month one

Dear Daughter,

First, I know your one month birthday has come and gone before I could get this written. I'm going to cut myself some slack, though, because (1) I did remember that it was your one month birthday on the actual day, (2), I actually took pictures of you on that day, and (3) I've kept us both alive and doing at least fairly well this past month.

I can't believe the time has gone by so quickly. I think about the new moms who go back to work after 6 weeks and have no idea how they do that. I have no idea how I'm going to do it at 12. Whenever that thought pops into my head ("I'm 1/4 of the way through leave," "I'm 1/3 of the way through leave") I try to ignore it.

You have really been quite an easy addition to the family. Knock on wood. You've been an eating champ since day one (literally). When you were a few days old, you were diagnosed with jaundice and we had to supplement with formula for a few days. You had no trouble taking the bottle. No trouble switching back and forth between bottle and boob. As the month wore on and I forced you to take a pacifier a few times instead of screaming in public (or whipping out a boob at the bank, etc.) you took right to it, too. And, again, didn't have any problems eating. This has been awesome.

I'll be honest with you, though. Pumping has been a challenge for me. I wanted to start as soon as I could so that we'd have enough food for you to eat when I go back to work. Right now I'm having doubts that I'll be able to successfully do this. I'm really trying since I know it's best for you.

One thing that I hadn't expected was to feel so differently (emotionally) so soon. I don't want to let you down. Or for you to feel pain or disappointment. And seeing or hearing anything regarding hurt children or parents somehow being separated from their children? Lordy. It impacts me much more now. I'm pretty fond of you, kiddo. It didn't take long to feel attached.

Your #1 activity this month has been sleeping (although I feel like eating tries to overtake that spot sometimes). The first week or so was great. You slept a lot and it didn't take much to get you to fall asleep. You hardly ever cried and when you did, it was almost always because you were hungry. Then you got to be a little crankypants during the evenings. This was a little sad because it was often right when your dad was coming home and would last until bedtime. Fortunately, your crying doesn't hurt him like it does me. If our roles were reversed, I would have felt awful that the only time I saw you was during your least, um, endearing part of the day. But, lo! It seems like your pattern has been broken this last week or so. Thank God! You do seem to want to eat more during those evening hours and still do get cranky to some degree but it's not 3 hours of screaming. Your daddy was great at getting you to sleep during those hard nights. He'd walk with you and "shhh" or hum or sing made up songs. Many a time he'd put you down only to have you immediately start screaming again and have to start all over. And then he'd have to go to work the next day. He's been really good with you and with me. One day you'll understand how hormones can make you crazy and you'll understand that sentence a bit more.

Your daddy has also been great with bath time. The first time we tried it, you did not like it. But since then, it really calms you down. He bathed you this morning and then handed you to me to dry off. I foolishly didn't bring a diaper with me so you proceeded to pee through the towel and onto my pants. I think it was the first time someone else had wet my pants. And you know what? Pee, poo, barf, etc? None of it bothers me, even when it's on me (but I'm guessing only if it came from you).

During the month you've increased the amount of time you're awake and not eating. I don't know if there was more than 5 minutes of this at first. Now you'll sometimes go between feedings without sleeping at all. You like looking at faces and just this last week have gotten really good at imitating people when they make their mouth into an O or stick out their tongue. You smile sometimes but never intentionally. Even that, though, gives me such an emotional reaction. I can't wait until you do it and mean it. I was also thinking the other day about what it will be like when you hug me back. It's enough to make me tear up just thinking about it. This motherhood stuff is crazy...

We've also been working on strengthening your neck and leg muscles and giving you a bit of tummy time. We talk about how hard it is to hold up that giant head but really I think it's that you have such a dainty little neck. It's usually squished down so when we see it, I'm surprised at how thin it is. You're getting better at using it, though.

When we've gone out, people often think you're a boy. I think folks may default to this especially when you don't have a girl in all pink with a giant hair bow. Since you're still in newborn clothes, most of the things you wear are gender-neutral. Some of the newborn stuff is really rather form-fitting these days, though. But the 0-3 month stuff is too big. Go figure. People have been super generous by sending gifts and you'll have some awesome little outfits to wear when you get a bit bigger. And strangers often comment on your hair, of course. There's just so much of it and it looks a little crazy sometimes (which I love). We're not sure if it will stay light brown or if it will all fall out and come back completely different. Your roots look blonde so maybe... I'm still holding out for a hint of red, though.

It's been an interesting first month. Thanks for being such a good baby and for hanging in there while we figure all of this out. And thanks for making me a mother. I'll thank both you and the hormones for making me emotional after typing that sentence. Looking forward to Month 2.


Anonymous said…
Beautiful post! Congrats on one month and glad to hear wyatt is wonderful!
angelq said…
Since she's taken the bottle, you can use that to your advantage. It gives you more flexibility with outings and you can use it to get more sleep if someone is there to help out.
angelq said…
Oh, and fun pictures!
Katie Lady said…
Precious! And hell, I got all teary at that next-to-last sentence, too. ;)

Email/call soon and we'll talk pumping.
Patois said…
Oh, goodness, she is gorgeous. So glad her first month has been such a fine one.

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