Tuesday, August 30, 2011

eight days a week

I know I must look quite like a woman of leisure sitting in a chair all day long doing sudoku puzzles, reading magazines -- oh, and nursing!  I had forgotten that it is a 24 hour endeavor keeping a newborn alive.  He is just so busy all the time and everything he does is completely breathtaking -- working so hard at expelling waste with a serious expression complete with furrowed brow, taking lots of naps (mostly on mommy), and looking around in a panic the minute his eyes open as if to say, "I'm awake, why aren't I eating???" and then his little jaw pumping so efficiently.  From the sound of things that may be where we are right at moment.  I may have to take a little break here.

Okay.  We're back.  It is very ironic because although I am exhausted from my new sleeping schedule, I have much more energy than I did when pregnant.  Now I can actually think of doing something and then go do it instead of staring into space!   Except when I am stuck in a chair with a baby who won't let me put him down, which is pretty much always, thus leaving me frustrated and gritting my teeth whilst I stare into space.  Alas, the more things change, the more they stay the same.  Last week I decided to take a shower (I know!  Lofty goals around here!)  I told Ibby to poke her head in and let me know if the baby started crying.  I needed to soak something in the sink so I did that and then jumped in.  I figured as long as I was in there I should just clean the bathtub since the baby was sleeping anyway, but then when I turned off the water I could hear two disturbing things:  1.  Very frantic screaming, like it had been going on for some time and 2. Water still running.  I had left the sink on and it had overflowed all through the bathroom and even out into the hall!  And when I questioned why no one had told me the baby was crying -- "Oh, I forgot," was the casual reply.  He was so loud and in the very next room!  Why does that sound only bother me?  I quickly tried to put something on and take care of baby first and worry about the flood later. That is pretty much how well the household is running.  

I had to take the baby to his two week appointment so I called the day before and said:

"Hello, my baby will be two weeks old tomorrow and I would like to set a time to bring him in."
"Has he been in before?"
"No.  What time will be good tomorrow?"
"You didn't bring him in when he was four days old?"
"No, I had just had a baby and stayed home."
"How old did you say he was?"
"He'll be two weeks old tomorrow.  So when can I bring him in?"
"Didn't the doctor tell you to bring him in the first week?"
"He did! And I didn't!  Can I make an appointment for tomorrow or not!?"

Golly jeepers!  It's not like it is a crime to not bring your baby in on the exact day that doctor told you to.  Or is it...?  She seemed like it was, but after my abruptness she was much nicer.  Don't mess with a sleep-deprived, hormone ridden new mother!  So I took him in and they told me to sit in the newborn waiting room, I imagine to avoid the germs in the waiting room, and I get to share the room with a new mother and her friend, enveloped in cigarette fumes, and the friend hacking and sniffling (is there a better word for full on mucus inhalation than sniffling, because I need one) away.  I would've felt much more comfortable with the feverish toddlers in the other room thank you very much.  Then the doctor is alarmed that the baby hasn't returned to his birth weight (which is very normal, or has he really not been confronted with that before?) and forcefully suggests that I obviously am not making enough milk, no one really can for such a big baby, and should supplement with formula.  Inside I was yelling, "Are you kidding me?  Do you really think that I will ever make enough milk if I am ignorant enough to take your advice?  And are you going around telling all new mothers this?  And we wonder why people don't breastfeed longer.  Get me out of here!"  But he just saw my calm exterior as I smiled and nodded.  I am the picture of self-control.

So that is the scoop.  Things are going swimmingly.

Monday, August 15, 2011

not my idea

So I was officially released from my calling as RS president yesterday and one would think that I would be as pleased as punch, but I am really so sad about it.  I guess that proves that I am certifiably insane!  I've been crying all day.  It just feels so premature, so unfinished, so half-baked...  I didn't get my chance to shine and magnify!  I just figured out I have an inbox in the clerk's office for pete's sake!  We've been joking that I should have been referred to as the interim president the whole time, "I'm just filling in until they find the right person," or as simply the pregnant president since it spanned from the first day I knew until the week he was born.  I had so many plans!  So many great ideas!  And I wasn't going to be pregnant anymore!  The bishop claims that I am not being fired, and that it has more to do with Matthew's new calling as early morning seminary teacher + new baby + already having too many kids and he just didn't want to overburden our family when there are plenty of other people in our ward.  Fine.  Whatever.

