Monday, January 30, 2012

I get by with a little help from my friends

Today was the first day of school for me. My teachers were a toddler and a newborn, my classes much more challenging than I was prepared for. There was some crying. There was a small bathtub in our courtyard and a boy who did everything but play in the water, the baby was surprisingly fussy, hurting it seemed, the world outside suddenly too much. I think she wanted to go back, but it's too late. I carried her around as she cried, trying to comfort her while my son followed me, wanting "up" which he almost always wants if you are standing up or holding another baby. I disappointed them both a few times. But now they sleep and forget it all, the night bringing a gentle insomnia that forgives mothers who know not what to do. Washing the dishes was a relief rather than a chore. The sky settled into the evening with oceans of comforting clouds and I remembered God is still here. We made it and we will again tomorrow.

This is my first week "alone" with my children, three weeks old and almost 18 months. But I shouldn't even say that because I never am. I have really good friends who came to sit with me in my life, like my older neighbors in their undershirts who sit together on milk crates and have a "yarn". Except there wasn't a lot of sitting but they did hold my daughter so I could care for my son, or distract my son so I could care for my daughter. All this week I know I can send a text and help will come, mostly with good company in the chaos which is really what we all want anyway. They remind me that God is here.

Friday, January 20, 2012

these are learning days.

these are learning days, for all of us. how do we do this, parenting two? we have no idea and no one has been here before, with these two that we've somehow made. the blonde boy with wild hair and a wilder heart; the dark haired girl who sleeps and wakes with such peace, settling so easily, complete grace to us in our learning. if you ask me what I do, i'd say i nurse my children. i nurse them when they wake, i nurse them to sleep. i spend hours on the couch, a toddler and newborn latched on, held close to the place where they both grew inside, admiring each other from the perfect distance, learning each other and how to be friends. sometimes it requires a bit of acrobatics and patience, other times its easy, like we were made for this. the more i accept this as my most important job, the easier it is.

we're learning to 're-connect to correct' with our son, who's world has massively shifted without his consent. he will thank us later, i know that for sure. he loves the baby but needs to know he's still welcome - in our arms, laps, his voice heard and his giggles appreciated. he's just a baby, our toddler-baby, and he doesn't suddenly become less dependent just because someone smaller comes along.

and we are learning to be married still, even with days that are long and evenings short and our own bedtimes sooner than normal. we are learning to pray, for our children and ourselves - not because we are supposed to, but because we have no other way to survive.

we sleep in separate rooms right now, each with our own babe to care for; we've never been closer, i reckon, never appreciated or clung to each other more.

these are learning days, for all of us. the more we accept this, the easier it is.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


 (an email i sent to my husband in the middle of the night)

It's raining. I hear it on the street and wonder when the pub closes as I listen to a few men chatting away.  I'm awake in the night, nursing your smallest baby.  She's returned to her sweet coma now and I will sleep again soon.  You are with our boy, our firstborn who is so much heavier than she is in every way we could name. He's needing us more now than ever and I'm not able to carry his weight just yet. I see you though and I know how you are lifting us all up right now even with your sore back and the upheaval of it all.  He was wound up like I'd never seen before tonight as we worked hard to create space for him to sleep.  I need you on my team.  I cried a little as you danced with him, unsure what I would do without you. Hormones and Bon Iver and I had no idea what a wonderful dad you would be.  I married you because you were so handsome and look what I got.

I hope you are sleeping soundly and dreaming of the peace and settledness that will come, at least briefly soon and then forever.

Shall we do it all again in the morning?

Yes, we shall.

my handsome boy with his wee girl.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Look what we made!

We're so happy.

We called her Jubilee Elizabeth.  She was born January 8th (40weeks +2 days) and weighed 3.77 kg (8lbs 5oz).  She is absolutely perfect.  She's four days old now and has regained her birth weight plus a bit more.  She hasn't seemed to have noticed that she's on the outside and we are so amazed by her peacefulness.  I can barely remember life before she came.

"i thank you God for most this amazing day...."