One Month of Ian

May 24, 2017

I'll never understand time. How is it possible that the same quantity of minutes, hours, and days can add up in such different ways? The last month of pregnancy dragged by. It felt impossibly slow. But ever since Ian arrived, the weeks have disappeared in a blink. Here we are, at the one month mark already, and I don't even know how it happened.

But I'll tell you this much: it has been one month of heaven on earth. I love the newborn phase so much, and I honestly wonder how long Ian would have to stay a newborn before I would finally say, "Okay, that's enough. I'm ready for him to grow up." Because what I've gotten so far has not been long enough.

That's not to say I'm not grateful for every second (okay, almost every second) I've had with him. Mike had two weeks of paternity leave (which was just as amazing as it sounds), and my mom also came and stayed with me for a week. Right after Ian was born, I told Mike, "Just so you know, I'm planning on holding him the whole time you're home." And I basically did exactly that--not because Ian needed me to, but because I needed me to.

Life went on around me. The older boys needed rides to school and various activities. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner had to be made. Clark wanted lots of attention, always. The laundry cycled through from dirty to clean to dirty again. Mike built a bench in the kitchen and planted a couple of trees in the backyard. And I just watched it all from my chair in the living room while Ian slept peacefully on my chest.

It felt luxurious, like I was on vacation--the very best kind of vacation where you get to sleep in your own bed, but you don't have any responsibilities outside of feeding the baby, which you want to do anyway, and it just so happens that your favorite hobbies (i.e., reading and knitting) go together perfectly with holding a sleeping baby. I feel so grateful that Mike and my mom made it possible for me to soak up these fleeting newborn days.

The kids adore him as well, and I feel like a two-year-old all over again as I learn how to share him with everyone. :-) During the first two weeks, Clark told me every day, "I'm so glad our baby is here!" His other near-constant refrain is, "Our baby is so cute!" The only time Clark didn't love him was when Ian spit up all over his shorts and leg and foot. 

Last Sunday, I was getting ready for church and Ian was sitting in his bouncy seat outside the bathroom. Mike walked by and said, "Oh, what's this cute little boy doing here?" A few minutes later, Aaron walked by and said the same thing. Then a few minutes after that, Maxwell saw him and said exactly the same thing. I thought it was funny that all three of them couldn't help but comment on him and that they each used the same words to do so.

Bradley is hoping the baby takes after him and ends up with blonde hair. He just might get his wish. Ian's hair is definitely blonde around the edges, and he has blonde eyelashes and eyebrows. We're all anxious to see what it does as he gets bigger, but right now, Bradley is quick to tell people, "He has dark hair, but blonde highlights." 

Temperament-wise, Ian is a calm and sweet baby (of course, that could be due in part to the fact that no one wants to put him down, even for a few minutes). He's not one of those babies who never cries, but he is easily consoled when he does. He tolerates, and even seems to enjoy, the doting attention of his four older brothers (one of whom has a difficult time containing his love). He sleeps much better at night than any of our other babies ever did. I don't know if this is because we gave him a probiotic during his first three weeks of life (as recommended by our pediatrician) or if he likes the rock 'n play (which we didn't have with our other kids) or if Mike and I are just keeping to more of a routine (so that Ian doesn't spend the whole night nursing) or if he's just a really good baby. His one fault is that in his first month of life he has spit up more than the other four boys combined. But if that's the price for a happy baby, we'll take it.

Mike rarely reads my posts, but if he reads this one, I know he'll roll his eyes because I'm gushing like a first-time mom, but I can't help it. I love babies, and especially, right now, this baby.

The one thing I haven't quite adjusted to yet is his name. I had never even considered the name Ian until Mike mentioned it three days before his birth. We were spending the evening hashing out names. We had a list of about seven that we liked, and Mike was making random suggestions to see how I would react. He asked, "How about Ian?" And I responded, "I actually kind of like it." And he said, "Me too." So it got added to the list. And somehow, I'm not entirely sure how, it knocked out all the other contenders. But it still catches me off guard when someone asks what his name is, and I say, "It's . . . Ian?"

I always mourn my babies growing up too fast, but I think I've felt it even more acutely this time because it's quite possible that he could be our last. And it's making me feel a little panicky.

I can literally see him growing up and changing every day. Each time I change his diaper, his legs look a little chunkier. Each time I kiss his cheeks, they're just a little squishier. Every day, he spends more time awake, quietly observing the world. None of these are bad changes, and I'm so grateful for a healthy little boy, but they do mean he's growing up. (When we took him to the doctor's when he was three days old, his weight had dropped from 8 lbs. 8 oz to 7 lbs. 11 oz. This is totally normal and expected, but there was a part of me that was strangely overjoyed: "Yay! He's getting smaller!" Of course, by his two-week appointment, he was already up to 9 lbs. 2 oz., so he doesn't seem to be following my wishes to grow up a little slower.)

Sister Marjorie Pay Hinckley said that the "experience of childbirth [is] akin to dipping into heaven for a brief moment and returning with this blessed new infant." She also said that "with each new baby [comes] a bundle of love so love never runs thin." I guess it's probably obvious from this post that I feel the same way. We love everything about this baby, from his blonde-tipped hair to his long skinny feet to his little elf ear to his adorable little sighs after he sneezes. Ian brought heaven with him, and our home is immeasurably better for it.


  1. Thanks for sharing, Amy! Those are some beautiful pictures of a beautiful family! So glad things are going well!

  2. I've loved your Ian posts! I sent my sister who is due day the link to his birth story, and she loved it. Also, Rob and I recently went to Europe (first time leaving the kids!!) And I followed your example of reading a book set in the area we were in & I loved it! And lastly, I felt the same way abt Michael's name. I'm used to it now though (he's almost 8 ;)

  3. Loved this post, Amy! I can totally relate to that love and adoration of babies AND to the feeling of not wanting them to grow up too fast and being sad at the thought of, "Could this one be our last...?".

  4. Such a lovely post, Amy, and such a beautiful baby and family! Thank you for sharing with us! :)

  5. Beautiful post, a treasured time, yes savour!
    and gorgeous pics :-)

  6. What beautiful pictures of all your boys! (Even Mike). Also you!

    I hear you on the name. 3 days before my 2nd was due we decided we hated the names we had picked (we didn't know the sex). On the way to the hospital we came up with a girl name, but still no boy name, which it turned out we needed. So Paulos had no name for his first 12 hours, and we kept trying things out while looking at him, and when we finally settled on Paulos (we had to drive back to the hospital to finish filling out paperwork) I was sure I'd shorten it to Paul and , but it's been 16 years and nope. But it meant for months I sounded unsure when introducing him.

    I'm sure Ian will thank you when it's time to learn to write his name. It doesn't get much better! He won't even need to learn a curve if he goes all caps :-)

  7. Nice post. I also loved the first month. I learned to take it a bit more slowly with each baby and to really use that "vacation" time. By #5 it was literally almost a month till I took all of my normal responsiblities back upon myself. It was nice. And by then, I needed a month! Just one is childbirth like "dipping into heaven"??!! Maybe medicated birth is that way. :-) I get what she's saying, and I like the quote a lot, but the comparison doesn't work for me. If she'd said something more generic, like "having a baby..." instead of using the word "birth", then it would work. I thought giving birth was awesome, but probably not heavenly! Glad you're doing well.


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