It may never happen again, but he slept through the night last night!  From midnightish to six-thirtyish!  I had gotten in the bad habit of just staying in the living room until his middle-of-the-night episode and then moving us both back to the bedroom, but I woke up on the couch this morning (six weeks one day, for future reference), mystified.  Yay!  I laughed my ass off a few weeks ago when I saw in one of the weekly your-baby-is-x-weeks-old emails that sleeping five hours in a row counts as sleeping through the night. Um, no.  Sorry, but I think six is the minimum to qualify as a night’s sleep.  We did it!  I just wish I hadn’t done it on the couch.  D’oh.  Hopefully tonight won’t be a disaster now that I’ve gotten so cocky.

We’re also getting a lot more social smiles.  I could fill a Scrooge McDuck swimming pool with them and never get out.  This one is from just over a week ago, but they sure aren’t getting any less cute:

Anyone have any magical burping tips?  I feel like we waste too many feedings or parts of them because he refuses to (or can’t, don’t really know of course) burp, then he pukes up what looks like it has to be almost everything he just ate.  Doesn’t seem to bother him much, but here is where I get all angsty about wasting all that liquiiiiiiid goooooolllllld.  Also, all of this:

One Month

Dear Baby Ike,

I never imagined that I would be one of those first time moms who writes mushy love letters to her new baby every month as if she’s the first person to ever have a baby and love him or her as much as all new parents love their babies, but it can’t hurt to say that we love you more than we had ever imagined was possible.   Now that my labor and your birth are a month behind us, the sharp edges of that physical pain have already softened and faded to mere twinges in my memory, and your little smiles and chuckles and grunts and yes even farts have become so infatuating and addictive to me that I can almost see how some people end up with nineteen kids.  Almost.  But we’ll talk when you’re older about why you must never do such a thing.  
You have changed so much in the short time since you were born that it seems like we must have known you for far longer than only a month – yet every day my time with you seems to be flying by, and every time I glance at a clock I’m amazed that so much time has passed.  You’re much more active, and more expressive, and you just crack me up.  Not every moment has been easy for us, of course, but even now as I look down at you grunting away in your sleep (I would love to know what all the grunting is about – it can’t all be about pooping) it’s hard to believe we’ve gotten so lucky.  You’ve been a pretty easy baby for the most part.  As excited as I am to watch you grow and change more and more, I am already nostalgic for my six pound baby.  A week or two ago I said that I wished I could put a day in the freezer and be able to have a day with you as a baby again in a few years, or in a decade.  I know the time will fly.  We are having so much fun.  Your Aunt Susie came down to see you again for your four-weeks-of-life-iversary on Monday.  

She’s a natural.  Try not to wrap her so tightly around your little finger that she snaps, okay?

You’re still the champion sleeper.  You just tend to do a lot of it in the later morning, early afternoon, and evening and not so much between about two or three and five or six in the morning.  It’s probably your least favorite trick of mine, because I’m still no good at sleeping while you sleep during the day.  I will learn, just as you will soon learn to sleep through the night.  I hope.

Your witty onesie happened to coordinate exactly with Aunt Susie’s dress.  Getting you dressed is a lot more fun than getting myself dressed these days, even though we rarely do dress you in many pieces, because it is still. so. hot. here.  Thankfully our air conditioning is functional again (and even better it was only a ten dollar part that needed to be replaced, so your parents may even finally get themselves some fancy new not-dumb phones within the next week or so), but we have yet to even use your stroller because we’ve spent too much time inside where it’s cool, hiding from the heat and humidity – maybe we’ll try it out when we go phone shopping!  We’ll see.  I’d like to use the Moby wrap more, too, since you seemed to like it well the first couple of times we used it.  There are so many things we look forward to doing with you.  This first month has barely scratched the surface of all the good times ahead, which makes your sappy mother all weepy with happy tears.  I can’t promise it, but I will try not to be a big dork and cry over ever tiny milestone.  


