You're two months old today. The time since you arrived has absolutely flown by. You're probably going to be sick of adults saying that; I certainly remember being a kid and all the boring old adults saying how time flies and I just thought, "What are you talking about? It's forever until Christmas!" Now that I'm your mamma I understand all those boring old adults, because boy is time flying.
Right from the very beginning you've made it clear that you're the one in charge around here. We'd planned to have a natural, intervention-free water birth, but after I'd labored for several hours my midwife discovered you were upside-down! Well, actually, babies are supposed to be upside-down, so you were really right-side up and wrong-side down. Either way, it was off to the hospital and the operating room for us, and you were delivered by Cesarean section at 9:40 p.m. on Friday, October 14th.
And boy were you mad. The anesthesiologist told Daddy to stand up and get his camera ready, so he got this photo of you as soon as you were born. You were wailing and hollering and it just broke my heart to know you were here but you were on the other side of the room screaming and there was nothing I could do about it. So close but yet so far! I kept saying, "Mamma's right here, baby, I love you," and the nurses thought I was crazy but I didn't care.
The first couple days in the hospital were pretty tough, but not because of you, sweet girl. I was trying to wrap my head & heart around the way you were born, the nurses kept waking us up to check on us, and I was really sore from the surgery, but your Daddy saved the day (and the night!) and was such a wonderful daddy right from the beginning, holding you so you and I could sleep. You didn't like to sleep in the bassinet; even though it was in the room with us that wasn't close enough for you and I don't blame you one bit, it wasn't close enough for me, either. Your daddy or I held you just about every moment, except when the nurses took you to weigh you and check you out.
Feeding you the first couple days was hard, too; I really, really wanted to be able to feed you but it wasn't easy for either of us and both of us cried a lot. Different people kept giving me all difference pieces of advice and nothing was working, so finally in desperation I just did what my mamma instincts told me to do and you latched right on and ate. Your daddy cheered and I cried in relief that I could give you what you needed.
For a while I needed about four hands to feed you (thank goodness your Daddy or your great aunt Susan helped out), but I just kept telling you that we'd figure it out together, and we did; things got so much easier every week and now we're such a team that I barely have to think about it, we just do it. It makes me so happy that I can do this for us.
Your Great Aunt Susan was here for the first week after you were born, and then she left and your Grandma Sally came for two weeks. They took care of things around the house and cooking so that your daddy and I could just focus on you, and that was so nice. We had so much to learn but we caught on pretty quickly, I think. We learned that you liked to sleep with me or Daddy and also took naps with some of our family and friends who came to visit, but don't like to sleep by yourself. You didn't really cry unless you were hungry or needed to be changed or if we tried to put you down and you got lonely, and sometimes when you got horrible hiccups that shook your whole little self. When you got hungry you were starving and I had about ten seconds to feed you or you'd really start to wail. Your daddy's a bit like this so we aren't very surprised.
You were only two weeks old for your first Halloween, but we still dressed you up and took you over to a couple neighbors' houses to say hi. A few years ago, before we even knew you were on the way, I was shopping after Halloween and found newborn costumes on sale at Old Navy. I knew the chances of having a newborn at Halloween were slim, but I bought two anyway (one girl, one boy) because they were such a good deal. I'm so glad that you're here and you got to use the girl costume I bought for you before I even knew you'd arrive, like it was meant to be.
After Grandma Sally had filled our freezer full of meals, she and Grandpa Spud had to fly home to Oregon, but we had more visitors coming. Mamma's friend, your Aunty Lisa and her mom, Grandma Linda, came to visit, and you had good naps on them and they argued good-naturedly about who got to hold you. The next week Mamma's sister, your Aunty Tauni, came to visit. She works with babies in her job as a nurse and she loved kissing your head since she doesn't get to kiss the babies at work. Time just flew and you got bigger and older right before our eyes.
You started holding your head up early on and your Daddy was just so proud of you, he'd shout to me, "Look, Mommy, look what our daughter's doing all by herself!"
