Thursday, 27 November 2014

One month and those multiple Kleenex moments

It's one month since AJ was born.

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).

20 comments:

  1. Awe she's adorable. I love her little outfit too.
    Don't feel bad about getting frustrated. It's only human and I don't think any parent can escape those moments. What sets good parents apart is the recovery from such moments. I don't think there is anything wrong with our children seeing us get frustrated either; they'll learn from the way we handle ourselves. I have been frustrated with Sawyer and even asked him in a frustrated voice "why are you being so clingy tonight!" and then apologized to him for snapping, telling him I've had a long day and I will try my best to be more patient the rest of the evening. I honestly believe that they understand more than we think.

    The intensity of emotions hasn't gone away for me even at 18 months - of course not constant, but it does make it easier to reach for those feelings when I do feel frustrated. I actually feel very grateful for my experience with infertility because it has given me the gift of patience and gratefulness that I don't think I would have had otherwise. I hope you will experience it the same way.

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    1. thanks for the comment - great observations - I agree!!

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  2. AWW what a tender moment you had with her. She is already a little person of her own, getting cuter and cuter every time you post a pic. :)

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    1. yes she is. :-) Such a magical time. thanks for the comment.

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  3. Burst away! It IS an intense time, and from where I'm standing, not much changes in seven months (if you wanna talk emotional intensity, see my last post!). That sounds likea beautiful moment though. I'm glad you got to experience it. Your daughter is adorable. Enjoy her and also go easy on yourself. xo

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    1. Thank you! I read you post and loved it. I think we were trying to say similar things, in different ways.

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  4. Totally agree with the intense emotion. Several times now I've been overcome with joy for Zelda and the tears flow. Frustrations are quicker to happen as well, but pass quickly unlike the joy and love that continues to burn brighter.

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    1. so true Marcy! glad you are enjoying Zelda and hope you are both feeling better too.

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  5. What an amazing moment! Happy one month to you and AJ!

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    1. Thank you! the milestones are so bittersweet. But what a wonderful time.

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  6. Aw, that was such a sweet moment. Thanks for sharing. I remember being acutely aware of the one-week and two-weeks marks.
    I think emotions run high during this time, and maybe the sleep deprivation and general exhaustion fuel them even more. It's so interesting that she stopped crying when you began - maybe the do feel our tension. I read they don't, but honestly, I don't believe that.
    AJ looks so big! She is a bit bigger than SB from your numbers, but somehow she looks much bigger to me. I've found myself looking at my husband and thinking "Why is his face so big? Has it always been so big?", a little like Little Red Riding Hood, when really it's just the change in perspective after staring at a tiny face for most of the day.

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    1. Yes she does feel so big and heavy! I can't believe some babies are born at 9lbs...yikes!! I know, I should expect a lot of emotion - sometimes it still surprises me how strong it is. I absolutely think that babies feel our tension (or the opposite). I know when I'm relaxed and able to be in the moment (kind of like successful meditation where you just focus on your breath and not distracting thoughts) then things seem much easier and she seems relaxed too. I can't always manage it, but it is helpful when I can. I know what you mean about SO seeming HUGE beside baby. The comparison is hilarious!

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  7. Oh, that was such a sweet moment. Of course you get tired and frustrated, but it's all these wonderful moments that you were waiting for all this time. You both are so beautiful

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    1. Thank you. Yes, having a baby really reminds me of how important it is to live in the moment and just go with what is offered. Sometimes it's hard but it is so magical too.

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  8. Such a beautiful post! I can so relate to your feelings.

    I also struggle with the small frustrations and the guilt that follows, and the day/time milestones are also important to me for some reason. Soon after my son's birth, I got a postpartum infection and had to be readmitted to the hospital. The doctors discouraged having him stay with me because of the risk of him catching something with so many sick people on the floor, so he was at home with my mom. It was a Friday, and he had been born the previous Friday in the evening. I will always remember lying in that hospital bed and watching the minutes creep to the time of his birth and sobbing when the time finally came and passed. I felt so guilty for not being with him on his one-week birthday. It would have been hard regardless, but for some reason that milestone seemed so important to me. I still count the weeks and try to document the passing moments.

    Sometimes I almost panic, feeling the days and months slip through my fingers. I have cried about it many times, but as my husband gently reminds me, life is change and movement. I am so glad you are getting to cherish these beautiful moments with your precious baby girl. We will keep doing our best to appreciate all this beauty without getting overwhelmed by it.

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    1. Aw, I'm sure it was so tough to be apart from your little one, for whatever reason! there's a line from a song that goes "Time started moving on the day we met" and I do feel it applies to being with our babies! I know, it's hard not to obsess over all the milestones but remember that life is change and movement, as your husband said.

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  9. It's so wonderful to get these reports from the other side. Knowing that it doesn't just turn into some fairytale once they're here, and that there are still emotional times in all directions. Thanks for the dispatch, troops. Happy one month to wonderful Alice.

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    1. thank you! glad the blog is helpful. I also found/find the parenting blogs very helpful; everyone's story is unique but it does help to have a "sneak preview!"

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  10. What a cutie! Thanks for being so honest about the feelings and how it can be tough and so intense.

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    1. thank you! yes, it is tough and intense.

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