It is a festive week at our little home: Last Saturday, my baby turned 3 months; yesterday, it was my 29th birthday and first birthday as a mother (can’t believe how time is flying by); tomorrow, Ahmed and I will celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary. And, to top things off, next weekend marks the end of Ramadan. We’re not sure yet how we are going to celebrate that, but we will definitely try to do some fun stuff in either Hamilton or Auckland to celebrate Eid Al-Fitr, as the feast is called.
My baby turning three months
Life with a baby is so full of special moments and developments that nearly every day feels like a milestone of some sort. However, Maria turning three months is an occasion worthy to stand still by in my opinion, as it marks the end of the so-called “fourth trimester”. (For those interested, here is a link to a nice blog post about the fourth trimester.)
While not a medical term, the phrase is used to describe the first three months after a baby is born. During this time, the baby is adjusting to life outside the womb, and creating a womb-like atmosphere is key to settling your baby – think of swaddling, rocking, skin-to-skin contact, white noise, warmth. The first three months with a newborn are incredibly challenging, and I believe there is nothing that can prepare you for them. Our life with Maria has definitely included a lot of trial-and-error, self-doubt, and at times despair, but it has also been the most wonderful experience ever. Having a baby does indeed change everything.
And although Maria hasn’t rolled over yet, is still waking up for a feed twice a night on average and while sleeping in her bassinet remains a challenge, we have seen our little princess change from a newborn that longs to the womb into a (mostly) happy girl that is eagerly exploring the world around her in the past three months.
And not only Maria has changed. Ahmed and I have gotten used to life as parents, as well as the changes in our relationship. While self-doubt inevitably is there to stay (especially on my side) we feel more confident about what we’re doing. I have no illusion whatsoever that all things parenting will go perfectly smooth from this point, but perhaps things will be less overwhelming. We will see what the coming weeks, months and years will bring us.
First birthday as a mom
Yesterday marked my 29th birthday and first birthday as a mom! It’s quite funny to read my 28th birthday post one year later, in which I talk about being in a transition period and my need for new challenges. I quote: “Or, maybe, just maybe, we take a leap of faith and decide on some drastic changes. Let’s see what happens in the next few months.”
To be honest, my birthday expectations this year were rather low. I am the kind that tends to feel a little moody and nostalgic on days like those. And being so far away from family and friends doesn’t make things easier.
Long story short, I ended up having a wonderful day. No, there was no birthday cake, no massive party and no major surprises, but it turned out having Maria smile at me and Ahmed by my side was all I needed to have a lovely day! Although Ahmed was fasting (it is still Ramadan) we took the car and drove to Raglan, a cozy little coastal town about 40 minutes away from Hamilton, where we enjoyed the sunny (albeit cold!) weather, the beautiful views, the town’s laid-back Sunday afternoon atmosphere and a nice cappuccino in one of its cafes. (Ahmed will make sure to be back there after Ramadan to try the establishment’s burgers!)
In the evening, we went out for dinner at a Turkish restaurant we hadn’t tried before. The food was mediocre and Maria was weepy most of the time, but that couldn’t ruin my day, as I counted my blessings and discussed with Ahmed my action plan for the coming year. No, no “things to do before turning the big 3-0” list, but some ideas to develop myself and my skills. Because although life at the moment is full of uncertainties and in some ways I feel far from where I want to be (literally and figuratively), reading last year’s birthday post proofed me one thing: major changes can happen in just one year if you work on them on a daily basis, and I will assure that by the time I turn 30 I can be proud of some things I have accomplished these coming 12 months.
Cheers to another great year!