Sleeping Beauty

She sleeps! It’s a miracle! Who knows how long this blissful period will last, but the Haze has been putting herself down with and without her pacifier and this past week has been so wonderful as a result. She needs a bit of soothing from time to time, but the difference between the past week and the month before it is truly night-and-day. She seems much happier and more rested in the day and rests well at night. It did take a bit of sleep training, and a lot of desperation and despair, but to even get a week of good rests makes it all worth it. Don’t let me forget about this part when she’s teething.

Speaking of teeth, solid food has entered the arena, as well. Hazel seems to love bananas, peanut butter, cereal, carrots, and pretty much whatever we put on a spoon for her actually. If she’s anything like mom and dad, she will have a torrid lifelong love affair with foods of all kinds. For better and worse.

Otherwise, she grows more curious and engages more each day. It’s an unbelievably humbling and beautiful thing to see her develop. Hazey has gotten very good about entertaining herself and is playing with her toys on her own for longer periods. Before her naps and bed, we read with her and she loves to sit and follow along. Also her smiles are the most devastatingly sweet thing I’ve ever laid eyes on. Anyway, enjoy the image of her in her high chair with her trademark bright-eyed and engaged little look.

The 4th Horseman of Sleep Regression

Oh Hazel. This has been quite a month. Hazel has learned how to raspberry. She likes to give a good *THHHBBBBPPPPT* (pictured) when prompted with one, and when in a receptive mood, which is about the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen. She really gets into it.

Hazel interacting so much more with the world around her in general, with those grabby baby hands. She tries to touch and pick things up, get them in the mouth, etc. It’s wonderful to see her start to show real curiosity about her surroundings. There’s a certain scrutinizing look she adopts, like she’s applying a level of deep consideration with a fair smattering of judgment on all that she gazes upon. Just like daddy.

Sleep, though, has been hard. Hazel is going through what they tell me is The four-month regression and it sucks. She’ll go down ok – around 7. And she’ll sleep ok for a while, but then she’s up around 11 and struggling to go back down, and awake every 1-2 hours after that. It’s starting to wear on us a bit, for sure. It’s a good thing she’s as cute as she is. Once we’re out of these woods, I hear it’s all uphill on the sleep front.

July, July, July

I sit and look into Hazel’s big rich eyes as her blinks get longer and longer and her wriggling little body settles more and more, and I am overcome with wonder. I love this little kid so much. I tell her about all of the qualities I think and hope she’ll have. I tell her that she’ll probably be emphatic and sensitive, but funny and sharp. I tell her that she’ll be capable and strong, but delicate and beautiful, like spider’s silk.

She smiles as she falls asleep. That’s how I know she’ll truly be out soon. The work of processing every confusing new experience moment by moment is nearing a close for the day, and she can grin at a job well-done.

We recently had our first day & night away for Kat’s birthday and it was an amazing 9+ hours of sleep. An enormous debt of gratitude is owed to Debra for not only being so willing to take Hazel, but also for so obviously loving her so much. Our hike was lovely in the downpour and 70 mph winds. I’m not sure Hazel would have been quite cut out for it just yet.

Brock and Hazel are bonding. Perhaps he recognizes another warm body to cuddle up to. Kibby loves her so much that we have to pull her away from Hazel because she won’t stop kissing her until we force her to. Roger doesn’t seem interested but he’s probably autistic so I’m not sure he knows how to express himself emotionally to her. They are all going to be very, very good friends, one way or another. I can’t wait to see her bloom.

Our situation is so fortunate that I worry about how much I’ve gained such that I have more now to lose than ever before, but I can’t dwell on it. It’s an unbelievable gift.

Leaps and Bounds

We’ve been graced with a few visitors from Lavonne and Dave to my mother alone. Debra has also been an enormous help, and we’ve gotten wonderful support from Maggie and her daughter Tia, all helping to allow Kat to return to teaching classes.

Hazel’s had a month of growth and regression and growth again. Such is the newborn way. She was doing very well with sleep, often eclipsing the five-hour mark in her first rest of the night, and even following it with a three-hour session. Once, she passed seven(!) hours in a single sleep. Of course this was all the calm before the storm. She is now in the midst of a difficult leap and waking just about hourly throughout the night. Mornings bring very sweet smiles and a taunting tongue, though, making the nights seem like distant memories.

She had her first date with Clark, Damon and Michelle’s son next door. I think it went… ok. Little bit of tension, maybe some awkwardness, but that’s how all first dates go. They’re stuck with each other so they better make friends fast or it’ll be a long neighborelationship.

And So We Meet

Due Date: 2018-05-01. Born on date: 2018-04-25.

The unsinkable HMS Hazel Mae has arrived.  This post has been backdated to her arrival date and time because it took me too long to start this and for posterity. Kat’s labor took ~6 hours, starting around 7 am and delivering at just after 1 pm. Hazel was in distress during the birth with low ‘blood gas’ meaning she was stressing and not practicing deep breathing because being born is hard. After a bit of drama with the placenta and a bit of time in the NICU, we were all reunited, though, with a healthy baby girl in our arms.

The first few days are a blur of hospital room service and trying to figure out how to swaddle (mostly unsuccessfully). After 48 hours, the hospital let us leave with her for some reason, without any supervision at all. We arrived to be greeted by my entire family (grandma Shelley, grandSport, aunt Lily, and uncle Miles) who kept us busy for most of the weekend. After their departure, we settled into the surreal experience of being alone with our newborn baby girl, alternating mostly between maddening confusion, frantic soothing, playful swooning, and joyful enamor. Kibby is perhaps in love with her as much as we are.

Hazel never really took a pacifier in the early weeks, and breastfeeding wasn’t always smooth. Initially, her weight at check-in with the pediatrician was a bit lower than ideal. Once we started supplementing the breastfeeding with formula, though, she gained rapidly and ate with great fervor, just like daddy. By about week 3, we sort-of-kind-of-maybe-a-little settled into something one might call a routine. Just in time for a ‘leap’ and for all of it to be thrown out.  Still, I think it’s safe to say that overwhelming bliss and love were the dominant emotions between periods of stress.