Little Miss Charlotte is officially one week old, and the word to describe this week would be "adjustment." Oh boy...all kinds of adjustments have taken place. We are adjusting to living on very little sleep. We are adjusting to splitting our time and attention between two girls. We are adjusting to me being at home alone with the babies. We are adjusting to life as a family of four and the realization our "old life" is officially not coming back!
When you bring a child into the world, it seems that everything goes through adjustments. Our marriage is already bending and stretching to accommodate another human being who is much more important than either one of us right now. A co-sleeper bassinet rests in between Luke and me at night leaving no room for snuggling or spooning for the two of us. There's not a lot of time right now to talk about things that don't involve diapers or feeding schedules or Dora the Explorer. We are OK with this, definitely, but we also understand the importance of making time for each other and for adult conversation. I believe that you can't have a healthy home life with healthy children if your marriage isn't solid and strong. Putting children above your spouse should be done with caution, in my opinion. Right now, we really have no choice but to give all of our love and energy to our girls, but sooner or later, after this initial adjustment period ends, we will be able to give something, even if it is the very last remnant of our hearts, back to each other.
Noelle is adjusting, too. She really loves her baby sister and speaks with excitement about her. However, I know that Noelle sees us interacting with Charlotte and giving her attention and I'm sure she thinks "Who is this person stealing my Mama and Papa?" We have tried to shower Noelle with praise and love and special attention, but there is only so much to go around at any given moment. I have thought this many times-- but thank goodness we are playing "man to man" and are not outnumbered yet.
I am adjusting to my new primary role of caregiver and not teacher. I must say I have suffered from a great deal of guilt because here I have the two most beautiful girls in the world, and I am constantly having to remind myself that my #1 priority right now is taking care of them-- not thinking about school, attending meetings, grading papers, planning units, taking photos, etc, etc, etc. It's difficult though, to change gears like that, when it's all I feel like I know how to do. I am used to being really busy, so when I'm home now without any real place to go or be or anyone really to talk to (aside from Noelle), it causes some uneasiness and loneliness to be quite honest. I am adjusting (have I mentioned it's the word of the week?) to this lifestyle and am trying to embrace it as I know that this leave will be over in a flash and I will have all of that familiar chaos back in my life in no time.
Lastly-- Charlotte is adjusting. :-) She had her days and nights completely mixed up upon entering this world. In her first few days of life, she barely opened her eyes during the daytime. She wanted to eat all night, which left me with about 2 hours of sleep each day. However, last night, she allowed me to sleep about an hour and a half to two hours between feedings, and she has spent several minutes today taking in her world and surroundings with her eyes open. I am hopeful that she is going to start sleeping more and more at night and show us her beautiful eyes throughout daytime hours.
Also noteworthy...she weighed 7 pounds, 3 ounces (birth weight was 7 pounds, 8 ounces) at her first appointment with Dr. Woodworth. Her umbilical cord stump fell off at the appointment, too. We go back this week to have a weight check to make sure she is gaining enough weight. I am really hoping she is because I am going to be pretty resistant to formula supplementing this time. There's nothing wrong with it, but it is a personal goal of mine to nurse Charlotte and not have to add the expensive formula to her diet. Here's hoping...
Anyway, each new day brings a new adjustment for us, but sooner or later it will stop feeling like an adjustment and more like our new normal.