All photos by Hope Warfel Photography.
I'm exhausted today (and every day), and my brain is a jumbled mess, but I know that I need to make an effort to record the things I'm thinking about and living with as we transition to life as a family of five. Don't be super impressed that I am finding time to blog... It is a sacrifice and does not in any way indicate that I "have it all together." I've been calling my kids by the wrong name, have only cooked one real meal in the last four weeks, and haven't kept a very good list of gifts for my thank you notes. I'm just like anyone else.
I thought I would answer some of the questions I seem to get asked most often.
Does he sleep well for you?
Seth is a seriously good baby. He eats a lot in one feeding (he is not a grazer), he sleeps well between feedings, and he is very easygoing. Each time we have taken him on an outing, he has slept the entire time we've been gone without making so much as a peep. Yesterday I pumped milk and Jim gave Seth a bottle for the first time. I remember Cora and Brennan balking at the bottle the first time, but not Seth. He took it as though he has had a hundred others. Nothing fazes him!
I'm getting sleep in about 1.5 - 2 hour intervals at night. Seth eats every 2 - 3 hours, but a feeding with a diaper change lasts about 40ish minutes, so I have very interrupted sleep. The good news is that as soon as we get everything done, I lay him down and he goes right back to sleep. So, I'm very tired, but I'm not so sleep deprived that I'm nearly hallucinating like I did when Cora was an infant.
How is it going?
I'm enjoying life with a newborn so much more than I ever have before. I guess it is because I know it is the last time I will experience this. Breastfeeding is pretty painful (it's just how I am... the lactation consultants can't really find an explanation), but I just deal with it and look into Seth's sweet, innocent little face, and I am so in love. I find as many opportunities as I can to snuggle with his warm little head next to my cheek. I feel less resentful of the diaper changes and nighttime feedings because I know they won't last forever. I don't panic when he cries, and I forgive myself when I can't immediately race to his side to make everything okay. I am more confident, relaxed, and content this time around.
I'm crazy about my little boy and even more in love with him than I thought I could be. That said, I am having a hard time, emotionally. After spending so many months getting fat and feeling miserable, I was really eager to start losing baby weight and reclaiming my body. In the first few weeks, that began to happen, and I was doing great. However, about a week and a half ago, I stalled out. And not just that... I gained two pounds back. This has never happened to me before, and it is so discouraging!! I completely understand that I'm only three and a half weeks postpartum. I do not expect to fit in my regular jeans or look good. All I want is to see progress. I just want to get out of maternity clothes and start wearing super large regular clothes... But gaining weight? What is that all about? I'm not pigging out, I am nursing exclusively (which is supposed to burn 500 calories a a day!), and I'm actively taking care of two other kids. You'd think I'd have burned enough calories to lose at least a single pound over a week and a half, but no such luck. Every day that I get on the scale and see that same miserable number, I am crushed. I don't look like me when I look in the mirror... I don't look like me, I don't feel like me, and I wonder: How in the world am I going to get this weight off? What if I don't? You don't want to know the kinds of spiritual and mental battles I go through every morning when I get dressed. It isn't pretty.
My emotions aren't just all about weight loss, either. I'm worried about huge hospital bills, I'm afraid of spending a summer at home - alone - with three kids, I'm frustrated at my inability to put together coherent thoughts, and I just feel a little lost. I wouldn't say I'm depressed (I'm actually really happy with my life!), but I am struggling with my hormones, my emotions, and lots of irrational thoughts and fears.
How are Brennan and Cora adjusting?
Brennan and Cora adore Seth. They are absolutely crazy for him. They love to check and see if his eyes are open and whether he might be looking at them. They love to hold him, and they love to try to get him to grip their fingers. Cora also loves to help get him diapers and cover him in blankets and get his pacifier when he is crying. (We've had to work on keeping blankets off his head, particularly when I am out of the room.)
Of course, everything isn't perfect. Cora has become more argumentative (probably just an age thing as much as an adjustment to the baby), and Brennan has started with some annoying baby talk. But all things considered, the adjustment has been amazingly smooth. I really couldn't ask for more.