Monday, January 9, 2012

13 Weeks!

Dear Baby Baron,

Sorry for the long delay. We've been traveling and visiting with family for the past three weeks and while I probably had time to write to you, I was more interested in spending time with you and the people that love you.

It's been a long, wonderful, and very sad three weeks.

We flew back to the midwest on the 18th of December. You were such a complete angel on the flight, I was positive the universe was playing a huge joke on us. You were perfect. You slept, you played, you snuggled and you didn't cry.

I was so proud! And relieved.

We got into town and you got to meet your cousins Max and Maddie! Max immediately fell in love with you and it was so precious to watch. He couldn't get enough of you while you were there. Maddie... well, Maddie is another story. She wasn't mean to you and one day, maybe, she will even like you, but that was not this holiday season. She pretty much refused to acknowledge you existed. And that's okay. She's allowed.

You loved Max right back!
You also got to FINALLY meet your Aunt Jenny, Uncle Rod, and cousin Quincy.


You and Quincy aren't old enough to really enjoy each other's company, but more than once you two had some fussing matches. When one of you would start, it would set the other off and you'd fuss back and forth. It was pretty incredible.

You have grown and change so much in the past several weeks, it's awesome! You are getting so big and so strong! You are what your Nene refers to as a "bruiser."

Your hands of uncurled from their previously tiny little baby fists. You are grabbing onto things and holding them. You are laughing. You are smiling. You are conversing with us and you absolutely recognize your mama and your daddy.

You are, simply put, amazing.

This was our first Christmas as a family. Having you with us has made it all the more wonderful. Thank you for being here. Thank you for giving us this family of ours.

All of these Santas and you never cried! I am impressed!

You did get your first cold or allergy fit or whatever it's been. It was absolutely heartbreaking to listen to you cough and see you feeling so bad and knowing there was so little we could actually do to help you. You managed to keep your same wonderful demeanor and a smile on your face. You are awe inspiring.

Unfortunately, the time back in the Midwest was ended by the loss of your Pop. You never got to meet your grandpa Gregg and that is a true shame. I had always envisioned he would get better and you'd spend your summers back in the midwest going between Nene and Nana's houses and your Pop would teach you guitar and give you an education in music. I imagined that you would find him as fascinating as we all always did.

While it seems most people didn't really think I would be affected by his passing, I am heartbroken. He was my dad as much as anyone could have been. He was the male influence in my life, through all of my formative years. He was the father of my sister and the husband of my mother, he was our man. I feel like I was forgotten during the services, that because I wasn't his "real daughter" that I wasn't important to him. I know that isn't true, because I know that he would have loved you just as sure as he loved his "real" grandson. 

I am sorry you won't get to meet him. I am sorry he won't get to know you. 

Someday, you'll get to hear all of his stories from the people that loved him.

Baby boy, you are the light in our lives. You have made our world so much fuller, so much more full of magic that I can hardly contain my joy when I'm with you.

You are forever my sweet, little bruiser.

All of my love,
Your Mama

Monday, December 5, 2011

Week 8!

Dear Sprout,

Holy crap, little one! You are 8 weeks old today!

We had your 2 month check up today. The doctor was very impressed with your growth. You are a whopping 12 pounds, 4 ounces. You haven't grown much length-wise, measuring at 23 inches long. Your head is gigantic at a very large 16 inches in circumference. I do believe this means you will be a small genius. Please only use your massive brains for good, ok?

Today you also got your first vaccinations. We're choosing to do a delayed schedule of vaccinations. We plan to vaccinate you fully, just a little more slowly than recommended. I have a strange phobia of you having some disastrous reaction to a shot, so I want to play it safe. The doctor is absolutely okay with this, so I don't feel bad about this decision whatsoever.

I have to say, kid, anything that hurts you just about kills me. My baby, my boy... you have never really had any tears and when you do, I can't stand it. I just can't stand seeing tears in those gorgeous, loving eyes of yours. The first time was during your PKU test when the horrid collection person just kept squeezing and squeezing blood from your foot.

The sound of your pain quite nearly broke my heart.

Your father volunteered to hold you and let me walk out of the room for the shots. While it was a tempting offer, I have to say that while the thought of you in pain hurts me, it upsets me more to think about you being hurt and me not being there for you.

Afterwards, I held you and cried with you.

Never in my life will I let you cry alone. I will always be there for you when everything seems just awful, when you are in pain, or when you just need a hug. So much as I can, I promise to never let you hurt alone.

