Saturday, June 5, 2010

Journal: Second Month

Dearest Bean,

Oh Gosh, I don't even know where to begin. These last two months have been such a crazy ride and you're the one in charge which is pretty scary since you still don't have control over your arms and legs yet. There was nothing that could have prepared me for being a parent. I had so many expectations for you and for me and I've really had to let all those go. Which isn't such a bad thing. I got so many mixed messages from dear well-intentioned friends, family, and books. I don't think people realize that no matter how gracious they are in their suggestions and recommendations, to a new mama, it just sounds like criticism. I was told that my anxiety was what was making you fidgety during your night feeds. The last thing anyone should tell a new mama is that her anxiety is what's making her baby behave a certain way! I hadn't realized that I even felt anxious but you can bet, once I read that email that I was a complete wreck when I would go into your room at night and no amount of calming breathing exercises or images of sandy beaches and palm fronds was going to make it better. Despite my hyperventilating you ended up moving out of that phase all on your own and now your night feeds are a breeze. You wake up just enough to know it's food time and then slip right back into your baby slumber.

Around week 6 you started to get more fussy especially around the evening hours and when your Papa volunteered to watch you for an hour so I could go to the gym you spent the entire time screaming and nothing he did would calm you. We figured it was because you needed an earlier bedtime because up until that point we were putting you in bed between 9-11. Now you go to bed somewhere between 6-8. I know that's a pretty big window but it all depends on how your days been. Some days are wonderful, perfect baby days with hardly any crying and fussing, those days are the days when your naps are long and frequent. Other days you turn into the most wretched wretch, screaming and carrying on. On several occasions I've expected you to spew pee soup while your head spins as you crawl across the ceiling.

I've spent the better part of four weeks trying to get you on a schedule during the day and you have no idea how hard you've been fighting it. You've been such a trooper, patiently putting up with all our crazy antics trying to figure you out and sometimes it works, just like magic and other times you just scream, most likely out of frustration because we just aren't getting it. We're trying, little bean! We're trying so hard. I've given up putting you on a formal schedule and both of us seem to be doing much better for it. We'll give it a shot in another month or two.

Around week 8 we discovered that you need a LOT of sleep and less awake time, a lot less than the books say. Sometimes you'll need another nap after only being awake for a half an hour and that's okay. Because when we do make sure you get your sleep you are the most charming baby, you laugh and smile, and talk up a storm, especially on your changing table. But when you don't get that sleep you turn into a screaming, writhing, wretch and it takes a serious amount of soothing, done in the most specific way to calm you down. You absolutely love to be swaddled and in the past couple weeks it's the only way you'll get more than 20 minutes of sleep. However, with your Herculean strength it's getting harder and harder to keep those little arms down by your sides. Most often then not when I go to get you from a nap those arm are FREE waving above your head and you always look so proud of yourself. You're our little Houdini!

It's amazing how much you've grown and changed. You've started smiling at us which is so worth those stitches Mama got. You chuckle and squeal with absolute glee when you get your diaper changed. Your movements are getting more controlled and your eyes will follow me around the room as I go to your dresser to get your clothes for the day. You've certainly become much more aware of your surroundings and because of this we've had to black out your windows otherwise you'd never sleep a wink. If I place my finger on the palm of your hand your little fingers will curl around it and the strength you have is AMAZING. I'm surprised you haven't crushed the bones in my hand.

A lot of people have asked if you're sleeping through the night yet. I now know, as a parent, that I will never ask another parent this question no matter how old their child is because no matter the age if the answer isn't yes, you feel like you've failed somehow. I know the time will come when you'll sleep through the night but right now, you just don't have it in you and I'm so used to those little mid-night visits I know I'll miss them when they've gone. When it's just the two of us curled up in the glider and you snuggle into the crook of my arm when you're done eating and start doing that whistling snore. Those moments are so precious and I try so hard to appreciate them, to pull myself out of my exhaustion for just a minute and smell your little baby head and kiss your nebulous hairs and whisper how much your Papa and Mama love you, would do anything for you! Those are the moments that make all the shit, spit up, and screaming, SO worth it.

Love Forever:

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