Alton's First Week
Alton's first week of life was full of adventure and heartache. Well, not really heartache (or adventure for that matter). It was quite mild, really. But he doesn't know that. He's a baby. He's never done any of these things before.
Last Tuesday we came home from the hospital. We've borrowed a car seat from a couple with a one-year-old, but we didn't get the instructions. I hear it took a little while to figure out how to install it correctly. I wasn't there. I was up in my hospital room watching cable.
Mo greeted Alton excitedly but with civility. We were proud of her. She has been licking his face every chance she gets and running into the room when he starts to cry to see if she can help. When she realizes she can't help, she paces around for awhile and then goes back and lays on the couch.
On Wednesday, about 18 hours after Alton, Brian, and I finally left the hospital for home, we all piled right back into the car for Alton's followup appointment. "He looks great," the nurse practitioner said. Plus, he was already gaining weight (breast-fed newborns typically lose an ounce or two each day at first, until mom's milk comes in), which meant I didn't have to worry about waking him up every three hours to feed him. For the past six days, Alton has slept four and a half to five hours straight every night. He wakes up in the early morning, I feed him, and he goes back to sleep for two more hours or so. I'm very lucky in this respect.
Later on Wednesday, Alton and I were taking a nap. Husband came in and sheepishly told me that one of his colleagues was having a birthday party that night at a nice wine bar downtown and wouldn't it be kind of fun to go and let everybody see the baby [trying to keep from bursting with pride] and we wouldn't have to stay for long but I know you're not feeling well so we probably shouldn't go and it's probably dumb to take Alton out in public so soon, and in such cold weather — it's OK we don't have to go. And then he disappeared from the bedroom.
When I woke up again about an hour later, I felt much better and thought that it would be fun to go and see some people and let Brian show off his new baby to all his friends and coworkers. Alton wanted to look nice for his first party, so we put on this little number — a onesie with a sewn-on tie. (Thank you for this, S. and J. Frankle of Chicago, IL.)
On Thursday, Alton debuted his cool new red cap (knitted for him by his cool new Aunt Veronica) when he took his dog to the park for the first time. We walked the four blocks slowly, no hurry. It was our first time wearing the baby sling, which is pretty comfortable, and which it turns out Alton loves. I don't even know if Mo knew Alton was there. Alton slept the whole time. I consider the walk a triumph because we didn't have to call my parents to pick me up in the car. I felt good. And Brian had a blast taking pictures of his family. A successful first outing, it was.
Friday was Halloween and Alton's one-week birthday. We spent a lot of the day imagining the cool parties that he'll be able to have as he gets older — the costume parties, the trips-to-the-pumpkin-patch parties, the scary-movie-marathon parties. Little boys whose birthdays fall exactly one week before Halloween are blessed with fun birthday-party themes.
We had some trick-or-treaters, too. I've never lived anywhere as an adult where kids trick-or-treat, so it was really exciting to hear the doorbell ring. Husband answered the door like this and scared more than a few two- and three-year-olds:
Alton also started to smile a little this week. Not really at me or anyone else, but in his sleep or right after he poops. It's really cute. I know I'll burst into tears the first time the smile is on purpose and directed at me.
His eyes are getting more defined already. His pupils are more distinguishable and you can see them dilate in the light. I know it's hard to tell in the pictures, but his eyes are a steel gray-blue color. And they are big and they are beautiful. So far he hates tummy time and diaper changes. But he loves eating, sleeping, and if the smile is any indicator, pooping. Everybody else is doing fine. The whole family is healthy and having a good time — maybe a little tired, but loving it.