Five Months of Quinn Evelyn

      And just like that we have reached 5 Months old! Yet, when I look at her, it feels like I have known her for years. It is the strangest feeling and something I can’t quite explain, but I feel it so deeply. It has me questioning, did we know each other before this life? Or is it just the fact that pregnancy creates an incredible connection between mother and her baby? Whatever it is, when I look at her, I can not help but feel like she is older and wiser than just these short 5 months. It is like she has always been apart of my life.

      June 8th, the day Quinn turned 4 months old, was also the day Jacinda Ardern announced that at midnight New Zealand would enter Alert Level 1. No more social distancing and life returns to a new normal. Borders remain closed to the world except for returning Kiwis who have to quarantine for 14 days on arrival. The Coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) was declared a Pandemic March 12th, 2020 and since then New Zealand has sadly lost 22 lives from the virus. We are lucky that our country is surrounded by the ocean so we have greater control over our borders. It has been hard to watch other countries death tolls rise daily by the thousands.

      New Zealanders were in Alert Level 4 lockdown from March 26th – April 27th, Alert Level 3 lockdown from April 28th – May 13th, Alert Level 2 lockdown from May 14th – June 8th and finally Alert level 1 from June 9th. Which also happened to be Matts birthday! The big thirty-three and his first as a Dad. His birthday fell on a Tuesday so Matt was back in the office with work but Quinn and I met him for lunch. It was a beautiful sunny day so it was nice to be out and about for lunch, without any restrictions. A new sense of freedom in some ways.

      Quinn’s fourth month of life has been busy with so many changes. One of the first changes was the transition from swaddling to a sleeping bag. I was a little apprehensive about how this would go, but we did the transition gradually with the ‘Love to Dream’ arm zip swaddles. Who ever came up with that design is a genius! It slowly allowed Quinn to feel comfortable having her arms free one at a time and, when we remembered, Matt and I swapped her arms at each nap. It took, maybe, two weeks, for her to remain settled for long periods without waking herself up and now she loves having her arms free when in her sleeping bag! It is funny, because I have come to realise, with every small milestone we face and then tick off, it feels like the achievement is more of a big deal to us than it is for her. She just rolls with it and adapts so easily!

      Last month, Quinn couldn’t quite reach her feet with her hands but now that she can, her feet have become her obsession. At every opportunity, she is holding tightly on to her toes or nibbling at them in her mouth! She is like a little contortionist; her body seems to fold right in half. I think her new-found flexibility helped her to roll over for the first time which has been the most exciting milestone this month! I will put her down in one spot and, a moment later when I glance back down, find her in another spot. She has fierce determination when attempting to get to her toys that I usually put just out of her reach. She often grows frustrated when she is struggling to reach what she has got her eye on and will usually let me know with a sigh, squeal, or an unhappy glare my way.

      All this exciting and new development occurred with the inevitable 4-month sleep regression. Quinn has always been a pretty good sleeper, so this was something I had grown rather anxious for. Luckily for us, this hasn’t really affected her night sleep, it has generally been the change to her day naps – 30 to 45 minutes now seems to suit her just fine. There have been a few difficult nights followed by some long exhausting days, with not much sleep for the both of us, and on one particular day, the only way she would sleep was on my chest, in her dark room, with the shusher driving me slightly crazy. After venting a little to my mum about this, she messaged me with some “mum thoughts” – as she called it – that simply said, “some days are not your own.” In that moment, I thought how true this was, and cried. It was exactly what I needed to hear as it put things into perspective for me and instantly changed my mindset. The dishes on the bench, the un-vacuumed floor, the endless washing waiting to be folded and put away, emails I hadn’t replied to, that walk I never got around to, my unwashed hair or the dinner that wasn’t prepped, could wait. That day was not my own. Quinn, and her getting sleep, is my main priority. Anyway, would I rather be doing housework? No! Holding my baby? Yes! A million times over, because as everyone says, they do not stay small for long. So, I held her in my arms and soaked in her sweet baby smell.

      We have had some sad news in our family this month. My Grandma hasn’t been well for a while now, and after another hospital visit, it was decided that she needed to go straight into a rest home. My Grandad, of course, was very upset when he heard Grandma wouldn’t be returning to their home. They have been together for over 63 years! A rest home is exactly where she needs to be, but it is heart breaking to see Grandad so sad and my Grandma so fragile. I am very fortunate that Quinn and I were able to celebrate Grandads 87th birthday last month as we entered Level 2. The photos I took of my Grandparents holding Quinn will be memories I will treasure forever.

      Quinn and her infectious giggle brightens our day. We will do anything to get a giggle out of her; the weird noises, crazy dance moves, bad singing, and plenty of peak-a-boos, seem to do the trick for now! 5 months with our happy easy-going baby and many more milestones to go.

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