Reaching month one feels like such an accomplishment. It’s the first mile marker — your chance to pause for a moment, take a breath, look around, and pump your fist in the air because WE’RE DOING IT! WE’RE REALLY DOING IT!
From the very start, Tom has encouraged me to take this whole “mom of three kids” thing one day at a time. When I tell him that the thought of taking three kids to the grocery store makes me hyperventilate, or that I can’t imagine a day when I’ll be ready to go to the park, or clean our bathrooms, he gently reminds me that that’s ok; all we have to do is make it through today. So that’s what I’ve been doing. One day at a time.
The one day at a time thing started in earnest when we got home from the hospital and Tom and I watched as baby Thomas climbed to his throne and began his reign as High King and Tyrant of the Krieger Family.
Our first night home was terrible. It was so bad that I took Thomas straight to the pediatrician the next morning and said, “This one is broken. You need to fix him.”
Sometime around 4 p.m., he had started acting hungry, and I fed him, rocked him, fed him, rocked him, and fed him. If I wasn’t nursing him, he was fussing, and then screaming. We tried everything, and nothing worked, and so I nursed him, non-stop, all night long. The next morning, I didn’t even try to mask my crazy when I told the doctor, “HE IS HUNGRY ALL THE TIME WHAT IS GOING ON?” And the doctor answered, calmly, “Ahem. He’s hungry.”
That’s when I collapsed into puddle on the floor.
The doctor told me that the colostrum Thomas was getting just wasn’t filling him up; he was ready for milk. Until I started producing milk, he would be hungry. Our options were to give him formula or (he recommended) tough out the days our hours until my milk came in. We chose to tough it out. My milk came in that afternoon, and Thomas has been establishing my supply ever since.
This past month we have been settling into the rhythm and new routines of a newborn. Sleeping, eating, changing diapers, looking for pacifiers, fumbling with swaddles. Life with a newborn in the house feels both familiar and brand new.
Thomas is an easy, sweet baby. He spends the day sleeping and eating and growing. He does not ask me to buy him toys in the grocery store and hasn’t once thrown his body on the floor because his spaghetti is “too floppy.” At night he sleeps just like a newborn — up at least every three hours to eat and usually goes right back to sleep.
He loves to snuggle in the crook of my arm, and just this week he started smiling with a wide open mouth and raised eyebrows.
Thomas spends his days eating and pooping and sleeping and pooping and, oh my gosh this kid does not stop with the pooping; I think he eats just for the ammunition. He wakes up to eat at least twice every night, and between feedings, he poops. I’ve never seen anything like it. I’ve changed enough soiled sheets, swaddles and onesies in the middle of the night that I’m already looking forward to the day when I can teach this kid to do his own laundry.
The hardest thing about having multiple kids — I think — is that they move at such different speeds. It’s like finding a mid-point between Enya and Metallica. Thomas wants slow and sleepy, the big kids want ACTIVITY! and my attention needs to be all at once focused and divided.
Just as much as we fit Thomas into our jam-packed days, he’s slowed us down. We’ve been staying home more, and I’m doing my best to be creative with ACTIVITIES! while also carving out quiet time with my sweet boy. There’s a learning curve for sure, and I’m trying figure out ways to not ignore my big kids or my teeny tiny one.
Trying. What do they call that? Oh, yes. The operative word.
I’m constantly reflecting on how different your first days and weeks are than David’s were. You’ll be shocked to find out that when he was your age, he barely napped in his bed or even in the carseat or on the way to Starbucks in the Richmond humidity. Nope, David napped in my arms. He was my first baby, and we spent his newborn days curled up together in bed or on the couch. I stared at him all day and almost never put him down. You nap in your Moses basket almost exclusively, and anytime I’m holding you, I’m usually staring right at your sister saying, “Baby Thomas needs space. Back up. STOP TOUCHING THE BABY!”
Instead of spending these first few months cuddling, you get toted along to the pool where you don’t swim, and playdates where you don’t play. I suppose you should get used to it now; the pace isn’t going slow down any time soon.
My firstborn had all of my time, but he also had a mother who was cautious and tentative; probably a bit too careful. I’ve had a bit more practice, and even though I still have plenty to learn, it’s with a hand that’s steadier and more confident. That extra bit of confidence is a gift because with it comes freedom to enjoy you more, to savor your snuggles, and soak in my darling sweet newborn. One day at a time.
I don’t get to stare at you for hours, but I do sneak luxurious glances, and you’re wonderful.