In the wee small hours of this morning, Carter and I were up for a feeding. We were sitting in his glider chair in the nursery, and he had just finished snacking on my left boob. Happy and full o' milk, he wriggled away, gave a big stretch and smiled like the happiest little boy in the world.
In my What to Expect the First Year book, they say that "most babies don't smile in the true social sense before four to six weeks of age" and that these early smiles are likely just gas. I scoff at this - my little boy smiles at me, dammit! He smiles when I run my hair over his face, he smiles when I play the kissing monster game with him, and he smiles when he's just finished a good meal. He smiles, and I melt.
Lately Carter has been sleeping at night like a pro - he's becoming more active and alert during the day and tuckering himself out enough to slumber most of the night without incident, waking a couple of times for a quick snack and then going right back to sleepyland. As a result, I feel less like a zombie and more like a well-rested (if such a word can really apply to five or six hours of sleep a night) human being.
Our outing yesterday went wonderfully - Max and Carter relaxed with the gentlemen in the den while the ladies baby-showered it up in the living room. We had brought a bottle of expressed breastmilk to give him if he got hungry, but he slept until almost the end of the party, when I quickly nursed him before we hit the road. Later that night, my husband fed him his first bottle while I pumped - it was one of the wide-neck bottles that are supposed to be a good substitute for the breast for young babies in order to prevent nipple confusion. We gave him three ounces, and he gobbled it down. I am continually amazed at the boy's appetite - his little stomach is only supposed to be able to hold around 2.5 ounces in a sitting, and yet there he was, sucking down three.
Watching him eat, I felt hugely liberated - someone was feeding him, and it wasn't me! Hallelujah - my boobs have a break! I pumped my milk instead and added it to my frozen stash - I must have well over 100 ounces of milk in there by now, and it can be frozen for up to three months. Soon I will start using some of the frozen stuff and rotating in fresher milk so that I will have a nice back-up supply when I go back to work in December.
This morning we took Carter to brunch at one of our favorite cafes. He slept the whole time and only got fussy as we were leaving. Excellent. Tomorrow I am thinking about going to our first Mommy & Me movie - they have them every Monday morning at the Grove, a few blocks' walk from our place. Slowly building on success!