It’s fairly chaotic going from two to three kids. Anyone who tells you differently is lying (or medicated, or blessed, or has older kids).
But it’s also amazing.
The thing about newborns is that they sleep a lot. At least mine does. She’s either eating or sleeping or pooping in her sleep (or pooping while eating). She’s awake for, let’s say, 10 minutes per day. The chaos comes from corraling the preschooler and the toddler, trying to keep the dogs from eating precious Shopkins that are strewn about (the eternal struggle), an endless cycle of meals and snacks, laundry, nursing, keeping a close eye on the newborn in her rock ‘n’ play because any day now she’s likely to be smothered in hugs (literally) by one or both older siblings. Did I mention dishes and laundry and cleaning? All of it. Chaos 90% of the time.
But… but. The sweetness is nearly unbearable. I gave Liam way too little credit when it came to adjusting to his new sister. I thought for sure he’d be annoyed at her presence; I figured he’d act out and push her away and generally treat her like some kind of intruder. But in fact, he loves her. He is enchanted by “Baybee!” and is concerned when she cries. This could very well change as she gets older and needier but at this moment, I could not ask for better adjustment from him. And of course Molly is enamored/obsessed/helpful as I knew she would be.
I suppose I owe you all a birth story for Madeline but I fear that a planned c-section simply isn’t as exciting as a surprise birth. We made it to the date we planned for – Friday, 8/25, 2 weeks ago today. We arrived at the hospital at 6AM for our 8AM surgery. I expected to be bumped in favor of emergency c-sections or other more pressing births since the end of summer is the start of “busy season” in the maternity wing. But instead of waiting, they were actually ready for me at 8 sharp. Unfortunately, I was not ready because once again it took 4 freaking people to get my IV in. Have I mentioned how shitty my veins are? I swear, I dread getting an IV more than the actual surgery. I was crying and shaking and had almost passed out by the time they finally got one in. Now two weeks later both forearms, hands, and wrists are still covered in ugly purple and yellow bruises from all the poking.
Meanwhile, the more serious cut is healing beautifully. It seriously seems like each c-section gets easier, or maybe it’s just that I know what to expect. More likely it’s that I don’t have time to be incapacitated with 3 kids to care for. Eric took a few days off work but even when he had to go back, the fact that he works from home has been an eternal blessing. He can be full-on working and still within shouting distance. Also it has proven invaluable for naptime errand running because I can just leave the house with one or two or zero kids and know that he can keep an ear peeled for the sleeping ones. It’s very convenient.
The only other big news from the birth was that I’m no longer allowed to go past 37 weeks. Apparently just like last time my uterus was super thin, but this time dangerously so. I mentioned that next time I wanted to put in two embryos and my OB/GYN said it really wasn’t a great idea. She said then she’d have to take me even earlier, and we’d likely be stuck in the NICU, with 3 kids at home… overall, just unwise. But when I asked her if I could safely have two more pregnancies she said she didn’t see why not. Five c-sections sounds excessive but if she says it’s OK and if my body continues to heal as well as it does, I guess it’s not the worst thing. The thought of being pregnant two more times is extremely exhausting but it’s also not something I need to think about right this minute. My baby is 2 weeks old. I can just chill for a minute.
As much as I fought the notion that I’d need to take time off work, I am glad I did. This week has been a little nuts with Molly starting preschool – which so far she LOVES. Me, I love being able to drop her off and pick her up, and love that I’ll be able to continue doing so even after I go back to work.
For some reason I recently clicked on that really old super secret blog I had years ago. I kept writing there for about a year before abandoning it and starting Burnt Toast. The last day I posted? August 25, 2011. I mean… how weird is that? If you would have told me then that on August 25, 2017 I’d be welcoming my third baby to our family I would have been so skeptical. I was thinking that the other morning when I had Madeline sleeping on my chest and the other two cradled in my right and left arms. I was immobilized because I was literally covered in children. And I realized that’s all I ever wanted to be, and there I was, living out my dream. It’s weird to feel so content in what I have… given the choice I’d definitely want more money, less debt, and thinner thighs. But overall I am totally happy with what I’ve been given and couldn’t ask for more.
And it’s funny too because I was reading some past posts where I talked about having a kind of pre-midlife crisis, wondering about the Point of It All and just generally feeling blah, but now six months later I feel completely different. Proof that the real problem was simple: I hated my job. Once that one thing changed, everything else felt a million times better.
A part of me feels guilty posting stuff like this because it feels kind of like bragging — oh look at me, everything is SOOOO perfect. Trust me, it’s not. Lots of mini dramas and crappy things going on currently, and even motherhood isn’t always the best time ever. I definitely yelled at Molly for not listening the other day. She went silent for a few minutes and when I looked over, she was just sitting there with huge eyes and silent tears streaming down her face. I said, “Oh my gosh, Molly, what’s wrong??” and she said, “You YELLED at me!” in the most accusatory voice. I guess she’s not used to being yelled at? It was so funny/sad. But also very telling. Even perfect angels like Molly aren’t always perfect. (Her latest thing is to question everything I tell her to do, and give long-winded explanations why she should be able to do it her way, so now my phrase of the moment is “Stop arguing with me!” which she often parrots back to Liam, who seems confused).
Anyway. I feel like I’m rambling and since the other two monkeys are sleeping, I’m neglecting this precious small amount of Mommy/Maddie cuddle time (because I’m usually too busy to just sit around holding her. This poor third child). I’ll leave you with some of my favorite photos from the hospital, which if you follow me on social media you’ve already seen, but oh well. I am obsessed with them and am currently planning a total photo wall redo just to incorporate them.