I can’t believe my little squish is already 6 months old :’) … and definitely can’t believe that we’ve been parents for half a year… what?! Where did the time go?
Time has flown these past 6 months, yet it also feels like Leo has been part of our lives for a while now. It feels like I was pregnant ages ago, and thankfully Leo’s whole NICU drama seems far in the past, too (a little update on that down below). Our little guy has completely changed our lives and it’s hard to imagine now what life would be like without him.
Leo has changed drastically from the time he was born to now. Prior to having a baby of my own, I had no idea they developed so quickly – I thought they stayed more of a ‘blob’ for longer (ha) and didn’t realize that they literally do something new every day!
In Leo’s case, he was way ahead of the typical baby ‘milestones’ essentially right out of the womb. One of the first developments that prove a baby is growing and becoming stronger is their ability to hold their head up. Welp, Leo was already doing that when he was born – I kid you not. Everyone would comment about how amazingly strong he was and how they couldn’t believe he could support his own head. (For reference, babies are expected to be able to support their own heads by 2 months old.) I didn’t think it was so ~crazy~ until I observed other little babies and realized that he was way ahead of the game.
And he didn’t stop there. At his two week appointment with the pediatrician, he rolled over right on the patient table. His pediatrician was measuring his length and completing all of the two-week-old tests for eyesight, hearing, head strength, etc. and when she put him on his tummy he propped himself up on his elbows with his head up in the air. She was amazed that he was able to do that, and then was completely floored when he rolled right over onto his back from that position. She exclaimed, “Oh my God! He just rolled over!” And, again, we were clueless that was a big deal at two weeks old (#firsttimeparents). Apparently many babies do not roll over until closer to 6 months of age!
Since then he has either been ahead or right on track with most milestones. He’s currently working on sitting up unassisted and figuring out how to crawl. He’s a little closer to sitting up than crawling, but who knows what will happen with this crazy child. While these two milestones aren’t expected until 8 or 9 months, some babies start to accomplish them by 5 or 6 months.
On the more sentimental side of things, he has completely stolen our hearts, which have turned into total mush :’) . We loved him right away when he was born, but that love grows every day, especially as his little personality shines through more and more. He’s such a happy little dude – he’s always smiling, loves to laugh, loves to ‘play’ games with us like peek-a-boo, loves when Dom throws him up in the air and catches him, and cracks up when I ‘scare’ him with tickle attacks. Essentially anything that catches him by surprise he’s entertained by and he thinks we are the two most hilarious people in the world.
As for his whole breath-holding issue, which is what kept him in the NICU for the first two weeks of his life (if you missed that, you can read about it here), that has improved yet also intensified. It’s improved in the sense that he does not do it nearly as often as he did when he was born. He originally held his breath anywhere between 6-12 times a day (which consisted of him turning blue and his oxygen levels dropping to very low levels). Now, however, it’s rare for him to hold his breath once a week – maybe even once a month. However, when he does decide to hold his breath, he does so because he’s incredibly mad. And he no longer is consoled by the original things that would bring him out of these breath-holding ‘spells’ – giving him a pacifier, picking him up, bouncing him, blowing on his face – all of those actions that used to encourage him to take a breath no longer work.
At this point, it’s almost impossible to break these spells, and he holds his breath for so long that he passes out. His doctors warned us of this, saying that the worst that could happen is that he would pass out (just what every new parent wants to hear!). The only upside to this is that when he passes out, his body forces him to start breathing again. But that doesn’t make it any less scary for us. We just have to watch as he stops breathing, turns blue, and then passes out for a few seconds before coming to. When he comes to, he is in a state of shock for several minutes and then usually falls right to sleep (probably is worn out from the whole ordeal).
While we are still very lucky that he does not have a more severe condition, it still is incredibly stressful for both Dom and me when it does happen. The first time he passed out was while we were on a plane (go figure) flying home to Virginia for Christmas. He then continued to pass out two more times over the ten days we were in Virginia. Luckily he has yet to hold his breath since we’ve been back in Austin this past month. But we’ve been told that it is something he just has to grow out of, and that he should be over it by age 3 or 4 (lollll only a few more years to go!).
Both Dom and I are looking forward to what’s to come in the next several months – Leo crawling, walking and talking (!!). Dom is especially excited for when he gets a little bigger and he can start playing more actively with him, like throwing the ball back and forth and tackling each other. I’m especially excited for him to start talking and can’t wait to hear what he’s going to say!
See how Leo changed throughout his first six months in the photos below: