Newborn Daze

(No kidding, that awful pun of a title is the best I can come up with right now. I can feel my blog being ashamed of itself and trying to hide its face on the landing page. Sorry, blog. I’ll make it up to you when I can think again.)

Things I’ve been busy doing:

  • holding a crying baby
  • nursing a crying baby
  • changing a crying baby’s diaper
  • getting peed on
  • getting my face peed on
  • cleaning pee off my glasses
  • washing sheets that have been peed on
  • washing blankets that have been peed on
  • wearing shirts covered in spit-up
  • not attempting to wipe the spit-up off my shirt
  • putting movie after movie on for Charlotte and Liam
  • sitting on the couch with a dazed expression
  • gingerly putting the sleeping (!!!!) baby down in the Moses basket
  • begging Liam and Charlotte not to touch the baby while I use the bathroom
  • yelling at Liam and Charlotte for attempting to pick up the baby during the 2.5 seconds I was in the bathroom
  • picking up a crying baby
  • nursing a crying baby
  • changing a crying baby’s diaper…

Things I have not been busy doing:

  • showering
  • blogging
  • eating food that requires any preparation beyond microwaving
  • feeding the toddlers food that requires any preparation beyond unwrapping and/or microwaving
  • changing the toddlers out of their pajamas
  • changing myself out of my pajamas
  • sleeping

As it turns out, Lincoln is quite the, ah, needy baby. I’m surprised to find out that this time around it doesn’t bother me that much, though. I’m really enjoying the rocking/cuddling/endless nursing newborn stage, in spite of the above lists. I do miss blogging, though, and I’m frustrated that I haven’t managed to get the post about Lincoln’s birth up yet. This is only partially his fault; I wrote up most of the post on Saturday, and then realized that it was disorganized and going in two different directions. Now I’m not sure what to do with it. It’s not turning out to be just another birth story, mostly because it was such a different experience than any of my previous births. I feel like I learned something important during the labor and delivery, but the thing is, I’m not exactly sure what it was that I learned. I only know that I’m missing it in my post, and it won’t be a complete post until I figure out what it is and re-organize the post around it. And given how much time I’ve had to devote to writing/thinking in the last week, that could take weeks.

In the meantime, though, I thought I’d take advantage of Lincoln’s 3.5 minute morning nap to give you all a brief update and assure you that I’m still alive. Lincoln is doing well, even though he needs to be held constantly and pees every time I change his diaper. I’m not enjoying that very much, especially since he never pees on the Ogre. Liam and Charlotte are learning to play together out of absolute necessity, since they’re getting .5% of my attention. Sienna is learning to hang up her own clothes, fish her own socks out of the dryer, and get herself neatly dressed out of equally absolute necessity. The Ogre is heroically working 12-hour days and doing the dishes, sweeping the floor, and generally picking up the slack when he is home. I’ve managed to heroically re-watch both seasons of Downton Abbey and all of Firefly, plus watching all three episodes of Revolution, the first episode of Fringe, the first two episodes of Castle, the first five episodes of Doctor Who. I’m currently working on catching up with Supernatural, which lost my interest somewhere in the middle of that awful season 5. And I’ve done all that while nursing/rocking/walking the baby, which tells you both how needy this kid is and how much I love television.

