Dear Sweet Baby Reeve.
today you are ONE month old. As I type this you are lying in your bassinet (which you have already outgrown and your arms are pushing off of the sides of) sucking on a pacifier and then spitting it out every time you fall asleep, which coincidentally, wakes you up. Though you are swaddled, your arms have magically found their way out and are flailing about, sometimes smacking your own face. I have a love/hate relationship with both the pacifier and the swaddler thingie.
Daddy has been out of town for work all week and I think I average about 4 hours a sleep each night. Long gone are my dreams of a “sleep schedule” and these days I just pray for an uninterrupted stretch that will give me back a little bit of energy.
Your arms are the skinniest of arms. They can’t even be real. Your legs too are just too adorable to talk about. There is not a pinch of fat on either, just fuzzy hair.
Daily you look more and more like a little boy and less and less like a little baby. Your hairline is nearly perfect and your eyes are as blue as the ocean…please let them stay this way so you can grow up to be the hearththrob I imagine your daddy was.
This growth, this daily changing of your features, makes my heart both bigger and shattered into a million pieces? It has been no secret in this past month that I struggle more with how quickly you change and “how fast it goes” than anything else. I would take a solid 30-day stretch of sleepless nights if it could all just slow down. I told Kirk when he left Sunday for his work trip that I felt like you would be driving by the time he came home.
In the past day or two, you have begun to coo and “talk” to me. Shrieks and screams have me in love and sometimes shock you. It’s almost as though you wonder where that sound came from? I actually called my mom (Don Linny) to let her hear you talking. These are just the silly things parents do. We call grandparents to let them listen to what is probably gas pains.
Your now give me about 2 real smiles a day versus the ALL day gas face. I can distinguish smiles from gas face now b/c you are a heroic pooper. You use every sounds and muscle in your repertoire to let me know when one is coming. . . and then one turns into two and sometimes even three the minute you get a clean diaper on. We go through a LOT of diapers around here. Pooping also requires the reddest face I have ever seen which causes me to check for a pulse.
Sometimes it all feels overwhelming though. I wasn’t prepared for that though it’s naive to think I would get it all right from the get go. This “mommy guilt” everyone talks about is for real. I feel like no matter what I do he won’t sleep when I want him to, eat when I want him to, go down for naps, does he eat enough? It’s never ending, but friend assure me it’s normal to feel this way. I just try to remember at 2am or 4am that your needs must always go before mine and it seems to be a lot easier. I would do anything for you, Reeve. I really would. I am so lucky to have you.
Is this all a dream?
Your have a perfect little mouth. I love to watch it’s shapes and long for the moment I get that first real smile from you. I kiss your lips every time I pick you up. It’s something that gives me amazing satisfaction. I also give you 3 kisses on the neck each time I can. I suck on your nose. It’s so little and perfect, I give it one little suck. Your ears are all cartilage and so soft. I trace them and am fascinated by how manly they look.
I stroke your head as you nurse. Your hair is so soft, fur really. The back stands up like Alfalfa while the front has gentle, quiet waves.
You make the most amazing sounds when you nurse. I have always said little boys come with sound effects. You grunt and groan and as you eat I picture a little boy in India crouched in a corner with a knife ready to stab the first person who attempts to take his food. You act like you would hurt anyone who tries to pull you from my breast. Your tiny (yet big for such a small guy) hands clutch my finger as if to say, “Oh Dear God…mom….don’t EVER stop…” and your bottom hand has taken to stroking/scratching my side. Nursing, though difficult and confusing, is the most satisfying thing I do every day. It makes me feel as if, for the first time, my body actually has a purpose. I love it. There are, however, times when you simply get lazy in the middle of a feeding and forget to swallow and spit my hard-earned milk all down my side…
I love how you stretch. I have mentioned before that you do so with ALL of your might. Arms up towards the heavens, back arched and ankles forever crossed…what a little gentleman you are.
And how polite and calm you are for each of our visitors. Just yesterday we went to lunch with a friend and you were so alert, so calm as she held you. I think you were trying to tell her (because she is pregnant with her first child) that her fears right now should be eased. I tried to explain to her that, other than sleeping through the night and the exhaustion that comes with that, it’s really easy. YOU are really easy.
This isn’t so hard, tiring yes, but not hard. I am thankful. Being thankful and knowing how blessed we are makes the trials of a newborn seem like nothing.
God, it’s all just such a blur. Wasn’t it just yesterday I was afraid to have you in the world? Wasn’t it just yesterday we were driving you home from the hospital in your perfect little GAP sweater outfit? Wasn’t it just yesterday? It DOES go so fast, mothers are correct when they tell me this. Kirk says that time seems to go so fast with babies because we can SEE their changes. With adults, we don’t change every day. That makes sense. Changing is what you are best at these days. And growing. Right now you are STUFFED into a newborn onesie and your legs are much too long for your newborn pants, but I just can’t bring myself to put you in bigger clothes.
I just hope that I get better at this. That I learn what it is that will always make you happy whether it’s just a new diaper, boob, sleep or a song.
Perhaps my favorite part about this first month we have had with you is how you and Kirk interact. I remember how he would never hold anyone’s child, how he didn’t really even think much of kids. NOW…..whoa boy….he’s a softie. He absolutely is head over heels in love with you. He holds you like a pro, gently but making sure you are safe. He offers to put you to bed when I am exhausted at night knowing that it takes him about 2 hours as you will fuss and cry for me. He teaches you things. How to feel your hands, how to use your arms. He puts money into a college fund for you and gets a larger life insurance policy. He goes to the gym so he can be healthy, an example for you to live your life that way. He changes you like he has been changing diapers forever…though, at first on his Diaper Shifts, we were going through twice as many….you got a fresh diaper with each little fart. Now, he has learned one poop means another is on it’s way and he’s extra certain to tighten the diaper as he has been peed on 2 or 3 times as you are in his lap.
He’s a proud poppa, that’s for sure. I see it in his eyes, I hear it in his voice. I feel it. He’s going to be a great example for you as you live your life.
You are awake now…slowly groaning and working your arms out of the swaddle. Your little tongue pokes out of your lips. Your eyes blink. You are more fascinated by the ceiling fan than myself. I should’ve just put your crib under the ceiling fan b/c, I swear, you could look at that thing forever.
Hannah is watching you. She’s an uncertain, yet loving Big Sister. She is more concerned with smelling your head (occasionally licking it) and appears to get very stressed out when you cry. She follows us from room to room and looks into your bassinet with the desire to get her tongue all over your locks. We are careful with her though….we think if we would let her, she might toss you around like she does one of her stuffed animals. Probably not, but we are nervous first-time parents, you know.
I am completely enamored with you. I am completed in awe of you. I adore you. I stare at your for hours upon hours and could never tire of doing so.
In this one month we have had together I have watched you grow so much. It both breaks my heart and excited me to think about what the future has in store for us.
I was pretty spot on about the fact that you would look like Kirk, from your eyes to your ears to your expression and your hair. It can’t be a coincidence. God must make little boys look like their fathers and I am so beyond grateful that you resemble him. He’s my favorite face to look at….other than yours.
Happy One Month, Little Reeve.
I hope you are a good little boy as you grow. I know you will be. I can’t wait for next month and the month after that and each milestone that brings us. Grow strong, grow healthy, just remember to take it easy on your momma. I am new at this and although I have managed to keep you alive for a month, but I would give my life for you. I pray every night as I watch you on the video monitor that you safe, that you grow strong. My prayers for you are so much bigger than any I have had for myself.