My precious little Charlie-boy, how is it possible that you are already a month old?! In a way, it seems as though you have been a part of our lives forever, and yet I feel like it was just yesterday that I was still carrying you inside of me. These past four weeks with you have been the greatest adventure of my life, and over the last month I’ve come to recognize the gaping void that was in my life before you were born; I knew that space existed, but until now, I had no idea how big it was, or how perfectly you would fill it. Becoming your mom has been far more gratifying, fulfilling, and miraculous than I ever dared to dream. Sometimes I pinch myself, thinking that this new life, with you in it, is too good to be true—how am I so blessed to have been given this incredible gift of having you as my son?! A month spent with you has already brought me a lifetime’s worth of joy.
The first time I laid eyes on you, I was completely smitten; my heart was exploding with love. And somehow, I fall even more in love with you each day. From your delicate little ears and button nose, to the tiny fingers that everyone says are so long and lean, there is not a thing about you that I would change; you are absolute perfection (except maybe for that acne that’s showing up all over your poor face; it would be nice if we could clear that up). I love the way you snuggle into my arms as I rock you to sleep; each night I sing you the words from I Love You Forever, but I never make it through without crying because I am so overwhelmed by how deeply true those words are proving to be. I am enamored with your sweet smiles, the energetic way that you “launch” yourself onto my breast when it’s time to eat, your hilarious facial expressions (your Zoolander impression is a favorite), and the squeaky dolphin noises that seem to have become your trademark. You emit some pretty impressive nosies from the other end, too, and you keep your daddy and me rolling in laughter with the “music” that comes streaming from the direction of your bassinet at night. You certainly have no inhibitions, and we joke that Hollywood could use you to create their flatulance soundtracks!
It’s amazing how much you have changed in such a short amount of time. Your hair has lightened I up a bit, and your birth marks are slowly fading. You are growing at an astounding rate, and though you are still a long and skinny little peanut, we are starting to see some meat on your bones. Whenever we pick you up, you seem huge to us! You are becoming more alert each day, and we are seeing much more of those beautiful, ocean-blue eyes now that your awake times are not dominated by sleeping, eating, and crying. You seem so curious about the world around you, and I can’t help but wonder what is going on in that little mind of yours as you take in your surroundings. One thing that hasn’t changed: you still like to move around a lot! Even when I was pregnant with you, you seemed to be constantly be in motion, and now that you’re living on the outside, everyone can see why I was constantly complaining about you kicking me in the ribs during pregnancy! The nature of your movements has certainly changed, though: while your stretches were initially exploratory and catlike, they have become much more intentional—you seem to be more aware of your limbs, and what you can do with them. Your legs have become especially strong, which makes it hard to change you! Considering how active you are now, your daddy and I are bit scared for what’s in store for us once you are mobile; we expect you will be one very busy toddler!
Before you were born I didn’t realize how nerve-racking parenting could be. There is so much to worry about, and you’ve already given us a few scares: from a significant weight loss after you were born, to high bilirubin levels that made you appear yellow, we had a lot to be concerned about when we came home from the hospital. Then there was the blocked tear duct, and the night of screaming after Mom had spicy food for lunch (sorry!). Fortunately you have proven yourself to be sturdier than you look, and we can only hope that you continue to be this healthy!
We were so fortunate that Daddy got to stay home with us for three weeks after you were born, but he went back to work last week, and now you and I are beginning to develop our own little routines. We take a nap together each morning, and meet Daddy at work for lunch. Since you seem happiest when you are in your stroller, we go for lots of walks: to the grocery store, through the neighborhood, and (Mom’s favorite) to McDonald’s to get ice cream. You’ve accompanied me to Bible study and spent hours camped out in your carrier while I work at coffe shops. I love having you as my full-time sidekick, and am thankful that we get to spend our days together.
Though I adore being your mom, motherhood has proven to be more difficult than I anticipated. I love that you like to snuggle, and I’m happy to hold you most of the time, but sometimes I need to put you down and it’s hard to hear you cry when you can’t be in my arms. You love to eat and are a breastfeeding champ, and while I can’t tell you how happy that makes me, I do wish that your feedings were a bit less erratic. You seem to want to eat at the least opportune times, like when I’m making dinner or getting into he shower. Some days, you get hungry every half hour, but will only eat in five-minute increments; that certainly makes it hard for me to get anything done, and I wonder if I will ever sit down to a hot meal again! You are still my little night owl, snoozing for much of the day (and falling asleep when you’re eating), and going for marathon breastfeeding sessions in the middle of the night, when we both should be fast asleep. The lack of sleep has been hard on your mama, and I admit that I’m looking forward to the day when I get to sleep for longer than a two-hour stretch. Even harder than your sleepless nights are those increasingly frequent bouts of crying, when nothing seems to soothe you and I can’t figure out what’s wrong. It breaks my heart to see you so upset, and to be unable to do a thing about it.
Despite these challenges, you have captured my heart. In the moments when I am feeling exhausted or frustrated, I gaze at your precious little face and marvel at your utter perfection. I am beyond grateful for the times we have already shared, and can hardly wrap my mind around how lucky I am to have the opportunity to watch you grow up. At times I wish I could keep you this small forever, but I am also excited to see what you will grow up to look like, how your personality will develop, and what hobbies you pursue. One thing is certain: however you grow and change, I could not possibly love you more. Charleston Michael, I really do love you forever. As long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be. Happy one month birthday, buddy!
One Month Stats:
Weight: Unknown, but at 3 weeks you were a whopping 6 pounds 7 ounces, so you’re probably over 7 pounds by now.
Clothes: Finally fitting into all of your newborn clothes; some of the smallest ones are even getting a bit tight. Hopefully you will fit into your cloth diapers soon!
Likes: Being Held, Cuddling/Napping with Mommy and Daddy, Being Swaddled (most days), White Noise, Tummy Time, Your Carrier (both in the stroller and in the car; either way, you pass out as soon as we put you in! I call it your magic napping machine.)
Dislikes: Diaper Changes, Having Your Temperature Taken, Bath Time, Being Cold (you take after your mama!), Being by Yourself in Your Bassinet
Nicknames: Charlie-boy, Buddy Bear (<— not sure why, but this has become my official name for you), Little Buddy, Peanut, Little Man