Letter to Bella, month one

Dear Bella,

You are one month old today. Just four short weeks ago, you were an instinct-driven, squirming bundle who spent her waking minutes rooting for more More MORE! Since then, you've learned to turn toward your father, brother and me when you hear our voices. You've stopped startling when the dogs unleashing their wailing, barking attacks on defenseless leaves and other inanimate objects.

You've also developed a love of the bath. Where once you'd cry and fuss when I lather you with soap and then pour warm water over you, now you sigh and suck on your paci as if you could lay there all day. You even tolerate me washing your hair, even though it requires lifting your head and neck and usually the loss of the paci. (I often refer to that pacifier as "The Plug" as it's the one thing you demand ... NOW ... and without it, your discontent can be heard for miles.)

Speaking of your hair, you still rock the dark mop you were born with. Most days it stands straight up. My favorite, though, is when only a few strands stand their ground, giving you the Alfafa look that's only adorable on babies and precocious kids. I've been warned you're going to lose all of it, but so far the only changes I've noticed are that it has lightened from black to reddish brown and it's now much silkier than it was when you were born.

The biggest change between this time last month and today is that you are no longer breastfed. Formula has been good to you. You've plumped up, which means your cheeks now prove who your mother is. And you now sleep for stretches up to five hours at night. This is a huge improvement from the every 1-2 hours you were allowing me to sleep when we were trying to breastfeed.

The downside to formula is we all reek of it. The same thing happened when Javi was a baby. Your Auntie Kati and I used to laugh about how our breath, sweat and other excretions all smelled just like Isomil. Your dad tries to deny it, but he's taking on the formula smell right along with me.

The other bad part of formula is the infamous constipation and gassiness. You toot day in and day out, but you can only force out a poo once a day. I think you spend all day trying to make that happen and then pass out for a good, long sleep to recover. Then the process begins again. I've begun slipping a little dark Karo into your morning bottle if you go more than two days without relief. It seems to help.

As your dad, brother and I adjust to having your in our lives, several amazing things have happened. You've become Javier's first good morning and last goodnight. He has the biggest plans for you. They include Spider Man toys and ninja turtle movies and lots of gum. I catch your father gazing at you. In the afternoons, you often nap together. It's scary how the two of you are already so much alike.

As for me, I've spent the past 30 days nursing you, holding you, soothing you, cradling you ... being everything you need. It's amazing how different this experience is when you're doing it as part of a family instead of on your own in an icy apartment in Revere.

I can hear you now, wiggling and grunting and slowly making your way into wakefullness. It's time for you to eat again. After that, you'll curl up on my chest, your mouth will fall open as you drift back into dreams. I'll hold you for a while longer, watching your eyes flutter open and closed until finally your body goes completely limp.

Those are my favorite moments. Sitting here in the dark with your father asleep beside us, my body relaxes along with yours and I am again astounded by how perfectly and easily you have rounded out what I thought was a completely full life. Thank you for that.

Love, Mama


Post a Comment

I'd love to hear what you have to say! (If you want an emailed response, be sure to enable email in your Blogger settings -- see a tutorial here.)

Now. Spill it!