We just welcomed home Joshua Phillip, our fourth baby boy. By the fourth time around, this whole birthing process should be old hat, right? Well, yes. Kind of. But this time I was utterly amazed and overwhelmed by a few things; I don’t know if these feelings were necessarily new, but I want to share them with you, since I feel like in the whirlwind that is having a new baby, they may get lost. And maybe if I write about them, I won’t forget them this time.
- Our bodies are an incredibly amazing miracle. The fact that we can grow a perfect, healthy, fully functioning human being, push it out of a tiny hole, and stand up to go to the bathroom an hour later is UNBELIEVABLE. The fact that less than a week ago, I gave birth to a child, and today I can make dinner, drive a car, go to a concert at school, it’s crazy. Think about it.
- Night 2 and Day 3 suck. Or should I say your baby sucks – a lot – in this 36 hr span. No one really tells you about “cluster feeding,” and that it’s to be expected during these times, and that it will go away once your milk comes in. Or that it helps your milk come in. Get ready to have a baby attached to your boob for those 36 hours. It’s ok. In fact, it’s necessary. And it won’t be that way forever.
- Say yes when people offer to help. I have a hard time letting go of control and letting other people do things for me. With a new baby and 3 other littles needing every bit of attention, love, patience, and wisdom that I have to give (and then some more), I’m learning to say yes. So, WARNING: don’t offer to help me unless you mean it.
- Balls are going to get dropped and it will all be okay. So far this week I’ve missed library day for both boys, I forgot about Alex’s weekly OT appointment, and my camera’s batteries were dead at the Spring Fine Arts Night program. Oh well. This would have driven me crazy in the past. I’m lettin’ it roll nowadays. Life goes on. And as it turns out, people are very understanding and gracious right after you have a baby!
- It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to feel overwhelming sadness for your former “baby” upon bringing home the new baby. It’s okay to eat every meal with a baby on your boob, or a kid on your lap. It’s okay to be needed. It’s okay not to be needed. It’s okay to be overwhelmed. It’s okay to be annoyed. It’s okay because it will all be okay and you’re doing your best. You’re the best mom you can be – in that moment. Your kids love you. Always and forever.