Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Two months in...

I was looking back at some Facebook messages with friends from the past few months. The recent messages have to do with the baby, our kids, art projects, upcoming events, sickness, sleep, etc. Then I got a little further back, and I hit the messages from when I was pregnant. Then I reread my blog post from January, where I basically complained about being pregnant the whole time. It got me to thinking about how weird it is to be pregnant one minute, then blink and suddenly have a 9 week old baby.

just born
2 months old

It's weird to think back to that time, when I was still pregnant and 5 was just "the baby". We had his name picked out, and referred to him by name with the kids (kept it a surprise to everyone else until he was born), but still couldn't imagine him. At that point in time, I couldn't imagine not being pregnant, or holding the baby. I couldn't imagine having five kids. There was so much unknown. When I think about the day before the baby was born, I laugh at how much I was worrying.  I was so worried about actually going to the hospital and leaving the kids at home. Mainly, I worried about Donkey. He was only 11 months old, and he was my baby. He was/is such a Momma's Boy. I cried and cried the night before my induction when I put him to bed because I knew I was leaving him for two days and that when I came home, life wouldn't be the same. I literally typed five pages of "instructions" on taking care of the four kids while we were in the hospital. My husband could have come home, but between my parents and my aunt, the kids were covered. So we took advantage of the mini vacation in the hospital, a few days on our own getting to know the new baby before starting our life as a family of seven.

The worrying and the complaining were so unnecessary. I knew it at the time, but I still did both all the time. I complained about being uncomfortable. In my defense, two back-to-back pregnancies really took a toll on my body. Heartburn was terrible, my back, hips, and tailbone hurt constantly, I was either nauseous, starving, or throwing up all the time, and pretty miserable. And the worrying was for nothing. I had already given birth four other times. I knew what to expect in the delivery room. I knew what it was like to bring home a new baby. I knew I would love him just as much as his brothers and sister. But I still worried. I was scared of the unknown.

My labor and delivery went really well. I mean it wasn't pain-free, but I've come to realize I'm tougher than I give myself credit for. Also, whoever invented the epidural is sheer genius! You lose all your dignity in the delivery room, and by the fifth time, I didn't care who was in there. The maintenance man could have been there for all I cared when I was 10 cm and feeling insane pressure. (Funny story, the maintenance man was actually in the room when I was in labor with Pirate. Not when I delivered though!) And the second he was born, the second I saw that cute little face and the big eyes looking at me, that I had imagined for 39 long weeks, I was completely thoroughly in love. I loved him before I met him, but that grew when I got to see him. The kids came to see him that afternoon and loved him right away. I think they're just used to new babies. I seem to have one every year! 

When we got home and settled, everything just kind of fell into place. My husband was off for two weeks, which was a huge help. I cried when he went back to work. But then I was on my own and found my own groove with all the kids.

Obviously there have been a lot of ups and downs in the past 9 weeks- lots tons of diaper changes, crying kids, crying mommy, rearrangements (is that a word?) in the rooms and in schedules, and milestones with the kids. Pirate lost his first tooth, Princess lost two teeth, Donkey got four molars within three weeks, and Trouble got a couple molars. I didn't realize we had so much happening with teeth until I wrote that! Most of all, there has been a LOT of love going on in this house. A lot of crazy and annoying things happen here, and it's chaotic pretty much all the time, but I don't just focus on that. There is a lot of love here, and it makes all the craziness worth it.

Two months in and everything is going well. The kids are happy and healthy and that's what is most important. I couldn't imagine life without 5. He is just a perfect completion to our family. As much as I couldn't picture life with him when I was pregnant, I can't imagine life without him now. He's cute as can be, with the most lovable chubby cheeks. The kids adjusted just fine to life with another new baby. Donkey had the hardest adjustment, but now he's doing great too. Two weeks after 5 was born was Donkey's first birthday, and we made sure we had a celebration for him, even though he won't remember it. We want to make sure the kids all know that even though we have a big family, each one of them is special to us and deserves to be celebrated.

Things aren't perfect. I don't strive for perfection. People say, "I don't know how you do it. I could never have five kids.". Since giving them back is not an option, we just do it. We just take care of them and love them and do our best. It's not easy by any means. But they are our children and we love them and do what we have to for them. And count down the days until they are out of the house! Just kidding... sort of :)

The Fab Five :)

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