This could either be a very quick letter, or a very long letter... it all depends on how long you decide to stay in dreamland and let Mommy have some much needed ME time.
Where to begin? You're almost a month old now and I cannot believe how much you have changed from the time we first brought you home. Actually, I can't believe how much you change day-to-day. It's staggering, really. You used to be this skinny, long bundle of nerves and limbs that coo'd and grunted from time to time. Now? Well, now you're getting to be a chunky, long bundle of nerves and limbs that does more hollering (that is slowly morphing into screaming) than cooing. And can I just say that I prefer the cooing? Really. Bring the cooing back, Hazel. MAMA NEEDS MORE COOING.
These last four weeks have taught me more about myself that I though possible. First and foremost, I've learned that I have more patience than I realized. As much as I hate to admit it, Hazel... you can sometimes get so fussy and holler so much that it would try the patience of a saint. Enter your Mama, stage right. And, yes... there are times that my patience runs out and those are the times that your Papa jumps in on the metaphorical grenade that is YOU and I run to the bathroom for some alone time where I can pop my zits in peace... or rather, just pop my zits. Because let's face it, when Hazel Baby is not happy, NO ONE IN THE HOUSE IS HAPPY. In fact, I do believe that the only being that is happy during these periods is the cat... who is actually grateful at this point that we kicked her out of the house. Even if she did get her butt kicked in a cat fight last night. She keeps looking in the window at me as if to say: HA! Serves. You. Right.
But, let's be honest here... you really are a good baby. It's my own failings and missteps that cause you to wake the neighborhood with your hollering. And usually, once we figure out what needs to be done to calm you (do you need more boob? how's your diaper? need to burp or fart? are you just lonely and need to be held?) you calm right down. And your Papa is probably better at getting you to calm down than I will ever be. I'm going to stick with the theory that it's because you can smell the breast milk on me (either fresh from the well or freshly vomited, you have no preference)
The first couple weeks of your life were really hard on both your Papa and me. I think mostly because we are totally rookies when it comes to babies and because both sets of your grandparents had rave reviews about us when we were babies and how we NEVER cried... we assumed that you would be the same kind of baby. BOY WERE WE WRONG. And boy do I have a bone to pick with your grandparents for prematurely rubbing our non-crying babyhood's in our faces pre-YOU. And post-YOU.
You've got a touch of reflux and do a lot of spitting up and sometimes projectile vomiting.... through your nose. I wasn't too worried about it until I did some reading online and discovered that OMG! IF YOUR BABY VOMITS THROUGH HER NOSE, SHE COULD DIE OF PNEUMONIA OR AN EAR INFECTION. AND IT'S POSSIBLE THAT'S NOT VOMIT BUT BRAIN MATTER COMING OUT OF HER NOSE. GET HER TO THE DOCTOR ASAP.
And here, Hazel, will be the first time I tell you not to freak out over every little thing you read online. Like your mother did.
We got an appointment with your pediatrician who calmed my frazzled nerves and suggested that we limit your feedings to 8-10 minutes per breast (down from 15!) as you are a pretty ferocious feeder and were probably tapping the well anyway and just sucking in air which would make the reflux worse. So... we did that yesterday. And you ended up feeding EVERY HOUR ON THE HOUR and I ended up not being able to stay awake past 5:30... which means that I missed Brian Williams signature opening "On our broadcast tonight...". Which is completely unforgivable, baby girl. With time, you'll figure that out on your own.
But, in the good news department... no spit-ups or vomits yesterday! Which means that you stopped smelling like spit-up and vomit and smelled like a baby girl.... after I bathed you. And, you only ended up needing to get up twice last night. You slept for almost 4 hours IN A ROW!
Today, however... was a slightly different story as it appears that you had decided that you DID NOT LIKE ANYTHING. Not the swing, not the bouncy chair, not the bath (well... to be fair, you never have liked that) NOTHING. Well, nothing but the boob. And spitting up. You definitely made up for yesterday's lack of spit-up by soiling two outfits in quick succession. Finally, after a couple of hours of hollering, I decided that Hey, I don't really need to do my hair or put makeup on... let's just get the hell out of the house and see if a car ride would help you. And the answer to that was: DO. NOT. LIKE.
After I finally got you buckled in to the car seat... and after you woke the neighbors as I was getting you into the car..... and after driving down the street about a mile, you finally calmed down and dozed for about an hour. Which gave me time to go see your father at work so I could sob on his shoulder, and then head to WalMart (yes... I know, I'm weak for cheap clothing right now) to return some items. You woke up in WalMart and started hollering for the whole store to hear. I couldn't really blame you... I would cry too if I woke up in a WalMart. OH THE HUMANITY.
And then you cried alllllllllll tttthhhhheeee wwwwaaayyyyyy hoooommmmmeeee. Kind of like the little piggy... that nursery rhyme I haven't told you yet because I have to look it up to remember how it goes and since the only time I have my hands free is when you nap... and since you NEVER nap... you can see my dilema.
We finally got you home and immediately got you fed and TA-DA! A whole. new. baby. One who fell asleep on my lap and let me fall asleep with her for a good 90 minutes. And then after another feeding, TA-DA! Here you are asleep in bed next to me while I blog. Meaning that I'm NOT HOLDING YOU and you're asleep. ON. YOUR. OWN.
And I do believe that's a coo I hear. Which make me wonder if I'm really awake or just in the most delicious dream.
Okay... so the sleeping arrangements. You do not like the crib or the bassinet, and you only like the Pak & Play for taking short naps... occasionally. When you feel like it. So, the first three weeks were looonnggg nights for me. And usually ended up with me holding you all night in the rocking chair... which was no bueno. Oh, you loved it, but I knew that it couldn't be good for you in the long run and I knew that it was NOT good for me period. So, we finally decided to co-sleep with you in between your dad and I in bed. We borrowed a sleeping unit from some friends and crossed our fingers that you wouldn't fuss about it... and it may be the single greatest invention we've ever come across. I can guarantee you it saved not only our sanity, but our marriage. And, yes... there are a lot of anti-co-sleeping parents out there who I'm sure will explain to me in detail how I have ruined your life by co-sleeping with you. But I will be quick to point out that there are so many other ways in the future that I plan to ruin your life that this will seem minute in comparison. And yes... it may also ruin OUR lives. But at this point, I'm making the only decision that makes sense for us, and everyone else will just have to remember that IT'S NOT THEIR BUSINESS, mkay?
You're starting to make more eye contact with us now... and sometimes while you're feeding and I'm watching re-runs of the Daily Show online, I'll glance down and see you staring up at me with your beautiful blue eyes with a look of profound innocence, confusion and awe. And that's when I smack myself on the forehead because WHAT AM I DOING? Ignoring you for a couple of jokes about Sarah Palin's book? By the way, that book will never be allowed in this house... not even as a joke. But then, when I look down at you and start talking to you, you immediately look away as if you weren't really interested in me... and Hey! Look at that bright light coming in the window over there! Cool!
You also grunt. A LOT. And it's not very ladylike... especially when you do it at your dinner table. But it still adorable. As are your smiles. I can't wait until you start interacting with us more. Neither can your Papa... as he feels like he's on the sidelines right now until he has to jump on a grenade for me. But I think that once you start interacting with us, it'll be a whole new story.
I'm calling these first few months with you the fourth trimester because it's all give on our part. But you know what? Totally worth it. Because you're amazing. You're beautiful, you're loving and you're all ours.
What more could we ask for out of life?
And, now you're awake and needing to be fed again. Thank you for giving me this time to document your incredible awesomeness. Hopefully, we have more of these quiet times in the future.