Tuesday, June 3, 2008

8 Weeks

Dear Norah

I woke up at 5 o'clock Sunday morning to hail and one of the loudest stinking claps of thunder I have ever heard in my entire life. Your daddy woke up too and the first thing he said to me was, "Do you want to get Norah?" To which I replied a frantic "YES! But will you come with me?" And then we scampered across the house to your room and I scooped you up and took you back to bed with us. Less than five minutes later the storm was almost gone but I knew that was the day I would have to begin writing your next letter. I don't know how I feel about your penchant for thunderstorms because thunderstorms tend to scare the pants off me.

Anyway, you are 8 weeks old. I don’t want to say you are 2 months old yet because you will not be 2 months old until June 7th which is still a few days away. But 8 weeks ago you were born. Did you know that babies don’t come with directions? They don’t. Your daddy and I got to bring you home from the hospital without a set of directions which is strange considering the sling your Gia bought for me to carry you around in not only came with written directions, but also visual directions on a DVD. But you? You did not come with an owner’s manual.

Now, I thought I was pretty baby savvy having taken care of babies before. But when we brought you home 24 hours after you were born, it occurred to me that I had no idea what to do with you. So it was all good until you started to cry and wouldn’t stop and all I wanted to do was go to sleep. Then I started to break into a million pieces and when your daddy took you to your room to see if he could calm you down I bawled. I cried hard. And then when I was done crying I said to myself, “It will get easier. It won’t always be this hard.”

I was so right.

This month you and I have gotten used to one another and we have developed something of a pattern. Every morning you wake around 6am after sleeping for 6 hours straight. That alone is pretty incredible because I fully expected never to sleep more than 3 hours at a time again. So, you wake up at 6 and I feed you and then you go back to sleep until 9 or sometimes 10. Occasionally you spend about an hour grunting and punching me in the face while you are still sleeping. That is pretty obnoxious but also hilarious. Then around 9 or 10 we get up and spend the next few hours eating and singing and you kick your legs and punch your arms. Morning is my favorite time with you because you are so dang happy and smiley in the mornings. After that that we do various things until your daddy comes home, and then we do various other things until you go to sleep at midnight.

I discovered this month that you need your alone time. One day I couldn’t get you to stop crying no matter what I did. No matter what song I sang, how fast I bounced on the exercise ball, how many circles I walked in, how many times I offered you food or changed your diaper you would not stop crying. So I set you down in the Boppy and left you alone. And waddayaknow, you immediately stopped crying started kicking your legs and smiling. Now you get your daily alone time, which is nice because every once in a while I have to go to the bathroom, or get more coffee, or eat, and it’s nice knowing that you are totally ok with being by yourself.

A few days ago I remembered the Christmas present your Aunt Wendi and Uncle Philip gave you, a jungle gym mat thingy. Considering your love of alone time I thought you might enjoy this toy so I whipped it out. You LOVE it. Your dad is very smart and moved the ring that hangs right over your head low enough that you can reach it. You accidentally punched it once and after hearing the rattling and seeing it move, you stared at it for a good two minutes. I swear you didn’t even blink. I can’t wait until you figure out that you can control your arms and you can punch things on purpose.

I tell you all this to let you know how things have gotten easier. We’ve gotten to know one another, and I don’t doubt myself so much. I was given permission from other people (namely your grandmas) and given permission from myself to trust what I felt was right. Last month was great, and this month has been great too. Just great and easier.

Norah you have such a personality. You laugh and you smile and you flirt with men at Wal-Mart and the Gap (No I am not kidding). You get sad and you get angry and you are stinking hilarious. You are ticklish and you love to bounce. You get a little overwhelmed around lots of loud people (its ok, I do too) and you love music. Also, you are awesome.

This month I had to learn a hard lesson. I went back to work and leaving your for an 8 hour stretch was scary and hard. I was sure that you were going to cry for all 8 hours and that your daddy was going to get really frustrated with you and by the time I got home the whole house would have exploded from the crying and the frustration and the woe. I cried three times before leaving for work and when I was driving I had an awful sick feeling in my stomach. But as I got further down the road I took a deep breath and I said to myself “You have to let go”. You see Norah, I know your dad can take perfectly good care of you. I knew there was no reason why you would cry for 8 hours straight, you had plenty of food and you take a bottle well and you love your daddy. But I was still afraid, and I don’t know that I can really explain why. I suppose leaving you meant that I couldn’t control what happened to you and that was really scary for me. I suppose I think that I can take better care of you than anyone else because I suppose I think I love you more than anyone else. I suppose I want to keep you all to myself and never share you with anyone.

But I had to let go a little bit. Since that day I have prayed regularly that God would remind me of a few things. I pray that he will help me keep my priorities straight, help me remember that he has got to come first in my heart and that your daddy has to come second in my heart. You, my baby, are a close third. I pray that God will give me wisdom in how to care for and raise you. I pray that you will grow up knowing how much you are loved. And I pray that I will not forget that you have been God’s baby much longer than you have been my baby and that I will never be able to love you the way he does.

Letting go is hard for me, but I know that a little letting go will make me a better mama in the end.

So, this month I have felt a little less crazy, a little more comfortable and less overwhelmed. You still amaze me everyday and sometimes I am caught off guard with how beautiful you are and how big my love for you is.


Amanda said...

Sadie you are such a sweet momma. I am so far from having a little girl of my own, but I know that my sisters just love their little boys as much as you love Norah. It's hard for me to imagine loving someone else so so much. I cried when I read this, I think this was much better than any of dooce's Leta letters, and it's probably because I know you and Rusty both and am so happy that you are such happy parents.

This has turned into a big jumble of thoughts...

dawn said...

so you know how i've told you about how scared i am of having children. you and jj have done wonders on that fear. it's still there, but it's not as overwhelming. my fear comes from not trusting God or myself and that's what you're learning to do, and you're learning it beautifully i think. and then having someone you trust to raise your child with you... makes it even better.