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katehaney

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05:21 pm: Month One
I have to admit: most of Teddy’s first month is a blur, something I vaguely recollect involved very little sleep and a great deal of confusion and anxiety. I do know some important stuff happened, though. He smiled, and my heart grew 3 sizes (just like the Grinch).

My milk came in on Sunday, our second day at home. Teddy nursed from 9 pm until past midnight. Non-stop. I knew if he kept that up, I’d never get any sleep at all. Fortunately, it wasn’t quite that bad – he ate every 1.5 – 2 hours for the first 6 or 8 weeks.

I did have an epiphany, in the midst of all the sleeplessness. I’d never understand why Mother Nature, who otherwise seems like a pretty smart chick, would have us so very exhausted just when we have the most important job in the world – caring for a newborn infant.

It’s so we won’t kill our spouses.

Anger is a high-energy emotion, so when someone, oh, mentions that he’s tired after someone else has been up all night with the baby, mayhem does not ensue. Instead, the person who had absolutely no sleep kinda goes “oh, you rat bast--- zzzzz, um what? What was I saying?” Instead of getting mad at Peter’s occasional (really, quite rare in retrospect) lapses, I’d just get disappointed and a little sad. So I didn’t say nasty, destructive things that might’ve come out in anger.

Mother Nature’s a pretty smart cookie after all.

Peter says he was surprised that he still had time to watch DVDs and surf the web, but later realized it was because I was nursing all the time. Well yes, yes I was.

He went back to work three weeks after Teddy was born, until my maternity leave was up in March. It wasn’t as horrible as I thought it would be, taking care of Teddy by myself in those early weeks. It was tiring, but otherwise not difficult. All he did was eat, sleep, and poop. I got pretty good at sleeping when he slept (my days of insomnia were OVER; if I had the slightest opportunity, I was out for the count).

It was an odd, insular time. It was a cold, snowy winter, and we didn’t want Teddy to be out in the bad weather unless it was absolutely necessary. So he and I hung out at home, slept in fits and starts, and gazed at each other. We had a few visitors, all of whom were wonderful about understanding if I never did change out of pajamas or, if I did manage to get into real clothes, the appearance of giant wet spots on my shirts.

And Chris brought me food, bless her heart. She’s the only reason I ate anything besides pizza, Chinese food, and cookies.

We did visit my folks several times. Mum had her second knee replaced when Teddy was 2 weeks old (I think that’s when it was), so they couldn’t come to us. Instead, we brought Teddy to them for Baby Therapy. Some of my favorite pictures are Teddy lying on Mum in bed, and Dad holding Teddy up close to his face (I thought this would stop when Teddy started grabbing Dad’s beard, but Dad is amazingly tolerant).

I do believe in baby therapy. There’s nothing in the world like a small, warm, breathing weight on your chest and in your arms. I always thought a purring weight was best, but I was so very wrong. Purring is grand, but sighing and cooing are in a completely new realm of wonderful.

We kept discovering new things about Teddy. We thought we’d explored every inch of him, but then we found the hair on his lower back and on his ears (both have since disappeared). Peter’s parents sent a picture of him as an infant; it turns out Teddy has his exact hairline. He also has the two cowlicks on the back of his head that Peter has, as well as Peter’s ears and fingers. He has my toes and probably my eyes (an infant's eye color isn’t certain until he's about 9 months old).

He loves anything that vibrates (his bouncy chair, a foot massage pillow). He loves having his diaper changed and being bathed, though he only had sponge baths in his first month. His bellybutton stump took 3 weeks to fall out, and we wanted to make sure it was totally healed.

Everybody who meets him says how alert he is. We have no point of comparison. Do all babies not look wide-eyed at the world all the time?

Current Mood: tiredreally tired
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