October 24, 2014 by Ellen V
Life as a family of four has been a huge adjustment! I want to write a little about it before it all escapes me.
First, Sidney is a joy. She’s a great little newborn. She’s gaining weight better than Jane did, who had a some feeding issues her first few weeks. She sleeps fairly well but is a little more alert (see: Jane’s feeding issues) and loves to snuggle more than Jane ever, ever has.
Second, Jane is adjusting as well as, I would imagine, most two-year-olds do. She impresses me–she’s learning to play alone, she’s gentle with me as I recover, and she’s obviously just adores her new baby. At the same time, she’s begging for more attention, rough with her sister, and I feel like I’m losing the battle as often as I’m winning. So typically all of those happen in an hour. I’m just going to go ahead and assume that’s normal.
Third, Eric… I have always known what a wonderful father he is, but it’s lovely to be reminded of it with a newborn in the house. In some ways Sidney’s timing was awesome for him, as he had his fall break and was able to be home for several days after we got home from the hospital. In some ways, though, her birth, as it coincided with midterms, was rough for him, and he’s been paying for it this week, staying up very late to grade and then still handling some nighttime feedings, too, knowing that I am holding it together all day long with both girls as well as recovering. Isn’t he just awesome?
And then there’s me. It all feels new again. With Jane, Eric was just starting to write his dissertation and I had maternity leave, of course, so we were both pretty present those first few weeks and able to ease into parenthood together. This time? I’m a little more thrown to the wolves, so to speak. Eric needs to work (we were lucky to have him with basically a whole week at home as it was), and I don’t have the support network in Virginia yet that I had in Wisconsin.
That said, it’s been surprisingly okay. Jane has watched a lot of television this week, but I knew I was going to give myself that grace. We have been eating very simple, easy meals. I have done lots of laundry but not a lot of other chores.
I’m surprised by what wasn’t ready. I’m not really a “nester”–I never did excessive cleaning or organizing at the end of my first pregnancy, either. But somehow, it just comes together. You see what the needs are, and they happen, almost magically.
I’m looking forward to Mama and Papa K visiting this weekend. I can’t wait for them to meet their second grandchild, of course, but I’m also looking forward to the extra hands so we can get outdoors, get the house back in order, feel like we have a handle on things again. And for now? Back to a little more of this awesomeness: