Motherhood

The 3 month shift

I am not a huge fan of the newborn baby phase. Sure, there are a couple of weeks right away (before the exhaustion hits) when everything feels like a dream. Immediately after Henrik was born, I felt the most intense sense of euphoria. My life felt perfect. I would look at my beautiful family and just cry because I was so happy. A large part of that was due to my postpartum hormones. Another piece may have been the painkillers prescribed to me after birth. And most certainly, I felt that way because I am incredibly lucky and blessed with my growing family. However, after the first two weeks, I stopped feeling like I was floating on air.

The long nights of waking up every couple of hours to feed the baby started to wear on me. He became gassier and fussier, as many newborns do, because his digestive system was just not working perfectly yet. I was exhausted, lonely, and overwhelmed. I was fighting with my husband, feeling inadequate, and crying a lot. My hormones were out of control. The baby blues escalated into postpartum anxiety and was exacerbated by my lack of sleep. But that is a whole story in itself.

When Henrik was about 9 months old, my husband and I had hit rock bottom with our sleep. We decided that we finally needed to start sleep training. Again, another post for another time. But in case you are curious, we used this program. It worked amazingly well for Ellis (our first), and we have seen great improvements with Henrik.

Once I started getting some sleep, getting back to work on a part time basis, and seeing friends a bit more, things really started to turn around. After Henrik turned 3 months old, things really started to feel good again. There is just something special about the 3 month shift. Although it was subtle, it seemed like a huge weight was lifted. Things started to feel easier again. Not easy, of course (because I still have two little boys under two :P), but definitely easier.

My favorite things about 3-month-old babies:

  • They smile. A lot! At least my boys have. They smile and coo and squeak and screech. I just love how they are really starting to communicate for the first time.
  • They are (hopefully) sleeping a little bit better. Or at least a little more consistently.
  • They aren’t quite so fragile. They lift their little heads and look around.
  • They can still easily fall asleep in your arms.
  • Breastfeeding a 3-month-old is one of the most amazing experiences ever. There isn’t pain like there was at the beginning. They look at you and touch your chest with their little fingers. They smile as milk dribbles out of their little mouths. It is beautiful. I still sometimes cry when I breastfeed my little boy. Again, hormones.
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