Hitting three months feels like a big milestone. A lot of people told us that after the first 12 weeks, things would get a lot easier. Turns out it’s true! I feel like I’m coming out of a fog and can think clearly for the first time in a while. Things will obviously never be the same again, but my new reality feels more like a reality and less surreal than before if that makes sense.
I’ve heard of this period of motherhood referred to as the “100 days of darkness”. At first I thought that phrase was a little harsh but now I interpret it differently. It’s dark in the sense that as new parents you’re totally in the dark and have no idea what you’re doing at first. Your brain is mush and you feel like you’re walking through molasses some days. And yes there are plenty of dark times when you just don’t know what to do and feel helpless.
But those times are becoming fewer and farther between. I feel like we’ve gotten to know her and she’s gotten to know us. We’re a family that just gets each other more and more every day. Boots is getting used to it all too!
In the last month, I’ve also fallen deeply in love with her in a way that I didn’t think was even possible. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the crap out of her before, but something changed in the last month. Maybe it’s my hormones balancing back out or just spending more time with Amalia, but I’ve become that mom. Completely and utterly obsessed with her. I finally understand what people mean when they say the love you have for your children is totally different than anything you’ve experienced before.
The only way I can describe it is by comparing it to a new relationship. For obvious reasons, it’s very different, but that butterfly in the pit of your stomach feeling is the same. I get beyond excited to see her every morning and miss her like crazy even if I leave for an hour.
THE BIGGEST LESSON I’VE LEARNED THIS MONTH
The only constant is change. Every phase she goes through, good or bad, seems to pass as soon as we get used to it. During bad times, that’s a big comfort. I wrote about it more below but she went through a big developmental leap this month and during that time she was not herself and refused to nap. While I was in it, it felt like it would never end, and that was the hardest part. When I finally realized that it was something that would pass, that’s when I was able to relax and just accept it and do my best.
I’ve been a little more lax about her schedule now that she’s consistently slept through the night for seven weeks. Once I realized that she’ll sleep through the night no matter what happens during the day with her sleep, I chilled out a little. That goes for sleep, not eating. We have her eat on the same schedule pretty much everyday and that’s when she’s hungry so it works out well.
Her naps have gotten shorter (1-1.5 hours vs 1.5-2 hours last month) and her wake times are longer (1-1.5 hours) which is fun because we can do more/go for walks, get out of the house between naps.
She’s been waking up on her own at 7:15 almost on the dot every morning. I try to get up at 6:30 or 7 so I can have some time to make tea and ground myself before I get her. Read more about that here.
7:15am- Wake up and feed
7:30am- Awake time (We usually read a few books then she plays on her playmat)
10:15am- Wake up and feed
10:30am- Awake time (Tummy time, bouncer, playmat, walk)
1:30pm- Wake up and feed
1:45pm- Awake time (Walk, play mat, sit outside)
3:30/4pm- She almost always wakes from this nap early but isn’t tired or fussy so we just go with it.
4/4:30- We wait a while to feed her because she’s not usually hungry after her short nap. If she wakes up hungry, we feed her. This time of day is different every day!
6:20pm- Last feed of the day then right to sleep
10:30pm- Dream feed (Done by Anel with a bottle)
The time between 3:30 and 6 is a still a little dicey so sometimes she gets another “power nap” for 20-30 minutes.
She’s still a happy little baby and, for the most part, is emotionally chill. When she’s tired or going through something, she’s definitely not that, but luckily that only comes in small spurts.
Physically, my girl is all over the place! She’s constantly kicking and shimmying around. I could have predicted this based on how much she was kicking me in utero.
Before having a kid, I always thought I’d breastfeed for a year but a few weeks into it I changed my tune. It felt like an overwhelming commitment. Earlier this month, I thought about starting to wean her but literally the second I had the thought, she refused bottles (even though they were full of breastmilk and had been drinking them for two months). It was like she was telling me that she wasn’t ready to stop.
Since then, my entire mindset has shifted and I’ve started to enjoy nursing her more and more. I don’t have a date of when I’ll stop, I’m just going to play it by ear and do what feels right for both of us.
Our babysitter started a few weeks ago and even though it’s only a few hours twice a week, it makes a huge difference for me. I now don’t have to panic about when I’ll go grocery shopping or get my errands done. I know I have those hours every Monday and Friday no matter what and it’s awesome. Plus Anel takes off Thursday afternoons so I really get some help three days a week. It’s amazing how much I can get done in only a few short hours these days!
Her favorite things
I added this section because she’s really starting to have a strong opinion and love/hate different things in her life. Right now she’s majorly into her play mat. We got this one at our baby shower and she can’t get enough. If we’re in the room where it lives, she’ll lock eyes with it and refuses to look away until I put her on it. She’ll sit there and grab at the different toys hanging down or kick at them with her feet. At this point she spends over an hour on it a day. It’s so cute how happy it makes her.
That’s great for me because she’s not crawling yet so I can put her down and work on my lap top next to her and she won’t go anywhere!
She still loves music and reading books, but has to be in the right mood for that. The play mat is her one true love right now.
When we got home from Bermuda, she started leap 3 (If you have a baby or are having a baby and haven’t yet read The Wonder Weeks or downloaded the app, do it ASAP) which meant almost a full week of fussiness, super short naps, and a generally cranky baby. It was like a monster took over my sweet girl and I totally lost it.
I’d say the lowest point during that week was when I had an event I was hosting and had to attend, but Amalia hadn’t slept all day for three days in a row. The babysitter showed up at a time that she doesn’t usually come and I had no idea why. She literally had to remind me about my own event! I was just so tired and out of it, that I totally forgot. Then when I got to the event I broke down in tears because I felt so guilty about leaving the baby when she was in such distress.
It was a room full of mostly moms so they totally got it. One of them even started crying for me when I told her what was going on.
Luckily, she got back on track the very next day and ended up sleeping almost all day for the next two days and then got back on track.
The other low point was when she had to have three shots in one day. She was super happy and giggly that afternoon and then they gave her all three shots at once… The poor baby turned bright red and just screamed bloody murder. Everyone said it would end in one second but she cried for like 5 minutes straight. Finally we calmed her down enough for me to nurse her and she ended up sleeping for the rest of the day and then all night.
Hearing her laugh, like really laugh, for the first time just melted my heart and brought me to tears (tears are a common theme in my life these days, apparently). Her entire face lights up and her laugh is just the sweetest noise I’ve ever heard in my life. She’s been regularly giggling for a few weeks now but it gets me every time. I don’t care how tired, stressed, or angry I am at any given moment, her smile cures it all. Truly.