Our baby is three months old.
She is no longer a newborn.
I can’t quite get my head around it. Time moves in strange ways – without work to demarcate the days, there are long stretches punctuated with short bursts. The first few weeks even more so, with the sleepless nights and incessant feeding make me feel like I was floating along one long continuum of milk and nappies and just staring at our daughter breathing and moving and being.
We are in more of a rhythm now, my little buddy and me. We spend long sunny days together, just getting to know one another. I’m getting better at reading her signs, and understanding when she is trying to tell me something. The all-consuming worry of the first few weeks (What if she stops breathing? Is she drinking enough milk? What if I never sleep more than two hours again? What if she cries and I can’t make her happy again?) has been replaced by a deep sense that I would do terrible, unspeakable things to keep my daughter safe from harm. I feel like I understand her, and she understands me. I feel competent, and powerful in my role as a mother, as a parent.
I’m not tired any more. I feel like that deserves to be written twice. I’m not tired any more.
She changes constantly. Her tiny, frail, frog-like body has filled out, has become stronger, fatter, longer. Her emotions are so clear. Her face now bursts into huge, long smiles of pure joy which we call “bigmouth”, and she is starting to make sounds that resemble laughter. Or her bottom lip sticks out, the corners of her mouth turning down at something which has upset her little world. She can now push down on her legs when I hold her up, push herself up on a mat, and grabs and grips toys, muslins, hair. She loves to touch our faces and explore them. She is ambivalent about bathing.
It feels almost too easy. I love breastfeeding, co-sleeping, mothering.
In no particular order, here are some things I never want to forget:
When she was tiny, she was covered in golden downy hair. Her skin is the softest thing I have ever felt.
Little flakes of dried milk around her mouth.
Al fresco breast feeds, nappy changes, in fields of buttercups. She loves passing under trees when she is in her pram, her eyes open wide and her mouth gapes with the wonder of it all.
Biiiig smiles when she wakes up in the morning. Sleep smiles. Breastfeeding smiles, when she gazes up at me, nipple in mouth, and grins. Bashful smiles when she nestles her fact into my chest. Smiles when she sees herself in the mirror.
Milky breath. I wish I could bottle up that smell.
Kicking legs and flapping arms – when she gets excited, she gets excited with her whole body. Her little serious face as she dances to music in her bouncy chair. The joy and concentration on her face when listening to S read her a poem or play with her.
Watching the love between her and her daddy grow. The huge smiles she gives him when he comes home from work.
Big body stretches with a scrunched up face when she wakes up. The little chats we have in bed.
The frantic noises she makes, mouth wide open, when I undo my bra to feed her and she sees a nipple.
She loves being held so that she is standing. Big big smiles for standing up.