My going back to work is looming in the near future. It doesn't look like there is anything we can do to not have me go back. I didn't think it would be this hard, but I can't even think about it without losing it. When I think about how much I'm going to miss with my terrible schedule, how I won't see you except for on the weekends, really... I can't help but feel absolutely devastated.

I am going to miss so much when I'm only able to see you for a few minutes before your bedtime and before you leave for daycare through the week. All of the smiles through the day, all of your sweet coos... I won't see any of them.

I really don't know how I am supposed to survive that.

What a downer of a post! Sorry, my baby, my love. I love you so much and I just can't imagine spending my days away from your amazing self.

All of my love,
Your mama

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Weeks 6 & 7

Dear Sprout,

Oh, boy, am I ever late!

Trust me, it's not because I forgot about this. I remembered it a lot. A LOT.

It's just that weeks six and seven left the two of us to fend for ourselves without your daddy for six days. We got into a really great pattern that we've managed to mostly keep up with. You eat constantly all day, I can get you to bed around 8:00 or 8:30 PM, then you sleep for a few 4+ hour stretches.

That may not sound like much to some, but I definitely add this to the win category.

These past weeks have also brought your nana and grandpa to town! You had such a great time meeting your grandpa. The two of you hit it off like gangbusters. You would just sit and chatter with him. It was fascinating.

Basically, I didn't exist to you when they were around.

I imagine I got a bit boring to you by then, since you had seen nothing but my mug for days.

But then your daddy came home and we had a nice Thanksgiving with your grandparents and the Pritchetts. Izzy was fascinated by you, which was adorable and wonderful, considering she has her own little baby sister on the way. She massaged your feet and sang you songs and wanted to hold you.

I understand completely. I love doing all of those things, too.

You have been growing like a little weed. It's amazing! The doctor was very impressed with your growth. You have been averaging an ounce a day, which is absolutely the perfect rate. When we were at the doctor last week, you were 11 pounds 3 ounces. By the time Christmas rolls around, you're going to be a svelte 12 - 13 pounds.

And the month after that you will be walking.

My baby, you are growing so well and so much, I'm already missing my brand new baby boy. You become more and more interested in the world around you as the days go by. You like to "talk" with us. You have learned sounds and like to make them repeatedly. You smile when you wake up to your mommy or daddy and you smile in response to our smiles and words.

You and your daddy fill up my heart so entirely, some days I am positive it will burst.

All of my love,
Your mama

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Week Five

Dear Sprout,

Today you are five weeks old! You are getting so big, it's kind of crazy. You've gained over two pounds in this first month of your life. That seems like a lot, but it's right on track for what you should be doing. This definitely means you're getting the food you need.

Baron the Hutt

I have finally started making enough milk to feel like I'm getting ahead. Hooray! You are eating well and I have enough stashed that I don't feel like I can't keep up with you.

And then, of course, I get sick. I'm going to do the best I can to keep ahead while feeling so awful. Your daddy has let me rest quite a bit and taken care of you. That's awesome. Of course, I can only hope that I am better before he leaves for San Francisco.

Yes, that's right. Your dad is leaving us to go to San Francisco for six days for work. The only thing that has saved him from my wrath (and let's be honest, I am still really wrath-y right now.)  has been that your Nana will be here a day after he leaves and your Grandpa will be here the weekend. They will be staying until Thanksgiving, so your first Thanksgiving will be with the four of us.

We'll make dinner a day early so they can head home the day of Thanksgiving. I haven't quite figured out our menu, but it will be a fun day for all of us. Especially you. You get to be the center of attention and you really seem to enjoy that.

How do I know you enjoy it?

You've started to smile.

Your Nene was here with us for the past month and she just went home this past weekend. You sent her off well... with smiles and coos when she spoke to you. You really loved having her around. We will definitely miss her.

Sometimes you and I will lay down and have a chat and you will just smile and babble.

It's pretty amazing. I mean, you've always done the sleepy smiles and giggles, but now you are 100% aware of what you are doing. You see mommy and you smile. You hear daddy and you smile. If you didn't steal hearts before, you sure are doing it now.

You've had so much company recently that it's kind of hard going from a bunch of people around to nobody. Your great-granny and your great aunts were here with you last week. You were such a trooper. You spent a lot of time in your Moby, just relaxing while we went around doing all of the touristy things. You stayed nice and toasty and I was comfortable holding you all day.

What in the...? I look like somebody's mom.

You were a hit with all of the ladies, that's for sure. We had a lot of fun with them while they were here. 

