Marina Grace at 5 Months // livelovesimple.com

I know that Marina’s monthly updates have been sounding like the most terrible broken records. But guess what!? I’ve finally got some good news to share! I can’t report that everything has changed overnight and that it’s all sunshine & rainbows — but we have seen improvement and I’ve got lots of good news to share.

I’m going to start with the best of the best. One day last week, Marina kept her pacifier in her mouth, fell asleep in her baby papasan chair, and then slept there for nearly half an hour! It was epic on so many levels. It was the first time that she ever took a nap somewhere other than my arms or a moving vehicle. Plus, she kept the pacifier in her mouth which is huge in itself.

Marina Grace at 5 Months // livelovesimple.com

Marina Grace at 5 Months // livelovesimple.com

Marina Grace at 5 Months // livelovesimple.com

Another thing she started doing this past month is putting her fingers in her mouth and occasionally sucking her thumb. Could we be on the road to self soothing? I can only hope!

She has also started rolling from her back to her belly & from her belly to her back. She can lay on her belly and hold her head up like a champ. (See pictures.)

We’ve also seen some general improvement in her temperament across the board. She used to cry about 95% of the time in the car, and now she only cries about 20% of the time. She used to cry about 90% of the time in the stroller, and now she only cries about 10% of the time (or less!). She used to cry 100% of the time when we were at home and she wasn’t being held, and now we can put her down for a few 5 to 20 minute stretches throughout the day. These improvements may not seem like much, but they’re actually enormous for us. I’ll never be able to fully explain the impact that the endless screaming had on our household. To have some quiet, peaceful time again is a joy and something that I will never take for granted again.

Marina Grace at 5 Months // livelovesimple.com

Marina Grace at 5 Months // livelovesimple.com

Marina Grace at 5 Months // livelovesimple.com

We are really getting a chance to know her now and she’s just amazing. That bright smile that we’ve been catching glimpses of all along, is now brighter & more beautiful than ever. I am finally getting to enjoy her the way that I had been hoping for. There is lots of cuddling, kisses, staring at her sweetness, and smelling her delicious baby smell. All of those precious, magical moments of “baby-ness” that I’m just soaking in. I’ve even thought to myself a few times — “Okay time, you can slow down now.” I am so deeply grateful to be able to enjoy this time with my little girl rather than just struggling to survive & hanging on by a thread, the way that we had been.

As I said before, it’s not all sunshine. She is still an incredibly high-needs baby. We went to a picnic recently and there were other babies there Marina’s age. The parents were able to put the babies down in their car seats or strollers and the babies just hung out contently. Another time recently, we were at a party and a family friend saw Marina being held throughout the day and asked, “Don’t you just have a baby seat you can put her in?” It’s difficult for people to understand what life is like with a super high-needs baby. Hell, I never could’ve imagined it myself.

But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I wouldn’t trade it. As difficult as it’s been (and is), it’s equally as wonderful and then some. This precious girl is all mine & my goodness, how I adore her. I’m just beyond grateful for the progress that she is making and I know that we are going to keep moving in the right direction. I’m truly enjoying these baby days while they’re here because I know how soon they will pass.

Marina Grace at 5 Months // livelovesimple.com

Marina Grace at 5 Months // livelovesimple.com

Marina Grace at 5 Months // livelovesimple.com

Now that Marina is doing a bit better, I have had some time to think straight about everything that we’ve been through (and continue to go through). The conclusion that I have come to is that Marina is a “high needs” baby. I’m not a huge fan of the term “high needs” but I like it a hell of a lot better than the term colic. Here’s why: “high needs” is actually a thing, a manageable thing — not a mystery condition from hell that nothing can be done for, like colic. I discovered the term “high needs” through a link that was shared with me in a Facebook mom’s support group a few months back. Only recently have I revisited it and really taken the time to analyze and absorb it. Here’s the link. Marina checks off every item on the “high needs” list to the umpteenth degree.

Marina Grace at 5 Months // livelovesimple.com

Marina Grace at 5 Months // livelovesimple.com

Marina Grace at 5 Months // livelovesimple.com

I really wish that more pediatricians would take the time to differentiate between colic babies, reflux/allergic babies, and high needs babies. In my experience, and in the experiences of many I have spoken to, these three types of babies are lumped together extremely flippantly. Parents of these babies are brushed off and told “the baby will outgrow it” and then gingerly pushed out of the office. This is not okay. In short, the answer to high needs babies is attachment parenting. I’ve got a lot more to say on this (colic/high needs/attachment parenting) issue, but I’m going to do a whole series on it soon.

For now, suffice to say that while Marina is showing improvement, we still have a long way to go. I’m grateful that I’ve discovered Dr. Sears’ work. I’ve ordered his book on the subject and again, I will share more in the near future.

That’s about all I’ve got for this month’s update. I’m so happy to finally have some good news to share and I look forward to having even more to share next month.

Marina Grace at 5 Months // livelovesimple.com

Marina Grace at 5 Months // livelovesimple.com

Oh, and I almost forgot! Marina’s eyes have started to change color. It looks like she is not going to be a blue-eyed baby like her brother. We think that she is going to have brown eyes like Mama or hazel eyes like Papa. Time will tell.

xo

4 thoughts on “Five-Month-Old Marina Grace”

  1. She is so precious! What a delightful little girl.
    I like your use of “high needs,” but I’m wondering if there’s another name for it. Have you heard of the term HSP, highly sensitive person? We have a couple of these amazing humans in our family: my sister, and my niece. All I’ve read of your blog is this one post (I follow you on Instagram) but I just kept thinking that Marina may be an HSP! It might be more challenging now but it’s a great gift!

    1. Hi Kellie! You know I hadn’t heard about HSP before, but I did a little looking up after your comment and I think that there is a good chance that Marina might be! Or at the very least she might have a lot of those tendencies!!

      Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. It really means so much to me. I’m looking forward to heading over to your blog now & having a peek around. xoxo

  2. It’s about damn time! Yaaaaaaaaay happy dance and mini celebration going on over here. Where’s a champagne bottle when you need one?! I don’t care how “small” these improvements are, every little one is quite a huge deal when you’re neck deep in “colic” chaos! Oh girl, I’m thrilled for all of you. I’ve also just recently began asking Time to slow down as well. It wasn’t long ago that I was wishing for a fast forward button to age one!!! Now, ever week that passes makes me sad that this is most likely my last baby and I’m going to actually miss this tiny little age. Anyways, congrats for getting through what seems to have been the worst of her “colic”. I pray that it only continues to get better from here on out. xoxo -Misty

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