Alright Charlotte is almost 12 weeks old!! That means a number of things. One she is getting older!! I cannot believe how fast this time has gone by. Robbie and I were looking at her first week baby pics and we just could not believe how tiny she was!! She is close to 12lbs now - almost double her birth weight. She is really doing well and we are so lucky to be her parents. She is smiling a lot now and she is really beginning to play with her toys. We even have her splashing, somewhat, in the tub during her baths!! Sometimes I like to watch her while she is sleeping just to see all the cute faces she makes. She is amazing!
The other thing 12 weeks means is that my maternity leave is coming to an end. I will be returning to work on December 13th and I am nervous and excited at the same time. I am looking forward to resuming some part of my "old" life but I am not looking forward to being separated from Charlotte. It has taken us 3 months but we have a great routine and we are really good friends!! Sometimes I think we can communicate without saying a word - which is good because she can't talk yet. I am going to miss my morning smile fests and my gym mat time with her. She is just getting to the point where she can grab toys - we have worked on that all week. I just know she will be able to grab them and shove them in her mouth before I know it and I will have missed it!! This saddens me. It is necessary that I return to work though. We have got to start bringing in some money again. We have been living off savings and short term disability for the last 3 months and it feels like we have been on a huge vacation - just spending money willy nilly and shopping for baby stuff like money grows on trees. Well, it doesn't and momma has to make more!
So, I started therapy this week for my issues with anxiety and my therapist said I am normal and this makes me feel good. My biggest issue has been Charlotte's schedule and I have eased up a bit on her daily routine but her bedtime and morning routines I am still pretty OCD about. These I cannot let go of for some reason. I think the routine is important, honestly, for a nugget this little. Plus, she is doing so well and I can't help but think that some of it is because of the routine! The other thing I have been battling is my intense fear of feeding her in public. This is perhaps the most crazy issue I am experiencing. There is something about this act that sends me into a full blown panic attack. I can think rationally that these feelings are ridiculous but I cannot change them. Well...I have fed her in public...sort of. Here's the story. Robbie and I have not been to the mall in forever and I needed to get some work clothes, since I am chunk now, so we went. I thought we may be back in time to feed her at home but I always take a bottle just in case we get stranded or something. We had been shopping for a bit when we realized it was getting close to time for her to eat. The mall was insane. There were so many people there I was on stimulation overload. I was seriously having a panic attack. Robbie kept saying, "it's okay, it's okay". I kept saying, "I know you think it is okay but it is not okay for me." I was really freaking out. Then I thought about all the times my mom would take me to the Dillard's shoe department and I remembered they usually have a nice lounge area in their bathroom! I bee lined it straight for Dillards, to the elevator, and up to the safe haven of the bathroom lounge. I gathered the diaper bag and Charlotte and left Robbie standing in the formal dress area...sorry Robbie. Got into the bathroom and there was some woman with her, what seemed like a 15 year old, child at the changing table. I took a deep breath and repeated to myself, "Orange juice is okay" - saying my therapist and I came up with...don't ask. She stepped aside and I approached the table (this was also the first time I changed Charlotte in a public place). I got everything set up, changed the diaper, fixed the bottle, and went to the sitting area. Of course I kept dropping stuff all along the way and it was very difficult to gather it all up as I was carrying her and the, now leaking, bottle. We sat down, started to eat, and Charlotte stopped. I thought, I know that look. Are you kidding me Charlie??? Yeah, she pooped. I thought she was done and then it happened. A poop explosion like never before. I reacted quickly by throwing the burp cloth under her butt to save my pants but I could not save hers. It was everywhere! So, I put the lid on the bottle, gathered up my now 4 burp cloths and a blanket, and went to the changing table...again. This time things were a little more precarious with the present Charlotte was carrying. I didn't, of course, take the time to put everything back in the diaper bag neatly from the first change so I had no idea where anything was. It was a mess. I got everything together, bagged up my dirty clothes like the books say, and changed her diaper. I went to get one of the four million outfits I usually have with me and realized...I did not have any pants. I cannot believe I did not have pants!! I always have pants!! Multiple pairs!!! I did find some socks that were too big (yes I had socks but not pants) and I pulled those up to her thighs. I gathered everything back up and went back to the sitting area. Again, I dropped things all along the way. When I got to the sitting area I had my pantless baby in my arms and I was covered in spit-up because I forgot the burp cloths!! It was a mess. Anyway, we resumed feeding and just as we were finishing, thank goodness, a woman sat down across from me and was eyeballing my pantless child, my disheveled hair, and my diaper bag which was open with stuff everywhere. All she said was, "Is this your first one?" I said simply, "yes, and I can't believe I forgot pants." I gathered all the stuff and left the bathroom to greet Robbie with his half naked child. "What happened to her pants?" I just started laughing. We wandered through Dillards trying to find our way out. Along the way I did get her some new pants so she wasn't half naked in the mall. She really didn't seem to mind any of it to be honest. I on the other hand wanted a cigarette. I had a cinnabon instead.
The good thing is that I have fed my child in public. I overcame that fear, among many others today. I am proud of myself. It is the little victories I have to hold onto these days.
Charlotte is so wonderful though and I have really enjoyed my time with her. I cannot wait to share more crazy experiences with her!!