Today Henry is one week old. What a dramatic week the first one home with a newborn is! Once we were home from the hospital, I couldn’t fathom when I’d feel like blogging again. For the past two days, I’ve been itching to write here and edit my novel again. Good news!
Henry is a wonderful, precious, gorgeous, perfect little boy. We are all absolutely in love with him. Jacob is transitioning to our new life beautifully. I hope it will stay that way once John goes back to work next week. With the tremendous changes this week has seen, there’s no way to predict it—not that we have the time or energy to attempt prophesy right now anyway.
In the week or so before Henry was born, I kept reminding myself that the week after Jacob was born was kind of a lost era. It was like one long day, but by the end of it, I was starting to feel like myself again. Today, I can say the same. I can sit comfortably without medication. I can pick things up off the floor. I still can’t pick Jacob up very well, but meeting Henry has convinced me that Jacob is enormous, so I’m not upset about that.
Side note: How did Jacob get enormous? He was lying in my lap the other day, similar to how Henry does, and somehow I was surprised to see him overflowing in every direction. Big hands, big feet, chunky legs and arms, a running start for hugs and kisses at bedtime, and a sweet little voice—very serious at times, silly at others—telling me just what he’s thinking.
With a newborn in my arms and hopes of more to come . . . someday . . . I’m not really nostalgic about Jacob growing up. Rather, I’m thrilled at the prospect of seeing what Henry is like. At first, we didn’t think Henry looked like anyone in our family. By day two, I realized he looks exactly like Jacob did at this age. I’m not sure how long it will last, but holding Henry while watching Jacob play is like a time warp in our living room.
I spent a disproportionate amount of the first few days after Henry was born considering exclusively adopting children in the future. This pregnancy, delivery, and recovery—though not extraordinary in any sense—did seem harder on my body. Doable, but harder. I have to remind myself not to get ahead of myself. There’s plenty to think about and enjoy now anyway. I am loving having two little boys in our home!
The balance of those first days was spent considering what in the world leads some people to the medical profession. We had two kind, compassionate doctors or nurses for any one disgruntled one, and everyone gets a bad day now and then. But still. There is one incident, while upsetting at the time, I recognized would be humorous later.
The one night Henry and I stayed in the hospital, I tried to talk my way out of a second bag of Pitocin via IV. I thought my doctor had agreed to just one bag, but it seems that didn’t make it into his orders. I told the nurse that it was very difficult to nurse while plugged into an IV (never mind having given birth a short ten hours prior). Her response was that without the IV, I could bleed out and die, and then I wouldn’t get to nurse at all. Did I want that?
Thankfully another nurse later better explained the need for the drip (my bleeding out and dying was in fact very, very unlikely) and apologized for the other woman’s reaction. Funny now, though, right?
So a week in and loving being a mom to a newborn again—especially with a doting and hilarious big brother to keep us all moving forward. The lights in our home, the Christmas cards, the gift exchanges and celebratory food are making this a very special time of year. Home and family are synonymous, and I am so beyond grateful to have both.
One of my roommates in college once told me about her mother’s attempt to convince her to have children one day. We couldn’t have been more than sophomores at the time. I’m sure her mom wanted her to finish school without embarking on parenthood, but it seems she saw a need to plant the seed. In explaining childbirth, she told my friend, “It’s just one bad day. After that, it’s all puppies and rainbows.” Needless to say, “just one bad day” became a refrain for us. Bad experience at the internship? Just one bad day. Rough time meeting deadlines? Just one bad day.
Turns out, it’s more like one bad week, at least for me. Well, one bad week that gets better every day, especially with the help of:
– heat-and-eat meals cooked by family and friends stocking our freezer
– a husband who changes diapers, cleans, fills my water bottle, and cares for our toddler single-handedly, never forgetting about me in the process
– the purposefulness (from where I’m not sure) to seek out a remedy for whatever kind of pain or discomfort I’m enduring
– the occasional phone call with someone (usually Mom) to say out loud how I’m feeling and confirm that we are making progress; this too shall pass.
With a night of something like eight hours of sleep, only interrupted twice, smack in the middle of said week, our family is on our feet. It’s only been one week, but a very special one. There are lots of photos, but they’re not yet uploaded. Trust me when I say we have two of the cutest boys on the planet.
A friend visited the other day and asked an important question: how was I feeling about Ethan in the midst of parenting our newborn. It almost pains me to say it, because I know that not everyone who experiences miscarriage eventually ends up having their own children, but holding Henry, thinking about his future, enjoying his right now, has been healing for me in a way I can’t imagine anything else would. God gives us what we can handle, what we need, and for some reason, He knew we needed this little boy.
I am grateful John suggested Ethan as Henry’s middle name. I believe Ethan was praying for us throughout the pregnancy, and I know that we wouldn’t have Henry without Ethan.
Today Henry is one week old. Today I am a happy girl. I am grateful to have this space, your thoughts and prayers, and a bunch of great guys to call home.