Dear Jude … Month 1

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My dear Jude,
Today you are one month old.  Your father and I can hardly believe we’ve made it this far. We’d read all the books and heard all the stories, and truly we were prepared for the worst.  But so far, you have been a wonderful baby.  It’s taken time, but we’ve begun to figure out your squawks and screams as your own little private language.  A little extra cough before this wail, a little grunt after that scream, and that’s the difference between “feed me”, “burp me”, and “just put me the heck down, I’m tired!” Slowly but surely we’re figuring it out.  Just give us time, we’re slow learners.

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We have discovered that you love to be swaddled.  I take that back, you don’t love the act of being swaddled, you just love the feeling after having been swaddled.  It is truly amazing, you will be screaming your head off because you are so tired or overstimulated, and we will swaddle you up, turn you on your side, and tuck you under our arm, and you instantly relax.  Just like Dr. Karp says in his videos (Thanks to Zarah & Josh for the tip!).  It happens so fast, that sometimes we want to ask, “who are you, and what did you do with our screaming baby?”  We love you just as much when you are screaming as when you are happy and relaxed, but we’ll take the happy and relaxed any day of the week.

Side Note: Dr. Karp is now one of Kevin’s personal heroes!

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Eating was a rough start for you. At first you weren’t interested at all, you just couldn’t quite get up the energy to suck. I guess you were just as tired as me, from the whole being born thing. For that little rest, I am grateful. But then, all of a sudden, you got very very hungry, and still hadn’t figured out how to get what you needed. You reduced me to tears on more than one occasion as you screamed and screamed because you were so hungry, but the two of us couldn’t figure out how to get this whole nursing thing coordinated. To make matters worse, you had two incredibly strong arms attached to two very angry fists that shook in rage, blocking your mouth from getting anything to eat. Your father had to literally restrain your arms as I’m trying to get you to nurse at just the right angle. This took a lot of practice, baby, but we’ve finally turned that corner.

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At first, you took about twenty to thirty minutes to eat, and then when you started eating more hungrily, you began to get lot’s of gas and would pull off screaming every few minutes needing to be burped. These all time marathon eating sessions stretched out to an hour or more. One time we hit an all time high of a 90 minute feeding session. By the end, both you and I were exhausted and we just fell asleep right there on the couch. You have become a much more efficient feeder now, and you chug down what you need in a record 8 minutes. I was worried that you weren’t eating enough, but you’ve gained plenty of weight and filled plenty of diapers, so who’s complaining? Certainly not me. That middle of the night feeding is so much better now that I can feed you and be back in my bed in 10 minutes if I don’t take time to pee.

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And speaking of sleeping, I am so proud of you! We have fallen into a nice little routine, where you eat about every three hours during the day, then at 6, 8, and 11 in the evening and then you don’t wake up until 2 or 3 AM. After that, you’re asleep until 6 in the morning. This makes life so much better than those every hour and a half feedings we started out your life with. When you wake every morning at 6, it’s your most alert period of the day. This is hard for your father and me because we are most definitely not morning people. There have been times we were so tired we just swaddled you back up, brought you into bed with us and lay you between us to take in the amazingly interesting sites of our bedroom ceiling while we slept for just a little bit longer. But usually, I suck it up and pop you into your stroller and we take a nice walk. After I’ve woken up, I’ve come to love our morning walks. You are so alert and aware. You seem to be taking in the whole world around you and it’s just amazing to watch. We make the half hour walk to Starbucks and by then you’re about ready to take a little snooze. I love these times with you, sharing one of Kevin’s and my favorite activities, relaxing at Starbucks on our laptops. Yes, in case no one told you yet, you were born into a family of nerds.

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Last Friday marked two big milestones for you. Since you were officially four weeks old, the official “they” have said we can safely introduce a bottle. This is a big deal for me because it means that Daddy can take over one of your evening feedings and I can sleep for more than three hours at a stretch. This also means that your father and I can take an evening out while you get to spend some time with the many friends and relatives who would love to take care of you. We were a little nervous that you wouldn’t take a bottle easily, or that you would take the bottle and suddenly refuse to nurse. But you took the bottle from Kevin like a champ and went right back to nursing just as easily. This is a huge deal for us. So to all our family and friends out there, we are officially accepting bids from businesses.

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The second milestone is that you… Oh. My. Gosh. Rolled. Over.  Yes, you heard me, you rolled over at 4 weeks old.  But you should already know that, you were there!  And I was so sure no one would believe me, that I video-taped it.  My dad told me that I rolled over when I was something like 6 weeks old.  Well, kid, you’ve got me beat!  Let’s just say you’ve got your mom and dad running scared, little man.

Click the play button to see the video!
He is loud!, so turn your computer volume down first.

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I am so amazed everyday at how you grow and change.  I am also amazed how daily I feel like my heart grows bigger as I fall more and more in love with you.  I look forward to this next month and all the new things we will discover together.

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