump does its thing.
However, the end is in sight and I’m not sure I’ll make it a year on breastmilk alone. I had a nice supply when I started work but on average, every day I’m in the office, I pump about half of what Theo drinks. The stockpile is nearly gone and you can do the math — before long, I won’t be able to keep up, and this time, I’m not going to kill myself to try to increase supply because frankly, nothing I did last time made much of a difference, anyway. When we’re done, we’re done. And maybe I’ll tell a different story when confronted with weaning but for whatever reason, I feel less emotionally attached to nursing this time around. I’m sure the injuries and sleep deprivation are big factors — I’ve been sore and frustrated to the point where I have to consciously focus on what I love about breastfeeding, trying to memorize Theo’s tiny starfish hand pressed against my chest or the way his soft little arm winds around my waist, pulling me close when he’s really relaxed.
I feel lucky to have has six months of that and I’m proud of us for making it this far, because while it’s been easier, nursing is never easy. We’ll keep going as long as Theo wants. I’m cool with it.