It’s now been a week since we welcomed our third child into our lives. Charlie Theresa arrived at 10:14 last Monday, just ahead of what counts in the south as a snow storm. The swirling flakes blew in for me on the winds of change as I adjusted to life as a new mom again. Even though I’ve done this twice before every child is different and I’m a different person for each child. The cabin fever, the post baby blues, the sleep deprivation and the fact that my husband is eating more salad and losing weight while my mid-section makes me look like the Pillsbury Dough Boy’s P90X before picture have had me very introspective and more than a little melancholy. Bringing child number three into the fold has been a profound and yet not so profound life change and though I thought I was a very roll-with-the-punches kinda gal; I’ve realized I don’t deal well with change. My life this week has been like the off feeling of finishing a great novel and not being quite ready to let the story go or pick up another book.
Bringing home baby number three has been less than monumental compared to the arrival of the first two. Only one hospital visitor and they kicked me outta there the next day. While I was glad to get home I also felt a bit look the old brood mare who’s done this enough to be sent back to the pasture forthwith. No fanfare for Charlie upon homecoming, the novelty wore off for the kids pretty quickly and my husband even commented that it just felt natural for us to have a baby in the house. Besides waking up throughout the night to feed her the overall rhythm of our home hasn’t changed much. Taking the oldest to school with a new baby in tow hasn’t been the monstrous task I thought it would be and I was met with surprise when I made it to the MOPs meeting yesterday. Little Charlie has fit seamlessly into our lives. The transition has been so incredibly easy as to be a bit of a letdown actually.
The profound changes for me have been internal. My life is broken into chapters; I find it hard to turn the page sometimes and I’m dwelling on all the chapters that compose my book thus far. The hormonal fall-out had me crying at the first few chords of Alanis Morissette’s “Ironic” , reminiscing on 15 year old me listening to Jagged Little Pill, deconstructing Wuthering Heights happily unaware of what life held for her. The girl who looked forward to having kids, but didn’t know how stressful, thrilling and yet altogether boring motherhood could be. How it can be heartwarming to kiss your babies at night and watch them sleep only to step out of their room, sit down on the couch and think “Is this it? Yep..and you’ll be doing it all over again tomorrow.” While Stephen and I are caught up in the flow of family life I think about the time when it was just the two of us, not a better chapter but a very different one than the one we’re in presently. I’m evening having a hard time ending the chapter that was this pregnancy. I miss my marathon sessions of snacking and Supernatural on Netflix while I was huge and uncomfortable. I’m miserably beginning to pay the piper for this short indulgent chapter. Now I kiss those babies, sit down and think to myself “You’ll be doing this all again tomorrow. And eating a damn salad.”
Even more profoundly I’ve discovered how quickly my other two children have grown in the last week. I wiped Stevie’s hands and they felt massive in mine compared to the baby’s tiny digits. I’m pondering how this time with the unending demands of three young children at home will pass so swiftly in the grand scheme of life. This chapter is like the long tedious back story. Hard to get through, I want to skip whole pages at times and I find myself skimming the paragraphs of dinners, diapers and sleepless nights but it’s required for our family’s story to make sense in the end. All our characters, our motives, our storylines are being set in motion. In my epilogue the little hands and behinds I wipe now will one day be gathered around my table with new little hands and behinds of their own. Then my girls will begin their sequels. With a hope, a prayer and a little hard work they’ll be epic tales.