It's hard on me... not having my family close. Since we've been here, I've never wanted to leave. Until this past weekend. Seeing everyone and then having them all gone, I have to say, I really wanted to pack up and go home. Being all alone out here is hard and it's worse knowing that you will be so limited in how much you get to be with them. Your father leaving for six days makes it even worse. I wouldn't be nearly so upset if I had family nearby to help me out or to just keep me company. 

I want you to know all of these people so much. I miss them so much it hurts. 

Great Granny!
I love you, my baby, my boy, my Baron the Hutt.
Your mama

Monday, November 7, 2011

Week 4

Dear Sprout,

So I'm a little late with the post today. As the recent commercial says... "Having a baby changes everything." Including what you thought was your ability to manage your time. And your sleep habits. And your tolerance for smelly gas.

How can I deny this face?

You are getting so incredibly big! Not quite one month old and you've put on nearly two pounds. The nurse today said you are averaging an ounce a day and that you're growing at a perfect rate. We're still working on nursing, but I have to say... the bottle is treating you well and that's all I care about. You are growing and being so amazing, I would stay attached to this pump day and night forever, if it gives you this ability to be so. damned. perfect.

Rolls in all the right places
We have been doing that thing that people frown on so much. That THING that people will tell you will cause all kinds of bad habits and you will never outgrow it and HOW CAN WE DO THAT THING WE ARE SHOOTING OURSELVES IN THE FOOT HERE. You will become an addict and we will regret it later! But that thing? That thing makes me so happy and it makes you sleep for multiple hours and it feels right. 

We are co-sleeping.


You are sleeping in our bed. At 4 weeks old. You sleep right in between us, nestled in the crook of my arm. You have these light baby snores that lull me to sleep and sometimes make your daddy and I giggle like little kids. When you have a slight fuss, I can be right there to pat your butt or rock you a bit rather than having to get up and go to your room, which only works you up more when you have to wait. We wake up only once per night, twice sometimes if it's a "sleep in" sort of day. We can feed you, I can pump and then we are all right back in bed and sleeping soundly.

I swore I would never do it, but you know what else having a baby changes? Your steely resolve.

The best thing to wake up to. Ever.
We have other options and you will sleep in your crib, but it's a much shorter amount of time and trust me when I say, you are happier when mommy is happier and mommy is happy being able to sleep three to four hours at a time.

We have had your great aunts and your great grandma from my side in town this week. There really is no shortage of arms to hold you and you are in heaven. You are winning hearts and amazing people with the things you can already do. 

Your Granny really is great!

I am glad they get the chance to see you now. I imagine by the time we head back to the Midwest for the holidays, you'll be almost completely different. Maybe driving. I don't know. You are pretty advanced. 

You are already reaching for things and holding your head up. You are smiling and laughing. You tend to sleep most of the time like a regular newborn, but when you are awake, you are so alert and interactive. You constantly amaze me with how fast you are progressing.

I am going to cut this pretty short this week. It's almost 8:30PM and I have laundry to finish, a pumping to do and three awesome guys to cuddle up with. 

Priorities have shifted. I couldn't be happier being a mother. Your mother.

All of my love,
Your mama

Monday, October 31, 2011

Week Three

Dear Sprout,

Happy Halloween!

And now you are 3 weeks old!

You are so very different from the day that we met you. It doesn't seem all that long ago, but you are so much bigger. You get more and more handsome at every turn. You're getting a ton of strength and you're able to pitch yourself forward in a fit of rage when you are hungry and the bottle isn't getting to you fast enough. You can lift your head with the best of them.

We're getting more into the swing of feeding you. Pumping has been a royal pain in my butt, but seeing you pack on the ounces has made it all worthwhile. Not that you wouldn't have gotten there with formula, because of course you would have, but of all the things that have gone wrong in getting you safely onto this earth, the one thing I have been determined to not have go wrong is breast feeding. Which, of course, it has gone all wrong but I am able to pump and supply you with milk and I plan on doing it as long as I can. It's hard and my supply barely keeps up with your demands, but no amount of sore, cracked nipples is going to make me fold on this one.

You will learn that I am just as stubborn as you are. Keep that in mind, my future teenage son.

I even ordered some not illegal but not prescribed to me drugs from New Zealand. I scoff at the FDA and their regulations! I WILL MAKE MORE MILK! I am finally a couple of bottles ahead so I can feel like we can leave the house for a couple of hours and I am not just a milk cow attached to suction hoses. Hopefully when my drugs gets here, I can start really storing some up and ease the pressure on myself.

