Saturday, February 18, 2006


Awake Grace

A honeymoon is that first bit of time in a new marriage when the new couple adjusts to life together. Rob and I are about a week into our babymoon now; everything is so new and different and changed forever. This time is so unique in its place in the course of our lives. Most of it is spent wrapped up in the details of taking care of a new baby. Grace needs to eat again! Time for a new, non-poop-covered outfit! Going to the bathroom or eating lunch now involves logistical decisions! However, I continue to have moments when the fog of details lift and I am overwhelmed with the realization of how utterly wonderful this all this. No exaggerating-- I cannot believe how happy I am and how much this tiny individual makes us stop in our tracks with joy.

One thing that has amazed me is how tiny Grace is. She isn’t actually that small for a newborn; she weighed 7 pounds at birth and probably is on her way to gaining back her birth weight by now. Part of the reason for my surprise is that we were actually expecting a bigger baby. Grace came into the world about a week past her due date, and several of the OBs kept estimating her size at over 8 pounds. (What does that tell you about how much weight I gained? I’m sure there will be more on that in some future entry...) More than her actual physical weight, though, I think it has surprised me how tiny that 7 pounds feels. The metaphorical heft of her entry into our lives seems so huge that her tiny physical self seems impossible.

Her clothing situation only exacerbates my perceptions, I think. This has come as a shock to me, but her clothes are all huge on her! Even the newborn size clothes! Every item of clothing she has must have its sleeves rolled back if there is any hope of finding her tiny hands. The bodies are so big that she pulls her little arms inside her clothing, leaving us with an apparently armless baby. Our first experience with this came the first time we dressed her in her own clothes in preparation for our trip home from the hospital. Grace’s outerwear is a lovely fleece hooded bunting, and I am now pretty darn confident there is no danger of her outgrowing it before spring has unequivocally sprung. When we put it on her in the hospital, her entire body fit into the torso section, leaving the bunting arms and legs pretty much empty. I find this whole thing puzzling because the newborn size is supposedly the appropriate one for her current weight. Perhaps this is her introduction to the mysterious world of women’s sizing where the numbers don’t really mean anything?

I know this will be a fleeting time and soon she will be growing gangbusters. I’ll have that experience common to motherkind of picking up an outgrown article of clothing and being struck by the lightning fast changes in who my daughter is and who she is growing to be. For now, I’ll keep dressing her in these giant onesies and kissing the soft warm curve of her skull as it is today, right here in the now during our babymoon.

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