Life at Three Weeks: An Update from Babyland

Hello. Hello! I certainly didn’t mean to abandon you for such a stretch. It’s just really hard to find a chunk of time during which to turn on the computer, load photos and organize thoughts here. It’s really hard to find a chunk of time to do anything. Except for this:


Which isn’t such a bad thing.

A lot of people have asked if this newborn stage is familiar—the teeny-tinyness, the sleeplessness, the being tethered to a warm, fuzzy little seven-pound anchor. Even though it was just two years ago that I last went through this experience, it is not. It’s all new again, in the most terrifying and wonderful ways.

It’s disorienting, how one minute you’re nursing your newborn, making the most adorable little grunt-sucking sounds, and your toddler comes running in and gently kisses her on the head and says, “Love you,” before running off to quietly play trucks across the room, and you could just die from beauty overload.

Then moments later, that same perfect little newborn is screaming as you’re stripping off her onesie, caked in the florescent yellow poop that migrated out of the top of the diaper and up her back, and that same sweet toddler has the top off the hand lotion and refuses to put it down, repeating, “Let I do it. Let I do it. Let I do it,” over the crying, and you could just die from exhaustion and annoyance and pure overwhelm.

Back and forth. You want it to last forever. You console  yourself with the fact that it won’t last forever. Back and forth.



And slowly, like a flower, your newborn is unfurling. Inch by inch, her legs and arms discover un-fetal positions, relaxing and releasing away from her body. Her skin loses its redness, turning perfect porcelain. Her deep blue eyes stay open for long stretches at a time. She smiles, again and again—enough to prove it’s not wishful parental thinking. She is beautiful. Vera. I have a little girl named Vera! It’s still so new.



She’s such a good baby. Sleeps and eats without difficulty. Cries almost exclusively when wet or hungry. Loves being snuggled into any pair of waiting arms, especially mine. Don’t get me wrong. It is still quite hard in many ways. Being needed is fantastic, but it makes it difficult to be much of anything else.


Now that Roy is over his flu (finally), he’s doing well, too. Absolutely zero signs of jealousy so far. He wants to hold her and comfort her. At bedtime, before he heads off to read books with Dad, he runs up to his little sister and I and gives us both hugs, saying, “Night, Mommy. Love you, Vera.” Like he’s been doing it forever.

It’s been three (three!?) weeks. Yesterday, my dear, dear friends from high school Konnie and Romelle held a little “Meet Vera” party. It was lovely to see all the ladies, and some brought little tokens: Food, clothes, books, a handmade necklace with my two (two?!) kids’ names on it. Konnie hand-embroidered a burp cloth with Vera’s name, and Romelle made a book of all my Tummywatch Tuesday posts and photos. Yes, I cried.

Driving home, little Vera sleeping in her carseat in the back, I got teary again just thinking about all the support we’ve received in the past few weeks—the packages sent across the miles, the food dropped on our doorstep, the bags of hand-me-downs, the kind emails and cards and phone calls and visits. All make this rollercoaster ride taking place almost exclusively in our living room feel, at its core, like a celebration—poop-stained clothes, toddler tantrums, sleep-deprived bickering and all.

I repeat: Crazy, beautiful, wonderful, difficult time.

Birth Story, Part One, coming at you soon. Hopefully this week yet. Thanks for your patience!

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  1. by Stefanie

    On February 27, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    She is so beautiful. I love the way you describe the dichotomy of new mommy emotions. Well said.:)

  2. by Berit Thorkelson

    On February 28, 2012 at 10:13 am

    Thanks, Stefanie! Hope the peek into your future is helping you prep a bit. As much as one can, anyway.

  3. by Liz

    On February 28, 2012 at 10:22 am

    Super sweet! I feel you sister. Love the pink fleecy jammies:)

  4. by Elaina

    On February 28, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    It is such a crazy, wonderful time and you describe it so well. I remember thinking I’d never get to spend quality time with my son ever again when my daughter was born. And also how huge his tush looked when changing his diaper! Now they’re 8 and 5, and it is unbelievable how much things transform so completely in that time (house is now silent with both kids at school). Enjoy the craziness!

  5. by Berit Thorkelson

    On February 28, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    Liz: Yeah, thanks for the hand-me-down love!
    Elaina: You are so write about the toddler’s suddenly big bum. Funny! Having a newborn has definitely sped up the potty train.