Thursday, June 25, 2009

Mother of Two

My third evening home from the hospital, I was downstairs (I'm allowed to do the stairs once a day or less, depending on how I'm feeling) trying to spend some time with the Pumpkin while my FIL held the Pookie. We were playing with magnetic letters on her easel while sitting on chairs (I needed a chair and she wanted to be sitting like Mommy), having a fun time.

Then, it was dinner time. I was starving, but the Pumpkin pitched a bit of a fit after maybe two bites. She still wanted to play with Mommy at the easel. We let her down so she could go play (we don't force food on her if she doesn't want to eat), but we told her that Mommy still needed to finish eating before I could play. That lasted maybe a minute, maybe less. Then her little bit of a fit turned into a full-fledged hissy fit. She started crying and carrying on about how she wanted to play letters with Mommy! Mommy and only Mommy would do!

Then, the baby started wailing in my FIL's arms. Although he likes babies okay (he LOVES the toddlers and older ages), my FIL can't deal with their crying very well. Plus, the baby wasn't even a week old yet and pretty much was soothed only by my breast.

So I shoveled in a couple more bites of food, swiftly got up and asked for Londo to move my chair to the easel, swept the baby out of my FIL's arms, settled the Pookie boy to my nipple, settled into the chair at the easel and began to rearrange the letters on the easel with the Pumpkin!

It was that moment that I realized I was definitely the mother of two, both of whom needed me at the same time, as they will for a long time coming. I was very proud of being able to be there for both of them in the ways they need. I know I won't always be able to accommodate both simultaneously, but I will never stop trying. Even if my dinner gets cold every time.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Baby You Can Put Down!

A few months ago, I was chatting with a coworker friend who said she didn't understand why people couldn't take showers when they had newborns. She had a friend who had said this, and she just didn't understand why her friend couldn't make time to shower. She said that when she had her baby, she would put him down for a nap or put him in a swing or bouncy seat and take a shower. I decided to provide the other perspective and explained that we simply could. not. put. the Pumpkin. down. For the first three months of her life, she would scream bloody murder as soon as we tried to put her down or in a swing or in a bouncy seat (with the exception of nights, as long as she was swaddled, well fed, fast asleep and in the dark of night when put down, usually in the swing).

My friend then asked why not just ask the husbands to hold the baby so we could shower? I told her that is what I did, except after Londo went back to work. Then, the minute he walked through the door from work, I'd shove gently pass over the baby to him and just want to go sit by myself or lie down and rest. I would not have the energy to shower at that point in the day. And Londo left for work before we woke up, so there was no shower then. Oh, I used to HATE my mornings!

In the comments from Monday's post (to which I finally added my comment!), Paola said she was impressed that I was blogging. When the Pumpkin was an infant, there would have been no way I could have blogged--I could barely get a shower. But right now? I'm able to blog because the nanny is taking care of the Pumpkin and Pookie is asleep IN THE COSLEEPER! By himself! Not being held! Seriously!

Londo and I had heard rumors about babies that can be put down. Babies that sleep on their own. Babies that would lie there and look around contentedly. We heard these rumors for years! But we were sure we could believe those rumors... until now!

My Pookie boy is soooooo beautiful. He seems healthy and happy so far. He gets fussy when he's hungry, needs to be changed and has gas that won't come out (anyone have any tips of burping babies who don't easily burp?). But other than that? So far, he's pretty easy. And those thing that he fusses about? Those are the things that babies (and some adults) fuss about anyway!

Being able to put him down has opened up a whole new world for me and Londo. We are able to do things that we wouldn't have dreamed of attempting when the Pumpkin was an infant. Like putting the baby in a swing while I showered the other day! Or laying him down in the cosleeper while I wash up for bed most nights! Being able to do these things without holding a baby or without a baby screaming are sooooo helpful, because Londo is usually taking care of the Pumpkin while I'm doing these things. And because I'm healing from the c-section (major abdominal surgery, people!), I can't just go up and down the stairs any time I'd like or take care of the Pumpkin in the ways she needs or wants. So I'm really on baby duty, stuck upstairs and in bed as much as possible while I heal. (This was a huge part of the reason I was hoping for a VBAC.)

Now, I love every aspect of my little Pumpkin girl. I honestly would not change a thing about her, her personality or what we have gone through. She was a high-needs baby, especially hard in the areas of sleep, fidgety-ness, fussiness and not being put-down-able. But that is because she is FULL of energy, inquisitiveness, sensitivity and love. How can I not want her to be those things, even if it means we are still dealing with long bedtimes, middle of the night visits, constant vigilance while watching her and expended energy trying to keep up with her? It also means lots of cuddles, laughs and amazement at what a super genius she is.

It's very nice that our second child can be put down so we can have some relief. Granted he's only 10 days old, but signs look good so far. I'm sure he'll have his own difficult areas and quirks. I will love those aspects of him as well, I'm sure. But right now, we are just enjoying the time holding him... and not holding him!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Question of the Week - Un-needed Items

When I was pregnant with the Pumpkin, I had a few wonderful baby showers. At those showers, we received all sorts of gifts and advice. Some gifts were because of the advice--as in, someone couldn't live without this item, so they get it for you. I do that. I love to give people The Miracle Blanket because it was how we got through the first few months with the Pumpkin. Actually, we received The Miracle Blanket as a gift from my sis, and we received raves from my sis and sis-in-law about how wonderful it was for them. It turns out it was wonderful for us, too.

But some gifts and assurances that we had to have a certain item, that it would be something we absolutely needed, just weren't true. In fact, when I give out gifts like The Miracle Blanket, I always say something like, "This was how we made it through. I hope it works for you!" I understand that not every baby even likes to be swaddled, so I know that it might not be the best gift for other people.

We saved a lot of the gifts that we didn't use or used only a couple times. I thought perhaps we would need those items with another baby. But some of those gifts, we still aren't using. In fact, I just don't even see the point of some of them! Maybe it's just not for us or our kids. Maybe all your gifts were perfect for you. But maybe not.

Question of the Week:
What baby item did you not need at all?

For us, it was:
- Mittens for infants--I just filed down my week old's nails. I'm not ready to use the clippers, but the emery boards work perfectly. And we don't have to deal with silly mittens.
- Sleeping gowns--So many people swore by these, but we just put our babies in onesies. It seems easier to us. Three snaps as opposed to pulling up all that material. Maybe if we had a fall or winter baby...
- Bibs for infants--I understand that many people love these because it saved the outfits from all the spit up. But so far, our kids don't have much spit up, so we don't need the 50 million we got.
- Socks and shoes for babies--Some of the sizes we have are for babies who aren't even crawling! I can understand socks for the wintertime. But shoes? I'm not putting the baby down, so there is really no need. And since we've had a spring baby and a summer baby, we don't need the socks either.

There were probably others, but those are what come to mind now.

How about you? What items did you not use at all?