I just cannot believe that one month has passed since Koa came into our lives. I just can’t believe it. I don’t actually even remember what life was like before her. I don’t want to.
Each day that has passed has been its own new adventure. Each day she does something different. Each day she grows a little more. Each day I learn something new about myself because of her.
It’s been a month, but still I’m in shock. At least once a day I look at her and just whisper to Ryan, “That’s our daughter. I have a daughter.” It boggles my mind anew every time it occurs to me.
It’s been mostly a very smooth month. Despite the inauspicious start she had, spending a few days in the NICU, she is growing into a very strong, alert and lively baby.
She’s a mover and a shaker for sure. It’s funny, when she was in the NICU one of the nurses came in and told me that she was kicking like she was riding a bicycle. Ryan and I laughed. Yep. That must be our daughter. She does love her nap time, but, man. When she is up, she is moving. Her arms and legs are constantly flailing like she’s a little baby windmill.
She eats like a champ. She was such a small little thing when she was born, 6lbs, 9.8 ounces. Her weight had dropped to 6lbs, 1 once after 4 days, which is normal. Once we got breastfeeding up and going I was so afraid she wasn’t getting enough. You can’t, obviously, measure what they’re eating. We had a follow up appointment 8 days later. They say the goal is to gain an ounce a day. Well, in those 8 days Koa had put on 13 ounces. The weight gain has continued, as evidenced by the fact that every day her clothes get noticeably smaller. She only has a few more days, I’d guess, in her newborn clothes. She’s a lean, long baby. I’m not sure whose child she is, actually.
She’s mostly a pretty darn pleasant baby to be around. I don’t have anything to compare it to, but it’s about what I was expecting. We were really spoiled in the first week. She didn’t cry. Like, at all. It was actually making me nervous. All she did was make these small squeaks. That’s her nickname now. I think I might call her Squeak more than anything else. On day 6 she cried for the first time. By two weeks she had mastered it. She’s a quick learner. She still doesn’t cry too, too much, but she has her moments. Mostly, those moments occur every night between 9pm and midnight. Good grief, does this girl hate bedtime. The whole bedtime process lasts at least three hours every night. The good news is that that is Ryan’s shift. Ha. Otherwise, when she gets fussy, she is easy to soothe. It really comes down to her one true love. Boob. It’s the answer to all her life’s problems. In my head I imagine she just really loves her Mama and wants to be with her all the time. In reality, I know she is just using me for my jugs.
The breast feeding thing makes for an interesting dynamic between Koa and Ryan. Ryan is such an affection guy. You might not realize this about Ryan, but he is a lover. He expresses it frequently and needs it in return. He was SO excited to be a Dad. I don’t think either of us realized just how little a baby would interact with its Dad early on. Ryan changes diapers like a champ, but, otherwise, there isn’t too much he can do. Koa is too young to “play”. Really, all she wants is to eat and sleep. Ryan can’t really help with either of those. The poor guy tries to hold her, but she just ends up trying to latch on to his neck and screaming when it doesn’t get her what she is looking for. It’s a no win for everyone involved. I know it can be rough on him sometimes. I remind him that right now is my time. I’m absolutely positive that before I know it, she’ll be a total and complete Daddy’s girl. I’m going to enjoy my time with her now before the inevitable happens.
The other member of our family, the Rooster, is just the most fabulous big sister. I seriously could not be more thrilled with how she is adjusting. The first day we brought Koa home was a little nerve wracking. Roo was really inquisitive. Couple this with the fact that she is about as gentle as a bull, I was on high alert. Each day since, she has gotten better and better. Really, within a week Koa was already part of Roo’s pack. When Roo comes in after being outside, she frantically runs around looking for Koa. Once she finds her and sees that everything is okay, she goes about her business. She has to know where her baby is. She also loves to marinate Koa in dog saliva. She licks her feet and her hands. Her favorite is to kiss her little face, especially if there happens to be milk dribble. The best thing Roo does, though, is to alert us when Koa needs a diaper change. She’ll walk across the room, sniff Koa’s butt and then look at me like, “Um. Are you going to do something about that?” It’s a very helpful feature.
All in all, we are all adjusting really, really well. Not a day goes by that I don’t realize how lucky we are and give thanks for it. It hits me most at some of my favorite times with Koa. Like, when I get glimpses of her “smile”. She’s too young to smile in reaction to things, but she is doing practice smiles now. It’s like her face just starts to randomly go through a bunch of different expressions in order to practice them. In our quiet time together, when she smiles I just cannot think of anything I’d rather be doing or any place I’d rather be.
I am in absolutely no hurry to rush these first months away. She, literally, is getting bigger before our eyes. I’m excited to watch her hit different milestones, but, at the same time, the thought of time passing by makes me really, really sad. I thoroughly enjoyed her first month, but please, Time, slow down.