I’m sitting here at 4am with a sleeping 3 week old on my chest. He has a sad little cold and stuffy nose. Every time I put him down on his back it wakes him. I’d be pissed too if my nose was stuffy and I couldn’t make it go away with some afrin. It’s so weird to think that three weeks ago today he was still curled up in my belly. He seems big to me right now laying here. He was 7 lbs, 11 oz at birth and I assume he is closing in on 8.5 lbs.
There is a sick almost two year old coughing in the room next to us who I’ve tried my best to keep away from the new one, but he wants to be all up in my business and his new brothers business at all times. So that’s tough. And he gave the new one his cold. Sigh.
And then there’s a demanding, opinionated 4 year old in my bed. A kid who slept through the night 12 + hours from 6 months until he was over 3 years old. I always said my kids would never be in my bed. But sleep wins and I was pregnant when this started getting bad and we crumbled and said screw it as long as everyone’s sleeping just get on in here.
My husband is downstairs on the couch so he can secure 4-5 hours of sleep. It’s one big party up in here. Man these first few weeks with a new baby are hard every single time. It’s a different kind of hard each time. The sleep deprivation is REAL and it’s draining. It took the biggest toll on me mentally the first time around no doubt. I was a hot mess in every sense. I didn’t know how to deal with the fatigue, the hormones, the breastfeeding. I was a complete and total disaster.
The second time was much more calm. I actually sort of forget those beginning months the second time. I know the anxiety wasn’t nearly as severe and though I did have trouble sleeping there was comfort in knowing it gets better and one day we will all sleep again. Louis was an easy baby. In almost every way he was easy. I actually don’t remember one thing about him being difficult.
The third time. Here we are. I’m still obsessing on sleep. I am a head case and really struggle with it, it seems that even when given opportunity I lay in bed wide awake, completely exhausted. I’m not sure I ever want to do this again. If we decide to have four children can someone please just hand me a 6 month old who has already figured out sleeping through the night?
But in all seriousness, what a gift this is. I look at these boys every night and can’t believe this is my reality. Is it too good to be true? In all of my post partum worry and anxiety- I find that what I’m most worried about is losing it all. What if something happens to one of my babies or me or my husband. I’ve found that the source of my anxiety is being afraid all of this will be taken away. I’m sure this is a common fear for new moms. It’s the too good to be true mentality. Or maybe I’m just crazy.
As hard as it is at times- at 3am when sleep is nowhere to be found, or 3pm when all I want is an adult to swoop in and entertain Louis so I can get off patrol making sure he doesn’t hit or pull or scratch his newborn brother. Or to just come talk to me about, well anything other than power rangers. As hard as all of that feels, I know that this is it. This is the time we will look back and laugh at the crazy and miss it too. Glenn and I usually say it’s one big shit show here. I know we will miss the shit show one day. And no I don’t need moms of grown children to tell me how fast it goes or that I’ll miss it someday. Yes I know this. I understand how time works.
So this third time around, when the days get long and the patience is running low, I remember that this is what I signed up for, this is what I want most. This was one of my biggest dreams. The other day Glenn was talking about going back to school and I said that’s great- I will support your hopes and dreams. (as long as Covance is paying for it… joke, kinda of) And then he asked me if I felt like my hopes and dreams had been put to the side and I said nope, they are all in this big old mini van either crying, sleeping or eating snacks. Because if they aren’t crying or sleeping in the car, you know it’s because they have a snack. And I’ll be happy to pursue my other dreams while holding a baby and losing insane amounts of sleep. For now.