What We’ve Learned About Asher

We’re doing this getting-to-know you dance now.

It’s like slowly filling in the gaps of information about a person after you’ve already fallen in love with him. Day by day we learn little things; we guess at what will make him happy, what will satisfy. We’re slowly learning his language. We wonder who he will be, who he will look like, whether his eyes will change from deep ocean blue to brown like mine or grey-green like Ian’s or slate blue like Lucas’s. We wonder what he will be amused by, what his laugh will sound like, when he’ll reach all his “milestones.”

I’ve been home now for six weeks. At first I felt disconnected from this tiny being, felt like an outsider coming into a family unit that was functioning without me (especially since I remained pretty sick for the two weeks following my discharge from the hospital). I didn’t know how to feed Asher formula from a bottle (having never done it before), what his sleeping/eating rhythms were, what tricks would comfort him. The last six weeks have been an intensive training time, during which he’s taught me all kinds of things.

I know now that he’s more of a snacker at the breast than a gorger. This means shorter intervals between nursing, which can be tiring. At first he seemed to prefer the bottle, possibly because the milk flows quicker. That seems to have changed though. I spent several weeks working to build up my milk supply (drinking gallons of water and special tea blends, taking fenugreek capsules until my body odor smells like maple syrup—go figure), and pumping with a torture device known as a Medela Symphony 2 (a $1400 breast pump we rented). For a while he was still drinking one bottle of Enfamil per day. It’s been at least a week and a half since Asher had any formula so I think we’re safely off it now and breastfeeding exclusively.

I know he prefers to sleep on me (or someone else) or in my arms to sleeping by himself. His favorite place to sleep seems to be at my side with his head just beneath my armpit and his body curled into my body. His cheek rests on my breast. He’ll sleep for hours this way, but if I move away to go do something else, he’ll sleep only a fraction of the time. Perhaps he likes my maple syrupy/milky smell. I know he doesn’t like to wake up alone. Already. I don’t blame him there. I don’t like to wake up alone either.

I know that the hours between 5 pm and 8 pm are especially hard for Asher. We call it Fuss O’Clock; other parents call it the Witching Hour because all babies go completely nuts during this important and hectic time of day. We’re trying assorted strategies to calm him, but the truth is most likely he’ll just have to grow out of it.

Asher can smile now at us know, and witnessing this new expression appear is like inhaling a breath of sweet spring air or watching the sun come out from behind a cloud. It’s a goofy and lopsided toothless grin and it melts my heart.

One Response to “What We’ve Learned About Asher”

  • smallberries
    March 22, 2007 at 3:45 am

    Jeez Louis! Your elegance in expression actually makes baby-having sound all appealing and wonderful and junk. Cut it out. 🙂

    Seriously though, congratulations to mom and dad. Your little one is beautiful. Keep up the lovely entries!


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  • About Sara

    Thanks for visiting! I’m Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

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