THOSE FIRST (WONDERFUL, SCARY, EXHAUSTING,EXHILARATING,DEPRESSING AND MIRACULOUS) SIX WEEKS
(Pictured: Avi's 'leaving the hospital' outfit)
When Avi was first born, a friend of ours told us that we wouldn't remember the first six weeks with him. I remember being so upset by this comment. Offended even. How could I possibly forget those first weeks? The sleepless nights, the snuggles, staring at his face for hours, learning how to breastfeed, learning how to change a diaper. Surely, these first six weeks would leave an permanent imprint. And while, yes, the imprint on my heart will always be there, many of the specific details have faded. I have little glimpses of memories, but the details of the day-to-day are a haze.
And despite being offended by the suggestion that my memory would fail me, a part of me must have known that it would be true. Because on September 16, when Avi was exactly seven weeks old, I made a list. A list of the little moments I wanted to remember. I'm so grateful I did this. Every time I read the list, it brings a smile and a tear. There's really nothing like those first six weeks of being a parent. Those wonderful, scary, exhausting, exhilarating, depressing, and miraculous weeks.
(It's a long list, but I think it's worth it for the picture at the end)
1. Avi's first night, I stayed up until 5am with him on my chest. I didn't want to miss a moment. I wouldn't put him down until a nurse came in and told me I had to sleep. We watched Friends reruns all night long.
2. Day two, Avi met his Grammy and Grandpa, his Uncle Mikey and Auntie Em and his Great Nana and Great Popoo. Appropriately, a Harry Potter Marathon played in the background the entire day.
3. Avi wore a Harry Potter themed outfit to go home from the hospital. I sat in the backseat next to him for the ride.
4. Our first night home wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. We had a nurse, named Nadine, who brought him to me every few hours. We nursed in bed.
5. One morning, when Avi was about just a few days old, Nadine brought him into our room. After he finished nursing, Jared, Avi, and I us snuggled in bed for hours. It was the first time we did this as a family of 3.
6. We didn't realize we needed something to put Avi down on during the day, so before we had something, we used a changing pad. We brought it from room to room and sometimes we'd bring it out onto the porch so Avi could get some fresh air.
7. Newborn Avi had millions of incredible expressions that I could never capture fast enough on camera. Sometimes he looked like Zoolander. My favorite was when he would stretch his neck all the way out and squish up his face. He looked like a turtle.
8. He sounded like a baby dinosaur.
9. The adorable baby stretches when I'd take off his swaddle.
10. He had the strongest neck right from the beginning. He would lift his head up but then lose his strength and smash into my chest.
11. He used to grab onto my hair with both hands and hold on for dear life.
12. My most effective method for putting him to sleep was dancing with him in my arms. We danced to Avenue Q, Rent, and Disney (at all hours of the day and night).
13. Sometimes, I would put on music and dance for him while he laid on the changing table. I could swear I saw a smile (even though everyone said he couldn't smile yet).
14. We spent a lot of time alone in the dark, on the floor, in the middle of the night. Nursing him and rocking him to sleep.
15. Nursing Avi in the car, the park, the doctor's office, an auditorium, a store, a restaurant...
16. Baby wearing in the Ktan and Moby wraps.
17. All the backaches.
18. Getting light headed from shushing.
19. The adorable and sometimes hysterical moro reflex
20. Avi slept, on occasion, in a cardboard box.