Sanderling // Two Months

by Ashley Weeks Cart

My Sweet Sanderling,

Yesterday, I changed a blown out diaper on a spot of grass by the side of the road. The day before, I did so in the public restroom at our bustling coffee shop. I’ve taken to changing diapers on the floor of the car, in the middle of parking lots, on any flat surface I can muster. Because you and I, kid? We spend our days out and about. One of the many gifts of a third child is that I am far less daunted by the prospect of a full day away from the safety net of our home, its changing table, its seemingly endless diaper supply and clean baby clothes, and its washing machine. I load up the diaper bag with wipes, and plastic bags, and an excessive number of diapers and changes of clothes, and snacks for mama, and away we go.

I’ve been feeling the weight of grief, so have been vigilant about self-care to help manage the sorrow and dark cloud I’m carrying. So out of the house we go each morning, to coffee dates, and therapy appointments, on errands, to the bus stop, on long hikes with the dogs, on walks through town, to friends’ houses, to daddy’s office, to your sisters’ schools and extracurriculars. You nurse in parked cars, in coffee shops, on couches, in waiting rooms, while I stroll around with you in my arms. I drop you with daddy every day at noon so I can go to my yoga class, and the two of you go on walks and sit together in the sunshine and fresh air, and every day you make it so easy for both of us to carve out this time. You are so unbelievably adaptable and agreeable, and take each day’s list of activities and errands in stride. In fact, they are met with great smiles and coos and finger sucking (you are on track to discover your thumb any day, my friend, much like your mommy and daddy who were long time thumb suckers. It helps you self-sooth, and it is noisy as all get, but effective!).

I am endlessly grateful for how flexible and easy going you are. You make taking care of myself, and thus you, so much easier in the face of so much that is challenging. And your smiles, oh my heart. Your sweet, unbridled, positively enormous smiles bring out the most involuntary and beautiful joy in me and your daddy and sisters. You beam with such innocent enthusiasm, flashing a dimple on your left cheek, and bringing out the highest pitched coos of gratitude and love in response from whomever is on the receiving end. The power of baby smiles could bring about world peace, if we could just figure out how to bottle that magic.

Sleep is consistent, but not nearly for stretches as long as I’d like, but I know we’ll get there. You do a consistent 4 hour stretch, then nurse and have a diaper change in the middle of the night, then another three hours or so before we repeat the process and the rest of the household begins their day. While the middle of the night session is definitely causing dark circles under my eyes and a daily fatigue, you rarely ever cry or fuss, and so it’s hard to complain. You are only 2 months old, after all, and aren’t expected to sleep through the night just yet.

And I know that nursing is going so well given your immense size and the ease with which you breastfeed, no matter the circumstances or position. We have retired nearly all of our 0-6 month clothing and you are fitting quite comfortably in items sized for a child nearly three times your age. You easily take a bottle, which I know will make your transition to daycare this fall much smoother. As far as life with an infant goes, you make my job easy (or as easy as caring for a completely dependent little life can be). We are so endlessly grateful you’re here, and you’re ours. You have added an entirely new dimension of love and happiness to our home, and I can’t fathom our family without you. And I cannot imagine how I would have survived these past few months of loss and heartbreak without you by my side. You are my saving grace.

I love you, sweet baby. Happy Two Months!

143 Mama