Mikey-Moo is one proud papa. He has spent the past 3 days changing Natalie’s diapers, dancing around the room with her, singing to her (both real songs and made-up nonsense tunes that pretty much summarize whatever they are doing at the moment… “Now you’re trying not to cry, and Daddy’s hoping you don’t poop all over him…”), and generally ooohing and ahhhhing over every little coo, toot, and yawn that escape from her body.
It seems to only make sense that they would have such an immediate bond when you consider how much Natalie takes after her father. Here is baby Mikey, having a bath early in life….
…and here is our girl, giving that same type of expression as she receives her first sponge bath from one of the wonderful nurses here at our birthing unit. I find the resemblance uncanny! While there are times that I can see some of myself in her, and others have very kindly insisted that she looks like me, Natalie overwhelmingly looks like her dad, and shares so many of the facial expressions I’ve seen in his baby photos.
We’re still at the hospital now, and are scheduled to leave for home sometime tomorrow. The only reason we might need to stay is if Nat’s bilirubin levels put her in the jaundice danger zone. She’ll get some bloodwork done this morning, and have another once-over from her pediatrician before we get the go-ahead to bring her home.
Here she is with her Nana, who got to see her making all kinds of pouty, kissy, and twisty faces while she napped on Saturday afternoon. Natalie is in the habit of sucking in her bottom lip until her entire chin disappears into her mouth, and while she sleeps is the most fun time to coax her to release her grip so that she can contort her face into the funniest expressions.
We also got a visit from my friend Renee, who made the drive up from southern Maine to peek a brief glimpse at our little budgie. Renee’s daughter Claira will hopefully be one of Natalie’s good friends as they both get older and their 18 month age difference becomes less noticeable.
Natalie’s Grandma and Grandpa Cherry made the drive to Maine from New York to spend a few days with us and the baby. So far they have been as amazed by her as we have, and have been able to devote some great quality time to holding and snuggling her while Mike and I relax a bit.
Here’s a picture that hopefully gives you all some idea of just how insanely adorable our daughter’s face is! She has changed in appearance so quickly, it almost seems like it’s by the minute, but her chubby cheeks have stayed in their gravity-defying positions and she has only become more responsive to our visual, verbal, and physical interactions with her.
Here’s Mikey early Saturday morning, doing one of his instant-classic daddy-daughter-soothing dances, where he and Natalie bop around the room when she gets fussy and she becomes instantly transfixed by his movements, voice, and shushing sounds.
Natalie’s first day of life was spent mainly skin-to-skin on my chest, getting warm and learning to breastfeed. We got to spend lots of time gazing into each other’s eyes and getting to know each other. It was all I could do to keep from eating her face right off, she is just so sweet and juicy and delectable! She has picked up on breastfeeding remarkably well, which has made our first few days relatively stress-free and given us time to focus on keeping ourselves rested, fed, and hydrated.