Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tough Day

I feel kind of bad even posting this with all the blessings I have, but today was a little bit rough. I woke up just feeling overwhelmed and inadequate. I mean, Mr. X and I have both been home with both kids for almost four weeks now, but I feel like we're barely taking care of things. The kids are happy (well, the little guy is as happy as he can be in this adjustment phase), healthy, fed, and clothed, which I know is the important thing. It just makes me nervous for when he goes back to work--and for when I go back to work. How are we going to do everything? And then I really hate the thought of someone else taking care of my kids! I'm feeling better now. After having a stupid argument with Mr. X, I finally told him I was feeling overwhelmed, and talking about it helped.

The babies are doing really well. The little guy is adjusting to us, and he really is just such a happy little boy! He cracked me up today when I came out of the bathroom (where I had been crying) and saw that he had put his favorite ball inside a little plastic bin and then squeezed his feet in there, too, and tried to sit down. When he saw me, he smiled and started bouncing up and down where he was sitting on the edge of the bin. The baby is doing great. She gained 13 ounces this past week, so I think we are out of the woods for now with the weight gain concern. She's getting chubby cheeks and multiple chins, so that's a good thing. Right now, we're trying to figure out how to keep her diapers from leaking. I have to admit that we haven't gotten the cloth diapering going. We put a cloth diaper on the baby for the first time when she was five days old. It was the middle of the night, I know I didn't get the diaper on her right, and she woke up two hours later with her clothes and sheets soaking wet--and that's when we saw that I was hemorrhaging and went back to the hospital. So, figuring out the cloth diapers became a low priority! Mr. X brought up the idea again a couple of weeks ago, but I suggested that we wait until our son was home a month before revisiting it--and that's coming up in a few days, which is kind of hard to believe. The issue with the baby's diapers (I think) is that she's not a round, chubby baby--she's thin for her height. So I think the issue is that the elastic around her belly and her legs just is not very tight, so when she has a really full diaper, it just goes everywhere. Right now, we have her in a disposable diaper (we just moved her to size 1) with a diaper cover over it. I think it's kind of funny, but it seems to help a bit.

Anyway, I have to run and get some sleep myself. I'm trying to hire someone as a mother's helper to come in just a few hours a week. Right now, that's definitely pushing it financially, but we can probably afford just a few hours, and I think it could make a big difference. Just to be able to get a few more things done, having someone to help so Mr. X can paint the bedroom doors, or someone to clean a bathroom or fold the laundry, or watch the kids while I shower, would be such a great thing!

I hope I'm not coming off as too whiny, but I think it's good to acknowledge the realities of the situation. I talked to a good friend when their twins (adopted as newborns) were about six months old. We had commiserated about our fertility problems and lost babies, and I was thrilled for them when they adopted. Six months in, she said to me "hard-won babies are still hard." I talked to a (married, with small children) Catholic missionary after mass on Sunday, and he said that he likes to make sure the college students he works with understand that marriage and family life are about sanctification--he said he tells them that you shouldn't get married because you want to, but because you're ready to die to self. Those have been good reminders when I feel like "we waited and wanted these babies so badly, we should do everything perfectly and be happy and grateful all the time." I do try to be grateful all the time, and I love these babies more than I knew was even possible, but it's still harder than I imagined!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Result

About five minutes to fall asleep, and a 2 1/2 hour nap in the crib! No way!

Jen asked where he's been sleeping--he's been on an air mattress on the floor with Mr. X for the past three weeks. Mr. X tried to get another crib nap out of him, but he wasn't really tired, so that didn't work so well--but it wasn't mutiny, just playing for a while and then whining.

In other news, I made it more than 24 hours without ibuprofen! And I have been wearing my favorite pre-pregnancy jeans--yes, they stretch, and no, I'm nowhere near my pre-pregnancy weight. Of course, I'm not trying to get to my pre-pregnancy weight right now--I've started eating more to promote milk production and, as a result, I gained a few pounds this week. But I now love my favorite jeans even more because they are so forgiving :)

And I realized I've never posted a picture of the little guy, so here are two from his first experience with Cheerios:

Contemplating this new food . . .

And declaring it good!

The Crib

Oh my. Mr. X just put the little guy in The Crib for the first time. We'll see how this nap goes . . .

It's not actually the first time--we had the crib on the high setting before the little guy arrived. We used it for his little sister for her first couple of weeks for naps and for part of the night (my mom slept in the babies' room for a while and would take her for a feeding at night), so we had it on the highest setting. We still haven't stained the second crib (which, it turns out, is fine, since we have the bassinet and the baby is co-sleeping with me now), either, so we just have the one crib in the babies' room. Since the little guy got home, we've used it just for diaper changes and sponge baths. So, the little guy is used to being in the crib for that reason.

This morning, Mr. X lowered the crib mattress to the lowest setting and we put the little guy in it to see what he thought. At first, he thought it was great fun, and if Mr. X reached his hand through the slats, he would squeal and scoot to the far corner like this was a great new game. Then he got a little fussy.

So, right now he's in the crib for sleeping, and Mr. X is on the mattress next to it. I don't hear any sounds of carnage yet . . . I'll report back later, though!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

10 ounces!

My baby gained 10 ounces in 8 days! Hooray! I thought she was looking a bit chubbier, but it's hard to tell. Over the 8 days, I took reglan, we co-slept, and I made sure to rest, eat, and drink as much as I could. No supplementing and no pumping. I'm so relieved!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Quick Update

Quick update while both kids are sleeping: Oh my goodness! Things are pretty wild around here. The little guy is adjusting really well. He is clinging to Mr. X, but he likes me now, too. It's clear to see that he's basically a very happy and easy-going little boy, and I can't wait until we're able to bond with him and make him comfortable enough to feel that way all the time (or at least as much of the time as any toddler can be). Our baby girl is doing well, too, but she's not gaining as much weight as she should. :( So, I am nursing her like crazy. We go back to the doctor on Tuesday to see how her weight gain is doing. I started keeping track, and she's nursing about 8-10 hours per day. At the doctor's advice, we cut out all pumping and supplementing this week to try to maximize stimulation for milk supply, and I'm just nursing her as much as she wants. I'm trying to rest and eat as much as I can. And I started co-sleeping with her, which means we're both getting more sleep, though I'm not sleeping as deeply. Fortunately, the doctor and the lactation consultant both say the baby looks great--very healthy and well-hydrated--so I'm not panicking . . . yet, anyway! I feel bad that nursing so much makes it harder to spend time with the little guy right now, so I'm trying to take every opportunity I can to play with him, talk to him, and feed him. Argh. Right now, it's whatever works. And I have a feeling the policy will be "whatever works" for quite a while.

I have been thinking about why the timing worked out this way with the kids. One lesson I'm learning from all this is humility--I can't be the perfect mom. I feel like we waited and hoped and prayed for these children, and I want to do everything right. But this situation has brought home to me--maybe faster than I would have acknowledged it otherwise--that it's just not possible for me to do everything perfectly according to all the "rules." So I'm praying that God will help me to be the mother that he wants me to be (rather than the mother I think I should be), recognizing that I need an awful lot of help to do that!

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