People have been telling me since Adriana was born that I should appreciate this time because "it all goes so fast." I already know they are right. I will her to slow down, to stop growing so fast. But then I am eager for a chance to weigh her the next time we visit the pediatrician* to see how much she has grown and get excited thinking about the things we will be able to do as she gets older.
*Actually, we were just there today. She's up to 12 pounds, 6 ounces, and is 24 inches long. No wonder she's outgrowing her clothes so quickly.
It's only been two months. It seems like forever, and it seems like only a minute. She seems so grown up compared to just a few weeks ago, but I know in another couple of months I will look back and laugh at the very idea. She is so small and delicate, but so much bigger and stronger than she was in January. I am still a clueless new mother, but I am feeling more confident and happier every day.
It feels like ages since I emailed my best friend, begging her, "Please tell me this gets easier." She promised me it would, and she was right. I no longer look helplessly at this little baby, wondering what I ought to do with her, or if she's crying, what on earth is the matter. Okay, that's not entirely true. There are days when Brian comes home to find us both in tears, because Adriana has been fussing all day and I have no idea what to do for her anymore. But those days are the exception rather than the rule. We are developing a routine (but not a schedule), and I am beginning to recognize her cries, and to anticipate her needs (not that she has a great many needs to choose from--food, clean diaper, nap, snuggle--one of those will usually work).
Every day Adriana is more of a real person, her own personality, not just a blank slate of a baby. Her smiles are getting more and more frequent, and longer lasting, so they can actually be captured on camera. They also seem to be truly directed at us, not just random twitches of her facial muscles: one night I was sitting in bed trying to nurse her to sleep, while Brian read to me. She kept pulling away from my breast to give him big gummy grins. When he stopped talking, I could get her to latch again, but whenever she heard his voice she would be happily distracted.
She doesn't cry when we bathe her anymore, and even seems to enjoy the time in the tub. She usually still shrieks when we take her out of the nice warm water, though. And she would really rather I didn't dress her in anything that had to be pulled over her head. Unfortunately for her, the footy pajamas that don't require any over-the-head action don't last very long around here, as they are less forgiving of her rapidly increasing length.
She stays awake for longer periods of time, and we can even manage to play a bit. But she (thankfully) is learning not to stay awake for long periods of time at night. Instead of walking with her and rocking her for an hour or more after she eats, with most night wakings I can snuggle her back down to sleep after we nurse.
Snuggling with her while we sleep may be my favorite part of this whole thing. I was always in favor of cosleeping in theory, but in practice it made me nervous at first. We got the Arm's Reach Cosleeper, so we could have her near us at night, without the worries of cosleeping (blankets accidentally pulled over her face, me rolling on top of her). But I kept falling asleep holding her after night feedings, and after Brian got up in the morning, I would often let her sleep beside me in bed after nursing. Then one morning, before Brian and I were ready to wake up, she started to squirm and fuss in her cosleeper. I pulled her into the bed beside me, pushing the blankets down to my waist, and figured I would feed her in a just a couple of minutes. Instead, I dozed back off with her in the crook of my arm, and woke an hour later to discover her still sound asleep beside me. And really, who's going to argue with a snuggly baby who will sleep for five hours at a time? (Well, I would have the first week or two of her life, since I was sure she wasn't getting enough to eat.) She starts out each night in the cosleeper, but after she wakes up to eat (and sometimes before, if she just gets noisy and squirmy on her own), I keep her close against me in bed.
And that's really what I want to remember from this time: how perfect it feels to lie in bed with Adriana's head tucked under my chin, Brian warm against my back, and Cecilia nestled against our legs--my cozy, happy family.