10.19.2012

From the land of milk and honey.

Milk.
Eating this morning from a syringe.
When you're pregnant, you're amazed that your body is capable of making another human being without any coaching in the least. Idiots have babies. Your body just knows what to do; avoid cigarettes and take a prenatal vitamin and you can end up with a perfectly healthy little baby too.

We made it through pregnancy with minimal biological intervention. There are many stories to tell on this blog about the past week of our lives (and I will tell them), but I need to start out of order. I need to start with the milk problem.

Within a few days of giving birth, I had the bizarre experience of finding myself producing FOOD for a baby. "Hooray!" we cheered. My milk had come in. Some people don't even get that.

But Noah has shown himself to be somewhat stubborn when it comes to eating. He gets himself all worked up, to the point that it means we spend 60 minutes trying to get him to productively eat for 10. As a first time mom I figured this came with the territory. He seemed fussy, so I walked him, soothed him, sang to him in French. He sucked on his fingers and he sucked on our pinkies. It was adorable.

Until we went to the pediatrician and he had lost more weight. It's normal for babies to lose weight in the first few days of life, but the important thing is to get them back to gaining. Once milk is in, they should start the upswing... but Noah has not had his upswing yet. He was born at 7 lbs 7 oz and as of yesterday morning, he is now at 6 lbs.

To be clear, we are on top of this. Noah could not ask for more paranoid parents and so we found ourselves last night calling the emergency line for the pediatrician around 3am. "Help!" we said. "He hasn't peed for 8 hours." There is nothing less motivating than feeding your kid every two hours only to find that he still isn't getting nearly enough. I've averaged about one breakdown a day about this, feeling frustrated and like I'm starving my kid. The newborn clothes that I lovingly washed and folded and tucked into the dresser hang off of him and remind me every time I roll up his sleeves how tiny he is and how much he needs to grow.

It's funny what you predict will be difficult and what turns out being so.


Honey.
Sleepy guy.
"Little Bean!" we call him. "Noah bear!"

"We got the cutest baby," we say to each other. "Look at those fingers!"

He has a cowlick just like his dad. Sometimes the light hits his face when I'm nursing him and he looks so much like my baby picture that I have a bizarre meta-moment in which I am feeding myself. He likes sleeping on our chests, but he also sleeps in his bassinet and crib and bouncer and car seat. He is not picky.

When he's awake, he's AWAKE. Giant eyes take in the scene. He loves looking at his dad. Sometimes he looks worried, but that's when we kiss him and tell him "HI! Hi, Noahbean!"

He's met a few family members and will meet more this weekend and over the next month. Facebook has changed the game when it comes to babies. When I was born I lived less than a couple hours from my extended family, who came to visit me soon after but then didn't have had the day-to-day updates that technology allows today. We text family and friends with photos constantly. It's a different world, one in which it feels like everyone is right here with us.

And yet we wade through becoming a family of three successfully. We hold each other and get each other Tylenol and glasses of water. We make sure the other one has the remote and a phone within arm's reach. This afternoon I nearly peed myself laughing at Chris for the tenth time this week.

"You're much funnier than usual," I said. "But maybe it's my lack of sleep."

"Maybe you just don't spend all day around me," he said. "And also, I'm in a really good mood lately."

Indeed.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Jen,

Congrats on your baby boy!

I'm a college friend of Abby's from Inviting Joy and recently started reading your blog after her post about creative summer camp.

We just had a little boy almost four months ago and reading your post made me relive our first week with him. As for breastfeeding, I will be sending so many good, positive thoughts your way. It's HARD. So, so hard (or at least it was for me in those first weeks.)

Love to you and your little family!