Dear Daddy…

 

I know the first few days after my birth were very stressful, but you were so wonderful by staying positive and helping mommy get through it. You were the first to see me and hold me after I was born. We will always share that bond!

You clean our house religiously, wash my bottles thoroughly, clean my poopy diapers and rock me to sleep into the wee hours of the morning, all without a single grumble. You’re always thinking about my comfort and even after a long day at work, you’re quick to wake up when I cry in the middle of the night!

You make me and mommy laugh like no one else. I love the silly songs you make up whenever you play with me. I look forward to our one on one time in the mornings where you make goofy sounds and funny faces… I can’t wait to be silly with you when I’m a little older.

Thank you for being my daddy. You’re already the best and I love you so much!

Happy belated Father’s Day! I promise to be more prompt next year.

Love,
Lelan

Baby Lelan – One Month Old!

Dear Lelan,

You’re a month old and already you’ve taught me so much about what it means to love wholeheartedly… I’ve never felt more confident about who I am or what my purpose is in life since becoming your mom.

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Your personality is positively sunny. You are easy going and curious about everything. You are an observer… You have my eyes and smile and your daddy’s nose and lips. You cry only when you need something. You have started noticing faces and voices and will break into a huge smile when spoken to. You even flashed a smile at your pediatrician today, who raves about your good nature during our visits. Your very first out of town visitor was your auntie Shivi followed by your thatha. Locally, you have met your grandma, Papa and Gigi. The rest of the family is eagerly looking forward to meeting you soon! Starting at 3 weeks, you began focusing on the munari mobile above your bassinet. The black and white shapes really grab your attention for several minutes at a time.

At two weeks old, to my amazement, you soothed yourself to sleep. I have a feeling that you are going to be fiercely independent when you grow up, but for now I’ll cherish every second of being needed. You love being held close to the chest and rocked to sleep by me. I’ll never forget the first time you fell asleep on me… it was such an intense feeling and I just couldn’t put you down! I think I slept sitting up all night. You love sleeping with your face smushed into me. In the beginning I worried whether you could breathe but no matter how many times I turned your sweet face it always returned to the original position within minutes. You absolutely love being swaddled and will instantly relax into it. You remind me of a peaceful monk when you’re sleeping, all swaddled up! I could watch you for days…

You make the most delightful baby sounds… Your daddy and I are mesmerized by your voice. Even when you cry, there is such a distinct tone and timber to it. We often remark that you could be a singer when you grow up. You enjoy listening to music and already have your preferences. You will instantly stop crying when I play certain Indian songs. Just like your daddy, you thrive on routine and happiest when your needs are met on time. You eat every 4 hours and some days I can set my clock to your schedule. You’ve been sleeping longer at nights, waking up just once to feed, which has really been a blessing. You seem to enjoy bath time but diaper changes are still a little rough at times. Currently you are in the 30th percentile for weight at 9lbs 8oz and 80th percentile for height measuring at 23in.

The next few months are going to be filled with many milestones and I’m so excited to watch you grow, my sweet darling. I thank God every day for allowing me to be part of your life!

Love,
Your Mom

Our baby… Our rules…

2016-05-27-20-07-38.jpgOur baby has been with us for almost 3 weeks and I’m already having trouble putting into words the feelings I have for him. It’s like we’ve known each other forever. We hear each other even in the dead of night and the bond, in spite of the rough start, is indescribable. People warned me, yet I was unprepared for these depths that my heart has traveled. I may never fully recover from this experience…

Before he was born, I read so many articles on how to manage the first few weeks and I’m here to report that none of them worked for me. Every baby is different and nothing can prepare you for YOUR journey. You simply have to find your own rhythm.

Here are five things that are working for us…

    1. Trust your instincts: Believe me when I tell you that your mama instincts will kick into high gear once the baby is born. I worried about holding him, feeding him, dropping him and changing him. Yet, somehow I knew how to do all those things instinctively, even teaching my partner along the way. You just have to trust yourself and when in doubt, phone a friend or family member, preferably someone who has given birth in this decade. If all else fails, there’s always an expert on youtube to show you the ropes.
    2. Here comes daddy: My partner took 2 1/2 weeks off after our baby was born. It was very important to us that we bond with our son individually during these precious first weeks. Equally important was establishing our new roles as caregiver to the baby and caregiver to the mommy. It’s so easy to lose the dad during the first few months of baby’s life when mom is nursing and taking care of the immediate needs of the little one. My partner was focused on taking care of me during these weeks, which meant feeding me regularly and giving me short breaks to shower, pump and sleep in. I realize that not everyone is blessed with such an amazing partner or has the luxury of taking time off, whether paid or unpaid, but with a little planning and reshifting of priorities, getting dad involved from the get go can be truly rewarding for the entire family.
    3. Family  is a blessing: My in laws, who live nearby, have been amazingly supportive during these early days by giving us our space. As much as they wanted to see their grandson, they’ve respected our wishes and left us to bond with our son. On top of that, my mother in law has been bringing food over once a week, which has helped out tremendously! If you have family nearby, I urge you to ask them for once a week food delivery for the first month. As a general rule, no one should be visiting you during those early weeks unless they bring a tray of food. Period.
    4. Visiting hours are later: Even before our baby was born, we asked all family and friends to wait a couple of weeks before visiting and we’re beyond grateful for their understanding. This decision proved to be a gamechanger when our son spent a few days in the NICU. When we finally brought him home a week later, we couldn’t bare to share him with anyone else. We wanted him all to ourselves and so we did just that. We kept our universe very small, limiting to just grandparents and immediate family. We spent extended stretches in bed holding our son close. Needless to say, we thoroughly enjoyed our babymoon!!!
    5. Do your best: The transition into motherhood is HARD and everyone’s story is unique. After my arduous labor and stressful NICU experience, I felt totally depleted. On top of it all, my son was having trouble latching on and breastfeeding proved to be yet another hurdle in our way. I was instructed by a lactation consultant to pump a minimum of 10 times a day to maintain my supply but no matter how much I tried I couldn’t manage more than 5 or 6 times. I was running on fumes and instead of feeling beaten down, I decided to adopt a ‘do your best’ attitude towards this entire experience. I am pumping as much as I can and supplementing the rest with formula. It’s not what I imagined, but my son doesn’t seem to mind and is growing like a weed. I’ve been able to retain my sanity and enjoy the best parts of being a mommy. It’s a win-win all around!

As I write this, my baby is sleeping on my lap and there’s absolutely nothing better than watching him sleep. I could do it for hours… I want to savor every second with him. This is exactly how I pictured it in my head all those months when I was pregnant. Oh, what a blessing it is to have a dream come true!!!