My son is now one month old. He has existed outside of me for one month. It seems like so long, and so short of a time all at once. How has it possibly been an entire month? I can’t believe we’re here already, and yet here we are.

I see so much growth and change in him already. Physically, he is longer and heavier. His stork bite is fading, and his eyelashes are getting longer and darker every day. I see more of his father in him as time goes by, but then sometimes he looks at me and I feel like I’m looking in a tiny mirror. He has held his head up since day one, but now he pushes up on his arms in a way I am pretty sure he is not supposed to be able to do yet. He likes to stretch his legs out, shoving his head up under my chin or over my shoulder.

He smiled for the first time a few days ago, at my father. I walked into the kitchen to find him grinning at my dad and I got all excited. My father didn’t understand why I was making such a fuss until I managed to explain it was the very first time. Even now, my dad is the only one he’ll consistently smile for. He smiles at BWB and me with increasing frequency, though, and is at his most smiley in the morning.

There is a bug mobile from IKEA hanging over his changing table, and it is one of his favorite things ever. Sometimes I think he fills extra diapers just so he can go visit with his bugs. He also loves the play mat with forest animals on it, and will happily occupy himself watching Mr. Owl or cooing at Mr. Squirrel for a good twenty minutes at a time.

We don’t have a schedule yet. That’s not quite true, we have a rough schedule. We get up in the morning and change out of nightclothes, then usually he has some quality awake time and can handle the play mat long enough for mama to grab something to eat. Then he eats and sleeps in cycles for a while, then has a longer nap at some point. After a long nap, he eats, then will have more awake time, and then back to eat-sleep quick cycles until it’s time for bed. I put him in a gown and a night diaper, and I’ve started putting a little bit of lotion on him as well, and then we settle in for the night. He usually sleeps for anywhere from 2-4 hours in the first chunk, and then wakes up every 2 hours or so after that. I’m hoping he’ll decide to sleep longer soon.

Lately, we’ve been struggling with gas or reflux, something that makes him more fussy and more prone to waking up from a sound sleep straight into screaming bloody murder. It’s startling, to say the least. I think he also confuses “hungry” and “tired”, and insists on nursing for anything that registers as discomfort, including wet or dirty diapers.

I’m grateful that we’ve finally hit our stride with nursing — we had a rough start but seem to be doing pretty well now. I have an oversupply, which is a problem in that it contributes to his gas and makes it hard to nurse sometimes, but of the wide variety of problems one can have while nursing, this is one I’m not complaining about. I’ve started to pump in order to take advantage of it, and BWB will be venturing into the world of bottle feeding soon.

I love feeding my son. I love looking down at his content little face as he pulls back from my breast with a trickle of milk from the corner of his mouth and knowing that I’ve fed him well. I love how it feels to hold him close to me and feel his little hands grasping at me. He makes these adorable little noises while he eats.

It is still marvelous to me that he is here in our lives. I look at him and can’t believe we have him. How did we get so lucky? I love looking at his tiny hands, tiny feet, tiny ears. I love watching him discover things, watching the gears turn behind his blue-grey eyes. How amazing is this? How precious is this tiny life that has been given to us. I wonder if that feeling will ever wear off.

Motherhood is everything I imagined it would be and nothing like what I thought it would be, which is about what I expected. I’m trying very hard to be present with my son every day and not let a single day go by taken for granted. I know that the next two months are going to race by just as the first one has, and then I will have to go back to work and won’t have so much time to be with him. That thought kills me, so I try not to dwell on it except to remind myself to soak him in while we have each other all to ourselves.

Who knew so much could happen in one month?

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