It’s crazy to think that the first time I held this precious little soul was an entire month ago. It feels like both just yesterday and twenty years ago, at the same time. I realize now that my post about his birth story was more about how we didn’t die and my messy start to motherhood. Now that we are sure that we are alive, lets talk about the actual little miracle, Anakin.
Week One –
The first two days of his life were spent in the hospital. As soon as a friend found out we were expecting, the first piece of advice she spit out was “stay there as long as possible!” I’m so glad we did, even without the chaotic hurricane situation going on. Because it was just me and my husband, the nurses were a huge comfort in teaching us the basics, answering questions, and just assuring us that everything will be fine. Other then his first initial cries, I don’t really remember him crying at all. So when people would ask “how’s it going?” we’d say “GREAT!” and they’d say “just wait a couple days…” The next two days were spent at our safe haven while the storm passed. Still minimal crying, mostly just fussy grunts and baby cooing sounds. I thought maybe it was because we hardly ever set him down those 48 hours, waiting for the storm to pass. “Just wait a couple weeks…” are the thoughts that came to mind. The last few days of week 1 were spent in the comfort of our own home, eating a ton of pasta since the city was out of refrigerated items, frozen items, and fresh produce. Anakin didn’t have his “two day check-up” until day six(ish) because of the timing of the storm and how long it took pediatricians to re-open. Since being discharged from the hospital, I was anxious to get back. Did he weigh enough? All he does is sleep and smile, is he broken? His weight was perfect, and they said, “some babies are just sleepy, enjoy it!”
Week Two –
This week was filled with a lot of food as grocery stores and resturants opened back up! Breastfeeding began to hurt a little less and became more enjoyable for both baby and me. Our two week check-up was marked by him passing his birth weight (yay!), getting eye drops for his clogged tear ducts, and passing his hearing tests (finally, after two fails when he was born). Grandma cuddles GALORE before they headed back to California. His belly button healed, and we experienced his first bath at home which was full of nervous parents and a baby with a trembling bottom lip. Other then being naked and cold, he still isn’t crying this week. He is also still sleeping through the night and being forced to wake up and nurse. “Just wait for it…”
Week Three –
Ahhh this must be the week we break our happy and sleepy baby… The grandmas have left, baby daddy has gone back to work full time, and the dreaded circumcision appointment. The circumcision appointment was terrifying for me. I prepared as well as possible, feeding him at the proper time before, and the office pushed back the appointment an HOUR AND A HALF. Newborns eat every TWO HOURS, so they basically expected him to skip a feeding before the procedure that I already didn’t want to go through with. When they called for him, it felt like handing over a hangry grenade. I expected him to come back crying and in pain… no tears or screams, just angry brows that went away after feeding him. I will admit that it seemed he disliked getting his diaper changed more after this appointment, but it could just be in my head looking for how I’ve ruined him. With baby daddy working 11PM to 7AM, there were only two windows of time they could spend together. No matter how often my husband said “take your time,” as I handed Anakin off to take a shower, I still rushed back asking, “Is he crying?” He was always peacefully asleep while my hair was dangerously greasy.
Week Four / One Month
Baby daddy has left for training, so surely THIS will be the week he won’t let me sleep and cries… nope. Just alot of blowouts (onto my shirts) and spit-ups (only when I didn’t have a rag.) I braved the circumcision checkup solo, which went a little too smoothly. I unashamedly told the doctor to check him again. I immediately regretted asking if he was cleared to take a bath when she said yes… let me tell you… the most terrifying part of having no tribe or partner to help you raise a child is giving them a bath for the first time alone. Are they going to drown? Scream? Cry? Wish it was anyone else giving them bath other then you? But our sleepy little baby did what he does best – he just slept.
I don’t know at what moments or days he started moving his head towards my voice, holding his head up better, looking towards the paintings on the walls, or started gulping down milk (or when that milk even came in.) It seems like I just blinked, and the once perfect newborn became the perfect little five week old babe. The only thing I wish I had done different was stop waiting for my baby to change, and just be open to changing with him (if it ever happens.) So if your new baby is fussy or if he’s sleeping or if she’s sick or if he’s only happy in your arms, just love them hard today. No one can do a better job of being their tired, over-caffeinated, carb-loaded, greasy-haired parent then you.