Everyone told me that going from one to two kids in the house would be a big adjustment…and even though we only have the bigger monkey for half the week, um…yeah. Two is no joke. On the days that I have both, there is no hope of a morning shower, and sometimes breakfast seems to be a stretch. That’s for me of course – the two chillens always get their fill. If I am sitting down to nurse the little, there are always 10 things I should be up doing for the big. And forget about the house…it looks like a tornado hit. I constantly feel like there’s something I’ve left off my mental to-do list and at the end of the day am just happy if all the little people are accounted for.
People keep asking me if we’ve got a routine yet, or say to me that they hope that we have a routine down, but the truth is …for the first month we have all been in survival mode … A mode that went something like this geometrical statement:
If Charlie screams – then get Charlie to stop screaming in any way possible so that our ears don’t bleed and he doesn’t wake his big sister or the folks down the street (yes, he’s that loud and has been since he exited my womb.)
I’ve basically broken every rule that new parents are told to follow and that for the most part I followed with his sister – and I give absolutely zero f*c^$ about it. With my first, I tried to manage everything, keep the child on a schedule to save my sanity and in the process I think I might have made myself insane, not to mention screwed with my milk supply. This time, it’s been a much more go-with-the-flow first month (and my milk flow has followed suit), and I’ve lived by the “only do what absolutely needs to get done” rule…oh and the “get sleep however you can” rule.
So what has been done …and how much have we slept?
- Charlie is mostly successfully nursing. We had some issues with latch and a possible tongue/lip tie incident that was squashed wholeheartedly by our pediatrician and a pediatric ENT. I’ve gone to the same lactation group I went to with M and fixed some of the same issues I had with her and some I didn’t (positioning, crappy pillow…), but all in all, Charlie has got the hang of it. And…my boobs got the hang of it! No fenugreek needed, and only one cup of Mother’s Milk tea this time around. As of yesterday, he has regained all but an ounce of his birth weight of 7 lb. 4.2 oz…slower than “they” like, but he’s getting there.
- I am healing from my C-section. Finally. I had nearly the same issues this time (one small spot didn’t want to close) but things are looking up. I am hoping to get the all clear on Feb. 2 to start doing something other than the things I’ve had to do (pick up M from school, carry the car seat up and down 3 flights of stairs…no small feat, but I really want to get back to the yoga!). I gained 36 lbs. with Charlie, and last I checked, I’ve lost 18 of those so far. I’m still wearing yoga pants and leggings daily, and I haven’t even touched my maxi skirts yet, but I would like to just get the feel-good feeling I get from being in downward dog and various other poses that rock.
- A beautiful sibling relationship has been established. The smaller monkey now likes to stare at his sister when he is in his quietly alert phase, and she loves to entertain him while he is on his play mat. The bigger monkey is still adjusting to not having me at her immediate disposal every second, and there have been some tears, and I have felt a little guilt, but mostly, it is exactly what I had hoped for.
- Laundry has been done, but mostly by my version of the baby fairy — my mother — and on occasion by the Man.
- We have been bed-sharing, something I was terrified to do with the bigger monkey save for a handful of times it happened on accident, but I’ve nursed this one through the night and he and we sleep much better when there are nighttime cuddles. He’s just getting adjusted to the bassinet a month in…and so far only for naps. Baby steps…
- We supplemented a bit with the odd packet of formula and some expressed breast milk due to jaundice and slow gaining, but as of yesterday, I’ve been cleared to quit the supplementing unless I feel he is very hungry. I am very grateful for this because the method we were using (SNS …what someone in my lactation group called a science experiment, I call it a pain in the ass) is for the birds. It worked but I’m really glad I don’t have to use it any more.
Charlie likes: “La” – his word for breast milk. Snuggling with my boob as a pillow. Laying on his tummy on his daddy’s chest. Sleeping on his side. Giving us the Dr. Evil look with his lips pursed.
Charlie dislikes: “Um gah” – his words for being in a place he doesn’t want to be, i.e., his car seat without movement involved, the bath tub, laying down anywhere when he wants to be in a human’s arms. Bathtime, though this is getting better, especially with very warm water added. Not getting what he wants – right. friggin. now.
Charlie can: Poop, pee, scream, turn from tummy to back, hold his head up pretty well, make funny faces, pout (this will be killer later on), flail, look cute without much effort. Turn the deepest shade of scarlet
Mummy likes: Watching episodes of Freaks and Geeks and Friends in the evening hours with the Man while we attempt to eat dinner through the non-stop nursing hours. Kissing Charlie’s soft skin. Charlie’s old man wrinkles and the prospect of filling them up with baby chub. Watching the little and the big interact. Staring into the baby’s eyes while he nurses…and cherishing every last moment because he will be my last. He was born three weeks early and was technically a preemie by one day, so we’re still waiting for real smiles and coos, but the quiet alert times are lengthening and I like that too.
In some ways, this time is nearly identical to the time after I had M, almost to the point I feel a bit of déjà vu. And to be honest, that scares the hell out of me because that family situation did not end up well. But then, I remember these are different times, with different people and I relax into the stupor that is new motherhood, and that is no joke either.