I love our boy. His personality has really emerged in the last month or so.
When Okra was born, he was this itty bitty thing that was 6 lbs only. His features were more prominent back then because his face was skinny. Fast forward four months. At his most recent check up, he weighed 14 lbs 6 oz and measured 26 inches. He has grown over 8 lbs and 6 inches since birth. Lifting him and carrying him around has been harder and harder. But he has the most kissable cheeks ever. So juicy and so soft. Whenever I lift him up or carry him, I can’t help but kiss his cheeks all the time. Just like his sister, Okra is also a very good looking baby. He has the softest hair (much softer than Bunny’s) that is wavy in the front and curly in the back. There is a little curly strand on top of his head that has earned him the nickname “onion” by my mom. After he lost his baby hair early on, he was bald for a while, so the hair on top of his head is here to stay. I love stroking his hair. He has a very round face, nice thick brows, big and round eyes, extra long eyelashes, and a straight tall nose. His double chin is super adorable. He looks a lot like Bob but with Asian features. He actually does not remind me of our donor at all as he is Bob’s mini-me. Okra has chunky arms, body, thighs, and toes. His toes are super cute. He is just one chubby baby that has all the juice that I want in a baby.
Okra drools constantly. He wets his bib quickly and needs to change into another. It’s interesting that his gums, upon examination by our pediatrician, were not as swollen as Bunny’s, although Bunny doesn’t drool at all. He bites on his clothes, his hands, my hand, or the burp cloth. Basically whatever comes into contact with his mouth.
Okra is the needier baby out of the two. He loves to be held and used to cry a lot. His crying is very loud. His mouth is wide open and his lips and uvula vibrate. He still cries more often than Bunny but is more easily consolable these days. I think he is getting more mature and can regulate his emotions a little bit more easily. Okra is definitely a mama’s boy. About a month ago, he started to develop a preference for me. Whenever I walk by, his face lights up and his smile grows big. He tracks my every move. Even when he is crying, he would stop once I lifts him up. It warms my heart to know that he loves seeing me so much. My mom jokes that when he sees me, it’s like him seeing honey. Okra’s smiles are very sweet. He laughs loudly just like his sister. When he is not crying, he is a super sweet baby who loves to look at people with his big eyes and looks happy.
Okra naps much better than Bunny. He cries at first. Then his crying turns into this mumble that sounds a lot like complaints. When I hear that, I know that he is about to fall asleep. He would then yawn, and continue to whimper a little. Then he’d be out. He would usually stay asleep for about an hour to two hours. He sometimes cries very loudly during his nap but would snap out of it himself and goes back to sleep on his own. Unlike Bunny, Okra had a more difficult time going down for the night. For a while, I found myself rocking him for 10 to 20 minutes before he would calm down enough to sleep. I realized that this pattern was not productive for him or me as he was relying on me as his crutch to fall asleep. I felt that he was ready for some sleep training. I consulted with my friend who used a modified crying it out method. We started with letting him cry for gradual intervals before going in the room to console him for about 30 seconds without picking him up. The intervals went from 5 minutes, 7 minutes, 9 minutes, to 10 minutes for the first night. It took him 25 minutes to fall asleep. The second night started with 7 minutes, 9 minutes, and 10 minutes. We didn’t even have to go to the 10-minute interval and Okra fell asleep after 14 minutes. Ever since then, the subsequent days were on and off with a few minutes of crying. After working at it for a couple of weeks, Okra has gotten the routine down. After our 7ish feed, Bob comes home to play with them for a little bit. We read a couple of books, sing a few songs, and pray together as a family. I first put down Bunny who just falls asleep on her own. Then I put down Okra by swaddling him, holding him, and telling him that I love him and I will see him in the morning. He would go down calmly. I go to turn off the lamp, turn on the sound machine and the night light, and exit the room. He has been going down for the past many nights without even a whimper. I am so proud of him for being able to fall asleep without my help. Routine is powerful.
Okra has very good lower body strength. Our pediatrician told us at the four-month visit that Okra has the muscle strength of a 6-month-old. When he was about 2.5 months old, he would hold onto our hands and stand up on us without needing support for his neck. Since turning four months, I let the babies play in a hand-me-down jumperoo with books underneath it. Okra can sit in it and bounce on the books while using his hands to manipulate the knobs and buttons for 15 minutes. He looks very tall when he plays in that thing. His hands, on the other hand, are not as nimble as Bunny’s. For the longest time, he would hold a fist with his thumbs pointing up when we offered him something. It wasn’t until these past couple of weeks when he started to take things from us with his hands. Unlike Bunny, he loves tummy time, and can be flipped on his tummy for an extended period of time. Okra also chats a lot with us. He sees us and starts talking. He loves to be tickled. He also likes reading and songs. He can focus on a few books and look at every single page with me. He likes “When Cows Get Up in the Morning” and laughs hysterically when I sing “Moo-oo”. This is such a fun age.
Other than his reflux and congestion, Okra is healthy for the most part, although he just caught a cold last week and has been coughing and more congested than usual. It’s heartbreaking to hear a little baby cough. He is definitely feeling sick, but he is still a happy baby. We clear his nose with saline drops and Nose Frida constantly. He cries like a crazy person when we lay him down and show him the saline drops bottle. Sorry but we have to be mean to him because that’s the only way he can breathe better. Since he has gotten sick, his appetite has tanked. I just hope that he doesn’t lose weight and Bunny doesn’t catch the cold from him.
Okra is such a fun baby at four months. I can’t wait to see what his and his sister’s next tricks will be.