Three Months

Dear Greta,

Three months ago today, we welcomed you into this world. Two scared-as-hell 30-somethings having a baby 7 weeks early; needless to say, we had no clue what to expect! I'm still amazed that you are here, that I am a mom. I'm even more amazed that you're my daughter. There's not a day that goes by, that I don't feel lucky to have you, and I've lost count of my prayers that have thanked God for blessing me with such a sweet little girl.
Now, I think everyone refers to their child/children as "sweet," and "cute," and so forth. But no kidding, kiddo, you are sweet. You've got a great little personality in the sense that you're chilled out and aren't high-maintenance. You don't look a thing like your daddy, but thank God you've got his laid-back personality. You really only cry when you're hungry, and that's just about every three hours. You're like clock-work with your feedings and sleep schedule, although I've got to admit you've recently thrown me for a small loop by eating a little more frequently. I don't mind it though! I welcome any sort of growth spurt, Miss Bitsy!

Speaking of feeding, I'm finally to the point where I think we've got this nursing thing figured out. It freaked me out at first just because I had not a clue as to what I was doing. Thanks, little bug, for showing me the way! I never thought I'd be saying this, but breastfeeding has become like second-nature just these past few weeks. It's a nice feeling to not feel so clueless.

Everyone asks if you're sleeping through the night, and, no, you're not. But I don't expect you to. Your tummy is tiny and you need to be refueled often. I get that! Plus, you only wake up about once during the night, and when you do, you eat and get back to bed. I'm just recently starting to no longer dread the nighttimes. I used to have this fear that you'd scream all night long. After three months, I've finally realized that you have yet to be a non-stop screamer and that it's probably safe to say that I can stop and actually enjoy these quiet mid-slumber feedings. I watch you as you lay up against me, and there is something so serene and precious about you and about the moment, and those times are what make me want to get up in the middle of the night.

For the months leading up unto the past few days, you HAD to be swaddled tightly in order to sleep soundly. Just the other day, you fell asleep with your arms up above your head for the first time ever. The next day, I walked in to check on you while you were napping, and there you were again, all stretched out. Oh, the life!

In other Greta news, you're starting to show more and more signs of alertness. Just today, I was eating Tostitos, and you were entranced by the loud, vibrant, bright-colored bag. You kept following it with your eyes, even when I moved it to the opposite side of you. Maybe you were just jonesin' for some chips and salsa, but nonetheless, you showed some cognition, and it was so neat to see things clicking in your little head.

You smiled at me for the first time just the other day, and yesterday you laughed out loud! This morning, as I was changing you, you were looking at yourself in the mirror, and I said, "Who's the pretty girl?" and you laughed out loud again. Maybe I'm encouraging vanity, but of course I couldn't keep myself from telling you a gazillion times how pretty you were.

I'm not the only one who thinks you're pretty. Do you hear what your Poppy says to you every time he sees you!?! He always calls you his pretty girl. It warms my heart like I can't explain. You might not have your Grandpa Tom here on earth, but Poppy definitely makes up for that. He loves you so much, and it makes me feel so fortunate to know that you are so loved, little girl.

It's not just Poppy who thinks the world of you. It's all of us. It's me and your dad, and it's Mimi and your other grandma and your aunts and uncles, too. Every one is so gosh darn happy when they're around you, and it feels so good to have everyone come together and just enjoy you. You bring out the best in our little family.

Just the other night, I was at a wedding, and it brought back memories of three years ago, when your Daddy and I married. I was a bossy bitch back then and insisted on everything being just so. It's funny -- I wanted everything to be so perfect on our wedding day; I focused on all the wrong things, and to be honest with you, I had a real hard time enjoying that day. Here I am now, and I expect nothing. I don't expect perfection. I've learned to accept each day for whatever happens and in whatever order. I don't expect you to be perfect now, nor will I ever. Funny thing is, now that I don't purposefully seek perfection, it seems to show itself a little more frequently. Strange how things work sometimes.

Greta, you keep me excited about each day, and I love that. You've brought out the best in our family, and you've brought out the best in me. If I had to sum up the past month in a word, I would say confidence. Try and follow me here -- you see, when you were first born, you dad and I were scared to death of everything -- whether you'd survive, how to hold you, how to feed you, how to change your diaper. When we brought you home, we were still scared. Gradually, we've learned how to be parents. It was YOU who taught us how to be parents.

You no longer seem so fragile and breakable, and taking care of you is no longer so intimidating. You've given me the confidence to believe that I can do this. And I'm doing it! Thanks to you.