The First Days

We have been a family of five for five days.

Last night Cortney and I sat close on the couch, holding hands. Alice was snoozing in her rock n play and Eddie and Charlie were lying on the floor with a pile of pillows and blankets watching Curious George before bed. I looked at Cortney and smiled, “Look. Our whole family is here. We are complete and together.”

“It’s awesome,” he said with a smile.

And we both breathed out a happy sigh.

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Just moments before I had been crying uncontrollably. You know how postpartum hormones are. Cortney said, “anything I can do?”  Eddie asked “are you ok, mom?”  Cortney sat down and held my hand; Eddie rubbed my arm. I had been watching the boys and was equally annoyed with their loud, roughness and devastated at how big they both were. How things had changed so much in the six years since Eddie was born.

I had a crushing feeling of overwhelm from looking forward on the calendar at all whether it be for food drop-offs or visitor drop-ins or future plans. I didn’t want to look forward at all. I wanted to look at NOW. Enjoy my NOW because where did all those “nows” go with the boys when they were tiny? When did Eddie start reading and get such big feet? When did Charlie start telling me to “relax” and get such long legs?

Eddie used to be my chubby ball of toddler.

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Charlie used to be my tiny fuzzy baby head that poked out of the top of his Moby wrap.

I’m not saying I wish they were still little. I love their ages right now. Watching them learn and grow and become little man dudes is amazing. But all that change hit me funny last night.

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I’m blaming hormones and other than those weird moments, we are doing great.

The boys are clearly happy to have mommy home and being back in their regular routines of school and daycare. Both go right to Alice when they come home to tell her “hello,” and both are full of things to say to me. I find I am more patient with them than I was before. More willing to calmly talk to them when they are getting upset rather than getting upset myself.

It’s like I want to keep the peace more than ever.

I want this happy, blissful baby haze to last for all of us.

Alice fits in so well, it’s almost hard to believe she hasn’t always just been here.

Having three is a change for sure, but having Alice seems natural if that makes sense. Like she is the one that was supposed to be here the whole time. Because, of course, she IS the one.

My girl has been eating regularly every three-ish hours and sleeping nicely in between feedings. I’ve been able to get 3-4 hours of sleep at a time at night which is pretty awesome this early. The boys love her, but are still learning that they need to find a voice level somewhere between zero and eleven when they are around her…although she hasn’t really minded the noise. But they don’t know that.

Charlie is the biggest surprise of all. I knew Eddie would love his sister madly, and he does. But I had doubts about how Charlie would handle a baby coming into the family. He has surprised us all and adores her. Every day he comes home from daycare and “shares” his woof woof, monkey, and blankie with her–a big deal because no one is allowed to have those but him.

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Both boys kiss and hug her at bedtime. Both boys like to sniff and pet her head. Alice and I have been like cats lazing around the house, recovering, resting, relaxing, and letting the boys take care of us.

Alice had her first pediatrician appointment today and Cortney took her and I stayed home with Eddie and Charlie since it was after school. The report was that Alice was doing great and that he was very proud to tell the doctor that I was doing great too.

Yes, there have been tears, but Cortney has not made it a secret that he is so happy to see Alice and I just liking each other. He says I am taking the lead easier with her and she clearly prefers my arms over anyone else’s (although if you ask me, she is starting to get pretty comfy with her daddy, too).

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It’s only been five days, but we are finding our way. We are trying to find a new routine and a new “normal” for our family. I’m trying to stay on my pain meds and rest so I don’t jump start anything nasty like infection or depression. And so far, it’s working. We are surviving, and dare I say, thriving?

Yes. We are thriving.

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Want to welcome Alice and bless my classroom library at the same time? Check out the March Book Shower. Put a book in the hands of a child to celebrate Reading Month.

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