I’m amazed that an entire month has passed with this beautiful little girl in my life. Bronce and I were talking the other night about all the change in our lives – he said he’s glad that there’s no longer a big belly to get between us (though I was quick to point out there’s now a fussy baby between us often!). Just a few days before Eleanor was born I wrote a blog entry reflecting on my pregnancy and what it felt like to have her in my belly. I’m so glad I did – as someone told me around that time, I can hardly remember what it was like to have her in my stomach.
This month has been full of so many changes in our household and I have a few blog entries in process to comment on those things. However, I’d like to take each month and write a letter to my daughter – starting today. I’ll make sure to post all the mommy observations also, but here’s some space on the blog for me to love on her for a few paragraphs.
Four weeks and three days. That’s how long I’ve known you. Of course, I’ve known about you for much longer and cradled you in my belly for months, but I had no idea how my life would change and how much my heart would grow when I actually laid my eyes on you. This month has been whirlwind of sleepless nights, fussy days, trying to work on a schedule (forget it!), and mostly just me spending time staring into your beautiful blue eyes. Every moment has been amazing in its own way.
When your daddy and I were in the hospital we had no idea what to expect when we got home. But that first week was a beautiful time for the three of us to adjust to life together. I was emotional a lot of the time and experienced lots of ups and downs as I tried to figure out how to care for you – your dad was a huge help and rarely wanted to put you down. He talks to you a lot. I know you won’t be able to remember these days we have together, but he spends so much time gazing into your eyes and telling you how beautiful you are (he’s right – you’re amazing!). He calls you “beautiful” and “precious.” We both like to call you “Monkey” – you have this cute way of folding your arms and legs in to your torso when we pick you up by your underarms – you look like a little monkey baby with your chubby cheeks and big eyes. You love to stretch – you have an adorable way of fisting your hands and straining out one arm at a time while you throw your head back. Something about the way you do it reminds me of a turtle coming out of its shell, so we’re also calling you “Turtle.” And the third animal-related nickname you have is “Bug.” You’re my stinkbug, my ladybug, my lovebug, my silly-bug… you’re my little bug and I love all those things about you (yes, even the stink part!).
This month has been full of lots of adjustments for us all. We attempted to do Babywise scheduling for a few days (let’s be honest, that just didn’t work for us!). You had your days and nights totally switched, which made me a tired mommy during the day, but you’ve gotten those fixed. Rather than napping in your room, you now spend your days in the den with me. You’re either in your swing (the same one your cousin Kathryn used… your Aunt Jewel and Uncle Jim loaned it to us!) or playing with me or in a sling across my chest so I can get stuff done around the house.
You don’t like to lay down on your back. You love being on your tummy on my chest – you sleep best that way during the day. In fact, for the first two weeks of your life, that was the ONLY way you’d sleep! Daddy and I took turns sleeping in the big black recliner out in the den with you cuddled up on our chests. Wow, that was exhausting! We finally got out your bouncer seat and put you in that – you’ve slept in the bouncer (set in the crib) every night since! We’d really like you to get settled in the crib, but you just refuse to sleep longer than 30 minutes and we’re much more interested in getting sleep than forcing you to sleep somewhere you don’t prefer.
You’re starting to make lots of little sounds – you cry out when you sleep sometimes, though you’re not awake and it might be in response to a dream or something. You coo during the day when we’re sitting together, talking, or playing. I’m starting to figure out your cries – you do some predictable things that I can respond to.
I’d love to say “you’re growing so much!” but unfortunately that hasn’t been true. In fact, on Feb 13th you finally hit your birth weight again – many, many days later than your doctor was hoping. Your Poppy is keeping his eye on you and giving me many suggestions about how to get your calorie intake up to make you a healthy baby girl. We’ll go back to the Pediatrician’s office tomorrow and I’m hoping we’ll get some great news about your weight gain – your dad and I can tell that you’ve gotten bigger but we’re not sure if the weight gain is enough.
Your daddy has been reading to you a few nights a week, but you tend to fall asleep or lose interest pretty quickly. He tells me every night when he gets home that you look just like him. For a while I though he was being silly or wishful, but lately I’ve begun to see it, too! I think you have my wide eyes but his sad eyelids. As your face starts to fill out more I’m seeing more of your features and expressions that do remind me of him. He also thinks you have his nose. We’ll see. 😉
I love the little crease you get in the middle of your nose when you’re upset. Your forehead also gets these adorable crinkles and sometimes when you’re happy you furrow your brow in a way that makes me giggle – you’re 4 weeks old and you’re already working on your wrinkles! When you get really frustrated you pinch your forefinger and middle finger to your thumb (look at your left hand in the 1-week picture below) – it’s a sweet little way you hold your tension.
You’ve smiled! When we were playing last Friday I was giving you eskimo kisses and you suddenly broke out into a big smile! It was so sweet! We’ve seen you grin before when you were passing gas, but this was the first real smile and I was thrilled. I haven’t captured it on camera yet, but I do keep trying.
Sweet girl, my world is better because you’re in it. Right now you’re snoozing on my shoulder, arms splayed out and little chest heaving with deep breaths. This moment… this one right here… this alone makes it all worth it… the sleepless nights, concerned conversations about your slow weight gain, the unexplainable crying spells, the emotional whirlwind of the first week…. it’s all worth it when I hear your little sighs on my shoulder and glance down to see your eyes peeking open to steal a glance at me.
Baby Girl, I love you to the moon and back.
Weekly photos taken during this month: