“I Miss Us”

Today, our baby boy is one month old. Ella turned 21 months old yesterday. Where did that time go?

As you can imagine, life at our house is constant chaos. It’s a whole new ball game with two under two. Now that I am back to work, Sam is getting the bulk of the chaos and she is exhausted. Tonight she posted this on her Facebook page:

“Keith is at work. Ella has her first cold and is extremely whiney and has cried the majority of the day. Andrew is in his ‘witching hour’ of the day. Cocomelon has been on repeat on the TV for the past two hours… Pretty sure this is a preview of what hell is like!”

While that is very funny – it really isn’t. I have never understood why both parents do not get leave after a baby is born. In some countries, the father and mother each get a full year off with their newborn. I’d be happy with a few months to help with mom’s sanity! There are so many pressures that mom is going through with just one baby, let alone a second or third child on top of that.

Breastfeeding is a sure way for a mother to snap! It is a constant need for the baby. Dad really can’t do anything until mom starts pumping, so until then – it’s all on mom. I felt so helpless. I watched Sam sit up in our bed utterly exhausted from no sleep. I tried to help by taking the baby to the couch in hopes that Sam would be able to sleep, but if the baby fussed, she heard him and couldn’t sleep.

We recently switched to all formula for him, which has allowed me to get up with him at night and feed him. Sam is finally able to sleep when I am home. However, for four nights a week, it is all her while I am at work. When I come home I try to help with breakfast and such , but then I have to go to bed for work that night. I try to set my alarm to get up and help, but some days I am just craving every second of sleep. I really am no help to her, which I hate.

Amongst all of those changes, there is the change between us. We long for a ‘date night,’ but really aren’t that comfortable going out to eat yet. We’re heading into the colder weather, so it makes it hard to even go for a walk outside. We are both craving that “us” time!

Sam sent me something via Facebook tonight. It really hits home. I had to walk away when I started reading it because I knew I would tear up. I wanted to share it here, not only for me, but for some of my friends who recently had babies who may be feeling the same things we are ….

This was on The Birds Papaya Facebook page:

I miss us.

Can I say that?

I think in a way and as I’ve always done, I romanticized the situation. I romanticized what a baby would mean for us.

How we would swoon, how much closer we would get. Being bonded forever. How you’d look at me through new eyes.

This all feels real and true, and yet the complete opposite. It doesn’t make sense sometimes.

We are both here.

We share a common goal.

We swoon and bond over this being.

But, I miss us.

I miss who I was before depression and a troubled pregnancy. I miss the energy I exuded. I miss not mumbling things under my breath (I’m sorry for that by the way).

I miss being the center of your attention, an impossibility with a little human who happens to be louder and more commanding than I am (go figure that that’s the part of me she reflects).

I wonder what parts of you that you miss.Or, do you just feel the same? (is it just me?)

Are we getting weaker or are we getting stronger? Perhaps both?

This is temporary, right?

What parts will last forever?

Why does nobody talk about how hard this is sometimes? Or just how weird it is?

Why do we just show how sweet it is, in the moments that are oh-so sweet?

Can it be both? I need it to be both.

I miss us.

But, I am proud of us.

Minute-by-minute figuring out what it is to be a couple with boundless energy and ambition transform into a couple that is tired and at capacity and yet leading with love…and some mumbled words.

Why is this not romance? Or did I just misunderstand it all, all along?

When you rub my back in the middle of the night knowing I’m struggling. When you get up at 5am with her so I may sleep a little longer. When you feed me while I feed her. When we carve out time in the chaos for us. When we just sneak a moment in the middle of it *air high five*.

When we just are doing the dang thing. All of us are. A family. Us, a family.

Remember when we were just coworkers with a crush? Look at us now.

My gosh. Look at us now.

Maybe I miss us, but… I love what we have found.

There is so much truth to that.

Thank you, Sam, for sending it. I completely feel the same way. We WILL find “us” again and along the way, we’ll enjoy what we have found together as a family.

For the record, my wife is pretty “right on” with the description of Cocomelon ….

…. or Little Baby Bum

URGH!!!

Been a Crazy 12 Days!

October is almost over already and the time is just flying! Since the birth of our son, we have been on the go nonstop and are longing for sleep. Trying to find time to write an update between diaper changes has certainly been a challenge!

Ella is getting used to having a baby in the house. She doesn’t like when he cries, and usually joins in with him. There are things she was able to do before that she really can’t right now. For example, if mommy is laying on the couch feeding her brother, she can’t just run up and jump on her. She also is getting used to the fact that the baby is taking a lot of attention.

We’re doing the best that we can to each get one on one time with her when we can. It’s harder for Sam, because she is breastfeeding. I try to take the baby and let him sleep on me so she gets mommy/daughter time. On a recent nice day, I made it a point to take Ella to the park and we had a daddy/daughter day. It was nice to be able to share that time with her. It is important that she knows that she is still very important and that she is still our baby too.

The hospital where the baby was born is still not doing newborn pictures, so we scheduled a day to have some done at JC Penney. Our hope was to get some pictures of the baby and a few with his sister. Sam and I went to Carter’s and found the cutest outfit! I love this little bowtie!

We wondered if we were going to even get to have the pictures done. The day before we were scheduled for pictures, there was an incident at the mall involving a shooting! I don’t know the details, but the entire area was on lockdown the night before. I was glad that we got in, got the pictures, and got out!

We were able to get a few with both of the kids, including this amazing picture

The gal who took the pictures had Sam and I sit in and she snagged a couple family pictures. This one came out so cute.

When AJ is a bit older and more alert, I’m hoping to get a photoshoot with Ella, AJ, and their big brothers.

It seems like we have spent a lot of time at the doctor’s office, too! The day after AJ was born, we had a well visit for Ella and had the doc look at AJ as well. A day or two later, we were getting Ella ready for bed and as she was following me to her room, she missed the top step to the kitchen and fell. She was having trouble walking. She was crying like she was really hurt, so I wound up taking her to urgent care.

They didn’t want to do an X-ray because of radiation. In the waiting room, she had calmed down and was ok until we went back in the room. She hates the doctor’s, so she was upset. She walked a bit to be while the doc was in there and she told us to keep an eye on her. She told us that if she was limping on it or if it bothered her the next day, to call her PCP or an ortho doc. It was 10pm and well past her bedtime, so she came home and slept.

The following day, there was a little limping, but when she got up from the floor and started crying, I figured I’d call the doc. They got us in that afternoon. She took a good look at it and said she didn’t think it was broken. She said she probably bruised her calf and sent us with an order for an X-ray should be need it. She’s doing well and walking around fine.

Andrew gets more and more alert each day. He is having trouble sleeping due to GERD. We went back to the doc to ask her about it. He seems to gag and choke when he is on his back, which is how they tell you the baby should sleep. She wanted to make sure the baby was getting enough food, so Sam went to the lactation specialist at the hospital. After watching the feed, we found out that the baby is tongue tied and that thing that holds your tongue to the bottom of your mouth needs to be clipped so he can move his tongue around. His top lip is also connected very low on the gum, which makes it hard for him to latch during feeding. So we’re heading to a pediatric oral surgeon for a consult on Monday.

Never a dull moment here!

In the days ahead, we will continue to grab sleep when we can. I have one more week off work to spend with my family, and I hope to enjoy every moment of that time.