I keep looking for the directions to you in all our hospital paperwork, but they just aren’t there. I still can’t believe you don’t come with instructions. A manual, a booklet, even stick figure drawings would suffice at this point.
You are like this beautiful brilliant exotic piece of furniture we have to build every day without any tools, then break down and build anew again the next day, while overnight you’ve decided you want to be a completely different type of furniture but you forgot to tell us. It’s this intense guessing game and problem-solving puzzle that doesn’t start at 9am and end at 5pm. It’s 24/7 without any breaks. We were forewarned, we were, but nothing can prepare for this. You just have to live it. But you love it at the same time. Because of those moments when Tim and I watch you sleep or get to make you smile, are worth every second of confusion and frustration at 3am when you won’t sleep because you’ve got too much gas and I don’t know what to do to soothe you. Papa is the gas master. I don’t know what it is but when he gets you in the morning and I get to rest some, he says you fart like a champion! What the heck, Pony? Give some fart love to your Momma in the wee hours, please.
They say this fussy period passes. I’ve cut out dairy hoping it helps. Some say it does, some say it doesn’t, we just decided between the three of us, NOT eating dairy can’t hurt. I’ve never heard anyone say how much better off they were with dairy, but I have certainly heard a lot of people talk about how much better they feel without it.
Speaking of the “some who say and some who say not,” I’ve made myself crazy again with the parenting books and had to, once again, put the books down, put my hands up, and slowly back away from them. It’s like an addiction. I keep going back expecting a different result but I keep leaving each book more confused and anxious than before. They all make sense and they all contradict each other completely. Each one speaks to a different part of me too- intellectually I realize the need for space and independence and routine but then my emotional side takes over and I can’t bear to be apart from you even for a second. The funny thing is that you are fine sleeping in your bassinet by yourself, you don’t seem to necessarily want me to wear you all day, and you look like you love laying in your playpen just watching the sky and talking to the wind. I don’t have to co-sleep, carry you everywhere, or entertain you all the time. That was what we wanted! Yet I have this intense internal struggle going on daily- between wanting to encourage all these amazing independent characteristics about you and start a routine and on the flip side super paranoid and terrified that you won’t feel bonded to me or attached for some unforeseen reason. And I know where that comes from- my own stories about my early childhood and not bonding with my own mother and knowing only too well what that did to me.
But you are not me and I am not my mother and I have to remind myself of that every day.
So I keep going back to this idea I have about Intuitive Parenting, about really becoming a Mindful Momma who doesn’t raise her child based on some dogma, theory, or book. But who is super present to what is and responds with an arsenal of information and a mountain full of heart. I know I said it before and I don’t know why I forget, but you will teach me everything I need to know about you if I am willing to listen. If I am willing to set aside my idea of what you should look and sound like and actually accept you as you are, right in front of me, in your deep soulful eyes. You talk to me all day, in a language I am just learning. My heart hurts when I misunderstand you so please forgive me and be patient while I stumble along. It’s only when I get scared and impatient that I think I need a book. Just like I used to think I needed a drink. When all I really need is you, and few long good pulls of deep fresh air. I need to drink you up. Your smell is intoxicating, I must admit.
So I think I know what needs to happen for me is- I need my sea legs. I need to find my authentic mothering wisdom. To dip into the river of responsiveness and presence- forget the puddle of trying to create a specific outcome based on a theory in a book. Only through being here and now and totally open to whatever is possible can I do this. It’s terrifying to truly let go of the moorings and see what happens. Because I have a feeling, like our birth, it will turn out completely different and completely perfect and better than anything I could have imagined in my limited little brain, if I just let it. Let it in. Crack the door, even just a tiny bit and it lets a ton of light through.
Some baby milestones-You must love significant dates because two weeks exactly your umbilical cord came off. You and Papa woke me up with it. Such exciting news. This is it in my hand next to you sleeping in your pack-n-play outside.
I know you look little but you are actually getting quite big.
At 3 weeks of age you:
*Nurse constantly, every hour or so and you love to fall asleep at the boob. I have tried so many different combinations of boob switching, times, and methods of keeping you awake but at the end of the day, we must be doing something right because you have gained almost 2 pounds and grown almost 2 inches!!
* have a ‘witching hour’ it is between 7-10pm and then reoccurs from 2-5am.
*are gassy, like your Mom.
*have a totally erratic schedule of sleeping and eating but seem to sleep well in your bassinet now.
*love being held and sung to
*smile and laugh at your Papa a lot
*get very dramatic while breastfeeding sometimes, making lots of noises and squeezing and pushing my boobs.
*smile while you dream.
*make lots of noises.
*hate the car seat and long drives
*tolerate the mai tei wrap
*hate sling and swing so far.
*have a very strong neck already!!
*love being carried high up on our shoulders and walked around the most.
My favorite times with you are laying on the bed and watching Mr. Fan, holding you in my arms after you’ve fed when your head is up near mine and I can hear all your little sounds, and when you wake up and I get to smell you once again.
Also- I was adamant about NOT using pacifiers or swings with you as props- but at this point, I will use anything. We keep trying to get you to take a pacifier, but you just spit it out. You prefer our pinkies. And the swing? I’m trying again today. Not gonna give up till the fat lady sings.
I tried at first to keep a log of each of your feedings, which breast, how long, diaper changes, poo or pee, and naps. But I have given up. There are too many feedings to record. It started driving me crazy. Your Papa too.
Your cheeks are getting so full. I just want to eat them.
And you have acquired some baby acne! Oh no! I guess with your genetics, between your Papa and I, we shouldn’t be surprised. But we still were. It hurts me much more than it hurts you.
You are still absolutely perfect and beautiful in every possible way. And besides, if this is any indication of what might happen to you when puberty strikes like it did to Papa and me, we had to admit, it built character in us.
Lastly- look at your eyes! We think you have your Papa’s eyes, big and bold. You definitely have my earlobes, fat and juicy. The jury is still out on the rest.
Big love, Mom.