In the past, I have always viewed the first six weeks of having a newborn as a stage that I just had to get through before I could truly enjoy my baby. I hated it: the hormone drop, the leaky boobs, the fussy baby, the constant nursing, the crazy newborn poop that can sneak its way through the tiniest sliver of any opening and make a mess of the most darling itty bitty outfit, the sleepless nights, and all the adjustments that have to be made to acclimatize this new little being to the world and to the family! Not to mention, newborns are so flimsy and wobbly that they always made me nervous. I never felt like they were safe, even in my arms.
But then Leif came along, and wow, has my opinion changed. I am cherishing every moment of his newborn stage. I am soaking up his flimsiness, his insatiable thirst for nursing and even his super poops. I look forward each evening to our late night rendezvouses, where it is just the two of us nursing by the faint light of his penguin night light and being serenaded by the gentle snores of Mr. Level-Headed. It is the most peaceful time of our day! But, then again, Leif makes it pretty easy to enjoy him. He is not a fussy baby (unless of course there is a shower being hosted in his honour), he only wakes up twice in the middle of the night to nurse and always goes back to sleep easily. He loves being held, but he also does not mind being laid down in his crib to snooze. In fact, he always takes a two to three hour nap in his crib each afternoon. To top it all off, Leif is just a runt of a thing, weighing in at a whomping 7 lbs 3oz when he was born, he is my smallest baby by far, and I relish the fact that he is still able to wear all those adorable newborn jammies. I don't think my other babies ever wore anything smaller than a size three months.
I cannot give Leif all the credit, though, being a seasoned veteran of motherhood, I am much more relaxed this time around. I am in not such a hurry to get everything done, and I understand that as labour intensive as the first six weeks are, babies grow up quickly and they have to be enjoyed. Also, having the three older kids around to assist me has been a ginormous blessing, especially since Mr. Level-Headed is so busy at the moment trying to finish up this session of courses. I can shower, I can eat, I can clean up, I can nap, I can run out to the store for just a moment without bundling up my baby, whose disdain for the car and the car seat are his only two flaws, because there is always someone anxiously awaiting their turn to hold him. My kids now do laundry, empty the dishwasher, make meals, change diapers, and rock babies like nobody's business, and for the most part, they have been doing all of these things with very little complaint. Like one friend of mine exclaimed after seeing how helpful the kids were at a recent field trip to the Huntsman Aquarium:
Every mom with a newborn needs a teenager to help them!
It truly makes a difference. When Avery came home from the hospital, I swear I cried almost everyday because it was so overwhelming having three munchkins under the age of six in our home. Bringing home number four, though, has been an entirely different experience. It has been blissful and very, very easy.
Hours after he was born:
Midnight chats with mom in the hospital:
A heart-t0-heart with my big brother, Avery:
Mom's favourite picture: "Ol' Stink Eye!"
My first time in AppleCheeks:
My sassy side:
Okay, so this may be mom's favourite picture.
Comic books with my brothers:
Early morning conversations with mom:
Leif is definitely our bonus baby, and we are enjoying every moment of his newborn-hood.