I'm going to try my best to sum things up right now, but plan on delving deeper in future posts because Zoe is actually starting to sleep (a little more) and I am actually starting to have some more "free time". It's kind of crazy!
The first few weeks after her birth in November were rough. I didn't want anyone to help us. (Luckily, this feeling was relatively short lived and we are blessed to have both sets of parents living fairly close.) Breastfeeding didn't come easy for me, between an oversupply, having to use a shield to get Zoe to latch (for 3 loooong months), and thinking it was crazy that she was ALWAYS. HUNGRY. "Feed your baby on demand every 3-4 hours!" they said. More like every hour...
In December, things began to change for the better. I was put on medication for postpartum depression. I'm lucky to say it was never an incredibly scary situation, but being on medicine really helped me feel like myself again. We still weren't getting much sleep and after agonizing over how to improve sleep for all of us, we put her in bed with us. Even though it was broken sleep for me with her eating every few hours at night, it was sleep. I loved cuddling her and waking up to her smiling face. I also started to let go of what "should" be happening, and became okay with her needing to eat so frequently and needing to use a shield to get her to latch on. Having family and friends around and getting out of the house regularly was so wonderful. They helped make our first Christmas and New Year's with Zoe a super special time.
Sometime in January, we started to cloth diaper part-time. It's become a growing obsession. I actually enjoy washing the diapers and snapping them on her. She just looks so cute in them and I feel better knowing if we ever decide to stop, the resale value on them is great. Near the end of January, Z's latch became much better and my supply started to level out. Breastfeeding became easier. I actually began to enjoy it and cherish that time together.
The first time she belly laughed in February, we were completely caught off guard, but it was a magical moment Landon and I got to experience together. She's generally a pretty grumpy baby (one of her nicknames is "Grumpus") but her smiles and laughs are awesome. She's also what one book I read referred to as a "sparkler"; she goes from 0-60 (or 0-100 if you're Drizzy) real quick. When my milk stops flowing, she unlatches and screams. She wants to be put down? She doesn't just get fussy--she screams. We half jokingly call her our little extrovert. That God and His sense of humor, bestowing a crazy baby on two generally quiet introverts.
At her 4 month check up at the beginning of March, we got the "okay, you should really consider moving her into her own room" advice. And while I was slightly sad to move Zoe to her crib, the extra space in bed has been wonderful. Her 4 month regression and sleep training afterwards was kind of ugly, but from it all we learned she had been chronically overtired pretty much since she had been born. Cue the mom guilt. We thought taking her out at any time of the day, putting her to bed when we went to bed, and sleeping with us would make her adaptable and sleepy but we were so clearly wrong. Now she's in bed by 6:30 most nights and aside from waking every 3 hours to eat, she doesn't fully wake up until sometime between 6:30-9 in the morning. It's pretty glorious.
I'll save the rest of what I have to say for her 5 month update which is coming up in less than 2 weeks. What the what?!
P.S. If you're still reading this, thanks for being so patient with me as I figure out all of this mom stuff.