Josie will be two weeks old tomorrow. It has been a very blessed and very tiring two weeks. Some call it a baby moon, but that term doesn’t seem to do justice to just how taxing those first few weeks can be! It is truly the best kind of exhaustion, but we are all exhausted none-the-less, and now that I have older children, I am realizing that the postpartum time is a true transition for them too. Two of my children have adjusted to life with Josie with nothing but joy and excitement. The other two love their little sister but are having a bit of hard time navigating their new roles in our family. It will take another few weeks, and I know that by February they will all have forgotten what life was like without her.
It’s funny how after delivering 6 babies I am still learning and relearning things about my postpartum self. I had forgotten how good it feels to not be pregnant. Those who know me well know that I suffer from great anxiety and even depression when pregnant. I feel an intense and wonderful transition in my mood within a few hours of childbirth. It is as if someone is pumping happy drugs into my system, a happiness that I don’t often feel when pregnant. After my last two deliveries, that feeling of deep joy and peace was masked by postpartum bleeding complications. This time around I got the right medical attention immediately after childbirth and so the sudden positive emotional change has been wonderful.
I am also relearning that Dad does a tremendous amount of work in the first month. I am on night duty and nursing duty, but with each subsequent delivery staying off my feet in the first few weeks has become more important. That means Mr. Red has to deal with all his office responsibilities during the day, and also tend to a great deal of housework, cooking, child care, and cleaning in the morning and evening hours. He is very tired too, and it is very easy for me to forget his tiredness when the baby awoke 4 times last night.
I am also learning about jaundice in babies that arrive early, about newborn size baby clothes (I’ve never needed or owned clothes of this size before!), and about “block nursing” for women who overproduce milk. I am relearning how good it feels to get a new pair of running shoes–shoes that will be used for running in one month! And I am doing all of this learning while holding a sleepy newborn baby in my arms, which is really the best way to learn.
I hope your week is off to a blessed start!