So I ended up deciding to not post Addie’s two month update because it was just so negative and straight mean. Maybe I’ll bury it back in the archive to remind myself of just how terrible it was, but for now, let’s suffice to say that she was truly, phenomenally, and utterly spirit-breaking from 2 – 8 weeks old. During that period of time we decided to never ever have anymore children again. Ever. The crux of the problem is that she just bawled, screamed, and thrashed her way through every waking minute for six weeks. Our main goal was to keep her asleep so she wasn’t crying and try to just wait her out. And it worked!
**I’m trying out a new thing with photos – for captions just hold your mouse over the photo – don’t click, just let it float. You hear that Mom and Viki – just let it float and little words will appear!**
Addie’s third month was a month of transformation. She was from a crying lump of discontented newborn to a mostly happy, gurgley, smiley baby. Oh bless the end of newborn-hood. It isn’t that she can suddenly communicate her needs (which is really the milestone I look forward to), but she is just a lot happier to be out in the world. I have never more truly believed in that whole idea of the “fourth trimester” than I do looking at this girl. I mark the turning point as the day she turned 2 months. She got her shots and was SO COOL about it. It was like she now understood what was worth crying about and what wasn’t.
Despite a 6 week journey trying to figure out if she had reflux or some other ailment that was causing her to cry so much, in the end I think she just needed to get bigger. We tried both baby Zantac and Prevacid – if there was progress it was in inches not feet, so we went off it about three weeks ago to see if there was a noticeable decline in her happiness. Nothing. No change and I’m so happy to not have to wrestle 2ml of medication into her twice a day. I think she probably appreciates it too. She is and has been a very efficient nurser from the start and I am once again grateful to have babies that don’t struggle to eat. Whew.
A big change this month was a big adjustment in our approach to her sleeping. For the first two months we basically just let her sleep where and how she wanted. Which meant she slept only in my arms during the day just whenever she fell asleep, and she slept in her little bouncy chair in our room at night. Pat would keep her in the Ergo from about 10pm-12am while I got a jump on the night’s sleep and then she would wake up every 2 hours or so to eat, often ending up in our bed from about 4am until we got up for the day. At her two month appointment our pediatrician encouraged us to get her napping on her own and putting her down drowsy but awake. ALL my experience with babies indicated that this whole concept of “drowsy but awake” was horse shit and that it only worked in a land where unicorns roamed free. But we tried it anyway because desperate people do desperate things. And it worked. WTF is that?! For pretty much all of the third month we put her down for naps when she starts to seem sleepy at all, and I don’t nurse her down – just wrap her up, maybe sing for a minute, and then put her in her bouncy chair. In the beginning we would turn on the vibrations on the chair, but we weaned off of that a couple weeks ago too. She goes down for a nap somewhere between one to two hours after waking up from her last one, so her waking periods still aren’t very long. Her naps in the beginning were usually about 30 minutes, but this past week she has had more naps in the one hour range and a couple 2-3 hour naps. We stopped putting her in the Ergo at night at the same time and started just working on putting her down with us around 10pm. She was still waking up around 2am and then every one-two hours until we got up in the beginning, but about halfway through the month she got a cold and put in a couple longer night stretches. Then they didn’t disappear even when she was better. Then they stretched to 6 hours, then 8. I shit you not, as of this week the child goes to bed around 9pm and doesn’t wake up until usually 4-5am, nurses, and goes back to sleep for another two or three hours. I don’t even know what is happening. As far as I’m concerned this is the stuff of legends. At first we through it was just a fluke. Then we moved on to be in utter amazement that it was happening. Now Pat and I both agree we have moved on to just feeling ashamed that she sleeps so well. Like we shouldn’t be talking to people about it at all because we spent 2.5 years wanting to punch those people with sleeping babies in the face. I take absolutely no responsibility to this. She goes to bed easily and sleeps a lot because she wants to, not because I taught her to or some crap like that. But OMG I’m going to just enjoy it while it lasts. And I’m also going to assume it will all go to hell again at any moment.
I think part of the reason she might be able to sleep so well for so long is because she is a giant. No really. A GIANT. At three months old she is wearing all 6-9 month clothing. At 3 months old she is 16.6lbs and she is almost completely spherical. Like a sausage stuffed into casing. She is tall and fat fat fat and strong. I kind of imagine that she will be a roller derby girl or something like that. She has been measuring in the highest percentiles for weight and height she stopped getting assigned a particular percentile – now her charts just say >99%. So she is huge and we love it.
She still has these giant cheeks and beautiful eyes and dark dark features and it just makes her look like a little woodland fairy to me. Where Milo was a baby that made you really work for any little smile you got out of him, Addie breaks into HUGE full face grins if you just look at her. She “talks” up a storm too. So many little noises coming out of her all the time and more in the traditional baby realm of goo’s and gahh’s (Milo was more bleeees and bluuuus). She does make this one funny little noise that always makes me think she is about to yak because it is totally the noise that adults makes before they puke – a sort of a buuuuhhhh sound that I can’t phonetically type.
Some of her favorite things are watching her brother do anything and being sung to. She particularly enjoys when you sit her up so she can see your face and sing to her. We regularly sing the song “Edelweiss” to her, but replace Edelweiss with Adelaide. I don’t pretend that she knows her name or anything, but she LOVES hearing that one. She will spend a good 30 minutes staring at herself in the mirror on her jungle gym and playing with her little dangling bird. She likes to try to roll over too through she only usually makes it onto her side. She has also moved in to the Bumbo this month and will sit around hanging out with us at the table or on the floor. It makes such a difference to be able to have them sitting and interacting on the same plane as the rest of the family. She DOESN’T like the car seat. While she no longer screams the entire time she is in it, it is still tough to take her out places because she gets frustrated really quickly. It doesn’t matter too much because I’m not really keen on bopping all over the city with all the ice and snow we’ve had this never-ending winter, but now that we’ve got 40 degree in the 10 day forecast, I want to be able to take her out in the stroller more regularly, so we’ll be practicing staying cool in the car seat.
We’ve nearly a constant string of visitors at the house since Addie was born. It has been nice to have the company and the help while we adjust, but I’m also starting to notice that it is a lot easier to keep the baby happy when it is just her and I during the week. My attention is more focused and things are quieter and it is just a little simpler to pick up on her cues. That said, I definitely like to try to make sure we are staying social by visiting friends or trying to lure people over to our disaster of a house. Despite it being winter this time around, I don’t feel NEARLY as isolated as I did with Milo. Partially I think we have a bigger and more well established friend group these days, but I also think having Pat working from home has been immeasurably calming for me. The fact that I can just walk downstairs for a few minutes to say hi or that we can eat lunch together does wonders for my morale if it is a tough day.
While the first two months were tough, this last one has been much more good than bad. I dare to say that I am enjoying being home with the baby and we are settling into a routine that feels good. Milo tries really hard to be a good big brother, though I can tell he is impatient for her to grow to an age where she can “play” more. He remains very sensitive to her moods (a few days ago he was playing in the living room and accidentally tripped over Addie’s legs. She cried a little but he SOBBED for nearly 10 minutes and the whole time he kept saying “I fell on baby Addie and I didn’t want to fall on her!!” So sweet.) Sometimes I watch Milo and Addie and I sort of can’t believe they are my kids – that they are my little people. I’m so excited to watch Addie become a little person like her brother has and for our little family to get to know each other.