Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Toughen up, titties!

Someone had told me that the thought of having a toddler and a baby was actually worse than the reality of it, and I guess so far that is proving true for us. I am still feeling quite excited at the manner of Brother's birth and the fact that he and I both came through it well. Being a second-time parent is proving easier in certain departments, that's for sure. So many of those anxieties that we had with Blake are just gone, in that we know that Brother will eventually stop crying, breastfeeding is less daunting, and generally it just seems like whatever comes up, we can handle. Here are just a few observations from the last 5 days:

- Having a newborn is definitely easier when you didn't lose half your body's blood. I feel tired because of broken nighttime sleep and because Brother has his days and his nights a bit mixed up, but generally I feel like a million dollars compared to after Blake's birth.

- Two things I did last Thursday were to eat nearly a whole fresh pineapple and to eat the leftovers of a curry that earlier in the week I had thought too spicy. Both these things are supposed to encourage the onset of labour, so I can perhaps vouch for them.

- Life's timing is funny. Our next-door neighbors started a loft conversion on Monday, so the past two days, ideally a time of calm and serenity while the baby sleeps a lot, have been filled with the cacophony of steel girders being drilled into the wall between our houses, and a crane in the front moving the beams up and over the house. But, what can you do? It helps ease my guilt (not that I have much this time around) about the crying baby, and I hope that this initial part is the loudest and that things will quieten down soon enough.

- A newborn is precious. Brother's cries so far sound like a couple of things: a baby fox and a guinea pig (I didn't think they made noises but Matt claims they do). It's amazing to get reacquainted with all the lovely newborn attributes - the jerky arm movements when they sleep, the way you can see their eyes rolling back in their heads behind their eyelids, the yawning and stretching, the murky eyes that are still just adjusting to the world, the frowning in their sleep, the satisfaction after a feed, the skinny little legs - so hard to believe they eventually carry the efforts of an energetic toddler...

- As for big bro, Blake is really handling things well, I think. He has tried to help give Brother his dummy and generally loves to pat him on his head. Matt said Blake was a little reluctant to go to nursery this morning which makes me sad, but he brought home a lovely bouquet of flowers to me yesterday from the nursery, which was really sweet. He loves to say "I like my brother, MommyDaddy", and it seems so strange to me to look at Blake and think that just over a week ago, he was still my "little baby". All of a sudden he's a grown-up little boy. Sigh...

- I feel I've given Matt a gift in the form of a normal paternity leave. There will be an election in the UK on May 6th, and one of the things that Labour is proposing is to extend paternity leave from 2 to 4 weeks. I know it must seem like such a short amount of time for the father to be off, but I feel at least lucky that we get to have a relatively normal period of time together and that he can worry less about us and try to take advantage of being at home.

- Breastfeeding hurts! Even though I'm pretty sure we're doing it right and I feel about 200% more confident this time around. Blake was a very strong sucker but Brother could probably patent his motion to help the vacuum companies develop a super-duper power hoover. Thank god for Lansinoh, but Brother, relax! And titties, toughen up! Please!

- I still haven't quite learned to rest while the baby is resting. And so I'll just wrap this up as Brother stirs from a nap.

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