The Super Whites The ordinary life of a Super Mum

The Super Whites
Stella is 12 weeks
Stella at 12 weeks.

We have just turned a corner with the sleeping, Stella has done five nights in a row with only one feed between going down at around 7pm and waking at around 7am. Friday the 10th July 2009 Stella had her first night sleep on only one feed and I thought it was pure fluke until she did again, and again, and again. Even defying all our expectations and going out to a friend’s house for a cheese and wine party and sleeping until 1.30am in her pram upon which point we had to wake her to take her home and give her a feed there! She went straight back to sleep and slept until 7.30am which meant that even though I didn’t get into bed until 2am Sunday morning after a whole bottle of Muscato to myself, I still had more than 5hours of uninterrupted sleep!

Stella at 12 weeks is even more of a delight than the Stella of 8 weeks and 6 weeks. I remember last time around how we would tell all our friends who had children younger than Amy “it just keeps on getting better and better” and of course this time round I ignored that lesson learnt and instead mourned my little baby who was growing up so quickly. Now we are slowly starting to remember what it feels like to watch our baby grow and change right before our very eyes and sometimes even quicker at night whilst we are not watching. Stella can now support her body weight on her legs and she likes to stand up on our laps. Her preferred position is upright and sitting unless she is tired in which case she goes limp and snuggles into my armpit. If Amy is in the room then Stella only has eyes for her although she also likes to sit up with Amy on her couch and watch tv together. Stella is getting better at lying on her activity mat for longer periods of time and when she wakes up in a good mood from a sleep she will sit in the bouncy chair for half an hour at a time, just watching us and smiling.
Stella is a very talkative baby who makes lots of noises, when she has her hands out of her mouth, which is not often. She loves to suck on her fingers and will slurp away madly even if she has just been fed. She tries to get both fists into her mouth at the same time, unsuccessfully I might add but she will try and try and try. She has just started reaching out for toys dangling in front of her and has occasionally figured out that she can bring them to her mouth and suck on them too. She will lie happily in her cot looking up at her mobile, so long as someone comes along to swat it and make it swing for her. She likes it even more when Amy climbs into the cot alongside her and swings her mobile for as long as she wants her to.
We have discovered the knack to stopping Stella from howling when she gets out of the bath is to ensure that her towel is toasty warm from the heater. Then she will snuggle into my arms and smile and smile at herself in the bathroom mirror before staring up at the elephant light mobile that changes colour while I dress her and sing tuneless nursery rhymes. Stella loves bathing with Amy and will kick her legs like mad and watch her sister’s every move. She doesn’t mind water being poured over her face and has drunk more than one mouthful of bathwater accidently.

I have not weighed Stella since the last milestone post I wrote, but I know she has gained a lot because she is outgrowing clothes rapidly and her chubby rolls are even more delicious. Amy was never this chubby, she just had a big head. Stella has the big head characteristic of our children, but accompanied by a round, roly-poly belly and leg rolls that beg to be squeezed. Stella has not been dressed in anything other than an all-in-one suit since the day we brought her home from the hospital. My sister bought her these adorable baby uggs and I had to take some photos of her wearing them because I knew she would grow out of them before she actually wore them out of the house! When we go out she wears the little fleecy zip-up hoodie that a friend gave us but other than that she lives in her pajamas. Getting Amy dressed at the moment is trauma enough not to bother wrestling with a small baby as well. I have however got out a big bag of clothes that Amy was wearing when the weather turned cooler in the UK when she was 3 and 4 months old and I can’t wait to dress Stella in some of the sweeter outfits her big sister wore. Then I can take photos and marvel at how alike my girls are.

Stella has her Dad’s eyes, big, deep, blue and fringed with lashes that are too long to be true. Although I am a little sad that I won’t have a greeney/brown eyed daughter to match me, there is no doubt that Stella is my baby, she looks exactly like me! She still has more hair than Amy ever did although she is rocking a sweet bald patch from where she turns her head from side to side when she sleeps. Because she moves her head so much whilst sleeping she still has a perfectly shaped head and we have had none of the concerns we had when Amy was little and she favoured one side due to the hematoma she was born with after being pushed up against my pelvis during my epic labour. Stella has shown no signs of any birth marks and Amy’s small heart shaped strawberry birthmark on her forehead appeared at just over a month old but has completely disappeared now just like everyone told me it would.

Stella continues to be a very sweet natured and easy going baby. She sleeps well but more importantly settles easily and quickly. Our days are full and busy so Stella has become adept at sleeping in the capsule both inside and outside the car, in the sling which I am still wearing, although not for as long as she is heavy and likes to sit up. Stella will sleep in my arms, in her cot, in the bassinet if we have friends round playing in the girls room, and in the pram. This makes life with Stella very easy. I have become much more confident at assessing when Stella is tired and so we have very few meltdowns. This is something I didn’t realise with Amy and looking back I think she was very like Stella is, her preferred state of being is asleep. With Amy I worried that if she slept too much, too long or too late in the day then we would struggle to get her down at night. With Stella I realise the more she sleeps, the better the nights are. I am much more relaxed and not so obsessed with routine and as a result we have settled into a comfortable routine where we bath the girls together at 6pm then Stella has her last feed for the day and is usually asleep by 7pm with Amy following along shortly after.The last five nights we have left Stella to sleep without a dreamfeed and she has been waking sometime after 3 and before 5am for her feed. Unfortunately my boobs haven’t adjusted to this schedule yet and its been a bit complicated working out which breast to feed from, when to express, whether to get up and feed and express or just bring Stella in with us. Last night Ron gave her a dreamfeed at 11.30pm and she woke at 6am for her next feed, we will do the same tonight and see how she goes. I still think 6am is too early to get up and start my day but I need to express at that feed as its nearly 12hours since the last one so getting up to express means I am awake and Amy is up around 6.30am. Still, I can’t complain, Stella is sleeping well and I am getting enough rest that I feel much stronger, both physically and emotionally. We are debating whether to break Stella out of her swaddle and put her into her sleeping bag. I have no recollection from when we did this with Amy but I do think Amy was more dependant on her dummy than Stella is. Stella can take it or leave it and although she likes it to go to sleep, once its dropped out she can stir in the night, or even wake for me to reswaddle her and she won’t need the dummy to go back to sleep.Ron and I continue to marvel at this little creature we have made. Amy has been going through some difficult times and we have been trying to make time to spend with her just us one-on-one but its been tough balancing everything and I think we will all feel much happier when the weather warms up and we can get out more. Amy adores her baby sister and her negative behaviour is never directed at Stella, mostly its aimed right at my heart as she acts out the emotions she is unable to express. Stella smiles a lot and reacts to our faces and voices but we have yet to get a laugh. I am eagerly awaiting the day I hear her put a voice to the all over body chuckle that it looks like she is doing. Every spare moment that I have with Stella alone I spend staring into her eyes and wondering how I got to be so lucky.

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