29 November 2015

The First Week Adjustments

Eleanor is napping in her crib in her room, Theodore is napping in the pack n' play in the living room, and Abigail is bossing around a set of stackable cups. ("Wait, Blue, it's Yellow turn. Green, you're next!") Life in the one week since Theodore was born has been remarkably smooth. Not easy, but easier than I thought it would be.

Our attempt at our first family selfie.

I did get all emotional and weepy on Day #4, and when all three kids are crying at once, it takes a lot to hold myself together, but for the most part, three has been a smooth transition. As my sister-in-law put it, "three is not your critical number."

I think it's a combination of a laid back baby and the antidepressants. Briefly, I had a year of postpartum depression after Abigail, four months after our miscarriage, five months after Eleanor, and with Theodore, I actually started getting prepartum depression. I started on antidepressants when I was about 20 weeks along after I realized that the depression was interrupting my ability to be a contributing member of society. This first week of Newborn World has been the best I've ever experienced. I'm clear headed, my temper is easier to control, I don't feel overwhelmed and hopeless. I usually describe the first week as hellish, but this first week has been very cozy. I'm at peace, I'm happy, and I feel like a normal person.

Physically I'm also doing pretty well. People are always shocked at how active I am, so I get the impression that I'm healing faster that most women. I don't know, I guess I have worse-than-average pregnancies, but better-than-average deliveries and recoveries.

I had a consultation with a lactation consultant before I left the hospital to discuss my tendency toward plugged ducts and mastitis (three times in nine months with Eleanor!) and she gave me some great tips. One week in and breastfeeding is easy, pain free, and I haven't come close to any problems. Like I said, life right now is going really well.

Theodore is doing pretty fabulous. Nighttime goes something like this: 10pm: change his diaper, swaddle him, nurse him down, lay him in the rock n' sleeper. Repeat at 2:30am and 7:00am. Seriously, he's amazing! He does some napping in my and Matt's arms, some in the ring sling, and some in the pack n' play. He's more of a snacker than a marathon nurser (*cough* Eleanor *cough*). His first nickname is Super Foxy Man. Foxy Man because of how adorable he looks in this fox hat, and Super because of his nighttime sleeping abilities. We also call him Romeo because he is a boy in a sea of girls. People ask me quite often if we will call him "Teddy." We have Jacqueline, not Jackie, Abigail, not Abby, and Eleanor, not Ellie, but people still ask me if we'll go with "Teddy."

He loves to be swaddled, his cord stump already fell off, he slept through his circumcision, we bought him his first boy outfit (it included the foxy hat), and I've already started crocheting his first blankie. That, I suppose, is Theodore's first week in a nutshell.

I explained to Matt that I wanted to go through each member of the family and talk about how they were adjusting to the new baby. I asked him how he was doing and he responded that he feels complete as a person and fulfilled now that he finally has a boy. He feels that he can move forward in the buying of a house and really begin his life.

He had this whole week off and will work part-time from home next week, lending us a nice two-week paternity leave.

Eleanor, who is teething and getting over a cold at the same time, took the departure of her parents for a few days very hard. I think she is now finally starting to get back to normal. At first she thought Theodore was an interesting curiosity, but really could take him or leave him. But as the days go by, she's showing more interest. She always checks on him, brings him his foxy hat, and copies what I do with her baby dolls: bath time, diaper changes, rocking in the swing. I have been making a valiant effort to give her special one-on-one mommy time (even if it's just for 5-10 minutes a few times a day) to make sure she still feels a sense of security. I suspect that once Abigail goes back to school on Monday and we start to cement a real routine again, she'll blossom as a big sister.

Abigail, as everyone saw coming, is a doting mother hen who insists on helping put Theodore in and take him out of the car seat, change his diaper, and put his pacifier in his mouth. Every time he does anything, like be carried into the apartment, she applauds him with a "Good job, Baby. Good job." He instantly joined the family line up - Abigail likes to recite the names of everyone in the family when she's happy - and we were "Daddy, Mommy, Abigail, Eggcorn, Baby!" as we pulled out of the hospital's parking garage. I don't think she's as attentive as she was with Eleanor though, simply because now she's distracted by Eleanor playing and whatnot to spend every moment doting on Theodore.

The cat has apparently finally become used to this whole "my humans like to bring home babies" thing because she, for once, doesn't seem to care. She is, however, desperate for attention and is currently laying on top of my forearms and purring as I type this. She likes Eleanor better, as Eleanor has always had more respect for her space and she is gentler with her overall. Abigail has always been rougher and has recently discovered that she can pick up and carry Belle from room to room. One day (hopefully soon!) we'll have a house and she'll have more space to roam and hide.


Amelia Bentrup said...

Congratulations!! So glad the transition is going smoothly!!

Anonymous said...

Awesome. "Good job, Baby, good job" is simply adorable. What a delightful post. :-) TB

Anonymous said...

What a cutie! Congratulations!