Was there a time before Charlie? This past month has been my favorite ever. We are so over the moon with her it's incomprehensible, and let's be honest, she isn't even that exciting yet. She is still just an eating, crying, pooping, and (not) sleeping machine. It's gonna be bad when she can, you know, actually interact with us.
The first three weeks with Charlie were hard. We both cried a lot. I wish I would have prepared for the fact that sometimes your baby just cries, and there's nothing you can do about it. We'd spend hours pacing the halls, bouncing her, trying to get her to just stop crying and go to sleep. I felt like I hadn't had any friends that had an experience like that, so clearly I was doing something wrong. Was it gas? Did she have colic? Does she hate me? Three hours of bouncing a sobbing baby in the middle of the night will make you slide down a couple levels on the sanity scale. It also makes you desperate, and you'll try things you swore you never would. Like going off dairy, and co-sleeping, and gripe water, and spending money on extravagant swings.
Then, we experienced this week together. She's still kind of fussy and needy, but there wasn't too much of out of control screaming in the middle of the night. She seemed more content being a baby, and I felt more confident as a mom. It was a combination of things. (Did going off of dairy help her... I have no idea, but I'm too scared to risk bringing it back into my diet.) She was old enough that I felt comfortable bringing her out of the house and I am now completely confident nursing. I actually had fun, doing all the mom things I dreamed of doing.
Some things about one-month Charlie:
+ This kid can eat. Around two or three weeks I got a breast infection, so I was pumping a lot, and got a sense of how much milk I was actually producing. I realized that she is eating around five ounces every feeding, and during the day she sometimes eats every hour and half. Those rolls don't just make themselves, people. Girls gotta eat.
+ Her resting grumpy face is out of control. We're doomed when she's a teenager. It's like she knows when we talk about how chubby she is or something. She also flares her nostrils and opens her mouth when she poops.
+ She wants to interact so badly. She constantly opens her mouth like she wants to talk.
+ The lengths we go to get this child to sleep would be comical if I weren't the one doing them. It is a complete guessing game, involving bouncing, shushing, swaddling, turning the shower on, nursing, attempting to shove a pacifier in her mouth, driving in the car, just laying her in the bouncer, etc. We try everything. She doesn't know how to close her eyes. Like, if it were up to her she would just keep them open. Even in a pitch black room she keeps them open, just in case something exciting happens. You have to physically close them for her. Everyone has a different method for getting her to get some shut eye. I either try to nurse her to sleep, or an elaborate routine of bouncing in the bathroom with the shower on, while I shut her eyes by laying a washcloth or this eye mask on her eyes. I promise it is five hundred times more absurd than it sounds, especially when performed at three in the morning. Nik just props her up on his shoulder, walks around while she cries, until she "gives up the ghost". My mom has a fancy daytime routine, where she uses bright sunlight to get her to close her eyes. What makes it even better, is she plays this hilarious game where once you think she's asleep, those dang eyes open again. Trickery. She is actually asleep when her mouth pops open, because she's a little mouth breather. When I actually get her to sleep, I want someone to be there to hand me a medal or something. It is a feat that deserves to be recognized! Instead, my reward is frantically cleaning the house (that somehow is a disaster always... EVEN THOUGH WE NEVER DO ANYTHING. Someone explain this to me.) shoveling a meal into my mouth, and maybe like brushing my teeth or some semblance of a morning routine at four in the afternoon.
+ I'm glad that I was given clothes, instead of purchasing a ton of girl stuff, because it is all a waste in the beginning. If I could do it all over again, I'd buy a bunch of those zipper footie pajamas with the hand covers. (Charlie still scratches her face like a one week old.) I thought I would be a girly girl mom, dressing her in all her cute dresses and headbands... never. The dresses are too cold, and when she wears headbands I feel like we are trying to hard? Also, her bedhead is epic. I'm terrified for when I have to comb it out when she's a toddler.