In a way it's harder for me to see the changes in her, because I am with her 24/7. Those who see her once a week or less, or even Mr. Turtle who is away from her most workdays, always exclaim on how different she is. Which is odd for me to hear, because every change just makes her a little more herself.
I have moments of "Oh my!" It's impossible not to notice that AJ is heavier. She must be about twice her birth weight now. At some point, while nursing, I noticed her head is finally (almost?) bigger than the gigantoboobs. And of course, I experience the smiles, vocalizations, her increased facility in reaching and grabbing, her interest in her reflection. But so far even those developments have been gradual. AJ will start doing something occasionally, and then over time she does it more often and more consistently.
What else - AJ is an effective night sleeper for the most part. I often wake her up to feed because my boobs are getting uncomfortable. (She'll usually be in a light sleep - tossing and turning). We like to sleep in in the morning and I avoid scheduling visitors or appointments in the morning if I can help it. She has a few naps in the afternoon, and will follow a pattern of feed, play, sleep, poop at some point, and repeat. She doesn't commit to sleep till around 11pm. I didn't even think twice about this until I read about moms "putting baby to sleep" at 7 or 8 pm! But I don't mind because if she went to bed that early her dad would have almost no time with her. Also I don't want to go to bed that early and I still don't like her to be too far from me when she's sleeping.
Reading about other moms' sleep and nap "schedules" makes me wonder if I'm a lazy parent, but we're happy and she's healthy so I'm not worried about it. I think schedules are more important for moms with more than one child, and/or moms who actually care about when/if they get stuff done. Unless I write it down, I have no idea when anything happens or how long it takes. Doesn't seem to matter.
I know I said I wouldn't look back too much, but there's something about the power of 3s that's compelling me. I have vivid memories of our 3 month milestones.
3 months ago, AJ was born. I remember seeing her wiggle in the doctor's hands moments after my contraction finished, and cry a few seconds after that. I couldn't see her whole face when they put her on my chest, just the top of her head, and I was so curious what she looked like, but afraid to disturb her. She was crawling up my chest and nuzzling to feed, and her little knitted hat kept coming off.
6 months ago, we entered the 3rd trimester. Mr. Turtle and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary by taking an evening "cruise" on the same boat on which we were married. There was a jazz band playing (same musicians that played at our wedding). It was a very different evening from our wedding day however, which had been sunny and calm. On our anniversary it was rainy and stormy with a haze of wild fire smoke. I told the captain (he's an old friend our ours) that if the boat started to sink I was going to be first into the life boat. I also had crampy pains (gas?) and kept worrying about pre-term labour. But despite that it was a fun evening.
9 months ago, we had our 12 week scan that showed "Ember" wiggling and healthy. I was so grateful for the printed report they gave us. It was full of clinical terms like live intrauterine gestation. Those words were more beautiful than prize-winning poetry to me. Afterwards we dropped our car off to be detailed, and walked to our favourite dive and had burgers. Mr. Turtle returned to work excited to tell his colleagues about the pregnancy, and I went home and blogged.
And most mysteriously of all, about a year ago AJ was conceived. Looking at her I can't believe she started with the union of two cells. I know it happens a million times a day and isn't even wanted or appreciated a lot of the time, but the miracle of it still blows my mind. I don't know if I would feel so much awe if we hadn't gone through all the infertility stuff. Of course I would have loved and cherished my child, but I might have felt just that little bit entitled. Now I'm lost in wonder. I have to consciously set the wonder and awe aside to get on with my day. After two and a half years of charting, monitoring, medical tests and failed treatments, we thought there was no more mystery left. But mystery - and grace - found us anyway.
I think AJ is waking up....so on with our evening!