Monday, October 15, 2012

Skippy Says: 2 Months (Parenthood)

Dear Sophia,

Today you turn two months old. To celebrate, I took you to the pediatrician to get your first vaccines. I dreaded it for the days weeks leading up to it, insisting that daddy take a few hours off work to come with me. Because I knew I didn't have it in me to hold you while you got pricked.

When I was younger, I would accompany my grandparents to many a doctors visits to act as their translator since they didn't speak English. And I remember vividly one appointment when my grandpa needed a shot. I couldn't watch because I hurt so bad for him. I didn't think it was possible to hurt more for anyone than I did for him that afternoon. I was wrong. And I kept thinking back to when I had to get an infected tooth removed, shortly after we arrived in America. I was six years old, and the doctor told me that I would need a shot. I pleaded with my dad to take it for me. He told me how badly he wished he could, how he wished he could take all the pain in my lifetime onto himself. And for the first time at your appointment today, I truly understood.

Like last month, this one has not been without its challenges. We are continuing to struggle with breastfeeding, both because of my infection and my low milk supply. Holding you is often agonizing because of the pain in my breasts. Furthermore, you've developed several charming new habits such as: 1) needing to be held in someone's arms and having them simultaneously rock you, shush you, and do deep squats with you in order for you to fall asleep and, despite all that hard work, refusing to sleep for more than a half hour stretch at a time during the day; 2) crying anytime you are in your carseat, stroller, or any type of carrier thereby making it impossible to leave the house with you; and 3) screaming bloody murder to the point that your entire body is shaking, you're snorting, and your face gets beet red every time you finish a bottle and realize there is no more food to be had. I guess you take after your mama in the liking to eat department. Daddy has fondly taken to calling you his little goldfish because it seems you would eat until you literally explode if we allowed you to.

But then you reach your arms out for me and you smile. And for a few brief moments, my heart feels light.

Slowly but surely we are getting to know one another. I'm learning how to interpret your cries; you're learning that I don't appreciate being pooped on when I get in the tub with you (you haven't done it for two times in a row now!). Though bathtime is still generally daddy's domain and I only take over if he's stuck at work late. Which thankfully hasn't been all that often because, girl, you are e.x.h.a.u.s.t.i.n.g. The minute he walks in the door from work I hand you over. And the huge smile on his face at the sheer joy of seeing you makes my heart feel light for a few moments more.

One of the greatest and most unexpected gifts you've given me is a new level of closeness with daddy that I didn't know was possible, and the continual reaffirmation of how lucky I am to have such a wonderful teammate. Despite the (many) trying days, and (thank goodness only a few) difficult nights, daddy has been nothing but kind and patient. Lord knows I've done my best to pick fights with him, but I am only one woman and the man makes it impossible. It's infuriating.

This is the last month you're officially a "newborn." From what I understand, starting at three months, you graduate to "infant." And while I'd be lying if I said I didn't look forward to that (everyone has assured me things get easier after three months), I'm going to try to soak up and enjoy every last newborn minute with you I get, challenges and all.


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