Maternity leave. I remember the first time around, I had no idea what to expect, other than having time to get used to being a mom. This time, I had an idea of how things would go, and I’ve finally hit my favorite part – the sweet spot of maternity leave.
The sweet spot of maternity leave for me is about two months in. At this point, Ella is nursing well and my milk supply seems okay – I’m even building a small freezer stash by pumping 1-2 times a day. Ella is sleeping really well at night (I call her unicorn baby, she’s so good), and starting this week, she’s gotten on a little bit of a schedule with her naps. She’s smiling regularly and starting to laugh. She’s rapidly outgrowing her clothes (I had to pull out 6-month clothes already) and we’re finally past the newborn fog that consumed us for so long.
I remember this point with Abbie too, and it was my favorite part of maternity leave – the part where things got predictable. Obviously, we’ll still have challenges as time goes on, but this is my favorite part. Ella is growing, happy, and we all fall a little bit more in love with her every day.
What I forgot from last time is how much fun these first milestones are. The first time Ella smiled I couldn’t stop smiling, and Abbie was intrigued. She just started laughing this week, and her laughter brought tears to my eyes. She knows us, and gets so happy to see us when she wakes up – I’m greeted with a big smile each morning and snuggles when she wakes up for her 3am feeding. She’s just the happiest, sweetest little girl.
At the same time, I feel more and more like myself every day. I’m still working on the baby weight (9 pounds left), but it’s amazing what a normal schedule, sleep, and eating habits will do for you. I’m even getting time to do a workout video here and there, and the activity is doing wonders for me.