Five Months With Baby Dexi

Dear Dexter,

Ahh, another special month with your smiley, beautiful face and happy heart. Could you be the worlds happiest baby? How did I get this lucky?

I know some would say that because you aren’t yet sleeping through the night and because I am tired, things might seem hard and perhaps I’m not THAT lucky… but those people are wrong. I love waking up to your smiles every morning. When the first thing that I see when I open my eyes is you beaming at me with such excitement for the day ahead and for the life that you are living, it’s like the nights before never even happened. I know in my heart that everything is exactly as it is meant to be. I know that I am meant to see this chapter through with you, with a whole heart and gratitude. I am meant to do everything to make you happy, settled and to feel loved. I am meant to be needing coffee by the bucket load and doing weird and wonderful things like washing my hair with shower gel because I am so tired… It makes complete sense that these things are such small prices to pay for being fortunate enough to be your mama. I know that one day, this will be something that we will look back on together and smile about. The cuddles throughout the night are still memories after all. The small things are actually the big things and me being there for you when you need me in the night, is one of the things that make us, well… us.

Anyway, you really are a happy baby and that is what matters most of all.

This month has been quite exciting for you, with lots of lovely things happening. There have been a lot of ‘baby firsts’ for you and some ‘last firsts’ for me. ¬†Firework displays, Christmas preparations and beginnings of the festive season.

When we went to the fireworks display, I had wrapped you up so warm and carried you in the sling. I held you protectively with my arms for the entire evening. I was so conscious of the noise frightening you and making you jump. But you slept soundly, snuggled in tight and you didn’t make a peep. It made me happy that you slept. The confidence that you have in me to keep you safe, it warms my whole heart. I’m glad that you have learned so quickly that I would do anything for you. I would do anything in my power to protect you.

And the Christmas preparations? You adored the twinkly fairy lights that we hung everywhere at home. You loved the Christmas tree and rolled around our living room persistently, to get to and lay underneath it. You would lay so still, looking up at the dense forrest green branches, decorated with more sparkly lights and plenty of baubles that we have collected over the years, before you. You loved grabbing at a particular shiny, silver one that Ellenah had placed on the bottom branch for you. You enjoyed pulling it off and passing it between your hands. It surprised me how calm, collected and peaceful you seemed when you lay there… It was like your little happy place and I can see you wanting to spend a lot of time laying there well into your sixth month as Christmas comes even closer. Your first Christmas.

Winter came, in your fifth month. The temperature dropped and you have now experienced the pitter patter of rain against your pram while out walking… and an icy chill whip over you while I wear you in the sling. It all fascinates you so much and I swear I haven’t wished so hard for snow before. I would love to see what you would make of that and it would be so beautiful , if it came within the festive season.

It’s strange to see you wrapped up in so many clothes my darling! You spent the first three months of your life in not much more than a vest. You were always too hot for anything else. My little hot water bottle. And now, I’m layering you up in the cutest cardigans and jumpers… fearful of the thought that you might be chilly. Maybe I should also mention that a couple of times over this last month, I dressed you in outfits… Not just baby grows. Actual outfits, with socks… and trousers… and long sleeve tee’s. You looked adorable. Too grown up though. I’m not ready to accept that your sleep suit days are coming to an end yet… but I’m trying.

I also tried out transitioning you from your carrycot, into the seated version of your pram. The one where you pull out a lever to lay it flat when you want to nap. You didn’t mind it so much. Daddy liked it and he pushed you along proudly… For a day! I changed it back the day after. Perhaps I’ll try again next month.

I know, it might seem like I’m struggling to accept that already, you are growing and changing so rapidly in front of my very eyes. It only feels like yesterday that I got to meet you in person for the first time though. So I hold my hands up… You caught me… I find this bit about motherhood a little difficult. And I have to say… My little number three…

It doesn’t get ANY easier.

Anyway, where was I? Ah right… Winter?! You prefer to be naked… even though it is freezing outside. You are pretty darn happy when I know that it is warm enough indoors and we have the fire going, so I let you roll around and play in your nappy.

Also… perhaps I’m not actually doing that badly in letting you grow up a little. We are finally introducing you to your cot for bedtime… little by little. We have moved your cot from the box room that was supposed to be your nursery and we have put it at the foot of our bed, against the wall. I wasn’t ready for you to be so far away that there was a wall between us… but I think that bed sharing might be disturbing you and your sweet dreams. I’m hopeful that this may help. We have started with a couple of nap times so far and it is hard because I already miss you so much. I’m hoping that this will be good for you. I just want you to have everything that you need.

It made me sad this month, that you had the flu. Dexi, it was heartbreaking. You carried the saddest look around in your watery, red, swollen eyes yet the biggest smile that you could manage on your face. It was honestly one of the worst things in the world to watch you struggle. I felt so helpless. I felt like I had done something wrong. I came down hard on myself… desperately trying to find better ways to help you. To make it go away. You will learn this about me, that I will only take you to the Doctor if it is absolutely necessary. If I think that they could possibly help you better than I can. And at five months old, I took you to the Doctor for the very first time. And I hated it. I hated admitting that someone else may have a magic answer. I hated feeling helpless. I hated hooking mucus out of your mouth with my finger because you were choking. I hated staying awake to watch you breathing because I was so afraid for you. I could not spend another second seeing you like it. So off we went.

