Jan. 7th, 2013

noideadog: (monkey!)
Our baby's a month old! At this time on December 7th, my water had broken while I was coding[1] and I was wondering whether I'd have time to submit a half-working version of the project before we had to go to the hospital. Nope! At midnight the contractions started and eight hours later we had a little Gollum lookalike of our very own, all covered in birth-goop and yelling the place down.

A month already. Without unusual events or notable weekends to demarcate time, it doesn't feel like weeks are passing. We feed and clean the baby. We do small recreational things that don't take a lot of brain power. We go out for breakfast. We marvel at how much we adore this small person and discuss minute changes in her abilities. I pump milk. Joel does laundry. He introduces her to Dave Brubeck ("Listen for the change in time signature here"). I take her for walks around the neighbourhood and tell her about being a New Yorker ("Don't make unnecessary eye contact, but it's always ok to compliment people's dogs"). We've figured out a pretty good schedule which gives both of us some time off. It'll get much harder once work and real life come back into play, but for now it's fantastic to just watch her booting up.

Babies don't change that much in the first month and at the same time the difference is remarkable. She's growing rapidly, which is a relief. She no longer feels fragile. She reacts to sounds and she now sometimes looks at things and can track slow-moving objects. She grips my finger while I'm feeding her and makes me feel like the best person in the world. She sprawls out on her belly on Joel's chest, arms and legs hugged around him, and falls into her most contented sleep. Humans are her favourite furniture.

She searches her surroundings for sources of milk, mouth open to the air like a baby bird. I hold her upright to make her burp and she flails a little sticky, milky face against my collarbone in case I'm hiding a spare nipple there. She doesn't cry yet, but she makes furious frustrated animal sounds when we're slow about feeding her. She has feeding frenzies. We call her Captain Sharky.

We swaddle her in a sheet and it looks like a toga and she throws one arm above her head (about an inch above her head: she has stubby arms) and we make impassioned speeches to the Roman senate on her behalf ("Friends, Romans, fellow babies. How long must we wait for the milk we have been promised?"). Music makes her calm. She likes voices. I've discovered that I like reading out loud (it's likely correlated with a love for the sound of one's own voice) and she and I read classics like The Great Railway Bazaar and Happy Pig Day.

It's _lovely_. I like it so much. Part of me can't wait for major developmental milestones -- all of the smiling and gurgling and moving around -- but mostly I don't want this time to end. Real life can back off for another few weeks.

If you like baby pictures, here's an album of the first month in chronological order:
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
Elizabeth First Month


[1] Approximate next thoughts: "oh god, the new sofa!... oh, come on, I _just_ figured out how to write this, can't it wait half an hour?... I should call the doctor".

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