Sleeping sweetly in his sling
Awake and pondering the ceiling beams
Don't you just LOVE his old-man-pants look?
Or the wrinkles on his forehead?
Or his little round nostrils?
Gettin' chunky --
I had just been showing Squeeze his round little belly
The little sweet darlin' darlin'
Things are good in these parts. I can't believe how much adjustment it has been for me in mothering a newborn again. I have forgotten so much -- I think that is what has surprised me the most. I feel like my skills are rusty.
I didn't do any reading or ruminating on the new babe beforehand, either. I must have had too much to do. I also think that I assumed that I've done this twice before, it would be old shoe, right? In some ways, yes. But I have definitely been taken by surprise.
Night nursing has been the hardest for me. I swear, with the other two boys, it was a pleasure. Or at least, I took it as my serious duty to nurture my child -- through both sustenance and tender loving care.
With this little guy, I'm so groggy that I can hardly believe he's waking me up again. The nights feel like an endless cycle of nursing and then trying to get him to belch so he'll sleep soundly until the next nursing. Which feels like it never happens. And I swear whenever I set him down, he's either squirming because I can't get that elusive burp out, or he's hungry again.
Things have improved the last few nights. I feel like we have a better rhythm. I have also adjusted my expectations, which is always helpful in the game of life. Particularly in the realm of mothering.
Another helpful thing in this arena has been re-reading through some of Naturally Healthy Babies and Children by Aviva-Jill Romm. Her sections on mothering the mother, the newborn, and newborn care have helped me re-focus my vision for caring and connecting with my new baby. Little Jamie. It has been good for me to ruminate on these things.
(I highly recommend this book as the go-to for dealing with sick kids. It is my first pick, for sure. Many of the recommendations and home remedies have been very helpful -- everything from ear infections and diarrhea to fever and vomiting. Highly recommended.)
The other thing that has side-swiped me is the amount of time I don't have to just sit and stare at him. To enjoy his sweet newness. With Diego, I sat for hours and just looked at his beautiful face, smooching his soft skin and taking in his heavenly scent. With Truen, I had him in the sling 80% of the time, carrying him with me wherever I went, snuggling and smooching him.
With this little guy, I have plans.
As soon as he's asleep in the morning, I set him down and try to get as much done as possible. I have one big project in me per day. Cooking a couple of meals, cleaning up the kitchen, laundry, picking up, trying to squeeze in a healing bath and subsequent shower so I don't stink. You should see the size of our laundry pile in the living room. I'm pretty sure that the majority of our clothing is laying on the couch.
And I haven't been slinging him as much as Truen, because my body seems to be slower to recover after this pregnancy. I feel almost 100% by this point, but those first couple of weeks were rough. The ligaments that attach to my pubic bone hollered their protest if I lifted much of anything or walked too much, let alone slinging a newborn in front of me.
Things have improved this past week, but now I feel like I can work more efficiently when he's not on me. In most ways, I am able to accept this as a piece of reality. In other ways, I am mournful. I want him with me at all times. But it is so much easier to scrub potatoes or wash dishes without that sweet little 10-pound lump in front of me.
I have been slinging him, just not as much.
Ultimately . . . I am adjusting happily and working on re-setting expectations for life right now.
I do love having a newborn again -- they are so sweet. One thing I appreciate about them is that when they are crying, even stormily, they instantly STOP the second you pick them up or provide them what they need. How refreshing!
And Little Jamie . . . what a darlin'.