Snow Pea is 3 months old! Can you believe it? I certainly can't. And 3 months means the supposed "4th trimester" is at an end and my baby is no longer considered "brand new". It is all at once thrilling to think about all the growth and development that is on the horizon for her and bittersweet to say goodbye to her newborn status. It is a lot like when Chad and I were married for over a year and stopped being referred to as "newlyweds". We were excited to be a "real" married couple but it was still hard to say farewell to that shiny, glowing newness.
Saying goodbye to my daughter's brand newness definitely has its pluses though in the form of the trust she has in us. If you ever heard of "The Happiest Baby on the Block" you will have heard about the 4th trimester and the 5 S's used to soothe babies during this transition from life in the womb to life in the big, wide world. Basically, parents re-create the comforts and security of their child's life In Utero. Eliana has responded well to swaddling and white noise for comfort since day one and I am noticing now that she has learned to trust these things. She knows when she hears the crashing waves on her sound machine that it is time for sleep and thanks to this we have been able to soothe her to dreamland even when we are out and about and she needs to nap in her stroller or an unfamiliar new place.
In addition to providing the soothing comforts of lots of cuddles and kisses these past three months, we have also provided our Snow Pea with a routine that she has become very secure in. Not only does her routine give me a guideline to help structure my day, I can tell that she gets a lot of comfort from knowing what is coming next. Notice I didn't say schedule. We by no means follow a clock or force her to wait an hour to eat if she's hungry or wake her up if she's sleeping. But for our family, feeding her after waking, followed by playtime and then sleep has worked very well. I am by no means saying that my way is the best way or the only way, just that it's what our daughter has done these past three months and that she seems to really thrive with it. And thrive she has! She's now weighing in at 14 pounds and measuring 24 inches which puts her in about the 75th percentile and slowly into a new wardrobe of 3-6 month clothes.
Of course new outfits aren't the only milestones she's begun reaching in her third month. She has also become more and more vocal, making lots of cooing and trilling sounds every chance she gets. I could listen to those sweet sounds all day long! And it's clear that she is often "talking" to us with the way she makes eye contact and responds when we speak to her. It is incredible to see how Chad and I really are the center of her world and although she smiles and talks at almost every one she meets, there is a special level of communication reserved just for us. She even seems to have favorite songs and stories that she likes to hear from us. I don't know how I stumbled on it but if she's crying and I sing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star", she calms down immediately and is all smiles. She also loves hearing "Goodnight Moon" and watches the pictures intently as I turn the pages. She has even been chuckling and giggling every once in a while, but it's still not quite consistent and we're still waiting to capture the first true belly laughs. I can tell they are close though and I can't wait to hear them!
As for big physical milestones, she's showing no interest in rolling over or being mobile yet, but she has started tolerating tummy time now that she is able to lift her head, chest and shoulders off the mat. It's incredible to see how much stronger she gets every day! And on the 4th of July, just in time for her 3 month mark, she completed her first grab! Of course, the tragic part of this is that I just happened to be in the shower when it happened. It really isn't fair! I am home with her every day, all day and in the ten minutes I'm away to finally wash my hair and shave my legs while she hangs out with her daddy, she goes and does something exciting for the very first time! Luckily, Chad captured the entire thing on video and I of course have watched it over and over again. If you're interested you can see it too! Just click here. It's a bit long so you might want to skip through a bit but I highly recommend watching at about the one minute mark. Too cute!
I really can't believe she has been here three months, almost as much as I can't believe that I am somehow worthy to be mom to such an amazing little person. I keep thinking back to the years before she came into our lives and all of the hell and pain we experienced trying to become parents, and I know without a doubt that it was all completely worth it. I would do it all again and more for her. As much hurt as I have felt and as intense as the emotions of infertility still are sometimes, they come nowhere near the intensity of the love I have for her. During the 3 years we spent struggling to become parents, I cried more tears of heartbreak than I thought possible. Now in just 3 months, I think I have cried just as many tears of happiness. Thank you, Snow Pea.