Today (well, back on May 27) you are one-month old. I can’t express just how hard this is for me to wrap my brain around. It literally still feels like yesterday that you came into our world, and yet somehow it feels like you’ve been here all along. If I start to recall the day you were born, I still get a lump in my throat; sometimes I even squirt a tear or two. It was the most epic day of my life and I’d relive it again and again if I could.
I know in months to come these letters will be longer and bursting at the seams with all of your new discoveries, accomplishments and cute things you do and say. I’m glad that this one will be simple. I like you small. I’ve asked you to make me a promise not to grow, but you’re rapidly ignoring my request. I think you look like a different baby every single day. I know I’m your mom and so it’s expected, but you are positively beautiful. Do you know how unreal it is to look at you and think that I grew you in my belly?
Your sleep habits have gone from decent to pretty good. There was some trial and error, but we think we’ve finally unlocked your secret code – the tummy. You are absolutely a tummy sleeper. I happened upon this while letting you nap on your tummy on the couch. In that position you would sleep for hours; on your back you’d give me a solid half hour. With a lot of hesitation, anxiety and urging from your father, we decided to try you on your belly at night. First try, solid five hours. Next try, solid six hours. Third try, eight hours between feedings and six hours of sleep. While “they” will tell us that we’re doing nothing more than trying to kill you by putting you on your tummy, we say this is what works for you and for us.
One of the things that made me more comfortable in letting you sleep on your tummy is your incredible neck strength. Since day one you’ve been working on lifting and moving your neck, and each passing day it gets so much stronger. If I lie you on your belly facing right, within five minutes I can go in to peek at you and you’re facing left. It’s what you prefer, and lets me know you can move your head around if you need to do so. When I hold you over my shoulder, you will pull your head up and look around with those big bright eyes, then suddenly your muscles turn to jello and you collapse; but you’re getting there
In the hospital, I asked you to make a pact with me that you’d never grow. Well, you tried to uphold your end. You dropped to 7-1 before we left the hospital and then spent two weeks at 6’14; by your week three appointment you were back to birth weight and now you’re just growing right along. It makes me sad that you won’t be that tiny forever, but it’s also exciting to see all that you’re discovering and the ways you’re changing.
You’re a good little eater. I made, what was for me, a tough decision to breastfeed and I’ve been thrilled to see that I proved myself wrong and it’s better and easier than expected. You took to it immediately in the hospital and we’ve been going strong ever since. You eat every 3 hours for 20 minutes at a time. You burp like a trucker without any coaxing! During your third week we introduced formula – no more than one or two bottles a day, just to add some flexibility to our day. This has been great because I can’t always pump enough extra, and if we find ourselves out and about, or your daddy wants to get up at 4am to feed you (and luckily he does!), then this allows us to keep from starving you!
We proved that we are either awesome parents or completely skeezy parents by taking you with us one Friday night to a bar. It was the Pumphouse, my favorite haunt. The family that owns are great people, and since I work at home I am a frequent moocher of their wifi. They followed my entire pregnancy and IVF journey, so it was high-time we introduced you there. We spent the evening celebrating Aunt Jeannie’s 50th birthday and let you tag along to this smokeless, family-friendly venue until about 8 p.m. when it turns more “Friday night out on the town.” Grandma Lori even helped you hold on to your first chicken strip.
After four long weeks, your belly button FINALLY made its debut one evening while Daddy was changing your diaper. We did not keep the cord, because seriously, that’s gross!
This month, I’ve gotten to say the words “my daughter” several times, and it’s a heart-swelling feeling I can absolutely get used to.
I love you, Tiny Bits!