We got four super cute picture frames at our baby shower, and so far they’re just sitting around with the stock photos still in them because we’ve taken well over 250 pictures of him so far, and not only is there no good way to choose between them, we also just keep taking more, and he just keeps getting cuter. We’re so besotted with him it’s as joyously all-consuming (and probably more than a little nauseating to some outside observers) as teen love.
That’s not to say there aren’t long stretches that are tiring, frustrating, monotonous, and/or LOUD. He’s a baby, after all. Right now I’ve been wrestling with him all day to get him to sleep anywhere but on top of me so I can get ANYTHING done. I’m typing with one hand right now, holding his legs in the other to keep him from kicking and waking himself. I tried letting them go and he woke immediately.
Then there’s the inevitable guilt. I just wrote on Facebook:
I think Willie Nelson’s “You Were Always on my Mind” was written by a guilty mom who wished she could do the things she needed to do to function as a human and also cuddle / entertain her baby all day…
Without full-time help, everything is a compromise. If he won’t stop crying pathetically when I really, really need to feed myself, I try to reason with him: “Buddy, if I don’t feed myself, I can’t feed you.”
Then later: “Baby Boy, if I don’t get enough sleep, I won’t be as able to be the kind, patient, healthy mother you deserve.”
But there’s really not much reasoning with a newborn. They want what they want, and the live in an eternal Now in which they’re either getting what they want or they aren’t.
Case in point: Fussy Butt absolutely will not drop off to sleep without me holding his feet, and I kept trying, wanting to be able to type with both hands, and now he won’t fall asleep at all. Sigh. I’ll try this again later.
OK, he’s feeding on a stack of pillows on my lap now. Where was I? Right. How awesome parenthood is 😛
But seriously, as much time and work and tiredness and sore muscles as this involves (it is not trivial hoisting a wiggly a 10+ pound chunk all day and contorting your body to breastfeed no matter how hard you try to get comfy and bring the baby to the breast — easier said than done, yo), the joy is greater. Not just in the now but in all the things there are to look forward to as this boy blossoms into his full humanity.
(But I also totally see and respect how parenthood is not for everyone. As for me, I’m excited for… most of it. Enough of it that I certainly don’t regret it and don’t anticipate regretting it. But I do understand kid regret better now. It is quite a hand grenade in your usual life and routines, and most people have no idea if they’re cut out for it until it’s too late — if they intended to get pregnant at all. It’s especially hard in our society since there’s usually no “village” to take some of the burden off and let new moms rest and heal a bit. I’m not someone who gets lonely when I’m with Ali all day, but a lot of people are, and sleep deprivation will drag just about anyone down.)
Just yesterday I put him on his back on his play mat, and while before he’d just kind of lay there inertly until he got too bored, now he can play for long minutes at a time, carefully eyeing the toys hanging above him and then flailing his arms in a way that hit the toys far more than would be the case if he was just flailing randomly… and more and more often as time went on. It’s so thrilling to watch him learn new skills, to watch his little mind and body develop and to see the quiet satisfaction it gives him to master new abilities through his work/play.
I feel like Ali whizzed through the passive bobblehead newborn phase. He had great head control and was pretty responsive so quickly. It really feels sometimes like he’s just about to start speaking and walking. I feel bad for the guy that his cognitive and physical development are going to be a long time catching up with him!
I remember being very young and my mind being so far ahead of what my verbal skills or my body could say or do. Our little guy (and maybe all babies) seems like a toddler trapped in a baby’s body, and he’s remarkably good-natured given how frustrating that must be.
My mom came last week for a few days to help out, and it was so nice to have that help. She is absolutely crazy about this little guy, and he likes everyone, but he really likes his Grandma. She took some great pics of him, too.
An example of thoughts that went through my mind: “OK, Grandma is holding the baby and he doesn’t need to be fed. Should I make and have breakfast, clean up the cat puke, clean up the baby poo folded into the blanket on the changing table, fold the clothes from last night, move stuff to vacuum, make the bed, or do my rehab exercises?”
Here’s what I did in that case: Food, puke, fold clothes, made the bed, half the exercises, fed the baby while mom vacuumed, then went to Taco Bell because I could and I was starving. Luxury!
Here’s a link to a video my mom posted on Facebook of my busy little guy in the morning. I don’t know if it’s public or not, but at least I can access it 🙂
I love this photo of him from May 6. It captures his handsome face and his personality so well.
I really just can’t get enough of his face. He’s so expressive and beautiful. He’s also so gorgeous when he sleeps (or stretches in his sleep).
I am completely incapable of any kind of objectivity when it comes to how gorgeous he is, but he’s so beautiful to me. And I’ve been so much mellower since he was born. Like all the other “little stuff” of life (like what anyone thinks other than him) slides off that much more easily. I still don’t worry about him too much, like in a distracting or counterproductive way. I do my best and trust him to keep being the healthy, smart little guy he’s been since he was born. I do check to make sure he’s breathing occasionally when he’s sleeping, but not in an OCD way, just every now and then. It’s nice to be able to live by this quote:
People keep saying how much he looks like Ahmed, and I can see it a little. He certainly looks more Turkish than Northern-European-Okie. I don’t yet feel like broadcasting his genetics to the world because I’m not yet sure if that’s my story to tell, or if it’s his. And it’s a bell you can’t unring. I have told many people individually, but I haven’t Facebooked about it, and I haven’t posted this blog on Facebook for a long time.
I’m not trying to hide it or anything — I’d rather talk openly about it, and I’m proud of it and think it’s very cool — I’m just not sure yet if it’s my place to do so. And of course, opening this subject up to random people inevitably invites a lot of ignorant questions and comments I don’t necessarily feel like dealing with right now. Any thoughts on this are welcome. Am I being a coward here, or am I just protecting my son’s privacy and exercising my right as a new mom not to invite unnecessary BS into this lovely time?
I’ll of course be totally honest with him and have been honest with close friends and family. It’s just the rest of the world I’m not so sure about.
It’s so crazy to think that if our first egg donor hadn’t dropped out, we’d have a completely different baby right now. Or no baby at all. We were so very lucky. Sometimes the way our children come to us is impossible to predict or understand. But I couldn’t ask for anything more than this sweet little guy. Even when he’s driving me crazy, he’s so completely and utterly mine, and I’m so completely and utterly his.
And when he smiles when he sees my face? Oh my God. I just… yeah. I’m a writer, supposedly, but I have no words. I don’t know if there are words for this. Maybe it’s something you can only experience.
Right now he’s been asleep on me for a few hours, and it’s killing my tailbone, and I’m hungry, and this blog is the only thing I’ve accomplished all day. But he’s so damn cute and sweet. He’s just so damn cute and sweet.