Amy Jane- One Month

Amy Jane- One Month

Writing ANYTHING right now feels weird and like it requires a whole paragraph of qualifiers, but you all know I know what's going on and let's be honest, I have nothing new to say about it, so we'll just go ahead.

I have tried and failed to write Amy Jane's birth story (a term I really don't care for, by the way) for weeks. I wrote most of it earlier a few days ago, got to the end, and thought, "Eh, this sounds really negative." Well, that's because it was. I watched an interview with Beth Moore recently where she advised against publishing anything you write while going through a hard time "until you get out from under it." Even a month later, I think I'm just not out from under it yet (maybe once my recovery is truly done I'll feel a little more charitable toward the anesthesiologist who starred in, if life were like Friends, an episode entitled, "The One Where the Epidural Doesn't Work and You Get Twenty Stitches").

On the other hand, I do love how my blog has served as a kind of history for our family over the years (since it hasn't served as anything else since anyone can remember, because I'm lazy) and I am glad to have a written record of so many things about Alice that, sadly, I would have totally forgotten by now. Plus I'd hate to feed into the stereotype of the over-documented firstborn and neglected subsequent children, so I want to keep documenting things about Amy Jane for my own memory's sake. Here's a few (okay, it's never a few) little things about our sweet baby.

Weight and Length: she was 8 pounds 2 ounces and 19.5 inches long at birth and has definitely grown but we won't know for sure how much for a while since her one month checkup is being pushed back thanks to "the situation" (I refuse to name it directly... it's become the Voldemort of diseases).

Nicknames: Since we are calling her Amy Jane (both names), I am hesitant about nicknames because I really don't want her to end up being called AJ (no offense to anyone with initial names. I have a great fondness for D.J. Tanner in my heart). So far the one that's sticking the most is "Sisert" because that's Alice's pronunciation of sister. =)

Sleep: Well, she is an angel and has been sleeping for 5-6 hours almost from the very beginning. She's gone over 7 hours several times which is glorious and something many other mothers probably hate my guts for as they're reading this and for that I apologize because I can take exactly zero credit for this miracle. (#highlyfavored)

Eating: She's eating about every 3 hours during the day (sometimes closer together at night before bed) and takes a bottle in the morning. My nursing experience this time around has been SO much easier than it was with Alice (I still think back to those first few weeks and pity my poor self!) so I'm thankful for less pain, obviously.

Clothing: She's still very much in newborn clothes. Sadly, almost everything Easter-related she has is 0-3 so it will likely swallow her, but she'll just have to be swallowed because those bunny outfits need to be worn! I didn't buy her very much in newborn sizes since you never know how long a baby will wear those but she's shaping up to be like her sister in that regard (Alice wore newborn stuff for over two months). I am loving having her wear the few things of Alice's that we saved! Those side-by-side pictures are my favorite!

Gotta have that monogram! 

Mood: Hmm... shall we say, concerned? =) She's not an unhappy baby, per se, and is fairly content a lot of the time, but she does frown a lot. I think she's just befuddled by all the noise, her whirling dervish sister, and probably (don't babies sense things, like dogs?) the state of the world at the moment. Who knows? But she is very sweet and in general is extremely long-suffering considering how many times a day she is aggressively hugged.

My girls!

Loves: Daddy (finally, a daddy's girl! ha!)
Being swaddled
Her paci
Being held tightly and rocked
Bouncing (really, any movement seems preferable to being still for her)
Lying on her side (supervised, of course! Calm down!)
Walks in the stroller

Doesn't Love: Being left alone (aka not being held) for long
Whoever's holding her sitting still
Loud noises (her sister has yet to receive this memo and continues to startle her on a daily basis)
Losing her paci
Bath time (at least the first little dip... she gets used to it and calms down)

I love how she folds her hands like this!

