Me: "Who has the best seat in the house, me or daddy?"

Adam: "Well, Daddy's is nice, but yours is best. Your's is squishier."

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Photo by Tessa, age 4
I had forgotten so many things about having a newborn babe. I don't know how I ever could have, but I did. As a doula I always wish the mamas I work with a happy babymoon, and tell them what a unique time it is. There are things that you experience in these first magical weeks that will never come again in the life of this child...
This time it's our babymoon, and here is what I don't want to forget.

The second smile... just as delightful as the first.

Baby breath; sweet and warm and heavy, like the smell of honeycomb on a warm day.

Fuzz on arms and earlobes and foreheads.

The surprise of being piddled on during a diaper change- every time it happens.

How unbelievably hard they can clamp down on your nipple with just their little gums.

REM sleep with their eyes open.

The helplessness when their cry becomes high pitched and fervent, and nothing you do for them can stop it, till you just hold their little ear to your lips and beg the pain to leave them alone. Like tonight.**

The inhale-suck-exhale-swallow sounds as they breastfeed, or better still, when they are so ravenous they skip the exhale all together for 8 gulps, and the stop to pant!

The slow motion punches they do over and over, often accompanied by random, sudden leg kicks.

Rooting at your cheek, and if they get a chance, their warm little mouth finding your chin.

Staring into each others eyes endlessly.

A 20 minute car ride that turns into an hour because of stops to calm this squalling little being before your heart splits in two.

Smiles in their sleep.

Punishingly sharp little fingernails that are impossible to cut, even if you could find the clippers.


Nibbling on soft toes, necks, and...heck, everything.

6 dirty diapers in 4 hours.

The ongoing deliberation over who he looks like... the more siblings, the more possibilities.

Projectile poop.

Getting their tight, squirmy little bodies into an outfit whose designer obviously has never dressed a newborn.

His tiny little frog butt.

Flared toes.

Answering the question of how old he is --in days.

Scarfing food to get back to him.

Having a police officer check on you as you are pulled over to the side of the road to breastfeed, and the surprised look on his face as he lowers his flashlight and says "Carry on."

Diaper cream under your nails.


Hiccups. Lots of them.

Not knowing whether you are wet from pee or spit-up or milk, or your own tears.

Answering folks who tell you "He's so beautiful" with "I think so, too."


**It took me 3 days to finish this post because Jonah has begun to cry - a lot. After some web browsing I have learned that grass green poop may be a dairy allergy.

I thought #5 would be a cakewalk. Welcome to uncharted waters.

As of this morning I have started a fun new diet, after just two weeks of eating like a normal person. Adam, sweet Adam saw me crying when Jonah was hysterically shrieking and asked if I was ok. I explained the new situation and that I was starting a new diet to help Jonah, but that I was crying because it just breaks my heart to hear my baby in pain.

Adam kissed my face, told me he loved me and that it wasn't fair, and then tidied up the living room and made me a dairy-free sandwich.

I think things are going to be ok. We have been through worse than this.


2:31 AM ... the exhausted baby in my arms is staring at me with red, puffy eyes and a pained expression. We just had 2 more hours of off/on crying, and he's gearing up for another round.

My confidence from earlier is waining.


julean said...

This post makes me ache.
I ache for those days of new babies and all those delicious things you mentioned.

I ache for you and more for little Jonah being so uncomfortable. Wish I lived closer and could come over and help. Sweet Adam, what a love. Call if you need to chat. Hang in there! Love and hugs.

Elizabeth said...

Oh my. It will get better ... that's my mantra for these kinds of times! So hard when baby is crying, in pain, upset... yes, how delicious they are in these tender first days and weeks... sending you a huge cyber hug and glad you have little helpers like Adam! What a treasure!

Unsolicited 2 cents - when my Valerie had green poop and painful gas, I also found it helpful to try block feeding (only switch sides every four hours) to make sure she was getting enough hind milk. I'm sure you know about that already!

So glad you're writing these things down - even if it takes 3 days to post - the time is so fleeting and the memories fade so fast.

Ruth said...

Okay, my 6 weeks just got that much longer in anticipation!
Keep up with the diet....remember that it takes at least a few days for their systems to get rid of the dairy...Nate was the same way...and look how great he turned out!

Rebekah said...

This is so beautifully written. I love all the descriptive words. It is nice to hear all the good things of a baby, and I am sad that there is some aching. But that to will pass.