Friday, April 30, 2010

The Nonnie

Dear Scarlett,
You are a very lucky little baby. I could list the reasons why this is true (your massive shoe collection comes to mind), but there's one reason that really dwarfs all the others and that is your Grandma, more commonly referred to as Nonnie. Nonnie arrived the day after you were born and met us at the house just as we were coming home from the hospital. She immediately got to work cooking us healthy meals, organizing your clothes, teaching you and me tons of songs--the amount of which only a kindergarten teacher would know--and occasionally popping out to get her nails done.

It was all smooth sailing (with not a lot of sleep). Then two weeks after you were born, we took you to the doctor and he told us you weren't gaining enough weight. Both Nonnie and Pops were with us that day and they saw how devastated I was by the news. You had to get blood drawn, which was horrible, and then we had to figure out what was going wrong with breastfeeding. The doctor told us it was an absolutely fixable problem, but it was still an upsetting time.

Though we met with a lactation consultant and worked hard to make sure you were eating enough, I really started to dread feeding times. There was a lot of crying, some from you, but mostly from me. Dad eventually had to go back to work, but Nonnie was still there to take care of us both. After several days, you still weren't getting enough, so we had to start supplementing with formula. I wanted to do anything we needed to turn you into a healthy, chubby baby, but I was disappointed that we had to use formula and hoped it wouldn't be for too long. At our next doctor's appointment, you had gained enough weight for us all to relax a little bit. But there was still work to be done. We spoke with another lactation consultant and were able to master the correct techniques for feeding you. You showed incredible progress almost immediately. Nonnie took over your middle of the night bottle feedings for a few nights, so that I could get some sleep. She listened to my worries and reassured me that it would all work out. We were able to wean you off of your formula feedings within the week. Now, at 5 1/2 weeks old, you are exclusively breastfed and a great eater--as evidenced by your increasingly chunky cheeks.

Those two weeks were tough and kept us stuck in the house a lot. Nonnie cooked for us, did loads of laundry, and spent many mornings with you while I napped. She sang you songs like Mairzy Doats, Hush Little Baby, and You are My Sunshine, and played you a CD she made for you called Scarlett's Songs.

Occasionally, we let Nonnie out of the house. She borrowed my bike and rode around town, grudgingly wearing a helmet. One day she went biking with Aunt Liz and Rob. There are really no words for what happened there, so I'll just let the picture speak for itself.

Both Nonnie and the bike ended up being fine. It's probably best that we forced her to wear the helmet.

Nonnie went everywhere with us while she was here, made coffee runs, took trips to the grocery store, and sat with me while I worked through some of the issues that come with being a new mom. She and I watched TV shows together, knitted together, and played with you all the time. Nothing would have been the same without her.

You are definitely not the only lucky one. Dad and I are lucky, too. We had a lot of help and support to get you to your first month and beyond. But what I'll miss the most about having my mom here is being able to share all of your daily progress (and hilarious faces) with her. Dad will miss sharing a bottle of wine with her over dinner, and the fact that she has been directly responsible for much of my sanity. And I know you'll miss your Nonnie, too.