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Thursday, May 27, 2010
::Sagan's Monthly Newsletter, May 2010::

Dear Sagan,

Welcome to your first Monthly Newsletter! I got the idea from a blogger named Heather Armstrong; she wrote them to her daughter Leta. I hope to write these for THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. (I also got my all-caps styling from the same Heather.)

We were really happy you were born on April 27 – 4/27 is 2 squared and 3 cubed! I opted out of a “30 minute breather” during labor to make sure you didn’t get stuck with 4/28 as a birthday, which is, lamely, 4 x 7 = 28. Boring! (You were born at 11:23 according to the wall clock in our delivery room; Dad was very excited since those are the inaugural Fibonacci numbers. Alas, the computer said you were born a minute earlier.)

There were sixteen family members in the waiting room for you to arrive. At 11:22 PM. SIXTEEN PEOPLE. You were hotly anticipated! Fortunately, a Mavericks game was on, so people stayed entertained. I watched James Burke’s Connections 2, and, later, “Glee.” It was the suckiest episode of “Glee” I’ve ever seen.

We’d pretty much decided on Sagan for your first name (for me, it was after an epiphany in the shower). Carl Sagan’s “Pale Blue Dot” passage of Cosmos really affected me. When you came out, we noticed you were HUGE. The middle name Thor, which we’d played around with (and which I poo-poohed for about nine months as a possibility but changed my mind when Jón Þór Birgisson, the lead singer of Sigur Rós, came out with his most recent album) then became a certainty.

You’re such an interesting amoeba of personality right now. We know that most of your movements – including your facial expressions – aren’t intentional. You haven’t smiled for real, nor did you mean to kick yourself in the poopy balls while I was changing you. You didn’t mean to flip everyone off that time. You don’t mean to pee on us. At least I hope.

I’m learning about you every day; you show me glimpses of who you are in your reactions to things, in your enthusiastic response to my smell, the things you choose to look toward, and your face. Your eyes are still blue – jury’s out on whose eye color you’ll inherit – and they charm me every day when they stare up into mine.

You’re a great sleeper so far – last night you slept from 11:00 until 5:30. You seem self-sufficient in the entertaining-yourself-as-you-fall-asleep department, too, which is very nice of you. It means I can do stuff that’s not actively taking care of you, y’know, like writing you this newsletter. Heh.

Your grandparents love you; Nana and Grandpa Karl came all the way from Houston to hang out with you while your dad and I went for sushi. They held you and cooed to you and are thrilled to have you here. Pitter and Gran are over the moon for you. Gran finds excuses to come over all the time (which makes Pitter jealous) – and as for Pitter, she can’t keep her hands off you, and I’ve already made fun of them for acquiring a pack ‘n’ play, since they’ll never put you down long enough to need it. They’re shopping for a travel trailer to tote you around in, and I’ll be shocked if they don’t have one by the time I write next month’s newsletter.

Uncle Josh and “Aunt” Nessa adore you, too. They visit and hold you all the time. Josh wants to teach you to dance; hold him to it! Oscar, your baby’s best friend, likes to lick your head and sniff your feet.

There are tons of other people who have met you, held you, kissed your head, and love you already. You are lucky to have one of the strongest, most loving families in the world already surrounding you!

Our day-to-day life has settled in; we get up early and have breakfast before Dad gets up. I’ve invented this morning ritual of saying “Good morning!” to your body parts. We greet your feet, toes, legs, belly, chest, arms, fingers, hands, ears, eyes, nose, mouth, chin, and head – then I say good morning to you! I’ve also started counting your body parts “with” you. Good times. You’ll nap three or four times during the day, and you’ll go to bed around 10 or 11.

You and I are working as a team. You have to figure out how to live outside my uterus, where you’re right-side up and BREATHING AIR and not capable of conscious thoughts, much less communication. I have to learn how to give my time and effort all to you, re-dedicate my leisure, and help you navigate your way through this new world. The thing is, though, you’re helping me, too. You forgive me when I have to let you cry for a second while I go pee, you “smile” even when I’ve been playing with the iPad instead of staring at you, and your fervent love for nursing has helped me stumble through that process to find what works for us. We work well together, Sagan. Thanks for this amazing partnership.

Speaking of partnerships, your father and I can’t believe how much our lives have changed since you’ve popped out of me. The house looked different when we got home; it’s a little bit more of a home now. Your nursery is no longer a showcase room; it’s a functional, lived-in place where I feed you in the morning, change you when you need it, and lovingly stare at your onesie collection. I also view your dad in a new light. In addition to loving him as my husband, I love him even more because you are half him – and because he’s already an amazing father to you. (Tonight, he felt all smug because you hadn’t peed on him while he was changing you – and about 20 minutes later, you made karma and me happy by peeing, pre-diaper, while you were under his watch! Ha!) We are a family of three, now. That means three people farting! Plus Oscar!

I suspected that I would feel an explosion of love for you right after you were born, but I was exhausted, and being stitched up, and bleary as hell. What I have felt, though, is so much more. An explosion expends a great deal of energy in a short amount of time – and then it’s gone, leaving only its effects. But my love for you has been, instead, a powerfully shining ember, always glowing, always burning, always there. The area under the graph is much greater this way (we’ll tell you what that means later, but suffice it to say that my love for you is all-consuming, and growing, and indelible).

I can’t wait to keep meeting you.



Dislikes: Getting naked, being hungry, being cold, having clothes pulled over your head
Likes: Riding in the car, looking at the TV, “dancing” to music, taking a bath, my boobs, farting, falling asleep on Dad’s chest, sucking your fists
People You’ve Peed On: Mom, Dad, Uncle Josh, Denyce
Things You Can Do: Hold your head up, smile gassily, make fists, focus on faces, recognize and follow voices across the room, stare at and track high-contrast objects, vocalize (not just cry)
Agreed - Sagan's wonderful!

No photograph or video monitor could ever accurately reproduce his beautiful blue eyes.

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