I can’t believe I’m sitting down to write an update on my 4 month old! There are also moments that I can’t believe she’s here, she’s ours, and that we’ll be celebrating Christmas with our baby girl. That whole “the days are long and years are short” thing is very real. Margot is definitely a challenge, but she’s also been so much fun lately. It’s so fun seeing her little personality start to come out and I’m excited to see who she’s going to become, and at the same time, I already miss how tiny she once was.
There were plans to write monthly updates but life got in the way of that. I barely remember what it was like when she was a newborn and it’s just so crazy that I’ll forget these days, too. Sometimes, I’ll have this really sweet moment with her and try to etch the memory in my head.
“Never forget this.”
I just ordered a little leather notebook for Margot that I wish I had gotten months ago but what can you do? I want to write little notes and memories in there and give it to her when she’s older. And I really need to work on her baby book…
Before I get into specifics, I wish I could remember exactly when we got that first smile or laugh, but I don’t. What I can tell you is that those smiles and laughs (and baby snuggles) are the very best, and they will carry you through the harder moments. Having her sleep on me is one of my favorite things in the world. I could sit and stare at her for forever. Walking into her room and seeing that big smile light up melts me. She’s the sweetest! Bath time is Margot’s favorite time of day. She splashes/dances, holds her little animals (these are the best) and we love an endless game of grab, chew, drop, again and again. Just this week, she started happily screaming, and it’s the loudest and cutest thing ever. My girl has a voice (ha). We’re getting more and more laughs, too. Instant happiness.
Being a mom is much, much harder than I thought it would be. I was a nanny for years and was so comfortable taking care of other people’s children alone, so I thought I’d have a better handle on taking care of my own baby with my husband and nanny (she’s with us weekdays while we work). Margot is a challenge. She’s also sweet, strong-willed, and the most amazing tiny little human I’ve ever known.
Here’s an attempt to share what I remember about the blur that is the past few months of being a mom to this little pumpkin.
For the first two months or so, we dealt with a lot of crying when Margot was awake. Most days are really good now – she loves to play! Even amidst those hard moments, it is all so worth it, and I know we’ll appreciate how strong-willed she is when she’s older.
Bedtime is 50/50. A few nights ago, Margot went right to sleep without crying but last night, we spent 90 minutes trying to calm her down before bed. She usually wakes up 1x per night but has slept through the night, so lots of recent progress! There are times she gets so worked up that she spits up everywhere, but we do our best to calm her before that happens. In the moment, it can feel never-ending, but then she falls asleep on me and I don’t want to let go.
We were in such a good place just before our trip to LA (the week Margot turned 3 months old) – she was giving us 7-9 hour stretches. Then the 4 month regression hit us hard. I’d say we had a solid month of bad sleep. While we were in LA, she was up every 2 hours or so and had to sleep on me. Once we were home, she woke up every 3 hours and was fussier than normal. The newborn exhaustion wasn’t that bad at all but this was rough. Then we started getting 5-6 hour stretches and on July 5, the day before turning 4 months old, she slept 10 hours. That hasn’t happened again since but it gave us hope.
We took Taking Cara Babies newborn class (loved it – use the code Margot to get $5 off!) which gave us the tools we needed to help Margot learn to sleep. The biggest takeaway from that and reading Bringing Up Bebe (the one baby book I read) was to pause before getting baby in the middle of the night. The SNOO helped a ton, too, because even now, she’ll wake up, cry just a little bit, and put herself right back to sleep.
So right now, we have really good nights where she does her routine: bath, lotion, books, bottle, bed and others when she cries for 90 minutes, doing everything she can to fight going to sleep. But slowly and surely, we’re getting there.
Between Margot’s tongue tie and my minimal supply, this just didn’t pan out. I felt a little guilty at first but quickly realized it wasn’t worth stressing over. And I’ve always said that fed is best. I tried, it didn’t work, and my baby is healthy. She did it a few times a day but always needed a bottle to supplement, and she gave up in early September. Margot is on HIPP Comfort, and it’s working well for us.
Ok so this is long overdue, but I want to say again that I was so scared of how awful things would feel post-childbirth and it really wasn’t that bad! I had stitches and some soreness, but nothing I couldn’t handle. I started working out again around the 6-8 week mark. I’ve done a few orange theory classes and spinning, and everything feels good. Losing weight hasn’t been easy. I gained 42 lbs (ugh) but I thought I was going to obsess over it and really haven’t. I’d still like to lose another 15 lbs.
We actually had a temp nanny that I didn’t like at all. I never felt comfortable leaving her with Margot (who also didn’t like her) and she was super harsh and judgmental. I got lectured for accidentally drying a rag with Margot’s clothes, and apparently it was a “no no” that I put my baby in a carrier when she was fussy. Ok, lady.
Then came our nanny who we met through The Everymom’s managing editor. She worked for her friend from the time their daughter was 3 months until she was 20 months, but they were moving to Denver and she was looking for a new family. She handed me a book she had made with the families she had worked for and said “these are my babies.” In that moment, I hoped she would come work with us.
Seeing her with Margot is just the best – it’s clear they love each other. She gives me advice too (she knows more than I do – I want her advice) but she does it kindly. I don’t even feel the need to check in when I’m at the office which is very unlike me. I feel so, so lucky!
ps I haven’t asked if I could us her name here so I’m avoiding that for now!
Best moments so far
I’ll never forget (or really hope I never forget) sitting in my hospital bed, taking in her sweet little face, fingers, and toes. The tears wouldn’t stop flowing – I was so in love.
I can’t remember when her first smile was but every single time she smiles is just the best. I’ll go into her room when she wakes up at 2AM, she’ll give me a huge smile, and it’s enough to get me through the fact that I’m up at 2AM. She’s given us a few good laughs, too. Those legitimately make my heart feel like it’s going to explode.
Margot’s first snow! I woke up to snow falling last week and we stood by the window together watching the snowflakes fall. I realize she had no idea what was happening but it got me so excited for all the memories we’ll make during the holidays.
Worst moments so far
Getting her tongue tie repaired and her 2 month shots. I know it’s what’s best for her and that I’m lucky she’s healthy, but it wasn’t easy seeing my baby in pain. I cried.
A week ago, when it took us 4 hours to get Margot to bed – one of our hardest moments we’ve faced as parents. She screamed on and off the whole time, and we both took turns holding her, rocking her, and leaving the room to get some air. I’ve never had to put her down and walk away but did twice that night and felt so guilty for doing so. The second time, I came right back in, scooped her up, and she finally fell asleep. I held her for a while and felt so sad that I couldn’t fix things for her right away.
Happy 4 months, baby girl. I can’t wait to celebrate the holidays with you and watch you continue to grow into the amazing little person you’re becoming. You’re the best thing that ever happened to me and to us. I’ll love you forever. I’ll like you for always. As long as I’m living my baby you’ll be.