Life With Nine Kids

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Postpartum: Notes from week one (June 15-19, 2013)


Sat June 15th- It's very trying to welcome a new baby and then have nearly all of the kids in the entire house get a cold in the same week; coughs, sore throats, sneezes, tears, fevers. (It's been something that's been coming on slowly before the baby was born, it's not a surprise but we were so hoping it wasn’t going to escalate to full blown colds.) 
I got a message from Amazon.com that said my order is shipping. I felt super smart. Six months ago I scheduled a bulk box of organic mac and cheese shells and organic ravioli (Annie's) to be shipping right after the baby's due date. I love when I'm so smart 

Our new baby is precious and sweet and lovely. 

Mon June 17th- Everett's inconsolable right now. Ricky's trying to reason with him in the kitchen. He just doesn't feel good. I'm so thankful he at least slept well last night so that I was able to sleep well or I'd be fried today. I was so tired yesterday (Father’s Day) I thought I was going to ...die. Last night was my first full night of sleep since the birth. (Nursing while sleeping is still sleeping to me.) I realized yesterday I made a huge mistake by not getting more sleep immediately postpartum. Ricky and I stayed up super late Sat. night and watched TV. When I went to bed at 2am kids started waking up bothered by colds at 4am. Everett was up for good by 5:30am…huge mistake on my part. I think Everett will lay down for a nap really soon and so will I. Baby girl is doing fantastic and sweet --she is such a sweetie. She was making cute faces for us this morning and is pooping right now :) She's doing really awesome. She loves being swaddled, some of our other babies did not, so Ricky went to Target and bought Swaddleme blankets. 
Snug as a bug!
 They are great! She looooves them. Nursing her at night is more comfortable for us both because she's all tucked up in them and the kids holding her is so much more controlled and secure to. I’m glad she likes to stretch out, too, but these blankets are awesome!

Yesterday (Fathers’ Day) I slowly felt true effects of sleep deprivation and hormones crashing. I always describe sleep deprivation for me as feeling like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. By around noon I feel like I could go crazy at any moment. I really feel like I’m coming apart at the seams when I am sleep deprived. I don’t mean one night of bad sleep, but multiple nights or after something like the excitement of giving birth and then not resting enough. I took a nap on Father’s Day but didn’t fully recover from the insane split personality feeling until getting good night sleep where no one woke up, bed hopped, or coughed a night. Thank goodness. Ricky’s pretty torn up without sleep too (he looks like a total zombie without sleep) so I don’t usually want him to get up much with the kids. The kids usually end up wanting me anyway so then both of us end up tired the next day if we both get up. So Sat night sucked but Sunday night was good. In hindsight I should have told Ricky I was doing poorly on Father’s Day but I didn’t want him to know how miserable I was, though he could tell I wasn’t myself. He told me over and over how much he appreciated all I do and that he should tell me more and that he’s sorry I look so tired. It was sweet. I think he was trying to combat overwhelmed postpartum mama hormones by filling me up with compliments. :)

Mon June 17- Sleep stores replenished. Had a good morning outside and a good day inside playing with the kids. We found stuff to do with them and they stayed busy for the most part.

