Then and now

What I had forgotten, what I remember all too well, and what’s brand new….

I know, because we raise sling babies who are always close and usually sleep (in the daytime) on a parent, there will always be food on baby’s head or clothing. But I don’t remember Peanut being covered with as much  chocolate as Hazelnut has been.

I remember about feedings every two hours, but I had forgotten that means one hour between feeds. And that every-hour cluster feeds mean non-stop.

I’d forgotten how long the Netflix wait when there’s a newborn to peel…

I remembered how heartbreaking is the cry of a brand new baby, but never thought that this time I’d be willing to pee first and nurse second.

I’d forgotten how forgetful I get after meeting a new baby.

I remember how much help can be in the wee hours, but since I know now, after a firstborn with thrush and nipples with Raynaud’s, that ANY breastfeeding problem can be fixed with expert help, that I can logon in the morning and still be fine.

I remember being grateful for help, but I don’t remember bursting into tears so often about people’s generosity. I’ve cried several times over some sesame cashew noodles and homemade bread delivered last Sunday. After reading each email or getting a call of support, especially from those pressed for time and struggling i their own lives. I cried twice over surprise Zachary’s pizza that showed up courtesy of a lovely friend and family conspiracy. Countless times over seeing a clean sink and drying dishes each time my mom comes over. And frequently about the preschool cooperative’s plan to deliver a dinner every night for two weeks just because they have so many volunteers who want to help.

I recall feeling overwhelmed, but I didn’t know this time would be much calmer, much more fully present and in the cuddly moment. Maybe it’s the change in geography, wherein I’m home and surrounded by people and places I deeply love. I’m much less caught up in fear and loneliness and panicked “should” and “have to”s because I now know that everything changes, often daily, and today’s ratio of tummy time to music time to sling time will matter not one whit in four years as long as Hazelnut is loved and heard and warmed and fed.

Screaming, wakeful, gassy, pained babies do get to 13 weeks and do settle into life here eventually. I was too freaked out to know that the first time.

This time I just wonder if scared, angry, intelligent, head strong preschoolers settle eventually, too.

Eh. Probably.

17 thoughts on “Then and now

  1. geez, I meant YOU for the chocolate drip, not Hazelnut! Note to self: find more efficient drip, too much choco can’t be wasted w/ a faulty delivery system.

    Get netflix streaming player… you’ll get 1 dvd/month in the snail mail, but then you can play unlimited movies with the streamer anytime for like 10 bucks/month.

  2. jc, the chocolate drip is appreciated regardless of Hazelnut dribble. I get to lick it off him later, anyway. Snack!
    Jen, I did, too. And I yelled at Spouse for daring to pee while baby cried. But I’ve timed a full bladder and baby’s gonna have to wait the 33 seconds this time. Poor, poor younger siblings.

  3. I remember how I nearly cried with gratitude when the Better Half’s brother and sister-in-law brought by a lasagna to freeze after Critter was born. Never before had I been so grateful for meals.

  4. It’s amazing what a little experience, and knowing that al parties survive, can do to ease anxiety, eh?

    Glad to know that you are surrounded with generosity of spirit! What an incredible gift!

    And, for the record, Hazelnut is just precious!

  5. This is lovely. It gives me hope that I might want to do this again someday (which says a lot, considering it took me 90 minutes to get Tank to go to bed tonight).

    I wish I lived close enough to bring you a lasagna.

  6. Okay. Now you’ve got ME crying. And I don’t even have a newborn, but I may be premenstrual. But everything you said was so vivid and so true that it brought back a rush of memories and feelings for me. I’m so glad your family is being so loved and cared for. Isn’t food like the greatest expression of love when you have a new baby in the house? And I’m all for saving the chocolate on Hazelnut’s head for a snack later. Just in case you were wondering.


    PS I wish I lived close by so I could bring you dinner every night for a week. Big hugs to all.

  7. It’s amazing how different the second one is. I remember just falling into life, like we’d been doing things with two forever. We went to the grocery store on the way home from the hospital after #2 was born!

    And yes, the sibling thing gets better… someday;)

  8. I think everyone should have at least two kids so that they can actually enjoy it once instead of living their parent life in a non-stop panic. It’s nice to have that knowledge that “this too shall pass” and actually believe it. Hugs to you and your fam!

  9. Beautifully said. And so true. I remember being so thrilled that I wasn’t worried about snapping off one of my second’s limbs as I put his little onesie on for the first time. And the newborn cry the second time around, I found more sweet than painful. Everything just comes easier. I found I could enjoy the experience so much more.

    Except of course for the pesky older child who for some reason STILL wants some attention. sigh. But yes, they come out ok too!

    Glad everything sounds like it’s going so well!

  10. Isn’t it wonderful how people come through and make you cry after giving birth? Nothing like embracing dormant emotions on a full stomach.

    PS: “…but never thought that this time I’d be willing to pee first and nurse second,” made me laugh. It’s only the beginning. :)

  11. We do tend to forget some of these “growing pains” don’t we? Nature’s way to ensure that we give birth to more than one child. ;-) Fortunately some of these skills are like riding a bicycle, you get them back right away. :-)

    Enjoy the lovely meals from the lovely people you have surrounded yourself with.

  12. Wow, so many memories. Slinged babies covered in food, non-stop nursing and the peeing/nursing competitions. And all those tears, too. I’m so glad you are feeling present for the cuddly moments – I found that to be so hard.

  13. I was so much more emotional after my second. I’m so glad that the reason you’re crying is because of people’s generosity and not greeting card commercials. I wish I was there to help too. And I maintain that preschoolers do grow out of it. I HAVE to believe that!

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