Life as MommyMo

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

One Week

It was one week ago almost to the minute that I walked out of the front door to go meet Baby Max for the first time.

I just watched him drift off to sleep thinking that it's hard to believe that he's only been with us seven days. If I ever doubted that God gives us the children that are meant to be ours, I need only look at Sam and Max. I cannot imagine any other little people fitting in with our family more perfectly. Max has adjusted to life as a Becker almost effortlessly. It's amazing to comprehend that this baby was born on the other side of the world and loved by two other mothers before he made his way to our home. In just a few days, it really feels like he was here from the day he was born.

I'm not trying to sound like there haven't been any growing pains to work out. There have. Our whole schedule has changed with the addition of an infant to our lives and Sam is definitely struggling to find room in his little universe for an actual human that commands his parents' attention. But day by day -- almost hour by hour -- it gets easier for everyone.

For me, especially, the bonding with Max has been easier than it was with Sam. Sam took to Rob almost immediately and I cried many tears as I watched a very strong-willed and independent child openly express his desire to only be held by someone other than me. I was instantly in love with him, and well educated about the many facets of the attachment process, but nothing made it easier for me when I just wanted to hold my first baby and kiss him to pieces.

Of course, that's all changed now. Sam is firmly attached to both me and Rob and definitely knows how to play each of us to get what he wants! Max does not seem to have a strong preference to either one of us, but not being shrieked at as if I'm doing bodily harm to him makes it easier for me to enjoy the experience and continue to fall in love with him.

It's interesting to see, too, how well my instincts have served me with Max. Rob has remarked many times in the last week that I'm somehow able to interpret Max's signals easily. The best example is the process to get his sleep issues worked out. By Max's fourth night here, I somehow got him to take to his crib, and he stayed there for 10+ hours. Luckily, that trend has continued, which makes any other part of the adjustment process easier to manage. A well rested family is a happy family!

Our next hurdle was getting him to nap in his crib. He was only taking two or three 20-minute naps, and most of those were in our arms or in the stroller. I am a firm believer in sleep training. I never leave his side while he's falling asleep and am instantly at his side if he wakes up crying, but I also am committed to getting him to do his sleeping in his crib so that he gets the rest he needs and we can do other things that need to be done (like showering, for instance.) We spent a quiet day at home yesterday working on a schedule/routine for him. We managed to get one crib nap out of him, but he was not having it during the afternoon. We tried again today, and were thrilled that he took two naps that were each more than 90 min. long in his crib.

Rob just went to put him to sleep for the night for the first time, and I kept hearing him ask through the monitor if I was really sure Max was tired. I told him that he's a giggly, wiggly baby when going to sleep and not to worry. Rob finally called me upstairs to "take a look at this," as if I was going to be met with some strange behavior that would need diagnosis. He was convinced Max was getting a second wind and that "we missed the window. He's going to be up for hours." I told him he just has to be patient and lo and behold, he was out cold not five minutes later. There is something immensely satisfying to me to have been able to figure out some of his cues already.

Hopefully all of this will serve me well tomorrow, when Rob goes back to work and I temporarily enter the world of stay-at-home-mommyhood for the first time in my life (Sam came home during the summer when Rob was off, too.) I don't have lofty goals for the first few days. If I am showered and dressed and Max has napped by the time the other boys get home, I will consider the day a success!


Waiting4OurAngel said...

Can you believe they have been home a week??? I am a first time stay at home mom too and it is AWESOME!! The only thing is naps were going great until today so guess we will have to work on that along with night sleeping.