In the past month, I…
- Worked about 25 hours. Total.
- Slept no more than three hours at a time (and usually two)…
- Changed about 220 diapers…
- Took 191 photos of you…
- Celebrated my first Mother’s Day…
- Ate lots of foods that I couldn’t eat in the previous nine months, including ice cream, sushi, and Sonic cherry limeades…
- Didn’t keep track of what I did with my CSA box, books I read, or other things I usually keep track of…
- And fell in love with you.
You were a big baby, and it took a long time to get you out into the world — 75 hours, specifically. I will try not to hold that against you.
Seriously, there is nothing that I regret about my labor and delivery experience, except that I didn’t get to hang out with you much right away because you got whisked away to the nursery for observation to make sure that you could breathe okay. Thankfully, you were fine, and we’ve been with you ever since. Except for the one afternoon when Grandma and Grandpa babysat you so that your dad and I could go on a sushi date.
The first thing that 95% of the people who meet you say is: “Wow! Look at that hair!” And that’s just referring to the hair on your head; usually they don’t get to see your adorably furry back, shoulders, arms, legs, and ears. Now that you’re a month into life, the hair on your back is gone, but you still have furry ears and arms. We affectionately call you “furry beast” every now and then, but that nickname won’t last for long.
It took about five days for me to finally not have swollen feet and ankles, but it took about two weeks before I stopped crying every day from residual hormones. I’d cry when you cried too long, cry when something didn’t go well, cry if your dad’s tone of voice was just the slightest bit snappy, and sometimes cry for no reason. The first few nights were rough on you, too, because you didn’t know how to fall asleep. We rocked you and shushed you and swaddled you to try to soothe you. Being out in this big, bright world must be somewhat overwhelming for you. Your main expression these days is a slightly frowning look, as if you’re asking yourself, “What am I doing here?!” Our friend Stanford likes to say that “babies look like they are slightly traumatized by the world for the first couple of months,” and we have to admit that he has a point.
It’s funny for me to think that this house, which is still so new to us, is the one that you’ll grow up in. You’ll think that it’s been here forever, although this is only our third month here. We’re still figuring out how to take care of the lawn and learning the intricacies of the hot water heater. Another thing that’s new for us is having family REALLY nearby — your Auntie Angela (my oldest sister) just moved to town two days ago, and we’re so glad that you can grow up thinking it’s normal to hang out with your cousins and aunt and uncle. We’re excited about the free babysitting, too! And your Grandma and Grandpa are just half an hour away, and so is Auntie Ayren and her family, so you have lots of adoring fans nearby.
You’ll grow up to find that your parents are just a little bit silly. We like to take pictures of you next to Nutmeg (who otherwise seems to ignore you) and giant stuffed monkeys. We like to poke our fingers into your increasingly chubby cheeks and make you “smile” or “talk.” We get a kick out of anytime you suddenly fling your arm up and ask you, “Yes, Steven, do you have a question?”
Your daddy and I have been best friends for the past seven years, so it’s taking some adjusting to suddenly find ourselves sharing our time with someone else. But just by being your parents, our relationship has deepened in a lot of ways. I think your dad respects me more after seeing me go through labor, and he tells me lots how he appreciates me for taking care of you and stuff around the house while he’s at work. I appreciate him for being a domestic hero and tackling dishes and dirty diapers and for encouraging me daily. And I absolutely love watching him interact with you. When we got home from the hospital, he carried you around the house and gave you a tour, chatting with you the whole time. I hope that you guys can be best buddies your whole life; I know that he can’t wait to show you how to throw a baseball!
These days, you pretty much eat, sleep, pee, and poop. Sometimes you cry, but not very often. Sometimes you’re awake, and you look around with your big dark eyes. Steve loves to hold you during these times, when you’re calm and alert, just hanging out. Sometimes we think you’ve gone to sleep and peek in on you, but you’re just laying in bed, all swaddled up, with your eyes wide open, quietly looking around. It’s terribly cute.
When you’re awake, I love watching (and documenting) your ever-changing expressions. You’ve got a lot of them.
And you made my day two days ago when you gave me four big smiles all in a row, even after I grabbed the camera and shoved it in front of your face!
So, maybe this first month hasn’t been very eventful or productive, at least not in the way that I’m used to. But thanks for making it an easy first month of parenthood for us; at least in month one, you’ve been one of those Easy Babies. It’s been so fun to finally get to meet you! We love you so much, and we hope you realize that every day of your life.
See all Month 1 photos on Flickr.