10 June 2014

Now Loading...Newborn: Month Two

She's already a month old today. One month. 30 days. 4 weeks, 3 days. Life since she made her sweet, peaceful entrance into this world has been an indistinguishable stream of 2-3 hour stretches of sleep punctuated by chaotic blips of fulfilling everyone's needs. Time is inconsequential. Sometimes Abigail and I eat cheesecake for breakfast and eggs for dinner. Sometimes I change Eleanor from one sleeper and put her straight into another. I have been wearing leggings as pants for a majority of the last 4 weeks and 3 days. But as we emerge from Newborn: Month One, I find myself starting to organize life into bits and pieces of routine. We kind of have a morning thing down, where the three of us end up fed, cleaned, and dressed, a simple chore gets done (how on earth does adding one new person to the family mean I need to do laundry three times as much?), and we go for a walk. Meal plans are being made, we're not dependent on Blues Clues on a daily basis, and I cleaned the bathrooms once.

I think life beginning to return to normal is facilitated mostly by time moving forward. The breastfeeding woes have been worked out, Eleanor has realized it is acceptable to nap in one location other than my arms during a small part of most days, and Abigail has decided it won't kill her to reintegrate grilled cheese and oatmeal into her diet. Somedays I even think I might be able to see how I could do this whole "raise a family" thing long-term.

I think I thought that if I did everything the right way, life would be easy. If I gave birth the right way, if I fed my baby the way women are supposed to feed their babies, if we came back from the hospital to a stable home (read: not moving cross-country twice in one year), newborn world would be easy. And while it definitely has been easier, I would not describe it as easy. It took me a little bit of time to realize that fact. And even though the bastard that is PPD is lurking in the shadows, when I collapse into bed at 9:30pm for a 3-hour stretch of sleep, I have nothing to say to God but "Thank you."

How can such a challenging, sacrificial life fill my heart so full?


The one mommy-free place she'll sleep with any kind of regularity:

My mind is bursting with post ideas: my experience of typically developing newborn vs a special needs newborn, how anyone can survive with Eleanor's sleep habits, baby gear I find indispensable, how Matt and I reworked our five-year plan to maybe, just maybe include building our dream house once Matt gets a permanent position somewhere.

But alas, two little blessings are begging for my attention. One of them has the arm of a Yankee pitcher and the other the lungs of Andrea Bocelli.


Gina said...

That hair!!! She looks like a mini-Matt. So adorable!

Amelia Bentrup said...

Eleanor's sleep habits sound about as bad as Elsa's. She didn't sleep out of arms until she was almost a year. If I figure out how to survive, I'll you know. ;)

And, I'd love to read your thoughts on parenting a newborn with special needs versus a typically developing newborn. I'm looking forward to that post.

Anonymous said...

She DOES look like a mini-Matt!

And the laundry...oh, the laundry...my mom gave me a fantastic piece of advice after number three was born: do one load of laundry every day. Give up on trying to "keep up" with the laundry and be satisfied with clean underwear and socks.

That bit of advice saved my sanity after Number Three, because I was unconsciously telling myself (EVERY DAY!) "If I could just keep up with the laundry, we could get back to normal!"

Now I put one (ok, now it's at least two) loads a day during nap time, and fold them at night during our family rosary.

This schedule will likely suffer in six weeks when Number Four arrives, because my arms will be full again, but we've had a good 12 month run! :-)

And it is truly a marvel...with each new member added to the family, your capacity for self-sacrifice expands...and it hurts...but it's beautiful, and it's what marriage is all about, my dear friend (in my humble opinion :-). Just when we think we've reached a plateau, God often sends along another Blessing, to shake things up a bit and say, "Hey, this life isn't about you anymore, remember?!"

And, "Here's the grace to love, to sacrifice yourself, until death do you part."

:-). TB