3 weeks in with Mr. Gabe and life's been pretty good to us so far. None of the rough starts that afflicted us with Mia have been present with Gabe, bless them hearts. Gabe's only concern so far was slightly elevated bilirubin levels (threatening us with jaundice) right after he was born, which kept us all in the hospital about 2 extra days. The mixed blessing in that was that I received extra lactation help, which has made a world of difference this time around when it comes to breastfeeding. I struggled so much with that in the beginning with Mia, which led to my decision to exclusively pump for her. I've not even touched a pump in over a week with Gabe, which has felt really nice. There are times when I wish I could just hand him over to Greg and he give him a bottle so I could get a little more sleep in the middle of the night, but in some cases it's not worth the effort to go through all of that. We're still working through the first few weeks of nursing, but all in all, we're very much off to a better start, for which I'm super thankful.
|sleep: it's mostly what he do|
Sleepwise, it is what it is. Some nights are certainly better than others. He could sleep soundly all day quite easily, and tends to right now, feeding every 2-4 hrs, but at night, he is still figuring out how to consistently sleep longer stretches. Let's just say I'm thankful it's a holiday weekend because with Greg home, I'm allowed to go back to sleep for another hour or two after Gabe wakes up for a morning feed, while he hangs with Mia. During the week I do not have that luxury.
And speaking of luxuries, my mom was in town for the first week and a half that Gabe was home, and that made such a world of difference. I don't know how people survive without their families, communities, villages or tribes (whatever you want to call it). I cannot fathom having a child without having the help of someone you inherently trust to assist you with the nitty gritty. (This includes Greg as well, and those friends of mine who have *blessedly* seen me in unusually compromising positions! *points to certain hospital visitors*)
|Mommo & Gabe|
My parents were in town part of this week for Thanksgiving, so my mom went home and essentially turned around 5 days later, meaning I only had to be totally on my own for 3 weekdays. It was not as rough an intro to life with 2 kids as I'd been fearing. However, next week when everybody is gone, including Greg's parents, I might feel otherwise. It'll be 5 straight days on my own! That, my friends, seems a little bit scarier!
The most challenging parts of the day are usually at feeding times, when Mia all of a sudden wants mommy to hold her; naptime, if I'm not sure if Gabe is totally out and asleep and I'm trying to get Mia down; and right after naptime, when Mia tends to wake up as I'm feeding Gabe. I think it's probably hard for her to often see mommy consumed by another baby, but right now, so much of my time is spent sitting in a chair "eating" Gabe (that's what Mia says instead of "feeding." "Mommy, you eating Gabe?" "Yes, I'm 'feeding' him.")
|loving on her baby brother|
Before Gabe was born, I had a lot of concerns. I was nervous about his health, my health, his delivery, the postpartum period, dealing with all the changes that occur after one gives birth, and how I'd feel by Thanksgiving. I'm happy to say that many of my concerns were relieved as soon as he was born and things started moving on "normally." I'm happy to be normal in this case, for once, and not at any extremes. I still have much ground to break when it comes to mothering two children, and getting into a groove with Gabriel and Mia, so I shant count my chickens before they've hatched, but I'm so grateful to God and to my tribe for seeing us through the first three weeks. Yesterday we were able to celebrate Thanksgiving with both sides of the family including both sets of grandparents and nothing but good times accompanied our gatherings. With Mia, I was very much of a Nervous Nelly for those first few weeks. I figure that's probably a common first-time mom feeling and there's nothing I can do to change the past, but it makes me realize now how nice it is to just let things be and live in the moment, and not worry about every detail of the next 3 hours. Just breathing is nice.
And now that Gabe is stirring, that's my cue. Here a few pictures of Gabe meeting his other family members over the past week!
|Gabe & Papa Jack|
|Gabe with Nana & Granddad|
|Sneaking in a picture of Mia with Uncle Jackson|
|Uncle Jackson & Gabe|
|Gabe happily asleep with Mommo & Papa Jack|