I last wrote that I’d been having a rough time adjusting to life with Jasper, that I was tired and frustrated. Well, I’m glad to report that those feelings all but disappeared pretty much bang on the six-week mark.
People had told us that the first six weeks were the hardest, and I didn’t really appreciate that until we’d been through it. At six weeks, Jasper started smiling more regularly, would lie awake calmly for longer periods of time, and just start to give back to us a little more.
But a change happened in me, too: I fell in love with the little guy. Clearly, love isn’t a black-and-white thing that is there one minute and not the next, but one day I just noticed that I felt that overwhelming love I’d expected to feel right at the start. It just took a while to kick in. I’d look down at him and think, wow, he is the best thing that ever lived!
Not only did my feelings for J get stronger, but I was just happier. Things seemed easier. I was still tired as hell, but it was manageable now. I enjoyed going to work more, and getting out and seeing people.
Now he’s eight weeks old and these are the things I love about him right now:
- He talks to me. When he’s awake and calm, I’ll lie him down on my lap and hold his head in my hands. I make exaggerated facial expressions to try to get him to mimic me. Once I’ve got his attention I’ll just talk to him about anything, and he’ll start making noises. They’re short, sharp sounds but I know it’s him responding to me. It’s great fun, our little chats.
- The smiles he gives me when he’s meant to be sleeping. I just think this is the best. Usually when I put him down for his first long sleep, about 9pm, he looks up and me with this big grin on his face. I have to tell him, “Jasper put that smile away! It’s bed time, you have to sleep now”. And he just grins even more, those huge eyes lighting up. It’s just too adorable.
He’s happy just sitting and chilling. I often prop him up in some pillows on the couch and he’ll just sit there, watching what’s going on, happy as anything. It’s a nice change from the baby who pretty much was either sleeping, eating or crying.
- He’s not as floppy. He seems to have great neck strength and holds his head up no problem now. It just makes him easier to carry and pass and that sort of thing.
- Bath time. This is the best! We actually don’t bath him much on his own – either he comes in with one of us, or I’ll bring him into the shower for a few minutes if we’re short on time. But it’s the baths that I love. He just looks so happy as I hold him back and splash water over his belly, his little legs kicking with joy.
During the first few weeks, I wondered why no one told us that it was so hard. Everything was just so difficult and kind of awful – feeding, sleeping, pretty much everything. I realise now why no one tells you that. Those frustrations melt away once the baby starts giving back. Already those horrible first six weeks seem like a distant memory. If someone told me they were having a baby, I wouldn’t rush to tell them those things, partly because they just don’t seem important now, but also because I think it’s just something you have to go through.
So, things are good. We’ve still got our challenges, like sleeping, but that’s another post. Right now, we’re super happy and loving seeing J change every day.
Listening to: Add Violence by Nine Inch Nails
Reading: A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin