My beautiful, sweet boy. You are one month today and I feel an equal mixture of astonishment that you’ve been with us for a whole month already and amazement that it’s only been a month that we’ve know you.
This month has definitely been a blur, passing by in a haze of exhaustion, sleep deprivation, and crying…mostly for me, not you. In the times when I feel like I’m going to break from the magnitude of life-changes, hormones, and love, I remind myself to soak in these moments because, hard as they are, they are also beautiful and wonderful.
You, my son, are perfect. That’s the first thing your daddy and I said to each other when you were born: “He’s absolutely perfect.” At least several times a day, I ask him, “Have you ever seen a baby who is cuter?!” Partiality aside, I truly ache when I look at your little face and realize that you are ours. We get to keep you. I have a son. I’m a mama. You are ours.
Reality sinks in over and over again and never seems to settle. I love you so much it hurts. I get knots in my stomach—like that physical ache deep in your gut right before going onstage for a big performance—when I look at you. It’s overwhelming and painful this love I feel for you.
In these first four weeks, we’ve struggled through our share of things: feedings being the top of the list. I always assumed—very wrongly—that you’d just want food and grab on and go. Turns out, nursing is a lot harder than anyone says and it’s only after weeks of struggling that I found out that everyone I talk to about it also struggled in one way or another. In a way, that knowledge helps me feel better because I don’t feel so alone in my battle. In other ways, I have daily wanted to give up and stop fighting this hard battle. The good news though? Despite our continued struggles, you are gaining weight. In one week (from 2 weeks to 3 weeks), you jumped 13 ounces! Your doctor was very happy and so was I. At just 1 day shy of 4 weeks, you weighed 8 pounds, 9 ounces.
Your little cheeks are filling out and you’re starting to get little creases in your arms and legs. You are getting too big now for your newborn clothes, both in length and width. The 0-3 clothes that were swimming on you just 2 weeks ago are now fitting you well. At this rate, Tiny, you’ll be our tubby little baby soon. All the more surface area to kiss, I say.
You have your good days and bad. That’s to be expected. After all, this world is so huge and new to you, you have no idea what to do with all of this vastness. You love to lay on the floor and look around, sometimes for an hour or more at a time. You just turn your head side to side gazing at everything around you. In a swaddle, you do pretty good at putting yourself to sleep as well, which I feel very grateful for. You’ll look around for a little, then slowly close your eyes and sleep.
The bad days are much rougher. The times when you’re tired, but fighting sleep with all your might. (Your daddy says you’re like me in that way.) Or you’re hungry, but can’t latch on and get frustrated. Or gassy and screaming in pain. Or hitting a growth spurt and nothing can satisfy you; not sleeping, not eating, nothing. Your daddy and I are still getting to know you and are learning what you need or want. If only we could read your mind. We are doing our best, but it has been a huge learning curve for all of us.
Even as you grow and change, I’m locking away moments that I know won’t last forever. I love the way you tuck your little knees up to your chest and snuggle your head into my neck. I love how, after waking you up and opening your swaddle, you immediately throw up your little arms—your hands in tiny fists—over your head as you wrinkle your forehead, squeeze your eyes shut, and pucker up your lips, squeaking and grunting the whole time. Your little back arches and you stretch with all your might. It’s one of my favorite moments as a mother, just marveling at you stretching and squeaking.
My darling boy, I simultaneously want more sleep and also more time to stare at you. I am so very grateful that I get to be your mama. Every day with you is a new adventure and, oh, honey, we are going to have so very many adventures in our future.
I love you, baby boy.
Below right: “Strike a pose.”