Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Teresa, 3 1/2 Months Later

Felicity put Princess Peach in the swing. 

Teresa is nearing completion of her fourth month but there hadn't been as much to report until this most recent month. She slept. She ate. And she cried. A lot. Teresa has been a very demanding baby. In this regard she has reminded me a lot of Cecilia when she was a baby. Cecilia was a very demanding infant and I was a very inexperienced new mom. The result was an exhausted mom who held Cecilia almost constantly coming to adore the baby swing and a baby who became dependent on nursing to get to sleep.

Teresa (on my lap) skips learning to walk to learn how to drive. :)

As a new mom, I assumed that my lack of picturesque Gerber-baby commercial experiences was my own fault. This was reinforced after Felicity was born. Felicity slept on her own from the beginning. She never cried. She was easily contented. She was a very easy baby and continues to *almost* raise herself. "See, my difficulty with Cecilia HAD to be me!"

Teresa gets hold of her thumb.

 Then Elizabeth was born. Elizabeth kindof fell between the two extremes. She is generally happy but still makes some demands. If I had to assign a number between 1 and 5 where 1 is a very easy baby and 5 is a very demanding baby, Cecilia was a 5, Felicity a 1 and Elizabeth a 3. Elizabeth's 3 perplexed me a bit but, hey, it wasn't a 5 and I was adjusting to having 3 children.

 But Teresa has taught me a very valuable lesson. Because, you see, despite years of experience now as a mom, and running the gamut of difficult to easy babies, Teresa surprised me by being just as demanding as Cecilia. Teresa has, easily, been a 5 on my scale. She has wanted to be held since she was born. She would go to sleep in a swing or car seat but she would otherwise insist on nursing to sleep. Movement or nursing. She would simply not have it to be set down sleepy and fall asleep. She would wail. And, let's be honest, newborn is simply too young for such unnecessary wailing.

Teresa and her fingers, never to be parted. 

 She has a very strong need to suck to be comforted. For her first three months, that meant comfort sucking with me but, in the last month, blessedly, she has become proficient at getting her own fingers in her mouth and sucking on them to calm herself. She got a hold of her thumb once, but it is really her pointer and middle fingers she likes and returns to daily.

Teresa fell asleep in her bouncy seat all by herself.

In addition to comforting herself, she has only this week, for the first time since the first week after she was born, fallen asleep without nursing or motion. I can actually just sit her in her bouncy seat or lay her in her crib with a little entertainment and she goes to sleep. She only stays asleep about a half hour, but that was true when she nursed to sleep as well. Falling asleep on her own is a huge milestone for her and me. It is especially thrilling since, between all our May traveling and then June moving, I haven't had the luxury of lots of time to walk her to sleep or otherwise teach her much. We've been going mainly by means of necessity. Summer might be a lazy time for some, but ours has been nonstop (though I hope it will seriously slow down very soon). The fact that she has learned this despite everything is just such an amazing blessing for me.

Also due to all our May traveling and June moving, Teresa did not get quite the same amount of tummy time as early as our other daughters. So in the last month, she began getting much more. On July 1, she rolled from her tummy to her back. 

And she has gained a great deal of head control. She props herself up quite well on her tummy and seems to enjoy doing crunches.

She is also extremely close to rolling from her back to her tummy. She can get both legs over. She just struggles to get her arm under her enough to roll over. But she is very close.

As evident in her pictures, her hair has thinned significantly and, though you can't see, she has developed quite the bald spot on the back of her head. Almost a regular little monk.

My second very demanding baby has come quite a ways in less than 4 months. Babies are more demanding or less demanding but that has very little, if anything, to do with mom. But I have been better prepared to handle it this time around, as evidenced by a baby who is learning how to fall asleep on her own and sucks her own fingers to calm herself instead of a little one dependent on nursing for sleep. I will be very curious to see how Teresa continues to be similar to her sisters, particularly Cecilia, as well as unique from them.

1 comment:

  1. I got kind of cocky after Joey...somehow Will was my easiest baby. Then Will ended up being my only child with a life-threatening condition as an infant. I think sometimes God gives us these children to remind us that we're not as perfect as we think/seem :).