I do have to mention what a difference it makes, having a baby in a community as opposed to having a baby in a void. Sienna’s birth was such a shock to both the Ogre and I that even though we were in the middle of family and friends and had lots of help, we barely kept our heads above water. Charlotte and Liam were both born in Las Vegas, though, a desert in more ways than one, with no family and few friends around. We were basically on our own in the first few hectic post-partum weeks. But this time around has been a different experience completely. One of the wonderful ladies in Ave Maria organized meals for us, and we’ve had meals delivered to our door by neighborhood families almost every night since Lincoln was born. I’ve had neighbors who’ve let Sienna hang out  at their houses after school when doctor’s appointments have run long and I haven’t made it back from Naples on time. I’ve had neighbors invite Charlotte and Sienna over for the afternoon so that I can take a nap. And it isn’t only those in my actual community who have pitched in to help; my virtual community has showered us with love as well. Leah Libresco sent us a box of the most delicious double chocolate espresso cookies; my fellow Catholic bloggers here at Patheos sent me a box stuffed with amazing hand-made soaps and cremes and some books for the kids and I, and all my friends on facebook and my commenters here on my blog have been so supportive and loving. I think that’s a huge part of why this time around I don’t mind the mind-numbing newborn days so much. I don’t feel like I’m drowning. I can feel people around us lifting us up, both in reality and virtually. It’s more comforting than I can express.

So thank you all for your well-wishes and prayers. I can assure you that they have not been in vain. And even though Lincoln is miraculously still sleeping, I have to stop writing this post, because even writing this short little non-post has given me a headache. See you the next time Lincoln sleeps in not-my-arms for more than 30 seconds at a time!

Oh yes, and in case you were wondering, Lincoln is still cute

even though he has freakishly large hands

Seriously, look at those suckers!

Here’s a close-up if you’re not convinced

and disturbingly long toes

  • Elizabeth Scalia

    One of my nieces was a “needy” baby. Her mother ended up missing those days once the child grew out of it and there was no one to hold and cuddle…He’s beautiful. And yeah, those hands and feel. Looks like he’s going to be a big guy. When he’s grown you can show him this and say, “you cried and peed all the time, so don’t give me your lip…”

  • Warren Jewell

    Make sure you Schroeder him with toy pianos. You may be raising our next Beethoven or Chopin, and when you are old and he dedicates his premier Carnegie Hall performance to ‘my Mom and Dad’ – well, you’ll still sorta wish you could cuddle him in his fantastic newness, and in spite of all his pee puddling more often than Old Faithful.

    To God be the glory of having made you all, and to Him we beg His blessings on all of you. May our good Lord be more than generous to those who are giving generously to you.

  • Ted Seeber

    I wonder if he’ll be like my brother, who at age 15 could play the piano with his toes.

  • jen

    he is awesomely cute!

  • B. Durbin

    When I had my first, a boy, the nurses were impressed by the size of his feet. (I was more impressed with his size in general—almost ten pounds.) I think you’ve got a future tall one on your hands!

  • Caroline Farrow

    Wow, huge congratulations, he is gorgeous. I loved this post, I could have written this myself. It’s funny you get to baby number 4 and you think it’s going to be a breeze, you know what you are doing and wham, you get a totally different one. I’ve also got a very needy one and at six weeks, despite having put on 2lbs, she still weighs less than all the others at birth. I’m terrified of the toddlers breaking her! And yes, I found myself googling reflux, having smugly prided my breastfeeding for the fact that none of the others spit up. She’s making up for them in spades.

    Re blogging, it’s amazing what you can do one-handed on a tablet. That’s when the toddlers aren’t clamouring for the Thomas the Tank Engine or Dr Seuss apps.

    But he’s beautiful with his hobbity hands and feet. :-) Well done you xx

  • deltaflute

    Yes, piano or cello or upright bass (not bass guitar). I think I just turned your child into a virtuoso orchestral player. Ah, well, it’s the flute teacher in me.

  • Laura @ Show Me a Day

    What a cutie he is indeed! My little is already 6 mos. old, and although I ached for this day to come, now I look at the pics of your newborn and can’t help but let a wistful sigh escape. Not a whole lotta help to you now, I know.

    I echo the sentiments that Lincoln will be tall. But seriously, with a name like Lincoln, weren’t you asking for it? :)

  • MelanieB

    He’s beautiful! I love those fingers and toes.

  • Marina Lehman

    He is truly adorable, and I love his hands and toes. I’ll have to own up to being the second commenter with a young baby (7mo.) who still gave a little sigh upon seeing all that newborn softness and snuggliness.