What a month this has been – I’m sure I’ll say this constantly in your first year, but this was the biggest shift you’ve gone through. You’re out of the newborn realm, and I can hardly believe how much you’ve changed in just a few short weeks.
In a way, Month Three has been the hardest because I had all these expectations of what life would be like once you were three months old. In my starry-eyed, pre-baby mind, at three months old, you would be sleeping routinely through the night (obviously). Taking care of you during the day would be effortless (obviously). My days would be spent calmly and blissfully, enjoying your company and getting to know you as you grow (isn’t that what moms do?).
The reality is a lot different — not surprisingly, my pre-baby outlook had a lot of things wrong and a few things right. My time with you truly is blissful — watching you smile and laugh is, without a doubt, one of the happiest experiences I’ve ever had. Sometimes when I look at you, my heart can’t even contain the amount of love it holds — it washes over my whole body; it actually becomes physical.
But it is hard, too. For every moment that you smile, there is another moment when you cry — and there is no worse feeling than when you’re crying and I don’t know what to do. When you were about nine weeks old, at the very beginning of this month, you had a day when you didn’t nap at all, and by mid-afternoon you were so exhausted and over-tired that you just couldn’t stop crying. I tried everything to get you to sleep, but nothing worked, and I had so much stuff to do and no time to do it… but you were crying and I couldn’t put you down, so I just held you and rocked you and did my best.
It was tough. It was a really tough day. The memory itself is almost vague to me now, through the haze of my own sleep deprivation and frazzled nerves, but I remember honestly wondering, at that point, how we’d make it through the afternoon.
But you know what? Looking back, that afternoon was as bad as it ever got. The next day, things were different — you took a morning nap and I got some help in the afternoon and by the end of that week, things were fine. They weren’t easy, but they were fine. I could manage them again.
And now, just a few short weeks later, that afternoon feels like a distant memory. You’re a different baby these days — when you cry, it’s intense but short lived, and I know pretty quickly how to make you feel better. We’re learning this whole mother-baby thing together, you and I. Every day, we get a little better at it.
And a long time down the road, when I’m not in the thick of these day-to-day moments, what I will remember is this: Raising a baby is hard. It is very, very hard, and I will remember how hard it was.
But much more than that, I will remember those moments you smiled, when my heart opened up in a way that was so new and so intense that it physically took my breath away. I’ll remember the way you laughed when I sang you our favorite little songs, and the way I burst with pride over the smallest things you did.
I’ll remember how tiny you were in these early days, and how wonderful it felt to hold you in my arms any time I wanted.
And I’ll remember how quickly month three flashed by, in the blink of an eye.
Three months, already. How did that happen?
All my love,