Her face is changing right before our eyes. It’s both alarming and astounding. Big Red and I were recently looking at pictures taken just weeks ago in comparison to now, and the transformation is remarkable. It frightens me how quickly she is growing; I want to keep her this way so much longer than life will actually allow. Somehow though, nature understands a mother’s heart and with all the changes have come new and exciting milestones, sweet ones that temper that passage of her littleness.
In her third month Lucille has gained incredible control of her head and neck, and while in tummy time is learning to roll front to back. It’s obvious she now sees people come in and out of the room, and her blue eyes follow them easily. There is a constant attempt to find her thumb, but mostly she gnaws on her fist. I’m hoping she finds her thumb soon, as that might then replace the pacifier, and in moments of needing pacification, she could do it herself. Her babble is becoming more insistent and more purposeful and there are hints at laughter, short chortles, but no big belly giggles just yet. Smiles are abundant. She swats at objects and her grasp is strong and meaningful. She's even hitching her knees underneath her during tummy time! For the most part, Lucille was getting up around 4 am for a feeding, sometimes with an earlier one at around 11. Seems though recently, it's a for sure awakening at 11 or 12, and then again around 4. As of today, we've upped her intake to 4 oz. per bottle. We'll see if that makes a difference. Our evening routine has been established with a bath, bottle, bed trifecta. Soon we will start incorporating some reading after the bottle portion seeing as now her attention span is a little better. Lucy comes into bed with us around 6 am, sometimes even after the 4 am feed if she's having a hard time going back to sleep, so I guess we are sorta co-sleepers, or rather “co-sleeper in” parents. I love how her body just finds mine and she snuggles into the crook of my arm. And when she wakes, oh my. Those smiles. She’s such a happy little girl. We are now reading on a daily basis, during the day, and she seems to enjoy it.
This was also the month of Lucille’s first Christmas, and what a Christmas it was. Lucy finally got to meet her only living grandfather and uncle, my dad and brother, and her auntie, my brother’s fiancé. The three flew in just a few days prior to the big show. She met Santa, twice, and made out like a bandit in the gift department. On Christmas morning, she was the star, and didn’t mind. She sat like a lady on Big Red’s lap, in her red Christmas tutu dress, and I helped her open her gifts while the room full of people stared and took pictures, calling out her name. At our house for gift opening time we had in addition to my family, my mother-in-law and Big Red’s Uncle. A full house!
Month three was also one of revelations for myself: I got a clear diagnosis of a mild case of postpartum depression (PPD). Yep, I drew that bullshit of a card. The day my family arrived for Christmas week, I experienced an “episode.” It was so similar to what I experienced once while in the hospital after just having had Lucille, and a couple times after we came home with her. I decided to call the doctor.
I have learned that the term PPD can be misleading. I am not in fact actually depressed. What I have experienced are attacks of anxiety. Both the therapist and psychiatrist I spoke with explained that the medical world has lobbied to have the term changed because not all women only experience depression. Some experience anxiety and some experience both. I’ve got the anxiety portion, and let me tell you that even though my case is mild, and having had only dealt with roughly four episodes, it sucks in a big way. It is debilitating and frightening: heart pounding, chest pressure, nausea, restlessness, weepiness, total lack of sleep and the sense and fear of being unable to care for the baby.
The good news is I’ve got amazing docs on board and given my symptoms, they have resolutely concluded that my case is attributed to the imbalance of hormones in my body. I was not able to continue breastfeeding (because of the anxiety), and I got my period back quite quickly – both of these factors have largely contributed to my body’s inability to gradually return to its normal levels. I have been prescribed anti-anxiety medication that I keep on hand for an as needed basis. I have not had to use them, and I’m hoping I don’t have to at all – BUT, if the need arises, “mommy’s little helpers” are stashed for the occasion. I was also told to, as time and circumstance allowed, to try to get back into exercising, which is definitely something I’m starting to want to do again, to drink lots of water, and to make sure I’m eating plenty of protein. Hopefully, in a couple more months, with a few more cycles, according to the docs, I’ll be out of the woods. Thanks to a groupon, I got one month of unlimited Bikram yoga, and started going on January 2. I’ve been trying to go three times a week, and feeling much, much better. I’m not counting calories, but have definitely improved the quality of what I’m eating, and my water bottle is always nearby.
Month three was a big one for the both of us, Lucille and me. My daughter is a light in my life; she amazes me on a daily basis. We rang in the new year with hopes of a better 2014 and so much ahead of us. Although I want to shellac her and keep her this little for so much longer, I’m allowing the excitement of what is to come carry me through the twinge of sadness as she grows.
Happy three months, my sweet Lucille.