Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Three-Week Status

Ways in which I am a different parent with the second baby than I was with the first:

I have not yet leaned over my 3-week-old, my palm to her chest, to make sure she is still breathing. Not once! People, it hasn't even occurred to me. Only brand-new parents know how amazing this statement is.

Neither have I accidentally woken up the baby in an attempt to make sure she is still alive. In fact, I don't think I've yet woken up the baby for any reason, at all, because if there's one thing you learn once you've been a parent for awhile, it is: never, ever, wake up a sleeping baby. Nothing is that important. Do you hear me? Nothing.


I know what a boring thing this is to say, but I'm going to say it anyway. I continue to be incredibly, mind-blowingly tired. Part of this is the fact that Genevieve has become a little harder to put back to sleep after her nighttime nursings, so I end up awake longer each time. Most of it is just the mundane fact of round-the-clock nursing. Genna Rose demands her nocturnal snacks every two hours on the dot. (And, for the uninitiated: the time between feedings is calculated from the BEGINNING of one nursing to the beginning of the next--something no one tells you beforehand, right?! So it's not as if you get TWO HOURS of sleep between feedings, silly you for thinking so!) At any rate, I thought I had hit a wall last week, when Genevieve was two weeks old. This week I apparently have hit the Hoover Dam. Unfortunately, my incision hurts worse again this week too, which strikes me as odd and unfair. I thought my pain was pretty much gone, but I guess my body is trying to remind me that I'm only halfway through my official recovery period.

All this tired-ness makes me sad because it means I have absolutely nothing to give to Julia. Whenever possible, though it means no family breakfasts and minimal other quality time, I sleep or tend to Genevieve as needed, and that's all I do. Nursing and changing diapers is about all I can handle right now. It's a miracle I'm actually feeding myself and the rest of the family, but that's largely due to the generosity of my mom and our friends who have brought us meals. Christopher spends all his time with Julia because I don't have the energy to take care of her too. She seems to be doing okay with it, but it's a big change from how it used to be, only three short weeks ago, when she and I spent ALL our time together between dawn and bedtime.

So: how are things at three weeks? Just as you'd expect. Wonderful, and not so wonderful. Genevieve is a luscious doll with a rosebud mouth and alert dark-blue eyes; she's a total charmer if you give her half a drooly, milky chance. Julia is sweet and kind and usually cheerful. Both girls are healthy and well. And also: I'm really tired, and my body hurts, and the house is dirty, and I'm just so tired.

So. We're doing fine.


The Grocery Fairy said...

Genna will stretch out those nursings soon, I guarantee it! Although, given her predilection for putting on the pounds (ounces) quickly, maybe she will take her own sweet time!

Shan said...

She is chub-a-riffic with a capital C, that is for sure! She's a champion eater! I want to tell her to slow down, she's got plenty of time to develop a third chin, she can skip a feeding now and then!

Donna said...

I'll remind you of this (as I needed to be reminded myself). Babies go through a growth spurt in the later part of their first month, so an increase in nursing is not unusual. I think we might be getting past our first growth spurt and barnacle-baby (I hope I didn't just jinx us!).

Christopher Tassava said...

I think the sleep deprivation is leading to some Ann Coulter-ish looseness with the objective truth.

Lest other readers think that we're living in a cesspool, let it be known that the house has been well-vacuumed three times since G. arrived, that the bathrooms were cleaned today, and that sweeping/mopping is (relatively) frequent - or at least semi-regular. And three of the four of us bathe every day!

Also, "ALL our time together between dawn and bedtime"? Not even our Hawaiian friends would think that dawn comes in Minnesota at 7:45 am, and of course the four hours between the end of the (office) workday and bedtime were (are/will be) largely my time with J...

Shan said...

Yikes! I just meant, Julia was used to spending her days with me, morning to evening, and it's a big change now. Readers should note also that I wrote this post BEFORE the bathrooms were cleaned, and when the dust on the furniture was thick enough to write in. Ahem.

Donna, thank you for the reminder. I am heartened by reading Riemi's site and seeing that she is stretching out her feedings. I just hope Genevieve follows suit. I am used to having the baby who doesn't do those things when everyone else's baby starts to, however (i.e. Julia), so I'm a little nervous... But thanks for the encouragement! I'll keep you updated!

Heidi said...

Another thought: after Julia had the privilege of so much time with Mama all summer while Dad worked fairly long hours, it's ALSO a privilege for her to have so much time with Daddy before he has to go back to work. And a privilege for Daddy too!

Shan said...

Oh, that's a nice thought. Thank you. :)