Our first week as a family of four has been an adventure. Geoffrey was able to stay home and do his work here. This was such a blessing.
Jack’s first full day of life was spent half at the hospital and half at home. We were so anxious to get home! This is totally different from 2.5 years ago when we agreed to stay two nights at the hospital with Harper. We needed all the help we could get! This time we just wanted to be under our own roof. So we were thrilled when we were finally discharged with both us getting a clean bill of health (what does that even mean, by the way “clean bill of health”?).
I like the safety and security of the hospital. But there’s no place like home. And we’d spent the whole morning there, just waiting for my doctor. I had counted Jack’s fingers and toes at least 100 times.
So finally we got the okay and started loading up! Jack was in his new outfit that I made. It matches Harper’s Big Sister shirt. Though Jack is less likely to pose for photos than his sister, I’m learning.
We got home and tried to settle in before Harper came home, too. I laid down, Jack laid down, and Geoffrey put together a Big Sister gift for Harper. I’d had my eye on a play nursery set, but had a hard time paying the $60 for it. So the other day I was at Savers and I found a similar set for… FOUR DOLLARS. How about that?
Later that day when she got home, we showed her the big sister gift. She was so excited!
Now she can take care of her baby in his very own nursery! She especially liked the mobile.
My parents brought her home and even brought dinner for us! That was nice. I hadn’t even thought about feeding myself. Oops.
Before bed, Harper got to hold Jack for the first time, by herself.
Can you tell how she feels about it?
She thinks the boppy pillow is pretty cool, too.
Our first night home wasn’t that great. We put Jack in the Rock n Play that his sister loved so much. But he seemed to struggle to get comfortable. It must have been the incline. He has this cry— that sounds like a pterodactyl. Because we all know what a pterodactyl sounds like, right? I imagine the sound he makes matches that of a prehistoric shrieking bird anyway. It’s intense. So every time he found himself uncomfortable that night, he’d let out a shriek and we’d jump out of our skin. Yikes. I didn’t sleep much. Still running on fumes, I guess.
Tuesday we started the day with donuts. A real treat. We all needed the sugar help. It was quickly apparent that having two children to care for was going to be difficult. I was obviously still on the mend so I needed to take it easy. So we decided on some zone defense, whatever that means (Geoffrey used the term but I can’t remember how he said it. I know nothing about basketball except that there’s a basketball involved. And a hoop. And they belong together.) Anyway, I know it meant that he was in charge of one child and I the other. I unquestionably was in charge of the newborn, being his only form of nourishment and all. And Geoffrey took on the great task of The Harp. He had it the hardest, I’m certain. Harper LOVES her brother. Loves him! She wants to hold him. She wants to kiss him. She wants to hold his hand. “Oh, he’s hungry, you say? Here, I’ll give him some Cheerios!” she says. “Oh, I like that new toy of his. Let me get it nice and contaminated for you!” she says. We spent most of the morning tenderly telling her “no” to everything she wanted to do. She would hang her head and stick out that bottom lip. It would break my heart. But what were we to do? It’s going to be quite an adjustment for her. For everyone!
Later my sister and Cade came over. Cade got to meet Jack! Jessica brought us lasagna. Yum!
We had gotten down the co-sleeper bassinet from the attic and gotten it cleaned up that day so we put him in it that night. But he started fussing again, like he was uncomfortable! We tried different swaddles, but it was like he just didn’t want to sleep. How is that possible?! When we weren’t holding him throughout the day, he would lay in his swing. So maybe he wanted to be in an incline again?! So half the night he was in the bassinet, the other half, the Rock n Play. This was getting exhausting. The kid slept like a rock throughout the day, but come nighttime, he was ready to raise the roof. Or the neighborhood with his pterodactyl scream.
On Wednesday Geoffrey took Harper to school and went grocery shopping for us. I put Jack in his new infant carrier and tried to get some stuff done around the house.
I overdid it. I was hurting come midafternoon. I tried to sit down with Harper to do some activities. I was missing our one on one time. We worked on spelling her name and did a Winnie the Pooh matching game. She did great! I needed a nap.
I didn’t get a nap. But I got a break. And took the opportunity to just stare at this sweet baby.
We tested out our new bouncer. Harper thought it was hilarious! She sat in it too and just laughed and laughed. But she mostly liked that Jack was low enough for her to see him. She took advantage of it and gave him lots of sugars, while I held my breath.
That night Cloy brought us dinner–Japanese food! I hadn’t had fried rice in ages. It was delicious. She got to spend more time with Jack and also helped keep Harper entertained for us. Thank you, Cloy!
Later, after we put Harper to bed, we gave Jack his first bath at home. Our farmhouse sink really came in handy for this! Geoffrey put a towel in the bottom and it was perfect! Way to be innovative, G!
Don’t you love the smell of baby? Fresh clean baby, that is. You only bathe a newborn 2-3 times a week but I sure love that smell of fresh clean baby. It’s kind of a hassle to wash them, but I’d do it everyday if I could, just for that smell. =)
Thursday was a big day. Jack’s first check-up! Geoffrey took Harper to school while I got dressed. It was also day 4 post-delivery. And you may not know this, but this is the danger zone. Days 3-4 are typically when Mommy’s hormones drop the lowest. It’s a scientific fact. I know because someone smart told me once. Yep. I remember day 3 after Harper was born. It was bad. I’ll spare you. Wednesday night Harper had herself a bad little tantrum and I cried and cried. Thursday morning I cried at the doctor’s office, sitting in the waiting room, just thinking about Harper’s tantrum again. And really there’s been lots of tears since then. I’m not ashamed to tell you this. I think it’s important that Mommies share these things. I know it’s not really me that’s getting upset. It’s postpartum me. But sheesh is it rough.
