The First Seven Months

Since you are now over 7.5 months old, I am a bit tardy in starting this blog for you. But let me try to sum up the last seven months in a nutshell…

Months One, Two & Three 

You were born at NHRMC in Wilmington, NC after 36+ hours of painful labor, and 15 days past your due date. Ouch. We stayed in Wilmington for about three days before we took you home to Bald Head Island. I’ll admit, I had never really seen a freshly birthed babe and your little swollen face and dry skin and “polka dots” (what I called your baby acne) were a little off-putting. But I loved you anyway.

At about two weeks old, some crotchety old lady in the Maritime Market parking lot scolded me for having a newborn out on BHI. I told her we lived there so there was nothing we could do — she quickly shut up. Driving you around in a golf cart was nerve-wrecking to say the least. You were so tiny (well, to me you were, but you were a healthy 8+ pounds) and the biggest dangers we faced were hitting deer on the way home, so I was not too worried.

We took you everywhere from the very beginning — your first “Howl” party at two weeks old, we had your photo session at three weeks old, your first Thanksgiving at the Market at 1.5 months, everyone was infatuated with the “island baby.” I couldn’t go anywhere without being bombarded by grandmas who wanted to kiss those cheeks!

I spent my days recovering at home, mostly alone with the dogs. Your father would come home three times a day to check on me and bring me breakfast, lunch and dinner. He was a saint, my best and only friend, and my only comfort through the loneliness that comes when you live in a place like Bald Head as a 25 year old first-time mom. I would nurse you, rock you, sing to you, sway you, swaddle you, and kiss your toes. I was afraid to clip your nails because I pinched you once. I washed diapers, I tied the dogs out onto the front porch, I slept when I could. I smelled you, I breathed you, I loved you.

After three months of solitude though, I couldn’t take the isolation of the island any longer, and we decided to move to Wilmington. Though we miss the critters and the beach, I am so glad we moved to a place where we could both have friends and a little break from our “small town fame” on the island.

Sleeping soundly in the hospital

Me and You

Nasty little umbilical cord hanging on for dear life

First time to East Beach

Snuggled up at the beach

With Granddaddy

2 months old today!

Christmas

with Mommy

Christmas Morning with Daddy

In the MM kitchen with Mommy

with Kashi

Months Four through Seven

January

When we decided to join the whole Pope clan and head west to Tahoe, it all sounded like a good idea. Now, the trip was fine — there was no snow– but we made the best of it. You were an angel, as always. For the rest of the family, however, I can’t say the same. My brothers and I rarely get together anymore and there was the typical childish bickering, the teasing, name-calling and whatnot. There were the small decisions (like where to go for dinner?) that had to be made as a group and no one ever seemed to agree on anything. It was eye-opening to see us as adults all acting like children. But you, my dear, were the sunshine to our days and the one that kept your Daddy and I sane. You slept terribly most of the trip, probably because we had you in a closet. :) We stuffed you in a pink snowsuit even though it was 50 degrees outside. We strolled around Truckee and went to shops, we had a car picnic. You did tummy time on the living room floor and Carson took a picture of you “checking emails.”

We started the move to Wilmington after we returned and it took us 12 golf cart loads, 2 storage unit trips and 3 trams to get all of our junk off BHI and over to the new place. When we were done, it was bliss. But, that was about a month later.

February

Finally in the new house, I spent most of the month juggling getting your sleep schedule back on track — the noises of the “city” were foreign to you. You were used to only the sounds of cicadas buzzing, or the wind whistling past your window. We got through it, and you were growing like a weed!

March

Mommy starts Stroller Strides! March was awesome. I quit my job and I finally got connected with a group of women who go to the park every day for a pretty intense workout. I start doing this about three times a week and the pounds are flying off — woo hoo! Daddy is still working like a mad man, but that’s pretty typical.

By now, you are almost sitting up, you are bouncing bouncing bouncing in your Baby Einstein  jumperoo, and you have figured out how to nap a little better. You start sleeping through the night — 7:30PM until almost 7:00AM.

April 

On the 15th, Aunt Birdie and Uncle Matt come for a visit and we have you Baptized at St. John’s Episcopal Church. It was a sunny, warm day and there was a pig picking’ afterward. Our plan had been to throw you a party at the house, but the preschoolers were “graduating” so we got to take advantage of the BBQ they were having at the church. So, we called it your Baptismal BBQ.

May

The wedding season I will never forget.  Three weeks straight we catered  rehearsal dinners and wedding receptions, bridal brunches and family meals. It was a tough couple of weeks of going back and fourth to the island, but somehow, like always, we got through it.

You’ve started to pull yourself up and stand with my help, you try to “jump” out of my lap (yikes!), and you are fully aware of what it takes to keep me in your bedroom nursing you well past your bedtime. You say “da da da da” and even whisper it, “daaa daaa.” Your Daddy is tickled. You have been cutting two teeth for about two weeks – neither of which seems to want to break through except for the razor-sharp edge of the bottom left one that cuts my nipple every time you nurse. You LOVE the dogs. LOVE LOVE LOVE them. Every time you see Kashi or Koko or Bo, you go straight for them, much to Kashi’s chagrin I must say. She just wants to eat your food. That’s a battle we have to work on. Hmm.

Okay sweet one, that’s seven months in a nutshell. Oh I have missed so many details, so many little triumphs already! But, let’s hope and pray I catch them more often so that one day you can look back and appreciate it all. Maybe when you are a mommy.

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