My son is three, almost four, years old. Not that old which means that it hasn’t been so very long since I did this whole brand new baby phase. And yet.
I’ve forgotten how much, well, work a new baby is. How planning for a trip to the mall (because you need to get out of the house and because you have a three year old who needs somewhere to run off some energy, for the love of God) feels akin to preparing for a polar expedition: the bag, the gear, the desperate importance of timing (before the older needs a nap, but after the younger is freshly fed and changes, and not during lunch or else you’ll end up shelling out $7 for a pretzel dog and lemonade) (AGAIN) (Amount spent on pretzel dogs in the last two weeks: $28.95) (But, on the bright side, parentheses are still free!).
There are many ways in which these first few weeks are going more smoothly this time around. I’m more relaxed, for one. I work under the shockingly crazy assumption that my new baby girl will continue to breathe, even if I don’t check her every two minutes. I’m getting more sleep. I’m getting along with my husband better than I was last time around, which is probably related to the sleep thing (I feel compelled to note that this is not because he is “pitching in” more this time. It is 100% that I am less crazy this time).
But it is still hard and sometimes overwhelming in these first few weeks. I feel dumpy and rather unattractive. I leak milk and my body feels flabby. My breasts are ridiculous so my back is sore. I feel moments of stark anxiety: about breast feeding (which is going fine), about money (which will be fine) about work (which may or may not be fine but is frustrating to be worrying about during maternity leave).
I love the babe, of course, and am happy to rest in the knowledge that our family is complete now. My husband and son are both absolutely smitten with her and I know that there is much to look forward to. She won’t be three weeks old for long and soon she’ll be out of the larval stage and in the fun, chunky, smiling, sweet smelling baby stage.
I don’t really have a great zippy ending here…so cut to cute picture of the baby I just described in insect terms: