I have started and stopped this post for the better part of two weeks. As is life with a newborn I suppose. As I write you are sleeping against my chest in your sling, your favorite place to be when you’re not all-consumed with milk. Your mouth hangs open and I can tell you’re in a deep sleep. Perhaps now I can tend to my to-do list, one item of which is this post about you at one month old.
You are the most beautiful creation that has ever been, and you’re ours. I marvel at this when you rest in my arms and a grin spreads from the corners of your mouth through your little dimple to your ears and finally across your head.
One month ago our lives were forever changed. I went to the edge of existence and back to bring you here. Your birth was harder than I ever thought possible but also left me with a sense of empowerment I never thought possible. I would do it again and again to bring you here.
The early days of your life were so tender. Your papa and I would often look to each other and comment on this being the hardest and best time of our lives. He took (takes) care of us, you and me. Cooking every meal for the duration of his one-month leave, beginning with the birthday feast he made while you and I rested in bed together after coming home from the hospital stay I never thought we’d experience. We put a candle in the cupcakes I made for the occasion before you were born and sang to you.
For the first ten days or so you slept. A lot. We foolishly thought the pattern would continue. For a while, you’d wake up in the morning, eat, then your papa would carry you out to the living room on a pillow like royalty and you’d sleep on his lap for hours. Meanwhile I’d get a couple hours of uninterrupted sleep and a shower. These hours revived me so I could be present for you for the day. Your needs, while simple, were (are) all-encompassing. For days following your birth I didn’t spend much time corresponding with anyone–my two most important people were right where I could see them. We spent our days on the couch nursing and listening to music. We play Pete Seeger and Johnny Cash and all the greats and dance with you and bounce on the labor (exercise) ball with you. I sing you your lullaby. We left our perch only for meals and diaper changes–Oh, how you hate getting your diaper changed.
It look me a few weeks to process not being pregnant anymore– a sense of vacancy I didn’t expect and shed some tears over. But now, you’re here. You love to be held, so I hold you. And our tiny body curled up on my chest brings on the warmth of 1,000 suns. I mean it. I know I will never look back and think I should have put you down more. Nope. Five or so days old and we started taking little walks in the neighborhood, one block then two.
You’ve changed so much since day one, physically and emotionally. I think from two to three weeks you became you. You once had lots of excess skin and scrawny arms and legs and kept your eyes closed most of the time. You slept most of the day, always curled up against one of us. You hated to be put down ever. During the nights you’d sleep by me, dragging yourself over to me so our faces were almost touching. One day short of one month old and you are up 1 pound and 9 ounces (8 lbs, 12 oz)! Not too shabby for long, skinny you. And while I am brought to tears sometimes during our marathon nursing sessions in the middle of the night, you looking at me with those big grey eyes, the color of the sea, and holding onto my braid are moments of pure magic for me. At one month old you are enjoying some independence a little more. You lay on your lambskin and gaze at your toys. You rock in your bouncer. But still, you cozy up to me in your carrier without a care in the world. You stare into our eyes with your wide eyes and respond to our voices. You’ve revealed your sweet personality a bit more. And then some things are the same from the early days… your loving to be held and cuddled 24 hours a day, your ‘frantic puppy’ approach to feeding– head tossing back and forth and you mewing and flinging yourself off of me before frantically finding your way back on. your sweet sounds and heartbreaking cries, your detest for diaper changes, your breath smelling like sweet cream, your love of our corny, made-up songs, your silky hair that I love rubbing my cheek against.
Baby B, it is the greatest honor to be yours.