What I Want to Remember/Milestones: So many things! After her traumatic entrance into the world, I'm grateful for all the sweet and positive moments to balance the things I'd rather forget. =) From the first time Alice met her, she has been totally in love and so sweet. Al has struggled in other ways (the fact that it's no longer just the two of us at home during the day, the fact that I'm less accessible to her, the fact that OUR WHOLE ROUTINE IS OFF INDEFINITELY... you know, small things in the life of a four-year-old. But despite all that she has never taken any of it out on the baby and I'm very thankful for that. Everything is, "Oh, baby, I know baby. Come here, baby." Followed by attempts to pick her up that to her chagrin are thwarted each and every time. BUT it's all just precious and makes me so happy. We have had an unexpectedly crazy amount of time together as a family that we would never have had otherwise (especially Jonathan) so despite the reasons for that I'm a little amazed every day that he is able to be around for pretty much every minute of her first few months of life. There are certainly challenges in having a newborn and toddler while he's working from home, but it's still true that his being here has massively eased the transition for me.

Other little things to remember: Amy Jane is extremely strong like her sister was... already trying to hold her up (and doing it a little bit!) and putting weight on her legs when she's held up. (I've seen babies months older who don't do this so I think it's hilarious. #legday) She is very snuggly once she really settles in but that can take a while. She's staying awake for longer stretches during the day and is constantly looking around with her huge, bright eyes just taking it all in (again, usually with a very concerned look on her face). And she's just so pretty. That hair! I can't believe all her hair (but it does prove the old myth because my reflux with her was BRUTAL).

What I'm Looking Forward To: Oh, I don't know... EVERYTHING GOING BACK TO NORMAL PLEASE AND THANK YOU, LORD. (Sorry, moment of panic.) Seriously, though, this has been such a weird and scary time to have a baby who has basically no immune system yet. I want to be able to take her to church to meet friends, get back in a routine with Alice and really all four of us, etc. That's a whole other huge and totally beyond-my-control thing so regarding Amy Jane specifically I'll just say I'm looking forward to (fingers crossed) taking her to the pool this summer (which Alice is SO excited about showing her) and also for her 0-3 month clothes to fit so she and Al can start wearing all their matching outfits. (#priorities)

McNeese Party of Four!

Me: Who, me? An enneagram 6 who is four weeks postpartum (after another extremely painful and traumatic labor/delivery experience) during a global pandemic?? *Insert Ross Gellar "I'm fine" gif here.* I really am okay, just struggling along with the rest of humanity during these crazy days. Everyone is having a hard time with this and so many people are in so much harder situations that it seems really pathetic to be like, "Hey, I know there's a pandemic on and people are dying but last month my epidural didn't work and I cried a lot." I mean, it's true, but I'm certainly not unique in my suffering, you know? So the short(ish) answer is that I'm still having a pretty hard time. I think having a newborn feels like Groundhog Day anyway (the constant feeding/burping/changing that feels so endless and cyclical... "You're going to nurse this baby every 3 hours from now until you die." Obviously untrue but still an accurate description). But during other hard times, it's weirdly comforting to know that despite my own stuff, the rest of the world just keeps turning and things "out there" are fine. Well, now, we know that things "out there" are certainly not fine and in fact are pretty awful, so the fact that my home is the only place I can really create and control the level of peace to any degree is super scary. Like everyone else, I'm just doing the best I can while acknowledging and giving thanks for how incredibly privileged we are to have the resources we need to stay home.

All that was me as a person... specifically as a mom, though, I think one thing that's surprised me a little (and I felt this way with Alice, too) is how I'm still just myself. Believe it or not, a brand-new personality doesn't emerge along with the placenta after you give birth. (I apologize for that visual. If you don't have a visual of it, well, be thankful.) For better or worse, I'm still just me. Sarcastic, worried, caring about my family and friends, listening to Disney music, reading constantly, etc. In a way that's comforting. Motherhood is certainly a transformative thing but I think it adds to you; it doesn't necessarily have to subtract.

Miss Priss couldn't be bothered to open her eyes this morning despite having slept nearly 8 hours!

Oh, and to answer the typical fear of all moms--"will I love this baby as much?--the answer, of course, is yes. I love her as her own little person, I love her as Alice's sister, I love her as the fourth and final (you heard me) member of our family. I loved our family of three but I definitely think the past month, while challenging, has felt very natural because it seems like we are complete now. Despite all the uncertainty, the tears, the anxiety, the constant juggling of toddler and baby from parent to parent, the excess of Disney+, and the figuring it out as we go, I just keep coming back to the overwhelming feeling of this is how it's supposed to be. I'm so thankful to God for my girls and this weird but wonderful time.