As I write this it’s 5 a.m. and everyone else is asleep—it’s the only time I seem to find a few moments (and I’ve got a breast pump going on one side, so I’d be up anyway). It's raining, after four weeks of almost non-stop glorious weather, and the sound of the rain makes me feel rather nostalgic. A few updates from the six-week goal post:
- I know it’s cliché to always talk about how fast your kids are growing up—but she’s growing up so fast! At six weeks she has already started acting like an infant and not just a newborn. She’s awake more and taking in the world. I’ve really noticed
this while she’s breastfeeding, especially as she often tries to take my breast with her as she notices something new off to one side.
- She has eyelashes and real tears now! I never knew babies weren't born with eyelashes until I noticed hers growing in, and the real tears just break my heart.
- I seem to have developed a klutziness this week around her—twice in two days I accidentally hurt her. Once my fingernail nicked her scalp as I was positioning her to eat, and the next night I snapped her pacifier holder on to her skin through her clothes. She cried a new cry that I hadn’t heard before, and every cry felt like an accusation—I just knew that she’d seen through me and knew just how little I know about this whole parenting thing.
- She loves to fall asleep snuggled up to either Stephen or me. She prefers sleeping on Stephen’s chest, but on me she likes sleeping with her face about a millimeter from my breast—must be comforting to know her favorite drink is on tap at a moments notice.
- Sadly, she is a total morning bird. In Operating Instructions, Anne Lamott talks about how her son seems to think that “we’re morning people.” I’m starting to believe this is a universal baby memo. The good news is that she’s so smiley and interactive now (lots of new sounds) during these early hours that I easily forgive her.
- Pali, who enjoyed nine years as our "first-born" (we even took her to Paris with us on a home exchange), is starting to acknowledge Lily's presence and has stopped giving herself a bald spot on her tail. I never wanted to be the dog person who suddenly forgets the dog for the baby--and I don't think we've done that; however, there has definitely been a shift in the household hierarchy that Pali has felt quite deeply.
- She still sports an old man hairline--in fact, I think it's getting more pronounced. I'm sure we'll enjoy teasing her about this one day.
- I never thought I'd enjoy the sound of farts and burps so much! Better out than in, for sure.
- I have no idea where parents ever find the time or energy to procreate again. All
I fantasize about is eight uninterrupted hours of sleep. You should have seen the look on Stephen's face when I was told at my six-week check-up at UCSF that I would be having so little sex that it might not be worth getting an IUD as a contraceptive!
- I still panic at least once a night when she's been sleeping for a long stretch--I put my hand on her chest (very gently as I realize she's likely just fine and I'll very much regret waking her) to feel if she's still breathing.
- I still find myself forgetting on occasion that I have a baby, a daughter, and that I’m a mother.
- I’d thought I was starting to look rather less pregnant these days until my four-year-old nephew visited on Saturday and the first words out of his mouth when he saw me were, “Why is your tummy so big?”
- It’s hard for me to remember how genuinely conflicted I once felt about whether or not I wanted to get pregnant—I ache sometimes looking at her, smelling her. I feel like I’ve entered an entirely new level of life and love. I'm smitten. (Goodnight kittens. And goodnight mittens.)
An update to the morning bird part. She'll actually sleep in with me now! The trick is just to let her sleep right next to me (we're rapidly becoming a family bed kind of family). With her snuggled next to me--and, more important logistically, my breast--she'll snooze until 9 or even later. I wish I'd know this secret from the very beginning!