As I look at my little bundle of joy sweetly sleeping, its amazing to think that six months have gone by so quickly. It seems only yesterday that I was slowly going insane with the stress of being a first time mum. It's not quite a bed of roses now, but it has got so much easier as the months have gone on, and I think that's down to knowing Shyloh better. In truth, we both know each other better, it took us a while but I no longer want to tear my hair out, and she no longer wants to torture me with days of sleep deprivation. I do however fully intend to get my own back when she's a teenager by whipping the duvet off her at 7am on a weekend, declaring that she's wasting away the day in bed (cue maniacal laugh... mwahahahaha!).
The first month was a heady mixture of being ecstatic, pumped full of adrenaline, to crying my eyes out and wanting sleep more than I have ever wanted sleep in my whole life. In the first five days I managed a grand total of ten hours sleep - I felt like I'd been drugged, it was all very surreal and disorientating. But no matter how awful I felt, all I had to do was look at her staring up at me and the hours of tears (from us both), all seemed worth while.
The worst thing, looking back, was not knowing what she wanted... being first time parents, some of it came from instinct, but the rest was a guessing game. Thom's favourite phrase was, 'why is she crying?' (it used to drive me mental, as I must have misplaced my baby translator at the hospital). And with the added bonus of having a reflux baby, we had even more to enjoy, such as trips to a&e at 2am, projectile vomiting that would put Regan from the Exorcist to shame, and diarrhoea/constipation combos from unsuccessful medication.
Another thing that was fantastic was people's opinions and advice on how to raise our baby. Perfect strangers would suggest the most ludicrous things, everyone from the cashier at Tesco to the old lady down the road who last had children in 1910 was an expert in Shyloh. Ok, some of it was helpful, but I decided to draw the line when my mum grabbed my boob and shoved it in Shy's mouth as I was, 'feeding her wrong'. At the end of the day, this was my baby, and no one was going to know what to do better than me (unless they were of course there 24/7 to witness my daughter, the demon child, do her thing). Yes, it's been a massive learning curve, and I've read more baby books than Gina Ford has had Mum of the Year Awards, but I feel like I got there eventually. Just about.
I would say that one of the best things I've done with Shyloh so far is breastfeeding. So much so that I will probably write a whole other blog on it! It had it's ups and downs but the rewards have far outweighed the tears and frustration. And there are so many other things that have made our first six months magical - her first smile, first gurgle, first time she rolled over, first time I thought someone had stolen Shyloh in the night as I'd slept nine hours without interruption. First swim, first laugh, first non-exploding poop. I could go on. Basically, she's awesome and I have loved every single moment of our lives together. Yey for Shyloh!