So I knew it was going to be a busy morning, and I was going to be a wreck, so I decided to just soldier through the storm. Quite literally because it was super rainy. The doctor’s appointment went terrific–Jack is looking good. This cheered me up considerably. So I ran some errands after the appointment. With my 4 day old. Judge me. I was gone for 45 minutes, that’s all. Geoffrey had a prior work/lunch engagement so he took off for that. On his way home, he stopped to get me a treat.
Did you know that a small Wendy’s Frosty has FIFTY-SIX grams of carbs in it?!?! 56! Did you also know that my whole dinner/lunch limit of carbs was 60 grams while I was pregnant?! So a Frosty was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay out of my reach with gestational diabetes. Therefore, I craved it the whole time. Figures.
Geoffrey is a good man, bringing me a treat. All 56 grams of it.
Don’t worry, Jack was quite happy snoozing in the swing while I indulged.
One of the stops that morning was to Target. I had found a really cute toddler bean bag chair online and knew they had it in stock. After Jack’s appointment, I walked straight to aisle D17, grabbed the chair, and checked out. Total time spent in Target: 3 minutes. A record. When Harper got home from school, I showed her the chair. She did not care for it. But once she figured out it was a chair, she was quite happy.
Later that night our good friends brought us steaks for dinner! How about that? We have good family & friends, bringing us food every night this first week! And good stuff too.
Thursday night we figured out that Jack needs some variety in his day-time life. Sleeping in the bassinet—flat on his back— is a far cry from the swing and all the baby bouncers he’s in all day long (when he’s not being held). So on Friday we drug the bassinet into the living room and let him sleep/play in it. Oh you should have seen how excited Harper was. Oh, here. I’ll show you.
Only, we can’t keep dragging his bed from the bedroom to the family room and back again every day. So we got down the Pack n Play from the attic. If you come to our house, you’ll be amazed at all the things Jack has to lay in. When Harper was a baby, I had something in each room. It was brilliant! Luckily we received a lot of these things as gifts or hand-me-downs, so that’s been a blessing. We’re certainly getting plenty of use out of each of them.
Anyway, Grandma brought us lunch Friday and got to meet Jack!
After lunch we put Harper down for a nap. We put Jack in his crib and I got to use the dual-screen feature on the baby monitor for the first time while I wrote a blog post.
How fancy is that? It’s funny because Harper nearly fills her bed, and Jack looks so tiny in his!
My Mom came over after naptime, bringing cookies (see what I mean? People are good to our bellies!) and got to hang out with Jack before she took Harper home with her for a few hours.
We really appreciated this. We took advantage of the toddler-free house and let Jack lay on a mat on the floor. The little booger rolled up on his side, just like his sister used to do!
All of the “flat on his back” time really helped because he slept like a champ that night! I mean, still waking every three hours, but far less pterodactyl shrieking.
Saturday morning I needed to make a quick trip to Wal-Mart so I took Harper with me. We stopped by Starbucks on the way home. I mean, it’s not on the way home. I had to go out of my way for it, but who wouldn’t? I needed some good caffeine in my morning. All Harper talked about was getting home to drink “her coffee” so when we got home, I utilized the sippy cup that her Uncle Justin & Aunt Cari got her. It looks just like a Starbucks coffee. She was elated.
Her Daddy also let her hold Jack again.
But the sweetness didn’t last long. We knew we were in for a long day and honestly Geoffrey and I just needed a break to get out of the house. So Harper went to her Mimi & Grandpa’s for the day. But not before we snuck in some Curious George snacks, her favorite thing ever right now (besides Finding Nemo).
I was feeling pretty guilty about sending her away. Again. All weepy, was I. But you really gotta know your limits. And I was there. It’s been a good week, but Harper is having trouble with some of the adjustments. She is definitely responding to the attention being shifted. And she’s also two. So while the tantrums are likely the result of the adjustment in our household, it’s also just as likely that it’s a result of her being two. We are trying to be patient and understanding with her, but we also have to be consistent. There’s been time-outs and there’s been just letting it go. We are learning to pick our battles. I also am trying to take care of a newborn baby. And between sleep-deprivation and breastfeeding woes, it’s tough! My body is trying to get back to normal and my brain is trying to process ALLOFTHIS. So I’m giving myself a little bit of grace right now while we all try to figure this out. I just love Harper so much and it’s so hard to see her battle with this transition. It wears on me. I see how much she loves her brother and it warms my heart. And then five seconds later I’m seeing a child that is angry and struggling to communicate. She knows what she’s doing, but she doesn’t know why. Oh it breaks my heart. But I’m not the first Mommy to experience this. I just keep crying out to God to rescue me. And I really do feel the relief when He does.
So on Saturday God sent relief in the form of my parents. They kept her all day while Geoffrey & I got out and ate lunch and ran some errands. With Jack of course.
It was a good day. I got updates from my Mom and I felt happy that Harper was having a good day, too.
We survived our first week! Glory to God! I’m feeling better and better each day. And I daresay my confidence is growing, too. This week Geoffrey returns to work and I’ve got to tackle the day-to-day on my own. I know I can do it, but I expect that it’ll be tough at first. My first challenge is getting Harper to school. Then I’ve got challenges of picking her up again & managing two littles all by myself, while also trying to fix meals & do laundry & dishes, and clean the house and….. okay. Yes. Challenges. I’ll just say that before I freak out & start crying again. I’ve got help if I need it though and I can’t say enough how blessed I feel about that.
So until my next update, be thinking & praying for us! =)