Petra is a month old!

An hour old

I can’t believe it has only been a month since Petra’s birth. She fits so well, I feel like she’s always been here.

photo by Wendy Werner

So far, she is very different from Silas–a much easier baby. I’m relieved about that. I really was bracing for the worst. She’s a decent sleeper so far (knock wood), and not nearly the spitter he was.

A chill baby

Best of all, I really feel a deep bond with her–something that took much longer with Silas. I’m grateful for that. It makes the whole thing easier.

photo by Rebekah Girvan Photography

The first few weeks were rough. Silas was so excited about Petra that he couldn’t keep his hands off of her. I was really scared that he was going to hurt her. Luckily, he’s learning to back off a bit. He’s actually listening when we say, “Hug her around the middle” (not around the neck/face). He gives her gentle kisses. Sometimes, he forgets she exists.

Every now and then he gets a bit jealous because I stick a toy in her bassinet with her. We’ve been pretty careful to use non-possessive language with him (“the blocks,” not “your blocks”) and to promote the idea that almost all of the toys are for everybody. There are some exceptions–we won’t ever ask him to share Shelley–but we’re trying to get across the point that the toys are for him, and his friends, and Petra, when she’s big enough. It’s going to take a while, but we have time before Petra is big enough to care.

Although they have very different personalities, they look a lot alike. Everyone asks, so here are some pictures for comparison.

Awake: Silas in the top picture, Petra below.
Sleeping: Petra above, Silas below

 

 

Because our house is stupid expensive to heat, I had the idea that all of us could share the biggest and best insulated bedroom with a space heater and turn the rest of the house way down. We started that when Petra was a week old. After the second night, when they were constantly waking each other up, I really thought JC was going to kill me for even suggesting it. After that, though, it got better. I think sleeping through Petra’s crying is making Silas a better sleeper.

This month, we’ve mostly been holed up on the homestead, recovering, bonding, and finding our new normal. We’ve been blessed with a number of visitors, though. All six of Petra’s grandparents have visited, along with two of JC’s sisters.

Petra with “Grandpa Frisbee.” Photo by Wendy Werner.

Carlos has been over a few times.

Silas is more upset at having to share Carlos than at sharing Mama and Daddy…

And, of course, what first month would be complete without a visit from a Great American Playwright?

Pam Mandigo, local genius.

Wonderful people from our church brought us meals. One person even brought a toy for Silas, which made him feel very special. I’ve taken my share of meals to new parents, but one thing I haven’t done before (but will be doing in the future) is including a lovely and decadent bit of chocolate for the recovering parents. Two friends did this, and, truly, chocolate cures all ills. 🙂

I’m not going to sugar-coat it: this has been a tough month. New baby + recovering from birth + helping Silas deal with some big emotions has been a challenge. I feel like things are getting better, though. I know this isn’t the case for every family, but for us, going from one baby to two was far easier than going from zero to one.

It’s been an exciting month. I can’t wait to see what the next month will bring.

One month old!

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