24 September 2013

Dear Gryffen: One Month

Dear Gryffen,

You are now one month old. (And four days, sorry about that. I suppose you'll get used to delays, as the fourth child!)

As I write this, you are snoozing on your comfy bouncy chair in front of the fire while your big sister and littlest big brother are outside in the rain, jumping in puddles. In bare feet, no less. They do have jackets on.

Our first month together has been busy and full - the older boys both had a tummy bug and I have de Quervain's tenosynovitis and a house to finish renovating - but I have been loving every moment with you. Maybe with the exception of the times you've woken up 10 minutes into our nap time and then finally gone back to sleep just in time for me to have to wake the other two up and head out for the school run! That's not so fun.

You are such a delight. You sleep well, day and night, which is nice. You're still a little baby, so you wake up and need cuddles and all those things babies do, but on the whole, you're pretty settled and don't need me to rock you 47-and-a-half times with my tongue poking out at just the right angle and my little toe crossed over my big toe before you consent to be put to sleep. Thank you for that.

When you are awake, you love to use your big blue eyes to look at whoever is holding you. I would say that's your thing: Tristan smiled in his first week or life and then never stopped; I think you connect with people. We'll see if that holds true or if it's just fanciful Mama talk.

I am enjoying my time with you as a baby SO MUCH. Towards the end of my [forever] pregnancy with you, I made sure to remember what life is like with a newborn, so that my expectations were at the right level. I knew there'd be days that I cried - but it would be from hormones and tiredness. I knew for sure that not enough sleep would be on the cards. I remembered how cumbersome it is to carry a baby in a capsule and how long it takes to get everyone into the car, and that babies always need a last minute feed. So I have found myself coping much better than even I expected to! I passed Day Three (of the Expected Baby Blues) with no tears - then cried on Day Four about something Hayden did. (I can't remember what it was now, and know I wouldn't have cried if I wasn't hormonal and tired!) Then I cried once more that week in the middle of the night as I snuggled you close, lamenting the fact that you were about to grow up so fast and I'd never have this time again. I have determined that every day will be enjoyed, which means that whatever comes our way - nap or no nap - it's still a good day with you, Gryffen.

Your brothers and sister love you very much too. You are one of the only things I can think of that can snap Elliot out of a grumpy face moment. A quick 'do you want to give Gryffen a cuddle?' will light up his previously dark face. Rosie touches you and cuddles you at every opportunity. She's trying to remember to leave you alone when you're asleep. Tristan gives you lightning cuddles - he'll sit on the couch, patting his lap until I lift you over to him, then a quick 2-second squeeze, cheeks together, and he's off again!

I know this is long (sorry, reading friends) but it's important to me to record this time - I know brain fog will kick in and I'll hardly remember these days in a few years!

My Gryffen, while I would like for you to stay a baby forever, I am also looking forward to watching you grow up and seeing your personality develop and your bond with your family grow deeper and richer. We love you, little guy!

05 September 2013

Life Lately

I wanted to record a little snapshot of our lives right now:

Gryffen is two weeks old. On Tuesday, he had gained 270g in 5 days - so even though we're having a little trouble feeding on the left side, he's obviously not missing out! He's a really lovely peaceful boy; I'm just loving getting to know him. He's started to do some great long stretches of sleep at night now - the other night he slept for 5 hours!

We have had the dreaded tummy bug strike us. Ugh, it's been pretty difficult! Tristan first had it when Gryffen was about 6 days old - and he was absolutely miserable and inconsolable. It took him a good 5 or 6 days to come really right, and then Elliot came down with it on Sunday night. Thankfully, Elliot's been much easier to nurse than Tristan was! He's stayed home from school Monday and Tuesday, went to school yesterday and came home looking like a poor wilted plant, then promptly spewed up his afternoon tea into his dinner bowl. So he's home again today.

I love this photo. (It was taken before Elliot had the bug!)

When I don't have children with a tummy bug, we have been spending our days with absolutely no pressure to go anywhere, just enjoying hanging out together. We've been incredibly blessed with a great support network - since Gryffen's birth I haven't had to do a single school run or cook a meal, and I've only been out to places I chose to go to - church, Mum's place, and my great aunt's funeral. Elliot goes to school, Rosie and Tristan potter about playing happily and Gryffen and I find our groove feeding and cuddling, sometimes napping.

Gryffen with his Opa (Hayden's Dad).

Our evenings together after the big kids are in bed are lovely. I set myself up on the couch with everything I need for a few hours of feeding: a cheery fire, pillows, drink and a snack, burp cloth, nappies and wipes and a swaddle wrap. Later I hand him over to Hayden, who is The Master at getting Gryffen sound asleep. It's incredible! I can't get him to fall asleep so quickly or deeply. I tidy up the lounge, set myself up for our night feeds - same as before but with the lights set really dim - then have a lovely long hot shower and slide into our most comfortable bed. I didn't realise just how uncomfortable I was at the end of pregnancy (thankful for a mostly positive attitude!) because my goodness! Our bed seems to have upped it's comfort levels since I last checked! Amazing. I think I fall asleep in about 2 seconds flat.

Once this tummy bug is gone (I'm predicting a proper return to school tomorrow - Elliot seems just about a box of birds today!) and we get back to our new normal --> 4 children! <-- 1000="" again="" amazing.="" be="" beautiful="" been="" br="" doing="" family="" gifts="" given="" glad="" has="" have="" he="" husband="" i="" in="" included="" life="" my="" pretty="" re="" really="" so="" some="" sweet="" think.="" this="" together.="" we="" will="">

Oh, and renovations are back on track - the plasterer's been in this week and we'll hopefully get the laundry painted on the weekend - I need my washing machine back in action!!