Today, you are one month old. In some ways the time has gone by so quickly (even if the individual days sometimes seem pretty long…to both of us). But in other ways, it seems as though you’ve always been here. Your Daddy looked at you on the second day and said to me, “He just seems so familiar somehow”, and that’s the truth. We’d been waiting for you for a long time, my son. But it was only when you were born that we realized that the person we’d been waiting for, was you.
You’ve changed so much already in the month you’ve been E. and not just our Bump. Even in those first few days we could see your eyes opening wider. Now your eyes watch a toy pass across your face, stare intently at anything in the house with a strong pattern (the couch in the kitchen, the painted ladies on the wall, the collection of cards from your many admirers on the bookshelf, etc.), and look deep into my core. They’re still blue, but just yesterday your Daddy noticed they were changing colour. We think they might end up green in the end, like your Daddy’s eyes, but it’s still too early to tell.
You were strong even when you first came out of the womb, but you can really start to hold your head up now, and when you’re tired or frustrated you can pull your head back and slam it against our chests with some force. Your hands have just learned in the last day or so to pinch when they grasp, and you reach for anything you can when nursing- my shirt, my bra strap, the blanket, your own face. Sometimes you stroke my skin softly while nursing. You’ve started keeping your legs stretched out, so that when we swaddle you for naps and bedtime you’ve no longer got your little frog legs. But you still sleep with both hands right up by your face, just like you did in the womb (your hands are up by your face even in your 12w ultrasound).
In some ways you were an easier baby a month or so ago. I could feed you and toss you merrily back into your crib, confident that you would go to sleep. This has become more of a challenge these days. You get distracted by shadows and interplay of light on the wall. You can get overtired and overstimulated to the point that your arms and legs flail madly and you can’t calm yourself enough to go to sleep. You can be disturbed by noises around you if they happen at the wrong point in your sleep cycle. But all of this means you’re taking in more of the world, becoming more aware of your surroundings, and I know this means that one day soon you’ll be able to interact with us.
I think your two favourite places to be (other than with your boobies, of course) are on the change table in your nursery in the early morning when you can coo at the light coming in on the wall, and on the floor near the wicker chair in the living room. We have no idea what you like about that spot, but you will happily spend a few minutes talking to something that only you can notice. Your favourite time of day is bathtime. You’ve been a water baby from the very first, and we think you’re starting to recognize the sound of the running water and the sensation of being undressed, as you get pretty excited when Daddy starts to carry you towards the tub.
It hasn’t always been an easy month. The adjustment to parenthood came as a pretty big shock to your Mummy, and it’s still pretty hard on days (like today) when you’re unsettled and fussy and want to be on and off the boob all day, and refuse to take naps longer than thirty minutes at a time (unless I’m carrying you). But your Daddy and I always try to remember that this is just a phase, and that you are changing so quickly it won’t be long before we’ll be wondering about something else entirely. It would be lovely though if you could go back to falling asleep easily after your 1 or 2 am feeding. Your Mummy does miss that extra hour of sleep, and you’re really not missing anything at that time of night, I promise.
Your hair is growing a little bit every day. It’s still dark, but I think it’s closer to my brown than your Daddy’s black. You’ve ended up with terrible baby acne in the last week or so. It’s from the hormones you would have been exposed to through the placenta, and it’s very normal, and it will go away in time, but my goodness doesn’t it look awful right now. I find it hard to believe it isn’t terribly itchy and uncomfortable, but it doesn’t seem to affect you at all, except for when you accidentally scratched yourself yesterday and managed to draw a bit of blood. Mummy obviously needs to bite your nails again!
Your Daddy and I are just utterly besotted with you. We find it hard to talk about anything else. The first night you were home, even though you had the best sleep you’ve ever had, we mostly stayed up, making sure that you were still breathing. Of course now we know you’re a loud sleeper- so much so that I’ve only just stopped using ear plugs in the last couple of days!
You’ve changed our lives forever, little E., and we’re so very glad that you came along. It’s still hard for me to believe that when they showed us the picture of our two little blastocysts, one of them was actually you. We can’t wait to watch you continue to grow and learn. There’s so much we want to share with you. The first moment that I saw you, when the midwives passed you up onto my belly, is burned into my heart and soul. I love you, my son, so very much. No matter how much you change, no matter how big you grow, that will always be true.