Friday, October 28, 2005

Hands and feet

Tonight I'm so tired that I feel jittery, so this post will be short. I want to report that Mr. I-Don't-Sleep-Anymore can get his hand to his mouth pretty well. He can't control it well enough to put a thumb or fingers in - he mostly sucks on the edge of his fist, but it's a start. Once he can suck his thumb, the kid will be very happy.

I'd trade it all for 3 straight hours of sleep, though. Wish me luck tonight.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Forward and backward

One step forwards, and another back!

We figured out that my eating dairy makes Nate incredibly cranky in the evenings. So, I quit with the dairy and his mood greatly improved. Backward? He doesn't sleep for longer than 2 hours at night anymore, and sometimes an hour at a time. Luckily I'm a loser slacker with no job, so I can doze with him until noon if I have to, to catch up on my sleep. We're making it through just fine.

He took a bottle tonight! Only on ounce or two, but he did it without too much complaint. The key to the city!

Beth is coming into town next week to check out the Bambino, and I have many plans. Most important? Happy hour on Thursday! Stewart will take Dad duty and I'm going to go for many hours and many drinks. Hopefully I don't poison the kid with my milk when I return. Ach, it'll do us both some good. Maybe he'll sleep!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

It's absolutely official

Nate's been congested for a few days, and scared me in the middle of the night by seeming to choke a few times. Luckily my pediatricians are fabulous, and never make you feel stupid for calling, and never rush you off the phone, so I put in a call. They gave some good advice, and asked me to take a rectal temperature just to make sure he wasn't running a fever.

I was ready for this. I had my new thermometer, and even some neato covers for when I had to use it rectally (which I hadn't yet done). I had vaseline, and an able-bodied husband to help out. Stewart held him on his back, I did the probing. All was well, and I was actually feeling fairly smug. Then he pooped all over my hand. Serves me right.

Anyway, his temperate was fine and he got through last night with no choking incidents. I had him sleep in his bouncy seat so he wasn't flat on his back, and I think that helped.

It occurs to me that I talk a lot about being "officially" a Mom/parent, and it's one of those "dost protest too much" situations, I think. There's this baby, and he's wonderful. I have more patience with him than I've ever had for anyone, and I'm really tuned in to him. He stays with me all day and night, and I'm responsible for him and I take care of him. But the truth is that I just don't feel like anybody's parent, and I'm not sure when I'm going to. I love him, but I don't feel like I'm a Mom. I feel more like the caretaker, in a way. It's not that I'm waiting for his real Mom to come pick him up, but it's something like that. Has anyone else felt this way? Even 6 weeks in?

The last few nights he's had these long periods of wakefulness in the middle of the night, and I'm sure hoping that it was just a temporary blip in his sleeping patterns. Last night he woke at 4:15 for a feeding, and then fell in love with the world, staring around in wonder. I tried to put him down several times, but he just wasn't having it. At 6:30, I finally woke Stewart. He sprang to his feet, got an update on where things were, and headed downstairs with Nate. At some point, I remember him coming back in and telling me that Nate was asleep downstairs, and that I was a good Mom. Then I remember him waking me at 11 a.m. It was fabulous.

We're not doing well on the bottle front. He took one from Stewart this morning, but other than that he screams his way through the whole attempt. Tonight he drank about an ounce and half, but that just doesn't cut it as a feeding. I'm determined to stick with it, and just hope that he comes around. I just can't leave him with people, knowing that he's going to have a problem when it's time to eat. Maybe with my Mom, but nobody else. It's not fair to them, and it stinks for Nate.

Tonight he's sleeping in his crib for the first time. I think I'll just feed him sitting on the floor of his nursery (there's no room for a chair, for those of you who haven't seen the tiny room yet). Then a change, and back to sleep. Fingers crossed. I'm pulling out all the stops, trying to get him to be an even better sleeper. Tonight started the new schedule: bath at 10, then a feed, then a cuddle, and off to bed. I swaddled him, put him down with a pacifier, and turned on the fan in his room. So far it's been 30 minutes, and he looks to be out like a light. The pacifier even just fell out of his mouth, and he's mostly still asleep. I have the video monitor actually inside his crib, so I can basically watch his nose-hairs move in and out. It reassures me. If that's not a parent thing, I don't know what is!

