You are now one month old. Actually, due to internet issues (Daddy was changing our internet to a new wi-fi system) and lack of time you're actually more than a month old - you're five weeks old today.
Already you have grown and changed in so many ways. Looking back on photos from the first few days you looked so small and scrunched up, and now when you stretch out you're long enough to kick things off the end of the changing unit. In fact we may stop changing you up there soon because you're so wriggley.
I never knew that having a baby would be like this. I've known for years that I wanted to have children, but the reality is so much more than all the ideas. More tiring, more painful, more challenging, but so much more rewarding. Your daddy and I are just overwhelmed sometimes by how much you've changed our lives, but also how much we love you.
As I write this you're staring up at me from the moses basket. You're kicking your legs and waving your arms - I joke that you're doing semaphore. Your kick is very strong and sometimes we find that you've pushed off from the end of the basket and are trying to head for the other end! Actually, you're so long that I wonder just how much longer you'll fit in the basket before we have to come up with other options. At the moment you sleep in your crib in our bedroom at night and in the moses basket in the living room during the day. When you're awake and lying in the basket you love looking around, so I think a bouncy chair might be a good idea to allow you to look around more.
The midwife came on Saturday, the day you turned one month, and finally declared that you'd put on enough weight for them to discharge you. It's be a bit of a rollercoaster month. Most babies drop weight in the first week or so, and anything up to 10% is considered ok. You lost around 600g, which was more like 16% so we needed to add in formula top-ups as well as my milk, to help you put on weight again. Tracey, our midwife, was a wonderful support and in my opinion went above and beyond her role to support us as we looked after you. She also helped me as I struggled with mastitis. I think we've had three extra trips to the hospital in the last month - who'd have thought we'd be back there so soon after your birth, but hopefully we won't need anymore visits for a long time!
In the first couple of weeks everything seemed like a sleep-deprived blur. You woke a lot at night, and we wouldn't have survived without the support of people like your Nana and Grandad and Aunties and Uncle who stayed over at various times, or visited and let me and your daddy sleep while they looked after you. Once we got you on the formula you settled into a better sleeping pattern - meaning that you actually slept! And now you tend to go down to bed around half eight or nine and sleep right through until two or three in the morning. Sometimes it's even as late as four. We get up for a feed, which still takes us about an hour, and then you settle again until seven or eight. This morning you slept until nine and I actually got to have a shower before you woke up. That's sheer luxury, and I don't expect it to happen very often.
I couldn't have survived the past month without your daddy. He's been a rock of support, even at times when he's been more tired than me. And I must mention how fantastic he is at cooking and cleaning. I'll have to get him to teach you cleaning skills when you're older, because he's better at it than me, and a lot tidier!
We've also been really blessed by our extended family and people at Jubilee Church. So many people have given you presents that I sometimes wonder if you have more clothes than me and daddy together! Luckily most people listened when I asked them to go for things in bigger sizes. Your legs are very long and you have big feet (taking after your mummy) that mean that lots of the newborn babygros we have for you are already too small because they squish your toes. I've got a bag hanging on the back of the door in the spare room to put clothes in as we discover you've outgrown them.
I'm amazed by your eyes. The day you were born they were a vivid blue, but I noticed that even by the next day they'd started getting darker. They went darker and darker, but kept a blue outline, that looked like someone had outlined your eye in blue biro. Today I look at your eyes are they are a beautiful deep brown, sometimes looking so dark you can hardly see the pupils in the centre, but there's still a blue line around the outside. You were born with hairy ears and they're still hairy. You also have a lot of hair that you were born with, but shows no signs of falling out, despite lots of people suggesting it will. It started off pretty straight, with just a hint of curls at the ends, but now more and more it seems to be getting curlier. When we bathe you and wet your hair it goes into beautiful little ringlets.
You're now sat on my lap, trying to help me type as you wave your arms around. Daddy complains that you've already managed to bop him on the nose with your waving arms as he cuddled you. You're wearing mittens because your nails are pretty sharp and we still haven't got around to buying any nail scissors. Last week you scratched yourself on the eyelid, and although its healed, you have a lot of dry sore skin on your face and we don't want it to get any worse. Every time we change you we put a little olive oil on your face, and about once a day we oil you all over. That makes you extra tricky to hold as you're such a wiggler already and the oil makes you slippery!
Auntie Hannah will tell you that mummy is good at giving people strange nicknames (case in point, I currently call her Chicken if we speak on the phone!). Mummy's given you lots of nicknames. In the early days I called you a little frog because of the way you would lie with you legs up in the air, bent like a frog's legs. I call you my little sausage, and when I wrap you up in a blanket to go to sleep you're my little sausage roll! We also call you Little Miss Squeaky because sometimes you can sound just like a creaky door. You also squeak when you're waking up to tell us you're hungry - it's as if you want to warn us you'd like to be fed, but you're not actually ready to wake up yet. Ideally I think you'd like to just feed in your sleep, or at least that's what you seem to suggest since you fall asleep on me almost every time I feed you.
You have a lot of aunties (related and honorary), and I'm sure in the future you'll have lots of fun with them all. At the moment they mostly just argue over who gets to cuddle you the most. You've got to spend time at Nana & Grandad's house and with Nan & Grandad and auntie Yvonne. I think they'll spoil you like crazy as at the moment you're the first grandchild on both sides!
I'm looking forward to the next month with you and I'm sure we'll see you smile for the first time soon - there have been times that we've been almost convinced you were really smiling at us.
We love you Sophia Louise,