I thought that labor would be the real test of my strength and endurance. What I should have known, but had somehow forgotten, is that it’s after the baby’s born when the real labor begins.
Our first few weeks at home have been a challenge to say the least, mainly due to Charlie getting so sick. After two days in the hospital, he was finally diagnosed with salmonella poisoning, which I am beside myself about. All along, I’d been thinking that he'd picked up a bad virus at school, but to think that I actually fed him something that caused this has made me heartsick. In an attempt to simplify our lives for these first few newborn weeks, we bought some prepared foods from the grocery store, which actually ended up complicating our lives in the worst possible way. Charlie is finally getting back on his feet, though he’s all skin and bones and sunken eyes. When I hug him, all I feel is shoulder blades and spine poking out of his skinny little body. Still, he’s back to his old self now, thank God, and the rest of us are finally coming up for air.
Thankfully, Jack has been a pretty easy baby through it all. Whoever said that big babies are a bad idea must have never had a big baby. He sleeps well, nurses well, and goes for much longer stretches at night than Julia or Charlie ever did. Plus, he’s just so strong and sturdy; it doesn’t feel quite so much like we’re going to break him. The pediatrician even told us to just skip his two-week appointment since he was doing so well and there was no concern about his weight gain. (I have to admit, though, that it was kind of sad when a nurse in the hospital took one look at our day-old Jack in his newborn diapers and said: “I think I’d better bring you some ‘big boy diapers,’ then ran off to get some size 1’s.)
So far, Jack has slipped pretty seamlessly into our lives. His big sibs adore him. Charlie loves to sidle up next to Jack, touch his cheek softly, and say: “Ooooooh, Jackie, it’s your big bwuddah, Chahlie.” Then, he looks at me and says “Awwww… he’s so cute. I guess he likes me, Mommy.” Julia loves to hold Jack and teach him important things like how to tie shoelaces and how to spell “Daddy.” They both love to help give him a bath, Julia manning the soap dispenser while Charlie squirts water on the baby with a turkey baster.
As for me…one month in, I’m just really happy. Worn out, chewed up, spit out, and really, really, happy.
Join FitPregnancy.com’s Managing Editor Dana Rousmaniere each week as she blogs about her third pregnancy and new baby.