Sunday, July 26, 2015

A New Adventure!

Now that our little Sean Peregrine is three weeks and two days old, I'm finally writing about him, though I hardly know where to begin. Is it possible he only arrived twenty-three days ago? And how do I go about describing how beautiful and awful these twenty-three days have been, how full of laughter and meltdowns and weariness, full of the joy that threatens to explode my heart when I cuddle my son close, followed abruptly by a desire to find a hole and hide when he wakes grumpy and grizzly after only a 45 minute nap. Babies disrupt everything for the good and for the bad– meals, sleep, personal hygiene, your mind, your heart, your soul. I am utterly captivated– most of the time willingly– by this tiny little boy whose variety of facial expressions holds me spellbound and whose slightest grunt wakes me up out of sleep. I remarked to my mother the other day that while I do not believe that newborn babies are capable of being manipulative, they are certainly tyrannical. Yet Sean is such an adorable, lovable, kissable tyrant that (most of the time) I don't mind that I am slave to his whims and to his digestion.

Sean Peregrine. His middle name is not, as some have thought, because Nate and I are crazy Lord of the Rings fans. "Peregrine" was the name given to the first baby born to the Pilgrims in America– Peregrine White. It means wanderer. I can only imagine how, in the bleakness and loneliness of a strange New World, little Peregrine must have been a comfort and a symbol of hope to his mama. In the same way, Sean's conception and safe arrival have been a comfort and a symbol of hope to us, to me.

"Sean" is because we both like the name very much, and it goes well with our very Celtic last name. :-)

He arrived early in the morning on July 3, breaking three family records: he was furthest past his due date (by four days), weighed more (8 pounds, 14 ounces), and was taller (21.5 inches) than any baby on either side of the family. An overachiever and a rebel already! I want to write a separate post about his birth,  so I'll just say that he was born at home, as planned, and we were and are both safe and healthy.

Our son is three weeks old, and already he holds up his head. Actually, he did that from birth– minutes after arrival, while on my chest, he was lifting up his head to look around the world. The amount of neck control he has is astonishing. He also kicks his legs quite enthusiastically, and now everyone who has seen him has some appreciation for what I felt when he was inside me. Which, by the way, is something I have a hard time believing ever was true– how could this wiggle-worm boy have ever fit?

Other things Sean enjoys, besides kicking and holding up his head: nursing, sitting in my lap while I finish lunch (he is very nosy and wants to be up and part of the conversation), cuddling in bed, pretending he can crawl when I put him on his tummy, holding his hands up by his face, sucking his fists, being held upright against my chest and butting my chest with his head, listening to his daddy play guitar, squishy people, me holding him while bouncing on the yoga ball and singing to him, his second and third baths (on the same day: he decided to have a diaper blowout five minutes after his second bath), being in the Moby wrap (sometimes).

Things Sean does not care for: being in the Moby wrap (sometimes), lying flat on his back, having his diaper changed, his first bath (my fault, the water was too warm), being hungry (cue epic meltdowns if it takes more than thirty seconds to start nursing), waking up.

Life is now breastmilk drips and tracking poopy diapers, taking turns holding him while we devour down dinner, washing leaked-on onesies and bedding every other day, and spending $130 on three nursing bras (because let's face it, I might as well spend the money to get something quality since I'll be wearing them day in and day out). Life is cuddles and cries and fish-lips and grumpy-old-man faces from my little son. Life is already learning how to let him go– to sink back into bed after I turn out the light, reach over for one last touch on Sean's back to make sure he's still breathing, and to pray that God will help me trust Him with my little love's night's sleep, with his days, with his life, to remember I'm still not and never will be in control, but that God is and that He is good.

Sean is here– the adventure has begun!