It’s been quite the adventure over here. Ana is a month old! Her personality is more defined, and she’s been smiling a lot. That smile is magic.
Good Cop and I are still figuring out all of this parenting stuff, wondering how it all fits together with who we used to be, and watching while she slowly makes her way deep into our hearts. It takes a while, at least for us, to “feel” like her parents, to feel the mushy Johnson & Johnson commercials feelings. No doubt we would have jumped off a cliff for her from the first minute, but for me this season feels like the first few weeks of dating Good Cop. I knew somehow that he was going to be a big part of my life but I didn’t know anything about him, and every time we were together I was trying to learn who he was and why I wanted to be with him all the time. Living with Ana feels that way except that she can’t talk, which slightly impairs the process. I’m in love but I know that it’s going to get better and better.
I’ve been thinking a lot about Blackbird and what it will be like when we bring him or her home. Ana already knew us so well right from the beginning, and it was obvious that she was comfortable with us. And even with all that history, it still takes time to bond. I can’t imagine how it will be when we bring home a baby that doesn’t know us. It makes more sense now when they say that the bonding time for adopted newborns is substantial for everyone. Babies and their parents really do come pre-loaded with a lot. A lot of people ask what the most surprising thing about this experience is, and I think it’s just that I felt like I knew what to do right from the beginning. I had a pretty good idea of what she needed, and even a good idea of what she wanted. I think that’s the part that will feel different with the Blackbird. Or maybe not. I know for sure that parenting is all about going with the flow and holding expectations loosely!
Time does go by so fast. I’m not keeping much in the way of journals or notes, although we do have tons of pictures. I feel bad that I’m not writing things down, but it just doesn’t make it to the top of the priority list. Also, when I start to think about what I want to remember forever, it’s overwhelming and I don’t know where to start. Everything she does and everything we do and feel seems equally important. And my brain is always foggy cause there’s not much sleep. So I just live in the moment and take lots of pictures. We did register for a baby book and if we don’t get it at the shower we’ll pick it up ourselves. If I had it here today I’d write these things down:
- All of the flowering trees and bushes were at their peak the week she came home from the hospital. As we drove around to the doctor visits and hospital lab visits on her first days with us (and I was anxious and sad and overwhelmed), everything smelled amazing and the flowers were beautiful.
- When she sneezes, there are usually two or three “practice” sneezes that don’t involve the nose. Just an adorable little grunt. Good Cop can’t get enough of those. We’re still trying to get them on video.
- She watches and studies things a lot. She likes being in her crib for diaper changes and she’ll look around for quite a few minutes. It’s a good time for me to leave her and brush my teeth or get dressed.
- The first couple of weeks she wouldn’t sleep for any reasonable length of time unless we held her. We took turns spending the night on the couch, and I think she was two weeks old when we finally had our first night back in our bed together. It felt like eternity. She’s gotten a lot better at sleeping on her own. On good nights she sleeps for four hours after the mid-night feeding. On normal nights she goes about three hours. On bad nights it’s less than two hours. Lately she’s been cluster feeding from about 5pm until midnight. Last night she did a lot better, so I’m hoping this is temporary.
- I worked on this post for two days. Then I went to publish it and half of the additions were lost.
- She’s outgrowing her newborn clothes already. Sad!
- We had professional pictures taken the day she turned three weeks old and they turned out great even though the park was overrun with mosquitoes and we were preoccupied with killing them.
- I was back in normal jeans for the photos, and it was great! I was so surprised. I planned on being in maternity clothes for a couple months, but my recovery has been really easy and I’m grateful. Everything is snug but I’m not gonna stress about that until I’m done nursing.
- Nursing is a lot of work! I’m glad we’re doing it but it’s not simple.
- I’m easing back into work and I love feeling connected to my other life. It’s just a half an hour here and there but it feels great.
- I’m way behind on thank you notes.
- I love the weight of her on my chest when she falls asleep. They should bottle that up as therapy.
- Good Cop and I have gotten out for some dates already. We went for a couple of quick motorcycle rides, got a few groceries, and even went out for lunch on the longest date. We’re looking forward to when I have a good supply of frozen milk so we can leave her for more than an hour.
- Her eyelashes and hair are really growing. When she was born her lashes were barely there. Now they’re long enough to catch dog hairs and fuzzies, and they’ve got a nice little curl. Super cute. Her hair is still dark and getting longer, although some is rubbing off in the back.
- The dishes and laundry multiply exponentially with a baby. It’s hard to believe how fast they get out of control. As in, it can be all caught up and then 45 minutes later the kitchen is trashed and there’s another full load of laundry to be done.
- Baby life is awful and fantastic all at the same time. I’m soaking it all up.