Tues June 18- I love the things they say Everett heard the baby fussing and made it to her about 12 steps before me, he was leaning over her side sleeper with his shirt pulled up and trying to hover over her saying "baby nurse, baby nurse" hahaha I'd have taken a picture but I didn't want him to squish her in the time it might have taken to take a picture.
Sebastian just came up to me and said, "Ohhh babies are so cute, they are so sweet, mom, they are the sweetest...except for Everett now, he's SO MEAN!"
Penelope asked for me to cut her hair short, really short, because it keeps falling on her baby sisters face when she holds her. We just cut it tonight. 
 Penelope says she's "so happy" about six times a day, and she talks to her sister so much. She said to me, "Being a big sister is a hard job, right mom? But fun too, right mom?" I love when she follows up questions with "right mom?" It's sooo cute.
June 19, 2013 Day
This morning Penelope (6) sternly told a misbehaving Sebastian (4), "Be good Sebastian! This is Mom's second day with dad gone."
Oh, bless her little sweet heart. <3 br="">
Yesterday was my first day home with the kids. We made pencil holder cans (out of tin cans and decorated paper) and gingerbread cookie men. Sebastian made me laugh so hard about his gingerbread man. He noticed the girls' faces, made with mini-chocolate chips, looked better than his. He whined at me and told me his looked like a zombie frog. When I looked at his cookie I couldn't help but laugh out loud. Thank goodness he didn't get his feelings hurt and he just made a darling scrunched up unhappy crooked smile of a face at me instead. I love those moments, unless they hurt a kids feelings, then it's awful! But he took it in good stride and I helped him fix his face.
The day went really well. I felt good, Ricky called midday to make sure I was feeling good. He’s going to take more days off but we just aren't sure when. I kinda think next week will be harder than this week. He's unsure because the kids are sick and extra needy this week. Mostly the colds are dissipating though except for the lingering hacking coughs that persist sometimes.
By 4pm I felt tired and done. I really couldn't wait until Ricky got home. Unfortunately he had a dentist appointment in the evening so I had to wait a little extra long for him. I had the kids in the bath and baby girl was sleeping soundly when he arrived; bedtime and story time was largely uneventful, thank goodness.
Everett has moved out of the bedside sleeper. ((yay!)) At two and a half years old he still loved it despite the fact he was squished into it most of the time (the mini Arms Reach Co-sleeper). I tried getting him out months ago but he wasn't ready; now he hasn't slept in it since the baby was born! I put her down in it at bedtime the day she was born and he smiled so big and told her and me his bed was her bed! Oh joy! Oh sweetness! I hoped this would happen. Me telling him the baby needed it and trying to move him from it was too abstract before she was here, but now that she is here and he sees she's smaller and needier it's time for him move on and he understands. He's been sleeping in a cot in our bedroom which Penelope used to sleep on. Penelope meanwhile has finally moved on to sleep with Layla ---the big sisters are hanging out a lot together and I feel Penelope has found a new sense of identity being an older kid now and not a preschooler or a baby like Sebastian, Everett and the new baby. It's glorious, bittersweet and simply adorable.
I haven't had to lay down with Penelope to get her to fall asleep comfortably since a few days before baby girl was born. I miss her. I miss her as a newborn, I miss her as a baby, I miss her as a toddler, I miss her as a preschooler. Kids leave you. Every stage that passes is something you'll never get back. I try to record their voice, write down things they say to preserve them because the truth is they leave themselves and me behind. They blossom into new people over the course of weeks, months and years...and I'm left holding memories together like collage pasted to my motherful heart. There is so much I thought I'd remember that I don't. Everett's voice is something that I wish I could hear forever. He told me yesterday patting the baby's head: 'Ittle, 'ittle, 'ittle bay-bee girl, I 'ove 'ittle bay-bee girl.
 The toddler talk is cute enough, but his voice and the sweetness behind it melts me!
June 19, 2013 Evening
From 3-7pm things went crazy. Crazy toddlers, unhappy newborn wanting to nurse and whose Swaddleme blankets were in the wash. Someone tiny and loud was really not happy about the absence of the Swaddleme! Blankets are out; it’s all about the Swaddleme for his little girl. I’m amazed.
The kids have had colds and coughs and now Sebastian got an earache. Sigh. While the kids and I tried to make dinner Everett pinched, yelled, and ran around acting Crazy. Then later he did it all over again. I wish I could say it is post baby jealousy, haaa....he’s been like this for a year! Insane toddler! 
June 21, 2013 
One week Birthday wishes to our baby girl. She has a name in progress and we're trying it out within the family and searching for a middle name. 
I felt guilty we didn't tend to or even pick our strawberries very often this season, why go through the work of growing them if you aren't going to pick them!? Then out of the blue, while quietly picking some sad looking nearly bad berries for our fruit salad tonight, Penelope (6) said, "Mom you're awesome because you are picking strawberries with a baby." My heart melted and I laughed happily. I'm so glad she pointed out that joy to me. I wanted to write it down to remember forever. 
I had a feeling today. I opened the fridge to put something away while I had baby girl swaddled and close to me with one arm. A familiar overwhelming feeling of perfection filled my heart, I love having a child in my arms. It makes everything in life sweeter. I also had a feeling of ease as I moved around the kitchen gracefully. Making breakfast, putting things in the fridge, wiping the table. Little monotonous regular tasks with a baby in my arms. I felt like I was doing something grand by being a mom, taking care of her, and taking care of the rest of the family. I can take care of my baby and everyone else too. I am doing it. Here we go...number 8. 

5 comments:

talkbirth.me said...

Loved reading all of this. Writing matters SO MUCH.

I hope I never forget the "right" feeling of a baby on my hip. I've still got a toddler on my hip, but I know what you mean about the "this is who I am/where I belong feeling" of holding your baby and doing your work. I've had several poignant moments of that and thinking, this is SO REAL, how could there be anything else but this.

Kimberly Jennery said...

This week's blog fills me with such happiness - thank you so much for sharing it! :)

Mom of a bunch of great kids... said...

Molly- I know! I love that you and I really understand each other about this! I love getting that feeling and I remember saying so many times in the past that I feel best when I have a baby on my hip.

"I've had several poignant moments of that and thinking, this is SO REAL, how could there be anything else but this"

PERFECTLY said.I agree. :)

Mom of a bunch of great kids... said...

Kim- Thanks for reading and commenting :)I enjoyed chatting the other night, we have to do it again soon! I miss that! :)

Mary Alice said...

I don't think you have any idea how amazing you are! You find time to grab those moments and hold them in your heart. You manage an insane amount of responsibility and you don't let the general insanity surrounding raising lots of kids get you down. I'm in awe.