Monday, January 20, 2014

Starting Week Three

These days if I'm not feeding someone, then I'm changing a diaper, rocking someone to sleep or consoling someone who is crying.

Sometimes that someone is me.

Like the morning when Alice was crying in her swing so I scooped her up and started bouncing her, then Rufflebum saw me holding the baby and burst into tears and asked me to hold her. So I sat on the floor and while bouncing Alice in my left arm I hugged Rufflebum to me with my right arm and let her cry into my shoulder. At that very moment I realized I desperately had to pee...

So then I started crying.

Soon after I sent a series of desperate text messages to Mr. San Antonio and my mom. And the Lord provided when the front door opened and my dad was standing there - having decided to swing by the house after he finished a meeting in the area.

That was the end of week one. Now we're starting week three. And I'm getting more in the swing of things.

Learning to balance giving special attention to each girl, and being ok if one cries for a few minutes while I attend to a pressing need of the other girl.

Not stressing when Rufflebum is watching Sesame Street for the umpteenth hour that week if it means she isn't feeling left out and displaced.

Giving Rufflebum grace when she acts out more than usual - and realizing that a big hug and a smothering of kisses goes a lot further these days than a time out.

Cherishing the moments when Alice watches her big sister bounce around the room and turns her face into her sister's cheek when Rufflebum leans down to hug her and kiss her.

Being thankful for the moments when I can let Alice sleep on my chest and enjoy snuggling with her during these few shorts months when she isn't bouncing around the house yet.


Yesterday we celebrated Rufflebum's second birthday. It was so fun to wake her up singing happy birthday and see her face when she saw her "birthday princess" balloon. The timing was perfect to give her a day all about her and focus on why she is so special to us.

Before Alice was born I worried about being able to love both girls equally and was concerned that my love was a finite commodity that if split too many ways would be a detriment to the girls. But you want to know a secret? Somehow... when you have more than one kid (and I assume it just keeps happening the more kids you have)... somehow your love doesn't divide - it multiplies.

So crazy.

But I love Rufflebum even more now that I did before.

AND I love Alice more than I thought possible.

I can't explain it, but there it is.

And I think other people with multiple kids will say the same thing.


There are no pictures today because I'm pressed for time. But know that between wiping away tears, and rocking babies, and nursing, and making toddler sandwiches, and cleaning up poop and spit up and dropped sandwiches...

Know that there are also a lot of smiles going on over here. And lots of laughs. And lots of stories being read, and lots of prayers being said. There are hugs and kisses. And there are full and thankful hearts.

Have a great week,
The Pampered Bird

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

She's Here!

She's here!

Alice Pauline made her dramatic entrance on January 5th at 5:24pm. She weighed 8lbs even and was 19 inches long.

An abridged birth story for those interested goes like this:

At 41+ weeks I had been having start and stop contractions for days. Then Sunday morning I woke up to a very strong and long contraction and I hoped it meant I was nearing the end. But they came very sporadically all morning and I finally just laid down to take a nap around 12:30pm. When I woke up an hour later I had another very strong contraction but then nothing for 15 or 20 minutes so I told Mr. San Antonio that it would be fine for him to go run some errands.

He left and I grabbed the vacuum to do some last minute cleaning. And that did it friends. I got stuck in a chair with back to back contractions, could not get up to reach my phone and panicked.

I think the panic slowed them down long enough for me to reach the phone and text 'come home now'.

Mr. SA turned right around and helped me through an hour and a half of contractions at home. Finally it dawned on us that things seemed to be going really fast and we should probably get moving toward the hospital.

As we pulled into the parking lot I told Mr. SA I thought I might need to push.

We stumbled down the hallways, and at one point I was placed in a wheelchair. They wheeled us past admittance and with one look at me - they decided to forgo any pre-delivery questions or paperwork.

They didn't even have time to change me into a gown or set up an IV.

The midwife was down the hall assisting another woman so the nurse checked my progress and announced me at 9cm. They quickly called the midwife to the room and when she entered I yelled/screamed that I needed to push. She said, "hold on now honey, not yet." Then she examined me and said, "Ok, next contraction I want you to push."

Alice was born about 15-20 minutes later.

And she was blue.

But a 2-3 second massage perked her up and she gave a tiny mew/cry.

They did a quick exam on her and cleaned her up and then laid her on my chest and she immediately started trying to nurse.

(This was taken very shortly after she was born)

Just over 24 hours later we were dismissed from the hospital and headed back to our house to get the rest of our lives underway.

It has been wonderful having her in our arms and becoming a family of four.

Rufflebum goes back and forth between thinking Alice is a good idea, and a bad idea. But over all she is adjusting well.

It's not really a surprise but Rufflebum captures Alice's attention like no one else does. If Alice is going to be bothered to stay awake at all then she spends all her awake time tracking her big sister's voice around the room. None of Rufflebum's shrieks, jumps, hollers, spins, twirls, songs, or loud laughs make Alice startle. I guess she's been listening to it for nine months and now just wants to see the person behind it all.

After Rufflebum was born I wrote a little about how hard it was for us to feel smitten with her - that the warm fuzzy feelings took awhile to show up. I felt guilty for that, like I was a bad mother. But now it all makes sense to me. Alice is a completely different baby than Rufflebum was. Rufflebum was very high maintenance, and it was more emotionally and physically draining being a parent to her - and feeling overwhelmed all the time made it much more difficult to experience the more positive emotions of parenting. But now that I have a much calmer baby, I can see clearly how difficult Rufflebum was and retrospectively I can give myself a break.

I wouldn't trade Rufflebum for the world. Her strong personality has existed from the beginning and it is making her into a wonderful, intelligent, funny, interesting little girl who brightens every room she enters. But she was also a difficult baby. And it's ok for me to say that.

That said, I can hear Mr. SA finishing up story time with Rufflebum which means I'm this close to finally getting a shower today.

Thank you everyone who prayed for Alice and me during this pregnancy. God answered all our prayers and more. She is healthy and happy and peaceful and has already brought a softness and a calmness to our home. What a treasure my girls are.

-The Pampered Bird


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