Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Two Months

Two months, my baby! Two months have passed, since you came into our lives, and oh, how you have turned them upside down, and for the better! So much has happened during this month, that I don't even quite know where to start. The highlight? The highlight definitely was two days into your second month, when you have given me your first real smile... something so beautiful and so heavenly, that I cannot even put it into words properly. You were sitting in your swing quietly for a while, until you started to fuss a little bit. I bent down to pick you up and put you into my arms, and as I looked down into your sweet little face, there it suddenly was: a smile to melt your Mama's heart. Your whole face lit up as your toothless gums showed, your cheeks - by then having started to get a little bit pudgy already - became really wide, and the most beautiful thing, the thing I will never forget about it, is how your eyes were smiling along with your mouth. You positively beamed at me as if to say thank you Mama for picking me up, and all I could do was to stare down at you and start to cry... before I scooped you up in a tight embrace and danced through the living room with you like a loon.

About two weeks later you did the same thing to your Daddy, during a particularly rough night when we didn't know how to calm you down anymore, and I already called your grandparents in the middle of the night for some advice. Your Daddy had put you down on your changing table, and you released some gas and poop with a bit of our help, and after you were done you looked so incredibly relieved and exhausted and when I saw some tears running down your Daddy's face, I know what you had just done to him, too.

You are smiling a lot ever since then, pretty much at everybody who plays with you, especially while changing your diaper and blowing little kisses onto your tummy and cute little cheeks. On most days it's also the first thing you do in the morning, after you wake up - really making your Mommy's day. You also enjoy "flying" a lot... you make yourself stiff as a board when we hold you over our heads, hold your own head straight - you are getting very good with that, too! - and smile around at everybody. I have a feeling that soon we will hear you giggle in delight!

You also enjoy your Fisher Price gym a lot now. If I put you beneath it onto your blanket on the floor and I catch you in a playful moment to do so, you lay there for sometimes up to 25 minutes and look at the animals dangling from it, entertaining yourself. You cannot reach for and grab the animals yet, but when you wiggle your arms and legs in delight you hit them and move them accidentally, which seems to fascinate you, and I can hear you squeal sometimes, and make soft babbling noises that make my heart want to burst in my chest, with all your cuteness.

Unfortunately I have still not managed to adopt a certain repeating daily routine with you, which I think accounts for some of your trouble falling asleep at night. When we fail to respect your sleeping patterns during the day because of appointments and obligations we might have (- and since this was December, there were quite some), you point out our mistake to us loudly when it comes to bedtime. Sometimes you are so overstimulated then, that you have trouble falling asleep, and we don't know how to help you, other than holding your tiny shaking body against us, trying to soothe you, until you have cried yourself to sleep. It is fascinating to see what kind of volumes you can produce, and how my ears are ringing from your screams. And now that you are also making tears when you cry, it is absolutely heartbreaking to see you do so, to watch your face go red with your efforts, and to see the tears streaming down your beautiful cheeks. My goal for next month is to really find and settle into a routine that will work for all of us, and I can already tell you that this will take some real effort on my part, because I am really not a person who appreciates routines a lot, even though I know how important they are for little people like you.

I will do better, I promise.

Once you do sleep, though, the term "sleep like a baby" really applies. You are still sharing our bed with us, either sleeping next to me, or between your Daddy and I. You always find a way to establish physical contact with me, even if I have moved you a bit away from me from fear of accidentally squishing you while I sleep. Somehow you always end up beneath my armpit, facing me, and looking like an angel in your sleep. You have learned now the difference between night and day, and even though we are far from you sleeping through a whole night, you know that after a night-time feeding you are supposed to go right back to sleep, as opposed to day-time feedings, where you really start to get playful and be wide awake afterwards. Your nursing in the middle of the night is so uncomplicated that most of the time I just fall right back asleep while you are still eating, and all I need to do for the next one is to move you to my other side, and you help yourself to whatever you need, before going back to sleep.

Now for three nights you have slept for 5.5 hours straight already... from 1AM to 6:30AM, a true break for me. I didn't think my body could adapt to waking up every 2 hours for 8 weeks straight, yet it has done it, and just when I felt I couldn't do this much longer there you go sleeping for half of the night without needing to be fed. I really hope this will happen more regularly from now on, and maybe even draw out in length a bit.

When you wake up, your Daddy and I oftentimes watch you and giggle - for it seems that you are even worse when it comes to waking up in the morning than your Daddy or I, who are both not exactly quickly waking up ourselves. When you slowly drift out of sleep and into consciousness, you start to stretch and wiggle, and your face goes red with the effort of stretching, and you make these strained noises while you do, looking like any second now you will open your eyes, only for you to fall right back asleep, to repeat the process a few minutes later - sometimes for over half an hour, before you finally open your eyes and smile at us. It's too cute.

Did I mention that you have started to "rub" your eyes now, when you are getting tired? It's still a bit uncoordinated, but unmistakable nonetheless... and of course extremely cute, like everything you do.

