Wednesday, February 14, 2018

when your life is surreal

I am pretty lucky to be one of those people who can survive on very little sleep.  When people were all "But justonemore, those sleepless nights!" I kind of tuned them out.

Don't get me wrong.  It's a SLOG, especially if you're breastfeeding.  Nutmeg is still eating every 2-3 hours, though she'll give me an occasional 3 hour stretch of sleep at night.  But aside from a few one off nights of discomfort, she doesn't appear to be the colicky disaster her sister was  - and I say this out of love and utter sympathy for my first daughter, who Just. Couldn't. Cope.

Nutmeg is particularly cuddly, also a change for me.  In the million years of infertility after Niblet was born, I never imagined holding a snuggly baby who would enjoy burrowing into me the way Nutmeg does.  Niblet had to be swaddled within an inch of her life (we called it the "angry swaddle" in our house), and in constant motion.  Nutmeg thoroughly enjoys being worn, or rocked in a swing, but is really just a ball of chill.  With big soulful eyes and multiple chins.

Her resemblance to her dad and sister is pretty striking.  Sometimes I will look down at her and notice her nose - the one feature she carries that is very clearly not of either of our gene pools - and wonder if she will dwell on it when she's older (it's lovely for the record).  But most of the time I just can't believe we made it here.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Settling in to a new life

Sometimes it doesn't feel real.  Sometimes I get really stupid thoughts in my head, like, did we really get here?  Was my IVF cheating the universe?  How did we get so lucky?

There are two children in my house, and they are sisters, nine years apart.  They look strikingly similar, if I were inclined to breach my kids' anonymity and show side by side baby pictures of the two of them you would catch your breath.... though the moments where Nutmeg looks like her donor do occasionally hit me.  Not in a punch in the gut way, not at all, more in a scientific observation sort of "ahhh, look at her mouth.... and there's that expression that doesn't look quite familiar to my or Viking's gene pool" sort of way.  I know that babies tend to evolve (Niblet started taking on some of my features when she got older), but I also feel comfortable that few will ever even question her genetic origins.  There, I admitted it.  Third-party reproduction can be a minefield of emotions and inadvertent intrusions, and I absolutely breathed a sigh of relief when she came out looking so much like her father - and in turn, her sister.  I've already started talking to her in quiet moments about her origin story, as practice really.  I want it to be matter of fact.  I want her to always have known, as opposed to having a memory of the big day where her mother revealed something outrageous. Honestly,  the bigger issue I still need to work through in my own mind is when and how we reveal this origin story to Niblet. Since Niblet is the designated "reader" to her sister, we may approach it through a book....

But she's two weeks old, I don't have to have all of the answers right now.

A C-Section recovery is a bitch.  I have dodged a PPD bullet, I think, but I have definitely experienced moments of anxiety that I know for sure are related to my not being able to exercise.  I mean, I'm walking ok.  But the incision still feels like an incision, and I am constantly panicked that I am going to lapse into a dance move (as I tend to do without thinking) and somehow re-open it.  But I've been off the opioid painkillers for almost a week, so that's something I suppose.

I can't even begin to describe how amazing Niblet has been these past two weeks.  She's just into it.  She confided in me that she was sort of baffled and disappointed in her friends, who never really talk about this momentous thing with her.  She is the ultimate mother's helper, grabbing all kinds of things when we need them, she's all in on this adventure.  Thank God.

It also helps that the universe granted us a relatively easy baby.  We are treading carefully around this around Niblet, because man, she was HARD and we don't want to give her a complex about it... but the colic, oh my god, it was three months of hell, for all of us.  Nutmeg is pretty fucking easy-going in comparison.  Her nighttime cries can be muffled with white noise machines blasting in both girls' bedrooms, and she's something of a night owl to begin with (she was in utero as well).  We're nursing fairly easily, which also means she eats every 2-3 hours, which means I get roughly 2-3 hours of sleep - total - a day.  Unfortunately, I'm not good at napping during the day.  (Case in point, I am sitting here typing this when I should be asleep). So I get 2-3 hours of cumulative sleep at night, in between her feeds. 

I'm piling on the moisturizer and eye cream, because I started out old as fuck, and have no intention of looking like this baby's grandmother anytime soon.