Oh yes, I know, waaaaay overdue for an update on Bella here too, aren't we? I've been a very naughty blogging lady! Before I do anything else I need to say that last Saturday the 3rd of April was the first time Bella properly laughed at me - you know, the "hahaha" sound, not the squeals she's been making for laughs until then. The laughs continue every now and again - but I tell you, she's been getting VERY very vocal in terms of squeaks, opinionated noises, all sorts! Loud too! It's wonderful and cute to listen to her babble away.
She is my heart - oh, my goodness. I get panic sensations thinking of anything happening to her. I can't stand it. That is the one thing. It gets worse over time, too - I mean, I'm not paranoid or crazy or anything like that but, boy I tell you I am a protective mama bear. More than that I am a mama bear with a great big stick - and I'm not afraid to use it!
Last week or so, she discovered her thumb, which was nice for her - she had found it a few times before, but not with regularity. So, sleep time has been different since then because instead of comfort-sucking me, she's been comfort sucking her thumb. Since it's easy to find the thumb, it's easy for her to basically stay in a much more restful state, which has been good for both of us and has enabled us to sleep deeply for longer periods. It really never bothered me much to have her attached all night, but as freelancing has become more busy these last few weeks, the extra sleep has certainly helped. It was strange though, the first night, because I woke up after a few hours wondering what was wrong, panicking, feeling her chest to see if she was still breathing.
But, that's the thing about being a mama to a lost one as well as living ones. Some part of you does wonder if, at any given moment, everything will be taken away and you will once again find yourself alone, without your baby. It's an eerie state to be in, but talking with other mamas, I do get the impression that we babylost mamas tend to feel that worry quite acutely. So, I do check on her about fifteen times while she naps, putting my finger under her nose to check for breath if she's very quiet; leaning over her chest to hear her. Sometimes there's still that shred of complete panic though - in the middle of the night - somewhere between asleep-ness and awake-ness, where I am transported back to the feeling I had when we couldn't detect Josie's heartbeat. Like waking up from a nightmare, it soon passes, however. Just makes me cuddle Bella a little tighter until the proverbial dark shadows have illuminated themselves in the light of consciousness.
She's such a joy though - she's really strong and healthy. Very expressive indeed! I must make a video and upload it one of these days. She's truly amazing and brings me so much love every single day. It's so nice, to work with her right next to me: she sleeps in her swing or in her bassinet when it's nap time, and then plays on blankets on the floor, or in the bouncy chair when it's play time. We talk to one another; she uses my hands as interesting playthings; she reaches out and grabs things in the last day or two as well, grinning and laughing broadly when she achieves control over whatever it is she wants to explore. Her teething links have become a fascination - especially the light green ones. I've attached them to the activity center on her bouncy chair, and she'll spend a very long time grabbing them, drawing them toward her and putting them in her mouth. She has a rattle she likes to shake about and has figured out her jungle gym, to her complete delight. She talks to lights (I'd love to see how she'd react to "Close Encounters of the Third Kind"), babbling and cooing and squeaking and screaming about.
She's amazing. I love - love - being her mother. It's such an honor to be the one who gave birth to her and gets to raise her. I love waking up next to her in the morning and seeing her happy little face, and her bright, intelligent little eyes looking into mine. Her big smile as she realizes I am awake too. Her joyful kicking. Her beautiful little heart, beating away healthily in her chest. She's lovely. I thank the universe. Life is amazing, even when it's really hard, it's still amazing.
So here are some new pictures of her. I think she's looked like herself really since the swelling went down after she was born - she's just changed shape a tiny bit and grown a bit! Mind you, perhaps this is just my perception because at this point she's about 13.5lb of cute chubbiness already! Anyway, here we are - and I promise to update more frequently!
In her Winnie the Pooh outfit...