And I was upset with myself when we arrived. When the doctor told me that I was doing everything right and when he spoke to me like I was going to break apart at any second. I was bothered that I didn’t just trust myself as your Mama… because I did know best after all. And I was bothered that he spoke to me so gently… because that made me feel like I wanted to cry even more.

Your first flu lasted just over a week. It was fierce and horrible but the cuddles in that time were extra snuggly and while we were enveloped in the aroma of eucalyptus, cascading into the air from the oil burner… We enjoyed a couple of baths together as I ran the hot tap into the sink, hoping the steam would help you to breathe. And I really enjoyed that special time with you… being everything that you would need to get better again.

By the way… You hated trying Calpol and wouldn’t entertain any other medicine either. I think you may just have a little feisty streak deep down in your gut, hidden behind those sparkly, blue eyes and captivating smile.

I swear my darling, you have become unstoppable this month. You can manoeuvre around on your arms now, in all directions. You just lift your body, choose your destination and drag your chubby little legs there, across the floor. And you are already so fast. It is officially eyes in my elbows time.

You love to play now. I’m wondering if your new found freedom has enabled you to explore and become truly curious about everything around you now. That and the time you spend watching Noah and Ellenah playing together and being busy… It makes you want to keep up, catch up and join in. Because you don’t want to play alone. You’re not content on your play mat, surrounded by soft, hanging toys. You want to engage with them and with me. You enjoy it when I make up little stories from your things and put on ridiculous voices and accents. Your face lights up and I can see how much you enjoy the interaction.

This is probably why Noah is the funniest person alive to you. With his electric facial expressions and the animated conversations that he has with you. You have him wrapped around your little finger. Your own personal jester… and he wouldn’t have it any other way. He would do just about anything to make you laugh… And he does it, from the moment you wake up to the moment you close your eyes to sleep. He is yours. Your big brother.

Ellenah isn’t as much your comedian as she is your little Mama. She will take care of you, keep you safe. I mean, Noah keeps you safe too. The reality is that, they would both do anything for you and often put themselves last, for you. But Ellenah, she is very maternal of you. She gets you blankets and makes sure you are warm. She knows the signs that mean you are getting hungry. She is sensible with your surroundings and respects the perimeter around you… making sure you have enough space and that you can’t touch anything that will harm you. Ellenah says to you that she will be your mother, when I’m out of the room… And she strokes your forehead and nose to make you sleepy and peaceful.

Dexter, you have one hell of a team by your side… an amazing gang… such unconditional love surrounding you, every day and in everything you do.

It makes it a little easier, knowing how quickly everyone fell in love with you and how everyone dotes on you… because I left you for the first and second time this month. Dexi, apart from watching you feel poorly, it was the hardest thing I have had to do since you were born. The first time was to go to the ballet as your Auntie’s had arranged tickets for my thirty first birthday, to watch The Little Mermaid in Canterbury, at The Marlowe Theatre. It was local so this wasn’t the hardest. I knew that if I played it right, I could be back in time for your feed, which I was. The second was when I went into London with your Uncle to watch a Steps concert. Just very quickly, when you are old enough to read this yourself… You may laugh at me when you realise who they are… but back in the day, when I was a youngster, I loved them. And they did actually used to be kind of cool, ha! Anyway… London is a lot further away and my time apart from you was hours upon hours. The lead up to that day was agony, a cruel torture. I cried a lot with worry. In the time leading up to it, I missed you already. So much so, it hurt my heart and I’m sure I could feel a physical pain in my body, every time that I let myself think about it. As excited as I was to go… I wanted to cancel it so badly. In the end, Daddy said that he would drive to London, late at night to pick me up, so that I could be with you sooner. Because I needed to be with you sooner. I wasn’t ready to leave you at all. And you were fine. You slept well. Hardly missed me. But I missed you terribly. It was awful when my breast milk let down for the first time and you weren’t there to feed. Tears filled my eyes because I was sad knowing that this meant you were hungry and I wasn’t home to provide for you. And then it did it again and again and again. My body was trying to give you what you needed but you were so far away. The concert was good but I was so glad to come home to you and be with you. I nursed you a lot throughout that night and I didn’t sleep well at all. I just watched you drift in and out of needing me, looking for me and I let you cuddle me so tightly while you wrapped your cute, chubby hands around the fine strands of my hair.

There were a lot of emotional, challenging moments for me in the past month baby boy! Lots of times that I found hard because I love you so much and I have thrown everything I have into raising you and being the best Mama that I could ever be to you. But I can’t end this letter to you, with you thinking that I found I didn’t like a part of our journey or appreciate this last month with you. I don’t want you to ever think that I am not enjoying every second, every challenge, every milestone and every moment of being your mother. And if ever I have come up against something that I’m finding difficult, my favourite thing to do is shine light on our little snippets of normal, where you exist so happily, so beautifully and so greatly.

I hope I always remember your face at five months. Your expressive, funny little face with the biggest smile. I hope I always remember the bath times and how you began to splash your feet, laughing when little droplets would hit my face, me pretending to be moody to make you laugh. I hope I remember the cuddles where you would lay heavy on my chest, head turned to the side while your arms and legs draped down by my sides. I hope I remember it all… because it is crazy how quickly you grow and how much you have already grown. It is insane to comprehend how much changes and there are no words to do justice, how much I will love you, at every age, in every stage, in every time and with every beat of my heart, for forever.

I Love You Sweet Boy,

From, Mama x

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