Dear Hennie

You’re 3 months old today! I feel like this milestone marks the end of our bodies being shared. We operated as one for three trimesters while you came to life inside my belly and when you finally arrived earth-side I was surprised to find that we continued to feel like one unit. You are still carried by my body and fed by my body, and our emotions have been more co-dependent than I would like. But the fourth trimester is over now and my body is starting to feel like my own again after a whole year of sharing it with you. The time for you to be truly independent from me is years in the future, and I long for and dread that time all at once.

For now we are still adjusting to the changes you’ve wrought upon our quiet lives. Motherhood has been nothing like I expected it would be, it has been infinitely more difficult. What has been the most exasperating is the voice you brought with you when you came into our world. I feel so hopeless sometimes when I can’t figure out what it is that you need from me, and not all of the time we have spent together has been as fulfilling as I expected it would be. Since the day we took you home I’ve been waiting for you to become a more manageable baby, but as usual I suspect that what needs to be managed are my expectations; they are robbing me of my ability to appreciate and enjoy my time with you while you are still little.

I’m going to let go of my own expectations now and accept you just the way you are. I’m so glad that you’re mine! I may get less smiles than other mamas but my life is just as bright. You have an indefatigable voice that commands attention and begs to be heard. You were born into a crazy world that is beautiful and lost and in desperate need of powerful, determined voices like yours. I promise that I will never encourage you to be silent and I hope that you will use your big voice to be a hurricane of good in this world. Raise hell, little one.

Love, your mama

Hennie James: Three Months

The Fourth Trimester is over and little miss Hen is a newborn no more! During these first few months there have been so many connections being forged in her little body and it’s so much fun to watch her learn a new skill or make a new discovery. But the milestone we’re most looking forward to has to do with the fact that colic tends to improve significantly between 3 and 4 months. Ummm, bring on the improvement, please!! We are desperate for our evening hours to get better and more manageable. Sometimes we are able to eke out a quick card game or watch the first half of a movie, but our evenings are (still) spent passing a very fussy baby back and forth until bedtime. We are looking forward to the day when she calms down and we’re able to leave her with a relative or friend for even two hours so we can have dinner together out of the house, but for now we’re spending our weekend evenings hibernating at home with some good takeout and a few nice ciders. Probably best during flu season anyway.

Hennie Likes: morning time, being spoken to in silly voices, her pacifier, kicking her feet, making “grumpy cat” faces before screaming, looking out the window, hanging out on the kitchen counter when mama cooks, being held by daddy.

Hennie Dislikes: evening time, getting immunizations, sitting still, having clothes pulled over her big head, being cooperative during feedings, cuddling, having people in her personal space.

Nicknames: Little Miss Custard Pants, Little Red Hen,

Development: Hen has begun to talk a lot more and it’s pretty cute. After she feeds she is (usually) pretty happy, and we have some intriguing conversations with her. She is a decent sleeper at night time if she’s swaddled tight so her loose arms don’t flail wildly and wake her up. She has become a very distracted eater and frequently stops feeding to gaze up at mama with a coy attitude and a wide grin – obviously we love that, but it makes it difficult to keep her well-fed! She still doesn’t laugh very often but makes up for it with frequent smiles. She is does push-ups when placed on her tummy and drools constantly while voraciously sucking her little fists.