Dear Faith: Six Months On

Dear Faith,

You are all of six months old now. How funny, that months fly by so quickly when each day (and night) seems to go on forever. Are you having fun getting to know Mama all this time? Because I sure am enjoying your company.

But this wasn’t always the case. Don’t get me wrong. I love you to the moon and back, but there were things that made it difficult for me to enjoy having you in my life.

201302 Dear Faith 6 Months 1st month

I adored having you while away time in my belly, but of course. Back then, it was just the two of us; you, stretching out your limbs within, and I, stroking the ripples you made across my bump. Those cartwheels of yours…were mine and mine to keep. And then, you were born. We shared intimate, first and very quiet moments in the nights at the hospital, as I whispered in response to your kitten-like coos and watched you curiously as you stifled the tiniest yawns I have ever laid eyes on. Again, mine and mine to keep. But, like quicksand under my feet, these moments rapidly gave way to the chaos that come with parenthood. People wanted a piece of you. People tried to tell Mama what to do and Mama was chided one too many times. I suppose they forgot that I am your Mama, and that mothers know best. Those days were foul. I barely survived with remarks hurled at me every so often, and I hardly cradled you without feeling resentful. All I longed to do was to take in your baby smell with nothing but the pride and joy of a new mother but I was exhausted from the broken sleep, depressed and angry that no one saw that I was trying my best, to give you the very best, and I eventually succumbed to my rapidly eroding confidence. I took it out on you, deemed you a difficult child, because I didn’t know better . I am so sorry that I felt that way. Will you ever forgive me?

201302 Dear Faith 6 Months 2nd month

I am glad that things are better, and you must be relieved too, thank God, for Mama now knows better than to crumble in the face of criticism, even though those finger-pointing days are far from over. Six months on, I am still told that I don’t have what it takes to be a mother. Six months on, people still go all SWAT-team on Mama as they misjudge your exuberance for lack of discipline, and give me so much grief when they learnt that you are still not sleeping through the night. I am wounded but I know better than to think that they are right, that our ways are erroneous. Six months on…being with you all the time, waking up many times a night, every night, to soothe you back to sleep, nursing you every single time because you refuse to drink from the milk bottle, laughing when I get projectile-pooped on, singing to you and waltzing with you to Mama’s screechy rendition of ‘The Last Waltz’, all this while battling unpleasantries from people who you think would be more supportive…I reckon I must have done more right than wrong.

201302 Dear Faith 6 Months 3rd month

So yes, Mama has come a long way. And so have you, my child. You were once a newborn who quietly regarded lights and shadows with all the interest you could muster during your waking hours. You waited it out with me as you battled dehydration from phototherapy, when Mama’s milk failed to come in until four days after you were born. You were also hardly awake and barely opened your eyes when you were up. Truth be told, it felt a little like you were an unresponsive lump that only woke up to feed every two hours. Then, one day, you flashed your first toothless grin at me, and my heart soared! You are *after some serious prodding* a baby, for real! The babbling that is boo-baa-baa and oh-woh-woh, that strange throaty ahhh-ooooohhh and your signature shrill ah-rrrh-rrrh-rrrh-rrrh, not unlike a trill, soon followed as you tried to keep up with our daily conversations. You used to scream in the bath too, and perhaps it was because Mama didn’t quite know how to grab onto a slippery baby in soapy water, but now you revel in a splashin’ good time in the tub. When you yelped during tummy time, I thought the world would end sooner than you could roll over, so imagine my surprise when you flipped onto your tummy the day before you turned four months! Before I knew it, you started sitting unassisted a few weeks ago, banging on every surface and swiping at everything you could get your tiny, yet amazingly strong hands on. When you wolfed down your first solids, and clamoured for more (especially avocado, expensive stuff leh) with that bit of sass, I knew that you were my child; Mama loves her food too much, after all. I laughed with you, when you squealed in delight at Mama’s antics with the empty Milo box (if I haven’t shown you the video, ask me to because it is priceless); have I told you that I almost forgot what it was like to laugh without a care in the world, until you came along? Whenever your ‘longan’ eyes light up at me but not at the sight of others, ahh…you should see how smug I am, until I approach you and you start yanking the few strands of hair that Mama has left. And oh, that glorious morning, when you first spread your arms wide open, eagerly waiting for me to come and get you…I knew there and then, that you are growing up too quickly and one day, you will push Mama away with those arms. But for now, darling Faith, you surprise me with your every move and I am delighted to be here for you, for your first wriggle forward, your first step, your first words…

You have me eating right out of your chubby, dimpled hands, my dear girl.

