On Friday, you will be one month old. In fact, a month ago today, I was at work, wrangling toddlers, and wondering if I was ever going to have this baby. It was actually the last full day that I was pregnant and not in labor, because they induced me the next day. I can’t remember anything about that Tuesday, except that I hadn’t slept a full night in over a month, so your Dad pushed the couches together and we made a little love nest, hoping that by being propped up I could sleep a little better. I’m glad now that we didn’t know that THAT WAS IT, but sometimes I wish that there had been a little indicator light somewhere that said: Get Ready. This is it. After tonight, everything changes.
You have all ready grown over an inch and gained over a pound. This is good news, in a way, because the only way we can afford for you to go to college is if you win a volleyball scholarship, so you better go ahead and grow into those huge feet and hands of yours.
In the meantime, I keep looking at the word ONE. ONE month. Soon I’ll be typing the words “Forty-Five” or “One Hundred and Six” and then I’ll probably cry a little bit.
So it’s also not so good news. Your Dad and I spent all year waiting for you to arrive. We read all kinds of books about pregnancy; about the right foods for me to eat, about getting enough sleep and keeping my feet up and thinking positive. I went to all my appointments and ate a lot of vitamins and drank a lot of water. I also drank a lot of sugar free grape flavored Kool Aid, because water gets a little boring. But, then again, all you get to eat for the next five months is breast milk, so maybe I should not suggest to you that there are other options.
We went to lamaze, and I got to teach your Dad all kinds of fun words like ‘perineum’ and ‘labia.’ I packed, and re-packed, my labor bag and suitcase to prepare for The Big Day– and even so, I forgot to pack pants, and forgot to pack underwear for your Dad. I was diagnosed with diabetes, and had to give up sugar, which meant a lifelong love affair with donuts was temporarily discarded. Also I had to limit myself to one latte a week, and no other caffeine.
But you know what we did not prepare for? This.
(And, by the way, without a doubt, you are the most beautiful baby we’ve ever seen. Sometimes we just sit and stare at you, because we can’t believe that we made something so beautiful. It’s so cliche. It’s so silly. It’s probably the first time in my life that I’ve fit in to some kind of woman’s stereotype.)
We knew that life was about to change for us, but we had no idea just how much. Your Dad and I fell in love with each other because we are both impulsive, spontaneous, and like to make decisions on the fly. We’re still doing that– making things up as we go– but that quick little jaunt out to the coffee shop that we used to make every morning? Now that involves making sure that you are watered and fed and dressed and packed up- and also, if we put you in the car you sleep for the next six hours, which makes our nights Hell On Earth, so we avoid it if we can. It used to be No Big Deal if your Dad forgot something and I had to run out and bring it to him– but now that’s a major commitment, depending on what part of YOUR rhythm it falls into.
We even have a bedtime now. Can you believe it?
We’re pretty sarcastic in this family about making these changes. We’ve nicknamed you Chief Baby. When we put you in your crib at night, we joke about how it is a mad dash to get our teeth brushed and jump into bed before you wake up the first time.When our friends call us, we tell them that we have to check YOUR planner before we can make plans, because if you have a nap or a feeding penciled in for that time, it’s a no-go.
We kid, we kid.
The truth is that there isn’t a single change we’ve had to make that we weren’t happy to do. As the days go on and you get more and more well-adjusted, your awake times are happier, and your sleeping times are more productive, we celebrate and strategize ways to make it even better for you. Part of our bedtime routine now involves reading my favorite poetry until you fall asleep. Your Dad has started researching infant swimming classes, and talking wistfully about the first time he can put you in the lake. I am understanding now why parents want their kids to experience their favorite things; because it means that, we sort-of get to experience it for the first time all over again.
What I’m trying to say is: on Friday, you will be one month old. And that means, in a way, I am one month old, too.
So. Happy One Month birthday to us, to our family. Thank you for making me a mother. It’s the most challenging role I’ve ever had to play; it’s my wish and hope and dream that you never ever regret that God gave you to me.