Saturday, March 29, 2014

It's my party, and I'll rant if I want to.

I hate that moment when the baby finishes nursing and hangs in this half-asleep state until she has a poop explosion in her diaper and passes out for real.

Now what?

Do I wake her up to change her? It's getting smelly in here. She's getting a rash as I sit here on Facebook. Bad mommy, bad mommy, get up and change her.


I'm still sitting here. Why am I still sitting here? Why am I such a lazy mom? And for that matter, why does my house look like this? Do I think I live in the remains of a war zone? And why do I still wear the same maternity yoga pants every day? Actually, why did I wear the same exact outfit three days in a row?


I still haven't changed the baby.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Insane and wonderful.

Now it's Story's week four. She is still the sweet bundle of baby she was a week ago, only now she's much bigger. The clothes that fit her last week, fit her no more. She's got rolls and chins to spare, so different from my last baby, who was like a human noodle.

Speaking of said baby, he is calming down significantly. Or, he was, until he suddenly quit napping. It wasn't a slow process, like I thought it would be. His naps didn't gradually shorten and fade away into the sunset. No, one day he was napping, and the next day, he wasn't. And he hasn't since. And, yes, we're all going insane now. But, the good news is, he went to bed at 8 tonight. What? Has that ever happened before, in the history of Collin? No, my friends, it has not.

Something truly amazing to me about second time motherhood, is how much I love nursing this time around. I say that, even as I lay here feverish with mastitis (common nursing complication). Nursing was so hard to get used to with Collin, probably the hardest part of new motherhood. I have always been a marcher in the breast milk over-supply parade, which is a blessing, really, it is. But it's also spraying your baby in the face with milk and leaking all over everything you bump into. Story is having trouble keeping up with the supply, and ends up nursing like she's drinking from a firehouse. Needless to say, gas has been a big issue for my little nursling. I'm trying to take this in stride, as the pediatric nurse assures me over the phone that it's perfectly normal for a baby to turn red in the face and scream. Perfectly normal.

We're at a stage right now where she always wants to be upright because of the gas, and she has what  can only be described as "The evening fussies." I feel like the evening fussies are my equivalent of PMS: namely, large outpourings of emotion, mixed with a little rage, and totally beyond reason or consolation. Almost like complaining for the sake of complaining. Collin did the same thing at this age, so I'm not freaking out about it this time around. Score one for second time motherhood.

Nap deprivation aside, I really feel like Collin is starting to come back to earth. I see more glimpses of normal Collin every day, and we're having sweet moments together as a family. He's now starting to bond a little with the baby. She smiled at him in bed this morning, and it just about made his world, which just about made my world. He really wants to play with her, but she's still just a blob of tiny baby, so he improvises. He'll wiggle himself around on her hands or feet and say she's tickling him. He'll put his face in the way of her swiping infant arms and declare, "She got me!" It's all very cute, and I really can't wait until their relationship isn't so one-sided. Despite how hard it is initially to introduce a new sibling, I know the pay off is worth it. I'm still getting used to the fact that I have two kids. Two kids! Life is insane. And wonderful.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Up to my elbows in mustard colored baby poop, and still (mostly) smiling.

This time, these past couple weeks, have been the best, and the hardest, of my life.

There have been your usual  postpartum suspects (I'm looking at you, hemorrhoids). But, when I say this time has been hard, I'm mostly talking about Collin's (lack of) adjustment. He loves the baby, as I knew he would, but he has proven completely incapable of handling such an extreme disruption in routine. Can I blame him? No. We got a taste of how unsettled he gets at disruption of the norm when we visited my parents in Minnesota last October. Collin basically kicked and screamed his way through that trip, and that's pretty much what our lives look like right now, but possibly worse. The first week was the hardest. I was completely unable to handle his energy. When Collin is struggling internally, it all comes bursting out as this wild, uncontrollable mania. He tears through the house, hollering and destroying and ignoring your every word. It's like living with a Tasmanian devil. He's like a toddler sized tornado.

At this point, we've just pretty much assumed the role of zoo keepers, and our primary objectives are to keep him alive and reasonably safe, and to avoid as much collateral damage as possible. But, I must say, every day has been getting just a little bit better than the last. I'm starting to see more glimpses of the old Collin, and it fills me with hope that I will someday have that little guy back.

So, now that I've thoroughly frightened anyone considering having a second child, let me mention some of the things that have made this the best time:

Going for family adventures in nature, with Collin on Mike's shoulders and Story on me in the carrier. We took Story to the redwoods when she was nine days old, just like we did with Collin. She chose that time to have her first diaper blow out. Later, as we were walking amongst the majestic trees, she started belching loudly, and it made us all laugh. It was our first shared laugh since we'd taken her home, and the emotional release of it felt so good, we just kept laughing and laughing. We felt like a family again.

Co-sleeping. When Collin was finally in his own bed, I enjoyed being able to stretch and roll and claim my space in bed so much, I thought I'd never co-sleep again. We put a crib mattress next to our mattress, and I figured the baby would sleep there. Since Story's birth, I have completely rediscovered how much I LOVE co-sleeping.  I discovered it the night she was born, when we put her in the hospital bassinet, and I lay awake, listening to her kissing sounds until I finally couldn't stand it anymore, and brought her in bed with me. I didn't sleep at all that night, but I dozed from time to time, and every time I opened my eyes, I saw her little cabbage patch face sleeping peacefully beside me. I fell in love with her that night. "Isn't she beautiful?" I'd whisper to the nurses who crept in to check our vitals. They'd smile kindly at me, and nod their heads. Before she was born, I bemoaned the thought of being squished in bed next to a night nursing baby for another two years. Now, I am happier for it.

The love. All the love that fills every room, every nook and cranny of this house. There's so much of it, it keeps me afloat when times get hard. I love my husband more than ever. He is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I love being a mother, and I'm frequently struck by the notion that I now have two children. The Universe has blessed me with two healthy, beautiful children. I feel so complete. I will never stop being grateful for the crazy wonderful people, big and little, that make up my family.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Getting there

Every day becomes a little more manageable.

Today is the first day I didn't long to be back at the hospital, where everything was quiet and peaceful and safe. Today, I didn't have an internal panic attack at the sheer magnitude of Collin's energy, as he spun around the house like a dreidel on the loose.

Today, I took Story to the doctor and found out she was thriving beyond what I possibly could have expected. Then, we all went to the grocery store, shopping at only six days post pardom. Today was a good day. Today was my best day all week.

Last time I had a baby, I didn't go outside until about nine days post pardom, and by the end of it, I was ready to die. Much different this time around, as I shushed the baby in one arm and dragged the full cart behind me with the other. Husband would have helped, but you see, he had an insane toddler perched on his shoulders who needed prompt removal from the store. Collin, God bless him, has been the biggest challenge since Story was born. Funny, he was the biggest challenge the last time we had an infant, too.

So, I'm going with the ebb and flow of post pardom, of life with two. I feel like everything is just a whole lot easier the second time around, but I say that as a woman who knows how good she has it. Husband has been running himself ragged, taking care of everyone. He is like the wheels of a wheel barrel, chugging and chugging away, doing all the dirty work. We would be lost without him.

"We like our Mike, and this is why: Mike does all the work when the hills get high."  -Dr. Seuss