Disclaimer: Liana turned 1 month old on November 23, but today is December 2. I started writing this BEFORE November 23, yet it still took me over a week to publish it. Anyway, the point is, the timeframe of this post ends on November 23, not today.
One newborn month down, two more to go! Not that I’m counting. Because, surprisingly, I’m not. That said, I’m looking forward to exploiting Liana’s new superpower during Month 2, eating at untimed intervals! This means that there’s a 2% chance that we’ll get to sleep more than 2.5 hours at a time because we no longer have to wake her up to eat every 3 hours!
[More pictures near the end]
According to her baby book, here are the Things We Should Remember:
- Sleeping patterns: Liana sleeps reliably for 1.5-2 hours between feedings, and sometimes we have to wake her up.
- Eating habits: She nurses well, upwards of 8 times a day. Although this has gone much more swimmingly than with Talia, it should be noted that nursing is still difficult sometimes…sometimes it still hurts, sometimes I get worried that she’s not eating enough, etc. The big mental difference for me, though, is that I’ve learned that most problems pass and/or mutate into a different problem within a day or two. Nothing feels as doomful as it did with Talia.
- New discoveries: Not sure what to expect a newborn to discover within her first month. I wrote “Faces?” in the baby book.
- Accomplishments: Lifting her head, using a pacifier, and requiring 9 new burp cloths to keep pace with spit up.
The Parent Stuff
It occurs to me that, as a record of an era, a baby book misses half the story: that of us parents. This isn’t exactly an exercise in narcissism; rather, since Talia was born, I’ve felt a little like I’m reliving my own childhood, just through my parents’ eyes. I already had my own memories of reading books, sleeping in a big girl bed, and even meeting a new sibling, but now I’m reliving those same scenes from the other side. The shift in perspective helps me understand now why my dad might not have wanted to play Candy Land fifty times a day (but was happy enough to play three) or why he might have needed to “rest his eyes” sometimes in the evening. I know why my mom recorded a dozen audio cassettes of babies sleeping that surely no one but her would really want to listen to. Among other things, parenting is a balance of your own health and needs with absorbing the fleeting magic of each stage in your kids’ lives.
All that is to say that, if I’m going to capture the Kid Magic stuff (which “eats 8 times a day” surely represents…surely…), I should also document the Parent Life stuff. The Kid Magic is for me. The Parent Life is for the kids…in 35 years…
- Recovery: I’ve been focused on healing from my c-section and trying not to feel guilty for letting Chay and Jonathan do so much work. During my first week home, I read a timely article about how strange it is that American culture dotes on and coddles pregnant women but then expects a new mom to bounce right back to her regular self ASAP after the baby is born. That’s not how it works. In my post-c-section case, I was on heavy painkillers the first two weeks, lesser painkillers the next two weeks, and still sore in a number of places throughout. Unlike with my first pregnancy, my pelvic joints still ache a month later, making me reluctant to move around as much as I might like. Therefore, I’m SO grateful to have a husband and family that appreciate these realities even though maternity leave makes it seem like I should have time to transform into Super Mom. That time is maybe enough to transform into Shadow of Former Self.
- Doing non-baby things: During Liana’s naps, I’ve worked on several projects: baby books for both girls, a photo book of our Kalalau Trail hike last year, packing for the move in a few months, and sleeping. Honestly, though, I’m going a bit stir crazy. Not being able to drive or go upstairs severely limited my options, so I’m looking forward to expanding my agenda next month. Jonathan, for his part, was able to return to work within the second week. He’s made it out of the house for a couple of social things, and he’s spent a fair amount of his limited free time processing and editing photos.
- Pros and cons of knowing what we’re doing: In a weird contradiction of expectations, having an easy newborn and a more rehearsed approach to sharing childcare duties seems to create a bit of isolation between Jonathan and me. On weekends, we’re each unofficially in charge of a single child, which often leads Jonathan out of the house with Talia while I watch Liana. Overnight, we have separate shifts with the baby to allow the other person to get good rest in the silence of the guest room, away from the goat noises of our sweetly sleeping newborn. These strategies make things a lot more manageable but at the expense of the shared “fight-for-our-sanity” struggles we endured with newborn Talia.
- Typical evenings: That said, we have a good hour of evening time most nights for eating dinner together and watching taped Stephen Colbert and John Oliver shows.
- Looking forward to things: THAT said, I’m looking forward to the 1.5 weeks of vacation that Jonathan has to spend in December during Month 2 :)
The Runner-Up Pictures
Here are a few other pictures from Liana’s 1-Month Photoshoot.
A Note about the Parrot
Sadly, we aren’t taking Liana’s picture with the Talia Tree because of our pending move in the spring. Sunny G.G. Parrot is our replacement. It’s a nice replacement…my uncle Greg won it for me at Worlds of Fun circa 1995, and it’s clearly held up well for a carnival prize (unlike Teddy, a small bear my dad won for me circa 1983. I still have Teddy, but he’s kind of disgusting).
A sidenote: I took several months to name the parrot (foreshadowing my difficulty with naming babies, I guess), but it’s full name is Sunny Greg Gerferbu Parrot. Sunny seemed like a nice parrot name, Greg is surely an obvious choice, Gerferbu was a codeword of some sort among me and my neighborhood friends, and Parrot is what you might call a parrot.