Thursday, January 2, 2014

Six weeks of wonder

In the blink of an eye, Hazel is six weeks old, Christmas is behind us, and it's already 2014. It's hard to believe how quickly the days are moving by, and yet I can hardly remember life before her. She's... awesome. Obviously I find everything she does to be miraculous. Every day I look at her and marvel that T and I (with the help of some awesome science-doctors, of course) created something so amazing. I can't wait to see what she becomes.

My favorite thing in the early days was feeling like somehow I already knew her. Maybe that's just what happens when you bring someone who's half you into the world. She was born and entirely new, and somehow instantly familiar, like she'd been with me all along.



Most people think she looks like me, but I do think she has her dad's expressions, and his legs. So far it appears that we lucked out in the lottery of baby temperament. She's almost always pretty mellow and happy. At first all she wanted to do was snuggle. These days she enjoys sitting upright and looking around the room, especially at sunshine. And her newest trick is seeing not just the morning sun, but us. When her big eyes actually lock with ours, I melt in a major way. And don't even get me started on her smiles... I'm sure she already thinks we're pretty lame, the way we embarrassingly fawn over her.




When she's not mellow and happy, we call her Hazel the Hippo - a fiery beast who demands food at any cost. The hippo gets what the hippo wants. (And hey, I get hangry, too, so I can't blame her.) She loves baths, which makes me hopeful for a future water girl. She runs hot like her mom, waking up at night sweaty and wanting to shed layers. Speaking of nighttime, at six weeks she's normally waking up once a night at 3 or 4 in the morning. Usually ten minutes of milk and she's back to sleep until a reasonable hour. There are certainly bad nights here and there (and a few in a row when she had her first cold, poor thing), but we really do feel lucky with our mellow babe. Her parents are pretty mellow too, so her attitude fits right in. She's a huge eater, also like her parents. Her birth weight was 8 lbs 2 oz, and on Christmas Eve she was already up to 10 lbs 10 oz. My body's keeping up with her, which I'm so happy about. Keeping a little one nourished and full is no small task.



Staying home with her has been both rewarding and challenging. By the time I was feeling strong again and was home alone, I began to feel like I wasn't doing enough during the day. As we know, I tend to have a few too many pots on the stove at once, so having just one task in front of me was new. So there I was, stalking my work twitter feed in between feedings and going through work emails. Although the job in front of me is arguably the most important there is, the feeling that I wasn't contributing to society was hard to handle. T would remind me that my contribution at home those first weeks was even bigger, but working solo for my person instead of the people are two very different things. The timing of my maternity leave was sort of a professional nightmare due to the timing of a large project milestone at work, and until we reached our goal I wasn't able to let go very well. I couldn't stay away, didn't want to. The last two years of my professional life led to a single night in December, and I had to be part of it. Baby H was part of the festivities too, of course. She's our project's Infant Ambassador - lots of important duties with that title!




Once my project's year-end milestone passed, I was able to relax and let go of work a little more. I decorated for Christmas without many email checks, and went home for the holidays without "work brain" for the first time in ages. H met her crazy crew of cousins - she is number five - and we all spoiled each other. Good stuff, all of it.




Now here we are, in a new year. Our dear friends and their two-year-old traveled here to usher it in with us. I go back to work in two weeks… time is flying. I want H to grow up knowing that her mom is doing work that fulfills her and that she thinks is important - not going back to work wasn't a consideration for me. I think the best example I can make for her is to do work that means something to me. We're all happier when I feel like I'm contributing toward something bigger than myself.

The hippo is starting to come out beside me, so there's time for just two more photos. Here's H's birth announcement:


I adore her serious, thoughtful eyes in this photo (we had a mother-daughter photo shoot one afternoon on the sheepskin rug). But because she's already changed so much since that photo - and learned to smile since then! - let's end with a happy little lady in her purple leisure suit:


Wow she is cute.

10 comments:

  1. Hazel is too cute. Congratulations!

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  2. She is just so beautiful! Did I tell you that Hazel and Mae are family names for me? I love them together. Good job with keeping up with her feedings. She is a hungry gal. Eating avocado increased my supply, or at least that is what I told myself when I ate large amounts of guac. :)

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  3. Congratulations on 6 weeks, and the work milestone. HMH is as cute as her mom:). Here's to a wonderful 2014.

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  4. Congratulations on little Hazel. She is beautiful! Love those smiles!

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  5. She's absolutely perfect- what a darling. She gives me baby fever. Congrats again!

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  6. She looks wonderful. So happy to hear she is a mellow baby. Two more weeks. Wow. Enjoy every minute. I was thrilled to go back to work, but also felt mixed. Now I would like to give up my job and be independently wealthy. Is there a class for that?

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  7. I am so happy to see a new post. I have been waiting with bated breath! First, your mention of the importance of staying up to speed with the baby's eating needs is so important. I never really grasped that, along with other things, and I think it is a huge part of what prevented me from nursing past 2 months. I am so happy to read it is going well for you. Also, Hazel's sleeping cycle sounds awesome. I hear so many people go on and on about how they don't sleep at all and I realize what a blessing it is when you have a little one that lets you sleep. Certainly not something to take for granted. I always try to remind myself that the next kid (if there is one) may be the complete opposite. Finally, I am inspired and encouraged by your words in regard to being a working mom. I had been so on the fence about that once Phil was born, but your perspective of setting an example and being a part of something bigger than yourself is a great way to look at it. I personally feel like I have the best of both worlds that I can work and have as much time as possible with my little one. I look forward to reading more from you, as I find everything to say to be so thought-provoking, inspiring and just simply a great way to encourage my own reflection so that I can become a better wife, mother, and friend. Thanks for sharing!

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  8. I love seeing you both in her little face. But then looking again and seeing a whole, individual person! And blink again, another 6 weeks go by, and she looks 100% different at the same time she looks 100% herself and 50% each of you. How that math works out, I have no idea, but it's a miracle and a beautiful one to watch unfold!

    I'm totally with you on the work thing. The first week is hell, but it quickly settles into just being, well, life. Such as it is. As wonderful and filled with mixed blessings as it is.

    Much love to you and Hazel Mae.So cool that she's finally here.

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  9. She is absolutely amazing, Maggie. You sound so incredibly happy and madly in love. :) I hope motherhood is treating you well and you're enjoying every second (ok, maybe not every second...especially the poopy ones). It goes so quickly...but it keeps getting better. :) If you like it now, you are going to LOVE what's to come! Babies rock!

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  10. So incredibly happy for you!

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