Stella is four months old.

Love at first sight.

Love at first sight. (Four days old.)

On Wednesday, December 17th, Stella turned four months old.

It’s absolutely stunning to think that she’s only been here for four months. How is it even possible to love a virtual stranger so deeply in so little time? How can your world change so drastically in a matter of mere weeks? How can so much drama, change, growth and wonderfulness unfold in just one third of one year?

Today, we went to Dr. Numrych’s office for her four-month “well child” check-up. Stella continues to amaze. Sure, she’s had some setbacks with eating due to her reflux and dairy intolerance, but developmentally, she’s right on track. She’s supporting her own weight when you stand her up and help her balance. She’s grasping and pulling things to her. She recognizes her parents from across the room (you can tell by the big smile). She babbles and laughs often–her signature sound is what Cody calls “motorboat noises” while I see it as a cross between cooing and purring. Basically, all of this and a few other skills make her one fabulous four-month-old.

Of course, at these check-ups, you get the line-up of baby stats. So here goes. She now weighs 14 pounds and 6 ounces, which puts her in the 75th percentile for chubbiness. She is 24.5 inches long or tall, depending on how you look at it, which places her squarely in the middle at the 50th percentile. Her head circumference of 43 centimeters means that her noggin is in the 90th percentile, which should come as no surprise. Cody and I have giant heads.

Big heads run in the family.

Big heads run in the family. (Two weeks old.)

A couple summers ago, I headed to a nearby bicycle shop on a simple, safety-conscious quest to buy a helmet. To my embarrassment and salesperson’s awkwardness, the largest women’s helmet was way too small. My head looked like an orange with a mushroom cap sitting on top of it, so I had to head to the men’s section. Cody just bought a one-size-fits-all wool cap from our favorite coffee shop, Fuel, and it doesn’t cover his ears, so it’s practically useless in this cold winter weather and just serves to squeeze the top of his head while emphasizing his cheeks. It kind of reminds me of when we put Stella’s Red Sox cap on for the first time–we really had to squeeze it on. In a most adorable fashion, the hat accentuated her chubby cheeks and left an indentation on her forehead. (Later, I stretched it out and it fit just fine, but it took some doing.)

I woke up at midnight, 3am and 6am to feed Stella last night–I did it one extra time because we’d fallen behind yesterday. Each feeding takes 40 minutes to complete. We woke up at 8am. So some quick math should tell you how braindead I am right now. But even in the midst of sleep deprivation delirium I can tell you that despite all the challenges, fear and exhaustion of the past four months,  I wouldn’t trade them for anything. Not even a blissful eight-hour stretch sleep on a magic mattress made of soft, billowy clouds.

Stella celebrates her four month birthday.

Stella celebrates her four month birthday.

This blog is supposed to be about Stella, but I can’t help but reflect on how the past four months have affected me. I’ve become expontentially stronger and a lot more vulnerable at the same time. I’ve cried and laughed more in these four months than in the rest of my 31 years combined. I’m more tired than ever, but also more alive. I’ve lost my mind while becoming more responsible. I’m a different person, but more fully myself. It’s insane. Insanely difficult! Yet it’s truly been the best time of my life. Stella has brought me more joy than I ever could’ve imagined. And we’re just getting started.

The question I keep asking Cody is, “How did we get so lucky?”