After only 11 days, Squeaker is beyond the "old man" stage, she is no longer an alien and does not resemble a helpless baby bird fallen from a tree anymore. She is still, of course, helpless but she is beyond those initial days of other worldliness. I believe newborns are born with both the entirety of human knowledge as well as the truths we have yet to uncover. They are born with 20,000 years of human knowledge but they also know that which is ahead of us, that which remains to be discovered .But in the first few days of deep, deep sleep as their alien features resolve into newborn cuteness, the knowledge leaks away and is lost.
Squeaker is raw instinct. She roots and steps and sucks (and sucks and sucks and sucks) and startles. The startle reflex is impressive. At the slightest provocation she will lift both hands up and away from her body as if commanding her own orchestra to readiness. At the breast she is transformed into a creature of greek mythology with as many as 16 arms, each of which much be patiently pushed away from the breast as she does not comprehend that she and I are separate beings and the milk comes from me. In Squeaker's reality, any skin or textile close to her mouth is a potential source of warm and milky and if the breast does not arrive quickly enough, she attempts to nurse from her hands. In Squeaker's realm, we are all part of the giant beating heart of the universe. There is no she. There is no me. We are all a continuum.
Squeaker sleeps an astounding 21 hours a day. In her sleep she is by turns contemplative, peaceful, worried, unsure and joyous. Her metabolism is that of a hummingbird. The heart and the respiration cycle with stunning rapidity. And then, without warning, the breathing stops. And in that moment the whole world stops and I feel myself falling into inky blackness. And then, she resumes and the world rights itself.
Squeaker has no respect for the laws of physics. She expels more milk than her stomach and esophagus could possibly have contained. The explosions from the nether regions produce more volume than could have been held by those tiny newborn organs.
Squeaker vocalizes by grunts, squeals, sighs, coughs and precious squeaks from which she derives her name. Only the most egregious of ill treatment produces a full-out cry: a breast too long in coming, a cold, wet diaper change when she ordered warm and milky. Or affection too enthusiastic from her older sister. Squeaker's habit is to raise one fist over her head after a satisfying feed as if to declare victory. Her range of motion includes elaborate stretches that ripple through the whole body and random punches at the air. In defiance of all the current literature on prevention of SIDS, Squeaker is a determined side sleeper who will not be deterred.
Our family is shifting and re-settling around the happy rupture created by the arrival of this tiny Squeaker.
I lack the words to describe my joy that she has arrived.