How easily the mind forgets what sleep deprivation feels like. I knew that caring for two children was going to be hard, but I didn’t think it would feel like caring for upwards of five. Or that lack of sleep would be a daily obstacle the size of a monumental brick wall. The toddler is up at her hour, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed ready for the day to begin and, by golly, Jacob and I better be ready to hit the ground running, too. Two mornings ago, I was literally slurring my words like a drunkard when Beckett came in to say “good morning”. I couldn’t form complete words that had more than one syllable and opening my lips far enough to make a coherent sound was just too much. She snuggled down with me and asked “Mama, are you sick this morning?” No, honey – I’m just uselessly tired
Camden Rose was one month old yesterday, November 8th. I seems like only *a day ago* I was in labor, a *week ago* I was still pregnant and yet a lifetime of changes and adjustments have happened over the past four weeks. You might have noticed that the blog has been few and far between and the filler posts are just that – things I’d written up months ago to fill things up in my absence.
Camden is an absolute blessing to this family. Beckett is adjusting beautifully and dotes on her endlessly. She is the first person she checks on in the morning, the last one she says good night to and the recipient of an endless bounty of snuggles and kisses. I am feeling amazingly well and was close to 100% within a week of the delivery (thank you, thank you for not needing to have a c-section!). The recovery is a night and day difference to Beckett’s delivery.
Within a few days of coming home, we were dealt one stupifying blow after another that made adjustments so much harder than they needed to be. Camden was struggling in the worst way with nursing and we began a downward spiral. Her normal newborn jaundice continued to get worse, her weight loss dropped into the 20% range (the doctors worry when it hits 13%) and she was becoming so fatigued that we couldn’t get the feeding under control. After multiple home visits with nurses and lactation consultants, we started supplemental feeding of breast milk and a bit of formula to get her back on track. She also spent a little over 24 hours with intensive UV light therapy. The jaundice turned around and her weight gain picked up at a staggering rate of 5 to 6 ounces per day. The nursing, however, was never the same, but more on that later.
Then the cold of all colds hit us. Beckett brought home a doozy of a cough and snuffles that took Camden and Jacob down. Being only one week old, we watched Camden like a hawk and spent one night after another sleeping upright in a chair because she couldn’t breathe if she laid flat. Oh, and then the rash appeared on Beckett’s arm… ringworm. Normally, I don’t cry about the petty things, but ringworm sent me over the edge into a blubbering hormonal mess. I didn’t need one more thing.
After two and a half weeks of sheer survival mode, we rolled out for the better. Thanks to family and friends bringing hot meals, my parents staying with us for two weeks and loving support from my mom and friends, we pulled through. We’re in our groove and have got things figured out. I am still surviving on a total of five hours of sleep per night and a cat nap on the couch that usually coincides with a Sesame Street episode and napping Camden.
Camden is growing like a weed and making up for her lost time those first few weeks. She is starting to find her voice and makes sounds that range for coos and aahs to the standard grunt and snort. Her easy-going, can-sleep-through-anything personality is starting to shine through. We are watching and waiting for that first toothless grin that is directly aimed at your face and not the result of a good gutteral gurgle. She is moving into that beautifully, round and healthy baby stage with rolls and chubs galore. The wee hours of the night are my alone time to snuggle and use my half-open eyes to gaze into her face. And, she fits right into this new family of four. We love you baby. Happy one-month birthday!