Wednesday, 21 September 2011

the first month

It's 7:21pm as I start this post. My back aches at a very specific spot between my shoulder blades, constantly. This is the first moment I've had today with both hands free when I haven't had to pee or been desperately hungry/thirsty. There are 2 dirty diapers on my coffee table, and I believe the dog is carrying a third one around in his mouth. My house has become a veritable mountain range- massive pile of dirty laundry on the floor in front of the washer, massive pile of clean laundry on the floor in the bedroom, massive pile of unsorted baby "stuff" in the crib, massive pile of paperwork on the dining room table. For someone who takes great pleasure in being organized, it's enough to make me want to cry. And I have.

...It's now 9:59pm. Second time I've had both hands to myself today. My ears are ringing with the soundtrack of the day- a looped track that starts with a long, high-pitched wail, then a sputtering gasp, then 2 short wails, a squeak, and a longer, louder wail. Repeat. The house is quiet now, but it plays over and over in my head.

And yet- I am smiling right now. My baby- is sleeping in his bouncy chair on the floor next to me. He is five weeks old today. His full head of hair is turning slowly from brown to blonde. His eyes have settled on a dazzling dark blue colour, like a tropical sea under moonlight. His lips are shaped just like his father's, his ears too. He has a dimple in the middle of his chin that none of his relatives have. And he is just beginning to smile. I thought long about what to write about these past five weeks- how my heart seems to have grown and taken over my entire body, my whole existence consumed by the pulse of love for this little being that is always with me. The experience of his birth, the blissful, bleary nights and days that followed, his ever changing face and behaviour. Every day, something new. A new expression, a new focus in his eyes, a stronger grip, a change in nursing patterns. I thought about how to capture in words this massive, undulating learning curve our little family is traveling along, getting to know each other in all new ways, shifting and readjusting, becoming something entirely new.

I will try, slowly, to express some of these things, and share some of all the ups and downs to come. But right now I hear little squirming noises again and I know they will turn to cries in about 45 seconds, so I'm off to the rocking chair again to keep providing everything I have to sustain this growth spurt. And there's no place I'd rather be.

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