Thirty three days ago, we were celebrating New Years. Thirty two days ago, my lady was getting induced. Thirty one days ago, Harper was born and she’s the queen of the castle.
I never realized how much a newborn changes in a matter of weeks. When Harper came home, her face was still swollen from birth, eyes still partially shut, and she was this tiny little person wrapped up in a blanket. In a week, her eyes were open, she got into a groove with her eating schedule, and she was sleeping a few hours at a time. The swelling in her face was reduced and her features were taking shape.
Two weeks in, and you could see more of her face, her wide eyes, and her full cheeks. It was during this week that she actually rolled over on her own..THREE TIMES! She was on her Aunt Monica’s chest, relaxing and hanging out. All of a sudden, Harper starts to turn and rolls from her stomach onto her back! She proceeds to do this two more times with some encouragement from her aunt. That was an incredible wow moment for all of us and caught us by surprise. It was also during this week that friends and family started with the comparisons; “she looks like you, she has your nose” or “she looks like her mom, she has her eyes.” I didn’t see it, but everyone else was adamant in their perceptions..lol. We held a photo shoot for her in my house, in between football playoff games of course (priorities people, priorities..lol) so that we could send out the baby shower thank you cards. My best friend set up props and backgrounds using items found around the house and made Harper look like the queen that she is. The photos were incredible and Harper, while fidgety at first, was a true champ during the entire process. During one of the shots, Harper wouldn’t lay on the blanket on the floor in her room. She wouldn’t stay still, start whining, or just cry. We came up with the idea that I could lay on the floor, and put the blanket over me so that she could feel a body underneath her. My best friend set up the shot, and it went off without a hitch. Well, without a hitch for everyone except me. As she laid on me and the pictures were being taken, I feel a warm stream coming through the blanket. I let my best friend and my lady know “Hey, she’s peeing on me..let’s speed this up!” As they laughed, a few more pictures were taken and then we cleaned up the baby..and Harper too.
(All photos above taken by my best friend Monica.)
It was during week three that I could see her eyes starting to focus when I held her. I totally understood the phrase “my heart melted” when she looked up at me. That first time her wide eyes looked up and stared at me, it felt like I was in a vacuum and it was just me and Harper on this planet. I found out that this gaze is also a way to get in sync with her. “When a baby and an adult make eye contact, their brain waves fall in sync, too, a new study finds. And those shared patterns of brain activity may actually pave the way for better communication between baby and adult: Babies make more sweet, little sounds when their eyes are locked onto an adult who is looking back. The scientists reported the results online Nov. 28, 2017 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.” I guess you could say Harp and I are locked in.
Aside from the doctor visits, we hadn’t really taken Harper out for a spin in her stroller. Throw in frigid temperatures in the North East, and it wasn’t really a good time to have her out. We caught a break in the weather during week four and decided to take her out. It was my lady, my best friend and I, and we bundled her up, strapped her in, and took her to a nearby park to enjoy the sights. She enjoyed it; she was calm and just took in the environment.
Later that week, I decided to take her out for another walk. It was a bright sunny day and the temperatures were in the low 50’s. There’s a beautiful waterfront area near where I live so I decided to take her along the path that runs through there. As I’m pushing the stroller, I was describing the scenery around us. “Across here is the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, and further down we’ll be able to see Chelsea Piers and The Freedom Tower. This street we’re walking down is called Sinatra Drive because Frank Sinatra was born in Hoboken, New Jersey. This is the same path that I ran during my training for the marathons and half marathons I ran. When you get older, we’ll run it together ok?”
During the one sided conversation, I noticed that I felt even closer to Harper. I’ve noticed that the one on one time we have brings me closer to her. Now, this doesn’t mean that when Harper is around others that I’m not close to her. It just means that my individual bond with her, the all important dad-daughter bond that I’ve been talking about since I started this blog, is enhanced.
Harper is a month old today. It’s been a month of learning, loving, and witnessing change right before my eyes. Other parents have told me to enjoy the ride because it goes by fast. This is very true as this month has flown by and she’s grown in every single way imaginable. I’m keeping my eyes wide open so I don’t miss a thing.
Happy one month Harper!