01 July 2010

Timeline, Baby 5

Day 1: Mother feels galaxy-sized relief that her warfare is accomplished. That one, anyway.

Day 2: Mother is worried that Baby does not nurse well. Mother, still cautiously rational, tells herself he will figure it out soon.

Day 5: Mother completely loses it when Father thoughtfully removes Baby from Mother's sleeping area and she awakens to the sound of no breathing. Mother realizes that five babies have not earned her a pass on postpartum insanity.

Day 7: Mother is convinced sleepy Baby with poor nursing skills will die soon. Mother in following days and weeks crashes repeatedly, dramatically, humiliatingly.

Day 13: Mother rallies for Baby's sponsor enrollment in church (baptism having been performed in an emergency capacity under unsettling circumstances of birth). Mother does virtually nothing for celebration following, leaving all work to guests. Mother bids guests goodbye as soon as Baby falls asleep and goes to sleep herself. Mother wonders why it took her five babies to realize this is the only way to do it.

Day 19: Mother rejoices foggily in 2nd birthday of previous Baby, and meditates on the mystery that sleepy current Baby leaves her just as tired as the regular kind.

Day 24: Father has learned to send Mother to bed any time she starts acting that way. This makes incredible improvements in Mother's outlook on life.

1 Month: Mother manages to do a few things with older kids. Mother is very, very proud of herself.

Also 1 Month: Evidence suggests older children are largely oblivious to Mom being a wreck, even to the point of completely (and charmingly) misinterpreting major symptoms.

1.5 Months: Evidence suggests Mother's ability to simulate if not truly experience a sense of humor is returning in modest quantity.

2 Months: Evidence suggests Baby is quite large. Mother calms down about that at least.

Also 2 Months: Mother's heart sinks further, remembering that this is when you start acting like life is normal again even though it totally isn't. Mother develops elaborate sleep fantasies and wonders if this is perverse.

3 Months: Mother's heart is divided between hating still being fat and just not even giving the tiniest rip. She finds a pair of green sweat pants just like her beloved blue ones on clearance and buys them.

3.5 Months: Mother ponders story from Grandma: I think it was when the boys were about three months old, I woke up one morning and thought, "I think I felt like crap before, because I don't feel like it now." Mother realizes she is a pathetic wimp because it doesn't take twins to make her feel like crap for three months, and all she thinks about during that time is how she feels like crap.

4 Months: Mother resigns herself to having one of those babies who just isn't going to sleep all night, and tries to take comfort in the fact that every waking episode doesn't last for an hour+ now.

Also 4 Months: Mother puzzles over why other new mothers seem to pull it together SO much faster than she does. Formula seems to be a factor, but does not explain all cases.

5 Months: Mother smolders in the dark night considering a nursing personality Dr. Sears neglected to describe in his helpful list: MEAN.

6 Months: Mother realizes the huge amount of work she has been knocking off lately is due to Baby's growing solid enough to become a plaything for other children. She drinks a stiff martini to celebrate and goes to bed happy. Baby awakens and demands her attention before she has time to fall asleep.


Gauntlets said...

RE: Also 4 Months: They are lying to you. They lie, I lie, we all lie about having it together. None has it together. There will be children, and, lo, crazy is the new sane.

For instance, my baby is 15 months old and weaned. I've been sleeping through the night for about a month now. And yet I'm completely, freaking, incompetently buggers. Meh, I say. Meh.

HappyFox said...

I hear ya, Sister. We have a six-month old also. And I understand the "mean" comment. When I'm up for her new 2-4am nursing stint, I'll pray for you.

Reb. Mary said...

>>Mother's heart sinks further, remembering that this is when you start acting like life is normal again even though it totally isn't.<<

Yes. Two months is just a few days away this time 'round, and I was just despairing to think that the condition of my house will no longer be excusable as "new baby" to the casual drop-in.

Rebekah said...

Aw, thanks HappyFox! I'll return the favor.

But why? Why do we all act like nothing is wrong when everything is?

Untamed Shrew said...

And why? Why do you claim you're fat when you're far from it? I'd give two saddlebags and a spare tire to have your figure, and that's no lie.

Cate said...

This post made my day, especially since my fourth is ten-months-old and we're still up and nursing in the middle of the night at LEAST once. *rolleyes*

Untamed Shrew said...

I've never had a kid who slept through the night until 18-ish mos, so the thought of a 4 or 6-mo old giving me a 6-hour stretch is--well, unthinkable. Maybe I'll get things figured out with the 4th kid.

Gauntlets said...

Because, dear friend, we have to hold the hill. Death to tyrants! ;)

Everything is definitely not OK, but what I think in my darkness really shouldn't be your problem, you know? I'm a basket case, but I'll go ahead and hide that basket under the chair when I'm talking to you. I'd be really sad to spill its contents on your carpet any more than I already have. :P

Besides, the "not OK" is too fluid to be taken too seriously. And the answer for everything is, "Jesus is coming back."

The Rev. BT Ball said...

It is when you write like this that I have three reactions -

1. I ask my wife if she has checked the sister's blog lately.

2. I ask my wife if she wouldn't want to call the sister to see how things are going.

3. I ask my wife if we shouldn't head south on I-55 for drinks and mutual consolation.

Marie said...

So, with babe 1, I felt this same way about night nursing. But with 2 and 3, I love the once-twice a night nursings. Besides the fact that I'm pretty sure these night nursings will hold off other blessings from coming my way, I LOVE holding those babies in the night and having no one interrupt or talk or grab at them. I will pray that all of you night nursing mamas will find some peace in that. I'm able, almost always, to go right back to sleep, and don't feel like these nursings drain me. Do any of you have this, or is this just because of my meds?=)

Rebekah said...

Shrew, well, if I didn't hate the way I look I wouldn't be a chick, right?

Cate! Ten months! It's like they just think it's normal! :D

Gauntlets, good point on the hill. And the eschaton.

Rev BTB, you most certainly should head south.

Marie, it's not bothering me much any more, but there's still a part of me that wants to know why a 20 pound 6 monther thinks he needs 2-3 snacks a night.

Letha Hicks said...

What a good laugh I got out of all of this. I'm expecting my fourth child in two months so I know what's coming (well, maybe I don't know exactly, each one is its own special case;). Right now I have vericose veins popping out all over my legs and steady contractions that I know from experience are doing nothing but making me feel like I'm under the ocean trying to catch a breath. I felt like I should have had a crutch the other day to get around, the vericose veins were so sore. Lots of olders mothers give me the envious look or tell me how great it was to be pregnant and they would do it all again if they could;) Somehow that is not the braodcasting station I thought I had tuned into:) A little more sympathy please. ha ha. By the way I really enjoyed the "Crosses All Around" article by Rebekah and would recommend it to all mothers, not just the pregnant ones.

And then... I catch a glimpse of my children 6,4, and 2 and sigh. They are so nice and so worth it. Thank you Lord!

Anonymous said...

>> I ask my wife if we shouldn't head south on I-55 for drinks and mutual consolation.

This request is legitimate, provided the challenging situation isn't north on I-55.

Sorry, it's the failed joke writer and eternal 12 year-old smart aleck in me.

Be well with God.

Untamed Shrew said...

Is that chunk-a-luv 20 lbs already? I'd like to place an order for whatever you're manufacturing. I finally took Juliet to the doc for a severely delayed 18 mo wellcheck, and she was 21 lbs (with a wet diaper).

Dakotapam said...

Amen sister.

I only take comfort in that I KNOW this time is fleeting. I have four big kids who sleep all night and pretend not to need me in the day.

So I sniff freshly washed babies and wonder if I will have this smell again before grandbabies...