A blog about babies: the babies I lost, the babies I never had, the baby who made me a Mama.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Mid-Month Mish Mosh; or, Names and other Items

I haven't shared Smudgie's name in this space out of respect for his privacy (and also for my anonymity-- I've met a ton of new moms in this neighborhood in the last few months and I'm the only one who has a baby with this name), so I thought I would share a few of his nicknames.

While I do occasionally still call him Smudgie, it's rare and infrequent. Most of the time, Lawyer Guy and I call him Buddy or some variation of that (Buddy Boy, Buddy Bear, Bud, Budda). Despite being a skinny little fellow, he's got some adorable leg chub, so to encourage his further weight gain I call him Chunky Monkey, Chunka-Monk, Chunky Chicken, and just plain Chunka. When he was going through his bad reflux phase we'd call him The Spit-Up King of Chicago. When he's a happy boy in the morning he's Smiles Davis and when he's soiling a bib in an hour he's Drools Verne.

At (almost) 16 weeks Smudgie can lift himself up with his arms during tummy time and can sometimes flip himself onto his back. He smiles and chats with his guys on his activity mat and mobile and beams at the monkey clock over his dressing table. He loves when LG plays games with him, loves when I bicycle his legs, and is maybe starting to notice Bella. He holds onto rattles and toys when we place them in his hands and is quite good at ripping the pacifier out of his mouth-- and once he even got it back in!

We're working on his naps-- he takes at least one in the crib every day, even though he needs a lot of soothing and rocking to get him down. His nighttime sleeping is okay--not awful, not great. He averages an early stretch of 6-8 hours and then a 4-hour stretch between night feedings. No sleep training yet for us-- he's so little I want him to get as much nourishment throughout the day as possible. Plus, my SIDS fears are somewhat allayed by his middle-of-the-night wakings.

Next week we start transitioning him into our nanny share and the following week I go back into the classroom. He'll be with the nanny (and one other toddler boy) from 8am-6pm twice a week. When I think about having two days a week to teach and read and study or get my nails done, hit up a yoga class, go shopping, or run errands, I'm excited. When I think about being away from my baby boy for 10 hours in a row, I feel sad. I suppose that's normal, right?  I'm glad he and I will still have three days a week together by ourselves in addition to the weekends as a family.

I'm not really ready for this special time to end, but I'm also very ready to start using my mind again and feeling like an independent person. Mostly I love watching Smudgie grow and change and discover the world. He is an endlessly wonderful part of my life.

Friday, January 13, 2012

One Year of Smudgie; or, January 13

On January 13, 2011, I sat across from my husband in a Le Pain Quotidien on the Upper East Side eating a yogurt and granola parfait and waiting for the wizards at our fertility clinic to finish doing whatever voodoo they do to the samples before show time. LG looked at me and said, "This is going to work. This is going to be the one that works." He looked tense and sounded like he wanted to believe the words more than actually did believe them. I smiled a little and didn't respond.

Later that night--as LG likes to remind me--we tried to make some magic of our own at home, or at least some insurance in case the nurse's aim was off that morning. And at some point that day, this amazing, sweet, adorable, dome-headed, twitchy-legged, smiley, perfect little boy was made.

I think about the last year of Smudgie's existence and marvel that he has grown from a couple of teeny tiny little gametes to the warm, cuddly weight that curls against my neck when I hold him in my arms. I think about the girl I was on that day last year--sad, worried, afraid to hope, but determined--and can hardly believe that today she's a mother. A mother who, whatever frustrations and irritations she has to handle, is happy right deep down to her core.

Happy one year of being in this world, my sweet son. You have made it glow brighter than I ever thought possible, and I love you.