Thursday, October 25, 2007

What it is like

Our little Anna has been outside of my belly for 11 days now. It was odd that first weekend. I could remember everything I was doing the previous weekend when I was still pregnant. And now I'm not. Felt strange.

She's a good baby. Only has started crying in the last day or two. Sure, she doesn't really sleep on her own without being cuddled, and she eats every hour or so, but she's a good baby. Not much bothers her. It seems like it's true what they say about babies getting used to their surroundings when they are in the womb. Ben has been just as noisy as before, and she barely flinches.

On Monday and Tuesday of this week, Ben spent half days at his old daycare. He went absolutely wild with joy to go back there. The time without Ben around has been crucial for my relationship with Anna and my mental health. I'm able to ease into this whole newborn thing... It's tough, but there's something very sweet and instinctual about these early days.

He can't stay at daycare, though, and I have to figure out how to take care of both of them at the same time without help. So yesterday, Ben stayed home with us and Chris went to work. Wow. It sucked.

We really have to figure out a way to get Ben to nap. Yesterday morning, he was giving me the sleepy, naptime cues, so I put Anna in her bassinet and walked with Ben upstairs. We cuddled for a little bit, and I tucked him in. Then he freaked out and had a meltdown at the babygate, throwing his nuks and his blankets over the barrier. I went back up after 10 minutes, this time with Anna, and we cuddled some more and talked about naptime. Anna and I left, and another meltdown insued.

Maybe it was because I was desperate for a nap myself. Maybe it was because I knew that he needed a nap, too. I let him cry it out. He screamed and hollered (not crying) for 45 freaking minutes. Eventually, he passed out in his cuddle chair without a blanket and without a nuk. And he only slept for about thirty minutes. Oh well. I got some more sleep.

The afternoon went better. I set him up with a couple art projects, and he was a little happier with life. Sure, he was so unbelievably tired by dinnertime, he had huge bags under his eyes, but I survived the day without duct taping him to the highchair, so I consider it a victorious day. He went grocery shopping with Chris after dinner and went to bed without much struggle. (Of course he's gotten up about six times since then, crying whenever Anna squeaks, but hey. Can't win them all.)

I feel for the kid. I really do. This new life isn't as much fun for him. He has to share my lap with a squirmy little baby who he can't hold and hug as much as he would like. We are almost constantly doing some kind of care for Anna, and it's tough to interact with him as much as we used to. I've started singing songs with him while I'm nursing Anna, but it's not the same if I can't do the hand motions with him.

Anna is good. Love her to bits. So sweet and precious. I even love her cry. It's adorable to watch her whole face look so pitiful and miserable and hear her gasping, angry cries. She was getting really wound up this evening when we were trying to nurse, and I couldn't help but giggle. Chris thought I was nuts. Hey. It's a coping mechanism.