Posted by: Ingrid | June 4, 2016

One Month: The world’s smallest hippo

My Dear Sweet Wesley,

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I have to call you that sometimes.  Unfortunately, it won’t make sense until you’ve seen The Princess Bride.  Nor will the fact that we are going to have to train you to say “as you wish” instead of “yes, mom”.

Only at this stage of life can gaining roughly three pounds change your nickname from “Peanut” to “Hippo”.  And yet, when we met you at 6 pounds 12.4 ounces, Peanut is all I could think to call you.  But now as you bask in all your chin rolls and 10 pounds (that would be a 3 pound 9 ounce gain since leaving the hospital), I often call you Hippo (in the most loving way, of course).  You were back up to birth weight in no time, and at your two week visit you were doing nicely.  You had also grown from 18 to 20.5 inches. Your doctor told me that normally he would see me at one month, but since this is the fourth baby, he’d see me at two.  Fine by me. You have almost filled out your newborn pjs.

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Speaking of pjs, you put aside your lazy ways and actually put on clothing two times in the first month.  Isaac was pretty intent on getting you in real clothing, asking me every other day when you were going to wear something other than footie pjs.  Part of the problem was that you were so little that your newborn pants were twice as long as your legs AND too big around the waist.  The other part of the problem is that I am lazy. And tired. And have three other children who want to be fed, clothed, and go places at regular intervals.

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You have a hairline like your dad (I’m sorry!) and I hope that you fill in the blanks at some point, namely on the top of your head.  You have dark blue eyes, dimples in your knees, a tiny stork bite on your belly and a large dragon tattoo on your bicep.  (Just kidding.) Your ears don’t stick out at all and you have a pointed chin (with several other chins under the chin bone. You have a reddish complexion, making you look almost tan, like you spent the last month picking up some sun in Jamaica.

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Sleeping has been… okay.  You don’t cry for hours at night and you fall back asleep after nursing.  So that’s good.  On the con side, you haven’t done any really long stretches and the first stretch is usually the longest I get, so if I don’t go to bed early I am stuck with two hour increments of sleep.  Two nights ago I went to bed too late (as did you) and you slept your first 4.5 hour stretch.  My joy at seeing that it was 3:30 am (and not midnight) was completely stolen when you nursed and then spit up EVERYTHING in your stomach all over my pjs, your sleeper and blanket, my blanket, and the burp cloth, necessitating costume changes for all.  I was really tired when I attempted to wake up in the morning.  Last night you gave me 9-3:26, and I got almost all of that.  End of the month bonus for me!

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We are still trying to figure out your schedule, namely when and where you sleep during the day.  From weeks 3-4 of your little life we had house guests, and I feel like I lost track of what I was trying to learn about you.  So aside from knowing that you will sleep when worn (like any self-respecting newborn), unless you are hungry (and then you bobble against me like a deranged woodpecker), I don’t really know if you like being swaddled or not, or what works for nap times.  Guess that is my task for month two. I do know that nap times with you snuggled on my chest are the sweetest thing ever, and won’t last as long as I would like.

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We have just started giving you a pacifier, which you seem to enjoy.  You are a little sucker and may enjoy it more than any of our kids.  Or maybe it’s the novelty.  Back in the day (seven years ago) they sent your big brother home from the hospital with a paci.  Now we are supposed to wait a full month.  You just aren’t so good at keeping it in your mouth.  That whole hand coordination and being able to grasp thing bit of the developmental process.

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You eat a lot, more frequently and (it feels like) longer than the other kids did as infants.  Annoyingly, this has not led to weight loss (I’m heavier than I have ever been 4 weeks out) or an expansion in my wardrobe.  On the other hand, I am blazing through books now, so all is not lost. You are getting better, but for those first few weeks, every light change, clothing change, and diaper change that made you uncomfortable (which were all of them), you wanted to eat.  For every difficult situation, there’s food!

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Lots of people have asked how your siblings are doing now that you are on the scene.  I can definitely say that bringing home a baby to a 2, 4, and 6 year old has been so much fun.  From the first car ride home with Isaac (6), who made sure to verbally confirm that “we shouldn’t poke newborn babies in the eye with a stick, right?” to all of us laying in bed this morning and me having to look at Jonathan (4) and say, “Do NOT put that pacifier down your pants” (??? Who even has to say that to a kid???), it has been sort of hilarious and very chaotic.  Lily is attentive and tells me that you are crying before I hear you and then looks at me like I’m not doing my job because I haven’t picked you up immediately.  She likes to hold you in 3 second increments, kiss your hair, look at your toes, and shove your head to my chest when you try to eat.

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Isaac is good with you.  He likes watching you and is pretty good at holding you.  He thinks all of your noises are pretty funny too.  You may not be interactive, but you burp loudly, so the 6 year old is a fan.  Jonathan’s interest waxes and wanes, but he likes to look at you and the other day he held you and “read” you Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What do you see? and never shoved you off his lap. All three of your siblings will sing “I love Wesley” whenever you cry.

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I think we are already out of the “milk drunk” stage, where you pass out in deep bliss at every feeding.  You are so much more alert and spend a good deal of time gazing around and pursing your lips and making any number of hilarious facial expressions.  Your daddy thinks you smiled at him the other day and he may be right.  You definitely do a lot of smirking.  You are so stretchy and squeaky when you wake up, as if I should maybe use more WD40 to keep you well oiled and sounding less like a train yard.

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Four times around and I am still in utter and complete awe of the growth and changes and minutiae that make up your life at this point.  I watch your heavy breathing as you lay across my lap; completely trusting as you breathe heavily in your sleep, and try to be as present as I possibly can to the beauty and wonder of these incredible first days.

Love,

Mom

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Responses

  1. Beautiful story to young Wesley. You are such a good writer.

    • Thanks! It has been fun to record the first months for all of the kids. 🙂


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