The new president is coming over today to get the all the fun "stuff" that is required.  All last night I kept dreaming that she was coming to take the baby and I had to pack up all of his clothes and diapers, etc.  Matthew said it represents that my true calling is as a mother.  Ooh, deep. 

Now I have to worry about what is next, but not say the callings I don't want out loud, if you know what I mean.

Friday, August 12, 2011

spoiled rotten

One week ago today something momentous happened -- I was no longer pregnant and/or giving birth.  Hooray!  And it's a good thing because I was acquiring a very bad attitude about the whole thing.  Now from the distance of a few days, I have been reflecting on all of my many blessings and how much attention I have received from so many people.  I was very sad that my mom couldn't come this time, for very good reasons, but everything is going very well.  I didn't really expect much for my sixth child -- I feel positively doted upon!

1. My lovely friends threw a joint shower for my friend and I and it was so nice!  I was a little hesitant at first because believe it or not, I really don't enjoy being the center of attention.  Now, of course, if I'm relating a completely hilarious anecdote, I do not mind all eyes on me in the least :).  Because of our amazing garage sale prowess, my friend and I both did not really need the little baby essentials, so everyone was so kind and generously gave us both money to buy something bigger for the babies.  Thank you so much everyone!  I put my money toward these two things:
    2. Dinners have been coming in all week -- and they've all been so healthy and delicious, with dessert to boot.  One kind person even brought me dinner a couple of weeks ago which was very nice for an over-pregnant person.  It makes me realize how much I desperately need a live-in cook!

    3. My family has been so attentive.  They bring me meals in bed, ice water on demand, hold the baby (what a chore that is!), and are letting me relax and recover without having to worry about anything.  Today the two older kids are gone (Ella's been at camp all week, so she missed baby's first week, so sad) and Matthew took the three younger ones to Chicago.  All is quiet and serene... a magical gift.

    4. My sweet friend made me the most gorgeous quilt -- I still can't believe that a. she went to all the effort for little old me and b. that she actually gave it to me and that I now own it.  I was trying to put the pictures that she took up here, but I guess you'll have to go to facebook to see it.  Or I may just have to take my own pictures, but then I'd have to get the camera, then find the thing-y to download it to the computer ...  It may not happen. Or maybe she'll just send me her actual files because you really have to see it!  I really think it may be the nicest gift I've ever been given (apologies in advance to those who have given me something amazing that I seem to have forgotten about at the moment).  Thank you dear friend!

    5. And of course, I feel the very most spoiled (read blessed) by the incredibly soft, velvety miracle that I have been snuggling for the last seven days.  He is so sweet!  Thank you, thank you for him.  I feel so fortunate!
    Arthur "Archie" Winfield Smith born August 5, 2011
    9 pounds 11 ounces

    Monday, August 1, 2011

    still standing

    We seem to have arrived at 41 weeks no worse for wear.  This summer we had 7 pregnant ladies in our ward, all due within about 8 weeks, 6 of the babies were boys.  It's been fun to all be expecting together, especially since there was only one baby born all last year.  The first two were June, both scheduled c-sections, babies healthy and getting big already.  The other five of us were due within about two weeks of each other.  I was due last Sunday, but we know what's happening with that.  One came last Monday, three weeks early, one came Tuesday with another scheduled c-section, and one was due tomorrow, but she went into labor on Saturday night and her baby was stillborn.  I can't stop crying, I can't sleep, and I feel helpless.  What can you do for someone in a situation like that?  Especially when you feel like you're the last person they would ever want to see again.  She made it all the way to the end.  Out of all of us, I would venture to say that she had the hardest time getting pregnant, and she had had a miscarriage in the last year.  It is just so sad.  I worry for her.  I'm worried about her going home with empty arms to a house all prepared for a baby -- we had a baby shower for her just two weeks ago.  I'm worried about every time she gets some junk mail that says, "Your baby is ___ months old now."  I'm worried about her ever wanting to come back to church with five baby boys all the exact same age as hers.  I'm worried that she won't ever want to try to have another baby.  I'm worried I could never possibly say the right thing.  I'm worried about my baby.  Her baby was perfect.  Wouldn't it be easier if there had been something really wrong?  When I heard the news, all I wanted to do was rush over and hug her, try to take away some of the hurt, cry with her, but she understandably wants privacy.  We all want to do something, but this one will take someone more powerful than us -- and time.  I hardly know what to think.  My friend wrote a beautiful post here, much better than I can put into words right now.  

    It is a tragedy and it makes all of the other nuisances of life pale in comparison.
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