Your umbilical cord stump fell off today. I was changing you and realized it was gone, and found myself simultaneously grossed out and saddened by this occurrence. I immediately called out for your dad to come, and he came running in asking what was the matter. After proclaiming what had happened, he excitedly ran over to take a look at your new belly button. I started crying. I was sad that this final physical connection between you and I was gone, and I was a little shaken up by the fact that your cord stump was floating around somewhere in your onesie. I asked your dad to please find it and dispose of it. He asked if he should throw it away or compost it; I said, ‘Just get rid of it’, to which he thankfully complied.
You are so expressive with your face, especially immediately upon waking. You love to stretch, arching your back and putting your arms up by your head, and holding this position for many seconds. Then you yawn and some funny faces ensue, as though your face is also joining in the stretches. Often during this routine you also let out several sounds which can only be described as little squeaks. This happens every night each time you wake up for a feeding, and it never ceases to make me smile every time. You certainly make the middle-of-the-night feedings entertaining; I love you so much!
You have yet to earn a nickname, and I told your dad that maybe ‘Squeaky’ or ‘Squeaker’, or even ‘Pipsqueak’ might be fitting. So far nothing’s stuck.
Today was a crazy busy day, and in retrospect, I scheduled too much for us. It started with a newborn and family photo shoot first thing this morning. You were quite fussy and unable to really settle, and your sister wasn’t very cooperative either. I was skeptical about any good pictures resulting from the shoot, but thankfully we got a few.
Then we had to quickly drop your sister off at school and dash to your doctor’s appointment. We were so happy to learn that you are back up to your birth weight (7 pounds, 6 ounces). The doctor said you look great and we don’t have to go back until your two month appointment! Carrying on what has become almost a tradition, we went to lunch after your appointment before dropping your dad off back at work.
This evening we all went to the Jeff and Paige concert at Chautauqua. Jeff and Paige are a couple who sing kid-focused nature-themed songs. We’ve gone a few times to hear them play with Emma; this was your first time along! You got really fussy and upset on the way there. First we stopped at the grocery store and your dad ran inside to grab items for our picnic dinner. You started crying inconsolibly in the car while we were waiting, so I got out and picked you up, and you calmed down. But when I put you back in the carseat to go pick up your sister, you got upset again. At her school the same thing happened; I picked you up and you were content. But once we left for the concert, you were upset again. It was only about a five minute drive, thank goodness, but we were all really stressed by the time we got there. I got you out, found a spot for us all to sit, and nursed you, and you calmed right down. You slept the rest of the concert, so I’m not sure if you enjoyed it or not.
We had another family adventure to the park, where your sister played with her friend Freja and you and I hung out under a tree in the shade. It was nice to be outside and to just relax and watch Emma play. You seemed content just hanging out in the shade.
Today we had our first full-fledged family outing; it was the first time all four of us have been in the car together. We drove about 20 minutes away to Butterfly Pavilion. You did great in the car, dozing off after just a few minutes, and your sister seemed happy to have you back there with her. You slept through our visit to Butterfly Pavilion, waking up to eat and then going back to sleep. Next we met nana and papa for lunch, where they were happy to get to hold you during the meal as you slept happily in their arms.
Afterward we went to the ice skating rink next door, where a competition was underway. It was your sister’s first time watching ice skating, and she seemed enthralled both with the skaters and with the audience. She had fun watching the audience, and then clapping when they clapped.
Today is your dad’s and my 11th wedding anniversary. Your dad made us a nice dinner and we all sat outside and ate. We had fun celebrating with you and your sister, just having a nice relaxing dinner and enjoying our new, larger family of four.
You are one-week old today! Though far from settling into a real routine, we have started to adopt some patterns, especially around nursing and sleeping, and I think we’re all starting to adapt into life as a family as four. I’ve been trying to rest and relax this week, but am also feeling really restless and anxious to get back to my normal activity level. Having your dad and Emma home further emphasizes this, as I just want to get out and do fun things with you all.
This morning your dad decided to take Emma to the park, and you and I joined them on the adventure. Emma has been really into riding the bus lately, so we took the bus down the road to the park. We ran into some friends there and it was nice to be out and catching up with people. You had your first bus ride and first park visit, and you slept through both. You woke up at home in virtually the same spot as you’d been when we left for the park, so I doubt you even realized the adventure that you’d been on.
This afternoon we went to the breastfeeding support group at the hospital. I went to this frequently with your sister, and just wanted to go to verify that we’re on the right track. So far nursing has been going really smoothly, and you are a more interested and engaged eater than your sister. I’m hopeful that you’ll put on weight steadily and that I won’t be so concerned about your eating and weight gain as I was with her. Today you weighed 6 lbs 15 oz – already 2 oz more than yesterday – before I fed you and 17 lb 2 oz after I fed you; you ate an amazing 3 oz of milk from one feeding.
You had your first doctor’s checkup today and she said you are looking great. Some of the concerns she had in the hospital were invalidated by negative test results, and I found out that I tested negative for Listeria (after eating a peach that had been included in the recent peach recall), and so we all breathed a sigh of relief. Your weight gain looks good too, though we have to come back in a few days to check it again and she’ll monitor it closely until you’re back at your birth weight. You weighed 6 lbs 13.5 oz.
During the exam she was looking at you on the exam table and you were crying and flailing about in frustration at being naked and poked and prodded (understandably so). The doctor said, “You have two strong-willed little girls on your hands; good luck.” Although I don’t know how she could possibly ascertain your temperament in just a few minutes, I do have say that she has been 100% accurate on everything she’s predicted to date regarding Emma, from the color of her eyes to her petite build and yes, her strong-willed personality.
It’s not often we get to watch our spouses fall in love. Maybe if you’re really perceptive, and weren’t fully caught up in the head-over-heals all-encompassing throes of burgeoning love yourself, you were able to watch it happen when you fell in love with each other. But usually that’s not the case; it wasn’t for me. Before I knew it, we were both just there, in love with each other.
But I’ve been lucky enough to get to witness this love blossoming on two separate occasions now: the arrivals of our two daughters. From the moment we received a positive pregnancy test, while I was still in shock with the news, your dad was confident and excited and smitten with his unborn children. As I grew and we prepared for your arrival, his excitement and love increased. And in both instances, during the delivery, when he got to watch you be born, and announce your gender, I could hear the emotion and love in his voice. I watched it become almost tangible, as he got to hold you and be with you in those first few hours of your life. And as he rocked you and just stared at you in awe, in silence, for many moments on end, I knew he was hooked; he was totally, purely, head-over-heals in love with you.
Tonight your dad found me smothering you with kisses all over your head – your cheeks, your tiny nose, your forehead, your neck – and crying. Neither of these occurrences is a rarity, the former driven by your irresistible cuteness, and the latter fueled by sleep-deprivation and new parenthood and hormones and a host of other factors. He inquired as to what was wrong and I told him, “Nothing. I just love her so much.” Puzzled, he paused, then said, “So they’re happy tears?” and I confirmed that indeed, they were happy tears.