I have been thinking about how to share this post for the last few days.
I’m always one for honesty, assuming I’m able to be honest with myself. I can’t help but share this story, but I hope you will forgive me for leaving out some of the details.
Maggie was born on Sunday afternoon.
Tuesday morning Jack had a minor surgery scheduled. 36 hours after Maggie entered the world Jack would take a drive up to Johns Hopkins and go under general anesthetic for an out-patient procedure. He would be home that afternoon.
Originally I hoped that both mommy and daddy could be there. When the clinic called to confirm his appointment they informed me that only one parent would be allowed in the room with him before and after surgery.
All I could hope for was that Maggie would come early enough before Jack’s surgery that I would be home before he left or she would hold off until after everyone was home.
She certainly cut it pretty close.
My parents stayed with me, Henry and Maggie while Jack and Daddy went to surgery.
With all that help my kids were taken care of, meals were made for me and my house was immaculate. I tried to nap. I couldn’t sleep. A few times when I went to lay down I started to cry. I couldn’t sleep. Everything was happening all at once. I was worried and tired.
Finally, Jack got home. He looked tired, but seemed mostly normal. My family was united again. I could finally breathe again.
Have you seen the Exorcist? We tried to give Jack some food because he hadn’t eaten anything all morning. Epic fail.
Chocolate milkshake everywhere.
My parents had their bags in their hands, they were ready to leave. Luckily they hadn’t actually walked out the door yet.
We did 3 loads of laundry that day. Blood. Vomit. Poop (which was just a standard load of cloth diapers) but still.
After my parents left I went to try to lie down again. Just as I was drifting off to sleep “Help!!”
More vomit. Poor Jack. He was having a reaction to the anesthesia.
My nerves were feeling fried. I was starting to wonder if this was the onset of a postpartum mood disorder. I know enough to know what to look for in myself, but also not to wait until things get bad before calling my midwives to tell them what’s going on.
Everything felt out of control. I couldn’t leave Jack’s side, I felt so bad and was so worried.
And during all this. Henry. Poor Henry lost his playmate, to a couch-recovery at the same time he lost his status as sweet snuggly baby of the family. No big buddy to play with. And Mommy and Daddy were constantly holding his new sister. He was not shy letting us know he was NOT COOL with this new arrangement. Not listening. Not helpful. Not interested in snuggling. Which I missed as much as he did.
Was this my new life? Injured 4 year-old, naughty 2 year-old and oddly calm new baby?
Certainly a crash course in how bad things could get all at once. But in 24, 48 and 72 hours life would get easier. I knew that was true. Life would get easier, happier and more comfortable from here.
But Maggie will get bigger.
Well, I can’t win them all.
Now, Maggie is 4 days old and Jack is 48 hours post-op. Things are easier. I feel more at-ease. This could be our new normal. It’s comfortable enough. It only gets better from here.
Don’t grow too fast, baby Girl. I need to be sure and savor everything.