I hope it doesn’t hurt your feelings when I tell you I was dreading the newborn phase. I heard so many just-you-waits and horror stories of colic and sleepless nights. I was kind of terrified.
I never did well without sleep. Frankly I became quite the bitch without a full 8+ hours. Plus the dirty diapers and the cracked and bleeding nipples and the hormones… I always thought of newborns as cute, I just liked being able to hand them back off to their parents after a few minutes. Being responsible for one 24/7? Yikes.
I always joked that I just wanted to adopt a kindergartener, because that’s when kids really become interesting.
Then there was you.
Your birth was beautiful. It was everything I hoped and dreamed it would be. I didn’t love pregnancy but I would give birth a hundred times if every one was like yours. When they put you on my stomach I couldn’t believe you were real. You were perfect.
You took to nursing like it was the most natural thing in the whole world. I couldn’t believe how much I loved breastfeeding. It didn’t hurt like I expected. It was complete bliss right from the beginning. You wanted to nurse almost round the clock.
You also want to be held round the clock. Every once in awhile you’ll be happy to be set down for 20 or 30 minutes and even that is a fairly new development. If I want to be sure you’ll stay asleep and content I have to hold you.
At first this was overwhelming and frustrating to me. People say to sleep when the baby sleeps. Well it’s difficult to do that when the baby doesn’t want to be put down. Ever. Also, I watch the mess pile up around me. I call the futon my nest. I have pillows and snacks and a phone charger surrounding me on it. Most days I don’t leave my nest except to go to the bathroom, change your diaper and grab more food and water.
I found myself wishing you’d let me put you down.
And then I realized, this isn’t forever. Already there was that one time you slept in the mamaRoo for an hour. You won’t always need to be pressed up against me to stay asleep.
Right now you need me. Completely. That is wonderful and terrible at the same time. I am your only source of food and often your only source of comfort. I have had moments of wishing that away.
But no more. You need me all you want, little man. There is nothing in the world that is more important than me being there for you right now.
I look at your sweet face and it’s already changed so much in the six weeks you’ve been alive. You already are awake and alert more and more every day. Before I know it you’ll be too busy exploring your world to be bothered with cuddles. Before I know it your head will have more than just wispy fuzz. Before I know it you’ll lose that sweet milky breath. Before I know it you’ll chunk out and become more than just an armful of sweet squish.
Before I know it you’ll be that kindergartener I was wishing for.
Only the thing is, when I was dreading having a newborn, when I was bracing myself to just get through these days until I got to the “better” years, when I was thinking how I “can’t wait” for ____ milestone I didn’t realize I’d end up with a sweet newborn like you.
Wesley, you are better than I ever dreamed you’d be. I was foolish to want to skip any of this. You take your time growing up. I know there will be times when things are hard, there already have been. But these moments of neediness? These all day cuddles? These I won’t wish away. They can find me buried under a pile of granola bar wrappers for all I care.
Because everything else besides you can wait. Thank you for making me a mommy.
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This week I began to feel like we’re really settling into a routine… which of course means the last couple of nights Wesley has had bad nights of sleep. I think the issue is he hates having a wet diaper and he wets his diaper every couple of hours. So he’s hydrated but wakes way more often. Or he’s just going through a growth spurt. He still usually does one four hour stretch at least.
While the more frequent waking is a little frustrating I’m just glad he’s eating well and gaining weight. He looks like such a peanut I was worried he wasn’t gaining well. He had his one month check up this week though and he weighed in at nine pounds exactly! The pediatrician seemed really pleased with his weight gain so I’m going to try to stop worrying about it. I just have a tiny baby. I still kind of hope he chunks out eventually but as long as he’s healthy that’s what’s important.
He’s quite strong and is able to hold his head up longer and longer. He still hates tummy time on the floor but he tolerates it better on our chests. We still do tummy time once a day on the floor so he hopefully gets more used to it soon.
His baby acne has improved a lot. If he gets really warm it shows back up but for the most part it’s gone. It has been replaced with some killer baby pattern baldness. He looks like a tiny little old man with a receding hairline and it cracks me up. I was bald as a cue ball until I was two so I was kind of shocked that Wesley was born with any hair at all. I’m curious when his hair will grow back in and what color it will be when it does. If his eyebrows and eyelashes are any indication he’ll be blond, but we’ll see.
By far the best thing about this week is Wesley’s cooing and smiling has reached a whole new level. He is especially happy and interactive first thing in the morning. I don’t care how crappy my night of sleep was it is impossible to be grouchy when I see his funny faces:
And this smile makes my whole world light up:
The gums! The dimples! This is my favorite picture of him ever. I was holding the camera off to the side and just hitting the camera button when I took it since I didn’t want it to be between our faces. I’m so glad I caught this, even if it is a bit blurry.
- Joel wore Wesley in the Maya Wrap for the first time.
- Wesley and I took our first outing without Joel. Wesley got to meet my good friend and dance teacher. So, really simple, just there and back but it was nice to get out of the house.
- We took Wesley to his first show. It was the recital for my dance studio. He did great. He got a little hungry towards the end so I went to the back of room and fed him. Other than that he got oohed and aaahed over and slept almost the whole time. He’s such a good baby.
- I had my first real caffeine since before he was born. It didn’t seem to affect him too much so yay!
I can hardly believe I love the newborn stage this month. There are times I’m frustrated or over tired but that all melts away when I see his magical smile. So incredibly worth it.
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Weight: 8 lbs 11oz
Length: 22 1/2 inches
Clothing size: Newborn for onsies and pants. He’s officially too long for any of his footed clothes that are newborn sized. The 0-3 months size kind of swim on him still though because he hasn’t chunked out yet.
