June 19, 2007

Fifth

One thing that's way, way easier for me with this fifth child is breastfeeding. For example, right now I am nursing him AND two-hand typing. Serious! I was reading a post by a first-time mom, and she said that one thing she hated about nursing was that she was totally stuck, totally bored: she couldn't read or write or do anything because she had no free hands. This situation can improve with experience, unless of course your baby is of the sort who unlatches and screams at the sound of a page being turned, and babies of that sort do unfortunately exist, and in that case you are well and truly stuck and may want to take up meditation, or using the power of your mind to bring bad to your enemies and good to your friends, or some other activity you can do utterly silently and motionlessly. But so far I have had good luck with babies in this regard, and baby Henry is nursing obliviously even though my arm is jittering under his downy head as I type. I can also walk around, unload the dish rack, add an item to the shopping list, pack a small carry-on, etc. I prefer to sit in a chair with my feet up, reading Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal, but I can move around and do other things if I want to.

Actually, EVERYTHING is easier with this fifth child. My first baby was difficult. My second baby was more difficult in some ways, though easier in others, and also more enjoyable because I knew SOME things and had already made many of the Big Decisions (co-sleep or crib or bassinet or bureau drawer; cloth or disposable; etc.). The twins were kind of challenging because there were two, and I am sure as hell glad I didn't have them FIRST, but they weren't as difficult as I'd been expecting. And this baby is--so far--easy.

He's still a BABY, of course. He still wakes me just after I've fallen asleep. He still cries right after we sit down to watch a movie or eat dinner. He still has a huge blow-out diaper right after I've changed him, or right after I've buckled him into the car seat. But I sling him around like a new purse; I tuck him right into our household, barely rearranging the furniture to make room.

When I'm driving somewhere I've never been before, the drive seems really LONG. Then on the way home, when I know where I'm going or don't have to worry about being anywhere on time, the drive seems so short. It has been the same for me with the babies. Well, except that I would have had to make the outward journey twice without coming home in between. And then now I guess I'd be saying I was on the way home with this baby--but then what were the twins? And really even the second outward journey was easier than the first...except when it was harder...so I guess that would be like driving to a familiar place but having engine trouble on the way. Also, it's not like I don't still go nuts all the time, so I'm not sure I want to use a "peaceful easy drive" comparison after all. And it's coming up on 3 weeks now and I still haven't been able to get my act together and bring the bouncy seat up from the basement, a task that would take all of five minutes, and the house is a total pit with heaps of clutter on every surface, and how does THAT enter into the driving thing? And what about when I'm standing over a sleeping baby at my bedtime, thinking, "Do I wake him and nurse him, or take a chance that he'll wake me 5 minutes after I drift off?" Well, Henry is crying now (WHY IS HE???), and that makes it really hard to think. Someday I would like to make just ONE good Life Analogy, but it will not be today.

11 comments:

Misty said...

AHH! Don't you love that book? (Lamb) I read it in Key West and I literally don't think I stopped cracking up the whole time. It was like magic. Open book. Laugh. Close book. Still giggling. Open book. Laugh uproariously! I recommend it to everyone.

How many kids do you have to have before you feel like it is the drive home? Maybe that is after you have two kids, because I am still trying to figure out what it means to be mama to more than one little boy.

Shannon said...

How is it that no matter what time I fed the baby, that she wakes up exactly 20 minutes after I laid down...or as soon as my head hits the pillow.

Breastfeeding and typing is way easier than bottle feeding and typing. With Darsie, I used to hold the bottle upright with my chin and type. I am in awe at your two handed typing skills! I can only mange one.

Sara said...

Yeah, I was totally stuck with # 1 too, and when I had my number 2 I had to adapt because Eddie was still so little, I had to nurse her on the floor and play a game, or put her in the sling to nurse and repare meals/load the dishwasher. Not to mention that hubby worked after Cait was born and not so much with Eddie.

I think that as mothers we are built to adapt to our environment; our situations....

We do what we have to do

laughing mommy said...

Yes, the second is easier... not sure about 3,4,5. I so enjoy reading your blog. I like the way it helps me remember my newborns. Thanks!

Devan said...

I can usually only manage to type one handed and nursing. Not near as good as two, but still not bad.
I agree that bf'ing is easier this time. Only #2 for me, but waaay easier and less stressful. He's a little fussier, but still just barely. The hardest part has been getting used to having 2 who need me instead of just one.
Your post cracked me up. he he.

Sara said...

Just re-reading my comment- like I repaired meals. Silly Sara needs to spell check.

Erica said...

Hell, I can't even type while bottle feeding. Do I suck, or what?

JMH said...

Lamb is GREAT! Love that book. Funny but has a serious message too.

K said...

I hope you are loving Lamb. Fantastic book that kept tears of laughter rolling down my face.

Emblita said...

I bow to your mad breastfeeding skillz :p
When we aren't out and about I prefer to breastfeed in a comfy chair in front of the tv. There's nothing like breastfeeding and a Buffy marathon.
But yes, it doesn't have to be difficult. Askur could be breastfed anywhere.
Besides my husband is on a ten month paid paternity leave so I have him at my beck and call while I breastfeed :)

Swistle said...

Just finished _Lamb_ and I LOVED it.

Emblita: 10 months paid paternity leave = heaven on earth. Or....*reconsidering, imagining Paul home for 10 months*...maybe not.