As the Family Goes

JP II Quote

"As the family goes, so goes the nation, and so goes the whole world in which we live." John Paul II

Friday, June 19, 2015

One Week

I had intended on writing a post about my pregnancy before it was all over (because it's really been a unique experience - there are so many ways you do things different when it's your seventh time).  And yet, here I find myself at home with my new babe in my arms, narry a free minute to blog in sight (save the time I'm sitting in my chair and nursing, which is what I'm doing now - and typing on my phone!)

It's been one week since we brought our newest baby home, and what a week it's been.  Baby David slid into our lives after maybe the easiest labor and delivery yet (which I hope to write about in another post) and after two long nights in hospital (due to the fact that he was born at 11 pm, and could not be discharged in the middle of the night following his 24-hour bloodwork) we both came home last Friday.  It is so beautiful the way every one of the kids (all but one of whom were hoping for a girl) loved him immediately and never once expressed any disappointment or regret.  And with good reason, he really is a gem.

The weekend was a crazy beautiful mix of busy, with people visiting and loving on us and our new little one, and then my husband returned to work on Monday.  Because David was born a week early, my husbands's two weeks of vacation was booked for the next two weeks.  We decided to keep it that way.  I didn't anticipate a difficult week, since I've done this before.  And toughing it out for the first week would be worth it on that third week when Jeff is home - it will feel like we gained a week of family time (even though we really just displaced it.)

In terms of family life, things could not have been more perfect.  Little David is a wonder, and the kids have been really great at stepping up and helping me around the house to make sure that everything is still getting done.  Having them to help with small jobs like throwing in a load of laundry or vacuuming the rug frees me up to do the bigger things, like wash the dishes, change the bed or even mop the floor, in the precious free time that David is sleeping.  David's schedule, as is typical for a very newborn, is far from regular.  But if he wakes between feedings he is easily consoled by being in a baby carrier or laying nearby enough that I can pick him up and snuggle him for a minute or two while I work about. And the kids are all too eager to entertain him when I can't get to him. It's really quite humbling when people say they don't know how I do it, because really the only reason I can is because of the willingness of my older kids to help out.  It really is a team effort, and I feel so blessed to share this life with all of my children. It is such a blessing to have older kids when you bring home a new baby, so beautiful to see how they don't just watch everything, they really become a part of it.  They love it, and it makes my mother's heart burst with pride.

The flip side has been that we are all terribly missing Dad this week, and he is missing us.  He had no idea that this week would be so incredibly busy at work, and that he would be pulling longer than usual shifts (including a 21-hour shift one day) every day.  This has left him with precious little time at home with us, and feeling so exhausted that he crashes almost as soon as the kids are in bed and the pet chores are finished in the evening. He feels like he is missing out terribly on little David, and I am really missing him - especially in the evenings.  This morning as I lay in bed feeling particularly sorry for myself, I prayed for Moms who are all alone - who have no relief of two-weeks vacation just around the corner, whose husbands are absent for work, or whose husbands have died or left them, or who for whatever reason are absent and will not be present for a long time.  I cannot imagine what that cross must be like.

During a particularly difficult evening when I had reached my breaking point and Jeff was working his longest shift, I lost it with one of the older kids who kept coming out bed long after bedtime.  I was nursing and unable to properly deal with him, and that left me feeling utterly helpless and dispensed.  After much shouting and tears on both of our parts (and far too much harshness on mine) he finally stayed in his bed. I felt so terrible, especially as I cradled my newborn and remembered that not so long ago this troublesome child was just like that. Why could I not tap into that softness, that seems so present in abundance with a new baby (no matter how much they cry or wake you up in the middle of the night, or poop in the towel when you bath them - yes, he did that!)  This post ( really ministered to my heart this morning.  It's about doing the hard things because they are a bigger part of building your family. I pray that the presence of this new little one will help soften my heart towards my older children, and rejoice in the fact that despite my shortcomings, God still trusts me enough to send me another little one.  I pray I will accept all the lessons he and his siblings have been sent to teach me with humility and grace, and not defensiveness and pride. 

All in all it's been a really grace-filled week, made even more beautiful today with the knowledge that at day's end, Jeff will be on vacation and we can finally go about the real business of getting used to life as a family of nine. I feel like I hit the jackpot and could not be more blessed - not only by the new baby, but by each of the children who came before him, and by his father who has been my constant companion, partner, lover and friend on this incredible journey.

God is so good!

1 comment :

  1. Congratulations! And may I say that you look absolutely amazing? Blessings and peace as you enjoy this precious early weeks.