Even without a newborn, the week after Christmas tends to be a stressful time. The number of toys with tiny little pieces seems to increase by a multiple of 12 and there's no routine whatsoever. It drives me nuts. In Claire's birth story, I mentioned that when we left for my parents house on Christmas day, we left everything spread all over the house. I told Kyle that the boys and I would work on sorting and putting away on Monday morning when he went in to work. My intention was to take down Christmas decorations that day, too. But we all know that it didn't happen quite that way. So, we came home with Claire on Tuesday to a disaster of a house, with laundry piled up and toys spread everywhere.
On top of that, I was dealing with the whole "healing from childbirth" thing that was much more difficult this time around than it was with either of the boys. The pain medication was great, but caused other issues that caused me to cut it out earlier than I would have liked. There were health issues that caused me to have to do things that will never be spoken of again, or will at least remain secret until Claire is one day complaining that I don't love her or have never done anything for her. And then I'll proceed to outline how much I love her in every painful detail.
On top of that, I'm crying over everything. Every day. I got an Old Navy maternity ad and cried about never needing maternity clothes again. I was folding laundry and folded the clothes I was wearing when my water broke and broke down into tears. I catch a glimpse of my reflection in the mirror and cry about the fact that I'll probably look pregnant until Claire's first birthday. Silly things, really. I think about my kids and I cry. I think about how tired I am and I cry. I'm not sad about these things . . . just emotional.
Also, breastfeeding has been a lot more painful this time than it was with either of the boys and Claire's had a more difficult time latching on. I told myself I was going to give it until this last Monday and quit if it hadn't gotten any better. It didn't get any better, but other circumstances did, which made the breastfeeding issue less stressful. It still hurts, and I may not make it as long as I did with the boys, but I'm going to stick with it a while longer.
Jack hasn't really seemed to change much or need to adjust to anything much. I think he wants more time with me. And he still refuses to nap . . . he hasn't napped in months, yet we still try to get him to, so that's more our fault than it is his. He loves his sister and does really well with her.
Bennett has really acted out quite a bit since Claire was born. He's much more defiant and ornery. I think he's just testing his limits. He's really good with Claire too. Lots of hugs and kisses for "Baby Tare." He's very inquisitive about breastfeeding, much like Jack was when Ben was born. Just yesterday was the first time I saw any jealously come out with Ben . . . I was nursing her and he kept nudging her and saying "Sit on mama's lap!" I let him climb up as soon as I was done and that seemed to satisfy him.
Both of the boys seem more tantrum prone over the last week, but I don't know if that's had as much to do with a new baby as much as it has the lack of routine, less sleep and junk food that came over the holidays. They've also watched more television over the last week than usual, and that sometimes causes a little more disobedience.
Kyle is incredible. Like that's a shock to anyone. Last week, he took over all household responsibilities, including dealing with the boys. On top of that, he changes Claire most times she wakes up and brings her to me to nurse. I know he's frustrated by the boys' antics, and tired, because he gets about as much sleep as I do at night, and by child #3, there are no naps during the day. Plus, he has to deal with me and the emotional mess I've become.
I don't mean to sound like I'm complaining . . . I know that this is all a part of the first few weeks with a newborn and I'm so thankful for three healthy kids. Overall, so far, I think the adjustment to having Claire has been easier it was when I had Ben. Well, maybe not easier, but less of a shock. Last Wednesday and Friday were probably the two low points of the first week home. My mom made a comment about just taking it one week at a time. She reminded me that in a week, things would be a lot better (and they were) and in a week after that, things would be better still. It's been a helpful way to look at things.