Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Now That I’m A Mother

Now that I am a mother I’ve had a new wave of frustration as an Instant Mother. It’s not that I resent the boys’ presence. It’s not that I no longer want to care for them or take care of them or nurture them. It is more that I have definitely found myself even more frustrated at times with the reality that their mother doesn’t take an active role in their lives.

I lightly touched on it in my last post. As a first time mom I’ve had people telling me to get a lot of rest, to relax and to sleep whenever possible so that I can recover as well as keep my sanity to balance off my new sleep schedule. I can maybe get an extra nap in once in the morning right after I drop the boys off at school and before I have to pick up Younger Boy OR in the afternoon right after I drop Younger Boy off at the after school program and before FH comes home from work.

As a mother myself now I get frustrated that Jane isn’t here to help take care of the boys more often. I’m frustrated that the only time she wants to see them, talk to them, be a part of their lives is if she has a day off from work. I think a part of it is that I’m here trying my best to be the best mom I can be to a newborn, and the best instant mom I can be to three kids that aren’t mine and it is draining me.

Don’t get me wrong here … as I said above I haven’t had a change of heart for the boys, but now that I’ve actually gone through the whole experience of labor and midnight/3am/6am feedings in the same night experience I just get kind of pissy that a woman who birthed three kids gets to have such a rule over my schedule once a week and on the holidays when I’m doing all the work and she’s not even trying to wish them a good night or anything.

To her credit she did offer to put the boys on her health insurance plan while FH transitions between jobs. Allegedly she doesn’t get charged anything extra to have children on her benefits plan. I’m hoping this means that their coverage will be decent still or perhaps that we won’t need to use it until FH is off of his probation period at his new job.

If she were perhaps more consistent with her visits and not consistently trying to get out of seeing them perhaps my anger wouldn’t be on the verge of blossoming. But with my lack of sleep lately I’ve been getting rather irritated in having to be up and going all the time when all I want to do is sit back with my daughter and relax and do nothing … or sleep.

In other views … Baby J.C. has a smile that melts my frustration and anger away. Luckily for me she’s been more smiley each day that comes.

Friday, October 22, 2010

A Little Selfish

J.C. is about two weeks old now and life has definitely been changed. I’m glad I’m on maternity leave because I think it will take me another week or so to get into the habit of waking up at 6:30am so that I can function before I have to wake the boys up to take them to school. And that means no matter how many times I do or don’t wake up during the night my morning responsibility is to make sure the boys get breakfast and to school on time.

I’ve felt a little selfish though lately and I’ve had a hard time sharing … although I do share because, I can’t very well not share when the boys live with us 24/7.

I’ve felt a little selfish because I’m a first time mom with instant kids and I’ve felt very flustered with that at times. I’ve had to set an alarm on my cell phone so that I’ll be sure to be awake when it’s time to pick up or drop off Younger Boy from kindergarten. I’ve had to one-handedly put together lunch components while holding a baby in the other hand. And I’ve had to share her and FH with them. I think that was hard because I really harbor the moments when it’s just me, FH and J.C. I’ve had to remind myself that there are three other people that are a part of this family – even when at times even some of them don’t act like it.

And it’s not out of dislike for the boys. I think it’s just me realizing that my situation as a first time mom isn’t typical. And that is frustrating at times.

So to deal with it, I’ve learned to soak in time alone with J.C. I’ve learned to soak in the special moments that FH and I have together with J.C. I’ve also learned to make sure to remind the boys that they get to be a part of her life too. Older Boy doesn’t need the reminder and I appreciate that he’s always willing to help out with her and to kiss her goodnight without us having to tell him that he can.

Middle Boy is in charge of gathering up the diaper bags every night and Younger Boy still talks about her all the time. But the two of them tend to walk past her at nighttime without a kiss on the cheek. I’m not sure it it’s just forgetfulness on their part because she’s usually sleeping or if they’re waiting for permission to kiss her. I always feel a little silly having to remind them to kiss their sister goodnight.

Anyway, that’s the main thing I’ve been learning to deal with lately. For the most part having a baby in the house hasn’t been nearly as impossible as some people have made it sound out to be. She sleeps well and isn’t a crying poopy mess all the time. I also now have that connection with a child and it is amazing. I also now cannot imagine how or why Jane would not want the boys to be a part of her life. It makes even less sense now to me. Luckily I’m totally over trying to make sense of Jane’s actions.

I didn't know that such a little person could make me feel so happy and warm inside. And as much as I have a hard time sharing, I feel even more happy watching Older Boy playing with her. That's love that is heart melting.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

She’s Finally Here!!

“It is the nature of babies to be in bliss.” -Deepak Chopra

I wanted to stop in and update everyone. The fabulous news is that there is a stinkin’ cute baby girl in my home.

