I really can't post much, but things are rather active around here.
We have two family weddings in April, back to back, and one involves a luncheon in March. I enjoy this stuff and enjoy projects and planning, yet it does require time and that is what I'm involved in. Mary Ann and I have planned the theme of the luncheon around family - in fact, the guest list consists only of family-female - we are so scattered - and the list consists of 30 - so today I've been working on "sewing" tablecloths for our "tables" - when stumped at what to use, I have a tendency to find an affordable way to get what I need. In this case, sew my own tablecloths - I am sick of renting at a very high price, tablecloths....or buying them at a very high price.
On top of that - Andrew is waking up - that would be Ann's new baby - plus she has 2 others older, Ellie and Luke - and I'm having flashbacks of when my Mom was 6 hours away and couldn't be here in Scottsboro - when I had number 3 and number 4 - so I want to help out as much as possible - but today I have no car. Charlie is going to get off work and we are going out there during the maddening hour - 5:00 until whenever - we were there last night and it does get rather crazy....Hasn't it been called the bewitching hour? Something like that. Church members are bringing meals for 3 weeks following his birth, so that is a huge help. Ann did not get good sleep last night....but perhaps tonight. Andrew is an excellent nurser - in fact, that's all he wants to do and cries if he isn't using Ann as a pacifier. Well - there you are -
In the meantime I'm working on tablecloths and tomorrow Mary Ann, my sister, is traveling to Scottsboro to get a peek at Andrew. So - need to tidy up a bit.
It's really, really raining outside right now - pouring down hard.
Memory of Ann as an infant - it stands out.
All she wanted to do was nurse - and she was my first baby. Nothing else satisfied her - so, one day, I said to myself - FINE! THEN! You want to nurse? We'll nurse!!! I sat in a very comfortable chair - in front of the TV(no remotes then) and nursed her all day long. She slept and nursed, slept and nursed, if she stirred, there I was, very available. It's this baby, grown up, who is now dealing with her little boy who wants the same thing - only she has 2 other children - Of course I couldn't do that every day and I don't remember what I did after that - but it answered my questions - she just liked to nurse, constantly and frequently - and if she was full, I was her pacifier. It can get pretty crazy. I think for Ann, four months was the magic figure - it's when I remember feeling sane again. At six months I began to wean Ann - I was so tired, physically - and instinct just prompted me that it was all the milk I was producing. I don't know, but I did quit nursing her at 6 months.
Laura Beth also loved to nurse and she had what is now called reflux. Bad reflux. Large volumes would project out onto carpet, furniture - clothing - Laura Beth was 18 months younger than Ann - but fortunately Ann was a very helpful, obedient little girl and cooperative - Laura Beth was losing what seemed like large volumes of milk, but she was gaining so much weight!! Therefore the doctor was not concerned - but I was exhausted, cleaning up all that milk and constantly nursing her. The worst night I remember - Laura Beth was desperately nursing - Charlie was sleeping - LB nursed and spit up - even through her nose - I was so frustrated and not knowing what to do. I would try not to nurse her, but she cried so hard - I was spent - I went upstairs, to see if Charlie was awake - I should have just wakened him, but my hormones and personality were mad that he didn't wake on his on - Ann was sleeping - good thing - but I needed help - so I got the rocking chair that was in our bedroom and "BUMPED" it down the stairs - with the intention of waking him - it worked - I was crying - he was coming to life and willing to help - but really not knowing what to do. I can still see little Laura Bessie, my nursing her, she was acting desperate, and I was saying to her, "Just calm down - in a tone as if I was addressing an adult child". She didn't know how to calm down - she would drink the milk with such speed and intensity that she'd get choked, she'd spit it up as she was drinking it, and it would even come through her nose, and then she'd cry so hard!!!. Sad. But my recollection is that at 3 months she became manageable and at 6 months really really fun. and at 8 months she quit spitting up large volumes. That was what my doctor predicted. They didn't call it reflux then. He told me that the valve which holds the stomach contents in was not fully developed and that by 8 months or so it would be large enough to keep her contents completely in. The volumes grew increasingly smaller and more manageable, so I guess that was as her valve was developing and by 8 months it wasn't a problem. I've heard of children who have it longer. By 8 months I was so tired, that I quit nursing her.
Sarah - I don't remember too much unpleasantness with her. I remember being so sleepy, and she was the first one with whom I would awaken in bed, holding her, and nursing her, and not remember getting up to get her to feed her. So - with Sarah I was walking in my sleep and bringing her to bed to nurse her. Scary!!! I do remember one night I was so sleepy and couldn't get her quiet and by then, without a lot of drama, I just wakened Charlie, and he got up and rocked her and they did fine. He and Sarah. She was not my biggest fan of nursing. It might have been my fault. I knew nothing about nipple confusion - so I was going to get her used to the breast and bottle at the same time. She preferred the bottle, so I said, "Forget that" and only nursed her. But at 4 months she got a bit of a virus and I fed her pedialyte in a bottle....after that she screamed when I tried to nurse her - it hurt my feelings, but I relinquished. So - beginning at 4 months I began to wean her. I hated doing that and it made me very sad to let go.
Kate - Ann was 7, LB was 5 1/2 and Sarah was 2. I could do anything with my right hand and nurse her in my left arm. I nursed her a lot and all the time. I was 36 and not interested in losing a lot of sleep. So - as soon as I could I would put her in the bed with me - laying on my side and I would nurse her. She loved it - I slept - and guess who got used to sleeping with Charlie and me. Not a great habit and VERY DIFFICULT to break!!! That was a mistake, but I did it. I nursed Kate for one year. I do remember one particularly bad night with Kate - she wouldn't sleep - she was a newborn - and Charlie came down to check on me - I was so emotional and he couldn't have said the right thing if he had tried - everything he said upset me -and in my distress I made the dramatic comment that "He and I had made a mistake getting married, that we just weren't right for each other!" Imagine saying that, as I'm up at night with our fourth child. That's always so funny to me now - and it proves how crazy hormones get. Charlie didn't take it personally nor did he take it seriously. We'd been married 8 years at that point and he knew me well enough to know I was blowing steam. I can't remember, now, what month seemed doable with Kate - either the 3rd or 4th. It's in that time frame when things begin to make a little sense.
Newborns are demanding.
I've been thinking about that all day, knowing that Ann is entering the really tough zone.
Who watches the Biggest Loser on TV. You know the "last chance workout"? A newborn, and dealing with all of that, reminds me of how hard the "last chance workout" is. Feels so impossible, but the rewards are immeasurable - On the biggest loser they are measured - on the scales - but these babies - The most difficult and the best thing ever.
So - I posted about what I like to remember, my favorite things, and "it's hard to remember it".
As difficult as the infant stage was and is, I still loved it all. I wanted 2 more babies, and still wish I had them - but I was 36 and just didn't have it in me to do another C-Section.
I love these Grandbabies. I love them. I'm already anxious for LB to have another and for Kate and Sarah to get married and start having babies. What is my deal? I love babies and always have.