dear baby girl,
you are two months old. i can hardly believe it, but i can also hardly believe you're ONLY two months old. i told you this before, but it feels like you've always been here. you're so much a part of our lives, and you have changed so much since you were born, that it feels much longer than that.
this past week, we went to the doctor. you have done so great! you gained almost four pounds and three plus inches since our last visit. you're measuring right where you were when you were born--smack in the middle, in the 50th percentile. i sort of love that about you. it's like you look like you're middle of the pack, but you're actually so far ahead. daddy and i just looked at a milestone chart today, and you're doing things that three and four month old babies do. you've always been that way, baby girl--just a little bit ahead of the pack developmentally. i have a feeling you'll always be that way. i don't know if you'll grow up to be incredibly physically adept, or really smart, or super sensitive and good with people, but you're going to be extraordinary--you've already proven to be so.
you got your first shots at that visit, and boy did you hate it. you cried and cried, a cry that i hadn't heard before (which means that you likely haven't had real pain before in your life, which makes me feel, retrospectively, like we really must have done some things right). it made me cry a little bit, but when we picked you up and swaddled you and rocked you a little, you began to calm down. it took a few minutes, but soon you were in your daddy's arms and fast asleep. you were good the first day, but the next few days you just didn't seem yourself. no fever, no seeming tenderness at the shot site--just you being a little bit mad at the world. i think that's okay, but i started to get worried that my sweet baby girl had been changed forever.
you hadn't. you woke up on friday with a smile and the smile has been everpresent ever since. in fact, one of the ways that i can tell that you're tired is that your smile nearly disappears. this is familiar to me, because when i get tired or preoccupied, my face goes stoic too. and, yes, baby girl, you smile now. a month ago, i was still waiting for your smiles. now i do everything that i can to earn them as much as possible. you spend a lot of time on my legs, elevated, after a feeding. you like to spit up, so we keep you elevated for a few minutes after your bottle. you are usually quite happy, and so we talk. and i say talk because you are articulating and cooing all of the time. it's so much fun to repeat what you say back to you. you used to be surprised, but now you just look delighted. i think you really are learning about the give and take of good conversation. i always want you to feel like what you say is important to me. i'm trying, then, to start now.
you are nearly to the point where you have your laugh down. for a while, you were cooing those delicious high-pitched baby vowel sounds, which alone thrilled me. but you hadn't quite coordinated them. you've got it down now, and though it's a bit rare, it's wonderful. i think your giggle will melt me completely. your smile already does.
you recognize us now, completely. when i come to get you out of your crib in the morning, you smile. you wake up so happy, even when you're hungry and crying for food. when you wake up from a nap, and we come and get you, you smile to see us. you especially smile when we change your diaper. you love your changing table SO much. it's like the maggie smile show. you smile as soon as you are put down, and you smile all the way through the time you're there. it may be the silly things i say to you about what we're doing, and maybe there's a little bit of perverse joy that mommy has to clean up your poop, but you love it. it's adorable.
you sleep so well, at least at night. you are sleeping through the night now, for a few days from 10 to 6 and last night from 11 to 5. the first time you did, i was worried that you were sick. i woke you up, finally, at 4 to feed you and to take your temperature. you were perfectly fine--just hitting a milestone that i wasn't expecting. your daytime sleep isn't great right now. i feel fairly certain that you're in the process of working out your sleep schedule; now that you're sleeping all the way through the night, you're eating more often during the day to tank up your calories. and you've really stopped sleeping long stretches during the day, except toward the end of the afternoon. the most we're getting now is little snippets--45 minutes if we're lucky. but you seem happy and alert and not fussy when you're awake, so i figure you'll figure it out. if not, we'll work on it a little bit later, when you're a little bit bigger. but since all of these things have happened all together--sleeping through the night, shots, hitting 2 months old--i think in a couple of weeks, it will all sift out. you're a joy no matter how often you sleep during the day, so i'm not too worried about it.
that's another new thing. your mommy hit a worry wall this week. after your shots and everything, and all of my worry about all of the things before it, i realized that i needed to change my approach. it's a new attitude, this not worrying unless worry is warranted thing, and i'm not always perfect at it, but i'm trying. i want you to have a mommy who is less anxious and more fun, who is more able to respond to you because she's not chained to what "should" or what "could" be. i think it's good. i know i'm happier, and that's bound to make you happier.
yesterday was a really important day in your life. daddy gave you your name and blessing in church, and so many people came to support you. you were literally surrounded by love yesterday, and as i was telling you about it before your blessing, i felt the magnitude of how important that is. you are an extraordinary girl, one who is bringing many people together. you have so many people who literally have your back--i am so glad that you have a family who loves you like they do. you may not always see the importance of that, but i do. i know what it's like to come from a family like that, and i know the power it brings. i hope you will always remember how much you are loved.
you're getting more independent now, and i'm trying to keep up. today, i put you in your bouncy chair and let you just look and play. you loved it. you cooed and talked and were completely content for a while, and i just loved watching you. it occurred to me, then, that i'm going to have to keep letting you grow and get more and more independent. that might be hard for me, in some ways, but in other ways i am so excited for those times when you get to play and entertain yourself. it will be nice, certainly to have moments that i can get things done, but more it will be fun to teach you HOW to play and to see you grow.
it's already my greatest joy to see you grow and progress every day. you are the sweetest girl. you are naturally content and incredibly sweet, things that i could learn from you. i'm sure that the lessons that you have to teach me are only beginning, but i know that i'm learning a lot already.
thank you for coming to our family. thank you for being patient with us and for showing us the true meaning of joy. there will come a day when you'll be in my shoes, and you'll wonder if you'll make it through the tough stuff, if you'll see the joy, if the sacrifice is worth it.
motherhood is sacrifice, but it's the smallest price for the greatest joy.
you're dancing with your daddy right now, baby girl, so i'm going to join in. happy two months, my little girl. i love you for who you are and for what you will become.