I realized the other day that I finally feel like I know Charlie and I’m even a little ashamed to admit that it took some time for me to really, really fall in love with him. From the moment he was born, my emotions were running high and were a bit scattered too – never really being in control and having to listen to everyone else about what was best for his care. And I was happy to do it, of course, his safety and well-being were my main priority. But it didn’t really give me the space to be his mom, at least not in the way I knew how. Then we brought him home and we were all adjusting. Suddenly we were all back in our own home again, Millie was with us for good (thank god – I still cry when I think about what I missed), and we’re all kind of stumbling through a new routine to get back to us. I was still on autopilot and it took some time before I realized I could stop doing what the hospital routinely did and just be his mom.
But now, it’s been almost 4 months since we brought him home and let me tell ya, the love is pouring out of me. And, I know him.
I know he can’t stay awake longer than an hour before he’s ready for his morning nap.
I know he likes to sleep with his arms up or near his face at all times.
I know his hands have a sweet delicateness to them that remind me of my Grandpa’s.
I know that when he’s starting to wake and begins that delicious baby stretch he will likely fart at the same time.
I know that when he smiles at me, I no longer care that it’s 3 in the morning.
I know he loves to watch his sisters every move and is pretty patient with the way she loves him.
I know he still has that delicious baby smell and the best double chin to nibble on. (Anyone else feel like they could just eat their kids? Please say yes.)
I know he’s really down for the count when his eyes are still a little open.
I also know he’s pretty good at faking it too – tracking me with his eyes half open not letting me out of his sight.
I know he can put down a 3oz bottle in 5 minutes if he wants to. And when he doesn’t, it’s closer to 30 minutes.
I also know he likes to hold on tight to my shirt whenever he’s nursing, and it’s the best.
I know his 3 month clothes are starting to get too big because of his long legs, but they fit him just right everywhere else.
I know he’s lost most of his hair, but with my genes, it’ll be back in no time.
I know his dad loves him something fierce and is working really hard to get that first giggle.
I know we endured some really hard, scary moments in the beginning, but look how far we’ve come?
And I know he was meant to be ours, arriving at exactly the right time and making our hearts burst wide open.
We have a little ways to go still, in learning how to help Charlie grow and hit each milestone, but we’ll get there. He has an appt this week to get his cute little head measured for a possible helmet (I’ve noticed a little flatness on the left side, but our pediatrician wasn’t too concerned). I’m anxious about the challenges with that, but also have you seen babies in helmets? My goodness – so stinkin CUTE. His eye appt at the end of the month was just changed to a video checkup, which should be interesting, but he’s had 3 appts so far and is progressing just fine! He also has an appt at Kennedy Krieger in 2 weeks for a more thorough developmental checkup. Honestly, most days I forget that he’s a preemie. He’s doing everything a typical 3 month old would do and if his growth were being measured according to his due date (Feb 19th), then he’d be in the 75th percentile for height and weight. He’s only 1 ounce shy of having gained TEN whole pounds since birth (12lbs 4oz) and a quarter inch shy of 24in tall. As far as I’m concerned, he’s perfect.
Mostly, I’m just happy and grateful for where we are. We are home, we are safe, and we are all growing. And I’m just a mama who feels incredibly lucky to be so in love with her kids.