I've been waiting for some catastrophe or disastrous episode so that I can write a more interesting post for you, but I'm sorry to report that it is going to have to be the boring old truth. Things are, well, great. So far, at least.
Gabe is head over heels in love with his sister, and insists on caressing her head lovingly and kissing her and holding her hands. He told us last night, "I wanna keep Josie," and the way he says "Josie" melts my heart. It sounds almost like "joosie" or something close to that- stinking adorable. He asks for her first thing in the morning and first thing after naps. No jealousy yet, even when I spend hours on the couch breastfeeding her. The worst behavior I've seen since Josephine arrived is that he was a little whiny the first few days, and once while I was breastfeeding he took advantage of my incapacity to throw balls at me from across the room. Besides that, he is sleeping, eating, playing, behaving, generally fabulously. I'm shocked, to tell you the truth. I'm cautiously optimistic, but still anticipating some bumps in the road.
My recovery has been ridiculously good also. The worst part so far has been those horrible cramps while nursing, the ones that shrink your uterus. I was ready to climb the walls for the first 48 hours after delivery, but they seem to be gone now. I have to keep reminding myself that I just gave birth because I feel like I could do anything, which is so different from after Gabe was born. I felt good after him, but not like this.
Best of all, this little girl is the sweetest thing ever. I don't know how I get so lucky when it comes to babies, but she is a dream so far. The first night in the hospital was rough- she cluster fed from 11pm until 7am the next morning, pretty much nonstop, and when the pediatrician arrived at 8am, I broke down in tears because I was beyond exhausted. Her hard work was successful, though, because by the time I went to bed that next night (36 hours after delivery) my milk was in. That night she slept a 4 hour stretch, and she has done 3-4 hour stretches every night since we've been home. She gets up to eat, is all business, and then crashes again in her bassinet by my bed. I'm tired, of course, but I feel rested enough to wake up with Gabe in the morning and I can make it through the day feeling like a human being.
Josie was almost a full pound smaller than Gabe, and definitely more petite looking. Everything about her seems small, and her tiny mouth posed some problems with breastfeeding for the first couple of days until I could convince her to open her mouth wide enough to nurse and not kill my boobs. I had a great experience breastfeeding Gabe, so I was surprised when some small bumps in the road over those first couple of days threw me for such a loop. The lactation consultants and nurses and Josh and the janitor kept giving me different pieces of advice, and I was ready to throttle someone by the time we left the hospital. I kept finding myself feeling frantic and anxious and afraid that the breastfeeding wouldn't get better. But it did, and by the time we were home for a full day, we were in a good rhythm. By the time we went to the pediatrician for her first check at 4 days old, she was back to her birth weight and gaining an average of 3 ounces a day. Today I swung back through the pediatrician's office to have them check out a nasty diaper rash she has sprouted, and she gained a full pound in 4 days. One pound! 4 days! She is up to 7 pounds 4 ounces, and her little cheeks are starting to look chubby.
I adore her.
Last night I found myself munching on her cheeks and squeezing her into the crook of my neck. She is delicious and sweet and only cries at diaper changes and when she has to poop- I suspect both due to the nasty diaper rash. I could honestly swallow her whole. She keeps smiling at me and rationally I know it is gas or involuntary or whatever you want to call it, but it seriously turns me into a puddle of goo. She makes these adorable little noises, almost little coos, and she hums up a storm while she is nursing. I know you all told me I would love her, but I guess I didn't expect I would love her this much, this fast.
Two children. I am the mother of two children! So don't mind me. I'll be in the corner counting my blessings and smothering my babies with hugs and kisses.
I wish all of you wonderful times like these, and the happiest of holidays!