This week has brought with it your first really fussy day. It was... interesting. It was stressful and I felt so lost. You had previously gone through a bit of a growth spurt that required tons of feedings and came with a bit of fussing, but this day was something else entirely. You spend the majority of the day awake and probably crying. Maybe not crying, but definitely awake. The only times you would sleep were when I walked you around in your stroller or when you were swaddled and being rocked.

It was exhausting. You were so sweet and cuddly the next day, though, that it made it almost worth it.


Last week, we did your newborn photos with Heather Puett from Marysville. She did an amazing job and captured some great shots. I would recommend her to anyone. Hopefully, she'll still be available for your one year photos.

I still don't have all of them, but the few that I have seen have been outstanding. You were such sheer perfection (and really, who am I kidding? You still are!) and you just looked flawless. You are absolutely not a normal baby. You didn't ever look wrinkly and icky and new. You always looked like the cover of a magazine.

This is our last week with your Nene staying with us in the house. I am both nervous as hell and kind of excited to see how we handle this on our own. It won't be easy, I know that. I'm not sure I'm very good at this whole "newborn care" thing. I try, but I kind of take it all personally. When you grump, I am pretty sure it's because I am incapable of doing the right thing for you. I know that's ridiculous. I know I am being dramatic. But I am hormonal and scared. It's just how it is, right now.

This coming week does bring a visit from your great-grandma Betty and your Aunt Sarah. They are coming out for a couple of days to visit with you and spend some quality time snuggling you. We are all looking forward to their visit.

I really do hate that you will get to see the rest of your family so infrequently. I love it out here, I do. And your daddy is so happy, I would never give it up, but the idea of being so far away during this time of your life just kills me. Will a couple of days here and there be enough for you to know these people and how much they mean?

The dog has decided that you can stay, but you need to stop taking up so much room in people's laps.

All of my love,
Your mama

Monday, October 24, 2011

Week Two

Dear Sprout,

Today you are two weeks old!

Your two week appointment was this past Thursday. Even with our milk production issues, you've managed to regain all the weight you lost after birth and then gain an extra ounce. Way to go, us! We are making a happy, healthy, chubby baby! Knowing this has made all of the trouble of pumping every 2 - 3 hours so worth the effort and pain. You are worth all of it and knowing that I am able to give you pretty much exclusively breast milk even though we have latch issues... it makes me feel so much better and I will continue on this path as long as I can.

What a wild 14 days it's been getting to know you and know your habits and patterns. You are seriously the most laid back kid. You sleep well and often, you are rarely fussy and if you are, odds are you are super hungry. There isn't much of a cry that a good snuggle, a little pacifier action, or your swing can't fix.

Besides laid back, you are so reactive, so very alert. Your eyes are wide and bright and you make so much eye contact. It's so intriguing. I have this desire to never, ever put you down when your eyes are open. I figure if your eyes are open, I should give you someone to look at. If I walk into your room to check on you and see you looking around, I have to get you out of your crib. I can't leave you there. I doubt I will ever regret the decision to spend more time with with you even when I could be sleeping.

Speaking of sleeping, having your Nene around has been a life saver for me. Or a sanity saver. Both, really. I have been able to recuperate from the surgery with lots of sleep and rest. I get to take naps when I need to and I don't have to do the heavy lifting around the house. She's kept me from tears a number of times. When Rob offered to just keep her and pay her rather than daycare, he wasn't joking. We love having her here and you are all the better for having her with us during this time.

Every time I go anywhere people are shocked that I had a c-section so short a time ago. Apparently, being up and about so soon is unusual. I'm trying to take it easy and not over-do it, but I just can't exist without feeling like I'm doing something. Which is strange because during the uncomfortable last month of my pregnancy, I barely moved and now I am stir crazy and can't wait to be able to walk my dog or cook dinner or go to the grocery. I do not know how single moms do this, especially after a c-section. I have a wonderfully supportive husband and a mother who does everything and I'm still exhausted. I have such a huge amount of respect for people who can do this on their own.

We have a photo shoot today for your newborn photos. I am so excited to have these days documented by a professional, though I have noticed that you have already changed so much. It's almost heartbreaking. In a matter of weeks, you are a totally different baby. I can't imagine what you will look like in two more weeks or two more months.

I love you, baby boy. I love every moment I have with you. I can't get enough of your smell and your soft skin and your blonde hair and your feet and your chubby thighs. You are intoxicating and addictive and I don't think I will ever get enough of you.

All of my love and sore nipples,
Your mama