We made it past three weeks. Surprisingly I have not lost my mind (yet). I haven’t even really had a hormonal postpartum breakdown (yet), and I’m wondering if it’s really because it is easier the second time around, or because — I’m just not as hormonal? Or maybe because my expectations have changed knowing what I know now. Even the husband is surprised that the Cranky Bear has not appeared… yet.
Our status: I am a little more than barely breathing. Thank God that both my girls are healthy and no complications arose with the delivery or with my recovery, and we were able to get back into the swing of things right away. All things considered of course — I was (am) still healing, my husband was on a pseudo paternity leave / work-from-home arrangement and my mom was around to entertain Sam. To be fair to Jamie, she doesn’t demand much of anything either — except milk, an immediate change of diapers when dirty (my kind of girl!) and a tight swaddle or a warm body to sleep next to.
The apartment has never been messier that’s for sure, and I constantly wish I had an extra pair of hands on me to be able to multitask at will. I daydream about 2-hour body massages and long for a good pedicure. Yet in spite of all of these and the increasing sleep deprivation, I still feel it is manageable. I dare say I’m having a bit of fun with it too!
How did I make it still sane this far? The following is a list of what I think helped:
2. Say YES to everyone that offers food. I have the most generous friends in Chapel Hill! Most showed up at my door with full (and really delicious – I kid you not) meals for me and my family, keeping us all well fed. I have not cooked since I started stuffing things in my freezer a month ago, and I have not used those either. So I still don’t need to cook! THANK YOU to our friends who have spoiled us silly!
3. Play Peggle. Okay, this may need some explaining. Peggle is another Pop Cap game my husband discovered on his PlayStation3 a few months ago. He downloaded the trial version for me, saying that I would enjoy it. I didn’t believe him at first but as it turned out, I did enjoy it — so much that I downloaded it onto my iPhone and have been playing it ever since. I can just sit and play while rocking Jamie to sleep. Yes, dishes need to be done or emails need to be sent, but sometimes, Peggle is all you really can do! 😉 (Give me a break – I just gave birth!)
4. Be Less Self-Conscious. With Sam, I was very shy about breastfeeding her in public (even with a breastfeeding cover), or even at home when guests would come to visit us. Now though, I realized that a barrage of people have seen me at my worst (ie when I was in labor), and so breastfeeding with a nice floral cover over me isn’t so bad. That, and we can’t stay home all the time as Sam will go stir-crazy on me. So now I find myself breastfeeding Jamie outside McDonald’s, at the playground and all these other public places. Sometimes to my horror, Sam lifts the breastfeeding cover because she wants to see her sister. But after a moment of shame I laugh it off instead of getting fully embarrassed like I used to. I have no desire to flash in public, but what can you do with a curious 2-year old and an infant in need of nourishment.
5. Toughen Up. Before we would jump the instant Sam would cry or whimper. But I guess now we know better — they survive every crying spell (and hey, it makes their lungs stronger). Sometimes crying helps them drink a full side of milk, and makes them tired enough that they also sleep better. So now when I stick Jamie in her carseat and she protests, I don’t panic anymore. She also has no choice in the matter, since we need to get from point A to point B and we can’t leave her at home alone. Also, Jamie and Sam sometimes cry at the same time and so one of them will have to wait until I finish attending to the other.
I don’t let them cry it out though, I’m not that tough. 🙂 But the crying is now more tolerable after learning how to deal with it in the last two years.
To be continued…