I’ve had a hard time adjusting to motherhood. It is so much more challenging than anyone ever let on, perhaps a combination of my pressure on myself and our extended 4th trimester. It’s taken us both a little more time than expected to adjust to this new life. I wish there was more honesty surrounding early parenthood… that the sleep deprivation accumulates, that sometimes it gets harder when it was ‘supposed to’ get easier. That every baby is indeed different and sometimes comparing war stories with other women for which feeding, sleeping, ______ is coming easier makes you feel worse rather than better. That while you spend 100% of your time with one of your favorite people on the planet, it’s all undeniably isolating. That in the thick of it all, you might catch yourself in the mirror and look past the exhausted woman looking back at you, and glimpse the little soul curled up into your neck, wishing for nothing more than to be right there, present, with you. And despite your exhaustion the tears come upon realizing that you’re this person’s world. And that it’s all so very fleeting, so try harder not to worry so much.
Almost four months have passed. The time flies and it doesn’t at times. Though I look down at you, my sweet girl, and I stand in awe. You are amazing. You smile broadly every time you see me, and my goodness does it make my heart swell. When I’m especially lucky you squeal with delight. How did I get so lucky?
During your third month I realized that I should have done a lot of things w hen you were a newborn… lay you down to sleep sometimes, give you a pacifier, introduce a bottle. At the time I didn’t think about how exhausted I’d be serving as your sleep surface, pacifier, and the only person that can feed you for months and months. You know I love spending all my time with you, but mama needs a few minutes to herself now and again, just as you do. So that being said, the third month was hard. It broke my heart to see you continue to cry so much, no matter what we did. However, those tears prompted the creation of some seriously amazing songs to make you smile by your ‘ol mom, thank-you-very-much. And we had such good times, too–celebrating mama and papa’s four-year anniversary for one. We spent the day at Whitefish Lake, and we were the only ones there. We got a coffee out while you slept and then I nursed you on a balcony overlooking the lake and mountain. You started to smile even more and engage with us.
During your fourth month, you have really come alive! You coo and chat with us all day long. I’m amazed at the sounds you create as you mimic us and try and join in on the conversation. You want to soak it all in, everything! You are constantly looking around, even as you try to eat. There’s just too much to do and see! You also have taken to stopping nursing to grin and coo at me. And while that may be contributing to the every-two-hours wake ups, I can’t complain about that at all. You’ve also suddenly discovered your body which is so adorable to watch. You rock your legs in the air and grab them with your hands, even pulling your feet to your mouth! You’ve also started making fists with your little hands and gazing at them. Oh, and chewing on your hands all of the time. Maybe early teething? We’ll soon find out, I suppose.
Grandma (mama’s mama) came to visit us last week. Boy, does she love you! She brought you some of mama’s old clothes from when she was a baby. I can’t wait to dress you up. During her visit we took the chairlift up to the top of Big Mountain at Whitefish Resort. You slept all the way up and then woke to take it all in on the way down (even if you weren’t in the mood to sit still for so long). We packed a big fancy picnic and ate it at the lodge together.
You have started to develop a little bit of separation anxiety which is heartbreaking for us all (especially for papa and Grandma who just want to cuddle you) but as I always tell you, we’re here for you, whatever you need. And Mama’s always going to come back.
And somehow, on the day Grandma arrived coincided with you allowing us to put you down for naps. This is BIG news over here as you’ve always resisted, or else just napped for 20 minutes or so before waking up (which always led to me just holding you so you get your rest). The next step is to get you falling asleep on your own (you have done this a total of three times, though!), but for now, this is a big gain for you (and me). I’ve also started putting a piece of my clothing next to you as you sleep and it seems to really help. Oh, my sweet Bea. It pulls at my heart so hard to see how much you just want to be with me always.