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.