“Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” Mother Teresa of Calcutta
Maeve's smiles are the best part of my day, hands down. Don't get me wrong, I love naps and playtime, but smiles are the fuel in my mommy engine. I'm still catching up on my baby smile quota.
Being a mom is seriously difficult. Our first two months with Maeve were like an exciting but deeply puzzling and anxiety-inducing bad dream. She cried all the time, and the only trick that worked was breastfeeding her, which I did for 45 minutes out of every hour she was awake, which was a LOT. Now, I'm a first time mom, and as such, I live by the motto of all first-time moms: Do what works. So I did, I fed her to her little heart's content, and slept with her on my lap all night, sitting up on the couch or in bed, because that's the only way she would sleep. Meanwhile, I got more sleep-deprived and less able to cope. When she cried, I cried. It was lonely, and what's worse, scary as hell. I was so sure there was something wrong with my Maeve.
I received boatloads of well-meaning advice, which probably would've worked on another baby, but not my little Maeve. She cried when she was swaddled, cried when I sang to her and rocked her, cried when I put her down, cried when I handed her to DH (dear husband), and just generally passed her time crying, eating, sleeping, and pooping. Poor baby. Poor me!
At 2 months, my pediatrician noticed she hadn't gained any weight at all and had a little blood in her diaper and diagnosed Maeve with a cow's milk protein allergy. I know it sounds like bad news, but I was so relieved it was a digestive issue, and totally fixable. Now she's on Nutramigen which has done absolute wonders for her tummy (she was up to 12 lbs 3 weeks ago!) and for her disposition. She sleeps beautifully, I can set her down, and oh, those gorgeous smiles! I'll never, ever take them for granted. :)