I’ve been taking things one day at a time over here recently, because things are pretty unpredictable with a newborn ruling the roost!
My knees have started to show signs of improvement, which is obviously a nice development. I spend so much time sitting down, pinned by a hungry baby, that my knees are bent a lot of the time. They still ache if I keep them bent for too long, but it is so much more manageable now, and I think if things continue like this, I should be able to avoid physical therapy. Yipee!
The most unpredictable aspect of life right now is sleep. Ellen’s night time sleep has been all over the place. Saturday night she only woke twice and was quiet as a mouse in between. The past two nights she has been up every 90 minutes to eat like clockwork, meaning that I can’t get more than 30-60 minutes of sleep strung together for myself. I’m exhausted! And my breasts are running on empty!
Last night was particularly rough on me because I decided I was ready for everyone to sleep in their own respective bedrooms, and Ellen resumed being noisy so I never knew when she actually needed me vs. when she was just in a shallow sleep and grunting/squeaking for no reason. I ended up ignoring her when she actually needed me (resulting in an angry baby) and going in when she didn’t need me (resulting in unnecessary wakings for mama!).
The main outcome of my confusion was that I barely slept. I was up and in Ellen’s room multiple times between her 90 minute intervals because I couldn’t figure her out. Ultimately, I ended up back on the air mattress in her room so I could just lift my head and see what was going on. That helped, but I’m not sure how I’m on my feet today, especially considering that Ellen continues to feed max every 90 minutes today as well, eliminating her 3-4 hour naps where I could have potentially squeezed in a few zzz’s myself.
I did end up getting the FitBit, with the goal of tracking my sleep. It doesn’t do as awesome a job of tracking as I had hoped. It is over-optimistic about how much sleep I’ve been getting. I look at the results every morning and it often says I’ve gone back to sleep at times when I know for a fact I was still awake with Ellen, since staring at the clock and wishing I was sleeping is my favorite way to get through night time feedings. But I still like the FitBit, and I will keep wearing it because even its approximations are better than no tracking at all.
Also unpredictable is Ellen’s mood. Today my easygoing baby has disappeared and cries herself purple anytime she isn’t eating or sleeping. I’m not sure what that is about, but it has really slowed life down for the day. Yesterday was the most productive day since having Ellen, with a 100% completed to-do list. So even with the baby’s crazy mood today, things are pretty well under control at our house, save a few dishes and some other small projects I wanted to work on. Yesterday’s mild-mannered baby makes today’s screeching infant even more surprising, but because I got so much done yesterday, it is easier to slow down today, and I’m enjoying the baby snuggles and in awe of my seemingly miraculous ability to calm down the purple child. I swear, breastmilk is made of magic.
Speaking of milk, Ellen hasn’t projectile vomited again since last Friday. That means that those two incidents on Friday were the only two incidents in a whole week. Hoorah!
I was particularly grateful for the reprieve over the weekend when we were away at the coast with some friends. It’s hard enough to deal with the vomiting at home, but out and about is way worse! That’s not to say that I wasn’t on edge, because you never know when the next eruption will come! But despite the anticipation of vomit that never came, the weekend away was really lovely. It was Ellen’s first trip, and our friends have a newborn and a toddler the same ages as our kids, so it was really fun to all have the adventure together.
Ellen isn’t the only unpredictable lady in our house. I have been confusing myself as well! I found myself yearning for home while we were at the beach, which is very unlike me. I love to travel and get away! Kyle is normally the homebody, but he enjoyed the heck out of the trip, especially playing in the ocean with Lewis (the feeling was mutual! Lewis hasn’t stopped talking about it!). This time, though, it was me. On several occasions, I felt anxious and wanted to get back to where it was “safe”. Luckily that wasn’t the overarching theme of the weekend, so I was still able to enjoy the trip. But the fact that that snuck into my consciousness at all was really surprising.
Motherhood is so strange to me sometimes. I can feel like I hardly know myself! I thought it would be different with a second baby, that I’d be zen and in control, since I have been around the block before. And a lot of it definitely is easier, but because Ellen is a totally different baby, a lot of my nerves and anxiety are still there as I get to know her. And transitioning to a mom of two has me discovering whole new parts of myself – my way of thinking is altering, my wants and likes are different. It’s like pushing restart again! I expected that with Lewis (to some degree), but I didn’t think the reinvention of myself would be quite this pronounced the second time around.
All this “new” is challenging and confusing, yes. But it is also exciting and fun. Getting to know myself again is pretty cool. So far, even though she’s different, I like the new me. I just need to learn how to work with her. I’m getting to know Ellen AND myself simultaneously. What a crazy journey, and one I didn’t entirely see coming.
So we’re on a wild ride over here. I never know what’s coming next, and I wonder if that’s where my desire to get back home to what is “safe” came from. Sometimes it can feel good to be in a familiar environment, because then at least something is “known”, and whatever unpredictable things come my way fall onto a comfortable backdrop.
Well, the baby is awake and screaming again. Duty calls! Snuggles incoming! *swoon*