New Year, New Life: The One-Month Bonanza of Randomness
It's a brand new year, and 2005 brings a brand new life (and lifestyle) to the Hylan-Cho household. It mostly involves getting by on less sleep, eating with one hand, and lots of baby-calming trips up and down I-95 for Al and walks around town with the stroller for me. In fact, I find I can function without a daily nap, but I can't function without a daily walk. Why? Because if I didn't distract Austen with a walk, he'd want to eat all day—and frankly, my nipples can't take it. (Neither can his tummy; we're going through spit-up bibs and footed suits at a phenomenal rate.) Anyway, Austen had his one-month checkup at the pediatrician today (even though he turned one month old last Thursday), so I decided to post about where we are after a month.
Al and I had a bet going about how much Austen weighed; we could see that his cheeks doubled in size overnight last week (it was almost alarming), that his arms and legs now had rolls of fat where once they were skinny, and that his Onesies and footed suits no longer hung on him, but we weren't really sure how much weight he was expected to gain in a month. Last week we decided that the over/under was 10 lbs., with me voting under and Al voting over. When we moved decisively into the size 1 diapers over the weekend, however, and as the pains in my upper back became more acute as I carried Austen around the house, I started to think Al was going to win this bet. He did, handily: Austen was 10 lbs., 10 oz. today. He was also 22.25", which was a stunner for me. We knew he'd gotten taller, because he bumps his head on the wipe container when we change him on the Pack 'N Play, but I honestly had no idea he'd grown almost two and a half inches. Good lord!
What's shocking to me is that some people's babies are BORN THIS SIZE. Personally, I'm glad we had a medium-sized baby, even though being able to push him out turned out not to be a concern. It's hard to imagine *starting* at this size and missing the month of tinyness that we enjoyed. I'm also not sure I could have carried a baby this big around in the first couple weeks after the C-section, but I'm sure people do, since a huge baby is often the cause of a C-section.
I mentioned that we're getting by on less sleep in the first paragraph, so please don't ask if Austen is sleeping through the night yet. He isn't, and frankly, we didn't expect him to. He is smiling now, though, which makes all the screaming, the waking every three hours to eat, and the thrashing and snarfling in his sleep seem like not such a big deal. Between the smiling and the SpongeBob-like snoring he effects when snoozing in the Baby Bjorn, I want to kiss him so much that I've practically worn a bald spot into the top of his head. (I only scream "AUUUUUUSSSSTEN, WHAT DO YOU WANT???" every other day or so; the kissing is a daily affair.)
As for me, I gained 35 pounds with this pregnancy, and I've lost a little over 20 of them, which my friend Eric the math whiz could tell you leaves 15 pounds to go to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. None of my regular pants fit yet (actually, I only tried the largest pair, and I only did it for shits and giggles—I didn't expect them to fit), but the Gap Body yoga pants I wore throughout the first trimester fit great, feel comfortable, and look nice, so I'm in no hurry to return to my skinny jeans. I'll get there when I get there. In the meantime, I've invested in a couple pairs of Old Navy jeans (on sale for $20 this week!) in a size that fits, so I have something warmer to wear than the yoga pants when it's 20 degrees out and windy.
I sometimes worry that I'm a little too subdued for Austen; that is, I'm a loner by nature and like the quiet and solitude afforded by my non-working lifestyle, and I wonder if he finds me boring, or whether he'd rather have a mom that tried to engage him with toys and that scheduled play dates with other new moms. I try to remember to read out loud to him instead of just to myself, but invariably when I reach a longer magazine article or pick up a book, I revert to my old silent, reading-without-moving-my-lips habit. I do sing to him regularly, however, sometimes even actual songs with lyrics that go beyond the "Annie boopster, Annie boop-boop-boop-boop-boops!" ditties that I used to sing to our beloved feline friend, and he seems to like that. He also seems to like Soul Coughing songs, which is a good sign; in month two, I'm going to try out Radiohead on him.
Oh, and we do have a new washer now. I'm very grateful for this, but as I discovered as soon as the Sears guys finished installing it last Tuesday, doing laundry while holding a baby (whether he's just in my arms or in a front carrier) is extremely strenuous. This is why, when Austen fell asleep after the 8am feeding one morning last week, I stuck him in the Pack 'N Play and dashed down to the basement to get a load out of the dryer, move the last load from the washer to the dryer, start a new load, and sort the remaining dirty items instead of going back to bed myself. (I did eventually get another 90 minutes of sleep after Al left for work.) This is also why I gave Al an extremely dirty look when I woke up next to a puddle of leaky-diaper pee the next morning and his response to my lament was, "at least we have a functional washing machine!" Great, more laundry for me. >:( The good news is that after a few days of laundry hell and with Al's assistance over the weekend, I'm now caught up. We even have enough of each kind of clothing for the moment that I can wash clothes every other day as I used to do pre-baby. Yay!