Archive for January, 2014

The Fourth Trimester

That is where I have been. Technically, I stayed away from this blog for most of my third trimester as well.

No, I have been in that lovey, beautiful haze of post-babydom with our latest little big man, Andrew Jacob. He cruised into life in mid-August, a week and a half late, weighing in at almost 9 ½ pounds and 22 inches long. That’s my boy. He’s now four-and-a-half months old and weighing in at 17 ½ pounds and 28 inches. Yep, you read that right. Everyone start sending footballs and basketballs.

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He is beautiful. He has Ned/Thor/Gunnar’s eyes and head and is built like a little linebacker. I can tell already he’s going to be sweet. This time around, things seem to go so much faster and little Drew and I are bonded quite nicely.

This fourth trimester has been like a ferris wheel. Scary, sometimes too fast, and sometimes. Way. Too. Slow. These are my ruminations from the past few months:

Time. There is so little and so much of it. It seems that this first few weeks are so fleeting; little man is reaching all of those milestones—smiling, laughter, cooing—so quickly. And yet, each little tickle is like a discovery, as NTG and I look at one another and wonder, “Did Max do that? When did he first smile?” We shrug and turn our eyes back to the joy of our newborn. He is here now. It fills my days, and yet seems to not be enough of it at all. He rolled over a week or two ago, and NTG was saddened. “It’s all over,” he said.
Sleep. Oh, how I love sleep. In the fourth trimester, sleep is a like a drug really. You crave it, you push it aside, you long for it, you cannot wait for it, you sometimes are overtaken by it before you know what is happening. My favorite moment of the day often is when I climb into bed, the boys are all tucked in and I get watch a little television or read a chapter of … zzzz. It still amazes me how the third trimester leaves us in a bad taste in our mouths when it comes to sleep … it evades us so well. And in an instant, we can now easily find slumber, like it was waiting to snatch us up all along.
Which brings me to patience. Certainly all parents need it, but none more than parents of more than one child, when the youngest has just arrived. Patience seems run right alongside sleep; the more rest mom gets, the more parallel the tank of patience. The less mom has to work, the greater the patience. The easier the schedule, the more I can tolerate Max slamming the pantry door a hundred times in a row. You get the picture.
Letting go. I did a lot of this with Max’s arrival. Housework, making dinner every night (see Cooking), having time to watch television. With two, the second time around letting go is amplified. It’s really leeeetttinnnng gooooo. I cleaned my bathrooms this past weekend and realized I had not scrubbed my sons’ bathroom since before THANKSGIVING. All television watching takes place via On Demand, and if a show is not on On Demand, I dump them. I’m starting to be a shower-at-night girl because morning showers are laughable when you have preschool and an infant in tow.
Cooking. Well, I’m a foodie. Totally. Even in my last month of pregnancy, while I was a giant whale of a person, I managed to cook and fill my freezer for those nights post-baby. After Andrew’s birth, we had meals cooked by my mom. Friends brought dishes and presents for the baby. And then … crickets. Because we live in such a rural area, it’s up to me make sure we eat, since take out option are rare. And kind of scary. I’ve learned once again how much the crock pot is my friend. And make-ahead freezer meals. And cooking double batches and prepping ahead of time. And to stop following recipes altogether.
Love. Yeah, we love the babies. I mean, some people are baby people, and some are not. I’m in the former category. Nothing as perfect as a little baby sighing softly in his sleep. Or how snuggled up he gets while nursing. Or the way he cannot stop himself from having a total giggle fit every time I take off or put on his clothes. Or how he already loves the game where he holds out his hand to my mouth and I pretend to eat his fingers. Better than chocolate, those babies.

And now the light is starting to filter back through the tunnel of the fourth trimester. Work is starting to come in again; Andrew is almost sleeping through the night, although I have yet to adopt his 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. sleep schedule. We’re getting into a groove, and I’m starting to feel that good feeling writers get … I’m ready and at the keyboard.

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