Eldest Child wanted to sleep with my nipple in her mouth at all times. Middle Child wanted to nurse enough to not be starving and then get that dang boob out of their face. Youngest Child wants to nurse probably slightly past satiation so that she has a good vomit towards the end but then she wants to sleep with the nipple against her lips in case she wants it later. If the nipple moves away she is terribly upset.
EC could not be put down. MC liked being left alone to look around a room a little. YC mostly wants to be held but if you put her down for a few minutes she’s ok with it and she doesn’t start indicating that she’s lonely until I’ve been gone 5-10 minutes.
EC and MC both screamed in the car as if we were lying them on a bed of nails. YC… is mostly chill unless she got into the car hungry.
EC was the most violently anti-diaper changes; she screamed hysterically through every diaper change for months. MC didn’t like them but didn’t cry 100% of the time. YC sometimes gets annoyed with being cold and complains about that but mostly she’s thrilled to get poop taken off her and she is quiet and cooperative.
Noah points out that this baby is the least… fussed post birth and she’s the only birth where I didn’t feel traumatized.
It is wonderful to me that I can’t see my family or Noah’s family in YC’s face the way I can in EC or MC. She is so completely and totally her own person. YC has a few facial expressions in common with EC (oh they have a mighty pirate YARRRRRRR face) and her face shape is suggestive of EC’s face… but very different. My Youngest Child looks like herself and that’s it.
This child seems so relaxed and mellow. She seems happy and like she’s getting exactly what she needs. I don’t feel as anxious and on the verge of ruining her life/killing her as I did with the older kids. She feels so fragile, but she also seems happy and sturdy. I think she feels fragile because I have acclimated to big kids and the difference is striking.
My milk is fully in. I’m at my pre-pregnancy weight (I’M EATING EVERYTHING THAT ISN’T NAILED DOWN). My house is shockingly tidy. My kids have not fallen behind on school work. I’m doing 1-3ish hours of chores a day and mostly resting.
I’m doing “the right things”. I’m a little bored because sitting this still is not my favorite. I think that today I will be up for trying another walk. I tried making breakfast on day three and squatting to get stuff out of the bottom of the fridge fucking hurt so bad I wanted to scream so I didn’t try a walk yesterday or day three. I’m on day five now.
It’s amazing that she’s only been here five days. I like her so much.
I think YC will be fully out of newborn size by the time she is ten days old. I can barely sorta get it on her now.
I am back to the point where I’m looking at all of my clothes and thinking, “How much boob access does this have?” I have multiple years in front of me where all of my clothes need to be picked based on access to my nipples. This is kind of hilarious to me. Given our plans in this time period I’m a little confused as to how much of this I should box up for “some day” and how much I should just pass along.
I already took all of my maternity stuff out and put it in bags to donate. I could barely wear it pregnant because I never got that big and I’m already shrunk down to about the middle of my size range. I’m mushy and I have extra skin, but my girth is not anywhere near as big as I am sometimes without being pregnant so my clothes are fitting fairly normally already.
My boobs are ridiculous. Rock hard and almost the size of EC’s skull. Which is disturbing because she’s almost 10 and has an adult sized head. YC’s skull looks tiny and insignificant next to my mighty tits. This makes me giggle so much. Bodies are weird. I miss tandem nursing right now. Having a big kid to relieve all the pain of engorgement was a gift.
Yesterday I hit the wall of “Oh my god every single piece of me is in pain. Ow Ow Fucking Ow.”
Blacksheep followed up on me asking her how she psyches herself up to be bad ass. She said that part of it is she never says to herself that she can’t do something.
I really do aspire to be as bad ass as this woman someday.
But the thing is… I have limits. I have physical, emotional, and mental limits. There are things I can’t do.
That’s hard. I think that my limits are often pretty extreme… there are many ways in which my limits greatly exceed “average” so folks are confused by the vehemence of my expression of limits. Mostly… I am not what people think of when they think “disabled” which is completely legit.
My limits move around based on a lot of factors. When I did the elimination diet from hell my body was so sick. I could not do a fraction of what I normally can. It was rough. I go through periods where I have no energy or ability to think and I essentially shut down. I plan around these things and try to avoid hitting the wall so that I fail people.
I think that I am so certain and defensive of my limits because I’m well aware of how often I could fail people if I were more casual about how I observe my boundaries. If I didn’t watch my limits like a hawk I would let people down and I really don’t want to. I have so much to give and then I’m done and I don’t want someone standing around needing me to continue or they will fail too. That’s not fair.
So I am adamant and fierce about my boundaries because if I don’t then I will hurt people. I know where I will fail and I identify that point and I do my best to avoid it. I know how to work me until I am absolutely spent… but I got through the necessary bits.
So when it comes to talking myself into doing something hard… I have to look at the whole picture before I decide if I can or can’t do something. There are millions of things I could do if I was supported properly and they were all I was doing. Can I do those things within the structure and framework of my life given my other obligations? That’s a harder question. The calculus is intense.
So as much as I admire and look up to the idea of seeing yourself as just so fucking competent it isn’t in question… I’m pretty sure that will always be aspirational for me. There are too many ways I fail for me to have such hubris. (I’m not saying it is hubris for someone else… I’m talking about my failings here.)
I am really enjoying how much mothering feels like something I can do even though it is hard and draining and demanding. Mothering really kind of sucks as a job. It’s painful and often not that rewarding moment by moment.
But I get to look at my glorious children and know that I did that. I made them from scratch and then I fed their bodies and nurtured their minds and their spirits. I don’t think that mothering is the best task for everyone. I don’t think it should be a mandatory part of anyone’s life. But I want it to be part of my life and I want to be good at it.
And I am.