And since I talked about nursing you at night, I feel that I also have to mention that about 2 or 3 weeks ago you have finally learned to nurse without this bothersome silicone cap, which was a blessing at first when you couldn't latch on to me with your little mouth at all, but has soon turned into a real nuisance, especially while feeding you in public. Not just once did that silicone-nipple go flying through the air when you wiggled around when I put you in drinking position, and accidentally hit it. Not to mention all the fussing around with keeping my shirt or sweater from sliding down before you latch on, taking the cap along with it, and the leakage that happens when you don't latch on properly immediately. I am so proud of you that you can now nurse without any help, that for the most part I don't need this artificial barrier between us anymore. It took a few days for you to get the hang of it without breaking into tears of frustration, and now to my amazement I find that you get rather frustrated when I put the silicone nipple back on, for instants at night time, when we still have some difficulties nursing naturally.

You now also look at me rather intently while nursing, drawing all my attention to you. When you then combine that with your content sighs while you swallow and raise your eyebrows in delight, you have turned your Mommy into a puddle on the floor yet again. It reminds me of how, while we were still in the hospital together, you nursed with your eyes tightly shut, and a nurse telling me that a baby your age can't yet focus on drinking and looking at the same time, for it is still too exhausting. Now only eight weeks have passed, and the progress you have made is simply astounding. It seems to me that you grow so quickly, you almost make me dizzy. You don't look like that squishy and thin newborn anymore at all, and I wonder whatever happened to time. You barely even fit into size 56 clothes anymore, and I will soon get your size 62 stuff out for you - which makes me feel a bit melancholic already.

When you are done eating, to get back to the subject of nursing, you now oftentimes grace me with another wide open-mouthed smile, then you squeal, latching back on for a few seconds before drawing back again to look at me and to smile and to squeal - it's hard to describe, but I hope to catch this on video sometime soon. It makes your feedings a really special time between you and I, for this is something you can only do with me, something special that's only between us, and that I am very jealous of other people even seeing.

Overall you are still an extremely chill and relaxed baby, so much so in fact, that people have already commented on how unusually calm you are. You are friendly with everybody, and only start fussing when it's getting too much for you, as it happened a few times during all these Christmas gettogethers in the last weeks. But it takes you a very long time to get there, you are a very uncomplicated baby to take along with us wherever we go.

This month you have also been staying alone at home with your Daddy for the first time, while I had to drive to your grandparents to pick up something. I was very nervous about that, fed you thoroughly so you wouldn't get hungry while I was gone, fussed a lot about you, and then I left. I was only gone for about an hour, but it felt extremely strange to be without you, seeing as you have been with me constantly for the past 11 months without interruption. I felt quite lonely without you, and hurried up home to be back with you, but you had behaved well and enjoyed your alone-time with Daddy, so I heard.

We have also been to the pediatrician again, to check up on your weight gain and growth, and to give you your first shot and follow-up hip ultrasound. As far as your weight and length goes, you are a little bit above average for your age, so all is good there. The shot you got was actually just a serum for you to swallow, not to be poked into you with a needle, much to my relief. Unfortunately you suffered quite some side effects from that one, and for three days thereafter you were crying for much of the day, had glazy eyes, looked exhausted, and had a hard time sleeping at all. I am afraid of the follow-up shot, and of whatever else will have to be injected into you in the course of the next months and years... but I am sure we will get through it one way or another.

Unfortunately your second hip-ultrasound has revealed that one of your femurs isn't inserted correctly into your hip joint, which can cause dislocation problems once you start to crawl. I had the same problem as a baby, only more massive than you, so I was upset, but not really surprised. We have to put you in diapers now that keep your legs spread at a certain angle, to ensure that your hip joint will properly "grab" your femur, and next month we will go for a checkup ultrasound, to see that hopefully the problem will have solved itself.

Of course this month has also seen your first Christmas with us. You slept through the first celebration at your great-grandparents, but were wide awake on Christmas Eve, when we celebrated traditionally at your Grandparents' place. You seemed fascinated by the lights on the tree, and I can't wait for next year, when you will be a bit over a year old, and possibly already walking and able to explore and enjoy that tree in a much more conscious way!

You have received many gifts, too! Some money of course, a rattle, some chewing toys, rubber duckies for your daily baths, a new baby gym (which you will have to grow into first), toys for the sandbox (also for when you are a bit older), and a gold coin from your great-grand-uncle, which was extremely unexpected. From me you have got this big teddy bear, which I hope will be with you and be treasured by you throughout your childhood, and your Daddy has gotten you a beautiful Swarovski butterfly - not a toy at all, but a valuable gift for his princess, which you will hopefully learn to treasure as you grow older.

I will also have that little pearl, which I found in my clam chowder during Christmas dinner, worked into a necklace for you by a jeweler. I found this such a curious thing to happen, to bite on a pearl in my soup during our first Christmas as a family, that I cannot help but put meaning into this, even though I am usually a perfectly rational and non-superstitious person.

I cannot wait to see what the next month holds in store for us... keep on amazing us the way you do, little beautiful Baby Girl.

We love you endlessly,
Mama & Papa


Blogger imagoii said...

so glad that things are going well for you all! much happiness to you in the New Year!

11:17 PM  

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