We took these pictures and I wrote this post when Westley was a little over a week old, after we survived our first full week home together as a family of FIVE!
We’re doing it!
We’ve been home, all five of us, for a full week.
Before that we had a few quiet, wonderful days here just me, Ben, and the baby while the big kids hung out at Grandma + Grandpa’s up in New Hampshire.
What to say about Westley? Where to start?
I remember scrolling instagram in those early weeks with Lincoln, reading captions about “the best day of my life” and “the most wonderful week of our lives, ” as moms shared photos of their newborns. And I was convinced they were lying. Because the best week of my life is one I want to relive over and over again, something like a great tropical vacation…and while I’d do it all over to have Lincoln, I remember wondering why anyone would want to experience those newborn weeks over again.
With Adelaide things weren’t as dark and scary… but, like pregnancy, the newborn phase made me not want any more babies.
And now I get it. Maybe skip over those first four or five really painful days of recovery (maybe), but I would take that quiet week of me, Ben, and baby (with lots of takeout, netflix, and soft white sheets) over reliving plenty of past vacations.
It might be because we skipped all nursing + pumping this time around.
It might be because we’ve done this a few times before.
It might be because Westley is such a calm little guy and a content sleeper (as long as he’s fed + changed).
(It might also be because a tiny newborn with two adults is much easier than two toddlers and one pregnant adult)
But these last 10 days make me want another 3 newborns (just no more pregnancy or labor or delivery).
Motherhood feels so light and wonderful this time around.
A day in the life
Let’s see. A standard day around here last week started about 1 am when Westley would wake up for food. Ben or I would get up, depending on who took the last feed. If there was a big dirty diaper we might ask for some assistance. Sometime around 8 or 9 we’d stop going back to bed after a feed and we’d lounge in bed for awhile. After breakfast (which also might be in bed), we’d snuggle a baby before I took a nap and Ben did some laundry (or dishes). There were 20 minute trips to the bathroom for me, lots of coding class for him. He might sneak in a run or a quick workout at the climbing gym after putting Westley down for a nap. I listened to audiobooks and gave myself the luxury of holding a baby through his nap. Late afternoons and evenings called for popcorn and Blue Bloods in bed, all three of us, before settling into another night.
And then we brought the kids home last Sunday. I was still in a bit of pain but doing quite a bit better and so Ben’s job switched from taking care of me to taking care of the big kids and I took care of Westley. Mainly I’d take the night shifts, waking up with the baby anytime between 11pm and 6am. Any wake ups after that I’d turn it over to Ben and get a solid block of sleep before waking up around 8:30 or 9. One morning I woke up, took a quick shower, and walked out to Ben snuggled up on the couch feeding the baby while Lincoln and Adelaide were playing happily together in the playroom, sun shining in through the windows…and my heart melted. Most mornings Ben took the big kids for an outing (the beach, Walden pond, rock climbing, hiking) …and I cleaned up the house and snuggled Westley. After lunch we’d all take naps and Ben might slip off to the gym or keep an ear out for Westley so I could get in a few more hours of sleep. Then it was dinner, maybe a park outing, and bedtime for the kids. We’d curl up in bed with more popcorn for a few episodes of Blue Bloods, waiting for Westley to wake up for his next feed.
It all made me really grateful for paternity leave, family close by and eager to help, and a husband to hold down the fort. Real life with Ben gone isn’t quite as easy for blissful … but this sweet baby still is.