Diaper size: Newborn. We’ve tried going up to size 1 a couple times but they’re still comically big on him, although less so than they used to be.
Sleep: He takes 4 or 5 naps a day. At night he generally sleeps 3 to 4 hour stretches at a time, usually totaling 8-12 hours before he’s up again for the day.
Approximate number of photos I’ve taken of Wesley: 1,300
Approximate diapers changed: 320+
Don’t know how I got so lucky to get such a sweet, happy little peanut. Happy one month, mister dude.
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Lights have become the most interesting thing in the world this week. Obviously.
This week Wesley has become so much more interactive and alert. He has also started cooing which absolutely slays me. He is a super happy, sweet baby. Unless there’s a problem (ie. he’s hungry, sleepy or needs his diaper changed) he is just a content baby who likes to stare at lights and out the window.
I finally got my first real smile this morning and it was one of my favorite moments ever. It came after a really crappy night of sleep. He woke up around 4am and didn’t sleep for more than 10-20 minutes at a time after that. Thankfully he wasn’t fussy, he was just awake. I still wasn’t thrilled to be up and the sleepiness had me a bit grumpy. That went away in an instant when he looked me right in the eyes and, with a coo, flashed me the most adorable crooked smile. I’ll never forget it. Bad mood? Gone.
He had another big outing this week. My dad turned 75 so we had a little party to celebrate. It was so nice seeing my dad so happy. Wesley was a dream. I put him in the wrap and he passed out and slept the entire party. The weather was beautiful so we got some of our first family shots outside by the lake.
I love our little family.
The next day is was still beautiful out so we took Wesley for his first walk.
I’m so freaking glad spring finally decided to show up.
- I finally got around to cutting little man’s nails. I was nervous but I waited until he was sound asleep and I didn’t cut anything but his nails.
- He can now relatch himself when he’s nursing. He isn’t great at it and I have to help him more times than not. Still, it’s nice that he can sometimes do it himself.
- He took a pacifier for the first time. I rarely give it to him but every once in awhile, when he’s definitely not hungry but seems to want to suck still, I’ll give it to him.
- He actually enjoyed a bath for the first time. Up till then he hated them. This time though he was content and happy in it. I hope this continues.
- He met his Oma (my mom’s mom) and his Aunt Bekah.
One last adorable thing happened this week. At the party my nephew Jordan kept asking to hold Wesley. I let him a couple times and he was so sweet and gentle with him. I snapped a couple of pictures and then later my sister sent me this text.
There really is nothing like the bond of cousins. I look forward to seeing him grow up with them. He has a whole group of best friends who can’t wait to wrestle, play and run around with him.
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Joel went back to work so it was just Wesley and I this week. It went much better than I expected. Of course I basically get nothing done so my house is a bit of a disaster. My day basically goes: nurse, sit under Wesley while he naps, Wesley wakes up, change him, set him down and let him cry for a minute while I pee, grab water and food as fast as possible and repeat. So, not much gets done other than keeping the baby fed and happy. He doesn’t really nap more than a few minutes if I set him down.
This Saturday I tried my Maya wrap for the first time though and loved it so I’m hopeful that it will free my hands up a bit to at least get some things done. I also have a couple Moby wraps that I want to finally try. I’m pretty sure I can’t nurse him in the Moby though so I’m not sure it is practical since he eats so often right now.
Another thing that will (hopefully) help is this mamaRoo that Joel won! Wesley actually napped in it for almost an hour this weekend. It was pretty amazing. If I get some more hands free time I will be finishing and posting the birth story. I would really love to have it up before he hits the one month mark. We’ll see if life accommodates that goal though.
Wesley hit his birth weight finally. He actually went over it, by an ounce. Yay! I was getting sick of the weekly $20 copay just to set him on a scale. I mean, obviously if there was something wrong I’d want to know so we went. It’s nice that he hit that base now, it’s definitely a load off my mind.
He’s way more alert this week. Especially in the last couple of days. It’s fun that he has awake times that he’s not screaming his head off because he’s hungry or needs a diaper change. The alert times are only a few minutes long but I’m loving the eye contact. Plus, he makes the most hilarious faces. This kid is cracking me up already. I’m so excited to see his first “real” smiles. Joel actually got a real smile today. I’m not jealous
yes I am.
- He rolled from his stomach to his back during tummy time on the 17th. I missed it
again totally not jealous but Joel said he was kicking so hard that he (accidentally?) rolled himself over. It seemed to really startle him too.
- He had his first big public outing which was to my nephew’s 2nd birthday party. He was passed around amongst my family and loved the attention.
- Little man broke out with some serious newborn acne. Everything I’ve read said it doesn’t bother him which is good because it looks really painful. Hopefully it doesn’t stick around too long.
- We got the photos from the newborn shoot in the mail. They’re so adorable! I’ll be posting my favorites a little later this week.
I’m hoping this next week is at least as smooth as the previous one. I know it’s too early to declare any kind of routine but I am definitely starting to feel more comfortable. I even have had moments where I actually felt like a mom. I think him being more alert has made me feel more connected to him. He is already so adorable and I can’t wait to get to know his little personality even more.
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Joel and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary today. Since our lives have been recently taken over by a tiny dictator…
Give me all your milk!
we didn’t go out or do anything super fancy.
Joel did bring me some beautiful flowers, made me a delicious dinner and poured me my first glass of wine in… over a year, at least. It was really sweet.
I’m not sure how I got so lucky with this amazing guy. He treats me like a queen and is the most amazing dad. I could go on and on but frankly my brain is a bit frazzled and now Wesley is starting to fuss so I won’t.
I’ll just say it’s been a good seven years. This is the start of a completely new chapter in our lives and I’m so excited to see where it takes us. I can’t imagine a better partner for this adventure.
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