Thursday, August 29, 2013

the thousand words

This picture illustrates two major themes of my life right now.

1) This is the last day that all three of my kids are home together as a rule, instead of an exception. Kiddo starts school tomorrow, and while there will certainly be plenty of days where they are all home again (like say, the day after tomorrow, which is a Saturday), most days Kiddo will be at school. What will our life be like, just me, Babs and the boy? What is the new normal?

2) My house is a mess. I spend much of my "free" time working on the mess, but it's like bailing in a rainstorm with a thimble - less effective. Part of the mess is the girls that enjoy their toys a lot (a good thing). Part of the mess is that not everything has a place, or is unpacked in the right spot. Mostly we use our time differently. I remind myself that we have years here to find order, so be patient. Also, the major place I spend my time currently is on that little head just peeking out of the swing. I feed him. I hold him. He prefers to nap in my arms, and the swing is only sometimes an acceptable substitute.

But he is only this small once. So I am trying desperately to locate the fine line between enjoying him in my arms as much as possible, and not going crazy that this 10 lb child is the only thing I do. I recite often the important lines: "I'm rocking my baby, and babies don't keep."

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

milk for all

We finally got both girls to bed at the right time last night, largely to a) improve Babs mood (to avoid further 20 minute screaming fits like last night) and b) get Kiddo on her school schedule, ready for kindergarten on Friday. The dark side of getting them to bed on time is they wake up on time, so every one was up by 7:30. (This will be a blessing on Friday, but today I had spent the last three hours partially asleep, partially soothing the boy, so I was, I mean, AM, tired.)

So there I was on the couch, nursing the boy, then Kiddo emerges, and requests chocolate milk from her dad, and settles next to us. Not long after, Babs stumbles out of bed, and also requests chocolate milk. She curls up on my other side. All my little ones, sharing the couch with me, drinking their morning milk.

(Wouldn't a picture be swell? Well, we weren't all decent...)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

90 minutes

I took all three kids out today. Grandma was here too, so I will give credit where credit is due, and say we took all three kids out. (Because there was more than one time that I needed the second adult.) This was the first time. From all of us basically waking up, it took an hour and a half to get every one dressed, fed, and to the car. This felt extraordinarily long to me. Is it because I had to feed the boy twice? Is it because I only managed this time because I had extra help? Is it because I'm petrified of what we'll need to do in one short week when Kiddo starts kindergarten (with no additional back-up)?

I don't know, but it was a long 90 minutes.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

"He's coming!"

My son was born a week ago today. It was both my longest and most exciting labors. He checked in at 8 lbs 11 oz, and 21.5 inches long. This makes him "large for gestational age" (born at 40 weeks, 1 day), so he had multiple blood pricks in his first 24 hours to make sure his blood sugar levels were appropriate. It should be noted that he is skinny, like all my babies, because he is ridiculously long to go with his "great" weight.

After approximately 8 hours of contractions (both my other labors could have fit in this time frame), some at home, and some at the hospital, we decided to break my waters so I could finish up.

As I stood to move to the hospital bed, my water spontaneously broke. I felt a huge pushing contraction, yelled "he's coming" and out came his head. (It sounds so simple. It was not.) In retrospect, I keep thinking it's miracle this happened when the midwife, nurse, and medical student were all in the room. I wonder if my husband realizes how close he was to having to catch the baby. But the midwife was there, and he (literally) caught the baby as I pushed the rest of him out. It was an intense two minutes. He emerged face first, thus the bruising in his first day photos. But, as we were deciding to break the waters, I turned to my husband and told him I was anxious to be done, but was scared about the pushing that still needed to happen. Then it finished so quickly, and that was a blessing.

They gave him to me, and labor was done. Now the real work begins.

Two postscripts:

A. I labor without drugs. But I labor with my husband's support, help, and presence. What I do would be impossible without him there. I'm so grateful for him. I'm sorry about his shoes though. As I continued to labor with an intact bag of waters, I kept worrying that they would break at an inopportune moment, and get my husband's shoes all wet. That fear was realized. (But the pushing fear was not, so I feel I got the better end of the deal.)

B. As the contractions kept coming, I often called up this picture in my head, of Babs after she had fallen asleep in my bed the night before the boy came:
Remember to be relaxed like Babs, I would remind myself. It helped a lot. (Not as much as  my husband helped me though.)

Friday, August 2, 2013

how to grow your three-year old

You can monumentally increase the size of your three-year old if you give her an infant sibling.

The boy showed up on Wednesday (his coming was interesting enough that every nurse had heard about it before they met us - are you excited to hear about too?). Babs had a fever (argh!), so didn't come to the hospital. She saw him first when we brought him home today. How small is he? How huge is she? The five-year old seems unchanged somehow, perhaps because in my mind, she wasn't still "the baby."

More details about him later. We're all doing well.