Monday, October 17, 2005

A tiny blog about me

For posterity's sake:

I am going to be honest about my weight here. If you don't want to hear it, close the browser!

I started the pregnancy at 173. At the end of the pregnancy, I was at 200. Two weeks after Nate was born, I weighed 163. I now weigh 155, according to my weigh-in this morning. My goal is to lose a pound a week in advance of our trip at Aruba at the end of February. My other goal is to keep my diet a secret from the hubby, who won't notice the incremental loss. Then I can be a big surprise in a bathing suit.

Thank goodness for breastfeeding! It really sucks off the pounds. (My daily walks aren't hurting matters either, to give myself a smidgen of credit) Off to eat my Lean Cuisine! (It really isn't just lean, it's cuisine!!)

Sunday, October 16, 2005

New sounds!

Landmark note: in the last day or two, Nate has started making cooing sounds. Not a lot, he's definitely in a new place. Deborah says that he smiled at her yesterday, and he's definitely smiling at the painting on my living room wall. I always thought that brother-in-law Michael is a wonderful painter, and now it's clear that Nate agrees!

At his bath last night, I decided to get into the tub with him. It was a really wonderful experience. I'm not sure what triggered it, but it was very emotional for me. Thank goodness for baths, by the way - whenever he's fussy for no reason, I just plop him in his tub and he's calm as can be. Knowing what to do when he's upset is such a good feeling, and failing to calm him is one of the worst! We're getting there, though; I know what to do more often than I don't. I guess that's really the point of the game, huh?

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

New tricks!

Are you officially a parent when you've typed your first one-handed blog entry? Little boy is asleep on my chest, and he's having a tough day so I don't want to move him just yet. I'm not sure if it's the thrush we have, some dairy I ate, or if he's just "waking up" a little more, but he's been pretty cranky lately.

After almost a week of nightly cranking, he finally returned to his sweet self. But last night, when his Gramps and his Aunt Deborah were watching him, he gave them a very hard time. Hopefully tonight goes better!

We had his one-month checkup yesterday. He weighs 11 pounds, 13 ounces and is 23 1/4 inches tall. Can you really describe an infant as "tall"? Maybe "long" works better. Anyway, he's still huge. He's 90th percentile for weight, 95th for height, and 90th for head-circumfrence. Doctor says that his size at this point is no indication of his future size, but that after four months they can start to tell us how big or small he'll be as a grown-up. Fingers crossed that the football scholarship is still a possibility! Otherwise he'd better be a genius, because I can't even imagine what college will cost when he's ready to go.

Thursday, October 6, 2005

Monthly Newsletter, Month One

In the spirit of dooce (who isn't nearly as good as mimi smartypants, but who has a neat idea of writing to her child each month):

Dear Nate,

I am writing this the day before you turn one month old. You are asleep in your crib, and I’m watching you on the baby monitor.

In years to come, there will be so many details that will have slipped from my memory about the little things you’ve done and experienced. By writing to you each month, I hope to hold on to as much as I can. Being your Mom is the best thing I’ve ever done, and I want to remember it all.

You were born on September 7, 2005 at 8:17 a.m. I will always remember them bringing you around the side of the curtain, holding you upright – you were chubby and huge and beautiful. Your father stayed with me until I was feeling better, and then went outside to tell Grandma Jill, Grandpa, and Aunt Deborah that you were perfect and healthy. He told them how much you weighed (10 pounds, 6 ½ ounces) which made everyone gasp. He told them what we were naming you, which we had kept a secret: Nathaniel Henry Davis.

We gave you your Dad’s last name, and your middle name is after my grandpa Herbert. I love my grandpa, but Herbert wasn’t a name we loved. Nathaniel we picked because it sounded strong and lasting, without being too heavy for a little boy. If you had been a girl, we were considering Grace, Julia, and Charlotte. We spent a lot of time talking about your name, Nate; it was picked with great love and care.

