My dear Ellie,
Today you are one month old. Already! I know, I can't believe it either. Since you have joined our family, the days seem to pass slowly but the weeks have flown by.
When I look back at the pictures from the day you were born, you already seem so different. You seem so much older and more grown up already, and I feel like I know you so much better. It's hard to believe you can change so much in just four weeks.
These four weeks with you have been both challenging and wonderful. There have been times when you have cried and either I couldn't get to you (as I was recovering myself), or I just didn't know what you needed or how to soothe you, and I just cried right along with you. I felt like I was in over my head and wondered how I ended up here with this little baby that was relying entirely on me for everything. I wondered if this new situation would ever feel "normal." But then, there have been countless moments when you are sleeping peacefully, or making that turtle face I love so much, or looking up at me with those big blue eyes, or smiling your sweet, gummy baby smile and I just can't imagine life any other way.
You have been smiling a lot more lately. I don't know if any of them are purposeful yet, but your smile is the most beautiful smile I have ever seen. You're also starting to "talk" more and make more baby cooing noises. I can't wait until the day when we can make you laugh!
One of our favorite things that you do is your sneeze moan. More often than not, after you sneeze, you let out the most adorable, sad little moan, like you just can't figure out what this sneezing thing is and it's really stressing you out. It both breaks my heart and makes me laugh every time. Your daddy has been trying desperately to capture it on film, but just like when I tried to videotape you moving in my belly before you were born, you don't seem to want to cooperate when the camera comes out!
You do love your daddy, that's for sure. You and he got in some good bonding time while I was recovering from everything after you were born. So many times, you have been crying and I haven't been able to quiet you, but all Daddy has to do is pick you up and you are calm. You love when he holds you as he bounces on our exercise ball and reads to you. Just last week he was even just reading some financial accounting standards to you and you were captivated, bless your heart. You just stare up at him and listen to every word he says. I love to watch the two of you together. I hope you continue to have that bond all throughout your life. He loves you so much!
You have been a very good sleeper since the beginning, something Daddy and I have been very grateful for! We usually have to wake you up to remind you to eat during the day, and this past Friday night you slept for six hours straight during the night! You also love to nap curled up into me after nursing. I love that cuddle time and am perfectly willing to keep myself planted on the couch for the duration of your nap so as not to disturb you.
As good of a sleeper as you are, you probably are an even better eater! You were born hungry, looking for food right away. You and I got the nursing thing down pretty quickly, although sometimes I do feel like we're still finding our groove. We have to wake you up to feed you most of the time, but once you are awake, you are ready to EAT. You're already starting to outgrow some of your smaller clothes so I know I'm doing a good job of giving you what you need, which is a very cool feeling. Just don't get too big too fast - I will miss my little baby!
You had your first bath last week, and you seemed to really enjoy it. You only cried when it was time to get out of the tub and dry off! I assume this is your Floridian background coming out - you love being in the water and only get upset when it's time to get out. I hope that means that when you get a little bigger, you'll love the pool and the beach as much as Daddy and I do. Daddy and I even met at the pool, you know!
Aside from Daddy and me (and maybe even Achilles, too), you have so many people who are so happy that you're here. Your family is all so excited to meet you and people have been sending gifts and cards to you. You are very loved, little girl. I hope you always remember that.
This has been one crazy month, my dear Ellie. I'm so excited to continue watching you grow and change as the months pass. You are my sunshine and I love you so much.
Happy One Month Birthday, baby.
All my love,
* * * * *
Thank you for sleeping really well and for all the cute faces and noises. I don't have any experience with new babies, but my reading of the Internet leads me to believe that you are a really good one. As frustrating as it can be to listen to you cry and as uncertain as I have felt at times about giving up a lifestyle I have enjoyed, watching you sleep or holding you in my arms gives me the most satisfied and contented feelings I have ever felt. You are an overwhelmingly net positive and I would not change a single thing about you or my life. I am so eager to watch you grow up and develop, but also in no hurry for you to lose any bit of your current perfection.
At one month old, I can't decide if you are getting super big or if you are still so very small. I suppose I would say that you are getting big because you already seem like much more of a real person than when we met at the hospital. You are very alert when you are awake (even though you usually get upset when being awake is not soon followed by a meal), there are things you seem to like (walking in the stroller and bouncing on the exercise ball) and things you seem not to like (getting dried off after a bath and most food smells).You also seem to have started being able to hold your head up, which is nice because it is one fewer thing I have to worry about breaking.
More recently, you may have smiled on purpose. Although you have given your mother and me glimpses of it for a few weeks, to be honest, I'm not sure I can handle it yet. You are still the cutest thing I have ever seen and my heart is regularly ready to explode when you grasp my finger or stop crying to stare at me when I am reading to you. I don't know what I will do when you start smiling at me (assuming you like me as much as you seem to). Also on the "I can sense I am in big trouble when you get older" front, you have been working on an adorable pouty face. I feel a little bad smiling at it because it is always followed by tears, but it is honestly that cute. If you ever start using that one on purpose, I am not sure I will be able to say no to anything you ask (hopefully you don't read this until you are away at college).
Anyway, happy one month birthday! Keep up the good work.
You and your mommy are the best.
All my love,