Your first month out in the world was, shall we say, eventful. And the less said about the two weeks or so, the better, I think. I’ll just quickly give you the highlights: We moved apartments five days after you were born; your brother had an allergic reaction the the chemicals used to clean our apartment; then he came down with a 40 degree temperature and a few days later, got hand, foot, and mouth disease; Nannie, who was visiting to help after your arrival, was felled by a pretty severe cold + sinus infection; and insofar as one could say that I coped with it all, it would only be by the most narrow of margins.
For the first ten days or so, you slept approximately 23 out of 24 hours in a day. This turned out to be a major boon for us as we were organising the house after the move. Obviously I was convinced that we had hit the baby jackpot, and boasted about your impressive sleep skills to anyone who would listen. Alas, our good nocturnal fortune was short-lived, and we are now enjoying a much more somnolent existence. I’m not sure, but it’s possible that your midnight wakefulness is connected to the fact that you’ve been spending almost all of your time in arms or snugly nestled in a carrier. I mean, who would want to sleep on a bed if they could be cradled next to warm body instead?
After everyone recovered from various rounds of illnesses, we spent the rest of the month exploring the city with Nannie, you nestled up next to my heart as we’ve rode the subway, and walked all over the French Concession, which is a delightful way to pass our days.
And now, your monthly update:
:: GROWING ::
You’re a tiny little sprite, dark haired, milky eyed, with reedy legs and elfin ears.You have a little round tummy with an outtie, which I kinda love. You’re in newborn diapers, and newborn sized clothing, though we don’t really have much in the way of appropriately sized clothing, so you’re often found swimming in zero-three month outfits. You were born weighing 3.4 KG, my smallest babe yet. By your first doctor’s visit, you’d gained about 200 grams, sliding you into the 50th percentile. By month’s end, you weighed 4.3 KG, continuing on a nice growth curve.
:: EATING ::
You’re not a huge eater. You are efficient at the breast, powering down a full meal in about five minutes flat. Though we do have to go through a long, drawn out process of back pats and bounces to help you bring up a burp.
You sleep well, long and deeply, regardless of what was going on around you. So well, in fact, that I occasionally found myself googling the phrase “my baby is too sleepy.” You did a few stretches overnight of about five hours. But then, as the first week moved into the second, your sleep took a turn for the more typical, and you slept in shorter snatches of time, with frequent wakings, especially during the night. In daylight hours, you’re perfectly content to be nestled up in your carrier, being walked around the city. But come 11:30 PM, you’re up and continue to be awake for several hours. Also, I should note you have this thing for sleeping with your eyes open. Which is really weird when you enter into REM sleep, let me tell you. You sleep in bed with me, despite my best efforts to have you sleeping in your own cot.
:: SAYING ::
You don’t so much cry as squawk, like you’re calling out for me. Kinda like an eagle, actually, which is why I’ve taken to calling you Lyra Bird.
:: BEING ::
For the first several days, you were a tranquil little sweet potato, sleeping and eating, and doing not much else. But by mid-month, you started showing us that you’re a little unsettled, that life was getting harder, and perhaps, that you’re uncomfortable. It seems as though you might have reflux. It seems as though the witching hour is hard for you; you make your discomfort widely and loudly known. We’ve tried to offer your the pacifier to ease your distress and that helps sometimes, as does, occasionally, the hammock, but you prefer to nurse side to side in the dim quiet of my room for the majority of the evening. (And then stay awake all night.)
:: LOVING ::
Being burrowed into the sling next to my heart; warm and cozy snuggles; sleeping in my bed, preferably head resting in the crook of my arm; being held, by anyone, really, it doesn’t matter; lying chest to chest with Nannie; all manner o things cozy, warm, and tender.
:: LOATHING ::
The bath. Being cold. Having no clothes on. Being hungry. Having burps or farts. All of which elicit an intense display of your vehement displeasure.
:: ENJOYING ::
I am certainly enjoying this return to newborn motherhood. While your first days in the world didn’t really go to plan, and my yearning for a period of quiet nesting and recovery didn’t really get born out, I am enjoying the snatches of quiet time with my girl that I do manage to eek out. I want to remember this time, when you were so small I could cup your head in my hand, and you smiled as you fell asleep at my breast, and your skin was so soft it felt like goosedown, and I sat up with you all night, both terribly exhausted and slowly falling deeply into love.