This blog has had an awful lot of kid content in the last 18 months. And I gotta say, it's not likely to stop.
Sure, K. and I have the occasional non-child-related conversation, generally about something we heard on the news, work, or the house, but some of our most intimate tete-a-tetes these days are about our children, what we want for them, how we're doing as parents, and how amazing they are.
The last one's mostly Annaliese. Caspian's still just a sprout.
My mom brought the family child bed down with her, and last night we curled up on the tiny bed as our daughter slept in her crib five feet away and our son slumbered in the bassinet in the next-door room. We looked at the stars shining on the vaulted ceiling of the nursery (she has a titally cool nightlight, courtesy of her godpapa) and we whispered about how, so far, we think we're doing a pretty good job. Annaliese is a happy healthy kid, who knows that she is loved; Caspian's still alive. Not bad, so far. Not bad.
What shocks me most about parenthood is how it just... happens. One minute you're not anyone's parent, and the next you are... and the thing is-- you're the same person. The same I-don't-want-to-empty-the-recycling, I-forgot-to-pay-the-electricity-bill, I-like-to-eat-too-much-sugar-and-stay-up-late person. Personality traits and bad habits don't fade away just because you're a parent.
But now there's a little person watching you. And slowly, you begin to realize it all matters. How much you curse. Whether or not you fight a lot with your husband. What you talk about on the phone.
I'd forgotten how the days pass slowly but the weeks begin to fly by...
It's very heartening, as someone who loves routine.
So, my iron has practically doubled (woo nasty herbal supplements!) and while I am nowhere near my pre-pregnancy weight, I am at least out of maternity pants and back into my fat clothes (I was actually bigger before I had children. Though my rib cage was smaller, strangely).
Wearing pants without elastic and being able to take walks without getting dizzy is pretty darn thrilling. Couple that with all the household help I've been having (my mom's been here for a week, and K's mom arrives tomorrow) and the fact that our newborn takes occasional naps by himself, and I am downright chipper.
Since Caspian was born, the weather has turned. It's hot. REALLY hot, even by Mississippi standards. So we've been keeping the AC humming and staying inside, which is a tad frustrating for a housebound-mama, but at least Mom is here... K and I are taking walks every night, after the bebes are settled and the sun has gone down.
It's like a date!
You know, I am crazy about Annaliese, and increasingly enamored with the newest member of our family, but to tell you the truth-- K's my favorite. Always has been. I hope we have lonng, long lives, so we can endure and cherish and savor the family years and then someday live with just each other again.
Until then-- evening walks. Weekend naps. And lots of handholding, to keep us sweet toward each other even when we're seeing every dawn.
New pics: Annaliese and her brother: Mom, aka Nonni, meeting her grandson.
We actually haven't taken all that many pictures. Mostly because when you have a toddler who dances and sings and stomps her feet, newborns are kinda... tame.
Annaliese seems to really like Caspian. She pats his head, kisses him-- even if he's crying his hystierical little lar-lar-lar-- and in general is always climbing up on whatever surface I'm reclining to get at him.
For this we praise her lavishly, and K's been spending lots of father-daughter fun time. Apparently yesterday afternoon they had some great times cleaning off an old brick pathway, K with the shovel and Annaliese manning the hose.
For the last 3 nights Caspian's followed kind of a.. schedule, dare I type it? He cluster feeds in the early evening, then falls asleep swaddled in his bassinet somewhere between 8-10, in which he sleeps like a log until 2am. 2am-4am he eats, poops, looks around, rinse and repeat-- then he drifts back off to sleep with me. We've been moving to the couch at the 2am mark mainly because I like to be nocturnal by myself and not worry about disturbing K.
We then wake up to Annaliese climbing on us at 7 or so.
Definitely newborn hours but my heavens, so much more manageable than Annaliese.
My emotional spirits are good. My physical health is improving. But my heavens, I am bored.
When I surfthe parenting websites, the newborn mom articles are all-- the truth about getting your figure back! Baby blues! Etc.
But what about boredom?
Maybe it's because I'm out of library books, and all my shows are on summer recess, and my brain admittedly don't work so great these days what with the sleep deprivation etc., but right now, my biggest problem is that I am confined to a couch/bed with a newborn draped across my chest pretty much 24/7.
