Thursday, January 19, 2012

We Dug Our Own Hole

When I was pregnant I used to say things like, "Well, this baby is the third baby, so she won't get the same amount of attention Rhett got when he was the only child." I would say, "I won't be able to sit on the couch and nurse all day or nurse this baby to sleep the way I did for Rhett." All bets were off the second she was born. She became "the baby" of the family. The last baby. I didn't even want to let other people hold her in the hospital. I was very protective. I remember having the feeling of emptiness and wanting Rhett back when other people would hold him when he was newborn. When Mavis was born I didn't want to feel that emptiness, so I just kept her to myself.

Now, Mavis loves to nurse all day and gets nursed to sleep. She still loves to take her morning nap on me or Dan and in the evening when we are trying to watch one of our shows she nurses, falls asleep on me, and if I'm lucky (I haven't been lucky these days) I can pass her to Dan and she will sleep on Dan for an hour or so, so I can knit while we watch a show. She still sleeps in our bed (Rhett did until he was 2 and we tried with Mezmur), so when our show is over we will take her to bed and hope she goes back to sleep easily. She doesn't love to be put down and some days this is really tough...uh, maybe because I have two other children! I have to remind her of this when I'm trying to read Mezmur a story or when I'm helping Rhett with his homework. "Mavis, you have a brother and sister too...give me a break." Some days...I need that extra glass of wine and angry mom comes out a lot, because it's stressful having three high need children!

This brings me to why we do what we do. The other day, Dan came to me and said, "When Mavis is all grown up, we will look back and want just one more day with our baby Mavis. I'm going to pretend that today is that day and enjoy my baby." It sounds cheesy, but he said it in a serious way. Now that I have an almost 7-year-old and a 3 and a half-year-old I know how fleeting this time is. Before we know it, Mavis will be independent and not need us as much. One day she will tell us she wants to sleep in her "big girl" bed and one day I will sleep through the night again. Soon I will never nurse another baby again. The thought of this is both very sad and a relief that this is just a season in life. A very short season. There will come a day that I will look back on Mavis as a baby and I'll be very thankful that I took the time to fully appreciate the baby months. I love sleeping next to my sleeping baby and I love the way she touches me and looks at me while she is nursing and I hope I never forget how magical it is to have a baby in the house. Magical, exhausting, stressful, hectic, and I might just loose my mind. Some days I'm beating myself in the head with craziness, but most days I hold my sleeping baby (while the other two are in bed) and think, how did I get so lucky? Note: there are always happy thoughts when all the kids are asleep at the same time...always.

With that said...THIS article has been circulating and it is DEAD on!

Also, Rhett's Pac-Man party was mentioned on THIS


Duncan said...

Whether or not you are digging your own hole or climbing Mount Everest it boils down to perspective. . . I know you know this when I read your blog. I'm afraid I have been "the old lady" in the store at times, who looks back at the time her kids took the clean sheets off the laundry line outside and made a tent with them in the mud. Oh, her "angry mom" came out then but now she looks back on it fondly and laughs about it now. She can truly say she loved every moment of that back then now. I know my "angry dad" came out at times. . . When you are on two different trail markers in life the views are always different. There is one constant and that is we all get to live one moment at a time or one step at a time in our climb through life. Right steps or wrong steps we have the blessing of being "here now" and at any given moment of chaos, being lost or pain an inward perspective of a single breath is our first blessing we should count. . . Trust me when I say there will be a time in your life that will reflect this time in your life with all your blessings foremost in your memory and the rest really never mattered because you are really only ever "here now". . . exactly where you are meant to be. Have a group hug tonight with the family and all of you take that one breath together and see where any of the upsets of the day, the week, the month or the year "really mattered". . . I know. I know!! I'm trying to stop! Just remember it's all about perspective. We will only get one chance to know "it" all and we will be counting our blessing at that moment, so why not be counting them along the way. I don't know it all, I only know this one thing. . . and it means everything to me "now". Love to you all!!!!!

Kathryn said...

I am weaning my 13 m/o right now, the last baby, the one who slept beside me until just a few weeks ago when she decided to strike out on her own in her crib. I am glad to know there are others who, like me, are holding their youngest babes just a little bit tighter b/c they know all too well that fleeting season ends just a tiny bit too soon. This post was a nice read after a long night with a non-sleeping kid!

rachel said...

autumn, it sounds like mavis is so much like iris. i can completely resonate with the feeling of emptiness you are describing. even with iris, i feel the same way. i too said while pregnant things like, "who can nurse this baby to sleep with three other kids to look after?" i really just assumed that she would be an easy baby. and yet right now revolves around iris, her sleep, her lack of sleep. some days i wear her almost all day, because she will not have it any other way. there's often this bittersweetness about it all - i want to soak it up but these days are hard, too. exhausting mostly. thanks for these posts. i enjoy checking in! i love your quilts and jude just had his birthday last week as well. we're having a party this weekend with galactic pizzas, yoda sodas, and the battle against the death star (pinata!).