My sweet boy, you are two months old already, and oh, how I’m clinging to every last bit of your newborness, the way you nestle your face into my left shoulder, how you relax into me when nursing, your little curled fists reaching up to rest on my chest, the way you sleep with your arms up by your head, and breathe with your whole body.
Because little you are not. You are the chubbiest chub, the squishiest squish, your cheeks resting on your collarbone, with little rolls of fat on your neck and back, and five rings down your arms, ending in one on your wrist that rolls over onto your pudgy, dimpled hand. Your legs have rolls now too, and while I’m mourning the end of your tininess, all I do all day is smash my lips into your pudgy cheeks and kiss them 35 times an hour. I can’t help it – it’s like the way your hand sinks into wool on a sheep. My lips just sink into your cheeks. I can’t stop.
You hand out smiles like it’s your job. You are happiest in the mornings (probably because you are mostly sleeping through the night now, usually only getting up around 5 and some days even 6 a.m.). You catch our eyes and smile. You love to be looked at and talked to, and you smile over and over, and we just keep asking you for more because your smiles are big and broad and the best thing. You still love the pictures on our living room wall; after 4 days away from home in Alexandria, we brought you in the house for an immediate nursing session after our long drive, and as I got ready, you immediately looked at the wall behind me and grinned this happy “I’m-home” grin. You started giving out regular smiles around 5 weeks, and by 6 weeks, you were basically Captain Smiley.
You’re starting to stretch out more, and you love to lay back and kick your legs like you are running a marathon. You stare up at the dining room light fixture, and the dangly bird toys we always have hanging up there, transfixed. You watch your siblings with amazed, adoringly. You hear my voice and smile. Your body calms at the sound of your dad’s guitar. You’re just noticing things and are awake more and more. But still, you sleep so much, in your rock n’ play, in your swing, on our bed, your arms up over your head, or hands together over your chest like a little old man.
You fight sleep much like Owen did as a baby. So tired. So confused by the paci, moving it around with your tongue like the foreign object that it is. But we turn on your “sleep jams” – the Innocence Mission album – and swaddle only your lower half and we dance and sway and rock and walk, and eventually your heavy lids, with your suddenly long and dark eyelashes eventually resting on your pudgy cheeks in sleep.
In the last couple weeks, you’ve found your fists. You work so hard at bringing it to your mouth, but then you find it and suck/chew vigorously, and sometimes I wonder if you have teeth on the way. You make these happy slurpy sounds, and I wonder if you’ll be a thumb-sucker or a fist-sucker, or if this is just a short and drooly phase.
You still make your staccato goat sounds. But occasionally you throw in the sweetest of baby coos. Your cries are infrequent and brief, usually just to let us know, “Hey – something’s wrong here.” You’re still kind of fussy in the evenings, just wanting to be held and moved. You nurse so quickly and efficiently, your body melting into mine, relaxed and satisfied. I love that I get to feed you like that. But overall, you’re becoming a pretty easy going baby, with awake times that are happy and quiet and kicky.
This last month, you took your first road trip to Alexandria and slept like a champ. You met your Uncle Neil and Auntie Brea and cousin Sosie for the first time. You met your Grandpa Joe, who stopped on their way up to Cass Lake to meet and hold your little self. Your Aunt Sara came and stayed, playing with your siblings for days, giving me chances to nap and snuggle with you. My childhood friend Jessi came for a few days and waited on us hand and foot, playing with Owen and Elsa, doing dishes, and giving you all the eye contact that I can’t get you in the midst of all the crazy. We have been given so much help in welcoming you into our family, Lewis.
And jaundice. My worries have mostly been put to rest. We saw the GI specialist and she basically asked us why we were there. It was confusing. Her take on you was that you had normal childhood jaundice and that the clinic had sent us to her due to some bad math (a ratio of 20% of direct/indirect bilirubin, when in reality it was 2%). I will probably still have your blood drawn at your 2-month visit because I am that mom, but I can see that you are doing better. While the littlest bit of yellow still remains between your brows, your eyes are clear and oh are they bright and blue. I think you look so much like your dad sometimes.
There are moments, few moments, when it is still and quiet in this house. And I still find myself thinking about that hour before you were born – how I felt when they told us we might not ever know you. And I am flooded, absolutely drowned, with thanks for you and for your life and for these days we’ve had with you. I squeeze you tightly; I hold you even when the things to be done loom like dark storm clouds. I don’t want to forget these days, the weight of your body on mine, the way that I can meet all of your needs and keep you satisfied, the way that you and your siblings give my life so much meaning and purpose. You are my baby, my Baby Lew, my Lewlis, Lewlee. I am thankful, so very thankful, for your life.
Things you love: baths, being naked, being held upright, movement, driving in the car, your swing, nursing, music, being outside, the paci
Things you hate: when you can’t burp, being on your back for too long, being still but strapped into the carseat, the paci, being awake but alone in a room