After your Dad told my family the news, he called and told all of the members of his family. Everyone was on the phone calling relatives with the news of your arrival. I was in the recovery room, watching the nurse give you your first bath. Your Dad came back in, and they gave you to us. Your Dad took photos, including one with the doctor who delivered you.

After deciding we were all healthy, they wheeled me up to the room where we’d spend the rest of our stay. I held you in my arms the whole time. When we got to the room, Grandma, Grandpa, and Deborah were there. Grandma told me later that she didn’t expect you to be with me – she thought they’d bring you up separately. She got a jolt of surprise and excitement when she saw you in my arms. I bet she still remembers that.

We spent five days in the hospital, because I was a little sick. The nurses all cooed about how big and beautiful you were. You slept in the room with Dad and me each night, but they took you to the nursery each morning for a check-up. When I walked down one time, it was easy to pick you out of all of the babies – you were the biggest one by far. The first day you were born, you were able to pick your head right off of my shoulder – no one could believe it. Grandma Jill, Grandpa, and Aunt Deborah spent a lot of time in the hospital visiting us. Everyone wanted to be around you as much as they could.

It was very special to me that my grandma, Jean, could visit us in the hospital. I know it was very important to her to be there, and she couldn't take her eyes off of you.

When we finally brought you home, Grandma Jill came to stay at our house for two weeks to help out. Dad had to go right back to work, and it was wonderful to have Grandma here to help me. She took care of the house, doing laundry and cooking and cleaning, so that I could just take care of you. We spent a very nice two weeks together, and I fell in love with you then. So did Grandma.

You have very long periods of alertness, sometimes three or four hours. When you’re being held on someone’s shoulder, your big eyes peer out behind. You have navy blue eyes, and I’m hoping they stay that color.

You are a very calm, easy baby. In the last three or four days, you’ve started having cranky periods in the evening, but even your cranky periods are manageable. You love to stare at the windows, at lights, and at certain paintings on the wall – I think you like the contrast between the light walls and the dark painting.

We started having Dad give you a bottle in the evenings, and you’re doing okay with them. You don’t love them, but you’ll drink them. This frees me up to go out without you! Last night, Dad and I had a date and Aunt Deborah came and stayed with you. It was hard leaving you for the first time, but we all made it through okay.

The only main exception to your calmness and easiness is when I’m “messing” with you, especially when I’m changing your diaper. You scream and scream and scream. But the minute it’s over, and I lift you onto my shoulder, you stop screaming immediately. When you got your first vaccination at the doctor, you screamed for a few seconds until Grandma Jill put you on her shoulder - you stopped screaming so suddenly that we couldn’t stop laughing. You are unbelievably easy to soothe.

You love to sleep in my arms. I try to be strict and make you sleep in your bassinet, and mostly you do, but sometimes I can’t resist holding you and cuddling you while you sleep. You are doing very well with your sleep at night – you often only wake a few times a night for a feed, and then go right back to sleep. It’s really wonderful for both of us!

You love to stretch. Someone told me recently that newborns don't stretch, but they are 100% mistaken. From the day you were born, you spent at least 30 seconds stretching after a nap. It continues to this day. I wonder what attributes can be genetic, because your Mama loves to stretch and loves to nap.

When you’re alert, I spend a lot of time singing to you. We sing “Corey’s Coming” by Harry Chapin, “Blackbird” by The Beatles, and whatever else I have in my head from listening to the radio. When I cook dinner, I put you in your bouncy seat in the kitchen and sing along with the radio. I’m hoping you develop a love of music that we can share, but I guess that’s really your call.

Everyone said that things would be different once I had a child. That I’d be different. Ever the skeptic, I didn’t believe them. I thought it only happened to other people. But I am different for having you, and it’s all in a good way. You’re the best thing I’ve ever looked at. I love you, Nate. You’re my good boy, and I’m so glad that I get to be your Mom. I can’t wait to share the next years with you.


Saturday, October 1, 2005

Just admit it.

Nate just drained 3 ounces from a bottle his Daddy gave him. What a relief to know that I can leave him here with his Dad, or a sitter, and he won't scream or starve!

Could this kid be better?

He's so beautiful it hurts a little to look at him.