Saturday, February 06, 2010

One month (and a few days, because honestly, I have TWO now--nothing happens on time)

Coming home with a new baby a month ago seems so far away. Was it only a month? Really? But then again, I can't believe it's been a month already. Lyra seems so big already, so much sturdier. We all seem to be getting used to having her here. We are finding a sort of a rhythm--albeit a chaotic one--as a family of four, and it's hard to remember exactly how things worked before she was here.

In some ways, she is very much like Adriana. I suppose all newborns are mostly alike--they sleep, they eat, they poop. Lyra looks looks like Adriana did as a baby, with chubby cheeks and her head of wild, dark hair. Like Adriana, she's happiest when she's being held snug and upright, close to us in a pouch or wrap. She doesn't seem to be as big a fan of being swaddled as so many newborns I know. If we swaddle her up in a blanket, she usually fights her way out of it quickly and then calms down. And like Adriana she so far seems to refuse to be very regular in her eating and sleeping patterns. But there are differences, too: Adriana screamed about baths for at least the first month (enough to traumatize Brian enough that after the first few baths, he didn't give her another for a good year and a half). We put a fussy Lyra in the tub when she was a week old or so, and remembered that my friend Lyndelle had suggested making Adriana more warm and secure in the bath by putting a washcloth over her body. I did that and Lyra instantly calmed down, but I think it was just being in the water that was calming for her. Now popping her in the tub is the quickest way to make her a happy baby. She waves her arms and legs around while I pour water over her, and just generally seems content.

She is spending more time awake now, and she seems unhappy about it. I had forgotten how much new babies sleep, and spent the first couple of weeks wishing Lyra would wake up more so that I could see her eyes and maybe interact with her a bit. But now that it's happened, I'm unsure what I was thinking. Interact? She doesn't do much when she's awake. And when she is awake she's mostly fussing for something. Still, we do get to spend some time playing with her little hands and feet and tickling her cheeks and chin to get her to make funny faces.

She is growing well. She has been a good nurser from the beginning, but I was still anxious about her weight gain, so I put her on the scale when she was two weeks old, since we were at the pediatrician's office for Adriana's three-year check-up. At that point a baby should have regained her birthweight, and since that was all I was really hoping for, I was pleased to see that she was 12 ounces over. She still seems like a little baby to me, having been born three inches shorter and almost two pounds lighter than her sister, but Lyra is finally filling out the clothes that fit Adriana at birth. And I can already see her emerging from what a friend called "the potato stage:" she tries to hold up her head (and is sometimes successful; she gives little smiles that at this point I think are real; and I watched her eyes track the cat all the way around the edge of the cosleeper last night--all little things, but things that weren't happening a month ago. Then I watch Adriana jump off the couch and give me my line in the game she wants me to play with her and it's so strange to remember that she was a little lump like this once, too, and to imagine Lyra in a few years as an active, creative little girl. I'm looking forward to that day, but for now I'm mostly enjoying this feeling of having a newborn again. This time I am so aware that it's not going to last long.

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