Jan 06 2016
It’s 6-weeks, and 1-day, since Jude was born and it seems like the right time to take stock of everything. Everything is…ok. I had a pretty rough first 6-weeks after Jack was born so I had buckled in to experience the same this time. After all, if I found going from one child to two so difficult, and I really had, then two to three must be even tougher.
And look, nothing is easy. Weeks 3, 4 and 5 have been particularly hard. Sadie and Jack both had a stomach bug with Jack being next-level sick that involved him screaming in pain night after night for about a week. Like when Sadie ruptured her eardrum and was the sickest she had ever been after Jack came home, this was the worst Jack has ever been. There was a lot of “why, G-d, why” in my life. And then for the last two nights, Jude has been having major gas pains, something I had never experienced with the other kids. I now understand the weird word applied only to babies: fussy. He was mad fussy. He was fussing at the top of his lungs. My husband, of course, happened to be away for this, I sweated through two radio phone interviews with Jude in my lap and miraculously not crying. Sadie and Jack were being particularly difficult, as we all endured a screaming baby, and I spent a lot of time yelling at them for which I now feel bad. My mom is my greatest help. She arrives at 7:30am everyday and deals with the insanity of the kids’ morning routine, lets me sleep, does my laundry. She’s unreal and I swear, kids, I’m going to be that grandma for your kids too so long as you don’t make the crazy mistake of leaving New York.
The truth is, I’m not entirely dying. I’m not struggling nearly as much as I was at this point the last time around. I didn’t sob through Jude’s bris, I haven’t been as hard on myself about my body (despite the fact that it hasn’t bounced back as quickly as with Jack) or about how much writing I’m not doing. People keep asking me how I’m “doing it all” and of course I don’t feel like I’m even doing-it-some but I don’t launch into explanations of what a loser I am because I’m not knocking out more columns or, hell, even brushing my hair everyday (I’m lying, I never brush my hair). Instead, I generally thank them for making me feel good for asking that and try to remember to go easy on myself.
And then I sing my theme song to myself. That’s right, I have a theme song. It’s the song “For Now” from the show Avenue Q. It’s about how things may be hard but they are only for now. I feel that acutely this time. This is our last child. Even when I was a mess 6 weeks after having Jack, I was pretty sure (ptu, ptu, touch wood) my future contained one more go-round at the sleepless, exhausting, nerves-frayed newborn stage. We wanted 3 kids and even when I put our chances at having that 3rd at 5% (lol) it was never zero percent. But we are done now, it’s zero percent, the family feels complete in a way it didn’t before, it feels really good. I focus on the fact that while everything gets so hard when sleep isn’t happening, it’s only for now. A year from now I won’t be nursing and I imagine there will be more sleep in my life. 5 years from now, all of my kids will be in school all day. So this time really is only for now, it’s only for now.
At least my theme song isn’t “It sucks to be me”.