201302 Dear Faith 6 Months 4th month

You have done so much more than grow a couple of inches taller and pack on a few pounds. You have unwittingly taught me so, so much. To dig deep and love unconditionally. That being a mother is a privilege. That nothing is a sacrifice when done out of love. That I should be strong and trust my instincts. That I should give my best to you, hold your hands while you still want me to, and then let you go even if it is the hardest thing to do.

201302 Dear Faith 6 Months 5th month

So, grow…grow up all you want, my dear daughter, be the person that you taught me to be, and so much more. The days are long and the nights, longer, but they won’t be this way forever. Mama’s here for you, holding out my hand, if you ever feel like walking with yours in mine. But if you don’t ever want to do that when you are all grown up because it might be uncool to be seen with Mama, I hope you have enjoyed getting to know me as much as I love being your mother.

201302 Dear Faith 6 Months 6th month


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12 Responses to “Dear Faith: Six Months On”

  1. 1 orsay54 February 22, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    There are NO words to say how adorable she is and how beautiful,your post is!

  2. 3 Jo February 25, 2013 at 12:57 am

    Beautiful. It hurts me that people have told you that you don’t have what it takes to be a mother… I think you’re doing a great job.

  3. 5 Jasminesmt February 25, 2013 at 5:37 am

    And all those hurtful and judgmental comments mostly come from people who were young mothers themselves before! I wished I could tell them to back off, they had their chance at being mothers, just leave me alone to be a mother my way! But often, these are words that couldn’t be said out loud without major repercussions in the family.

  4. 7 elainegan February 27, 2013 at 11:23 am

    Loving every photo of your princess :) As for sleeping-through-the-night, millions of advices out there for first time mamas. I was judged as harsh/ cruel by doing the crying-it-out method, oh phffft whatever!

  5. 9 Jamie Soh April 3, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    Just wanna drop a note sayin’ you are such a inspirational mother figure! I’m in midst struggling with my first new born and boy is it hard. I totally agree with people judging especially the elders, I’m going thru a tough period with sleepless nights, trying to keep my sainty on. But my little one keeps me going, your blog really motivates me to keep trying !

    • 10 The Pleasure Monger April 14, 2013 at 5:22 am

      Jamie: Welcome to motherhood! You’re doing a wonderful job, always tell yourself that. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. I know it’s really easier said than done. I am still struggling and my confidence is shaken sometimes. It helps to have a supportive husband and of course, to look at your child grow everyday! Lots of mummy hugs to you, dear!

  6. 11 Eeling June 5, 2013 at 5:04 am

    Your precious bundle so cute and adorable! I feel ur pain, motherhood is such a hard job because it isn’t just making it work for yourself or your partner’s, it also involves well intended family and friends.

    I learned a trick when I had my twins, if u have a baby monitor, have it turned down low and you think around maybe 6 to eight months and she should be sleeping through because by now she’d be on solids so tummy should be full, weaning her off midnight snacking or just restlessness, well, what I did was I’d be aware of my babies cries, but I will only wake for them if it was screaming like if they were in pain or have thrown up cries.

    Tough love, we mothers have to be tough. Babies learn quick and if you can succeed, embrace it, until they start waking after 3 :) but truth be told, my 6 year old woke constantly since birth and have only managed to slow down since middle last year. My 5 year old was gold till he turned 3… And my twins, damn, they wake at 3 and start playing! Crazy, I know.

    Wishing lots of luck and patience. Babies grow up too quick, cherish and love… Cheers!

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