Before we lose our DDC (since this is a little long to post in the monthly thread on Life With A Babe) I wanted to share an idea that has gone over very well on our baby blog. I stole the concept from a well-known blog (dooce), so it isn’t as if it's a radical new thing, but I wanted to plant the seed for anyone else who might not have already considered it.
Our blog is partly to keep distant family and friends up to date, and partly to serve as an electronic baby book. The daily posts are generally pretty short, but I have started writing a long letter to DS once a month with a few photos included. These form the bulk of what I would consider to be the keepsake posts, i.e. the kind of thing I might bundle into a book and give to DS if he ever has a child of his own.
(By the way, I haven’t shared the blog here because MDC is a publicly accessible forum and I’m slightly cautious about those sorts of things, but I’m happy to give the link to people I know from the DDC. I’ve certainly enjoyed some of the other blogs from our DDC! Just pm me if you want to see it.)
Anyway, as an example, here is our first month’s letter:
You are exactly one month old today. I’m not sure you are taking note of the enormity of this day, as evidenced by your lack of deviation from your regular schedule: eat, sleep, poop, repeat.
It’s been a big month for you, me and your dad. You weren’t very happy about making the transition from indoors to outdoors. I can’t blame you, since as soon as you were out, people threaded tubes into you and stuck needles all over your body. I’m very sorry about that. I know it wasn’t a lot of fun.http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b3...000319_300.jpg
Your indoors-to-outdoors transition was not much fun for me, either. It’s always hard when you do your very, very best and it isn’t good enough. I’m glad that we both made it through, but I can’t help wishing it had been less traumatic for both of us.http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b3...000318_300.jpg
Thankfully your dad stayed with you afterwards since I couldn’t. He’s really been amazing this month. I think he was born to be a dad, and I fell in love with him on a whole new level the first day you got out of the NICU. You were crying, and he picked you up, held you close, and told you, “Hey, little man. It’s OK. Daddy’s got you.”http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b3...000337_300.jpg
So far, your likes and dislikes are pretty simple. At the top of your dislike list are wet diapers. I think that’s a completely reasonable feeling, although, since you scream during diaper changes as if someone were pulling out your toes, this makes the whole diapering experience a little stressful for all of us. It’s generally less noisy when both your dad and I are available: one of us changes your diaper, the other puts a finger in your mouth for you to suck on.http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b3...G_6727_300.jpg
You love to suck on almost everything. We started using our fingers instead of a soother because we were worried about nipple confusion. Apparently the joke’s on us because breastfeeding is well-established now, and you won’t take a soother.http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b3..._6910c_300.jpg
You are much less discriminating otherwise. You suck on anything else that comes within range of your mouth, and you lunge at things that are outside that range. You have tried to latch on to various collarbones, arms, your own wrist, your own fingers (man, were you cheesed about that one), any blanket or fabric near your face, and your dad’s nose.http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b3...G_6647_300.jpg
I’m so happy that you are enthusiastic about nursing. It was hard to convince you that you would like it after you got so much formula in the NICU. Your dad was instrumental in getting things going. We were using a supplemental nursing system, where we taped a small tube to my nipple that fed you formula and then pumped milk while you got the hang of sucking properly. That made nursing a two person job, and we could have used a third set of hands, if only to keep yours out of the way.
You have a tendency to thrash your little arms around while eating. Thanks to your strength (which surprises everyone but me -- I had inside knowledge) this means that you frequently push yourself right off the breast. Then you get upset.http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b3...G_6860_300.jpg
Someday, we hope you will have the required motor control and understanding of cause and effect to stop doing this. In the meantime, we swaddle you so that you can eat without making yourself (and, let’s be honest, me) crazy.
When it’s too hot for a full swaddle, we take a thin strip of fabric and roll you up in it like a sausage. Your dad and I now casually talk of, “strip swaddling,” and you have developed a Pavlovian response. When we roll you up in the strip swaddle, you immediately calm down and start looking around for the food source. If you are ever unfortunate enough to be wrapped in a straightjacket and find that it makes you feel hungry, now you know why.http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b3...G_6838_300.jpg
Aside from feeding you, changing you, and trying desperately to get some sleep in between, we don’t do too much these days. Sometimes we just sit and watch you, laughing at the funny faces you make when you stretch in your sleep.http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b3..._6749c_300.jpg
When you’re awake, you look back at us, but then your eyes quickly move to your preferred objects of attention: shiny things, especially shiny things with light. You spend minutes at a time staring at the skylights, windows, mirrors, photo frames and light fixtures. The wall sconce in the living room is a particular favourite of yours.http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b3...G_6798_300.jpg
Recognizing your fondness for shiny things, Opa recently introduced you to the glass ornaments hanging in front of the sliding doors in the kitchen and used them to expound on the basics of pendulums. You were fascinated. (Our little budding physicist. Daddy is so proud.)http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b3...G_6797_300.jpg
Thinking back on this past month, much of it is just a blur, but there are memories that stand out in their clarity. I will always remember holding you for the first time; the way your dad and I laughed when you peed all over us, yourself, and everything in range of your bassinet in the hospital; your contented gulps and sighs when you nurse; the sad little sound you make when you’re done crying but still have a remnant of upsetness to express; your little musical half-sneeze that often ends a string of sneezes; the softness of your brand new skin; the feeling of your fuzzy baby head tucked under my chin and your body relaxing into mine when I pick you up to comfort you.
Welcome to your family; we're looking forward to lots more memories.http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b3...G_6733_300.jpg