Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Meeting the new baby and bringing him home

The kids were so excited to come to the hospital to see our new baby!
Big sister Marie checking out the baby's little feet
Giving Joseph kisses
Big brother David
Big brother Ian
I have lots and lots of pictures of Marie and David inspecting and enjoying the new baby...while Ian was in the background inspecting and enjoying the baby's rolling bed.

The foot!  The perfect, precious, tiny, baby foot!
Again, I felt wonderful after the baby's birth, and we went home as soon as we could even though the hospital staff acted like they were sending the baby off to CERTAIN DEATH, despite the fact that we had kept the first 3 children alive.  Apparently, that fact IN NO WAY reflected on our parenting abilities!

Keeping the baby company

It was so funny to me when Marie would hold Joseph because it seemed like he was almost as big as she was =)!
A 22-month old foot and a 4-day old foot
Despite my great hopes, the nursing agony had started again by the time I got home =(.  I was so bitter!  I had only stopped nursing about 4 months before, so SURELY I couldn't have forgotten how to do it already!  Three more weeks of toe-curling agony every time the baby latched on and blood...there was blood this time =(.

I dropped my mother off at the airport 2 days after Joseph was born, and, that evening, my mother-in-law flew in to help us.  She was SUCH a GREAT help, and I cried when she left, not sure how I was going to be able to manage without her!
Warm, soft, snuggly baby!

Again, Joseph lulled us into a false sense of security slept pretty well for the first 3 weeks, and then he started the 20-30 minute nap and the nightly scream.  At some point, we asked about trying Zantac, in case the reason he was screaming had something to do with reflux, and it helped, but I still had to be VERY careful about what I ate.  I lost a lot of weight while I was nursing him!

I had heard quite a few people say that after 3 kids, you might as well go ahead and have 3 or 4 more because 3 was the hardest and, if you could make it through that, you were all set.  I was quite pregnant with Joseph before I started to suspect that this might not actually be the case for us everyone.  When Joseph was about 3 months old I wrote: 
"I do try to enjoy my children.  It is hard on the MANY days when I feel completely outnumbered and overwhelmed with the simultaneous demands of 4 distinct individuals who all think I should take care of them first.  And, for the fourth time in a row, I have been blessed with another baby who has a stomach so sensitive that I cannot eat dairy products, chocolate, eggs, etc...without causing him to scream, and, just like his siblings, he WILL NOT SLEEP during the day, and doesn't do much better at night!  I keep wondering what I ever did to irritate God...some lucky people only get ONE child like this and EVERY ONE of mine has done it.  I really don't think I'm asking too much when I wish the child would sleep for longer than 15 minutes at a time.  NORMAL babies supposedly take 2 or 3 2-3 hour naps EVERY DAY, and it is truly amazing how much you can get done during those periods so that you can then enjoy your precious baby for the rest of the time that they are awake.  It's really hard when they never sleep and they want to be held every second, so all you can do is rock your sweet baby and watch your house fall apart around you.  And I'm not even one of those people who keeps their house perfect all the time!  My standards are pretty relaxed compared to a lot of people, but when the ants start moving in because your other children are feeding them so well and you haven't had a chance to either vacuum or sweep to discourage them, and you can't walk through one room of the house without stepping on at least one thing, and the laundry is piled, either clean or dirty, all over the house waiting to be done, and there are three day's worth of mail piled on the desk, and dinner can't be cooked by a person who only has one arm starts to get to me!  I know it gets better because it has every other time, but this first year is really brutal!  A year is a long time!  The sad thing is, I'm also not one of those mothers who thinks "mother" in interchangeable with "maid", so everyone in this house is expected to help and it is STILL this bad...of course, there is something to be said  for that whole "it's easier to do it yourself than make someone else do it" thing...But I think it does children (and husbands) a dis-service to not teach them how to do all of these things so that they can take care of themselves one day.  I just wish I was stronger and had more stamina and energy.  And, as much work as it is, and as long as this first year is, I know it will go by quickly, and then I will miss some parts of it, so I truly do try to enjoy those rare precious moments as they come."
"I'm too cute to cause so much trouble!"
 A few weeks later:  "The other day I put Joseph down for a nap EIGHT different times and SEVEN of those times he woke up within 5 minutes!  AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!"

I had given the previous 3 children some sort of baby food at 4 months because I had heard that urban myth that the baby would SLEEP BETTER once it started solid food that is the usual recommendation, and each one of them had acted like they were being poisoned gagged and not been too happy, so I was determined to wait until Joseph showed definite signs of wanting to eat solid food, since I no longer believed it would help him sleep better anyway or until he was 6 months old (because so many things you hear/read say "4-6 months old").  Naturally, since I had made this plan, Joseph was trying to wrestle grab the fork out of his father's hand or grab the food off of his father's plate by the time he was 4 months old.  He would get very mad when we would keep those things away from him, so, one night I gave him some applesauce, and he didn't gag!  And he only got mad because we weren't shovelling it in fast enough!


Mrs. Irritation said...

I despise feet in general, but baby feet. Oh how I adore baby feet. I'm sad that my 4 year old has grown out of her chubby cute feet and now just has regular ones. Okay, enough about feet, I swear I don't have a fetish.

I don't know how you people with multiple kids do it. Seriously. I can barely keep my shit together with one. I'm in awe of you.

Doing My Best said...

Mrs. Irritation--I think it helps A LOT if you get your children one at a time. I don't think I could have handled all of this if it had all come at once, but, since they came one at a time, I could stretch and grow a little with each one so that I can (usually) do this =).