Sunday, November 27, 2011
Letter to Greta: 1 Month
Dear Littlest One,
Happy one-month birthday! A month ago, I was finally seeing the fruit of my labor at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt—“labor” as in “four-week internment culminating in a C-section.” Labor, indeed. All of that has faded in the weeks since then. We are deep into Infantland, conversations in bed as likely to happen at two a.m. as four or six. My shoulders are reliably dotted with baby saliva and spit-up. There are milk stains on the fronts of all my shirts. We are tired. So it is, four weeks in.
But you, unlike your exhausted parents, are thriving. You gained fourteen ounces your first week home from the hospital—a good eater from the start. You are a very good little breastfeeder, though it’s wearying for me sometimes, and often I feel like I do little but nurse you. Sometimes, when you’re particularly intent on eating, you nurse with your hands splayed, as though warning anyone who comes near—“I’m eating; don’t come near me; don’t you dare interrupt.” Sometimes you nurse yourself to sleep. Sometimes you scream-cry with gas pains for a while. Sometimes, particularly at night, you fall asleep but still make insanely loud grunting noises; it’s like sleeping—or, rather, not sleeping—next to a pigsty.
The only time you don’t make those noises—and often the only way we can get you to stop—is when you sleep in bed with us, curled into my arm. This is ridiculously cozy. But, much as we love you, we do not want to co-sleep. And so we eventually return you to your bassinet, where you resume your grunting as soon as your head touches the sheet. You are a baby who just wants to be in someone’s arms. During Lucia’s naps, you nap in my lap, turned nearly face-down across the Boppy.
You still have the look of a small woodland creature, with your darting eyes and the soft hair on the tips of your ears. But your cheeks are filling out now, your gaze is becoming more direct, and a few times you seem to have given me a smile.
We’ve taken you out in the world several times in the sling and the Bjorn, both of which you immediately despise but eventually fall asleep in.
You sleep for long spells during the day. And you are a good sleeper at night, knock wood—if we could just get your barnyard sounds to cease, we’d actually be getting some decent sleep. You usually sleep from about midnight to four, or from ten to two; and are up again about two or three hours after that to eat again. Not bad at all for a four-week old. Of course we’ve had some projectile vomiting (two instances), and some fussiness, but there has been no need for four a.m. spells on the playmat like there was with your sister. Thanks, littlest one, for that. And, again, knock wood.
You have so far refused the pacifier, and we have not yet given you a bottle. Sometimes you suck your thumb.
I love this cuddly infant time, but I am also greatly looking forward to seeing what kind of baby you become—we’ll have fun, the four of us, once our life consists of more than just nursing and calming. Until then, I’m trying to enjoy the warm, snuggly naps and the heavy weight of a sleeping infant on my shoulder.