Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Your first month was a complete blur, though I guess that's true for most babies. We were overjoyed by your arrival on July 5th. You came via scheduled C-section, but of course I had to wait through a weekend of record-breaking heat before you arrived. Luckily, you were worth the wait. I was so thrilled to get you here and know that you were okay. With the diagnosis of your cleft lip in utero, I had been worried that something else was wrong. Instead, you were perfect, and you were HUGE. Everyone in the operating room was astounded by your 10 pound, 11 ounce weight and 22.5 inches of length. Truly enormous. Unfortunately, huge, C-section babies also often have breathing problems, and by the end of your first day, you had been sent to the NICU. Thankfully, Doctor Levin likes to manage his own patients in the NICU, and you were sprung from there a few days later, and in time to come home with me. But, those few days were fairly miserable. I really feel for those parents who have children who spend weeks or even months in the NICU.
Your brother and sister didn't get to meet you until a few days after your birth, due to the NICU stay. But, they were thrilled when they finally met you. Julia, especially, relishes in her role as big sister. I don't think I've ever seen her smile as big as she did when she held you for the first time.
When we got you home, we moved into survival mode. It always seemed that everyone needed something at the same time, and I never felt like I was meeting those needs very well. We did have a babysitter for Will and Julia all summer, so that was a huge help. They went to their camps, to the pool, or just out and about, and I could stay home and hang out with you.
You were a very sleepy baby, and really slept most of your first month. We even had a bit of a hard time getting you to wake up and eat (again, pretty typical of any newborn). Because of your cleft, you can't nurse, so I spent a majority of my time pumping milk for you. At first, you had a hard time with the special bottle we used for you, but then our neighbor suggested a different nipple, and you really got the hang of it. You gained weight steadily, but slowly. I think you finally got back to your birth weight around week three. Like the other Mather children, you have been afflicted with some terrible newborn skin: baby acne, cradle cap, and eczema. Yours seems to have come earlier and been worse than the others, but we still think you're cute!
Your first month also included your first visit to the cleft clinic, where we found out that you did not need any genetic testing (they saw no abnormalities that indicated a syndrome; hooray!) and we got a date for your first surgery: October 9th. As I type, I can't believe that this date is almost here.
You had lots of visitors during your first month. All of our friends were SO kind and brought tons of food and gifts. Coco came to visit a couple of times, as she was looking to buy a house in Birmingham. Hulie was here as much as she could be...she never liked to let more than a few days go by without seeing you. And, we also met your/our new favorite person: Ms. Angela. Ms. Angela is a wonderful night nurse who started coming a few nights a week when you were about three weeks old. She helped us get on board with swaddling you, and she helped us get a few nights of great sleep. At first, you were sometimes waking up twice a night, and with two other kiddos, I wasn't handling that too well. Luckily, you quickly moved to waking only once a night for a feeding, and then often going back to sleep quickly after eating.
You have really been such a joy and a wonderful addition to our family. While there have been some growing pains as we all adjust, your brother and sister have been so sweet to you, and always want to check on you or hold you. We all love you so much and can't wait to see what this year holds.