Your First Week

September 27, 2009

Dear Teo,
You are already over a week old!  You have spent most of your time sleeping and nursing, but you also have had moments of quiet alertness when you look around at your world with a focused, thoughtful expression.  Sometimes you raise your eyebrows, and you get little crinkles on your forehead that make you look like a surprised old man.  You have smiled a few times, mostly in your sleep.  Today you smiled when I massaged your feet.

One thing you seem to really be working on right now is getting your thumb in your mouth.  You have done it a couple of times, and since then I have seen you trying to coordinate opening your mouth at the same time you move your hand toward your face.  Once, you grabbed one hand with the other and pulled it toward your mouth.   You practice this with patient concentration.

Here are some photos of your first week.

Mama and Papa

Happy Birthing Day!

September 20, 2009

On Friday, September 18th, 2009

Mateo Kenika Nokose Carpenter

was born at 9:02 p.m.

At Sacred Heart Regional Medical Center
Springfield, Oregon

He weighed 6 lbs., 8 oz
and was 20 inches long.

Jessie's labor lasted almost exactly 5 hours.
Michael "caught" Mateo when he was born, and cut the cord.

Also attending the birth were
our amazing midwife, Christine Heritage, CNM.
our doula, Kristin Collier,
and nurse, Dannette Martin, RN.

We stayed at the hospital for 24 hours, and we are so glad to be back home now.
We are all doing great - strong, healthy and so grateful for our little family!

Mateo is a handsome, sweet, sweet baby.  He loves to snuggle.
He doesn't like diaper changes, and he lets us know with a loud complaint.
Mateo also sleeps well, though Mama and Papa are still a little sleep deprived!

Here is a link to the announcement posted by the hospital:

Waiting for You . . .

September 10, 2009

Dear baby Mateo,

It is about a week before your due date, and I keep thinking I am going into labor. Maybe it is wishful thinking because I am so excited to meet you. Your papa and I have everything ready. The carseat is installed, your baby clothes and diapers are all organized, the bag is packed for the hospital, and our dear doula is ready to drop everything at a moment's notice to offer her support.

Today was my last day at work. I am usually very focused at work because I love what I do and the people I work with, but yesterday and today I felt restless and distracted . . . ready to just be at home and set aside everything not related to preparing for your birth.

Oceana came over today and we played with playdough. She still calls you "Baby Coconut" sometimes, and she likes to kiss my belly and talk to you. Tonight she told you about the monsters that live in our attic, and she said she'd protect you from them. She just started kindergarten this week, so she feels very grown up now.

Your papa will be home from work soon, and he will probably talk to you like he does most nights. You always move the most in the late evening when Papa and I are talking. We both love you, Little Bear.

All my heart,


September 4, 2009

When I visited Dad's house in July with my brother and sister, I found this poem hanging on the bulletin board.  It feels a little strange to post a poem about dying on my little baby's blog, but on the other hand, the message of this poem was one of Dad's teachings - something he can offer to us all, Mateo included.  I hope Mateo can grow up with the understanding that there can be beauty and honor in ALL phases of life - including old age and death.

Urge me to drop every leaf I don't need
Every task or habit I repeat past its season
Every sorrow I rehearse, every unfulfilled hope I recall
Every person or possession to which I cling
Until my branches are bare, until I hold fast to nothing.

Tutor me through straining night winds
In the passion of moan and pant
The gift of letting go at the moment of most abundance
In the way of falling apples, figs, maple leaves, pecans.

Show me the way of dying in glorious boldness
Yellow, gold, orange, rust, burgandy.

- Monza Noff

Happy Birthday, Dad.  I continue to learn from you, Mateo will as well.


September 3, 2009

I have been wondering since late last night if I am about to go into labor. I am getting a lot of small contractions, and I just feel . . . different. Mateo has been moving more than usual, too, as though he knows that things are changing.

I can't help but think that tomorrow would be a really lovely day to give birth. It is my dad's birthday. He would have been 66 years old. Tomorrow night is also the night of the full moon, which somehow seems like a good omen.

We'll see, though. Regardless of whether he comes in a day or in a week, I feel very ready to meet and hold our baby boy.
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