Saturday, December 22, 2012

One month

To my dearest Katherine,

In the hours before your birth, my darling girl, I worried about your early arrival.  But as soon as you were here, squalling, small and mighty, your APGAR score (9 initially, 10 out of 10 at 10 minutes) showed you in rude good health and you've given us no reason to worry since then.  You only lost 30g and gained back all that and more in the first 5 days. 

They took you to the Special Care unit solely because, at 4 lbs 2 oz., you were under 2 kilograms, and after monitoring your blood sugar for 24 hours, you were sent up to room in with Mummy.  We spent 8 days cocooned in a lovely warm bubble being looked after by the brilliant staff on the JR Radcliffe Maternity Ward 5 in Oxford.  The SCBU nurse told me when you were only 12 hours old that you are a laid back baby, and she's been proven right.  You hardly fuss or cry at all.  You've been an absolute doll, and don't think I don't appreciate it.

Why were we in the hospital so long?  Because, dearest, you needed to kick a bout of jaundice.  You spent the first two nights serenely sleeping under the bili-light in your cot.  After a night off, because we thought you might have licked it, a nurse came in at 2 am with the bad news you had to go back under.  When the light was set up again, the nurse said to me "well, at least she doesn't seem bothered about it" and left the room.  Ten minutes later, I pushed the call button because you were screaming and I was in tears, as it was unbearable to see you so distressed.  So they set the light up over my bed and you were perfectly happy as we slept under the lamp together.

Eventually, it was time for us to enter the big bad world.  You looked so teeny, swallowed up in your snowsuit in the car seat.  I was feeling quite emotional and delicate at this time, and I blinked back tears as we walked out of the hospital into brilliant sunshine on a crisp, cold day and your Daddy said, "Welcome to the world, little one!"

The first night home was a tough one for me, as I came to grips with pumping my milk and feeding you every three hours without the luxury of an endless supply of sterilized bottles.  But soon I settled into the routine with the help of your Daddy, who has taken fabulous care of me so that I can take care of you.

Because you were so tiny when you were born, you feel like a real live babydoll to me so "Babydoll" has naturally evolved as my nickname for you.  However, Daddy has adopted the equally apt "Squeaker."  You make squeaky little cooing sounds when you sleep, and when you've got wind, you make this odd little noise that sounds like a pigeon crossed with a turkey gobble.  Daddy said you could be the Squeaky the 12th dwarf... at which point I had to remind him that there are actually only seven dwarves.  He's got a lot to learn, your daddy. :-) But while watching him calm you during an intense set of hiccups during one your first days home, I told him "I don't think I have ever loved you more."

A wise friend told me that whatever you and I are experiencing right now in these first months, in 10 days it will be different.  Three weeks ago, I was struggling to get you to take 25 mils in a half-hour feeding.  This week I've seen you sink 60 mils in 10 minutes if you're really hungry.  This month has flown by and we can tell you're already so much bigger and stronger. Today you weighed in at a whopping 5 lbs 10 oz, piling on 1 1/2 lbs since you were born, you little star. You've outgrown a couple of your smallest clothes, and I'm already feeling sentimental about how quickly you are growing.

Another wise friend who endured the "pump-and-feed" routine with her twin daughters told me that the grueling schedule made her feel like she never got to hold her babies.  The truth of this statement was a real eye opener for me, and after that I made sure to fit in as much cuddle time with you as I can manage.  The sensation of your warm, soft weight melting into my arms whilst I breathe in deeply your divine newborn smell is one of the most sublime feelings in the world.

In the final entry of my pregnancy journal, I mused on the easy pregnancy and wondered when it might get hard and whether I can be really be this lucky.  I've bounced right back from the pregnancy and an easy delivery and, my darling, you are an absolute joy to care for.  So the answer is yes, yes I am this lucky.  I am so lucky I get to be your Mummy.

I love you with all my heart, my sweet baby girl,



  1. Love! And this line makes me melt: "But soon I settled into the routine with the help of your Daddy, who has taken fabulous care of me so that I can take care of you." Lovely. You're a long way from the house on the west coast, aren't you? So glad you're happy.

    Happy early Christmas...


  2. How sweet and lovely! I am so very happy for you. Big hugs to all the Beanies!

  3. I'm so glad that you can look back on this and say it was easy. THAT is where our stories differ. Because mine was a disaster.

    And yet.

    It is all good now.

    I have a teenager.

    Who is so teenagerishy.

    And he totally needs to shave.

    (Except he won't.)

    I can't wait to read more about your adventures with Baby Kat. ;-)

    1. What is it with teenagers and facial hair...mine is 19 and has a grizzly adams look about him....disgusting I say but he thinks its all good :S

  4. Aaww Keenie, your wee babynut is absolutely adorable. Brings a huge smile to my face every time I come here to read how you all are doing. Big hugs to you guys.