Today is a hot sunny Saturday in August, very similar to the hot sunny Wednesday in July that she was born. We are sitting out on the deck while I type this, Riggs playing happily in the yard with Tutka, Raina sleeping in the shade of an umbrella next to my chair. Words don't come easily to describe all that has happened and changed since she was born. My capacity for love has doubled, and I am so incredibly happy. I am also so very tired, the kind of tired that is present from the moment I wake up, when it's just slightly dimmed, to the moment I gratefully fall asleep each night, more tired then I ever dreamed I could be.
Riggs has adjusted so well to the addition of a new baby. Yet he seems to have aged overnight, and I can barely find any hints of baby in him at all. And while I find so much joy in the new life that is his baby sister, I find myself mourning the loss of my first baby. I feel the ache so profoundly now that I have tangible proof in my arms of how much he has changed and grown. Like always, motherhood currently feels very bittersweet.
With fresh realization of how fast they really do grow and change, I cling desperately to each moment of Raina's babyhood, but still it passes by much too quickly. As I was holding her in my arms this morning, looking down studying her face and little body as she nursed, I could feel how much she has grown. She feels more solid, heavier, and more sure in her movements. She weighs as much as her brother did at a month old, which genuinely surprises me, since she was more than a pound smaller at birth.
monthly hand & footprints:
A week ago she could still squeeze into some of her newborn clothes, now she is solidly in three month sizes. She is quickly outgrowing her size 1 diapers too, mostly because her body is so long. She is more content every day to lay by herself on a blanket and just look at her surroundings. One or two minutes used to be the longest she would happily do so, now she is up to fifteen minutes and even longer sometimes of happily taking in the world around her.
She loves her pacifier and sleeps much longer if she is swaddled, although she is already very good at extracting herself from even the most tightly wrapped blanket. As is obvious by her rapid growth, she is great nurser. She is much faster at gulping down her milk than her brother was, and I'm still surprised every time she is so quickly sated. Maybe because of this she is also gassier than he was, which causes her to fuss quite a bit more than he every did. It's so sad to see her squirming in discomfort and to hear her distressed cries. We are getting better at helping her to nurse in a way that doesn't cause her to gulp too much air, and she seems to be getting less and less gassy as each day passes.
Things are good. Sometimes very hard, but still good. I still wouldn't change this life I have for anything I could imagine, and I thank God every night for these two blessings Steve and I are lucky enough to call our babies. Although I'm very sad to to watch her babyhood go by so fast already, I'm very excited for what the next month holds for our little Raina Grace.
two days old:
one week old + first bath
growing and changing:
happy on her own + holding her head up
happy first month of life, Raina Grace!