My darling second child, henceforth known here as Cily, is (not surprisingly) nowhere near sleeping through the night. I thought I was tired before she was born, what with the having to get up to pee twice a night and then letting anxious thoughts about Everything Under the Sun keep me awake each time. Oh, but no. I have reached a new level of fatigue.
Cily eats every 2 to 3 hours, sometimes every 1.5 hours, around the clock. I am not breastfeeding this time around, and that is a whole ‘nother stressed-out post in and of itself. (Summary: My milk has dried up. Cily is a biter, lactation consultant was not helpful, pumping painful and not fruitful [i.e. pump for 20 minutes and get 3 drops of milk], I was preoccupied with packing and moving during the crucial two weeks after she was born, I am not healing well from the surgery, and for some time there I was barely eating -- all of which resulted in a kind of “perfect storm” of breastfeeding not going well. NOTE: Much as I love you and value your opinion, I am not looking for advice on this. I have received a plethora of well-meaning advice. Despite all that I know about the benefits of breastfeeding, I have made my peace with this happenstance.)
So we have set up a feeding station in the bedroom, bottles at the ready. Cily is now waking up, eating and STAYING AWAKE for sometimes an hour and a half at a time, screaming for part of that time, and being perfectly sweet but awake for part of that time. During the sweet time, we lie in bed next to each other and stare into each other’s eyes. I stroke her cheek and speak softly to her.
In the not-so-sweet times, like at 2 this morning, I swaddle the screaming one and we dance slowly across the bedroom floor to the Cowboy Junkies’ “Sweet Jane.” We sway and I tell her how tired I am and I sing to her, “Heavenly wine and roses seem to whisper to me when you smile,” and I thank God I don’t have to go to work in the morning. And then her sister screams from her room down the hall that she is scared of her closet, that she needs a drink of water, that maybe she has to throw up.
Two kids. Two little girls. It is a blessing. It is tiring. I love them.
P.S. Digital camera? Broken. Videocamera? Recording, but out of focus, so the recording of Cily's birth is all hazy and smudged like a French Impressionist watercolor. My darling husband, who (a) makes his living with film, and (2) lost all his childhood photos in a fire and is thus rabid about documenting our children, is livid. I'm trying to figure out how we can afford to (I) repair the videocamera and (314a) buy a digital SLR (it's the lens on our Canon SureShot that's broken). Merry Christmakwanzaakuh to us! My point: I don't have any new photos to post. We are resorting to our 35mm camera, but then we have to process the film, which we haven't yet done. Not to worry! These early weeks of her life are not lost forever!