One of the difficulties of having a second child is that I have been trying to treat her like she was my first. And she’s not. The good part is that she sleeps from 9 pm to 6:30 am with only a couple of nursings in the night, and goes right back to sleep–if she is on me. I don’t mind that so much right now, but I will have to figure out at some point how to get her to sleep in her pack n’ play at some point. Heck, at some point I suppose we should put the crib back together, huh?
But during the day, I am lucky if I get her to take an hour nap. And I think it comes down to this–she is a wakeful baby. I have books for every occasion, so I broke out the parenting books, looking up “sleep,” “fussiness,” etc. But now I think it is mostly boredom. She sleeps only about 12 out of the 24 hours–not typical for a young baby. She has all this awake time in the day and she can’t crawl, or play with toys yet, so she is bored. I have to shift my thinking from planning what I can accomplish during her naps and realize this is it–anything I want to get done will have to get done while she’s awake. Unless I don’t want to sleep at night, and that is a non-negotiable for me. I am very, very crabby when sleepy.
Somewhere in all this, I also need to figure when to pump. And she nurses like crazy during the day. Or maybe that’s just me, with my one-boob-fits-all approach to baby problems. Worked great with Rowan. Nova also talks (or in her case, burbles) in her sleep and has little bad baby dreams too. Leif and I joke about that–what bad things has she experienced so far? Loss of the boob perhaps?
Meanwhile, I realized I gave away a bunch of my pregnancy pants, because I have been living in my yoga pants. I love yoga pants, but I don’t think I can really wear them to work. Oops, guess working out has just been put on high priority now. I’ve got six weeks to fit back into my old pants. At least I can do cardio with her in the baby bjorn.
My parents came on Saturday and leave tomorrow. It’s been going pretty well. As is typical, I stress out about the cleaning and cooking before they come and when they get here, it’s not so bad. I tend not to tell them what I’m making for supper until they ask, because I don’t want to know if it’s something they think they won’t like. Last night (when asked) I told them we were having chicken and lentil curry with roti and my Dad had his neutral look. The look where he’s thinking he not going to like it, but thankfully is too polite to actually say it. And here I am thinking, What don’t you like? Do we not like lentils now, is that it?
But everyone agreed the meal was fabulous, and I was very proud of myself to tell my father, “And you didn’t think you would like it. I could see it in your eyes.” He admitted he had been skeptical, although I am still confused as to what seemed odd. This is, after all, the man who made me eat dal at the tender age of 4. I detested the lentils so much that I feigned I had to go to the bathroom, where I prayed very earnestly to God to take my lentils away. Alas, when I came back they were still there–and now cold to boot.
Nova has been less fussy, both yesterday and today. My parents actually got to hold her without her screaming bloody murder. And Iain has been great with her, probably because he is not afraid of the balance ball. Bouncing on the ball with the baby has been the only sure-fire way to quiet her when she is upset. When we were making dinner last night, I had Leif as my sous-chef and Iain and I kept switching out–I would nurse as needed, and Iain would bounce as needed. All this while chopping garlic, onions, chicken, making rice, and pan-frying the roti.
The bread I’ve been making from the new book has been a hit. I made two loaves of brioche–I wanted to make when people were here, so I wouldn’t eat it all. And then the roti, of course. Today I think we’ll make individual flatbread pizzas with the olive oil dough I have in the fridge.
Yesterday, after two hours of fussiness the thought came Work isn’t so bad after all. When I told Stacy this later she said, “That’s sad!” but really, it isn’t. I have always, always known I am not the stay-at-home type. I love my kids, but I love them more when I get my space. I need my space from time to time, preferably a little each day. Saturday morning Nova started right off being fussy and Rowan wanted to talk, talk, talk and by the time Leif got up, he said, “You seem a little grumpy.” Yep, because first thing in the morning, I like to have my tea and quiet. I can’t imagine having 9 or 10 kids, it would not be for me.
And I should be clear that Nova is not colicky. It’s not out and out screaming, it’s just she’ll eat for a little while, then want to be patted, then rocked, then fed, then held, then changed–it’s something different every 5 minutes. I have been feeling guilty because I watch tv in the morning, but I am not going to feel guilty anymore. Because I am not perfect, and I need a little distraction myself.
On a totally different note, I picked up that book, “Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes or Less” and love it! My copy arrived on Saturday, and since then I have baked 3 loaves of bread, a batch of naan, beignets, and today brioche that completely fulfilled my non-stop croissant craving. With real coffee with real cream, it was superb. It is pretty much the only thing I have accomplished lately.
I am in week 3 of my maternity leave now. Turns out, Nova is a bit fussier than Rowan was. And she definitely barfs more. In a week or two, I will probably start pumping and venture out more, but right now with the fussiness and the barfing, I haven’t felt up to it. She doesn’t fit into her newborn clothes though anymore, so she’s eating well despite it. And she is not fussy at night, score!
I have been sleeping on the living room couch with the pack n play next to me, though she does not spend much of the night in it. I fall asleep easily, which is why half the time I wake up with a baby on my naked breast, and realize, “oh, yeah, I was feeding her.” My parents are visiting next week though, which means 1) I won’t be sleeping in the living room, they will be and 2) I’ll probably have to cover up some.
It’s weird to think that this is my last maternity leave, my last baby. Not a bad thing, it’s just that in my case I know it’s final. I have even taken out my drawing supplies and sketched the baby, which I always meant to do with Rowan but never did. Once you draw a person, you know them in a different way. I’ve always hated cutesy pictures of babies, but here I am doing it anyway. It’s a strange kind of limbo, maternity leave.