Del weighs 9 1/2 lbs now! And he’s losing his baby hair. And he is starting, maybe, to smile, or at least to approximate it enough to make my heart soar every time I see it. He is an expert snuggler. He loves his swing, and car rides, and walks in his stroller. He also loves being carried in a sling where he’s snuggled close to me. “Loves” at this point in his wee life translates to “falls into blissful slumber”. And most mornings, we lounge in bed like two slackers after his first daylight feeding, jabbering mother-baby nonsense at each other, and I kiss his toes and fat baby cheeks, and stroke his hair and squeeze his little toes.
He also has some wicked reflux – or possibly it’s a sensitivity to dairy in my diet – that causes him pain and sleepless nights. Reflux is something I never even knew happened to babies, and it’s pretty terrible (though I know on the scale of problems babies can have, this is relatively minor). Basically, his stomach acid is burning his esophagus and often I think, leaves a bad taste in his mouth. He has the classic symptoms of grunting, arching his back and neck, and crying suddenly as if in pain. He has trouble burping and spitting up. It’s worse in the evenings. Some days are fine and some are bad days. The best remedies we’ve encountered so far are more upright nursing positions, diligent burping after feeding, and Gripe Water when his symptoms overwhelm him. All three help immensely.
I’m so grateful that I’m in this with Zach – he’s a great dad and is really good at knowing when I need to take a break and have some time to myself. And he loves me in spite of seeing me so tired, in tears, with greasy hair and smelly armpits and spit up dried to my shoulder and breastmilk leaking into my bra. The guy deserves a medal for how calmly he runs me a bath, takes the baby, gets some dinner on, and/or other “saves the day” kinds of behavior. Sometimes in those morning moments of falling in love with Del, I am reminded how similarly I fell in love with Zach – lounging in bed, talking endlessly, kissing and squeezing and all the drinking in of everything the senses can offer of this person to whom you are bonding. That sense in your gut that this person is meant to be connected to you. I am completely in love with my family.