Night and day, day and night

Two nights ago I got barely any sleep; Hazel was awake between about 2:30 AM and 5 AM and I hadn’t gone to bed very early and didn’t get to sleep in much. Then all day I meant to take a nap but I did have a couple things I needed to do, and Rose and Henry needed some minimum care, and my nap just never happened. Plus, it was our first day with no one coming to take Rose or Henry anywhere or help give them lunch, and while I actually was looking forward to that (more privacy, less need to make sure Rose and Henry and I had clothes on, a chance to figure out a new routine,) it was as though with me being so tired, Rose and Henry smelled blood in the water and kept getting into mischief — it felt like much more mischief than normal to me, or maybe I was just too tired to handle normal mischief well. Nothing too bad happened, but Dean did find cake and cheese under Rose’s pillow in the evening, and bread crusts under the couch, and I found that Henry had gotten out craft paint and modeling clay (but thankfully in both cases I caught him before he did any damage with them.) Also Rose and Henry kept getting in fights with each other and in my groggy condition it was very hard to mediate or comprehend what was wrong; mostly they both seemed to resent the other’s existence. On top of all this I was even feeling guilty that I wasn’t doing any fun activities with Rose and Henry, although I tried to tell myself that the newborn stage will pass quickly and they’ll survive a little boredom.

Oh, I also realized that since there are four years between Mabel and Rose, this is the first time I’ve had 3 kids under 5 years old. (Rose will be five in a couple weeks. But, still.) It really made me want to put Isaac and Mabel in home school for the rest of the year, just so I could have helpers. (My sister Mary was telling me something a couple days ago that I’d never known — a family in our town who had 18 kids had had a rotation in which the older kids would have to take turns missing school on a regular basis to stay home and help their mom care for the younger kids.)

Also yesterday we found out that a dear friend was diagnosed with a serious/scary health problem, and my brother who takes fabulous photos accidentally deleted his entire photo library.

Then in the evening just as we were sitting down to eat the nice dinner our neighbors had brought, Henry, who’d been complaining all evening that his stomach hurt, vomited all over himself and his high chair. We got him cleaned up and decided to just put him straight to bed, (by which time our dinner was cold.) Isaac needed to get a birthday present for a party he’s going to this afternoon, and I asked Dean to take the three older kids along to the store to give me a little break, so they all left and I’d just finished feeding Hazel but she was still crying, and then I heard Henry crying in his bed. I came into his room and found that he needed his diaper changed, so I picked him up and started carrying him to the changing table and thought, “He’s going to throw up on me,” which he promptly did. So I cleaned up him and me and the floor and rinsed out all our clothes and got him changed and back to bed — all while Hazel cried intermittently. Then I nursed Hazel again and she was hungry enough that I was still feeding her when Dean and the kids got back.

Then Dean and I did actually have a nice evening since I’d taped “The Office” while Dean was gone with the kids, so Dean and I watched that and “30 Rock” and then I caught the episodes of “24” online that I’d missed earlier in the week, all while Hazel alternately nursed and slept. She kept waking up hungry every half-hour. I told Dean “I’ll keep feeding her if she’s hungry; I just can’t believe she’s still hungry,” and he said, “Maybe she’s in a growth spurt.” I said, “A growth spurt at 7 days old? Hmm. Maybe.” Even after we went to bed a little after midnight she was still hungry, and I was trying to brace myself for another long night of being up nursing her, but also was hoping that MAYBE she had tanked up enough to sleep for a good few hours. After two more long feedings, I put her in her cradle at 1 or 1:30 AM, and she finally went soundly to sleep, and so did I — and woke up at 7:00 AM, with Hazel still sleeping. I was able to eat a quick breakfast before she woke up very hungry, and then I nursed her for a long while, and then she went back to sleep and so did I. Henry kept pestering me with urgent unintelligible monosyllabic requests (one of which I finally determined to be his wanting more juice) but I was still able to get some pretty good sleep. And I woke up about 10:45 feeling like a whole new woman; ready to take on the world (kind of. A little.) Henry had played with Hazel’s bulb syringe (trying to use it as a screwdriver to repair her cradle) and with her binky, so I’ll have to sterilize those, and he or Rose had gouged big chunks out of last night’s chocolate cake, and there is sugar all over the counter from, I assume, Rose trying to eat directly out of the sugar shaker, but these seem like minor prices to pay for a nice long morning nap. Oh, and Henry’s a little cranky, but has kept down his apple juice and seems better than last night.

Ha, I just thought Hazel was crying and sent Rose to check, but she reports, “That was just Jack-Jack on the ‘Credibles laughing!”

In other news: It took several days, but MY ANKLES ARE BACK TO NORMAL SIZED. It feels so good; I had missed them so.


Rose’s Lambie poses with the crown Rose made for Princess Hazel


Rose’s crown. Yes, that’s frosting on her face.

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8 Responses to Night and day, day and night

  1. Mrs. Organic says:

    Quality sleep is such a good tonic for the soul. And yay! Welcome back to those ankles.

  2. Melanie J says:

    No matter how many times we proclaim a ban, it still amazes me the variety of places we keep finding old, scary food.

  3. Anneke says:

    Oh man! What a day/night/day!

    As a pleasant side effect, I now have Ella Fitzgerald singing Cole Porter stuck in my head. Thanks! 🙂

  4. Lili says:

    And to think you gave birth a mere week ago!

  5. marymary says:

    Oh man oh man. I talked to you a few nights ago and I talked to you again tonight, but didn’t know what it had been like over there in between until I read your blog!

  6. Jason says:

    What troopers!

  7. OhSusanna says:

    Wow. I hope you’ve had even more sleep since you posted this. If you want me to come get your kids sometime this week you don’t even have to dress them first. Ben and I will stay in our pajamas and we’ll have a pajama day with Rose and Henry at the Malones’.
    And speaking of swollen ankles, one of the strangest things I experience after every childbirth is that my hands feel so *small* all of a sudden.

  8. zstitches says:

    You know, Suz, right at this moment I’m very torn between trying to find something creative and interesting to do (that could be finished in a very short amount of time) or just getting sleep while the getting’s good — because, the thing is, no matter how badly I need the sleep (and I need it pretty badly,) it DOES get boring to only breastfeed, eat, sleep, and do very basic maintenance chores.

    I guess it’s great that along with wistfulness for how short of a time I’ll have with Hazel while she’s SO tiny and sweet, I also have a lot of wistfulness for the time (someday) when I’ll be able to focus on my own (non-child-related) projects for hours at a time uninterrupted.

    I *have* gotten *some* more sleep . . . the last two nights my strategy was to keep her up until about midnight, feeding her constantly (exhausting!) and then she’d sleep ’til early morning. Tonight I just didn’t have the energy for that, and nursed her at 9 and she’s been sleeping since then — I’m HOPING I can nurse her again before I go to sleep and she’ll still sleep in the wee hours.

    The real trick to getting through this stage is to never try to plan ahead, though — just sleep when you can (but like I said, it gets a little boring.)

    My, baby-sleepless-brain brings out even more all-caps and dashes and parentheses than usual in me.

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