Pro tip:  if there is one single thing you should probably never, ever say to a woman who has given birth/become a parent in the past, oh, let’s say three months or so, it’s, “I’m so tired.”  REALLY?  I’m sorry, that must really suck FOR YOU.  Please note that I’m not making it worse by smacking you.  (“I’m tired,” “I need a nap,” “I didn’t sleep well” also qualify.)

Okay, there are probably at least a dozen other things that new mothers don’t want or need to hear, but I’ll leave it at that for now.
I’m not actually complaining here; Ike has really been pretty generous about letting us get decent chunks of rest.  So far there have only been two nights after which dawn broke and I felt like I didn’t sleep at all. Other than that, it really hasn’t been as bad as I expected (though this could all still change at any point, I know).  I can imagine how it’ll feel when we end up with six or seven (or more, perhaps way more, HALP) of those nights in a row.  So it makes me laugh evilly when I hear someone else complain about being tired. Because, HA.  FUCKING HA.  I’m sure you are actually tired, but I condescend to your non-parental fatigue, oh yes I do.
What else?  He is a grunty, farty baby.  It cracks me up.  He rarely seems to want to bother burping after a he eats, so I suppose all that air just works its way through eventually.  It doesn’t seem to cause actual discomfort, for the most part, though it probably sounds like he’s not happy (I’m pretty sure it’s grunting of neutral value, not complaint – maybe even grunting for fun!  Gruuunty baby).  He smiles and laughs, when awake and in his sleep.  I of course can’t get enough.
I don’t know that we have a favorite toy yet, but he is tracking things, especially black and white items, up and down and side to side with his eyes as he should be at this point.  He is good at picking up his head and moving it from one side to the other during tummy time.  I haven’t yet started obsessing over what else he should be doing at this age.  I’m sure there’s plenty of time for that, right?  

I’m not being super productive or accomplishing much on a day to day basis, but I feel like we’re adjusting pretty well, for the most part.  One of my favorite things is bath time.  We have yet to do a sponge bath; I just take him in the tub with me.  He seems to really enjoy it.  Not that he’s laughing and splashing, but he seems very soothed and relaxed by it.  I’m so glad the midwife who discharged us from the birth center mentioned that to us.  She said that “they” will tell you that you can’t do tub baths until the umbilical cord stump falls off, but that it’s not true.  She suggested taking him in with me and letting him float (supported, of course) in water up to his shoulders, and that I’d see him make movements that I would recognize, having felt them from the inside.  Pretty cool (and I think it helped the stump fall off sooner – he lost it at only six days).  So I try to do it every other day, if not every day.  I like to think that it reminds him of being inside me.  I still feel like I didn’t allow myself to really celebrate my pregnancy while I was pregnant, for fear that we somehow still wouldn’t end up being able to actually bring him home, so I guess this is my abstract way of celebrating it after the fact.  It also reminds me of his birth, and how amazed and grateful I still am that we got to have the natural water birth experience that we did.  Plus, after he’s all cleaned up I can hand him off to Mike to get dried off and I can finish having a bath myself – that counts as pampering, right?  Whatever.  I’m counting it.  Before long we can probably take him swimming – I’m hoping he’ll like that just as much! 

Just Checking In

I shudder to think what our next utility bill is going to look like, yet I’m supremely grateful to enjoy the luxury of air conditioning and electricity in general.  Today the high temperature is projected to be 105F (41C) with a heat index (what it feels like with the humidity) of 110F (43C) .  That’s ridiculous.  Too hot to even think about taking a blanket outside to sit under the shade tree in the backyard, let alone consider a walk down the street to the park.  I’m sure we’ll get to enjoy doing these things soon, but I am feeling impatient to cram all the memory-making I’ve imagined doing (plus all the other less fun stuff that that should have been done while I was still pregnant, like actually finishing the nursery and cleaning and organizing the rest of the house) into the remaining weeks I have off work.  

