Well, we have a sweet boy on our hands. (Did you ever notice that sweet is one of my favorite words? It is. I love it because it sounds like what it means. Sweet. Say it out loud. Sweeeeeet. I like how you almost have to smile as you say it.)
But anyway, as I was saying, Graham is a sweet, sweet baby boy. He's good-tempered and easy and smiley. If he's well-rested and fed, he'll grin at almost anyone who speaks to him. He is very conversational and makes heart-melting coos and gurgles if you talk to him privately. (Not so much when the rest of the troops are around raising their ruckus.)
He loves it when I sing to him. One of my dearest memories so far is of our first full night in the hospital; sometime in the wee hours, Graham couldn't sleep, and he was crying. I tried rocking, gentle bouncing, patting, shushing, walking, all with no change. Then I sat down on the bed and started to sing. I sang the chorus from Sara Groves' "Fast Asleep." Nothing in this world is quite as sweet/As a tiny baby fast asleep/I could watch you to the end of time/Especially when that baby is mine. Almost as soon as I opened my mouth, he stopped crying. I sat there softly singing those words over and over, like a benediction, and swaying slightly. As long as I kept singing, he was content. If I stopped, he revved up again. Eventually, he slept. I've repeated this experiment at other times since then with similar results. He's the first of my babies to have such a noticeable response to music as a newborn.
He sleeps tightly swaddled and in his car seat. During his first couple of weeks he couldn't seem to get comfortable when I'd lie him flat on his back. He would be quiet for a few moments, then he'd wake himself up fussing and squirming and needing to burp. But reclining at an angle seemed to fix that almost 100%. And now it's all he knows. He's a very good, deep sleeper, particularly at night, and these days he usually goes 4 or more hours between nighttime feedings. So I'm getting at least a little rest.
Graham has reflux much more than any of the other kids except for Meg. I've been off dairy completely for almost a month now, and that seems to help a lot... or at least it seems better on most days. He also has pretty severe eczema and has already reached the "oozy" stage a couple of times. I hate watching him scratch his little baby face with the back of his little baby hand, poor guy. I've had to use a prescription steroid cream to keep the breakouts at bay. I've also tried going off of eggs and wheat, which are the most common eczema-causing allergens, to see if that might help at all. I started that over a week ago and have been very diligent about it, or so I thought. Today I realized that the tortilla chips that I eat at least once a day are manufactured on equipment that also processes dairy and wheat. Brilliant!
Graham's brother and sisters love him soooooo, SO much. Meg dotes on him, coos at him, holds him, carries him, soothes him, helps with him, and tells me at least three times a day how cute he is and how glad she is that we have him. Matthew is completely incapable of keeping his hands off of his brother. I am confident that he wants to be gentle, but... um... let's just say he has a hard time channeling the overflow of affection and enthusiasm that Graham inspires in him. This is one proud and happy big brother. Esme is less fascinated than the other two, but she's been very warm toward "Baby Gammy," and we are grateful. She is more than happy to fetch diapers and wipes for him as needed, and she's recently taken to "reading" to him if I leave the two of them alone for a bit.
As for Dave and me, we are utterly smitten. I wish I could somehow hold on to these dear baby days and retain all the wonderful things about having a tiny someone who is so dependent, so trusting, so easy. By now, I know that I will forget what it's like almost as soon as the next stage arrives... hence, these few brief notes to help me look back with gratefulness and joy. You are loved, Graham David.