Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Sam at eleven days old is an old soul who has settled in remarkably well here at home. He's eating like a champ, pooping every hour (I call him the percolator), and sleeping like a newborn (which is to say, most of the day and some of the night). He lost his umbilical cord stump (Charlotte called it the "bilicord") today, and appears to have an outie of sorts. He's back up to his birthweight, and probably a couple ounces more now. His bruising is all but gone save for around his eyes, giving him a winning "prizefighter" appearance. As a result, his complexion has toned down from "grape ape" to "south of france tan." His mysteriously dark brown hair is lovely and fuzzy and spiky, especially after a bath (which he hates). His fingers are long and tapered and beautiful. His eyes are dark blue-gray, and I think will turn hazel like Jeff's. His nose is decidedly like his sister's. His cheeks are starting to round out more, and his dimpled chin is even more distinctive with the added ounces. He is adorable in that squashy newborn way.

The rest of us aren't quite as adorable these days. I'm happy to be making a quick physical recovery from this pregnancy, but I'm afraid I've once again been hit with the baby blues. Every day around twilight I start to stare into the middle distance. This eventually devolves into weepy statements such as "I'm failing my daughter," and "I'm going to be a horrible mother of two," etc. This mood usually subsides after an hour or two, but I dread it every day (as, I'm sure, does Jeff). I'm not helped by sleep loss. While I'm doing a much better job sleeping in the same room as Sam than I did with Charlotte, there's no changing the fact that, like most newborns, Sam's up every couple of hours to eat. Feedings plus diaper changes can take up to an hour, so that cuts back on my sleep time. All normal, I know, but requiring adjustment. At least I can read while I nurse. I've gotten through four novels since Sam was born just by reading during feedings.

Jeff is adjusting, too. Yesterday he semi-jokingly asked if there's such a thing as post-partum depression for fathers. He might be sleeping better than me, but he's picking up all my slack around the house and with Charlotte, and that's taking its toll. Plus, I think we'd both gotten used to our wonderful, easy life with one easy-going child.

Speaking of Charlotte...well, a few times in the past eleven days I've wondered if someone swapped our delightful, self-sufficient, cheerful child for this defiant, moody brat who has come to live with us. She loves Sam (mostly), but obviously senses a dynamic shift she doesn't approve of. As a result, she's talking back, screaming, whining, throwing things, refusing to eat, refusing to use the potty...and sometimes melting into tears. She often insists on being swaddled in a blanket and picked up like a baby. I try to give her extra time and attention, but my attention is divided, obviously. One thing that hasn't been affected, fortunately, is Charlotte's sleep. She's still sleeping through the night, often up to twelve hours. Last night she slept from 7 p.m. to 8 a.m.

Today I wondered if Charlotte perhaps needs some evidence that there is life outside our house, life involving other children her own age. I'm looking into some early preschool options. Nothing huge, just a couple mornings a week. But I hope social activity with other whining brats, oops, I mean adorable toddlers will help her return to some semblence of old Charlotte.

I typed most of this post one-handed while nursing. I'm nothing if not adaptable.

Also, I have to give a shout-out to Uncles Mark and Scott (a.k.a Awesome) who are celebrating birthdays today. There's a special something coming in the mail for both of you. I promise it's not the umbilical cord stump. OR IS IT!?

1 comment:

Tena said...

Oh girl, you write so well!! I remember those melancholy moods - don't brush them off, and please let someone know how you're doing. I am praying for you, I thought this was a HUGE transition in our house (from 1-2 kids) and I'm sure you're "feeling it". Hang in, every day feels a little better, but don't judge ANYTHING until week 4 at least. ((hugs))