Monday, 27 August 2012

The First Week

Sweet girl is a week old now, and we couldn't possible be more smitten.

Her big brothers absolutely adore her. They both like to lay beside her, looking at her face and hands and feet and hair. The boy is thrilled to have a sister, and the toddler tells me about a hundred times each day how much he likes her. It's wonderful to watch them with her. My favourite moments, though, are when I catch all three of them on the couch doing their own thing - sweet girl having a nap, the toddler looking at a book, the boy making a puzzle - and think wow, those three kids are mine. Wow.

My mother-in-law left yesterday, making today my first full day on my own with the three kids. If I think about it too much, I get all kinds of panicky, so I mostly just try not to think about it. I can do this. Heck, it's 3:30pm as I type this line - I am doing this! Go me. Still, I don't know how I could possibly thank her enough for all that she did during her two weeks here, and goodness knows my laundry hamper will never again be so consistently empty.

On the other hand, it's nice to be getting back into routine. It feels good to put the house back into (my) order. The husband came home from work today and said, admit it, there's part of you that's happy to be doing things your own way again. He laughed when I enthusiastically told him about how I'd put all the dishes back into their "proper" spot that afternoon; he wasn't the least bit surprised. It's not just me, though, finding it comforting to be back into our routine. The boys had been getting a bit squirrely under the (excellent) care of their Oma, and their behaviour is much improved already. The boy especially is back to his usual polite, helpful self. The toddler is, well, two. Lovely boy, but still. Two.

Breastfeeding got off to a painful start, but sweet girl and I are getting better at making sure she has a good latch. The bleeding has stopped and the cracks and blisters have healed (thank you, lanolin!), so now it's just a matter of practice to make that good latch natural. She lost 5oz of her birth weight and as of today has only 2oz to go before she's back to where she started.

Sleep is surprisingly plentiful so far. Sweet girl still sleeps through much of the day, as newborns do, and her sleep tends to be in long stretches. She is also impressively unbothered by her brothers' noise and occasional outright chaos. Nighttime is also going well; she no longer wakes for two hours in the middle of each night (and I do indeed miss it). She currently has a long stretch of sleep when we first go to bed, and then she wakes up to nurse every hour or two in the early morning hours. I feel generally refreshed come morning, though I still like to slip in a nap sometime during the day. Sleep will be even less disrupted when we get her latch down well; right now, it takes a few minutes of fiddling during each nursing session before she settles into a good latch and I can turn the lamp off again.

Sweet girl is content to be worn throughout the day. When out, we've been preferring our ring sling. At home, I am in love with one of my two third-baby splurges, the Mei Tai Wrap T-shirt (my other splurge was one of those overpriced muslin blankets, which I also absolutely love). I strip sweet girl down to her diaper and she has a nice skin-to-skin nap while I prepare lunch or read a book or whatnot. It's perfect; I love it when a splurge turns out to be totally worth the expense.

The biggest two challenges so far are mornings and helping the toddler. Mornings are difficult because sweet girl is often nursing, the boys want their breakfast, the toddler needs to pee, and I want a few minutes of my own in the bathroom to wash up. We'll find our "new normal" soon enough, but for now it's a bit of a juggling act. Helping the toddler is a challenge because I can't always get up immediately in order to help him to the bathroom or to assist him through a difficult moment (sibling dispute, screaming, etc). For the bathroom, we're working towards greater bathroom independence. For the latter, it's basically a continuation of what we've already been doing as far as providing him with tools to work through his big toddler feelings and express himself in a healthy/appropriate way, combined with saving my requests until I am able to help him follow through in carrying them out.

My own recovery is going okay. It's still painful to be walking around and yet, as much as I'm continually told to just sit and rest all day, walking is pretty much unavoidable when there are other children to tend to and no one else here to do it for me. But the pain is by no means unbearable and I do my best to sit as much as I can, ignoring the crumbs on the kitchen floor even as I itch to sweep them up. (Turns out I may be a bit particular about things. Who knew?)

Well, that about sums things up. Sweet girl is napping on my lap right now and I just can't get enough of her perfect peaceful face. She makes the sweetest facial expressions. Also, I swear she's smiled at me more than once. I know, I know, "it's just gas", but I've got my fingers in my ears so I can't hear you say that, la la la la la la. I'll just continue to insist that she really has smiled at me. So there.

Guys. This girl. I'm in love.


  1. I don't buy that gas thing. It's a smile!
    Felt like you about rest after two weeks too. It was around 3-5 months that the, "Whoa, I am tired!!" kicked in.
    I think it is because I am so tempted to get "stuff" done after everyone is asleep. Don't give in - sleep!!!

    Enjoy that sweet baby. What a blessing.

  2. That shirt looks *amazing*! I'd never seen such a thing. Very cool.

    I call my daughter "sweet girl", too. Though she gets called "stink bug" just about as often these days.

    Best of luck in finding your new normal. But isn't normal always changing anyway? Such an adventure. :)

  3. Love reading your updates :)

  4. Thank you for sharing your everyday happenings, I have only just discovered your blog, but already I am immensley encouraged. I have a four week old third child and am struggling to find a balance. He has reflux and is quite unsettled so it has been some of the hardest days and nights trying to give him all that he needs and also the other two amazing kids. It is quite timely reading your blog. Congradulations on your beautiful little girl.