Paloma,

Today you are three months old.

I've been waiting for month three since the day you were born. According to Dr. Karp, three months is magic; it marks the end of the fourth trimester.

Lord knows I would have kept you inside these last three months. I never got tired of being pregnant with you. You were a very considerate tenant and at birth you weighed in at a slight 6'3, so I was never uncomfortable. I probably could have gone another 12 weeks if it weren't for your head.

Oh, the head you've got. Should I tell everyone? Do you mind? At two months your head measured 90th percentile, while the rest of you hovered around 50-75th. It took me just shy of two hours to get your head out back then. Now? I'll pass, thanks. In that regard I'm glad we did the remaining trimester on the outside. Plus? You're superfun. And everyone loves you.



At the beginning of this month, I was amazed at how little changed. Or, at least, that's how it appeared. Things were smooth.

But then around the 12 week mark, without fail, you hit the growth spurt and became a nursing monster for two days straight. Maybe three. It was hard to tell when it ended because you went from a baby that slept from 22:00 to 3:00 to a baby that never slept. You were cluster feeding all day and all night and I was about to crack.

On about the seventh day of this I went into a new parent group to get some expert advice. It was there that I was informed that 22:00 was much too late to put a baby down and now, now that you're twelve weeks old, you have a bedtime: 19:30.

Now having a baby has changed my life.

We were no longer a mobile unit that could go out and do things at any moment. Now you have a bedtime and it includes a routine. Bath, book, bed. With nursing on demand.

I enjoy putting you to bed. It's one of my favorite parts of our day. I just wish we didn't live in a studio apartment with missing doors. Our life shuts down once you hit the sheets and we're a family that doesn't eat until 21:00.

Your papá and I now whisper our night conversations across the kitchen table and try to come up with the quietest of meals to cook. Every night that goes by, my urge, my desire to live somewhere bigger and better gets stronger.

I apologize in advance if we move to the suburbs, but, baby, I totally get it now.



So, growth spurt. About that.

You're exhibiting emotions. They're subtle, but definitely there. And you're very aware of who is in the room. You listen intently to voices and study faces. If you're nursing and I start to talk to someone, you stop and listen. It's really cute. You have this look on your face that says, "Hold on, this is important. I need to hear this. I might have something to add." But then the conversation ends and you look up at me like, "Nope. Actually, that all sounds good. Carry on." And you pick right back up where you left off with my nipple.

And about a week ago you suddenly noticed the cat and the dog. You were like, "Oh, hey guys, we have pets. That's cool." You watch the dog play with his toys and you would watch the cat if she let you, but she's still not sure you're a good thing. You've kneaded your feet into her belly, and that was barely tolerated. My guess is Jacques will be your playmate and Lola will play hard to get.

Today I think you laughed for the first time. I think. It was hard to tell. I put you in the Moby facing outwards, which I've never done before, and we walked through the park with Jacques. Every time I leaned down to get the ball you made so much noise, but it was hard to tell if it was pleasure or pain. I didn't have my phone so I couldn't check your reflection in the glass. A passerby commented that you were smiling big, so I think you were enjoying it. Whatever it was, it was new, both your experience and the reaction.

You met all your homebirth siblings last weekend and you were awake for it! Yay! You met Adela and the two of you really hit it off. And there was Holden and Luca and Ryan and Renée. Violet was missing, but you've met her at Michelle's baby group.

homebirth babies

I can set you down now and walk away. It's magic. Wonderful. Relief. I love holding you, but there are some things in life I need to do with two hands. Like dishes. Or peeing.

Lately you've been giving me this look while simultaneously scrunching up into a ball. You get this twinkle in your eye that says, "Mama, remember that little thing about the Universe? That thing that only you and I know? I'm thinking about it right now. And it's so grand."

I do, baby, I do indeed.



My parenting style is revealing itself as I gradually figure out what it is to be your mother.
I've let you lead the way, trying to pay careful attention to your cues. Just before you were born I discovered the book Diaper Free and I think practicing EC has carried over into other areas of our life together.

Everyone kept asking if and when I was going to give you a pacifier. I did eventually offer you one, and it works in a pinch. (Pinch! About that. Please don't.) But I didn't introduce one until it was obvious we both needed it, mostly you.

As we started back on the road to Portland from our stop in Ashland, you were obviously tired but having trouble falling asleep. We chatted a bit because you wanted to, but once I tried to pacifiy you to sleep you started making a lot of noise. A bit fussy, but sort of sing-songy. So I removed the pacifier you weren't really taking anyhow and leaned over into your car seat, my head in your lap and started singing to you. You immediately started smiling and cooing back at me. We sung together for a bit, but then I told you to close your eyes for nigh-nights and I closed mine to demonstrate. As a kept singing, my eyes half closed, yours got heavier until they closed, asleep.

You have no idea how hard it was not to loudly shout and high five your papá in the front seat.

That, lovely, is called singing a lullaby. I never thought I could pull one off, but, like a lot of things, you're showing me I can.

Like driving to Portland and back. We did that. You, me, Papá and Jacques. You were two and a half months old and it was a holiday weekend, so why not get in the car and go visit some family and friends up north in the Rainy State? We saw no reason not to, and so we did. The drive up was smooth sailing and full of farmers markets and naps. The way home was slow and stuttered. But we did it and I enjoyed every second because I have never in my life felt more like a part of a family than I did that weekend.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4045/4665086940_a549f1042c.jpg



For someone who has always refused to sing in public and will barely ever sing in private, I really enjoy singing to you. I learned all the words to Baby Mine so that I could sing you my least favorite song in movie history. It's a lovely song, but it brings tears to my eyes every time. You won't be watching movies made by Disney any time soon, so I'll explain: It's the song from the scene in Dumbo when his elephant mommy is locked up as punishment, he finds her cage, climbs into her trunk, and she rocks him. Jesus, I'm crying just thinking about it.

By age two my father had left us, and I was so scared my mother would leave me, too. And then what? No trunk to be rocked in. I was always teased for crying during that part of the movie as a kid, and I didn't understand my reaction until I was much older, but it still breaks my heart to think of it. In all regards. I hope you never have that feeling.

Rest your head close to my heart
Never to part
Baby of mine


Happy Third Monthday.

Love,
Mama

Three