(Before I jump in, I’m sharing one of my favorite cookie recipes over at Sugar Tart Crafts today as part of her Sugar Rush 2013 series . . . tons of delicious Christmas treat ideas that you’ll drool over. You will not be disappointed, except perhaps by the holiday weight gain it will inevitably cause. That might be disappointing.)
We’ve had almost 2 months now with baby Darcy, and I figured you are all probably spending a good portion of your free time wondering how things are going over here, and I don’t want to ruin your Christmas by keeping you in constant suspense, so here we go. (Kidding. I just mentioned her birth and then almost nothing about her/us for weeks, so maybe an update is in order.)
I was super nervous about her arrival for, oh, about a billion of the typical reasons that one would worry about when having a new baby, but the majority of my pre-baby stress was spent in worrying she’d be another Forrest. It would really be hard for me to overstate how awful our newborn experience was with Forrest. He was wildly colicky—sometimes people tell me their baby is colicky, and they’ll describe it as an inconsolable period of time for a few hours each evening, and I’ll express sympathy but in my head I’m laughing manically and then breaking down into sobs and thinking how nice that would have been, just a few terrible hours each day. Forrest honestly cried for probably 15+ hours out of every 24. I know that must sound like I’m exaggerating, but seriously, he never ever everevereveretc. stopped screaming. It was horrible. And while I probably should have been just grateful for a healthy baby (despite all that crying, he was, in fact, quite healthy, as the pediatrician repeatedly told me when I brought Forrest to his office about 85 times during his first few months because surely no healthy baby would have any reason to cry that much), it was really a pretty horrible time for everyone. I mean, you spend 9 months dreaming about your sweet little angel and then this very cute but very miserable screaming hellion arrives and it was awfully hard to just be excited about a new baby when everything was so new and scary and damn difficult to cope with. The colic started improving at about 10 weeks, and by about 4 months or so he was such a happy and sweet and wonderful little guy, but those first months were something I never want to have to go through again. So to summarize my overly long, very whiny tale of baby woes, much nerves + many worries about Darcy being the sort of newborn that Forrest was and having to go through that experience again.
But I’m so glad to say that Darcy is the polar opposite of baby Forrest. All of the cute, none of the demonic possession. Overall, she really is a pretty content little thing and doesn’t get too worked up very often. She loves being held and will sometimes get ticked if left alone for too long, and heaven knows she will NOT put up with waiting for any reason when she is hungry, but otherwise she is generally happy with life. She has the most beautiful, bright eyes, hilariously skinny chicken legs, and a seriously impressive mullet, and she’s starting to give us absolutely heart-melting smiles and coos. She is a lovely little peanut.
My recovery from labor/delivery was also way easier than I remembered it being with Forrest (probably because my labor/delivery overall was way easier than it was with Forrest). I didn’t feel nearly as physically wiped out for those first few weeks as I was the first time around, and the residual pain and soreness cleared up relatively quickly this time, too. It seems to me like a rather cruel fact of nature that after doing the most physically difficult thing it is probably possible for anyone to do (growing and then pushing an entire human being out of yourself), you are immediately tossed into a newborn sleep pattern so you can’t even recover normally, but I’m not sure who to take that complaint up with, so just know that I am displeased with the divine planning on that one. Very displeased indeed.
At 8 weeks, her nighttime sleeping is . . . fair? I guess? After Forrest and his not-ever-sleeping-no-matter-what-none-at-all-I-could-continue-but-I’ll-stop sleep habits (non-sleep habits, I should call them), anything seems pretty good by comparison. Darcy seems to be getting more consistent with her nighttime sleep, and generally sleeps about 4ish hours straight, then wakes up every 2-3 hours for the rest of the night. I’m not sure what’s typical (if anything is) for this age, but I guess this seems okay to me for now. I’m really, really looking forward to her sleeping more, but I don’t feel like I’m going to die most of the time, so that’s a plus. She also nurses quite well, which is a treat (you never saw this coming, I bet: Forrest was awful at nursing. Are you sensing a pattern here? Everything that could have been intensely difficult [barring serious illness/disability/etc.] with Forrest, was.).
Forrest has done surprisingly well during this transition. I figured he would probably be okay with the baby herself, but would struggle with the attention she got, and he’s done pretty well in both regards. After pretty much ignoring her for the first 2 or 3 weeks, he decided he likes this little intruder and is really quite sweet with her. He asks to hold her every once in a while, and he loves talking to her, especially when she’s crying (“Shhh, baby Daw-see! Iss okay! Evewything gonna be all wight!”). He definitely gives me more attitude than he did before she arrived, and is more defiant/argumentative than he used to be, but I’m not sure if that’s just a byproduct of him getting older and wanting to be more independent, or a backlash from not getting all the attention he’s used to getting. Probably both. He also seems a little more obnoxious than he used to be, but I’m not sure if that’s really him or just that I’m not getting enough sleep to be as patient as I should be. Probably both again. But overall, he’s doing really well and I’m proud of how he’s handling this big change. It sure makes things easier for me to not have to stress about him having negative feelings toward his sister.
As for me, I’m doing pretty okay, too. Physically, I feel all right—just tired. The hardest things to handle so far have been a) adjusting to less sleep, and b) losing all personal time. That’s one thing I remember being shocked at after Forrest was born, just the sheer amount of time newborns take up and how little time you get to spend doing what you’d like to do on your own. Especially since Forrest is a very independent kid and plays awesomely on his own, I really got used to having time for me to spend how I liked—crocheting, reading, baking, shop orders, trips out, the works. It’s been a little rough for me to not have much (/any) time for those things anymore. Even when Darcy is napping in her crib, I either don’t have the energy to do the things I’d like to do, or I want to spend some time with Forrest so he doesn’t feel too left out, and I definitely miss just having the time and energy and freedom to do my own thing. I know that will change as she gets older and sleeps better at night so I won’t be as run down, but it’s a little frustrating to get to the end of the day and feel like I haven’t actually done anything all day. I also seem to be on something of a 7-day sanity cycle. I feel pretty good, mentally and emotionally, for roughly a week at a time, followed by a day or 2 of feeling exhausted and depressed and anxious and overwhelmed. And then I’m back to normal again for another couple days. (Don’t worry, I’ve talked about this with my doctor and he and I both are not very concerned right now about postpartum depression [at this point, anyway], especially since these days always seems to follow a night of particularly bad sleep and pass so quickly. But I’ve got everyone on alert to keep their eye out in case I do end up showing some more consistent signs of PPD and need to get help. This was an issue after Forrest was born, too, surprise surprise. That poor kid is going to be subjected to so many horror stories about himself as he grows up.)
So that’s life in our house lately. Mostly good. We really love these 2 sweet kids, and are so grateful to have them in our family. Definitely looking forward to things normalizing a bit more and settling into a more predictable schedule, but all things considered, we’re doing well. I suppose I should write updates like this more often so they aren’t novellas by the time I’ve covered everything. I wonder if anyone has made it this far. If you’re still here, leave your favorite color in the comments . . . I kinda want to see if anyone survives a mega-post like this.