Ike is still doing great.  I’m definitely in that haze where getting not just a shower but also a meal feels like a monumental achievement, since we have no schedule yet and I’m not feeling confident enough that he’s completely past the jaundice (the whites of his eyes still look just a tiny bit yellow to me, though the pediatrician said that would be the last visible sign to clear) to not feed him on demand.  Yet he really is overall a fairly easy baby, I think.  His grandparents left yesterday, and while their visit was actually relatively lovely, I’m feeling grateful to sink back into our little cocoon, with the option to breastfeed while sitting on a couch in the living room rather than have to get up and go to the nursery or to our bedroom for privacy.  As much as I feel like I should accomplish a bunch of stuff this afternoon, I think I’m going to settle for a bath and a nap instead, right after I eat something – perhaps something healthy, even!  My discharge instructions from the hospital started with PAMPER YOURSELF, just like that, in all caps, and I don’t feel like I’ve really had the chance to comply, so hopefully I can indulge a bit over the next several weeks and truly savor as many moments as possible.  Here are a few that I tried to capture as I was savoring:  

Two Weeks

We had Ike’s two week checkup yesterday.  He is up to 7 lbs, 9.4 oz!  He also grew two inches, to 20. Given that he was down to six pounds even at his four day checkup (6 lbs, 10 oz at birth), I’m thrilled with that increase.  Go, boobs, go.  I’d add formula in a heartbeat if it needed to happen, but I’m so thankful to not have that added expense right now.  We’ll see how long I can keep up.  I haven’t consulted a lactation specialist yet because it’s getting better with every latch, but I surely won’t say that it’s been painless or that it’s necessarily intuitive.  At least it’s working!

So Ike’s doing great.  His poor parents, though, may be teetering on the edge a bit.  We got hit with the derecho thing (we’re not too far from where the video in the linked NPR story was shot) on…Friday night?  I totally don’t know what day it is anymore.  But yes, we did one night in the dark, which wasn’t terrible.  Kind of sweet, really.  Reminded me that it was thundering (and I assume lightning, though I didn’t look out a window once we got into our room) the night Ike was born.  It had cooled down after the storm rolled through, so it was fine to open the windows and sit in the dark and rock the baby.  Changing diapers by candlelight, however, is not advised (not even sure if it was Mike or me that changed that particular one because we didn’t see it until morning, but I’m SO glad whoever it was picked the couch with a machine-washable slipcover).  So we went to my parents’ house the next day, along with all our cold/frozen food worth trying to salvage, and were still there when Mike’s parents arrived into town.  Le sigh.  My parents were lucky enough to keep power the whole time, so we changed plans and had dinner at their house rather than ours.  It’s all kind of a blur…eventually it came back on, and Mike’s parents helped us drive all our food back to our house, then went back to their hotel for the night.  While they were over hanging out the next day, however, we lost power yet again when the next wave came through.  It was too hot and humid to be able to sleep, and I did not want to repeat the diapers in the dark deal, so we packed up yet again and hauled it back down the interstate to my parents’ house.  Ugh.  It finally came back on at about 10:30 last night, just as we had come back home again to restock on diapers and blankets and clothes for ourselves and the baby.  So we stayed here last night, and Mike went back for Dexter and the food this morning.  I’m so tired.  I should take a nap now while I can, but is it just me or is it hard to fall asleep with your in-laws sitting in your living room?  Maybe I’m not tired enough, then?  
It’s been a little stressful, to say the least.  I’ve kind of lost my awesome childbirth/oxytocin high, and sort of just want to throttle my husband, to be perfectly honest.  Our masterful communication skills (ha) sort of evaporated in the heat when the air conditioning died, and I’m sure we’ll find what’s left of them again at some point, but at present it feels like it’s going to be a long week and jeezus it’s only Tuesday, isn’t it?  I hate, hate, hate, loathe with the fiery intensity of a billion suns that I’m wishing my son’s third week of life to pass more quickly, because I’m already nostalgic for when he was a pound and a half smaller and I wish I’d been able to savor more of the early moments, but I’m also just about worn the fuck out and am not feeling so hospitable at this point, sadly.
Okay, vent over.  Big picture – all is well.  Will try not to sweat the small stuff.  Hopefully our Independence Day will be a fun one.