Thursday, September 14

One Month Old

Dear Teagan Monkey,

You are one month old today, and changing so fast it makes my head spin. You have changed our lives in so many ways, and after only a month, I can hardly remember what life was like before you.

You are a beautiful, happy, patient, sweet, loving baby. You are much more patient with your daddy than you are with me, but I guess you just expect me to do know what I’m doing. Daddy can take as long as he needs to change your diaper, or change your clothes, or adjust your burp cloth, but you tend to gripe if I take more than 3 seconds. That’s okay—you had to get something from me.

You are at your happiest when you first wake up in the morning. You smile and coo then, like you are so happy to start another day. This makes me happy to start another day with you. I know I will have to go back to work soon, and I treasure every minute I get to spend holding, kissing, patting, feeding, changing, and spoiling you.

You were born with a head full of gorgeous black hair. It is soft and fine and curly when it’s wet. You like to have it brushed unless you are hungry, and then you would rather the brush be in your mouth. You have big, beautiful eyes, just like your daddy did when he was a baby. They are captivating and they demand attention at every opening. You have a cute little button nose and a round pouty mouth, both of which deserve to be kissed and nibbled constantly. In the last week or so your cheeks have gotten much fuller and you have developed a double chin. This pleases me so. You are absolutely adorable.

You had a long, skinny body when you were born, but it too has become fuller in the last couple of weeks. You have an adorable potbelly, and your arms and legs are getting chubby. You have long skinny fingers and toes, as Mommy and Daddy both do. Fine black hair lingers on your ears, arms, and back. You also have it on your face, between your eyebrows and your hairline, just like Mommy does.

You are eating about 3 ounces every 2-4 hours. You tend to eat more frequently in the evening, as though you are storing your food for the night’s hibernation. You took to the bottle immediately and we have not had any problems since. You don’t burp much, but you don’t spit-up much either, so it’s okay. You are a very gassy little thing, and you toot on Mommy and Daddy daily. We figure this makes up for the burping.

You initially didn’t love having your diaper changed, but you are starting to realize that Mommy always changes you right before she feeds you. So now I lay you down to change you and you start smacking your lips and sucking on your fingers. I realize when you do this that I need to speed up the process, as, like I mentioned before, you are not as patient with Mommy as you are with Daddy. You have been known to go through 3 or more diapers in a single changing, as apparently the cool air tends to cause you to pee. This took a little getting used to, especially during those middle-of-the-night changings. There was also an incident a few days ago that caused Mommy to use 5 diapers in one single changing, as each time I lifted your legs to wipe your bottom, you decided to poopoo just a little bit more.

You had your first bath when you were 11 days old. I was surprised by how much you seemed to enjoy it. You didn’t even cry. You did pee on Mommy though, as I was carrying you into the kitchen. That’s okay—I expected it. You have a bath every other night now, and seem to enjoy each one a little more than the last.

You love to sleep on my chest, and especially on Daddy’s chest. You sleep a lot, as all babies do, and you do very well at night. You slept in your Moses basket beside Mommy’s bed the first week you were home. Then Mommy woke up one night to find your face crammed into the side of the basket, and you haven’t been in it since. As for now, you sleep in your play-yard in the living room and Mommy has spent the last three weeks sleeping on the couch. You have only slept in your crib one night, but it was Mommy that had a problem with it, not you. I had a hard time falling asleep to begin with, and I had the monitor turned up so loud that I would wake up with every little grunt or sigh you let out. I know we have to start doing that soon, as Mommy goes back to work next week. It will be very hard for me, but better for both of us in the long run.

You are very strong. You were holding your head up for brief periods at a time the day you were born. You have gotten very good at it, and when I lay you on my chest or on your stomach you pick your head up and look around. You kick your legs a lot and swing your arms, too. We swaddled you a lot at first because you would throw your arms around and wake yourself up. You let us know very quickly that you are a not a swaddle-kind-of-girl.

You make the most adorable noises I have ever heard. You grunt a lot and even snort a little when you are hungry. When you are happy and have a full tummy you make a chuckling-grunting noise. It is music to my ears. I dread the day that you make that noise for the last time. You have laughed in your sleep twice and my heart exploded into a million pieces. You like it when Mommy and Daddy talk to you. You move your mouth in silence as though you are trying to find the way to mimic us without interrupting.

Mommy took you to your first appointment with Dr. Stacy September 1st. It was just a routine check-up. They weighed you, measured your length and the circumference of your head, and gave you an all-over exam. You weighed 8 lbs. 9 oz. Mommy was glad to hear this, as you were down to 7 lbs. 9 oz. two weeks before. You were 21 ¾ inches long, and the circumference of your head was 14 ½ inches. Your weight and head size put you at 50% on the chart (average). Your length put you at 92%, so we expect you to be a tall girl. You had a clogged tear duct in your left eye that prevented tears from draining properly, but Dr. Stacy said it would fix itself, and it has. We scheduled your next appointment and you go back on October 18 for your first round of shots. I wonder if I will cry more than you.

I am constantly learning from you. I am learning how to sit still. I am learning how to spend hours smelling your hair and stroking your cheek and patting your back and humming nameless tunes. I am learning to be patient. And most importantly, I am learning to be grateful.

Every little milestone you reach is a bittersweet event. As I give you your first bath, and see your first real smile, and put you to sleep in your crib for the first time, I become more and more proud of you. But it also makes me sad to know that this time is moving so quickly. You already look so big to me compared to the first day I met you, and you are a slightly different person every day. I marvel at every change and look forward to every new thing, but it makes me really see how quickly your baby-ness will pass.

You have exceeded my expectations. You are more beautiful than I could ever have imagined. You are absolutely delicious and I devour you on a daily basis. I love you more than words can say. You have truly blessed our lives.

Love you, Mom