Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Dear Keian,

Dear Keian,
You are a week old now. Everyone tells me how cute you are. You have my lips and nose and your dads eyes. You make the same faces I make when you sleep. You are just starting to keep your eyes open for more than a few moments at a time. Your dad makes funny noises that startle you and cause you to stare unblinking into space for the source of the sounds.
Dear Keian,
Having a baby is the weirdest thing. It is everything I thought it would be but so different that I thought it would be. I bet every new mom says that. I'm sure I've read that from other new moms a lot, actually. You just don't believe it. You really don't.

It was 3:30am when you woke up to eat. Now I'm awake. You finally ate enough to get back to sleep.
I have a baby. I can't imagine. My brain can't process that yet, I barely think in anything more than simple sentences.

I'm awake because the baby was awake. And hungry.
How can something so tiny eat so much? Every hour.
Every hour he is wailing for more food.
And yet, he lost an entire pound since his birth. (April 14th, 4:36pm. 7lbs 11.5 oz. All his fingers and toes intact.)
I live in some sort of bizarre-o world with a hummingbird baby. Sometimes he refuses to eat, and instead shoves his whole fist in his mouth, and then gets angry and wails at me because there isn't any milk coming out of his hand.
I feel like I might never get the hang of this.
He only wants me to hold him, or he won't go back to sleep.
He has an incredible amount of the softest brown hair on his head. I gave him a mohawk after his sponge bath because he's my baby and I get to do stuff like that.
The birthing wasn't too bad, actually. We went into the hospital at six in the morning for a scheduled induction. The eviction was prescheduled, and the Pitocin made everything work on some odd medical schedule. I had pain medication when things started to progress later in the afternoon and I was laughing when I should have been pushing. He shot out of me in just a few hours in labor like I had a cannon for a uterus. I kept saying, "That was too easy. Are you sure that is it?"
Which is one of those times that proves the universe hates me.
The after affects were worse than the labor, and now I have a million and ten stitches... or at least that is what it feels like.
More proof- there were a barrage of tests done on him, because that is what doctors do to newborns. He had blood drawn from his heel, and the phlebotomist literally had to squeeze and milk the blood from his foot. He was perfectly calm, which is great, except that he explodes with the loudest screams whenever I change his diaper. He screams and screams until everything is completely changed, like I'm stabbing him with hot pokers while dipping him into iodine.

He's hungry again. Right now. And he is batting me away, shoving his hand into his mouth, scrunching up his face in anger because there isn't anything good to eat in there. He kicks at me, and grabs at his cheeks and ears and pulls at them like he is trying to rip them from his face. Then I try to feed him again, or just get him to latch on, or calm down, or something... and he slaps my breast away. Fine then. I didn't want you to eat anyway. I think the milk just fuels his crying.

He's awesome and frustrating and hungry and cuddly. It is Zen-like, having a baby. You are always in the moment. Always hyper aware of what is going on with the baby, even when you are completely exhausted. (And keep forgetting to eat.) I overestimated how much sleep I would truly get. In the short spans of times when I do sleep (nap would be more accurate) I startle awake to check on the baby, just to make sure he is still breathing. I have some irrational fear that if I'm not with him every moment of every day he might stop breathing. Sometimes when I prod him just to make sure he is really alive, he grunts at me, and opens one squinty eye accusingly, and he looks like Popeye... if Popeye were cute.
Goodbye whatever normal used to be. I have a baby now.

1 comment:

Apple said...

I really like your writing. I am contemplating having a baby and I like hearing other mother's views on the whole situation.