You’re four months old. FOUR MONTHS! Can you believe it, because I sure can’t. Due largely in part to that dreadful two week hospitalization, the past month has been an enormous blur. Much to my surprise, when I was in the hospital a strange thing happened… LIFE WENT ON. It seemed to me like everything should have paused until I was home and functioning normally again, but it didn’t. And the most incredible part of it all is how much you grew in just two weeks! I came home to a baby who not only was a bit older, but one who sprouted a few more hairs on that bald head, who no longer fit into her 0-3 month old clothes and who somehow acquired at least two more chins.
Last week you were playing on the floor, arching your back struggling to see the TV as you so often do, when all of a sudden and completely by accident you flipped onto your stomach. You glanced around for a second, confused, then looked up at me and your dad like ‘What THE HECK just happened?’ Over the next few days this became your favorite thing to do. I’d lay you down on your back and two seconds later you’d be on your tummy, propped up on your elbows with this giant, proud grin on your face.
Another new thing that you really enjoyed was your first bath in the ‘real’ bathtub. I’ve been bathing you in a small plastic tub in the kitchen sink, but you’re suddenly too big to fit in it. I thought you might be a bit nervous being surrounded by so much water for the first time, but I was wrong. Not only were you naked AND in water- two of your favorite things!- but there was just SO MUCH room to kick and splash around! I think that just for a moment the veil was lifted and you caught a glimpse of heaven again. The only way you knew how to adequately express your excitement was by shoving all of your fingers into your mouth and squealing for five minutes straight.
I was very concerned about how you would cope while I was in the hospital. Two things that worried me in particular were you having to quit nursing cold-turkey (even if it was just temporarily) and having to sleep by yourself. I never planned on co-sleeping, but I discovered very early on that you slept surprisingly well when you were next to me. So since the first week you were home you’ve been sleeping in our bed with us. Most nights you would only wake up once to eat, and since we were literally right next to each other you would pretty much feed yourself. I can’t count the times we both fell asleep mid-feeding and I woke up with my boob out and you still attached, sound asleep.
When you were about three weeks old I started giving you a bottle once a day. Not because you needed it, but because I knew I would be going back to work and wasn’t sure I’d always be able to pump enough milk to send with you to the babysitters. I wanted to be sure your tummy was used to the formula in case it ever became necessary. And thank goodness I did! Because while I was away it suddenly became necessary, and you took the bottle without hesitation. By the time I was able to come home you were even sleeping through the night- all by yourself! All that time I spent worrying about you was just time wasted. Morgan, you are so young and so small, but already I admire your strength. You handled those two weeks with much more grace and composure than I did.
So, not only are you sleeping in your crib, you’re sleeping in your own room. My heart broke a little when I realized that you no longer needed to be next to me through the night. But, I have a sneaking suspicion that you’ll be breaking my heart quite regularly from now on. Often after you’ve drifted off to sleep I’ll stand in your doorway and watch you. I’ve known religion all my life, but I’ve never experienced a moment as reverent as when I quietly stand there in the dark just listening to you breathe, hearing your life in the air. And that, Morgan, is all the proof I’ll ever need that a loving God exists. More than anything I’ve known before, YOU have made me a believer.