Stella woke up at 1:40. And then 2:50. And then basically didn’t go back to sleep until I finally fed her at 5:00 and now she’s still asleep and I probably should be too but my eyes popped open at 7:45 and my body was like Ok, let’s get the day started! But get what started because I tell you right now that not one fucking thing is getting done today. Recovery.
Stella is usually a really good sleeper, but (there’s always a but when it comes to babies sleeping) we’re trying to get her out of the swaddle because A) her skin is so sensitive and she was getting so sweaty at night in that thing and when I would dress her in the morning her poor little body was red and splotchy; and B) if she did wake up she would be so pissed that she couldn’t bring her fist to her face. So we thought, Hey, let’s just get rid of the swaddle and see how it goes. The first night was great. One wake up at 2:30ish and then back to sleep until 4:00, at which point I tried to get her back to sleep until five and then fed her because I came up with five being the earliest I would feed her so that she didn’t think she needed to eat every time she woke up (I’ve been reading a lot of parenting blogs/books, can you tell?). The second night was fucking awful, but at least it was a Friday night so Wes didn’t have to work and I could nudge him to get out of bed to deal with it. Saturday night she didn’t wake up, though Wes did a couple of times because our heartbeat sensor monitor would go off (something about maybe the sensor pad doesn’t work so they’re sending us a new one but it might also be the type of mattress that we have but at this point we’re so used to the false alarms that when it doesn’t go off we’re a little worried) and you have to check that out even if you’re mostly sure that it’s a false alarm.
So sleep lately is a little hard to come by. It seems that she’s on a schedule of sleeping badly one night only to make up for it the next night by sleeping well and then it starts over. And while all this is happening I’m googling sleeping and eating patterns for a three month old baby and wondering if I’m missing something. Stella gave up her night feedings early on but what if she’s actually hungry when she wakes up at 2am? What if I’m just clinging to what I want it to be instead of seeing what it actually is?
That’s the problem with babies: you don’t know. I think moms feel it the most, this constant wonder if what you’re doing is right. I used to do puzzles when I was a kid and every so often I would put a piece in and be so sure it would fit and I would leave it there until the piece that really fit popped up (usually near the end) and it was so obvious that the other piece didn’t fit that I’d wonder how I could have thought it did. That’s parenthood: you get something to work and you keep at it because that seems like the right solution only it’s not but you don’t realize it until the right solution comes along. And even then who knows if it’s the right solution. I spend a lot of time second-guessing myself, is what I’m saying.
Today Stella is three months old. Our friends had a baby last Wednesday and he’s almost exactly the same size as Stella was when she was born and when we held them next to each other I was flabbergasted that our daughter had already grown so much because she’s still so small to me. She’s starting to hold her head up more and more each day and I think rolling over is right around the corner. She smiles so much and when she laughs it makes me laugh too. She’s starting to kick and hit the dangling stuffed animals on her play mat – each time a look of wonder on her face like I did that?! She sucks on her fist near constantly and she’s always covered in drool. Last night I gave her raspberries while Wes started the bath and instead of being confused about what I was doing she started to smile. She loves bath time and we can’t wait to get her into swim lessons and take her to the beach.
I try to get out of the house at least once a day but sometimes that doesn’t happen (ahem, today, ahem) and we play on blankets made for hanging and watch crappy television that probably won’t be okay for too much longer. I get in some snuggles while worrying if I’m holding her too much but then I look photos of our friend’s new baby and think Fuck it, they grow up so fast. These snuggles won’t. And, of course, after Friday’s events you want to hold your kids closer because you don’t know what will happen so why not hold them close and protect them while you can.