The great philosopher Kris Jenner once said, on a particularly deep episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, that “one is one, two is twelve” when it comes to children. For some reason, that little nugget always stayed with me - and I now understand what she meant.
I would be lying if I said that the last thirteen days have been easy - they’ve been anything but that. I feel like we’ve gone from enjoying a peaceful existence in the suburbs to running a full-fledged zoo. Three weeks ago, my life revolved around keeping my daughter and my husband fed at the three major mealtimes of the day and happy for all the moments in between. Now, my life revolves around those things and a small person who needs to consume a large amount of breastmilk produced by my body every 2-3 hours (the consumption of which takes the better part of an hour in and of itself)- plus naps and diapers and bathing and laundry and pacifiers and making sure that while all of this is happening, the other child is entertained and safe. We’ll get the hang of it but the adjustment is harder than I expected it would be. In my exhausted and overstimulated state I’ll forget one daughter’s existence for a minute or two, mix up their names, forget who is getting whole milk or breast milk, accidentally skip a mealtime for someone, answer the doorbell with a pumping bra on... I found the TV remote in the refrigerator yesterday. Not sure if I should laugh or cry about that.
Never not holding at least one child now
So Much Poop :(
I have been exposed to so much poop in the last 2 weeks it's a miracle I don't have pinkeye. One morning this week, I was pumping while bottle-feeding Ella upstairs and needed Nick to run up a second bottle as I’d filled the first. In the one minute it took him to zip up the stairs and help me change out bottles, Daisy had pooped, removed her diaper and finger-painted her special Spica chair with her own poop, which was also on her face and in her eyes. While all of this was happening, her sister Ella had a blowout poop in her diaper as well. It's like the two have poop ESP.
Another morning this week, Nick and I awoke with a start realizing that the monitor we use to listen for Daisy in the night had disconnected from the base and we’d slept much later than we usually do - which meant Daisy had been up for a while. Sure enough, we went into her room to find her bed and the wall adjacent to her bed soiled and Daisy in the nude, playing with her now poop-covered toys. The only way to get her clean was the bathtub and getting her in with the brace on was an ergonomic and emotional nightmare that involved a lot of spirited screaming. If our neighbors weren't already concerned about the state of affairs, they certainly are now.
I really, really, really love to sleep. I especially love sleeping many hours. I didn’t realize how precious those consecutive hours of sleep are until they drifted through my fingertips and away into the distance, out of sight. Since we’ve been home, it seems the second we get Ella to sleep and we turn off our lights, we hear faint stirrings followed by audible crying then screaming and yelling from Daisy’s monitor. Like clockwork. It’s as if she has a direct line to Ella’s REM cycle - as soon as she’s out, Daisy’s on. It is miserable. Lately we’re lucky if we get to sleep around 1 AM and get rest until 5 with one disturbance in between. I am starting to look - and feel - a bit like the Walking Dead.
I really believe half my brain cells were somehow removed during the cesarean procedure. These days I feel like I am constantly wandering around the house with a little spinning cloud above my head filled with half-complete thoughts, to-do’s that aren’t-immediately-urgent-but will-be-soon-so-I-shouldn’t-let-this-thought-go-oops!-shiny-object…, dreams, decisions that need to be made, calls I have to return, bills I need to pay… And it’s anyone’s guess which thing will come down from the cloud for actual processing by my brain.
The Black Hole of Words
Have you ever had a thought, then another thought popped into your head and you were able to address one and then the other? Well, enjoy that. Those days are long gone for me. The moment a thought is crowded by a second thought, the first one gets the boot. I have to close my eyes to think without interruption. My once robust verbal vocabulary seems to be on a permanent vacation somewhere lovely with no plans to return. It takes sometimes thirty seconds to identify the correct word - and other times I have to give up because I simply can’t find the word at all. It’s been sucked into the vortex of lost thoughts and ideas and other forgotten words. It must be an interesting place, that black hole….
Then there is postpartum depression. That is it’s own blog topic that deserves its own post - forthcoming.
Anyway. This is life a week in with Ella home. I joke about being braindead and exhausted but the truth is, we knew chaos was coming and we welcomed it with open arms. Nick and I have individually and together always envisioned having big families and we are on our way now. The next few years are going to be sticky and sleep-deprived and unglamorous but it will all be worth it ♥