Thursday, October 21, 2010

Life with a Newborn

Beckett tries to focus - 4 weeks:

Trying to grab the camera:

5 weeks and all's well!  Busy, but well.  It's not been that long since a newborn has been in this house, but bringing home Beckett made us realize how much we'd forgotten about the early weeks.  The sleeplessness, the spit up, the neverending poopy diapers.  The memories we have of our first attempt at parenthood are fuzzy, and laced with nothing but the good parts.  Beckett is full of those too.  I'm enjoying the warm, cuddly baby naps on my chest and the late night nursing sessions where everything is quiet and still but me and my baby boy.  It's been wonderful.  Fuzzy, due to the lack of sleep, but wonderful.  Beckett is a sweet boy and is settling quite well in the Turner household.

In 5 weeks, we've had a few doctor visits and an ER visit to monitor his jaundice and his acid reflux problems.  Beckett is a yellow vomit machine.  Yellow initially because he was born early.  This is apparently very common with babies born prior to 38 weeks.  He continues to be yellow, the doctor says, because of something in my breastmilk that makes him that way.  It's not harmful, but he'll continue to have a little bilirubin in his system for a few months.  And maybe even longer, because he comes from a long line of yellow people.  His Mama and Grandpa both have a genetic disorder that make them a little yellow too.  Time will tell.  The acid reflux has been an adventure in spit up and expensive prescriptions.  We were quick to diagnose him at home, remembering his big brother's symptoms of retching, arching his back, and screaming in pain after burps.  So two weeks after birth, we were sitting in the doctor's office, begging for a script.  And again a week later to ask for the good stuff.  We seem to have taken the edge off, as evidenced by longer sleeping patterns and less screaming, but the spit up is still plentiful and staining good shirts by the hour.
Reflux hurts:

The sleepless nights come and go.  A good night of sleep with a breastfed newborn means you'll be up about every 2 hours to nurse, burp, change and repeat.  Pretty easy when your baby agrees with the schedule.  Not so much when your newborn thinks it's party time after every meal.  And by "party time" I mean "scream at the top of your lungs" time.  So we'll have nights like that, followed by nights where he'll give us a break.  We don't consider what we do to be sleeping in the early stages anyway.  We'd like to think of our sleep patterns as "a series of short naps" for weeks on end.  The first month is the hardest.  After that, it's not necessarily that you're getting more sleep, you're just getting used to the deprivation.  Oh, and that cute advice that EVERY seasoned mother likes to share "sleep when the baby sleeps"?  All moms know what I'm talking about.  Not only is it crap, but it doesn't apply to moms with a toddler in the house too.  So I'm embracing the dark circles under my eyes and constant confusion because I don't have a choice.  All for a good cause though.

Beckett is adorable.  His newborn hair is starting to thin out (on his head AND his back) and his eyes are starting to change colors.  To what, I don't know yet, but he's slowly changing from newborn scrunchy-face Beckett to baby boy Beckett.  I feel like I blinked and he changed.  An ongoing curse of motherhood - your babies grow up faster than you are comfortable with.  But he is just as scrumpy as could be.  His development over the last 5 weeks has been amazing.  He's started making eye contact, reaching for things, noticing things in his environment and even smiling intentionally!  He also coos (when he's not screaming) which is super cute.  He seems to be a mama's boy and will almost always soothe as soon as he's in my arms, so we're like peas and carrots for 23 hours every day.  We've been co-sleeping for everyone's sanity, mostly because the only place he'll actually sleep is with his cheek pressed up against my skin, but I'm secretly loving every minute of it.  Snuggling with my tiniest one is a pretty special thing. 

"I wish you could put your ear up to my heart and hear how much I love you"

He hasn't really noticed Ben, unless he's staring him in the face, presenting the threat of either dumping him onto the floor or petting him nicely.  I can almost see him tense up with anticipation for what's next when Ben is close to him.  He's learned from past experiences (unfortunately) that Ben is capable of being sweet, and not so sweet as he gets used to "The Interloper".  This is getting better every day though.  And speaking of Ben, Beckett is like a younger, darker version of his big brother.  Check out the resemblance:

Ben at 1 month:

Beckett at 1 month:

Bros pose on a warm September day:

In addition to immediate family snuggles, Beckett has enjoyed tons of grandma, grandpa and auntie love in his 5 weeks here.  We've had a few Turner visits, both here and in the mountains, where Beckett has loved on his Mimi and Poo, his Aunt Nette and Uncle Johnny, and his Auntie Lala and Madi.  And they are all very serious about Beckett time.  They will arm wrestle over who is next.  This kid is loved.  And when he's returned to his mama, his hair smells like a mix of everyone's perfumes.  Something to remember them by.  Beckett's Grammie, Grandpa and Aunt Megan have also made regular visits for snuggle time.  Gram has practically made it a daily routine to cuddle with Beckett in the rocking chair, mostly because he's awesome, but a little bit because Mama needs a break sometimes.  It's been very nice.

So the party of 4 has survived the first month!  Experience tells us that it only gets easier from here.  The bittersweet journey of simultaneously wishing for new milestones (like the sleep through the night one!) and wishing the clock would slow down begins.  We're savoring all the sweet baby moments with our little man because we know how fast they go. 

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