It's a strange time, the weeks after a baby is born. It's as close as I'll come to being a contestant on Survivor, or training to be a Navy Seal. Ok maybe that last one is a bit over the top, however I do believe part of the Seal's training involves sleep deprivation. You always hear people talk about going without sleep when caring for an infant. I remember thinking along the lines of, "Well that's not a big deal. I did that in college all the time." Right. What I did in college was stay up all night studying, take a test, & then return to my room & sleep until nightfall. And I was eighteen. One night of little (or no) sleep is bad, but as I learned in the weeks after we brought Reagan home, it's the cumulative lack of sleep that's brutal. Brutal. Not getting adequate sleep for an extended period of time will change a person; you cuss, you cry, you stop caring about things you would normally value (like say, personal hygiene).
Thus far, my experience with Henry has been a bit different than the weeks after Reagan's birth, in part because I knew what to expect this time around, & in part because Henry is an avid nurser. I don't believe I've ever discussed breastfeeding on this blog, & while I don't plan on it becoming a central theme, it may be mentioned from time to time given that currently, it's what I spend about 90% of my time doing. Reagan was not all that interested in nursing until she was a month old, but I was determined to get as much breast milk in her as possible . . . what that meant was that not only did she take a bottle of pumped milk every time she ate, I had to pump a bottle of milk every time she ate. Let me say that again. I had to pump a bottle of milk every time she ate. Every time. Even when she ate at 2am . . . & 4am. Like the free market, breastfeeding is a beautiful system that works on the principle of supply & demand. If a baby (or a breast pump) is not demanding the milk, your body doesn't supply it. Pardon my French, but you can't half-ass nursing. If you're going to nurse, you have to nurse. You can't sleep through the night & let dad formula feed, especially in the early weeks when your body is trying to figure out what will be required of it. To nurse a child is to continue to turn your body over to your child, just as you did for the nine months you were pregnant. Admittedly, I am also hoping it helps me drop about
That concludes today's breastfeeding lecture.
While I learn to juggle two kids, Henry is working out his sleep schedule:
Thus far, the sleep is winning, but we do see his eyes on occasion:
Unlike Henry & I, Reagan has been on multiple adventures in the past few weeks. You may've heard the saying, "sleep when they sleep," in reference to mothers who're caring for newborns. There really isn't a catchy phrase that answers the question, "But what if I have a two year old?" My answer has been to rely on the grandmothers.
Nana & Papa attempted to take her swimming, but she was a little leery of the water & opted to eat chips & drink Sprite instead.
Her Grandmama has carted her all over town . . . in style:
Entertaining Reagan is not the only service the grandmothers have provided. My mother-in-law has cooked dinner for us more than once, & my in-laws entertained Reagan & Henry while I - - get this - - sat at the table & ate my dinner (using TWO hands). For a new mother, the only thing that trumps that is taking a long, hot shower, uninterrupted.
I've sent my mother several texts like this . . .
. . . to provide her a visual to accompany the grocery items she's purchased for me. If you're local, the above K-cups can be found at Target. Brookshire's doesn't have much of a selection in the way of decaf K-cups (yep, still off the hard stuff while nursing).
Trey's also been spending more time in the grocery store . . . in addition to staples like these, we also have roughly a year's supply of Diet Coke.
I don't drink Diet Coke; I think it's completely disgusting.
Henry has been pulling a few three hour stretches at night between feedings, & the occasional four hour stretch, & I'm hopeful this continues. That's about the most you can ask of a breastfed baby whose age is still measured in weeks. In my waking hours (well, the ones during which the sun shines), I continue to watch the world go by via television, Facebook, & the Drudge Report. I may not make it to the beach this summer, but apparently all of my friends on Facebook are enjoying fabulous vacations &, being my friends, posting lots of photos for me to see, all from the comfort of my couch. I don't even have to lose my gray, spit-up soaked robe to be transported to a variety of exotic locales.
I was excited that LSU made it to Omaha this year, knowing the CWS would be underway during my homebound weeks. While the Tigers return to Omaha didn't pan out the way I'd hoped, I've continued to watch & cheer for Mississippi State. You know, team first, conference second. I've big plans for this Thursday. My book club is meeting to discuss the June selection, & it's my intent to join them. Henry will, of course, accompany me, since he's not really on much of a schedule when it comes to nursing (or anything). We read Sparkly Green Earrings this month. It's a book about motherhood written by the very funny Melanie Shankle, whose blog I've recently added to my blogroll.
I suppose this all makes sense. I'm learning to adjust to life with two small children inside my house before venturing outside with them, & Henry's learning to adjust to life outside of me before being introduced to the big, bad world beyond our cozy house. If all goes well with my book club outing this week, my goal for next week is to take both Reagan & Henry somewhere (simultaneously). I haven't yet decided which Sonic we will visit.