My little baby girl is officially no longer a newborn! Apparently. I don't really know how these distinctions are made but apparently at 12 weeks they cease to become a newborn and are now simply 'babies'. I haven't really thought of her as a newborn for quite some time though - she is so different from that little being that first popped into this world - she is very inquisitive and playful and with a definite personality. As she is trying to crawl, without huge success much to her frustration, and has started rolling over, she seems a very long way from the pretty helpless baby that was handed to me 12 weeks ago. It has been really interesting for me these last couple of months to see the effect that a baby has on people. Sometimes the people you would least expect to be interested in babies fall over themselves to come and have a look and have a chat. It is also interesting to see who Elsie responds to - in general she likes to check out everyone and smiles at everybody that we see. But at the same time I think she likes her space and does not like to be grabbed and smothered into a hug, especially by strangers. I can't say I blame her either - it must be confronting sometimes to continually have your senses bombarded by new experiences, including new faces even if they are loving ones and trying to be helpful. I think (am hoping) too that she is settling into more of a daytime pattern , particularly with her sleeps. That would make my job (ie trying to get some training in) much much easier and more predictable. I have been squeezing in training in the mornings, often starting just after 4am so that I know I can get it done. But I know that is not sustainable and that I will need more sleep, so having some predictable times in the day will help that. This week I have actually had to put aside some of her clothes - she has grown too tall for them. Even though the skinny little thing is still wearing nappies labelled as size for 'premmie' babies, she is growing a lot. I have to admit that while I look forward to her milestones and doing new and fun things each day, it is kind of sad to think that we will never again have a first newborn baby. They were very special days and over with in an instant (even though at times during those first couple of sleepless nights in hospital they felt like forever!!).
My respect for mums everywhere (and especially my own) continues to grow daily. Its a very special, important, rewarding and lovely job but it is also a tough one.