Tuesday, April 17, 2012

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Elina: Two Months

Dear Elina,

Happy two months baby girl. I can't believe you are already two months old. To say that time is zooming by is an understatement. The past two months have been such a blur; they've been long months but at the same time they have gone by quickly. This past month is when you started to look more like a baby and less like a newborn. It's remarkable how much like your sister you look and it's even more remarkable how different your temperament is from your sister's. There have been moments where I am struck by a sense of deja vu because of how much you remind me of your sister. The physical-ness of certain things transport me back two years, but you, dear sweet, calm Elina, bring me back to the current moment.

This past month I have thought aloud the following, "if you would have been my first child I would have still wanted three kids." You are such an easy baby and only cry when you are hungry. You are my VBAC baby and I started enjoying you at around four weeks. This is so different from Cati who was a c-section and cried so much I found myself crying with her. Cati's introduction to the world coincided with the disintegrating relationship with my own mother. With Cati it took me a solid three months to feel like I could actually be a good mother, six months to feel like I could like being a mother, and nine months to feel like I could love being a mother. Granted, I have experience on my side and two years of confidence-building child-rearing (Cati's growing and thriving!), but things with you have been so much easier. I feel as if I gracefully danced my way into being a mother-of-two instead of being thrown, head first, into it. You are a dream and before you I thought I was incapable of liking being a mother to a baby as small as you. This is the trauma of being a mother to a newborn Cati and the fear of a repeat.

The truth is I'm a different mother to you. Part of it is experience and part of it goes back to you being a different person. I keep thinking about all the things I am doing differently with you. I remember with Cati the bottle was a clutch for getting her to sleep and she would only fall asleep drinking her milk. With you, sleep and eating are two separate things. You drink your milk, stay quietly alert, and then fall asleep all by yourself after I swaddle and lay you down. I am also way more private when it comes to you and what information about you I share with others.

This past month has seen you settling into a schedule and toying around with your sleep. You're usually up at 7:30am and you eat around 8:30am, 11:30am, 1:30pm, 5:30pm, and 7:30pm. You're in bed by 8:30pm and you go from sleeping through the night to waking up twice to eat. During the day you take short naps in the mornings with one long nap in the afternoons. You're up by 5:15pm at which point you get a bath before your bottle. You play with your sister (aka sit in Bumbo seat while Cati talks to and gives you kisses) before you take a short nap. This nap is just long enough for me to bathe Cati, read her some books, and rock her to sleep. After this nap you wake up for your final meal of the day and then you go to sleep almost without any fussing.

You've started talking this month and I'm curious to find out if you'll be as big of a talker as your sister. The best part about this month is that you started smiling. The best, bestest part of this month was seeing you smile at your sister when she was trying to play with you. I wanted to lock that moment away in my heart. To see how much Cati already adores you and the beginnings of your adoration for her...this is what motherhood is all about. The moments of frustration are worth it when I get to see my children falling in love with one another.

My newborn turned into a baby this month. I find myself living at two extremes: wanting to get drunk in all your babyness and live in this very moment forever and wanting time to speed up so I can hear the sounds of your voice forming words, giggles escaping your mouth, and feet running across our floors. I want to see you interacting with your sister, with us. I want to hear "mama" come from your lips and feel the pucker of kisses. But, I also want to keep you like this so I don't forget how perfectly your small body fits in my arms or that sweet smell only little bitty babies have.

Today you are two months old. You are 22 inches and 11 pounds, 7 ounces of baby to love. In the blink of an eye you were born and have been with us for two months. The longer you are with us the harder it becomes to remember what life was like before you. You've taken our breaths away and nestled yourself into our lives. You were the second, "easy" child because that's what you were meant to be. Your sister came first because she needed more. You two have needed me in such different ways and, in a way, I have needed each of you in different ways too. For as special as Cati is because she was first, you are equally special because you are second. Your sister started our family but you are what completes us.

Everyday I feel overwhelmed with love. I feel giddy and light-headed. I feel fulfilled and blessed. It's all because of you. Your presence has opened my eyes to the beauty of our family and the endless possibilities for unconditional love. I get to share you with an amazing man and a doting big sister. Life as a family of four can only get better. So thank you Elina. Thank you for being your own individual and unique self and for being the type of baby that makes bonding with easy.

Love always,

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