I have no words to describe the feeling you get when you watch your baby grow. When he’s finally able to see you, smiles intentionally for the first time, lifts his head up all by himself….. a little high…. higher….. then really high……. you just marvel.
DJ seemed to be in a hurry to grow. He was reaching his milestones pretty early, grabbing onto things in his way, attempting to crawl at 3 / 4 months ( he would arch his back and then propel himself forward). It was interesting to watch but I had to be extra cautious because now he couldn’t be left unattended to especially on a bed. I did that once, and had the shock of my life. So I had left him on the bed with his feeding pillow around him ( which I thought was secure enough) to go grab something from the bathroom and then got back to find him crawling out of it and now almost at the edge of the bed. I rushed to grab him! “ That was close” I thought to myself looking visibly terrified but he seemed to enjoy it as he smiled, almost giggling. That instantly warmed my heart.
He liked a lot of tummy time. In fact, he hated sleeping on his back for some strange reason. He would never sleep when he was put down that way. As much as I had read how dangerous it was for babies to sleep on their belly / face down , that was the only way he would sleep. He would actually sleep for hours in that position and my mother had mentioned that I was the exact same way as a baby
As DJ grew, he was starting to look more and more like me. Everyone was saying it but Kobby wasn’t too excited about that because he wanted a mini him so bad and so did I. Once, I caught him telling DJ “Just give me a chance and look like me okay?” I burst out in laughter. He seemed to be joking but I knew deep down he wasn’t. It still cracked me up. One minute, he looked like his dad and the next he looked just like me especially his forehead and eyes.
Feeding and Growth
I’ve been told boys eat a lot! Well that explains his humongous appetite. If DJ had his way, he would drink his milk continuously till eternity. He finishes his full 240mils bottle within 10 minutes and you should see how he acts when he’s hungry. No patience at all. None! He would grab the bottle or your finger or anything in his way while feeding and he has the tightest grip for a baby.
He was also outgrowing his clothes pretty quickly. It was fun to see him growing taller and making his littles coos and mumbling a few things.
At about 4 and a half months, my mother bought him a Bumbo seat (as seen in the picture above). This was to help him sit up properly and finally on his own. He sat in it after every feed for about 30 minutes (or less if he was being fussy). He liked to be carried especially when you stand. The moment you sit, he would fuss. I started to carry him using the traditional method of tying a cloth around him on my back and he hated it at first but then grew to like it eventually. He would fall asleep after a while and I would gently put him down. Yes, he had gotten to that point where I had to be extra quiet when putting him down otherwise he would wake up and smile and that meant game over. There were times, I would put him face down and he would push back up and you just knew he wasn’t going back to bed. I once mistakenly rocked him to sleep with my back facing the mirror and I looked back to see if he had finally fallen asleep and caught him curiously glancing at himself in the mirror….. WIDE AWAKE.
Vaccinations & Weighing
I always dread vaccinations and weighing. He would cry a lot during an injection which was so sad to watch and sometimes he would cry when he was put down on a scale to be weighed. He wasn’t allowed to eat right before or after vaccination so he had to be soothed for a while till it was the appropriate time to feed. One of my worst experiences was the day Kobby and I took him for one of his vaccines. I left him with Kobby because I had to go meet my doctor for my paps smear test (which I had postponed all these years). As I sat there waiting to be called in, I heard a familiar loud shriek and I jumped from my seat and dashed to where he was. I actually thought he had just been injected but that wasn’t the case. These nurses had “forgotten“ to lay a sheet on the scale and the poor baby had to lie on the cold scale. Meanwhile he can’t stand cold surfaces. Even when he’s being wiped, he gets startled. “Madam, I was just telling Daddy that your baby must be hungry. What time did he last eat?”, one nurse asked the minute I walked in. “He is NOT hungry! He ate about 3 hours ago. He’s crying because of the cold scale! “ 3 hours?! Ei why do you young mothers do this? Do you want to starve the child? He should be feeding every 2 hours.”one of the older nurses blurted. At this point, I couldn’t believe they had the nerve to blame me. “ You do know he’s on formula right? Formula is scheduled, its NOT breastmilk! You can’t feed him anytime you like. There are written instructions you follow.” I retorted. Gosh. Kobby didn’t say a word this entire time. He was quiet with a frown and that is usually how I can tell he’s pissed. Unlike me, he is not confrontational but all his anger will be expressed by his stone cold facial expression. “Eno you’re wasting your time, let’s vaccinate him and leave” he said, clearly trying to put an end to the back and forth. I decided I would prove them wrong by feeding him like they suggested. I took out his bottle, mixed his formula and begun feeding him. He had a bit of it and took his mouth off. In the history of feeding this baby, he has NEVER rejected milk. I looked at them with a smirk. The only annoying bit was, I now had to wait an extra 30 minutes before he could be vaccinated.
Ghanaians are usually full of unsolicited advice and you get that a lot at the hospital. Usually, people strangely feel they know better when it comes to your OWN children. How can you ( a stranger) love my child more than I do? A gentleman once told Kobby that he wasn’t feeding DJ properly. Kobby snapped and said “ I feed him all the time at home, thank you very much” and this man looked genuinely shocked. Shocked? You talk anyhow but don’t expect a rude response? Like I always say, none of us were born parents, we are all learning, so allow new parents to learn instead of judgmentally staring at them, watching their every move with their own child; how you’re holding your baby, how you’re burping, how you’re feeding, what you’re feeding him with. It’s exhausting really.
Another horrific day was when my mother and I took him for weighing at 5 months. We got there and you won’t believe the nurse had a cold sore! My first instinct was to leave with him and reschedule the appointment. However, my mother insisted we go ahead but make sure we held on to him the entire time to prevent the nurse from getting into contact with him.. But my question was, “Why? Why would they allow a nurse with a cold sore to even be around babies? Babies are so fragile and susceptible to all kinds of diseases anyway, so why add this?”. It’s insane! However, I was also quite careful not to make her feel terrible while protecting the life of my baby. You won’t believe after I had laid him down on the scale, she still managed to touch him to adjust him properly. I must’ve died a little bit inside but I didn’t want to cause a scene. I made eye contact with my mom and she was just as horrified. She didn’t say a word which was unlike her (because she is always telling someone off for doing something wrong). I took a deep breath, and once she had written down the weight, I took him off the scale. The car ride back, we complained about the incident till we got back home. I quickly gave him a bath the minute I arrived. Fortunately, he didn’t fall sick which was a relief. The good thing was, his weight was increasing at a good rate.
My baby was GROWING. Wow.