Gabbie is 11 months now. He’ll be one year in about a month. Wow. It is true what people say—time flies by so fast. It seems like only yesterday that my baby was a tiny, fragile newborn, then a chubby-faced baby whose head still needs to be supported, and now…he’s a super-active, energetic, noisy little guy! I mean, when did he grow up?! I’ve been carrying him practically all his life so when and where did he find the chance to grow so big, and right under my nose too?! Sigh! That’s probably every mother’s cry. Well, 11 months into motherhood…I must say I’ve really enjoyed every bit of it. So much so that I’m really excited to have another baby. Haha! Not now, but definitely in the near future (the hubby can heave a sigh of relief now heehee).
People would always tell me that carrying Gabbie all the time would make him the type of baby that always demanded to be carried.
“Masasanay yan.” (He’ll get used to it.)
“Di na magpapababa yan.” (He won’t be put down.)
When we brought him home from the NICU after 1 ½ months of being separated from me, I could not stop carrying him. I missed him too much. And he was so small and light that I could literally carry him all the time.
|On Mommy's Chest: From Newborn Up|
Gabbie got bigger and heavier, and I still continued to carry him. I relied on the Sleepy Wrap, and SaYa baby carriers to bring him around. My arms got stronger too as he weighed heavier and heavier. He grew up attached (literally) to me and that was for me as much as it was for him. We both needed to feel each other, to get used to one another again, to re-establish our bond. And so, my milk flowed, my mother’s instincts sharpened, and our relationship flourished. Because of the constant physical closeness, we got to know each other pretty well. I could tell when he’s over-stimulated or about to cry, I could pacify him, I could make him smile J He responds to my mood and my emotions very well too, which is why I try not to get too stressed out when I’m with him as he gets cranky too. Energizer-bunny that he is, he’s been known to lay beside me and “chill” when I’m feeling too tired. Once I was frantic catching up with work and had a meeting at home so I put him down on the bed for a while expecting to hear him cry within minutes. But surprise, surprise, he just stayed on the bed quietly for about 45 minutes without bothering anyone. I guess he “felt” Mommy needed some time to do her work, too J
I’ve always been grateful to the Lord, and to my husband, for allowing me a lifestyle where I can stay at home and personally care for my baby. Besides having a close bond with Gabbie, one of the greatest joys of being his primary caregiver is that we get to do things together. We eat together, we play together, we go malling together…we’re just together 24/7! When I’m there, expect Gabbie to be there, too and vice versa. I’ve really come to enjoy this little guy’s companionship.
|Playtime with Photobooth|
I mean, he’s just happy to stay in my arms—he can stay there for hours, nurse there and he can sleep there too when he’s tired. He doesn’t complain when I try on several pairs of shoes at the mall, or when I’m chatting with a friend, or when I’m singing “Old McDonald” out-of-tune to him for the nth time. He watches what I do, smiles at me and other people, and really enjoys the moment and the environment wherever that may be. He’s a cool dude like his dad.
|Lounging around with Mommy|
But the one thing that may rob moms especially of the joy of her baby is the “pressure” to follow a certain routine or parenting style. May it be the pressure to have a baby that “should be” sleeping through the night, or a baby that "should have" weaned, or simply to have a “good” baby…it can all be pretty stressful to a mom. I used to get pretty worked up at the fact that Gabbie has never slept through the night yet, waking up to nurse every two hours or so still, but I’ve come to accept it and really just allowed myself to enjoy snuggling close to him every now and then at night. (Will write more about "mom-pressures" soon!) As the Bible said, "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven." (Ecclesiastes 3:1) So, for me and for my husband, we'd like to enjoy Gabbie first and embrace this season of his life. We're incredibly grateful to have him and to be in a position where we can enjoy him fully.
|This li'l baby loves to smile and giggle|
For I know that time will come, without me noticing it at all, that my little baby who rests his sweet-smelling head on my chest, will be a grown man taking on the world on his own (Mommy will just be at the sidelines cheering him on :). May the joy of having and being with Gabbie be never lost on me, and may I always find joy in fulfilling one of God’s best “roles" for me yet J
|Goofing around with Daddy and Mommy|