Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dealing with both the expected and unexpected surges of love

I was only in the hospital for a day. Everyone expressed either shock or amazement that I was out that quickly, but the labor was so easy that I didn't feel too awful afterwards, and the healing that I needed to do I could just as easily do at home without having nurses and other hospital staff coming in at 2 or 3 in the morning to check my vitals or whatever. And Josie got a clean bill of health, so when they told us on Friday that we could go home, my response was, "right on. Let's blow this bitch."

The transition with the baby at home has been very smooth. Josie is seriously the easiest baby I have ever encountered -- certainly much easier than Zeke was. She's still sleeping a ton, and when she's awake, she just hangs out and looks around.

She never cries unless she's hungry or pissed off, like when I'm changing her diaper. And even then, as soon as she's fed, she immediately calms down. As soon as she's dressed and diapered, I pick her up and put her on my shoulder, and she snuggles into me and mellows out.

The hardest transition has been for Zeke. He wavers between being very excited about the baby and having a hard time dealing with the attention she's getting. The good news is, except for the first day home, when he threw toys at her, he hasn't been aggressive toward her at all. He just gets pissed off at Jason or me (me in particular, since I hold Josie the most) and either refuses to talk to us or is a tad more defiant and emotionally sensitive than usual.

But he's dealing. Both my parents are here, so he's getting lots of attention from his Mimi and Papa, and Jason and I are making an effort to spend time with him every day playing or reading books or going to the park. And since Josie is so easy, we can stick her in her bassinet or in the bouncy seat and she chills out, and we can have time with Zeke.

I also try to include him in taking care of her. I'll give him little jobs like getting Josie's pacifier and "helping" to give it to her, or helping to give her a bath (his job was to take the washcloth and wipe off her feet and then rinse them off).

But even though I know that what he's going through is normal -- hell, anyone with a younger brother or sister went through it, and most of us made it just fine -- my heart feels like it's bursting when I look at him. He's such a sweet boy, and such a joy in our lives, so affectionate and enthusiastic about everything. And when I see him struggling to figure out his place in this new world order that has sprung up in our household, it makes me cry.

Of course I'm crazy in love with my new daughter. That, I expected. But what has blown me away by the last few days is how this whole process has made me even crazier in love with my son. I want to just gather him in my arms and provide him with every reassurance, to ease the difficulty of the transition, but I know he just needs to work it out. Other than just be there for him, and continue to include him in everything and let him know I love him, there isn't much I can do.

But I can certainly ease the pain by buying him a new firetruck bed. Love and nurturing go a long way, but so does bribery.


  1. I'm so glad everything is going so well! Josie is so, so sweet. Go for the firetruck bed - it's so cool.

  2. Bribery is so key- and be sure to tell him the new toy is from Josie. We also told Reese how much Owen loves him, over and over (he never asked how we knew that as Owen couldn't talk yet...)

  3. We got the bed and it's a big hit. He's doing pretty well. Very happy to have his grandparents here.

  4. When my friend and his wife brought home their son, their 3-year-old daughter was enthralled at first. After a few days she asked, "When is the baby going home to his mommy and daddy?" I wonder if Zeke is thinking the same thing.

    It's so hard for me to realize I have to let Walt work certain things out on his own. I feel your struggle, but it sounds like you're handling it beautifully.

    What a sweet baby!

  5. Carolyn1:20 PM

    Wendy! What a bee-u-ti-ful baby girl. Congratulations. I went through similar emotions as yours after my 2nd son was born. I remember crying and asking how was I going to love this one as much as the first one. I quickly learned I had enough for both. I was so concerned about "neglecting" the fist one. Boy, he made sure I didn't ;)

  6. AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!! :-) :-) :-)