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.


1 comment:

lauralohr said...

Oh Leah,

That letter was so sweet. It made me cry. It might be the pregnancy, but I don't think so. I love the idea of writing a newsletter.

Enjoy your little one.