I was prepared for a lot of things before I had Hadley. I read about newborns and a baby's first year of life; I asked question after question of my mommy friends; I even tried to prepare myself for the off-chance that Hadley needed extra care in the hospital. I knew about the sleeplessness, the fussiness, the poopy diapers.
I did not know about the grunting.
Apparently, not all babies grunt. (I know this because I've googled "newborns and grunting" several times and read all kinds of articles and parenting chat-room posts about it.) Mine grunts. A lot. Loudly. She also squeals, honks, sighs and makes a host of noises for which there are no verbs. When she wakes up from a nap--a process that takes at least 20 minutes--she stretches and twists and makes so much noise, it's hilarious. After she yawns, she yelps. When she's getting fussy, she neighs like a horse. And when she's totally calm and I'm talking to her, she babbles and coos and...grunts.
Worst of all, though, she makes this smorgasbord of noises at night while she sleeps. In our room.
Jason and I have taken turns jumping out of bed, certain that she's waking up, hurting, fussing or choking. Nope. She's just sleeping. The irony is that Hadley has been doing pretty well sleeping at night--waking only about every 3-4 hours to nurse--but Jason and I are up much more often than that, thanks to the grunting.
I called the pediatrician on Monday to ask if such sounds were normal. She asked me a series of questions--including, "Is she turning blue when it happens?" to which I almost replied, "Do you think I'm such a moron of a parent that I would wait until Monday morning to call you if my child were turning blue?" But I did not. I said, "No." So she concluded, "I think it's just normal for your baby. Some babies are grunters."
So we have a beautiful, delicate, lovely Hadley who makes old-man-trucker noises. I just never would have guessed that our biggest issue at five weeks would be a noisy baby.
And really, if that's the worst of our troubles, I guess we're doing all right. I just hope that this phase ends before I get a call from her kindergarten teacher to say that Hadley is interrupting story time with her sound effects.