We're slowly adjusting to our life with a new baby. Really it hasn't been all that difficult as the little man has been nothing less than calm and composed. Unless he's hungry, then make sure you have a good set of earplugs. In the past three and a half weeks, each of us as a family has had to find a new rhythm for our daily life. While the first week was pretty hectic, I must say I was surprised with how seamlessly we slipped into our new routine, tucking our baby into our life without too much disruption. I can easily credit this to a few very fortunate circumstances.
First of all, meals. We were given so many meals by loving an well-meaning friends. I had tucked a few meals away for these days, but most of them had been eaten in the last week of pregnancy. From day one with the new baby we had friends dropping by every couple of days with meals that I only had to reheat and serve. We had stews, soups, chilis, pasta dishes, egg bakes, not to mention the array of sweets that found their way almost directly into the mouths of our happy children. I still can't get over the tremendous blessing these meals have been for us. My gratitude is so incredibly deep, and if you're one of the beautiful souls who dropped off a meal, know that you helped this Mama survive those early days and helped usher our family with joy into our new life.
Besides the meals, there's the kids. I realize that for the older three this is nothing new. Babies come. They need a lot of my time. They are tiny, noisy, squishy, slightly smelly, and overall not just loads of fun. For the first time in our many years of overlapping babies, I saw a change in their interest level. When I'm feeding the baby they are curious, helpful, and gentle. There is no jealousy, unless you count a few fights over whose turn it is to kiss the baby. When I lay him on the floor for tummy time, I can rely on the fact that the brand new big sister will immediately lay down with him and smile, chat, and laugh with him. As overwhelming as I'm sure it is for the baby, he seems to be taking it all in stride. He's peaceful and equally curious about this brood of noisy, loving people who consume his waking hours.
And there's himself, our cute baby boy. Not unlike his older siblings, he is the ideal baby. He only cries when he's dirty or hungry. He nurses almost all day (he does sleep sometimes!) and sleeps at night, with only one or two wakings. Because we choose to co-sleep, when he wakes up through the night to sleep, I wake up when he stirs, before he even cries. I turn over to feed him and then we all doze back to sleep peacefully. It sounds silly, but anyone who has followed our struggles with nursing over the years will know this is a big deal, but he's growing. He's actually growing. And at a fairly good pace too. Last we checked he was already above his birth weight and then some. While he is not the chunkster his eldest brother was, he is himself, perfectly. With all this growing and exactly himself perfection, I couldn't be more pleased. He is a bright-eyed little boy who is already fascinated by the world and so entirely in love with his family. There really is nothing more beautiful than recognizing the look of love and devotion that crosses your child's face when he stares up at his Daddy and big siblings.
I see the proof again and again that every child is unique and beautiful and that adding another child doesn't divide my capacity for love and patience, it multiplies it exponentially. I am so blessed and rich beyond compare. That's why when people ask me if we're "done" having kids or if we want more, I can't help but say that more would be wonderful. My children are my greatest blessing and who am I to say no to those blessings as I stare into the eyes of my fifth child?