When I'm stronger, I plan to pop him in a sling and do what I can to amuse myself-- walks, housework, etc. but that's not an option right now, thanks to the trusty ole blood loss.
I know that I will look back and curse myself for not enjoying this more. I think I need some really, really good books.
But right now, it feels like I'm just tapping my foot and watching the clock, waiting to get back to my real life.
Well, so far we have little sense of Caspian's personality because pretty much, he sleeps.
He sleeps while nursing, he sleeps while his sister runs her hands all over him and points at his nose, and he sleeps while pooting.
Occasionally he surfaces, stretches both arms up and away from his head, opens a rheumy eye, and gazes around in what looks like bewilderment.
Too complicated for this little dude, he decides, and falls back asleep.
Oh, he cries. He has a particularily hysterical "lar-lar-lar" cry that comes up when he's hungry or being changed or having his heel pricked by the midwife.
Last night we stuffed him full of milk and formula (more on that in a minute) and changed him and swaddled him and laid him down in the woven bassinet Annaliese slept about 3 combined seconds in. We put the bassinet next to the bed and watched him gaze serenely at the ceiling.
He was awake for awhile, but quietly, no crying. And then he-- and we-- fell asleep.
I woke at 2:45am on my own.
He was still asleep.
Nearly 5 hours later.
I tried to wake him to feed him, but he wasn't having it. Eventually he woke on his own, got more milk from the aforementioned sources, got reswaddled, and drifted back to sleep in the bed with K. and me.
I would not have believed this possible if it didn't happen to me, and even now, I'm like-- really? Really? Maybe he's sick.
But he's eating, tooting, with good color, so I don't think he is ill.
Knock on wood-- he just came into this world comfortable with sleeping, in a way that has taken Annaliese over a year to achieve... sure, she eventually-- EVENTUALLY-- slept 5 hours at a stretch, when she was 4 months old or so, sometimes. But always she had to be cajoled into sleep. As an infant, we could never-- NEVER-- swaddle her, lay her down, and watch her simply close her eyes and go to sleep.
Amazing. I know he will wake up in the coming weeks, but I am rooting for the night-times to continue.
Now, on the food issue...
I was not prepared to be giving Caspian a bottle. Breatfeeding is the one thing Annaliese and I rocked at: she had no formula at all for 6 weeks, and even then it was just the occasional night-time one so I could sleep a little more.
Maybe it's the blood loss. Maybe it's the fact he weighed a hair under 10 pounds at birth. But whatever the reason, my supply ain't keeping up with the little boy.... he's on the boob all day, keeping me drained, and he's still hungry.
So we're topping him off with formula, and I really, really wish we didn't have to. Hopefully the insane amounts of Mothers' Milk tea and fluids and food that I'm consuming will mean that I catch up with him.
I am anxious to be off the couch and into some kind of routine, but all are adamant that I stay off my feet until Wednesday and even then start back very cautiously. The midwife estimates I lost a liter of blood, and I am once again... yellow. K. says I look like a Twilight star. Hence no pictures. But I am taking my pills and supplements and eating like a hog so hopefully my platelets will rebound fast.
It pisses me off that this happened again because I feel that it undermines the actual birth, which-- as much as labor can be-- was great. Quick, easy, normal, and no tearing (woo!) with a ginormous healthy baby at the end. Annaliese was around eating her breakfast in the am, and got shuttled off to the nieghbor's for the intense part. I did not scare her. I put away the dishes and set up her breakfast during contractions. I washed my hair.
And then I proceeded to scare the crap out of the assistant midwife (who was there first, living closer) by almost having the baby with her, while the lead midwife did 80 miles an hour down 315 and arrived about 15 minutes before he was born.
Whatever. I'm alive, I am really thankful that I labored and delivered at home and then got in bed with my new baby, and now I'm looking forward to feeling better and watching this tiny little seedling grow into an actual person.
Wow, so second births really ARE a lot easier. Caspian arrived at 8:45 am; the midwife barely made it, but it's good that she did because I once again bled too much, EMTs were called, etc.
But despite that-- so much better than last time.
We are all doing well. K's taking care of us, Annaliese can't stop kissing her new brother and saying "Ba-BEE" which I didn't even know she could say, and I'm bored with bedrest already but pretty enchanted with the notion that in a few months, when my honking little boy grows up a bit, we're going to have a lot of fun.
As for now: chili and Hulu time, then back on perma-nip duty.