Thursday, June 13, 2013

Happy 6 months to Oliver!

Erika Cole Photography

It's so hard to believe that my tiny little baby boy has grown to be a chunky, not so tiny 6 month old! It's so true what they say, they really do grow too quickly. I can't believe my last post on here was his birth story! I need to blog more... then again, I am the mama of a 6 month old and therefor not a lot of time for blogging! I'm a mama of a 6 month old. It's still a little weird when I really think about the fact that I'm a mama. Growing up, I never had dreams of having a family like some gals do. It was never my main goal in life, to have kids. There were even some points in my life where I thought that I would even maybe be fine with never having kids.

Then came Oliver. The biggest joy in my life and by far the most important thing I've done with my life so far. Being his mama has been such an honor and privilege! He is the most amazing thing I have ever come into contact with. He's so handsome, funny, loving, happy, occasionally demanding and sometimes just flat out frustrating. How can one little baby be all those things?? He has grown so much over the last 6 months, it's hard to believe he was ever as tiny as those photos remind me he was. It is so incredible (and very empowering) to realize that God has used my body to grow this human from just a couple cells to what he is today. My body has done all this. God made women so special. He has blessed us with the gift of creating and giving life. Never before have I been so proud to be a woman. I grew this child inside of me, I labored and delivered this child into the world, and I have fed this child from my body to help him grow. I, little old Elyse, have done all this. God has allowed me to participate in the most important and amazing job on the plant... being a mother. I have never been more proud of anything in my life.
Erika Cole Photography

Now for some Ollie updates:
I think he's around 18 pounds right now (we have his 6 month appt on Monday... will get the real weight then)
He's always been in the 50th percentile at all his wellness appointments
He's never been sick yet!
I have managed to not call his dr. or make an appointment for any reason other than for his wellness check ups..... i understand that for a first time mom, that's quite the accomplishment :-)
He's rollin over like a pro
His finally sitting up for real!
Sleeps like crap at night sometimes (pretty much my only complaint)
Loves going for walks
He thinks his brother Bruce is the most hilarious thing on earth
He is a total mama's boy
And he's already been to 3 states other than California and he's been to Germany!

I dont get into my opinions on parenting a WHOLE lot on Facebook, but over the last 6+ months, I have grown to have some very strong ones :-)I try to keep them off Facebook because I dont want offend anyone, but I really feel like I want to share some of my convictions and things I am very proud of with my Ollie boy, and on my blog I can say whatever I want to! haha So, I suppose I should say- Don't read on if you dont want to read about my parenting choices. :-)

I am very proud to say that Oliver has never had anything but my breast milk to eat! I went against what most everyone told me, and I didn't keep any of those free formula samples or have any formula in our house at all. Never needed it. Not that formula is bad, it's just not a great at mama's milk! If for some reason I had not been able to breastfeed, I would have gotten donor milk in a heartbeat (in fact, I am now a milk donor! I pump every other day for a baby in need!) Breast milk rocks. Breastfeeding started out as a bumpy road with lots of potholes. Breastfeeding hurt, it was frustrating, I cried at almost every feeding in the beginning, I was so tired of always having to smother lanolin everywhere, his latch sucked and it was just really hard work. But most of those frustrations only lasted a few weeks, and after that things got sooooooo much easier! Even when it was super hard, when it did finally work it was amazing. The bonding was spectacular and the closeness I felt to him was so overwhelming.  And those positive feelings only increased the easier breast feeding got. Now at 6 months, it's breeze! I have ALWAYS fed on demand and am very pro nursing in public (and public nursing photos, even on facebook!) He'll eat anywhere, anytime and in most any position haha. It's awesome.

I dont have any weaning goal in mind. I'll breastfeed him for as long as he wants to be breastfed- as long as it a positive relationship for both of us. But as far as solids go... we'll be starting those soon! He's never had rice cereal because it's nutritionally meaningless, he hasn't needed anything other than milk, and you're not supposed to start any solids until around six months anyway. People start solids waaaayyyyy too early these days. A baby's body is not ready to start solids until their gut has developed enough (around 6 months). A good way to gauge if your baby is ready for solids is if they are around 6 months in age and able to sit up on their own. We are also not going to be doing baby purees either. We'll be doing something called baby lead weaning (or feeding as us Americans would call it). So basically I'll be slicing him up some avocado here very soon and letting him feed himself! I'm so excited! Here's some good info on baby led weaning: 

 Ryan and my parenting convictions happen to fall in line with a lot of the principals of Attachment Parenting. We do not ever let Oliver cry it out. He sleeps in his cosleeper 50% of the time and next to me in bed 50% of the time. I am VERY pro co sleeping, especially for the early months. So much research as been done on the benefits of a baby sleeping near his mother. Co sleeping can regulate the heart beat and the breathing of an infant, it makes night time feedings SO much easier, and it just amplifies that bond that you're developing with your new child. But definitely research safe co sleeping, there are ways to make it totally and completely safe! We try and hold Oliver as much as possible. Babywearing is very important to us (especially during the "4th trimester"),  I'm always carrying him around in my wrap or carrier, and even Ryan loves to wear him as well! Babywearing dads are totally sexy :-)

We don't agree with RIC (routine infant circumcision). Oliver is not circumcised. There is no reason to circumcise, and PLENTY of reasons to not circumcise.  Unless it is medically needed, I feel very strongly that babies should not be circumcised. I could go on and on about this, so if you want to know more, just ask! I have lots of information!

We use cloth diapers with Oliver... and LOVE it! It's not hard. It's not gross. It's totally fun, cheap and awesome!
Erika Cole Photography

Haha I think I've covered almost everything :-) Some Mama news!: I very soon will be starting my journey toward becoming a certified Doula!!! woohoo! I'm pretty sure it's my dream job. I would love to be a doula/lactation consultant/childbirth educator someday. And I think all these things could be used as great ministry tools while in Germany or wherever we are! As I mentioned before, being a mama was never really on my radar for most of my life, but I truly believe that this is exactly what I was meant to do!

Your Mama and Daddy love you soooooo much Oliver! You are our whole world!! Happy 6 month birthday!!!

Erika Cole Photography