She woke up to feed Wednesday morning at about 3am. She fed well and was comfortable, and I was hoping she would go right back to sleep. However, in between burping her and getting her to the bassinet, something twigged her and she got fidgety, in a frustrated, over-tired way. I was also tired (of course) and I could feel my frustration level building. Everything seemed too hard. I couldn't get the blanket lined up properly to swaddle her. Then I did, and she started crying and worked her arms out of it. Then I had to pick her up and carry her back to the nursery (which is just across from our room). The logical part of my brain (which wasn't functioning too well) was telling me: None of this is a big deal. You can see she's tired, she just needs some cuddling and rocking and she'll be fine.
But AJ was squirming and it was like I couldn't find a way to hold her that was comfortable for us. Try one thing, wail. Try another, wail. That slippery feeling when I know things are not going my way and I don't really know what to do, or if I can fake through it. Finally I took AJ to her pram stroller (which I use as a safe place to put her down in the nursery) and swaddled her in another blanket. Grabbed the nursing pillow to try to help find a comfy hold. And at some point I noticed the time: It was about quarter to four. Aj was born at 4:32 am on a Wednesday.
And the next thing I knew I was hugging AJ to my chest, rocking on the glider with tears pouring down, whispering "I'm so sorry baby" over and over. So sorry that my baby, who was born a short month ago, just wanted to be held and that I begrudged her that. How could I forget so soon all the times that I would have given anything just to be able to hold her, hear her cry, know that the promise would be fulfilled. Oddly enough, as soon as I started crying AJ stopped. She calmed down almost immediately. She was fine; I needed rather more time. So I rocked and wept and built a pile of dirty Kleenex on the table. And I knew I wouldn't go to sleep until it was 4:32 am. I had to be there with her when she turned one month. Had to.
AJ was happily asleep in her bassinet when her birth time came around. I stared at her and whispered "Happy one month." Cried some more. Stayed awake some more. The irony. But it was fine, it was OK, it was better than OK.
I know it isn't possible to always live life with that much emotional intensity. I know I have to do mundane things, think mundane thoughts. Just go to sleep. I will get annoyed by stupid things, even things my perfect miracle child does. But it is a blessing to be so full of feeling, of love, of gratitude, that I just have to burst with it every now and then.
AJ at one month:
- Outgrowing her newborn clothes fast - some of them still fit, but she's wearing the larger 0-3 sleepers and onesies
- Bigger, heavier, stronger. 8lbs 13oz. Lots of power in that (still) little body
- Likes to show us what a tall baby she is by stre-e-e-e-e-etching
- Longer awake/alert times, without fussiness (well, some days anyway)
- Head control improving: when on her tummy, she can lift her head right up and move it around for a few seconds. She tires quite quickly though. If she's fussy in the carrier she bangs her nose into my chest. I feel bad that she's frustrated but at the same time it's funny. She easily turns her head from side to side when lying on her back.
- Feeding well but for shorter periods of time. She had started gagging on my milk letdown so instead of switching her from one breast to the other I'm having her feed the whole time on one, and alternating for each feeding. Seems to be working.
- Fussiest period is still late evening, but it's manageable, so far. We can't really complain too much because she does sleep for long stretches at night. Occasionally she doesn't want to go back to sleep at night and needs extra soothing.
- Following faces/moving objects with her eyes.
- During awake/alert time, she can make intense eye contact. One of my friends who visited yesterday commented on how present she is and how her gaze communicates intelligence (And my friend is one of the smartest people I know, so I believe her).