It is 9:15 pm on a Saturday evening, and both boys are asleep. Ideally, I should probably be getting some sleep as well, but knowing that every day is different, that having a newborn means that routines and planning are only tools to make you feel frustrated when they don’t work, I am blogging while I have the chance.
Dylan is slowly growing out of his newbornness and starting to look around more intentionally. Sometimes, I think, “Wow, he’s been here forever . . .” because 5 weeks feel much longer when you’re sleeping much less in the midst of them. But then there are days where I realize that 5 weeks are a drop in the bucket.
My weeks are usually not that structured these days. I try to make the bed and do the dishes in the morning, make sure we’ve all eaten (with Dylan usually getting priority because he screams the loudest when he’s hungry), and if Dylan takes a decent nap, play with Eli. I tried pulling back from reading blogs this week, even though it’s often a nice break for me, because I wanted to engage more in the world around me. So, this has been my favorite blog to look at this week:
Part of my afternoon routine, however, once I’ve put Eli down for his nap, is to nurse Dylan or rock him to sleep while I watch America’s Test Kitchen, one of my favorite cooking shows. They had an episode on this past week about slow cooker classics, and discussed why they believe that most crockpot recipes would taste a lot better if you did a little pre-cooking/searing before you put things in the pot. I tend to agree, although there are a few recipes I’ve tried that really require very little pre-treatment. At any rate, when the pre-treatment for one recipe on the show was beginning to look a little laborious, the host, Christopher Kimball, commented, “Well, I guess you get out of it what you put into it.”
That thought stuck with me throughout the rest of the week. It explained for me why I miss cooking most of my own meals, even though I am grateful for the meals being brought to us right now. There’s part of me that gets something out of the work I put into making a dish from scratch. But the thought also encouraged me when those midnight feedings or the 3rd outfit change of the afternoon seem to loom larger than what I feel like I can manage. You get out of it what you put into it. Midnight feedings, spit-ups, going back from room to room to keep an eye on both kids to make sure they’re not getting into anything or falling out of their bouncers, finally getting around to sleeping after you’ve remembered to take your vitamins and supplements and eat, only to hear one of your kids waking up right when you’re about to fall asleep . . . all of these things are ingredients in a recipe of life called motherhood, and as much as I’d like it to be the crockpot version, I realize that most of the time it’s more time consuming and laborious than that. But aren’t the results worth it?
Since my last post, by the way, I’ve been able to visit a lactation consultant to see how Dylan was doing in the feeding/weight gaining department. Unfortunately, he actually weighed less than he had the previous week. They recommended (and I agreed) that I start supplementing w/formula after feedings. Since we’ve started doing that, he seems to be more content, and sleeping better as well. I feel better knowing that he’s not going hungry, but I also know that part of me will probably never feel like I did enough to make exclusive breastfeeding work. I also don’t like the idea sometimes that a can of powder from Costco does a better job of feeding my son than I do at this point. But then I remember that a can of powder can only go so far. It doesn’t have arms to lull him to sleep, or a voice to soothe him when he’s crying.