I had a 20 hour long labor with only 2 1/2 hours of pushing. It was definitely a full day effort. If you look at the day I started with regular contractions though it was about 40 hours of labor. Baby J.C. was born at 8:28pm on October 7, 2010, at 8 lbs 5 oz 21 inches long.

It wasn’t a fun labor (not that I expected it to be.) I had a 102.7 fever and unfortunately so did the baby. She was in the NICU for the first 2 or so days, and I was visiting her every two or so hours to feed her and spend some time with her. We both were on watch because we had to have our temperatures stabilized and normal for a 24 hour period and we had series of antibiotics. She was finally able to stay with me in my room on Saturday night and we finally came home Sunday afternoon.

I’ve been slowly recovering and trying to get some strength back. J.C. is doing good though. F.H. and I make a really good team when it comes to taking care of her and sharing responsibilities. Luckily he was able to take the week off so that he can help out around the house and we have bonding time with her.

The boys are absolutely in love with her. They look at her with such wonder. They haven’t been able to do a lot with her considering she’s a baby but we’re trying to think of ways that they can be more involved in her care. The most precious thing though is watching them all give her a kiss good night before they head on up to bed. Especially Younger Boy whose face absolutely lights up and glows whenever he gets to see her or talk about her.

I’ll hope to be back sooner than later. It kind of all depends on having the energy and moment to spare. I hope that everyone is doing well!

Baby J.C. a couple minutes old.

J.C. all snuggled up and sleeping.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Baby Update

The Baby Update is that I'm still pregnant and am at 41 weeks today. Saying I'm uncomfortable is a bit of an understatement, but I'm trooping through it. I had a doctor's appointment and a stress test done yesterday to check on how the baby is doing. The good news is that the baby is doing fine. In fact, she was so active that we had to wait longer so the nurse could get the numbers she needed to let us go. The baby either kept moving away from the monitor or she's kick it off and we'd need to readjust. I have a feeling I'll have a handful of little sass on my hands.

The other good news is that I'm at least starting to open up. Last week my cervix was still closed up, but I'm about at 1 cm now so that's at least progress. Keep us in your thoughts and send us some labor-ific vibes. My friend put it fabulously as imagining the old Mervyn's commercials where the ladies are standing outside the doors saying 'Open! Open! Open!'

I'll keep you all updated!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Boys and the Baby

One thing a lot of people ask me is how the boys feel about the baby. It always catches me as odd considering that for the most part we've been functioning as a rather healthy family unit for the past year and a half ... almost two years. However, I do know that some people just don't get it and I can't really hold that against them. Even I'm aware that blended family life isn't for everyone.

But as far as I can tell the boys are excited … especially Younger Boy. All of the adults that work with him at the school all already knew about his younger sister and her name. It was rather touching to me that he was so excited already.

Anyway, considering Jane had another baby two years ago I wasn’t sure how the boys would react to having a baby in the house. Older Boy has had the experience of having a preggo mom and new baby in the house. Middle Boy may or may not remember what life was like when Younger Boy was born. And Younger Boy is only aware of what life with a baby is like from the few times he was welcomed over to stay the night/weekend with Jane.

Their brother Trevor is now 3 years old, and they see him once a week (if Jane doesn’t cancel) for about two hours. From what they’ve told me, when they do stay the night over there their time is focused around whatever Trevor wants and doesn’t want to do. One time I was informed they watched Kung Fu Panda about 15 times over the weekend because Trevor really liked the movie.

I’ve been trying to have the boys involved with as much as I can. They help me with chores around the house. I talk with Middle Boy about all the possibilities of what she will be like because he likes to wonder aloud a lot about what she might be like. I’m rather glad that Younger Boy is older now because when Trevor was first born he had some baby envy – but who wouldn’t expect that. Especially when this new baby gets to live with Jane and get all her attention and Younger Boy has to have FH and I fighting for him just to get some attention. But from the amount that he talks about the baby I think that he is truly excited.

I was sure what Older Boy’s reaction really was until a couple of days ago when he asked if he could feel her move. She had chosen to take a nap at the moment so I told him I would let him know the next time she was going nutty in there. Luckily it happened Friday morning and at first he lightly put his hand on the baby belly. I know she’s big enough that even Nasty Cat can definitely feel her but a little pressure doesn’t hurt if you really want to feel some movement. So I pushed his hand down a little harder and she moved up toward his hand. He had a sparkle in his eye and a smile on his face and I felt one of those warm fuzzies inside.

Will their opinions change once a crying, pooping baby is actually in the house? Possibly, but it’s nice to know that they already love her and are excited to have her here to be a part of the family. I’m three days past the estimated due date right now and they’re already making a little poll of their own to guess which day she’ll finally decide to stop being stubborn and make her grand entrance.