The second time around

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The second time around

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She’s still sleeping like an angel – three nights in a row of only one middle of the night feed (more like 3am than midnight). I can do this! I can do this indefinitely. Though that seems unlikely.

Theories:

– she’s bigger than Louis – bigger belly – stays full for longer.

– she’s sleeping in the same room with us, hearing us snoring, just like she has for the past nine months. (That’s me sleeping in the couch-bed. Elena’s Moses basket is usually on the coffee table during the night.)

– my memory of Louis is just plain inaccurate.

(a)

– second children are generally easier because (a) the parents are more relaxed &/or (b) there’s a crazy toddler running around and yelling for most of the day and they just have to adjust.

(b)

But it’s probably none of those things or a bit of a combo. Anyway, we’re doing much better now that we’re sleeping.

It’s six days today and I haven’t been overwhelmed by happy-tinged-tears yet. Last time it would get to four or five in the afternoon and I’d be sitting on the couch with a third tear-soaked tissue, sniffling and saying, “I’m just so happy.”

I keep waiting for it, expecting it, but no tears of this flavour yet. There were tears of exhaustion, and tears of frustration, but no crazy hormone tears… Fortunately, last time, I knew it was the crazy hormones and not just that I was losing my mind.

Of course there probably was some mind-losing. They call it baby brain and I would love to say it’s a myth but I more hope than believe that to be true. If I tried to do calculus now I don’t think I’d be getting A’s like I once did. (Wasted talent anyway; never did like maths. Became an English teacher, though I only got Cs and Bs in English. Go figure.)

I have been feeling a bit uber-sensitive. Mum told me about a court case in NZ – a midwife being tried for malpractise or something because things went badly wrong: baby died, mother had to have hysterectomy… but beautiful twist on the end – they saved her ovaries/eggs and a friend gave them a surrogate who was their biological child. Welling up a little just now.

Overhearing the news about Syria almost put me over the edge. Was glad to be making dinner and missing most of it.

Have been feeling quite restless. Wrote in my journal yesterday evening – 2nd or 3rd time since the birth – and that made me feel better. Also had a brain wave: I want some kind of work, something creative to do that doesn’t revolve around food or babies.

Not that there’s anything wrong with giving food and babies lots of attention, but there is more to life – or there has to be in mine or I’ll lose it.

So, I’ve decided to pick up my sketch book in the next few days and, pretty soon, my paints. Novel-writing seems like a huge brain-obstacle that I’m not up to overcoming just yet. Reading would require more attention-span than I feel capable of, but a little sketching, a doodle here, a likeness there – I think I can manage that.

Getting out of the house each day is preserving my sanity, no doubt. Probably overdid it a bit today doing the shopping with Luuk. But we did successfully have a first family outing with just the four of us. Elena slept through the entire thing. Surprise surprise.

We got home and the front pack (ordered online) had arrived – would have been quite useful for the shopping trip.

Elena is so tiny and delicate. Perhaps that’s what’ll get the tears flowing – her delicate little floppy… aw.

Louis is coping pretty well with his new role as big brother.

Elena, lucky girl, even got a kiss today. It was a very sweet moment.

The whole communal living thing is working out pretty well, I think. I’m definitely appreciating the laundry fairy. And yesterday, while I napped, she swept all the floors as well. Elena gets put in all sorts of places, out of the way, so that Louis can sleep un-interrupted in his room and we can use the living room without waking her.

She’s very good at sleeping through everything and anything – long may it last. But I know not to expect too much. It’s a phase common to the first few weeks of life. Knowing these things, I’m sure, makes it all easier. Perhaps I’m feeling less over-whelmed and that’s why I’m less emotional.