New Normal.

Henryweekone-35June2016-4June2016-5june23June2016-10June2016-13June2016-14June2016-17June2016-20parkI kept on looking for a good moment to sit down and type out a nice thoughtful blog post about life these days, but that moment never came. Or it did come, and it seemed a whole lot more important to actually go to the bathroom or eat something with two hands or shower. The new normal in our life has many fewer moments for waxing poetic on the Internet, but I’m ok with that. The new normal is an endless process of banal observations that seem life changing, little victories, and new experiences.

All pregnancy, it was hard to know what to get excited about when I thought about this baby actually being with us. I am not actually a “baby person,” not someone who has always been enthralled with infants. What do you do with a baby? While I love kids, babies were somewhat of a foreign entity- adorable in the abstract but mysterious. Yet I did know that I would love strolling around the city with our little boy, and this has proven true. We get in a walk of at least a couple hours every day, strolling with friends or just wandering Capitol Hill on our own. The humidity has magical power over our heat-loving boy and he usually falls asleep within minutes of being out in the swampy DC summer, ensuring this mama some calm and an excuse to be out and about. When James was off for paternity leave last week it was especially wonderful, wandering our neighborhood as a family of three.

I also looked forward to leisurely snuggling with my quietly sleeping babe.  Sometimes this happens, and it is wonderful. Other times, that babe is far from quietly sleeping, and the snuggle is more of a pace/bounce/panic embrace. And other times, I snuggle away, all while fighting nagging whispers from Babywise  or other sleep-training books that I should be forcing him to sleep on his own instead of in my arms. I struggled with this a lot over the past couple weeks, trying to balance the tension between wanting to start instilling good habits in him now in every domain, and wondering how much you can “teach” a newborn, and wouldn’t it be better to just cherish where he is at? So we have been snuggling our days away for the most part, and taking a little firmer stance at night, which has mostly worked.

There are  so many words to describe these first four weeks of learning how to be Henry’s parents. Fear, as I still panic at least once or twice a night and shine a flashlight in his face to see if he’s alive, often following it with a poke if he was sleeping too peacefully. Joy, as watching him experience even the tiniest milestones (eye contact! tummy time! baths!) has us squealing. Exhaustion, as sometimes I think that I just can’t wake up for another early morning feeding. Disgust, because babies are really gross. Stress, because I wonder how I will ever get anything done again and HOW IS THERE SO MUCH LAUNDRY FROM SUCH A TINT PERSON?

But mostly wonder. Wonder at this little life that is entrusted to us, at this little body that is so tiny and pure, but growing stronger each day. At this soul that trusts us so completely and this human who gets to be a new chance for something good in the world. Four weeks in and we are in total wonder at our baby boy.


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14 Responses to New Normal.

  1. sylviakyle says:

    i found it was impossible to sleep train either of our 3 kids before 2 1/2 months. They’re all very different sleepers and yet no amount of trying would do anything before then. At some point I think they just become ready but before then it’s just a waste of energy and a source of stress, so don’t worry about it, he’s still too little (in my opinion, of course)

    • Barbara Harvey Abbott says:

      Huge yes to this! Sleep training before the end of that “forth trimester” is useless. You don’t know me, so please take this with a grain of salt, but I recommend “happiest baby on the block” to all my new parent friends (and anyone who will listen 😉 ) – it was recommended to us by several people and proceed the most useful during this newborn time, regardless of whether or not your baby has colic.

      Little Henry is absolutely precious! Congratulations! You’ll figure it all out in due time ❤

    • Hannah says:

      That’s kind of what I decided — just embracing what works now to make sleep happen and waiting to “train” until something could be capable of sticking. Plus, I feel like all your kids are awesome, so I am pretty trusting of whatever strategy you did!

  2. kmkersting says:

    All the heart eyes to this, Hannah. So happy for you, James and sweet Henry! He is so blessed to have you as parents! Continue to enjoy the “new normal” and learning Henry’s personality every day!

  3. Stephanie says:

    Congrats on your little guy! I’m currently battling simultaneous 2 year old and 4 month old regressions and I feel like I’ll never sleep again. Thanks for sharing your happy mama snuggle moments! It’s always good to take stock of all the blessings.

  4. You are a real mom, to be sure. It is appears that all is pretty normal in your new normal. (So glad to know that “wonder” is present! May it never end! …and I can totally relate about not really being a “baby person.” I always said I would have been happy to have my children presented to me at about 6 months of age. 🙂 But these are the days of wonder for your little guy–he’s finally gotten to meet his mom and dad!) Blessings on your dear little family!

  5. E.H says:

    Love the pictures & hearing about your adventures as parents. 🙂

  6. angie stone says:

    You look great in the blue dress…mighty pretty momma.
    I think one reason God places humans in the world as babies is that He knew how precious and fun it would be for His children to enjoy their newborns. Snuggling is fun…enjoy every moment. Other things can wait.

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