one week tonight

  • I’m so excited to see NGP birth stories over at Insert Metaphor and First Time Second Time, but every time I’ve tried to read them I’ve been reduced to tears within a few lines. Still a bit too raw, it seems. I’m also relieved to hear that the new Tiny Blossom is doing well; my heart is with you all as you adjust to this new timeline (and fall in love with your new daughter). This community is so important to me. Know that I’m there even though I’m not commenting right now.
  • I just mentioned to J that I might need to go for a short walk today – just bundle up and leave the house for a few minutes – but even as I said it I burst into tears at the thought of leaving him.
  • I’ve been having what I hope are irrational fears about the birth: that I did and said the wrong things to people, that I haven’t let them know how grateful I am, that I was foolish. It sounds like such a silly waste of energy, but it’s what’s happening.
  • J had irises (Emmett’s flower) delivered to the house on the 19th, so they were here when we came home with Bram. They’re just now opening, just as they were when our friend Laura sent them one year ago. The emotions of this are so big and so complex.
  • Bram’s eyes are opening more and more, and they’re dark, dark blue right now, so I think they might be brown like his donor’s. I think they’ll be big like J’s. And he has her mouth entirely. And the longest limbs. And the most perfect hands and feet. And golden skin, even as the jaundice abates.
  • The thought of doing the normal things of life – of working again super soon, of taking walks, of cooking, of vacuuming – is so overwhelming. The thought of writing my dissertation from home when J goes back to work makes me feel like throwing up.
  • Comfort measures: friends who bring soup, lattes, Indian food, freshly baked bread. The one episode of Parenthood we’ve managed to watch since coming home. The mere thought of a bath.
  • I already had to move a couple of outfits that B outgrew to the basement. This seems impossible, as does the fact that he’s one-week-old today.  I want him to grow and seem more solid, less fragile, but I’m terrified of all of it passing by quickly.
  • I’m so grateful for these hand-me-down cloth diaper systems. I already have favorites for certain times of the day. I can’t keep up with the laundry, though, nor can I remember to keep B covered so that he doesn’t pee on both of us when I change him. I’m living in optimism that I will figure these things out.
  • J is doing so well. She’s less hormonal than me. Less impacted by the sleep deprivation. Seemingly less overwhelmed. And she’s the one with the stitches and the soreness and the actual postpartum hormones. This makes me feel weak. Most of this has made me feel weaker than her.
  • When I think about how spring is coming, I feel a flood of joy. Walks outside in the crisp sunshine with the boy in a carrier on my chest. Walks to the coffee shop. Walks downtown. Sunshine on his sweet, sweet skin. I think having a baby in the winter in the north is a little tough. All this darkness.

12 thoughts on “one week tonight

  1. Dear R:
    Be gentle with yourself. I, too, felt that D was adjusting to life post-partum better than I was – she was less hormonal, less impacted by sleep deprivation, etc. There must be something to being female and experiencing these hormonal shifts vicariously. You.are.not.weak.
    And I highly recommend a brief walk outside of the house, even if you cry through it. It will do wonders for your spirit.
    You and I will be dissertation-writing-staying-home-with-baby-mamas together. We’ll get through. And it will be beautiful. xoxo

  2. I’m sure you didn’t do or say anything wrong during labor–I don’t think that would be possible (short of hitting a doula). Amazing that he’s outgrown outfits already!

  3. Aw I wish we were friend IRL and that I could bring you guys some comfort food and see the little man! And you are NOT weak, being a parent is hard.

  4. You are one of the strongest people I’ve ever met, dear R. Being gentle with yourself is fantastic advice.

    I read an article recently that stated that winter babies may bond more easily with both parents, sleep better, etc. than summer babies. There may be absolutely no truth to it, of course, but it discussed the difficulty little ones face getting comfortable in the sticky months. There’s something about a gloomy January in the north that inspires lots of cuddles.

    Anyhoo, I’m in awe of you, J, and tiny Bram. I hope that some sleep and a walk and a bath come your way soon, and I wish I were closer to help with laundry and bring you coffee.

  5. I echo the comments about gentleness and strength. I don’t know stronger, really. I love that irises were there, and I feel again just how intensified this past week must have been coming as it did on the anniversary of losing E.

    Being a “January baby” I know this: thinking of that dark month, cuddled in as an infant in the midst of a lot of silence and snow, is one of the family narratives I most cherish. My mom *still* tells me about the day/month of my birth almost every year on my birthday, and I pretend, or imagine, that I remember it too. I love that Bram will share something of this :) And by the time spring comes, you’ll all be wide-eyed and ready to take it in.

    Now. Be very very kind to yourself. You can NOT have said anything “wrong” during labor. During this past week. I promise. It’s just not possible.

  6. Hang in there. Be gentle with yourself.
    If you didn’t have Bram, this anniversary of E’s birth would probably be an intense and difficult time. Add to that the wonder and pain and intensity of labor and life-with-a-newborn and jaundice and breastfeeding issues, and I’m amazed that you guys are managing anything at all. You are both incredibly strong.

  7. Every time I read a post here I am always completely and utterly blown away by the sheer intensity and raw depth of emotion that you display for us all to read and reflect upon; allowing us to comment, to console, to share in the joys and wonderous parts of life (especially the birth of that adorable, precious little boy). You, and J, are both incredibly strong people and have faced such sadness. And now you have this wonderful little boy to love and spoil. And I am sure you did nothing wrong during the labor.

    Enjoy your beautiful boy; those crisp early spring days will be here before you know it :-)

  8. Keep your head up, friend. YOU ARE NOT WEAK!!! You have been through so much in the past 12 months… I can’t imagine all of the emotions. Take care of yourself too, along with your wife and Bram.

  9. *I feel the same way about the winter – in fact, the whole time we were pregnant I was worried that the early days would be twice as hard because of the season. We got some nice fall days in when Goldie was little, but the short days are very hard. I keep saying that I wish it was summer so we could do X (go for more walks, go for an evening drive, not have to worry about cold and layers). But I think the good thing about having a winter baby is that by the time it’s warm, the babies will be whole new, exciting creatures who will explore the outdoors with you. They’ll be so much fun this summer!

    *Go for that walk! I know it’s hard to leave the house. For me it was hard knowing that I could leave – that I wasn’t essential to Goldie’s every minute. I felt guilty and a little unnecessary. But it’s so good to get out. If it ever warms up, put that baby in a moby and take him with you!

    *I totally understand the fear that I haven’t told people how grateful I am – I worry about that in so many areas of life. I think the fact that you have this fear pretty much means you have shown your gratitude – even if it’s not in words. I know the birth fears too – it’s not easy to be the female partner of someone in labor. I just know that you were amazing and helpful and some of the most precious use of energy in that room.

    *I hope you can be gentle with yourself around the house and normal life things. I haven’t always done a good job in this area and I regret how stressed I’ve been over cleaning and laundry and all that. It’s stressful to be the one on your feet, though, and I understand how overwhelming it can feel.

    *Yay lattes and fresh bread!

    *I’d love to hear more about your diaper adventures some time!

    *You are not weak nor are you weaker than J. You are a strong and amazing mama to B.

  10. I so appreciate your openness and honesty…in sharing this new unfolding you all continue to inspire me. Beaming good vibes back your way! And a very happy one-week birthday to precious Bram.

  11. I too would like to echo the comments about being gentle with yourselves! You’re learning, you’re all learning… Don’t worry about doing anything wrong in the birth, I’m sure you didn’t. I hope you can focus on and enjoy these precious new days with Bram. Wishing you all bliss!

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