9 months!

First of all, look how cute Ellen is! Second of all, oh noooo! We’re here! Nine months old! This is one of the more heartbreaking milestones for me… sweet Baby Girl belongs more to the world than to my body now. From here on out, she’s been outside longer than she was inside, and the earth is her home.

This hurt the first time around, with Lewis, but it is soul-crushing this time, considering that Ellen is in all likelihood my very last baby. Never again will another tiny human “belong” to my body, inside or out.

(Side note – I just watched a video of someone’s gender reveal and bawled because I’ll never get to experience that for myself again.)

Heartbreak aside, this has been a great month. We didn’t charge through as many milestones as I expected this month – still no teeth, no crawling. But we have a generally happy girl who is a ton of fun!

Ellen’s sleep has been pretty consistent(ly good), and for that I am grateful. The last week or two she has needed Tylenol or Ibuprofen to get good sleep, which means either 1) she’s a little sick, or 2) she’s getting teeth. Hard to say which since they can look so similar, but I’m very glad that there is a solution to help her through it so we can both get some zzz’s. Life has been a whole lot more enjoyable all around now that I’m better rested.

I do think crawling is going to come quickly now. I would be very surprised if Ellen didn’t start crawling by 10 months, given what she’s doing now. She rolls everywhere, and from sitting she can get to her tummy. She even does it somewhat gracefully (sometimes). And in the transition from butt to belly, she pauses on her hands and knees, rocking, before going splat. Before we know it, she’ll stop going splat and will just launch!

I also suspect that pulling herself to standing (on her own) is coming anytime. She tries to do it at this point, but isn’t quite coordinated/strong enough to heft her body up. She can, however, do it with help holding onto your hands, and she is very motivated, as standing is her absolute favorite thing… so any day now! (Note to self: lower the crib mattress!!!)

Ellen’s eating has started a big swing this past month – less breastmilk, more food. She has become much less finicky about solid foods, and is enjoying both purees and bite-sized food. She hasn’t shown many preferences for one or the other lately, other than preferring spoon-fed purees over sucking them straight out of a pouch. My favorite thing to feed her is chunks of cheese or beans – it may be my imagination, but she seems to open her mouth extra eagerly for those!

We are still breastfeeding, much to my delight. I remember what it feels like to feel “done” from when Lewis was little, and I am far from “done” with nursing Ellen. With her migrating more in the direction of solid foods, my milk supply has been dropping proportionately, and that drop in supply has me feeling anxious and panicked. It’s hard for me to frame the drop correctly emotionally, even though I know it is proportionate logically. That emotional reaction is a pretty clear sign I’m not “done”!

However, I can see that I am on my way to “done”, as I find myself starting to be a bit bothered by pumping at work and daydreaming about not having to carve out quiet time away from everything to nurse her. I also daydream about not feeling anxious about my supply!

Ellen almost seems ready to drop her late afternoon feeding – she just isn’t interested in it! Doesn’t matter if it is from a bottle at daycare or straight from the tap at home – she doesn’t want more than a couple ounces, and would just as soon skip it all together.

So we’re still going strong, but Ellen and I both seem to be starting the weaning process – Her through eating more solids, sleeping more at night, and dropping another daytime feed, and me through adjusting supply and mentally starting to anticipate being “done”.

It’s such an interesting time of rapid change. Not just with breastfeeding, but with everything. I’ve always found that times of rapid change with my children cause me to question myself and whether I’m making the right choices, doing the right things, and providing for my children’s needs appropriately. It’s hard to keep up! As soon as you figure it out, they’ve changed again and you’re back to square one! It’s a lot of fun, but a lot of work, and very taxing!

Happy 9 monthday, Ellen. You make me feel so happy!

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