You started smiling at us, too, which was simply amazing. At first it was just in little flashes so I couldn't get a photo, but this is the closest I got. Seeing you smile, though... I can't tell you how happy it made me! Since you were born all I've wanted is for you to be healthy and happy, so seeing you smile and know you were happy was so good for my mamma heart. The very first time you smiled at me I was so excited, but I was afraid to tell your daddy because I didn't want him to be sad he missed it. Well, before I could tell him you gave him a big smile, too, the same day! You smile an awful lot on the changing table. (When I posted a photo from your newborn photo session my friend Ryley called you "sleepy squishy nakee Nora" and now we give you "nakee time" when we change you sometimes. You really like nakee time and smile a lot!)
One day I dressed you and your outfit was too small! I couldn't do the top snap and your shoulders stuck out. I was so happy that you were growing but I also cried at how quickly you were growing up... yes, I'm a silly mamma. Someday you'll understand, sweet girl.
Even though you were clearly growing, because of our early struggles with breastfeeding I was still worried whether or not you were gaining enough weight. So I was so happy and relieved when we had an appointment with the midwife and discovered that you're gaining weight like a champ--hooray for mamma milks!
You started getting more and more expressive, making funny faces and watching our faces and being more interactive. You recognize me and Daddy... you calm down more for me but you make more faces and smile more at Daddy since he's so silly and fun.
You attended your first bonfire at the neighbors', and bundled up in your cute pink bear outfit you were the star of the show. Everyone on our street has been so excited for your arrival and they all love holding you, you were passed around and fell asleep in several peoples' arms.
Your Papa Don and Grandma Jo arrived for a visit and they had so much fun with you. You're really smiling a lot now and one day when we brought you in from the car Daddy was making you smile so much that I even had a chance to grab my camera!
I love watching all the faces you make and the way you look at me.
Now you're two months old and I know that I'll blink and it will be three months instead of just two, so lately I'm spending lots of time just trying to soak you up and enjoy who you are right now. And who you are is pretty darn awesome.
You're still a super amazing baby. You still cry mainly when you're hungry or need to be changed, or sometimes when you get the hiccups. You still like to be held to sleep, and in the past week or two you've started fighting sleep during the daytime, like you don't want to miss anything. You fuss and cry even after I've fed and changed you, so I put you in the ring sling and bounce and rock until you give in and fall fast asleep curled up against me, and then you have a nice long nap. When you're hungry and I'm not right there to feed you immediately you make your body super straight like a plank and cry. At night you sleep against me or Daddy until we go up to bed, then you nurse and go back to sleep until between 2 and 3 o'clock usually. We sleep for a while longer, nurse again, and sleep again. During the week when Daddy's at work we usually sleep until 8 or 9 o'clock, and sometimes on the weekends we sleep a little later.
You're not super crazy about the car, so I plan our trips for just after I've fed you and I try to keep our trips short. At each location I take you out of your seat to give you a break and I wear you in the ring sling or in the Ergo, you love both of them. Sometimes when we're in the car you sleep, but sometimes, even when I've just changed and fed you, you cry cry cry. When you cry really hard, which we almost never let you do except in the car when I can't pick you up, you make a little sound like a sheep. It's so sad and so cute all at the same time.
You're a very slow waker-upper, just like I am. When you start to wake up you fuss and squeak and generally seem very annoyed with the state of affairs. I just hold you and rock or bounce or caress you and let you gradually come back into yourself. Sometimes at night after I nurse you and you fall asleep, I lie there and just stare at you and sniff and kiss your sweet head and marvel at the wonder that is you.
I'm how old, Mamma?
When you were first born everyone said that you look just like your Daddy. They still say that, but now people are saying that certain features look like me. I'm so excited to watch you change and see who you grow into and what you'll look like.
About to sneeze!
By the time you're old enough to read this you'll probably have heard this thousands of times and you'll roll your eyes and say, "Yeah, Mamma, I know," but baby girl, we wanted and waited for you for sooooo long, and you, my sweet girl, were worth the wait. You're the best thing I've ever done and being your mamma is my favorite thing in the world. I love to watch Daddy be your daddy and listen to him talk to you, he's so wildly crazy about you and it makes me fall more and more in love with him.
It's only and already been two months, and so far the three of us, you and your Daddy and I, are a great team. We promise to keep learning and growing and trying and teaching and--most of all--loving you. If there is one thing I want you to always know and never question, sweet Nora Jane, it's that you have been so very, very wanted and loved even before you were born. We're so excited to see who you become and what you do and what your passions are, but no matter what--no matter what--we will always, always love you more than words can say.